Cultivate.

These days I start writing, really writing, and I start crying; mostly because there is just so much inside of me that is longing to burst out, and more often than not I find myself at a lack of words, or colors or means to express it because it's so much more than expression itself, it's the deep, deep ache of my soul.

How do you articulate the aching of ones soul? How do you assign a string of letters, or a smudge of colors to accurately give language to the rumble and beat of your very existence? I suppose that is where art comes in, and art will come of this, that much I am sure, but for now I  explore through words.

It's been long coming, this idea of cultivation and culture. These words are often used as a metaphor for what we are trying to do around us. For example: it might be said, "We want to cultivate a culture of authenticity" to say we strive to create a liveable lifestyle where people are welcome to be transparent about the realities of life on this planet.

And cultivate we do, though often times not the culture we intended, because that is a painful and messy endeavor.

The reality is we are either living in a culture that we set, or a culture that is set for us - and while it's 100% okay to find your fit in "someone elses" stream, we have to remember and be cognizant that we are all contributors to that stream, for without the individual drops of water what is a river?

So what kind of culture are you cultivating?

Here I am, once again, face to face with this question. What kind of culture am I setting? but more importantly what kind of culture do I desire to be a part of?

The truth is, I cuss, and I do things that your pastor and parents might question in the light of "Christianity" (and I sometimes question), and I learn new things every day, and I cry and scream and I love recklessly and sometimes that comes to bite me in the ass, but at the end of the day I love Jesus desperately - sometimes so much that I don't know what to do or how to express it so I just simply go about my day. And sometimes I make excuses to justify my laziness, and sometimes I realize that what I am doing in any particular moment might not be the purest example of the heart of Christ, and so I repent and move on, but I realize that this is the culture I so long to live in; a culture that says: It is 100% OKAY to have days when I feel like an absolute mess, to make stupid choices ( because it's your decision to walk in the other direction that really matters) and to question everything.

I want to live a lifestyle that says: "Give. Persevere. Explore. Dream. Be more. Be you. Be bold." I want to live with a tribe that says, "I will fight for you, and with you when you are being or living less than everything you are created for", and "I believe in you". I want to create a space that says, "Come. Cry in VIBRANT COLOR. Break plates because it feels good, throw paint because you need to, blare music because it heals you." A community that says, "Here, take this because I love you." even when we don't understand it.

There is a very real message that needs to be trumpeted through our lives, one that says, "You don't have to look a certain way, or be a certain person, or have a certain talent, or be this or that or the other thing to be accepted here. To be heard here. To be welcome here." so.

Cultivate.