Posts Tagged "present"

when you feel overwhelmed

When You Feel Overwhelmed

“Beauty will redeem the world.” -Rectify, Sundance channel   The days are slipping away fast now, the leaves from the fig tree alighting to the ground, yellowed by drought, the California summer waning into fall showers. Life has been busy lately, the kind of maddening pace where your soul feels squeezed in between to do lists and commitments, when you just feel overwhelmed. What is snuffed out in that suffocating space is the ability to be contemplative, the ability to breathe in and out, and surrender the anxiousness underneath. Sometimes in these seasons we have to stop and crawl up

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Open road into death valley

Ten Lessons I Learned from a Road Trip

“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” ― Jack Kerouac, On the Road Sometimes it’s hard to live in the present. Life with its busyness seems to suck at our joy of living in the moment. Then there are trauma’s that pile high which we try so hard to ignore and disconnection that subtly crawls into the corners of our relationship with God, our spouses, and each other. But if you want to live a life of adventure, of growth, you have to be willing to shake things up a bit. So two

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me n my truck

When You Need Purpose

Sometimes in between the kitchen and the washing machine, doing the same acts over again with seemingly little result, I wonder if my life has purpose. I used to love my job. I used to love what I did with a kind of maniacal passion. I used to stay up late writing blog posts and used to look forward to going into the office in Uganda every day to hug each of my beautiful staff each morning. I used to love to sit under a mango tree and counsel a struggling woman. I was someone people looked to for answers, I was

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How to be Content

Most days I don’t know how to let go of fear.  It presses heavy on my chest and claws up my throat threatening to stifle my breath with all the things that can go wrong and do go wrong. And breath is the only thing I have. In and out. Infilling and surrender. Sometimes the mountains don’t keep the grey Marine layer out and the fog rolls in obscuring my view of the sloped horizon. Days like this I have to fight hard to remember what I’m thankful for when the myriad of test results don’t come back the way

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What If There is Meaning in Suffering?

  “We seek our identities in the wake of painful experiences. We can endure great pain if we believe it is purposeful.”   -Andrew Solomon- When we don’t get what we want, it throws our life into a certain amount of chaos. There is a deep desire to control, to force the world to bend to my will. But what if there is meaning in this suffering and like peeking over into a walled garden, perhaps I can discover a secret?   I’ve been trying to get pregnant for over 11 months now. There are a myriad of reasons why this

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When Grieving is the Only Way Through

When I hold the baby and realize that it isn’t mine and I am not sure I will ever clasp feet that tiny in my hands, there is a small part of me that wants to walk to a building’s edge and simply step off and feel the fluttering of air before nothing else. It feels so similar, so close to another time when I lost everything and it is the familiarity that frightens me because it was a dream that died, never realized. Sometimes I feel what others might call me crazy for, these thoughts that tumble over each

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hawaii from above

How to Become Brave

There is a perfect time of day.  Somewhere in the space between the sun waning and the first evening chill converging, where the light is a faded gold, like an old photograph, and the landscape is bathed in wonder. Most days, the exquisiteness of this moment escapes me. I am busy with emails, or exercising to burn more calories, or preparing dinner. I am hurried by my never-ending list of things to do. But what if God created the world to be enjoyed, and I, along with it.  What if every sunset was made to be watched, breathed in deeply,

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How to Make the Ruins Beautiful

I lived my life in emergency mode for so long I almost forgot what it felt like to have some peace.  There was always a problem to solve, a sick kid who needed taking to the hospital, a government office who didn’t understand our heart, a mama who needed a hand held while she took an HIV test, a landlord who wanted to raise our rent, a donor who needed an explanation. They say Africa is not for the faint of heart for a reason. And while I might love her dew and her dust, her people, the suddenness of

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Missionary Meets Monotony

It’s been six months since we left Africa.  Six months since I put a sandaled foot on her and breathed her sweet, smoky air after a hard rain. I’m starting to have a routine, starting to have an order to the chaos. I like California. What’s not to like about California? The weather. The people. It’s pretty dang amazing. I like my little one bedroom cottage apartment I live in. Even my neighbors are nice. They remember to drag our trash to the curb when we forget because we’re not used to organized garbage trucks. Rules. Things like, only a

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How to Be Authentic

Tragedy happens.  I don’t believe anyone who woke up the morning of the Boston Marathon believed that they would lose limbs, or worse, loved ones. And yet deeper than the scars on their bodies, the scars they will live with from that day, are the ones on their hearts. And yet many will get up and move on, without considering: The heart requires bandaging as well.  And it got me thinking about something I’ve been mulling over for a while. Being in ministry I understand the pressure to have it all together. To keep things hidden.To hope that everyone else

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