Tuesday, May 24, 2011

.beautiful mess.

so i have this really cute purse. i can only say that because my grandma picked it out and gave it to me - i had nothing to do with it. but i love it. the inside lining is way cute, it's the right size, it goes with anything, it's just fun. i've loved carrying it and get tons of "where did you get that? i love it!"'s from other girls. i mean what girl doesn't want that right? it really is a beautiful purse. or more like a beautiful mess...

about 10 days ago i realized my motrin bottle's top wasn't snug and the ENTIRE BOTTLE spilled in the bottom of my purse. 10 days ago. so for that long i've been walking around with the inside of my purse looking like this...

on the outside it's beautiful... on the inside, it's a mess. i considered cleaning it out tonight and then abruptly changed my mind. the task seemed too daunting because i couldn't simply scoop those guys up and throw them away, i'd have missed a significant amount of the mess and been frustrated when i found it later. the reason i avoided is that it was too much work. I'd have had to empty the whole purse and then take every inch of the mess out and then put it back in one by one. i think as broken humans we're not all too different from my purse... beautiful on the outside but a mess on the inside. i think we'd like to scrape off and scoop out and cover up the stuff people can see - or put on our really cute lining and versatile frame and then not let anyone see the inside. i think all too often i am guilty of putting on this "i've got it together look" so that other people will say to me or about me, "where'd you get that? i love it!" and i can make up some excuse about how i've got it all under control and i'm always doing great - God has blessed me so much. while the whole "i am so blessed" part is true, the other part is not and i think the nasty human in me loves to fall into that trap of not wanting anyone to see the mess and not wanting to deal with it.

this week it's kind of crashed down on me. this amazing new God-given gift of a guy was here with me for a week, we had awesome plans, i was getting back into the work groove with our trips going out this summer, i had fun plans with friends, i was back on my workout routine & feeling better. i had it all goin' on. i was in the zone, lookin like it was all good and well and was ready for people to ask me, "where'd you get that?" that put together life, great boyfriend, amazing job, etc.

and then i got a gnarly case of strep throat that has knocked me down for almost a week. the spilled bottle of motrin just showed its mess to everyone - to my boyfriend who's had to take care of me, to my interns who've had to pick up slack at work, to my trainer who i had to cancel all my workouts this week. the mess started showing & i've been stuck at home this week picking up the pieces and sifting through some of the pieces that i left behind a few months ago. turns out we're all just that - a beautiful mess. and to be honest, i think much of me functions better in sorting through messes than in beauty.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


i've been back from peru a week, sifting through my jet lag, emotions, pictures and memories and there is a word that i can't shake... courage.

here's how i saw courage in my dear friends:

- learning Spanish despite mental blocks, crazy schedules and excuses not to
- being an American kid and showing up to school everyday knowing you aren't going to fit in, aren't going to speak the language, aren't going to understand much
- putting yourself out there to make friends, either with other American missionaries or with Peruvians
- braving the streets of Lima - believe me when i say this takes courage
- trusting God with not only your own lives but the lives and transitions of your kids, knowing you've been called as a family

- being bold enough to get a haircut and new glasses when it involves traffic, parking issues and a language barrier
- pushing through the tears and the mental breakdowns in order to move forward
- not looking back, not copping out, simply looking forward and recognizing that our God is good and he has not forsaken them
- doing scary, humbling things in another culture and language because they know it's the only way to become part of the world they are ministering to
- being able to laugh at themselves when the language isn't working or when something doesn't translate culturally
- trusting that God is bigger than their circumstances and that his will is perfect despite the struggle

- being able to be honest about the hard things - embracing tears, hard days and frustrations
- knowing that they are in God's will and reminding themselves daily that He is enough and He will provide

there is nothing that feels safe or comfortable about living in a culture other than your own... at least not for the first year and i'd imagine even after that it's tough. the only time you really feel like you can let down is in your own home and even that takes a little getting used to.

there was so much of me that was taken back to the months i lived in spain - the feelings i felt, the emotions i experienced, the daily struggles with the language and the culture. and then i had to grab perspective. i was in spain for 4 months. FOUR. i knew i was coming home. i knew there was an end. i knew i'd make it through if i could just push a few more weeks (not that it was torture or anything:) but 3-5 years is a totally different ball game. the amount of "pull-you-up-by-your-chin-straps" courage and reliance on Christ is astounding. i have entirely new perspective on what long term missionaries have to endure and i have a drastically increased amount of respect and prayer for my best friends who are living this out in peru.

blake and sarah - you guys are rad. you are loved. you are prayed over. you are not alone. keep on keepin' on.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

.my own little world.

This song by Matthew West got me thinkin' about life & all that matters this morning. There is so much more. I am so selfish. I want to live for something bigger than me. Lord, help me.

In my own little world it hardly ever rains
I’ve never gone hungry, always felt safe
I got some money in my pocket, shoes on my feet
In my own little world
Population: me

I try to stay awake during Sunday morning church
I throw a twenty in the plate, but I never give ’til it hurts
I turn off the news when I don’t like what I see
Yeah,it’s easy to do when it’s
Population: me

What if there’s a bigger picture?
What if I’m missing out?
What if there’s a greater purpose
I could be living right now
Outside my own little world oooh

Well, I stopped at a red light, looked out my window
I saw a cardboard sign, said “Help this homeless widow”
Above that sign was the face of a human
and I thought to myself, “God, what have I been doing?”
So I rolled down the window and I looked her in the eye
I thought how many times have I just passed her by?
So I gave her some money then I drove on through
And my own little world reached
Population: two

What if there’s a bigger picture?
What if I’m missing out?
What if there’s a greater purpose
I should be living right now
Outside my own little world

Father break my heart for what breaks Yours
Give me open hands and open doors
and put Your Light in my eyes and let me see
That my own little world is not about me

What if there’s a bigger picture?
What if I’m missing out?
What if there’s a greater purpose
That I could be living right now

Well I dont wanna miss what matters
I wanna be reaching out
Showing the greater purpose
So I could start living right now
Outside my own little world