Sunday, October 25, 2015

Hungry for Light.

Dear Mom,
I've attempted to write something 3 times since moving here, and somehow it just hasn't happened...funny how that is.

Yet something has been stirring in me these last few weeks and I just have to get it out on paper. Mom, I'm hungry and I'm thankful.

A re-occuring theme of our ADS class is that we are marked by hunger for more of God.  Staff and speakers alike have spoke it into existence and boy have we been living it out as a class! Yet with all this hunger there can come a complacency. A complacency that the enemy brings. The idea that tries to root when a people group is on the cusp of EVEN MORE...the idea that everybody already knows we're hungry so we don't need to do anything more...we don't need to surrender more, or claim any more victory, give over even more of our day to worship,  or fight anymore battles because the enemy convinced us that what we've given is already enough. BUT God wants more. He calls us to not be complacent in our hunger now, but to hunger more. To identify the walls we have. Walls that stand as the extent of how much we feel we're capable of dreaming with God, the representation of our fears, the limitation of what we think is all we can have in God.
The truth is though, there is so much more freedom to be had when we empty ourselves to the fullest extent, when we come to Him as broken vessels in every area. So much more to freedom when we decide to identify our brick walls, and then we punch holes in them. We let the light flood through. We give others standing on the side of the wall with us an "out"...a path to follow. By those holes we proclaim freedom and victory, and a desire to be even less so that He can be even more. 

When we identify the walls in our lives and then actively punch through them we are hungering for more, We are getting even closer to the feet of Jesus by the power of His blood and the word of our testimony. He gives us the strength and the opportunity to punch through the wall. It's not by ourselves. It's by our humility and our surrender. It's by our hunger and our action that follows. It's by GOD and submitting our piece of The Church to Him daily to be changed, molding, and directed by Him.

This is NO call to be perfect. This is NO call to not struggle. THIS IS A CALL to be broken, to be emptied, to embrace vulnerability and to walk forward (despite fear or inadequacy) with confidence that the Lord called you to give Him more of yourself. With confidence that the Lord called you to be beautifully broken every day.  To live out your messy-ness for all to see, so that they know the goodness in you is not you, but Him.

I'm convinced that my wholeness in Christ will not be found in perfection, or in legalism, but in relationship that invites me to thankfully and graciously accept God's call to be broken every day for His glory. To be humbled and transformed in every area, no matter the challenge or cost, so that I may join The Church in changing the giving Him my entire being and serving Him by nothing of my doing or creating, but everything by God's power, courage, and utmost our relationship.  And it is because of this that I know brokenness isn't always bad or less than.

It's a messy process that won't end, but it's worth all I have to let Him take my life over... of that much I am certain.

Love Always and Forever
Your Daughter, 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Finding Place in Coffee Cups, Suitcases, and Household Floors

Dear Mom,
For the last three months every morning has started with a warm cup of coffee, contained in the same silver cup. I find such comfort in this little exchange of ours. Something about the consistency of it all just warms my little, relational heart. Such a simple exchange it is to pass off a cup of coffee, but yet it tells me so much about the person on the other end.

It means something to have a morning routine. It's an opportunity to show concern and care, even in the simplest of ways. It's an opportunity to show love and gratitude. It's an opportunity to show that you desire those people in your life because in all reality, it may at times be easier to do such acts yourself. But that's not the point. Sometimes independence cuts out an opportunity for patience, smiles and the every day surprise.

In the matter of two weeks I know this routine of mine will disappear once again, for a little while, and so I'm soaking up every second of that every day joy. I sure am thankful for that cup of coffee. I sure am thankful for the every day surprise that it is. I never want to be lazy of course, but that morning gift is just that...a gift. It meets me where I am.

I'm just about to start the process of packing and minimizing yet again...waiting and preparing to meet whatever adventure is lurking around the Waco airport in late August. This whole process of attending Training School and pursuing a more missional lifestyle has been a huge leap of faith thus far...and I don't see that leap touching down anytime soon.

It's been amazing to see the peace that is in my heart about the whole thing though. The logistics, and the idea of leaving the support system I have here temporarily, is daunting and at times totally fear-inducing. Yet, almost simultaneously, the anticipation to see what happens when I continue to keep giving this back to God (since everyone knows I can't figure this all out) is exciting!

So all I can really do now is plan to pick up my suitcases, start packing, keep minimizing...and pressing forward!
...And if after all that I still feel uneasy, I know all I have to do is sit down on the floor...because when you're already on the floor, there is no where else to go but up!
Love Always and Forever
your daughter,

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Water-filled Sneakers.

I'm feeling alive and aware... even with so much awareness of brokenness and lack of_____.

My shoes have been full of water all day. And no, this is not just metaphor-they literally have been filled with water all day. 

Since January 2014, Rain has brought with it the need for bravery. To abandon the fear of falling; crutches losing grip and balance lost. 

You think I've never had a "bad word" slip out? Walk with me in the rain and watch my lips come undone, even if just on the rare occasions. Sorry God, my bad.  

The only word I can think of to describe it is traumatizing, Sounds silly, but when your body teaches you not to trust it, falling in the same section of walkway every. single. time. trauma is the only description. 

Maybe this is why my children's book series has "rainboots" in the title--it's a call to bravery.

Mom, even with the awareness of what I lack...the standards I'm not meeting as an almost college graduate (May 2nd!!)...and the loss of control--I feel alive and aware. 

Alive. Heart beating. Life changing. Morphing into who I've always seen myself becoming with God. 
Aware. Aware that such change and morphing is painstakingly slow, often confusing and internal before external. 

Mom, I'm beginning to celebrate the success of transformation taking root in my life and my heart in the last year and a half. I'm not the person I was January 2014, I'm not the person I was January 8th 2015. Some say you can see the changes via text message, but no the real stuff is seen when standing face to face. Take some time to stop making assumptions and see with clear vision the hard work it took to get here. The struggles, The support had and needed. The confusion. The loss in so many small ways. The gains.

I see more courage, More trust, More repentance, More hope. More clarity.

Less shame. Less hiding. Less possessions. Less unrealistic expectation. Less time wasted, Less doubt. Less of my selfishness.

More love received and given. More friendships strengthened. More adventures. More sacrifice. More storytelling. More redemption.

The same hard work. The same prayers. The same focus. The same forgiveness. The same God. The same desire to show others they matter more. The same appreciation of tenacity.  The same heart for Haiti. 

More singing. More dancing. More silliness. More public speaking. More prayers. 
So much more to learn, to change, to grow in, to release. 

OH DO I PRAY I TAKE MORE STEPS IN WATER-FILLED SHOES. Water-filled shoes remind me to relinquish, to be brave, to continue on and to remember from where I came. To remain alive and aware. 
Love always
Your Daughter,

Friday, March 6, 2015

For the Love of Haiti


Haiti is home. 
It was there that I met my teachers.
Teachers who, like I, find joy in the circumstances God gives us...even though others might label such circumstances as "suffering".

Until I have time to really bleed on paper, just know my life is changing...but my heart for orphan care is not...thanks to Haiti.

Love Always and Forever
Your Daughter,

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Do You Know Where I Can Find A New Pair of Legs? Oh, That's on Aisle Three!

Dear Mom:
Today marks my one-year post surgical anniversary.
 This past year of recovery has been absolutely nothing like what I had hoped, but I'm wholeheartedly grateful for the people who have been standing alongside me in the gaps of expectation and reality.

 It is to those people, the people who...

Fed me my peas because I didn't have the strength

Brought me tons of things to distract myself from the Judge Judy marathons at the hospital

Made my dream come true by playing the grand piano at the hospital for me

Held my hand, or picked up the phone, while I cried in frustration with what I wasn't able to do... or with what wasn't happening at Intensive Outpatient Physical Therapy

Would visit with me for lunch or dinner

Would visit or call me every day I was in the hospital

Brought me to Physical Therapy

Took the role as both my physical therapist and a wonderful friend

Carried and transported my furniture when I moved (too much)

Came all the way from the South to spend a weekend taking care of me and going on wonderful adventures

Gave me hugs.

Brought me to church with you

Saw me through wheelchairs...scooters..walkers...more types of walkers...and now crutches

Made me smoothies with flax oil and peaches and all sort of healthy stuff I hadn't yet tried

Brought me a meal and gave me some quality conversations in the early months

Who watched me take "shots" of Siberian Pine Nut oil to get rid of my bleeding stomach ulcer (that was quite fun)

Even in recovery would want me to consult on projects because, even on pain meds, they still knew I needed productivity

Brought me to WJU to hear the choir, go to chapel, and get my cast decorated

Took me in as their friend

Texted or sent encouraging words, prayers, hugs, and love to me in ALL the ups and downs

Believe I can get to Haiti...and who rejoice with me now, as it's happening on Friday! (cue dance music)

    ....that I say this: I couldn't have made it through the last 365 days without you!

So Mom, today at therapy part of me wanted to just give up and sit down because,,,even after 365 days and a somewhat surprise surgery in-between,,, I still can't hike up my left leg or stand on my right foot. 

But then I got home and I remembered all the great memories, and the mountain high hurdles that I've overcome, and (well, maybe) still having to say that I'm recoverying, with an ING, isn't really as frustrating as I think. Why? Because recovering reminds me of all the people who have been, and I pray will continue to, be by my side in it. 

Maybe I should keep working at that hip hike-- despite wanting to buy a new pair of legs on aisle three at Target. 
Thank you God for these 365 crazy days of life. 
Love Always
Your Daughter,