Freedom for my Soul…and a move to Kansas City

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A friend recently told me about a little sign that his mom posted on their fridge when he was younger.

“If you are feeling far from God, guess who moved?!”

Such great truth in this rhetorical question. And a good one to mull over when we are feeling an air of discontentment or facing a transition or trial we haven’t invited God to be a part of.

In John, Chapter 15, God calls us to remain in Him – to seek His presence in all circumstances. God promises us that our joy will be complete when we remain in Him. He doesn’t promise that all of our days will be ‘happy’. But instead, He offers a consistent peace and contentment – a supernatural joy that is not dictated by our circumstances. So, when we are feeling uneasy and distressed, it is fair to ask ourselves if we have moved away from God.

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you…Now remain in my love…I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” –John 15:4-11.

Speaking of moving, our life in SoCal has been short-lived, as we are moving to Kansas City this summer. Let me tell you – Southern California is just as dreamy, just as beautiful, just as warm…just as expensive, and just as far (too far) from my family as I have always suspected. My heart will mourn the loss of our amazing Southern California lifestyle. But, my soul is at peace. My trust is in God as He leads us.

Three months ago, I couldn’t stomach the thought of leaving SoCal – starting over, yet again. I dreaded even having to tell people that we are moving, again. Moving is hard….something I never planned on doing much. Our twins will have the unique distinction of having lived in four states before they turn four. Our third grader will start his third elementary school. Yep, that’s four sets of insurance, four sets of doctors, four sets of schools, etc. etc etc. But, it’s also four sets of incredibly unique experiences and four sets of lifelong friends I wouldn’t trade for the world. We hope to settle in nicely in KC and stick around for a while.

I’ve had a hard time striking a balance in my mind of how much God is in control vs. how much we make our own choices. These areas are grey. I do not believe that Ryan and I are robots, having been ordered by God from state to state. We have made our own choices. But I do believe that God has led us. And He has blessed us in each new home and community. I have to trust that God is in control as we pray for His guidance and leading. There is sweet freedom in giving over my sense of control.

We often have to make life decisions and face trials that require putting our full trust in God to lead us. Perhaps like me, you also have to occasionally check yourself to see if you have moved away from God. Where can you turn over a bit more trust and control to God in your life today? How can you pull in just a little bit closer to God? After all, the Creator of the Universe has His loving eye on you. Are you close enough to feel it?

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” -Psalm 32:8

No matter where we live, I am learning that true geographic contentment and complete joy is found in the presence of God. No moves required…God just calls us to remain in Him.  Chris Tomlin’s song,“I Will Follow,” has provided recent inspiration for me:

“Where You go, I’ll go. Where You stay, I’ll stay. When You move, I’ll move. I will follow…I will trust in You alone.”

Later in the song, Tomlin goes on to sing, “In You there’s freedom for my soul.” Amen to that! My prayer is that throughout life’s many trials and transitions, we would all seek to remain in God…to follow Him and feel that unique freedom offered by remaining in God’s love…through the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I also love Andy Grammer’s song, “Back Home.”

“La-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah. La-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-doe.
And no matter where we go, we always find our way back home.”

These lyrics might just have to be the McMonagle Family mantra. So, Kansas City…the McMonagle Six is coming ‘home.’ (Can you wear swim trunks to elementary school in Kansas?!)

“The life-maps of God are right,
showing the way to joy.” -Psalm 19:8 (The Message)


14 thoughts on “Freedom for my Soul…and a move to Kansas City

  1. I’ll check with my sister about the swim trunks (why not???? they’ll be ready for the pool….and there are so many of those..!) but I do know that you might as well practice calling soda, “pop” – the more things change…… and that’s not actually scriptural!! Bless your dear, malleable spirit, Lauren!! He will always be the same!!

    • Maybe we can start a new trend:-) I don’t know about the “pop” think. I’m from the South…we call it all Coke:-) Thank you for your sweet support and fun encouragement. I’m SO excited that I will have a connection with you and reason to see you there!

  2. So proud of you and your willing spirit. I feel convicted to be more enthusiastic and optimistic and faithful in my approach to the many changes in our life thank you and may God bless your journey. I hope our paths cross again…until then I will stay connected through your thoughtful blog. Love and hugs, Keadron

    • Hi there! Thanks for reading my heart. I’m so glad to have this way to share with my friends and family who are many miles away. I do hope our paths will cross again as well! I miss your sweet spirit and gentle wisdom. xoxo

  3. Lauren, I can’t believe it! But you will do great – you’re good at diving right in! I’ll be praying for all of you. Love you much – Margaret

  4. Lauren, your sweet willing spirit is admirable and what a wonderful example for us all. You are the most wonderful wife for Ryan and he is blessed! We love you lots!

  5. Great post, Lauren. You bless my heart with your honesty and desire to see God in all things.
    Can’t wait to hear about your new life in Kansas!
    Love you,

  6. Lauren you blow me away. First of all I don’t know how you find the time to write such beautiful and moving messages! They really touched me. You are so open and honest-your willingness to take life as an ever-changing journey is admirable. I look up to you for your optimism and enthusiasm and faith. So lucky to know you and we love your family to pieces. You have a home here in Southern California with us always! You have touched our lives and given me support and strength when I needed it most.
    With gratitude and love,

    • Wow! I don’t even know what to say. Thank you for your words! I’m so incredibly thankful to have you and your family in our life here in California. Your HUGE heart and willingness to share your life with me has blessed me so many times over. We are going to miss the Lockers! But we look forward to many visits back and a lifelong friendship!

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