Saturday, July 8, 2017

Saturday Shenanigans

We are empty nesters. Still getting used to that, though it’s been a while now. It’s hard to put on the brakes after you spend your whole adult life doing a particular thing, hard to shift to a new season. But—spoiler!—its also FUN. So much fun. Jason and I had our daughter before we were married and our whole married life was raising children until recently. We’ve never lived alone, just the two of us. It has been an adventure of the best kind to learn what that’s like. It has led to many shenanigans! We are trying new things, learning, growing into this new season. Seeing what sticks, what we like as a couple without kids in the house to fill our time. Again, so much fun.

Jason surprised me this spring with paddleboards! We’ve talked about this forever and tried it out once in the Keys. When you live surrounded by water, it seems a shame to not take advantage of it, and paddleboarding is just one way we can.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because life with Jesus is meant to be full. Meant to be abundant. Meant to be full of possibility and hope. I never thought I would love to paddleboard, never been one for sporty kind of adventure. But Jesus knows me better than I know myself! He made me, can see around corners of the future that I can’t, and knows what will put the abundant in my life. My part is to let Him.

How many times do we tell ourselves and others, “No—I couldn’t possibly do that. I’ve never been that kind of person.” From traveling to trying new foods to sharing how we fell in love with Jesus to speaking to a group of women to writing to leading a Bible story to paddleboarding! So many times we shut off avenues that God has specifically put on our path because we just won’t open our mind to new possibilities. And we figure it's probably not God anyway, so what’s the big deal?

It can be a very big deal. It can be an avenue of rest and renewal and revitalization and revival. Think about a long road trip. You’re headed from one part of the country to the other—coast-to-coast. You know you’ll only do this once so you want to make it count. You don’t barrel through, nose to the grindstone, just getting it done. You want to see things, you want to rest overnight, you want to take a few back roads that you’ll never have the chance to see again. You want to have stories to tell! Souvenirs to show!

God didn’t put you on this earth to barrel through with your nose to the grindstone, just getting it done. He put you here to know Him, He gave you life—and then the life of His Son Jesus—so you could have abundant life. John 10:10: “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].”

Hey friend, He knows when you need rest and renewal and revitalization and revival. Maybe it’s in your mind or your spirit or your body or your marriage. So He puts a little off-ramp for you to follow. It’s not taking you off your purpose. It’s adding to your purpose. You’re picking up little things that will enhance your trip. You’re appreciating your Creator more as you realize just how well He knows you. You’re going to be able to share this part of your adventure with others—how you didn’t even realize you needed this avenue, but it appeared, and you followed God right onto it, and amazing things have happened because of it. “See this souvenir of joy? I got that on this particular side road! Hey—look at this peace I found on this dusty new road!”

I have no idea what this looks like for you. Maybe a certain avenue will lead to new friends, new opportunities, new knowledge. But you have to be willing! Don’t be afraid of new. And don’t dismiss “non-spiritual” things as having no spiritual value. God is an all-encompassing God. He so wants to give you what you need, even if you don’t know you need it.

I could’ve said, “Nah. I’m not a paddleboarding type of girl. Watching someone paddleboard in a Netflix show is more my speed.” And really, I’ve said similar things to a myriad of offroads. But I didn’t this time. And because I said, I’ll try it!, I’ve picked up some pretty cool souvenirs for my life and my marriage. I highly recommend it.