Life Lessons on My Bike

I live in Madison, WISCONSIN

I don’t say it right. That’s what most people say when I say, “Wisconsin.” Apparently I have a bit of a Boston accent. Not much, but enough for folks to know I’m not local.

Which is true. Just about a month ago, I packed all my stuff and moved half way across the country. And I’m settling in quite nice. And I think I owe a lot of that to my bike.

When I’m on my bike, it’s like I’m a kid again. There’s a freedom and innocence to riding a bike, I think. Ok, let me get a little cheesy (I am in Wisconsin) for a moment. I’m riding down one of the many awesome bike paths, with the wind blowing my hair and cooling my face. The orange and yellow leaves creep in on either side of the path and rain down when the wind blows. The sun shines bright through the branches and each opening leads to bright blue skies that have no end. The warmth comes from within. It comes from that feeling of being alive and being free to be me. In that moment, everything is right. Nothing is holding me back.

And I think there is some cool life lesson type stuff in here. Like living life in the moment. Letting go of what I can’t control or make happen on my own. So much of this transition time, from the time I decided to move and even now, I just keep asking God to keep me present. Help me live in the moment. Help me see, feel and live right now. I don’t want to worry about the future, or try to figure it out.

And despite circumstances that aren’t “just right” or going “my way,” I’m really happy. It’s been such a gift. Just like my bike. I’m so thankful for it and even more thankful for the friends who gave it to me.

And my bike is so cool. It’s perfect. It’s old and a little rusty, it’s yellow, it has mustache duck-tape on the handle-bars and mini-flashlights as lights. Often when I lock it up, I forget to wrap the lock around the actually bike and just lock my lock to the railing…and NO ONE has taken it. It’s perfect.

Kind of like life. It’s messy, and doesn’t always look “put together” but it fits me just right.

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One More Time

This song has been shouting loudly in my head the past week or so.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3ll-5zwe3c0

As I hang out with friends, one more time, doing our favorite things, one more time, walking out of familiar places, one more time, running my favorite routes or with my favorite people, one more time, my heart aches with grief yet celebrates the good that has passed and is to come.

Today, after I pack all my stuff in a trailer to be shipped across the country, I will get in the car and begin my two day journey to Madison, WI. The chapter I’m closing is a tough one to walk away from. Life is good. Love is abundant. Community is vibrant and Jesus is surely alive amongst us.

But there’s a new adventure ahead of me. New people to meet and love, new places to call home, new favorite things to do, new favorite places to run, and new crazy things to do with Jesus.

Worcester you have a huge piece of my heart.

Madison, here I come!!!

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Bittersweet “See You Soons.”

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

I’ve been trying to write this blog for a while, knowing I have so much to share but finding it hard to slow down and put it all into words.

My life is changing. A lot. And I’m just trying to keep up and savor every moment.

I can not put into words how loved I feel. I am thankful beyond words. My life here in Worcester is amazing. I have my family. I have my friends. And I have this amazing community I get to live with. Every day is a huge blessing and every moment is so full and vibrant.

And yet, I’m about to embark on a new adventure.

In just over a week, I will pack all my stuff (or as much as I can fit) into a Uhaul trailer and move to Madison, WI.

And I’m really excited.

It seems crazy that I’m so excited to pick up and leave this amazing life I have, to move to a colder (read: I hate being cold) climate to do an internship and apprenticeship at a church. The church out there is really connected to The Woo here so when I went out to Madison in May for a conference things just started happening.

I never thought I would move to Madison, WI. I had an idea that I might move away from Worcester someday, but the mid-west!!! Wow. This must be a God thing.

And I think it is. I really feel His leading and guidance in this. It’s never felt like an “I want to do this, how do I make it happen?”, it’s felt like an “ooh, God I want to follow you, wherever you take me.”

And right now it seems He is taking me to Madison. An adventure that’s already been so fruitful and so fun! So many things have fallen into place so well and I already feel connected to some folks in Madison.

I will miss you though. I will miss so much here.

I don’t know exactly what living in Madison will look like. But I can’t wait to find out! And in that, I’m relying totally on God to not get ahead of myself! It’s a precious time right now. This time of transition. A time of excitement and anticipation. A time of bittersweet goodbyes.

But the truth is I can’t say goodbye to you, it’d be too much. I can only say “see you soon.” And the best part is, that’s what I get to do. Because one huge blessing in this is that Worcester is where I’m from, and Worcester is where I can always come back to.

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My Heart is Safe Only With You*

My life is about to change drastically.

And I have so much to say yet I’m rendered speechless so often these days. (I know that’s hard to believe but it happens) I’m in awe of my life. This life I get to live. The experiences I get to have. The people I get to love and who love me back so well. And the God who loves me so much I can’t comprehend it.

I’m in the land of the unknown. Big changes are coming and while I’m engulfed in the rush of emotions in letting go and taking in the new things, I also have no idea what my life will look like in a month. And God is doing this new thing with my heart through this. It’s not so new that He hasn’t done it before, it’s just new in that He’s going deeper. And it’s something, from what I can tell from talking to people older and wiser than me, that He does over and over again. And it feels amazing. And hard.

You see in this transition into the unknown there are things I want to happen in a certain way. Things I want to control and put into place. And, that’s not going to happen. Actually the best way for things to happen is for me to let go and not control anything. And the thing is, I know (from experience) that it’s way better this way. But it’s not always easy.

This time I don’t have to work so hard to let go. God is doing the heavy lifting. So often I’ve been told to just let go and let God. But sometimes it seems so impossible. I couldn’t figure out how to do it. I don’t know what makes this different, but it is.

God is doing the hard work, I just have to look at Him. All I did was ask. I asked God to tell my heart the things my head knew but I was struggling to live out. And He did. He did something amazing. It feels safe. It feels free. It hurts. And it’s a continual process. Because I have my moments where I want to figure it out. I want to plan, I want to know. And again I have to let go.

The process is overwhelming and so sweet.

Today I say goodbye to my job. My first official goodbye in this process. It’s bittersweet. I have enjoyed so many moments at this place. Connecting with co-workers and the community. Serving up coffee, mostly with a smile, and getting to know all those around me. It’s been challenging and I’ve grown a lot through the process.

I will miss every person I worked with. Every customer who comes in. Every person who I pass on my way to and from work. I will miss the community.

Today I will soak in every sweet moment while wholeheartedly looking forward to what’s in store in this new adventure I’m on.

*thank you Lydia Lowe Ferreira for this beautiful line from your beautiful song – it’s brought my heart to new places — God has given you an amazing gift!!! 🙂

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What about #bostonloving? or #bostonhealing? before we get to #bostonstrong?

I was in Boston on Monday. I have a story to tell too. A story of near misses, a story with fear, a story I wish I didn’t have to have.

I won’t go into all the details of stopping for lunch, retrieving sunglasses and missing trains. We were heading for the Starbucks you can see in the background of where the second bomb went off. From there we were going to the Fire Station on Boylston to cheer on my friend Kerri.

I will say that I’m thankful. I’m so thankful for God’s grace and timing. I’m thankful my friends and I are safe. I’m sad people were hurt and even killed.

And I have a lot of mixed emotions inside right now. I’m hurting for those who lost loved ones and those who are injured. I’m hurting for everyone involved.

I’m still processing all of this. Still figuring out how I feel about everything from the explosions to the casualties to the response and the media.

We all have something to deal with in this. My question is – is #bostonstrong enough to deal with the pain?

Can we really keep talking about this in love, loving one another where we are at and dare I say forgiving those who have hurt us? It’s my hope and my prayer that grace is bigger than this pain and that love is stronger than this evil.

My prayer is that Boston, the city I love, the city I call home, can be BostonStrong in love. Not in a pep-rally to come back and pretend this didn’t happen, not strong in fighting back, not strong in making hurtful jokes towards any one person or people-group. But strong in admitting where it hurts, strong in admitting when we are scared, strong in forgiving those around us, and strong in loving one another.

Let’s dig deep, Boston and love our way out of this.

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Divine Gifts

What it Would Say

If the ocean could speak, today I thought it would say…
“Your God is my God.”
“My waves bring you peace”
“It is good.”

The sun broke through in the afternoon and God’s gifts were divine. In a 20 minute stroll down the beach, God offered me everything I needed. Vitamin D in the sun, rest in the sound of the waves, peace in the flow of the waves, excitement in the crashing of the waves, childlike faith in the kicking of the sand, grace in the flow of nature and love in the warmth of a friendship and the promise of a new season to come.

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March 1, 2013 · 12:14 am

Wiper Wisdom

As I was driving in the snow storm today I was struggling with the right speed for my windshield wipers. Silly, maybe, but it was all too fast and kept making the screeching noise.  And it seemed wasteful.  I hate waste.  And I felt like the wildsheild wipers were wasting energy (more on that another time).  So I changed to the intermittent one.  And it went and then stuff started piling up on the windshield and I was like, “ok, come on windshield wipers, do your thing!”  And then I got worried, “they’re not going to show up,” I said to myself, “it’s not going to happen, I’ll have to do it myself.” And then bam!  Right before I could, the windshield wipers swished across the windshield.

And then I thought.  How often do we do this with God?  How often do we say, “ok, God, I’m totally doing this with you, let’s go do this, whatever you say.”  And then when it gets uncomfortable, or things start to pile up, we bail.  We just jump right off the God train and start trying to figure it all out on our own.  Wow, I can look back in my life and see this.  

Now I want to know, what am I missing out on by taking it back at the last moment?  I don’t want to miss out!  I don’t want to miss you Jesus.

Thankfully I am surrounded by people with awesome faith who help push me to stay in it and help me from jumping off the God truing. And when I do stay aboard, God always shows up, just before I fall off the road.

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