Great Uncle Bill’s Bible

I borrowed a travel Bible from my mom.  I’d given mine away and was in need of a small one for my trip to Uganda.  She gave me this tiny one which is smaller than a deck of cards.

new testament

It was one of several small Bibles she offered up and I picked it from the stack because it would easily slip into my pocket.  I added it to my pile of things to pack and yesterday before I slipped it into my carry on, I opened the cover and saw an inscription.

Courtland Lieberg

The Bible originally belonged to my Great Uncle, Courtland William Lieberg, Bill for short.  He was probably seven or eight when he received this Bible in September of 1928.

I feel like I’m carrying my family with me as I travel to Uganda.  I’ve got photos of The Hubs.  Tucked away in my bags are special letters and gifts from my mother and sister to the kids they sponsor at the school.  My mom even wrote a letter to one of my Ugandan sons.  Best of all I’m carrying a Bible with pages fingerprinted by generations of my family.

I smile each time I add another item to my backpack and the Bible peeks out at me from its assigned pocket.  I just love that this tiny Bible came through all that space and time to travel with me to Uganda.

Thankful Thursday #95

image courtesy of
image courtesy of

This week I’m thankful for…

  • paying Dominoes with The Hubs
  • air conditioning
  • talking to my sons
  • snuggling in bed with The Hubs
  • health care
  • icy cold beverages
  • reading in bed with The Hubs
  • the This American Life podcasts on Harper High-both fascinating if not heartbreaking to listen to while I was working in my classroom
  • my uncle Jon who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to celebrate his 60th birthday
  • my mom who has been helping me get my classroom ready
  • American Ninja Warrior.  I know, I know.  Don’t judge me.
  • a fresh haircut

Timing, Tetanus Shots and Hakuna Matata???

When I was in Uganda last summer, Colin and I went on safari. We were joined by, Mikayla, another girl working in Uganda. Mikayla celebrated her 21st birthday while she was in Uganda. She’s a champion fencer and has the energy of a hundred people. When on safari, Mikayla was absolutely delighted to see so many animals from The Lion King. She sat in the car joyfully snapping pictures and singing ‘Hakuna Matata’, which, of course, means, “Don’t worry.”

Today I want to tell you a story about listening to God’s voice, the humor of God’s timing and, yes, ‘Hakuna Matata’.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been yearning to return to Uganda since the day I got home last July. This year, several trips to Africa were planned and then fell through or were cancelled for reasons beyond my control. In the midst of being brokenhearted by all those undone plans, I’ve been trying to hear God in the quiet spaces and to heed what He’s telling me to do.

A few months ago I felt prompted to call the Public Health office and schedule an appointment to update my tetanus shot and get a prescription for malaria pills. Both are things I’d need before returning to Uganda.

Here’s the thing though, I didn’t have a departure date or a plane ticket or a plan or anything. It can take months to get an appointment with a travel nurse and so I wasn’t surprised when Public Health told me that they needed to give the appointments to people who knew for sure when and where they’d be traveling. It makes a lot of sense and I completely understood.

A month ago, Public Health called me and asked if I still wanted an appointment. Due to budget cuts, the travel health office would be closing its doors on June 30th, but one person had cancelled their appointment and I could have it if I still wanted it.

Mind you I still didn’t have a departure date or a plane ticket or a plan, but I heard that voice again and I took the appointment. The logical part of me reasoned that tetanus shots are good for two years and I could just hold onto the prescription for malaria pills and fill it when my return trip became a reality.

Almost a month passed and I still had no new information or plans. Holding onto hope of returning was becoming so painfully hard.

The day before my appointment with the travel nurse, I got a surprising phone call and before I knew it my trip back to Uganda, back to the children I love, unfolded before my eyes.

Of course it did. And of course it did the day before my appointment with the travel nurse. I should have known.

As hard as I try, I so often still miss the voice of God, but He patiently speaks to me, often in unconventional and even humorous ways.

The morning of my appointment with the travel nurse, I couldn’t help but laugh when the nurse came out wearing a scrubs top made of material with The Lion King’s Timon and Pumba romping all over it. I laughed out loud when I heard him sing a line of ‘Hakuna Matata’.

I left the Public Health office with a sore arm, a prescription for malaria pills and ‘Hakuna Matata’ running through my mind.

Okay, God, I got it. You’re timing things out in ways I can’t even dream of and I don’t have to worry.

Hakuna matata, indeed.