Learning to be Content on my Continent

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In the last year, God has brought me an entirely new group of friends. These people hail from all over the United States, have different backgrounds, interests, and stories, but we are united under one commonality; our love for our Lord, Jesus Christ.

God has used my new friends to heal me of deep wounds, break me for new people groups, and re-ignite a fire in my heart for knowledge, travel, and community– needless to say, it has been an emotional roller coaster of  a year on my end, but I have loved every single moment of it because these wonderful people have been by my side through it all.

This summer I have said many temporary good-byes as my amazing new friends set off to change our world. From Chile to South Africa, North America to Asia, we have spread ourselves thin, searching for new experiences and longing to meet and love our current and future brothers and sisters in Christ.

To say that I’m proud of my adventurous compadres, doesn’t even being to cover it. But I must confess that I have been sorting through some level of jealousy and longing to be in their shoes.

My soul longs to be out of this country, feeding the poor, counseling young women who have suffered abuse, building wells, playing volleyball in the streets of Peru again… anything for His Kingdom… anywhere but here.

But today while I was sitting on the patio of one of my favorite coffee shops, I heard Him whisper somewhere in the depths of my “longing” soul. “I have you exactly where you need to be. Do not long for someone else’s journey. Your journey is equally beautiful in my sight, that is why I created it, just for you.”

How often do we wish we could be in someone else’s shoes?

How often do I envy other’s lives instead of taking the time to simply appreciate the one that He has given me?

While I may not be spending my summer wading through swamps along the Amazon to bring food to the needy or counseling victims of genocide and war on the other side of the world, I am making an impact here on American soil for my King, and I need to keep that in mind.

Taking my students out to lunch is making an impact in their lives, even if it is only a small one. Dedicating my weekends to fellowship and uplifting my fellow believers here in ‘Merica is just as important as doing the same thing in Scotland. There are homeless, hopeless, and needy people right here at my doorstep; this is my summer to serve them. Maybe next year God will have something else in mind for me… maybe not. Either way the cards fall, I’m working on being content with where God has me.

So I leave you with this thought:

Where is God using you this summer? How are you making yourself available to Him exactly where you are?

~

“For there will never cease to be poor in your land. Therefore, I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.”

(Deuteronomy 15:11)

 

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A Letter to a Five Year Old…

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Dear JR,

Five years ago today, my world changed.

I was driving back to Denver after a missions trip to the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico, when I got a text message from your mom that read something to the effect of “GET HERE NOW!” with a picture of a teensy tiny baby boy tangled in wires and tubes– you had just been born, a month early.

I frantically drove home as quickly as I could and my first stop once I was back in the city was Children’s Hospital. You were waiting for me in a small incubator with an orange tag reading “Isaac Maurice Martinez, Junior” taped near your feet. Tiny and perfect you opened your eyes and I was in love for the second time in my life.

The doctors told us you might not make it, or that you would be in the hospital for months on the off chance that you did… But you were a fighter and were out of the hospital and into the world in seemingly no time at all.

I used to sit on the sofa in your mom’s house & rock you back and forth late at night, trying to create some comfort in your insanely turbulent world. You were never fussy, even in the midst of the screaming and chaos that took place in your home. You would just lay in my lap and smile at me with your bright green eyes and rosy little lips, and I would melt. I pray that today, five years later that you still have that same beautiful, calm disposition. I pray that God has brought you into a new family where “abuse” never becomes a part of your vocabulary and 911 aren’t the first numbers that you can string together.

Today I might not be able to give you a birthday cake, a present, or even a hug, but I can (and will) send a bundle of prayers up to the Big Guy for you, as I have everyday since you and Mary Ray left my arms. I don’t know what you’re “into” now; maybe you still love animals, maybe you’ve become more of a car guy… Either way, I hope your new family is spoiling you rotten today.

I hope you know that no matter how dysfunctional our tiny family has become, or how many miles we are separated by, that I love you to the end of the universe and back, and that is why I made the choice for you and your sister that I did. I had to give you up so that you could have a chance to make it to your 5th, 10th, & 50th birthdays; I had to give you up even though it just about killed me.

Happy 5th birthday baby. I’ll be loving you always…

Forever,

your Momma K

Light My Candle

Somewhere along the line, someone blew out my candle. To them, I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, [wo]man enough, whatever… So they decided to extinguish me.

I’m not sure when it happened, but one day I opened my eyes and realized that I had been living in darkness, that I had allowed my candle to be extinguished, that I had merely become a shell of the person I once was and the person that I had hoped to be.

On that day when I opened my eyes I realized that my heart had been eaten away by the lies that had been told to me and that I was so broken that I didn’t believe that I deserved Light in my life.

But I was wrong.

Years later, I am proud to say that I am well along on my journey to loving myself and re-building my life in the light. So much about my life has changed over these last five years; one of which, is that for the first time in a long time, I have found my fight and darn it, I am going to fight for who I have become.

All of that to say, this is me…

I don’t like to wear shoes. I love the color orange. I’m learning to be a morning person, but still don’t favor breakfast. I am easily excited, over ambitious, and hungry for more:

More knowledge

more depth

more travel

more of God

just more!

I like to use big words and adore reading.

I’m a pro at change and a rookie at being okay with that.

I want to be superwoman, but don’t look good in a cape.

I make bad decisions occasionally and occasionally can’t spell occasionally right.

I am an educator and a student of my craft.

I would love for things to make sense, but that’s not quite how this world works, now is it?

All that I know is that I’m a hot mess, but that is the way that God has created me and with Him as my shelter, I know that no one is going to be able to blow out my candle again.

This blog is a conglomeration of the moments that have made me, me. So kick off your shoes, grab a cup of tea, and stay a while. This is the journey of a lifetime; my journey back into God’s beautiful Grace & Light.

~

“You are my lamp, O Lord; You turn my darkness into light.”

(2 Samuel 22:29)