The countdown app on my phone says that I will leave on my mission trip in a matter of hours. My bags are packed, I’m ready to go (yep… intentional song reference). Donations have been collected, counted, logged, packed and weighed. As a group, we’re taking more than 1500 lbs of medications, hygiene items, vitamins, teaching supplies and baby formula. We have been blessed in so many ways, and our plane hasn’t even left the ground yet!
I have been telling myself to update my blog for the past several weeks… but I haven’t been able to come up with a topic or theme profound enough to give me inspiration. Until last evening, when I sat on the patio in the fresh air and dove into Oprah Winfrey’s “O” Magazine. Think what you will about Oprah… some people love her, some people don’t… but her magazine is very positive. One of my favorite authors/bloggers, Glennon Doyle Melton, is a regular contributor now – and her “Valley Girl” column really caught my attention.
In it, she talks about a low point in her life, when she felt like she was in a “valley”. A kind stranger told her, “Everybody wants to be on the mountaintop, but up there the air is so thin, you can hardly breathe – and all you can do is stand still and try not to fall. But in the valley, that’s where the river runs, sweetheart. That’s where all the power is.”
Glennon goes on to say, “We (think) we want to be on the mountaintops, but we’re not called to be victorious. We’re called to be wise, strong and kind.
We are ADMIRED on the mountaintops, but we are BELOVED in the valleys.
All the magic is in the space between mountains, where we have to un-become everything we thought we were and start from scratch. If we rush out of the valleys, we miss gathering all the wisdom, strength and kindness we need for the next climb. We have to learn how to sit by the river and be still enough to claim its gifts.”
I’m no philosopher, so I won’t pretend to sit here and draw connections between Glennon’s valley and the area between mountains that is the San Juan de la Maguana region of the Dominican Republic. I can’t possibly explain value of the wisdom, strength and kindness that is bestowed upon me during this one trip each year.
But I can say this… my physical and emotional batteries are running low. It’s time to get recharged… so, tomorrow, I am going to the space between the mountains… that’s where all the magic is.