I was first introduced to mosaics in Italy and was struck with wonder by their intricate beauty and design. To see the tiny fragments of different colors, shapes and sizes all come together in one masterful piece of art was breath-taking. To be inspired by something that originally was made from busted, broken pieces of glass or stone takes quite a creative designer.
Some people are far more spiritual than I am…they do things like pray for world peace and cures for diseases. At times my prayers feel a bit more shallow…I pray for stuff like the weather and how it will affect my schedule for the day. I pray for my children not fall out of trees and break something. I even pray, ahem–please don’t judge–for things like what type of dog we will own.
We have this loveable little lab puppy in our home. Originally we discussed getting a smaller more terrier type dog to attack the critters (read: snakes and rats) that might come in our home uninvited. After leaving Lucky (the rooster) in K’la we made a decision to get a family dog. I prayed a significant amount of time over the dog, whether all of the children would get along with the dog, and if it would be a good fit for our family and for the RG community. Days before the pick up of our terrier type dog, Kylee mentioned she would love a bit larger dog. (Her strongest preference being a labradoodle.) Good luck finding one of those in Uganda! I started thinking about my own childhood and how much I enjoyed having labs, but I was doubtful there were any lab puppies to be found. (Most every dog here is used for utility/security or is a random mut that runs the streets eating garbage.) A friendly, happy go lucky lab hardly has a purpose in Uganda. But to honor Kylee and follow the nudge in my heart, I searched an ex-pat page on Facebook and sure enough…this photo was the top “story” in the newsfeed.
OF COURSE it was. The rest was history. Caspian is the perfect fit for our family. Super chill (for a puppy) and wonderful with children…this dog has made our past few months so much more
lovable livable. (Maybe a little of both.) The fact that a lab was not on our radar even a week before we went to pick up the pup we call Caspian, carried the fingerprints of One far more detailed than I.
As I started to plot our extended trip home to the US, I began to spend an obscene amount of time praying about who would care for the dog. Most of our mzungu friends were going home and most of our Ugandan friends were going back to their villages for at least some part of their Christmas holiday. Randomly a friend of ours mentioned that there would be several adoptive families traveling to Uganda over the next few months. Hold the phone. Would it be possible that I could ask an adoptive family to watch our dog for even some portion of our travel back to the US? Oh, and one teeny little detail, would these same adoptive families not be allergic and actually like dogs?!? It was a long shot. I held my breath as I posted a note on our adoption agencies’ site–and low and behold–I received word from 2 families who were traveling in country saying they would be willing to help watch our dog. Not only that, they were families that I knew–and they were friends with one another! (To top it off, they were staying in a dog friendly space!?!) This carried the fingerprints of One far more detailed than I.
As we plotted our trip back to the US we made a list of people we wanted to see and places we would like to visit. We googled and map-quested and could not justify an in country flight to Colorado from NC though this state held a large group of special friends we had hoped to get time with. I prayed, knowing that we as a family were hungry to be with people. Not just any people…but with people who know us well and know our story. People we can sit with and laugh and our kids can run and play. We can say deep things or nothing at all, it is safe to just be. In the midst of my selfish friend (fellowship) prayers…Chris suggested, “Why don’t you see if we can fly directly in to Denver from Uganda and then take a flight to DC to visit my dad? This might give us an opportunity to see our Colorado friends while in the US?” This turned out to be a brilliant idea and affordable even cost effective compared to our original plan. The nudge to book our flights in this unique way carried the fingerprints of One far more detailed than I.
Yesterday I received an email from a friend who is an incredibly talented speaker and author. She is a bold, truth-teller. She inspires women and reminds them they are a treasure. She also is the kind of friend who takes the time to touch base and ask how my heart is on a regular basis. Across the ocean I can hear her sweet southern voice say, “Girl!” My friend happened to be speaking at an event this past weekend. Afterwards, a woman whom she was sitting near started telling about her daughter who had traveled to Uganda to adopt kiddos and now was living there doing missions. Of course her next question was, “Who is your daughter?” At which point the connection was made. If I could pull off the shelf a more perfect “stranger” to encourage, speak truth and love over my mom, especially at a time when she misses her grandchildren…(and her daughter–but I am okay being a slow second)…it would be my dear friend who was speaking at this women’s function! So I received this beautiful photo of my mom, the author friend in the middle, and another special Jenny I have known for years…all brought together for such a time as this. Once again the fingerprints of One far more detailed than I.
Sometimes when I pray…I feel selfish and silly. And yes, I DO pray for the orphans in Africa…so I do pray big. (No need to point out that I work with orphans in Africa…details, details.) But I also pray for dogs and dog sitters, for quality time with friends and for my mom to find peace and comfort. But my best prayers never include the kind of detail and care that was given to me and to our family in the situations I shared today.
One of our small group friends from NC always says, “God is in the details.” Despite the ick that occurs in this life, (and more recently things have been ickier than normal in our world) I have been humbled again and again by this type of detail and concern. Doubtful God is in heaven worrying or wondering about Caspian the dog. But God knows the desires and the concerns of my heart and finding space for me to be peaceful is a personal matter to Him. That means something.
No matter whether life is smooth sailing or you are caught in the weeds…my encouragement today is to look for His fingerprints. There is a Masterful Mosaic being made and He most definitely is in the details.
May You Be a Blessing and May You Be Blessed,