I wrote in my weekly newsletter that this July 4th felt very odd and almost sad….how was your’s? With our annual town celebration cancelled and face masks becoming mandatory the day before, it just felt somehow more solemn and less celebratory……yet it gave me time for reflection….
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It was August 2011, I felt about 11 months pregnant (I was 7 months along with #3), and I’ll never forget when I started to feel an uncomfortable twinge in my heart (not the baby moving! He was content right where he was!). It would take a few months to see the full picture….but there was no denying, something was changing and it felt like a slow-rumble earthquake that was still far enough to be safe.
We had bought our house and land -160 acres- about 10 years earlier and planned on never leaving.
We put our roots DEEP.
If you can imagine small town life in all it’s glory, that was us. Everything was small, safe, and mostly predictable. There were Friday Night Lights (Matt was the Announcer for all Home football games) and Sunday morning church…a church that we loved and had a part in starting.
Bible studies, lunch at the cafe, front porch visits, Saturday night parties, and familiar faces and families that go back for generations.
This was my husband’s hometown and everything we’d known for most of our married life.
Not only were our very hearts and beings intertwined with the land and people but also Matt’s business, that he’d built from the ground up with his own sweat equity and hard-ass work (and probably a few tears from me), had us solid and deep as the roots of the cottonwood trees that held steady the banks of our favorite fishing holes…..
Imagine our surprise when there was no denying what we were both hearing…..that we were being called to journey on our way from home.
Imagine preparing to leave the people and places that encompassed your life and sustained you with faith, family, and friendship. It felt like pulling one of those cottonwoods straight up out of the dirt from all it had known….and not only would it be a shock to our root system but HOW IN THE WORLD do you replant and regrow something so massive when the soil, elements, and water resemble nothing like it knew before….
It wouldn’t take long for us to find out that we were lone pioneers in a new and foreign land. Several moves, job changes, and businesses later, I can look back on this 8+ year journey and my heart can’t believe all we’ve laid to rest.
When I read this quote from one of my most favorite books to date…..
a million little ways: uncover the art you were made to live by Emily P. Freeman. In it, the she says….
“No matter how much I feel called to write about uncovering the art you were born to make and releasing the art you were made to live, it can’t be ignored: the life of Christ was a one-way road to death. Without death, there is no spiritual life.”
Not a lot of this journey has felt like art or what we were made to live. It has felt like we not only uprooted the tree but some days it feels like we took a bulldozer and pulverized every ounce of the whole tree without even leaving ourselves a dried stick to start a fire.
Our journey has felt like lots of little deaths along the way….and yet, what has emerged in a ‘million little ways’ are unexpected sprouts that, although tender and in need of protection, must mean NEW LIFE.
New (precious) friends, new businesses, new faith communities, and NEW VISION that Abraham must have seen, too, when God spoke to his heart much like the words spoken to our hearts…..
God told Abram: “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you. Genesis 12:1
It hasn’t been easy (and some days still hold their glimpses of confusion) but I wouldn’t trade where we are now for ANYTHING.
Seems these journeys have a way of tossing you around and dropping you off in Oz….resistance training at it’s finest.
We are changed in all the right ways….steadfast, compassionate, assured in our faith that God is who He has always promised, more prone to wisdom and less prone to running and hiding.
We’ve learned to shed our pre-fabbed, programmed-for-death Adam-selves to become the ones created to live and give LIFE and LIFE MORE ABUNDANT.
Another zinger from a million little ways….
We often say things like, Jesus died so I didn’t have to, but it’s actually much worse. The truth is, Jesus died and so did I.
Seems this ebb and flow of death to life shouldn’t take us by surprise.
But the best part of the story is this…..Jesus didn’t stay dead.
And neither do we.
So when things feel dead, stagnant, negative, suffocating…much like this past 4th of July for me…..just remember……
You have all the makings for new life.
How to Travel the Road to Resurrection:
- Consider going internal to process what’s ‘within’.
Our Western culture doesn’t put a premium on supporting the matters of the heart. Religion may call it ‘self indulgent’ while life itself demands all of our energies, depleting us to the point of total soul fatique.
The heart work aspect is necessary for new life to emerge. Our internal landscape may be a bit daunting to uncover but it is the place where the image of God that you bear is aching to be seen.
If something seems as if it has died, your heart is mourning it’s loss no matter how much you are looking forward to the future.
Does it sound weird that you could actually mourn a life event like a move or the changing of the way you do life? YES! It is a real thing – remember your conscious thoughts might not recognize what is happening but your heart has full awareness and it will signal in ways that we aren’t always aware.
Mourning and grief are necessary and empowering when we discover the gift they have to give.
(If you feel stuck, you can apply for a complimentary Freedom Strategy Session here. I currently have openings for 1:1 Spiritual Mentoring and I will be opening a small group coaching session soon! One or both might be just what you’re looking for!)
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions but remember to sit still and wait for an answer.
I find it helpful to speak to the thing that I feel is dying or dead and ask ‘what were you teaching me?’
I ask Jesus some questions, too.
“What gifts does this journey have for me?”
“How did this make me more like you?”
“What do you see in me that makes it possible for me to resurrect?”
He is always speaking and He will answer.
You’ll be amazed.
- Cultivate a Work/Rest Flow.
We were made for work, creativity, and to give.
We were also made for rest, reflection, and to receive.
Do you have a set time for both?
I find more often than not, women struggle with slowing down and experiencing deep soul rest.
Man was created on the 6th day and on the 7th day he and God rested.
Man’s first experience as a created being was rest.
Do you think rest is important to God?
What does REST look like?
Fun with loved ones
Meditating on a particular bible verse
Watching a movie or Netflix
Reading a favorite book
Taking a bicycle ride or a walk
Anything you get LOST as long as it energizes you!
- Look back and make a list of what you’ve learned and what you’re grateful for from the experience of laying something to rest.
Look forward and jot what you are excited about in the coming season of new life!
Don’t be afraid to dream the dormant seeds in you to fruition!
And if new life hasn’t yet emerged, mediate upon John 10:10 and set the expectation for a great new thing to emerge!
- Reach out to a trusted friend or consider hiring a mentor/coach. We weren’t meant to go this journey alone! The insight of a trusted mentor, friend, or coach can bring you the external vision needed to make strides into your new opportunities with freedom, passion, and clarity!
- If you are into essential oils, here’s a free download for a magical 60 Second Reset technique!