Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

The four months since I quit my job have been some of the most liberating months of my life. It has been a time of exploration that has taken me to new horizons and unknown opportunities. I didn’t realize that when I made one leap, I was strengthening my muscles for more.

This willingness to take new risks has manifested itself in rather unexpected areas of my life:

I have always been a strict recipe follower, and lately, I’ve found myself taking the random-est things out of my fridge and experimenting. I’ve been amazed to discover that I can make decent food without a recipe!

Andy and I are reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I’m so excited to tidy our apartment and get rid of stuff, that I started KonMari-ing baby clothes this weekend. Our big cleaning weekend coming soon and I can’t wait!

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This is only the beginning of KonMari. The best is yet to come!

For the first time in my life, I subjected myself to a food challenge. My brother did it – and survived! – first. He is literally the only person in the world who could inspire me to try this torture. Basically, I lived off of vegetables, fish, turkey jerky and almond milk for two weeks. And I didn’t die! For a fatty food loving, sweet-tooth like me, it was nothing short of a miracle. I think I’m actually eating differently as a result. Don’t panic, I’m not attempting some no-carb, no-sweets crazy-town endeavor; we all know I would not survive. But, it has expanded my understanding of tasty (and healthier) possibilities in my eating repertoire.

I’ve jumped headfirst into writing children’s books. Maybe it’s more of a belly flop; not super graceful, but in the deep end right away. I’ve attended conferences, webinars, adult education classes and just recently earned a little scholarship to the Children’s Book Academy’s picture book class. I’ve raided the children’s library and holed up at local bookstores, scouring their picture books. I’ve read books about writing books. I’ve joined critique groups. I’ve written and revised and revised and revised stories and have a growing list of ideas for more. I’m serious and excited about this journey.

On the professional front, I’ve explored dimensions of education I’ve never considered before. I’ve explored philanthropy, start-ups and even tech. I’ve explored progressive school models in different communities. I’ve looked into higher education. And it has been a tremendously rewarding experience. I’ve learned there are many different ways to make a significant impact in education. I’ve also learned that opportunities abound. I didn’t see them there before I leapt into the unknown.

This period of exploration has been a gift. I have cherished every moment. My world feels like it has grown. There is more to discover and more to learn and I am excited to unearth the possibilities.

In the Book Mormon, the prophet Lehi takes his family into the wilderness to obey God’s commandments. God gives them a ball, the Liahona, which “pointed the way whither [they] should go into the wilderness.” The Liahona worked according to the faith and diligence that was shown by Lehi’s family and it led them, “in the more fertile parts of the wilderness.” I don’t yet know where this journey will take me, but I have a stronger compass and a better idea of what matters. I know that I am being guided too. And I am so happy.

I am wandering, but I am certainly not lost.

 

Leaping Over the Edge

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Come to the edge.
We might fall.
Come to the edge.
It’s too high!
COME TO THE EDGE!
And they came,
and he pushed,
And they flew.
-Christopher Logue

I quit my job this week. I’ve been planning to resign for over three months now, but had not felt inspired to do it until this past Monday. It’s been a journey, to say the least. But after fasting and praying this past weekend, I went to work on Monday and the answer was made clear. After my morning meeting, I felt prompted to read my scriptures where I had left off, so I found a private place to study. The Lord confirmed my morning prompting in Ether 12:7. I felt Him telling me, “wherefore, the Lord brought a remnant of the seed of [Joanna] out of the land of [Reset], that he might be merciful unto the seed of [Joanna] that they should perish not.”

I’m leading you out. Don’t be afraid to follow me.

So I drafted my resignation letter and quit my job. There are a lot of logical reasons I should be worried and sad, but instead I feel free. A burden is lifted. I feel hope. I feel whole. I feel my world opening up and opportunity ahead of me. I feel joy.

This leap over the edge is one that seems to go against reason, but it’s because we don’t see as He sees and don’t know what He knows. Am I crazy to quit a job before I have another one lined up? Everything wants to scream a big fat YES, YOU STUPID COW! But, revelation tells me, do it now, follow me, trust in me. This is right.

And maybe just saying that seems crazy to some. But, I know revelation is real like I know that I breathe. I know I have a Father in heaven who loves me, hears my prayers and is guiding my life. He has led me step by step on this most recent journey. He is holding my hand and shining a light just ahead of each footstep to show me the way. I am walking a journey of prayer, uncertainty, and seeking punctuated by moments of absolute clarity in which I understand the Lord’s will and make a choice I know is right. The peaceful confirmation that follows is one of the most beautiful feelings in the world.

Tomorrow is my last day at what I thought would be my dream job. Now, I am running full speed and trampolining over the edge. I can feel the wind below me, lifting me. There is tremendous learning behind me and a horizon of opportunity and growth ahead. I feel like laughing. The Lord will give me wings to fly.

I’m ready.