The Thrill Of Imperfection

I've been a little {a lot} obsessive compulsive about this blog lately. Nothing seems "good enough" or "right". In fact, I admit to writing and rewriting, only to fully delete whole drafts multiple times {more than the amount of fingers and toes I have} in the past 2 months. Hi, my name is OCD, have we met? Just so you can grab onto a reference point here- I was the kid who turned in tests second to last. I was never the first to speak out in a large crowd {observer/internal processor of course}. I was {am} the procrastinator. I am an over thinker, over doer, over reactor... Nothing is ever "good enough" to me, it can always be improved upon {I'm learning}. Ok great, moving forward.

The last six months my list of new normals has taken its toll on me. As I write this in bed {way past my bed time} {who am I kidding}, I am surrounded by piles of wilted tissues... It's not what you're thinking. No weepy episodes here {at least not today}. I am actually just getting over a "24 hour bug" that started last Thursday. Yes, I am in denial. The irony of a 100% stuffy, can't breathe in or out of, nose that won't stop running is completely beyond me. I am the worst sit-still'r in all the land. One of them, at least. 

Back to being obsessive compulsive and new normals, the last six months feels like both yesterday and 20 years ago all at the same time. If you read the last post or know anything about our life, you know that we are in Alaska now. Yay for adventure- the good, bad, and ugly of it all! 

 
 

I can honestly and happily say it has been nothing like what I expected. The people are kind, most shower, and probably unbeknownst to them, there are quite a few similarities between this state and my former, Texas {aside from climate, moose, volcanoes, dozens of trending reality tv shows, mountains, mountains AND more mountains}. Not just with the state itself but life as well.

Upon moving here, the sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns associated with unrealistic expectations disappeared real quick. Actually, the sunshine literally did disappear for a couple months. Maybe we set the bar too low for our "year zero", but I like to think that the Lord just had bigger and better plans for us. My husband and I, along with a team of six other incredibly gifted individuals and their children, are pioneering a campus ministry at a university up here. I did as much mentally preparing for culture shock as one can do and it still didn't put a dent in how hard the change has actually been in my heart. All military families and fellow missionaries can most definitely attest to this- some of which have it significantly harder than I do. I commend you. Through all of this, I'm realizing how incredibly grateful I am for the change and poorly preconceived ideas I had because I've been given the opportunity to grow more because of it. However, the fact that I can no longer drive a couple of hours in any direction to see family stings deeply and disrupts my thoughts every now and then. I don't foresee that "sting" changing or slipping away in the near future, but that's okay. This transition of life and being obedient to what the Lord has called us to has pleasantly thrown me into a new season of self awareness. 

 
 

I'm not perfect, nor will I ever be perfect... the perfect friend, decorator or minister. Perfect in the sense that all my ducks are in a row and I've got this- you know, Martha Stewart meets Southern Living meets REAL SIMPLE style. I don't have it all together AND I never will. Insert deep breath and sigh of relief here. I feel better already. I had plans to sift into Alaskan life with plenty of time and ease. I foresaw, at the very least, a full month's worth of rest and recovery from the ten day trek up here. I imagined a very dark and lonely first winter. I visualized a university campus crawling with partiers and "loud life". Instead, we drove across the North American continent, moved into a house and began our ministry all within the first fifteen days of September 2014. My first Alaskan winter was indeed dark and cold {still cold}, but it was the furthest thing from lonely because the Lord had prepared a place for us here and it's in its beginning stages of finally feeling like home. Also, the campus life at this university is not full of partiers and doesn't really compare to any typical American college in the lower 48. It's just different, and we have had to rethink strategies. And that's ok... growth. "Proverbs 16:9 says, "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." And can I just say amen to that because the world would be a horrific place if it functioned according to my terms and presuppositions.

 
 

All the planning and perfecting I attempt in my own timing or in my own way internally or externally will fall short. The biggest lesson I have learned and will continue to learn from the past six months is that imperfection is quite thrilling when surrendered to the Lord. "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." Friend, if this is something you're walking through as well, I encourage you to let the Lord "ruin" your heart's plan, it will be prove to be one of the most freeing things you can do for your day to day life, marriage, family, ministry and career. 

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight,  and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith..." Hebrews 12: 1, 2 {ESV}

I'm raising my coffee mug to rolling with the punches of this life and the discipline of allowing the Lord to continue to direct my steps as He sees best. On that note, below are some more pics I wanted to share of our drive up here!

 
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It was a pretty spectacular trip!