Friday, July 19, 2013

Trust in the Process

I am told that the process takes time, patience and practice. I explain this to my own clients as well. It is, after all, a practice. As in life, nothing is permanent. Good feelings, great relationships, they all fade and change as time weaves throughout life. Yet here I am, struggling with the practice...

This morning, days after I came home from Ethiopia, I struggled. Arms bent, knees nestled into my upper arms and hanging on for dear life, abs tight, back rounded, the foundation of my hands gripping the bare floor below, gaze slightly ahead of my hands...welcome to crow pose. When my life is going easily, I enjoy incorporating tons of yoga into my fitness, but when life is discombobulated, yoga is a struggle. I hold my breath and have violent body convulsions, not to mention the fact that I get angry... very angry. The teacher always utters those dreadful words: "Trust the Process". And that is where I fail.

Life off the mat is the same thing, a process. We will never be perfect, nor will our circumstances. We have times when we seem to be hitting all the marks and times when we're just marking it (dance term for faking it). All in all, it is a process. Life is a process of finding our marks, followed by the process of aiming and hopefully hitting our marks. We seek out education, careers, a mate, partnership for life, things that will set us apart and yet allow us to still blend becomes far more complicated than ever intended.

My week in Ethiopia was far less complicated than the life process itself. First, I had no Internet. It was as though my vein had ruptured, but eventually I healed and got over it. There was no rigid agenda there either. Each stop wasn't about making money, but rather, making connections. There was no makeup and no hiding, simply being. It was refreshing, to say the least.

It is the return that is always hard. How does life continue? What do you do with those ideas, callings, thoughts, etc.? Just like my trust the process. There isn't an ounce of emotion happening that wasn't thought out and intended long ago. As we process, things arise and must surface for us to deal with them. What about those things we have held to for so long? What about the career that God says you have excelled in, but it's time to move on? What about the plans you thought you had laid flawlessly? What happens when the process doesn't go your way? Can you still trust in it?

It's easy to unroll our life mat and step on with confidence when things seem to be going our way. The real growth comes when we unroll the mat even when we know what is to come will be unfamiliar and possibly painful. Sometimes, the process is painful. There is pain we must face in life to grow us to our particular calling. If we spend our lives running from pain, we may never know what we are truly here for at all! I, for one, am not willing to risk that. Pain is a necessary part of the overall plan. We endure the pain of shots so we can be vaccinated from what we perceive as certain evils in health. Pain causes growth...running from it will keep us in the confused state we reside.

What pain do you face today that holds you back? What are you afraid to step into? Maybe you feel like this is your go-and-see moment, but you're scared. Welcome to the club! This is what I do and I still get nervous before flights. I did find that gummy bears can calm my nerves this time though :). Maybe your fear is that if you follow what God is calling you to do then you will lose everything. Well, in the reality of things, nothing is ours to hold onto. PLUS, He does promise that His ultimate will for us is for our good (Jeremiah 29:11). Don't confuse good with riches here people, you'll be disappointed.

So, what holds you back from dealing with these fears? Remember, God has a great plan for your life. YOU could be the one to set change in motion, even for one person. That person you affect may go on to change others. There is no limit to what God can do in and through you! Well, perhaps the limit really is right in front of us. Don't try to limit God through your own fear. Face it, admit it and move through it. Make a change that will last more than your lifetime.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

All the Pretty Girls

Today, I embark on a mission to Ethiopia. The first mission trip for my son, the second in 6 months for me. I'm feeling quite fortunate that my 14 year old not only has a heart for fulfilling the Great Commission, but also that he is pumped about his mom going with him :)

This week has been one of some quiet reflection as well...a must before any trip in my opinion. I was able to think about my own family, the families of those I love and the families of those I have met along the way. My heart cries out for the girls in our world. These are the ones I blanket in prayer each morning and spread hope over every night. What kind of legacy am I leaving for these girls? Will the world change for my daughter?

These thoughts are what drive me out of bed every day. They are the questions that beg to be answered as my fingers fervently peck at the keyboard. Am I doing enough?

Take a quick inventory of your own self and then allow it to ripple out, as though a small pebble was dropped into the pond of your soul. Women need help. This is certainly not to say men don't. I am a woman and that is where God has placed my calling :). We live in a world where women struggle in and out, ever day. This is a world of "never enough". I can't be thin enough, curvy enough, disciplined enough, smart enough, pretty enough, rich enough, humble enough, courageous enough, daring enough, busy enough, involved enough, friendly enough, stylish enough, educated enough, or loved enough.....and to that I say, Enough is Enough.

I believe that the younger generation of girls can change the world for the better, but only if the opportunity arises. Women, in general, have become a sex of great challenge. We would do more...but only after our children are older. We would strive for change, but only when we feel we are ready. We would stand up to injustice, but only after we lose the last ten pounds. We succumb to the fear inside that has been breeding for generations.

So, how do we break this cycle? It's a difficult task, no doubt. Women seem to be born self conscious. My daughter home schools due to the behaviour of other young ladies, poured out in vehement hatred during elementary school. Unfortunately, the elders of our sex still compare, judge and form beliefs based on nothing. We are taught to seek out our worth rather than accepting it. If you are a child of God, you have great worth...enough to die for, in your Father's eyes.

I think it's time women took a stand! Those of us who have battled the monsters of anxiety, depression, poor self worth and low self esteem, need to face our demons and put in the work for future generations. They are worth the work! If we choose to simply exist as everyone else does, we are telling the younger generation that they aren't worth us changing a single this sews the seeds of unworthiness and opens the doors to chaos and decay. Be willing to do the work.

Everything that has come about in life helps to grow us. We are placed here to grow into fully functioning, awesome-life-living, breathing, passionate women of God's army, yet too many sit in the barracks waiting....and  they don't even know what for. Our bounties are rich in His kingdom, yet we live like slaves to fear and confusion. I issue a call to my fellow sisters to break the bonds, turn to look your perceived weaknesses straight in the eye and push through to the life YOU HAVE BEEN PROMISED. Only then can our future generations truly see the power of the cross. Either you live like you believe it, or you admit you aren't living at all....


Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Fit Missionary: Happy 4th! Liberty, Justice and the Pursuit of Hap...

The Fit Missionary: Happy 4th! Liberty, Justice and the Pursuit of Hap...: I saw a post yesterday that said, "The 4th of July: a time to thank our ancestors for killing enough British that we can enjoy an extra...

Happy 4th! Liberty, Justice and the Pursuit of Happiness for ALL

I saw a post yesterday that said, "The 4th of July: a time to thank our ancestors for killing enough British that we can enjoy an extra day off work and cheap hot dogs."

Not to belittle celebrations of our freedom, but it seems as though we celebrate more than we initiate here. I look around and see lives full of monotony, mundane and excuses. Lavish celebration gives the illusion of freedom. Is that an extraordinary life though?

I believe there are many of us here who think our freedoms are a gift. While it would be correct that we were placed in this great country by a giving God, our inherent freedoms have been bought with a price. And while we claim to acknowledge that, we also seem blind to the fact that we are allowing those freedoms to slowly slip, under our foggy vision. If freedom is what we all seek, we do we not fight for it? Why consistently rely on those who face battle and not use our own tongues?

Standing up can be an increasingly hard thing to do, especially when you are always told to sit and wait. Be patient. Don't ask questions. Questions are needed right now. For instance: if everything is handed to you, is that freedom? If you are born into poverty, are you buried there as well? Does your hope lie in a single person, or the Creator of all persons?

Our freedom to live mundane lives has brought our creative thoughts to a halt. Now, I totally get that life is busy. I mean, the pursuit of happiness requires busyness right? Only if your happiness is tied up in something that will never breed happiness. The busyness is palpable. We would love to help, but maybe when life "slows down". Let me shed some light on that thought: when life "slows down" you'll be dead and completely useless to helping anybody. Start now. While some will admit to wanting to make a difference, most are scared of what will be required of them. If I am called to help the poor, what will I have to give up? The big questions that we try to silence with celebration will always linger until they are allowed an answer.

So, my biggest question to you is this: what will you do with your freedom this year? Will you give more of yourself to those less fortunate? We have opportunity here that exists nowhere else, but I encourage you not to take it for granted! You don't have to have a college degree to make millions. You can run a business AND be a woman....many women I talk to take the simple fact that women have rights for granted DAILY. If you have the creativity, the passion and the drive, YOU can accomplish anything in this nation. Is it easy? Of course not! That's where we have failed for years. We started thinking everything should be handed to us just because we grace the face of this nation. If that is your thought process, you couldn't be more wrong...and you could possibly be causing the downfall of this nation.

Stand up. Take charge of what is is swirling around your heart and head. You know, it's that sweet spot of your passion, your intellect and your talents colliding that make up your calling. If we settle for ordinary and mundane, living paycheck to paycheck just to fit the bill....we are missing the greatness we have been called to. Extraordinary lives aren't set aside for a select group of people. Living an extraordinary life doesn't require a large bank account or a college degree's a simple willingness to stop being so complacent in our freedom.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

This is My Moldova

     Here I sit, a few days out from Ethiopia, sick as a dog....This gives me time to rest and think though. Resting is not something I excel at by any means. So as I sit here, my mind is able to drift in and out of the woven patterns and dusty cobwebs of the last 6 months. Just mere months ago I was taking off for my first overseas trip, and now I am on the brink of another.

     In all the hustle and bustle of traveling, it would seem easy to forget the things placed on your heart. Moldova, and it's people, have been branded into my heart so I may never forget. My desire is that you too, would come to know them as I have. In order to manifest this desire, I asked some of my friends to write about what Moldova is to them. There is a darkness there, yes, but I believe there can be more hope if we all take the time to simply listen and acknowledge their existence. This is Peter's story:

Hello y'all

I was born in Russia but I live in Moldova within 38 years. My name is Peter. I'm married and have 2 daughters.

I work a lot with US teams translating to them in different country sides, visiting different villages, seeing lots of people, listening lots of stories. I started to translate in 2001.

Our country has awesome nature and people are very hospitable to strangers over here. The main religion here is orthodoxy. There are people, who consider themselves to be believers, following traditions only. People hear about God but don't know Him personally. There is difference to hear and to know.

We have many Evangelical organizations over here but there is a huge field of non believers as well. Our goal isn't only bringing Gospel to non believers but also making disciples. Unfortunately, there are some obstacles for reaching people.

Most of our nonbelievers, as everywhere, have only one goal and that's materialism. But there is a huge difference from other countries. Our people can't reach that because of lack of work places all over the country. Good diploma will not give you a good job and that's why people are leaving the country, I'm speaking about our young and young adult's generation. Some, who can't leave it trying to reach their goals by criminal tendencies. Our country is well known because of sex traffic and black market (internal organs). There lots of children, who are left by parents trying to survive in different orphanages. I just mentioned about some obstacles we have over here.

Believers need to make up something new for get attention of such people. I also wanna tell you God is doing miracles over here working in hearts of people giving them salvation. I can't describe that by words because there aren't such words, which are able to describe them.

God is good and He never leaves us or forsakes us. I'm glad I live here because living here I should rely on Him everyday having no assurance at the future, without regular job. I can testify that God is always with my family and me, even if I think a situation is terrible, He brings me through it giving a joy and a peace. Peace, which can't be described by words. He has His time and He is always on time, He is never late.

Remember, we can ALL help to bring hope and healing to Moldova. It is accomplished one small step at a time.

With love,

Monday, July 1, 2013

See a Need....and then what?

       There is no denying that we see a problem here. The good news is that people like the Nike Foundation, Unicef, and even the little people like yours truly are standing up. There is a misconception that when you see a big name behind a project you assume funding is no issue. It is. We have projects spread throughout the globe that are in need of funding as well as increased awareness. Make the call to dig your head out of the sand that modern day media places us in, and be a part of world change. You can start HERE.