I was a little girl when my grandma, Rhe, started a frog collection for me. By the age of ten, I must have accumulated over one hundred frogs — metal frogs, paper mâché frogs, plastic frogs, tall frogs, chubby frogs and lots of Kermit the frogs. You name it, I had it in my prized frog collection. It was a collection that I kept stored in a box that I’d lined proudly with floral wrapping paper as if to mimic nature.
I took my frogs out from time to time to polish them, parade them around the house and to make sure they always looked shiny and new.
One night, our family went to see a movie. Upon our return, we found our house had been burglarized and ransacked. When I entered my bedroom, I discovered my entire frog collection was broken and smashed to pieces.
I WOULD NEVER COLLECT ANYTHING AGAIN.
A little over five years ago, my life was smashed and broken into pieces by a failed California economy, job losses (plural) and a cancer scare. What I hadn’t lost in that season of life, I loaded into a 14-foot moving truck and blindly hauled to Austin, TX along with my dog, The Judge. (Read more about that HERE)
I arrived in Texas with new-found perspective and fresh hope, ready to tackle the world and create new memories in this phenomenal land.
And I have done all of that.
And much more.
I’ve met some of the nicest people on the planet in Texas who’ve made my side hurt from laughter and cupped my tears whenever they fell.
I made a best friend in Austin who taught me to celebrate every moment that we’re given…until one day, all of her moments came to an end.
And, I fell in love with a man from Amarillo who taught me that just because we create perfect moments together, doesn’t always mean we are capable of gripping them the same way. And our relationship slipped out of grip.
The truth is, what we each do with our moments — whether we choose to toss them or hold them, trash them or cherish them, degrade them or honor them — is entirely up to us.
And so, my adult life has been a slow-churn of relinquishing plans, repurposing dreams and learning to honor and uphold ALL of the moments I’ve been granted — even when they don’t look the way of my dreams:
Where I once dreamt of being a wife, I now simply pray for more moments to demonstrate faithfulness and dependability.
Where I once dreamt of being a mom, I now pray for more moments to be nurturing.
Where I once prayed to make a home, I now pray for more moments to welcome strangers.
I have no husband, no kids, no home to call my own. But I do have some phenomenal moments etched deep into the lining of my soul.
And before you start thinking “Oh what I’d give to have such freedom,” realize that I NEVER wanted a life void of a family, particularly a life partner, to call my own. But believing we ought to celebrate every season of life that we’ve been given, instead of focusing on raising kids, I focus on raising moments.
EVERY TINY MOMENT TELLS A STORY ALL ITS OWN.
These last five and a half years in Austin, Texas have been the most extraordinary years of my life.
I have swum in a veritable bowl of queso-filled joy in this place. I’ve had rambling conversations with strangers, took road trips to nowhere, learned to two-step under the stars and loved passionately deep in the heart of Texas.
The sounds of this place,
I have raised unmatched moments here that I will never, ever forget!
Even as I type this, all the special moments I’ve collected are circling in my mind — and starting to run down my face.
Texas, you’ve welcomed me with open arms and I remain overwhelmed by the love I’ve received here.
But now, it is time for me to be on my way to my next adventure…
“LIFE IS AN INCREDIBLE ADVENTURE OR NOTHING AT ALL.” — Helen Keller
We raise moments, incredible moments (holy moments even) -when we seek God’s face and move in the direction of His voice. When we agree to meet Him in unexpected places and make ourselves available, God uses that movement forward for our growth and always does immeasurably more in us.
They say that without action, you aren’t going anywhere. So for me, adventurous faith means moving to a new town and knowing that, just as it was in Texas, I will find Jesus unexpetedly hiding in the people and the moments I will soon know in the place they call Georgia.
As I prepare to leave Austin, I am frightened and amazed at the same time. I am truthfully scared out of my ever-loving mind to take yet another step alone, but somehow I’m able to rest in confidence knowing Jesus, who goes before me, will greet me when I arrive.
MY PRAYER AS OF LATE HAS BEEN THAT MY LIFE WOULD BE MARKED BY HIS GLORY.
Sure, I’ve spent seven years recapping the disheartening show that is The Bachelor and penned many a snarky story about my jigsawed love life. But were I to die today, I wouldn’t want to be remembered for any of that.
I want to be known as a follower of Jesus; a daughter of Christ who exuded courage, adventure, and faith as she danced forward in life, raising moments of glory as she went.
And so, as I take another spin across the dance floor of my unpredictable life, it is with complete giddiness and delight (and a few tears in my eyes) that I tell you that I’ve accepted a once in a lifetime opportunity to write full-time. I am joining a digital media company, Ghost Post Media, located in Atlanta, Georgia, Y’all!
Thus, I’m seizing this opportunity to explore a new state, to raise new moments in the south and to follow the Lord’s leading. And as an added benefit, I’ll be closer to my extended family and friends who live in Virginia and the Carolinas. Yeehaw!
MY LIFE HAS BEEN A SERIES OF MOMENTS STRUNG TOGETHER BY ADVENTUROUS FAITH.
I can’t pretend to know what path I’m on in life. I certainly would not have anticipated moving to Aspen, Austin, and Atlanta in the last six years. But boy, oh boy what a wonderful ride I’m on! Some roads have been long and windy and have threatened to completely halt my journey altogether.
But as for all the other roads? Well, to all the roads that led me across the path of pain that turned to peace, loss that turned to wonder, and trouble that turned to triumph, I want to thank thee. Because of you, the moments I’ve raised since have been more vivid, rich, enunciated and glorifying.
So, cheers to the moments we will each raise from this “moment” forward.
And may the good Lord continue to “turn our wailing into dancing, clothe us with joy, and may our hearts sing to Him and not be silent. Oh Lord my God, I give you thanks. Forever!” (Psalm 30:11-12)
This is not goodbye for I will see you when I see you, Texas. And I will carry you in my heart. Forever.
Until then, please come visit, y’all! (and bring breakfast tacos!)
All my Love,