moving mountains

It has been ages and eons since I have been here.  Yes believe it or not, some things are more challenging in the West.  Schedules, time and inspiration…but I have missed all of you.  Really truly missed you reading this line on your screen.  It has been one of those this-present-moment-requires-all-I have-and-then-some seasons. Ever have one of those?

I have scribbled out my most inspired moments on the literal unpaved roads of Africa for, well, the entirety of this current journey the last six plus years and now I am learning what it means to find inspiration on unpaved roads slightly more figurative.

So where have I been the last month (uchumm months)?  Many places. Visiting new friends and sharing what God is up to over in South Sudan.  Launching my second book. Finding my footing in a new rhythm.  And carving out a space that I can work from when on this side of the world.   Excavation.  Renovation.  Restoration.  All of the above.  Oh… and I have a new primary computer which added some excused absences to my calendar too.

But I am back really this time. You will now be hearing from me way more regularly again. {Thank you for your patience when I have dropped off the edge of the cyber universe unannounced.}

Almost all my writing will be done right here where I am sitting clicking away.  I have long said I want an creative studio.  I now have one!

Now the precious time I spend abroad with my family in Africa can be spent *with* my family in Africa, not waiting at my desk for an admin email to send or a post to load.   That very important and primary part of what I do will be saved for this side of the ocean that usually has faster internet.  Such a better idea.  Living fully present to the present. And when I am going to disappear for some weeks into the nether reaches of the world’s newest nation, I can let you know in advance. Selah.

Now that that is all settled, let me tell you a story.

It is a story about a sad little back bedroom in my childhood home in Florida.  It got lost under a pile of many yesterdays.  You know the kind of space that becomes an out-of-sight catch-all to toss the stuff that defies categorizing.  Then one day the piles stage a revolt and take over.  And it is so much easier to just close the door on it all and hit ignore.  Reclaiming the room from the tyranny of the past takes more effort than it seems to be worth.  In houses and in hearts.

I am ever so grateful to have amazing parents that generously allowed me to unleash my inner design diva on this bit of buried real estate and turn it into my US creative retreat and global command center. I even have a filing cabinet with all my files filed.  Miracles come in all shapes and sizes.

Check out the before.  In knowing the before lies the testimony of the after.  Sometimes in forgetting our before, not honoring where we have been, even the messy places: our after looses part of its punch and much of its amazing context.

Does your heart have a spot that feels like this?  One hidden deep down that it is easier to just close the door and pretend it just isn’t there at all?  I think we all have a cluttered corner somewhere crying for creative release.

Before… meet after.

And this was just one room.  The last room on the list became the first and a testimony for all that follows. {Aka the house has discovered how beautiful a new look can be and now all the rooms are crying for their turn to be transformed.  This house, like us, is a work in progress.}

I am so encouraged that God loves to take our clutter and chaos and transform it into His creation.  But this miracle did not happen alone.  It was the result of true community where some embraced change, others helped move the mountains while still others colored the walls and searched for just the right one-of-a-kind treasures.  And so this grace space was born.  Pure and simple.  A reminder that mountains still move and the most lasting transformations come from the inside out.

So my friend, what mountains do you need Papa to move in your world?  All you have to do is ask Him in and let Him begin to move them.

A special thank you to my friend and photo genius Heather Kelson over at iheartphoto.com for the first picture in this post… and ALL the rest she has so artfully taken.  Check her captures out.  Some photos are worth a thousand words.  Hers are worth millions.