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  • Adri-Anne Ralph

Being All-In

I've been thinking lately about our culture and how it's generally not considered a trendy thing to care too much about anything.

I only just noticed it because I love how much my son *LOVES* things. He gets so excited about things, like his new backpack, like a new toy I brought home for $3.99 from a thrift store, like going out for ice cream unexpectedly. One of the great things about him, is that he gets so excited and his excitement joyfully overflows onto every single person he meets... like literally anyone we come across who looks like they might possible listen, he will share the news, excitedly.

What really bugs me about it, though, is that most people seem to think acting faintly amused and condescending is a great way to respond to how much my son cares about things. It's made me more aware of supporting him when he excitedly shares something he cares about, and it's made me examine myself.

I think I used to be like him. I think I still AM like that. But somehow, somewhere along the way, I realized that to fit it, or out of self-protection, I needed to dampen that fire a bit, act like I didn't care as much, pretend that I wasn't as all-in as I really wanted to be ---- in my relationships, in my creative work, in my faith, even.

I wonder how many more and closer relationships I would have now if I had fearlessly and joyfully pursued friendships and relationships like I really wanted to. But for fear of seeming weird or needy, I held back, and later I realized they had no idea how deeply I really cared about them. I wonder how much more I would have created if I wasn't worried that geeking out on my music would set me apart and leave me looking foolish.

I don't care what it is you're SUPER into (well, to some degree I do care... I'm talking about being into healthy things, OK?), I *LOVE* being around people who are passionately, all-in about the things they care about. I like listening to these people and watching their eyes get round and glowy as they talk about the things they love. I like learning what it is they love so much, and why.

I'm especially excited about being part of a faith community that is all-in about following God, where it's a commonplace thing to hear that someone is moving themselves or their family across the world because they heard God tell them to. Or even, (crazy, I know!) waking up an hour earlier to pray, taking a break from TV, getting off social media, or fasting for a bit... things that seem SO extreme to the culture that never wants to be all-in about anything.... But I left everything behind to follow God to a different country. I walked into rooms with people that others would find intimidating because I had God's love for them in my heart. I've fasted, I've laid my desires for comfort and marriage and my dreams and ambitions in music on the altar time and again, because I'm all-in about God and I hear Him tell me to do things that later turn out to be the best decisions I ever made.

I'm also all-in about music, about songwriting, about art, creativity and self-expression, about loving my husband better, about our family's future... about so many things. I just have so many big feelings, and I *LOVE* to share them with people because they bring me joy.

I'm trying so hard to break out of that shell where I care if people look down on me for having childlike joy, and just experiencing all the big things in this life. And I hope you see yourself in this, and I hope you join me.


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