A Goodbye and a Special Giveaway
Here is a funny thing about adventures– when you sign on to them with your whole heart, they take on a life of their own, leading you places you never dreamed to go.
When I got the idea for the Bluegrass Romance project, I was at a place in my life where I desperately needed something to hold on to, to wake up for, to get me excited, and to refresh my fading belief that life could still actually be filled with romance and adventure, despite less than romantic or adventurous circumstances.
I created the goal to dedicate a year to discovering how to remain fully alive even when life attempts to steer you into deep ruts, thinking the power of the project would be found in the mini-missions, the weeky challenges that called us out to see and do new things in and around the bluegrass. What I learned though, gradually, in the 8 months since we began, is that there was an entirely different force grounding and guiding this project.
I would learn this year how to remain fully alive with a romantic and adventurous heart despite circumstances that could drag you down, but it wouldn’t be the way I thought I would learn; it wouldn’t be because of the mini-missions.
What I found out was that the real romance and adventure in life is not out there– not in the Bluegrass, not in Italy, not on Safari in Africa or a trek in Nepal. It’s not what you do or see, but how you process your life and dare to leave the familiar to grow.
The real romance and adventure is in here, right where you are. It’s in getting to know yourself, in facing fears and in risking your heart to trust again even after it feels so broken. It’s in knocking down barriers that keep your life small and in learning to receive love in ways that seems foolish.
What I found true for myself this past year is that the real romance and adventure I was looking for all my life was in a relationship with a God.
All of that was marvelous. All of that was wonderful. All of that made my life fantastically rich.
But none of it changed or transformed me.
When we leave Kentucky in October, what I will remember as the most significant and incredible thing about our experience in Lexington won’t be any of these mini-missions. Instead, it will be about a grace-filled people and a authentic community we just so happened to find at a church (how about that!).
Running parallel to the joy and excitement of all those mini-missions and adventures there was a big part of our life you didn’t see. And that’s the part of our life this particular community knew best. It was the messy, broken, don’t-share-with-other’s part. And somehow they saw this part of our lives and they loved us anyway.
One day maybe you and I will get a chance to sit down together and I’ll share with you my whole story; about how I, a long shot, came to trust Christ. I’ll try to explain how despite the heavy guard I had up, loved flowed in anyway and carried me gently on a spiritual journey I never intended to travel. And you’ll see on my face just how surprised I was to wake up one morning and truly find my heart and spirit at rest in a way I didn’t think it ever could be.
Back at the beginning of this journey, I wrote this:
What I know about God is that he loves us incredibly, and wants us to experience more than we often settle for, but it’s up to us to make the moves. -from Why Do This?
My idea of God at that time was vague and more philosophical than personal, but I was right on. What I wrote then I still know to be absolutely true today, but I know it now not because I think it or because I’ve heard other people say it, but because I have experienced it for myself.
The romance and adventure I am discovering now is limitless and forever. What I live for now is the romance of letting Jesus love me and the adventure of trusting and following him wherever he leads.
So goodbye Bluegrass Romance. Thank you to you guys who have read and emailed and let me know in your own ways how this little project inspired you to begin your own search for romance and adventure. I look forward to our coffee date one day, or to some sort of serendipity, like bumping into one another at an airport where we both happen to have long layovers. There is so much more to say, but it would be better face to face. So if ever the opportunity arises I’ll be grateful…
Until then, I’d like to invite you to a big party my church is putting on. It’s an invitation to a concert called Questapalooza, and (if you want it to be) it’s also an invitation to pick up wherever you left off with God. It’s an invitation to “Come See for Yourself” how he feels about you and what He might have next for you. If nothing else it’s an invitation to meet this community I have come to know and love, and be changed by their grace as I have.
If you have made it to the bottom of this long and uncharacteristically evangelical post, consider yourself half way to heaven. Just kidding. But leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win 2 tickets to Questapalooza.
What else to say? Yes, we are moving. October will be our last month in Kentucky. We are headed to the Northwest, where I grew up and where most of my family still lives. Portland, I’m pretty sure, will be a lot more receptive to Lola & Eve Boudoir and I’m excited about the new opportunities that will bring. My husband will be learning the ropes at my father’s business and we will get to have weekly meals with Mommo & Babbo again.
The three of us, Ronnie, Lucca and I will find a place to call home and we might even get to work on creating another member of the family.
Whatever life brings we are deciding now to never give up on our faith or each other, and to stay open to the full scope of romance and adventure God has for us. I pray the same for you. Jeremiah 29:13
Even though it’s the end of the road for Bluegrass Romance, I’d love to stay connected with you.
If you’d like to hear special announcements and insights from me, sign up for the Tips on Falling in Love with Life Newsletter:
P.S. If you still want inspiration on things to do in and around the Bluegrass check out the adventures of this family blog:Backseat Traveler. The Smiths are a great inspiration.