After over a year of constant battles, life seems like it’s settling down and we have finally turned the page to a new chapter called Somewhat Normal. I’m liking this period of our story so far, and feel like it’s giving us an opportunity to breathe deeply and step into renewal. Sure, I’d experienced school and job related stress in the past, but there is nothing quite like a seemingly endless lawsuit, false attacks on your character & a huge amount of loss that contributes to cortisol pumping through your veins – the stress these types of things breed is unlike anything either of us have ever felt. It can be debilitating if you allow it, and, I’ve realized that wearing a mask of Life Is Perfect and I’m Mighty Woman is the complete opposite of what should happen when working toward healing and renewal. I’ve found that stepping out of the facade and being open and real – willing to admit the truth (I’m exhausted. I’m anxious. I’m not okay. I need to recharge life’s batteries) – is not a bad thing. It shouldn’t make me feel guilty and it does not label me as a failure or incompetent. Instead, it does the exact opposite. Stripping down pride and being honest about where you stand after a challenging period of life actually frees you in a way that mask-wearing cannot – it gives you power over a situation that has tried so hard to tear you down.
Often, when life begins to feel out of control, it’s easier to withdraw to maintain an illusion of safety and well-being. In doing this, we give power to fear (the fear of being vulnerable, of admitting the need for rest) and we allow that fear to paralyze our lives & decision making. After being knocked down again and again, it became easier and more comfortable for Charles & I to withdraw – to “protect” ourselves from whatever scary thing might be waiting around the corner. But that’s not okay. That’s not who we are or who we have ever been. We’ve always striven to follow’s God’s direction for our next chapter, despite risks and outsiders’ judgement. When we stepped back and began evaluating ourselves and current stance in life, we realized that the “choose adventure” mentality that we so often lived by had been stripped down and we knew it was time to make a change.
Instead of tensing up & trying to stand our ground when scary situations come at us, we are realizing we need dive headfirst into them. We need to roll with those life happenings, rather than struggle against them. It’s not fun at first, but once we begin step outside of what is comfortable, it becomes easier to ride the ups & downs. And, it’s also far more enjoyable than spending our lives watching from the outside.*
After a lot of prayers and soul searching, Charles & I have decided to take a risk and use summer twenty-fifteen as a time of rest – a sabbatical of sorts. A summer of Brittventures- where we choose adventure and stepping out of comfort zones over the coziness of watching from the outside. We both took an enormous step backward from our jobs for a majority of the summer, and will be taking almost the entire month of July off to experience new things. We need to prove to ourselves that, despite what life has thrown at us, we’re still strong and able – to remind ourselves that Someone Bigger is directing our steps & leading us in this journey of life. It might look foolish to many watching us from outside, and, I’ll admit, it seemed insane to me when the thought first began entering into our minds. But we know without a shadow of a doubt that we’ve been given a beautiful gift of time & freedom, and we need to use it in a way that will grow, stretch & equip us for whatever is next – as adventure so often does!
“When the clouds are full of water, it rains.
When the wind blows down a tree, it lies where it falls.
Don’t sit there watching the wind. . .
Don’t stare at the clouds. Get on with your life…
…don’t take a single day for granted.
Take delight in each light-filled hour,
Remembering that there will also be many dark days…
…make the most of your youth.
Relish your youthful vigor.
Follow the impulses of your heart.
If something looks good to you, pursue it…Live footloose and fancy-free!”
*Quote adaptation from “My Year with Eleanore” by Noelle Hancock