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ebb and flow.

"His welcome refreshed me and made me see something that's easy to lose sight of in our infernally busy lives. That we exist for each other, and when we're at a low ebb, sometimes just to see the goodness radiating from another can be all we need in order to rediscover it in ourselves."
-pg. 367, The Cloister Walk:Kathleen Norris

I've been thinking a lot about how life ebbs and flows. After all, that is the title of my blog. Even though, I know that is how life is, I sometimes still forget, especially in those low ebbs and exciting flows.

Not only is the ebbing and flowing natural but it also makes you appreciate the other more. It's like joy existing with sorrow. We're not supposed to separate them. They accentuate each other. Essentially, that's what keeps us alive--the ebbing and flowing of our lives merging with those around us.

The ebb and flow of life have become natural for my life in Mongolia. Just saying that brings my thoughts to a pause. It wasn't always natural. I remember that it at one time was extremely difficult and somewhat painful. Today, it doesn't cease to be difficult and sometimes it is still painful but the nature of my life is consistent, sustaining and joy filled.

Staying in those paused thoughts, I am brought to an intense sentiment of thankfulness. I remember the people that were consistent for me--helping me get to a natural balance here. And I'm reminded of the quote again: "That we exist for each other, and when we're at a low ebb, sometimes just to see the goodness radiating from another can be all we need in order to rediscover it in ourselves." The beauty is that our brothers and sisters were created to point us back to our hearts--where our creator resides.

The longer I have been here the more natural it has become for me to consider the people here a part of my family. My church family. My global family. They are my brothers and sisters. I care deeply about them. My family--my church--is growing and I'm becoming deeply aware of our connection to one another.

From my time in Mongolia, the way I think about us belonging to each other has been solidified. Serving globally does something to your heart. In becoming acutely aware of the needs of our brothers and sisters wherever we are, we are thus more in tune with the needs of our other brothers and sisters, everywhere.

The beautiful part about this heart change is realizing that because we are family, a big family, we have not only a responsibility but a desire to meet our brother's and sister's needs.

Even though, here in Mongolia, we are not struggling with diseases like Malaria or AIDS (that's about the only thing that makes us thankful for the extreme cold), our brothers and sisters in other places are. Because of our awareness of the connection to our family across the world, we feel pain with them. We mourn and suffer with them in all their struggles. We offer our hearts, prayers and lives to be in solidarity with them.

In the ebbing and flowing of life we become vulnerable and our we share our needs with the communities surrounding us. We both give and receive love and care. In this, we realize that not only do we need each other but our ebb affects another's flow and that all plays into the great balance of creation.

We more than need each other, we exist because of each other.

So, sister, I'll ebb,
brother, you flow.


  1. "We more than need each other, we exist because of each other.

    So, sister, I'll ebb,
    brother, you flow."

    friend- i love these words. how beautiful it is that we not only need each other, but receive our identity from one another, and exist because and for one another and how this makes us a people interwoven in ebbs and flows.

  2. Beautiful words from a beautiful person in a beautiful land serving with beautiful people.

  3. Thanks for writing this Holli.


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