Nilly’s 29th

This past weekend I celebrated my 29th birthday. When I was younger, birthdays used to be such a superficial and grandiose affair. I used to buy a new birthday outfit every year, get my hair and nails done, post relentlessly on social media that my birthday is coming up-yeah, I was very self conscious back then. ( Not to say I have grown past it. I still struggle with self-conscious behaviors from time to time.) However, this year my birthday was celebrated differently in many ways.


The joy of my 29th new year rested peacefully in my heart. It made me think of my endless blessings, achievements and my personal growth. It made me appreciate everyone around me; my husband, the community of faith I am a part of, my friends, colleagues and students.

As I reflected on age 28, an image of a house fire came to mind. House fires usually first start inside the house before an alarm is sounded, notifying the owner that something is wrong. My inner soul represents my house. My 28th year, I endured my own personal house fires.

 Fires that wreaked havoc in my mind, heart and character. Fires that were daunting, dry and at times very arid. But, those fires were my best teachers confirgured into memorable life lessons. After they passed, ashes of vain glory were left over. I witnessed, experienced and lived those moments;  journeyed through an abyss of trials and  revelations, and out of it I emerged into a beautiful warrior of light. I’m beyond grateful. Even though the storms came, when it was over only sunshine took its place.

So, as I write this blog, a thought just came to mind. I’ll be turning 30 next year -by God’s grace. In 10 years time, I’ll be 39 years old. What would I want my future self to remember about my 20s- my young adult years? 

I would want my future self to remember my courage, strength and my stories along my life journey. I would never want to forget what it feels like to be young and searching for a sense of direction. I would want to remember how the act of actively listening to others speaks more volumes than meaningless words. I also would want to remember my boldness, my adventure spirit, steadfast focus, and last but not least my faith.

By 39, Micah and I will probably have pre-teens running around the house, full of adventure, keeping us busy and talking our ears off. But when I look back, I would like to be in a position where I’m passing on all the knowledge and wisdom I’ve learned along the years- speaking out loud with no reservations. At age 39, I hope to be the woman I am now in the process of becoming.

Signing Out,

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Esther Lynn 




Greater Hights: Sojourner Reflections 

September is in full swing. The seasons are changing slowly but surely. A new semester has started and the burning summer heat is finally fading. Micah and I decided to continue with our Hangul studies. It’s not easy but we’re determined to know and understand the language before leaving Korea. Lately I’ve been thinking about the past few months. I’ve asked myself on several occasions, how am I fulfilling my destiny, my mission in life? It’s a deep question that has taken me a long time to fully answer.

September will make seven months in Korea. My life here has been an emotional roller coaster. I don’t mean that in a negative way. It’s been a necessary time of me constantly fighting with myself. When I first got to Korea I was very silent and guarded. During orientation, I was very stand-offish. Deep down inside I wanted to meet new people and I did to some extent. But I felt more comfortable in my bubble. At the time I thought my biggest leap of faith was moving to Korea. I failed to think past the moving stage and the process of actually living here. The first three months were very challenging for me as a woman, foreigner, teacher and wife. I constantly missed my two best friends, my sisters from back in the states. I often would long for the comfort and access of authentic relationships in my life. Now that I am looking back, what made the first three months so hard was me only paying attention to the negative aspects rather than the blessings that surrounded me.

During summer break, Micah and I took a cruise to Japan. I remember standing on the deck watching the sunset. Mesmerized by its beauty, captivated by its story. As the sun was dawning a masterpiece was taking its place. The horizons: the place where the sky touches the earth. As I gazed at the horizon it caused me to reflect on my beauty, story and ultimate masterpiece. At that moment, the horizon reflected my destiny. I saw all of my visions in its light. My heart was being painted at the peak of the distant mountains. So desperately I wanted to reach out and take hold of whatever was hidden from me, but the length of my arms and the distance to the horizon was too great. Instead I marveled at how simple things, such as nature, can tell the story of an individual’s heart. It took me seven months to recognize my growth; oneness with my heart and the language of God.

I’m amazed at the lessons I have learned in such a short period of time. Womanhood has taught me persistence, grit and great humility. Being a foreigner has enriched my perspective, world view and understanding. My greatest lessons were taught by my students. They taught me the joys of being young, carefree and fun. Helping me connect to my inner child. As a wife I’ve been learning the deeper meaning of love engulfed in action surrounded by wisdom. I’ve learned the power of asking one more question. The relationships that I have made have been the authentic conversations that came out of one good question being asked. I’m grateful for the small group of girlfriends I have made along this journey. Lastly, my most cherished lessons were taught by my husband, Micah. He has challenged me to step outside of my box, to think differently and to see the good in all things. His motivation encouraged me to step out in arenas I would have never gone to on my own. I’m grateful for his leadership, but most appreciative of his love.

These experiences are creating a beautiful masterpiece within me. When the sky touches the earth my soul is intertwined with the story that it’s trying to convey to me. My purpose and mission may not be clear right now. However, I’ve been greatly encouraged by knowing, the pace in life that I am now living is developing a straight path to my future surroundings. I’m on the road to greater heights. I’m in my process of becoming. I’m Speaking Out Loud.

Signing Out, 

Esther Lynn

Sunday, September 11th, 2016