a decorated heart


wherever you are,  be all there.  have you seen that touted around the internet?   hand drawn and hung up, at least on a pinboard or twenty or two?  i have.  i try it but i’m pretty crap at it.  ever since i remember, from when i can first remember remembering things, i remember day dreaming of there.  meaning, anywhere but here.  and there, of course, changes, as all things do.

and, what if wherever you are is not where you “really” are?  i mean sometimes your heart just lives outside your body.  tell me you’ve felt this too?  my heart is in ethiopia this week.  there is no sense of being all “here” because i’m just not.  sometimes we have to let our hearts travel and wander a bit so that when they return, they decorate our lives so beautifully.  they seemingly fit in our bodies better and more comfortably than they ever have.

some moments (ok, a lot of moments), this week, my heart beats fast and i wonder what is exactly happening this very moment an ocean and two continents away.  and so i say a prayer.  a prayer that knows no distance.  only hope. encouragement.  strength.  and change.  it carries change.  change and love.

the truth is, i’ve been on a few trips in my time.  the life changing kind.  you go and in the purest way you set out to bring things.  literal things, but also things like hope.  and you do your best to give but what you end up finding, in the end, is that you did more taking than giving.  you find that the people you wish to bring hope + joy to end up giving you an even bigger dose of it.  the very kind that decorates the home of your heart.

part of the mantra of this trip (and the mocha club) is i need africa more than africa needs me.  i have been to africa before.  but, if i’m honest, i didn’t fall hard for her like so many others seem to (africa got under my husbands skin after his trip and it is still there itching away).  i wondered the same thing hayley wondered.  but, something strange is happening here.  in the not going, i’m only finding myself falling for her all the more.  who knew?  god did.  yes.

this trip, i knew, would be full of treasure.  treasure, a  little word, with big potential, was the very word hidden in my heart (it took residence there the day i said yes to going).  i knew it would be there, but i had no idea what it would look like or what it would be.  and, wouldn’t you know, shannan found it (her post is a must read!).  the treasure is the beautiful women they are meeting (jenna captured their beauty here) . . .  the women that are broken but carry a beauty that can come no other way but by brokenness.   and even today, the team is unearthing more treasure.  the kind that will decorate their hearts forever.

as my heart is wandering this week, i know it will continue on.  on the journey to fit me more beautifully than it ever has.  i’m grateful for the treasure that my friends are unearthing.  grateful that they are sharing it with me and with you to decorate our lives so beautifully.  so beautifully that it will no longer be a hidden treasure.  but a bright shining one.

one day i’ll see those treasures first hand.  i’ll get to do some unearthing, myself.  words like treasure know no time.

p.s. don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a beautiful scarf + leather clutch made by the beautiful women of ethiopia!


image : flower patch farm girl


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