The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.
– Joseph Campbell (Discovered in Rising Strong by Brene Brown)
I read this quote this afternoon, sitting across from the love of my life, at a new cozy coffee shop, and it stopped me in my tracks.
Paul and I have been all about this idea of “living a good story” since before I called him more than my crazy friend Paul. We were bonded by the idea of living our lives in a way that didn’t make sense to other people. We naively dreamt of throwing caution to the wind and taking on big things. It’s one of the reasons I knew I wanted to date him, and later marry him. We have tried to make it a priority to say yes to adventure.
But the more comfortable you get in life, the harder it is to say yes. Your yes becomes less hearty. It becomes more strained as the risks become higher. The pay off is greater. When you’re 20 and your bank account rarely goes above $200, or you can pack your life into one load of your vehicle (and routinely do), or it takes little to no effort to shake off the obligations of the day- saying yes is easy.
Saying yes is hard as an adult. I should know I am 25 today. ; )
The next adventure before #thevoughts did not come with a hearty YES…at first. As of January 18th, Paul will be a student again. The hows, and whys, and whens and God moments that led to the decision for Paul to pursue his Master’s in Marriage and Family Counseling would take hours to share, and I’m not entirely sure I understand how it all happened myself. But what I do know is that our God is one who does not waste unemployment, strife, anxiety, heartache, loss or pain. Instead He takes it through the fire, gently whispering the truth of WHO we are and WHOSE we are, as He refines us and calls us higher. So thankful for the God we serve.
As we approached this we began to just take the next right step. We began to say yes and believe that God would show up. And He has. The yes to an adventure that I KNOW Paul was called to embark on, came with fear, trade-offs, and lots and lots of questions. As we’ve been aggressively tackling debt, Paul going back to school meant re-appropriating some of those funds and believing God to increase our revenue. We’ve already begun to see glimpses of His provision. We knew that it would shake up the rhythm that we’ve finally begun to walk in after a pretty tough first year or two of marriage. It meant prioritizing the other person in new ways. However, my favorite thing about the Vought house is that there has ALWAYS been room for two callings in one home. (watch this video!!) Paul has said for years that my gain is his gain, and vice versa. I actually did not bat an eye when I thought about the change that Paul going to school would bring. His yeses to prioritize my career, my callings, my passions have been unwavering and excessive at times.
And so our adventure begin.
Paul was hesitant and cautious. But it became abundantly clear that it was no longer a maybe idea, but a HAVE to idea. So we said YES! As our yes became more hearty, God has continued to provide confirmation, excitement, and joy. The adventure awaits.
In somewhat related news I wanted to share my word for the year. And give you the freedom to keep me accountable.
I felt like God was calling me to be intentional with my actions, decisions, time, dreams, interactions, relationships, etc. this year. Ironically Paul’s word was “risk.” So we’ll be taking intentional risks….I guess. ; )
I want to be an intentional person.
I want people to know that I am a person of my word and one that acts deliberately.
I want to make people feel prioritized, sought out, cared for, heard and known by the ways in which I approach relationship with them.
I want to look back in a year, two years, ten years, thirty years, and know that I have instilled a pattern in my own life and our family of intention. I want to act upon life, rather than feel as if life has been thrust upon me.
I’m currently reading Rising Strong by Brene Brown (as you might have gathered from the above quote) and the entire concept of the overcoming, owning your story, and living wholeheartedly requires intention. We don’t wake up one day emotionally, thriving people. We don’t stumble upon purpose, passion and callings. It takes gritty work. It takes showing up. It takes wading through the darkness. As she says, you can’t skip the ugly middle part of growth.
I want to be intentional about sitting in the tension of the ugly. I want to surround myself with people familiar with the ugly and invite them to share their ugly as well. If I’m going to become like the people I spend the most time with, I want people familiar with being intentional and people willing to be risky.
I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked . . . A lot of cheap seats in the arena are filled with people who never venture onto the floor. They just hurl mean-spirited criticisms and put-downs from a safe distance. The problem is, when we stop caring what people think and stop feeling hurt by cruelty, we lose our ability to connect. But when we’re defined by what people think, we lose the courage to be vulnerable. Therefore, we need to be selective about the feedback we let into our lives. For me, if you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.
That last line has become a new “rule” in the Vought house.
So it’s with intentionality that I’m hoping to lean into this next season. I don’t know all that it holds, but I feel God stirring. I know I’ll fall flat on my face from time to time. But I want to get good at getting up. Getting curious. And getting strong.
I also want to be kind. That’s my bonus word for the year.
I want to be someone known for her kindness.
Have a great weekend friends!