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It’s 12:24am and I’m not asleep.
But I haven’t slept for days.
It takes me approx 30 minutes (depending on how tired I am) to go from eyes open, head on pillow, full consciousness to REM sleep. In that 30 minutes I will turn probably 3 times to finally end up on my left side. I will put on way to many blankets but end up with my feet uncovered. I will think. And tonight, I will probably cry.

It’s not the unnecessary turning or the routine blanket process I am weary of, it’s the thinking. I want to skip that process. I’m too tired to cater to my analytical mind and too awake to fall quickly asleep unaware of its presence.

I’ll think about the children’s hostile in Mae Sot. I’ll think about waking up at 5:30am to join the kids and sing “I love the mountains.” I love that song but not as much as I love how it sounded coming out of their mouths. They sang it in unison. The sweet harmony and the peaceful words that lifted from their lips, in between emerging yawns, found their way outside of the tin roofed building and into the brown field. Their synchronization and small voices woke up the birds; they woke up the nearby pigs, and the stray dogs. They woke up the widowed grandma sleeping nearby and, simultaneously, they woke up my heart. Their song was beautiful but not like pretty polished rehearsed beautiful. It was hopeful abandoned passionate praise beautiful. I sang it too. I closed my eyes and pulled my blanket close. I forgot about the bugs, the concrete floor, and the brisk air for those moments.

I love the mountains
I love the waterfalls
I love the blue skies
I love the flowers
Thank you God for making them
I love you God
I love you God
I love you God

He is not so far from us.
For the Bible and my parents and my youth pastors and my friends tell me so.
But with all my “knowing” that He is close I wanted to understand too. (Job 42)

He is close, so close. I know because He showed me that time in Pattaya when I was speaking with the woman at the bar and she told me she hopes the love of her life will come rescue her from this lifestyle. He showed me when the woman in prison grabbed my hand after I prayed for her and she sat there and cried and nodded her head. When the little girl in Mae Sot came up to me and adorned my head with the flower crown she made. She hugged me and said, “You are wonderful. Very very beautiful.”

I didn’t know. I didn’t know. I didn’t know.

So if I go to sleep right now I’ll think. I’ll wish I could feel Him again, even though He spoke to me and told me I won’t always feel His presence. I won’t always see clearly – not on this earth.

Although, I’m not so focused. And as long as I’m being so honest (thanks sleep depravation) I might as well say that in that 30 minutes I’d think about me too. How unlovely. I’d think about how I have to get a job as soon as I get back to the Springs. I’d think about how I’m supposed to figure out what career I need to pursue and how I thought going to Australia and Thailand would give me more clarity – but it only opened more doors. It’s not options I’m after here – I need more paths, less options. But then I’d think about not being worried about that because He has always been faithful loving – and those 2 characteristics together are brilliant, unfailing. Then I’d think about boys…mmm, more like the boy. I’ll think about the 5 lbs I gained in Australia. And then I’d just pray before I entered some kind of mid life crisis. I’d doze off in prayer to Him.
Tonight, His character is my lullaby.

So that is why I can’t sleep. It’s my mind. It’s high maintenance.

“Behind all your tears, there’s a smile.
You mean everything to me.”
-Ben Harper-


Attention all readers, could I be so rude?
How could I miss out on this for so long? Here is my mood/process/emotion for this day:

This is important. If you know me, you can tell my mind’s processing ability in that particular day by what I am listening to…

Listening to Ingrid Michaelson: Breakable

Wanting to see: a comedy (not to be confused with a romantic comedy)

I am laughing at myself because it is cold here in NC but all my suitcase holds is the tank tops, sandals, and skirts I have worn for the past 6 months while being in hotta (extra “t” and “a” added because it was not just hot…it was hotta) Aussie land and Thailand. So yes, I am rocking my sandals and tank top while these dedicated bucks drinkers I am surrounded by are wearing the stylish scarf’s and leather boots that were approved by some fashionista for this season. (I think that sentence I just composed was a freakishly long run-on. Hmmm-horrifying)! Anyway, I look clearly uniformed by what the weather was going to be like today.

Currently I am sitting in Starbucks drinking a grande coffee light frappe. Inspired by my dear friend Kathleen who I connected with in Australia.

I have missed writing…wasn’t able to process much while I was gone. My thoughts are unleashed and I have a feeling this blog is going to be inundated with what my heart has held in for so long…

Play on, play on…

I must be in America now.
Cars are on the other side of the road. The Starbucks barista greets me, “How are you?” I’m taken back, didn’t she mean to say, “How youse going luv?” even a simple Thai greeting, “Swatee Kha” would have shocked me less.

Late night laughter with my sister curled up in the same oversized, and to my enjoyment, overstuffed baby blue comforter on her couch. I must be in America.

You know that feeling. The one that never goes away and you want to cry but you press on clinging onto God, knowing He knows…the incredibly deep aching for the comfort of the laughter of your sister, the good talks with your brother, the hug of your mother, the protection of your dad that is ushered in by his presence? I know that feeling so well…

This place my heart resided in for 6 months, but not in sin did I covet these things… only in the remembrance of the great blessing of the Lord. My heart lives here no more…I’m in America.

Could anyone who has seen the poverty and inconsolable pain of the majority of the world stand on American soil and think over and over again, “Why was I born in a hospital in a thriving country? Why not a slum next to the trash dump?”

But I am not going to stand on some soap box (I feel like the only soap box I have is how much I hate soap boxes) and proclaim how great or how awful America is. What I know is that I have seen poverty, I have seen wealth and I have seen people who understand where the quality and treasure of life is found. People who live in poverty, people who live without worldly want. I have found that both situations are difficult to live in…and I don’t want to hear from those people who favor one or the other.

Thank you Abba, that you have made me an alien to this world. Thank You that You have gone to prepare a place for the beloved followers.

Francis Thompson said that if it weren’t for the absence of love from his mum and the discomfort of home created by his missing father he probably never would have left. I think that it is because of the love of my mother and the ever-present encouragement of my dad, the comfort of home they created, that provoked me to leave. Some may say it is harder to leave a family behind when there is much love but for me, it made it easier to leave…knowing that I have the support of a family…the presence of a home to think of.

So, I am back. Prayers are much appreciated…I do not know what He has willed me to come back to. So far I have come back to loss and to change. While I have been irreversibly refined over the past 6 months, I see and have understanding that so too my dear friends and family have changed and grown. Hallelujah, He works on behalf of those who love Him (2 Chronicles 16:9)

Probably not what you expected.

"You are beautiful and it is the least interesting thing about you."

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