bottle it up

Kyev, 2013

if i could bottle it up 

found a video tonight from 2012 of driving through Kyev in the middle of the night on a 10 hour trip to camp. lizzy & i were the only Americans at the time...background of mingled Russian & Ukrainian, the city lights blurring past, stupid american pop songs on the radio ("call me maybe"--we looked at each other & died laughing at what they would say if they understood it). lily & lizzy were talking about some deep philosophy: how people's souls have depths-- some are lakes, others oceans; i zoned away to absorb the moment. i have so many precious moments stored up in my heart. swimming in the river with abi & lily in the early morning, lizzy & lily & i singing on the dock by the old house, kolya & his guitar on a blanket with julia under the stars on the soccer field, watching the faces of children explode as they're praised. i wish i could share those moments with others. share the polaroids and videos stored in my mind, so they could understand.

if i could bottle it up, 

i'd have a stash in the truck, splash in my cup
it'd never get old

Honestly, i need Ukraine. i need orphan camp, family dinners, the selfless HFO team. i need to be pushed out of my comfort zone to do dance parties & sing on a stage & share a little of the darkest, ugliest parts of my story so others know they're not the only ones with shadows living in their scars. "i go to Ukraine to give back some of what I've been given" is what i used to say. & i meant it. But then my bucket was depleted and never seemed to fill again; i found you can be filled as you empty. 

one little sip, just a taste on my lip

i'd be taken a trip wherever i go 

i wish i could explain that Ukraine keeps my spiritual heart beating, keeps the gospel real & gives me enough oxygen to survive another year. it's the only thing that squeezes my heart fully enough for real circulation. i come alive, i awake, i am, i experience. fully perfused and oxygenated. bright, rich crimson blood of community & grace & Christ flows throughout all of me. the dead extremities wake up, tingling back to life. sure, my scars are still there. i have dark nights, bad days. i wonder what the hell i'm doing and see my insecurities in bright crayon everywhere. i fight the things i know i should do. _but_. i become so much closer to who God made me to be. i laugh. i have more freedom. i wrestle again, i'm authentic.

the thing which makes my heart ache so intensely is also the thing keeping me alive.

(bottle it up by sam hunt)


moon river

Because some days you have the mean reds something fierce and all you want is to curl up on the floor and watch Breakfast at Tiffany's. But homework & studying (who don't know that you had 5 hours of sleep and a long day at work) are demanding to be done before any sleep or rest can come. Which is going to make for a long night, and tomorrow is an even longer day...So you watch YouTube clips instead and Audrey cheers you up.

thank you, Audrey Hepburn, for existing.