a new direction and a new beginning

January 13, 2022

caravan sonnet

cozy-luxury haven living peacefully beckoning, prompted by love and full of beauty in the everyday

It has been nearly a month since I wrote a blog post on here, but in reality it has been longer than that...it has been years since I have really opened up and shared my heart in deep ways here in this space...  nearly a decade of fighting for my life due to health issues followed by several years of walking through a different and more difficult wilderness then I could have imagined, of trying to put one foot in front of the other after the traumatic and sudden loss of my dad, caring for my grandmother as she started the journey home with a long goodbye, helping my mother as she healed from heart surgery and then two weeks later losing her husband of nearly 50 years and adjusting to all different medications that were not the right fit which caused extreme issues, walking through PTSD, traveling after the loss of my dad to Alaska, traveling on a beautiful adventure with my mom,   starting my first full time job in over nearly a decade, Kidney Stones, Nights and days in the hospital with my precious grandmother during the first Christmas after my father died, friendships walking away because we were in deep grief, navigating the world without a precious and amazing dad who was our leader, the hit of COVID which effectively ended my travel part of the blog that was thriving and growing and bringing in so many more experiences and travel jobs and an income that was BEYOND what I could have ever imagined when I first started this space in 2013, my creative shoppes closing due to the pandemic, saying goodbye to a Masters program because the subject matter of the Holocaust was too difficult in my grief, ending a book contract which had been a dream, the extreme pressure and stress of getting all of my international students back to their home countries during COVID, deciding to move back to my childhood home to help my mother settle in and clean out our house which was made harder than we ever dreamed possible it would be due to emotions, and then mold where I lost all of my worldly possessions from before illness life, struggles with my health behind the scenes, the return of a dream fulfilled with going back to teaching, the loss of my precious grandmother, the most incredible year with a group of students in F112 that changed my life, deciding to move with my mom and help her sell her home in TN and then move to NY, the entire process of moving as two single women, saying goodbye to a group of students who became friends and who were more dear to me then words could ever express, settling in for a few weeks at the cabin in the summer to discover a lot of issues behind the scenes, traveling back and forth from NY to TN in the midst of a pandemic to sell the house, moving to Albany, adjusting to a new school and a very different culture then what had been portrayed in the interview process, a very personal reason for resigning after only 11 weeks at the school, the lack of knowing how to proceed in this community and space without the worldwide travel component, the decision to move from Albany back upstate, the start of a new job, another upcoming move to get all of our things out of Albany to upstate, cleaning out my grandmothers home, and hundreds of little details behind the scenes...etc. etc. etc. 

It has been a lot of stuff. A lot of life. A lot of heartbreak. A lot of grief in many different aspects. A lot of hard. A lot of brokenness...and more tears than there was laughter....

A lot of not seeing dreams fulfilled not just in the last 3 years but in the last decade. 

Dreams of a husband. 

Dreams of becoming a mama.

Dreams of a life that I had pictured with the family that I dearly love in tact...in full.. instead of missing two key players that were so important. 

Dreams shattered in work spaces, in creative space, in author spaces, in plans...

Dreams of so many sacred and personal things... so many different dreams that are deeply hidden in my heart that as the world has continued there has been a constant "on hold" in the life of sickness that I walked and then in the season of deep painful grief.

Life after so much beauty from healing from Lyme, Cancer, and multiple illnesses was not what I had envisioned with the happy ending that I had written in my head as it would be, but was caught in a deep "sadness, a sense of unfairness, even jealousy toward those who have what I wanted. Life felt meaningless, and I battled feelings of failure, and if I am honest enough I harbored anger and disbelief toward the God who had denied my requests."*

What I was to slowly ...ever so slowly find was that Sheridan Voysey was right..."But there is a life after a dream has died. The God of the crucifixion is also the God of the resurrection. While a fairy tale cannot be promised (as there are precious few fairy tales outside Disney), the tragedy can make way for some joy. And while some scars will remain...healing and restoration can come."*

And in the midst of ALL of what I mentioned above... there has been a lot of love. A lot of beauty. A lot of provision that I would only call supernatural. A lot of laughter (a HUGE thank you to the senior class of 2021), a lot of watching healing in those I love, a lot of seeing miracles happen, a lot of receiving love and kindness and extravagant grace and mercy...  a lot of growing... a lot of facing the hard and stepping into grief and fear... and the slow, slow, sssssllloooowww change of despite "spending ten years in the wilderness and not arriving at the promised land" the lesson that there is a greater tragedy in life... and that is that perhaps the greater tragedy than a broken dream is a life forever defined by it."* 

Talking with loved ones, counselors, the community here in this space, my former college Pastor, and other beautiful leaders in my life was a helpful beginning to healing... and then re-reading (and weeping) through "Resurrection Year" was the gift that God used in the midst of the darkness... and the gentle and encouraging words of Scripture has brought me full circle to Gods tender peacefully beckoning, prompted by love and finding beauty in the everyday.** 

Life is different. 

Life is SO very different then what I could have ever imagined...and in that I am finding joy in the path before me. Not in the change of things or titles or duties...but in the gentle path before me.

I am often asked if I miss teaching high school right now in this unexpected season. I recently wept as I read these pages from the book, "The Making of Us"... it says it WAY more eloquently than my words could ever express:

caravan sonnet
caravan sonnet
caravan sonnet
I so appreciate this community where I can share my heart and share about what has been going on here behind the scenes and to this place that we are arriving at now here on the blog: 

While I have loved creating content relating to Lyme Disease world there is a new direction that will be coming with this in the months ahead that I look forward to sharing with you. I understand and acknowledge that many in this community wish that I would speak more on the subject and have often accused me that my "case wasn't that bad" since I am now healed and don't talk about my journey as much. With respect, I have decided to not engage in the hurtful accusations or believe that there needs to be a "contest" of who had some worst case. We are ALL heroes and warriors if you have walked the Lyme journey- no matter if you were Advanced Late Stage (like I was) or if you were stage one... or in the fact that I was told multiple times throughout my health journey that I had weeks or months to live. I do plan to share how the Lord is leading in this area this year but in the meantime For me, I have come to the peaceful conclusion that I believe that I can best honor those who fought so hard for me to get well by living life fully in the direction the Lord is leading. As one of my doctors and dear friends said this past week, honoring the gift of a sacrifice is beautifully seen in living live fully. 

While I have loved having the opportunity to travel around different parts of the world for work on the blog, and I will always be grateful for ALL of the businesses and brands who partnered with me in this space, it is now very practical and wise in this space and the season that we are all living in for me to be focused on travel in upstate New York and New England for the foreseeable future. I can't wait to introduce you to some incredible brands, businesses, locations, and experiences right in my hometown area. I hope that you will come to love this area of the world as much as I do, but more than this I hope that it resonates deeply that just like I have said for nearly a decade since I was bedbound, that the adventure is our lives not a destination. When I wrote the post, Darling, Let's be Adventurers in 2014, I was extremely sick and bedbound. There was no physical way to have tons of "exotic travel adventures" in far off places, but that doesn't stop us. Nor due to the circumstances that the world is in right now. I hope that by focusing locally myself, it will inspire you to safely explore the area that you live in and is right in your backyard in these times. One of the greatest lessons from fighting for my life during my health issues was that you can find beauty and adventure and everything that you believe you are looking for in travel in the exact place that you are planted if you look for it. So I am so excited to share and explore this idea together.

And while I have loved the honoring space of sharing about teaching adventures, my heart looks forward to sharing about products I am creating for Middle and High School History teachers through my teachers pay teachers shoppe (you can find it HERE!) because more than ever after this past fall, I have such a passion for quality History education for middle and high school students.

I also look forward to exploring with you the creative adventures that my soul is leaning to in the future as creativity and art are part of who I am. 

There are certain aspects that I am looking forward to bringing back to the blog from years ago... 

One of the first is exploring the concept of singleness for those that are "older"- specifically in their 30s and 40s. I fought for years with the Lord about writing about this (I think because it is such a tender subject) but I am looking forward to us exploring it together. I am looking forward to exploring what it means to live in the space of not yet in the deepest dreams.

And there are new adventures and seasons that I look forward to sharing with you as I have started a job as a small town library director and have been accepted into a PhD program that I am truly excited about!

I also am looking forward to sharing the adventures of renovating my grandmothers house as my mom and I make it our home, about our beloved cottages by the lake, and creating roots after such a long season in the wilderness.

No... life is nothing like I imagined it would be at this stage. And yes, it could be tempting to stay "there"... but cozy luxury haven living is peacefully beckoning, prompted by love, and full of beauty in the everyday and I hope that you will join me in this new beginning. 

Whether you choose to stay here in this space friends or move on, I want to say thank you for all of the years of support, the last nearly decade of your prayers, and I wish you beautiful blessings as we begin 2022. As I look back on nearly a decade on the blog, I look forward to the next years and decade of this space transitioning and growing and all of the good that the Lord has in store.

"You crown the year with your goodness and your paths drip with Abundance."
//Psalm 65:11//

"He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat"
//Psalm 147:14//

*italicized portions noted here of writings taken from the beautiful books, Resurrection Year (click HERE to purchase) and The Making of Us (click HERE to purchase)


  1. I'm so sorry for all the hardness of life lately. I agree though,there's a point where we must live life, no matter how we feel inside, or physically. Heh. Im still fighting for my health but I refuse to hole up and hide until that day comes. God blessed us with life- even a sick one- and called us to glorify Him through it. I look forward to the changes here with you! Blessings

    1. Thank you Laura for your words and for your kindness in taking the time to reply and to share your thoughts. I am cheering you on and am grateful that this space has connected us. I am so sorry to hear of your continued health struggles. Is there any way that I can pray for you specifically? Thank you again for cheering me on as I tenderly move forward.
      Warmly, Rebecca