I Believe…

ImageTwo very powerful words…”I BELIEVE”…

Each time I visited Morocco, there he was.  For confidentiality purposes, I will refer to him as Paul.  His skin had been aged by the sun, his shoes worn by the consistent walking, and his scars held stories of tough times.

I couldn’t help but approach him and learn more about his story.  Between little Arabic, broken Spanish, and attempts at English, our conversation took shape.  It was a conversation that I hold very close to my heart.  Every day, this one man would roam the streets, morning to night, meet with street boys, build their trust, feed them, and even look for those he hadn’t seen for a while.  I understood his passion and I was drawn to it.  Every day he woke up with a purpose, he walked the streets with a vision, and he faced hardships with all the confidence he could muster.

I heard bits and pieces of rejection he faced from some of the street boys who he invested in.  I heard of threats on his own life and where some of the scars have come.  And yet, though his outer appearance seemed tattered and worn, his passion and the truth he clung to remained strong.  “Why do you do this?”, I asked.  And he began with two simple and powerful words…

I Believe…

He stated, “I believe in a different life.  I believe in Love.  I believe that he (as he points to one of the street children) will choose a life of possibility.  And I’m committed….”  Even in the dark times, the difficult times, Paul chooses to see hope.  He clings to what he believes and holds on to it.

His belief became more than mere words simply spoken…He lived it out.  It is seen in his daily presence, the scars, and especially the smile and the aged hands that willingly stretched out around the boys who would run to him.

Belief is more than something we state or words that we just randomly say.  It cannot be forgotten in the difficult times.  It is something that is shown in our actions, something we live out in the good and in the bad.  It is Hope.

Lately, Jared and I have faced some big decisions.  As Jared and I anxiously await the arrival of our son, as we prepare to move to Colombia…we honestly don’t know how it all looks.  There is so much we have had to consider.  We have difficult moments from time to time, questions, concerns, things we just don’t have answers for at this time, and yet we stand together moving forward in our Faith in God, in what we Believe and the direction we are being guided.

Step by step we move forward open to what can be…and holding on to what we Believe.

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I write this as a reminder to myself when facing challenges.  And I write this as a challenge to you…

What do you Believe?

Declare it daily if you have to, Live it, and cling to the Truth in the good times and when challenges arise.  Keep Hope alive.

I Believe…

Settling for Standard or Raising the Bar?

Choice Reflect Hope

It’s a New Year.  Welcome 2014!  And as the new year starts, many of us start to set goals for the year or make our “new year’s resolutions”.  How will this new year look for you?  What are you striving to reach in life?

Goals are great to set.  But I wonder…after the high of the new year, a new start, how many of us follow through or just settle for what is good enough.  At the end of the year, we review the goals we did not meet…do we consider that as failure or even worse, do we see ourselves as failures?

King’s day is tomorrow, January 6th.  It is my absolute favorite holiday!  We have always celebrated it as a family.  We would spend the day eating mexican food.  We would put our shoes outside the night before with some straw to feed the camels of the wise men on their journey to see the King, baby Jesus.  And as a thanks they would leave us a little gift.  So tomorrow Jared and I will be enjoying some mexican food and just celebrating the day together.  But beyond the great food, I always reflect on the meaning of the day…the journey the wise men made and the gifts they were bringing.  They were bringing their best.

How do we bring our best, give our best, live our best?

Many of us see this new year as a gift.  Therefore, we start to consider how we will live it out.  What goals reached this year will help us feel fulfilled, that we made the best of life lived in 2014.  So we think about it and begin making lists for ourselves…

But what if we thought differently?  What if we were more aware of the gift that has already been given to us?  What if that was our only resolution?…no lists…simply to listen daily to the guidance of the Spirit that dwells within us.

John 14:25-26 states, “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

We have been given a helper and a teacher.  We have the Holy Spirit that stirs within us and leads us.  How incredible is that?  How freeing is that?…not bound by lists and standards, but free to be open to the prompting of the Spirit in us to live a greater life.

Now that’s a gift…going beyond the world’s standards and raising the bar to greatness…

That’s my resolution.  Being open, daily, to how the Spirit leads me and what He is teaching me…truly living this wonderful life I’ve been given and sharing Truth, love, joy, and all that is within me with others.  Imagine the possibilities…

Feliz Día de los Reyes!