Can You Hear Me Now?

Today started a new leg of my upcoming adventure!  I received a pre-trip package from Living Water International (LWI) and it contained a shirt, the contact card for my trip coordinator, and a trip binder.  

This trip binder has a lot of cool items in it!  It’s got info on LWI, info on Guatemala, airports, traveling, and even a section of devotionals to do before, during, and after your trip!  The pre-trip devos start 5 days from your departure date and at 7:44 this morning it was 5 days 00 hours 00 minutes and 00 seconds until my plane boards!!!  So I FINALLY got to start the devotionals.


I’ve only done one so far but it was JUST as wonderful as I had hoped.  Guiding you through some great pre-trip thoughts.  There was an amazing quote from Mark Twain his morning.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

But here is the thing from this day that absolutely blew my mind.  I am going to a Spanish speaking country and I do not know Spanish (although I do know more than I did thanks to Duolingo).  There was a reminder that Central American countries are very aware of politeness.  You should be conscious of the way you communicate down to your body language!  And while trying to spread the good news of the Gospel we don’t want to send the wrong message.  So they suggest that you assume that everyone around you can understand what you’re saying.  

That’s a good rule for another language.  But let’s take it one step farther:

How much different would life be if we spoke assuming everyone we knew could hear us?

Would we still say those words about that girl we work with who is just TOO much?  Or the words about that man who came to church last Sunday in grease stained pants with dirt under his nails?  (And if we would…we have a whole ‘nother set of problems!)

So…ask venture of and assume that everyone can understand me…I challenge you.  Nay.  I dare you to assume everyone can hear you.

Adios, mi compadres.

(Well done Duolingo!)

Go Where I Send Thee

The original thought was to write along and along about this experience (many of you already know what it is, for the rest of you, I’ll get to it in a minute).  Unfortunately…”best laid plans” and so on.  Now we find ourselves here.  The 28th of August and a mere 27 days before I board a plane out of Houston, Texas bound for Antigua.  For those of you who are wondering…that is in Guatemala.

So how did we get here?  It is an interesting tale involving Lent, Will Graham, friendship, therapy, and water.

Now.  I could spend the next hour and a half or so of your life and mine telling the whole story here.  But what I would rather do is this: for the Lent portion of this story, please click here and read the “About Me” feature.  This reading also covers friendship.  That leaves us with Will Graham, therapy, and water.

So I read the Lent book which is how I came across the organization Living Water.  The next step in the story was friendship.  My dearest Amelia (names changed for security porpoises) listened very compassionately as I confessed to her my growing pains and then she told me in love that I needed to get my mind off of me.  Well, that was my first push toward going on a well digging trip.  So when I got home I went online and looked at their upcoming trips.  There were a lot!  But one stuck out to me.erhwerhwerhwerh

 

Leaving 9/24 and returning 10/1.  The reason this appealed to me (which you already know if you read the link like you were SUPPOSED to!) is because I would be gone on my birthday (9/29).  That meant that the ONE day of the year that is “all about me” would not…could not be about me at all.  I liked that.  It was a cool thought.  Then it was over and I went back to feeling sorry for myself and wondering what I could do to help me own feelings.

Which brings us to Will Graham.  My mother and I went to hear the grandson of Billy and son of Franklin speak at Billy Graham’s Training Center at The Cove at the beginning of August.  The title of his three day seminar was “When Faith Collides with Fear”.  He told us the story of Saul, Samuel, and Jonathan.  (Maybe I’ll post more about that soon.  It was fascinating).  The entire time we were there though, people kept talking about steps.  “Take the first step.”  “Step out in faith.”  “Fear can rob you of taking that first step.”  And during this whole time, all I could keep thinking was “I’d like to push someone down that first step!”  You see, when talking about problems and life and walking with Jesus, it is easy to say that.

Take that first step to end your addiction.
Take that first step out of your abusive relationship.
Take that first step towards Jesus.

But my “stuckness” comes from the job search.  What is my first step?  Applying.  DONE IT!  (If you’d like to come over and discuss with me the file folder I have that is bulging with job applications I’ve sent in…come on.)  So what is the first step after applying?  Because right now (then) I’m just sitting around waiting for the other side to take the first step of hiring me!

Now, I will take this moment to acknowledge the fact that sometimes…we have to sit and wait.  I get that.  It’s training.  Sometimes we are waiting for God’s timing.  But we should never be doing nothing.  Sitting in ourselves instead of in God.  We should be always working for God no matter how stationary life seems.  So show me the steps and let me take one.  Hello?  Are you listening?  I’m ready to go here…

Therapy.

I’ve been very blessed growing up in the Bible belt.  My family doctors are strong Christians.  So when I went to them and asked for a referral for a therapist, I knew I was getting a referral to someone who was well educated by therapist standards but also by faith standards.  And man do I love her!  Tammy and I (those porpoises changing their names again) have been working on the best God planned version of me for four years now.  Obviously, after all this talk of steps, I called her and set up an appointment.

I went to Boone early and read at Panera.  Now, let me give some shameless shout outs right here.  Annie F. Downs: I pray somehow this meek little blogpost makes it’s way into your line of vision.  I just finished “Let’s All be Brave: Living Life with Everything You Have” and you blew my mind girl.  I kept looking over my shoulder think “Where is she?  She has to be watching me right now!”  Soul sisters from the same Holy Mister!  And our third?  Holley Gerth: I started my journey with you through “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream: Opening the Door to All God Has for You” and followed up with “You’re Already Amazing: Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be”.  My other therapist.  After reading from these two strong women, I ended up at therapy feeling beyond empowered.  I talked and talked and talked and talked and Tammy just sat there writing.  Now…you’ve never sat in on one of our sessions (and that would be weird anyway) but this is not usual.  Tammy and I go back and forth and feed off of each other.  She needs to make a point, she does it through a story from her own life to illustrate what she wants to say to me.  So, the silence was weird…but I embraced it.  I talked through things, I thought through things, and finally, I ran out of words.

She smiled at me.  She said, “I felt lead not to talk so much today.”  I told her I noticed.  She said that she felt God calling her to let me…you guessed it…

TAKE THE FIRST STEP.

Needless to say, my two-hour drive home that day was filled with worship music and heavy thinking.  I took the step.  That’s all it took.  Doing something.  Anything.

Now I encourage you to go find Unspoken’s “The Cure” from their album Follow Through.  Start playing….now.

I’m driving home and thinking about the steps.  The first step.  Doing something.  Anything.  Is it that simple?  Maybe you know where the end destination is but that first step is the hard part.  So take one.  Do something.  And suddenly.

I remembered Guatemala.

That’s a step.  And as I’ve told many people, maybe I’ve just put on a blindfold and I’m running around in traffic…but I’m moving and it sure beats the heck out of sitting on the steps watching the rest of the world move forward.  Take steps.

Water.

Living water.  Clean water.  Pure water.  Take a sip.  Take a drink.  Drink deep.