settle deep & stay planted

Here I was, standing hand in hand with my husband on the shore of the Caribbean Sea. We had been married for ten bliss-filled days and were relishing the time we got together soaking up the sun, eating churros, and laying by the beach. We were in true honeymoon mode.

As we stood there, we watched the waves come up onto the shore, felt the warm water wrap around our feet, and then saw it gracefully get pulled back into the ocean just like the Designer perfectly intended. And with every wave that came and went, because we kept our feet planted, our feet sunk deeper and deeper creating impressions in the sand.

“This is how I want to live in this next season,” I thought.

In five days Brandon and I would fly back to Denver, rent a U-haul, pack up my home, say goodbye to my family, and drive out to Kansas where we would begin building a life together.

In five days, the home I knew, the friendships I had grown up with, the church I had done life with, the family I loved so dearly…it was all going to change. Everything I had ever known was about to take a massive step back in my life so that the man I loved and the marriage I prayed for could take front and center stage. Don’t get me wrong, it was all I had ever hoped for, but that didn’t make it easy.

Looking forward, I had a lot of questions and very few answers. Once getting unpacked, how would I spend my days? Would I make many friends? Would we find a community to be a part of? Would I be bored? Would I feel lonely?

The questions swirled around me and my mind easily got swept up by the swirl, this tornado, trying to make plans and predictions as to how the next year and many years following would unfold.

I’m sure this tornado swirls around you, too. Whether it be all the time or just during certain seasons of your life, I would imagine you have gotten swept up in the desire and attempt to answer the unanswered questions. To plan the unplanned. To sort it all out, make a path, and charge forward. It’s just what we do when we feel uncomfortable with the unknown. We try to make it all “known” so we can breathe easier.

But, that just doesn’t work.

I knew myself and in this next season if I wasn’t careful I would end up making plans and seeking answers on my own. In an attempt to give myself purpose, I would jump into too many things too fast, afraid that without the answers and a plan I would get lost. Be useless. Lack worth. And lose my value.

And so there on that beach my Father sweetly reminded me…

I didn’t need answers right now. I didn’t need to strive for my worth and value. I didn’t need to have it all figured out. I didn’t need to say yes to it all. I didn’t need to prove myself.

I just needed to settle.

On that beach, I knew what He was calling me to do at my new home…settle deep and stay planted.

Instead of running around, saying yes to every opportunity that presented itself, and trying to force my hand at feeling purpose-filled, I would stop, stand still, and make a deep, long lasting, Christ-filled impression in the ground where He had chosen to plant me.

Instead of aimlessly running around covering the entire beach with haphazard footprints that would be washed away by the next wave, I would stand firm, look forward, and ask Him to help me sink deep into this new place, this new home, this new adventure. I would be planted…rooted…grounded….settled.

This didn’t mean I would do nothing, it just meant that I wouldn’t do everything. I would do less, live within a smaller square footage of that beach, so in turn, my footprints would be less scattered and instead, they would sink deeper. It meant that instead of running from one opportunity to the next aiming to find purpose and a path, I would let Him reveal the next step to me at the right time. It meant letting go of control and leaning into trust. It meant recognizing that my worth was not defined by how full my calendar was. 

You see, opportunity surrounds us. The world is at our fingertips. We can access an unlimited amount of new ideas and inspiration. We are constantly berated by reminders of what everyone else is filling their days with. We are encouraged to always do more and try it all. To run up and down that beach covering every square inch with our footprints, but at what cost? And for what purpose?

Don’t misunderstand me, as an enneagram seven my biggest struggle is gluttony when it comes to always wanting to do more, see more, try more, and experience more. I love it ALL. The travel, the hobbies, the recipes, the goals, the aspirations, the friendships, the Kingdom building. I’m all in on having a full life, but stepping into this new season, He is calling me to build my life in a different way. To build it in a way so that over time, I sink so deep into the avenues He has for me, that my feet make long lasting impressions for the sake of His name and His glory and His Kingdom. 

And ten weeks into this new adventure, He’s given me a few firm places to stand.

I will stand firm and begin to create that deep, long-lasting impression for my marriage. My focus is learning how to be a wife and serve and love my husband well.

I will begin to create that deep, long-lasting impression for my family. My focus is making our house a home where we can do life together and invite people in to do life with us.

I will begin to create that deep, long-lasting impression with my new community. My focus is growing in relationship with my new family, investing in new friendships, and continuing to love on the people that are already in my life.

And, I will continue to deepen that long-lasting impression for my faith. My focus is ALWAYS Him, keeping my eyes fixed on Him, and looking to Him for all I need.

So let me ask you — where are the firm places the Lord has called you to stand? What deep, long-lasting impressions are you creating? Where are you called to sink deeper and stay planted?

Yes, let’s be people who try new things and see the world and serve well and love big and fill our time with worthwhile pursuits. But, let’s also be people who can identify what those worthwhile pursuits are, know where we are called to stand, and plant ourselves deep. While the waves of life keep crashing around us, let’s settle in and make an impression.