Saturday, July 13, 2013

plantains & broken hearts

when i'm sad, I ramble. you've just stumbled upon a lot of jumbled, 
rambling thoughts that i've thrown together and given a title. 
love me through it.

for as long as I can remember, i've always been bad at saying goodbye. just truly and wholeheartedly bad. if i'm lucky, i'll have a really awful, really great cry. but most of the time my body just revolts. I get sick to my stomach, I can't eat and i'm just generally uncomfortable. I get attached to people, to things, to places and to memories. it's just the way i'm wired. I say this to say, i've had/am having a tough time saying goodbye to the life I just lived for six weeks. i've been sick & sad for a few days now. I'm also having a really tough time finding the words to say to sum it all up. so instead, I' m going to let you in on the few but fairly deep blurts i've shared on Facebook recently.

thursday 7/11;
it's impossible for me to comprehend that these three bags and a pillow are all that's physically coming back with me to the States. in a few hours I'll be stateside and my heart will remain in Honduras. thank you to everyone that has followed this journey and prayed for Al & I along the way. we are so grateful for every happy moment, every tear shed and every memory we're bringing home

wednesday 7/10;
"I've always wondered if, when we want to do something that we know is right and good, God places that desire deep in our hearts because He wants it for us and it honors Him. Maybe there are times when we think a door has been closed and, instead of misinterpreting the circumstances, God wants us to kick it down." saying goodbye to this country in the morning and putting my heart through another bout of pain. every little hug, kiss and whisper will be replaying in my memory until I return. Honduras, every time you do more for me than I feel like I could ever do in return. I'll be listening hard for the next time God calls me here, I promise.

each of the blurts represents a pretty big thought that i've tried to squish down into a few compact words. leaving Honduras is never easy. i'd even go out on a limb and say it's the hardest thing I have to do each year. this year was no exception. this trip, in it's entirety, has been a lesson of faith. Allison (go read her blog. we share a lot of the same thoughts, she just puts them into words a whole lot better) and I got to talk about how this trip was a huge leap of faith for both of us. neither of us thought this trip was possible, and in true fashion, God slapped us both in the face with a little lesson in faith. if you pray for it and ask for it, you better be prepared for it to happen. and through it all, from the very first blip of possibility, God has been blowing our minds, holding our hearts and leading the way. so here I am today, on the other side of that blip of possibility. confused as to where the time went, grateful that the time even came and waiting out the time in between the next time God calls us back. i've got a bag of plantain chips, a gratefully broken heart and a God that continues to shatter my expectations.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

love is a verb

most of you can probably guess, or you know me well enough to know, I love love. I love giving love in any form I can think of. gifts, hugs, kisses, pictures, you name it & I'll probably make it all about love. and naturally I love receiving love. this trip to Honduras was driven, from the start, by love. my love for this country, the way God whispers & at the same time shouts at me here, and the love I get to pour out on these kids & the love they give back to me. I came into this journey with my fair share of doubts. doubts that I couldn't get the money or that I couldn't carve out the time. but every time I feared, doubted or questioned, I let the memories flood in. the memories of the way it felt to have little arms wrapped around my neck or the joy I felt when a little voice whispered te quiero in my ear. *I'm already teary eyed y'all..* it's not something that is easy to explain. it's nearly impossible to convey the way my fears, doubts and questions instantly vanished when I made the time to just remember the love. and I'm so glad I made the time. every time. today is day 38 in Honduras. tomorrow will be our last full day here at the village. my heart is quite literally breaking. I can't comprehend how I am supposed to leave the little voices, hands and feet that have brought me an immeasurable amount of joy these last 38 days. and when I can't comprehend, I turn to the One that made this entire thing possible. the same One that put the spark in my mind and the love in my heart that got me here. God is always, thankfully, the ultimate comforter. Allison and I have, in my opinion, lived out one of the most exciting, spiritually uplifting, heart filling, blessings of an adventure. it really is hard to find the appropriate words. I am unbelievably thankful. I have formed relationships with so many people and have so many exciting things to look forward to in the future because of it. but the most exciting thing has been the transformation in my heart. my heart, as if it weren't before, is now entirely in Honduras. I don't know how, when, with who, how long or any of those unimportant things. what I do know is that I'm not done with Honduras, not by any means. God speaks to us in so many different ways and that has been so apparent to me here. it's not always words, sometimes it's people. lots of times it's the words of other people. God has been speaking to me a lot through my now good friend, Bob Goff (aka the author of Love Does). each of the following quotes has spoken to me in more ways than one since being here.

"But the kind of love that God created and demonstrated is a costly one because it involves sacrifice and presence. It's a love that operates more like a sign language than being spoken outright."

 “I’ve always wondered if, when we want to do something that we know is right and good, God places that desire deep in our hearts because He wants it for us and it honors Him. Maybe there are times when we think a door has been closed and, instead of misinterpreting the circumstances, God wants us to kick it down.” 

“Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It's not a trip where He sends us a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us. God asks what it is He's made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made. And then, leaning over us, He whispers, "Let's go do that together.”

" know those things that have pinged you? Those gifts that are beautiful? Those countries and people who are most important to you? The God you love? Keep moving toward those....she just kept pointing me back toward the God I'm trying to follow, the people and places I've been drawn to, and the hopes that have emerged within me. That's what Jesus does too: He points us toward Himself."

 “Simply put: love does.”

I'm not ready to leave. honestly I don't know that, given the choice, I'll ever be ready to leave. but in the midst of the heartbreak, tears and pain that will follow, I know that I have loved and been loved. and lucky for me, I have a God, and lots of little voices, hands, and feet that continue to love me even when I'm hurting. especially when I'm hurting. everyday, chose to love. it's just better that way.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

my poker face is bad y'all

when it comes to keeping a straight face in nearly any given situation...I can't. if i'm excited, I can't stop smiling. if i'm nervous, generally I can't stop laughing. if I'm scared, it's obvious. if I'm sad, it's apparent. if i'm trying to tell a lie, I laugh. if i'm mad, I mean...I look mad. on the one hand, I guess that's good because you'll never have to guess how i'm feeling. on the other hand, I'm an open book to all.. I say this with a surprising numbers of examples that have come up recently. most literally, I played a game of texas hold 'em recently and every time I went to bid, I laughed. if I was bluffing, I really laughed. have you ever seen, while flipping through channels, the world series of poker show? where the men (and maybe women? I don't recall ever seeing any) wear hats and sunglasses to cover their eyes? it wouldn't make a single difference for me because I'd be laughing the whole time. you may have already predicted, but I lost that game of poker. good thing I don't play with actual money. another example you ask? yesterday we taught a few of the older kids how to play the card game "bologna". it's where you go around in a circle and play cards in numerical order. the first person after the dealer plays all of their 2's, the next person plays all of their 3's, etc. well, if it gets to you and you don't have the number you are supposed to be playing, you lie and put down another card...and hope no one realizes you're lying. because if they call bologna, you get the whole pile of cards that have been played. take .4 seconds to make your bet as to whether or not I went on a winning streak. right, I didn't. why? I would always laugh. it's a curse really. or a blessing, depending.

so, 9 days left here in my home away from home. on the one hand, that's still longer than any of the previous trips i've made here. on the other hand, that means we've already "completed" 4/5 of our time here. every time I think about it I just get sad and do my best to push it out of my mind. the idea of getting myself to the point of coping with it just seems impossible. for 32 days now I have immersed myself in a culture foreign to my own and inevitably, I have adapted. that is not me saying that everything has been easy. I'm sure my face has spoken for itself on a number of occasions. sometimes I just miss the life I have in the states. but for the most part, the phase has come and gone. it's hard to understand and even harder to explain. after being here for so long, it's almost as if i'm afraid to live any other way. I don't always like waking up at 7:30 when I know, it would not hurt anyone to sleep in until 8:30 or 9. but i've come to love it because of everything that follows.

and every little thing means something. Al and I talked the other night about what the biggest thing we have learned has been since being here and our answers mirrored each others. we talked about living hour to hour and loving everything. every little thing that otherwise, we don't have anywhere else. the endless supply of free, fresh mangoes, the way the wind blows, the way each of the kids sounds when they laugh, the rain & the way it makes everything new, the way the mountains look after it rains or first thing in the morning, the vulnerability and the acceptance, the palm trees against the sun, the way it feels when someone calls me a Honduran or their daughter or telling us that they need us here, babies running into my arms when they see me, the way it sounds when a chorus of little voices come together to worship God. i'm taking every little thing in because it all comes together to make the place I love, just that, the place I love. God has blessed me with the chance to immerse myself in another culture and fall in love, all over again, with his creation.

how's my poker face?