Wow, first of all - thank you for taking the time to create this list.
I completely agree that “you rest really well” and I also admire the budgeting initiative you and Connor are taking on - something I want to tap into more! It’s so awesome that you were able to stick up for yourself through miscommunications at work - I’m proud of you for that and admire your courage and boldness to speak up about what you felt was right.
What a blessing this list will be for you to look back on, add to, and it seriously was incredible to see all the things you’ve been taught the past 22 years of your life! I will be excited when November rolls around to attempt to write out mine.
One thing I wanted to share with you, in light of reflecting on the past, was just some recent work I feel God doing in my spirit as I come up on my one year anniversary at my job!
Joy has been such a theme for me recently. I have felt it in the past weeks and months in a way I haven’t in a long time. For my first year out of college and into the working world, I felt like I was fighting for joy - doing what I could to muster up a good attitude, take on the weeks one uncomfortable day at a time, try and put on a good “I’m fine and confident” front - all the while, I was neglecting the deeper, inner voice telling me “I’ve never done this before! I feel uneasy and unsure. Can we take our time and enjoy the journey? Why do we have to rush and pretend like we have it figured out?”
Oh I’m sorry sweet soul. I drowned out your voice by listening to closely to honks on the freeway and blaring soothing worship music to quiet my chattery mind in the midst of a season filled with lots of BIG transitions - starting a 9-5, working with a new demographic of people (not people my age, but parents, new moms, and graduate students), beginning my first serious relationship, and having moved back home.
And God had been there the whole time. Seeing every part of me, watching me pretend to tough it out and He stayed (probably giggling a little let’s be honest).
I’ve grown to realize He sees me as a work in progress and just wants me to get up and see all that He can do in and through his creation.
I was running this morning as the sun was rising - in a new way this time. From the wear and tear of mileage the past year, I have developed bad running form. I have an anterior tilt in my pelvis and use my hip flexors too much. Running has been a safe space for me, mentally and spiritually, and I have always gained a greater perspective after going for a jog in nature, but lately I have been trying to really focus and listen to my body and what’s going on inside: going for how long feels good, stopping to walk and breathe, adjusting my pace so I run with a form that is conducive to supporting my joints as they rise and fall from the concrete.
And this morning, I got to watch the sunrise while on a run. I couldn’t really believe my eyes - I was running toward the sunrise!!! There aren’t many things aside from nature that leave me completely speechless, but I just couldn’t believe the beauty before my eyes. I stopped to take pictures multiple times and take it in. God had invited me to another day and I breathed a sigh of relief and joy as I heard myself say, “I’d be ok if today was my last day alive.”
This run reminded me that I listen more to myself and what’s going on inside, I can understand more about what God is trying to teach me. While I don’t want my focus to end there (inward), a firm understanding of who God has created me as allows me to steward the gifts he has given me and bear His image in a more embodied way. And to live in Christ and as Christ has made you - to see the ways He wants to shape you is to experience His sanctifying love - and that brings me JOY!
So rather than seeking pangs of comfort to accessorize my Christian life, I’m opting for carving out time to listen to my spirit and find a sense of contentment from an authentic state of belief that my God provides, wants to bless me, and has plans for me. This belief that I’ve seen mature and strengthen over time based on little of my own merit or effort and only on the faithfulness that God has allowed in my life, through the people he has put in my path, and through every sunrise. So whatever the season contains, I can listen to God’s still small voice and find that He is faithful and His joy is my strength.
Have you taken the Enneagram quiz? I heard about it through one of my favorite artists, Sleeping at Last, and also Bri G.! We met up a few weeks ago since she’s living in Irvine now. Basically it’s a personality test that characterizes up a person’s tendency by the heart, mind or gut/body. I found out that I am a 4, which is a very inward-focused romantic, who desires to be unique and special, but is able to empathize and see pain as it is - not having to step in and fix it. It was very interesting to read up on, as the Enneagram has roots in Christian thinking.
I wonder what you would be! Here’s a free test if you want to take it, I’d be curious.
If you end up taking the quiz, I’d love for you to share what you got and your reflections on the results.
Also, I’ve been wanting to ask you some questions about new married/CO life! I’ve loved hearing what you’ve shared so far, but here’s a few questions that I’ve been curious about…
What hobbies or passions have you embraced or let go of as you have bonded with your spouse?
What has your relationship Connor taught you about love? About yourself? About God?
I deeply value your advice and wisdom - so anything you want to share about love and relationships I’d be intrigued to hear!
Love you Rach!!