Hi! In case this is your first time checking out the StepIn2Purpose blog, let me take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Andrea, and I am many things – a wife, mom, professor, seminary student, early stage business owner, child of God, sister, daughter, and of course – a writer. At the very start 2017, after a very rough ending to 2016, I wrote the book 40 Days Lighter: A Devotional Journey for Women Determined to Live Free.
Inspired by a Lenten-season challenge called “40 Bags in 40 Days”, I went on a mission to declutter my closet, and ended up on a very personal soul-searching journey. What I discovered over the course of that 40 days, was that the physical weight and clutter I was working so diligently to remove, were merely symptoms of the mental, emotional and spiritual weight I had been lugging around for years. I decided to blog and share this journey, and as I did, I realized that I was not alone – there were others who had unknowingly been carrying unwanted and unnecessary “invisible” weight for a very long time.
For me, taking the time to carefully examine the memories and emotions I was carrying revealed spaces of disappointment, resentment, and a boatload of fear I didn’t even know was there. I can remember sitting down one day to write, and suddenly a near-drowning experience I had as a five year old, suddenly came flooding back to me (pun intended). I felt as though, in some ways, I was that little girl, unable to catch my breath, or find anything to hold onto in my adult life.
(You can check out the FREE download of the first 5 days of the devotional when you click HERE and subscribe!)
As that 40 day journey came to a close (though I was very clear in the last day’s devotion, that day 40 was not the end), I was lighter, inside and out!
Which brings us to today…
Not too long after that journey ended, my book was published and released in early 2018, and I spent time expressing my gratitude to God for all of the changes that had taken place, I realized that I faced a new challenge – staying free.
Over the last year, I’ve learned that it’s one thing to declutter, learn new habits, lose weight, or simply take the leap into pursuing purpose, and another thing to create and develop sustainable and personalized systems that help you live free – long term. I realized that without the necessary structure in place – in my heart and in my home, in my work and in my studies – I would simply fall back into some old patterns of thinking.
If there is one thing I know for sure, for a tree to grow and remain for many years, its roots must grow deep before it grows tall – otherwise, what will sustain it as it begins to bud and bear fruit? Without deep roots, parts of the tree would dry up, or a strong wind may uproot it all together.
I get how that tree feels.
So today, I begin a new journey – I’m going deeper. I’m committed to being fully grounded – in my faith, my family, my friendships, and my future.
Won’t you join me as we go 40 days deeper?
“…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”Ephesians 3:17-19, ESV