As our time comes to a close for this trip I am reminded of how grateful we are for this past season. The title of this blog says it all. “All in”. I realize how easy it was to say that 6 months ago. How it just rolled off my tongue when carrying a conversation. Of course, that was before we boarded the plane and landed in a foreign country to chase after what we heard Father saying to us. Sometimes its easier to talk about it than to actually step out and do it. In the North American culture “talking” about “doing the do” sometimes trumps actually stepping out.

I’m thankful for the opportunity and courage God has placed in us to abandon it all and go blind. But I am reminded that sometimes we don’t get to see all the details. Quite frankly, most of us would never step out if we really knew what was coming and what was involved. But isn’t that what “faith” is all about? Not knowing what is coming, hoping for the best and taking each day in stride?

I’m not sure I would say I am full of faith. I mean let’s be honest, we all like “safe” as opposed to “unsafe”. Little did I know that taking my family around the world would be so rewarding yet so tough at times. Still, I wouldn’t trade this season for anything. As much as the last 6 months have had hurt and been filled with frustrations and unknowns, there was always the next sunrise to trust Him.

When you would rather not BE anywhere or DO anything else in the world… I think that is the “sweet spot”.

After all the dust has settled and we look back, we have been truly taken care of. Friends in Canada have been so faithful to connect and give when it hurts. We really couldn’t have made it without their support. It’s amazing how much a simple text or call can mean in a tough season. It’s a reminder that in the busyness of life, we all need each other.

“Busy-ness”…That word is interesting, isn’t it? The definition is “the state or condition of having a great deal to do.” I remember good friends of ours Bob and Audrey Miesner saying “never underestimate the barrenness of busy-ness”. In one of my favorite books called “The Principal of the Path”, one of the statements in there has stuck with me for years. “Progress in the wrong direction is not success”. So I ask the question: What has you busy?

As we prep to come back to Canada I fear of getting too busy. Too busy to remember what is important. Because at the end of the day, we all want to be successful and productive right?

As I roam the city here, I see how people survive and I see the contrast in culture. What we as North Americans see as slow or not productive passes for success here. The culture here in this beautiful country is so completely opposite to ours that sometimes I have to catch myself in frustration and re-evaluate. Maybe all these years we have been doing it wrong. Maybe, just maybe we chase the wrong things. Maybe we have become “barren”.

I got so used to walking out my front door and getting in my car to go wherever I need. Getting my tasks for the day done as quickly as possible without stopping to hear. Without stopping to see. Here, there is lots of time for those things. Sometimes too much time. The simple frustration when you can’t log in your bank app and just pay the bills in time to watch our favorite show. Or how about just going to the mall to grab something quick? Drive, park and run in and out. Here, good luck! Just paying the electrical bill can take an hour. Yes, an hour.

Why do I point all this out? Well, I have always loved challenging myself. Working on myself. But when is it really enough? Like when do we “arrive” so that we can be something? Maybe at 65 when we retire and hope we have enough to enjoy life? Or maybe when we or someone we love gets sick and we are forced to slow down and prioritize relationship? Maybe its time to slow down and let life pass you by a little. Stop and hear, stop and see.

As we enter Canada in another season of “unknowns” I find myself wondering:

  • What will I do?
  • What will be my purpose?
  • I have to have something that defines me, don’t I?

Whatever you find yourself doing, being or striving for, don’t forget to remind yourself as I reminded myself today through this blog to stop and listen, stop and look. Don’t be afraid to let life pass you by a little. Maybe, just maybe you will hear or see something you would have otherwise missed.

“All in”, isn’t what we think. But I am ready to be “All in” in the next season, and the next and the next. Are you?