Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wired For Travel

Pioneer Woman tied for third place as my first blog crush. (She shares the crown with Meg Duerksen and Katie Stratton.) I will believe to my dying day that I alone chose the bar stools for The Lodge. All I know is, I sent a link to Sundance and the next thing I knew, there they were, all cozied up to the knotty pine. I don't hold it against her that she didn't thank me personally. She's a tough nut to begrudge. Plus, we have so much in common, not limited to: a love for real butter, a penchant for nicknaming people/places/things, and a Pastor Ryan.

(Does she still have Pastor Ryan? (We've grown apart a bit as of late.) (Love you forever, Ree!))

Her Pastor Ryan has some tattoos, if I recall. Ours recently inked himself up as well. Hers likes to cook. So does ours. As Silas would say, "We twins with pastor Ryans!"

He picks on me as much as humanly possible and he, through much goading and peer pressure, is responsible for my launch into blogdom, way back in the days of my beloved xanga blog.

Ryan is currently taking part in Jeff Goins' 15 Day Writing Challenge and as such, he's sharing with us about the journey he finds himself on these days. (Hint: It may sound a bit familiar.)

Without further ado...

As a young child, we weren't the sort of family that did much traveling. Sure we went to grandma's, but she lived only two blocks over. There were the occasional summer trips to the amusement park, but it was my aunt and uncle arranging for me to tag along while mom and dad stayed home. Traveling just wasn't something my family did much of, for better or for worse. Strangely though, I feel  I've been wired to desire travel. I like to head off in search of new destinations. And while I don't always venture far, and sometimes get stressed traversing uncharted roadways, travel is something I enjoy. It's the thrill of discovering new places and new vistas that appeals to me. In large portion, this is likely why I enjoy geocaching so much, or treasuring hunting as our five-year-old refers to it. When you travel you run the risk of losing yourself in the pathways of the unknown and for me, that's the joy of the journey.

As of late, I've been on a journey. A personal journey of sorts. This journey I'm finding myself on is one that has stirred my soul, that has gripped my heart and is reforming me into something different--something new. It's fair to say this is a spiritual journey. This journey of mine is rewriting the way I think about and view life. It's causing me to learn a new language and posture as I witness the world around me. I'm becoming more and more certain each day that this is the sort of journey you don't go back on, rather you move through.

It wasn't all that long ago that I was a lot like everyone else. I wasn't much different from the friends I kept, or the people I engaged with. I was setting out to live my life well, and the goals of my life didn't venture me more past being content and comfortable. I had aspirations for nice things, and for safety for my family. I was content with the status quo of life around me and quite honestly, everything was good. Or at least that's what I thought.

The reality was, things weren't good. They were safe and they were comfortable yes, but this as I'd come to find out, wasn't good. Like the slow drip of a leaky faucet, my life had become more and more disenfranchised with the world I saw around me, and believed myself to be a part of. The thought that haunted me late at night was that there had to be more to life than what I currently saw and was experiencing. I knew in my spirit that this sense of uneasiness was more than just something to keep me awake at night. The unsettled feeling I was struggling to ignore, I knew was coming from God. 

While trying to push the restlessness of my spirit to the background, I finally gave in and I opened myself up to the possibility that maybe God was positioning me for something more. Like any good traveler is prone to do, I sought out direction. After all, if I was embarking on a new adventure, I figured I'd better pick up a traveling partner or two. What started off as coffee with a fellow adventurer, has lead to a three plus year journey of walking a path I can't seem to see more than five feet ahead on. Normally, this would cause me a fair amount of stress and strain. But I'm learning through this process to trust instead of fear or doubt. I'm learning to risk instead of play it safe. I'm learning to obey instead of do things my way. And for my efforts I'm finding myself on an adventure that is placing me and my family in the company of like-minded, like-hearted individuals who cheer and push me to keep pressing on. I'm discovering a new freshness to life that is far more concerned with my neighbor than with myself. I'm learning to love letting go of my wants, desires, and possession and instead give those things away to another who desperately needs them more than I do. I'm coming to more fully understand a broader definition of love and how to reveal that to people all around me. 

What I'm finding exciting in the midst of this adventure is that there are still far more blank pages than filled pages in my travelogue. Where will this journey take me? I haven't a clue. But this I know, I'm open. I'm wide open to go wherever and to whom ever God would so choose to put along the mile markers of my path. I'm a traveler and I have stories to tell and stories waiting to be written. And so do you.
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  1. Thanks Shannan for the opportunity to share a bit of myself to your readers. I must say too, I enjoyed your intro more than my post (but I guess that ought to be expected). I'd forgotten about all those days jumping your case to start blogging. I'm glad I didn't let up and you gave in. You are a true word-smith my dear and I'm so blessed to hear your voice.

  2. my first blog addiction was young house love; that is til I stumbled upon this little site called fpfg (well small-ish at the time now it's nearly 2,000 strong from what I recall. can't tell I'm on my phone.) thanks pastor ryan for sharing your heart & also a BIG thank you for encouraging our girl shannan to blog. what a blessing she is.

  3. Going to check out the pastor. I know a guy like that. He used to make fun of me from the pulpit. Good times. He wasn't a ryan as muchas a Louie.
    Anyhoo I read a book called Sun Stand Still. It was challenging, if I can use such a calm word to describe it. I want to read your Anything recommend. Maybe then I won't be so fearful of all the things I am supposed to be wide open to. :/ look. I am so upset with myself that I am being Insane. I just used a preposition at the end of a sentence. Bah.

  4. Good stuff. I think the hardest part is deciding to take the leap into the unknown. Then the fun begins. The mulling it over can be agonizing though...just let go. And I'm talking to myself just as much as anyone else!!

    Angie from Ohio

  5. GREAT POST:) Your blog is so wonderful and I want to follow, do you have facebook??

    If you want some Swedish d├ęcor inspiration, you can check out my blog:)
    Have a great weekend.

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis.se

  6. I'm gonna let my sweet husband know about Pastor Ryan's blog.
    I think he might enjoy it, too.

    Oh, and yeah, about Ree. Ditto.
    I'm sure I was one of only 15 followers back in the day. (Not.) And, that when she was posting the early chapters to her book - which wasn't a book yet - she was taking suggestions from me. (Yeah, sure. Coulda happened. Not.)

  7. Love this! I love the last 2 lines there of Pastor Ryan's post. Chills.

    I love thinking of us all as sojourners. Co-journers. I'm thankful that the Same Spirit speaks to us and reminds us we're never alone in this journey.

    Wonderful words!