I’ve been traveling, traveling, traveling for business and enjoying my time and connection with others from many other countries. I am blessed to have a job that occasionally takes me to sites around the world. This time it’s western Europe and the area of some of my ancestors. I found myself in a surreal state at times – feeling and even smelling the history and energy of the area. Sightseeing and taking in the culture on my days off. In some ways, feeling like I was returning home to a land I don’t remember, and in other ways, walking around with wide-eyed wonder at sites and scenes I’ve only read about.
I will be home soon and planning to get back into a rhythm of my writing. I hope I’ve not lost my readers in my absence.
Until then, share with me what is your favorite travel story …. and be blessed!
We live in a complex and full world these days. Over the last several months it has been nagging at me that this is not the way life was created to be. Life is complicated not because it is supposed to be, but because we choose it to be. We choose to surround ourselves with a ton of “stuff”. We choose to overload our calendars and fill every minute with places to go. We choose … too much. And we forget the simple pleasures of connecting with people instead of with things. I hear the seductive whisper and it is calling me.
During these last few months the nagging is getting bigger because other truths are beginning to emerge. I can no longer ignore the knowledge of the embarrassment of riches I live with. I am learning about the poverty of other nations – not just in the headlines but by personal account from those who are living it. I am starting to clear the star dust from my “middle class American” privileged eyes and I am beginning to truly learn. I am learning about the wastefulness and greed that surrounds me in my culture and in many ways, in my habits.
I am learning about the craving for simplicity. There are days when I think I should sell all my stuff and travel the world helping people. A noble dream but not one I’m ready to chase after … yet. It seems too much, too soon. But like all nagging voices, they grow. My discontent is growing. No, not discontent with my life but discontent with the waste of my potential to make a difference. I don’t want to end my days surrounded by stuff my children will sell in a garage sale. I want to end my days surrounded by people and memories of ways that I have improved someone’s day, life, heart because I was in it. My complex life is not the path to get me there.
And then there’s my cousin – Michelle. She hears the calling and is chasing after it. She’s in the process of leaving her job, selling her home and her abundance of worldly goods. She is embarking on a move to another community in another state to minister full-time. I look at her courage and her conviction with a tinge of guilt and ton of wonderment. She is living out her call to simplicity. She is opening her heart and her life to adventures of her faith and I am in awe. I see her detangling from the life she’s known and created and deliberately creating what she sees as possible by walking in faith. The answers are not all clear but the conviction is. The source of her action is her surrender to faith and that is the most powerfully simple way to live. She is letting God lead and she is already feeling the joy that simple choice creates.
I’m proud of you Michelle. I’m proud that you have chosen to “lay down your nets to be a fisher of men.” I will pray for you, and in my own time, and own way, I will simplify my life and follow my calling too. I hear the whisper growing.
Do you hear the call to simplify your life? Listen, act, and be blessed!
It’s true … the days are getting longer. As we get closer and closer to summer the light is lasting longer. It’s wonderful to go to work and come home from work in the sunshine. I’m not a fan of the coming heat, but the light is a welcome companion.
And yet, even now there’s so much I want to do, need to do, must do that the days still seem short. I know we cannot extend the number of hours in a day. And frankly, I wouldn’t want to because I’d fill those up too. But now as I see so many of my friends leaving work to retire, my mind day dreams about what I could do without work taking up most of my waking hours.
I was talking to a friend about this yesterday. She’s retiring in June and we chatted about her next steps. She’ll continue to be a chair person for some of the volunteer activities at the big tennis tournament that comes to town each year. She’s thinking about working with dogs and training them to be both adoptable as well as training them to be healing pets. What wonderful aspirations.
I know I’m just a tad bit too young to be ready for this step but I know I’m creating my list of what I’d do. I want to learn photography, volunteer in a variety of places that require workday help, pick up some artsy classes – painting or stained glass making or pottery. There’s so many possibilities. I know I want to continue with my writing. By then I hope to have my 2nd book finished and maybe working on a 3rd.
All the books I’ve wanted to read would become my daily friends. The places I want to go all over the world with people to meet, and cultures to experience would take much of my money but leave me with an investment in connections and discovery.
Yikes I better stop day dreaming for today or I’ll find myself taking a leap I’m not quite ready for if I keep this up. What are you day dreaming up if time was abounding and plenty? Be blessed!