LIFE UPDATE

Many have asked me to start blogging again in the midst of our transition so I thought I'd start out by giving a brief life update. For those of you who don't know, Ricky and I are in the process of relocating to Romania. We have been given an opportunity to partner with an orphan care organization, which will give us the ability to continue developing Radiant Hope with the hands-on experience that we will gain. We have learned to be very open-minded and open-handed with our dreams and passions. We don't yet know what our day-to-day is going to look like nor do we know exactly how long we will be there, but we do know with great confidence that this is our next step! Not only will I get to love on the kids that are so near and dear to my heart, but this will give us the flexibility we need to spend more time in Mumbai as we continue to develop our network there. 

We left NYC last week and are spending the summer on the road. We're mainly taking this time to see family and friends, fundraise, and get our ducks in a row before we leave in August. While we are excited for this next chapter, it's also bittersweet leaving our home in NYC. It will always hold a special place in our hearts and we will visit every chance we get! 

Because so many of you have asked me to blog about our travels, life, and other things, I will do my best to stay more consistent so you can follow along with this journey we're on. Here's to a new season for this little slice of the internet! 

SLOW LIVING

Recently I've felt the need to further embrace the way that I was created. I've always been a "deep not wide" kind of girl. I'm very relational, but I prefer to have a handful of really close, meaningful relationships instead of being the life of the party. Even more so, I wasn't created for the rat race that we so often fall into when we're chasing our dreams and pursuing our callings. I've felt convicted and called to be more present with the people in my life. It's easy to get caught up in to-do lists, making a name for ourselves, or trying to be everything for everyone, but I know that we're called to something much deeper, much greater than the rat race. We're called to be present, to love deeply, to meet people where they are, to show up, to invest.

Over the years I've fallen into a lifestyle that some dub as "slow living." Basically, it's getting away from the mindset that more is more and shifting to the mindset that less is more. It means handmade, homemade, thoughtfulness, intentionality, sustainability, and the list goes on. For me, it means making space to breathe and remember that my worth is not tied to what I do or the amount of possessions I own. I'm no longer distracted by the latest trends or fighting to have the latest and greatest item that the world tells me I must have. No, I'm simply living life with good people, indulging in things like DIYs, and doing little things that mean a lot to others. 

I'm giving you permission to slow down as well. Look at your life and get rid of the things you don't like. Invest in people more and in to-do lists less. Take care of the people in your home and in your community. Let's get back to a way of life that fills us up instead of draining us to our core. Let's choose to live more intentional, meaningful, slow lives.

IT'S THE JOURNEY THAT COUNTS

I know people say this kind of thing all the time, but if someone would have told me back in my college days the kind of life I would live in the future, I wouldn't have believed them. Something beautiful has been birthed from my many seasons of pain, and I stand here today thankful for everything I've experienced, good or bad. God makes no mistakes and He doesn't allow you to walk through things on accident. I mean.. who could have guessed that my diet and interest in the failing food system would lead me to my greatest and ever-deepening passion that I live for today? 

I have heard Christine Caine preach a message several times now about allowing God to develop you in the "dark room" of life. She goes on to explain that just like film has to be taken to a dark room for the development process - a process that takes time - we need to allow God to do the same in us. Due to the instant lifestyle we've become accustomed to, this can be really hard for us to do. She uses the example of Instagram vs Film and being a visual person, I love it. 

The truth is that it's hard to see the value in the process when you're in the midst of it. Life throws you curve balls or things don't go according to plan and we (myself included) start freaking out because we're not where we "should be" when we think we should be there. Over the last five years or so, God has really shown me that it is the journey that counts. 

I know how frustrating this life can be. As a visionary, I'm always 10 steps ahead of reality and get discouraged when things don't match up immediately. But God, in His grace, doesn't allow us to move from A to Z in an instant. Instead, He allows us to be put into uncomfortable places to refine us and extraordinary places to use us. One is not more important than the other; both are necessary ingredients for us to be molded and shaped into the image of Christ. 

I am convinced that our greatest calling in life is to become Christ-like. "To become" signifies a process and the process we're called to is to simply live life one day at a time, trusting Jesus with obedient hearts. It's in the everyday, mundane moments that our character is being refined and our lives start to mimic Christ. No matter where you find yourself, know that if you're trusting Jesus and growing in maturity in your faith, you're living out your greatest calling. It really is that simple. It's this pursuit of Jesus that sanctifies us and transforms us from the inside out. And it's this pursuit that allows us to love like Him, act like Him, and live in accordance to His will. 

Surrender to the process and enjoy the journey. Trust me, I've tried to take my own short cuts - they don't work.