Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
And makes my way perfect. Psalm 18:32
Monday, February 27, 2012
And the place where Your glory dwells. Psalm 26:8
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Je te souhaite une bonne nuit, et que les anges te protegent.
And delivers them. Psalm 34:7
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Psalm 34:8
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Sadly, Josh and Adeline leave for Thies tomorrow. It's been so wonderful to get to know them and have chats. I was blessed to be able to pray for them, and will continue to do so.
Monday, February 20, 2012
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
-Val’s friend told me I was African. Note, he didn’t say Muslim, demonstrating the cultural significance over the religious one.
-ACI staff outside the Baobab Center grinned approvingly and greeted me very enthusiastically.
-The group of Lewis and Clark girls that was there (about half their group) mostly looked at me like I was a freak. At least one appeared to be smirking. My numerous greetings went unreturned (although this has happened previously as well).
-The Beloit girls smiled, and seemed to brighten a bit.
-Angeline said that the purple was a good color for me. I liked this response because it didn’t in any way suggest what I was doing was bizarre or abnormal. It was as though I were just wearing a nice dress or other article of clothing.
-Addie also said to the four others, “you guys look beautiful”, in accordance with our color scheme. Again, it did not acknowledge anything out of the ordinary.
-Our Wolof professor said I was Senegalese, alxamdoolilay, and rafet na (which means that’s pretty/beautiful)
These reactions represented the embracing of cultural assimilation and experience, and the lack thereof.
What was important to the experiment for me, however, was how I felt. I was a little taken aback by the empowering effect. I felt truly and uniquely beautiful, in a way I never had before. It made me wonder if this is where part of the elegance, confidence and radiance of traditional (and even moderately/mildly traditional) Senegalese women comes from.
I tried to imagine my veiled self in the US. I think it’s sad that all I could imagine is judgment and misunderstanding. There’s a particular aspect of feminine grace demonstrated by making the choice (key word: choice) to veil or cover one’s hair. Don’t get me wrong, I also think there’s a particular sense of beauty and empowerment in the changing of and caring for one’s hair – a highlight, color, cut or style change can be equally confidence boosting in their own special ways. I think about these things daily - to wear a bun, a ponytail, braids, pigtails, a headband, barrettes, clips, straight, curly, long, short, a hat – so why not a veil or headscarf?
And oh yeah, there’s the fact that it’s insanely practical. There’s sand all over the place, and when it’s windy, it gets in your hair and that’s just unpleasant.
I want to clarify one more time that all these positive reactions are nullified when a woman is forced to veil, when she is unable to express herself in the manner she wants to. But when it comes to a choice, I can only say, don’t knock it til you try it!
(Sorry guys, this one doesn’t apply for you)
But here's a picture:
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever. Hebrews 7: 25-28
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
Sunday, February 12, 2012
"Tu ne peux pas faire d'omelette sans casser les oeuves"
You can't make an omelet without breaking the eggs.
Perhaps I just want eggs, but this stuck with me today after church. Something went off in my head. You can't get better if you're not first broken. It was so simple, but so profound.
You'd never think twice about breaking an egg in order to make a delicious omelet. It's just part of the process. You have to do it if you want to eat the tasty item. But when we're broken in order to become better, stronger, more interesting, we question why. We don't want to see our own cracks, we don't want them to be filled in a better way - we just want to be whole. We don't even mind being the same, we just don't want to be broken.
But if we never cracked an egg, we'd never have omelets. And omelets are yummy.