We've all had quite a year, haven't we? Life hasn't looked as we expected in the slightest and we often find ourselves scratching our heads wondering, "how did we get here?" It's surreal, isn't it? Life isn't what it was a year ago, and it can feel scary to wonder when it will ever be the same again. I've come to learn that in the difficult seasons, maybe "the same" isn't really what I want to go back to after all. It can be a gateway to something new, unexpected and beautiful.
I have a strange feeling I've been here before. This crazy year actually feels familiar. Five years ago I had a head injury-- the kind that had me in a dark room for months, unable to handle the stimulation of talking to my family, or having light, or read a book-- or just about anything! My life was stripped from me then too, in different ways. I had 5-minute whisper visits with each of my daughters, each day. I was isolated and wondered when life would ever be the same again. Can you relate a little? I learned something really powerful during that time... there was beautiful life to be had in the slowing down. I met God in ways I never had before. I assessed my life and dreamed new dreams (unfortunately not while sleeping! I was exhausted!). Little by little, life came back to me and I was able to make my own oatmeal. I could ride in the car without getting dizzy. And eventually a year and a half in, drove down the street on my own. The Light really can come from behind those dark clouds. And when it fully emerged, I was changed.
During that time, I learned the source of life was in the moments. That each moment God had blessing for me to see and enjoy, and sometimes the detours are actually course-corrections. While I certainly don't love it, this year of isolation hasn't felt as shocking to me, because I feel like I had lots of practice back then. I learned to soak in the moments, and listen. Listen to what God might be saying about how my life could change. How He can take a season of brokenness and pain, of fear and uncertainty, a season of sickness, to change things and bring health.
Beauty from ashes. It happened 5 years ago, and I feel it happening now. God does beautiful things.
The purpose of this blog and the online classes I'll be releasing in the coming months is part of sharing that sentiment-- in taking a good, hard look at the lives we are living and cultivating a life that is intentional and growing. Not just doing what we do because we do it, but because we choose it, because we are intentional and want to grow our life into something beautiful. Our lives can look different. Our homes can look different. Our families and relationships and work can look different. We can cultivate something that is life-giving instead of life-draining.
La Casa Life is about cultivating your life and home into something intentional, something cared for, and something that can grow and change. Like gardening... if we want our gardens to produce something beautiful or fruitful and abundant, we have to be intentional about a lot of things, don't we? We choose the right environment, the right amount of light and water, we feed it the right kids of foods and are strategic about keeping away pests and disease (oh, those pesky Japanese Beetles!). The same can be said for our lives-- we tend to coast through, not really paying attention to our environment, what we feed ourselves (our minds, spirits, hearts) and perhaps don't even protect ourselves from the pests that might want to destroy. But we can take times like these and use them well to listen and reflect, we might see changes in our everyday lives that we never expected. New adventures. New dreams. New possibilities for our families.
Thinking outside the box-- and really growing. Sometimes it takes something external like a pandemic to push us to the places that give us new insights to life that we never would have reached without the sudden halting stop to our hectic lives. But when we listen, and we reach out for something intentional, something really beautiful can grow!
The first of my online courses on cultivating a life you love, Homeschooling Now, was just released to offer some support and a framework for those who are facing the new challenge of homeschooling their children during this time. If you or someone you know is planning on starting to homeschool and need some help in getting started, I encourage you to take a look! Hope to see you there!