Five Steps Behind

All my life, I’ve been the girl with a plan. By the age of eight, I already knew everything I wanted out of life. I used to feel sorry for people who didn’t feel that certainty early on—people who stand at their high school graduations with no answer to the question of what they plan to do with their lives.

Now I feel sorry for the people who do have an answer—the people who set out to do everything they’ve planned to do since they were eight years old only to find out it wasn’t what they wanted after all. The people who spend all their lives focused on the goal and miss the everyday miracles that take place around them.

I was that girl.

I am that girl.

And now, I’m finally learning not to be.

This year has been one of transition for me, and I had hoped it wouldn’t take the entirety of a year for me to find my purpose for this season of my life. But alas, December has come and I’m still hoping, still searching for direction.

Last night, I finally gave voice to my fear that this may be exactly where God wants me right now. Like, what if He actually took me seriously when I told Him I want to be a candle that shines alone in the dark? What if the whole time I’m tugging at my hair in frustration, God is sitting up there in heaven saying, “Sorry, sweetheart, but you asked for this”?

I feel like the rug has been ripped out from under my feet and I’m looking at the world from a whole new vantage point (on my back, on the floor). And while, it’s a painful thing, it’s also a surprisingly beautiful thing. Because in all the years I’ve been staring straight ahead, I’ve never noticed the intricacies of the ceiling pattern before.

Maybe God just wanted me to stop and marvel at the ceiling for a change.

I can hear Him now, whispering in my ear, “Little one, little one, why are you always five steps ahead when I’m lingering five steps behind?”

Over the past few years, I’ve talked a lot about embracing the moments and living the journey, but it’s not because I’m particularly good at that; it’s because it’s something I constantly struggle to do.

Last year was extremely hard for me. God stretched and challenged and broke me in ways I’d never been broken before. I guess you could say I was hoping this year would be easier. It was, but it wasn’t. Because, honestly, I don’t remember a thing.

I was too busy staring ahead, plodding forward, just trying to get on to the next big thing.

And I missed it.

I missed this year.

And I’m sorry it took me until December to finally notice the ceiling tiles.

So, while I’m not one for New Year resolutions, my goal for 2015 is simply to live it. To take this girl who walks too fast for automatic doors, and make her slow down and admire the simple things.

Because I’ve spent too much of my life trying to stay five steps ahead, and I’ve missed out on so many things.

From now on, I hope to be found five steps behind, lingering over the simple masterpieces of life.

Sometimes…

To the One Who Came to Free Prisoners,

Sometimes I look out at the mountains and forget that they’re a reflection of how big You are. Sometimes I watch the clouds drift by on the canvas of the sky and fail to see the proof that You’re still creating beautiful things. Sometimes I watch the seasons change without realizing that they’re a reminder that You’re in control. Sometimes I forget that every single day I wake up breathing is a gift. Sometimes I forget to live the journey. And by sometimes, I mean most times.

I don’t mean to seem ungrateful; it’s just that I find it so easy to forget – so easy to allow myself to get caught up in the mundane and weighed down in the trivial. But I don’t want to spend the rest of my life this way.

Today… Today I want to see. I want to live. I want to embrace each moment as they come.

So if You don’t mind, I’m asking You to open up my eyes and help me embrace the wonder of this moment here and now. And the moment after that. And the moment after that. Until I am, at last, fully and wonderfully alive.

 

With a Writer’s Passion

It always hits me in the mornings. I cannot even count the number of times my cappuccino has grown cold as my pen dances across the page, or how many times I’ve scrambled to make it to work on time after being held spellbound by a scene that unfolds in my mind.

Every writer lives with a handful of characters that scream at her like pesky children – waking her up at night, interrupting her quiet times, and grabbing her by the shirt tail at the most inconvenient opportunities. But she cannot deny them for, unlike a child, they will not remember what it was that they wanted after an hour has passed. She must capture the moment when it comes or risk losing it forever.

But then I think… Shouldn’t every moment of my life be just like those inspired writing moments? Shouldn’t I embrace life with such intensity that I cannot imagine the passing of time as each scene plays out before my eyes?

Most days I rush through life, constantly glancing at the clock, counting the seconds until one event or another.  I forget that life is not made up of great events, but of little moments. And each tick of the clock is a moment I’ve wasted being caught up in the busyness of life.

Oh, but for the heart of a child – to embrace each moment with such passion and wonder. To allow the simple things to stir my heart and bring a smile to my face. Oh, but that I would embrace each moment of my life with my writer’s passion. This is my reminder today to live the journey. Live.

Lessons From a Squirrel

I sat in a coffee shop today and watched a squirrel dash back and forth across the parking lot, gathering treasures to bury in the flowerbed. Back and forth he ran, repeating the same mundane task. I wondered if the squirrel ever tired of doing this. Or perhaps the small creature is more content with his current position than I’ve been lately. See, I’ve been feeling a lot like that squirrel. Life has become so mundane, so routine. I haven’t really felt like “living the journey” these past few weeks, and nothing has been able to penetrate this thick wall of “blah.” Nothing, that is, but this squirrel.

Somehow I get the idea that the squirrel wasn’t thinking about much else but the task at hand. I don’t think it’s because he’s a little creature who wasn’t blessed with the brains we humans have. I think it was because, unlike most humans, this little squirrel knew his place in life, and he was content to do what he had been created to do.

Sometimes I have to wonder what I was created to do. Sometimes I wonder if I’m really doing the right thing, or if I’ll ever end up where I’m supposed to be. Part of me wants to cling to that fairytale mentality that says, “Well, of course dreams come true,” while the other part of me is discouraged because those dreams seem so far away.

Today, I needed a squirrel to remind me that I should be content with the here and now. Just as the squirrel stored things up for the future, my life now is preparation for the years to come. So it’s about time for me to take a deep breath and remind myself to live the journey, knowing that God knows what He is doing with my life here and now.

Live the Journey

We interrupt the normal schedule of this blog to bring you an important message:

God has been doing something in me these past four months. I wrote a book, boldly presented it to a publisher, started a blog, and am slowly sinking into the world of ministry to my generation. It’s been amazing, and I’ve been learning so much. But tonight was one of those nights that God just smacked me in the face. You see, sometimes I get distracted from what I’m supposed to be doing and God has to set me back on track. I was skimming through my new book, A Heart Exposed by Steven James, when I stumbled upon these words:

you dance on the breeze in the evening light, you leap on the curl of a wave, crashing white. you twirl on a star in the darkest night, calling, “Live the journey! Live!”

With four more rousing stanzas, Steven James reminded me of my passion and purpose. It’s the reason I started this blog. God called me to live the journey, and when I looked around at the world I live in, I saw that many of my friends and loved ones weren’t walking in the freedom God called His children to when he told us that He had come to give us life to the full (John 10:10). It was my calling to echo the cry my God shouts, whispers, and screams. “Live the journey. Live.” I regret to say that I haven’t truly been challenging anyone to truly live the journey. I allowed myself to be boxed in by structure and say, “This is the routine.” But I never really gave God much freedom to step outside the bounds of my pre-conceived categories. Not that this has been bad… I simply believe that it could be so much better. God wants to make it so much better.

I’m one of those people who strive on structure, yet I hate when routine gets in the way of the Spirit. But there I was, doing the very thing I hate. I convinced myself that it had to stay the way it was because I had to stick to the singleness theme. But honestly, this isn’t about singleness. It’s not about marriage. It isn’t about dating or courting or whatever else you may use to define relationships. It’s about moving beyond waiting for the things that won’t come until the future and refusing to get caught up in the past. It’s about living the journey. It always has been. Until I let myself get caught up in traditions and routine and whatnot.

But I’m going to warn you that tradition stops right here. I’ll still try to post three times a week, but it’s going to have a little less “Rebekah-shaped structure.” I’m not going to force anything I’m not feeling. I will only post what I feel the Spirit is sharing with me to share with you. I’m going to expose a little bit of my heart on this page. The only goal I now have is to live the journey. And I want to encourage you to live with me.