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.