Travel, Writing

When wanderlust becomes a problem

Recently, I’ve been struggling with pride, jealousy, and comparison. Am I the only one? I didn’t think so. Anyhow, these are sin issues I’ve always struggled with. Constantly, and through various situations, I’ve been humbled and convicted.

Some days my life feels absolutely mundane. No doubt it’s hectic and busy and wonderful and full of many blessings,¬† but recently I’ve been consumed with wanderlust. I’d say this is a common yearning.

Here’s my confession: I’m jealous of my friend’s adventures for the summer. I have friends going to Haiti, the Philippines, Nicaragua, California, Guatemala, Thailand, and God knows where else.

And then there’s me. Still in Washington. Since 1999 I’ve been living within the same five-mile radius. Not much has changed except the malls keep growing and so does the traffic.

And I hate shopping.

Here’s the deal. I’m missing the point. All of these wonderful people are there for the sake of expanding the Kingdom of God.¬† And that’s a different type of wanderlust. It’s more than a desire to see the world, it’s a calling. One which involves sacrifice. They left behind friends and family because God called them to. It’s not my job to be jealous, but to be happy and supportive of the wonderful work they are doing.

I’m bad at comparing my adventure with those of others around me. (Not excluding those halfway across the world). While I’m busy wasting time lamenting over everything I haven’t seen and done, a lot of opportunities fly by me.

I need to learn to love where I live. Because at some point, I’ll¬† most likely move away from this place I’ve grown up in. And if I don’t learn to be grateful for where I am now, then why would I suddenly appreciate the next place I go?

My biggest fear is living a life that’s boring. Not just boring, but purposeless. If done right, going to Wal-Mart can be made memorable.

Let’s define purpose, because I know for a fact that it means something different to everyone.

Purpose

noun

1. the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.

2. an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.

3. determination; resoluteness.

4. the subject in hand; the point at issue.

5. practical result, effect, or advantage: to act to good purpose.

I love the first definition.¬† It reminds me of how God sees his children. Existing for a purpose. It’s not about how far you travel, the number stamps in your passport, but how much you loved, right where you are today. Not where you are tomorrow, but in this very minute.

It’s not that I believe God is endorsing that we live in a bubble or that we best fulfill our purpose-whatever it may be- within a five mile radius we’ve lived our whole lives.

Look at the fourth definition. How do you define purpose? What is the subject at hand?

Some of the most rewarding experiences aren’t¬† glamorous or worthy of the latest issue of National Geographic.

 

“Beautiful things don’t seek attention.”

{The Secret Life of Walter Mitty}

 

I will never tire of this quote or the story it came from. I could go on a long rave about the movie, but I’ll save a full-fledged review for another post.

-Kayla

Stay tuned for more posts over the next few weeks!

 

 

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Bible

Heavy laden

*Do excuse my ramblings*

I serve.

I  serve people.

I  serve an extraordinary God.

Through serving with Isaiah 58, a homeless ministry based in downtown Seattle, I’ve learned that when you feed people food, you feed their souls, not their stomachs. It’s true. Come join me sometime and you will see.

Incredible.

I don’t know how else to describe the experience. While I don’t know most of these people’s stories, I wager that they’re lives are broken. Like mine. Their lives aren’t broken because of their homelessness or their unemployment or their hunger or their lack of material wealth. But because deep inside each and every one of us is a stubborn, independent nature. ¬†They carry their homes on their backs. Literally and figuratively. They long for one whose yoke is light. But like most of us, forget that there is already one who has offered to ease the weight and tension.

These people are  thirsty for eternal life. Hungry for the Jesus who loves them with a love so intense and passionate that we will never comprehend it.

I hunger and thirst for these things too.

I marvel at how such a perfect being could love me, as insignificant as I am. And then there is the baggage that I carry. Both emotional and physical. Someone in my math class said to me the other day, “wow Kayla, I never realized how huge that bag looks on you.”

He was talking about my backpack of course, but I wondered, could this be a reflection upon my lack of  dependence?

I must admit, I’ve been living out of the bag that carries all of my burdens. I naively believe that I’m able to do it all. Inside this bag ¬†contains some regrets, my broken past, fragments of my crushed heart and a load of insecurities. ¬†In addition to those things, are textbooks and to do lists.¬†¬†At the bottom is my Bible. I carry it with me, but I don’t crack it open as often as I should. It’s more of an extra weight than the uplifting, filling, soul food that it’s meant to be.

A lifeline. That’s what God’s Word is. A reminder of how even the best of people—including ¬†Jesus Himself—struggled as much as myself.

The wonderful news is that I don’t have to. Where in the bible does it read

Rule #1: Must carry pack around at all times. Be sure it is filled to the brim and ripping at the seams.

Why do I forget this so often? ¬†Isn’t¬†sitting up on the clouds shaking his head down at me saying “tsk, tsk, Kayla is such a pathetic human being.” I am weak, but I am continually valued and treasured. God is not looking to smite me. Certainly he wouldn’t have sent his son to die for me if that were his intention.

Our sweet Jesus uses those fragments¬†¬†like shards of glass and bits of pottery to create a beautiful mosaic–each piece a testament to our stories of healing.

Lay your burden down at the feet of the Potter who desires nothing else than to lift whatever it is weighing down our spirits.

-Kayla

 

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Writing

Empty Shelf Book 16: The Book Thief

Title: The Book Thief

Author: Markus Zusak

What’s it about:¬†If you didn’t already take a stab at guessing,¬†The Book Thief¬†is in fact, about a young thief who steals books. It’s about so much more though. It’s about a war, a train, a Gravedigger’s Handbook, ¬†a street named Heaven, a girl named Liesel Meminger, ¬†a boy with “hair the color of lemons,” and many many books.

Why did I read it:¬†To stumble across a book about books and a story within a story isn’t an everyday occurrence.

Favorite idea:¬†“Don’t punish yourself,” she heard her say again, but there would be punishment and pain, and there would be happiness too. That was writing. (Liesel Meminger.) This is the epitome of writing.¬†This book isn’t simply about stealing books. As you read Liesel’s story, you’ll find that this book is about a reader finding thewriter within.

Where you can find it: here. 

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Barry Silver, Creative Commons

 

I’ve watched very few TED talks. I’ve watched one or two from school and that’s about the extent of my viewing. ¬†Anyhow, my aunt is frequently¬†e-mailing, shipping, and texting me materials that challenge me to stretch my ways of thinking and improve my . To offer a few examples, before I left for Haiti in 2012, she bought me a beautiful chocolate brown leather sketchbook, encouraging me to completely wreck with pictures, sketches, doodles, and words. As a graduation gift, she sent me The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style &¬† the Third Edition of Garner’s Modern American Usage. She also encouraged me to follow Brian Garner on Twitter, which I did. She’s leading me down the path of the elite writers. ¬†Surely, you’re thinking,
So what about TED talks?”

Today, she messaged me the link to a beautiful talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Regardless of whether or not you are a writer, I’d encourage you to watch this video. It’s a tad long, about twenty minutes, but definitely worthwhile. Her story provides a very convicting and powerful perspective on how we view one another as human beings. Thank-you, ¬†Aunt Lela for always challenging me!

 

 

 

What are your thoughts? Are you, like me, convicted of the only telling the single story?  I love to hear from you!