Thursday, July 10, 2014

Smitten...

It's official. I am totally smitten. With the desert. If you read my last post you'd know that this is shocking to me. Never in a million years would I have assumed those words would ever breach my lips much less my heart. But let me tell you about it. First. ITS SO DIFFERENT. Like, what? Second. I have a mountain down my street. There are so many mountains. Ones with big rocks and lots of sand. Even the mountains are different. Third. There is no grass. What is grass? But there are bushes of all kinds with green and brown and purple, even, leafs that fill the sands and ad life and color. Also, there are 502143 different kinds of cacti all over the place. Big tall ones, short fat ones, skinny prickly ones, fuzzy ones. All kinds. Its fascinating! Fourth. I see lots of birds, bunnies and lizzards. I aint mad. Fifth. The humidity. There is, like, none. So when its 107 outside it feels like an oven BUT you are not constantly covered in sticky, nasty sweat. You dry out. Its nice. I'll take 107 with no humidity over 92 with 40% any day. And on the same note it drops almost 20+ degrees at night. No joke, I needed a jacket the first morning I sat outside for my quiet time and last night I was remarking how cool it felt and how nice it was. It was 90 degrees still. If I really take a look at what I love about being here (besides being with my HUSBAND, clearly) I think its that all of this represents so much more. Such deep truths. I'm out of my comfort zone and God still shows up. In my head all the years I saw the desert as this lonely, deserted, wasteland of nothing but bad things. Thats SO not true. He shows his glory and creativity and love everywhere. Not just Colorado or the Texas hill country. The sunsets and vastness speak of his beauty in way I've never seen. Here, I see resilience. And grit. And fortitude. And strength. And might. And power. I think thats really where the cactus obsession comes in. They are these crazy looking plants created to survive in a hostile and unfitting-for-most-life environments. They survive on 4.14 inches of rain a year (Thanks Andrew). That's practically nothing. They are given nothing and they survive. Not only do they survive but they thrive. And they offer a unique beauty. One only found in the desert, the hard places. They were also given thorns, armor, to help guard them against those that would steal their water, their blood, their life. I hope to live like that. I hope that I have enough trust in the Provider that I can survive on practically nothing in all environments because, really, he gives us what we truly need. Use the armor given to me against those who would steal. And offer in confidence my unique beauty that was given to show a greater beauty. Guys, I love it here. I'm inspired and curious and intrigued and a million other things. I dare you to come visit.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

**THROWBACK!** Called to the desert...

I never published this post, but need to to be able to be current going forward. Lets take a glance back in March, when this was originally written. Thanks for your understanding. ;)

Well. If you know me, even a little bit, you know that my least favorite nature things are heat, wind and sand. Put them all together you get a desert. A desert is the place I desire the least to ever visit. My bucket list might even include "never go to a desert." It doesn't but that would accurately describe my "feelings" for the desert. Another thing you might know if you know me even a little bit is that I am CRAZY about my man, a Marine, SEMPER FI! Our plan is to get married so his orders will also be my new orders. Last week he got his orders for his duty station post school of infantry. His mother calls me and she quite excitedly exclaims, "We got an email from Aaron! He got his orders! 29 Palms!" My immediate thought, "wait, what?" "29 palms!" (which is the Mojave desert in Cali) I laughed. Laughed a lot. It was a complete joke to me that the absolute last place in the world I ever wanted to be was at that base and of course thats where we're sent. I had even prayed it wouldn't be that one! Pendleton was supposed to be our adventure. His mom and I talked for a good 15 minutes about. Complete shock would be how I described what my brain was feeling for the next hour or so. I immediately call one of my besties, vent a little and hang up. My poor roomie got the worst of it. We sat a taco place for two hours mostly talking about the orders. Sorry, Mo. After a while I settle into an "it is what it is" attitude. Not so much angry anymore, but a bit confused confused. Why? Why the desert? Why such a tiny little town with nothing to do...IN THE DESERT? Ok, fine. I start calling those closest, my mom, my other besties. They also thought it was hilariously tragic. One thing I like is knowing things. Not crazy, spend hours researching but enough to feel in control of something, like I have a grasp on it. So I get home and start googling things. "Things to do in 29 palms." A trip advisor link pops up. "29 palms attractions." I bite. There are 13 things on the list. 13. No joke, two of them are visitor's center and the chamber of commerce. Thrilling. The first link though looked appealing. It was Joshua Tree National Park. I click the picture. There is nothing but sand, ew, spikey brown and yellow plants from big to small, ew, hay-y looking shrubs and these joshua trees that look like shaggy dead ones with spiky balls at the ends of the limbs and boulder formations that are lumpy and sideways and completely random sticking out of the ground where it doesn't even make sense and mountains in the background. It looked foreign. Even alien. Like another planet. As I get a bit farther into the slideshow I become a bit more intrigued and less weirded out. Then I came across this picture.
I was taken aback. It felt like God was saying, "You love me and I'm here too. I created this and it is beautiful. Can't you see? I'm right here." And I did. It is so different. But now I can see its beauty. A knot the size of a baseball began forming in my throat as I realized I was being "called to the desert." How many people that God has loved so dearly has he called out to the desert? Including his own son. To love on them. To be alone with them. To work out their crap even until they were whole. I was completely overwhelmed with how loved I felt that God wanted me, Aaron and I, to himself. To show us something new, himself without distraction. For us to be undistracted by "things to do." In that moment it all made sense. This is exactly what is best. I texted Katie and said, "I just got really excited about being 'called to the desert.'" Her response, "It's like Jesus was talking to both of us because I was JUST thinking about it being the desert and was about to call you." Then, I finally get to talk to Aaron about it a few days later. He says he's at mass and the gospel reading was the story of Jesus in the desert. He said he left knowing that God had called us to the desert for good. So weird how God works sometimes. How he turns your hatred to deserts into obsessions with cacti. How sometimes he chooses to let you in on a little secret. And sometimes he lets a handful of people all in on that same secret. So all this is to say that despite my previous objections. I cannot wait to meet my man in the desert! I'm so excited for what God has in store for us to learn and grow from and what crap he has to get rid of in us. Never in a million years would I have thought I'd say, "I'm going to the desert, YA!" but "YA!"