Tag Archives: Inspiration

Make Me Believe in Make Believe

We forwent the dreaded naptime and decided to go for a walk instead. It’s my favorite walk up and down the hidden paths of Maraigushu overlooking both Lake Naivasha and Mount Longonot. It’s hard not to fall in love with Kenya on those walks.

We had the seven youngest kids plus the neighbor girl who practically lives here at the children’s home. The kids skipped ahead racing each other and making toys from sticks and dirt clods. I took in the scenery and thanked God that warmer weather was finally starting to show up.

Then we reached the spot. The magical spot. Bushes surround a small fence post opening and through that little opening is an almost surreal scene—a field of golden wheat grass shining in the sun. Trees gracefully sway throughout the enchanted land, and there are no houses or roads for as far as you can see.

“Are you ready to enter Narnia?” I yelled out to the kids as we reached the opening to the field. The kids recently watched the first two Narnia movies and have talked about nothing else for weeks.

“Yes,” they yelled back excitedly. I thought, “I hope this doesn’t disappoint” knowing that the last time I had gone on this walk a tractor was in the process of mowing down some of my precious wheat.

Fortunately, the experience didn’t disappoint. My little munchkins were happy to play along. They ran through the wheat pretending to be centaurs and fauns. It makes my heart happy to see them thinking outside of the confines of this physical world. I want them to dream. I want them to imagine. I want them to believe in the impossible because we serve a creative God who delights in the imagination. Maybe something is not real in this world but what about in the next one? I’m sure heaven is going to simply blow our earthly minds.

I suppose that’s one reason I enjoy working with children so much. The faith and imagination of a child is a beautiful thing. I never want to loose that. I never want to forget what it feels like to dream. I never want to loose my ability to imagine. I always want to be able to bask in the beauty of the King of Kings

Let me see new places

Let me see new places

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Filed under Contemplations, Kenya

The Rest Are Just Curious

“Be careful who you open up to” the quote read. “Only a few people actually care, the rest are just curious.” An interesting thought. I’ve certainly felt that way when someone seems to know what I ate for supper, or where I was when, but can’t remember my name or thinks I am still in high school. A lot of times, in a small town, it feels like people know about you, where you live, who you’re related to, sometimes even what you do for a living. But, it is crazy how few people actually know who you really are, what you’re passionate about, how you see the world when the noise finally stops, and it is just you and your thoughts.

I am glad I have a job where I get to interview people, mostly local artists. Those interviews are my favorite part of writing for a newspaper. I love to find out what makes someone feel alive. Why they do what they do, how they got started, what makes their craft or hobby uniquely them. Questions like that often let you see a glimpse of someone’s soul. This fascination is also why I love blogging. With blogging, yes, you have the freedom and a platform to write about what makes you tick, but the most inspiring part is reading about other people’s passions and feelings and getting to live a slice of their journey with them.

Maybe some people do just want to know things for the sake of idle curiosity, but I believe there is more than just that. Yes, it is good to have levels of friendship and to know what information is appropriate to share and what is not (don’t post everything you think on facebook people), but there is a certain beauty in vulnerability. When someone writes or shares something in an honest, heartfelt way it draws more than just curiosity, it makes people care alongside with you. Like a blog post written by a mother who found out in the delivery room that her daughter was born with down syndrome. Reading about her struggle with intense grief and joy, pain and strength made me want to go and hug both her and her precious little girl.

It’s good to care, and even though it can be painful, it’s good to feel. Opening up is scary. Taking what is closest to your heart and holding it out to an unstable world is definitely risky, but often taking that risk can be a source of strength because other people, who have walked a similar road, will care.

While many people are just curious, I think more people care than one would think; and if people were more willing to be open and create safe environments for other people to be open, it could be a beautiful thing. There are dark spots in life and some very rough patches to get through. I know. This last year I’ve dealt with depression and more stress and anxiety than I care to relieve, but if you see me and ask how I’m doing I’ll say fine not because I am but because that is the culturally appropriate answer. I am great at turning conversations around so they focus on the other person and not on me. What this culture desperately, desperately needs is a safe community. A place were it’s ok not to be fine all of the time.  No one should feel like they have to walk through pain or depression alone. Take a risk. Be yourself. Open up and share your passions, dreams, and even some of the pain. Some people may just be curious, but others might just join you on your imperfect journey.

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Filed under Contemplations

Finding Something Fresh in the Familiar

I love to travel to see new things and to experience something inspiring and fresh, but sometimes in my rush for the next adventure I neglect the beauty around me. So here’s to discovering treasure in your own back yard. Stop this week and really take in the local sites  you walk by everyday.

In the ally behind my apartment.

 

This is why I take the back roads.

 

Parker adopted my parents awhile back. We named her after the one of the characters in Leverage because she’s a loner, slightly crazy, but you can’t help falling in love with those eyes.

 

The Bellrose Waterfowl Reserve at Sunset. It is only open to visitors a couple times during the year, but it is definitely one of the area’s hidden treasures.

 

My favorite tree at the local park just down the road.

 

 

 

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Filed under Photography