It is rather incredible for me to think back and know that I used to live here, in this exotic and breath-taking beauty. The various shades of blue of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. I laughed here, kayaked here, awoke to this view for what seems now to be not enough amount of time. But it was, oh it was. Some people will never venture to look upon what some world travelers and explorers call the most beautiful lake in the world.
Guatemala was a special place for me; It was a place to reflect, to discover myself. What I found was my deep love for people, all people and the richness of culture and the diversity of life. It is here that I truly started to live.
Brady and I have been on a long spiritual and physical journey this past year: from selling everything we owned and venturing onto The World Race, to then following the direction to move to Guatemala for 6 months, to then starting over broke and brand new in our homeland of America.
It is difficult to trust when you do not know what lies ahead, but with every ‘go’, we heard whispered, or maybe even screamed at some points when we were clueless, we went ahead and trusted that God knew what was best for our lives and our marriage.
Before we left, We were living in a luxury apartment with steady jobs, cars we loved, and enough money to feel comfortable and self-sufficient. We didn’t need anyone’s help; in fact, Brady and I really didn’t even need each other’s help. We worked opposite schedules and hardly even saw each other, which eventually started taking a wear on our marriage.
After a year or so of living that way, we began to feel a slight sense that maybe there was more for us than this normal and mundane way of life.We knew we needed a change, but felt so stuck in our routine that not just anything would work. And then, one day after church (which we hardly went to at that point), I had this random thought about something I had heard of once, and I ran straight to Google that Sunday afternoon while my husband was in the bathroom. And surely enough, when he came out, I said, “Hey babe, look what I signed us up for.” And he came over and peeked at our MacBook with a surprised face and read, “The World Race, an 11- Month Missions Trip to 11 Countries… Okay, Cool.” And that was that.
All in a wild, split second decision, our lives changed.
We had absolutely no idea what the next year would hold for us: how we would come back not even resembling the people we were when we left, or how our relationship would be tested and tried, but come out stronger than most marriages might ever be, the things we would learn, the people we would meet, and how we could never go back to the way things were, simply comfortable and self-sufficient.
When you say “yes” to God’s calling and His direction, you say yes to way more than you could ever bargain for.
But, in order to move forward, to really soar, you have to let go of the comforts you’ve been clinging onto for so long. You have to stop leaning on self- reliance, and trust that God’s ways are higher than your ways.
What dreams have you allowed to just remain dreams in your heart?
What has the Lord called you to, yet you still haven’t responded with an all-out ‘yes’?
Be brave and trust (have confident expectation and hope) that God will come though and lead you into your purpose and destiny, even if that means leaving the safety of the shore and pushing through the waves .
“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. “
– Proverbs 3:5-6 (AMP)
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
– Isaiah 55:8-9 (NASB)
“You make me brave You call me out beyond the shore into the waves”
Today marks the calendar of being 9 weeks pregnant.
You would think I would be a baby whiz and know all that there is to know about pregnancy and motherhood, but the simple truth is that I do not. Nor will I ever pretend to.
What is hardest to me is that all over the media, and in every day life you see women who at first glance, resemble wonder woman. I mean, they knew every detail about every week and trimester of pregnancy before they even turned 10. Okay, maybe not, but it seems like they have it all together, and there must obviously be something wrong with me, I think to myself.
I have wanted a baby since the day I was married, (I know, I know) but I finally became pregnant 2 and a half years later. In all of that time of dreaming of little baby Liette, I completely forgot to do any research.
Thus, here I am being surprised every day about what it means to be a mom and grow a little miracle inside of me.
And let me tell you, there are many things to learn and plenty of decisions to be made. I am currently researching all things about natural birth, though I do know that I can’t quite get myself to deliver at home. At least not with this baby.
I suppose the point of all of this is, three months into the most exciting season of my life, I still feel pretty clueless on all things pregnancy and motherhood.
Even though I haven’t met them yet, I know I love this baby way more than I ever would have dreamed. And I have this sneaking suspicion that there are other first-time moms out there who are thrilled about this natural process of life, but also feel that they don’t know as much as they ‘should’.
But what we really need to know is that it’s okay and it doesn’t make us any less of a mom than we should be.
Every woman had to start somewhere, and at some time.
So, let’s do this together. Let’s research, learn, discuss, and be real about what it feels like to develop into mommyhood as our babies are developing body parts.
It’s okay to not have all the answers, as long as we are trying.
It seems that we spend more time on planes than on ground, but that’s not necessarily true.
It was a good run- the past month; Being able to surprise our families and come home for Christmas. Two-weeks in Ohio and two-weeks in Florida. We are now on our way back to Guatemala, where we have lived for the past three months. It’s pretty unusual, our life, but it’s great.
With teary eyes and a heavy heart, we said ‘see-you-later’ to my parents and little sister at the Tampa airport just a little while ago. It’s hard because we never know when the next time is that we will be back; it’s always just hoping that it sooner rather than later. And here we are, on New Years Eve, turning a page and starting a new chapter: back to Guatemala, but beginning a new season.
It’s very hard to say good-bye to our families, but we have to do what God asks us to do and we have to trust Him, no matter what.
To the ends of the earth, I will follow. Through every hardship and every storm, I will trust you, Lord. You are my strength; you are my source of joy.
Let my life not be ordinary, but lead me into your will, and guide me all the way through.
Brady and I are sitting in a little cafe here in San Juan, Guatemala. We have been staying out in the middle of nowhere for almost a month at an old retreat center type place.
We are fortunate enough to be around one of the most beautiful lakes in the world: Lago De Atitlan.
There are three volcanoes located around the lake, creating an even more breathtaking view at any time of the day. It’s an hour boat ride to the other side, and all travel from village to village requires way of boat. It is here in these villages that the people dress in traditional Mayan attire and speak the ancient indigenous Mayan language, Tz’utujil.
I thrive on the challenge of transforming wild dreams into unbelievable realities.
I drink coffee. Anytime. Anywhere. Any excuse.
What I Believe
I believe that you have worth.
I believe that you are beautiful.
I believe that you were made with a purpose.
I believe that no matter how messed up and how broken you believe you are that you are not too far gone and you can be redeemed and made whole.
I believe that the impossible is possible. I believe that Jesus in enough.