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(Pictured are 15 of the 16 singers at rehearsal in PA in January – in the snow, hence the rather chilled expressions on a few faces. Leah will be joining us in Africa since she’s from the UK and has been in Germany for the past few months.)
Written Monday, 2.6.17
Blog posts are scheduled.
Facebook posts are scheduled.
BoardBooster will take care of keeping my Pinterest account up to date.
BookCentra will send out my cookbook orders as always.
My dad and sister will feed my horse.
All I need to do is pack. I already have a filtered water bottle, water purifying drops, vitamins, a plug adaptor, a surge protector, and a new backpack with a laptop sleeve. As long as I don’t forget my music and my passport, I’m good to go. (Mom, please take a moment to marvel at how prepared I am.)
I’m heading there with a 16-member singing group + a pastor and his wife. We’ll be singing in a lot of schools and a few churches.
As of a year ago, I had only met one of the people singing this group. Music camp last summer introduced me to eight more, including the instigator of the trip (which was planned last fall). I met four more group members when I was in Lancaster in November (and convinced my new buddy Leah that I couldn’t do South Africa without her!!) The remaining four strangers I met at rehearsal about a month ago, but they’re strangers no more! They definitely won’t be strangers after we spend 2 1/2 weeks traversing South Africa. My (introverted) head spins when I think about how many new people I’ve been able to meet in the past year; I’m overwhelmingly grateful. God has used these people to change me: my convictions have been strengthened, my personality has (I hope!) been refined a teensy bit, and I now have a passport. 😉
I’m super excited to fly internationally for the first time. I can’t wait to experience African culture and meet even more wonderful people. I’m looking forward to making music (and inside jokes) with some amazing friends. Much to my mother’s chagrin, I’m not worried about snake bites and lions and malaria and inadequate clothes-washing facilities. (But I will try to use some common sense.) Actually, the thing that took the most time for me to get used to was the idea of having so many
Unread notifications scare me. What if I miss something important? What if there’s a problem with my cookbook distribution? What if someone is disappointed with one of my recipes? I won’t be around to take care of problems, so will everybody be OK while I’m gone?
Um, you hear that? I obviously have waayyy too high an opinion of myself if I think the world can’t survive without me while I’m gone. Not only that, but I’m not trusting God to take care of things. Part of my aversion to notifications has to do with the vestiges of OCD that I still deal with, but a lot of it is just a universal trust issue based on the fact that my Briana:God ratio is really off balance.
Fear arises when we imagine that everything depends on us.
I actually saw that quote while I was in the middle of editing this post. Seeing it was totally a God thing that confirmed what I’ve been working through in my head. I need to lay myself down and surrender something very dear to me: my professional persona. I constantly struggle to find the balance between doing what I am called to do (blogging) and my God-given enjoyment of business…and the meek and quiet being of a Spirit-filled woman. It’s time for me to take a step back and refocus on what truly matters, and I think that’s a big part of why God brought this Africa opportunity into my life. I don’t know how much internet I’ll have in Africa, but even if I am able to get online, I’m planning to basically take a break from work and social media. I’ll check my email to deal with any crises that may arise (and drop my family a line to let them know I’m alive!) and I may pop over to Facebook and post some quick updates from the trip and share prayer requests, but I’m going to save the blog comments and other correspondence for when I get home (February 28). Just a heads-up: I’ll probably miss quite a bit of what happens on Facebook awhile I’m gone, so if you need to get in touch, please leave a comment here on my blog. All comments are held for moderation to make sure I see them, so I’ll catch up with you when I get back home!
As I said earlier, I have posts scheduled to go out regularly here on my blog while I’m gone, so you can follow along via email for those. You can sign up in the sidebar to your right if you’re on desktop, or down towards the bottom of the page if you’re on mobile.
Something else you might be interested in – one of the guys going on the trip is into videography, and he’s going to try to do a few video updates over on his YouTube channel while we’re in Africa! You can check out his channel and subscribe here.
Is there something in your life right now that you’re having a hard time surrendering completely to God? I realize that social media is a relatively easy thing to step away from, and there are things in life that are impossible to compartmentalize and remove completely, but I challenge you: if you need to learn to trust, God may call you to give something up for awhile. And that’s a good thing! I have learned before that surrender is freedom, and I’m looking forward to learning that again. I hope you have a blessed weekend, and I look forward to getting back in touch when I get home at the end of February!