Monday, January 9, 2012


I sit here on a dreary Monday afternoon, doing what I typically do when I find myself with a little too much time on my hands... over thinking.  Here I am, lost in my own thoughts; lost in trying to figure out life.  Like reading a book, I swiftly turn the pages of the story, my story, going through scenario after scenario of what life “should” look like.  Trying desperately to write the next part of the story, to finally be able to answer the question of “what’s next?”

You see, i’m at a transition point in the book, kind of like the cliff hanger at the end of the chapter.  Ever so quickly my mind conjures up all the possibilities of what could be next.  I begin to mentally make a list.  I try to manipulate all the things that I know, all the things I’ve learned, all the things I enjoy, all the things I’m good at, and all the things I am passionate about and with them create this one perfect story.

And yet I find that every day this list, this projected story, changes.  Everyday, my ideas for the next chapter look a little different.  Everyday there are new things to add to the list, and old things to remove.  Very few of the ideas are enough to make the list more than once or twice.  Instead it becomes a list full of things that quickly become unimportant.  A list full of restless ideas that flow in and out as quickly as the wind blows through.

And, so I am back to the beginning.  Back to searching my heart.  Back to understanding my one true love.  The only thing in my life that is unchanging.  The only desire I never lose, the only thing I really want to do day in and day out - the desire to live a life consumed by the presence of God.   I want to sing, I want to dance, I want to study, I want to teach, I want to learn, I want to grow, I want to praise, I want to love, I want to make a difference.  Everything else is irrelevant. 

I used to think I wanted perfect.  That I wanted stability.  That I wanted normal.  That I wanted safe.  But, I’ve changed my mind.

Because normal, safe, regular... it’s just not enough for me anymore. 

What do I want to do with my life?  I want to do outrageous.  I want to do ridiculous.  I want to do impractical.  I want to do and be a part of things that are so big and so life changing that they can’t be done in my own strength.  Things that most times wont logistically or financially make sense.  Things that will fail if God doesn’t show up.  Because failing to let God move in my life has become bigger than failure itself.

I know that I’m asking for it.  I’m asking for sleepless nights, for unreal expectations, for life that will look like to some as unsettled, unpredictable, and impractical.  A life that breaks all the rules of what it “should” be.  

So, beware of what’s to come in this story.  The next chapter isn’t predictable, it isn’t safe.  And it most certainly isn’t an easy read.  It’s going to be wild, it’s going to be challenging, its going to keep you on edge.  But I promise you it wont be ordinary... because this regular, this stability seeking, this perfectionist of an author is finally putting the pen down... and the new author, well, there is nothing ordinary, predictable, or safe about Him.

“Safe?" said Mr. Beaver."Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.”  -Chronicles of Narnia

Monday, January 2, 2012


It’s officially taken me a good 25 days to finally sit down and write a blog about my time in South Africa.  It’s not that I don’t have fond memories.  It’s not that my time there wasn’t memorable or life changing.  In fact, it’s very much quite the opposite.  Every time I sit and try to wrap my mind around that piece of my journey, I come up short.  Words just don’t seem to be enough to express the beauty of that land; of the amazing people, of the unexplainable love, of the real life community.

Instead of words, my mind swirls with images.  Amidst the breathtaking beauty of Cape Town sits a community called Ocean View.  In the community live some of the kindest people you will ever meet.  Their faces flash, like a slideshow,  through my mind and each one of them is looking at me with such love, such grace, such joy.  I imagine myself walking through the streets again, and remember that each and every time I did so, I was greeted by a crowd of giddy children, a hug from a desperate teenager, a wave from a hurting mother.  Words can’t capture those memories.

As I am back in the States, I can’t help but feel like life is a little cold (and, no not just because I am finally experiencing winter!)  Despite the hurt, despite the pain, despite the brokenness of that community... there was love.  There was joy.  There was life.  It wasn’t a place of people just co-existing, it was a place of people choosing to live life together.  And I miss that.  More than I realized was possible.

The people of Ocean View changed my life.  Part of my heart will forever belong to them.  They taught me how to love in the midst of heartache; how to pick yourself up after devastation; how to fight this battle as an army and not as individuals.  They reminded me that life is about living together.

My time there was short, and yet I was never treated as a stranger.  Though I currently live thousands of miles away, I have African mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, that will forever be a part of my my journey; that will forever be a part of my family. 

Community is more than just the people that live nearby.  Community is more than just a neighbor.  Community is about living life together.  Side by side.  Fighting for one another.  Thank you, Africa, for reminding me of just how sweet and how beautiful that can truly be.