I've been itching for a few days to sit down and write.  Typically the words need the time to fill the space in my head and spill out naturally.  I'm a thinker - reflection is a part of my day whether I like it or not and when there are big things going on, I typically need a second to let this mind of mine catch up and wrap itself around it.

My last 6 months have been a bit of a whirlwind.  A whirlwind, I know, I haven't been in charge of on purpose.  Over the years God has taught me to go with the flow - and just as the Spirit moves within us, God is never wrong. So, with all my type A, planning personality - I've tried with all my might to surrender everything and ask my fearless leader to lead me, walking a wobbly step or two behind like a blindfolded kid being steered in the direction of a treasure-filled pinata.

  ..And suddenly I hit that sucker.  I have come to this place where so many things finally add up- like treasures scattered around me and they make some real sense.  I say suddenly like all of it happened overnight.  It did not.  Over years I've taken my fair share of swings - just catching air with valiant effort.  I have been the reader of this story as it slowly unfolds, consistently wondering what is up - constantly wondering why this old soul, tender heart and busy mind combined in me exactly the way they have.  But as I've watched the process of God moving in my life, I am indeed amazed, yet again, by the magnificence of the Spirit which grows inside of us as we build our relationship with "the numba one stunna".  Again and again I am reminded of the vastness and capabilities of God and as much as I plan and fret, everything is already taken care of - just like the birds of the air...  and now I see the purpose.

With all these things on my horizons, I am learning to exhale the breath I feel like I've been holding for decades.  I realize, I don't need to hold my breath - I just need to breathe and be at peace.  Feeling a bit like a little girl who has just lost her training wheels on her first bike, I find this to be the ride of my life- exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time.  I know I've got a ways to go, but I'm finding my pedals and legs are connected already.

"We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring, will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time. Through the unknown, remembered gate, when the last of earth left to discover is that which was the beginning;  At the source of the longest river, the voice of the hidden waterfall - and the children in the apple tree, not known, because not looked for, but heard - half heard, in the stillness between two waves of the sea.  Quick now, here, now, always. A condition of complete simplicity - costing not less than everything - and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.  When the tongues of flame are in-folded into the crowned knot of fire.  And the fire and the rose are one." T.S. Eliot

The quote from T.S. Eliot I found while taking a creative writing class at Hong Kong International School.  It made sense at the time and fit my journey to China perfectly at 17 years old.  My first flying-solo trip and international flight alone. My first real starting a brand new school with all new faces.   All in one.  But the time away from home at 17 taught me so much about what I loved and needed - what it meant to really be home.  Reading the poem again now, it still applies because it makes me think of my own personal growth, the way my life perspectives have changed and developed over time - not just from the good things, but from the things that were the hardest hurdles for me to overcome.  Our sights change through our experience - like "Gold tested in fire"  we are God's constant projects and are being prepared for our own life's purpose before we are even aware of it.  God is keenly in tuned not only with our gifts, but also, with our needs. With all this preparation our insights and perspectives develop to see people, places and things in our lives which, likely, have been there - or at least nearby all along.

So, I'll leave you with some Alexi Murdoch so you can ponder your own journeys, plans, pinatas and bike rides.  Just don't forget where to find the air that fills your tires... and just breathe.

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