moonlight and sunrise

This morning I hopped into my car and drove off in search of my love, rest and a handful of adventure. The moon was still shining brightly above me, and my breath cast a deep shadow which swirled against the backdrop of the wild frigid wind.

Forty-Five minutes into my drive the sunshine still had not shown its face, my hands were still gloved and frozen, and I found myself stalled behind a caravan of early morning worker-people motorists and a parade of yellow school buses. In other words, my impatience got the better of me, my neck was starting to tense and I forgot to enjoy the magic of seeing dark turn to light.

So, what did I do?

I prayed for God to help me find rest in Him, in nature, in time spent with my loved ones. Thankfully, God already knew that I had been craving a restful getaway + adventure lately and He (alongside my accommodating boss) so graciously gifted me with four days off of work. Paint me blessed.

With my impatient heart restored to patience and eyes wide opened, I turned on the radio to 106.9 The Light and journeyed on. It was so nice to have an ongoing prayer and worship conversation going on with my King this morning. It's amazing to me how God can take something as simple as a mundane-no-turns-needed-hardly-ever car ride into an intimate worship session. It was awe-inspiring.

Speaking of awe-inspiring . . . Right about the time Indescribable by Chris Tomlin came on the radio, a frog jumped in my throat as I sang, and tears began to flood my eyes. I felt so free, and at rest. Then the sun began to rise timidly over the blue mountain hills before me, painting the sky in an ethereal icy blue and soft peach sky-canvas. The colors of the sky reminded me of my dear friend Rachelle, whose favorite colors are icy blue and peach. So then I started lifting up my best friend, the Daring Girl, in prayer.

Shortly after my eyes had dried, and my prayers for my dear-heart friend had been sent up to the lovely blue-peach painted skies, the song changed on the radio and it was just me and the flat-lander traffic getting well acquainted with one another again. As I drove closer and closer to my four and half hour away destination, the sun started rising higher and brighter and the colors shifted from blue-peach to rose pink and creamy yellow, which made me think of my other dearest sister-friend, Megs. Meghan's favorite colors just so happen to be pink and yellow. So, I started praying for Megs and her chosen One Word: Confidence.

Moonlight, prayer, worship, sunlight and surrender made for one awe-inspiring drive, I must say. And now I'm sitting criss-cross apple sauce on the floor, four and a half hours away from home, near the sandhills where I grew up, and life is good. I can overhear my *prayerfully* future in-laws chatting about their day in the living room right next to me. And I am at rest.

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embracing unknowns

image via

1em·brace verb\im-ˈbrās\

All I have is now, and now holds a lot of unknowns.

I've often wondered lately "What is going on in my heart and head?" I'm just gonna lay it out there . . . I really don't know what's going on, or how I feel about all of these crazy life changes that are about to come my way just yet. Sigh. I am ready, eager even, for God to show me what embrace is really all about this year. At least I think I'm ready? *bites nails and shudders*

Do I dare even ask it of Him, for fear of not liking what I might hear? 

"What is this act of embracing all about, Lord?" I've said these words, in thoughts alone, never uttered aloud for fear of being heard, many times over the last few days. So, right now I am going to let my veins free to bleed here in this safe place . . . my nest . . . and tell you what I DO KNOW.

Embrace scares me to death. This act of embracing my life, more deeply, more fully, somehow means that I must recognize, and accept, that I am not in control over my own life path. In plain speech, this means that this type-a person, who's a planner at heart and chaotic by nature, doesn't get to plan her every move after all, and this drives her crazy! You'd think, as a follower of the Way, that I would've dropped my stubborn tendencies long ago and discovered that my life is I AM's story, and not my own. *shrugs*

God is the ultimate planner; the one who pens my paths, not me. 

But no, because that would be too easy, after all. I haven't figured this out yet, apparently, control freak that I am. And cue the. . . OUCH! My stubborn Irish-German-Many-Other-Roots-Of-Pride falls again. I can't do life on my own. I can't figure out what embrace means on my own. I can't even begin to figure out when is the best time to turn the next page of my life by myself until God pens the next chapter for me. (Now I'm getting somewhere.) Maybe I'm just supposed to sit back and embrace this full-of-too-many-unknowns season God's given me and give it all to Him, because I sure don't know how to embrace life to the best of my ability every day without knowing what's going on and being in control, but God does! 

(Oops! Did I just say that out loud? Really, Sarah Elizabeth.)

Embrace means change and surrender and new growth, and welcoming all of the wonderful and yet also very terrifying things that frighten me, because I can't. see. ahead. for the life of me. Embracing in twenty-thirteen means (at least this is what I think it means for me) that not only will restlessness in the not knowing be a constant struggle for me to overcome, but I will also become vulnerable to His will in the most beautiful of ways if I will but have faith in the face of uncertainty.

Embrace + Faith = All I Have

I'm completely fine with some aspects of my seemingly frightening word, like: embracing (literally holding someone/something) and loving (Jared & Jesus) and cherishing (my dearest ones) and clasping (tightly onto my dreams.) Those are the easy ones, mind you, but like every object, word, or person there is dark vs. light and a flipside. My One Word has more than just one visible side as well; you need only look to see it.

Its the encircling and enclosing, the acceptance of the vastly changing seasons that are sure to come upon me soon . . . the learning of how to gently embrace life in the face of uncertainty that unnerves me and frightens me . . . like walls closing in around me, suffocating. I guess what I'm feeling right now must be part of His plans for me, somehow. I mean, why else would I need to walk through all of these doubts and frustrations, if not for a purpose beyond my understanding? *deep breath*

Deep breaths and prayers help.

To embrace requires me to let my arms fall to my forlorn sides, to spread my arms wings wide open, and to do the very opposite of embracing so that I can embrace. I must surrender. I must ask for direction. I must ask I AM to write my story and relieve my fears of the unknowns in my life. And in doing so, I know that I will someday become filled, fully able to live life more deeply, full of faith, as an embracer.

my one word for twenty-thirteen

yowzas. this is my first post in twenty-thirteen. another year has already come and gone; teaching me so very much, but more on that at a later date. i am fully ready to embrace this year wholeheartedly, with all of its sure-to-come mountain highs and valley lows. this year i have decided to not only embrace His peace, but to embrace the life He so greatly chooses to give me every day. this year i will seek to learn to embrace life more fully one day at a sweet time. 

won't you please consider following alongside me for this crazy change-filled ride this year, while i try to figure out what exactly all of this embrace stuff really means for this restless bird? i know that this year will bring about much change for me, my dear love, my family and my dear-heart friends. but are you also willing to embrace faithlove stronger and live life deeper alongside me and my Jesus in twenty-thirteen? if you just said yes to that question then it's absolutely great to have you alongside me on this adventure! i can't wait to share my story, my heart, my lessons learned, and to embrace life with you all a little bit more fully this year than ever before!

choosing to wildly embrace this year as a gift-given,
sarah elizabeth

pea ess... i'll explain later, in a more detailed post, what made me choose embrace as my one word. until then, why not tell me what your focusing on in twenty-thirteen? hit me up with some scripture and word love, okay?