Don’t be greedy with the universe, she said to me.
But she didn’t say it in the mean way. She didn’t say don’t dream big, don’t want things, don’t think you deserve.
She meant: look at your life and trust it. Notice how you have forever been given what you need.
Notice how, while you’ve been railing and ranting and wanting, enoughness has gathered around you like stones around a fire,
How, while you’ve been making lists of what should be wishing the set and costumes were different, there was a whole other play happening on another stage.
The real life.
Witnessed when you hand a dollar to the woman behind the register in the color of an orange in the magic laugh
Never calling, just crackling, speaking in tones — the real life
Cup your hands and ask for it. Start looking. Sweetness. Honey in a bowl. Nectar.
-Tara Sophia Mohr
I’m coming out of my cave and starting to blog again. Welcome to my life (almost) post-grad school!
I started a new journal today. It’s the little things in life that can bring such joy.
I spent a long time today looking through old journals. Sometimes you have to look back and remember where you came from to help you know where to go as you go forward.
“God’s grace is so outside the lines of our understanding that we can only stand in awe and wonder. Christianity is not about learning how to live within the lines; Christianity is about the joy of coloring. The grace of God is preposterous enough to accept as beautiful a coloring that anyone else would reject as ugly. The grace of God sees beyond the scribbling to the heart of the scribbler.” -Mike Yaconelli, Dangerous Wonder
The past 10 weeks of my life were insanely crazy. I was busy to the point that I had a Word document with everything I needed to get done each day to stay on top of my life. This past Friday, I conquered the comprehensive exam that will allow me to move on from my grad program (now to wait till May 15 to get the results). I woke up Saturday morning, slowly moved to the couch, and continued to veg there for a couple more hours. The feeling of not having things hanging over my head was strange. Those hours I had spent the past week studying now I had at my disposal.
It’s hard to find the balance between too busy and not busy enough. Not busy enough can lead me to majorly waste time. There’s part of me that is letting myself enjoy that feeling of freedom (even though I still have classes to attend and others to teach). I’m relishing in the ability to wake up on a Saturday with no real plans and to spend 3 hours picking out plants with my husband for his garden (even though I wore entirely the wrong shoes for that activity).
I think if I had my way, I would just stay home all the time…drinking green tea, sitting in front of the fireplace, reading, cooking, cleaning, crafting, having deep talks with friends…maybe it would get old. I don’t think it would.
I changed jobs about 4 weeks ago,which is part of the reason I’m not so insanely busy anymore. When I was on the cusp of making that decision, I was really nervous about making another job change, pushing myself into another transition. I felt guilty because I didn’t feel like telling my boss that I was “too busy” was a really good excuse because everyone who works there is crazy busy. As I cried on the couch to Colby, wondering if I was making the right decision in switching jobs, he was able to affirm me in who I am. He reminded me that some people like being busy and find a lot of worth and value and calling in being busy in their work environment. That’s just not me, and that’s okay. Yes, of course, God created us to work and not be lazy, but God created me to be the type of person who wants to leave work at work, and above all, to have time to be interruptible and to be there for people and to soak in God’s presence.
I’ve been reading the classic book by Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God. I’m still working on the idea of recognizing my communion with God in every moment, but this prayer from Bro Lawrence is helping me realize it and pray toward it.
“O my God, since Thou are with me, and I must now, in obedience to Thy commands, apply my mind to these outward things, I beseech Thee to grant me the grace to continue in Thy presence; and to this end do Thou prosper me with Thy assistance, receive all my works, and possess all my affections.”
Here’s a peek into one of my favorite rooms in our house. I love this room because it’s so cozy yet spacious enough to hold a lot of friends. We’ve already had many lifegroup nights, a birthday party, and a family get together here. I’m so happy to have the space to host people. My prayer for this room is that it is a place where people can come to be vulnerable, receive love, and have fun. I hope to sit in this room and have many deep conversations with dear friends and family members. This room is also where we spend our time reading, on the computer, watching movies…living life. I hope this room always feels like a safe place.
There are things I’d like to do still in here (starting with perhaps a different picture over fireplace slash at least center it better…but hey, that’s where the nail already was so I went with it). We want to add a mantel over the fireplace and maybe get new lamps, but this is what we’ve got so far.
Double-sided fireplace=obsession. Coral accent wall. March madness brackets=temporary. I think that little grey pouf/footrest is the most expensive piece of “furniture” in this room. The rest of the furniture was either free, thrifted, or craigslisted for super cheap. Even the curtains were from Goodwill (poppin’ tags).
Little details: Grandma’s old camera and a sweet reminder from the Bible. The end tables we picked up on the side of the road. Someone had sanded down the top but apparently given up. I decided to give them a little flair with chalkboard tops framed in mustard. I figured I had nothing to lose since they cost us zero dollars.
Forty dollar couch from the Habitat for Humanity re:store, mirror craigslisted. Coffee table was left here by the previous owner. Maybe one day we’ll get a cuter one? It works for now. Our orange couch, tried and true and oh so comfortable, will maybe one day have a grey slipcover over it.
My favorite little nook: art bought in Asheville, made by our friend Meghan, and again, thrifted. The hanging lamp was a birthday gift from Colby that he got at World Market…probably the second-most expensive item in this room. Last picture is one that my friend Amanda took a few weeks ago of me in my natural element. :) My home!
It’s been way too long since I’ve posted one of these DIYs. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to craft! Oh, the horror. Never fear because I’m back, fully inspired by many hours of pinterest-ing. I’m so happy about how this turned out, and it required minimal effort from me, which is why I deemed it “easy peasy.”
The hardest part was gathering materials. I found the wooden picture frame at the thrift store…I can’t remember how much it was, but probably 5-10$? Then I went to Michaels to look for ribbon, and I didn’t find anything like what I wanted (which was annoying, the Michael’s by me is kind of ghetto). Then I went to Joann fabric and found the perfect ribbons. I kind of over-estimated how much I would need because I didn’t feel like dealing with measuring it out. I got three yards of three different kinds of ribbon, which cost me about $20.
I wasn’t sure how I was going to affix the ribbon to the frame, so I pulled out my staple gun and my glue gun. The staple gun was jammed, so I used the glue gun.
I placed the ribbons how I wanted them. I patterned them kind of randomly because I didn’t want it to look too perfect. I hot glued down one side and pressed down on it a bit with the metal stand of the glue gun. I let the one side cool down first so it was secure, then pulled it taut and glued the other side.
That was it! I hung it on the wall, and then started arranging my jewelry on it. I wasn’t sure how I was going to hang the necklaces and bracelets, and then I remembered the mini clothespins. I got those a while back from Joann fabric online. The other option I saw on another blog was ornament holders, but no one sells those in March, and I didn’t feel like rummaging through my Christmas bin in the garage.
Voila! I’m so happy with how it turned out. Maybe I’ll wear jewelry more often now that it’s hanging right beside my bed?
This is a recent picture of our lifegroup at our church’s third birthday party. :) As you know, these people mean the world to me.
You may not know that our church feels a specific calling to be the type of church that raises up leaders and releases them to go and change the world. Just within our lifegroup, we see this happening. Our friend Arthur left in January for six months in Uganda with Krochet Kids. And now it’s time for us to let some more friends go.
You remember Katie, right? This is us at our recent Mad Men themed joint birthday party.
She was my first true heart friend out here in California.
We met in November of 2011, and we’ve had so many great times together in the past 16 months of friendship. We’ve cooked together, celebrated Thanksgiving together, led a VBS together, gone on trips to the beach, watched the Sound of Music at the Hollywood Bowl together…the list goes on. She’s been a big part of my circle of friends.
Katie is the nicest, most genuine person ever. Truly. When someone new walks into a room, she immediately jumps up and makes them feel so welcome. I admire her so much! She’s taught me a lot about what it looks like to do ministry incarnationally–right where you are, letting God use you in your daily life. She and her husband Kevin have amazing relationships with their neighbors, and they’ve seen God move over the past few years living in Fullerton.
They are moving to Nepal on April 1st to work in an after care home for women rescued out of sex trafficking. It’s so bittersweet for me! There’s something that feels significant about my first friend moving away, but I am so excited for them as they step out into this opportunity. I know that God has such a purpose for them in this season.
Kevin and Katie, you two are bringers of joy, life, and Jesus wherever you go. Blessings on you as you follow him into this new adventure. We’re going to miss you like crazy, but the sacrifice is worth it knowing that you are going to touch so many lives in Nepal. It has been such an honor leading lifegroup together for the past year. God is so so good to have given you to Colby and I to share the same heart that beats for true community. I will be praying for you and am in such anticipation of the great things that will come from your time overseas. I love you guys so much!
You can follow their journey by reading Katie’s blog, Hope Engaged.
Love this. Deeply rooted but secure enough to entertain other people’s’ ideas.
Flexibility is a great virtue. When we cling to our own positions and are not willing to let our hearts be moved back and forth a little by the ideas or actions of others, we may easily be broken. Being like wild reeds does not mean being wishy-washy. It means moving a little with the winds of the time while remaining solidly anchored in the ground. A humorless, intense, opinionated rigidity about current issues might cause these issues to break our spirits and make us bitter people. Let’s be flexible while being deeply rooted.