Time For Rest {aka I’m back from the dead}

Time For Rest {aka I’m back from the dead}

Hi, friends. I’m sitting at a coffeeshop today, with only one tab open on only one window. My purpose for the next 45 minutes is to do only one thing; write this post. I have been rushing around all morning, with zero time to rest before another thing on my to-do list hits me. The rest of the day is going to be wild as well, but somehow I managed to get a tiny break in between an orthodontist appointment and meeting Emma for a photo session, ha! I came to a coffeeshop literally called Relax. I intended to do website work (that battle is never over!) but I came into the room where there are inviting couches, cute lights, and everything smells like coffee, and I saw something I haven’t seen for such a long time.

People were sitting in chairs, lounged on couches, doing only one thing. READING. They are sitting around me, reading books. Occasionally, they will look up and converse quietly with each other, then return to their books. The noises of the coffee shop are muffled and all that remains is the easy solitude here on the couches & chairs. I saw them, taking time to rest in their busy lives to just READ, and decided I would take this time and use it to WRITE. Four minutes in, look what I’ve already accomplished.

I’ve been trying so hard to get everything done in tiny little time slots, but what ends up happening is I try to multitask. Multitasking is code for “doing a thousand things and not doing any of them well.” In the back of all this multitasking, I still tell myself, “oh, one of these days, I’ll sit down and just write.” I haven’t written, really, all summer. And here we are, at the end of July, with no words to summarize it, no words to show the season I’ve been living in. So here are a few.

I’ve been in a busy season, but that makes it sound so unimportant and generalized. Even busy seasons can have deep meaning and focus. I’ve been playing with a local music/Bible study group in town, formed of many souls from many backgrounds. None of us have really anything in common other than our love of Jesus and maybe a few hobbies. This is what makes it beautiful. This is teaching me what the church is. It’s only been since joining that group and feeling fulfilled in ministry again that I’ve been able to sit back and let go of my bitterness towards my previous church experience. Oh, the lessons I’ve learned since then. The people I’ve met. The Church I’ve seen come alive outside of the church building. It truly is remarkable.

I’ve been feeling old. Is it right to feel old when you’re only seventeen? I feel like I have already seen so much, heard so much, known so much. Yet there is so much more for me. I feel old when I hold Chloe, my nine-week-old sister. She is tiny, her eyes are fresh. I think of everything she will never truly know about me, and this makes me feel oh, so old. This is why I cherish photographs and videos. I almost miss Chloe…I miss her in the sense that I wish she could’ve been in my life sooner. All in God’s time, of course, but here we are, an almost-eighteen-year-old and a barely nine-week-old, just trying to make sense of the world in our own ways. I can only pray that my elderly state over Chloe makes her journey easier, more full of life somehow. Maybe someday I can tell her that it’s okay to not be perfect. That God loves imperfect people. I wonder if she will feel that she will never be enough in high school, too.

I’ve been. All of my sentences are starting with that phrase. I have been. Ultimately, that’s what has happened this summer. I’ve been. I’ve existed. I’ve breathed. I’ve cried. I’ve laughed. I’ve realized I’m meant for more than photos on Instagram and occasionally in a frame. I love photography, and I love people. I love the interactions I can create with photography as the avenue. But…I don’t want to be one of those photographers without a life outside of her work. I want to be a writer. I want to make with words what chefs do with spices, what artists do with colors: masterpieces. I want to write words so good they hurt. I want to speak truth into people’s lives. I want to empower people with the very thing that I use daily to put them down: my words.

How funny is that? That my most common, most frequent sin is slander, gossip, and generally bad-mouthing people…and what I want to do with my life is the exact opposite. That can only be from the Holy Spirit, my friends. I heard someone say that “if there’s a dream in your heart, it’s most likely from the Lord,” and oh dear goodness. How I disagree. I have a dream in my heart to marry a 6’1″ cellist who never criticizes me, supports me in homeschooling our 7 children, has dark hair and blue eyes, and is completely fine with living the rest of his life with me, playing “A Thousand Years” on the cello every evening under the stars. That’s my dream. Okay, God, make it happen. I’m waiting. In fact, I’m going to run after it, really fast. Pay for cello lessons if I have to. For crying out loud, it’s my DREAM, right? I can have it all. No. No, no, no.

My dreams are not all so silly and unrealistic, I promise. And they are not all selfish. But they are all just that: my dreams. The only thing I am promised about “having it all” in the Bible is that I am called and commanded to let Jesus “have it all.” All the dreams. He’s allowed to break them if He so desires. Because, guess what? I’ve finally come to a place where I realize that if God wants me to never marry (or marry a tuba player), then that is His best for me. If God wants me to give my life as a martyr, that is His best for me. You can have it all, God, I say. It’s scary. But it has to be done.

That paragraph makes me sound so seasoned and a pro at surrendering to the Lord, but let’s get real. I am taking life one day at a time right now. Right now, it’s just me, this laptop, and the snickerdoodle beside me (Relax makes really good snickerdoodles, as I found out today). I’m 1100 words into a blog post that has no coherency, no flow, and really no topic. But this is the only way to start learning how to focus on only one thing at a time.

I’m so happy I started, fam! This is the start of a long line of posts that are coming. Like what I’ve learned about being single. What I’m learnING about surrendering my thoughts to the Lord. What I am only beginning to learn about the Love of Jesus. Why I am only just learning what worship means. What weddings mean to me, beyond the veil and the flowers. And why babies are the most miraculous things on this planet. Are you willing to stick with me? I hope so, because it’s gonna be fun. Thanks for tagging along for the journey, folks.

Comments: 4

  1. lauren says:

    love youuuu and your surrendering heart!! hugs

  2. Shaneen says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your heart! It sounds like you’re learning a lot right now, and some of them are similar to what I’m learning as well. Surrender is definitely something we all need to constantly grow in.

  3. Petra says:

    Love love love this ❤️ Thank you for sharing your heart

  4. Molly says:

    wow wow wow. You’ve put into words (beautiful words too) here a lot of what I’ve been learning and feeling as well. Keep up the work, sweet Aliyah. you are a blessing.

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