Finding Eden Part II

This post is a lot of things. But mainly a huge life download for those of you who are looking to learn a little more about my little laid down life. And also, I think virtual journaling is a much easier way for me to document all the happenings in life. So much happens. And so fast.

It's surreal how fast time passes. Like surreal. And am I the only one who feels like each year seems to go by even faster than the last?! I mean, can someone tell me where did the first half of my twenties go?! Really, I'd like a pause button, please.

It feels like yesterday, I was just barely married playing house with my high school sweetheart, Michael, with no plan except to have no plan. Because when you get married at 19, you don't have plans. You're 19. And plans are for boring people, obviously. I'm kidding. Sort of. We weren't totally clueless/plan-less. We had three plans. Love each other hard. Love Jesus hard. And make our way to Colorado. Scratch that. Two plans. Moving to Colorado was never gonna happen on less than $20,000/year and a serious Free People addiction, LOL. 

So we loved each other, loved Jesus, and innocently believed the rest would fall into place. 

 
 Our wedding day!

Our wedding day!

 

I was working as a nanny and Michael as the Worship Director at our church. Neither of us were in school when we first got married, because school is for boring people, and being full-time married is the only life to live. YOLO. It was more than that though. We both have always believed we would further our education with purpose, and not out of "oh, this is just the thing to do". 

Being a nanny was grand. Serving the family unit was rewarding, more than rewarding. Right up my alley. And the family I was working for was like a mini-version of the Kardashian Empire. At least for a small town girl like me who had only ever vacationed in Panama City and thought AppleBees was eating fancy. This was next level times a hundred. Money was bleeding out of their ears, they had exquisite homes, billionaire friends, and the vacations...oh, the vacations. Lavish. They literally rented a castle in the middle of France while we were vacationing in Europe. A castle. We lived in a literal castle for a week. And now I tell everyone I meet, that I'm related to Kate Middleton. And if you couldn't put this together on your own: PCB is dead to me.  

 
 Me in a castle bed!

Me in a castle bed!

 Literal Castle we lived in!

Literal Castle we lived in!

 

Eventually, it was back to reality. I knew I couldn't only be passionate about croissants and snuggling forever. Time to get my head in the game. Get on with my calling. So within a year, I re-enrolled in college and played around with pretty much every degree under the sun; trying to meld it into the glimpse of a life dream I had when I was 14. Serving/restoring/nourishing women and families through the Love and power of Jesus. Nothing degree-wise stuck. I guess in hindsight it felt like I was barking up the wrong tree. And I was. I was searching for my path in a student handbook, because it's what you're supposed to do. It's how you get to where you're going. It's how you get into your purpose. Pft. Mumbo, jumbo.

Those thoughts didn't last long, thankfully. Sitting with Jesus tends to destroy false perspectives. And when you sit with Him long enough, paths unfold. Steps are ordered. It just happens. I love Him.

Remember that life dream I was just talking about. Serving/restoring/nourishing women and families through the Love and power of Jesus. Pretty broad stuff. I guarantee it's a dream 90% of christian girls/women have all around the world. Yet, it's the most personal special intimate thing to me. It's like God himself knocked on the door of my heart and I opened the door to find a perfect box wrapped with an even more perfect bow, and inside was the most perfect thing of all. A God dream that I could host if I was willing. So, I figured it was time to get things in order and stop trying to shove the dream of God into a manmade structure or four year timeframe. What freedom. In letting the dream speak for itself, pave the way, illuminate the path. That's how you get to divine places.

Soon after that realization, things started happening. I started diving into this little voice that called had called me to nourish, restore, serve women a families. So many directions I could go with that. So, I dug deeper. I became fascinated with beginnings. The beginnings of life. The beginnings of earth and space and time. Where it all started. The ultimate beginning.

Eden.

It all started there. I found that God likes beginnings. He likes process. He likes foundation. He likes birth. And so did I. Man oh man, was I not just head over heels for birth, the beginning of the family. So that was my direction. Birth and beginnings and serving women in the midst of them. 

I knew some sort of schooling was probably back on the table so onto google I went. And dun dun dun. That's where I learned about doulas. Read a book on the heart and history of a doula and was like, yeah, that's me in a nutshell. Literally doula means: women serving women. HA. I started researching doula training programs and came across Birth Arts, which I ultimately ended up choosing. Guys, I wept through the course manual. I can't describe the feeling I had...maybe overwhelmed, in awe...or the feeling you get when you walk in the front door of your home and melt into your bed after a long time away...yeah, home is a good way to say it. I felt like I belonged in that program and I as I was reading through the that course manual, it was echoing my heart in ways I didn't have words for. And to keep this dramatic doula saga short, I enrolled, completed the program, started Eden House, got on with my merry little doula way. (You can read more about the beginnings of Eden House here.)

 
 My sweet Lizzie moments after giving birth to her Shane. Me: behind the lens in doula bliss. 

My sweet Lizzie moments after giving birth to her Shane. Me: behind the lens in doula bliss. 

 

Not long after that, I found myself accepting a once in a lifetime opportunity at DawningLife Midwifery as a student midwife. And THAT story is one for another day. Because it is straight up Holy Spirit magic. Ordered steps in the seemingly mundane. And I am no good at keeping things short; so yeah, we're gonna stick a pin in it for now.

Back to Eden House. I knew/know it's bigger than just being a doula or a midwife. It's bigger than the shop and this blog. All of this. And basically, It's my life to discover what I mean by that. Michael and I know it's for both of us. He came to me in September of 2017 and knew God was telling him that he would have a place in Eden House. We have NO CLUE what that even looks like. He's not doula material...hates the word uterus/menstrual/colostrum...gets nauseous talking about placentas..just not his thing. And he's not an herby guy either. He's come a LONG way, but he still buys deodorant that makes me think swear words.

But that's what I love about God. He's bigger than what we can see or formulate or make logical sense out of. Sometimes He tells you to build a boat when you've never seen rain. And you've got to go for it like it's your full time job. You've got to build on dry land. You've got put your every resource into it. Because God doesn't mess around with His plans. He doesn't flippantly talk to us with pretty words and empty promises. He sees things through. And He sends rain. Even if it might take a while. Like years even. Because maybe the boat is not even for you. It's for your kids and their kids. Doesn't matter, you've just got to go for it and trust he'll send the rain when it's time. 

That's where me and the hubs landed. On going for it. Head to toe going for it. We've gotten clear direction in some ways, and other things are still like what even, no clue, how though, whattttt?!? Can't find many examples of awesome miraculous god fueled stories unfolding without a few/ton of those. So welcome to the club, I guess. We figure those unknowns only become known when everything in our life starts to align with what we do know. Why is that so hard? For the love of Jesus, Joseph, and Mary, please give me steps 1-10 before you expect me to even think about moving off of ZERO. Why isn't knowing step 1 enough? HA. Faith faith faith. We are working on it. Hard.

That brings me to last October when I just knew that I knew that I knew Eden House was going to involve a piece of property about 30 times bigger than our 1 acre lot in the suburbs of Atlanta. Michael and I sat on that a few days and ultimately were like what are we doing? Is this house serving the purpose of God on our life? Let me rewind to say, our house was WAY too big for our family of TWO. We were paying out the WAZOO for it. And had spent 4 years filling it to the brim with pintresty crap; including hardwood floors financed by a Wells Fargo credit card!! Typical american dream am i right? That's where you get when you're living just to live. I don't mean we were heathens or anything crazy, well I might have been crazy, but diving into purpose changes things. Now we are learning to filter all the things we do in our life through the lens of what God has said over us. Even when we only see in part. What does this decision we are about to make serve? Is it helping us build the boat? Which is how we ultimately decided to get out of that house. If God has shown us that Eden House involved lots of land, then lets go for it.

Let's put our life, hands, heart, soul, money, and everything we do/are where His heart is. 

My parents live a few miles away in a house with a house in the basement. It's a nice set up. And once hearing our hearts and our plan to sell our house, they welcomed us in with open arms. (This may have been because they had just binge-watched Parenthood on Netflix.) Good timing. Not sure, but regardless, they were cool enough to open their basement for us and allow us to build our savings much quicker. Literal angels in human form.

So there we went. A final farewell to our first home and into the dungeons of my parents basement. JK. Really though, it wasn't all rainbows. Most of my friends were in the middle of joanna gaines-ing their homes, or buying new homes entirely. I spent the last day in our home recording a 10 minute video of me walking through every room a sobbing mess because we had just freaking installed those glorious hardwoods, and the memories...of course the memories..but, yeah, mainly the hardwoods. A thorn in my flesh.

That was in December 2017 and now we are nearly half way through 2018. Again time goes too fast. We've made drastic changes. Like I haven't bought a single item of clothing/shoes/decor since February 2017. DRASTIC. (Bought a blazer from goodwill for a costume party...does that count?) Seriously, we are building this boat like it's our full time job. Giving like we never have before. Learning to say no. Investing in divine relationships. Getting out of what's comfortable and familiar. Pulling a Carrie Underwood and letting Jesus take the whole flipping wheel to find He is connecting us with people we never would have thought of on our own. Changing habits and creating new ones that serve His purpose better. Going for it.

It's a forever journey ahead. But every day we go a little deeper into Infinite Eden. It's our endless exploration of a God who knows no bounds.

It's our story of Finding Eden. 

 

What's your story look like? What are you exploring? What's your boat?

Tell me in the comments and let's be friends!

Until Next Time,


LIV