embrace

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My intention this year is to embrace more. Embrace my life. Myself. My decisions, passions, needs. The moment. The one who's right in front of me. My feelings (including the light ones). My hopes (as well as my fears).

So I’ve been thinking a lot about what it really means to embrace these things. And—as I’ve realized is a bit of a pattern with me—I’m mostly thinking about what it doesn’t mean.

‘Embrace’ is not always synonymous with ‘accept’. Sometimes it means making room for something else. Releasing. Letting go.

Embracing that which makes me discontent is to acknowledge it. Look it in the eye. Call it by name. Wrestle with it. And determine which needs to change: its presence or my perspective on it.

My aim is to find more contentment in my discontent. To embrace even that which is uncomfortable. And to more honestly and courageously call things by their actual name.

one word. for one year.

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Resolutions just never worked for me. Usually, by about February, I couldn’t even remember what my resolutions were. They stood simply as reminders of failure: a long list of goals that I didn’t accomplish. So I abandoned them.

For almost a decade now, I’ve chosen just one word to guide me in the coming year. One word that serves as my compass, guiding my decisions and helping me live more intentionally. It acts as a barometer, a touch point. And, unlike resolutions, it’s easy to stay mindful of all year long.

I usually have a love/hate relationship with my word. Scaring me at least a little is a prerequisite, as it needs to challenge me rather than comfort me. And this coming year is no different.

In 2019, I choose to EMBRACE my life, my moments, my limitations, my strengths... all of it. With equal measures of dread and anticipation, I look forward to seeing where my word will take me. And to discovering who my word will make me.

One word. For one year. Will you join me? What word will you choose to guide you in 2019?

don't you ever get tired?

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I.

It bears repeating: I have a love/hate relationship with my #OneWord365. Hope—that four-letter word. Sometimes heart-lifting, like a bouquet of helium balloons big enough to sweep me off the ground; other times, a heavy weight that renders me immobile…and exhausted.

And then I see it—hope—very much alive and well and forward-pushing in the hearts of those who have every reason to have given up on it. And it wrecks me. Because I can’t help but hear it whispering also to me… 

My breath catches in my throat, and my eyes fill with tears, and I shake my head—not so much in disbelief, but in an attempt to dislodge the roots I can feel sinking deeper. Laying hold. Gripping securely.

Even when I try to shake it free—even when I let go—hope holds tightly to me.


II. 

“Don’t you ever get tired?”

She asked this question of The Exodus Road’s India Director after hearing about the uphill, overwhelming battles his team faces daily: the 24 hours of travel by train or bus to get to cases, the tip-offs by corrupt police, the sheer numbers of victims, the horrific abuse they witness. His answer was quick and emphatic.

“Tired? Yes, yes, I get tired. I get tired of traveling and taking care of everything and missing my family. I do get tired of all that. But I never, never get tired of rescuing these girls. I will never get tired of that.”

There are few people I respect and admire as much as this man and the other men and women on The Exodus Road’s team, actively pushing freedom forward in some of the darkest corners of the earth. Their resiliency and determination and passion—their unwavering hope amidst unspeakable circumstances—inspire me beyond measure. They disturb me in good and hard ways. They challenge me deeply. And, even when I’m not even sure I want it, they stir hope in my heart.

I’m fairly certain they will do the same for you.

III.

Join me in leaning into relentless hope, even especially if hope at times feels elusive (or downright antagonistic). Follow The Exodus Road wherever you hang out online: Instagram, Facebook, your inbox

Dig in. Learn more. Be inspired. Let yourself be challenged.

And allow hope to disturb you.

Photo Credit: The Exodus Road

after kavanaugh

It was expected. Not surprising in the least. And yet, even still, I am devastated. Wrecked. Sobbing. Nauseated. I cannot seem to process the what/why/how of it all, but it does not matter.

Because tomorrow the sun rises. And tomorrow the fight continues. And tomorrow the need to stand up against injustice remains just as sure if not surer.

And so I cry. I vent. I console. I drink. I unplug. I pace. I rock. I reach for connection and camaraderie. I get angrier. I get sadder. I get feistier. I get more determined. I get more courageous. In the face of what feels like hopelessness, I dig in my heels.

Sometimes you have to say a thing until you believe it:

I will not be moved. I will not be moved. I will not be moved.

getaway

A few candid conversations in the past week about wanting to love my life have lingered like a rock in my shoe, pestering me to change and leaving me limping and exhausted. So I’mma give my heart a short break on this grey, dreary day and wistfully daydream about being back at the beach. My soul could use the getaway.

Pebble, limp, and all, I’m whispering gratitudes for honest, hard conversations with trusted friends.