The Gift of Saying Yes to the Beauty You are Meant For
Last weekend Shane and I had the opportunity to take a trip away to the mountains in Montana, sans kids. It had been nearly 5 years since we had taken a trip all on our own. Although, the last time we did take one I was pregnant, so not entirely kid-less I guess. When we were first invited to go it sounded like a long shot--leaving town for 4 days with 6 kids to care for felt like A LOT, to say the least.
The closer it came to deciding, we got a call from our friends saying they would pay for us to make it happen. So we said yes, feeling like it was an opportunity we couldn't pass up. We were excited and grateful but still, it felt a bit daunting to try to figure out how we were going to leave our kids for that long.
In a nutshell, the task of lining up babysitters, schedules, and simple necessities for them felt like a giant puzzle with a thousand tiny pieces that had to fit together. There were at least 30 phone calls made to friends and family, grocery shopping to make sure everyone including sitters had enough to eat, communication to make sure everyone was on the same page, laundry, packing, cleaning, etc. you get the picture. 24 hours before we were to head out we were scrambling to find one last sitter for the middle of the afternoon-- at one point making me feel like it would never happen!
Basically, there was enough of the hard/stressful stuff to say “I’m just not gonna go, it’s not worth it, it’s too much for other people to help, its too long to be away, the kids will be too hard, its too much work, etc. etc”
I could've had all these excuses and most of them probably would’ve been, or at least felt legitimate. But here’s the thing, if I would’ve given in and let these things stop me from going I would’ve missed out on so much. So much that I didn’t even know was waiting for me to experience.
So the weekend came and we found a babysitter that came through for that afternoon shift! (Whew!) Everything was lined up and in place. And even still, I hated to leave them. I felt like my heart was pulling me to stay but at this point I couldn’t not get on that plane. Shane was already there, waiting for me, the ticket had been bought, a friend was on her way to pick me up, so there was no turning back now. The whole time I was on the plane I was missing them, wondering if this was a good idea and praying that they wouldn’t go so bonkers that none of the sitters would want to be with them again! I played all the worst case scenarios in my head, but I was on that plane nonetheless, hoping that the weekend away would at least make me feel relaxed if nothing else.
We arrived in Spokane before we drove to our friend’s private ranch near Missoula the next day. We were greeted with excitement and hospitality from the minute we arrived. I started realizing right away that saying yes to being here meant that there was probably something within this trip that God wanted to gift me with.
Driving to the ranch was a gift in itself just looking at the beauty of the surrounding mountains and nature. Arriving at the ranch was something from a movie and from the moment we got there the gifts continued to unfold.
The gift of the quiet beauty in nature, the gift of playing and exploring with Shane, the gift of hospitality and overwhelming generosity given, the gift of listening to other’s dreams and hearing parts of their stories, the gift of new friendships, and the biggest gift-- coming home to hear that our kids were loved and adored so well (and they didn’t scare anyone away from wanting to be with them again :)).
As we were there, the thought kept coming back to me that if I said no to this, if I had let all my fears and excuses stop me from going or if I would’ve stayed in the mental place of wanting to be back at home the whole time, I would’ve missed out on the beauty that was waiting for me on the other side of saying yes.
Being there in the mountains kept drawing me back to the reason why I show up here, the reason I continue to create. It reminded me again how we are meant for beauty and when we choose to step into the opportunities we are given, whether easy or hard, there is beauty that is waiting to be experienced through it.
I share these snippets not to make you feel like your life isn’t living out something beautiful already, but as an invitation to help you see beauty within your own story and to start looking at the opportunities your life has as a means to help you experience the beauty you’re intended for.
I believe every life is created for and meant to live in beauty. Sometimes that means getting to experience a weekend trip to the mountains, sometimes that means sitting on the floor playing with your kids. Probably more times than not it means doing something really hard, like having painful conversations your relationships need in order to grow or owning how we affect others and saying sorry when we can... or calling 30+ people hoping they'll say yes to watching your kids.
So many of us believe the lie that we’re not “_____” enough. Not brave enough, prepared enough, mature enough, smart enough, rich enough, creative enough, cool enough, and so on. Which only holds us back from getting to experience life fully and more times than not, stops us from living out who we really are.
I fully believe that when we step into opportunities that seem scary or hard, there is beauty and life and gifts waiting to be received on the other end of it. It may not always look like a scene from a movie. In fact, it could very well look messy and painful. But when we keep our hearts open to growth and opportunities to receive the beauty we’re intended for I fully believe God will meet us in those places.
My hope and mission in all I do, in the art I make for others, in the parties I plan for my kids, in the way we decorate our home is to create spaces that allow others to see the beauty in life we are meant for.
So may you believe as you read this today that your life, no matter where you're at in your story or heart’s journey, no matter your status or circumstance-- is worthy of the beauty it’s intended for. That saying yes to the opportunities you’re given, whether easy or hard, are opportunities to see something beautiful waiting for you in the midst of it.