Tag Archives: Travel

Work

I question my work. Often.

 

I’m 28.

I work for a non-profit that sends missionaries overseas.

I travel abroad to visit those missionaries in those countries about every other month.

 

I’m unmarried, making enough money to make ends meet.

I’m not investing in my savings account.

I buy clothes when my other ones have holes in them.

And I drive a used car.

 

Am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing?

Because I don’t live a normal life.

 

I hate to admit it, but I’m the kind of person who cares what other people think of me.

I consider how much I’m not living by society’s standard of success.

And, I look at my life and wonder if I’ve made good choices.

 

 

Last week, I ate lunch with the CEO of our non-profit.

We reflected on 2016’s impact on our lives.

 

And, as I was stringing together how challenging work was last year, our CEO began sharing why he does what he does for our organization.

 

Why he fundraises money to work at his own organization.

Why he works with 100 20-somethings who send out thousands of missionaries in over 60 countries.

Why he consistently innovates and pushes the boundaries of what he thinks God has for us this side of heaven.

 

His answer to me was something close to what he said in this Year End Review video for our organization.

If you can, I’d love for you to watch all 2 minutes of it and see why exactly we do what we do.

Adventures Year End Review

 

Happy New Year,

Ashley

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Traveling the World, Again!

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It was sneaky how the idea of traveling the world surfaced again. But, unlike other major decisions, this one was made with more hesitancy—like the way that oil and water slowly decide they should in fact drift apart. I think I know the cost of this undertaking—of spending 5 more months in third-world countries.

 

Honestly, I’m not a great missionary. Mother Teresa can have her Calcutta. I’ll stay home and share the gospel here. With my clean water and Pringles.

 

But, for the past 5 weeks, I’ve had this tiny feeling simmering in my soul, ever so gentle and quiet, but bubbling nonetheless. I’ve come to realize that this tiny feeling is hope—a feeling that is as overlooked in my life as crumbs underneath a breakfast table.

 

This past season has been one of tumultuous change—that kind of change that leaves you with the same feeling as those first few hours after taking down Christmas: a barrenness and a faint melody of a song no longer appropriate. This has been a season where my words have felt bare, unable to twist and wrap around what I feel. It’s been a season of guessing more than faith-living. It’s been a season of fewer meeting of souls.

 

Instead, it’s been a very quiet season filled with candles, paintbrushes and hard truths. It’s been a season of demolition—of tearing down structure upon structure and removing the remains of the past. I don’t know if there was a lot of building up of new buildings in this season, but there is ground to build upon that was never open before.

 

Sometimes I think that’s all we need going into a new season, really: a little bit of hope that things will be different. We don’t need things fancy or sparkly, the way we all though college would be. We need different—a hope that the battles won will count toward our next season.

 

I don’t regret the depth of the struggles of the past season; they’ve spoken too much over who I am. I’m not a big fan of challenging and desperate times. But, they are much more valuable to me than the lovely soft places I’ve happened upon.

 

I think that’s what I’m banking on as I head back out onto the field in September: hope that the pain of this past season will be redeemed by the challenges of this new season. I am hoping that all those quiet moments will count.

 

So, my friends, here’s to hope!

Here’s to the moments not enjoyed, the songs still unsung!

Here’s to the long bus rides, and to not being home!

Here’s to Jesus, my love, and all that I know!

 

Here’s to hope, my friends. Here’s to hope!

 

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