Enduring the worst. Appreciating the best.

As we are about to embark on a big adventure from the top of Africa where we currently call home in Morocco to the very bottom of this vast continent (South Africa!) I can’t help but reflect on the past 14 months that we’ve rested our heads here in Morocco. It’s been the highest of highs and the very lowest of lows. There have been times I have looked at our luggage in the closet and our belongings and wondered how fast I could pack it all up and we could get to the airport to catch the next flight out. I never ever thought we would finish our two years here- but here we are 3/4 done with our current obligation.

It’s been a whirlwind of emotions and sometimes (we still) after a tough day come back and just lick our wounds. Through it all I am so sure that we are here for a reason and one that was about as clear as mud to us in the beginning. This quote nails it on the head for us– “If ethics are poor at the top, that behavior is copied down through the organization.” and we’ve begun to see more clearly as time has gone on that we needed to be the light in such a dark place. I went through the spectrum of emotions when faced with our daily reality- first I was sad, then frustration quickly set in, then anger, acceptance that we were going to finish what we set out to do, and now I’m at the stage where even though we still have lots hard work remaining– I see a very bright light at the end of what has seemed like a never ending tunnel of deep dark blackness.

Sometimes you have to stand on a pile of trash, dog poop, broken glass, and rocks to get the best view of the ocean.

Sometimes you take chances and then fall flat on your face. and it sucks.

Sometimes you climb a mountain and it physically hurts but you get the most beautiful views from the top.

Sometimes you have to endure the worst so you can appreciate the very best.

Sometimes the tunnel you’re walking is so dark. SO very dark. Sometimes you turn around and trace your steps back out cause’ darkness is freaking difficult to navigate in– but sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you keep walking because you know (but sometimes hate that) this is where you need to be. You endure, hope, pray, hold on. When you finally see that glimmer of light– you hang on and you take off towards it. Cause that light is just going to keep getting brighter as you get closer. 😉

View during my hike up Mt. Toubkal, Morocco.

The friend I want to be.

As adults we really like to complicate things.

For me,  I overthink. I over-analyze. & I’ll be honest…sometimes I’m just a tinch dramatic (blaming my latina jeans on that one 😉

When something is bringing me down it sits inside of me and stirs up havoc. It consumes my thoughts and sends my stomach into knots. You can ask my husband. I need to talk it out. Oftentimes just someone to listen to me and hear me out. 99.9% of the time that’s him, because he’s my person. He always will be. No matter how hard I wish I could be the person to just dismiss problems or concerns  that’ll never be who I am & I wouldn’t be me if I could. I wouldn’t care so deeply, continuously commit, and I couldn’t invest so thoroughly in friendships if I could just dismiss problems. That isn’t who I am and that wasn’t how I was made. When things seem to spin out of control I realize that’s because it’s me trying to control everything & I’m trying to figure it all out rather than stepping back & giving it up to God. We silly humans try to control it all. Society tells us we can get it if we want it…just work harder. Before I get ahead of myself let me backup for a hot second.

We all need “our people.” The ones who would be there in the middle of the night no questions asked. The ones who don’t make you feel like a burden to them. The ones who’ll pull through and root for you in the crappy times & the joyous  moments that life will bring. The ones who’ll be there when you’re away & when you’re near. In 5 years & in 30. The ones who will call you out, push you, cheer you on, and hold you when you need it. Who’ll show up with wine or treats when you need it most.  You know those people I’m talking about. When you find them hold onto them, because gosh darn it they make life so beautiful.

I’ve been trying to control things that are uncontrollable. I’ve been neglecting the most important relationship & the entire reason of my existence. My relationship with the Lord.  I haven’t been the friend that I want to be. I haven’t talked & I definitely haven’t listened. Let alone read the words that he has given me. Time and time again I’m going to fall short & God’s gonna be there in the middle of the night. He’s gonna show up and hold me when it’s hard. He’s listening & he’s talking. He’ll be there for eternity. He calls me out, pushes me, fulfills me, gives me purpose beyond belief. He loves me more than any human or friend ever will. He’s rooting for me. He’s the friend I’m talking about & that’s the kind of love I want to be. That’s the kind of love that I want to give to others.

We overthink. We over-analyze. & let’s be honest we can all be a bit dramatic in our own silly ways. The past 11 days we’ve been surrounded by love in the form of small moments with friends. In these moments I’ve never seen God more clearly. I feel him holding me.  Lifting me up. Showing up. Pulling through. Reminding me that in every moment he’s right here. Finally, I feel the knots unraveling & my thoughts being freed.

That’s the kind of friend I want to be.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” -John 14:27

IMG_6610

A South Korean Tragedy.

I’ve been wanting to write a post about the tragic ferry accident in Korea that took place over a week ago.

…but I haven’t been able to find the words.

Every single time I try to type I don’t know where to begin. When I try to sort through the thoughts in my head they just feel jumbled. We’ve been in Korea just over a year, and I can’t begin to tell you how connected, and apart of Korea Tom and I both feel.

It could be the incredible kindness we’ve been shown.

It could be the astounding beauty of this country.

It could be in the smiles of the kids we teach. 

It could be the outstanding opportunities that Korea has provided us.

Is it the beaches? The mountains? The respect we’ve been shown? 

Whatever it is we certainly feel very deeply connected. We are a part of life here. We live here. We call Korea home.

My heart has broken into pieces. Instead of pointing fingers & blaming certain individuals for the loss of so many lives why aren’t we loving more? Why aren’t we praying for the families who have lost their son or daughter. Sister or brother. Their friends. Or their teachers. The God I know and love didn’t do this. He never would. His heart aches too. He weeps for the families of those who are struggling now.

It’s been an eerie past week for us in Korea. We’ve witnessed a beautiful country that we love come together to help each other out.  From the fishing boats who were out at sea that saw or heard about the tragedy & came to the rescue…to a young girl only 22 years old Park Ji-young who lost her life saving others. The high school boy just 17 Jung Cha-Woong who took off his life jacket when he couldn’t swim himself to save his friend -a boy who lives to tell that story of the ultimate sacrifice. The doctors who live in Korea that have volunteered around the clock, and the country cancelling big events that were scheduled previously to show honor to the tragedy. That’s where I see Jesus. That’s God. The love. The ultimate sacrifice that Jesus paid for our sins.

My heart aches for the families of those who have passed.

I’ve hugged the kids (that I teach) a little longer. Smiled harder. Loved them deeper.

We need to continue to love. The world needs more of it.

013

Wishes.Hopes. Dreams.