When Heshan and I road tripped to Ohio with Steph and her husband I learned that home is wherever the people you love are. When I left Ohio ten years ago at the age of 22, I thought I’d never look back, but on our visit I realized I missed it more than ever. Even though I didn’t want our week long family reunion to end, I eventually had to come back to New York with Heshan, and I learned that home is also the life God is building for us wherever we are. I spent the first few days pouting and the next few days making crazy plans to love our apartment like it’s our forever home until God moves us into the home I’m dreaming about. I can’t wait to break our paint rollers out and make it all happen.
There will be new pillows (already in the works), there will be new art (already in my head), and there will be a giant wall of chalkboard just like Krystle suggested when I shared our new entryway table. At least if I have anything to do with it.
I also learned that when I live life looking for a safety net, I’m not really living in the fullness and freedom of Christ. So this month after years of dreaming, I took what feels like a ginormous leap of faith and quit my job with no real assurances that it’s going to work out, but with a renewed confidence that God’s promises to always be with me are true. And with a serious excitement about what He can do. This feels huge, because for the past two years Heshan and I have lived almost exclusively off of my income and benefits while he works his way through a PhD, so I’ve spent that time playing it safe when it comes to living out our dreams. But recently I felt God nudging me to acknowledge that I’d falsely built myself up as a provider instead of looking at Him as our ultimate Provider. And in doing so, I was carrying a huge weight He never intended for me to carry, and it wasn’t pretty.
So while I can’t really go into all the details now, April was a big month of risk just like I thought it would be. May’s going to be even riskier, and June’s going to be a whole new thing whatever that turns out to be. I’m excited. I’m in awe. I feel like I’m finally remembering how to take one step at a time in real faith again, and I can’t wait to share it all with you as soon as I can. For now let’s just say I’m getting back to my roots, back to my First Love, and also into something new that’s stretching me like woah.
To celebrate, Heshan bought me two pairs of these adorable Sam & Libby shoes that Steph found at Target (on clearance right now in stores for $20.00. Genuine leather. Ladies, do it!). I’m rocking them in pink and navy like there’s no tomorrow.
Lastly, I’m still loving Rhinestone Jesus by Kristen Welch and soaking up every page like she’s telling my life story. I could quote this book for days. I considered Tweeting it like crazy, until I realized I was practically giving the whole thing away. But seriously, her story of how she came to terms with the life she had (instead of the life she imagined) and how she learned to say yes to God in the middle of her everyday mess has been impacting me in ways I’ll probably still be discovering for months or years to come. She and I have drastically different lives, in different parts of the country, with almost nothing in common on the surface except for our love of Jesus. But can I tell you, she shares her heart with such openness and honesty that every chapter has me nodding my head like I’m right there with her. The book is in stores today, and I’m not just telling you because I got my copy for free. (Also I’m not using affiliate links, so this link is out of love). It’s the real deal.
Here’s how I did with April’s goals…
Keep getting up earlier. Not even close. I got up later than ever in April, and I realized on our vacation to Ohio that part of what God’s doing in my life right now is giving me rest. I’ll take it. I’m not getting like 10 hours of sleep or anything (and I had a few sleepless nights when Heshan ended up in the ER with a serious stomach virus followed by our late night trip back home), but for the most part I’m hitting snooze as long as possible and taking advantage of this transition time to cuddle next to Heshan as late as I can until my feet hit the floor. It feels absolutely luxurious to be able to get a full night’s sleep and wake up slowly together after years of denying ourselves rest.
I plan to keep it up through May unless you count the fact that I was up before dawn today to get to Pennsylvania with my friend Karyn so we can see Beth Moore. Apparently it’s all about incentives for me.
– Manage my time more intentionally. Success! I’m doing pretty good at this recently mostly because I’m taking things one step at a time. I’m keeping it on the list for May.
– Make sure I get 30 minutes of Bible study a day in before bed. I’m getting my book reading in on my morning and evening subway rides (totally loving The Invisible War by Chip Ingram and Rhinestone Jesus) and I’m getting into my Bible everyday, but I didn’t get as much time for deep study as I wanted. So this stays on the list.
– Keep working on a dream the Lord’s planted in my heart. This is a slow going one happening in baby steps on His timeline, but some exciting things happened last month. Like quitting my job! Cryptic enough?
And here are May’s goals…
– Rest. Like how I did that?
– Bible Study Keeping this on the list.
– Invest in myself. I’ve been so busy since I went through illness years ago that I stopped investing in myself or even letting others invest in me in a lot of ways. So May’s goals are going to be all about accepting rest and letting God pamper me a bit (which is probably a not so deep way of realizing my life should reflect my faith that God’s in control and loves me). So whether it’s doing my nails, buying a new dress, or taking a nap, I’m letting it happen this month.
– Remember that I don’t need Jesus and a job, I need Jesus. Something awesome happened on the morning I woke up and realized I’d spent my entire adult life looking for Jesus and a job in order to feel secure. While I’ve had some pretty cool jobs with some fun companies, that attitude also led me to taking a job I wasn’t happy in and then staying there way too long. So instead of asking Jesus to prove that I’m secure in Him by giving me the most stable job on the face of the planet, I’m taking on something fun and trusting that He’s got things worked out.
What about you? What are your goals? What did you learn and love this month? Lay it on me…