Two weeks ago I sat in the Nashville airport, my well-worn boots propped against a concrete wall near the window looking out over the empty runway and a gloomy sky.

File_000 (15)In my lap sat a bright turquoise journal with the word “Write” scrawled on its front cover in gold leaf lettering, a present from my friend, Amy, last Christmas. I flipped it open and landed on a page with one sentence, “And regardless of somedays and maybes — in the right now I’ll love you well.”

I was taking time to consider all the aspects of my life — my health, career, dreams, relationships — to do a check-up on them. I was testing the waters to see if I was truly pursuing the things I wanted. For a majority of my life, I did what I believed was expected of me. I was who I believed everyone else wanted me to be and performed in ways I believed they wanted me to perform. The past couple of years have been about unlearning those behavior and choosing a life I want. Was I again being who I thought others wanted me to be?

There I sat in the Nashville airport in the only quiet terminal, somehow empty in the busyness that usually fills it. I glanced back to something I had written at the end of the sabbatical I had taken away from social media and publishing back in June.

“I think one should have a lot of books and people. One day if I have a home — that is so hard to imagine now — I would like to have shelves and tables and floors stacked with books. The walls will hold artfully framed candid images of people I have loved and love and our adventures. Because what is better than having your home (if you are going to have one) full of people and stories?”

And there in that extremely uncomfortable plastic seat, my tears made their own punctuation marks on the page.

I have ran from the idea of a home for awhile now. I tried once to make one. That didn’t work out so well. That’s a story I’ve told bits and pieces of — who knows if I’ll ever tell the whole of it because I’m creating something beautiful now and some things are better left in the past. I’ve just imagined that I would continue to be a gypsy forever because home seemed like a concept I could never quite hold onto, as though maybe it wasn’t meant for me.

I had expected to put my pen to paper in my journal and write words about my practical goals in the future. Instead I wrote this and added a disheveled pile of Kleenex next to my suitcase:

“I’m ready to create a home of my own; a place to put down roots from which I can adventure. There are places I must go in the world but I’m ready to create a safe place — a refuge from which to do that where my people can also find sanctuary.”

There were more words.

These words described my big dream. Those are for me, my mission. When you know where you want to go and what you want to do in the broad scope of things, it is easy to focus in on a narrow idea or place or person as the way in which you can accomplish your dreams. Hear me when I say, THIS IS A TERRIBLE IDEA. Instead focus on building out all the parts of your life which will move you towards the life you want and your mission. Its the healthiest way of doing things and it ensures your heart is not focused on a singular path which may not actually lead you to your destination.

me with mysterious reasons. img by JW

In the spirit of that, I’m taking the next month to focus on building out some of the areas of myself and my life. I’ll be away from social media and publishing pieces to focus on a few things for the future, my writing, my relationships, and *SECRET REASONS* (thank you, E.B. White). I would like to leave you with this prayer, a final November Whisper.

“Hey, it’s me. Thank You for this month of celebration.

Thank You for how far You have brought us. Thank You that we are not who we were or where we were. Thank You that we are not who we will be. Thank You that we are exactly where we should be in this moment.

I know December holds many lessons for us. It is the season of Advent or preparation. Let it be that for us. Let this December be a season of preparation in our hearts. Let it be a season of learning and becoming. Lessons can be difficult but also joyful. I pray that we will see the joy in them even as we learn them. This is not an easy prayer to write, God. I really don’t want to be writing this prayer. But preparation means that we will be ready for the beauty of the next moment. And, I want to be ready. I believe the people reading this prayer do to.

Make our hearts ready. Give us the bravery and strength to keep walking through these lessons. We trust you. You are trustworthy. You are good, even in the hard, dark moments — in the lessons, in the celebration, in the pain, You are good. Precious, Matchless, Wonderful, NameAboveAllOfTheEvery. Jesus.

So be it. Make it so. Let it be. Amen.”

Today is November 28th. Today I am thankful I am willing to pray for preparation. Today I am thankful that I am willing to imagine a home of my own. Today I am thankful for people and stories and you.

2 Comments I’m Taking A Break For Secret Reasons

  1. Matthew Parker

    Beautiful as always. Enjoy your secret things. Also, your mentions of home remind me of a poem:

    It’s been so very long since I’ve been home
    The memories are fuzzy and incomplete
    I haven’t found it with map or compass
    I thought I’d found it once a long time ago
    But it faded away, leaving me alone
    I try to settle in, living life as a nomad
    But something out there calls to me
    Home is waiting beyond the next ridge
    Over the water, across the valley
    I know I’ll get there one of these days
    Until then, I’ll take what solace there is
    Resting in the warmth other’s homes
    Those I’m blessed to have met on the way

    Reply
  2. Emily Dukes

    Well, once again, you have managed to tear my heart apart with your truth but make me feel whole and complete simultaneously. It’s really bizarre how in the last month, I’ve read more blog posts that I feel like are directly written towards me than I have in my life. It’s been a beautiful addition to my daily life. Thank you for being incredibly honest this time. You’ve inspired me to stay off social media as well and really focus on me and growing and maturing. I’m not sure if you’ll see this before you start your month, but I just want to tell you that in the process of reading your gut-level honesty, your words and authenticity have become breath for my lungs. I’ve been in a rough place, but you make me feel less alone. Forever thank you for that. See you on the other side!

    Reply

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