For the First Time

For the first time in, well, since ever that I can remember, my little girl, Ayla (4 going on 14), hung limp in my arms at 7:30pm, telling me she was tired. She’s usually proclaiming how not tired she is even as she rubs her eyes and yawns, fooling no one. Today, she had a very long day. First, there was pre-school co-op, then a playdate, then a birthday party at the pool, complete with pizza and home-made ice cream.

She had a day filled with friends, and friends’ parents, with me as her bookends. Welcoming her into the day with a cup of milk and breakfast before rushing her out the door, then reading, singing, praying with her before we cuddled and I tucked her in bed with sweet kisses and hugs and vows of love.

Shouldn’t every child get a chance to start and end their days filled and surrounded by their parents’ love?

Photo Credit: Abide Family Center
Photo Credit: Abide Family Center

In less than 36 hours from now, we’ll be pulling our children out of bed just after midnight to get on a plane to go visit a place where two mighty women of God, Megan and Kelsey, together with their staff at Abide Family Center, are making this kind of day possible for the families in their corner of Uganda.

We’ve taken our kids to the Middle Eastern country where we live. They’ve visited nearby countries of Bahrain and Oman. We’ve trekked to further lands like Germany, Austria and the Canary Islands. Ayla’s been with us to Turkey and Costa Rica, and cruise-stopped in Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Mexico. This isn’t our first rodeo! (We’ve never actually taken them to a rodeo, so that will be another first for another time!)

But for the first time, they’re going to need their yellow cards to enter a country. The kids are sporting bandaids on their chubby legs from shots to keep them safe. We’re taking another break from the desert, but this is different. This time our hearts are tuned to a bigger cause. This time our purpose is lifting up other families, to bless them and cheer them on.

Photo Credit: @maddypittman for Abide
Photo Credit: @maddypittman for Abide

My kids (and I) will get to play with the kids at Abide Family Center, including #hotmessMoses, that dashing fellow up there. I’ll get to meet the moms, grandmas, aunties, older brothers and daddies I’ve been adoring through their Instagram feed (@abidefamilycenter). I’ll buy up the goods the ladies of Stitched Together (@stitchedtogetheruganda) are making. I’ll get to encourage the social workers and teachers who work hard to make this a place for families to be safe and together. 

While my sweet little Ayla and Judson dream cozily in their beds, their mama’s dream of taking her children to see the big world God made is coming true! Will you take a minute to follow Abide on Facebook and Instagram, so you can see this good and beautiful work for yourself?

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