Places. Presence. Prayer. Purpose.
I'm behind on writing for 31 days. I shouldn't be surprised-- it's typical of me to start something and then push back against the commitment and hard work of it. Anyway. I'm catching up today with four words from the past weekend and hopefully I'll stay on track from here on out...hopefully being the key word there!
Earlier this year, I wasn't sure where I wanted to be. My lease was up on the apartment in the north side of Richmond where I had lived by myself for a year. My work was remote, and I had the freedom for the first time to really go anywhere I wanted. I moved back home temporarily to figure out my next moves, but it soon became clear that Richmond was home and this city was where I needed to stay.
Lately, I've been reminded time and time again that this city is my favorite.
Spending beautiful evenings on the lawn of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts just coloring and relaxing, returning with friends on Friday nights for their happy hours, Saturdays spent by the James River and on Brown's Island for the Richmond Folk Festival, Sunday afternoons at my favorite coffee shop with open mics and vanilla lattes, leisurely walks around the neighborhood that take me past Agecroft Hall and the Virginia House and tree-lined streets of the most charming houses, restaurant and bar hopping with friends on the weekends to dance and watch soccer games and eat french fries...this River City is home. This is the place I love. I can't imagine being anywhere else.
This place is my place. I'm grateful to call it home.
Have you ever been somewhere physically but felt far away mentally? Standing on a hill by the river as bluegrass music played from the massive stage behind me this weekend, I felt that way. I was there, but I wasn't. I hated the feeling. I couldn't place it, couldn't quite define it, definitely couldn't explain it.
I wasn't fully present.
But I want to be. I want to live my life intentionally, wholeheartedly, meaningfully. I want to be present. I want to turn my phone off and keep it away, knowing the notifications can wait, that being fully present matters more. I want to eliminate distractions and focus my attention. I want to sift through the emotions and the doubt and the worry and stress and let it all settle so I can be still and be there.
I want to be fully present.
It will take effort, but it will be worth it. I want to live in the moment, eyes open, all in.
I realized recently that I'm not good at asking for things. I think I'm afraid I'll be heartbroken or disappointed if I ask for things or pray for things and then they don't happen. I'm realizing how prideful that is, that I think my desires are the ultimate best thing for me. I know my God is gracious and good, and I know His plans are best, but I hold on to my own hopes and dreams and desires because I'm afraid they won't be His and I selfishly don't want to let them go. I want to pray boldly. I want to give voice to the things in the deep parts of my heart and hold them with open hands-- if He wants to take them, if He wants to give them, if He wants to transform them, if He wants to hold on to them for longer... I want to trust His will and His way above my own wants and wishes. I want to pray honestly and vulnerably and totally openly. I want to ask. I want to praise. I want to worship. I want to pray without ceasing.
I want to look like You.
I want to act like You.
I want to move like You.
I want to pray like You.
I want to love like You.
I want to serve like You.
I want to lead like You.
I want to worship like You.
I want to sacrifice like You.
I want to be like You.