Most days my mind is consumed with all the things I’m not doing well in life, how maybe I’m missing the mark, or am just not quite in touch with God’s perfect plan for my life (as if God is hiding it from me).

I’ve been thinking the last two days about what to write about for this week’s blog post. I so desperately want to be a writer, influencer, podcast-er, speak-er, all the things. I’m pretty sure I should listen to Brene Brown’s TED talks on the daily in order to truly muster up the courage to really step out in that arena and try and fail and try again.

So today, I’m going to write about trying.

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A Letter to My Heart

I wrote this piece in February, 2017 and over two years later it still rings true. I want to keep returning to my heart, keep listening to her voice, keep creating space for her to breath.

Dear Heart,

I'm not very good to you sometimes. I'm not very kind and gentle. I expect you to see the worst of the world, the injustice, the suffering, the pain, in the States and in my current home, and I just expect you to keep on plugging, keep on pushing. I haven't given you very much time to process the deep pain and suffering you've seen and felt. And for that, I'm very, very sorry.
It's in the quiet days of listening to worship music, a sermon, cooking, cleaning, that I get to digest the things my soul has seen, has bore witness to. And I'm sorry. I'm sorry I've let other peoples thoughts and actions invalidate you. I'm sorry I haven't trusted you a lot of the time. I'm sorry I've let you trust people that have proven to not be trustworthy. That happens in this life, even when you're being careful, but I'm sorry I haven't given you the time and safe space to grieve and feel that.

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Chasing Sunsets

I am missing the sunsets.

And it’s so much more than that.

I miss the pace of life and the simplicity of Haiti.

I miss no electricity and afternoons of stillness and quiet to recover from the day with nothing else to do but sit on the second story porch and look out at the mountains behind port au prince as the sun painted it’s way down to the ocean.

I wasn’t chasing then. I wasn’t chasing the sunset. I was forced, for a time.

Forced by the lack of distractions, the lack of busy, the lack of hustling. The lack of electricity, the lack of good internet (or any at all), the lack of obsession with social media and being connected. The many things that the ‘modern world’ has to offer are the very things sucking away our souls, my soul.

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Lose Yourself

During my few years in Haiti, I lost myself.

I lost myself in the best sort of way and in the worst sort of way.

1 year + out I can see the immense fruit of that season , death and re-birth, and am so thankful for the healing sabbatical I took after leaving Haiti.

The losing and finding myself was painful, brutal, and a Holy process of tilling the soil of my soul. To be clear, I didn’t have much choice. The choice is: look inside or become incredibly hardened, cynical, and bitter from the pains and traumas that accumulate (in an accelerated fashion) overseas.

Saying yes to moving to Haiti was saying yes to splitting my heart wide open and taking a deep look around… but I didn’t know that at the time.

I was faced with my own privilege, biases, worldview, faith, and understanding of God. In the midst of my fight for healthcare for the poor, I denied myself over and over again.

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Simplify Your Life

Here we are: January, 2019.

What. The. Heck.

Maybe some of you are thrilled the holidays are over and ready to get back into a routine. Maybe you want to go back and relive every moment of the Holidays all over again… okay, well most moments.

So, January. Here we are. An invisible page is turned and all the sudden we should have goals and resolutions and it’s a new year and all the things.

I love how Emily P Freeman says ‘Dear new year, be gentle with us, we pray’ in her Blessing for the New Year.

Simplicity is attractive, and yet, so very counter-cultural. I drive down the countryside of Indiana and note the piles of trash parked on the side of the road. We just ended the season in America marked by excess; it still overwhelms me compared to life in Haiti.

So as we seek simplicity in life, soul, and space, here are a few suggestions to declutter your life and mind:

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Tennis Shoes

This week I finally bought a new pair of tennis shoes. I’m chronically indecisive, especially when buying a new pair of tennis shoes…online. I bought a pair and returned them (#America). I looked and looked and looked some more, called, ordered, changed my mind last minute, and finalized my order.

The shoes arrived right to my front door. The wonders of two-day shipping. The conveniences of America. I opened the box and tried them on.

With my new shoes on, I am in the therapy room in the clinic in Onaville, Haiti with Madamoiselle Pascal. I’m back in the heat of Haiti, sweating in that sunny room with one of my favorite patients turned friend. I gave her a pair of my tennis shoes that I had brought to Haiti because I wanted her to have supportive footwear and I really needed her to wear her ankle foot orthosis to keep her dropping right foot in a dorsiflexed position.

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Ignorance was Bliss: Learning the Hard Way

On my first trip to Haiti in May of 2015, this picture was taken. It makes me cringe and want to cry and laugh. A 26 year old physical therapist living in Dallas, desperate to pursue this life-long dream of missions. I had been seeking out opportunities for months and months and had been denied, wait-listed, and had scheduling conflicts. Finally, I got to go to Haiti.

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