Tuesday, September 18, 2012

One Year

My apologies in advance. This is a long post with no pictures, but I needed to write it all out. 

It's been a little over a year since Derek and I stopped leading Young Life. A lot has happened since then. Not a lot of big things that I could easily list, but a lot of things in my heart. I have changed. I have learned and have grown, and I continue to do those things.

There has been a lot that has been hard in this past year. I haven't really written about it on the blog. I've thought about it, but have never really had peace with the thought of putting very fresh, raw, feelings and hurts out there for everyone to read. I know that a lot of people do open up on their blogs, and honestly, those are usually my favorite blogs to read. But for me, it just hasn't felt right. As I look back on my blog recently, it has been mostly just an attempt at recording what is going on in our lives so I don't forget. Not much about what is really going on. Maybe one day I will feel comfortable sharing everything, but I'm not there yet. {Mostly because my emotions and thoughts are all over the place, and one day I feel really good about things and what God is teaching me, and the next I feel frustrated and mad at life. So in the hopes of not appearing to have it all together when I don't, or to come across as a crazy person, I've decided that when it comes to posting things that will be on the interwebs forever, I will try and use discretion.}

One fun thing that I haven't written about is a little book club I started with some of the women I work with. We started out reading Blue Like Jazz, which is one of my favorites and today just finished discussing our second book, Peace Is Every Step. I started the book club hoping it would turn into more of a Bible study, but, the group is made up of people with different beliefs, and knowing that, I don't want to wear anybody out of only hearing my beliefs. I believe that if I want people to listen to and discuss what I believe, I need to afford them the same courtesy. So we have expanded our books to more than just my favorite Christian authors. But I still love the opportunity to talk about deep, meaningful subjects, to share our beliefs, to be able to share the hope I have in Jesus, and to deepen friendships beyond the surface of most co-worker relationships.

The next book we are going to read is called The Happiness Project. As we were talking about it at lunch, I said how I am excited to read this book as I am really beginning to figure out what makes me happy. I didn't have much free time in the first 5 years of my marriage (and before that I was in college, which is a lot of free time but in a whole different way). I was definitely happy, I loved doing Young Life, but one of the things I have had to learn over this past year is what to do with free time. I often find myself in the position of being so overwhelmed by all my options that I just end up wasting my time by watching tv or doing something stupid.

I am beginning to make progress though!. Just this past week I decided to start following along with the Lil Blue Boo journaling project. I got myself a new journal with no lines and have started following the daily prompts. I am learning that it makes me happy to be able to create without an agenda or a "right way" of doing things. Just to be able to get thoughts, memories, ideas, etc. onto paper, sometimes writing those things, sometimes drawing them. It's only been a couple days but I already feel like I have a brighter outlook.

I've also started sewing. I'm learning that it is good for me to take time to be creative, especially since I have a very analytical job. I'm finding I enjoy using different parts of my brain.

Another thing I've discovered is that I really like exploring new places and trying new things. Our church small group went geocaching this weekend and I loved it. I love the idea of going someplace that you've been many times before and discovering new parts where you would have never been as your look for hidden things. It would also be a great way to discover new places that you've never been.

Finally, I have found that I have more time to invest in friendships. This has probably been one of the things I have enjoyed most. I think I'm learning how to be a good friend. I used to try and hang out with people mostly just to catch up and make sure that I still know what's going on in people's lives and they know what is going on in mine. Now I am really trying to go into spending time with people by being intentional about encouraging them in Christ and helping to sharpen them and allow myself to be sharpened as well.

One last thought...I read Donald Miller's boo A Million Miles in a Thousand Years last year and it left me frustrated. And I see that lots of people in the blog world have been reading it and loving it and that makes me frustrated too. I want my life to be a good story, but when reading the book, I had no idea what I was passionate about, other than Young Life and it was clear that God was getting ready to finish up our time in that ministry. I still am not sure what the next "big thing" is going to be that God will make us a part of. But I think I'm on the right track as I begin to discover what really excites me and makes me really enjoy life. I think journaling, creating, exploring, and being intentional with friends are all beginning to work together to point me in the right direction

So...It's definitely been a year of growing and learning how God has created me, what makes me excited, what re-energizes me and what drains me. I don't have it all figured out yet, but it has been good to have this time of just being. I'm excited for whatever is in store, and for God to continue to reveal Himself and His plans to me as I continue in this process I have begun. It's not been easy, but it has been good.


Callie Nicole said...

It's good to read an update of what you've been thinking and feeling lately, Anne. And isn't geocaching fun? We did it once with Derek's cousin, and I really want to get into it one of these years together - maybe we'll turn it into a tradition to do on our vacations or something!

Jennifer said...

Deep stuff. I love it (and you). Thanks for putting it all out there, I relate on so many levels to the whole "who am I and what is my purpose?" struggle from time to time. I think it's hard but healthy to ask ourselves those questions. Thanks for keeping it real, I can't wait to see what the next chapter holds for you!

Clinton and Randi said...

Hi Anne! I can completely relate to your post. I am struggling with this same idea here in Steamboat. It's tough because Clinton seems confident and still, while I am itching to jump into something. He is good about challenging my motives, which tend to be a mixture of heart, habit and fear. I would love to have a phone date soon! I would love to be able to talk to someone about all of this. Life has started to get lonely here.