Friday, January 18, 2013

content to stay put.

I've had many interesting conversations the past year, as my friends and family have tried to figure out what exactly is going on in my head, and what my plans are for the future. Sounds like a pretty normal thing to do, it's just…I didn't have an answer.

Since I was young, I knew I would go to college because that's what everyone did after they turned eighteen. My cousins did, my babysitters did, all the older kids on my swim team did, and siblings of my church friends did. Who didn't?

Well, I've come a long way since then, and by this time last year, I knew that I didn't have to go to college - and even more drastic: I didn't *want* to. 

So I started praying. "Lord, what do You want me to do?"

And the answer that came back, was almost an urge, a command: "Be happy, and stay home."

In other words, "Be content to stay put."

Okay, not that hard. I liked being at home. I thought I would be content. I didn't want to leave, I wanted to stay home, to learn the skills I'll need with my own family some day, to be my mama's right hand, to be available for others, to have free time to practice music and sing and do drama and all that. But that deceitful thing called the human heart can get in the way.

Because "everyone" else went away. Well, not really everyone. But a lot of people. My piano group class. My Spanish class. My old homeschool friends. Swim team friends. Scores of friends and acquaintances graduated high school this summer, and headed off to their respective colleges - some near, some far. I was ready, I knew this was coming….but I still felt left behind. {you can read my thoughts on that here}

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" ~ Matthew 6:25-26

That linked post was written before the school year even started - just anticipation. And now, here I am, with a whole "break year semester" behind me - and starting on the next one. And now, folks are starting to realize that when I said I was taking a "break year"…I wasn't ever planning on going back. Granted, there will be select few who will still cling to the hope that I may go to "real school"…but that's okay.

Now, right this minute, this month, this week, I am finally happy. Joyful. Excited. Content to stay put. Actually VERY excited. Life in God's will has been so much more of an adventure than I'd ever dared to hope.

“Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation 
you believe to be the will of God.” ~ Jim Elliot 
“God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him” ~ Jim Elliot

Many of y'all have asked me about my plans for this year, and I haven't really answered you. That's mainly because somethings aren't quite solid yet. But here's a basic idea of what I've been doing, and what (Lord willing) I will be doing in the next few months:
  • I'm working a couple days as a week as an aide at our church preschool. It's a sweet job, convenient, safe, and covers my few expenses. Sometimes I substitute teach there, and that's fun. I'm getting real experience with managing time and finances, as well as learning skills that will be helpful for teaching my own children someday, Lord willing.
  • I play piano on the worship team pretty frequently, and started violin lessons again with a gal from church. I don't like the latter instrument as much, but it's growing on me, thanks to Ashley. *grin* 

  • On the home front, I spend a good amount of time cooking and doing odd chores and things that Mama doesn't always have time to do. I try to spend extra time with Josh and Zanna on the mornings when I'm home, and this spring I'm working out my schedule to add date times in with my older-younger siblings. All of us are gearing up for the spring musical, Annie, which starts rehearsals next month. I can't believe I haven't been on stage since Bye Bye Birdie, and that it's been almost two months since Charlie closed. Time flies!
  • Ellerslie. I submitted my application on Thursday evening, and won't hear back about my spot for another couple weeks. But my prayer, hope, desire, is to attend their nine-week course from June till August, with the option to continue on for the advanced-course in future. Whether I would do that right away or not is up to the Lord. My desire right now is to do Ellerslie for the summer, then come home and stay here - either here in Charlottesville doing much of what I'm doing now, or go on a mission trip somewhere (I have ideas - but they're not solid enough to share).

So that's my life right now. God is good, and is growing me. I'm thankful that I am at this point in my life, where I have given everything up to Him to direct and control. That stupid, sinful side of me that thinks that I know better than God tries to rear its ugly head from time to time, and sadly, I do not always go to the Lord in prayer for His guidance. But I am learning. And it's encouraging.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~ Jeremiah 29:11

Here I am. Happily content to stay put.
all pictures were taken from my dad and my trip to Colorado in November. 
Yes, the picture under the "Ellerslie" bullet point is ACTUALLY Ellerslie.


  1. I completely agree, Liza. I'm only a sophomore, and already my friends are asking me where I plan to attend college, what major I'd like to pursue, etc. They all have it fixed in their heads that I'm destined to be an English major, and then will spend the rest of my life as a literature professor (a pleasant prospect, that :P). I keep trying to explain as politely as possible that I don't agree with the material that colleges teach, and I think they cost an exorbitant amount of money for the little I'd get out of it. Further, college is *not* the end-all, be-all. There are other ways. Perhaps it isn't even college itself that annoys me so much as the young people who feel it's their only option.

    As for myself, I'll probably be staying home, either working at a job or for my dad, until I'm married. Of course I still want to write books; it's the only career I've ever wanted or pursued. The wonderful thing about writing is that it can be so versatile and doesn't require a demanding schedule, so long as the writer in question is of a disciplined nature (working on that . . .). I also want to travel more, finally learn to play the piano, learn Italian and improve my Spanish and French, read more books, and assist my mother in homeschooling my younger siblings. It's not at all what my friends want for me, and they all are a bit confused, since apparently they've harbored thoughts of my being an English major since I was five (to which I answer, "okayyyy . . ."), but there comes a point when my words about following God and not the world have to be put to the test. I'm a little worried about the increase in questions and queer looks as the time approaches, but I'm also excited about the added freedom and confident in my decision. It will be a new and interesting time in my life, that's for sure. ;)

    I loved this post, dear. :)

  2. Liza, dear, I love this post and am so very encouraged by your attitude and the way you've grown even in the past year.

    And, for the record, people are generally idiots and don't let them ruin your spirit with their opinions. After all if you are following the direction God has placed before you who cares what people think?

    Love you.

  3. Amen. "Godliness with contentment is great gain." Thanks for exemplifying this. The pictures are gorgeous. God's great blessing to you.

    ~ The Ordinary Princess