journal

journal | blogging is hard

Blogging is hard. 

It's vulnerable, exposing, and time-consuming. 

Sometimes I have to give myself a break and remind myself (or be reminded by loving friends- Thanks, Maddie!) why I write in the first place. 

I write because I have so many different friends and loved ones in so many different places and I want to catch up with all of them, but find it hard between three jobs and freelance.

I write because looking back at how much you've grown since you've written a piece is moving. 

I write because I love hearing others' experiences in response to my own. 

I write because my story is what I have to offer to this world. 

I write because it helps me understand myself better.  

I write because it connects us. 

 

So, let's connect because I miss you. 

During my break from writing, I spent most of my free time walking around my neighborhood and just talking with God. 

It's the sort of neighborhood where you leave the windows open for three months straight because the sound of little ones laughing and the lady who sells homemade tamales and salsa verde coming down the street is too good to close out. Everything smells like hydrangeas, roses, and tulips and Portland's wettest winter in 40 years has created the most vibrant green trees you've ever seen. 

There's a tree swing down the street that Martin loves to swing on when we walk to the park. There is a park by the river, a park by the creek, and a park with a pool and playground. There are food carts, thrift stores, and coffee shops. If I walk five minutes down a trail at the park, I'll either get to an amusement park or a wildlife refuge. You can see a perfect view of downtown from the bridge and I can ride my bike to work. I can walk to the library, to the Children's Healing Art Project for an art workshop, or to watch a play at the neighborhood playhouse. 

Walking around and just being with Creator and creation has been the perfect way to end my hustle-filled days. I may have taken a break from writing, but God has given me plenty of work to keep me busy and constantly challenging me to grow. 

I am proud to be a Project Coordinator at the National Indian Child Welfare Association, a Communications Intern at Remember Nhu, and a part-time nanny to a sweet little six-year-old boy with a developmental disorder. 

The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA), is a nonprofit whose mission is to protect the well-being of American Indian and Alaska Native children and families. Working for this organization has taught me about the importance of all cultures, the value of recognizing others, and the power of a room full of passionate, determined people. I am honored to work with some of the most humble and servant-hearted men and women that I have ever met at NICWA. Thank you for all that you do for me, NICWA. 

Remember Nhu is a nonprofit organization that prevents child sex slavery throughout the world by prevention. This means that through raising support from people like you, children in developing countries who are at-risk for being sold into the sex trade will instead enter a home where they are loved, seen, and provided for. Every staff member at Remember Nhu raises their own support in order to make sure that 87% of the support raised goes directly to supporting the children. (I'm planning to write out a more detailed post about this specifically because it is teaching me so much about the grace and provision of our Father.) Not only do I get to serve children which is my ultimate calling, but I also get to serve with some of the most creative and talented people that I've had the pleasure of calling friends. Thank you for all that you're teaching me, Remember Nhu. 

Martin is the most intelligent and silly kid you'll ever meet. He loves dinosaurs, the color blue, and getting into hammocks the hard way. I get to spend every afternoon exploring Portland and being a kid with him. He's taught me more about patience, understanding, humility, and the sacredness of children than any of my previous jobs combined. Watching him grow and learn has been a ton of fun and I can't wait to see what the summer brings! Hint: It's probably a lot of pool noodle fights. Thank you for who you are and how much you love ICEEs too, Martin.

So, this is the season God is calling me into and I absolutely adore it. 

Abba, I can't thank You enough for all of the gifts You are blessing me with during this season. Help me absorb as much wisdom and love as I can through each of the people that You have placed in my life. Teach me to be as humble, kind, gracious, and creative as the people I live and work with. Grow me. 

ever free, ever true, ever kind. 

journal | up & up

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The shiny new-ness of moving across the country started to wear off for me around the third month in my new city.

All of the possibilities and opportunities that seemed endless before were, now, starting to feel impossible. I was working another job that I wasn't passionate about, I was without community, I had no place to live still, and I had no idea why God had led me to a place just to have me in the same rut. By the end of the year, I was near my breaking point.

Our Father is so incredibly intentional. 

Over the past week, I have seen only a small glimpse of how much purpose was in those first five months. I've learned about my limits, my strengths, my weaknesses, and my spirit. I've learned about grace and humility.

Even more, I've watched open-mouthed as I have seen moment after moment of confirmation that God called me to this city. My job is blessing me with extra work and paid travel, my friends are blessing me with love and kindness, and my Father is blessing me with all of it. 

So now, my calling to live in a place is no longer shiny or new, but warm and alive! It's not a studio apartment downtown and a job at a huge creative company. My calling is to live a quiet life and to work with my hands (1 Thessalonians 4:11). It's a little white house across the river and a job at a life-changing nonprofit. 

grace - (n) the free and unmerited favor of God.

Despite how truly undeserving I am of this life I live, God looks at me with love and grace never-ceasing. 
 
Abba, thank You so much for who you are and how well You love me. My prayer for this week is that You would use me to reach those around me, that I would see them the way You do, and that I would respond to their needs with a posture of grace and humility.

ever free, ever true, ever kind. 

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