off the beaten path

There are seasons in life when five minutes to sit down with a cup of tea and organize your thoughts feels like a small miracle.  This is certainly one of those seasons for me.

Yet, I’m excited.  All of the things going on are wonderful things, things that I’ve spent a lot of time hoping and praying for.

I am absolutely terrible at keeping secrets, so the fact that I’ve been keeping the following news quiet since November is truly an act of God Himself.  But the secret has been unleashed, so here goes: in early March, our dear friend Cassie will be moving into our apartment.  Cassie was such an unexpected gift to me.  My last year in college, she showed up at the heels of my great friends Brad and Joel, and became an absolutely irreplaceable part of my life.  She is a fabulous musician, a wildly adventurous free spirit, a non-conformist, an unfailingly loyal friend, and a lover of Jesus.  I so look forward to sharing our life with her.  It will give her an opportunity to branch out and pursue her passion, and give us an opportunity to love on her along the way.

It’s funny, though; as we’ve begun to share this news with people, I’m relearning a lesson that has been a theme in my life over the past few years.  People tend to get very emotional, often in a negative direction, when you step off the beaten path and challenge culturally-held beliefs about the way things “should” be.  It’s been a journey, learning how to answer questions about why on earth we would open up our home for someone else to live there, especially since we just left a season of living with people for almost two years.  And at the end of that journey, we’re learning to answer those questions with more questions.  Questions we certainly don’t have the answers to yet, but look forward to living in to.

What if our compulsion to be independently sufficient is more an American expectation than it is a Biblical expectation? What if we weren’t made to live in seclusion all the time? What if inviting people intimately into our life, more people than simply our spouse and children and immediate family, is actually a birthright blessing that we’ve left behind?

What if, indeed.

Another new thing on my radar is actually a writing opportunity.  These past several months, as I’ve been digging more deeply into what it means to be healthy, what it means to treat my body like a temple, I’ve been following a blog called Modern Alternative Health.  It’s been an amazing resource as I’ve yet again gone off the well-beaten path of conventional ideas on health and medicine.  One day a few weeks ago on their Facebook page, there was a post looking for new monthly contributing writers.  I got incredibly excited, since this topic is one that I’m increasingly passionate about, and y’all already know how I feel about writing.  Sent in an email, and by the next day, it was a done deal! I am officially a monthly contributing writer for Modern Alternative Health.

What??

I am so excited, and yet, I am ten shades of intimidated.  In the process of engaging in discussions with their current contributors, there are so many voices going through my head.  “Uh…you’re a BABY on this journey to health.  What business do you have writing with women who clearly have a lot more experience and knowledge than you do??”

And yet, I know I’m not the only one.  I’m not the only one who’s terrified of putting my thoughts and words out there.  Afraid not only that the words might not be good, but that the thoughts themselves might not be good.  But there’s so much learning to be done in the putting it out there.  So I’m going to call this jittery feeling dominantly excited.  51% excited, 49% intimidated.

But, you know.  If you never do anything you’re terrified of, anything that carries with it the risk of falling flat on your face?

What are you really doing?

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