Archive for June, 2011

22nd June
written by Michelle


One year ago today I arrived in Guatemala.

june 22, 2010.

I planned on staying for a year.

This is what I wrote in my journal on that first day:


“I can’t believe I’m here- not for a few weeks or months, but for a year! It still hasn’t totally hit me. I have NO idea what this next year holds, but I have no doubt in my mind that this is where I’m supposed to be. I’ve been learning that maybe one of the reasons I’m here is to learn what it really means to be a person who can “let go” and “trust God” and not just say that, but actually live like that. It’s learning that I can’t have everything figured out. I can’t make things happen or work to control the situation. I’m learning that letting go means trusting the process and that some things in fact do work themselves out. I’m learning what it means to ask for help and be taken care of. And maybe most importantly, God, I’m learning that if I say, I believe in You and trust Your timing, then I should also be ok letting go of my need to know and have it figured out. I’m excited for what’s to come. Surprises. Hope. Learning and Letting Go.”

And here I am a year later.

Blown away by the Surprises that have come. Challenged by what it means to live by Hope. And continuing to learn about Letting go.

•  •  •

• I have learned that living a good story sometimes mean leaving one thing to make room for something else. • I’ve learned that we need far less than most of us live with. • Walking is wonderful. • Believe it or not a dorm size fridge is more than sufficient. • I’ve learned to eat more locally and seasonally, not in some attempt to be organic and kind to local farms, but simply because that’s the only option. • I’ve learned to view water as a gift and hot water as a luxury. • Riding the bus is an excellent spot for people watching and praying. • My concept of time is greatly influenced by my culture and personality. • I am convinced that teacher meetings are long in any culture. • Learning and living within a second language is probabaly one of the hardest and most gratifying things I’ve ever done. • Letting Go means sometimes missing and longing for what was • I’ve learned that the world needs less people who talk about who God is, and more people who will show who He is. • Having unrealistic expectations often leads to disappointment •  Trust by definition means you can’t control. • Never say Never. • Loving someone means you want their best • Living by faith means you may not be sure what is next. • And being able to admit that, is a very good place to be. •

•  •  •

Where were you a year ago today? And what have you learned?

21st June
written by Michelle

If they say you can measure your wealth in friends, than I feel like I am one of world’s wealthiest.

I just came back from a whirlwind trip to California where I learned the difference between a sample show and a trunk show in the wedding world. I learned that if you ever move overseas, you should sell your stuff before you go. And that every season of life, whether single or married, staying put or moving, engaged or divorced…


we. need. good. friends. [period]

There is something important and significant about having good friends. I mean, we don’t choose our families*, but we do choose our friends. And last week I was once again reminded what good friends I have!

(*don’t worry family, I would choose you guys, but this is a post about friends. You deserve your own post some day!)


I had friends who took me to breakfast and said “my treat.” Friends who drove to my storage unit just to bring me a latte. I had friends who celebrated me and the recent engagement, and others who sat and listened to my fears and worries about what’s next.


I had friends who gave their time, two hands and an extra trunk to help load up boxes. Friends who endured 5 hours on so cal freeways just to come to a dress fitting with me. I had friends who let me take over their living room with boxes, clothes, dishes and basically everything I ever owned. I had friends who helped make “Moving Sale” signs and other friends who sat with me and gave me that you-gottta-get-rid-of-that face.


I had friends who lent me a phone for the week and a bed to sleep in. Friends who prayed for me. And friends who brought me a #10 sandwich from Panino. And I had friends who woke up at the ungodly hour of 5am on a Saturday to help set up for a garage sale and others who stopped by to just say hello.

These are the kind of friends that make life rich. And these are the kind of friends that I often miss in Guatemala.

These are the kind of friends that I want to be for other people. A friend who can help with the practical, leave room for the emotional and simply show up when needed.

Thank you, dear friends. I am wealthy because you are in my life!