A Brave New World

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I was married at 22 years old. Other than four years of college living in apartments with roommates, seasonal jobs and internships, I never really experienced independence. I married Ryan a year after graduating ASU, and together we divided and conquered adulthood.

We essentially grew up together, and I took a lot of the domestic responsibilities. He did a lot of the finances, yard work and home maintenance. I did the cooking, shopping, decorating, children, etc. You can guess where I'm going with this...Well, now I'm alone, single and taking care of a home and kids and a job all by myself. There's a LOT of first that comes with this new life. 

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I've often thought to myself this must be how my grandmother felt when my grandfather died. Lost, confused, scared of the unknown...But the good thing is that I'm 33 and not 80. Things make more sense to me than an 80 year old woman, and I still have a lot of life left to live. So, darn it, I'm going to figure this out for myself. This is my real life DIY project. RIGHT?!

Some new things I have done since I have been single are.....(PROMISE NOT TO LAUGH)...But seriously, though...

1. Set up my own budget. I use Mint to help keep track of everything
2. Set up auto-pay on all my bills. I was really overwhelmed by this, and I was so scared I was going to miss a payment. Thank goodness for technology and auto-pay. 
3. Did a drive-thru car wash. Oh my gosh, I'm so embarrassed to admit this, but I have been scared of them for a long time. For some reason I was just scared I would miss the track or do something wrong. It was so easy. I have no idea why I was scared.
4. Used a leaf blower. They are actually pretty fun.
5. Cleaned my pool and pump
6. Painted and taped a wall by myself
7. Changed the air filters
8. Set up my health insurance and benefits
9. Set up a router
10. Lit the fireplace. Almost burned my eyebrows, but I did it. Hahaha!

Cheers to many more new things! It's a great feeling conquer your fears. It's liberating and it's empowering. What's a fear you have that you would like to conquer? 

STAND FIRM

Stand firm. It's not about what's next this season. New doors, new experiences, new people and a new self may come, but I am not seeking new and I am not seeking more. I'm keeping two feet firmly planted on the ground and standing firm - ready, waiting, and prepared. The ground may be hard, but I'm digging deep with dirt covered boots, grit between my finger tips and my hair blowing in the wind. 

This season is mastering what has already been given. I am a mother, a wife, a friend, a business owner and an artist with other roles occasionally thrown in. That's plenty. More is not what my soul needs or seeks. It's just learning how to grow taller from what has already been planted.

Patient, steadfast, strong, reliable - these are adjectives that I want people to say when they describe me, but often I am described as go-getter, strategic, goal-oriented. Those latter adjectives have one thing in common - they are always moving forward. But, I am tired of moving right now, and God knows it. So, for now, I am called to stay firmly planted, and to become a master will be more of a challenge for me than anything I have ever done.

These past couple of days I have been contemplating the commonly quoted passage of Ecclesiastes 3:

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

The past three years have been a season of being uprooted, mourning, throwing away, and tearing down. But now I'm being ushered into a season of planting, building back up, gathering, searching, keeping and mending. What season are you in right now? Do any of these phrases speak to you? I'd love to hear, and I would love to hear your word or phrase for the year too. 

Photos by Rennai Hoefer