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stepping outside our comfort zone into a beautiful adventure with Jesus everyday

a girl’s guide to

adventure

5 Simple Ways to have an adventure everyday

Staying Fit for adventure

healthy habits to cultivate in our lives

How To

awaken the artist within you issue 1 Spring 2016

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a note for you Dear friend, I created this small magazine to inspire us to say YES to a life of real adventure. Pages filled with words and beauty, reminders that you and I are invited into a great adventure with a good God. To notice anew all the ways God is whispering to us to take hold of His hand, face our fears, embrace change with expectancy, welcome the mysteries of life, trust Him wildly, love extravagantly, and as we do to travel deeper into His heart. God wants to redefine adventure for us and make our everyday life full of rich and thrilling opportunities that draw us closer to Him. We always get told that adventure is out there. But I believe adventure is here. Today. We are in the midst of a beautiful adventure , we just have to take notice! It is my prayer that we will become God-adventurers with a heart full of wonderlust , saying YES to His daily invitations to stand in wonder of His presence in our everyday lives. Traveling with you,

Charissa

  

@charissasteyn @artofadventureshop /charissa.steyn /artofadventure1 MORE RESOURCES & WEEKLY ENCOURAGEMENT: charissasteyn.com


practicing the

Art of

adventure

trusting in & traveling with Jesus in our everyday life

we love encouraging you to see your everyday life as an adventure with God, full of opportunities to step into the unknown, take meaningful risks, realizing the wonder and beauty of walking with Him each day www.charissasteyn.com | 3


A Girl’s Guide to Adventure table of contents

Trust Him

wildly

9

Live with

expectancy & excitement

14

Face your

fears

20 www.charissasteyn.com | 4


6 Habits to Keep You Fit For Adventure p. 38 How To Awaken the Artist Within You p. 41

Love

extravagantly

LEave the

adventure

26

32

44

known

begins

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“...throughout the sameness are His beautiful surprises, and

intermingled with the boring routines He reveals breathtaking scenery.

the

desire

Do you know the feeling of wanting to get away, fly to Hawaii, pack up the car and head for the mountains, or just do something different, new, and exciting? We are all adventurers at heart, it’s how God designed us! We wonder and dream about traveling to exotic places, exploring the backroads, and taking wild and daring risks. Now whether we actually do those things or not is another story, but the desire is real, especially when everyday holds endless hours of repetitive responsibilities. We all know we cannot live in a perpetual weekend, the finances aren’t always there to travel, and some seasons in life require more slowness and sameness than others.

But did you realize that adventure is more than just what you watch on National Geographic or read about in Travel magazine or see in someone else’s squares on Instagram?

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Jesus invites us into a life of adventure as we follow Him. He wants to lead us into the rugged and beautiful trails of the unknown,

beyond our comforts and our capacity, and deeper into His heart. With God, adventure isn’t out there. Adventure is here…today! Before we even put our feet on the floor, God is already orchestrating a path for us to walk. The fresh wind of His Spirit is like cool mountain air, reviving our hearts and breathing life back into our lungs. As we follow Jesus throughout our day He can’t wait for us to discover that woven throughout the sameness are His beautiful surprises, and intermingled with the boring routines He reveals breathtaking scenery.

Be aware of your desire for adventure today...

Where have you always wanted to go? What have you dreamed about doing? Is there something new you want to try? www.charissasteyn.com | 7


“A simple yes

is the open door for God to take our hand and be our guide into the hills of His heart.

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trust him wildly the invitation

In order to jump into adventure with Jesus today we have to start hearing His invitation…to trust. He beckons us, “Come follow me…will you trust me?” A simple yes is the open door for God to take our hand and be our guide into the hills of His heart. Adventure doesn’t begin when our lives finally feel exciting, or when we quit our job to travel the world, or even face our fears…

Adventure begins in the most peculiar of places- in the tiny humble space called today. Today, like every day, God wakes us up and says, “I’ve got plans and you’re invited to come along… trust me, it’s going to be good!” Finding the adventure that our hearts long for is simple…start by responding to God’s invitation to trust Him today!

our response Then remember that trusting Him is an ongoing response, an opportunity to look for the unexpected ways throughout our day to:

1. Welcome change Change doesn’t have to signify chaos. If we let go of control change yields deeper connection with Jesus, “Change is an invitation to trust Him. It is one of the biggest faith and intimacy builders we have.” Holley Gerth

2. Embrace failure If we fear failure we will never live in the fullness of all that God has for us. Failure sets us free from perfection, ignites our creativity & reveals our true identity. “Peter was willing to risk failure for the adventure of trusting Christ more fully.” John Ortberg

3. Make a mess

Let go of perfection because trusting God is messy! What areas in your life are you striving for perfection? How is it affecting your heart…your passion…your purpose…your life?

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Ps. 62:8 (NLT) Wildly trusting God at all times sets us free to run with Him into the adventure before us each day! www.charissasteyn.com | 9


Travel Deeper Some practical ways to trust Him wildly each day:

1. Print this invitation & put it in an envelope. Tuck it away in your bible or put it beside your bed as a reminder everyday to trust Him. 2. Pour out your heart to Him. “Turn the vessel of your soul upside down in his secret presence, and let your inmost thoughts, desires, sorrows, and sins be poured out like water.� Charles Spurgeon Identify what areas you are having difficulty trusting God & talk to Him about it.

3. Read some stories of trust from people in the Bible {Abraham, Ruth, David, Joseph, Paul, the disciples} How did they trust God? What did they experience? What was the outcome of following God into the unknown? What can you learn from their lives? 4. Be inspired by women like you and me who are traveling with and trusting God in their everyday life, read more here!

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This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God ’ God’s with a childlike “ Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. Romans 8:15-17 (MSG)

What s next, Papa?”

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Adventure is

here

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Days h 40

of

Adventureh

Stepping out of my comfort zone in simple ways

We get comfortable because we get out of practice. We live in ease and familiarity and slowly begin to resist challenges, change, and eventually miss out on the endless ways God invites us into an adventure with Him each day. The following is a list of 40 tiny adventures for you to experience each day- simple ways to practice stepping out of your comfort zone and enliven your heart again to explore the unknown, embrace change, love the mystery of following Jesus, make messes, step out in faith, and travel deeper into God’s heart! {Do them by yourself, with a friend, or your kids!} Be sure to encourage others by sharing your lessons along the way using #40daysofadventurewithGod

A lifetime of passivity only makes dormant our longing for adventure.” Erwin Raphael McManus Day Day Day Day Day Day

1: go on a walk with God 2: paint something! 3: wear something different than you normally do 4: make a cup of coffee/tea for Jesus when you have yours 5: sit in silence for 15 minutes 6: write 10 things about yourself that you love {and know

Day 7: Day 8: Day 9: Day Day Day Day

Day 23:

buy balloons, make cupcakes, celebrate God today! Give Him thanks for all He’s done in your life.

Day 24:

spend some time studying the culture and lifestyle of

Day 25:

go on a scavenger hunt with God-look for signs of

another country- pray for them today

His presence everywhere you go

Day 26:

that God loves those too!}

experiment with a new recipe today

write out one of your fears and then come up with

make a mess today- however that looks for you put one of your dreams up somewhere you can see

everyday

five ways you can face it and be victorious over it

Day 27: Day 28:

surprise a friend with flowers & a small gift schedule dinner with a new family or friends you

don’t know very well

10: go explore a place you’ve never been Day 29: go on a date with God- light a candle and read 11: keep a thankful list today- add to it throughout the day your Bible 12: get perspective - stare out at the sky (day or night) Day 30: buy fresh cut flowers- one for you and one for 13: write “Jesus” on your hand to help you be aware of His someone else presence Day 31: write out Philippians 4:8 and practicing thinking Day 14: send an encourageng letter to someone about ONLY about those things today Day 15: challenge yourself physically today- maybe that’s a jog, Day 32: doodle your prayers- bring them to life through

a walk, stretching, or a long bike ride

Day 16:

Practice painting, drawing, or coloring like a child again- it might be harder than you think!

Day 17:

read the Bible slowly today- focus on one or two

verses

Day 18: Day 19:

bring the neighbors a surprise

Day 21:

Him to show you one person to encourage plan a weekend adventure to some place you’ve never been before pack a picnie and eat it at the park (or on your living

Day 22:

room floor if it’s rainy) practice Sabbath- turn off your computer, internet on your phone, distractions, rest and live slowly today

pictures & colors

Day 33:

share some of your story today with someone- even

Day 34:

explore a place you’ve been before but take fresh

ask the Lord to help you to really see people today- ask

Day 20:

Day Day Day Day

35: 36: 37: 38:

the not so pretty parts eyes- choose to look and see things with wonder & curiousity

Day 39: Day 40:

make a simple + easy bread recipe plant something outside or in a pot inside have a 15 minute dance party! go on a hunt to find pretty flowers & things in your neighborhood write out a list of all the things that bring you joy! walk through your house with a bag, fill it items you’d like to giveaway

What did you learn from these 40 days? Which of these would you like to make into regular rhythms in your life? #40daysofadventurewithgod for more encouraging resources to inspire you step out of your comfort zone & into a beautiful adventure go to: charissasteyn.com to download & print go here

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live

with

expectancy & excitement

Are You a Morning Person? A true morning person isn’t defined by the time they can wake up, but the perspective they take on. They are the people who awake with excitement for what God will do in their midst and watch with expectancy for Him to show up in surprising ways. I want to be a true morning person, not defined by the hour I awake, but a heart that is alive.

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3 When we were young, my brother and I would wake up on Christmas morning while it was still dark and run downstairs to see what presents lay beneath the sparkling tree or peer out the window to see if snow had come to paint the streets white. The simplicity of a child’s heart, the eagerness with which they embrace the day, and the perpetual wonder they have for life… I want it back. It’s sad that growing up means waking up with more dread than delight. We might rise early, but our hearts are still sleeping, covered under the blanket of our responsibilities or heavy burdens.

Awakened Hearts To find adventure today take on a new perspective, become a true morning person who awakes with tangible hope and contagious excitement. The hour of our rising isn’t what’s important because we live with this Risen King. In the morning, we can lift off the covers over our hearts and run freely throughout our days on the lookout for His gifts tucked away in the corners of our sparkling lives. With open eyes, we can stay attentive to His grace that falls thick around us, cleansing and quieting our lives, like a surprising snowfall. www.charissasteyn.com | 14


We are the promises of new mercies every morning people. And these promises are our flaming torch in the midnight hour. They blaze a trail for our confused hearts and blind feet. They carve a way out of the darkness when there seems to be none. And they lead us towards the horizon. Lisa-Jo Baker I am tired of waking up in the fog of my fatigue. Maybe you too?

What if we camped out under the starry sky of His love and let the magic and wonder of God’s presence pervade our mornings, noons, and nights? Today would be an adventure full of gifts to open and grace to behold, delightful discoveries and exciting explorations. Sounds too good to be true, right? Oh but it is true friends! Let’s become morning people not so we can get more done before the world gets going, but so we can live with awakened hearts that are bursting with excitement and expectancy from the moment our feet hit the floor.

“The holy wild is pervaded with mystery...” Mark Buchanan

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What’s Next Papa? Adventure awaits us as we awaken our hearts to the hope, the joy, the peace that is ours through Jesus!

No matter the season we are in- perhaps it’s strangely dark, or filled with shadows of what’s to come, perhaps there is a bit of light breaking through into your blindness, or maybe all is gloriously radiant right now, we can always have an unashamed expectancy and excitement for life. A God-adventurer is a perpetual morning person. Their bright eyes never dim because they walk with the Risen One.

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. Romans 8:15-17 (MSG) The cry of the adventurously expectant and excited is, “What’s next Papa?” I dare you to ask Him today!

Are you fully alive & awake... When was the last time you got excited for something?

In what ways have you lost your zest & passion for following Jesus? Think of three ways you can get it back!

What is a step into the unknown you’d like to take today? www.charissasteyn.com | 16


<<Travel Deeper>> Some practical ways to live with excitement and expectancy each day: 1. Cut down your to-do list. Surrender your schedule to Him, and instead of 10 tasks, make it one or two. Create space for God to surprise you with His Spirit today! Or make a to-be list to remember that your worth doesn’t come from doing but simply being His child. 2. See today as a gift- unwrap it with childlike wonder. I keep a tiny, wrapped box beside my bed to remember that each day is filled with gifts from God. What is something you could do to remember this truth? 3. Dare to start your day with the question, “What’s next Papa?” and then see where He leads. 4. Go on a Scavenger Hunt with God. I love to do this! It helps me to practice awakening to His presence all around me, even in little ways! {download a copy of the Scavenger Hunt here} 5. Memorize or post the following verses where you can see them daily: Philippians 4:4, Psalm 118:24, & Psalm 62:5 www.charissasteyn.com | 17


â&#x20AC;&#x153;But in all seasons- times of searing grief, redemption, times of the mundane- every single moment was pregnant with His whisper: Come, let us run together. Come find me. Here.â&#x20AC;? Sara Hagerty

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face your fears looking & leaning into them

That Time I Faced My Fears While in University, I had the opportunity to travel to a small village in Italy for a week with a group of students to help with a project and stay with a local family. It would be my first time to another country besides Canada and my first time flying over three hours. Although it was over 10 years ago, I can still recall some experiences from my week in Italy. Riding in a car with a young and wild Italian at the wheel {frightening!}, staying with a host family and eating 7-course meals for lunch {stretching for me in several ways, quite literally!}, getting clean in a small, bucket-like bath everyday {strange and cold}, and ofcourse sitting in a plane for nearly 12 hours {scary because I hate flying!}. It’s interesting as I reflect on the memories because what I remember the most are the the ways I faced my fears head on. My mind and heart can never forget the the times I’ve stepped out of my comfort zones. It’s in those often intimidating places that I discover the life I’ve always imagined and I am changed forever.

There’s one more thing I can’t forget either... the week after we came home, we were asked to share about our experience in the chapel service at school. In front of hundreds of students, I spoke these words, “Do the things that scare you.”

Fear is a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life. Donald Miller

From that day forward something shifted in my heart. I recognized the importance of taking action on my fears- aggressively and intentionally moving out into the very areas that cause me to tremble on the inside. Be it jumping on a plane to Italy, speaking in front of our fellow students, or befriending a neighbor, God gives us daily opportunities to look our fears in the face.

What fears have you faced lately? How did it change you? www.charissasteyn.com | 20


Practice Looking If we don’t practice facing our fears, they morph into something they should never become…our reality. Make no mistake, our fears will begin to define us and keep us stuck, overwhelmed, and discouraged with life. Author Holley Gerth wrote, “Our brains are status quo junkies.” Being human means we are naturally inclined to stay in survival mode, doing everything in our power to protect ourselves and stay safe.

Stepping out of our comfort zones obviously strikes us as dangerous. But when you and I purposefully place ourselves in experiences that are strange, scary, or stretching for us we grow, we thrive, and we begin to experience the adventure that we were created for! Everyday fears come at us in many forms. They masquerade differently for each of us and…everyday we have the opportunity to practice punching them down to size.k Looking our fears in the face honestly {no matter how irrational or odd they may seem!} and then leaning into them confidently keeps us fit for adventure.

Look and lean. Look and lean. A simple two-step workout that will build our ability to defeat our fears and dance in our identity. I always recall what Lara Casey said, “To name your fears is to destroy them.” In other words, the first step is to look at our fears and see them in black and white. Stop right now, grab a sheet of paper and write out your fears honestly. Do this daily if you need to!

Do the things that scare you.

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Practice Leaning What’s more dangerous than leaving your comfort zone? Staying there, shivering in a thin shroud of fear.

“We lay down our comfort zones because they are death traps.

Ann Voskamp

Have you ever considered that living a safe life might actually kill you in the end? A slow death perhaps, but nonetheless you will miss out on life in all its fullness as Jesus promises. John Ortberg explains the high cost of living in a mindset of fear. It includes the loss of: Self esteem Authentic intimacy Destiny Joy Availability to God Now take a moment and consider the opposite. If we take action on our fear, or as I like to say lean into our fear, we will gain: Renewed self esteem Authentic intimacy Destiny {purpose and fulfillment} Joy Availability to God Fast forward about 12 years after my first trip to Italy and much to my surprise {& delight!} I’ve spent over 5 years in Europe, and am now living in the Netherlands. I’m even married to a South African and we have three kiddos, both of which I could have never imagined {and would have terrified me had I known in advance!}.

Indeed, we are swept up into a dangerously beautiful adventure with God today as we consistently, little by little, practice looking at and leaning into our fears, giving up our need for safety and survival in small ways, and trusting God that the outcome will be life– more and better than we dare to dream!

What will you regret if you don’t lean into your fears?

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Travel Deeper

Some practical ways to face our fears everyday: 1. Write your fears in black and white on a piece of paper right now. Trust me, this is such a freeing exercise…I do it often! 2. Do one thing that scares you today. Yes just one. It’s all about practice! 3. Tell someone your fears and ask them to pray with you! “Internal obstacles have the most power over us when they live in darkness, unexamined and not understood. When we bring them into the light, name them and talk about them with others, they lose much of their aura of invincibility.” Tony Stolzfus 4. Look up all the places in Scripture where God says “Do not fear.” How many do you find it? Write out the ones that speak to you and put them somewhere where you can see them everyday.

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Life is not a problem to be solved, but an adventure to be lived. John Eldredge

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adv e n t u r e , a way of life an unusual, exciting, or daring experience with God

what adventures is He inviting you into?

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l o v e extravagantly

take the backroads

Love takes risk and bravery, to give ourselves to someone else without expecting anything in return might possibly be the secret to finding the thrilling adventure our soul craves today. Love in its purest form is quiet and unassuming. Love feels a lot like taking the backroads; it’s a way of life that is more slow and winding.

Instead of pursuing an adventure that gets noticed and applauded – traveling the globe, filling our passports, leaving our homes and families for a great cause, or going on extravagant expeditions, God invites us into a beautiful adventure by encouraging us to simply take the backroads…to love.

Stay human and humble. “When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process.” Philippians 2:5-6, MSG He could have done it another way, but God became human. He fully entered into our flesh and bone, taking on our suffering, carrying our sickness, walking on our roads, and…instead of making a swift exit he stayed human with us. We glorify our one time acts of humility. We are experts of escape when circumstances are tough. But what would it look like for you and I to stay human in our life today and with others?

How can we walk alongside and deeply relate to the people God places in our midst, instead of taking the shortcuts to love?

Here’s how that might look for us today:

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Embrace smallness and simplicity. God wrapped in a blanket, lying in a manger? {Luke 2:7} A strange thought indeed. But He had a purpose with this lowly position – to show us that real love isn’t complicated. Real love doesn’t come with a hidden agenda or require flawless performance. His love is simple, childlike, uninterested in prestige or power. In essence, God took the backroads. He chose an unassuming road to show His love to us…a baby, a blanket, a manger, a cross. He could have come differently, but He chose not to. When the disciples were arguing about who would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven Jesus remarks, “Whoever embraces one of these children…embraces me, and far more than me- God who sent me.” {Mark 9:36-37, MSG} Are we willing to sink into the smallness, perhaps even disappear? Can we confidently drive the quiet backroads like Jesus and shine God’s love into the world even when it feels like nobody is watching, to selflessly celebrate others without receiving recognition ourselves?

The size of our ministry isn’t proof of the success of your ministry … viral is closely associated to sickness. Because when you don’t need to be seen and heard- you can see and hear in desperately needed ways. Ann Voskamp Let’s not forget that taking the winding backroads, is similar to taking the risk of loving others… it’s here that we often stumble upon the most breathtaking, untouched scenery, the unmistakable, awe-inspiring beauty of God!

“Seek the uncomfortable. Life is short, and it is worth the risk. You do not risk like a fool; you are wisely investing in the only two things that will not die: God and people. Jennie Allen

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Savor the seasons. Jesus could have come as a grown man, already understanding and walking in His calling as Savior of the World. But instead He came as a cooing baby, He willingly subjected Himself to a process of becoming, of growth. A birthed baby, an anointed son, an Amazing Counselor, and Strong God! {Isaiah 9:6—7} In keeping with the backroads analogy…the slow backroads, unlike the speedy highways, reveal the changing seasons so eloquently, with fullness and detail.

The backroads are where we discover spring and summer’s beautiful colors and winter and falls mysterious depth. The backroads help us to appreciate and savor the beauty of every season. Love does the same. God isn’t scared of the seasons because He understands that real love embraces the becoming.

Dear friend, you don’t have to have it all together already. Jesus didn’t. God sees us as His child, His beloved, but also as complete in Him. He knows who we are and who we are becoming.

God doesn’t have a favorite season of our lives. His love doesn’t grow stronger as we grow more mature. His love actually takes delight in our becoming, after all He created the process. But how often do we expect perfection from ourselves and others? We offer grace within boundaries. Let’s choose instead to make space in the soil of our hearts, giving people permission to grow deep roots or shoot up tall, to simply be. God encourages us to enjoy the process (in ourselves and others) of becoming all we are created to be, to savor the seasons of life with others, and see adventure as loving people right where they are! Love invites us off the swift roads of success, to wander along the quiet, unassuming slow backroads, staying humble and human, embracing smallness and simplicity, and savoring the seasons, to take the greatest risk of all… and in doing so watch a beautiful adventure unfold in our day!

Who are the people in your life right now? What are some ways you can practically encourage them in their season? www.charissasteyn.com | 28


Travel Deeper Practical ways to love people & take the backroads of life today:

1. Notice people in their season. Acknowledge and encourage them right where they are at!

2. Spend time savoring the words of others. Actively listen to the deeper stories their hearts are telling.

3. Enjoy the adventure God has you on. Choose to see the beauty before you, and help others do the same! Roll down the windows, open up the sunroof, bask in the quietness and hidden-ness of your very simple life.

4. Spend time each day recieving the love of Jesus into your heart. Sit on the couch and do nothing but meditate on His love for you for five minutes. www.charissasteyn.com | 29


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“Don’t let the sun set till you’ve done one thing that sort of scares you . The only trees that ever grow tall keep

relentlessly stretching into unknown territory.”

Ann Voskamp

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leave

the known

say goodbye

Do you want to know what I think is the most difficult part of adventure? It’s not the challenges that come or the fears I have to face. I think the most difficult part of adventure with God is the leaving. Let’s just admit today that no adventure is ever easy. The leaving that’s involved is especially hard for me… whether it’s leaving a good friend because of a move, leaving an unhealthy habit from the past, or leaving clothes in the bag to give away. My husband and I had a long distance relationship for about 2 years while we were dating. At the time, I lived in Austria and he in South Africa. I hated the airport because it meant we had to say goodbye. Even when we lived in the same city, I cried when he had to leave my apartment and go back to his.

I’m more convinced than ever that our souls weren’t created to say goodbye, to leave those we love or anything for that matter. I think it’s in all of us to cling, to save, and to stay close. www.charissasteyn.com | 32


Throughout the Bible we see page after page of people who decided to leave. But guess what? The Bible talks about followers of Jesus as strangers and foreigners on this earth. {1 Peter 2:11} We are invited into a transient way of life, to get comfortable with leaving, and become strangely familiar with goodbyes. If this doesn’t describe an adventure I don’t know what does! Adventure means we’re on the move. We don’t settle. Not that we never take a rest or recover, slow down or even stop, but that we don’t pitch a tent and camp out in places that aren’t our real home.

Learn to hold loosely all that is not eternal. Agnes Maud Royden We are poised to step out and positioned for action, ready to step out with Jesus as our guide. Leaving becomes a way of life for the followers of Jesus. Although we associate leaving with tearful goodbyes, relational break-ups, sadness, grief, and emptiness, in God’s language leaving yields fruit and fullness, a gain not a loss.

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” Genesis 12

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“If you feel week, limited, ordinary, you are the best material through which God can work.” Henry T. Blackaby

Let’s peek into the lives of Abraham, Rahab, and Ruth. God said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” {Genesis 12}

Abram left his country and his family, an unheard of risk in his day. Then there’s Rahab. She told the spies, “I know that the LORD has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us…everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” { Joshua 2:9-11}

Although she had only heard of Him, Rahab, a harlot, laid her life in the hands of God. If she were caught hiding the spies, it would undoubtedly be a crime punishable by death. And then Ruth, she also left her country, her people, and a secure future to travel

with her aging mother in law to an unknown land with little hope of the future.

In every single one of their lives, the leaving felt like extreme loss, pure craziness! But a goodbye is never the full story in Gods kingdom, there’s always a hello.

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Embarking on crazy adventures frightens us because we know leaving is inevitable. Be it leaving people or places we love, or abandoning old habits or our plans. It’s all difficult and often doesn’t make sense. Our souls weren’t created for these kinds of surprising departures and sad goodbyes. Which leads to our endless questions. Abram, Rahab, and Ruth had them too… God, will you provide? will I be saved? will I really be okay? And God’s reply every time is either a coming promise or an invitation to trust him with the unknown. To Abram He said, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” {Gen. 12} For Rahab…He eventually revealed to her a red cord of rescue, salvation, and new life. And on the other side of Ruth’s goodbye was redemption, grace, unimaginable provision – a family and a husband. Adventures only begin with the leaving. We cannot stop the story there. We have to go see what’s on the other side of the goodbyes. The sweet hellos might be hidden for a time, but once you round the corner we’ll begin to see the promise unfold. Hello provision. Hello grace. Hello redemption. Hello life. Hello new family. Hello home. Adventure is at your doorstep today, all you have to do is wave goodbye and say hello!

Will you join me in leaving something today, but instead of focusing on the loss, ask God to remind you of all that’s around the corner? www.charissasteyn.com | 35


Travel Deeper

Practical ways to leave the known a little everyday :

1. Identify what is in your hands. Notice what you are gripping too tightly- things, people, plans, possessions, etc...

2. Open your hands. As a symbolic act, open your hands and surrender all that you are holding on to.

3. Take action on what He is speaking to you. What are you wanting to let go of? Have a friend keep you accountable, write it down, be intentional about the adventure He’s inviting you into.

4. What is your hello? Don’t focus soley on what you are leaving... write out five things that you are saying hello to.

5. What if you stay where you are? If you don’t let go, leave, or say goodbye...what will you miss out on or regret?

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Journals

Adventure

to document all your travels with God perfect for those in the midst of... big or small changes a new season in life making decisions facing fears about the future taking a step into the unknown or simply wanting to leave their comfort zones!

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6

Habits to Keep us

1.

fit for adventure

Baking Bread The process of baking bread- mixing the ingredients, getting my hands covered in sticky dough, then kneading it on the floured counter top, letting it rest, watching it rise, baking it, and finally eating the warm crunchy bread with butter, reminds me that adventures with God are often a series of messes and seasons. But God’s desire in it all is our fullness and joy. Hesitant that you can’t bake bread: I have a small kitchen with one loaf pan, and I don’t even have a real oven. I have a microwave oven, which can successfully heat up leftovers and burn a small pan of cookies. I googled, “easy bread recipes” and “how to make bread on the bbq” and then we went from there!

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2.

planting a Garden First, let me say this, I have a tiny backyard that is mainly cement with rocks lining the edges. Beautiful, right?! I have a few plastic pots and bags of dirt. I wouldn’t ever call myself a gardener, but for some reason I’ve always wanted to live on a farm, have animals and grow vegetables galore. I often become discouraged at the size and loveliness of our backyard, but then I finally decided that I need to stop waiting until we have acreage or even just some grass. Like baking bread, planting a garden, getting dirt under my nails, and watering tiny blooms reminds me that our lives are overflowing with rich soil, waiting for an adventure to grow! Planting a garden also slows us down, connecting us to the soft whispers of the Holy Spirit, and making us sensitive to His voice as we join Him out in His creation.

3.

going for a run {or a walk or hike!}

Every morning I step out my front door. Before the day begins, the kids rise, and the tasks begin, I strap my running shoes on, along with some scrubby workout clothes and sneak out of my house. I lope through the foggy, quiet streets of my city, up the hills, and into the valleys. I feel my lungs taking in the crisp morning air, and my heart beats reminding me that this adventure calls forth my perseverance not my performance. It’s the times I feel like stopping and giving up that God says, “Keep going, I’m with you.” When I feel my sweaty palms I remember that I don’t need to avoid pain, but allow it to come and reveal my true strength in Jesus Christ.

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4.

painting like a child

I have a few cheap brushes that I bought at our discount Do you know how hard it is to grocery store and some paper. They remain on my desk next to paint like a little kid? Every day my computer, lists of dreams, and the monthly calendar. Before I practice not being stiff and overthinking. I strive to achieve and produce, I want to recognize that I am in an adventure that is primarily about being with God. Sitting down to mix colors and fill the paper with my own design, even I think we’d be more lively in if for a few minutes, reminds me that this adventure with God the way we love, too, if we got is haphazard and colorful and oftentimes I don’t know what He out of our own way. Loosen up, is creating, until I look back and see His finished work. be willing to look silly or mess

The unknown can feel like a blank piece of paper, we are fearful of how it will turn out, but we can trust as we sit next to God, giving him our brush, He mixes the paint of our lives together into beautiful masterpiece.

up, put yourself out there. It’s really, honestly, the only real option. -Hayley Morgan

5.

Praying

Praying moves me to acknowledge God’s presence in my midst. It doesn’t matter if I pray quietly on the couch alone or with my husband before the kids wake, or offer up desperate prayers throughout the day, it is all a vulnerable act of communicating and building relationship with the Lover of my soul. Prayer connects me to His heart in the humdrum of living and lifts my eyes to the see the miracles birthing in my midst, awakening me to ask and dream and imagine even greater things!

Bold prayers ready our hearts for an adventure that is beyond ourselves.

6.

carrying others

Most days my arms feel sore and tired from holding a heavy baby or carrying tired toddlers, it is a sign to me that I loved well that day. I gave my whole self to the people in my midst. I don’t believe adventure is out there, but here. When we open up our hands and carry people close to our heart, tending to their needs and offering our time and energy to encourage them. Love always leads to an adventure because love takes risk. We will get hurt, tired, and sore, our love will go unnoticed and feel invisible most of the time, but Jesus says in the giving we will find our truest selves, and the most beautiful adventure. www.charissasteyn.com | 40


The Journey of Reviving our creative heart How to Awaken the Artist Within You

About a year ago I went and bought myself some watercolors and paint brushes. I never thought I could paint…never considered myself an artist at least in the painting sense. And honestly on most days I still don’t. But a few times a week I practice picking up a brush, playing with the colors or my kids, letting go of perfect, creating a mess, and confidently calling myself an artist. And you know what? It’s reawakening my creative, childlike heart. I am realizing that at the core of who I am, I am an artist, and what I make is its own kind of beautiful. God rejoices when you and I keep getting out of our comfort zone and trying new things, even in little ways- like picking up a paint brush or scribbling out some words or planting seeds in our garden because we are unearthing the treasures He’s placed inside of us. Somewhere along the way my God-given creativity got snuffed out. Maybe yours too? It happens for many reasons, but the more important point is this- our creative heart isn’t lost forever, it can be revived! www.charissasteyn.com | 41


1. Easy Reach

3. Expect a mess

I keep colored pencils and markers visible at all times- either on my desk or in a pouch with my journal and bible. I also have watercolor paper and paints sitting out right next to my computer.

Whether you are writing, painting, gardening, or cooking a new meal expect a mess. A mess is a welcomed by-product of us diving into our creativity.

I’ve found if I put supplies behind cupboards or in drawers it’s easy for me to forget to practice. But when I put them in front of me I have a constant visible reminder to have fun, play, and make a mess with colors and paper, and release my creativity in new ways. I also do this with my running clothes. {Yes, I believe running is a creative act!} I keep my running gear hanging on my closet door, so I am prepared and ready for my run in the morning!

But so often we don’t embrace it, and instead we aim for perfect and only come away with disappointment and frustration. For me, this means I make really bad and ugly paintings many MANY times. Expecting a mess means the first garden I ever planted (last year!) was hardly a success; I didn’t know what I was doing! Vegetable plants died and many flowers didn’t flourish. And at least a few times a week when I write, my words don’t make any sense and I stumble along trying to form some sort of story or structure. But we don’t have to be afraid of these messes, rather see it as proof that your God-given creativity is coming alive!

What would you like to try? What do you like to create? What resources {books, supplies, tools, ingredients etc} do you need to keep within easy reach?

2. Remember the What is a mess you’d be willing to make in order to Perspective It Brings spark your creativity again? “an increasing number of studies have focused on the value of expressive writing as a way to bring about healing...as little as fifteen or twenty minutes a day for three or four days can produce measurable changes in physical and mental health.” {Pennebaker, Writing to Heal} As we practice releasing our art we gain perspective on life. It sounds silly but writing sentences, sweating as I run the streets, and baking something sweet are all healing acts of creativity for me. {Indeed, our creative hearts can be cultivated in mysterious ways!} Suddenly, it’s as if I begin to see my circumstances differently and I discover God’s presence in and around me. How do you gain perspective? Is it walking in the woods, kneeling in the dirt with a shovel in hand, or hosting people in your home? These gifts of creativity are from your Creator to bring wholeness and healing into your life!

Because they have little to lose, amateurs are willing to try anything and share the results. They take chances, experiment, and follow their whims.

Amateurs

are

not

afraid to make mistakes or look ridiculous in public. They’re in love, so they don’t hesitate to do work that others think of as silly or just plain stupid. Austin Kleon

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4. Step back and say, “It is good.” I make a point of encouraging myself. It sounds strange, but if we can’t encourage ourselves than we will never be satisfied. Be your own cheerleader! Practice loving the work of your hands. Step back from anything you create- be it cupcakes, words, a flowerbed, or the decorating of your home- and say to yourself, “It is good.” And then believe it! This simple phrase will bring freedom from comparison, it will strengthen you in your own unique identity as a child of God, and you will want to keep creating! Whisper over everything today, “it is good” and notice how it changes your heart!

5. Teach Yourself Did you know that an amateur means “lover” in French? An amateur is someone who is simply passionate. What if you considered the joy you experience enough to qualify you to be a baker, a painter, a gardener, a creative soul? Because they have little to lose, amateurs are willing to try anything and share the results. They take chances, experiment, and follow their whims. Amateurs are not afraid to make mistakes or look ridiculous in public. They’re in love, so they don’t hesitate to do work that others think of as silly or just plain stupid. Austin Kleon It is even said that, “Artists like Picasso and Kandinsky felt that trained artists were inevitably corrupted by their schooling, and that self-taught artists were purer and potentially greater.” This is your pass to watch videos on youtube to learn how to watercolor, read beginner books on gardening, find a simple recipe for baking white bread, or just discover your way and style as you go along!

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the

Adv e n t u r e begins

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e r u vent

d a r o f g n Document :: words + thoughts that i r a p stood out to you in these pages. e r P

Still your heart :: step back from fear, distraction, and even boredom- what is the Lord sharing with you in this season?

Take a step :: renew your commitment

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Life is a daring

adv e n t u r e or

a bold

nothing. Helen Keller

prayer

There’s no better way I could think to wrap up these pages than by challenging us to give God our boldest prayers. You know the ones I’m talking about. The kind that scare you, but delight Him. The kind of prayers that are whispered, often tearfully, on bedroom floors or long walks. The prayers that are so wild they change you, even before you hear His reply or see Him act. The prayers of an adventurer are bold and intimate. Messy and real.

“Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less.” Mark Batterson

Write them. Speak them. Sing them. Draw them. But whatever you do let your prayers out so you can live out an adventure with Him!

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wonderlust::

noun a very strong & irresistable desire to gaze upon God everyday, traveling deeper into His heart

join us wednesdays on IG for #wonderlustadventure documenting our discoveries as we find God in our everyday

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art of adventure www.charissasteyn.com

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A Girls Guide To Adventure  

Spring 2016::Issue 1

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