October 20, 2019

A slow Sunday is good for the soul.

I had a slow Sunday today. I woke up not feeling great, and decided to stay home from church, lunch plans, etc. Little did I know, that this slow Sunday would rejuvenate me in ways I didn't know I needed. Let me tell you what my slow Sunday looked like before I briefly tell you why I've needed to be rejuvenated...

- Drank coffee: Freshly brewed coffee in the french press with one drop of Cinnamon Bark essential oil (from Young Living 😉) in the coffee grounds. Let me tell you, this has been a game changer for my fall/winter coffee. Combine that brewed coffee with warm, frothy milk and a little sugar. SO GOOD.

- Listened to worship music: The This is: United Pursuit playlist on Spotify is my favorite playlist right now. The majority of the songs bring tears to my eyes at some point, and I just love filling my apartment with this music. Some of my favorites include Lay It All Down, Let It Happen, Through and Through, Set a Fire, and so many more.

- Watched a sermon: If you know me, you know how much I love Annie F. Downs...and basically any content that she puts out such as books, podcasts, sermons, Insta posts/stories, etc. Anyways, I remembered that she had semi-recently preached at Cross Point so I went to find the sermon. I ended up finding a sermon called Working Hard at Rest that she did in July rather than the most recent one, but guess what? It was exactly what I needed to hear. It was about rest. Rest, and more specifically, practicing Sabbath, has been on my radar for awhile now, but I'm really feeling seeing the need to prioritize it. This sermon was the first part in a series called Lazy River, and I am excited to watch the rest of the series.

- Started a new book: I bought a book before I left the States called You Are the Girl for the Job by Jess Connolly. I've been following Jess on social media for awhile and when she started talking about the release of this book, I kind of tuned it all out. Why? Because most days, I DO NOT feel like I am the girl for the job. For this "job" in Romania. For most "jobs" that I get assigned to here. You get the idea. And honestly, the thought of reading this book scared me because I know how how much scripture Jess uses to back up her writing and teaching...and I know that I can't argue with God or the reminder that He says that I am, indeed, the girl for the job. I've been wanting to start a new book so I picked this one off of the shelf today and WOAH. It's exactly what I've been needing.

- Diffused some oils: To start the day, I diffused Grapefruit and Jade Lemon oils, which woke me right up and helped me to start my day. You probably don't know this because I haven't shared too much about it online, but I started using Young Living essentials oils in May 2018. I was such a skeptic when it came to essential oils, and truly thought that Young Living was just another pyramid scheme trying to sell me something I didn't need. After following a few oil users and doing some research, I decided to give them a try. I bought a Premium Starter Kit from a woman named Mary who was, at the time, selling PSKs in an effort to fund her family's international adoption. I'm a sucker for a good cause. But man, oh man, I can't even begin to tell you (at least not in this short blog post) what using oils, and other Young Living products, has done to support various areas in my life...physical, emotional, etc. More on this at another time...or feel free to contact me if you're curious about oils. Yes, I am being "that person" at this current moment 🙋 Not sorry.

- Put a load of laundry in: After the sermon about rest and Sabbath, I decided that I would try to make today a bit of a Sabbath. In the sermon, Annie says that Sabbath is rest and worship. While washing one's duvet cover may not seem like rest, it actually allowed my mind to rest knowing that I wouldn't be putting it off for yet another day.

- FaceTimed with a special young lady: I was able to enjoy about 1.5 hours of absolute joy while on FaceTime with Larisa, one of the teens who was in the It Takes Courage program for three years. She is now off at university in Germany (studying social work!!!) and it was so so great to hear all about her new adventure. It continues to be such an immense privilege to invest in the lives of young people here in Romania. This FaceTime call was good for my soul.

As I'm sure you know by now, this is the view from my balcony.
As you may have read in my last blog post, I feel like change is coming. I wrote that post as I sat in the airport, not officially back to real life in Romania, but now that I'm here, it's becoming more and more clear that this feeling is real. Change is coming. Conversations are happening that make some of these (previously unknown) changes very real. And yet, I feel like other changes have yet to make themselves known. And you know what? It's all kind of exhausting. Hard conversations and difficult realizations that are leading to brainstorming and planning. It's tiring. It's scary. It's discouraging. I don't think I've realized how difficult it's all been until this morning as I rested and took time to process some of it. Things are changing. And while it's definitely scary, 100% of the time, it can be kind of exciting too. I'm excited to see what God's up to...because He's clearly up to something. And I'm getting a little more used to the idea that I am the girl for the job...whatever that job may be.

Morgan Harper Nichols

October 1, 2019

October 1st

Photo by Ashim D'Silva on Unsplash
As I write this, I’m sitting in the Bucharest airport. It’s 9:17pm in Romania…but my laptop still says it’s 1:17pm in America. And my body doesn’t quite know what time it is. I landed a little before 8pm, but my bus doesn’t leave until 6am. Soooo I’ll be here for awhile. I can usually sleep just fine in the airport, and there’s a guard constantly roaming the halls so I’m safe. (Adding that for my parents and other parental figures in my life!) I’ll prop my legs up on my suitcases and try to get as much sleep as possible. If all else fails, I have a 5 hour bus ride in the morning, and I usually sleep the majority of that ride since I can’t read or look at my phone much. Carsick problems. 

Now that we’ve established where I am, let’s review where I’ve been. As most of you know, I spent almost two months exactly in the States…spending time with family and friends, speaking at churches, meeting new people, attending a study abroad fair at a university, trying new things, etc. It was a whirlwind to say the least…an enjoyable and challenging whirlwind. 

Being at home in the States is always an interesting experience. But obviously, it’s my home. It will always be my home. There’s nothing like walking back into my bedroom for the first time and seeing old photos and knick knacks that I’ve never gotten around to packing. I love the familiarity of driving back to my house after going out for coffee with friends or running to the grocery store. I love watching Raegan and Maveric jump on my bed with Holden crawling down the hall two seconds later to see what his sister and brother are doing. I love sitting with my family at church in the same pew that we’ve sat in for as long as I can remember. I love getting ice cream with friends at everyone’s favorite local spot. I love taking road trips to visit close friends, and feeling like we picked up right where we left off. I love every moment that I get to spend with “my people”…even though the scheduling of those moments can be hectic and exhausting. 

However, the longer I live outside of the States, the more I start to feel like an outsider. People use street names in conversation, and I cannot, for the life of me, remember where that street is located. As I drive through town, I realize that places I once ate at or shopped at no longer exist. Names that were once familiar don’t ring a bell. I constantly feel like I have to readjust to this place that is supposed to be my home…but the reality is that I don’t live there anymore. My every day life takes place thousands of miles away, and it has for the past 4.5 years (which I still cannot believe). 

Maybe this makes sense to you…and maybe it doesn’t. It doesn’t always make sense to me either. I often get frustrated with myself for having such a hard time being back home, and I’m sure some of you have gotten frustrated with me as well ;) Don’t worry…I get it!

And now, well tomorrow afternoon, I get to enjoy readjusting back to my every day life in Romania, but I’ll be honest and tell you that I’m a little nervous. I feel like change is coming. I don’t know what kind of change(s). I don’t know when things will change. I don’t know why things will change. I just feel like God is taking me into a new season. It feels like a season of growth, which interestingly enough (or not at all) is my theme/word for 2019. You can go back and read about that here. 

I’ve actually been kind of frustrated with myself…and with God, if I’m being totally honest. I’ve been frustrated that I haven’t seen more growth in my life this year. I haven’t kept up with small habits that I’ve wanted to establish in my daily/weekly routine like reading my Bible, journaling, waking up early, being more intentional with my time, reading books instead of scrolling on Instagram, art journaling, eating less sugar, stepping outside of my comfort zone, diving deeper into my friendships, etc. You get the idea. I feel like I’ve failed in these areas and soooo many more…and that’s frustrating. It’s October 1, 2019 and I don’t feel like I’ve grown. 

It’d be really easy for me to want to throw my hands up and quit. To say that there’s only three more months left in 2019 so what’s the point of even trying. But again, I just have this feeling about this new season and I know, deep down, that I need to try again. This is my AWAKENING.

Morgan Harper Nichols