I believe we all want to be known. We want our lives and our stories to matter. We want others to know us, to know the way we are.
I know you.
These are the words I gave my husband this morning, on this incredibly difficult day.
We want people to know our character and our motivation. Perhaps not every moment in life or all of the details, but we want to be known. We want others to know who we are at the core, regardless of the good or bad days to come. We want them to know what we are capable of and what we can be entrusted with. We want them to know our voice and the tone we set when we walk into a room.
At times, we want the victories and the defeats to be embraced, yet there are times when regardless of having an understanding of whatever situation is at hand, we simply need grace.
This is a hard day. A bad week. A trying season.
I don’t plan to share the details or get into specifics. But I do want to know and be known. I am so grateful for the dear people in our life right now that know us, without needing to know everything. But even more so, I am glad to be known by the one who matters most.
“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.” – Psalm 139:1
Good things–really crazy, incredible and amazing things–can be the wrong thing.
Isn’t that crazy? I just want to say yes to everything good. I want to cheer on my friends going after all the amazing things they are doing, and I want to inspire people to chase after dreams. But honestly, not all the good things are the right things.
We might have impressive careers or intriguing hobbies or lofty goals that all fall under the “good” category. No matter who you meet, they might all say, “Wow, that’s awesome. Good for you!” But it still might not be the right thing. There might be a better thing out there. That good thing might be causing bad things in other areas. Or the good thing is distracting or deterring you from the right thing.
So we ask ourselves, again, for the millionth time, “Why are we doing this good thing?”
Maybe all of our reasons are completely justified. Perhaps on paper, everything adds up perfectly. And quite possibly, it is the right thing. But sometimes we hear a whisper that says otherwise. We see a glimpse of the wreckage that good thing might cause. There’s an eerie feeling that doesn’t make sense. You realize there’s a greater compromise at stake. Or you simply start looking ahead and see that it leads somewhere far from ideal.
Sometimes you just know when a good thing is not the right thing. You might not even understand it yourself, but over time you become confident. It’s not always easy to distinguish the right thing and even harder to say no to a good thing. Perhaps few will understand at the time, or you won’t be able to properly explain it.
Having the discernment between what’s good and what’s right is invaluable. Acting on it–that will change your life.
The weather this week has been so incredibly awesome. We have less pollen flying around and the sun won’t quit shining. I love it.
1. A day is a day, full of goodness and imperfections, trials and triumphs. I’ve been thinking lately about days. Sure, sometimes we have really great days, and sometimes we have really rough days. But then there’s a ton of days that could really go either way. We have moments throughout the day that swing back and forth between good and bad. For the most part, each day is going to get a little mix of both. Instead of labeling it one way or the other though, I’ve decided to take it all in…but ultimately let the good win.
2. I wonder how many friendships are formed at Redbox. We had a weekend full of good food and movie marathons. We saw several great movies (About Time, Gravity and In A World…) and ended up waiting for a Redbox movie twice, both times forming fast friendships with someone else in line, joking about movies and relating on some level. We’ve all got something in common—we’re all just people trying to figure out this life. It’s fun to intersect with someone along the way and share one of life’s sweet moments.
3. You never know what people pick up on. We hosted another couch surfer last night, and she told us all about her upcoming trip across the country. Hearing about someone’s adventure makes me want to grab a camera and join them, but it was also interesting to hear what made her decide to stay with us. Her reasons were completely different from the last person who stayed with us, but it made me think a little about what we represent to people.
Here’s a little bit of the real. The real, the truth, is changing…always. All of the things I’ve said to this point remain and are as true as could be when they were first said. At the same time, there are days that I don’t even know what to think.
This isn’t a vacation. The weather has already proved to be so much better, the scenery is a change of pace and we get to discover new things everyday. What a dream, right? Well yes, but dreams don’t last.
Despite all of the good, I’ve been a mess of tears the past few days. It was sad and simple and even a bit of a relief. I didn’t and don’t regret moving or the decisions we’ve made. Through the tears I just kept saying, “I don’t want to be here today.” A lot of things went into that feeling, nothing major but nothing completely petty. I miss my mom. I miss feeling completely comfortable and confident at work. I miss seeing a familiar face at church. I miss the uniquely Iowa things you just can’t get anywhere else (we went to the fair this weekend and almost immediately decided our next Iowa visit would have to be in August so we could go to a real state fair).
This is all part of the deal. We knew that going into this move. Up until now, while we’ve been stressed, we’ve pushed through because we knew everything was ultimately alright. And it still is. But some of this hard part was oozing out and needed to be acknowledged with a few sniffles (or sobs). It’s still good. It’s still hard. It’s how we know we’re alive. And that in itself is something to be thankful for.
That basically sums it up. Over a quick weekend out-of-town, I think it sunk in for me. We’re doing alright. We are. We really are. And past that, we’re growing and learning and healing and developing. Some of the past few days, and even weeks, have been rough. Some of them have been as easy as can be. Sometimes we stress over the future and what it holds. Sometimes dwell too much on the past. There are good and bad things on either side of the present, but all in all, we’re doing just fine. This move has been good for us. Good for our marriage, good for our perseverance, good for our faith and good for our lives. I’ve thought it and mentioned it in passing. Now it’s time to say it out loud—we’re doing alright.
Things have been going well and moving quickly and yes, yes, YES! We’ve felt such confirmation about being here and God’s timing. It’s been a huge blessing, and we’ve been extremely grateful for it all. It’s all been so good. Not always easy, but so good.
Today, we decided it was time to stock our fridge so we headed to the nearest Trader Joe’s (naturally). Upon returning to our car, groceries in hand, we reached our first major speed bump (or as the signs say down here – “speed hump”) in the road. The car just wouldn’t start. Let me repeat, our only car just wouldn’t start.
It all became real very quickly. We had no friends to call, no way to get home and no idea why the car wouldn’t start. Thank goodness for AAA who promised to send a tow truck in the next 90 minutes. We took a moment to acknowledge what this felt like. This time of being stuck and alone with no one to ask for help. It wasn’t fun, but it is the reality of making a move like we just did. We knew we would have to face it at some point, so it might as well be the day after moving in officially. Then we did the next logical thing – took the refrigerated items back into Trader Joe’s and popped open a bag of chips while we waited.
The tow truck guy was there in record time and even dropped us off at our apartment before taking our car away. We don’t really know what that will cost to fix (hopefully not much!) or when it will be done. But I can’t help but thank God for his timing even with that. Honestly, I didn’t start this blog to “talk religion” – it’s not really my style. I think one’s life should be lived out and that’s the strongest testament of your faith. I don’t generally get all church-y or even want to be surrounded by people who are. My faith is real and it is true, but I’m not here to get in people’s face about it. I’m here to live according to God’s will and love others. But as I keep experiencing God’s kindness and grace and provisions each day, I can’t help but share about it. That car is getting to be up there in years, going on 18 years now. It’s had some repairs and probably needs a few more. But it made it halfway across the country. It made it to every interview we’ve had and through some dark, stormy nights in the middle of nowhere. It’s transported some of our most important documents, favorite clothes and our near future means of transportation (ahem, the bikes). When and where does it break? Outside of a grocery store, in a safe place, when we have nowhere immediately to be.