snippets.

today i need to blog.
but i don’t want to.
not sure why i think i have to.
probably for the people that send me money.
to remind them that i’m out here.   changing the world.
and that their money is helping.  it is.
thank you for sending money.  please keep it coming.

lately, life feels pretty ordinary.
nothing really inspiring or unusual is happening.
i go to the dentist in an hour.
that’s the extent of news.

but i’m okay with things being ordinary.
i do well in that place.  rhythm.
and i have a sneaking suspicion that some day i’ll look back and understand how un-ordinary it all really was.
but until then….

just calm down.

i have been struggling to write a blog for weeks.  in fact, i’ve started about eight different ones with the exact same sentiment.  they are still sitting on my desktop, half started.  i don’t why it’s been so difficult for me, lately.  i’ll blame it on the dreary weather.  it’s been dark and rainy.  but, the sun is trying to shine through today.  amidst the clouds, it’s peeking out.  so, despite the fact that i feel like i have so much to say and  nothing all at the same time – something is getting posted.  for all six of you to read.

we’re in another season of transition down here.  i’m beginning to wonder how long a season can really last – or if at some point, that’s just the way things are.  either way, things have changed and continue to do so.  for me, when there is a positional shift in a place, it naturally makes me wonder how it will affect the relationships i cherish.  i don’t really have answers to that question.  but i’m more confident in this community that i belong to then i ever have been.  i’m confident that we’re all in this together; good and bad, messy and put together.  we’re all here.  in the spirit, we’re knit together in a weird, supernatural way.  i used to be really afraid of these kinds of relationships because i was afraid they might go away someday.  my fear of what may or not happen on the back end of something kept me from blessings at the onset.  i’m not so afraid, anymore.  i wonder, sometimes.  but i think i can wonder without being afraid.

i’m doing a lot of pondering these days.  which can be both healthy and dangerous for me.  it’s easy to get excited about things, begin to dream up new ideas and possibilities.  it’s also really easy for me to look at the enormity that is life and get all super serious, contemplating the deep things of how the world works, why i’m on it, how there can be both good and evil, sorrow and joy.  it’s all very important to ponder.  but i go into debbie downer mode pretty quick, convinced that the world is, in fact, going to hell in a hand basket.  my insides get all dramatic and the voice-over guy in my head comes on.  oh, you don’t have a guy that does voice-overs in your life?  i do.  he probably works part time as a radio-show host.  he gets super dramatic on me with life lessons and how i need ot find significance in the flower petal that just fell to the ground.  it’s like life goes into slow motion until i slap myself.

but then i slap myself out of it.  stand on some furniture to, one more time, remind myself that god is good.  always.  that’s usually the cycle of my pondering.

my sweet friend caroline gave a really great word on monday at church.  yes, i go to church on monday.  there’s a chance we meet in a restaurant.  okay, fine. it’s a bar.  well, it has a bar.  and yes, women preach at my church.  young women.  and do you know what?  it’s the best church i’ve ever been to.  the worship is incredible, the teaching solid, and the people life-giving, honorable, and sincere.  i love my church in a bar.  whew.  now that that’s all out in the open….

so, caroline preached on how we need to rest.  about how when we find a deep place of rest and assurance in who God is the circumstances around us don’t really matter.  we can stop spinning and spinning and spinning and just stand with solidarity.  what i heard the lord saying through her was, “just calm down.”  so, i’m working on that.  calming down, knowing that it’s all under control.  the lord has it in his hand.  all of it.  remembering that can be hard.  especially in the midst of change, in the midst of watching people hurt, in the middle of confusion and chaos.  my thoughts and emotions go all haywire.  i get really riled up.  and right now, in the middle of it, the lord [and probably some of the people around me] are saying, “just calm down.  it’s all going to be okay.”

so, i’ll just be over here.  tea in hand, calming down.

buck it [list].

so.  about those goals i made when i turned twenty four.  i think it was one of those things where i felt really compelled to make a list because grown ups make goals.  the thing is that grown ups also follow through on their goals.  grown ups also don’t make excuses.  so.  no excuses here.  i’ve only done some of the things on my list.  most of them i have started and not finished.  the

“to be completed by” date is in 98 days. i’m bored and uninspired by them.  so, well, i’m quitting.

i don’t want these goals; this bucket list of sorts, hanging over my head for the rest of my 24th year.  so, we’ll just go ahead and be done.  is it terrible that i don’t even feel bad?

. make an adult purchase.  i’ve decided i want a hope chest.
. buy and wear nice pajamas.
. learn to make sushi and order good wine.
. save money.
. read some classics.  [huckleberry finn, catcher and the rye, little women]
. leave the country.  at least once.
. spend a weekend in isolation.  with jesus.
. sing karaoke.
. read poetry. write poetry.  let people read my poetry.
. get my etsy shop up and running. and sell at least ten things on it.
. memorize all of romans chapter eight.
. become an excellent coupon-er.
. learn basic phrases in greek.  you know, for when i go back.
. pick five recipes and learn to cook them from memory.
. play in the rain.
. sew a quilt.
. lead someone to jesus in america.
. send more random, just-because-i-love-you mail to my supporters, friends, and family.
. visit a new state for the weekend.
. take a dance class.
. deliver a prophetic word to a group of people.  a small group of people.
. grow professionally.
. document the things i’m thankful for.  send lots of thank you notes.
. compete in something.

73 days between posts? blogger fail.

i logged into my blog this morning to write a quick little update.  i thought it had been a few weeks since i’d filled you in on my super exciting life.  then i realized my last post was july 28th.  wowzas.  sorry ’bout that.

let’s see if i can catch you up on the last few months.  they’ve been filled with road trips and weddings and events that have been good for my spirit and completely exhausting at the same time.  for some reason i thought that when summer ended things would slow down.  now i find myself nine days into october and there isn’t much of a break on the horizon.  thanksgiving might bring a lull.  maybe.  but i’ve learned to make the most of the quiet moments i do have while doing my best to embrace the chaos when it comes.  i’m still perfecting the art of learning to be quiet in the midst of the noise.  even so, i’m happy and content and beyond blessed by the life i live.  no complaints from this girl.  at least not today.

this morning i find myself in my perfect yellow chair i picked up from an antique store.  i’m sipping coffee next to my open window.  the air is cool and the cinnamon candle burning reminds me that fall is in the air.  last night i had dinner with some dear friends and rested while they worshipped.  their songs were transferred to my computer and are serving as church today.  it’s a good day to enjoy the small things that often times get lost in my busy schedule of relationships, responsibilities and the whole changing-the-world-thing i’m working on.

so while i’m enjoying the smaller things in life today you can get caught up on where i’ve been and what i’ve been doing.  if you promise to get yourself up to speed on my life i’ll promise to not go seventy three days without an update.  ever again.  really.  promise.

at the beginning of august i trekked thirteen hours with kelly and jordan up to chicago for the jesus culture awakening conference.  my bff met us up there, so it was great to spend some time with her, too.  we were unaware that the conference would mostly be filled with thousands of high schoolers but enjoyed it nonetheless.

a few of us spent one of the last days of summer at the river.  we hiked and swam and a few brave souls jumped off a cliff.  it was fun day of adventure that will definitely need to be replicated.

my co-worker robby and i had the privilege of spending a week at mississippi college for their mission fair.  we met with all kinds of incredible students, shared with them about the passport and about our own experiences on the world race.  we were tired by the time we got home, but really enjoyed our time with them.

the last few months have also included a world race reunion/conference, watching my friend and co-worker weston tie the knot, nights in the hammock, a staff picnic, and a trip to florida for my world race teammate’s wedding.

well, i think that pretty much gets you up to speed.  hoping your sunday is lovely.

sometimes i read the bible.

sometimes i read the bible.  just to read it.  and then sometimes i biblegateway certain things i’m thinking about and hope to come across what i’m looking for.  it usually works. buuuuuuuuuuuut.  anyways.

last night i ehem, stumbled upon this out of psalm 66.

16 Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for my soul.

i’ve been struck lately about how it’s my job to help tell stories.  i was basically hired to make sure that the real life story that is being told is the one we want to be telling.  i make sure that people are using the right words, the right logo and color scheme.  but.  i also get to make sure that our stories are being told beautifully, that our participants and staff are being honored and built up.  i make sure that God gets glory for working around the world and, in effect, get to inspire people to be a part of what he’s doing in the earth. it’s taken me some time to wrap my head around the concept that this is my job, but i think i’m starting to understand it.  and loving it more and more.

real life sent out almost 400 high school and college students to the field this summer. that’s a lot of young people out in the world.  a lot of young people who are wide-eyed and ready to bring some kingdom to a hurting and dying world.  and a lot of young people who are desperate for an encounter with the living God in their own lives.

it’s 400 people who have something to say.  400 people who have a story to tell.

and somehow, i get the privilege to help tell those stories. stories of hope and redemption and transformation.  stories of participants finding freedom and wholeness.  stories of the sick being healed and the dead being raised.  stories about rain coming to dry places and the hungry being fed.  stories of participants being healed in their hearts and in their bodies.  i get to tell stories of what God is doing in the nations and what he’s doing in the hearts and lives of the people we send out.

i don’t know.  maybe it’s silly and seems small to you, but i’m so grateful that the lord [and these people] have entrusted me with such an incredible responsibility.  it’s a privilege to help inspire and project the voice behind such an amazing people.

none of this could happen without your help. would you consider partnering with me and making a one-time or monthly donation?   thank you for your continued prayers and support.  also, don’t forget to like me.

i want you to like me.

a few months ago i attended a support raising seminar for work.  they stuff a sixty or so of us missionaries into a conference room, fed us chick-fil-a and stressed the importance of support raising [for jesus].

this weekend, as i was addressing envelopes for my summer newsletter i remembered one of the big suggestions they made.  to make a facebook fan page.  that way you don’t have to friend someone.  they just have to “like” you.  the goal is that it’s an easier, more organized way to keep people centered around one thing.  in this case, my personal support raising.

awesome, right?  i get to ask people to “like” me so that then i can try to convince them to give me money.  for jesus.  not exactly my idea of a good time,  putting myself out there like that.

so, i’ve been putting it off.  because, well, what if i invite 500 people to “like” me and only my grandma responds?  except she’s usually a few weeks behind on facebook anyways…so really NO ONE responds.  an irrational fear?  yes.  maybe.  but a fear nonetheless.

but.  something came over me this morning and i started my official “i’m-a-missionary-please-like-me-and-pray-about-sending-money” fan page.  then i started clicking names, asking people if they would “like” me.  i’m anxious to see how this whole thing goes.

you can “like” me here.  or if you want to bypass that and just send money.  [for jesus.]  you can do that, too.

embedded residue. i’ve been home one year.

well.  it’s official.  i can no longer start a sentence with “last year on the world race…”  i’ve been on american soil for three hundred and sixty five days. [minus the week-long stint in ireland last fall].  whoa.  deep breath.

i landed in lax sometime in the afternoon a year ago.  the lady looked at my passport and said “you’ve been gone for quite some time.  welcome home.” to which i offered a fake smile as i fought back tears.  then i stood in customs for three hours before finally walking out into american civilization.  i spent the evening with my world race bff’s before hopping on a red-eye back to missouri.

i walked off of a plane in springfield and hugged my family.  we drove home.  the first thing i did was try on an old pair of jeans to make sure they still fit.  then i took a nap.  we ate lasagna for dinner.  and normal life just kind of began again.

countless times over the last year when i have thought back to my time on the world race i’ve  felt like it was nothing more than a dream.  a crazy adventure that just kind of happened but it wasn’t real.  except that it was real.  so real, in fact, that the residue is still on me.  not the africa dirt and asia smell.  but the residue of the things i saw.  the prayers i prayed and people i met.  the residue of feelings i felt and dreams i dared to dream.  it’s still on me, the glory of it all.

in fact, it’s just being embedded deeper and deeper into who i am.

i spent three weeks at home.  mostly i tried to catch up with the friends and family i had missed for eleven months.  i ate a lot of food and drank a lot of coffee.  i packed up my life and drove to georgia, where i’ve spent the last eleven months on a brand new adventure and at the same time discovering a new kind of normal.

my first few months in georgia were mostly spent in tears.  i cried because i was lonely.  i cried because i missed being on the field.  i missed holding babies and praying for sick people.  i cried because i had no plan.  i cried because i had absolutely no idea how to do my job.  sometimes i cried because it was the only thing i knew to do in the midst of trying to process and re-enter to so many things.  but, over the months, slowly but surely the tears have become fewer and farther between.  i promise.  ask allison.

i’ve become somewhat settled.  in gainesville, yes.  but mostly in my spirit.  i’ve got a bit of handle on why i’m here.  i’m not so lonely anymore. and i’ve figured some things out about my job.  i feel like i’ve processed the things i’ve seen; even though i still miss the african babies.  i guess i don’t really have a plan.  but i don’t feel like i really need one right now, so that’s refreshing.

anyways.  a lot has happened in the last year.  a lot of good things and a lot of hard things.  some broken places have been exposed and some other broken places have been healed.  i’m more whole than i was a year ago.  i’m more confident and hopeful than i was a year ago.  i’m definitely more free than i was year ago. and i am so much more thankful thank i was a year ago.

i’m thankful for the journey of the world race.  i’m thankful for the journey the last eleven months in georgia have been.  as thankful as i am for the past, i want to be the kind of person who looks ahead to the future with hope and great expectation.  there’s really no telling what’s in store for the next three hundred and sixty five days.  but my prayer is that the residue of my past journeys would become more deeply embedded as i set my eyes and heart towards the journey ahead.

with that.  enjoy the video i made of our world race journey.

happy home-one-year-aversary k-squad.