Tag Archives: Mercy Ships

The Net Will Appear

HouseForSaleCutting the cord.

This week I checked the box, “I will not be returning to school next year,” and handed it in. I cannot remember a time that I have felt this frightened, this excited and this numb at the same time. Last weekend I hibernated as the recruiting fairs of the past two weekends had taken their toil. That Saturday night I slept for 12 hours straight. I fell asleep in my clothes and woke up hoarse, thankful for no fever or sore throat. Since waking, I’ve been in an altered state; detached in a new way. I had a Skype interview last Sunday night, and within minutes I knew it wasn’t a right fit and cut the cord. Free falling again. Monday morning I handed in my decision with the box checked.

By mid-week I’d contacted my real estate neighbor and said I was ready to proceed with the selling of my house. We met to discuss the contract, set a selling price and take photos. I spent the next few days detailing my home, cleaning out a few remaining closets and having my carpets cleaned. Yesterday my house went on the market.

I’ve simply invested too much mentally, emotionally and economically to turn back now. I’m sure the difference between being wise and being foolish is very slim, similar to the way that pain and humor reside close together. A friend once said, “I’m a paycheck away from living beneath Highway 30.” I know how he feels. I’ve sold almost everything I own, I’m about to be homeless and I’ve just let go of my job, with no security that there will be one in the future.

But in those brief moments when fear seems distant, the possibilities seem great! If I don’t get offered a teaching contract that I want, I could volunteer on a woof farm! I could volunteer for Mercy Ships! I could apply for artist residencies! I could travel around the world seeing all the great people I’ve met. If I were to do that, my flight pattern might look like this: Dallas to London; to Scotland; to Germany; to Switzerland; to Morocco; to Turkey; to Taiwan; to Seoul; then to LAX; then to Craigslist to buy an RV, turn south to San Diego, park it on a beach and go swimming in the Pacific. That sounds pretty good. I’m free. I can do anything! How thankful and fortunate I am. As my brother says, “Sell the house and damn the torpedos!”

Last September I wrote an article called, “Transitions, Or Leaping From The Lion’s Head.” In it, I included a video, “ The Parable of the Trapeze,” with the voice of Daanan Parry. I’ve watched that video again this week and invite you to also. When referring to letting go of the net, Parry says, “We do it anyway because somehow, to hold on to the old net is no longer on the list of alternatives. The past is gone, the future is not quite here. It’s called transition.” I recognize that I had to let go completely before my net will appear. I’ve stepped off the cliff; let’s see what happens!

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3 Short Stories on Giving

Strangers among us.

I’ve been thinking about the act of giving this week. I’ve been reflecting on how much I give compared to how much I take. After coming home from the World Domination Summit last week, it’s the stories that were told of ample giving that are keeping me up at night. Mostly we hear stories about how people take advantage of one another, but there are also many stories about those who give to one another. I wanted to share a few.

Story 1

Once upon a time there was a man who wanted to help immigrants with the laws of the land. His gentle voice and wise council seemed to draw people toward him from around the globe. He always had a story to tell and a lesson to be learned. He wanted to make a difference and invest in people’s lives. This man is the Executive Director of the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, a non-profit that represents immigrant victims of human rights abuses. He is a frequent commentator on 90.1 FM, KERA, and writes Law Man Walking for D Magazine’s Front Burner blog. He is a certified Master Naturalist and maintains a blog, primarily about local hiking and art. This man is making a difference in people’s lives.

Story 2

Once upon a time there was a woman with a bright smile, a twinkle in her eye and a star in her house.  She loved organic people and she loved organic food. She liked to draw characters and one day, she made a few, from wood, for her daughter to play with. In time, these wooden toys found their way to the top of wedding cakes and the rest is history. She works hard to make people happy every day but especially on their wedding day. She is a oneness blessing giver and my own name has been in her bowl for months. She is genuine and full of Grace.

Story 3

Once upon a time there was a little boy who grew up and ran away to the city and fully rebelled against his parents and his faith. He began working in nightclubs and made a lot of money, fully participating in drugs, alcohol and all kinds of addictive behavior. In time, he found that he was morally and spiritually bankrupt. He began reading theology. He wondered what his life would look like if he served others. He began volunteering as a photo-journalist, on Mercy Ships. His heart was torn open and he began a new journey and eventually founded a charity that you should know about. How about giving up your birthday in order to give people clean water?

While at WDS, I went to a break-out session given by Erick Widman, titled, ” How To Have The Best Year of Your Life By Volunteering and Traveling Overseas”. Erick really opened my eyes to this as a very real possibility. He posted ALL his resources on his blog, under an article of the same name. There are so many possibilities. Some volunteer experiences actually cost money; others are free or low cost. Volunteer-based organizations are all over the planet and are focused on such things as turtle conservation, teaching English or medical help. There are great needs all around us.

This coming week, will you partner with me to explore the question of “what can I give back?” There’s all sorts of needs in the world, close to home and far away. You could invest in something as small as writing a “Thank You” note or as big as serving overseas. No job is too small. You can create your own amazing or you can partner with others. Find your own interests; there is something for you! Do it. Give your life away.

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