Kenya Bound

This morning, my best friend is on my mind . . .

She leaves for Kenya in roughly a month and a half, and will be gone for a whole year. I am bursting at the seams with pride. This woman, this impassioned follower of Christ, is giving up every comfort she knows to lay down her will before His, and serve His people among a third-world country. I will also admit now that, selfishly, I don’t want her to leave. I will miss her greatly. While we do not see one another as often as I would like, Amanda is like the extra rich canister of cocoa you keep in the back of your pantry; you don’t drink it every day, but should you be in need of something satisfying and restorative, it’s there waiting for you. I am thrusting my selfish heart to the floor, zip-locking my sadness, and focusing on the Good and Light, both of which are Amanda and God’s call for her life.

Kenya, in itself, is a beautiful country; the people, the landscape, the culture — it’s brimming with life and vitality. There are pockets of this wild and unindustrialized land that are prospering and thriving. The people are healthy. The children are being educated. Lives are being changed for the better. These advancements have much to do with people, missionaires like Amanda, who generously and selflessly give of themselves . . . for free.

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A Wingless Bird

We are a people easily inspired.

Should we be in the mood for something to encourage or uplift, it seems we need not exert ourselves beyond the click of a button. Pictures, music, clothing, food — it’s all there for our immediate access. In youth, inspiration is somewhat of a capacious, ethereal thing; it changes and morphs as rapidly as we do. Chance encounters, unfortunate circumstances, a generous accolade, a supportive parent — these experiences mold, shape, and respectively define what we consider to be inspirational.

What I find exceptionally grand is how, such as a match beneath brush, inspiration can ignite us, propel us upward and onward, all toward something that was otherwise not thought possible or attainable. Haven’t we all seen how even the unlikeliest of candidates found his or or her way after being “inspired” by a person, place, moment or thing. Truth be told  — and this shall be expanded upon in the dedication of Awakening Foster Kelly — I am only a writer only because my husband called me one first. I was given the name Cara at birth, the name Olsen in marriage, and the name writer by someone who saw something in me I never would have seen myself. True story.

For the most part, however, as we grow older, our successes and failures begin to outline a future; our goals align, usually, with what we are capable of achieving. Depending on what gifts we do or do not possess, our innate predilections, and the resources available to us, we will pursue our goals with alacrity, so long as there is enough reason and justification to do so.

Now, of course, there are those dauntless sorts who see steep snowy peaks as welcome challenge and benighted fathomless depths as great adventure; I am not one of these amalgams, though I am very much inspired by you. Write a blogpost and bring back pictures, please. Thank you.

I was inspired by something — or rather, I should say someone — this morning. But before I introduce you to a man you might already know of, I thought I would leave you with a few pictures that I imagine many of you, being the impassioned, focused, dedicated people you are, will endorse with pleasure and agreeability. Hopefully.

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