Have you ever walked in somewhere and instantly felt at home?  That's how I felt the moment I walked into the doors of the church I've been attending the past few months.  Every Sunday Americans, Ghanians, French, Chinese, Mexicans, Canadians, Cameroonians, Philippinos, South Africans, Swedes, Colombians, Brits, Germans, New Zealanders, Taiwanese and many more stand side by side worshiping.  International churches are unique.  Each culture and each denomination represented brings truth to the community.  I love international churches.      

During worship today we sang a new song:

"Give thanks to God for he is good..."  As we sang together this morning I began looking around and was overcome with grief.  This place was suppose to be my home.  This was where I was suppose to dig my roots in deep.  This was suppose to be where I would serve.  This was suppose to be where I would grow.   I don't understand why I moved across the world only to move back again, but I know...

that he is good
that he is trustworthy
that he is true
that he is steadfast

and for that I am thankful.

Reflections on Cities, Nature, and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

Yesterday I was moping about living in big cities.  Since graduating I have lived in some of the biggest cities in the world.  Don't get me wrong there are some wonderful things about living in big cities; however, I have found there is a certain tiredness that comes from living in a big city.  Nature has always refilled my soul.  There is something calming about the top of a mountain or the middle of the forest.  I assumed that this tiredness was directly related to the lack of nature in big cities.  

Then last night I opened up the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day devotional and found this quote by Mother Teresa:

"We all must take time to be silent and to contemplate, especially those who live in big cities like London and New York where everything moves so fast.... I always begin my prayer in silence, for it is in the silence of the heart that God speaks. God is the friend of silence - we need to listen to God because it's not what we say but what He says to us and through us that matters.  Prayer feeds the soul - as blood is to the body, prayer is to the soul - and it brings you closer to God.  It also gives you a clean and pure heart. A clean heart can see God, can speak to God, and can see the love of God in others."

Maybe it isn't so much a lack of nature as it is a lack of silence. 
Maybe it isn't so much a lack of nature as it is a lack of rhythm.

As I enter into an unknown season once again it becomes clearer what is important.  

Less is more.

P.S I still think nature is important.

You want me to what?

A few months ago as I was riding the boat to work I knew that my next step was moving back east.  I threw myself whole heartedly into that plan.  I gave up my apartment, sold my things (sold my car), invested money in visas, travel, etc. and hopped on a plane not knowing when I would be back (thinking I may never move back).  Well fast forward a few months and now I am preparing to move back west.  *insert face palm* As I’ve said to a few friends recently: 

God says sell all your things and follow me to other side of the earth.


Now turn around and move back.

Had this happened 5 years ago I would have fallen apart.  In fact someone who has known me my whole life recently said to me “you are oddly calm about all of this…” And I replied “that’s the nice thing about getting older.  You just don’t care.”  Don’t get me wrong I have a lot of emotions and a lot of questions running through my head about the whole shebang, but its not putting me in a tail spin.

I am a little worried (and a bit curious) to know how I am going to land another job.  From an employer standpoint I know its going to be hard to see past the last half year and give me a chance. My resume and cover letter is going to need some serious work. 

Tonight I was reading through some old notes I came across a quote I had scribbled down at church: “God gives you an experience to carry you to your purpose.  The devil wants to make your experience your purpose.”  I tend to get tied up in the details and can sometimes forget the big picture.  Its reassuring to know that there is a bigger picture.  I may not understand it now… or ever… but its there all the same.