2013 : a recap.

2013 was a weird year.  i hadn’t spent much time reflecting on it until this morning because i wasn’t sure there was much goodness to see.  but as i started to remember everything the last twelve months have held i was taken aback by how full of life it really was.  i believe there is value in looking back because it helps you look forward.  i want to be a person who is thankful for where she has come and yet believes the best is yet to come.

here’s to everything the lord did last year and to all of the abundance and learning and grace and hope and goodness that is surely in store for this year.

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traveled to hawaii with my grandparents and cousin.  it was the best vacation of my life.

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a week after i got home from hawaii i flew to south africa to spent four days with this group of crazy, amazing, faithful and courageous group of college kids.

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i spent most of the spring selling jewelry, applying for “real” jobs, and playing with the best friends a girl could ask for.  i also spent a lot of time on the stretch of highway 85 that goes from gainesville to atlanta.

419083_669424572128_971104371_ni accepted the position at anderson and planned to move to south carolina.

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spent a good part of the summer romping around with this bestie.  we celebrated my birthday in greenville, ate our way through asheville, took an epic roadtrip to colorado and back and made solid plans to get ourselves to rio for the 2014 olympics.

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i bought at new car (and received a giant bag of popcorn as thanks).

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met new co-workers who have become friends.

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i acclimated myself to a new job, fell in love with my staff and students, spent a few nights in the hospital, had a million questions and a few days where i wondered if i could do it.  i planned events, learned a new sleep schedule, sat in a lot of meetings, sent a bunch of emails and had a few weird conversations.  basically, i’ve learned a lot about myself, my leadership and what i’d like to adjust moving forward.

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saw the lord’s redemption, grace, faithfulness and goodness in a way i could have never imagined when this one walked down the aisle in october.

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loved spending twelve days at home celebrating christmas with my amazing family.

it was a good year, indeed.

 

goodbye desert. hello promised land.

for me, the traveling has finally come to a halt.  four months on the field and then eight weeks of traveling to san francisco to missouri to georgia to ohio back to georgia on to hawaii back to georgia and then seventeen hours to south africa and back to georgia again. i was tired.  after south africa i kind of crashed.  i was sick and jetlagged and just needed to rest for a minute.  i’ve only been home a week and a half, but already feel much more alive and recuperated.

in my resting this last week i’ve been sitting at home.  a lot.  it’s nice to be back in a place that feels familiar and cozy and safe.  sleeping in my own bed again.  sitting on my own couch.  sipping coffee and letting candles burn. my house is empty during the day as my roommates go off to their jobs. i need myself one of those jobs, so i’ve spent a lot of time searching, filling out applications, re-doing my resume (over and over and over), sending emails, waiting for emails.  i wait a lot these days.  and push refresh on my inbox incessantly.

waiting. hoping. praying.

in my waiting and hoping and praying i’ve had my itunes keeping me company.  some of my favorites are about to release a new album.  i pre-ordered it because i’ve got enough things to wait on these days.  it’s seriously been on repeat for six days.  one song in particular is settling on me.

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“you’re faithful. you’re faithful. you’re faithful.
and i’m thankful.
goodbye desert. hello promised land.
i’m shaking off the dust of hopelessness.
and i’m starting to believe again.”

 

one more time, these are the things i’m choosing to say yes to.  today, the declarations don’t have me standing on furniture and screaming (although i’m never opposed).  instead it’s in the quiet, peaceful, resting place that i can feel the “yes” becoming more and more a part of who i am.

a sunday stream of consciousness.

it’s been awhile since i’ve just sat down to write.  write about what’s going on – what i’m thinking and feeling.  i sometimes think about it and then i start thinking about how i have to make it sound good.  i’d have to whip out the thesaurus so i sound smart on the interwebs.  i think about how i need to gather my thoughts and formulate adult opinions on things before my words will mean anything.  i think about how i shouldn’t waste my time filling people in on my little life but instead should probably write about thought-provoking global issues that are affecting our society and humanity as a whole.  or something.

but i don’t want to write that way.  it’s just not my forte.  [no, i did not use the thesaurus for that one].

i’d rather just let my thoughts a’flow.

coming off of catalyst last week,  we hit the ground running.  things are changing [again] in marketing world.  we’re facing yet another transition and the tension that comes with it.  in a meeting with one of our fearless leaders the other day he said, “the option is to just keep going.”  it’s comforting to know i’m not doing transition alone and that even though there could be much frustration and anxiety in the midst of the unknown, i’m really so much at peace.  the lord has been good to me in that way lately.  i’m just peaceful and stable.  which is still new territory for me, but it’s becoming more familiar as the days go by.

i leave for guatemala in the morning.  of course i haven’t packed or really thought much about it.  i’ll only be gone for four days [unless i accidentally get stuck for a few extra].  i’m heading down there to help do a mid-point debrief for our passport team.  it’s been fifteen months since i’ve left the country.  wowzas. it’s about time.  it’s a good thing for me, in so many ways.  i need to travel – even for just a few days – but i also need to start exercising my voice in new ways.  i’d be lying if i said i wasn’t at least a little nervous.  the whole field support, participant thing isn’t something i’m usually involved with.  but i need it. i need to be uncomfortable and be forced to do the thing i’m called to.  i need to be forced to prophesy and pour life into these students and leaders.  i need to, once again, be placed in a position where i have to hear God’s voice in order to move.  even if it’s just for a few days.  it feels good to be trusted with something so important.  it feels good to be a part of people’s development.  and it really, really feels good to have my passport out of the box it’s normally kept in.

i ate cinnamon rolls two days in a row this weekend.  i also stayed in my pajamas for long periods of time, enjoyed four hours around the dinner table with friends, went to a movie, journeyed to the library and purchased travel-sized shampoos.  i love simple weekends.  simple weekends make me feel blessed.

then i come home and read stuff like this.  or watch videos like this.  and i have to wrestle with the blessings again.  i have to reevaluate why i have it so good and other people are suffering so much.  gah.  i hate that internal fight.  i still can’t always reconcile the things i’ve seen and the life i live.  i have to remind myself that in my own way, i am actively choosing to be a part of a solution that is bringing hope to a world.  but sometimes it just doesn’t feel like enough.

and with that weighty question i guess it’s a good place to end this blog?  sometimes i have trouble ending things.  so i just keep talking and repeating myself and coming up with new things to say.  conclusions have never been my strong point.  maybe it’s because i struggle to find resolve.  maybe i should take bob newharts advice and just stop it.

bacon is different.

so.  i’ve been on overload for the last few weeks.  i mean, filled-to-the-brim-everything-is-so-crazy-all-i-want-to-do-is-sleep o.ver.load.  ever since going to new york life has been pretty much going non-stop.  family stuff.  relationship stuff.  work stuff.  jesus stuff.  it’s just been a lot.  and i’ve been over-capacity, in desperate need of alone time.  quiet time.  time to be still.

so today, i’m home. and it feels oh, so good.  i’m working on some things, doing some laundry and unpacking from said trip to new york.  i’m working on emails and and addressing my latest newsletter.  just wrapping up the week, really.

i traipsed upstairs in my yoga pants to have coffee with allison this afternoon.  she’s always real refreshing for me.  she asks me the questions i don’t always want to answer but that make me think on things and draw out new, deeper parts of me.  she seeks to understand and loves me in the midst of my stuff.  i hope i’m a little bit like her when i grow up.  except for the part where she hates bacon.  i love bacon and would like to eat it forever. thankyouverymuch.

speaking of eating, i need to do that.  i haven’t had anything but coffee yet today.  oops.  but maybe i should have some more coffee?  it’s a good, dreary day for lots of coffee.

because i just love coffee.  we all know this.  but i also love the idea of coffee.  because in some weird, twisted way, it’s a cool, trendy thing to drink coffee.  like it offers some kind of status in some universe that’s not real but is real.  right?

but then i have moments where i don’t want to talk about how much i love coffee because everyone talks about how much they love coffee.  i don’t want to be another coffee-drinking, toms-wearing, jesus-loving gal who is so desperately trying to be different that she actually ends up fitting into some kind of mold.  there’s something in me that needs to be different.  but everyone wants to be different so we end up all being the same kind of different.  you know?

hm.  that all kind of came from nowhere.  maybe it’s also a good day for contemplation.

on that note, i guess i’ll go have some coffee.  and maybe some bacon.

so, i have questions.

i have a good friend who usually writes a ‘stream of consciousness’ blog on fridays.  i love it when she does this.  i tried it for awhile on my other blog but haven’t maintained it very well.  i mean, i should have.  since i’ve got all kinds of time for it and stuff.  but, alas.  something always pops up.

until now.

so.  we were in the big apple last week on bid-ness.  it took us nearly twenty hours to get there. but,  it was a good time.  except for the part where our gigantic van wouldn’t fit in a parking garage.  and also the time we got so lost we ended up at the newark airport.  twice.  buuuuuut. we met with a bunch of really great organizations and people.  charity water and ijm were probably my favorites.  we learned so many great things about marketing and creativity and missions.  i am definitely still trying to digest it all.  definitely.

we just got home wednesday night and i was back in the office on thursday morning.  apparently emails don’t stop coming in even though i’m out of town.  who knew?  thursday night we kicked off leader training for all of our brave souls taking high-schoolers out this summer.  god bless ’em.  so…i’ll be popping in and out of that all weekend.  should be a good time.

on a different note, people keep asking me how my heart is.  like, random people.  i know they mean well and it’s probably the lord trying to tell me something or get my attention.  but, i think that’s a weird question.  probably i think it’s a weird question because my heart is currently on overwhelmed capacity mode.  so it doesn’t know how it is.  i mostly respond “it’s fine.” and then they just stare at me because they know i’m lying.  but that’s the best answer i can currently muster up.  i don’t really have answers.  to anything.

mostly i have questions. a lot of questions. that just grow and and grow.

questions that i’ll probably never have answers to.  but then i wonder about that.  and then i wonder why i can’t have answers.  and then i wonder about the lord.  and this is where it gets dangerous.  because i start to ask questions about the lord. about his character.  questions about his goodness and his faithfulness and his timing and his plan.  but, i think it’s okay to ask questions.  because it means i’m in the process [which i love] of working some things out. but he doesn’t give me answers.  no one gives me answers.  they just keep asking questions.  which makes me ask more questions.

and then it makes me want to scream. but just sometimes.

do you ever have those moments where you just want to scream?  not even in a bad way.  just in a way that you need to get some kind of release and that seems like the best option at the time?  no? okay, so it’s just me.  cool.

maybe i’ll go do that now.

bet you’re real glad you stuck around for that blog, eh?