About 6 months ago when our family finally agreed out loud together that we were going to move ourselves to downtown Chandler and do this new Live Love thing, we felt excited and nervous and…well…relieved. We were finally stepping into the adventure we had only talked about for so long. But it should come as no surprise that once we started acting on it, it only took a few weeks for us to start feeling uncomfortable, more nervous than excited, and possibly even fearful.

Were we crazy?

Is this really the right thing for us?

Am I even qualified to step into a space that requires fundraising and plans and zoning and community gardening?

Did this Live Love vision require the actual selling of our home and moving?

I’ve heard it said that often the adventures you step into are merely an accumulation of all your previous experience, education and connections merging at that particular time. Previously, this has given me comfort as I have leaned in to new opportunities.

But this time, it feels more like a long list of why this could be a total disaster. Let’s take gardening for example…you’ve already heard about my citrus trees. But Paul and I have always grown what we can in our backyard no matter where we’ve lived. And had you seen our yard while we lived in Guatemala, you would have thought me a master at it. But even Guatemalans will tell you that you can plant a stick in the ground and the next day it will produce fruit. The dirt is just that awesome.

So moving from enriched volcanic dirt to desert sand/dirt was a true reveal of my actual skills. If you plant a stick in the ground here, the next day you just have a dry stick.

Oh there is still a garden in the backyard…always. And while I love a great salad picked straight from that garden, it’s mostly lettuce, kale, cabbage, and possibly cilantro on a good year. I had tomatoes one year in abundance, but it must have been a fluke because I can’t seem to grow them since. And peppers? The plants are cute and green, but bare. Berries of all kinds come to our yard to die. Are you getting the picture? If you like green leafy food, I’ve got you! Otherwise, I do have grapefruit.

How about fundraising…Let’s just say no one ever asks me anymore to be in charge of this in whatever capacity it’s needed. I either give away whatever we are selling or just tell people not to worry about paying. Next…

Well, there are always the plans…you know, the plot plans for our big vision. Just draw it out and show people what it could look like. Even writing that single sentence has given me a severe stomachache. I need “paint by numbers” if I’m going to produce anything artistic.

The vision for a Live Love community garden and farm, for a beautiful oasis where families gather and celebrate and do life together, where neighbors connect with neighbors in real time…this adventure is so much bigger than any one person. It’s so much wider than our family. And it’s so much higher and deeper than any of our individual skills. Maybe if I could say, “I got this!” with all my skills and experience in hand, it wouldn’t really be an adventure at all. When we face a challenge that isn’t harder than our own abilities, is it really a challenge?

“I’ve got this!” limits the capacity or potential of that adventure. It excludes others from jumping in to help. It promotes spectators instead of team members, and boy do we need a big team for this one. The good thing for us all is- God’s got this, not me. And I can’t wait to see how He’s going to pull this thing off!

Annabelle Chinchen