DELIGHT

Where the Unlikely Electric is Found...

2:04 AM

I DO CRAZY THINGS: LIFE AS A CIRCUS MONKEY!

Posted by Heather Arney |

June 20, 2009

Okay, COMPLETELY ignore the second half of the blog title...I promise it really holds no weight/has little connection to what I now may type...only that it sounded catchy. Oh wait, I lied - I feel like it has been "Heather's life as a circus monkey" in that I've been running around like a maniac doing about a million things, thinking about a million things, etc. lately. A million may be an estimate, but I've saved you from math equations and reading a long set of numbers with decimal points. :)

I have honestly had a really good last few weeks. I have proclaimed officially, somewhere in at least my subconscious, that I do not want to work 8:30-5 for the rest of my life until I am 68...that may not mean that I have a commanding entrepreneurial skill so mastered that I'm giving my notice tomorrow...but I'm starting to REALLY dream, and think, and envision what I may want my life to look like in these next few years. I'm starting to ask myself, what studying up do I need to do/what do I need to learn, how do I get focused on some of the dreams in my heart, so I don't look back in 15 years and think, "Darn, those WERE good dreams....too bad they slipped down the drain.

And even aside from pursuing things connected to future goals...I've been at it again, trying random and new things, just for the sake of trying new things, trying things I've always wanted to do, but haven't...and for the sake of doing what I'm fearful of. When you do something you have never done or are afraid to do, and you go through it, even if it's a little class, or a one time event, you build confidence and you get stronger inside. Last year living up in Vancouver, on my own accord, I took a one night wine knowledge class, a gluten free cooking class, and an all-natural soap making class with a friend. They may scream, "random," but they were fun little adventures...Two years ago when I was living in Fresno, I took a hip hop dance class! (YES, there is a B-rate video of Heather busting out some crazy ghetto dance moves, floating out there somewhere). Sometimes I get myself in these new situations and then think, "Heather, really? Stop trying new things...sometimes the stretching and newness is uncomfortable." But really, cheers to that!

Now I've started attending a summer pottery night class. My poetic soul couldn't make a darn thing out of that clay the other night...using the wheel that is. I wanted to be done, and say, "NOT for me, money back please," but strangely enough will return next week, ready to try again, and maybe after 8 weeks make something that looks higher than a 4th gr. skill level...and at least feel proud for sticking with something.

What is it that you totally want to do but never have done? The secret desire in your heart? The vocation you'd really rather be in? The adventure you want to go on? The trip you want to plan? The side project calling your name? The musical inclination you haven't explored out of fear? The ultimate thing that speaks to your heart? Both asking these questions for you and for me. There is something beautiful in giving yourself honest answers...

So many realizations as of late....life is so incredibly short. I desire to make an impact in peoples' lives and do great and purposeful things...somehow connected to that though, I want to be awake and alive, know what makes my heart sing, and then chase it as fast as I can in till I fall in the grass like a silly little girl with her flowy skirt twisted in knots, with a tune to hum, and joy in her heart. I'm starting the chase...and sometimes the chase begins in such small ways that no one but you knows the steps you take. Sometimes you may not want to even tell anyone....I'm learning it's okay to protect the dream for awhile, like a little egg you keep warm, safe, and protected, while it gets ready to hatch. The chase is about journey, about process, and about delight along the way...

I am starting the chase....wanna run too?








June 6, 2009

What do I even say about taking a long weekend trip down to an orphanage in Mexico? Should we be reallllly honest here? How honest is appropriate? I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to go down to the El Farro Orphanage in El Povenir, Mexico. There is something completely humbling and brilliantly beautiful in leaving one's comfort zone and country for something third world. I don't mean that in a, "oh they deserve applause" way, but in a "wow, God's probably gonna open your eyes and teach you something new, and make you thankful for what you have" kind of way. And that is what happened.

We got the chance to put finishing touches on "Nana's house" that was originally built a few weeks prior, by the youth from our church. I tried my hand at painting, and gosh darn, that purple-y/blue/I don't know what color it is, door looks lovely! But beyond the door or any finishing touches...there was some profound and divine moment watching Nana's face and the tears in her eyes as the local pastor prayed for her, and everyone gathered for the house dedication/celebration. Why on God's green earth am I so materially blessed in comparison?? And do know I'm not saying, "Why am I so blessed and she is not?" Because how true is it that she in many ways probably has a much richer and deeper faith, or at least a faith in a way that I can't understand. She knows simplicity, and I can certainly learn a thing or two about that. She knows what it means to be a servant and giver and a lover of all, even and especially those that are broken and family-less, in a way that I also do not know. How incredibly beautiful.

And then on the holiday Monday, we waved and hugged, and promised to return (it's looking like if they go again the holiday weekend in September, I can go to!!). And then that was that, and we left. We drove down the long and very bumpy dirt road, away from the orphanage, heading back up North. And then my mind began to work and process and sort. Kind of freeing to go without makeup and nice clothes for a weekend, and be "incovenienced." Kind of freeing to not have email and phone calls, and to play with kids for hours, and laugh around meals with people you can barely understand but have a common faith with. I still haven't fully sat with my experiences yet....this needs to be done. God, what do you want me to take away from being there? How do I incorporate those times there into my daily life now? Nana is still making tortillas every morning, and loving the heck out of those kids on the dusty and beautiful orphanage out in the middle of nowhwere...and I'm sitting on my couch in Fresno, on my laptop. Not making a comparison to say, "Poverty and such simplicity is the better way," and that I shouldn't have what I have. I just know that there are rich lessons to be learned. I don't think they realize how much of a blessing they are to me. We are the "white americans" that came to build them a house...but they are the people with such vibrant faith and great passion for the Lord and for people, that have opened their hearts to me, a stranger, and make me want to come back again, and again, and again, and, well you get the idea.

If you are in Fresno, maybe pray about coming with us next time. Not to offer a seat, when I don't know for sure, but there seems to always be a few spots open when we go, and if I know in advance that you want to come, I'll run it by the person who leads the trips. Looks like the next short venture is just over the long weekend at the beginning of September, so you wouldn't miss any work. Costs are gas money only....and a bucket of blessings and delight will follow.

See more beautiful faces and orphanage images on my Facebook. :)

Subscribe