One of the things that Joe and I have appreciated most about living in small-town Iowa has been our church family. We decided to live where we do because it was central to where Joe would work (east of Grinnell) and where I would work (west of Grinnell). Since neither of us work in the community in which we live, I was initially worried about how we would make friends and build a sense of community. Fortunately, it didn’t take us long to discover Community Heights Alliance Church in Newton, Iowa, a short distance from Grinnell.
Community Heights has been where Joe and I have grown immensely as a couple, developed friendships that have supported us beyond our expectations or hopes and seen God working in our lives. I don’t frequently talk about messages we hear at church, but last week’s message (you can listen to it HERE) has been on my mind ever since Sunday.
Our pastor talked about what it means to live our lives abundantly (as he said, “In the Lord’s favor”). He went on to talk at length about finding freedom in areas of our lives that we might not currently be experiencing freedom, such as out-of-control spending and debt, over-eating, lack of exercise, spending too much time on our phones/social media and not enough time with our families. He really challenged each one of us to look beyond our typical definition of someone who lives of life of addiction and bondage (such as alcoholics or those addicted to drugs) and realize that almost all of us have areas of our lives that are in need of changing if we want to life a life of freedom.
Thinking about this has felt extremely important to me for some reason. I want 2013 to be a transformative year for my faith journey and my relationships with friends, family and co-workers. To do so, I think that means putting away my phone more often, spending weekends disconnected from Twitter and Pinterest and connected in face-to-face conversations. Instead of putting up a facade that says I have it all together, I hope to simply be more human and real in my relationships. But that requires a willingness to be vulnerable, too, which is a scary proposition in itself.
Having a blog is a bit like a juggling act. There is a line about what to share and what to keep private that needs to stay in balance, at least in my opinion (and maybe my mom’s opinion, too!) But I do hope to be more real with my writing and blogging, taking time every now and again to write about things not necessarily related to food. To just chat life with you all, and find out how things are going on your end, too. Isn’t that why we all read blogs anyway?
Thanks to my friends Natalie and Shanna, who have both inspired me lately with their honest writing and vulnerability. Specifically Natalie’s post on Beauty Revolution (and her willingness to go makeup-free!) and Shanna’s post about compassion and kindness. If you don’t already read the blogs of these amazing women you are missing out!