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I ran to Kroger tonight for a few last minute “needs”. As I sorted through the avocado selection, pressing hurriedly on the ripest pick, I was struck yet again by the privilege I am surrounded with. The fact that I can make my veggie lasagna this week, not because I can’t afford meat but because I can CHOOSE not to buy it. The fact that I can find a deal on mushrooms, yet am still able to CHOOSE a fresher batch (for the record, I still chose the deal because I can never turn those down. Which further proves my point). Heck, the fact that I choose to even buy avocados at all. Sure, we have a grocery budget and a fun budget and a gas budget and a budget for everything in between, but we have a great deal of choice in the matter. My world is filled to the brim with abundance, and there are so few times when I am actually, truly, really in need. This is just your friendly Friday night reminder that not everyone can choose. Let us not forget, and let us choose to steward (whatever) we are given, well. (Also: privilege is not necessarily a bad thing, per say. I know it gets a lot of flak, but it can lead to great opportunity and honor to serve if we choose. Not by any means the thing to seek in this life, but if you have it [which most of us reading this do], use it well.)
We’ve been together for 5 Christmases (going on 6) and this is our first year to get a tree. But hey, never too late right? 😉 I grew up getting a real Christmas trees and Cal grew up with fake ones so we compromised and went real 😜🎄 Are you #teamrealtree or fake?
WHEN GOD FEELS SILENT IN THE PAIN: “We may never know why some prayers go unanswered and some miracles stay dormant. The questions will still dance and the doubts may still flicker. But here’s what we see when we read of Jesus’ love wrapped up in the moment between Jesus and Lazarus’ family: His perceived silence when prayers go unanswered do not fall on deaf ears. When our deepest desires are not given, it’s not because he does not care or does not see. When our hearts are ripped into pieces and the pain is real and visceral and raw and alive, it does not mean He is not there.
His heart still beating close to ours, his eyes wet with compassion- He meets us. Perhaps not in the way we want, but always in the way that we need.” #linkinbio
We spent the day doing all my favorite things. Sleeping in, grocery shopping (😂), running together (🙌🏼), being outside. And then Cal took me flying for the first time since we moved and my heart soared just as high as the clouds we were in. Now we’re headed to hang out with some pals at a local brewery and I’m realizing that all my favorite things are just everyday tidbits that make up my real life, not just my birthday life.
I don’t know a lot but I do know this: my brain needs decluttering and my heart needs remolding when I forget how dang much I love this little life of mine. I have enough. I have enough adventure and love and relationship and grace. It’s when I stop remembering all of the enoughness that I do have and start ruminating about all the things that I don’t, that’s when I know- maybe time to take a step back and re-evaluate.
My heart beats loudly for Jesus and words and inclusion and freedom. For all to find these things and for me to play a tiny role in that would be a great honor. But I need a little time to declutter and relearn how much I love all the little things around me before I can speak into any of the big things in this world. I’m choosing to start my 28th year of life with clear eyes and a clutter free heart. I’ll be back (hopefully refilled and completely inspired). But freedom is blooming and I’ve got to chase after that first. Also, thank you for the birthday wishes and love. I promise myself every year to not love my birthday more than any other day but it seems this year was not that year. Maybe when 29 rolls around. 😂 #thisis28
One of my most favorite games is to pay close attention to what a smashing design artist God is (as @shannanwrites puts it). I’d argue that the best indicator of my life teetering into the dangerous area of overdrive is that I quit noticing the silent love gifts. It takes a lot more to make my heart beat quicker and I start to run after after the drug of grandeur because surely “bigger and better” equals “more beautiful”. But it’s the refined pallet that craves the childlike wonder of ordinary beauty. Like black olives or IPAs, my pallet begins to appreciate what it learns, so I start by giving myself the gift of discipline. And as a recovering “bigger and better” experience junkie, I’m realizing that my love language comes in the form of mismatched leaves and cloudy grey skies. #ministryofpayingattention
My very own Jon Snow 😍👑 (despite the fact that he won’t understand this reference 🤷🏼♀️😜)
Wondering a lot lately on what it means to love our neighbors well. I’ve got big hopes and dreams for our future family and ministry but my prayers are continually met with a resounding “wait”. And that leaves me asking what I can do in the HERE and NOW to tangibly love every single dang person around me like they are my flesh and blood. It’s required a lot of coffee and hard questions, silent prayers and difficult conversations. A lot of pausing in the tension and learning that the forced pause is a holy matter, it’s remembering that growth is a slow process, and often looks different from those around me. I don’t know a lot but I do know this: we are all asked to love our neighbors. No matter the season and no matter the complexities, every last one of us is called to press in. I’m *almost* finished with a blog on the whole matter, and I’m not gonna lie- I processed everything in it that I’ve been slowly learning the past 6 months. Also, most of this stuff was just a remembering how stinkin’ saved we really are. Isn’t that where most growth begins? Also, what do you think? How are you loving your neighbors well in the here and now, in both big ways and small?
Isn’t it funny how much discipline it takes to notice the world around us? It’s there, right in front of us, and we still somehow miss so much of it. The whisper in the leaves, the smell of the air, the murmur of the wind. There’s beauty everywhere, if we choose to see it. #ministryofpayingattention #seekingsimplicity #1000gifts #theministryofordinaryplaces
I’m a staunch believer in the importance of reaching outside the comfortable with your spouse. Experiencing the new grows us, stretches us, ignites us, and causes us to wonder. It strengthens us as a couple when we conquer the unknowns, big or small, necessary or just for fun. But, I’ve also found that loving the mundane and ordinary is equally (if not more) important. Learning to welcome our nightly routines with open arms when we are both home: eat dinner at our table, discuss our days, play with our cats, watch The Office, go to bed. Eat, discuss, play, watch, sleep, and repeat. There’s something holy in relishing those simple, ordinary moments together. Trying new things together is wonderful and needed and good. But pressing into the moments in between the newness, learning to answer with intentionality, listening to all that Cal is saying- it’s in those secret spaces and “uninstagrammable” moments that bricks are being laid and foundation is being built. That’s the type of weekend we’ve had and it’s downright exhilarating. I’ll take a few more of these, please.
This weekend, I saw a man without a home, small cardboard sign at his side, asking for money to help care for his two sweet, sick pups. I watched an artist, half covered by the dark of the night, poised with spray can in air, ready to start creating beauty for the world to see. I noticed a cat walking down the street, proudly showcasing half a tail that intermittently wagged like a dog. I observed a man shuffling along the sidewalk, head bobbing to the beat of the music steaming into his ears. I paid attention to the cracks and the color and the clutter on the streets, and pressed in- willing myself to listen. @shannanwrites says it best, when she says “If we take a step back and evaluate the world we live in, we’ll realize that we are deeply imbedded in a culture that constantly lunges for the mic. We value making our voices heard and getting our points across. But if our goal is healthy community and loving our neighbors, we need to rethink our approach. Before we can learn from each other, before we can truly grow into a clearer picture of God’s good kingdom, we have to fall in love with listening.” - #TheMinistryofOrdinaryPlaces.
We’re headed home now, our 18 hour drive stretched ahead of us, willing me to slow down enough to process. I’m currently pretty rotten at listening, but determined to keep practicing - not just on vacation, when time is of the essence (and it’s so much easier in the newness)- but in the mundane. Being in awe of the color and the smell and the feel of the unnoticed, breathing into all the possibility that the ordinary brings.
Update: Portland is my newest favorite city. 🤩 Also, I just had a chicken biscuit sandwich that was even better than chick-fil-a, which I never thought was possible, and there are murals like this basically everywhere we look, so it’s safe to say that I’m smitten. 😍
Fell asleep in Wyoming, woke up in Oregon. (JK I actually slept for about 7 hours while @cal_meyer drove but 🤷🏼♀️😘). Trading in practicality for adventure when we decided to take our first long road trip together to Washington + Portland for our belated anniversary trip instead of flying. I grew up road tripping all around the country, so spending hours in the car on end is strangely comforting for me. And now we’re listening to The Idiot on book on tape, drinking La Croix, and eating pepper jack popcorn so I guess you can say all is right in my world, questionable decisions and all. #beating50percent #stayingido
Spent the weekend with no make up, no showers, no beds, no bathrooms, no electricity. Completely off the grid and relearning how little we need to thrive. Pressing reset doesn’t always mean physical rest. It comes in carving out space to do the things that makes our hearts beat quicker and our souls to breathe deeper. Investing our yes with intentionality gives pause, which leads to deeper contentment. Building altars in those places is where gratitude blooms, and THAT is where reset happens.
PS- being out of service all weekend helps too. Also, my friend, @mandacarpenter, wrote a 30 day devotional series called Space in September and it is affirming all the places I’ve been convicting of the past few months (including this little bit). It’s worth a read, friends.
There are a lot of things I find myself wanting. There is only One thing I find myself needing. #wordsfromthewindowseat
Three unglamorous truths I’ve (re) learned about marriage today:
1. Differing energies between spouses is a very real thing. Sometimes the best way to serve is by giving space.
2. Honesty is the best policy, yes- but gentle honesty is the most Christ like of all.
3. It’s really tough to love others well until we first love our spouse well. As wives (and husbands), marriage is meant to be our first ministry.
PS- don’t be fooled by how happy @cal_meyer looks in this photo. He may or may not have been super ready for me to stop taking pictures. 🙈🤣 #beating50percent #marriagemore #marriage365 #weekendidos
Honestly? The Sunday scaries haunt me every time this day of the week roles around. With the anxieties of the week looming, I am resting in this: “I am not my own. It’s not up to me. I’m not here to save the world. I’m not here to change the world. I’m here to be a faithful presence in it: to work hard, to know that I live and work out of a deep comfort and understanding of who I belong to.” (Matthew Kaemingk)
Back home: unpacked, clothes clean, groceries bought, food prepped, friends caught up with. Ready for the “real world” and also wondering why we (I) feel the need to vacation in order to escape the stress and battle the troubles. We don’t need beaches in order to rest and our ability to relax shouldn’t be contingent upon one week a year designated to nothingness. May our days, weeks, years, and lives be marked by our ability to be still. Because intentional rest is where gratitude blooms.
Even as a kid, I remember being consciously tuned into both the selfishness and righteousness at war at within me. My motives confused me, and lots of times ended up manifested when I dug into any sort of quiet time. I just couldn’t get over the idea that I was reading the Bible because I “had to”, not because I “wanted to”. It wasn’t until my mom told me to (essentially) “fake it till you make it”, that I began to realize righteousness doesn’t come naturally to us. And the older I grew, the more i saw that pure motive is a gift that we cannot force upon ourselves. Rather, the more we do good (even when we have selfish motives and especially when we don’t feel up to it) the more we yearn to, and the more we long to press into the righteousness given to us by Christ. If we wait until our feeble attempts to conjure up our own righteousness come to fruition, we will never move forward. We were never meant to be perfect, in any sense of the word. The battle is not ours to win; it is ours to surrender. #wordsfromthewindowseat
He’s an introvert, I’m an extrovert. He’s an enneagram 5 (least amount of social energy), I’m a 7 (most amount of social energy). He keeps his car meticulously clean, I’m always losing my keys. His drink of choice is an americano, I usually just ask for the one that uses a sugar free syrup. We’re so drastically different, and yet we fit so impossibly well, and it just makes me so happy. What they say is true- the more I know about him, the more i love him. 💕 #beating50percent #marriedup #stayingido
One year ago we packed up our cars, shut the doors, and drove away from our home and heart for the past 26 the years, heading towards our new life in the mountains and dreams of flying high.
Tearing out roots of community to re-plant them elsewhere is never easy nor is it simple. I never thought I would call anywhere but Indiana home. One pilot, a cat, a promotion, countless visitors, hundreds of mountain hikes, a new church + community later, Colorado is home now too. -
And what I’ve learned about risk is this: it doesn’t always look the way we want it to. We’re not entitled to our dreams - especially when our calling looks much different. But when the dream and the calling intertwine, the result is deeply holy. So here we are: believing in both our dreams and our calling. Stepping into risk and learning to fly. Waiting for new seasons when the other pieces of our calling come to fruition. Learning to live in the tension of waiting and celebrating. Building altars every single time the mountains are in sight because they signify that the Lord answers prayers- rarely in my timing, not always how I dream them to be, but always in a way more lavish than I dare imagine. And when I asked the Lord to show me His love and He showed me mountains: holy, vast, mighty, and full of power. Life is messy, dreams are messy, callings are messy, and we are messy. But the beauty and holiness and power and might still remain. 📷: @kacinicole