Routine is a funny thing. My bones crave it and I'm finicky when our life lacks it. Then, the second our life falls into a steady pace of predictable, I decide that a little more adventure needs to be mixed in to fight the creeping feeling of discontentment.
Push. Pull. Back and forth the pendulum of contentment swings.
I think this feeling is a natural side effect of living in a world where the possibilities are endless. There is always more to read, more places to travel, more food to cook, and more people to meet. There will always be shiny objects that make us look side to side the second our life quiets down.
It's tempting, isn't it?
With the weather turning cooler and the sun going down quicker, our house is settling into a predictable and slow routine. Every fiber in me wants to fight it, but deep down there is a sense of delight and pleasure with how simple we are forced to be right now. Every time I find myself starting to get itchy with complacency and start to dream of "what's better", I remind myself of the sweet little sound of pitter patter our boys' feet make on the wood floor. Or, I think about the hot coffee my husband my presents to me after he tip toes up our old, creaky stairs each morning. I remember the smell of bread baking and soup bubbling as the sun starts to set. These are the things I want to remember.
I'll be honest--it's difficult. I twist and turn and compare. I often want more, less, something else. It's a conundrum.
But, the second I'm able to recognize the emotion and detach myself from it's grip, I'm able to relish in the simple. In what I already have. I recognize the crazy isn't as crazy as I really think it is. The strength of the intentional mind is powerful.
Right now, I'm thankful I can take delight in our worn floors and our stained chairs, the loud house when it should be quiet, and the slow routine my day often falls into. I'm sure there is a season of life right around the corner that will be full to the brim and I will dream of slower days.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Praise The Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise The Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits---
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
I'm clinging to these verses lately. Life is so beautiful and so raw at the same time, and sometimes all you can do is remind yourself of these promises on repeat until they become so interwoven into your mind, perspective, and actions.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Today I am linking up with many, many lovely ladies that are going to the Influence Conference later this month! I am beyond excited for the conference this year. If you are interested even a tiny bit, I strongly urge you to just check out the conference website to see what it's all about. I went last year on a brave whim and it was the best decision. I am amazed at the community of women that I have gotten to learn from, have fun with, and just "do life" with through the Influence Conference and network.
We were asked to answer to questions. So, without further ado, here are my "2 things" ...
2 things I will have packed in my bag:
1) dry shampoo
2) notebook and pen (I'm a note taker, list maker, and everything in between.)
2 things I'm looking forward to about the conference:
1) Meeting friends (new and old) and having community together over the weekend. Whether it be over coffee, dinner, late at night in our rooms ... I'm really looking forward to sharing stories.
2) The life sessions. It's been a busy season for our family, and I can't wait to sit quietly and just soak up some wisdom + learning time.
I really can't wait to see everyone in only a few short weeks!
Sunday, September 8, 2013
We are currently going through the entire Bible as a church. Every Sunday we have focused on a different section of the Bible. The sermon this morning focused a lot on Paul and his final days. I didn't expect it, but going through God's entire story chronologically has really refreshed my perspective and given me a different thirst for God that I haven't really experienced before.
Anyways, I feel like I've heard Paul's story so often. It's the one story I remember most from Sunday School. I didn't expect to really learn anything new from it this morning. But, something just didn't sit quite right with me half way through. Towards the end of Paul's life, he makes the comment that he's "fought the good fight". He was already "poured out as an offering.... he gave it his all".
All I could think about from that point on is how desperately I want to be able to say the same thing when that time comes for me. What kind of a legacy am I leaving? How am I using my influence and purpose right now to further His goodness?
I guess it was a reminder for me to stop selling myself short. To stop making things so complicated. To know my story and know my purpose. To believe that God takes ordinary people and gives them a purpose.
It's up to me to know who I was before and after God. It's up to me to know the God-given purpose I have and to pursue God so much with that in mind that I develop such a passion for living it out.
Some times I want things to be so easy, but I make them so complicated at the same time.
Long story short, learning about God's story is giving me a passion for my own story.
Friday, August 16, 2013
My husband and I traveled to Honduras with Mission Lazarus and just returned home a few days ago. We had an intense experience while we were there. I've been waiting for the perfect words to come to me, but I don't think our experience can be pinned down and kept behind words that won't justify the emotions and thoughts I'm having. It feels like an injustice. I was hoping to document our days while we were there, but our wireless connection was limited up in the mountains. It was a gift to have to put pen to paper and write the old fashioned way. Some of my initial thoughts will have to suffice for now, but I'm not done sharing.
God is working and moving in Honduras. The integrity and dignity that the Hondurans have was enough of a lesson for me throughout the week. Their gentleness and patience as I stumbled and stuttered through the little Spanish I knew brought an instant vulnerability to our quick relationships ... a vulnerability that is hard to come by in America.
While we were there, we worked with local masons to build a brick house. Apparently wood houses will only last about a year in Honduras because of the termite situation, and the mission that we were working with wanted to provide something that could last for generations and could be passed down from family member to family member. When we weren't building, we went to a local school and loved on about 100 kids and taught them about Jesus' love. During one of our sessions with the students, we asked "why is it important to have a relationship with Jesus?" and a 6 or 7 year old confidently said, "because He saves us". There is such an innocence and joy that these children possess while living in such dire situations by our standards.
We visited a trade school were local Hondurans were risking their reputation (and basically their livelihood and live) by teaching youth absolutely beautiful leather and wood working. These students walked 2 - 3 hours one way to get to school every day. The effort and determination that they possess is convicting.
We also spent much of our week discussing Honduran politics and the state of their country. We had many discussions about how to keep the dignity of the Honduran people while being an American. It was quite evident that there is great, great work happening in Honduras, but that we as Americans weren't *needed* as we desperately think we are. God is moving there with or without us. I became more and more sensitive to the pride factor that some times gets wrapped up in mission work over seas.
To put it simply, our trip to Honduras was the start of a bit of an unraveling in our hearts and was more of a trip for us than for the people we interacted with there (which seems so crazy and counterintuitive). Being involved in ministry with my husband is such a blessing, but also such hard work. Working together on this trip opened our eyes to how we want to *do* ministry and what that looks like.
I'm still wrestling with a lot of experiences and memories and crazy thoughts that I hope to share as they rattle themselves out of my heart, through my brain and onto the screen. I'm looking forward to opening up a discussion about mission work and sharing more about my thoughts and experiences.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
I'm leaving for Honduras in a few days. I haven't been sleeping much and my thoughts are jumbled and fuzzy instead of focused and crisp. I'm emotional and sentimental and busy (and low on sleep!) ... all things that make things a little wacky when combined.
All I can think about is how much I am going to learn and feel through this trip. This trip that is supposed to be a trip full of helping and serving others. Who am I to go? Who am I to teach and love and serve with these people across the globe? People that have far, far less than me are going to show me love. Show me devotion. Show me service. Show me community.
To tell you the truth, I'm scared to let myself feel all of these emotions.
Right now I'm a jumbled mess trying to make sense of life and all the thoughts. But, maybe it's not all about "making sense" of the mess. Of life. Of the differences and our shortcomings. I don't think it's supposed to be all black and white or easy to figure out.
There's a reason life wrecks us some times.
It's all about holding on to that reason and being changed because of it.
Prayers appreciated over the next few weeks. I'll keep you all updated on our experiences and travels!
Monday, July 29, 2013
To tell you the truth, I was so nervous to find out that we were having a boy while I was pregnant. A lot of my friends that were Moms had daughters, I had an older sister, and the majority of my cousins (who are like siblings to me!) are girls as well. The unknown was daunting and I had no clue how I was going to connect to this little guy that was growing inside of me.
Now, with a year and a couple months under my belt as a Mom, I couldn't see my life any other way. I would be lying if I didn't admit that there are days I wish Ramsey was just a little bit less active and daring, but when I'm honest with myself I realize how much of a gift having an active and adventurous boy has been.
The summer is going by way too fast (as it always does), but my guy and I have really enjoyed every last bit. I have really gotten to know him on a different level over the past few months and we have connected like never before. We have spent more hours outside rather than inside and have explored almost every inch of our backyard and the trails by our house. It's so much fun to watch him be so purely excited and full of joy. There is always a hill to climb, some dirt to get into, and some bird searching to be done.