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Monday, January 19, 2015

Back...and Letting the Secret Out

If you haven’t already guessed or figured it out, I was in Europe for Christmas. Germany to be precise.  The whole family went to see my brother who is studying in Munich for the German semester.  We are starting a trend for our sisters… we hope!
We started by landing in Switzerland and it was off to Munich where we stayed for a few days. We made a day trip to Nuremburg too. After that we headed to Rothenberg, a medieval walled city. And finally we ended our time in Prague and rang in the New Year. Happy 2015!
If you think we are crazy, we think so too!
If you are wondering how we did it, email or comment away. I hope to provide some back story and some of the adventures here. Maybe you can keep me accountable?!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I hope you are enjoying a 
merry and bright day!

Merry Christmas!

If you'd like another hint:
Look in the tags of this post!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Shhhh! It's a Secret...

I hate doing this, but well you're going to have to wait two weeks before I let the cat out of the bag. 

If you want a hint: 
Let's just say it's going to give me a lot of writing material...

Hope you enjoy the season and have a blessed Christmas!
I'll see you back here in 2015!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Rain Came Down and the Flood {of Thoughts} Came Up

Currently, I live in the Bay area. In case you haven’t heard, we are having a “big” storm.  Ok, I will consent to the fact that it is a storm. And the reason it is so big is the fact that we don’t have the infrastructure to handle it. Physical infrastructure that is. If there’s one thing you need to understand about Californians, it is that they are rarely prepared for rain {or any weather}. Ever. And when it rains most of them freak out. And it looks like the zombie apocalypse is happening. Or as we’ve dubbed this one, the Rainpocolyse.

But right now, we desperately need rain. That seems somewhat ironic since it is coming out of the sky as I type. The reason we need it so badly, is because we are in the midst of a drought. {Insert family inside joke about “in the middle of a drought,” that I narrowly avoided just now} 

And I’ve been thinking about the ways that it so directly relates to some life lessons. The first being that the rain has caused most people to stay home, work at home and keep their children and pets indoors. And often when we do that we slow down, or add minutes and moments to our days. When you are stuck inside, you do life differently.

When it rains, I give myself permission to read a book, make soup, stir up some hot chocolate, be creative or dream. I let my self do all the things I should be doing normally – resting, having nourishing food, enjoying treats, using my passions and building my dreams.

Thank you God for rain that refreshes the ground and our souls.

The other thing that I was thinking about is how in this world {or possibly, just my world} we want things to be predictable and scheduled, processed and efficient. And well, that is just not how life works. And I was thinking about all of this as I thought about how much we need rain and the rain is so good for the earth and it causes things to grow…and so on and so forth. And yet. And yet, we don’t get rain once a week to make everything grow. God didn’t say on these days on the calendar it will rain. He didn’t make it so that droughts are scheduled or that storms are in some sort of pattern.

He didn’t do any of that, but He could.

So why did he make things erratic and allow us to tear up the landscape he so beautifully created, thus making his perfect system no longer work? 
I don’t know. 

I do know that he has had the perfect plan since the beginning of time. And I do know that we can read about the droughts of old and the days of plenty. In each of those stories we find a reflection of him and his character. We also see that there was a purpose to the droughts and the storms, the days of plenty and the days of few. It was all part of the plan.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Captive Audiences + Grace

Tonight I sat and told a story and tried to calm the fears.  My words tumbled out and I'm not even completely sure what I said.  I know the message I wanted to send.  And I know how passionate I got.  More passionate, more aggressive, more agitated than any of them had probably ever seen me be before.
It all started with a simple question about Ebola.  One of pure innocence and wanting to understand.  I tried to sit on my hands and clamp my mouth, but I'm afraid I inundated her and the rest of my rather captive audience.
"You probably don't know, but I've been to Liberia.  I worked in a medical clinic there."  I hastened to add "Just for a week... in high school. But I worked with..." My voice trailed off.  "Well I know some of the people who have died from Ebola."  My voice caught and I also realized my matter of fact tone.  
{I know "some" is the overstatement of the year! I know a few, a handful of the many people who have died.  I know the people and the souls who lived in those bodies...Please give me grace}  
When you're dealing with disease, poverty, corruption, and a place half a world away sometimes you have to be matter of fact.  When you're dealing with all these things you can't change, sometimes you just have to stick to your guns that you will not be emotionally effected by these truths.  Because sometimes the more you hear something the more it becomes real.  And your active imagination can see these things, you can touch them, and you can smell them.
That's the thing about Liberia, it has a smell.  You can smell the red earth, the moisture in the air, the air itself.  Sometimes the perfume mixes in the smoky charcoal texture.  There are other things that have a smell - so does disease, poverty, corruption.
What I appreciated about these women around me was their questions and their general acceptance of the things that I was sharing.  Not that I was sharing the correct information or that I didn't have some of my facts jumbled.  It was rather that they listened and accepted me.  They accepted that this was something that as important to me and that I really did check the news everyday for stories.  To me it gave me life to see these faces looking at me, eager to hear words, and open arms to my heart.
I didn't talk about my friends or the culture.  I didn't talk about specifics.  Just the news, and some of a recent missionary update.  And when I talked about it at the end I wanted it to be all about hope.  All about the things that were beautiful coming out of this horrendous situation.  All of the things where God was being glorified.