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Abiding vs. Striving - Tracunhaem

I'm not a fan of the taste of sugar cane. I had a chance to try it once when I was visiting the surrounding areas of Carpina when in Brazil. What I didn't see coming was my fondness for the location of Tracunhaem.

The architecture, colors, pottery, and art caught my attention. Artwork and pottery lined the roads in front of houses. The brick and clay contrast against the beautiful blue sky. The people of Tracunhaem have their pottery just outside their homes for purchase. No one steals it because they understand that it's art, it decorates the area, but it's also how people make a living. One of the artists allowed us to come into his home to see his pottery workshop.

I found it amazing that these artists had their shops in their homes. They lived their lives in such a relaxing way from my perspective. Wake up, create beautiful art, and enjoyed their families when it got too dark to work. All this happening in and around their homes. It felt honest, genuine, and peaceful. I am not naive to think that their lives are any different from mine regarding trouble. I just loved the thought of the intimacy that comes from being and doing what you are created to do. To live simply. To live intentionally. To live purposely.

Intentionality doesn't equal striving. I think I have had that mixed up in my mind. You can be intentional, but not strive so hard. Why do we work so hard? Finances? Prestige? Honor?

"We’re working so hard to bloom, to bend, to please that we’ve neglected the soil from which we flourish.” - Ruth Chou Simmons, When Strivings Cease

I want to be a person that cultivates what matters. To live with purpose. In this season after foster care, I know that one of my calls is to rest. Rest can take place in many ways. What does rest look like with an almost five-year-old, four-year-old, and three-year-old? Does that even exist?

I'm looking forward to closing this chapter of foster care. Spending more time in my art studio. Spending more time writing. Living out some of the beautiful values I saw in Tracunhaem. Family, Art, and Creativity. I'm looking forward to taking the time to enjoy our family, working through the grief and trauma resulting from our kiddos being in the system. Healing. Digging into what real rest looks like ending a chapter of advocating—slowing down—being able to take deep breaths. Abiding. What season of life are you in right now? Are you living it by striving or abiding? Be intentional, be purposeful, but lose the striving.

"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." John 15:4-5
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