About Morgan Day Cecil
Pursuing romance and adventure with grace and peace, one breath at a time. I live in Portland, Oregon with a handsome man who calls me his bride, and 2 kids.
How are you, friend?
I hope well.
December can be a tricky month. It’s wonderful, yes. But also busy. And the holiday season also seems to come with some high expectations. If you are like me, you need the reminder (and the intentional practice) to stop striving so much and just be.
Here is a new yoga video, shot our last day in Italy, and I think it might be perfect for us right now.
It’s a 30 min class with some playful postures to help you shift from striving to shining. Maybe you could set a time this week to join me and we could reflect together on 1John 3:1, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
Grace & Peace to you,
p.s. See the Salt + Light tee I’m wearing in the video? You can get it for 20% off from the MOE Yoga shop this week. Just use coupon code DECBELIGHT
Maidservant of Encouragement, my design shop featuring encouraging quotes, bibles verses, and art is in full gear taking orders for the holidays. We are doing lots of giveaways too! Come join us on Facebook and Instagram (@theMofEShop). Also…
Sign up for the Maidservant of Encouragement newsletter and be entered to win a custom quote poster printable. Get your favorite bible verse, inspirational quote or saying designed in whimsical gold or black lettering. You’ll also get the Joy to the World printables sent right to your inbox for free.
Thanks so much for being here!
The MorganDayCecil Blog
When you travel, especially abroad, the grand adventure is assumed.
You do not know what you will encounter, but you assume it will be good, so you take the risk into the unknown anyway.
We bought the tickets. Made the plans. Said goodbye to our two kids and flew to Italy. We boarded the plane, feeling the excitement and hope in our chest, knowing we had just entered into a sacred space in our married life where two weeks of time would be just for us.
Five days in we finally woke from the fog of jet lag and felt really ready to begin our grand adventure. We rented a little car, got silly-happy singing along to Italian radio, then, somewhere not far from Napoli, at an Autogrill that was meant to just be a quick stop for the bathroom and a Magnum bar, everything but our clothes was stolen.
Passports, books, bibles (the one my husband had since he was 14), journals (the one with a years worth of notes for projects and all my prep work for the yoga classes I was to record while in Italy), our brand new MacBook Pro (the one with 20,000 un-backed-up-words of my husband’s writing), our Canon 5D, our 24-70mm Canon lens, our GoPro Hero 3+, all of GoPro gear and equipment, my make-up, my vitamins, my skin care, our backpacks, all the incidentals. In sum, $9,864 worth of stuff.
We later learned the thieves got into our locked trunk by using a cloning device. This type of sophisticated thieving apparently happens quite regularly at Autogrills near Rome and Naples and had we read the U.S Consolutes advice to stay away from these places, or at least never leave the car alone, we might have saved ourselves from becoming an annoying statistic, as seen here.
However, we didn’t.
Our stuff was gone and we weren’t going to get back. And we knew it was just stuff. And we fought hard to be grateful no harm was done to either of us physically. But. But.
Those first few hours mostly we were just really pissed about our bad luck and full of fear for the future. Would we recover financially? Would this happen again? Do we even want to travel anymore? Is the risk worth it?
We still had 9 days left of our trip. What we were going to decide to do with them?
That evening, sleeping in a crappy B&B in Salerno, listening to shutters slap against old stone walls, we wanted to go home. The risk didn’t seem worth it. God didn’t seem able to protect us.
We opened up His word anyway and sent message home asking for prayer.
The next 12 hours changed everything.
None of our stuff came back, but hope returned. The rallying cry of saints at home who lifted us in prayer and took action on our behalf crippled ever fear within us. We felt it. Love was very present and we knew we would continue on with this grand adventure of a trip.
Here is the thing…
None of us get to decide what happens to us. There will always be circumstances outside of our control. But we do have this amazing power: Each of us gets to decide the meaning of what happens to us.
So here is what happened to us…
One surprising afternoon in a country we love and will always love, we got an amazing opportunity to purchase More Faith. We didn’t lose 10k, we spent it. We spent it on a renewed and gorgeous belief that Love Conquers All and All Will Be Well. It was our time together and we were still together. The days ahead were still as much ours as they ever were. And how incredible that God saw fit to give us the impossible? The ability to buy what cannot be bought at any price. Faith & Love. What a deal we scored.
Here is my advice for all who are dealing with circumstances that seem meaningless and unfair…When the darkness starts speaking at you, in an effort to define you, refuse it.
Stand up and shout loud and take back all the breath in the room, so that evil has none. Filabuster that shit. Keep singing Love’s praises. Keep declaring the Word. Keep repeating the Promises. Keep going, and know you are held by the Light of so many others.
The Poet, Rumi, says,
Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment.
You don’t have to figure out how to make everything okay again. Love will.
Thank you for all who prayed for us and gave to us. It has been a truly grand and bewildering adventure of the heart.
I’ve watched this video of Sister Cristina five times already.
I love it. I love what she has to say about Madonna’s Song, Like A Virgin,
“Reading the text, without being influenced by previous interpretations, you discover that it is a song about the power of love to renew people [and] rescue them from their past,” Sister Cristina told Italian newspaper Avvenire.”
Tomorrow we leave for Italy. And we are going there for the sake of love. To be renewed. The God who has shown me his tenderness and kindness has rescued me from a heavy past. But pieces of me still grow weary under the relentless dictator named Performance. I need rescuing every single day. Mostly from myself.
I am grateful to get to go to Italy, but I don’t know if I’m proud of the obsessive work that has earned me the trip. Running three Etsy shops and trying to grow a little yoga and oil business is a little crazy. I’m hoping to get some rest on this trip and to just laugh a lot with my husband. I’ve let our relationship (because it’s the safest) take the brunt of the weight of my addiction to Busy. I want things to change. Maybe there are some women who can do it all, but it is starting to feel a little unhealthy for me to aspire to being one of them.
Last night I taught my final holy yoga class in the 8 week series, “Breath is Spirit.” I offered a verse from Isaiah to my students, a verse I desperately need to consider and meditate on while I am away.
“For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
Five years ago my husband and I did a very irresponsible thing and put a trip to Italy on the credit card. It was money well borrowed. We have looked back on that trip so many times; the memory, a well for us to return to in dry times; the book of photographs we made a consistent and a deep remembrance of joy. To return and find rest in Italy will be so lovely. But the greater blessing is the return we make to the Lord and the rest we find in Him.
All of me- flesh and spirit- can’t wait to get on that plane tomorrow. I’ve been to Italy 8 times before, but tomorrow my love for Italy, my husband, and my God– will be made new again. Sister Cristina will be my soundtrack.