We have been home now for 6 weeks and what a busy and blessed time it has been.  This past Saturday Hailey turned one year old Hailey's first year.  We have been so blessed by God's provisions and love for us over this past year and we know, having seen God’s faithfulness, that if we trust and obey him, he will direct us according to his will in the future.  

One of our biggest prayer requests before leaving the ship was for Greg to get a job.  We want to tell you that God’s answer couldn’t have been more perfect.  During our time in Chelmsford last summer and fall, Greg had volunteered with the maintenance crew at our church.  When Pastor Dana heard Greg would need a job, he offered him a permanent part-time position on staff with the building and grounds department.  With the experience he had on crew with the ship, Greg is comfortable with hard work and has really put in an all-out effort to beautify the church and grounds.  You should see it for yourselves and come in for a visit while you're there (service is on Sundays at 9am).
Another big answer to prayer was being accepted as a full time grad student in the family nurse practitioner program at UML.  I will be starting this fall and, Lord willing, will graduate spring of 2015.  While I am in class and/or studying, ‘Nana’ (my Mom) will be nanny for Hailey.  If anyone wants to spread the love and have some baby-time let me know and I bet Nana will be willing to give Hailey up for of couple hours.  ;0)

         Our future, like always, is very much in God’s hands.   Thank you for your faithful and obedient support to me and now our family, over these four years.  I can truly say that my life has forever been changed by all that God has shown me and done through me during this time.  We hope to return to Africa in the next 5 years to continue in land-based missions but for now are enjoying every day of being right where God has put us.


Our friend Fodi...

Africa has opened up my eyes to a lot of things, some incredibly joyful, some incredibly heartbreaking.  One of the heartbreaking things that I have seen and learned more about is the terrible effects of poverty particularly related to health.  Most of our patients, if not all, are poor.  Due to this they are not able to provide for their families basic health needs including food, water, shelter, clothes, never mind medical needs (doctor visits, medicines, tests, etc).  There are different levels of poverty but some of the poorest of the poor are the patients that are afflicted with a disease called Noma.  Just google “Noma disease images” and you will see the horrific effects of this disease. This disease starts generally between the ages of 1 and 6 and is due to a combination of poverty, malnutrition, and poor dental hygiene and if the child lives an area with poor sanitation they have an even higher risk of getting this disease.  For those of you reading this that have been to a poor country you can empathize with these risks knowing that most people in poverty are surrounded by these exact disparities.  I think particularly of Haiti and the after effects of the detrimental natural disasters to an already impoverished country.  I bet Noma was high there before the disasters so I can't imagine what they are dealing with now.  This is true for any poor country but then is multiplied by natural disasters, civil war, drought, famine, etc. (*Sudan, Darfur, Irag).  Right now the WHO states that there is about 140,000 new cases each year of Noma.  We need to be made aware of this awful disease so that we are willing to do something about it.  Go, send, pray; which one is your part?

 While in Guinea I have seen more patients with this disease than in the other 6 countries I have been to.  About 80-90% of all Noma patients do not survive due to septicemia, pneumonia, or diarrhea associated with malnutrition.  For the 10 to 20% of Noma patients that do survive they are left with severe disfigurements of the face.  This leads to then being ostracized and tagged demon possessed and/or cursed.   On Mercy Ships we see that 10-20% that have survived.  In the past, while serving on board, I have always cared for them in the wards or doing their wound care but this year God blessed me with a greater gift and that was giving me a friend.

When I started to write about my friend Fodi for this blog I realized that his story and our friendship didn’t carry as much weight if you didn’t understand the disease he has and what he has gone through. The scenario up above about being ostracized and labeled demon possessed is exactly what Fodi endured as a boy and now a man.  Yet the joy, love, kindness and care that this man shows to all who have met him would never let you know.
This outreach has been a bit (*extremely) different for me compared to what I’ve been doing the past years on the ship.  One of the biggest things I missed was getting to know the patients.  So I decided to sign up to “Befriend a patient” where you get to befriend a patient (as the name implies).  I won’t lie to ya, I originally signed up for a middle aged female thinking ‘she’ would be a good match especially because of Hailey.  Thankfully my wise friend Sarah knew that Fodi was our perfect friend.  And she couldn't have been more right!
Upon meeting Fodi I knew he was perfect for us when I asked one of the nurses who he was and she pointed to an older man (51) with a bedazzled bright yellow paper crown sitting firmly on his head.  As soon as Hailey saw this 'crown of glory' she lit up and so did I.  Fodi put on the biggest smile he could and quickly put out his hands to hold Hailey.  This is where our friendship began.

Over the past 4 months Hailey and I have had the joy and pleasure of getting to know Fodi.  During his stay on board he had three separate surgeries in which Dr.Gary basically made him the other side of his mouth.  Through visits down to the hospital, afternoons on Deck 7 playing Jenga or working on his alphabet, or trips over to the Hope Center during his last few days getting treatment, we loved spending time with him.  Each hour spent with him was so precious and even though our conversations were short due to language differences they were always sweet.  I’m happy to report that Fodi went home this past Thursday fully healed and will receive his final surgery by a Guinean doctor trained by Dr.Gary.  Praise God!  Fodi is just one of the many patients gone through during this outreach in Guinea but what an impression he has made on my life and so many others. 
During these 4 years on the ship and seeing some of the poorest of the poor whether it be due to them coming for surgery or begging on the streets this passage gave me new insight, conviction, and hope.  

 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’   -Matthew 25

Outside on deck 7
Hope Center


Lazare's Orphanage

One of my good friends, Michelle, has been faithfully going to a local orphanage called Lazare’s Orphanage.  Hearing her talk about the kids and her experiences made me want to go and visit.  So this past Saturday Hailey and I were able to get off the ship to go and visit these amazing kids.  The orphanage is about an hour from the ship but still within the boundaries of Conakry.  The start of this orphanage came when God called a Guinean man named Lazare to give orphans a home.  He currently has 31 kids, over half of which have AIDS.  Most of those with AIDS have lost their parents to this disease.  They now must deal with this awful disease but also makes it much harder for them to get adopted.  Most of the other children still have parent(s) but due to certain situations (finances, school, violence, etc.) are unable to care for their children and are at Lazare's for a period of time.  
As we drove away from the ship Steve, the team leader, pointed out the many ‘signs’ of protesting that cluttered the roads.  Big and small rocks were scattered all over the pavement.  Burnt tire piles continued to smoke from the protests the day before.  Piles of wood sat waiting to be pushed back on the roads to continue the protests.  Every time these demonstrations occur, besides the risk of injury, people are unable to go to work and/or school, marketers are unable to sell, and the overall economy is damaged.  

What are these protests about?  Government problems with a mix of tribal issues.  Since arriving in Guinea I haven’t been able to get out much but I have definitely been aware of the cycle of protests that have been going on throughout this outreach.  As I looked at these different markings sprayed over the roads, these protests became more of a reality to me.  Everyday I move around safely on my little ship when there are people 5 miles outside my door that are dealing with all of this.  I was frustrated with my ignorance to this daily turmoil but mainly my heart ached for all those affected by these protests.  “God bring your peace and love to this land”
Finally we arrived at the door of Lazare’s orphanage.  As we stepped through the big metal gates Hailey was quickly swept out of my arms by a 6 year old girl.  So with my arms free I was bombarded by little excited hands wanting to be picked up.  My eyes quickly fell on one little boy who lay off to the side of the courtyard. He lay belly down with a thin layer of dirt covering his clothes and flies swarming around.  After giving some hugs to those around, I went over and picked up this little guy. My dear friend Michelle came over and introduced me to Jojo or Joseph.  As soon as she said his name I remembered the many stories and pictures that she had shared with me over these past months.  As I held him in my arms I noticed the glaze in his eyes and the limpness of his body and realized that he was one of 100’s of babies throughout the world born in poor conditions, with limited oxygen, resulting in brain damage that permanently disables them.  To make matters worse these children don’t have all the amazing resources that we have to care for children with special needs.  For example physical therapy, wheelchairs, speech therapy, and nutritional resources.  So instead these kiddos are left more handicapped then they need to be.
Jojo! Picture taken by Michelle C.
Little sweet Jojo is 2 years old.  Michelle explained that when Mercy Ships first started coming to the orphanage he was malnourished and couldn’t even sit up.  But after some months, with the help of a PT on board and some extra instruction to the staff, he had fattened up and was able to sit up independently.  Praise God!  Jojo is just another reminder to me about all that God is doing here.  May we continue to pray for Jojo and the long journey that lay ahead of him.
I handed Jojo over to Michelle as Hailey tugged at my skirt to get back in my arms.  We walked around visiting all the kids and everyone was really excited to touch Hailey’s hair (this seems to be an attraction for people of all ages).  Then Steve called everyone together for a Bible story time in the courtyard.  Hailey sat happily in front of me completely engaged by all the faces that surrounded her.  As soon as Hailey was out of my arms (again) I had a line up of children yearning to just sit on my lap.  One by one (or sometimes two by two) my lap became a place for these kids to get some extra love and a cuddle.  As I cuddled with each of these kiddos I couldn’t help but think of the amount of hugs, kisses, and love I pour on Hailey each day and how little of that these kids get.  I got a bit sad but then God reminded me that He is their Father and that he loves them even more than I love Hailey and that he POURS his love upon them and has great plans for each and every one.  
All 31 pairs of eyes sat attentively listening to the Bible story presented.  For a country built on over 85% Islam it was great to have these kids hearing about Jesus.  For the kids that still have a parent and/or those that may get adopted, how great to think about these kids not only being a part of a family  but also that they might be a seed in bringing their parents to faith in Jesus.  May God continue to guide and protect these kids and the plans that He has in store for them. 
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans”
 James 1:27 (NIV).

Hailey says, "Support even just one kid!"

*I'm not sure if you have ever thought on supporting an orphan financially and/or adopting but if you haven't I pray that if nothing else this post will make you consider the possibility.   If you decide that you want to then go and talk to your church, friends, and/or me to get connected.  

 Right now there are over 143 million orphans around the world.  That number is overwhelming to think about but if you can put a name and a face to even just one (or ten) I pray it will touch you to want to become a part of their lives.



My heart is saddened and in shock after yesterday’s events at the Boston Marathon.  To hear the stories, see the pictures, and read the posts makes that sadness deepen.  It feels somewhat surreal as I think about an event that is known to be so pure, unifying, and encouraging is now filled with death, injury, pain, hurt, fear, and anger.  My heart aches for the families and friends of those who died and/or were injured but also for all those who were affected in anyway from this tragedy.

So how do we respond to this? What do we do from here? When I started praying for all those involved I thought on the many things that my mind had heard, seen, or read.  DEATH.  INJURY. PAIN. HURT. FEAR. ANGER.  My sadness quickly turned to anger (the righteous/justice filled kind) as I saw the devil’s name printed all over this.  Who comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10)? Who desires to make us fearful?  Who thrives off of building up anger and hatred? 

I am reminded once again that we are in a daily battle.  That everything that is pure, holy, noble, good the devil wants to destroy.  I am also reminded that this battle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers of this dark world.  It can be so tempting to respond to this tragedy with fear and hate but that is exactly what he (the devil) wants.   I encourage you (me) instead to respond with love. 

Sadly I know this isn’t the last time we’ll hear of a tragedy and/or terrorist attack but I know that Jesus has given us the greatest armor to fight against whatever the devil may throw at us.  We are in a daily spiritual war built on things that we can not see but that affects us deeply.  So stand on the Truth that holds tight around your waist, keep righteousness against your chest, and be ready at all times with the gospel of peace.  Hold your shield of faith to block whatever the devil may try to shoot at you, and know that you have the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit (the Word of God) to fight.  (Ephesians 6:10- 18)

So what are we going to do?  We need to pour out love to all those around us.  We need to pray, pray and pray some more.  And we need to stay alert that whenever we see 'works of the devil'  that we don't let him win but instead but on our armor and fight back.

I have already been so encouraged as I read posts by the many friends who were along that 26.2 mile stretch talking about the outpouring of love and concern they have received.  I am also inspired by the emergency responders and good Samaritans that helped amidst all the chaos around them.  Most importantly I am thankful that we serve a GREAT God that is bigger than any tragedy, that can conquer ANY fear, and that loves us with an unconditional love.


Babies WITH milk

Now a days I don't get off the ship much (or ever) unless it is for a weekly trip to the market to stock up on fresh fruits.  But last Tuesday I had the amazing opportunity of going to see an organization in town that provides formula for babies whose mothers have passed away.   I truly felt blessed to be a part of this day and to be able to meet so many amazing men and women who have stepped up and stepped into to take on the care of these little ones lives.   It was also amazing to see how a program like this was started and how it continues to run.  This program runs out of one woman’s home and provides formula for babies within the Conakry area.  They currently have over 200 babies and have an additional 200 babies (over 1 year) who have graduated to rice.   Every 2 weeks these babies with their caregivers show up to Dania's doorstep (Guinean woman) and hand out whatever formula they have.  The second woman that founded this group is named Estel.  She has been living in Guinea for over 25 years doing an array of jobs but most recently has poured herself into "Babies without milk".
Top:Me, Tracey, Cora, Estel, Dania, Dania's son, Hailey
Bottom: Ali, Zoe, Dania's daughter

One of my friends onboard, Tracey, has an amazing testimony of how God connected her with this group and with a little baby in need. Please check out her blog: Tracey's blog
Ali also wrote about our little adventure out and amongst such an amazing group of men and women: Ali's blog

Babies without milk is a great example of God providing their daily bread.  Sometimes the funds don't meet the need, so they dig deeper.  Sometimes they go into debt, but they keep going and each time God provides.  What an amazing example of trust and dependence on our loving Father.

As we drove away from this amazing group my heart leaped with joy with all they had done and were doing.  In the same beat I was saddened thinking about the all those babies without caregivers or without a program like this.  The statistics of babies, children under 5, and mothers dying in West Africa are overwhelming but when you hold a baby that could have been part of that statistic you cant help but praise God for the faithfulness of his children.

This group is an example of what can happen when you ignore the tsunami of hopeless statistics and instead to reach out and help those within your grasp. This group and all those involved should challenge and encourage us to never give up, to keep our hope in and on Jesus at all times, and to do the best we can with what God has given us.

“Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” - Mother Teresa

Please be praying for this group, the babies with their caregivers, and the many other motherless babies that are unable to be part of a group like this. 

*Thanks to Michelle Murray for her amazing navigation skills and photography skills ;0)


Lovin' L-I-B

What a trip!  This is my 5th time to Liberia and each time I go back I find my heart falling more in love with the country but mainly the people.  Slowly the country is making improvements and the broken pieces from 12 years of war are getting glued back together.  

The main reasons for us taking this trip was for Greg's family to finally meet Hailey and also for us to see everyone once more before our longer than normal stay in America due to visa and schooling issues.  We had made plans to go to Liberia when Greg's sister Grace could get time off from her work in the Sudan but 2 weeks before our trip she emailed saying that sadly she would not be able to get time off.  Greg and I were both disappointed but knew she couldn't do anything about it.  

As our flight landed in Monrovia we were swept through customs due to friends of friends working at immigration (I love Africa!) and then were told we had a car waiting for us outside. As we walked outside I saw Greg run and hug someone (not a usual Greg thang) and then heard him yell "Gracie!"  Praise God!  Long story short the day before we left she was able to push her work through faster than normal and then was put on a special UN plane and arrived 2 hours before us.  God is soooo good!
During our week in Liberia we stayed with Gracie and Petro and their 3 adorable little girls Gifty (9), Peace (7), and Precious (5).  We also were blessed to spend a full two days with Michelle, Greg's 7 year old daughter.  They all LOVED having Hailey around and pretty much carried her everywhere and fed her pretty much everything (when Mom wasn't around).  I am pretty sure that Hailey is not allergic to cream salt crackers, Coke, cherry lollipops, cheese puffs, oh yeah and blue M & M's.

Petro and Gracie on their 10 year anniversary!

The girls! The matching girls are the nieces, Michelle is in the blue dress, and Lela a friend of the girls.
We also had the huge blessing of seeing Greg's family from Nimba (6 hours north). His Mom Ruth and his sister Francis came down with their newest member Bradley.  He is exactly one month older than Hailey and just like Zoe was very interested in Hailey's hair.  Greg's stepdad and two other sisters weren't able to come down to Monrovia due to work and school but we were able to talk with them and send our greetings along.  
Bradley eyeing Hailey's hair.

Francis and Bradley with Grandma Ruth and Hailey.
 We all met up at Kebbeh's house for this get together.  On my first visit to Liberia in 2010 Kebbeh opened up her home to me and has continued to pour herself out to those she loves.  She is currently 7 months pregnant.  Be praying for a safe and healthy delivery.  Also during their visit we had our Aunty Martha come down from Bong (4 hours away) and Benetta come from Yikipa (8 hours away) for the weekend.  We also were able to meet up with some other good friends and cousins during out time there.  I was humbled by all of these groups willingness and love to take the time to visit us.  We all had a great time just hanging out and catching up.
From L to R: Benetta, Greg, Me, Hailey, Bradley, Francis, Ruth, and Martha.

Grandpa with all of his granddaughters! Sadly his wife
wasn't able to come with us but she sent her love.

Hailey and Greg playing with Michelle!

Hanging out at Petro and Gracie's house.
Besides being with family I also was able to continue to learn about Africa and why certain things are the way they are.  This week was a big learning curve in regards to having a baby and raising a family in Africa.  Hailey's time IN Africa started off pretty rough due to the heat.   Throughout the day she wasn't able to nap due to the heat that surrounded her at all times.  She also didn't want to be held because of the heat but in the same moment wanted to be held since she was uncomfortable with the heat.  Nights were rough since we didn't want to put her directly under the fan knowing it would give her a cold but after the first sleepless night that plan changed.  We also started giving her about 3 baths a day.  One to cool her down and two to get all the dirt and ants off of her.  When you have a crawling baby it is pretty much inevitable.  Besides the heat there were many other learning experiences.
*Trying to store milk or food when you don't have electricity.
*Keeping babies healthy with them surrounded by dirt when all they want to do is put everything in their mouths.
*The amount of water needed to keep up with a family especially a baby who takes multiple baths a and dirties 2-3 outfits a day.  #I usually would just let her stay in the dirty outfit but when I did the ants were attracted to her sweetness
These experiences and many others helped me to see even more why certain things happen or why people do the things the way they do.
Hailey enjoying the cool water.
 One day we also had the blessing of meeting up with a Liberian/Dutch couple who have been working in Liberia for the past 10 years.  She does children's ministry and he does well projects.  I had a great time talking with Annika about her work in Liberia but also the struggles she's dealt with since coming.  I deeply appreciated her insights.  During this time Greg also learned more details about this amazing work that Mamoh is doing in villages around Liberia.  These water-wheels are made with all local resources and are maintained by locals.  Mamoh goes and checks on them to make sure things are going well.  On our drive home that day Greg and I excitedly went back and forth about the different things learned and the different ideas for the future.
Greg and Mamoh with the hand well made with local resources.

Mamoh and Annika with us. ;0)
Our time in Liberia was amazing filled with lots of conversations, laughter, and photos.  As we boarded the plane I couldn't help but cry with having to say bye to so many amazing people on top of the uncertainty of when we would see them again.  

Prior to taking this trip Greg and I were pretty sure that this is where we would end up living and working but after this trip we are beyond certain that this is where God wants us.  There are still many many uncertainties ahead but we are putting it all in God's hands knowing that he knows what's best.   


Molded, knitted, and deeply loved

Over the past month plus I have been taking an online nursing class (which accounts for me being MIA).  It’s a bit weird (and really hard) to be back in school as I get my rusty gears moving again.  The simple things that I once knew so well I am now having to google to refresh my memory.  For pretty much ALL of my free time (when Hailey is sleeping or with one of her ship aunties) I am studying and/or writing.  About two weeks ago I started feeling guilty (and overwhelmed) for putting SO much time into this class and felt like I could be using that time to read the Word and or fellowship with friends.   So I started praying about it (should have done that a lot earlier!) and God showed me that not only was it okay to take this class but that through this class (and the many others that will follow) I was finding out more about who HE is and how I can best serve him.
Our God, the creator of the sea and skies, of the mountains and stars and also the creator of mankind is almost too awesome for words.  He took each one of us like a potter with clay and formed our bodies (Isaiah 64:8).  He created our inmost being by knitting us together (Psalm 139:13).  Each little hair on our skin and cell in our body he made specifically for you and me.  And even more amazing than that is that before he formed us he KNEW us (Jeremiah 1:5).  Think about that for a second (or for days!)  He not only molded us and knit us together but he also knows and loves each one of us personally.  In fact he loved us SOO much he sent down his perfect Son to die for us so that we may be forgiven and live eternally with him.  What an amazing Father, Creator, and Savior we have.
Our ship is full of dedicated surgeons and nurses.  

          As I ponder these truths from a medical point of view I am further astonished at his majesty and wisdom.  I have been a nurse now for almost 8 years and am still in awe at the complexity and intricacies of the bodies God created for us, so perfectly.  Today there is much that we know about the body and much still yet to be understood.  Being on Mercy Ships has continued to stop me in my footsteps as I think about not only how God forms our bodies but also how he fixes our broken bodies.  Sometimes the body knows how to fix itself.  For example, if the arteries of the heart are clogged, sometimes a new path will form to ensure the heart keeps beating.  If our bodies are unable to do the trick then God has given wisdom and knowledge (for some disorders) to doctors who know how to help. I have witnessed his miraculous work often onboard the Africa Mercy.  The other day I had the privilege of seeing a surgery performed. Watching the surgeon and nurses skillfully remove a facial tumor was amazing.  Seeing facial tumors removed and smiles formed, twisted legs straightened, or missing parts of the face created are all due to the amazing power of God through those he chooses to work through.  I just stand in awe of Our great Physician.
Being back in scrubs felt so good
even if I was just to observe a surgery.
Personally these same truths have become clearer to me since becoming a mom.  While carrying Hailey for 9 months God was knitting her together in my womb.  But even before Hailey was born, he knew her and loved her.  He also knew that Greg and I would be the perfect parents for her.  As we watch Hailey grow it is amazing to see her little personality come out and to know that God made her that way.   I also have a glimpse of what God did for us as he sent his ONLY perfect and holy Son down to earth to suffer and DIE for us.  His one and only Son.  That truth hits a LOT deeper now that I have one of my own.  What love he has for us!  As I think on all of this I am reminded that even in these days of changing diapers or studying anatomy, God is at work in me.  I may not always understand exactly what he wants from me every day, but I trust he will be with me and guide me.  Being a full-time mom has been a new experience.  Trying to prepare for becoming a Nurse Practitioner is a challenge.  But this reflection on how amazing our God is has helped me refocus on just how much God loves me and will continue to guide and direct me in the uncertain days ahead.
            Back to the books I go, reminded that life will bring these questions and challenges as we each choose our footsteps each day.  May He be your constant guide and comfort as well.


“Martha, Martha..”

One of our 2 long flights

We arrived on the 29th after a pretty uneventful journey.  Hailey did great on the flights and even helped me get over one of my biggest fears, twice; Changing a poopy diaper on an airplane (thankfully there was no turbulence).  Being back on the ship has been…. an adjustment.  I knew it was going to be but I guess I didn’t really take into consideration ALL of the changes we’d be going through.  One of the biggest things I didn’t really take into account was the big changes that Hailey would go through.  She is definitely missing her family and friends from home.

The first week of being back on the ship had been hard.  After serving on board as a nurse for over 3 years it’s weird to be back on a hospital ship and to instead be a 24/7 Mom (that can only hand over the pager if there’s enough milk available).  Being a nurse and an educator is all I have known since coming to the Africa Mercy so to switch from being Nurse Becca to Mom Becca has been a BIG transition.  As I walk by the hospital deck or see the patients waiting outside to be seen I feel disconnected and sad that I don’t have any of those connections compared to past outreaches. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE being a mom and being able to be with Hailey each day is a blessing but to be back on the ship and not having any patient care is hard.

Guinea Airport
One day last week as I sat quietly in my dark room hoping not to wake Hailey, my mind started mulling through all the big and small things that were troubling me: no nursing care, no health education, small living quarters, over stimulated baby, different food, no Nana-care, no Grandpa songs, no more running, no Dunkin Donuts pumpkin coffee with one sugar and extra milk.  Anxiety had set in and had invaded all my thoughts.  God why did you bring me back here?

As I sat, wallowing about my current situation, I decided to do my devotions.  The passage was from Luke 10: 38-42.  This is a familiar passage to myself and most likely to you as well but this time as I read it God spoke to me in a new way. 

Luke 10: 38-42 Martha and Mary ~ Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching.   But Martha was distracted with much serving.  And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”   But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.  Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
After reading this I realized just how much I am like Martha but also how much I like being Martha.  I like to work and love to get out there and do.  Go, go, go.  When I came to Mercy Ships over three years ago I had signed up to be a nurse and fell in love.  But this outreach I’ve returned and all the things that I have loved about being a part of this ship I no longer do.  No patient care, no nursing duties, no teaching at churches or to dayworkers, no random trips out in town or to people’s houses.  But Martha was distracted with much serving.”  Becca you are distracted by all these things, these tasks, these people, that you have lost sight of what is MOST important, Me. 
Ouch, but true.  Work is one of the ways that I find my identity.  I have been trying to use my talents and abilities to please Him when all I have to do is be with Him to please Him.  He is the one that has given me these abilities and he wants me to use them for his glory according to his time and not mine.
So what does Jesus want from me as I sit in this quiet dark room with my sleeping baby?  He wants me to spend time listening to him and “sitting at his feet.”  This can be a hard thing for a doer but I know when I do that the peace and joy he gives me will far outweigh that compared to when I do it without him in the forefront of my mind. 
This is a new season for me on the ship as I transition from being nurse to Mom but I am excited to see what God has to show me.  I can get so busy with things, tasks, and people that I don’t take quality time with my Lord and Savior.  I want to choose the good portion that will not be taken away from me. 
Family trip out in Conakry
First family fire drill
Jesus I pray that you will help me during this time to see you and only you in all I do.  Help me to be a woman of prayer and to be the best Mom that I can be.  Teach me more about who you are and who I am in you.  Spirit move in me in ways that I have never seen you move before.  I thank you and praise you Jesus for this time.  To God be all the glory forever and ever. Amen!