The drive to get to the cabin was stunning. Living in the suburbs, I forget that Wisconsin has such a beautiful landscape. Rolling green hills and with the right soundtrack (more on that another time) I've really enjoyed being able to take it in. It's the kind of thing that makes me proud to be an American and at the same time realize how small I am in this big ole world. And I love that feeling, because I know how big my God is. How He has his eye on me and enjoys for and with me how my heart skips when I turn another corner and see more of His natural beauty. It makes my heart quicken and I smile and think I experience a bit of true joy. My own little adventures, just the two of us.
Putting behind me what others would think about a married mother going off into the wilderness (what it feels like when one must drive 45 minutes one way to reach a Starbucks) for 5 nights, 5 days all by herself. The place is adorable and quaint. A round-log cabin built by the couple who run it in the mid-80s, it is now the place I believe I must return to once a year in order to reconnect deeply; with myself. Mostly couples rent the cabin and reading their visitor log book, one could slip into a bout of depression about the lack of people who escape to this slice of heaven on their own. By themselves. Alone.
Call me crazy, and people do, but that is very much a part of the appeal for me. I like being alone, I'm no longer afraid of what God will show me about myself or my thoughts or my strengths and hopes, failures, mistakes and dreams when I'm alone. It makes me walk taller and think more clearly and sometimes even laugh out loud. This is probably the biggest stressor in my life, not what life brings and how challenging it sometimes is but that I prioritize too much what other people think about how I should respond to this life that I'm living, this life that keeps coming at me.
I'm working on it. Crawling out from under it. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't want to hear what other people have to say to me, I just so desperately want to disarm the power that I've allowed it to have over me. I'm sure that it's one of Satan's greatest tactics with me. "Don't be your best girl. Step into the background and do only as you're told and live in other people's hopes and dreams for you rather than have, express and live in your own," he whispers.
No more says me.
I've spent some time jotting down what I dream of my life looking like next year this time. If I'm blessed to be able to return to my cabin life again next summer, approximately a year from now, would I be living boldly in Jesus and especially in the dreams I'm dreaming with God. Yes, right? That's the only answer because I have faith.
There are so many promises that God gives to me. And He constantly provides. Even when there is so much that I don't have in front of me that I long for. It's THE trick for me. How to live boldly, excited, joy-filled, peacefully and trusting in God when so much of what I see doesn't look like what I hope for and desire.
I've taken so many photos since my vacation began, some I've shared on my Instagram and Twitter pages, but so many are keepsakes for me to remember this trip and mindset. Stopping myself in the moments, pulling over on the side of the road to take photos and revel in the beauty and later my own. It's so exciting, freeing - and I don't even know what this year will look like. I've officially released the expectations in favor of flaming the hope in my desires and dreams.
I'll share them at the end of the week. They are not a checklist, but rather a poem, kind of. However they're read, it will be a reflection of my heart.
If you're wondering if you can or should take a few days and give yourself a little time-out from the whirlwind of your life, my recommendation is that you do whatever it takes. If you don't spend uninterrupted time with God for at least one whole day every now and again, how do you really know who you are? And if you don't really know yourself, the way that He sees you, then how do you really KNOW you? Really.
I know that I need to return the suburbs and am excited to do so with this renewed view on my life, full of gratitude for what is working and going well and even some of the things that are not. I will work to ensure that I have mini-hiatuses (places in my home, city and schedule) to re-visit my dreams and be sure that I'm still connected to God and the woman I believe He's developing me into.
- Here are some things that I've experienced in just the first two and half days:
- Sleeping with the windows open, the country air is so clean and perfect - even though a rooster weighs in early in the morning and throughout most of the day
- The sounds of nature are really relaxing
- Dance party for one, just like in the girly movies (Think "Holiday" with Cameron Diaz)
- Amazing views
- I need not watch scary movies that take place in the woods, ever again, seriously
- Clarity in my quiet times with God, He is speaking and it's not fuzzy, I can hear what I believe He wants me to hear (the good and not necessarily easy)
- My natural self, studying her - little make-up, noticing my gray hairs and wrinkles and accepting this lovely woman
- Driving in the country, it's just beautiful - like being in a car commercial on the open country road - there was NO traffic
- And driving with the right soundtrack, totally enjoying almost all of Rihanna's Loud Album and a couple of Usher's songs that reach right into my heart's desires about love, intimacy and trust (shocker considering some of his songs) - I enjoy belting out the lyrics I think I know at the top of my lungs
- The biggest and my favorite realization - that I really like myself
Next time, I'll post about my dreams for the 2013 - 2014 year.