Going Where You Haven’t Been


“The beginning is always today.” – Mary Shelley

Away I’ve been from this little blog but good friends and reflective months have called me back to it. I’m beginning again. I’m grateful you’re here.

Both grandmothers passed away in March. Much of the month was spent traveling for funerals, sorting belongings, absorbing the loss. Then came a pesky flu, fun design projects, and time to ponder the direction of 2015.

It’s refreshing to be back here, in this space of fellowship and restoration, although there’s not a ‘master plan’ of how the content will flow. I want to be faithful in sharing real conversations, erasing loneliness, building meaningful relationships, gathering with purpose — and encouraging you to do the same — even if the details of “how” are blurry in this moment. Because I know it’s part of my life’s calling and neglecting it wouldn’t be right.

Let’s start with what’s been pressed into my heart this past month. It might just ease your heart too…

Can You go There?

Lately I’ve been hoping and praying for a few big, important, things in life. You too?

There’s one in particular that I’ve been hesitant to pray through. Because if I don’t ask, I won’t be disappointed. Right? That’s crummy logic.

As I fell asleep a few nights ago, thanking God and praying through my mental list I came to the one request that’s seldom brought up. In that moment it was as if God was saying, “Will you know me in this?” Oh?! My mind paused.

More questions tumbled out, “Will you go there? Will you trust me? Will you pray that? Will you watch me surprise you?

What that surprise is I don’t know but when we pray for the things we’re scared to pray for God can show us his character. It’ll either be what I’m praying for or it’ll be knowing more of God himself which is a rich gift in itself. It might just be both.

As you go throughout your day listen to him calling, “Will you know me in this?”

When fear rises up answer, “Yes, I want to know you in this.” When doubt closes in, “Yes, I want to know you in this.” When anxiety overwhelms, “Yes, I want to know you in this.” Because God manifests himself in a multitude of ways. As healer, provider, joy bringer, as friend and if we hold certain requests and situations at arms length from God, we’ll only know him in part.

Where will you go this week that you haven’t been? What bold requests will you pray that you’ve neglected because of fear? Begin today. Ask away.

CC via Reji

14 comments… add one

  • Fiona July 10, 2015, 6:10 am

    Hi Alysa, so good to hear from you again! But I’m sorry to hear about your grandmothers, that must have been a very sad time for you.
    I know what you mean about hesitating to pray for something, or someone, for fear of being disappointed. I’m (slowly) learning to trust God more in every little step, to believe that He is right and that His plans are the right ones for me. And so I need to trust in Him in my prayers, also. Our new minister has been encouraging us to pray for our enemies, as Jesus taught – hard stuff. But sometimes I find that easier than praying specifically for something close to my heart.

    As for me, I’ve started a new blog – (my old one was http://www.womanofnotes.blogspot.com) while still holding on to the old one, wondering where all that is heading; and am off to a hiccup-y restart as a substitute teacher, trusting in God each day to send me to school or keep me at home.

    • Alysa July 12, 2015, 2:59 pm

      So good to hear from you too, Fiona! Thanks for your condolences. It was a difficult time. Glad you’re on a journey to trust God more as well. Oh my, that’s an interesting thought (easier to pray for enemies than the tender things close to our hearts). I hear ya.

      What’s your new blog? I’d love to read it. Just saw the post about your dinner for 19. Precious! Looks like you’ve been having a beautiful, nature-filled summer. And getting rid of 2015 things in 2015. WOW! Impressive. Keep up the great work.

  • Cheryl July 10, 2015, 12:01 pm

    I’m grateful you are back! Excited to see what God has in store as you fully embrace the relational dimension of your Life’s calling. Still pondering your question if there is something I’m afraid to boldly pray for…stay tuned.

    • Alysa July 12, 2015, 2:43 pm

      Thanks Cheryl! :) Thanks for being one of those good friends to nudge me back towards Kitchen Fellowship. Hoping God is speaking to you and placing before you the bold requests he’s calling you to ask for.

  • Relyn July 11, 2015, 10:48 am

    I am glad you’re back, and so sorry about your Grandmothers. I lost my Papaw, and last living grandparent, in March. I, too, have been pondering, struggling with the idea of shutting down my blog. I find that I will be silent for weeks at a time without really meaning to be. But, every time I feel like making it “official”, I feel a gentle nudge to continue. And so I do.

    I am glad that you are as well.

    • Alysa July 12, 2015, 2:42 pm

      Good to hear from you too, Relyn! I’m grieved to hear about the loss of your Pappaw — it’s not easy to face. If you ever want to talk through your blog struggles don’t hesitate to send me an email alysa@kitchenfellowship.com. Would love to hear more of what you’re going through. Nice to know you’re feeling that nudge to keep going too.

  • Rita Joy July 11, 2015, 5:47 pm

    Like so many things these days, I know that discovering your blog for the first time today was definitely a “God thing”. I, too, am about to start up my blog again after a long “pause”, and hearing you explain in your words how you aren’t sure of the master plan of content has been encouragement to me. I’ve just started a new element in my personal journey of learning to eat healthy and “take care of myself” in a healthy way. I’ve bookmarked your site and look forward to reading more of your journey of restoration (and it seems like you know a lot about healthy eating, too!):) Blessings to you today, New Friend!:)

    • Alysa July 12, 2015, 2:40 pm

      Hi Rita! It’s so nice to connect with you too, new friend! :) Glad you’re here. Yes — keep writing and sharing your heart even if you don’t know where it’ll end up. Oooo! Starting on a healthy eating + self care journey? Let me know if you have any questions. I <3 healthy eating although at times I’m not the greatest at it. Looking forward to getting to know you more.

  • Mandi July 12, 2015, 3:27 am

    Thank you! Very inspirational.

    • Alysa July 12, 2015, 2:37 pm

      You’re welcome Mandi! Hope your week offers many moments where God surprises you.

  • amber July 13, 2015, 10:45 am

    Thank you for sharing this part of your heart with us. I totally get the fear of “the big ask” and I’m glad you brought it up. Something for me to think about.

    I’m sad that your Grandmas are no longer with you. I bet you brought them so much joy. Give yourself grace to grieve however suits your need and not concern yourself with how people say you should feel.

    • Alysa July 13, 2015, 11:00 am

      Glad to connect with you here again, Amber!

      Yes — it’s sad my grandmas are no longer here. Your kind words mean so much to me and brought a lot of comfort this morning. Grace it is.

  • Katy July 22, 2015, 2:35 pm

    Hi Alysa,

    Glad to have you back! I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your grandparents. It’s such a hard time and I think a natural time to pause.

    I loved this piece. It’s a hard thing to let go of control and really trust God. I know I was brought up to take care of things myself, use determination and common sense, etc. And I think these are all good practices. Sometimes, though, it’s so freeing to kneel down and present your hopes, dreams, and vulnerability.

    This month has been exciting for me as my music studio has gained more students and I was officially introduced to the parish I will be serving as part of the music staff. However, all this excitement happened in one week, which included 2 babysitters who flaked for childcare for new voice lessons, a thunderstorm that knocked out power during an evening lesson (and sent a tree crashing into our new, DIY firepit), late shipments of books and materials, scrambling with two preschoolers to music stores who didn’t have what I needed, driving an hour to a networking event and not being able to attend because the wrong time was posted and my childcare couldn’t stay later, etc etc etc. By the end of the week, I was looking at the Heavens thinking, “Come on. Really?” And also thinking “I will not give up. I will make this happen. I, I, I will…”

    As I was cleaning up at the end of the week, I lifted the bulletin from the church service I attended with my family and noticed the responses to the baptismal liturgy. The priest had encouraged the congregation to look these over later in prayer. So I did. And I noticed the responses to all the questions were, “I will, with God’s help.”

    I will, with God’s help.

    Not, “I will.” Or “God will” but hand in hand, in prayer, in faith, together:

    “I will, with God’s help.”

    That has been my mantra and it reminded me so much of yours. Beautiful blog! Please keep it up, regardless of master plans, schedules, or lack thereof. It’s a touchstone for a lot of us, I bet.

    • Alysa August 5, 2015, 10:56 am

      You make me smile, friend! :) Yes, it was definitely a meaningful time to pause from writing. I’ve been feeling more like myself the past two months and feel so refreshed to be writing and sharing again.

      Glad to hear more about your music studio ups and downs. What an exciting and tumultuous week. (And your firepit? Oh no! That thing is beautiful!)
      That’s exactly it! So often we think WE need to make it all happen. Such freedom comes when we say, “Ok God. Help! If this is your idea, build it, it’s yours. I’ll keep working and taking the steps you desire of me as they’re revealed. I won’t run ahead. I won’t strive. I’ll release the outcome.” That baptismal liturgy is beautiful.

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