Happy 4th of July! I love this day for many reasons, but I do not feel like talking about it at the moment. In any case, I have been spending time with the family this past week in LA. <3
I know, we are totally adorable.
I simply wanted to wish you a happy and joyFULL day! I have some fresh updates and posts that I will put up soon. In the meantime, I wrote a new post for single matters about authenticity. I also had the privilege to answer a few questions with my mom for a blog called More to Be.
Enjoy the day and the breeze!
I was contemplating getting a tattoo, but then I remembered that I already have a few. Life has given me several “free tattoos” and my body is a witness. After all, isn’t the point of a tattoo to tell a story or trigger a memory? If that’s the case, then I have my fair share of tattoos and they were all free.
My body grew tall in a short period of time and there are some beautiful stretch marks on my long and lushes legs. I took a tumble off a skateboard once and my ankle can attest to this calamity. This is not entirely related, but my nose always felt a size too big and I used to regard it as an unwelcome statement piece affixed to the center of my face. I could share more stories, but I am sure you get the general idea. What I am coming to understand, however, is that the human body is a remarkable thing.
For some odd reason, contemplating getting a tattoo has made me appreciate my body all the more for the things I used to dislike. These very things make me unique. As such, before paying to get a memory inked onto my skin, I am excited to embrace the free tattoos that life has already given me – the things that help comprise who I am and the things that I used to wish that I could change. It is time for these very things to be prized and considered beautiful. I suppose these things are more than mere marks on the body, they can also be memories or experiences etched onto the heart. Experiences that you used to wish, to no avail, that you could alter. I have plenty of these, but I am gradually making peace with them and realizing how they help comprise my story and make me who I am today. You see, those very scars etched onto your heart can be turned into something beautiful. When you hand them over to Papa God, those wounds can be healed. Not only does He bring restoration, but I have found that He gives you pieces of His heart in exchange for the pain and your heart is left enlarged and more whole than ever before. I don’t know how this works, but it is so beautiful and worth every minute of the surrender.
I am not sure what it is that you don’t like about yourself, but I am telling you that those very things can be restored and reclaimed as something extraordinary. Maybe you won’t believe me, but I dare you to try. Don’t sit in your pain or scars, but take a moment to get some fresh perspective and love yourself just as you are.
I am sure the words missions + sexy don’t seem to correlate, but somehow they seem to make a stellar team when they do. Let me explain myself…
I am part of a fabulous campus ministry, but it isn’t located overseas. In fact, I primarily reach out to college students in the beautiful San Diego, CA. Yes, I live in America and I live by the beach. *ehem* When people ask me what I do I sometimes don’t really know what to tell them. I simply live life and notice the people around me. Sure, sometimes I get a little “wild” and sit on the campus with a Spiritual Reading sign, but for the most part I don’t feel different or extraordinary in the least. This is just my life.
I have begun to notice something interesting within the ministry world and I feel that it is worth mentioning. When people talk about going overseas, it sounds sexier. You know what I mean? It sounds more adventurous and worthwhile. Even though I do campus ministry, I caught myself thinking this way and I realized that I had to actively change it. If it is really about loving the people in front of you, does it matter whether it is in the grocery store or in Antarctica? Seriously though. I have the greatest respect for overseas missions and desire to live overseas one day myself (simply because I love the idea of learning from different cultures), but in the meantime I don’t want my thinking to unknowingly elevate certain people or nations over others. This is just something I am currently mulling over.
Perhaps it is time I disrobed my mental hierarchy of missions and remembered what it is all about. Humans are fascinating and they are everywhere. After all, if I continue to think from this unhealthy place, I will forever leave the “real” work of loving people up to “missionaries” and I will forget that I am one. I think we all were created to be conduits of God’s love and isn’t that what it is all about? In the purest of forms, love looks like reaching out to the person in front of you. Some people may do that for a living, but I think we all were created to let our love leak out. It looks like getting to know your neighbor and letting your actions do the talking. It looks like noticing the overworked and overly tired mother at the checkout and letting her go first. I am afraid that the more we idealize overseas missions and the more we categorize what “true” missions looks like, the less we will feel empowered to step out and be the change right where we are at. The less we will put love into action and the more we will live waiting for change to happen. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss out on the incredible humans that I encounter each day simply because it doesn’t feel as worthwhile or “sexy.” I, for one, need to do a little bit of mind renewal and once again come back to the basics of loving my neighbor as myself. Literally. If everyone purposed to intentionally love the one, I know that there would be a remarkable shift.
There is a whole craze about clean eating. Well I want to see a lifestyle of clean living//loving. To me, this looks like a yielded life that continuously chooses to love when it doesn’t feel or look as fabulous. It looks like consistency even when it isn’t fashionable. No frills or fluff. I am not there yet, but it is my hearts desire.
What are your thoughts?