:not normal:

I've been reading Anything by Jennie Allen, and it's been inspiring and challenging to say the least! Last night, during our quiet reading time, I read a chapter in Anything. I marked up the entire chapter - I guess it was hitting home with me!

I had re-read a few pages to Steve because what Jennie was wrote was exactly what I have been asking myself....

Chapter 5 began with these written words, "I just don't want to be normal." In the past few months, maybe years or even earlier, I remember having a desire to seek out something different. I tend to question life and the patterns we all seem to follow. This notion was amplified during our time in Cambodia because America's "normal" is quite different than Cambodia's "normal." But it seems as time passes "normal" seems to come out from a place of necessity. Or does society force us to fall into a pattern? Still thinking about that...

Jennie continues to write, "I knew what was happening was common. As real life and responsibilities pressed in, I felt God being pressed out. Religion, church and Bible study were all in place - but truly surrendered lives, the kind God could use anywhere and in any way he chose, had quickly turned into planned and calculated lives that focused on things like saving for a Suburban or minivan."

I don't think Jennie thinks having a home, a car or living a "normal" life is wrong. But does it press out God when we only go through the motions of life? I know that in my day-to-day, I put a lot of time and effort in my responsibilities and pursuing my selfish desires versus fulfilling God's great commission.

For some of you, this post today may be challenging, convicting or just what you needed to hear today. This book is allowing me to think outside of the box - to not allow fear from experiencing God's full potential for my life.

{photo by Rachael Hope Photography}

Steve and I both agreed that we would start praying different prayers: spend more time listening, more time asking God to show us His way and surrendering it all to Him.

with joy,

ps- I would love to hear what you think about this post today. I want this blog to be a place where we can learn from each other and encourage one another!

crave a reckless faith

Finally, Anything was in my mailbox last night.

I woke up early this morning with excitement to start reading a book written by Jennie Allen.

The first chapter resonated with me and I thought "hey, I should share this with my readers." I want to share this book with you, or maybe you'll purchase your own copy. As a believer in Jesus, or someone who may not know what they believe - I really encourage you to start this book club (if you will) with me. I am anxious to see where this book and the thoughts in it will take us.

Chapter one: There were many parts that stuck out me, but this line here: "I started craving a reckless faith, a faith where I knew God was real because I needed him, a faith where I lived surrendered, obedient, a faith where I sacrificed something...comfort or safety or practicality...something."

I believe this is why Steve and I are in Denver. After we were married, there was something within in me that wouldn't settle. I couldn't describe it nor tame it. I asked God to make my heart light, 'content', calm - but of course - He was preparing me for something...something scary...something different. And the question would be would I notice the opportunity - the something? Would I accept it? Would I go to the place He was sending me?

Well, we know what happened - we ended up moving to Colorado after being married only 8 months! That was the something He had for us - for this season! And you know how I knew that? My heart felt light when my husband said "hey, they offered me a position (in Colorado)."

It was the hardest decision to leave family and friends - everything we knew to be part of our identity! But as Believers - it was far more important to be obedient. We drew close to God - and my heart was light! My unsettlement finally settled which only confirmed our decision to move.

But why did He want us to move? I am still understanding my Father's way - but I think the most important thing we can all do is have reckless faith!

with joy,
Aneta Nina