Let Me Introduce Myself

Photo by Courtney Bowlden

(photo by Courtney Bowlden)

Who am I? Those three words combine to create a loaded question that few dare to ask and even fewer take time to thoughtfully answer. But don’t worry, I won’t hit you with that one just yet. The purpose of this post is to act as a little introduction. Whether you are reading this for the first time on your phone, in line at a coffee shop, or you merely stumbled across my blog while procrastinating from work (don’t worry, it can wait), let me just say…

Hello and welcome to my new blog, “See, Hear, Explore,”–but you can call it S.H.E. for short!

For years I have had the itch to write, and it is a passion I have indulged sporadically with a travel/personal blog I kept my last two summers in Eastern Europe and through a stack of old journals currently stuffed under my bed. I have shared bits and pieces of my life with the World Wide Web, yet recently yearned to have a single, consistent place to share my thoughts, dreams, stories, and faith in a blog that flows like a journal. I wanted to create this blog so that you can all walk along side me as I experience life the way I truly believe it to be; a grand adventure.

So what inspired the name, “See, Hear, Explore?”

I’ll answer that, but first stick with me. Have you ever have had one of those moments in life where you look back and, as if you were watching a performance as a spectator in a theater, you can pinpoint distinct moments in your own life where your story transitioned from Act 1, to Act 2, and beyond? Well, I recently graduated college and the last few months of introspection, time to read and think, have given me a beautiful new space to look back on my life and pick out how the many threads of my life that appeared random at the time, have been weaving into an intricate, intelligent pattern.

Certain experiences or seasons in my life appear fortuitous and disconnected if taken separately–like meeting the president, driving down a fashion show runway in a $300,000 sports car one night and then walking down a red dirt road in Kenya 24-hours later, mountaineering in the Alps, getting interviewed by Ellen Degeneres, landing on the cover of a book and a magazine, or swimming with barracuda a day after petting a black panther (all true stories by the way, for another time),–yet these seemingly random experiences all have one thing in common. They are all part of a grand story I could never think to write on my own. They are woven together by a single thread that connects the many different “worlds” I inhabit in my personal and professional life. The one element connecting it all is my faith in God.

I call myself a Christian, and I don’t do so in an arrogant, loud, or angry voice, but with a whisper that seeks not to draw attention to myself, but to direct others to the one who has never left my side. All success, wisdom, or strength I may ever appear to have is, and should be, rooted entirely in God because it is in Him that I have found who I am.

Returning to the name and reason for my blog, some of the most profound lessons I have learned on my walk with Christ can be broken into three parts…

1.) Learning how to see: Seeing the world around me with eyes that search beneath the surface to discover the beauty and depth in every single person, even when they cannot see it in themselves. To see the world with wonder, finding that beauty can exist even in the midst of chaos.

2.) Learning how to hear: Hearing the stories of people around me in their entirety, which means moving beyond merely listening to really hearing what people have to say. Seeking to learn the perspectives and beliefs of people far different than myself by patiently and quietly listening in order to understand.

3.) Learning how to explore: Exploring encapsulates a response to what you see and hear with both your heart and your actions. I believe the heart that truly learns to see and hear is also the heart that is moved to action; to serve, to speak, to explore.

I highlight these three invaluable lessons, not as a teacher, but as a pupil who still has much to learn. Every single day I learn anew what it means to have eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to respond and do.

At times my blog may be a sounding board to bounce off new ideas or things I learn, at other times it may be a sacred space to explore what a life with Christ looks like, but I imagine much often my blog will be a never-been-told story of adventure, love, faith, defeat, and triumph.

I like to think that a life with Christ is synonymous with a life of adventure. That being said, I’d like to invite you along, dear reader, as I continue to live an awfully big adventure.

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