discover your created self


Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! (Psalm 34:8 ESV)


I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.    (Anne Lamott)

I think there is a difference between practicing minimalism and self-imposed deprivation. I don’t know about you, but somewhere in my mixed up ideas about good living, I think depriving myself of certain pleasures will make me a better person. As I prepared for our trip, I started thinking that I shouldn’t take too much stuff. So, I adopted a minimalist approach to packing, but that approach devolved quickly into frustration. I thrive in an atmosphere of variety and options.

Yes, we have limited space on our boat, but I didn’t have to leave home my favorite art supplies, because I might not use them. And I didn’t have to overlook my comfy warm socks, just because it might not get that cold. And I didn’t need to pass over the nature photography book, just because I might not read it cover to cover. I packed the art supplies, the clothes and the books, which I wanted, and that was good.

On vacation, I often long for a simpler life. A life where laptops, iPads and smart phones were not necessities. I left the laptop and iPad at home, but brought the smart phone, and a vintage tape recorder that I thought would be fun. I planned to send out postcards instead of emails, and minimize the amount of texting. And I proclaimed on Facebook that I was unplugging and going off grid.

But as the trip unfolded, I found myself posting highlights of our adventure. I remembered how much I loved sharing the journey with others. And how easy it was to use my camera on the phone. And so, in an ironic twist, I found myself daily posting photos and little vignettes on Facebook. And some of my favorite dialogues during the trip came from texts received from people back home, and we even connected with a friend we hadn’t seen for several years. We had a nice reunion in a park near St. Paul, at the end of our trip. (If I had deprived myself of Facebook, some of these joys would have slipped by, unrealized.) Sure, unplugging can be a great way to unwind and relax, but it really wasn’t what I needed. I needed connection, but just in lower doses.

So what about you, what do you need currently in your daily life? How does deprivation help or hinder you? How could embracing an adventurous spirit change your daily perspective?

Some of the photos posted on our first day traveling from St. Louis to Owatonna, MN:

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Book I read during the road trip
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An unexpected snack choice and a pop-up rain storm

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Dinner stop…we shared a BBQ meal from the deli
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Wind farm or factory?

3 responses to “Deprivation”

  1. “I needed connection, but just in lower doses.” I thrive on connection with others–I think it’s built into my DNA, but I think the lower doses idea you noticed is just what the doctor ordered. Having a chance to share with others and find ways to be with people–virtually or in real life–is the joy of relationship. And we were built for relationship.
    I’m very intrigued by that book and your photos–especially Iowa–are stunning as usual.

  2. Yes Jody! If it weren’t for the virtual world, I believe our paths may have not crossed. So glad to know you here and share the journey of love, joy and faith! The book is written for middle school aged readers, but it was still a fun read and thought provoking for my middle aged self! Ha!

  3. Hey lady! LOVED my post card, and though you didn’t receive the instant gratification of knowing it indeed had arrived (and made me smile )you should know how nice it is to have something in my snail mail box other than clutter paper. I have been going 90 miles an hr. helping kids get ready for school as we tried to snatch moments for all those things we still wanted to do. The BEST adventure was going to the State Fair. Though I really think in years to come the little boys will remember most “swimming at the hotel pool & getting to use the hot tub “. For people watching this was the absolute best time. The atmosphere , animals and people all reminded me of my humble beginnings in rural America. I am so very grateful we have such a BIG GOD who grow us in so many venues. YOU should go, take your camera but go with NO expectations other than crossing paths those the LORD would have you meet. I am taking a break at the moment. Been gardening and canning a lot . If you need tomatoes you are welcome to come pick. The beets and beet greens have been particularly good. Didn’t get any pumpkins or melons this year(?) Kayaks are waiting to go out. I had hopes of going this week but life is full. Maybe next week. Let me know when you want to join me. I prefer a.m. But late evening is sweet as well. Mid day only if the wind is not a factor😜 Glad your boating adventures have been so fulfilling. For HIS Glory. Susan

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About Me

Hi! My name is Kel Rohlf. I am an intuitive mixed-media artist, creative writer and performer. Life is a performance. I often attend.


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