Good but Not Right

Good but Not Right

Tulip Field | Moving Peaces

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. 

Give Me the Truth

Give Me the Truth

Sun and Rain through the Clouds | Moving Peaces

I think we’re all grasping for truths in this world. We want to find the things that seem right, and we chase after those truths whether we realize it or not.

Anything from watching your favorite tv show or sports team to reading all the adventures and life lessons discovered in a memoir or novel has an element of seeking truth. Music speaks volumes and art speaks to the heart. Travel opens our minds to new experiences. Quotes and scriptures give us hope. We want to know there is meaning and worth out there, that there is truth. We want to know that the good guy always wins–maybe not the short game, but definitely the long game.

So, we ask the questions, have the long talks and grapple at what that truth is.

The hard part is knowing the truth from the narrative. 

Perhaps the stories we’ve been told say disappointment will result in one thing and success looks like so. A mold of what something should look like takes over as we strive for the best and pursue truths we’ve been seeking. Outside influences bring ideas and opinions to the table, presenting their stories as truth. We sometimes re-shape and twist the narrative in our own attempt to create what is true, often distorting reality.

Not everything you hear, read, see or think is true. 

It’s a struggle to keep truth at the forefront, but worthwhile. So choose wisely what you decide to believe and what you form your life around. Know who or what is speaking into your life and if it really is true. Where is your source of truth coming from? What lies are you believing as truths, and what truths are you ignoring?


Happy Birthday to Me

Happy Birthday to Me

25 plus 1 | Moving Peaces

It’s my birthday, and I have mixed feelings about it. This cake is even confused and makes you do math: 25 + 1.

Last year, I wrote all about the milestone birthday that was 25. I listed all my contradictions and everything I knew to be true in that moment. I felt like a mess at the time but looking back at that post again, it is beautifully written and full of hope.

This past year has been so incredibly full. It was full of incredible high points and deep lows. In so many ways, last year was everything I could have dreamed of…just no where near the way I saw it happening. For starters, it was really hard. I cried a lot, felt ripped apart the majority of the time and was stripped of my confidence over and over again. I felt like I had something to prove–that one day I might be able to present all my accomplishments to the world and therefore justify the struggle.

To the outside world, I look like I am in the same exact place that I was a year ago. I have nothing to show you, no ribbons or trophies to wave in your face. I did not grow an inch, nor did I graduate to the next grade or life stage. I am still here, floundering about in my twenties.

But if that is all you can see in someone, then you aren’t getting it. Further, if that’s all I can see, then maybe I really need to reevaluate, too. 

There was a lot of life lived in the last year (and in the years prior). I loved with all my heart, pursued my dreams and left my comfort zone. I asked hard questions and stuck up for myself when appropriate. You could even say that I failed, but I did so while fully persevering–committed to learning and growing in the process. I opened my home to strangers and sought community with those around me. I let go of the pursuit of perfection but instead embraced my strengths and weaknesses.

Through all that, I still thought by now that I’d have something tangible to show you. Then I could say, “Look, I did all this. I’ve finally made it. I know what I’m doing now.” But the biggest and best parts of life are lived in intangibles. It’s your integrity and character, your hope and faith, relationships and love that are your biggest achievements. 

I can’t give you many metrics or tout any awards, but I know with certainty that all of those areas in my life have been developed and strengthened in this past year. For that, I could not be more thankful or feel more accomplished.

Wondering about Wanderlust

Wondering about Wanderlust

My passport is still sitting on my bedside table.

You know, the table that holds a little lamp, the latest book I’m reading, my (cheap) jewelry, a few hair ties and whatever I may empty from my pockets at the end of the day. Oh, and on nights that I can’t sleep or have a little cough, there’s also a glass of water just waiting to be tipped over when I reach across to silence my alarm in the morning. This is not the proper place for a passport to rest.

Passport Ready | Moving Peaces

Upon returning from a recent trip to Argentina, I immediately threw all of my clothes in the wash, but the rest of my bag and all of its contents lingered. I removed my passport out of my purse and probably just placed it on the table in passing before returning it back to its rightful place in the safe. But now I just can’t bring myself to do it.

It feels like putting it away is acknowledging that a chapter of my life has closed. The chapter where I travel to different parts of the world and experience all sorts of new things. Whether that’s true or not, I do not know. Without a firm answer to that question, I cannot bring myself to tuck it away. Every morning, there’s my passport…simultaneously inspiring me and taunting me, suggesting there’s more to explore and another adventure yet in store.

I’m not sure what I’m more afraid of: the end of an era or what it would take to call myself a world-traveler.

I love to travel. I love learning about another culture and talking with people who live in an area so different than my own. This isn’t a quest for a nonstop vacation or spending time in countless resorts. To me, travel is about exploration…in hopes of bettering myself and the world. Hearing the stories of others, challenging myself to go outside my comfort zone and helping those I encounter along the way.

But when do we know it’s time to stop? When is it time to focus on what’s in front of us instead of constantly searching for more? When is it pursuing dreams and when is it discontentment or worse, disillusion? What if a pursuit of travel is far from meaningful–barely even personal development and merely selfishness in disguise?

What is it that I am trying to accomplish? Is it worthwhile? Is it necessary? Is it beneficial? At what cost?

I’ve wrestled with these questions constantly, leaving me unsettled and almost frantic for some sort of resolve or conclusion, to no avail. Hence, my passport and I maintain our standstill, unable to move forward and unwilling to turn back.

Why? Why is this my response? Normal people can take a trip for two weeks, show off the photos and talk about how they had great a time before returning to regular daily life. Either I’m not normal, or I don’t want to be.

Call me naive, but I so desperately want to be intentional with my life–to do something, to make it count. At home it seems that I can’t help but fall into a routine between work, friends, a few hobbies and some TV. Maybe that’s why travel is so appealing to me–it forces me out of that routine. It asks so much more from me, and I eagerly comply.

I see travel as my opportunity, my challenge to do something more than live a predictable and average American life. What if I set foot on every continent, learned another language and propelled my life towards a bigger story full of excitement and uncertainty? A few weeks of travel here and there over the course of a lifetime hardly feels like enough time to embrace and understand another culture. What if I challenged myself to leave everything I’ve ever known for some sort of unknown across the world? What a life to live, what a story to tell…isn’t that worth pursuing?

Conversely, what would I be leaving? Career aspirations, friendships, community, roots. Would the pursuit of international exploration risk or overlook my commitments, lasting relationships or long-term investments? Could that leave me feeling empty and shallow, despite the collection of incredible photos?

I was given this life, my life, and I can’t stand the idea of just letting it slide on by. I don’t want to “play it safe” and gradually surround myself with comfort and routine, yet I don’t want to chase a life of adventures merely for the sake of a bucket list or another story to tell while potentially undervaluing commitment, consistency and responsibility.

Maybe it’s not one or the other. Maybe there’s a balance to be found in it all without compromising one or the other. For some, perhaps the answer is more clear, but for me it continues to be a struggle. So, my passport, a simple booklet with a few stamps, sits by my bed and waits while begging the question: what’s next?


A Little Q&A

So, I have mentioned how I am really trying to do things with this blog. Sure, I want to have more followers and readers and whatnot. I want to write to a bigger audience about things that matter and make a difference, but also just make connections with readers. I definitely want to continue to improve my writing skills as writing is something I love to do. I’ve found that one thing that often gets overlooked with blogging is the community in the blogging world. People share with each other and get to be friends without ever meeting face-to-face. That sounds a little weird and creepy at first, but there is some real community happening. Although I will always promote community within your neighborhoods and cities first, I think having an online community is awesome. The internet gets a bad reputation for all of the negative things that people say and do online, but there really are some amazing people doing great things online, too.

Liesbster Award | Moving Peaces

Recently, I was nominated by a few blogs (Vicki & Livi, Broken with Remedy, Shelby Clarke Blog, The Aussie Osborns, Polka Dots & Pampers)  to answer a few questions as a part of the Liebster Award. I didn’t even know what hit me so I did a little online searching to find out that “liebster” is a German word and basically is a sweet little compliment/sentiment. So, with this I have been challenged to answer a few questions and then nominate some more bloggers. Without further ado…

1. How did you decide on the title of your blog?

When we were first really considering moving out-of-state I knew I was ready to write again. I had gone almost a year without blogging consistently are dearly missed it. Moving Peaces was a little bit of a play on words at first but then I grew to really like everything it encompassed. We moved from Iowa to North Carolina and still face some of the outcomes of that, but we are always moving from one thing to the next in life. As that happens though, we’re called to live in peace. Moving Peaces covers what is often a juxtaposition between the stress and busy that comes from moving (in a literal or figurative sense) with the calm and contentment that accompanies peace.
2. What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why? 

Honesty. I’m the kind of person who calls it like it is. There’s a lot of fluff I can write that might be fun and interesting but the core of who I am, what I’m learning, what I’m struggling with and what I value most will be what you read.
3. What’s your favorite pastime other than blogging?

Too many to count. I really do love writing and often have a few side projects going. I love to bike, read, play music with my husband and spend time with people. Currently though, with the job search in full force I often joke that writing cover letters is my hobby.

4. What is your favorite aspect of blogging?

Blogging really helps me to put words to some of the things I’m learning, and hopefully allows others to learn from my own stories and experiences.Writing it down for an audience forces me to really understand what I am thinking through in order to articulate it for someone else.
5. Which recipe, project, or idea on my blog would you most like to try yourself? (What is a post you have liked written by the person who nominated you?)

Okay ladies, you all came at me at once…Vicki & Livi are giving a few date night ideas. Heather is growing a little baby bump, which is not something I’m ready to try but very cute to see. Shelby is growing the cutest little succulent garden. Neive gets creative with cooking, including these delicious sounding chocolate coconut cookies. And Natalie is putting together a fall capsule wardrobe with some cute pieces.
6. Where does your blog inspiration come from?

Usually conversations I’m having with people and generally life stories of others.
7. What is one country in the world you would like to visit? Why?

All of the countries. Okay, fine. I do love traveling when possible and am definitely hoping to take a trip out of the country with the hubby in the near future. Top of the list right now is Argentina. I’ve never been to South America nor have I gotten much use out of my high school Spanish classes yet. I should probably revisit some of the language, but naively I like to think it will all come to me once I am surrounded by Spanish speakers. Mostly, I’m excited for an opportunity to take a trip with my husband, see some of the gorgeous surroundings and get a glimpse at another culture.
8. If you have children, what are their names? If not, what are your favorite boy & girl names?

No children in this house yet. Favorite names? I feel like we’re playing MASH on the playground. I’ll be honest, I have a ridiculously long list (literally) of names that I like. I generally like names that are a bit older sounding and many of them seem to have the letter “L” in them for whatever reason.
9. A long lost relative leaves you a large sum of money. What do you do with it?

I think that will not actually ever happen so I try to not plan ahead too much for such an occasion, but I would definitely do a combination of saving it and traveling with it.
10. In your opinion, what is the best blog post you’ve written so far? (Include the link!)

That’s an interesting question. I don’t really have one in particular that I like the most or think is the best. Each month it seems to change. Most recently, I’ve really enjoyed writing a series about Finding Self over the month of October and among those posts I wrote about Being Enough, which is something I constantly have to remind myself and work through.
11. What is your favorite food? 

Seldom does a day go by without eating some chocolate.
With that, I’d like to nominate the following bloggers to answer these same questions and then to nominate some bloggers they’d like to hear from: Emily at Staving Off Disaster, Anne at Lifelong Summers, Emily at Choosing To, Elizabeth at best. day. ever., Savannah at Savvy Darling, Raewyn at Warrior Queen, Martha Kate at Seasons with the Strattons, Natalie at A Tiny Traveler,  and whoever else feels like going for it!

Blogging Brainstorm

The last few days I have been feeling inspired. No, scratch that. The last 24 hours I have felt inspired while the previous day or two I was feeling a little bummed out. Job searching brings on a lot of disappointment and rejection, and it’s hard to combat those feelings all of the time. It’s not something I want to dwell on, but something I want to be real about.

What has me pretty excited is blogging. You know, this thing I do sometimes, right here where you are reading. I’ve been thinking about all of the different things I want to write about and what you might want to read. I’m very much a collaborative thinker—get me in a good brainstorm session and I am totally energized by all of the possibility and potential. So tell me, faithful readers…what would you like to hear about? How can I improve my storytelling? What sounds interesting to you?

Just drop me a line…landline, email, text message, comment, whatever. Tell me what would make this blog worth reading. What inspires you. What motivates you. What mistakes of mine you can learn from. What stories you want to hear.


Lost in the Days

It’s been about a month. A month since I walked away from a job that didn’t have anything left for me. A month of questioning myself, doubting my strengths and yet still seeing some good. I’ve traveled more than I had anticipated between a family funeral and a few family trips nearby that I had the time to join in on. I struggle daily between feeling like “this is all going to be okay” and “what have I done to end up here in life?”

I’ve tried to regularly wake up in the morning between 8:00 and 9:00 AM, but the days are a strange blur. I never seem to know what day of the week it is. While this may sound like a rare luxury that I should enjoy (and perhaps in some ways it is), it is unsettling. I am constantly wondering if I am missing something, the same way I would occasionally panic as a kid thinking that I had forgotten a homework assignment, even though school was out for the summer. In some ways it feels like this portion of life, this job searching and soul searching, just began last week. In other ways, it feels like I have been without work for months yet I have nothing to show for it. My time has been soaked up—running errands, cleaning the house and spending time with friends and family. That said, my house is somehow still messy, I have a list of things waiting to be accomplished and I don’t seem to be connecting with people as well or as often as I want to.

I try to understand my thoughts and feelings as I wander through this odd time but try not to dwell in the confusion and frustration. When we first decided to move two years ago, I dreaded this time. A time of loss and uncertainty with no real end date. Two years ago, I expected it to happen then instead, not now. Yes, there was plenty of emotion and fear in moving, but once we got here it all happened so fast. We landed jobs and a place to live within mere weeks. I had planned to spend 3-6 months in a transition time without a job or any indication of my future, but I didn’t get the chance. Now, here I am, hoping and praying for some direction.

With hardly a lead in the job search, I get the feeling this might take some time. I want to stay busy and ignore it. Push through and force something to happen. I don’t particularly feel like assessing myself and the situation. I want to move on and not feel like there’s a topic I’d prefer to avoid when mingling with acquaintances. I’m applying to jobs left and right and networking more than I feel I have the energy to. I want to take hold of any opportunity I have to spend time with people when I previously couldn’t. I want to figure out meaning and purpose, but I don’t want to pretend this is all profound. It’s just something that happened. I had a job and now I don’t. It happens to people everyday.

What do I want my life to be about? Shouldn’t we all be asking that? I have a feeling I’m not the only one who doesn’t have that figured out.