Treasure Hunting

The following is my latest post from Small Still Voices from last Friday. I apologize for the delay in getting it up. I am posting it here in full again because it continues my thoughts from last week on fear and new steps and God’s goodness. Thanks for reading. 

Andreas-photography / Beach Photos / CC BY-NC

I love living with a three-year-old boy. Note: he’s not my three-year-old boy, but his parents have graciously welcomed me into their home for this season and now I have the blessing of getting to do life with them.

If you’ve been around kids for a while, I’m sure you’ll understand what I mean when I say I have pages and pages in my journal about what this child and his family are teaching me about human nature and the love of God. I love learning about my Daddy through the eyes of little children.

Yesterday, my little buddy and I were going on an adventure. We sat on the couch—I mean, in our pirate ship—as the boy steered us through the treacherous ocean to many different desert islands. What was the goal of our adventures? To gain more treasure, of course! Arrrr, we be pirates, matey.

When we got to the first shore, the boy lept from the boat, but I hesitated.
Me: “Can you hold my hand, Captain? I’m a little scared.”
Boy: “It’s not scary, it’s an adventure!”
Me: “Ohhhh.” (Mental note: Write this in your journal.)

So we headed ashore to explore the island. Each time I would try to add fear to the game, the boy would keep reminding me, “It’s not scary, Miss Robyn.” When we had finished exploring, he’d say, “Let’s go to a new place! I wonder what we’ll find on this island. Don’t worry, it’s not scary.”

“We are going to so many places,” the boy said in excitement in the middle of his playroom. The walls of the room, by the way, are plastered fittingly with maps of the world. “And everywhere we go we just get more and more treasure!” (Actually, he said “toys,” because in his three-year-old mind, treasure=toys. But I think the metaphor still stands.)

So if I’m going to extend this metaphor to my life journey and yours, let me say that again: Everywhere we go, we just get more and more treasure. 

What is the only treasure that matters? Christ. Where do I want to rest my heart? In the Kingdom of God. Each new day, each scary leap, each opportunity to grow, each desert island, is a chance to gain more and more of the treasure of Christ–that is, a deeper relationship with our Savior and Maker. Paul the apostle calls this the “surpassing greatness,” sometimes translated as “overwhelming preciousness” of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord. Treasure.

Last week, I wrote about being terrified of a new adventure and trying to lay that fear aside to trust in my God. This week, He reminded me, through the beautiful imagination of a little boy, that this scary adventure is a chance to know Him more, a chance to draw even deeper from the precious well of His presence, and a chance to partake in and spread the treasure of His Kingdom. And remember, Miss Robyn, there’s no need to be scared, anyway.

I feel like I’m in the ocean. In a number of ways, that’s a good feeling as well as a bad feeling. Regardless, I’ve set the sails, and I’m relying on the direction of my Captain. Now I just have to wait for the timing of the wind and pray I’ll have the courage to leap ashore when the water meets the land….

Praying you would find treasure today,

This post was orignially published on Small Still Voices. If you would like to comment, please do so over there.

Dealing with Fear

I published this post over at Small Still Voices on Friday, but I want to re-post it in its entirety here, because part of why I write this blog is so that I can have a way to look back on my life and be encouraged in the journey (and hopefully encourage you in yours too).

Community, as you know, I’ve been in a post-graduation transitional state for a few months now… However, I just recently made a big decision. I chose a path that will take me somewhere new and adventurous and unpredictable, at least for a year. Hopefully, by the time you read this post, thinking about this path will bring only exciting and peaceful thoughts to my mind. But right now, community, I want to be real with you: I’m terrified.

As soon as I made the decision, and in the days after it, I’ve been plagued with aching fears and doubts. The decision’s been made, the paper’s been signed, the plan is in motion, and I lie in my bed as the anxious thoughts spin round and round in my head and I cry, What in the world did I just do?

I’m sure this has happened before, when I’ve faced paths like this. I’m sure I’ve felt afraid even as I trusted in God to lead me. The fears just feel so much worse this time. It’s enough to start me questioning if I made the right decision, if God really is leading me here, if I just completely missed something. However, when I think about stopping and giving up the path entirely, I resist. I don’t want to. I don’t want to stop, but I’m afraid to go. Can anybody relate to this?

The other day, a mentor asked me if I thought this new path would be scary or exciting. I said both, since the scary part is what makes it exciting–because if God doesn’t show up, I’m not going to make it. I actually said that, I don’t know where it came from, but I said it aloud, and I started tearing up at the thought of God leading me down this road. I thank the Holy Spirit for that moment. It’s definitely not the first time (or the second time) that the Spirit’s swept in to bring words to my mouth about how the scary part is actually the best part.

God is so good, so good, and He will never leave me nor forsake me. I want to be authentic with you about this journey and about my fears, but I also want to align those thoughts and emotions with the Truth that God is in control. Thank you for sharing this road with me.

What about you? What’s happening in your journey right now? How do you handle the fears and doubts that come your way? I pray that the God of the universe would fill you (and me) with the peace of the Savior that surpasses all understanding.

This post was originally published on Small, Still Voices. If you would like to comment, please follow this link to comment over there. Thanks. <3

City of Wonders

I just got back from watching a fireworks concert — if I wasn’t already in love with Edinburgh, I’m pretty sure tonight would’ve cemented that love for me. It was magical.

First of all, I’m blessed to have a park just outside my window. I noticed that people were setting up blankets and sitting out on the green, so I decided to join them. The fireworks were being set off up at the castle, but this park offers a great view — and it’s where the locals go.

Blessing number two, the people behind me brought their radio, so they were broadcasting the orchestra concert as the fireworks were going off. It was so much better that way, given that the music and the fireworks were made to go together, and it just synced up perfectly.

I loved sitting out on the lawn with the people of Edinburgh enjoying one of their famous summer events. Although, the word “summer” is debatable, because my feet almost froze… Either way, it was still wonderful. I loved the cheering, the laughter, the applause… It reminded me of the fourth of July, and I’m just a sucker for those times everyone comes together to celebrate and enjoy life. I sat among seasoned veterans and new international students just figuring out that the event was happening. I applauded with old Scottish couples and families with young children. It was a great night.

I know I can get nights like that everywhere, I mean I just mentioned that the same thing happens in America on the fourth of July… But you must understand that in Edinburgh, everything seems different. It literally feels magical, the magic of centuries of history we’ve never known…

There’s magic in listening to classical music as you watch fireworks dance over the top of a stone castle. Where can you find that in America except at Disney?

I was starting to feel very homesick tonight, and yet all I can do is write about how wonderful Edinburgh is… I think God is reminding me that I’m going to be okay here, that He’s already here and working, and I’m going to love experiencing new facets of Him and of His beauty in this place.

I invite you to come with me on the journey. Thank you for tuning in as I explore this city of wonders.

Note: I’d like to post more photos, but it takes forever to upload at the moment… Hopefully I can get more up over time. <3