It Is That Simple

Quotes from Mother Teresa and Heidi Baker

I’m recently obsessed with missionary stories. Heidi Baker, Mother Teresa, and Amy Carmichael are the current favorites. I have honored and revered them. The world has “sainted” them. However, the more I learn about these epic women, the more normal they look, and it is giving me hope.

How did Mother Teresa start her outreach? How did she begin a hospital for those dying on the streets? How did she start a home for unwanted children and a city for lepers? It all began when Jesus said,

“You must do something.”¹

She saw the poor of India and heard the call. There was no commissioning. No trumpets from heaven. Just the simple voice of God to do something. How cool is that?

In her book Compelled by Love, Heidi Baker writes,

“Some of you may think ministry is a grand adventure. Ministry, however, is simply about loving the person in front of you.”²

Come on. That’s so simple. 

Amy Carmichael felt called to go to China. She got all prepped and put all her belongings in a ship sea chest. The last thing on her list–get approved by the mission organization’s doctor to go. She went to the appointment, and the doctor DIDN’T APPROVE HER. She had to pack her things, and go back home. The chest sat waiting in her room.³

She failed. Did she hear the voice of God in the first place? I don’t know, but isn’t that the best thing you have ever heard? It is so darn relatable.  My life is full of disappointed hopes and failures, and so is Amy Carmichael’s.

Mother Teresa didn’t start her actual calling until she was thirty-eight years old. Take that “28 year-old -I-am-doing-nothing-with-my-life-phobia!” I’ve got a good ten years until I need to get “going.”

So, I’M EXACTLY LIKE Mother Teresa, Amy Carmichael, and Heidi Baker. Ha! It’s hilarious to write that line. However, their stories are telling me that living for Jesus is A LOT more simple than I thought. It takes a lot longer than I’ve expected.

Yeah. Maybe, I’m like them. But then, I read this quote by Mother Teresa,

“When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.”¹

Yikes. This one too—

“A child is a gift of God. If you do not want him [the child], give him to me. I will look after him.”¹

Mother Teresa wasn’t kidding either. She took in any child that was unwanted.

Then, I think,

“Yeah… I’m not like them at all.”

P.S. The amazing and talented Mikelah Hammond wrote the hand-lettering featured on this post!

P.P.S. Here’s a bibliography.

  1. Teresa of Calcutta by D. Jeanene Watson
  2. Compelled by Love by Heidi Baker
  3. Amy Carmichael: Rescuer of Precious Gems by Janet and Geof Benge
It Is That Simple

28 Years And It’s Miserable

28 Years Old

I turned twenty-eight years old three days ago, and it has been pretty hard on me. Growing up is difficult, and I am experiencing some of the difficulties. See below.

After 28 years, I can afford some internet at home. It’s such a pain. Now, I can run free in the field of the internet, watch every Ted Talk imaginable, and stream music like it is my full time job. Growing up is so hard. I’m just letting it happen.

I care less about what I am wearing. Gone are the days of visiting Marshalls, Old Navy, Charlotte Russe, Macy’s, and T. J. Maxx in one day to find the PERFECT Nautical t-shirt that says, “Oceanside Shop: Surfboards For Rent.” Oh, how I loved that shirt. I thought about wearing it walking into a room with my friends. I wondered what those friends would think about it. I wondered if it made me look cool. Gone are those days. Now, I wake up, and drink my coffee IN A PUBLIC PLACE looking like this:

Turning 28

 

I’m wearing a sweat shirt, sweat pants, and socks with sandals. Glory.

I do not wilt anymore when a boy makes a joke at my expense. In the prime of youth, I melted. “What did he mean by that?” “Am I really too boring, too ugly, too smart?” “Nobody will ever like me.”  When I see a boy making fun of me for “driving like a girl” or saying something stupid, I either laugh with him or think, “What a dummy of a boy.” Living without that constant insecurity is the worst.

I am the gatekeeper of my own destiny, and it is really confusing. Instead of having my parents, friends, or popular culture telling me what to do, I HAVE TO MAKE MY OWN CHOICES. I cannot just let things happen to me. I have to make things happen, and it’s liberating and thrilling.

 
Man, getting older is way hard.

28 Years And It’s Miserable

One of Those Nights

One of Those Nights

We sat in the car to wait for the song to end. My dear friend had discovered a song, and she wanted me to listen to her favorite part. It was the end credits to one of those nights. You know, those nights sitting around on couches , chairs, and floors just “being.” Talking about the most meaningless things like they were important and just waiting to tease the person next to you any chance you get. Your friend Instagrams a picture of this and writes, “Family time. Really needed this tonight,” and you wonder at the words. Family, for sure, you are not, but she said it, and your name is in the list. You think, “I thought I had loved them most, but it’s not true.”

One of those nights when you look at a book about stars, and your friend relates the author’s purpose- to be able to identify every constellation on a summer night. And, we glow at the phrase “summer night,” because we know it is soon at hand. Oh joy!
Nights when you really think that we could be more than what we are. We can stop being drivers, encouragers, lovers, manipulators, compatriots, and friends. We can stop depending so much on each other–stop trying to emblaze our name on each other’s hearts. We can just be those who stand beside this inconsolable secret we’ve all found and say it’s true. It’s real. You’re not pretending after all. We could be the most dear and most unimportant things in each other’s lives.

Because all we’ve got is Jesus, and we all know it.

 
It was one of those nights.

One of Those Nights

Unbeknownst

Poetry

Like the seasons,

We run towards consistency.

To know what comes next,

And who we’ll be.

 

Happenstance and coincidence

Ogres of society.

We deride them all.

And ask instead, “Why aren’t you hitched?”

And, “when are the babies coming?”

“What degree are you pursing?”

“What business are you running?”

 

Law and order

Our lives, a science

We’re y=mx+b.

Our master is finance.

 

I miss the wind.

And chance upon chance

Wander without lost

Happenstance.

Unbeknownst

Instagram-Love, I Hate You

The Luckiest Girl Tumblr

I’m a greenhorn in relationships. I’m twenty-seven, and I’m just trying to get my sea legs in dating. Man, I don’t know what I’m doing, but I can tell you one thing: Instagram is not helping me. If I took my relationship advice from Instagram, I should expect the following:

1. Dates on top of mountains. He’ll pack a cold-brew coffee, a pair of croissants, and a Mexican blanket. YES!

2. Dates in canoes. He’ll paddle the oars, and I’ll be impressed by his tricep muscles as he rows. I’ll also be tres chic. Fedora? On my head already. A coffee cup pursed against my lips? Done.

3. Dates in fancy restaurants. We’ll order dessert too. We’ll talk endlessly about a thousand things, because everything he likes, I just so happen to like as well. We’ll start with puppies, light tan, and serving the Lord. “Everything you just said is MY favorite thing to do, EVERYDAY.” When he laughs at a joke I made, I’ll snap an impromptu picture of him. He’ll be so unaware, and he’ll look really cute.

When I type those scenarios out, it makes me laugh. Truth be told, I’ve been swallowing this propaganda like medicine. I’ve believed it. This must be what real love looks like. When I fall in love, it should be like this. Good grief, Instagram- Love isn’t real.

I’ve been sleuthing Instagram-Love for a while now. I’m not trying to be a hater, or say that people’s love isn’t authentic, but I just want to know the facts. Fairytales bring me hope and point to the truth, but they are not the truth. So, when I’m lost on Instagram, looking at pictures of Indie couples I don’t even know (they are just a friend of a friend of a friend), I see all the glamor. Here’s a picture of them holding hands next to a waterfall. There’s a picture of them in front of a garage door. He’s giving her a kiss on the cheek, and they’ve just gone shopping for their capsule wardrobe at H&M. Here’s a picture of him silhouetted and a hat on his head. She captions it, “Can’t believe I found him. He is my best friend. I love everything about him.”

The luster begins to shine upon me. I sigh and think about my own dismal life. I haven’t worn red lipstick and gone to the woods with a boyfriend for a VERY LONG TIME. Maybe, even never.

I sleuth a bit more. I scroll through the squares. I find when this adorable couple started dating. Two months ago, he showed up on her Instagram. Hashtag blessed. Awkward photo of them standing “kinda” close together.

They have been together for two months, and she says that “she loves everything about him.” She declares that he is her best friend.

Girl, seriously? There’s no way you know EVERYTHING ABOUT HIM. Two months isn’t that long. You haven’t even gone through the seasons with him! You don’t know if he gets spring allergies or if he hates Christmas shopping, or if he’s buying that capsule wardrobe only because he likes you.

It’s become a habit, now. I scroll through to find out how much of it is real. Now, I’m not saying you can’t fall in love quickly, because I know you can. It just breaks the spell of Instagram-Love a little bit. “Oh,” the Sherlocking tells me, “some of this is exaggeration.”

Some of this is staged.

Have you ever asked happily married couples how they met? I always do, because I like a good fairytale. One spouse always takes over the story, and the other pipes in with a few sly remarks. They tell the story like a good joke. There’s the set up, and the resolution. It’s good memories spoken aloud. It’s humanity’s history. I love these stories, but I promise, I am hearing the Instagram-Love story. I’m getting the highlights, the perfectly positioned coffee cup on the table. But, now, when I get to know the couple more, I ask them to tell me the REAL story. “I already told you,” they’ll say, but I ask them again. Did you ever miscommunicate? Did you like EVERYTHING about each other?

Then, the tale will unfold, and you’ll recognize it, because it sounds more like yours instead of like a photo shoot with smoke bombs in the background. There’ll be “he would forget to call me for days,” and “we were not on the same page,” and “we had no money, so we couldn’t go anywhere fancy.”

So, I’m starting a new Instagram relationship page that shows the real deal. Here are some captions:

“Me and my man, miscommunicating. Holla.”

“Going to Walmart together AGAIN. #allthefeels #datenight

“He still hasn’t texted me back after two hours. I hope distance is making him fonder.”

“Ran out of things to talk about on our date. Now, we’re just watching funny Youtube videos.” #personaltime

Yeah. Everybody is going to follow me. I would, because if I just get rid of those unwarranted Instagram-Love relationship “goals,” then maybe, I can have a real one, and it will be

# Magic.

P.S. The Luckiest Girl sketched this picture in a jiffy at a local coffee shop.

Instagram-Love, I Hate You