for being “let go”.

I recently went for a walk through some ups and downs, and I mean that both figuratively and physically.

As I step from one season into another, where God is calling me out of my position at Adventures in Missions, and into new ministry and partnerships, I’ve found myself needing to take many walks outside alone, mostly to clear my head, but also to learn how to dream again.

On this particular day, my walk began much like any other, until I realized I could see and hear more clearly. What I mean by that is the trees and colors around me were more vivid. I heard all of the birds in those backwoods of Georgia tweeting and the scurry of little animal feet upon the crunchy leaves beneath the pines.

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I hardly bothered to flinch when dogs would jolt up out of their yards from a deep sleep, barking instinctively at me, the intruder who was passing their people’s house. I was in a daze…a trance, almost…fighting for peace as I traipsed through my neighborhood.

As I marched, I noticed a couple out in their yard together, enjoying the beautiful day. What struck me about them, though, was they were both participating in two very different disciplines: one, the man, was actively tending to the grounds of their property, aerating it with a special machine he pushed before him, followed by a machine he drug behind him, sowing seeds into the newly aerated and tilled ground. He paced back and forth meticulously, one foot after another, until every inch of his lawn was tended-to.

The woman, however, was actively resting. She sat in the shade on their porch, glancing up from her book occasionally, and I could see the rise and fall of her body as she breathed slowly. She’d allow herself to be distracted by something, it seemed, for as long as she needed, before pulling her attention back to her book. To me, she seemed utterly at ease.

But these two have something important in common: they were both participating, and they were both active.

flowers.

 

The world often tells us we have to be going and doing and planning and scheming. And while there’s truth there, in each of our life purposes coming to fruition, there are still other things we must tend to. It may seem typical to some of you–the man of the house hard at work, while his woman just sits and hardly bothers to help. But I am learning there is so much discipline to be found in rest, so long as we don’t use it as a cop-out. And discerning when to rest…well maybe that’s at the heart of the discipline altogether.

This week, I’ve learned more about myself than I have in a long time. And it’s been exhausting {because I haven’t rested when I should}, but incredibly beautiful nonetheless.

What I’ve found is God is simply saying “Daughter, choose.”

Doors are opening and closing left and right, and I must show up to each day with active purposes and disciplines. But when I find myself growing weary and tired, I physically sit down, which is to mimic what Christ did at the right hand of His Father: this action alone declared, “It is finished! The work here is done.”

sojourn

I know my season at Adventures in Missions was not in vain. While they’ve had to cut back their staff by a large percentage due to financial analysis and conclusions, I’m not hurting. While some of their recent decisions have stung and confused, I’m not bitter. Why?

1. We serve the same God. From now until forever. Period.
2. I’ve  learned more in the last two and a half years than I can fully express to you here, and that is invaluable to me. And while my severance was abrupt, it was not unexpected. God has been preparing me in so many ways the last few months, and ministering to my heart about these upcoming changes.

He’s given me peace like a river, and I cannot wait to share even more about what’s ahead!

SPOILER ALERT: it involves a new job, new dreams, new financial goals, a new business, a new personal website, and maybe {dare I say it…} even a new location. {comment below on where you guess I’m headed. Winner gets a surprise gift from yours truly!}

I wish I could give you more than this ambiguous update, but trust that I’m still conversing with God. I can tell you I’m beyond excited, and I can tell you I’ll be venturing out into some great unknowns! When I know, you’ll be some of the first to also know.

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So, won’t you join me??
I’m so thankful for your support and love along the way.

Have you ever been “let go” from something…or even have to let go of something or someone yourself?
What was that experience like, and how did you go about it?

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can support me, you can do so here.
If you’d like to subscribe to my new Suzy The Sojourner updates, you can do so here

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for chosen moments.

Moments have the ability to shape us.

Our moments, like much of life, our vernacular, and the food we pour & shove into our bodies, are either life or death. They’re one or the other. They can’t be both. They’re either adding to our life, or taking from it.

I’ve heard it said that when we seek with all of our hearts, we are sure to find.

I’m notorious for getting in my car, tossing a coin {“heads” for right, & “tails” for left}, and driving away in the respective direction given by the coin, throwing caution to the wind along with my long, crazy hair. It’s in these moments where my main ambition is fumbling-upon somewhere new, an uncharted territory or side-street, a place that lands me slightly off-the-grid. It may not actually be new to most of the world, but even if it’s only new to me, I’m winning.

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Like most of the people I know, it’s easy to become trapped in the intersection of knowing when to capture these vivid moments throughout my explorations, these robust points in time that add flavor and valor to my life…or when to put the camera {iPad} at bay and simply rest in the beauty that is unfolding around me.

As I’ve waltzed into this Lenten season, taking time to reflect and observe all that Jesus is in my life, and the sweet ways He shows His love from well-beyond the Cross, I’ve wondered if the moments themselves, the ones in which He meets me, are really enough–or if I am looking to impress the people who “follow” along on my journeys, editing and cropping away the things which make me uncomfortable.

A sweet friend & colleague, Jessie, an Arizona-Missouri-New Jersey implant who I met during my long days spent in the fashion-industry, puts it so well:

Cutting back on social media by keeping my eyes on the road directly in front of me might seem like a thoughtful move, but it could also mean that I’m missing out on the chance to capture the breathtaking scenery
before it zips past the car window. 
There is certainly something gratifying about sharing special moments with your friends online…but more and more lately, I’m searching for the sweet spot between peacefully gazing out the window and giving meaningful glimpses as I go…” 

It’s a hard thing to weigh out. It’s an even harder fete when you work in the world of Marketing, where your job is to be on top of the latest trends, social media propaganda, and the many great causes worth dually noting and sharing with the world.

So when traveling friends land on my doorstep to rest and recuperate in my basement apartment in the woods, with late-night laughter and heart chats over hot beverages, I want to soak in everything those moments embody.

When the setting sun makes me weepy and causes me to pull my car to a halt on the road-side, I want to sit and wait expectantly for its setting, breathing in the ever-changing colors, instead of fidgeting with my seatbelt to stick half of my body out the window for the “perfect” shot.

And instead of documenting my tidy, strategically-placed life, *I want to be real about the fact that I sometimes decide to not make my bed or fold my clothes or put away the dishes. I’m learning to throw my satchel over my shoulder and bolt out the door for some exploring, reveling in the fact that my Type-A personality does not always get its way–sometimes, life is just too short for chores and perfection.

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Another friend and fellow writer, Ally, seems to have similar thoughts. She says,

“What if beauty is is waiting for us to find it, and shine a light on it, and call it into existence?
What if beauty works its way into our life in moments–in the littlest things–that we so easily pass by and write-off
as just another day at work, or just another meal, or just another conversation with a friend?
What if beauty is all around us, and we simply need to stop resisting it?”

My friends, I fully believe we’ll get there.

We’ll come to the intersection of absolute failure and astounding triumph, and it will all come down to the moments we let in, the thoughts we let permeate, and the adventures we allowed God to take us on. 

I don’t believe the capturing of such moments is bad or even wrong, in essence.
I just think I need to learn how to better live in them without feeling the need to document the crap out of them, you know? 

And what if these moments are already captured in the Heavenlies? What if we get to replay e v e r y t h i n g  lovely for all of eternity on a film reel, just you and me and Jesus, and all of the angels and saints, clapping valiantly at what our moments became, the culmination of life-to-the-full?

OH MY GOSH, JUST WHAT IF!? 

In this season, I’m learning to set my vices and devices down to breathe.
I’m learning to choose my moments and spend my time wisely {which, to my disdain, does not involve watching three seasons of Gilmore Girls back-to-back without moving from my couch}.

But that’s okay.
Because after all, isn’t it true that “how we spend our days, is, of course, how we spend our lives.” ?

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What are some ways you are stopping to reflect on your life’s precious moments, both with and without a lens through which to capture them? 

*Do yourselves a favor to take 10 seconds to search #myrealrealife & #instagramtheordinary to see how my real friends are really living, unapologetically.