Love Story: Chapter 29

Wow, those two and a half weeks in Baton Rouge were amazing. Tony’s host family quickly became like our own. We joined them for family nights and spent endless evening hours in the kitchen—eating, laughing, and sharing stories. The Tuckers continue to be a very important part of our life in the States, and I can’t thank them enough for all that they did for Tony (and for me) during that time.

  Saying goodbye to Tony at the Baton Rouge airport in the early morning, which explains his bed head! 

Saying goodbye to Tony at the Baton Rouge airport in the early morning, which explains his bed head! 

I left Louisiana on February 19th. I’d already missed my nephew’s first birthday, one of many sacrifices I had to make in order to go on the World Race, and I wasn’t about to miss his second one. My sister was throwing him a monster truck party on the 22nd of the month, and although I was sad to leave Tony behind, I was eager to get home for the celebration. 

  Enjoying time with family at Britten's 2nd birthday party.

Enjoying time with family at Britten's 2nd birthday party.

I had exactly a month before I’d be back in Baton Rouge, this time for one week, and when I look back on my calendar, I see two things: “yoga” and “lunch with ....”

I did hot yoga like a madwoman. It’d been a year since I was able to practice in a studio, and my body and mind were craving that sweet time and attention. What surfing is for Tony, yoga is for me. Peace, serenity, connection with God and His creation. It’s a time and space to quieten down and journey inward. Unfortunately, like many other aspects of my life, I’m rather conditional when it comes to the practice. I like a certain kind of floor, a certain kind of temperature, a certain kind of light and so on.

  Doing a yoga pose on the railroad tracks in Nsoko, Swaziland.

Doing a yoga pose on the railroad tracks in Nsoko, Swaziland.

God surfaced this struggle of mine while I was in Thailand. The weather was unbearably hot. Our ministry schedule was completely whacky. And the culture was... well, different. All I wanted to do was escape. Instead of applying discipline to my spiritual life, I, in many ways, checked out. I didn’t spend much time sitting before the Lord. I didn’t journal or process much of what was going on. I was tired, and instead of pushing towards the finish line, I basically sat down in the grass.

Since my time in Southeast Asia, conditionality has been something I’ve noticed in my life. It creeps its sneaky little way into all kinds of places, like yoga practice, jewelry-making and home life. If the conditions aren’t perfect, I don’t want any part of it. And what’s the result? Paralysis. Plopping down on the damp ground.

Looking back on February and March 2014, I definitely didn’t plop down. Sure, my conditions were favorable, but still, I was active and engaged—physically, spiritually and relationally. And today, as I live and work in South Africa where yoga studios and my community are scarce, I can take a few notes from that season of my life.

Don’t hear what I’m not saying. I’m certainly not advocating for a “if you want it, take it” mentality. A “do, do, do, go, go, go” way of life will most likely lead to a performance-based existence—something I’m innately prone to. 

Remember, it’s God who does the growing. But, a seed must be planted and watered for a flower to blossom.

Through all of these lessons and seasons and twists and turns, I know He’s showing me the way to a more balanced life... to a place where I can sit and be and participate and do simply because I rejoice in being a daughter in His wildly crazy, beautiful story.

During those four weeks in Knoxville, the four that were sandwiched between my trips to and from Baton Rouge, I had 25 dates with family and friends. I practiced yoga 16 times and drove to Atlanta for a jewelry-making class. It was a wonderful month full of incredible memories... ones that I’ll cherish for a lifetime.

  My nephew, Britten, and me having a little mirror photo op at his house.

My nephew, Britten, and me having a little mirror photo op at his house.

To read our full story, please visit our Love Story page.