Well the excitement and stress of moving into our new home has finally settled down a little bit. We have unpacked (most of) the boxes, set up rooms how we want them, ordered things that we needed to make our spaces complete. The kitchen’s been appropriately sprinkled with bacon grease, we can almost park all the cars in the garage, and I’ve already cleaned up the kids’ playroom five or six times (with little helping hands of course). But we are settling in, working in our spare time to turn this place from a simple house into our home. My husband took a couple half days and a day to move us all in, get everything inside, the hard heavy manual labor. But then he had to go back to work, and the details of the everyday managing of our home fell to me.
That first day, it actually hit me that we moved. We moved away from the place I was used to. We moved away from close friends. We moved away from my daughter’s school. Obviously, I knew this was all going to happen. It’s one thing to think about it and talk about it, but it’s a completely other thing to be in it. So, all of a sudden, I’m home, in a chaotic, unorganized place, with both kids all day everyday, answering phone calls about warranty stuff (the joy of building a new home), setting up appointments with a new pediatrician and dentist, finding out when story time is, and registering for a new gymnastics class. I had to find a new grocery store (which I am super picky about), and thank goodness for Google Maps because I have no idea where I am on most days.
One thing we are not finding a “new” of, however, is a church. Sure, it will be a long drive, but once a week is worth it to us. We love our church home; the music is amazing, the teaching is deeply moving, and the children’s program is just incredible. Have you ever been sitting in church listening to the message and realize that it is exactly just for you? Just what you need to hear that day? It’s been happening to me a lot lately. Our pastor has been in a sermon series about courage. He’s using the story of Joshua as the main text, but what I love about his messages is that he manages to take a text from over 2,000 years ago and make it relevant for us today. (If you want to give this series a listen, you can find them all here– #3 and #7 are the two I reference in this post).
So, there’s a point in Joshua (chapter 3) where the Israelites are FINALLY ready to enter the Promised Land, after wandering around for 40 years because they did not have the courage to take the land before. But, it’s kind of a bad time, because the Jordan River is at its flood point. So God asks Joshua to go stand in the river, with great courage he does, and the Israelites are able to pass. The river, then, becomes a metaphor for us, representing the things that scare us, the excuses we make, the things that hold us back from living the life God would want for us (the “promised land”). But, see, Joshua didn’t just ask for it, he GOT IN. He made the move. He acted on his courage and his faith, and he did not stand still.
What does this have to do with our move? I realized, all of a sudden, sitting in that auditorium, that I’m going to need an extra dose of courage in this time. I am a person who really likes to stay within my comfort zone. I love my small group of friends, and I loved the small radius around my last house that was filled with favorite restaurants and stores I knew and roads I was familiar with. But here, I’m having to do some exploring, some trying and failing, some learning of new habits, some settling into new routines. And if I’m really honest, it’s a little scary.
The thing that scares me the most is being lonely. When you work, you usually end up with some built-in friends, people you can talk to and laugh with and work alongside. Even if you aren’t especially close with your coworkers, they are at least warm-bodied adults that can carry on a conversation. But at home with littles, there isn’t that guarantee of making friends. Our favorite play date buddies are now almost an hour away, and while I know we will still make time for them, it’ll require a bit more planning. But making mom friends is the weirdest thing. It feels like dating, which is scary in itself. There’s always the worry that you’re coming on too strong or you’re not responding fast enough. And the biggest question for me is: where do we find these magical mom friends? The friends I already have started as work friends, or childhood friends, or college roommates, and so the relationships transformed over time into deep friendships. But how do you start over with that?
Some of you who know me may be surprised to find out that I am pretty introverted. I relish in my alone time, but that does not mean I don’t long for company as well. The most introvert-y thing about me is that meeting new people STRESSES ME OUT. Maybe it’s insecurity? Maybe it’s shyness? Maybe I’m just sleep-deprived and don’t feel like I have the time to invest in new relationships? Brené Brown would tell you that this is a fear of being truly vulnerable (see what I’m reading below!) and she’s brilliant so she’s probably right. But you know that time at church when they say, “turn and greet your neighbor?” I HATE that time; it always makes me so nervous and I’m glad when we sneak into the service a little bit late and miss it. It’s terrible I know.
However, my pastor took a different turn with his series this week. He spoke about prayer and how we need to pray for big things. But then also, he told us we need to not just pray, but act. DO something. Don’t stay still. He issued us a challenge: “Have the courage to ask for more courage.” And he said, “You know where you need more courage in your life.” And I do. So, I’m going to take steps to become more brave, like making an effort to talk to other parents at gymnastics class and the library. Like researching mom groups in my area and actively looking for a place to belong in our community. Like taking fresh baked brownies or cupcakes to new neighbors as our fairly new development begins to fill up. I’ll let you know how that all goes. Here’s to being brave, my friends.
Currently Reading: Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. It seemed fitting to start this book this week when courage was on my mind. She’s an incredible writer and thinker and I cannot wait to just dive into this book more and squeeze every last ounce of knowledge I can from it. Plus, anyone who starts off a book with a Teddy Roosevelt quote is already a winner in my heart.
Currently Cooking: Apple Cinnamon Pancakes- I adapted this recipe from this one in the 21 Day Sugar Detox book, and both kids actually love eating these pancakes for breakfast! It’s a super easy recipe and you can double it to make a bunch of pancakes to just heat up for a quick no-cook breakfast!
- 6 eggs
- 3/4 cup applesauce
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp coconut flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- pinch of sea salt
- coconut oil (or coconut oil spray) for cooking
- Whisk all ingredients together until well blended.
- Heat pancake griddle until hot, turn down to medium low. Spray or spread a little coconut oil on the pan.
- Use 1/4 cup to pour pancake batter onto the griddle (sometimes this amount varies for me-do whatever’s comfortable for you here).
- Cook 2-3 min on each side until the sides bubble up a little or are the perfect shade of brown.
- Repeat until batter is all gone.
- Serve with (or without) some Kerrygold butter and a splash of maple syrup. And bacon, duh.
Thanks for reading and until next time, peace and love from my household to yours.
2 thoughts on “On Courage”
I kept nodding my head while reading this! (Especially about meeting new people!) I think we are basically the same person 🙂 Love your blog!
Aww thanks!! Glad I’m not alone 😉