learning from the hard places

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as i write this, i’ve been home from liberia for just a little over three weeks. i am finally getting to the stage where i feel like i’ve actually re-entered life here in the states; at first, though my physical body was present in pennsylvania–as weary, worn-down (and cold!) as it was–my thoughts and emotions were in the land of liberty, thousands of miles and an ocean away. it was like a weird sort … Read the rest

when i have to say goodbye

i.
a pile of folded clothes sits atop the black suitcase, ready to be packed. photos come down off the walls, the closets are cleaned out and bathroom shelves cleared off. two large duffel bags, fifty pounds a piece, contain four years of memories. i think of the boxes and bins waiting for me back home and marvel at this, a life lived in such a way, packed up and stored at a moment’s notice. Read the rest

a new season

this week has been tough for me. my heart is tender and tired, and i have to fight the tears back multiple times a day. i’ve been meeting with the girls in my small groups, the same girls i have loved + taught + mentored + laughed + cried with for the past four years. i’ve watched some of them grow into young women, others from little girls to teens. i’ve prayed for them, listened … Read the rest

[brave]

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as i write this, i’ve been back in Liberia for a week. seven short days, yet somehow my life, my world in the States seems like it was forever ago. memories turn to fragments, replaced by here and now and the need, always the need. it’s a different pace, a stronger one, a busy schedule, everything consistent and steady yet somehow unpredictable as well. and i jump into it, this life here, because i want Read the rest

the person i really am

“i can’t be here anymore. i don’t feel whole here. i feel, well, partly whole. incomplete. tired…something got crossed in the wires, and i became the person i should be and not the person i am. it feels like i should go back and get the person i am and bring him here to the person i should be.”

i remember reading the above passage from blue like jazz well over a year ago & … Read the rest

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.

Nelson Mandela… Read the rest