“The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces.” - Will Rogers.
The last several years I’ve had this nagging inner voice that on a daily basis keeps trying to kick me out of my comfort zone. My full-time work, three kids, low priority self-maintenance, take a trip here and there otherwise just turn on cruise control comfort zone. I like it here. It’s cozy and it lets me keep my head in the sand about 90% of the time. Keeping a low profile is something I am excellent at.
My spiritual journey up until the start of 29 AND 11 was also super private (Same head in the sand mentality). While I thought non-stop about my faith and what that really meant, you’d have no idea. Praying at night, reading the bible to the kids at bedtime, sitting in church, etc…Checking the boxes, but still too introverted to step out of my own safe (and super comfortable) small spec of the universe. The ‘I’m checking the box’ mentality. And can I just stop real quick and say that public speaking or public displays of anything for that matter ratchets up my anxiety to a crazy level. So I knew that whatever God called me to do had to be in another form, right? I know I’m a pretty good parent and I work hard, but I kept imagining just sitting at those pearly gates going - welp, I was nice and low drama and I loved my kids. Two thumbs up??
And of course we know that God's love is unconditional, but I can only say that there has been this inner dialogue and these gut check moments where I’m thinking - Maybe I’m not the only person taking this same inward journey of faith? Other people that didn’t feel super comfortable sitting in a bible study speaking their inner thoughts for fear of being judged (Yes, I know that’s not likely to happen), or people that just wanted a small validation that others were in the same boat as them - on their own journey and working hard at it while doing life at the same time. Unsure of their faith, but trying really really hard to focus on God and keep it all above deck…
But how do I go about outwardly displaying my journey of Faith and what I’ve been through (Or still need to go through) without a major conversation?? Something that says - I’m really freaking proud to say that even though I am tempted all day long at every turn, I’m trying. Some days I’m winning and some days I’m a straight C- student.… But I still want everyone to know that I’m trying. Couple all of this with a laundry list of things I love (and people I admire) and I realized that for the most part, the thing people wear to display their faith is a cross. And that is definitely the ultimate symbol, but I wanted a way to point to a specific part of someone's journey (Whether it is a current challenge or a potential future success or if they are just a long hauler). Where with just one thing around their neck, they could show the world where they are at.
Reciting verses internally helps me stay in my own lane, helps me refocus my thoughts on Christ when I do things, and is just in general a good gut check to see where my head space is at. And the first verse as an adult I remember memorizing (Minus lots of liturgy from the Book of Common prayer from my days at an Episcopal school) was Jeremiah 29:11 (‘For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future’). I’m a huge fan of jewelry as an expression of who you are - it’s universal from gender to ethnicity in terms of people's desire to wear it to display their own style, heritage, and personality. My goal with creating 29 AND 11 is to help you live your purpose, inspire conversation, create connections, and point your intentions to the Truest North with chapter and verse. Your journey is not mine, and your lane is not mine. But I’d love to show you what lane I’m in at the moment, and maybe you can look at 29 AND 11 as a chance to share yours with others too.