I’m an incredibly nostalgic person. Songs about growing up, going home, and time passing leave a lump in my throat and my heart sore. I spent the majority of my growing up years wishing I lived in another decade -- when things were simpler and I finished my days by drinking lemonade on my porch while watching the sun kiss the world goodnight. Sometimes, when I think about how I used to ride my bike around the neighborhood until the fireflies came out and then scrub the dirt off of my feet with soap that smelled like green apples before I climbed into bed, there are parts of me that wish I could snap my fingers and go back. Mama would read us books until our eyelids sat at half mast and then after two kisses on my forehead I would fall asleep to the buzz of locusts and the cry of a train rolling through town.
There is an underlying theme in the desires I have for life -- my heart longs for simplicity. I have always told myself that I’ll get to that point someday. Someday when I am well established, married, and have a gaggle of mini-me’s chasing each other in the front yard.
Then one day it hit me. My goodness, it hit me hard. I didn’t need to wait for a wrap around porch with a porch swing for my best life to start. My best life could start now. Me, in my messy, not what imagined life to be spot that the Lord has placed me in. My best life only needs to revolve around Jesus, and I have that with or without a him, a white house on an acreage, and a porch swing that points west and creaks at the same spot every time I push off. I realized that if circumstances are changing the place from which I live my life, I am discrediting the abundance from which God has created me to live.
Things changed after this realization. I stopped running around trying to soak every part of life up and I began to drink deeper from the parts of life that I had. I started taking steps towards looking like the person I am in in my nostalgia for a time I never lived in daydreams. I took friends on picnics, invited roommates into my room to sprawl out and study on a blanket spread across my floor, I played ridiculous games with children, laughed way too loud with people I barely knew, and cried with people whose hearts I knew well. I became a partaker in dance parties, a gym goer, an out of the tub ice cream eater, a meal maker, a learner.
I began to discover what living from a simple, contented fullness really looks like. I have started to challenge myself to be the woman that I know the Lord has created me to be, today. The kind of woman who invites people into my oasis of slowness, sits and listens, sends them away feeling loved, and coaxes them back with a promise of honest conversation and a freedom to be themselves.
This all started from a realization that my life was happening now and if I kept waiting for it to start I would die without ever having become who I was created to be.