Discovering more of who we are can be an ongoing process. If we choose to become a better version of who we are today, we must be willing to embrace change and transformation and break away from things like complacency and competition. Some of us may prefer to stay in our comfortable bubble because it provides security, and we are good just as we are. There are those of us who thrive in competition, and look for the next best thing because we must win at all cost, or we need to be better than the person next to us. I am personally guilty of living in a comfortable box within a competitive box, which led to a tunneled perspective and lifestyle. I’m now choosing to live outside of my box. So what does living outside my box look like? I really don’t think there is a one-solution formula to live it out, but I believe it’s about listening to the nudging of the inner voice and honoring all the desires of our heart.
Starting up Faithful Artisans and traveling to Africa would be two ways I chose to live outside of my box within a box. If someone told me I would be leaving the teaching profession to take a risk as an entrepreneur, I would’ve never believed it. I invested 12 years trying to perfect the art of teaching, and over time it provided stability and security I didn’t want to give up. In addition, spending 2.5 months in Africa and experiencing life outside of my comfort zone seemed unlikely and unimaginable. How could I give up precious time, when I had things to do and places to be?
I am discovering that venturing into a start-up business and traveling to a third world country is stretching me in ways I would’ve never imagined. Thankfully, I eventually end up resting in a place that brings forth overshadowing peace with my choices, but the process doesn’t particularly look graceful or promising on occasions. There are times when I find discouragement creeping in, and I end up dealing with unsettling doubts. Those are the moments I have to be reminded of my greater purpose and the grace of my Heavenly Father. He is the very reason I am choosing to walk in faith even when it seems impossible; He is the very reason I see hope in hopeless situations; and He is the very reason I pursue love even in challenging circumstances.
The vision of Faithful Artisans has evolved into something beyond my imagination and capabilities, but I trust I am the right fit to steward what was given because my Creator is the source of my creativity and abilities. However, I had to dig through layers of fears and insecurities before I could believe with confidence. Am I good enough? Will this business idea even work? Finance and marketing is not my forte, how am I going to pull this off? I am learning that my inadequacies and shortcomings will be covered by His grace, and I need to actively motivate myself to grow and learn in the areas of weaknesses. The opportunities for creative expression is limitless, and I believe Faithful Artisans can be the place where others and I can learn to explore and discover hidden talents.
I had no idea what to expect as I committed to do life in Africa for 2.5 months. Although my time here has only been a short 2 weeks, I’m radically being stretched and humbled by each cross-cultural encounter and communal experience. If I was still holding onto anything comfortable, I’m definitely being stripped of it all here in Mozambique! Learning to adjust to third world conditions mean, water source is limited and running water is more valuable than gold. We are encouraged to ration water and only allotted two 1.5 liter of water bottles to wash up. My perception of cleanliness has taken on new meaning and purpose, and I’m learning to let go! As a foreigner in a country, you learn very quickly that it’s important to commune and converse with them, despite the language barrier. As westerners, we often think our way of living is better than those living in third world countries. However in reality, I’m discovering that they’re so much richer and fuller in spirit, and we have so much more to learn from them. The people of Mozambique carry immense passion, and they live life with abundant fervor. The Mamas, Papas and especially the children of Mozambique, demonstrate what sacrificial and overflowing love looks like. They are teaching me how to find joy in any and all circumstances because we have the choice and power to decide how we live our life.
From my heart to yours #9
How many boxes have you placed yourself in? Do you want to get out? What does living outside of your box look like for you?
I'm using this space to simply share the meaningful things that burn my heart and the random things that run through my mind. Simply desiring more vulnerability and authenticity in my life.