Florida in January

My friend said she was having some serious trust issues. She was having a hard time imagining 80 degree temperature difference. She was going to be traveling to Florida from Minnesota, in January. Packing for a trip when temp is 6 degrees below zero, trusting it will be above zero (let alone 75) when she gets off a plane 3 hours later was a challenge. She wanted to pack her flannel and fuzzy socks, but was trying to trust the weather in Florida being much warmer. As I went to visit my chickens today, I found myself wondering why I live where it’s so cold. I’m sure I’d be tempted to pack some flannel too!

How often do we struggle to trust beyond our current reality? Do you trust the change you’re going through will have a better result? Are you able to see the vision/goal, or is it difficult to imagine? How challenging is it to have faith in the unknown?

If we really think about it, we are trusting every day. We trust our vehicles to safely get us to our destination. We trust our kids to be good in school. Employers trust employees to do their jobs. But there is more to trust than the physical stuff. That gut feeling. You know the one? Something just “feels” like it might be wrong or it feels like we should take a certain path. Do you trust your gut? Doing so means you have to pay more attention to what’s going on instead of running on auto pilot. Trusting your gut is an intentional pause. It’s recognizing the feeling and following it. Practice it for a while and see how reliable it is… you may be pleasantly surprised.

Five months ago was one of the biggest tests of trust for me. I drove my oldest son to Montana, trusting he would do ok on his own. I trusted him to make decisions he had never made before. I trusted that he would eat a vegetable now and then, do his own laundry and manage his money. Some things went better than others. But I also had to trust myself – trust that I (we) gave him a good foundation to get started. I had to trust that the mistakes he did make would be ones he learned from. Sometimes the struggle makes you appreciate the good times, but as a parent, it’s difficult to see your kids struggle. When you love them and want the best for them, it’s hard to trust that it will all work out. But then it does, and you realize it will be ok.

Whether you’re deciding if you should pack shorts for your trip, what your next career path should be or if you should schedule the dentist appointment, just trust. If it doesn’t go the way you thought, maybe there is something better planned.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. We only get one life at a time… live your best one. Pack sunscreen instead of mittens and you’ll be ok. (Unless you’re visiting Mn, then the mittens are a must!)

Faith of many kinds…

When I was in high school, I won a 4-H public speaking competition. I went on to the districts and to state … and won. Instead of a trophy or a ribbon, I won a trip to Israel. This was not too long after the 1991 scud missile attack. It was a 10 day long trip. I was the North Dakota representative, there was a girl from Minnesota and a girl from South Dakota. We would travel with a male chaperone from Minnesota and meet up with an Israeli host family. We came from different faith backgrounds: Lutheran, Catholic and Mormon. It was an amazing trip of a lifetime. We toured much of the country (it is very small). We went to the Lebanese border, ate lunch by the Sea of Galilee, touched the Wailing Wall, stood on the Mount of Olives, swam in the Dead Sea, saw the scrolls, stayed at a Kibbutz, walked in Jerusalem, toured their Parliment building… it was a full trip. And my parents let me go!!! They let a 17 year old girl fly across the globe with strangers. As a parent of a teen, that freaks me out. What faith they had in me, the 4-H council and these strangers! I love my parents deeply and I know they wouldn’t have sent me if they thought I would be in danger. We were very safe on our trip. Our host knew what areas were safe and what to avoid. The people that I was traveling with were nice people. This was before the age of cell phones. We didn’t have much contact the entire 10 days… my mommy heart now knows it must have been the longest 10 days of my mom’s life. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to go.

Faith (noun) complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Also: a strong belief in God or the doctrines of a religion.

I just sent our oldest son for Texas for a week with his church group. 12 kids total and 3 chaperones will spend a week doing service work, attending conferences and getting to sightsee a little. They are supposed to limit their cell phone use and just be present in the moment. It’s only the first full day for them. Other than knowing that he arrived in Texas and it’s hot there, I don’t know much else. I sent him with some cash, a VISA card and lots of faith – of both kinds. There will be 30,000 kids at the convention. I have no doubt it will be an amazing experience for him. I didn’t go on the Lutheran youth trip when I was in high school because it was around the time of my Israel trip noted above. I hope he has stories to tell when he gets back and that his faith grows as a result of the trip. Slowly, I am learning to have faith that we’ve given our sons a firm foundation. I’m learning to let go.

I bought myself some flowers this week for my desk to remind me of the beauty all around. It was also a little bit to cheer me up and take my mind off of the fear of letting my son travel and to just have faith. Wherever you’re at on your journey, I hope you will take a leap of faith, have faith in others & in yourself and grow your faith (whatever that may be.) You are enough. You are always enough. Peace be with you on your journey of enough.