June 12, 2023
The one everyone has been waiting for…. Kenya! There is too much to put into a single blog post about my heart for Kenya and what traveling to Kenya has been like with my family after going alone for years. But I will give a little back story for those of you that are new around here. Long story short, I have done missions there over several years with different organizations. The Lord continued to open doors for me and I kept giving him my yes.
It has always been my desire since the first time I stepped on the soil of Kenya to get married, have babies and move my entire family there. That was if I didn’t marry a Kenyan, LOL. But you know as the story unfolds, the latter didn’t happen. The last time I was there was in 2019 and it was in the plan to go back in 2020 but the pandemic stopped a lot of those plans, not just for us but everyone in the world. Man, what a crazy time we have lived through.
In 2020, I got married and got pregnant with our first daughter (you can read her birth story here) – 4 months postpartum I got pregnant with our second daughter. After that I was sure that after having babies we wouldn’t be traveling there for awhile because just the thought of traveling across the world with littles seemed daunting but also my husband wasn’t ever overly excited to go. I mean, he wanted to because of my heart for Kenya but it wasn’t a top priority.
Over the years, there are certainly days that bring me to my knees in prayer wishing and wondering what life would be like if we were living in Kenya. Asking questions like “why does my husband get all of his dreams and I don’t? Why can’t we just move there already? Lord, why can’t you take this desire away?” but in the same breath I can look back and see how faithful the Lord has been and how he has protected me from my own desires but also so many ways he has provided for me in ways I never knew I needed or even wanted. This season that we’re in is so special and the ways I get to serve my husband is an honor during such a pivotal time going into preparing for his forever career.
A few months went by of me and my husband talking about the idea of taking our girls to Kenya one day but what I didn’t know was that it would be so soon. He gave me the go ahead to buy the tickets and apply for our visas, y’all I took no time whatsoever. I was shooketh! I bought those tickets almost IMMEDIATELY following his yes because I was so so excited but also because then he couldn’t change his mind. Also not me buying the nonrefundable tickets… (risky, I know) but then he really couldn’t change his mind, like that’s a lot of money down the drain and if there’s one thing he doesn’t like, it’s wasting money. *insert tongue emoji*
We came, we saw, we conquered. Well, kind of but not really. We stayed in Kenya for a month and we mainly stayed put in one spot just to enjoy our time but also because we just want the girls to be a little bigger before traveling every which direction because carrying them around can get hectic at times. Especially when they don’t wanna be carried. (toddlerhood will getcha) We didn’t get to see all of our friends there but next time we will be sure to plan better and give more time to do that.
I will do a whole blog over traveling with littles because honestly it isn’t as bad or even as scary as people make it out to be! But, that’s a topic for another day. Over all of the years I have been in Kenya, I had never gone on a safari. So, we took the girls and it was seriously so breathtaking. I just couldn’t believe my eyes honestly. It was surreal to be seeing wild giraffe, lions, elephants, cheetahs, buffalo, pumba, zebras, and so on. Our safari truck didn’t have any doors on it, which was insane to me but made it that much more fun. Don’t worry, we had a tight grip on the girls at all times.
While we were at the safari we also went to visit the Maasai tribe and that was a cool experience especially since our first born daughter has a Maasai name. It is the tribe where we got her name from and the story behind it is a beautiful one. To see her experience the culture and tribe where the prayer for her began was such a surreal feeling. I felt honored to know that God will and always does fulfill his promises to us, even if they aren’t in the way we imagined them to be. He is forever faithful.
Goodness, I am still trying to find the words but I realized quickly I will be digesting this trip for a long time to come and all of the lessons I learned during it. But let me start with this; having your heart in two completely different parts of the world is just hard. One day you’re being pulled to the left and the next to the right, as if you’ll never truly find your balance. That’s how I feel, I don’t know that I will ever experience what it’s like to not desire both countries and what a beautiful feeling that I get to hold closely and to navigate. I am grateful to even hold that kind of strain in my heart because I consider it a blessing.
There was this thought that going to Kenya with my family would fill in the gap of these empty parts of my heart that were so longing for this day to come. I thought my husband would fall in love with the land, the smell, the people, the culture, and all of the things I find so beautiful about this country. I imagined my babies experience and what that would be like for them. But, y’all that isn’t what happened at all actually.
I mean, the girls definitely enjoyed themselves and I know even though they can’t tell us, they for sure love Kenya. They’re still talking about it! Nanyori will tell me she’s headed to Kenya with her bag in hand and telling me all the friends she is going to see. *heart melts* They were picking up swahili from everyone talking around us and from the kids they were playing with, that was such a cool thing to experience with them as I know some swahili and just never thought they would pick it up so quickly.
My heart became open to listen to what the Lord had for me during this trip as before I felt guarded because I only wanted what I desired and didn’t want to listen or see anything else around me. I felt an awakening of peace, that though we aren’t in Kenya for good, we have every opportunity to come back and visit. I found so much purpose in where God has me right now.
Realizing over the last several years I have held onto my own selfishness and only thought of me. When I chose to get married, it meant sacrificing, in what capacity is different for everyone. But for me, right now, it means supporting my husband in getting his Doctorate, raising my children, caring for our home, and leaning into passions that bring me joy outside of motherhood. I will continue down the path of up and down hills but combining those paths with grace and understanding, I will flourish where God has me.
A constant sentence I repeat to myself daily. BUT another sentence I repeat consistently is this:
I have desired something so much that I almost missed out on some of the best days of my life. Being a stay at home mom IS the most important work for me in this season. I get to honor the Lord with my life right now and nothing I do will change His love for me. Wether that is in Kenya or wether that is in the states. It has taken me years to realize this but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I live in the world and of this world, so so far from perfect and learning from my mistakes every day. While continuing to make mistakes every day as well because I am a sinner. But what I am grateful for is the continual grace and mercy I get to receive from our Lord and the truth that is written in His word about my worth and what this life should look like. There are big things on the horizon for our family and I can’t wait to see how the Lord is going to use us.
Kenya, you have given me more than I could ever give back to you. Thank you for it all. I don’t regret a thing and I will see you again.