Friday, March 11, 2011

Honored and Blessed

I've been horrible about writing this past year...not that I have anyone reading this, but for myself to come back and look at the incredible things God is doing. It seems so much has been happening this past year and specifically this past month and a half that I can't even process enough to get words out to describe it.

I've been learning a lot these past weeks and if I could sum it up it would be that I need to fully grasp hold of who God has created me and head full force into what He has given me the passion to do. To follow my dreams wholeheartedly and trust that I don't need to be fully equipped or all knowing, but just willing and obedient.
I have a lot ahead of me and right now it looks like a daunting Mount Everest, but I am choosing to climb, despite not having all of the tools needed...trusting that as the moment comes God will provide and show me the next steps, leading me so that He may have the glory...not myself.
For years now I have waited, wondering how God was going to connect all these passions and events in my life...feeling called away from moving to a third world country and instead being called to be a bridge...yet left questioning God what that was supposed to look like. In the last year and a half I have done a LOT of waiting. As I've waited I've been blessed with outlets and people to pour myself into but still have had a tug at my heart that "this is not it, keep waiting". Finally last Saturday night I was reading through a book by a dear friend that had some encouraging, but also challenging points that I felt were very directly speaking to me...followed up by our pastor's sermon the next morning....which led me to Sunday evening. I won't let out the news yet...maybe that is me still holding onto the fear that I may not be able to reach this dream/vision...or maybe it's just the excitement and tiny bit of perfectionism in me that wants it to be just right before I spill the beans on it all...I'm not sure. I will tell you this...for the first time ever...it's all making sense and seeming to fit into a puzzle I never would have imagined would fit together. And of course...like always, it is WAY bigger and better than I could have ever imagined it.

I will give you an update on some other things though:
Guatemala was amazing as always. We spent most the trip creating a vision to team with a women's shelter there where they make coffee bean jewelry to sell and help support the women as they begin life again on their own. We have brought the jewelry to the states to start selling from here for them and my dear friend Brittani and I are in the works of pulling that together and starting up. Be watching for our first house party invite...we're going to need as many people there as possible...we have lots to sell...as the women are just waiting to get paid for all the hard work they put into the beautiful jewelry.
I also got to spend some time with THESE incredible people while we were there


Since getting back, oh and fitting in a cruise right after Guatemala it's been a whirlwind of just trying to stay caught up with life, which I feel like I've been failing at miserably, but I'm learning to be ok with not being able to do everything and just do what I can sanely do in a days time and rest knowing that I did my best. It gets kind of crazy juggling the many hats I wear but I'm trying to continue to be the same, consistent person underneath each of those hats.

I have to give a little extra example of what life looks like these days......We went to a dress-rehearsal last night and Charlotte was falling asleep so I was holding her while standing in the back listening as they sang. She was sound asleep curled up in my arms, her little red hair covered head tucked under my chin and I just had this moment of wanting to hold her and never let her grow up. I've had the honor of being in her life since she was a little 5 lb newborn and I feel like time is flying by. Then I look up and see the other three precious girls in front of me, Kate's little arms wrapped around her mom's neck all staring in admiration as their daddy sang and I couldn't help but think "how did I get here?" "how did I, just a small town girl from Colorado, get here?"
I have been so blessed to be able to do what I am doing and have people who support me and encourage me to follow my passions for missions and photography and also allow me to be a part of their children's' lives. But also so honored and blessed to get to serve them as they live out a ministry that can be really tough....to watch as they make themselves vulnerable so that others may be encouraged. I love them so much and I love being a part of their kids every accomplishment, every new skill, every smile, every hug....it makes me wonder how it's possible to love a child more..I'm sure when I have my own kids I'll know what it's like to have an even deeper love, but it's hard to imagine right now. Because as I rock sweet Char to sleep and she has her hand tightly grasped around my necklace and her breathing is a sweet gentle rhythm, I think, there can't be a more precious moment, or when I look out the window to see three beautiful girls swinging on their tree swings, heads thrown back in abandon, wind in their faces...I realize they teach me so much just by living life, I can't learn more from anyone else...the lessons and moments these kids teach me everyday will be carried with me for the rest of my life.
So to sum it up...things have been chaotic, most days I smell like spit-up and peas, and I usually am driving a mini-van around, and when I'm not doing that I'm planning my next out of country adventure or hanging out at youth group watching young people grow and learn....I love every minute of everything that I am doing. I'm loving that God is taking me down a path I didn't necessarily see myself going, I love that He has an even bigger imagination than I do and that a beautiful tapestry is being woven...allowing all of my dreams to pull together to make one incredible, ever changing picture.




Friday, February 4, 2011

Joyful and Content

I guess it's time to make use of the blog again.Bear with me this isn't going to be anything fancy...I'm still pretty sleep deprived.

I had so many mixed emotions coming into this trip....not because I was nervous or scared...I've been to Guatemala a dozen times, but because the weeks leading up to it were...shall we say...insane. Two weeks before I invited one of the youth girls to join me and then a week after that another leader to join....so we then spent those last days trying to get last minute passports, make a schedule (I'm totally a get on the plane and go with no plan), get contact info, and set up hotels. I am soo glad they decided to come though because it has been a blast having people to travel with, especially people who have never been out of the country oh and one who had never been on a plane. It reminds me of that first time excitement I had and I don't want to lose that. I also just went through a thing called FOCUS, Inspired life training at my church...I won't get into all the details but I will say that it wrecks you, brings out everyone's garbage and issues, is the most emotional I have ever been, and pretty much drains every ounce of energy from your body. It's great but it comes with a lot to process...so I was pretty emotionally and physically exhausted.
It wasn't until we were descending into Guatemala and I looked out and saw my beloved Volcanos and beautiful mountains that I felt a weight begin to lift. I'm here to do what I love, here to continue growing the vision I have, here to serve and rest, rest in Him. The joy and contentment with being back just grew with every step...stepping off the plane, getting our bags, finding our ride, breaking out the Spanish (that has been in hibernation for TWO years), driving through the city, getting to my favorite town in the world, Antigua, and then getting to hug my dear dear sweet friend Melissa....and to play with Madi (she was supposed to be sleeping but what are Aunts for? haha) I could not be more joyful or more excited for what this week has to hold. The weight has been lifted...freedom in coming...I'm almost there.
Love you all and will post pictures soon...still need to unpack the camera.
Adios Dios te Bendiga!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

another year

It's been awhile.

I've been meaning to do the whole "New Year" post, reflect over the past 12 months, talk about how amazing this journey has been, yada, yada, yada. Honestly, the journey has been amazing....amazingly hard. There is so much to reflect over that it would take me a two week, shut in a cabin by myself, vacation to reflect and process. God truly has given me a full life, of which I am so undeserving.
I do feel like it is time to give a good update and a slight reflection on this past year (or year and a half...cause it all blurs together).
14 months ago I was living in a new town, new state, trying to make new friends and new connections....working lots of new "glamorous" jobs such as, putting together furniture at 4am in the snow. There were lots of "news" for me. Along with that came lots of "I want to give up" moments. 14 months later...here I sit at my regular Starbucks table nodding a hello to the other regular Starbucks goers writing emails to my new friends and working on some future ideas. All things that 14 months ago I would never have thought I would be doing.
I struggled for almost a year wondering why God had brought me here, why I hadn't been thrown into my dream job, wondering what the plan was going to be. At the same time being so excited to see what it is, because deep down I knew it was nothing that I could come up with. Sure enough it wasn't....not even close to anything I came up with.
So in a nutshell....the last year equals the following:

  • Got new puppies
  • started a job with someone I have admired for a LONG time (yes Angie, I really was a blog follower) a job that didn't make me give up my passion for missions and photography.
  • started working with youth again and be reminded of how much the youth in our society have the potential to change the world
  • moved out of our first (ghetto) apartment into a house
  • full-filled my dream of traveling to Hands & Feet in Haiti...only to fall in love and wait anxiously to get back
  • started the brainstorming process and making connections for a ministry project that has been on my heart
  • Met people I never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever meet and then have them bless my socks off
  • and am finally heading back to the country I love so much...Guatemala
....just to name few of things that were included in the year

I am constantly in awe of how God just pieces things together, connects things that should never have connections, nudges me out of my comfort zone so I can discover more passions, forces me to face fears and be the person He created me to be. So this is where I find myself this year....in awe. Waking up everyday having to make the decision to let God use me, to let Him love me, despite my flaws and lack of confidence. So that I am able to experience the incredible adventure and plan He has for my life. I am trying to contain my excitement and not get ahead of myself this year...but to just walk at the pace He wants me to walk, turn the directions he wants me to turn.

That is my reflection on this past year....and my thoughts on the one laid out before me.