Here’s the latest blog post from missioner-in-training Hady Mendez. Hady and her five classmates are training at our Washington, D.C. headquarters for service to Bolivia. 

We have been discussing the notion of “simplicity” during formation. Essentially, the act of “living more with less”. I wish I could explain the new direction my life is taking, in light of these discussions, in a way that other people could understand. I’ll try giving it a shot here.

My Goal: To be the same Hady (the ultimate story teller, your encouraging buddy, the healthy eater). Only better.

And while my behaviors and attitudes are changing, the core “me” is staying the same. You see, my values aren’t changing — I still love great food, being pampered, taking amazing trips, and staying healthy and fit.

So what will be different, you ask? Let’s see…

You might find me shopping at a local farmers market instead of a high-end super market because the food will be fresher and because it will be better for the environment to support local suppliers.

I might be more inclined to host a potluck dinner then to go out for an expensive meal so I can spend time enjoying my friends. We could all have the opportunity to get creative in the kitchen, and we could save some money in the process.

I will make more of an effort to see the face of Jesus in the poor and homeless instead of trying to figure out their reasons for being on the street. And I will volunteer more often with organizations that promote human dignity and treat homeless people with care and respect.

You will still see me traveling, for it is my heart’s passion. But I will travel with purpose as one of my core values is to see the world and meet different people.

I will still drink coconut water, for my body is my temple and coconut water is healing. I will always find ways to treat my body right and look and feel good.

I will still go shopping, but will make a conscious effort to look for fair-trade options or companies whose mission includes more than just making a profit. One of my favorites spots right now is a store called Ten Thousand Villages.

Alas – I will smile more. Because my heart is fuller. Because during more moments of my life, I’ll be doing things I enjoy and that mean something to me. Because my relationship with God is giving my life more purpose.

So, this is where I AM in my life’s journey. It comforts me to know we all have the choice to live according to what moves us and brings us true and deep happiness. What that looks like, may be different for all of us.

I’m on the right path for me. So far, I find it to be liberating. And joyful. And peaceful. All rolled into one!