Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Strangely enough that’s the word that keeps rolling around my brain after my return from Kenya. It’s strange to me because I think one would come back from two months in a foreign country on mission with words like humility, inspiration, perspective, joy, and heartbreak. 

Everyone I’ve talked with about Kenya since my return can vouch for me using those words. All of them, in some way or another, have been a part of the story-telling process, a part of my experience there.

But I haven’t written about them. And even now, writing at this point of my debriefing journey seems an injustice to what really took place there. 

The faces, the fellowship, the conversations, the tears of joy and pain. 

I’m tempted to reply to the daily question, “How was your trip?” with “You’ll just have to go and see for yourself.” But I’m afraid that response is not entirely glorifying to God. Although...Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” He didn’t say, “then come home and tell everyone else about it.” (Or did he? If someone knows where He said this, please tell me...!)

Truth of it is, it’s just not possible to put words to it all. I would fail miserably. And since I don’t like failing, I loathe it in fact, I am just now attempting to publicly tackle my thoughts in writing. 

But what keeps rising to the top of the heart and head jumble of thoughts is this word: intentional.

Dave Ramsey always says, “If you don’t tell your money where to go, you will wonder where it went.” I’m beginning to see how that is true of time and relationships too. 

(Note: this is not an invitation to tell the people in your life where to go haha...that could get you into trouble, but I think you know what I mean.)

Leading up to my departure in June, I struggled to not question God’s timing in the trip. There were sleepless nights and dreams and deep fears rising to the surface. Yes, I knew His timing was perfect...but I also knew how infrequently His and my timing seemed to line up. For example, every day of my adult life since college has been His timing, not mine. (And gratefully so, even if I don’t always admit it.) But shortly after arriving in country and literally every single day I was there, He showed me how His timing really is quite perfect. His ways are truly sovereign. 

He accomplished things I never would have dreamt in ways I never could have seen. 

It was apprehensively out of my control. And I began to see that days and hours and opportunities could be easily wasted if not seized or sought. 

Things like weariness, apathy, insecurity, selfishness, sickness, or just plain feeling overwhelmed were huge obstacles to remaining connected to the work God had for me there. Now that I’m back home, I’m seeing how there are similar obstacles here, just add in busyness and maybe complacency. 

It can be so easy to disconnect. Let life slip by. Passively avoid embracing what’s before you for myriad reasons. Maybe even some valid ones. 

That’s not to say we always have to be busy. Goodness knows, our lives are cluttered enough with social media, job stress, finances, etc. But we have to remain engaged. Even when Jesus pulled away for solitude with God, he wasn’t disconnected...He was intimately connecting with His Father...SO THAT when He was with his disciples...the least...the lost...He could be connected there too. 

We don’t have to let those possibly valid reasons (excuses?) make choices for us. We can choose to be...


It means “on purpose.”

Those are the kind of days I want to live. On purpose ones. 

Those are the kinds of relationships I want to have. On purpose ones. 

The kinds of smiles I want to give. On purpose. 

The kind of love I want to have. On purpose. 

Choosing to live, relation, smile, love...intentionally. 

And so my life is currently under a microscope. There is purging and listing and praying and seeking and more listing and circling and thinking and more listing. 

Not to be a slave to it all. But to seize the opportunities that God kindly puts before me each day. Because if I don’t choose to pay attention to them, I will wonder where they went.

And I would rather embrace them intentionally.