It’ll all be there for you when you come back.
Isn’t that what we tend to believe when we look away and take breaks? When I leave my apartment and stay gone for a few days, I come home to a different apartment. Things are dusty, and my plants are droopy, and oh yeah, that one plate is now sticky beyond scrubbing. Oops. I forgot to rinse it. I thought it’d all be there just as I left it, but I was wrong.
It’s the same with social media. I’ve been leaving it, and every time I come back… it’s different. Less interesting. It’s a little slower. I was gonna tell the world about the day I got a massage and felt like a queen, but eh. I didn’t. And the day right before I started my brand new awesome job, I could have totally totally hyped it up on a post and gotten a ton of attention on it because those kinds of announcements sell like hotcakes. But eh.
I realize I’ve been quiet. I realize I haven’t blogged much. I’m getting back on that horse, I am. I’ve been asked a few times if I’m still blogging, and that’s still the plan. I’ve been reading a lot, and resting the kind of rest where I don’t get much done at all. That’s after work, of course. Somehow I got this great idea in my head that I need to do much more beyond my full-time job. I’m not sure when such a concept was introduced to me, and maybe it’s a generational thinking pattern from one particularly workaholic side of my genetic tree. Maybe you can inherit such striving, huh?
Currently there’s a Phylla House group online. It’s the best. There are people in it whom I’ve never met, on the other side of the country. I love that Jesus knows them all. I love that He’s been adding to the numbers even when my prayers circle around staying small and intimate.
I am praying for all kinds of freedom in my life. Freedom from debt. Freedom from anxiety. Freedom from striving. Freedom to do much or nothing at all, without attaching my joy to my level of productivity. Freedom from the binds of “my personality” and “my routine” and “my expectations” to expand to God’s peace reigning in my life. In His will. In His grace. In His timeline. Inhale. Exhale. Babble some nonsense words. Laugh. Shake it out.
I’ve been disciplined in ways I’d forgotten were possible. I love my new workout classes. I love walking into my job with my warm travel mug full of coffee in the morning, just as the sun is rising and staining the clouds with pinks and oranges. Waking up at 5:15am isn’t so bad when it’s okay to make noise and turn on music to get ready, as I live alone now and can pretty much do whatever I want. It’s a daunting sense of responsibility. Nobody is here to parent me. Nobody is here to restrict me. There’s no cat to feed. There’s no dog to walk. There’s no roommate to greet. There’s no appliance to share. I can wash the dish now or later. I can be scary clean or throw my shirt on the floor. For the first time in 4 years, what at first was excruciatingly quiet is now my normal measure of peace. Living alone isn’t so bad. This season is a gift, as I keep learning every season seems to be.
I’m learning how to be my own best friend. I LOVE my best friends, don’t get me wrong. The people in my life have not relented in loving me well, so that’s not what this is about.
I’m learning to stay, like a dog haha. Not to nip at random things, not to apply to things, to just BE. I’m learning to stay the course. I’m learning not to make choices out of fear, EVEN IF those choices seem like good things, or even GREAT things. Fear shouldn’t drive me at all.
Courage is a better motivator than fear, believe it or not. Courage is like a really nice mom that slowly draws the curtains and reminds you that you need to rise and shine. Courage nods your way and holds your hand while you grit your teeth through the discomfort of doing what it is that you know needs to get done. Courage is patient, consistent, like a low hum, like lit coals, steady. Sometimes it lights on fire, but when it does, it’s exhilarating. Courage gets you through the threshold, but fear binds you just beneath it, and just enough for you to feel like it’s impossible, when breakthrough is just around the corner.
So with courage I will be accepting some unexpected things, like resting and being and breathing. And with courage I will be declining unexpected things as well, like Bethel year two (for now) and any specialization/masters degree I’ve been considering. With courage I’ll be planning some Phylla House retreats and events. With courage I’ll be releasing 2 books, one a guide for PH leaders and one a compilation of the favorite devos I’ve written.
I want to look back on my life and know that courage was in the forefront of my mind as I made choices. Jesus has given me sufficient amounts of it, as well as grace for the times when my fearful heart led the way instead of yielding. Here’s to dismissing my fear of pain, even when there is no pain (because fear is funny like that). Here’s to dismissing my fear of missing out. Here’s to dismissing my fear of being alone, in general. And also bye to my fear of what could possibly happen if I have nothing to do, which is like fear of “not doing enough” and that’s a small root of restless striving that needs to go.
What we don’t change, we choose. What are you choosing and what’s driving you to it?