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I asked my husband to name three of my most annoying quirks/habits (because we’re all just real people behind the screen y’all and also I had no idea what his thoughts were 😆) and he said: ⠀
- That I like to have the fan on at night even when it’s freezing outside⠀
-That I never close the toothpaste cap all the way⠀
-That I ask him to scratch my back nightly (sometimes multiple times) 🤷🏼♀️⠀
There ya go, three completely useless facts for you to know about me, courtesy of Cal Meyer (and after I asked him this, I promptly turned the fan on. Some habits are hard to break. 🤭) ⠀
What are three completely useless facts for me to know about you? (You should know, though, that I’m infinitely curious about everyone ever so technically no fact is useless to me.)👇🏽
A few things I’m learning because this is easier to preach than to practice:
Joy is not only our choice, it is our BIRTHRIGHT in Him. We replace joy with shame when we take our eyes off of ourselves and look directly at our Savior.
An excerpt from a commentary I recently read that stung with conviction and Truth: “The issue of rejoicing is one of control- worry, fear, anger, and resentment are responses to feeling out of control. But, to the extent we believe God is in control, we can rejoice freely and filled with joy - even in the midst of our struggles. If we truly believe that ‘all things work together for those who love God’ (Romans 8:28) then our problems no longer control our response.” In Christ, we will ALWAYS claim victory, no matter the outcome. And we have the freedom to rejoice, even in the midst of our battles because we know Who is in control. #preachingtomyownheart
There are a million little things that I love about you. Like how you trust me enough to show me all your little quirks (I know how private you 5s are 😜) and how you make up songs to just about everything (“the oven is still preheating” is still stuck in my head). Or how you always clean out the litter boxes or just the fact that you even married a crazy cat lady. Or that you are the most committed, dedicated man I’ve ever met and I’ve never ever once felt anything but beautiful in front of you. Or the fact that you risked everything to build a life you love and how brave that is for anyone to do, but it was especially brave of you. Or how you get up early every morning to read your bible and that you’re challenging me to do the same. Or the fact that you listen to me even when it’s hard to understand and you hold my hand every time we get in the car together. This year was my favorite yet because you’re teaching me how to press fully into who I was created to be, and that is the best thing about you: you’re always unashamedly you. Our life together is the best adventure and I love loving you. Happy birthday to the sexiest pilot I’ll ever know 😍😍😍
FOUR TRUTHS THAT I’M CURRENTLY RELEARNING ABOUT SCRIPTURE:
1. The Word is really, truly, actually living and active. It moves in our spirits and souls more than any pastor, leader, or speaker ever could. And when you walk away from a sermon changed- it’s not the preacher piercing your heart, that’s the Word.
2. Sometimes Scripture speaks directly to us, and sometimes it doesn’t. The goal in reading the Bible is not solely direct application-it is ALSO to learn the character of God. This is not the story of us, but rather the story of Jesus. And of redemption and salvation and glory and Love. THIS story in its entirety inspires awe and reverence. And it’s much, much bigger than whatever my current situation is.
3. It’s okay if some of it (or a lot of it) doesn’t make sense. Don’t be afraid of that- rather, press into it.
4. And lastly, reading the Bible when you don’t feel like it isn’t legalism. It’s obedience. Diving into a Truth teaches us that feelings don’t rule us. He does.
Things I learned in 2018:
1. Practicing delayed gratification can sometimes (often) be the wisest thing we can do.
2. The fuller your schedule is, the more your priorities show.
3. Fear is contagious. So is hope.
4. Raw sushi is actually really good.
A letter to those who are constantly seeking more, and may be feeling discouraged, discontent, unqualified, and possibly a little bit unfulfilled in this holiday season:⠀
We have enough. Speak it. Write it. Proclaim it. #preachingtomyownheart
His good is always better than ours. Always. His kindness is always more than we imagine. Always. And his gentleness far surpasses our understanding. Always.
The more I read His love letter, the more I know his goodness. The more I seek, the more I become.
1. I’ve only ever worn a hat out in public like this one other time but then @hannahdmaloney got me this adorable birthday gift and I love it so I mustered up the courage and it made me so happy that I asked Cal to snap a photo. 😉⠀
2. I’ve also have never really written a blog post like the newest one I just shared but I’m learning to not take my writing so seriously and have just a bit more fun. 🙃⠀
3. I’m not really one for New Years resolutions, but I’ve been reflecting a whole lot on the past year and it was a whirlwind of good chaos. 🤯⠀
4. Cal and I have deemed 2018 “the year of fun” and 2019 “the year of discipline”, and I’m weirdly v excited. 🤣 (In case you were wondering, 2017 was “the year of survival”.) ⠀
5. Instead of making New Years resolutions, I like to make new goals and look at areas of growth after each birthday, and this year, I decided to share some of those. “28 things I’m implementing in my 28th year of life” is now live (albeit a little late) on my blog. #7 may have been a little embarrassing to admit 🙈, #20 is one of my favorite things so far, and #28 might be the most challenging. I’ve linked it for ya in my bio if you want to check it out (and join along!) 👆🏼#hashtagfivethings #thisis28
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