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Inner Rest

This morning I looked at my journal and realized that I've been neglecting all the stuff that is swirling around in my heart.

It's cheesy, and I know a lot of people don't journal any more, but for me my journal is a place where I realize what I'm feeling in my day to day life. It's like talking to a close friend. It's the most honest place of my prayer life. It is full of mistakes, bad spelling, terrible handwriting and sometimes bad words, but I know that God can take it. He already knows all of that anyways. The problem is that for the past week, I haven't been journaling very much. It's more like I have been bullet pointing the things that happen in my day to day life, and avoiding how I feel about them.

I arrived in Lima on Thursday afternoon and got settled in to my guest house in San Miguel. This guest house was a surprise plan. Which means, I thought I had a plan and then SURPRISE, this happened. I had originally planned on staying with some friends in Lima, but as my time in Lima got closer things just were not working out. Some missionary friends pointed me towards a guest house that hosts missionaries from all over the world for a small fee per night, and here I am. It's pretty amazing, just what my heart was needing. I have my own room, a double bed with two pillows, running water and a bath tub, wifi, a kitchen, and a rooftop space for laundry and yoga. A BATH TUB! I haven't had a nice soak for 5 months. Bath tubs are not common in S. America, and that is one of the things I have been missing. There is also a BOOK SHELF that is full of fiction and non-fiction. Books are heavy so I couldn't bring many with me, and I am starved for reading material.

I came to a simple conclusion. This guest house was set up up just for me, for just this moment. It's near enough to the city that I can get my business done no problem, it's near enough to the ocean that I can smell the sea air and take a run down to the beach, and it was designed to be a resting place.

The problem is that resting doesn't happen by accident, you have to chose to rest (which I have NOT chosen to do over the past couple of days).

Day one in Lima: I took a BATH, read a book, used a facial mask package that I had brought with me from the states por ser caso (just in case), and went to sleep after watching several TV episodes on Netflix.

Day two in Lima (yesterday): I woke up late, ate a Peruvian breakfast, went downtown on public transport to turn in my Brazilian visa papers, got a little lost walking along the water front looking at the ocean (THE OCEAN), came back on public transport and did laundry, read and watched MORE Netflix until I went to bed.

Day three in Lima (today): Realized that I have been hiding from my feelings by watching too much Netflix. Yeah, you already knew that. And finally tried to dial down and center in.

Inner Rest is hard to do. I can rest my body all I want and still neglect my heart. So here I am with my Bible, my journal, Bon Iver in my ears, and the view into the garden.

I was reading John this morning, and the way he talks about Jesus makes me feel something deep down. The way that Jesus went against all "religious" expectations of His day, the way that He touched people's hearts and bodies, and the way that He emphasized the inner thoughts and attitudes of our hearts is terrifying and healing all in one. THIS Jesus is the one I want to devote my life too, the one who has been with me all this time, the one who has spoken to me at night when I could not sleep, the one who has been with us every single day in the clinic, the one who will be with me when I go home.

I am trying not to be afraid of going home.

Don't get me wrong. I am SO excited. I am thrilled to be with my friends and family. I can't wait to hug them, to cry, to BE with them, to drink tea with the fab-five, to exclaim over the babies, to cook in my family's small kitchen and be in the middle of their madness, and to try and resurrect my poor tomato plant. But something happened in me a few months ago. I chose to be content here. I accepted the huge amount of love that was growing in me for the things I get to do, and the people I get to be with. Since then I have been more contented that I can remember feeling in a long time.

Not even scrolling through Facebook news feed could make me envy other people's lives. What? You have never envied someones life when you saw their beautiful wedding pictures and/or baby pictures, etc???

In the last few months I have felt something lock into place in my heart, and I don't know what it means yet, just that it happened.

It has something to do with working in the clinic, speaking Spanish, and being exhausted yet engaged mind, body and soul.

It has something to do with the ever changing face of the mountains here, the instant of hail, passing through the sierra where there are icicles the length of my arm. Then, going into the warm valley of rich green earth, where the woman sits in the middle of her half plowed field watching the sunset, feeling the connection with the land.

And it has something to do with being vulnerable for longer than is comfortable for me; asking questions, stumbling, getting off at the wrong bus stop, and making mistakes. Here we go again, back home- where my heart has the deepest roots- but where I will be vulnerable all over again.

You may have noticed that my inner self is all mishy mashyed and doesn't make much sense... Here are a few things that help me to be at rest despite the fact that my morning coffee feels like crazy juice.
Bits of the Psalms. "Finish what you started in me, God. Your love is eternal- don't quit on me now."

Or this one. "Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? To be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you're there! If I go underground, you're there! If I flew on morning's wings to the far western horizon, you'd find me in a minute- you'd already be there waiting! Then I said to myself 'Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I'm immersed in the light!' It's a fact: darkness isn't dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they're all the same to you."

And this has been what I try to remember to pray every day, "Help me to be YOUR daughter today." Because He brought me here for a reason, just the same as He's bringing me back home.

This is a prayer request: Pray with me that I will remember to Be His Daughter throughout this transition, and that I will be open to whatever comes next.

Thanks! Now, go get some rest.


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