We are just shy of a month left of summer. (Hasn’t it been good?!)
Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~Henry James
Soon one season will end, and another will begin. Already there are back-to-school sales. (I overt my eyes–who is ready to think of wool jackets and argyle sweaters!?)
With one foot I stand squarely on summer turf, sand between my toes. (We just got home after a weekend of camping at the lake, and it filled us all with so much joy we hope to squeeze in one more trip of sacrificed sleep in a tent so that we can marvel at the milky way and tally shooting stars, before the winds change for Fall.)
I love the ease of summer; the permission it gives me (or I take) to drink a cold beer whenever.
With my other foot, though, my toes point to a new season. I don’t know what is ahead, but my spirit is ready enough to enter the Unknown to lift my compass there.
To become a pilgrim
A pilgrim is one who journeys in foreign lands. (Merriam-Webster’s)
(And sometimes that foreign land is territory in our own heart).
This next season for me is a pilgrimage of uncommon romance and adventure.
In truth, the journey has already begun without me being entirely ready. I am a pilgrim and the boat has set sail. I am reluctant, though, to leave this port. I stand with my back against the new horizons I head towards, not quite ready to let go of the land I am most familiar with, the land of comfort. But there it goes, squinting out of sight.
Yes, I chose to board this boat with my own free will.
No, I am not without fear.
Last Thursday I let go of one thing I do for comfort. This Wednesday I intentionally cut off another.
Some uncomfortable things I will be exploring will be:
- giving up alcohol
- giving up sugar
- cutting my long hair short
- seeing a counselor to deal with old wounds
- changing the way I discipline my kids
- letting go of previous vocational ambitions to open the door for a new one
This is not a journey for everyone. Which is why I won’t be sharing the details of it on this blog. But I do want to invite those of you who are ready to embark on your own journey of freedom to come with me.
Are you a pilgrim, too?
Maybe you’ve already begun a season of deep personal/spiritual work. Maybe you hear it calling for you but you are afraid to say yes. I can’t say my journey will offer any answers for yours, but I do believe we can find encouragement in each other’s stories. We also find relief (the hallelujah we aren’t alone!).
And on this pursuit of discomfort perhaps the one comfort we are not meant to sacrifice is the comfort of eachother. We do not have to do this alone.
I’m not sure how often I will write or how messy/raw what I write will be, but if you would like to be in this with me, I’m inviting you to a smaller mailing list where I will share this journey via email, more friend-to-friend style.
It will not be a well put together newsletter. No offers will be offered. It will just be a simple email sharing what I’ve found hard or helpful that week. And fair warning: This journey for me is part and parcel of my spiritual one and I could not imagine entering this season, nor walking successfully through it, without the Spirit and my Father guiding me. Trying to write about it or share it with you in a way that censors the heavenlies breaking open in my heart just isn’t something I’m interested in doing. So consider yourself warned: God Ahead.
In this next season, my goal is not to gain subscribers or build my platform; I just want more room for Christ in my life. If the name of Jesus makes your skin crawl, I understand, I’ve been there. But please don’t sign up for these emails: they aren’t for you. If, though, your heart is open and you too want to be a pilgrim, I welcome you.
As I do this personal/spiritual work for the next three months I won’t be posting as much on this public blog. If you aren’t going to join the emails (see above), now worries!-we can still stay connected on Instagram. (Oh Lord, please don’t make me give up that!)
Here is what I pray for you (or if you aren’t the praying type, here is what I wish for you):
Wherever you are, and whatever your heart is up to this month, may you step bravely into the new territory inviting you to come explore. May you shine ever more the likeness of the woman you are created to be. Grace & Peace on your way!