My heart yearns for an adventure that isn’t about sharing and showing, producing and performing, instant success and results, beautiful pictures and interesting places, or hustle addictions and adrenaline rushes.
Our fast-moving, scrolling-obsessed, constantly connected and consuming culture keeps me bloated, undernourished, and lacking the most valuable nutrients. Although, healed from an eating disorder, I can easily fall prey to this anorexic, anemic kind of lifestyle. News and social media feeds serve us more information than we know what to do with. We feel full, but it’s all empty calories, cheap food, a tasteless watery substance.
I am deceived into thinking I am happy and content, blinded to my extreme lack, death prowling inches behind me.
There is no adventure in this anorexic lifestyle, in fact the two cannot exist together, but we don’t realize it until we turn towards Him. I had convinced myself I had community, intimacy, and joy. I thought I was practicing health, finding beauty, and walking in my identity. But I was starved of satisfying foods and delicious flavors, my body was unable to identify its own depravity until I said yes to Him.
Jesus leads us out of our self-preservation mindset, of controlling, containing, and comparing, and into the thick of mystery, untamed Gospel beauty, where extravagant, selfless love runs free, our trust is unhindered, and we no longer take center stage.
Everyday Jesus invites us to walk down another path. He doesn’t give us a map, all He says is follow me.
Then He reminds us of our new name, one that more adequately defines all of who we really are in exchange for the flat, thin, branded identities we’ve given ourselves to try and be noticed, known, and celebrated.
It’s true, we weren’t meant for this tight, womb-like living, where our safety and success is our main concern.
We were created to come alive to our own adventure with God. To forsake our natural inclinations to find thrill and beauty out there, and instead discover it here, plunging our hands into the soil of His love, pitching our tents below the starry sky of His promises.
An all-day, every day adventure where we come home smelling of dirt, fresh green leaves, our soul revived, romanced, and awakened to life in all its fullness.
Sadly, we disregard His promptings, and in the place of God’s gentle whispers we welcome distractions to divert our attention from the aches and desires welling up within us.
In an effort to satisfy our raging appetite for quick relationships and praiseworthy results, we throw our fragile hearts and holy lives unconcernedly out into the world, allowing the crowds to determine our worth and our next steps. We sacrifice long, slow intimacy with Jesus for brief, passing moments of appreciation and fame.
I too easily settle for anorexic, anemic living – getting full on all the wrong things.
But our freedom and healing doesn’t come if we just sit back and do what we’ve always done, mindlessly moving in circles through life, and staying cooped up in the fetal position of temporary comfort and the womb of warmth.
It’s time to grow steadily in the rhythms that empower us to keep coming alive to our own adventure with God each day, instead of hastily moving through life on hashtags, allowing ourselves to be float along on good feelings, or obeying the latest formula to make six figures or finally find fulfillment.
I am coming alive to my own adventure with God and it looks different than I imagined; it’s more difficult than I thought.
It means putting down my passport, whatever our ticket is to escape, and traversing the well-worn paths of our days with the perspective of an inquisitive pioneer on a risky undertaking with a wild God.
“To be nobody but
yourself in a world
which is doing its best day and night to make you like
everybody else means to fight the hardest battle
which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.”
It means obeying the whispers of bravely stepping into the quiet unknown…resting in the sacred mystery of following Him without fretting over the future outcome.
“…every mystery is an invitation to discovery; every unanswered question is just some form of goodness not yet in full view.” Brettley Ruggles
To walk slowly, releasing the buildup of pressure to perform and succeed, letting Him determine what matters most (instead of me) and allowing Him to redirect me when it feels inconvenient or inefficient.
“…there is a need for a subversive few willing to reclaim thoughtfulness and pondering, to recognize the limitations of what they can produce and to discover creative freedom within gracious boundaries. There is a hole in our society longing to be filled with a reclaimed definition of personhood, one that prioritizes productivity, but does not make it king…”
Abby Perry, Inventory of Wonders: Soulful Living in an Age of Production
It means putting both feet into my season, engaging with my story instead of trying to always tell it-planting gardens, cooking food, painting sunsets, holding my babies, caring for our neighbors across the street, and rooting myself not in a place, but in a Person whose Kingdom reigns here.
“For you to bear abundant, enduring fruit, God needs to make you bigger on the inside than you are on the outside. You have to let Him build your root system in secret before He leads you into making a visible impact in the world.”
Banning Liebscher, Rooted
It means accepting the invitation to write and create and work, more for revelation and delight, not for responses– worrying less about how many people acknowledge or read it.
“We’re in a unique time in history when creating in a closet or producing something or experiencing the beauty of God, alone, and in private, feels antiquated.”
Sara Hagerty, A Note to Creative Types
To listen to the spirited, carefree, intuitive version of myself; the 8-year old girl standing in the foamy surf with wispy hair and a passion to explore the world- yes, she still lives inside me.
“We need Sabbath. We need rest. We need to stop and breathe and sleep and play and talked and go on a walk when the wind is soft and the sun is winding down.” John Mark Comer, Garden City
It means leaping into and lingering in the secret place not to receive information, but to revel in His incarnation– His presence, beauty, and love is with me even now.
“Do something dangerous. Get alone with God.”
Bob Sorge, Secrets of the Secret Place
To sneak behind the stage lights, duck beneath the clean-cut images, reach beyond the pretty appearance, where my unseen hours are worship and His glory rises up from the offerings of another Monday, where sharing His goodness seeps slowly out like rich sap from the overflow of my small heart.
“It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God—but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people—and this is not learned in five minutes.” Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
It means stopping long enough to acknowledge the Voice rousing me to awaken to my own romantic adventure, to gaze into God’s eyes, taking His fingers between mine, and realizing a woman in love has no need to constantly gauge, measure, and compare herself with others.
“Attention, success, and comparison hold my soul hostage and refuse to negotiate until they get what they want. Spoiler alert: They want everything. And they are never satisfied. They will never let you go.”
Emily P. Freeman, Simply Tuesday
To sit with friends, planting seeds of truth into their heart, layering words of encouragement over their dreams, doing the invisible work of simply showing up in people’s lives, listening intently, and giving them space to be themselves.
“Gospel-humility is not needing to think about myself….I stop connecting every experience, every conversation, with myself. In fact, I stop thinking about myself. The freedom of self-forgetfulness. The blessed rest that only self-forgetfulness brings.” Tim Keller
You, my friend, were not meant to live a thin life, covered in the shroud of fear. It’s time we listen to the music of adventure, the rhythms that dance us out of our familiar, coddled comfort zones.
“…we cannot allow fear to prevent us from the exhilaration, joy and adventure that fills a life marked by listening to God. To live a listening life is to open ourselves to surprise, to our routines being interrupted, and to paths we did not intend to walk but that arrive at places of breathtaking beauty we might have missed.” Adam McHugh, The Listening Life
It’s time for you and I to give ourselves permission to try something new, instead of being paralyzed by what others will think of us, or even what we’ll think of ourselves.
It’s time to travel deeper out towards Him, release yourself from the usual excuses and let them drift away like abandoned balloons floating through the sky.
It’s time to take whatever tiny faith you have and see how far He leads you with it.
It’s time to stop looking around us for inspiration and looking to Him for the invitation-to come alive to our own adventure- a journey beyond ourselves and into His heart.
Let’s follow Him on a real adventure!
A few words about the Art of Adventure Blog and Shop…
First, I will be hushing the constant hum of social media, but I will still be writing in this space. With that being said, if you’d like to be notified when new posts go up each week, you can subscribe by entering your email in the form on the sidebar where it says, “Subscribe to New Posts” or follow along with Bloglovin’ here.
Second, you’re invited to come alive to your own adventure too! Over the next few months I will be sharing more on living out rhythms of adventure in our every day. I hope you’ll join us! Also, I’d love to hear if you are turning towards adventure in your life and what it looks like for you… Please write me an email here and I will be sure to respond: charissaann at gmail dot com or leave a comment below!
Third, I will continue sending out free inspiring resources and updates from the shop via my newsletter that goes out the first week of every month. You can let me know you’d like to receive that here. Then next one goes out Friday!
Words I’ve been tucking away for this slower, secret, sacred soul adventure that you might enjoy too:
Jonathan and Melissa Helser’s podcast on Sustainability
Chasing Slow, Erin Loechner
Love Lives Here, Maria Goff
Christine Willard’s blog, especially this one- In Still Waters
Focusing on the One, by Bekah Jane Pogue
Finding Peace That Surpasses All Understanding, Brettley Ruggles
Secrets in the Secret Place, Bob Sorge
Simply Tuesday, Emily P. Freeman
Falling Free, Shannan Martin