... past {metamorphosis part four}

every once in a while i feel it is good to take some time to reflect on the past.
{image by kate shaw}

so i pulled out my journals to remember what i was doing around this day last year, and the year before, and the year before that. and i felt grateful and amused and changed and renewed. truly, life is full of metamorphosis. {part 2 and part 3} what a wild and awesome ride.

march fifth, two thousand seven - petra, jordan
i am in a hotel room in petra, jordan. i love new countries!! this place is beautiful, and i am so excited to see petra early in the morning...yesterday night we got all dressed up and went down to ben yahuda street to celebrate purim. it was so much fun. we walked up and down the street about ten times admiring people's crazy and creative costumes and ate some ice cream and falafels. it was really cool to experience a new holiday in this amazing city full of fascinating people...we walked most of the way home and it was just fun to be out late at night, dressed up, immersed in local culture. life is good and i am blessed. i am learning so much. i wish i was better.

march fifth, two thousand eight - basingstoke, england
this morning we went running on a beautiful path by the crabtree plantation. the ground sparkled with frost and the sun rose over the green hills. it was magical. it was a great time in life. dreamlike but wonderful. i still can't believe i'm in england...deben told us his testimony of christ. it is a miracle what has happened to him. we love him so much - with a pure and christlike love i have never before experienced. we are super super pumped for his baptism!...talking to sister pedersen about all i have left behind at home was surreal. it just is all cast into insignificance as a missionary. i need god's help though as i continue to wade through the work as life keeps spinning at home. it's crazy but gosh this really is and will be worth it.

march sixth, two thousand nine - reading, england
god has changed richard's life. we taught him today and he is so ready for his baptism tomorrow. as we knocked later on in the day we reflected on what a miracle richard has been. he is such a testimony that this is not about us - what has happened to him has so little to do with us - god's power is so magnificent. richard changed. we don't know how or when it happened, but it was heaven's doing, undoubtedly...i feel such intense and diverse emotions tonight - but i love it. i love being a missionary and i know i am truly a representative of the saviour jesus christ.

march sixth, two thousand ten - amrisar, india
yesterday morning i took a hot bucket shower and then sat out on the front patio soaking in the sun and the countryside air. the fields of wheat were tipped with frost and looking over them was chillingly beautiful. we ate warm lemon coriander soup and naan bread and the guard who we are so endeared to rattled in punjabi and giggled. rashma, the lady who is kind of in charge of the farmhouse when mr. singh is away took us into the village to see her home and meet her friends. she hardly speaks any english but she is spectacularly friendly and full of energy. we walked through the bricked and dirt alleys of the village...we chased the last rays of day - quickly removed our shoes, washed our feet and covered our heads and entered the golden temple complex as it all glowed in twilight. we sat on the marble ledge overlooking the temple glimmering in the pool of immortality, bathed in warm yellow light. we just talked and soaked it all in, the light changing by the minute, the electricity slowing coming on, kites whipping around in the orange sky, pilgrims meditating and dipping in the pool around us. the sun whispered goodnight and the sky softly shone every shade of blue and the mystical music rang and swirled around us. my every pore was glad.

march seventh, two thousand eleven - san francisco, california
lots of ups and downs - i feel so unstable sometimes. i don't know what i am doing. i want to be successful and i am trying to figure out what that means for me. i came into this experience saying - if it's what i need and god sees fit that i am unemployed for a while, or a long while, so be it. i maintain the sincerity of that, but i couldn't have guessed it would be this long or this brand of hard, hard. i just know i will look back on this crazy time with a tender fondness. i feel that in my bones...i drove across the golden gate bridge tonight listening to a beautiful, enchanting song and felt good in my own skin, in my own life. i have a really good life. this time of it is crazy - hard and exciting.

march fourth, two thousand twelve - palo alto, california
i am sitting on my back patio in the glorious sunshine - it is a gorgeous day in palo alto. and i feel optimistic. my life is as up in the air as ever, i often feel lonely or worried, and some days feel too much like battles - but! - i have a lot to be happy about and thankful for. and in moments like this, life is really good. the sun is shining. i've been working, working out, cooking, procrastinating, watching downton abbey, going on dates with boys i'm sadly just not interested in, missing family and friends and generally feeling like i am living kind of small. but i think this is a unique chapter in my life - one in which maybe it's okay to be a little more insular and a little less adventurously involved....it has been an interesting couple of months. i don't quite feel like myself, but perhaps that is just me becoming acquainted with another side of myself.

march twelfth, two thousand thirteen - palo alto, california
i am super overwhelmed. the day after tomorrow is my work's big gala and things have been so crazy...on top of work being grueling, i am all in knots about the boy. tonight i am feeling like - wow, it's not going to work - and that is terrifying. i'm bewildered. last week i was so deliriously, euphorically happy in his arms - my mind, body, heart and spirit telling me i wanted him forever - that he is mine and i am his - that this is real love. and yet today i am reeling in us being too different, not able to give each other what we need, not connecting. it's just all so gutting. somehow this is all going to work out. right now it's just so heart-wrenching. i felt so renewed on sunday and hopped out of bed ready to conquer. i promised god i would. so i will carry on fighting.

march fifth, two thousand fourteen - palo alto, california
i got an email from the boy. at first it was short and only said: i was wrong about a lot of things and i am sorry. and then he sent the long email in the afternoon...i'm not sure how all of this makes me feel. i definitely recognize the calming power of the spirit, and my heart feels alright, just stirred up. i really appreciated that he shared his realizations and expressed apology and gratitude. i'm trying to keep myself from thinking that he should come back to me. i, of course, still love him so very much. this has been so wild. we've both had to learn some things the really hard way, but i'm glad we've learned...i got a high from teaching today! it went well. this is going to be crazy, but i'm not going to die, and neither are any of my students!

march third, two thousand fifteen - palo alto, california
it was a great day. after breakfast we biked to campus together and worked in ian's office - writing thank you cards, planning days of the trip, getting things in order. we went to dinner with ian's classmates. we are happy and in love. we are excited for what's ahead. 


  1. I have to say that this is pretty incredible! What an amazing slice of life from each fascinating year. Looking back re-creates so many emotions! Each year was so unique and wonderful....now that you know the outcomes.. This makes me so excited to learn what life from now until March 6, 2016 will hold! It's a whole new world! Love your thoughts and your vision! Love you!

  2. How very generous of you to share these little slices of your life! I loved reading them! Thank you! Gave me a chance to reflect on my own past, present, and future, which is always a nice catharsis. Can't wait to read about all your future adventures as well!

    1. I think this post is a great example on how you truly see the the beauty of the world! I loved this.

      Happy adventure time for you!
      Love, Riina

  3. Wow, it is great that you keep track of your every day life in your journals.
    I always wanted to write a journal myself. But during the years I started plenty of journals which ended with 5-10 written pages....
    I admire your endurance!

  4. How cool to live with such a positive outlook on life even when it is rough.

  5. Reader for about a year here. Love this post. Though I sometimes have trouble relating to what you write, we are also so similar in our optimism and desire to embrace life in its fullness. I'm a few years behind you age and experience-wise; your 2011 and 2014 entries remind me so much of my own life right now. Your ending reinforces my own hope/belief that all will work out for me. I'm so glad you're living such a happy life :)
    Cheers xx

  6. Char, this is fantastic. I love these posts. Makes me want to be much better at journaling. It's amazing to see progress like this and joy in the journey. Love you. So much.


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