A note from Kat: Today’s Inspired To Action Story is from Emily who writes the blog Chatting at the Sky.
She’s one of the other bloggers going on the Compassion trip to the Philippines and I completely adore Emily’s writing. She has a truly amazing way with words.
Just last week, I was feeling very uninspired. The world was at my fingertips and where did I go? Emily’s blog.
I’m honored to have her share her story here. Please make her feel welcome! Oh, and it’s her birthday today! Take a minute to wish her a happy one, will you?
Inspired To Action Story: Emily Freeman
I’m Emily and I’m so excited to be at Kat’s place today. When I first found Inspired to Action, I immediately subscribed. If motherhood is my job (and it is), then Kat is my agent.
My husband and I have been married for nearly ten years and have twin girls (7) and a son (4). My husband is a student ministries pastor and we live in North Carolina. I am a quiet, contemplative writer with a loud, obnoxious laugh and an emotional allergy to small talk. I wrote a book, write a blog, and like to take pretty pictures.
1. Have you ever travelled anywhere like the Philippines before?
Never. I’ve been on mission trips, but never outside the United States. I went to Spain 8 years ago for my brother-in-law’s wedding and that was my first (and only) trip outside of the US. A Spanish wedding is nothing like Manila, Philippines I’m guessing.
2. What inspired you to say yes? Was the decision process easy or hard?
I knew all about the trips, as I had followed the bloggers who went to India and Guatemala. I knew several of the writers personally who have gone on those trips and always enjoyed keeping up with them. But when I got the email from Shaun about this trip, it undid me.
I am not a person who always dreamed of doing a trip like this. When I would read the updates from those on past trips, I never wished to be there myself. And so when I was faced with this decision, I honestly had a bit of guilt: Shouldn’t someone go who has always dreamed of going? Why me? Oh, and did I mention I thought the Philippines was off the coast of Haiti? (it isn’t). And did I also mention I may have a slight aversion to flying? (I do).
All of those things were thrown into the pot as the perfect set up for me to say no to this trip. Not to mention the fact that I have 3 children 7 and under, I’m in the middle of writing two books, and May is my husband’s busiest season at work. But I just couldn’t say no. There was a tugging, a pulling, an unsettledness either way. I pretended to say no in my mind. It didn’t sit well. Then, I pretended yes, and it didn’t sit well either. After two weeks of praying, discussing, seeking counsel, crying, and general ridiculousness, I began to weed out the fact that most of my reasons for saying no were because of fear. And so I said yes.
3. Was your family on board? How did you arrive on the same page?
This was the best and worst part. My family was on board from day one, namely my husband. When I told him about the email, I ended it with “Wouldn’t that be crazy? Me? Flying all the way across the world?” and he was all “No, it wouldn’t be crazy at all.” And then he smiled. And then, I cried.
4. What response have you had from others?
It’s such an amazing opportunity, and I think people are excited to hear about it. I worry a little about compassion fatigue in readers, to be honest. I understand that so very well. Some have said it’s brave to go, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. There is courage involved, I suppose. But there is great courage to stay as well: to mother the little ones, to do the laundry, to believe even in the midst of the ordinary. So I have mixed feelings about the back-pats. If that even makes sense.
5. Do you have any lingering concerns/fears? How are you overcoming them as the trip approaches?
It’s getting close, isn’t it?! I’ve tried to talk with people who have done trips like this a lot. It helps to learn from their experience and wisdom. I’ve been learning even more intimately what it means to be led by love rather than pushed around by fear. When thoughts come to mind that threaten to overwhelm, I am learning to practice the presence of Jesus in my daily minute.
6. What makes it all worth it for you?
I don’t know yet. Maybe I’ll be able to answer that better when I come back home.
7. What are you most excited about?
Getting outside my own skin.
8. What are you most nervous about?
I’m nervous about the flying, but you already know that. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that. But there it is. I’m also nervous about whether or not I’ll be able to tell a unique story. I want to go without an agenda. I want to go as a student, a guest, a servant. I want to release expectation and be open and free enough to allow the Philippines to change me. But I also want to hold that with a loose hand if it doesn’t.
How can we be praying for you and your family?
What a beautiful question. There are lots of details, as you can imagine. But mainly, I suppose I would be so thankful for any prayers of belief – to believe that God is big enough to handle my fears and insecurities, and the family schedule while I am gone. And I humbly pray for new eyes.
Isn’t Emily precious?! I can’t wait to meet her in a few weeks. I love how, despite her fears, she’s stepping out boldly.
If you want to read more of her writing, be sure to check out her book, “Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life.” It’s due to be released in September.
Here is the trailer. Enjoy!
And if you’re inspired to take a couple steps outside your comfort zone into the action, we’ll start registration this weekend for the next session of the Maximize Your Mornings Challenge. Stay tuned.Leave a Comment