An Emotional Whirlwind

Where do I even begin?!?

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions that I don’t even know how to explain. I mentioned in my last blog that I was really struggling, that I was so broken, but I kept persevering and the Lord brought me through those days.

In the last two weeks, I’ve experienced three types of emotions with three different babies. I’m going to try my best to explain to y’all everything that’s been going on in my heart.

Maria Blessing:

Maria Blessing, also known as Mary, is by far one of my favorite babies. She’s silly, absolutely crazy, fun-loving and all-around the best snuggler. Maria was on holiday for one month, and my heart ached to see her and hold her because that’s seriously how much I love her.

While she was on holiday, our social worker met with the paternal side of her family, and decided it was best to resettle Mary with her family. Well of course, that killed me even though it’s what I’ve been praying for. So, when I saw Mary for the first time in a month, I cried, and I’m not talking about one or two tears, but like holding her so tight while balling my eyes out crying. I was an emotional wreck.

Right now, I’m spending all the time I can with Mary, while preparing myself for when she leaves. It’s not easy, especially when she calls me Mama and follows me around everywhere. Seriously, my heart is melting.

Chosen:

If you remember a while ago, back in December, I talked about a little girl I was taking care of. Chosen stayed with me for several months while I helped nurse her back to health. She struggled with malnourishment and had heart problems, so I spent some time in the hospital visiting her and waiting during her surgeries.

Chosen was my girl, and I was her Mama. She would cry for me and she would cling to me, and she made my heart for a family grow even more. I knew I couldn’t be Chosen’s Mama forever, so I prayed for a forever family for her. The Lord answered that prayer on April 23rd with the most incredible family.

The night she left was hard, but the joy of the Lord comforted me like never before. I had peace in knowing that she was going to an incredible family, and I have peace in knowing that she is exactly where God wants her.

Esther:

Esther is a new baby here at Mercy, and not just new to Mercy, but new to this world. She was born on May 1st and abandoned hours later. When we received her, we took her to the doctor and found scratches and bruises all over her body, along with a swollen eye. We also discovered that she has a very bad bacterial infection in her body and will have to receive treatment for the next several days.

As I write this, she is currently sleeping on my chest like a kangaroo. She needs extra one-on-one because that’s how sick she is. Literally, my heart is torn apart. I just don’t even understand nor can I comprehend why a Mama would do this to her baby. I’m in shock and I’m heartbroken, yet I’m so thankful she is safe here at Mercy.

For the next several days and maybe weeks, I will be taking care of her full-time. That means all her treatment, all her feeding, all her diaper changes will be on me as I nurse her back to health.

Three different experiences, three different heartaches and three different emotions, but one thing remains constant and that is the Lord helping me through this.

I’m asking that you would be in prayer over me. I ask that you would pray for my emotions, these transitions and supernatural energy and strength to get me through these days. The Lord is my strength and I know He has me here for this exact reason.

Thank you!

Mama Muzungu

The Romance Died, But…

For the past month, I have tried to sit down and write a blog to update about y’all my life here in Uganda, but I have literally had no words to share. The past month or so has been quite challenging and there’s only one way to describe it.

The romance of living in Uganda has worn off.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love Uganda (well, somedays) and the ministry I serve with, but living here and living with this culture has become harder and harder.

For the past month, I have had no motivation to go into the village and be with the kids. I have found myself frustrated with every little thing-the power going out, the crappy wifi, people knocking on my window on my day off (before 8 am,) and oooh, the food, don’t even get me started on the food…

On top of all that, I see my friends getting engaged, getting pregnant, having babies, getting their dream jobs, and I’m sad I’m missing out on all of that. I have a friend dealing with depression, and I can’t be there to help her, and it’s killing me. My niece is growing up, and I am having to watch it through social media and FaceTime. For the past month, I have felt stuck, figuratively, and I have struggled with being here. I literally called my mom the other day crying for twenty minutes, telling her I wanted to come home. (God bless my mama for dealing with all my drama; seriously, she’s a saint!!)

As much as I wanted to quit the other night, quitting and coming home isn’t what’s best for me, and it’s definitely not what’s best for my babies. I made a commitment to love these kids, and oh, did God remind me of it the other night at 12am… I wanted to share with y’all what I learned the other night and wrote in my journal because well, well I just wanted to and I believe it’s important to be vulnerable.

“The romance of Africa has worn off, now living here is frustrating and not as beautiful. I called my mom crying the other night wanting to give up and quit and to leave to go back home to America. Tonight, I learned a valuable lesson for marriage. There are going to be times in marriage when the romance wears off or the honeymoon phase ends and things are going to be tough and ugly. Right now, it could be easier to quit and go back home or stay, fight it out and allow God to keep using me, which is 100% going to be the harder part but also the perfect part.

But I made a commitment to God, to my babies and to my heart to stay for 10 months, and I am going to keep that commitment. In marriage, you make a commitment before God, with your husband until death separates you. That commitment you make, is with God, with your husband, with yourself and with your future kids. When the romance wears off, are you going to quit because it’s easier or are you going to fight for your marriage? You’re going to fight for your marriage, you’re going to fight for your husband, you’re going to fight for your family because YOU made a commitment—a covenant.

You can’t give up on Uganda or else you’re going to give up on your marriage or anything else that comes your way because you chose the easy thing and learned nothing, you taught yourself to quit. In the hard and ugly moments, is where you learn and grow the most.”

So, before y’all, my friends and fellow readers, I vow to not quit on my babies, on Africa and on my future marriage. I vow to keep fighting for my kids and to keep loving them even when it’s tough and they’re screaming. I vow to not give up because if I give up, I have disciplined myself to be a quitter, and I don’t want to be known as a quitter. I vow to keep loving, keep serving and to keep seeking Jesus with my whole heart.

Thank you for loving me, supporting me, praying for me and for even reading this.

Xoxo

Mama Mace-the Muzungu Mama

Thoughts on the Bad

Being in Uganda, I feel like my eyes have been opened to the bad of the world and the overwhelming need for the Church. While I did see bad things while living in America, I don’t feel like it settled in my heart as much as it has here. I don’t think we truly understand the bad things of this world or what people go through until we experience it ourselves or see it up close and personal.

The other day, I sat in a police station for two hours to pick up a newborn who had been left to die by her mother. Today, I read on Facebook that a kid I knew from middle school, has been missing for four days. Last week, I heard about a shooting in Florida, and about a year ago, I learned that someone I went to high school with, committed suicide. And right now, my mind is seriously blank and I don’t even know what to think or what to do or even how to process all of this. Is that sad or normal?

I am going to be completely vulnerable with y’all and share with you what I wrote in my journal tonight because I don’t know why but I think it’s important to be vulnerable.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that I am growing older and that bad things happen in the world, and that people you know either commit suicide or go missing. Sometimes it seems easier to remain naïve to the problems and bad things of this world than face them or even believe them. But sometimes easier isn’t best, sometimes facing the issues of the world and understanding that life isn’t perfect is exactly what we need to do. Oh Church, where are you? Body of Christ, lovers of Jesus, where are you? What are you doing? Are you evangelizing? Are you loving the crap out of people or are you judging them because of the abortions they’ve had or the depression they are suffering from? What are you doing to help? What am I doing to help? What am I doing at all?

I deal with abandoned kids every day, I deal with kids who have been extremely malnourished and kids who have seen the unexplainable. I hold babies in my arms who have been left to die by their mothers, and babies who have faced the unimaginable in their short years. I’d like to think that loving them is enough, but now I am questioning if there is more that I can do for them. I don’t want them to end up as broken adults who are making bad mistakes because of the choices their parents made, so I pray over them and who’ll they become, but now I am wondering if even my prayers are enough for them. Am I even making a difference? Is there more that I can do?

One of my best friends suffers from depression, and the questions are flooding my mind now. Am I doing enough for her, am I loving her enough, am I being there for her enough? People are dying, hearts are breaking, and families are suffering. Am I as a Christian, doing enough? Am I as a lover of Jesus, a pursuer of the Almighty, doing enough for His Kingdom?

What can I do? How can I help? My mind is now overwhelmed, but you know as always, God is good. While I was writing, I was simply reminded that God is still reigning and He is still on throne. So, while things don’t make sense, and bad things are happening and my mind is overwhelming me, I am going to choose to hold onto that hope that God is still on the throne and will forever be on that throne. And whatever the Lord gives me to take care of, I am going to give that thing or person my absolute best care and love because I’d rather make a difference in one person’s life rather than be stuck worrying about changing the rest of the world.

And that my friends, is my overwhelming thoughts on what is happening in this world. I don’t know that this will encourage you or help you, or if you even feel the same way that I do, and that’s okay. I just felt like I needed to share my voice and my thoughts.

 

Happy 2018!

Happy 2018, Friends and Family!!!!

Oh what a month it has been since I last wrote and updated y’all on my life. Although not much has changed since then, I did take on another baby for the last month, and have become a mom of “twins” which has been a whirlwind. Let’s just say I don’t know what good sleep is anymore, and I am so tired, that I don’t care how bad my coffee tastes.

Taking care of two babies has been…well it’s been crazy, exhausting, demanding and incredibly difficult, yet it has been such a learning experience. In the last month, I have felt like a single mom, and because of that, it has truly taught me the importance and value of marriage. I have always believed marriage is important, but taking care of kids 24/7 by yourself shows you how much you need a spouse by your side supporting you, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually. These girls, although at times trying, have given me an insight into mommy-hood and marriage, and I am thankful that I get the opportunity to love them.

On top of that, I spent my first Christmas and Birthday away from home, and to be completely honest, Christmas was very hard for me. It didn’t feel like Christmas at all, and Ugandan Christmas is very different from American Christmas. While it wasn’t my favorite Christmas, I am believing that my sacrifice of Christmas with my family this year, will make an impact in these girls’ lives.

I do have some news that I am excited to share with y’all!! If you’ve been keeping up with my Facebook, you might have seen that Chosen had a procedure done in December but it was unsuccessful. Today, I am excited to share with y’all that on January 5th, Chosen went into surgery and they completely fixed the hole in her heart. We are so thrilled and we are ready to watch her strength and energy grow. This little girl already has a testimony of how God is Jehovah-Rophi (the God who Heals.) Thank you for praying over her and praying with us.

More news to share with you is that my sweet, wonderful, beautiful and loving mama is sacrificing her time at work and is traveling 25 hours to come see and spend time with her daughter for two weeks. I am literally so thrilled because sometimes you just need your mama no matter where you are in the world. With that being said, she gets three FREE suitcases to bring over here, and well, I am taking full advantage of that. At Mercy, one of our biggest needs is diapers; we have lots of babies and we are always running out of diapers.

Since mama gets three FREEEEEE suitcases, I want to load one of them up with all diapers, and I need YOUR help. I am asking that you would consider buying a package of diapers and sending them to mama, so that she can bring them over here to Uganda with her. If you would like more information of where to send them and sizes of diapers, please email me at dossmacy@gmail.com; I am not on facebook for the next month and so I won’t see any of your comments. We, at Mercy, are believing for a lot of diapers and we thank you in advance for your willingness to give and love on our babies.

Weebale Nnyo (Thank you very much) for all your prayers, loveand support.

Xoxo,

Mace

PS—if you’d like to send any cards of encouragement and love to me through mama, I WILL GLADLY ACCEPT and I’ll send my address to you.

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Welcome to Mommyhood

As I sit down to write this blog and to update you on my life, my baby/ my daughter is currently screaming and throwing a temper tantrum because she doesn’t want to sleep.

Whenever, I write a blog, it takes me days because I want to give y’all the perfect words and the perfect description of what I am going through and experiencing. My goal is to share with you how I am growing and what I am experiencing.

For the past few weeks, I have been taking care of one of our babies who just returned home from the hospital, my daughter, the screamer. I have felt like a single mom, a bad mom, a terrible mom, a fantastic mom, a crappy mom, a tired mom, an impatient mom and a very, very, very frustrated mom. I am sure many of y’all out there can relate (except you men.) I am a first-time mommy and my daughter, is a little girl who has faced malnourishment, abandonment and heart problems all before her second birthday.

What’s it like being a first-time mom to a little girl who screams all the time, who never smiles, and has a lot of issues? Well it’s very frustrating and overwhelming, and sometimes I feel like I am being a horrible mom when I leave her alone to scream her heart out because I just can’t handle her cries anymore. (She will seriously scream an hour without stopping.)

These past few weeks have been some of the hardest weeks I have faced here in Uganda. I have felt like a failure quite a bit. I haven’t had a full night’s sleep, I’ve been struggling spiritually, my emotions have been out of whack, and I have had to change my sheets almost every day because there is poop or susu on them. The only time I have spent with God this week was to cry out to Him over my baby and my frustrations. On top of that, do you know what the worst feeling is?!? It’s when someone undermines you as a mom and I have experienced quite a lot of that this week, as well.

I reached a point in this week, where I decided I wasn’t giving my best to this little girl and that I was being selfish-I was failing at balancing her and God. BIG MISTAKE there (it makes your life 20x harder…) I decided there was some things I absolutely had to sacrifice in order to love her well and to be okay spiritually. The first thing to go, was my beautiful, wonderful sleep. Before she would get up in the morning, I would wake up earlier and spend time in my Word which has seriously made my life and my days better.

The second thing I had to lay down, was my pride and perfectionism. Let’s be honest, I am never going to be the perfect mom; no one is (sorry to burst your bubble.) However, I can be a great mom by praying over her, her future, her personality, her brokenness-that is one thing, I can do with excellence, and it helps with the frustrations especially when she is screaming right in your ear.

The third thing, I am still trying to get over, is control: my enemy, my nemesis, my downfall. Do you know it’s okay to let other people help you? Do you know it’s okay to let other people take care of your baby even when they do it differently than you? Yeah…I am still learning that one, it may take me a few months…or years. The truth is that this is super hard for me, but I believe, if I get over this desire to control, then I’ll be less stressed, frustrated, and burdensome, and my daughter will be better because of it.

While the last few weeks have been incredibly tough and overwhelming, my desire for my future family has grown immensely. These weeks have taught me a lot about being a mom, but they have taught me more about the importance of marriage. I believe that in these few weeks, God has made me a better mom and wife for my future family, and I am thankful for this experience.

I love my daughter very much, and when she does smile, it is the most rewarding thing in the whole world.

If you survived this far, thank you for hearing my frustrations and my lessons of caring for babies.

Love,

Mommy Mzungu, Mommy Baby, Mommy Chosen, or simply, Mommy Mace.

Prayer Warriors:

  1. Pray for healing over Chosen’s body, both spiritually, emotionally and physically. In the next month or so, she will be having an operation done to correct her heart murmur; I am believing this operation will change everything for her and that her body will be healed.
  2. Pray for strength, energy and yes, patience for this mommy. She’s about to take on two babies at the end of this week-mommy of twins is what they say, so I will need all your prayers.
  3. It hasn’t hit me yet that I won’t be spending Christmas or my birthday with my family this year, and it’s my first time away from my family for both. I don’t exactly know what I am asking for, but please just pray for me for these next few weeks.

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Two Months of Loving

Hi Friends!

Can you already believe it? I have been here for officially two months..well actually yesterday was two months. Anyways, these past two months have been incredible as they have taught me so much about having confidence in myself and in my relationship with God. While these two months have been challenging, there have been some wonderful moments.

I thought I would share with y’all what has happened in these last two months to give you an idea of what kind of adventure I am on over here.

  • The first night here was quite a night, and it’s a night I’ll remember forever. I became the last person in customs and then my organization got the dates confused and never came to pick me up. Don’t worry, I arrived safely to my location. Also, lets take a moment to congratulate me on not freaking out or crying, but on laughing through the situation.
  • I visited one of the hospitals here in the first week of living here, and left numb and broken. In that moment of being there, I truly realized that I can’t fix everything and can’t control everyone.
  • I rode my first motorcycle/boda boda…The motorcycles here aren’t the same as the ones in America, they’re much MORE terrifying. Actually, all the driving here is terrifying.
  • I am a mom of 11 kids (take it in, it’s hard to believe too), the number keeps rising as we keep rescuing more abandoned babies. Two of my kids have special needs, one of my girls is currently in the hospital fighting malnourishment, and the rest are running around being terrors with the cutest smiles on their faces. I have never loved anyone in my life as much as I love these babies; I even sacrificed my sleep for them (that says a lot.)
  • Every time I walk into the village, in the afternoon, I get attacked with hugs by the older kids. It’s seriously one of my favorite things in the whole world.
  • I was sick for two long weeks, it was the worst and I cried a lot…for my mom. I had to get IV’s, injections and lots of drugs to help get my body back to normal. If you want to lose weight..I got a plan for you, just move to Uganda and get sick for two weeks-works like a charm. But in all seriousness, this was a very humbling two weeks as I learned I can’t do everything on my own. Shoutout to my roommate and my Ugandan mom here who washed my hair, made sure I ate and took my meds and stayed with me late in the night while I received my IV’s.
  • I can count on my hands how many cups of coffee I have had while living here, and I have never been more thankful for KFC and Pizza Hut.
  • I teach a homeschool class and let’s just say it’s challenging. However, it is so rewarding especially when you see a kid’s face light up when we do something fun, or when you tell them they’re doing a great job.
  • I saw a goat get slaughtered, I then ate the goat and now I’ve gone vegetarian…well until I get back to the good ole USofA.
  • I have received many marriage proposals, stares, winks, and “Hey Mzungu, you’re beautiful,” from lots of Ugandan men. Don’t worry, dad and mom, I haven’t received a good offer yet.

Life here is very different and challenging, but totally worth it. Everyday, I learn to rely on God a little more, and each day I fall more in love with His character and who He is.

Thank you for your love, your support and your prayers. Please know that whenever you encourage me, support me or pray for me, that it is not in vain, but that it is giving me strength to live here and to love my babies.

PS: If you would like to get involved with life here in Uganda and what Mercy is doing there are three ways:

  1.  We are need of 22 sponsors for our kiddos. We have a few in the village who need a sponsor and we have several non-residents who are also in need. If you are interested and feeling God leading you to give, please contact me. (WhatsApp or Messenger only.)
  2. If you would like to support me financially, I would be incredibly grateful. I am still in need of about $1800, but I know God will provide these last few dollars. If you message me, I can give you the information of the link where you can give online.
  3. PRAYER!! We could always use your prayers. On the side of this page or at the very bottom, you can see the ways you can pray for Mercy and myself.

 

 

 

Do I Love it Here?

Do I love it here?

That is the question that I receive all the time, and prepare yourself, you’re about to receive the truth and the reality of life here in Uganda.

Like any place I have lived in, there are things I love about that city and things I absolutely hate about it. For example, Bradenton, Florida, I hate the traffic, the snowbirds, the beach, the length of time it takes to get anywhere, but I love the people, I loved my church there, and I loved the babies I took care of and their families.

Same goes for Uganda. I hate the driving here, I hate the fact that when it rains my shoes get absolutely destroyed. I hate how my body is always dirty even when I take a shower because of the dirt and dust. I hate the fact that I have to sleep in a mosquito net every single night, and I hate all the flies here, seriously they are the worst. Imagine the flies during summer time in America on steroids and then multiply then times a billion and you have Ugandan flies. I also hate that there isn’t chickfila here…but I am learning how to cope with that.

I hate the fact that my babies were all abandoned by their moms. I hate the fact that my babies have faced extreme malnourishment and that many of them have to spend weeks in the hospital to recover. I hate the way the hospitals here care for the children and even the older patients. I even hate some of their rules and regulations on protecting these kids.

However, none of the things I hate here could ever in a million years compare to how much I love it here, nor could they ever take away from the joy I have here. Yes, I have bad and lonely days here and yes, there are some things I absolutely hate, but they will never ever take away from the love I have for these babies. These babies are my sons and my daughters, my children. I’m a mama at 21 with eight babies and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Here are the things I absolutely love and live for here: I love that when I walk into the babies home, all my babies come crawling or walking to me with the biggest smiles on their faces. I love it when I see my babies laugh and smile and giggle when I tickle them and give them attention. I love it when I hug my kiddos and they hug me back and then cling to me.

I love it when I see progress in my kids. I love it when I walk into the village, all the older kids attack me with the biggest hugs and then hang on me and follow me everywhere. I love it when my babies accomplish little things like walking and when they light up when music is turned on. But what I love the most, is I love loving these kids with the gift God has given me. These things I love make it worth living here.