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postThere is something about the quiet that is so life-giving. That enables you to hear more than you have in a long time. To take a look at all the noise that you have let clutter your world. The silence is so loudly profound when you realize just how much you have let other voices and other distractions take up too much room in your life. And then all of a sudden you are left with the room to examine the things that really matter–that have always mattered. But now, just now, you can suddenly hear.

That is how I feel after this past weekend. There is so much going on right now–so many really exciting things with this website and my photography business and my writing career in general. I can’t wait to tell you all about it when the time is right! After dealing with some severe health problems and the debilitating anxiety that came with it over a year ago, it truly felt like my life had stalled for a long time as I dealt with these hard things and learned how to crawl out of the abyss of my fears with my God by my side, always by my side. And now it just feels so exhilarating and refreshing to feel like things are moving again. That there is purpose and adventure and so much beauty ahead! It has always been there, but now I can see it like I never could before. Now I am finally ready for it–or as ready as I can ever be for those moments when I tell God that I will follow Him no matter what. “No matter what” can mean a lot of things that I’m not sure I would ever actually ask for if I knew ahead of time. But He’s seen me through quite a lot already, and it just makes me excited for it all. So much movement after so much standing still, and all of it good.

I took this past weekend–from sundown Friday to sundown Sunday–to just disconnect from the world a little bit and embrace some much needed quiet. It goes against my nature in a lot of ways, because when things I am passionate about start happening, I can be an unstoppable force. I know that about me by now–that I’m the kind of person that jumps in fully to those things that make my heart dance and figure it out as I go. I’m not a sit-and-examine-all-outcomes kind of person, but much more of a along-for-the-ride-wherever-it-goes kind of person. But I need the quiet. I need the silence to hear the voice of God that can be drowned out by my own passion, even if they are toward things that He is leading me to. As life is picking up at rapid speed here, I want to be listening for and discern God’s voice as I go. So I put the phone away (I still answered the calls and texts that needed attention), and stayed far away from social media. I put a ban on the TV screen because I know that in those moments when I do have time to just rest and be still, I am far too apt to fill that time up with things that don’t matter. I embraced the quiet, and it was so loud!

I feel the urge inside me, the call to simplify. To read one book at a time instead of ten. To stop trying to do so many Bible studies at once because it is actually making it harder for me to learn and take in God’s Word. To simplify and remove the excess clutter from my plate that is actually just making things more complicated however well intentioned these pursuits may be. To make room to grow and learn and hear the Voice I want to hear more than all other voices.

I feel this need down deep, this call to begin my day with God and His truth before all other things. To carve out time with Him before the day even gets going and pray for His leading before I ever sit in front of a computer screen. To ask where He wants to lead and take me. I want it to be His voice and His words that come out through my fingertips. Because I am merely a vessel, a vessel for His glory to shine.

It has been a weekend to pray for fresh vision and move away from contrived posts. If you haven’t noticed, this has been a very slow blog-summer! A lot of that has to do with burn out and pushing myself to produce content when my heart wasn’t in it. So I stopped posting when I didn’t feel right about it, and that has been a really good move. Now I feel like I have had time to refocus and think about and pray about where things are going from here, because there are changes coming to this little corner of the internet of mine! I’ve needed the time away from this little site to realize why I love it so much to begin with, and what the heart and the mission behind it really is, and after this weekend that feels even more solidified within me. Because I can’t work to make these things happen. I can’t do it out of my own strength. So if He wants more followers and readers to come, they will come, and I can trust Him with that. This weekend really helped me to release a hold on comparing myself to others and to instead celebrate the successes of my fellow sisters in this online world that are also just expending themselves to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and how my role is to cheer them on and encourage them as they do Kingdom work!

There are changes ahead, and I feel more ready to meet them than I ever have before. To embrace the road that is ahead, walking with my King. But in all of that, I want nothing more than to be deeply rooted in Christ. To be an open vessel for His leading and to pour out my life for His glory. And now I am feeling commissioned–commissioned to go forth into all of the big things that are ahead. And as I do so I know that it will be more important than ever to remain tucked beneath the shelter of His wings. That is where I always want to remain. Us doing this journey together and getting closer and closer to home along the way.

I can’t believe how refreshed and reoriented I feel after this weekend. Using my free time for purpose and not distraction, and feeling so rested because of it. A weekend to slow everything down so that I could take a deep draught from the well of living water. May I never stop running back to Him. Never.

I feel like I am standing on a precipice right now. There are so many exciting things ahead, but embracing them does require a jump. It requires a leap of faith without fully being able to see the ground, but trusting that His hand will stay me and guide me as I dive even deeper into His will. It requires a leap but at the same time I feel like I am about to make a steady climb up the next mountain. And my vision is so limited. I can only see to the next bend. But my goodness, I know there are so many beautiful things beyond what my eyes can see. And after taking this time this weekend to unplug and silence the noise to enable me to hear, I feel more ready than I ever have for the next venture out to sea. My vision reoriented. My soul refreshed. Because it is about His glory, all His glory. His glory or not at all.

Friend, if you are hearing so much noise but missing out on the voice of the One that truly matters, I invite you to take some time away from it all as well. Your soul will be so refreshed! And believe me, I know that walking away from it all even if for an afternoon can be so hard. But I will be praying for you! Please let me know how I can be praying for you in whatever is ahead for you!

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