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Our first day in Ndola, Zambia {safe, comfortable and fully present}


On Saturday. We arrived in Ndola where we will plant our feet for a bit. This place won our hearts many years ago…and it’s so amazing to see it through the eyes of others–especially my only daughter.


After arriving and settling in to our hotel, we went to lunch and market. The market is like no other…and you stay close to stay safe. Yet this place is full of hope and beautiful hearts (as most places are)…while your mind says walk quickly–your heart tells you to stay awhile.


While comforts and a sense of safety are stripped away a bit–the Lord also seems to do something to us, in us and for us when we are walking with Him in new places. Strangely–the God Of all comfort and the God who is anything but safe–also fills us with a sense of home (comfort)–because our hearts are His home and we are with Him–and safety abounds there no matter the risks.

So stay awhile–we did.

We walked around looking at fabric and into the eyes of the people…just to smile as if to say, “You are seen. You are beautiful. And you are valuable.” I want to live my everyday in this posture. Don’t you? To me, there’s just about going to these places (but also being intentional in doing this daily right wherever we might be) and slowing down. Normal, everyday places…and interacting–listening–seeing…just BEING.


As we flew on the last leg of our journey today, I felt the Lord remind me through Laney to just SIMPLY BE…

She was watching me flip back and forth through two different books–both on the same topic–BOUNDARIES. You know–how to say no and when to say yes. Talk about the most simple thing we have made complicated because of our own layers we are holding on to.

She said, “Mom, why do you have to read so many books on how to say no or when to say yes? You already know how to do that. You say yes to what you know you need and are supposed to do–and no to everything else.”

Thank you 9 year old daughter.

Essentially you listen and trust Him with your heart so in the daily you can also simply BE.



And the way to be present this week…and really every week of my life is to say yes to Him and no to everything else.

It means taking risks. Being brave. Loving outside of myself. Dying a lot to myself.

What does it look like to say yes to His presence…to walk actively in His presence?

What does it look like for me to be completely present…

…in a market filled with sights and smells new to me and faces and hearts that each tell a powerful story…to watch the eyes gazing my way and to listen what He might be asking me to do–grab her hands and just ask her name and repeat it until it’s pronounced perfectly and makes her smile back…

…or at the schools with our 750 orphans…what does it look like to be fully present with so many little hands and hearts before you that your heart longs to also be with…

…or what about home with my children in North Atlanta? This is where (for now) I’m called, and probably tonight what I’m most convicted about. Because with summer and homeschooling throughout the year my children are all with me. I know what being fully present looks like with them, yet living in a culture with instant gratification and constant communication…it can often be hard to slow down and set the world and its demands aside. So mommy reads those bookshop to only because I have been caught in the struggle for too long. Yet I (nor you) really need them if we would just daily come to Him and focus on being fully present and walking in His presence right where He has us.

What does it look like to be fully present right in the moment where He has placed me? Not there to capture it–or share it…but to be fully present in it? I want to know more about the hearts right around me than anything else and to be fully there wherever with whoever He has sovereignly placed me.


I want to be fully present and just be.

Laney is right. I think it’s easier than we make it, and we lose the simplicity as adults of what we need to do…when really we KNOW–yet we have to buy books to coach us and cheer us on to just simple BE and follow with childlike faith again. Those books even can side track us though and overwhelm us and we need to also listen to a’9 year old some times remembering how simple it can be.

I’m learning a lot from my girl this trip. And today watching her walk with confidence any joy…and peace through the market–I was thankful. I realize many have hopes for their children to go far in college and career…but I just want her to know Jesus and live in His presence whatever that means for her. If that means being a surgeon to better His Kingdom and bring Him the most glory–then I pray she follows. I pray she will be fully present so her patients sense that–feeling loved and cared for and sending the presence of the One that goes with her. Or if it’s weaving a market in Ndola and stopping to just be and form relationships for His glory–then I pray she follows Him to there too.


And now–it’s time for momma to be fully present in her sleep…only jet lag is not allowing for that just yet.

We are all tucked in under our mosquito nets for the night and I’ll post this in the morning before breakfast if the Wifi works in the lodge on the hill (our rooms are separate and being winter it’s quite cold).

My heart is full tonight, and I’m thankful to see how the Lord may use this trip in my daughter’s life. Just before she crashed beside me tonight I asked her what she was filling after seeing so many things today…was it overwhelming? Was anything not what she expected? And she said she needed to think about it because some parts made her feel similar things in China. I asked her to just think about two words she felt.

While I brushed my teeth pouring bottled water over my toothbrush and as I wound the window panes closed, I thought about all the years mothering this precious girl…doing what is mommies do. Wondering. Hoping. Praying. Trying not to worry while worrying because I know He has every detail…Was 9 1/2 too early to bring her? I wonder if coming here for a summer or even moving here what that might be like–grow her, challenge her…Squash or be something wonderful?

I smiled remembering her reminder today to JUST BE. Which reminded me to worry less about what could be and to instead just be here with her. Isn’t that what our children and families and friends really need most in our relationships anyway? Isn’t that where beauty, connections, growth and healing all also happens–in walking with community and Him like this? Just be. Be here together. Invite her to BE alongside me. Hold her hand as we walk into new places and experiences. Inviting the Holy Spirit…recognizing His presence and joining Him there. YES.

And then…before drifting off…as I tucked the mosquito net around the mattress and turned off the light she said…

“Safe and comfortable.”

“Thats what I’m feeling momma.”

And I took a deep breathe. And thought there couldn’t be two more powerful words for a momma to hear tonight.

Thankful those are the words she feels here.

Because they really say a lot about a work and story I know He is writing.

It’s going to be an amazing journey…this week and forever…as together we walk with Him.

Will you JUST BE wherever you are this week with us?

From Zambia-together,

Andrea (and Laney)