4 days

4 days away. almost no planning. walking and talking. escaping.

pizza, coffee, gelato, crazy waiters and a friend who patiently waits as you set up camera angles on napkins and menus, just so you get that one good photo of the two of you.

thanks for the memories.

r/

more to say

Just stand up and take a breath and let the words come out your mouth. 

You have more to say that you are letting on, 
you have more to say that your heart racing and fingers sweating would have you believe.

 

 There is always been more to say, conversations that I finish in my head because in that moment I did not quite get to say everything that was spilling through my brain. I’m learning though, slowly but surely just to speak out the things that make my heart race and fingers sweat and that make me a tiny bit fearful of what comes next.
But sometimes, and this is one of the most important things I am learning, sometimes, although there is more to say…it is just better to stay quiet, or to just say one simple sentence.
I miss this space I came to process, where words tumbled out my fingers, but it has always been sporadic, I think I am a sporadic person in general. So it shall be, sporadic and uncertain. Sometimes with all the words there are to say spilling out into these screens and sometimes just silence, a photo here or there.
R.

in the rear view mirror

You look different from this angle, through the rear view mirror as the ’06 turns to ’07 and the memories are all that I have to see.

2016, you look different; different lines are showing now, different moments and revelations are showing their faces as I look back through the glass.

You weren’t easy to drive through, you gave me pot holes and unexpected turns and twists in the dark, but somehow looking back at you I can see the path driven clearer now.

The turns and hills more in focus. The lessons and adventures and friendships are like crisp mountain outlines and clear horizon lines, created to be noticed and appreciated as I turn my head around and see where I’ve come from.

Hindsight is a beautiful thing.

R/

Let’s jump into lakes

Has anyone ever asked you to jump into a lake when you don’t think it’s safe, or told you to close your eyes before they feed you some unknown thing, or asked you to ‘trust me, I know its going to be fine’?

Has anyone every just taken you so far out of your comfort zone and all the things you feel safe and secure in and then shown you why it was a good idea to travel so far away. Why it was a good idea to trust them with it all?

There is a surety in trusting someone. Knowing that someone has your back 100%, in so many ways that whatever crazy thing they ask of you, you know it will be fine. There is a surety in those relationships: I think that’s part of what I admire in the marriages of my parents, and my brother & sister-in-law (and so many others I know) this certainty in one another that means they trust the other would catch them if they fell blindfolded.

I’m in my last week of a two-month break from my normalcy. I’ve spent the past two months traveling to see people, helping my parents pack up their home and generally trying to get my mind, heart, body and spirit rested. If I am honest with you I would say 98% of that time has been spent in avoidance of what I came home thinking I needed to process.

When I boarded my flight to London in June I had these romantic ideas of coffee shops and endless notebooks full of my brain on paper, days spent in quiet processing of the past three years and all that I have seen. I wanted to delve deeper into theological questions and find solutions and answers to things that were plaguing my mind. That was what I thought I was jumping into.

Those days and coffee shops didn’t happen. I didn’t seek them out and I avoided the idea of them. I instead spent time watching TV and reading novels, sleeping and becoming way to interested in made-for-tv Hallmark channel movies.

And then on Thursday evening I had dinner with Becky; a sound solid friend who never fails to get to the heart of everything. She has the ability to draw out the inner thoughts of me that I didn’t know were there simply by asking me the right questions.

As I answered her questions and thought about what she was saying I began to see that maybe I had been processing in the past two months. That while I was ignoring my usual focused, determined, coffee shop and moleskin idea of processing, my brain and heart were doing in for me.

In this time away, in the simple act of doing something else and breathing a different rhythm I had begun to process the exact things I had wanted to when I left Romania.

last night as I read back over the few journal entries from the past month I found this written and circled:

“The surety of Gods call and goodness over the safe and secure and comfortable”

I’ve never heard God say ‘trust me’ as much as he did this last year, and I’d never been so unsure if I could trust him.

However there was something in this idea of being sure of his goodness and call… of trusting him the way Jeremiah does when all is going wrong and he declares that the idea of holding onto and stopping doing as God asks “… is like fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it!”

It’s like being asked to jump into a big dark lake, or being blindfolded and not knowing what is coming.

You take a deep breath and trust the person, you jump and end up in the most beautiful lake you’ve ever been in, with the stars their brightest above you and the lake the freshest temperature. And you breath and you float and you are thankful they took you there, and asked you to jump.

This summer I went into it with expectations of big things happening, of God changing everything. Leaving Romania for two months was stepping far away from my comfort zone. And it wasn’t until Becky and her beautiful perfect questioning that I saw that I was in the lake, the perfect one, staring at the stars and the biggest, brightest moon I’d seen in a while. The jump just looked so different from what I had thought it would.

We have to be willing to jump, it doesn’t work if we don’t. We have to be willing to jump in friendships, relationships, work, life, growing up. We have to be willing to jump when it comes to God- whether we are deep in relationship with Him or not even sure He exists. Trust that he is going to catch us if we ever fall, and that when he asks us to jump or close our eyes then it will all be okay because He’s got this.

Because if we don’t jump, if we don’t trust then we get stuck: on the cliff edge, on the heather, comfortable but never knowing the reality of the beauty and experiences that lie beyond it.

R/

those two tiny words

I don’t want to pack. The task of laying out everything I need for two months on the floor, and then trying to fit it into a suitcase that only weighs 23kg is not something that makes me jump out of my bed and rush to do.

How am I meant to know what to take for two months, how am I meant to know what will happen in that time? I’m writing mainly as a distraction from it all, the packing and the cleaning…but also because I have figured that I haven’t written much in 2016. I haven’t given time to it or made it a part of my life. I swore to myself that I would on January 1st – that writing would be something I did regularly. That it would be good for me. And then as with most things I promise myself I forgot and I got too busy with other things.

I have been having this conversation with various people over the past few years about the word ‘no’. The word which somehow kids seem to learn early and say all the time and then when we reach adulthood some of us forgot it exists. I’m often a yes person; ‘yes’ i will help you out, ‘yes i will come to that event’, ‘yes of course i have time to do all of the jobs you are giving me’.

It has lead to me not necessarily making wise decisions over the years. It has lead to me having experienced some form of burn-out, encountered panic attacks and generally being tired more often than rested.

I fully believe that sometimes you have to say yes when you don’t want to, or when it might be hard. But I also know that the word ‘no’ is just as important. Learning to say ‘I’m sorry but I can’t come’ or ‘I’m sorry but I don’t have time to do that as well as all the other things’. Because when I say ‘yes’ all the time, and i don’t think this only happens to me, my yes becomes a mess of tiredness and half done jobs or helping out, and seems to lead to disappointment, and broken promises.

I mean Jesus said it best:

 “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” Matt 5:37

It seems this isn’t just a modern day problem, but something humanity has been struggling with for a while.

But I think, very slowly I’m learning when to say yes and when to say no, and how to do it all in the best way. I should have said yes to more writing this year, yes to more of the words flowing out of my head than being stuck there for months swirling around. I should have said no to a lot of the things I have done and taken on. And right now I should say yes to packing, so I can fly back to England tomorrow.

So if you know me and you start to hear the word ‘no’ more often, please encourage it, I’m sure in some ways it will lead to a more healthy way for us all to live.

R/

*image from http://beautifuffle.tumblr.com/post/145521297441

 

candy coated unicorns are hard to find…

i took up running in February…okay so maybe jogging at a push, but consistently 3 times a week before work i have met up with the beautiful Tori and run around our little town.

so when our friends suggested a 5k colour-run we signed up along with them. Queue a bus trip to Timisoara, a walk across the city, crazy dance music, tutu’s, temporary tattoos and a crowded warm-up….5k later we are covered in chalky paint, sipping beers waiting to be told its time to throw the paint packs in the air and be covered all over again.

it’s worth doing, i promise…the tag-line as the happiest 5k might actually be true. We ended the day tired and happy, vowing to make this a tradition.

not until you look behind 


It happens so quickly this time thing. The seasons change behind you as you move through day to day and suddenly it’s ‘how many weeks until you fly?’ ‘When are you coming back, are you coming back?’ And ‘how do we finish this well’.

The summer crept up on me this year, somehow the endless blue skies didn’t give it away. There have been fewer goodbyes (thank you Dumnezeu) and no thoughts of a summer alone in a house. This year has passed a bit like a dream, one dreamt a million times over which you only realise actually happened when you are looking behind you. 

The time moves on and on and somehow I’m here, planning time off to sleep and dream bigger, travel a bit and then return…hopefully with more fire in my belly and better language skills and dreams and plans a bit bigger and wider and higher than before. 

We sat on the balcony of the green/blue house the other day; Looking out at the view, praying for this time apart that we have before us… And I found myself being in awe that somehow I had become one of them. The ones who just stayed a bit longer, and suddenly in 3 months I’ll be into the fourth year here… the one who is meant to know how it goes. 

Working with these people, I don’t know how to explain it, it’s beautiful, heart breakingly, joy bringingly beautiful. I’ve realised more than every now that change happens slowly and gently and often in a way you don’t realise until you look behind you. 

I’m spending the week at Tauț, helping with cleaning and organising and making sure the visitors have what they need. It’s a different type of work and it’s the most beautiful place to be. 

R/