What a treat I have for you today. One of my dearest friends, Maggie Ghrist took some time to share about life in Kenya. Maggie is a fellow blogger, wife, mother of 3 boys, but also lives in Mombasa, Kenya. She and her husband Josh serve with Lighthouse for Christ which provides quality eye care, pastoral training and church planting in the Mombasa area. If you’ve followed me any length of time on this blog, when I speak of our mission trips to Kenya, this is who we visit!
What a woman of faith she is! Today she’s talking about dirt and not just any dirt, African dirt… and she’s thankful for it. So, Maggie, it’s all yours my friend –
I’ve got boys. We live in Africa. Needless to say, my life revolves around how much dirt we have accumulated on our clothes, under our fingernails (and sometimes up our nose!) and embedded in my couch because my dirty boys feel like they can make themselves at home… (I recently found a great couch-cleaning service. So thankful for that.)
As I decorate my home, I choose flooring that won’t show the dirt and couches that wash easily and are neutral in color to disguise the dirt. I no longer wear white clothes because that would be ridiculous.
However, I LOVE the dirt because it is the story of our life, our experiences, our adventures. It reminds me that we are living.
Everyday after running at the nature trails, as we wash the dirt from our hands, there is a story of the bird’s nest that we found or a story about weaving palm branches into hats.
We brush the dirt out of our car made from the sticks that my boys brought home to make rubber band guns and homemade bow and arrows.
As I scrub black feet after an evening on the beach, I remember that the boys danced in sand and soot around a roaring campfire with their very best friends, roasting marshmallows brought from the States and making something that tasted a bit like S’mores.
As I dust off my sandals from a day walking in town, I remember the sights and sounds and smells of my bustling coastal Kenyan town. I remember the compassion stirred in my heart for the beggars on the street that lack everything, but most of all, Jesus. I remember the quenching of my thirst with coconuts, carved open, served with a straw. I remember the feeling of satisfaction after a tasty local chicken Shwarma served at a small cafe on the side of the road.
As I tidy up the bathroom after my boys’ showers, and rinse the extra dirt down the drain, I thank God that they can run and climb and explore. I celebrate the simplicity of being in nature and finding joy in God’s creation, learning about the safari ants and the monkeys and the millipedes that we get to observe on a daily basis.
I thank God that my kids can get dirty, because what an incredible life they have.
I celebrate the dirt. It reminds me that we are living.
I would never trade our piles of laundry, muddy shoes, and dirt rings in the tub for a spotless life because we would miss so much. Out here, the world is raw and rustic and dirty, but is beautiful. Oh so beautiful.
The dirt is my story.
Thanks Maggie for sharing your story!
Feel free to stop over at Maggie’s blog and enjoy life from her side of the ocean. She’s so good about sharing where God has her family and all the dirt involved!