And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

Friday, August 29, 2014

By the way, I am going to South Africa

In just a few short hours, I will be getting on a plane and flying half way around the world to a country I've never been to before. Earlier in the year, Liz got to visit Cambodia, a country that I dearly love. Now the roles are reversed and I get to go to the country where she fell in love with missions. To say that I am excited would be an understatement! This last minute trip is right in the wheelhouse of things that I love (spontaneity, travel, 60 degree weather, mountains, oceans, planes, relationships, Jesus!) and I am completely energized just thinking about this trip. I don't have time to go into a lot of detail, but prayer would be GREATLY appreciated. Our itinerary is jam packed with lots of church and partner visits, so prayer at any minute of any day will be incredibly helpful!

I apologize for the brevity, but to finish I want to thank all of the people in my life who have loved, supported, encouraged, advised, and prayed for me as I have prepared for this trip. I am so so so grateful!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Simple

Many of you know that I was recently in Ireland. Liz, Mia, and I love international travel and we have made it a goal of ours to do at least one international vacation a year. This year we have already exceeded that expectation (Yea Canada!). Along with any trip comes the plethora of Facebook posts and albums of pictures. Many people have been requesting to see pictures and so this post is in response to those requests. What I have found in my international travel experience; however, is that no matter how interested a person actually is in your trip, there is a threshold of attention.
Let me expound.
I will preface by saying that I am in no way claiming to be a revolutionary on the concept of simplicity. In fact, many people have written, spoken, shared about this concept in recent years. Jen Hatmaker's "7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess", the sermon series at church "Simplify" and Bill Hybels' subsequent book on the topic are some modern day examples that have inspired me. Even long ago, authors like Henry David Thoreau wrote entire expositions on the topic (cough cough...Walden Pond). I mean one of his most famous lines in literary history is, "Simplify, simplify, simplify."I think our culture is on information overload. We have too many choices. We have too many stimuli fighting for our attention. I really want to read the book, "The Paradox of Choice" to learn more about it, but based on his thesis, I completely agree! Shoot-just check out his TED Talk! People ask to see pictures of your trip--but after a while you can see their eyes glaze over. Somewhere along the lines, you lose them.
So bringing it back to Ireland...while there, I found myself challenged. In this day of amazing technology in which a phenomenal camera is easily accessible on your phone, it is easy to get so caught up in taking pictures that we forget to actually live in the moment. So on this trip, I tried to make it my goal to take as few pictures as possible and still capture the beauty and wonder of the moments I wanted to not only live in but remember forever. Which then got me thinking about back in the day. Anyone remember disposable cameras? 24 pictures (25 if you were lucky). That is all you got. No chance to get instant feedback on how awesome the photo looked. No chance to re-evaluate the photos worthiness of being in the 24. Once you took the picture, it was done. No editing. No redoing. The result was permanent. The decision was made. So this is my disposable camera from Ireland. 24 pictures. One line of description. Not perfect pictures, but they capture the essence of the trip.
My hope is that it will not disappoint you, but rather inspire you. Inspire you to travel. Inspire you to live in the moment. Inspire you to create your own adventures. But most of all--inspire you to live simply.
Park people-watching.
Cathedral ceiling.
Those birds. 
Wind-blown before Riverdance,
I love the juxtaposition of the old and the ancient.
Thank you John.
Galway's shore.
Converse on the beach.
The mix of textures is fantastic.
Laughter and photographer.
Evening picnic on the pier.
If only you knew what Mia had to drive through to get this view.
How can you not take a picture of the Cliffs of Moher?
Small town Ireland.
The family castle.
Truth in graffiti.
The colors of the boats. 
Lighthouse sky.
Holy Spirit door.
Marry me.
Enter the library.
Ivy.

Stop and read a book.
After the rain.



I got lucky. This disposable camera had 25 pictures. 
We love museums.