Tag Archives: Travel

Confessions of an Adventure Junkie

26 Sep

Last night in my dreams I wandered around some beautiful, unknown country. I spotted an old building, adorned with history and personality and lush green vines. I snapped a picture.

I didn’t know anyone. I wasn’t sure where I was.  I was filled with joy.

I woke up with that old disappointment. That buried ache.

I walked my dog around my apartment complex, ignoring the cool breeze and everything else around me.

I came back inside, brewed some coffee, sat on my couch and sulked.

I allowed that feeling to brood.

What was I doing here?

I stared out the window, and tried to count my blessings.

The very idea felt painful.

Does anyone else have mornings like this?

Where you can’t stop questioning your life?

Where you live in the thrill of the past, remembering the excitement and forgetting the cost?

Where you just want a change, now, no matter what that change looks like?

It is good to move forward, good to seek out new horizons,

But the same wanderlust that drives you to seek out adventure can also be mental torture.

A few years ago, I was absolutely convinced I would not live in America for any long period of time.

In fact, after visiting most major cities and every state (besides Alaska and Hawaii) living on a bus, I was done with this country. It no longer held a thrill. I was a missionary and that meant giving everything up and moving to a foreign country.

After some failed relationships and major heartbreak, I needed to do it.

For God. For me.

“It is just who I am,”I thought.

And it became my identity.

Because the moments I was somewhere different were the moments I felt truly alive.

I never stopped to think,

Maybe I am just running away.


I got my cup of coffee, and half a banana chocolate chip muffin. I sat on the couch. Wrote a few difficult, honest thoughts in my neglected journal:

How do you know when you are going after your dreams, or just chasing after the next high, the next pot at the end of the rainbow?

At times that panicky, choking feeling comes up. I can’t handle watching certain movies or even following certain nomadic people on facebook because I compare, I get jealous, and I start to question my life.

I wonder if I made the wrong decisions.

I wonder if now I am stuck.

I stop writing. I need to get out of my head. I need truth.

I slowly read a few words in my dog-eaten bible,

When a woman gives birth to a baby, she has pain, because her time has come. But when the baby is born, she forgets the pain because she is so happy that a child has been born into the world. It is the same with you. Now you are sad, but I will see you again and you will be happy, and no one will take away your joy.

I breathe in.

Close my eyes.

And breathe out an instant of joy.

That day is now.

Now is an adventure.

Now is love.

Now is everything I’ve been looking for.

I don’t need to run away.

The places will come. Traveling will happen. The world is open, mine to see.

Just because I am physically in one place, doesn’t mean I am not on a journey.

What matters is the here and now.

What matters is relationships.

With my God and with those closest to me.

That is the real adventure.

That is life.

(And I’ll keep repeating these truths until I finally believe them.)

My Heart Is An Open Window

10 Sep

My hands are ready to create something new
My soul is open to all that is true
Come in however You wish please do

Thousands of miles across the world
New colors paint streaks in my head
Red, green, and gold overcome cobwebs
This goes against all I have been told
This story of beauty and joy is possible

I am aching for a new way to say
How this flower is blooming again
I am longing for a new script to this play
And believing all the world is a stage

Come to me truth, run into my arms
Embrace me and whisper the secrets of old
I don’t have the answers anymore

Windows flung wide open I hear streets below
Calling out for justice and peace
Beckoning my pen to come alive with stories dying to be told

My eyes are ready for a new scene
My heart is thirsty for grace found in You
Come in however You wish please do

Distant lands the beautiful
Faces pass I see one, finally one
”Wherever you are, be all there”
I have searched my whole life, now I am done

Welcome contentment this is your home
Now I am happy
Now I am loved
Now I know I am never alone

New scents ride on the wind and I breathe them in
I allow them to imprint tracks on my memory
Here will be forever a part of me

My hands are ready to create something new
My soul is open to all that is true
Come in however you wish please do

Morning’s here again and I throw back the
curtains and let the light shine in
Laughter visited me last night in between awake
and a dream

I have never felt a joy so real
And it’s all because I know You
Only you can create something so new

My eyes have found new scenery
My heart has found grace in you
You have come in and stirred up my world
Shook me through and through

*This poem can be found in my book All Things are Becoming New.

Mmm, Tastes Like A Story

19 Jul

I really, really like food. I mean, who doesn’t?
Food is so much more than sustaining, surviving.
It is also more than temporary pleasure.

The best food tells a story.

I mean, that’s what it’s all about right?

Food and drink, together-ness.


I love how Jesus fed people with physical food to represent the spiritual nutrition they were receiving.

Bread and wine and receiving life in Him.

Fish for breakfast and speaking how all things were now new.

Food and story go hand-in-hand.

The other day I made some  Chinese dumplings for lunch.

I dipped them in soy sauce mixed with ginger.

They invoked a memory, a story.

A tiny upper room in one of my last days in Urumqui, Western China.
Following a new friend through mad, winter-y, chaotic streets as night was approaching.

An introduction,
“This is my family,”

A kind, shy woman.

Small boys with big almond eyes, brown hair, tan skin, giggling.

“You are the first people from US they have seen.”

The kind woman gently placed three bowls on the floor where we sat cross-legged on a beautiful blanket. A tapestry hung on the bare wall, color and design.

I had eaten so many type of dumplings the past couple months,

Pork, chicken, fish, shrimp, vegetable, some undefinable meat. A thousand types.

Dumplings are good luck for the New Year. I spent Chinese New Year in an apartment with another girl on the other side of the country laughing as another kind mother attempted to teach this western girl how to make dumplings, and I failed. Completely.

“We cannot eat yours, it is bad luck if they fall apart!”

That night, I sat alone of the rooftop of our hotel and watched the sky light up with fireworks, more bright and colorful and numerous then I have ever seen before or since then.
I smiled at the two giggling boys and the shy mother and took a bite. The pungent, strong flavor of lamb I was so accustomed to after spending time in the west, mixed with the delicate home-y taste of sweet potato.

I grinned.
“Tell your mother, I have eaten a lot of dumplings while in China, and these are the best ones so far!”

Our friend translated and the mother blushed and smiled. I felt so much love for these people, this minority group of Turkic descent bared no resemblance to the “typical” Chinese in appearance, religion, or culture.

Our friend proudly showed us her family’s copy of the Koran, one of the few possessions in the small room.

“This is to us what your bible is to you.” She said proudly.

After dinner and good byes, she led us back through the dark, cold streets to our hotel.

There, we talked. Our friend picked up the bible written in Chinese and English I had been carrying across the country with me, wondering who I should give it to.

She began to read,

“In the beginning, God created the heaven’s and earth…”

For the first time, she read our story.
What food tells a story for you?

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