My friend Heidi and Mike VanDyken recently relocated from Idaho to the Baja in Mexico. They run a guest house for visiting missionaries.Check out their amazing place here.
I’m so excited for you to meet them. Here are Heidi’s honest and awesome answers to my live uncaged questions:
What would it look like to live uncaged in 2012?
Living uncaged in 2010 for me would take on the appearance of no inhibitions. I used to live in the great northwest in a small town with wildlife all around and the picture that comes to mind for me is that of a river otter. If you have ever watched them they give the appearance of being carefree, unconcerned with what the other otters think as well as a focus on living and enjoying each and every moment.
What has prevented you from living a truly free and unencumbered life in the past?
I tend to be a practical, task oriented person and sometimes I miss the moments for the focus on the job. God has brought me to a new place, a new country actually and with that it is almost like I can have a clean slate and lay aside the old patterns, the old ways others expected me to be and truly focus on living each moment that my creator has given me.
Give my readers advice. What’s one practical thing they can do this year to live uncaged?
Our pastor back in Idaho once said “If you are ready for Jesus to come back, what are you doing about it?” I want to be about that kind of business. The ability to freely lay aside my agenda when situations are presented to me to share the love of Christ or simply give that cup of cool water to those who are thirsty and not say,”I’ll be there in a moment just wait.” I guess the short of the long would be laying aside my agenda, taking up my Father’s and living daily in the joy of making that choice. Before, what has kept me from this has always been a focus on “self”, my agenda, my fear of failing or being rejected. My focus, if I keep it on my savior then it is harder to focus on self and all that self wants, and then be free to live uncaged in the light of the cross and what Christ has done for me. My advice would be to spend 2012 being about the Father’s business and it will be the most challenging, wild, yet totally satisfying year you have had.
Who is an example of living uncaged?
An example of living uncaged would be my husband. Being new to the full-time missions field, all kinds of things come at you on a daily and sometimes moment by moment basis. Physical things like drinking bad water and getting sick, to ½ the roof of your house blowing off in a storm. Relational things like being met with open hostility by those who were supposed to be excited that you are here and the spiritual of at times crying out to God asking “why am I here?”. In all these situations I have seen my husband press through, persevere and run the race set before him. It does not mean that walls and bars have not appeared- it means when the trials have come and at times the walls have come up, I see him press into the word of God. I have seen him look at our situations, our responses and our hearts and line them up with the word of God. And what does not match gets purged. Sometimes it happens quickly and at times it is a definite process.
If you could design a live uncaged t-shirt, what would it look like?
If I were to design a t-shirt that would depict how I see living uncaged it would be a picture of bars with human arms trying to pull open the bars. There is no defined picture of the person, you just know it is one and then there are these power-lifter type arms (like someone off the Strength Team) on the bars with the normal arms pulling the bars open. You see the bars bending in the picture as well as all the muscles in both sets of arms straining.