Saturday, October 10, 2015

When you ask for an Avocado Tree...

Interesting title, I know.
I am sure you can only imagine what you are in for with this post.

This past week,  I turned 27.
I know, I know.
"You're young!"
Everyone's favorite phrase these days.
It's true, I suppose. In the grand scheme of things, 27 is just getting started. But somehow it is just crazy to me. I mean, when did that happen!?
They say that every year, the years feel faster.
I agree 129%
I just don't know how October rolls around so quickly!
But when I step back and really think about it, I do know....
Because they also say, "Time flies when you're having fun."
And goodness, I sure have had a whole lot of that in my 27 years.

For that I am so grateful
Of course birthdays make you reflect. At least me anyways...but then who am I kidding...EVERYTHING makes me reflect. I am just one of those introspective, reflective, journal-y people. I guess I just figure we get one life to live, we might as well really experience it. Really live it!

Every single year there are a few things that I can't seem to fully grasp (in a great way.) Things that leave me feeling so full and blessed and in awe.

Most of all, God's immense kindness and goodness and faithfulness towards me.

Every single year I look back on all the years before and think, "why me?"
"Why have you been so kind to me? Why have you given so much more than everything when I deserve so much less than nothing?"
Every year I am more determined to live in obedience and complete surrender because I realize it's the only way I could ever even begin to give back to Him for everything He is to me and everything He has done for me. Every year I see His blessing and favor saturating everything I do. And every year I am eager to sign up for another year of adventuring with Him because when I look back on all of it, it's so clear to me that it's the only way to really live!

Here's a little story of sorts that will sum up simply and beautifully my last 27 years with Jesus.

This past year as I was navigating my way through the "wilderness, " I was simultaneously navigating my way through trust and faith and letting go. (Aren't I always!?) When I finally couldn't ignore anymore that He was changing my plans and my direction and I had to accept that we were about to take another  huge and irrational leap of faith, I sat down to write.
Because what else would I do?
And because I knew that I needed to be bold and brave from the start. It was the only way to walk this road.
These are the words from the blog I wrote the week that I accepted the job teaching at Lincoln School in Guadalajara, Mexico....

"So, here I am, adventuring on and doing my very best to trust Jesus all the while. And this is me making a very public declaration of faith. That I know with all certainty (and believe me this is the ONLY thing I know with all certainty) that Jesus is good and kind and faithful. Jesus knows the desires of my heart. And Jesus has already gone before me to Mexico preparing the perfect place that will feel like home in a foreign land. I am believing Him for windows that let in lots of bright, Mexican sunshine and bright, obnoxiously colored walls or cabinets or something. A place that I can afford comfortably and most importantly a home for Lincoln and a place that we can be a light for Him to our neighbors. And I am saying all of this here on a blog that everyone on the world wide web can read because I know that He is more than able and that He delights to give me the desires of my heart and to take care of me. AND because when He shows Himself faithful AGAIN, you better believe I will be bragging about His goodness to the world wide web and everyone else who will listen! This is just another chance for Him to get the glory and for me to stack my life story with testaments to Jesus and Who He is! "

Although I didn't specifically write it here, I remember thinking that this time I needed to trust God in a big way. I had 26 (almost 27) years of experience with Him and I wanted to show Him that I trusted Him to be good and faithful and kind as He had always been. I remember journaling one day that I was believing him for an avocado tree in my backyard. I know that's a little silly, bit it was my way of telling Him that I knew He knew better than me the deepest desires of my heart and He would tend to each and every one.

After one week of teacher orientation, I finally got to see my classroom.
I moved with literally no idea of what daily life would look like here in Mexico. Where I would teach, where I would live... (Okay I had seen parts of the school and pictures of my place on a blog....but you know what I mean...) As my coordinator walked us over to our section of the school, she gave us a little tour of sorts. As we opened the gate to the Kinder area, she stooped down to pick something up off of the ground.
An avocado.
"Look up," She said. "That's an avocado tree. You are welcome to take them home anytime you find them lying around."

(My heart skipped a beat. )

He really was as good and as kind and as faithful as I believed He was.

"And over there," she said, "We have a banana and a mango tree. Take what you like."
(Tears welling up in my eyes...)

She unlocked my classroom.
Bright yellow tables.
A bright yellow desk.
(Tears streaming down my cheeks. )

He is so much kinder and even more good and more faithful than I knew.
Than I could ever know.

Every day I walk to school.
I pass rare, beautiful, tropical flowers.
I sit at my bright yellow desk in front of my sunny window.
I pick up avocados while I am outside with the kiddos.
I spend my evenings with Lincoln in my little upstairs flat with the big bay window and the fun brick ceiling.
I have friends who make me homemade pumpkin spice syrup and who bring waffle makers when there is no gas to cook pancakes.

Here is hard but here is a testament to God's goodness and faithfulness and unmerited kindness in my life.

Life is hard. Life is messy.
But in all of that there is God's goodness and faithfulness and kindness.
More than we can ever even begin to imagine.

I have only lived 27 years.
I am so young! (or so they say)
But already I feel like I have lived an entire lifetime.
Because that is what life with Him is like.
So full.
So rich.
So colorful.
Packed with adventure.
Today I am thankful that every single one of those years has been a testament to God and His character. I am thankful that I have never known a day...a moment of life without His presence. I have never had to experience the emptiness that is life without Him. I have always seen beauty and light and joy though hurt and darkness and sorrow have been present, simply because I have only every seen life through the filter of Him.
At 27 years of age I am only beginning to learn that when you trust him for an avocado tree, He has already planted it.
And a banana tree and a mango tree just because He loves you that much.

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