Friday, June 15, 2018

Word of the Year: Release

Normal people do Word of the Year posts in January. But, hello, here I am doing mine in June.

I did one of these posts in 2016 and in 2017, so I wanted to do one again this year as well. But there was just no word on my heart in January. Or February, March, or April. Then, last month, in May, I finally felt a word being put on my heart. The word release.

I make plans. A lot. I'm not always great at planning my weeks and months... I like to have a level of spontaneity in my life that makes it hard for me to make concrete plans. But I am the queen of planning the future, in my head. I think for the first 25 years of my life, my plans in my head pretty much went exactly how I dreamed. And then I've spent the last five years building dreams that continually fall apart. Honestly, so many dreams of mine have fallen apart in these last five years, that sometimes I sit and wonder if I am in tune with God at all. 

I felt the weight of crashed dreams recently when we learned our neighbors were moving. We live in a farmhouse surrounded by cornfields, so we don't have many neighbors. These neighbors lived across the cornfield, and we were delighted when we found out, shortly after moving here last year, that they had three kids the ages of our kids. We got together a number of times so that our kids could play together, and we had them over for dinner. One of the greatest blessings was that they had a daughter Sophie's age, and Sophie is our extremely social child. I was so thankful to have them as neighbors. We lived in a cul-de-sac before with tons of neighbors, and literally none of them had kids! So I mentioned to several friends how much of a blessing this was, and I had so many dreams in my head about our future with them as our neighbors. I imagined our kids playing together every summer until they turned 18. So when we learned they were moving, I felt devastated. Really, I was shocked how devastated I felt, but I think it just felt like another crashed dream on top of so much other rubble from these last few years.

And then, just a few weeks later, I received an incredibly shocking job offer - an amazing job offer. After writing just one article for Wild + Free, a non-traditional homeschool community, and a few short correspondences, I was asked if I would consider editing for their magazine. The story is quite bigger than that. I deactivated my instagram account last fall and winter, as I felt overwhelmed and anxious by it. I just needed to get away. I actually thought I would never come back to it. I continually received requests for more updates on homeschooling and house renovations, though, and so in January, I hesitantly rejoined. I really wasn't at all sure if I wanted to. If I hadn't rejoined, I never would have approached Wild + Free about writing an article for them (as they are heavily an instagram community), and I never would have been offered this job. I have thought numerous times over the years about how I could look for editing jobs. But I never have. And I am just completely amazed that I didn't even have to seek this job out, it came to me. And it's not just any type of editing, it's editing in the field of work that I am passionate about (homeschooling and motherhood). The hours are perfect, my boss is incredible, and I get to do it all from home. And I just really love the people I get to know because of it.

So, in one month's time, the future of my life looked so different, both in a hard way and in a beautiful way. And the Lord pressed on my heart the word release.

Alisha, release the idea of what you think your life should look like.

Goodness, when will I ever learn this lesson. I don't think dreaming is bad. But I hold so tightly to dreams that I feel deep devastation when they crumble. So I want to focus this year on learning to release my ideas of what my life should look like. To release what I think God will do and won't do. To release what I think I deserve and don't deserve. To release the thought that I know what's best. I want to rest more in an uncertain future

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