Living with the Rug Pulled Out from under my Feet

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My eyes watched the city skyline until it faded from the rearview window. I’m learning to pull on traveling like a necessary coat. It’s my lifeline. I need the detachment. I need the rug of my own head pulled out from under my feet. I need to be drawn into the very alive, very breathing present. Traveling helps me fill my space unapologetically, helps me throw my weight around a little, kind of like a boxer. I’m slowly becoming a little more confident, decisive, known. And when I’m wandering around a new city with no agenda other than to take it all in, I know exactly who I am. I appreciate without comparison, I smile without suspicion, I am without hesitation.

I need the adventure to pull me out of my head and into my body. I need the mental health break. We throw around the words “self-care” a lot these days. For me, self-care is looking a lot like boundaries, like giving both my introversion and extroversion the gift of acceptance, like finding little ways to be brave. Finding little ways to have faith. Finding little ways to reach deep down inside and bring to the surface whatever is there, pretty or not.

I took a trip to Philadelphia last week and I spent every day walking as far as my feet would carry me. I joined a protest. I got lost. I breathed deep. I had aching feet. That trip brought me home with a heck of a lot less anxiety than what I had left at home.

I think we should do that more. I think we should throw ourselves into the things that scare us. American culture has taught us all to be safe, to not take risks. Especially when it comes to our faith. We’re so quick to deny anything that makes us uncomfortable, anything that rebels against the teachings we were taught when we were little. I think sometimes the church itself can become a barrier keeping us from Jesus. I think about my own church upbringing and realize the freedom I have desperately needed, as a twenty-three year old, as a woman, as a wife, has stayed just outside of fingertip reach because of institutions placed around my wandering curiosity. But God loves the person more than the institution. And he isn’t intimidated by our questions.

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I’m disheartened by the American church. We’ve failed each other, other races, women. I grew up in a church where women were not pastors, were not worship leaders, were not teachers. And it’s tired. I don’t know what the answer is and I don’t know that the answer is very clear. But I do know this conversation needs to start showing up in big and loud ways.

What I do know is that women’s voices have been hushed for generations. I know Jesus went out of his way to empower women. I know when women were unreliable witnesses in court, he entrusted the proof of his resurrection to a woman. I know in a society where women couldn’t speak to men, he sought one out at a well. I know when a woman chose to sit at his feet and not in the kitchen, she chose the right thing.

I think sometimes we’re afraid to lift our voices too loudly, because somewhere in history we’ve been painted as hysterical, women with uncontrollable emotions. We’ve been painted as witches. We’ve started wars over golden apples. We’ve been the temptress. But freedom demands that we throw those things off. And maybe it’s uncomfortable, maybe even scary. But I think we need the escape, the detachment, the rug of legalism pulled out from under our feet. We need the freedom to fill our space well, wherever that may be, and to box a little with the things that scare us, take a little risk. And I think it’ll feel a lot like traveling. With lots of rest and little anxiety.

“Of course if no one had ever been exposed to dangerous ideas from scandalous women, Christianity itself would not have had its unique beginning nor its glorious history, but whatever.” – Nadia Bolz-Weber

// Words & Photos By Jess Meko
Republished from jessicameko.com

To Partner & Serve

Africa Blog

Dear online readers,

First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to click on this link. I really appreciate your willingness to learn more about my upcoming journey.

In early October, I will have the privilege to take part in a short term mission trip to Africa. My home church, Church of the Open Door, is sending out a small team to serve at the African Inland Mission Conference in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. We have been given the opportunity to provide the speaker, worship leader, and a childcare team for their conference.

Here is a bit of what it will look like for us…

Speaker – Al Negron will be sharing wisdom from 1 Corinthians 15:58, with the topic of living “Not in Vain”.

Worship Leader – We are praying for someone who can come and lead the missionaries in corporate worship together. This is something that missionaries in the field rarely have a chance to partake in together.

Child Care Team – Michael Dubisz, David Newkirk, Kyleen Hughes, and I will be running a Vacation Bible School and providing a loving and safe place where the parents can drop off their kids and fully immerse themselves in the conference.

In addition to this amazing chance from God, we also have the privilege of serving a couple of our very own missionaries, from COD, while in Africa: Colin & Becca McDougall and Andy & Margaret Andersen.

By caring for the children, providing the speaker, and leading worship, our prayer is that the missionaries at the conference will be free to fully engage in the time of rest and community God is providing for them.

Africa Blog 7Our team is trusting Christ for all that concerns us as we prepare to head to Africa. We know that He will be doing part of that through you. Would you please consider partnering with us, either through prayer and/or financially giving to the mission trip? Each team member needs to raise $2,000 to cover flights and supplies. It is a privilege to be able to come to you with this need. Thank you in advance for your partnership as I follow the Lord’s leading to Africa.

Trusting in Him,
Rachel Morrison

“And He was saying to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.'” -Luke 10:2

Prayer Requests:

  • For the Lord’s provisions in safety, health, and finances
  • Unity for the team
  • To grow closer to Jesus
  • Peace as we leave family, work, and school

Photos & Words: Rachel Morrison | Additional photos courtesy of Rebecca McDougall & Margaret Anderson.

There & Back, Again

April 19, 2016: Well guys, it’s happening. I’m headed to Asia. A continent I have yet to step foot on, but boy am I excited to experience their side of the Earth.

I’m headed out June 5 with 30 hours of travel to meet the beautiful country and culture of Nepal. Illuminate Nations is heading up the trip and I’m stoked to come along and experience this place with them. Our mission while there is to share the gospel of Jesus to unreached villages, meaning lots of hiking.

Prayers are most heavily needed. We will be facing opposition, warfare, and hardship – but our God is good & we have no need to fear. Thank you for going on these adventures with me FAM!

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June 5, 2016: THE BEGINNING | NEPAL | Watch here: https://youtu.be/YjjFSKpYxAU

“The great Pioneers all had ‘inverted homesickness’ this passion to call that country their home which was most in need of the Gospel. In this passion all other passions died before this vision all other visions faded this call drowned all other voices. They were the pioneers of the Kingdom, the forelopers of God, eager to cross the border-marches and discover new lands or win new-empires.” // S. Zwemer

June 13, 2016: This place, this culture, these people, have given me a whole new view on hospitality. I thank God for these beautiful loving people who have lost much in the earthquake, yet continue to pour out all that they have on others.

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June 14, 2016: I remember being quite young when I realized I didn’t want to live an ordinary life. I knew there had to be something more than the mundane schedules and routines. I believe it was something God weaved into me before I was born. To do things differently for Him.

IMG_8492After surrendering my life to Jesus I clearly remember saying, “God I want to follow you, but I don’t know how.” And I reminded Him, “I don’t want to live an ordinary life.” It was in this willingness He began to show me what living for Him looks like. And here is what I found, I wasn’t living before I knew Him. To the One who made the Heavens and Earth, I asked for a life of adventure.

Of course, He answered with a larger calling than I could have ever dreamed myself.

Little did I know that meant going to the ends of the Earth to share His love.

“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” -Exodus 9:16

One big dream after another led to this.

Purpose Visuals

I grew up riding my bike to the Public Library to hear a volunteer read the latest children’s book and I can remember clear as day thinking, “I want to do this one day…”

Fast forward over ten years, a passion for filmmaking, loving like Christ, helping others find their purpose, and using creativity for the Kingdom is my daily purposeful pursuit.

IMG_8483Quickly my oversized dreams started to become reality and I looked back on my childhood dream of storytelling, but on a much larger adventure filled scale and that brings us to now.

God brings a team of World Changers, Nation Shakers, Mountain Climbers, Kingdom Creatives, and Village Trekkers together. All meeting from different parts of the world through different forms – people, social media, trips to the Nations – whatever it took, God got us together.

We embark on the greatest story telling adventure of a lifetime – trusting God will make this reality.

WE GO AFTER THE CALL, WALK IN OUR INHERITANCE, & LIVE THE MISSION. 

July 13, 2016: I started slapping strings on a guitar when I was around 4 years old at a music store while my brother took piano lessons.

Then around 8, I’d ask my Mom if I could play her songs I had written. I’d sit on her bed, with no song pre-written just singing what came to mind, most the time they made no sense.

Now, I’m almost 20 years old and singing out my heart to the Lord is one of my favorite things to do.

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It keeps me grounded – in perfect Love.

So, I have decided to release a 4 song EP titled Quenched.

The songs were written in a raw state of being with the Lord, so I’d be lying to say Im not scared to share it with the world, but I pray it blesses you all and draws you near His heart.

I’m selling it for $5 (Download Here) to help raise finances for missions. After I finish my time here in Seattle, I’ll be headed back to Nepal for a month to tell stories through filmmaking of the children homes there.

I’ll be going to tell the story of two men named Sher and Lila, plus a woman named Sanga, who all separately run a Children’s Home. (3 homes in total) All in different spots of Nepal – they all grew up in Children’s homes which brought them to Christ and now bring orphans into a family of Christ and raise them up! It’s beautiful!

Your support means the world to me. Thank you support family.
You all rock – keep running after God’s heart.

To support Katelyn, her company, and her trip, please visit: http://www.purposevisuals.com/sendus/

Watch more videos from her 1st trip to Nepal here:
This is the Day | Nepal Series

Photos & Words: Katelyn Nix || Additional photos courtesy of Illuminate Nations & Spencer Gravely

 

Let all the Nations Praise You, Lord

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Dear Family, Friends, and anyone who happens across this corner of the internet,

This August I have the exciting opportunity to travel to Nicaragua with Celebration Baptist Church on a mission trip. We will be in Nicaragua August 2nd-9th. I pray that the Lord will work through me to carry His love and the beautiful message of His Gospel! But I need your help!

Our student team will be serving with On Eagle’s Wings Ministry. We will do outreach with over 4,000 youth in baseball and soccer leagues, fix meals and provide a mini VBS at a dozen or more local feeding programs directed by a network of 60 local pastors. Each program feeds and average of 150 children every day (9,000 total). We will visit hospitals, pray with patients and give gifts to children, as well as doing programs in local schools. One day will be spent ministering at the dump where 350 families live.

IMG_8376I am asking you to partner with me in praying for the people whom I will meet, for my own heart, and that The Lord would mold the hearts of the other individuals who I am traveling with so that we all might be attentive to what He is teaching us and who He would have us minister to! I ask you to pray that God would make Himself known to me and to our team, and would cause us to fade into the background in humility and awe of what He is doing.  Please pray that we would not lose our focus on Him and that he would soften the hearts of the people we meet!

The cost of the mission trip is $1500. If you would like to help with this expense I would be so, so grateful! Online donations can be made by going to the church website,  and clicking the “GIVE ONLINE” button. Select “Mission Trips” in the first drop down menu and then the name of the mission trip in the second drop down menu. Please include my name in the “comments” field. Here is the link: http://icelebration.org/giving/

If you would prefer to write a check,  please make it out to Celebration Baptist Church. Please include the name of my mission trip on the memo line but not my name. ON a separate note, please state that the contribution is toward my mission trip costs by writing my name on the note. Please send it to the following address: Celebration Baptist Church, 3300 Shamrock St E, Tallahassee, FL 32309. I need to have all my funds in by the end of April!

IMG_8375I am so excited to not only experience a new culture but also to learn more of my Savior through this experience. Thank you so much for your support, I am so grateful!

Love in Christ,
Madyson

“Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sign for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Seals Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Psalm 67:3-5

P.S. Madyson is also selling her handmade Nicaragua mission bracelets to help raise money for her trip here: www.beautiefullthings.etsy.com.

Blog and photo credit goes to Madyson from Beautiefull Things.