My heart is in 100 places at once.
Growing old friendships. Meeting new people. Investing in my family. Learning to love my husband in new ways. Getting to know my city. Becoming a gentler co-worker. Constantly soaking up more and more of God.
I feel completely inadequate for the things being put on my plate... but I keep feeling God whispering to me:
"I am capable.
I can do these things through you if you let me.
I want you to share your life.
I'm bigger than your fears.
I have plans for you, daughter."
My whole life has been turned upside down these past few months, and I feel wrecked in the most amazing way. Truly beginning to understand who God is and who He calls me to be changes everything in my life. It changes how I use what I've been given: my time, my money, my skills, my heart, my whole life. It changes how I treat everyone around me. It feels massively huge in my heart, like I'm awake for the first time. But when put simply, I'm learning how to walk with my God. There's an endless amount of learning to be done, and I'm so thankful knowing that there will never be a moment when I am "done" or "complete" on this Earth. My expectations of myself needs to radically change, and I'm thrilled God gives me the grace to do so.
Here's where my heart is being led this month:
- Reading "Let's All Be Brave" with my 14-year-old sister, Blair. She's growing into the most amazing young woman, and often she and I don't get the chance to spend real time together. I searingly remember how hard being 14 was for me. I've been seeing this new book from Annie Downs pop up in my newsfeed for awhile now, and it looks like the perfect book for Blair and I to read together. Since we live in different cities, we'll be calling or Skyping once a week to catch up and discuss what we read. I'm looking forward to getting to know her heart better.
- Investing in a specific group of girls who have been on my heart in a unique way. There are three other women who I've gotten to know better in this past year, and it was definitely a moment of God-inspiration when I realized how perfect they would all be as friends. Each of them had mentioned to me that they were seeking an intimate female community in their lives, and the way this came together just couldn't have been more perfect. Inspired by the IF:Table concept, we've committed to sharing dinner together in our homes once a month and asking the good heart questions. I personally have a bad history of fearing friendship, so sometimes you have to tackle things head-on, right?
- Outserving Chris. Jamie Ivey wrote a blog post awhile back about "outserving" her husband – refusing to get caught up in her own selfishness and going out of her way to really love her husband well. I've been trying to find new ways to support Chris this past month as he's started his last year of law school, and having this perspective has really changed things for me. It's kind of amazing that all of the things I'd been longing for in our relationship have suddenly started coming to us so easily. We hear each other better, we have deeper and more challenging conversation (that doesn't feel accusing or purely logical – it feels so full of love), and have been doing a much better job of understanding how to attend to each other in the small ways (example: I forgot how much Chris loves head and back scratches – I don't think I've done that for him since we were dating!).
- Lastly, I'm working on building more margin into my weeks. Summer was full of so many social events... things every night of the week and multiple activities each weekend. I'm desperately wanting to make time to really study my Bible and my God (I have the longest list of books and sermons I'm wanting to read and listen to!). This summer I felt like I was being carried through a really hard time by getting to know people who poured love into me. I'm so thankful for that, and I think now I'm moving into a season where that still happens, but I need to also make room for myself alone. I know it'll be hard to stay on top of that, but I'm really looking forward to moving and growing in this way over the next month or two.
I share all this to let you know that those things God is whispering to me... He's whispering to you, too. He's asking for you to flip up your palms and show him your open hands – to trust that He is good, and that He will produce the fruit in your life. He sees you, and loves you, and cares for you. He is strong, entirely capable, and filled with justice and mercy.