Working the Plan

Like many, I’ve clung to the promise of Jeremiah 29:11 through life’s ups and downs. But yesterday, the stakes just got so much higher.

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Phoenix marks the place of a lot of loss for me. And when I got the green light to leave here, I never imagined coming back. But I also never imagined going to all the places and nations where I’ve been since I left.

Wanderlust has definitely left a mark on me, so there has been a little resistance to live here again. Not to mention, my biggest fear in leaving Japan was that I would lose the complete dependency I became accustomed to and truth be told, comes much easier in a foreign land.

But perfect love casts out all fear and complete dependence is just the life He intended for me to live no matter where I am.

And trust me, I need Him now like never before. I may be back where I was, but I’m not who I was. And everything I had then, I don’t have now.

Suffice to say, had I known I’d be back, I would have planned a little better. But my plans never went as planned, anyway.

But His?

Well, let’s just say when I left Arizona, I didn’t plan for any of this…

Hiking so many different spots in Colorado and basking in all the beauty of that place with old and new friends.

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Making deep connections in Pemba, Mozambique where language was often a barrier, but love and kindness were always exchanged.

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Hanging out and meeting new friends on a street of the Nana Red Light District in Bangkok, Thailand.

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Being dressed in a most beautiful kimono one special afternoon in Japan by one of the most precious women I’ve ever met.

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This life. It takes my breath away.

And it’s not that I didn’t have such beautiful experiences before this, but life lived with such a deep awareness of the love of the One who made it is so much richer.

And though I’m back in Arizona, I know that the adventure doesn’t end here.

Because when you have no plans, everything is an adventure.

And when the Master Planner is your Everlasting Father, and you’re His favorite girl, you can trust that it’s only going to get better.

For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the LORD. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope. -Jeremiah 29:11

The joy of a sandwich

As I get caught up in doubt, anxiety, and fear… it’s just like my Heavenly Father to pour out His grace on me and bless me in every way imaginable.

When I doubted that I would receive the financial support for my trip and missions school in Mozambique, within four days, the amount I was lacking was fulfilled!!!

Big sigh… and really?

But, OF COURSE!!!! Oh me of little faith!!!

The checks I received and words of encouragement that came with them blessed my heart in ways I cannot even put into words. I’m just humbled, so very humbled by God’s love for me through the people He has placed in my life.

And while I will return to Colorado on December 8, it’s unclear how long I will be here, so I want to make sure I make the best of the time I have in this great state.

This past weekend I climbed my first 14er – a mountain that is 14,000 or more feet high and Colorado boasts 58 of these peaks in six different ranges – Mount Bierstadt 14,065ft.

The climb was tough, but I was so grateful to have a dear friend to keep me going!  At the beginning of the hike, she casually stated, “We’ve got this, we’ve so got this.” And she continued to encourage me along the way, as did many others we passed!

Sarah and I basked in the beauty and vastness of God’s creation the entire day, while also sharing the parallels of our hike and faith. Good stuff and great times.

And just when I thought the summit was in sight and I gave everything I had to get to it, I collapsed on this boulder when I realized I still had a little further to go… poor pathetic me!!!

I saw the following quote after the fact that seemed so fitting for this picture: The moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens. Don’t give up.

Though exhausted and feeling defeated, I pressed on and was soon sitting on the mountain top enjoying an egg salad sandwich. And life in that moment could not have been better. My profound words to Sarah were, “I’m sooooooooo happy right now eating this sandwich and sitting on top of the world!!!”

I love Jesus so much. No doubt all things are from Him through Him and to Him.

So as I am completely overwhelmed by the wonder and amazement of His love and provision…

And His creation and glory…

I don’t EVER want to take anything in this life for granted… I want to be in awe of Him in all things… to experience the fullness of life He promised…

So an egg salad sandwich enjoyed in His presence with gratefulness makes me the most blessed of all.

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:36