Tuesday, January 10, 2017


I know that people say that endings and goodbyes are hardest.
That beginnings have this certain beauty and sparkle about them.

I sort of feel the opposite.

For me, beginnings are tricky and awkward and uncertain.
Endings have this lovely way of showing you the big, beautiful picture that finally resulted from those beginnings now behind you.

I've never really liked starting things. Not at all.
I remember the hours spent staring at my computer screen. The white glaring. Overwhelming me. The curser blinking. The emptiness impossible..unbearable. So many things I could say. So many ways I could start and directions the whole thing could go.
But which way and which direction?
What should I fill the space with?
The sorting of thoughts and fleshing out of ideas. The need to focus. To put thoughts on paper. Complicated, complex, colorful thoughts into black and white.
I always struggled to begin.

Hard conversations. Avoided until unavoidable for fear of the start of them. The uncertainty of the direction they might take.

Being healthy. Leaving behind a life of unhealthy habits. Deciding which day to wake up and change my life for the better. For so long never beginning.

And then God called me to church plant.
I remember the endless meetings. The frustration. The roller coaster that is trying to break ground and plant seeds in what seems to be layers of granite. Feeling as if every reserve inside of me had emptied and still I needed to find more. From somewhere. That there was no end or even beginning in sight. That every ounce of creativity had been squeezed out of me and in vain.

And then. In the chaos and pain that was leaving church planting behind. Saying farewell to the city that had unraveled me but had also woven itself into the fabric of my heart.

He did it again.
He asked me to start something new.
And it was there, in that place. That somewhere in-between-wilderness space, that The Pearl Press began. With my very best friend on the planet. With some dreams and some passion and a unified heart and absolutely no idea where we should begin or where we would end up.

And there have been lots more starts and beginnings since then.
And there are so many more to come. Of that I am certain.

All that to say, right now on The Pearl Press, we are walking through #athingadaychallenge
That's right, one thing a day for all of January. Things we never get around to doing simply because other things take priority and because starting is just hard.

Today's thing, January 10, 2017:
Try something you've been wanting to try.

I decided to apply this to another of my goals for this year.
To write more.
I have my process, you know? Don't we all?
I normally formulate ideas in my head and my heart. Rangel them onto paper. And then search out or take the perfect photo to go with.

Today, I decided to switch up my process. To work backwards.
Today I took my dog for a walk. And I took photos of whatever struck me.
The angles.
The colors.
The textures.

Because some days, I need to remind myself that here is good. Here is lovely.
Here is hard. So hard sometimes.
But here is what I have right now and I'll only have here for so long.
And whether or not I can believe it, someday I will be somewhere else. Not here and not now. And I will look back with fondness on this place and think one of two things:
1. I'm so glad I soaked up all of that place. The people, the colors, the tastes and all of the beautiful experiences and lessons it had to offer
2. I really wish I would have been there. Really been there. Taken things as they were and embraced life as it was in that place.

I hope #1 is true. But I don't have to only hope, I can make #1 true. I can. I must. Even when it seems impossible.

So, today I am bringing you here. My beautiful here and now.
Here's my world today for all that it is.
The snapshots I want to hold onto.
These are the pieces of here and now that I'm embracing today.

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