Monday, June 24, 2013

Living The Courageous Life

I have to ask myself daily what I want out of this time on earth. I would be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes long for the easy life – huge fancy house with a waterfall in the backyard, an exotic vacation every year, smooth sailing into my golden years…
But then what? What difference would those things truly make in the quality of life that I live?

Life these days is vastly different from the one I lived just a few short months ago. There’s the good and the bad: the family close by and the friends far away; the fat drops of rain that fall on the lush green grass and the beads of sweat dripping down my back due to our lack of funds for the luxury of air conditioning; and mostly the opportunities we could’ve missed out on and the uncertainty that comes with not knowing what’s next.

Brave Little GirlI’m sure some people look at me and my family and think we’re crazy. Brimming with hopes and plans, we gave up a secure income in an unstable economy to leap forward into a hazy future. But how does the saying go? Nothing risked, nothing gained? Nothing worth having comes easy?

The future I see ahead is amazing, but it will take time and patience to arrive there. For now the present is giving me many opportunities to get a sense of what I'm seeking and what I should be pursuing. What should that future look like, and how can I get there?

Most importantly, I think about my kids and what I would like for them to take away from their childhood experience. What memories will I give them that will matter the most?

We recently got to experience a shared memory that I hope to make a yearly event for us - youth camp. Clint and I attended it as teens, and one of our greatest desires in coming back here has been to be a part of it again, along with our little ones.
It's a place where kids are shown love, encouraged to live bravely, and given a message of hope in a world that sometimes seems to have far too little of that left. In my own young life it was a refuge. For one week out of the year I could be uplifted and be given the gift of remembering that my life was more than just circumstances I couldn't control, people I couldn't change, and a future I couldn't yet see.
Facing Life Bravely

Not every child gets to grow up in a home that's as loving as ours, and now that I have my own family, that fact weighs on me even more heavily. It’s too easy to become overwhelmed and concerned with such trivial things in this world. Instead, what can we do to lift each other's burdens?

That's why I hope I can raise my kids to want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. They will face pain and doubt, but they will know of everlasting love and unfailing kindness. I hope that, as a family, we can remember that there is value in living outside of our own little world. There's more out there than just living and dying.

Finally, although some people may find it trite, I see God’s provision in something as small as needing a dresser and 'happening upon' one for free. I see it in needing a renter for our old home and finding one just in the nick of time. I see it in friendships, in much needed conversations. It truly is that simple to find blessings, if only we want to see them.

I say all this just as an encouragement to anyone who wonders what lies ahead in the journey. I wonder too, as I've always wondered. I've always wished I could have the superpower of seeing into the future, but the longer I live, the more I become excited about the not knowing. That's the part that makes us seek the possibilities.