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Thursday, July 28, 2016

July's Fabulous Finds

What a full, happy month!

Gordon and I celebrated our one-year anniversary. It goes as quickly as the world will tell you it does. We're now entering that comfortable season where virtual strangers start asking very personal questions about our family planning and, no kid-ding, whether we're nervous about starting a family since one of us is in his 30s.

I'm practicing the art of not being offended and answering with a simple "that's a very personal question," with a smile as sweet as honey, and leaving it at that. Bless their ever-lovin' hearts.

 So, until it's time to have that discussion, let's take a quick trip down the lane we know around these parts as July's Fabulous Finds!

What We Binged 

Usually this is in the context of entertainment, but July 2016 shall henceforth be known as the month of all the peach cobbler.

It was going to be my treat for slogging around town with my running shoes on. (I often trick myself into running by promising myself a glass of wine or slice of pizza after. Not an effective weight-loss method but...at least I get cardio in?)

Three miles later, dripping from head to toe I stumbled into the kitchen, and in a true moment of vulnerability, lifted the lid and ate several spoonfuls all at once. Straight from the dutch oven.

Anyone else curious about what this scene will look like in the live action version staring Emma Watson?
 It happened in my kitchen.

























What I Read

My reading over the summer has come almost to a complete halt. I'm slowly making my way through Amy E. Reichert's The Coincidence of Coconut Cake (affiliate link).

It's You've Got Mail meets Julie & Julia. A great pool read (which is why it's taken me so long to get through it).



What I've Spent too Much Money On

A friend of mine introduced me to an online monogramming service. They've been running specials where they send you free earrings and are always doing a good sale. My new monogram is BTW, which, I have to say, I'm pretty excited about.

I just so happen to be wearing my glittery flip-flops right now. Fair warning, the shoe sizes run a little small, I would definitely consider ordering a half-size up.

I ordered this box of beautiful lip glosses from Smashbox (affiliate link) while I was sitting on the beach. They're perfect for those of us who experience a skin tone that's a little darker over the summer (ahem) and whose lip color is thrown all into whack as a result. Plus, the little applicator sponge is really comfortable.

Okay, moving on. It's clear I have a problem.

What We Watched

Ghostbusters

Who you gonna call? Me. I'll see it with you.

As some of you know, my husband and I have a movie-going addiction. And we are in glorious full-fledged movie season. A few things about GB: I've never seen the original, so I went into this movie fully expecting to love it. And I did. Kate McKinnon is my spirit animal. She's a pina-colada of weird and intelligently self-aware.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

Y'all. Seriously. If you're bothered by the raunch humor, stay away. But if you liked Bridesmaids chances are you'd be up for this one. I will see anything Anna Kendrick is in forever and ever, amen.

The Big Short 

I'm a year late to be on board, but a lot of great stuff just dropped on Netflix.

How did they make something like the housing crisis, golden parachutes and economics interesting to an English major?

By comparing the market to jenga, food, and roulette. And employing cameos from Anthony Bourdain and Selena Gomez. The way they juxtaposed the grinding work of Wall Street, the families who actually lost their homes, and where our nation's focus was throughout the movie was nothing short of genius. The Academy was right to bow down to this genius work of film.

What I Listened To 

I will forever sing Maggie and Jacey's praises. But this episode, y'all. I broke into tears just at the first sentence. The bravery and the vulnerability these women show week to week – I'm not sure what we ever did to deserve them.

And, let's not forget: audio books. For days. If you're looking for a fancy pants way to enjoy a long run in the summer heat, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial with Audible (affiliate link).

What I Learned

I'm coming to terms with the fact that I don't have to wait to be my ideal self before I can start launching myself forward into my dreams.

I'm working through staying in my own lane and staying the course when the waters get choppy.

I'm also learning that because I'm not the best at something doesn't mean that I shouldn't pursue it.







*This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you click on a product and order it from this page, I may make a penny or two from Amazon. Nifty, isn't it? But, you should know that I'll never promote anything that I don't find truly fabulous ;)


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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What's Your Schedule Look Like?
The Trials of Adulthood Friendship

























Do you have any friends?

She asked me after small group one evening while stood in my doorway. Her inquisitive face was illuminated by the warm glow of my living room after everyone had left. The tell-tale remains of laughter and chatter were splayed by used tea bags and crumbs on my dining room table.

She stayed behind.

We were trying to schedule time to get together, and her question gave me a momentary brain-whiplash.

Of course I have friends. Of course I've had the pleasure of having my life shaped by so many wonderful, vibrant friendships. Many of them gathered around my table every week in a wine-and-tea-drinking club disguised as a Bible study.

Why was it that I could only name a few women I truly trusted in my day-to-day that I could call friends? Close friends. Friends to be myself around. Who I can wear yoga pants and skip the eyeliner around.

That moment, standing in the doorway of my home, in a city I'd lived in for six years post-college, my closest friends lived states and time zones away.

Any friendship I had cultivated after college graduation had come from deliberate, intentional work. Practicing vulnerability and making time for people – which came so naturally, easily and immediately in college –  was becoming an art form.

And when it came to scheduling time to actually get together, it was a

downright miracle.

A few weeks ago, I shared a post about the difficulty of female friendship. But what I'm discovering post-college is that friendship is hard to navigate as we step deeper into adulthood. Across gender, political, socioeconomic, life stages and even longitudinal lines.

I have a few ideas as to why this happens:

The truth is, I'm afraid of being too vulnerable with the people in my day-to-day. After all, they're the ones who see how run-down an over-packed schedule makes me. They're the ones who are there on the quiet weeknights when we serve soup and salad for dinner.

They're the ones who see the dishes piled in the sink, or paper clutter scattered throughout our condo like oversized confetti.

They're the ones who get the emergency: need margaritas, now! texts midway through the workday. I have those people. And it's made me incredibly thankful.

But it's also made me a little scared to think of how long it's taken to cultivate them

I'm afraid of being one-hundred percent who I am with

many of the people I see in my every day life.

For fear of being too needy. Too pushy. Too offensive. Or holding on too tightly.

Friendships in adulthood don't come in abundance.

They don't come about every night and weekend like they did in college. When we were all in the same life stage, virtually. When so many of us had the same visions, and pursuits.

Now we're working. We're raising children. We're waiting for our husbands to come home from deployment. Or we're waiting for our husbands to come into our lives in the first place.

We're doctors. Marketing professionals. Lawyers. Retail workers. Waitresses. Dietitians. Mothers. Wives. Daughters. Girlfriends.

We're different, and as a result, we're stretched for time in our schedules.

But the journey to make time for those people, to let those who are near to you in this stage, in this realm of life, into your world. And maybe give you a little girlfriend therapy while they're there.

I breached the topic about adult friendship on Twitter. 

And set on a mission to discover what was hardest about being a friend in adulthood. Here's what a few of you said:



















Any friendship I have post-college has come at hard, soulful work. It's come through sweat – literally running in life side-by-side with other women I admire – and tears.

And time.

But the journey has been overwhelmingly worth it; and I've never regretted any hour I've ever set aside for good, honest, face-to-face hearts-to-hearts in this season.

And I don't think you will either.

***

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Friday, July 22, 2016

On True Forgiveness

My husband stood me up for lunch.

It was about a year ago, a few weeks after we were married.

And, in his defense, it was an honest mistake that was totally outside of his control. He works in a space with a special security clearance where they don't allow cell phone. He couldn't get in touch with me to tell me he had a sudden change of plans.

But still. My first emotion -- after a strong bout of panic and calling his phone nearly a dozen times -- was understanding, with just a tiny twinge of bitterness.

I mean, I forgave him. Completely.

It's was totally fine.

Life and work comes up.

Circumstances frequently get in the way of what matters the most to us.


But he better be prepared to make it up to me. 

Big time.


And because I married the most gracious human on the planet, he did make it up to me. That evening there was a special bar of chocolate and a nice meal prepared for me when I walked in through the door after work.

Everything was fine. I'm not saying that chocolate is the answer for everything, but it certainly helps. He apologized. I forgave him after understanding all he'd gone through to earn his way back in. But I did sit back and bask in his eagerness to redeem himself.

After all, I deserved it. Didn't I?


























That made me wonder what the rest of my relationships would look like. If I sat around and waited for the people who've wronged, inconvenienced, or hurt me to make it up to me before they won forgiveness.

Something about that screams unhealthy. And a little bit like a Hunger Games spin-off. To live in a world where your actions are only forgiven after they're sealed with an apology. And delivered with a gift or compliment. 

It made me wonder how hard I'd have to work to stay in good graces with everyone if I had to buy back forgiveness. If I had to pay reparations for my past mistakes. If I had to over-correct all minor and major (let's be honest, mostly major) shortcomings and flaws with doing, pleasing, buying, making-it-up.

I'd owe the world a lot of chocolate.

That is, if you were into that kind of thing.

We do it a lot, don't we? We utter phrases under our breaths that seem to point to earning back grace with each other.

Perhaps it's my people-pleasing tendencies that feeds my need to over-correct, but when I've wronged someone, I can't let it go. Even after I've apologized. Even after they've assured me that it's okay. That they haven't thought about it since.

Let me make it up to you

I'll take you out to dinner.

Next one's on me.

My treat.

As if we need to earn forgiveness. As if it's not a gift in and of itself. As if it's something we can track with an Excel spreadsheet. That we can measure against each other. That we can make sure we stay in the green with everyone.

And because we're human, because we're flawed, we let people down. We say terrible things. Some we don't mean. Some we do.

Sometimes asking for forgiveness doesn't seem like enough. Sometimes accepting forgiveness without exchanging a few frequent-offenders miles doesn't feel right.

It's not fair.

It's unnatural.

But, it's grace.


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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Prayer for the People in the Thick of It

Where are you today?

I'm in a slow, in-between season.

So many of these life phases are met with a taffy pulling in-between. A place where there is level ground. A place where there is only residual momentum from a flash-bang season, or none at all.

A place where you show up to your everyday world, pray your car starts, pray against traffic and hope for green lights. It's a place of predictability and almost-certainty. Where the divots in your day, a speed bump, a chest cold come as a complete surprise. A shock to the system.


Our friends and family ask what's new? And our blank stares serve as our replies.

Nothing is new. Not really. The novelty of this season has worn and stretched into comfortable. Like a pair of tried and true blue jeans.

Same job. 

Same relationships. 

Same grocery lists. 

Same apartment. 

Same running route.

Same habits and pursuits.  

This isn't a bad situation in and of itself. I know people in different seasons of life who would beg for normal. Whose work schedules leave them striving for pockets of time to have a social life. Whose lives as mothers or military spouses leave them in a state of anything but normalcy.

Whose diagnosis, depression, divorce, you-name-it, would have them leap at the chance for one minute to pass over them. Normal. Predictable.

But then there are those who have projects or fabulous careers that are launching them into a world of exciting opportunities, speaking gigs, music deals and Instagram followers.


But for the rest of us, there is the thick, slow season. 

Where the work we do plateaus. Where nothing really changes in a culture that seems addicted to change. In a world that stammers at the thought of contentedness. In a nation that bulks at the idea of wanting simple. Of being faithful stewards of the normal in our lives without wanting a better, newer model.

Without wanting a better, newer life.


It's not a jealousy that plagues at all. Not really. I know that this season won't stay still forever. That I've come out from a huge life-change. It's just a general wondering, really. What is it that makes the people unlock such phenomenal levels of person-dom?

I know that God is at work in the normal, still waters of our lives as he is in the seasons of riot, chaos and clutter. He's the God of the brilliant just as He is of those who wait, hands clasped, for further instruction.

Who stay the course.

He is the God of the patient -- or those seeking patience -- and He reigns through the questions. The still, the ordinary and the regular.



photo credit: still life via photopin (license) 







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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Don't Wait 'Til You're Skinny





It started a little over a decade ago.

This wrestling with my midriff. This layer that covers me. That trims down or builds up depending on the season. And how much peach cobbler my husband makes.

I can remember the first comments a few people who love me dearly first told me, in no uncertain terms, that I needed to stop gaining so much weight.

I was a ballerina, dancing in rehearsals, classes, and performances upward of 20 hours a week. Sometimes more.

And like so many in arts and sports where we're judged on the extension of our bodies, the flexibility, the coordination there was a clinical side to what we were most passionate about. A diet that fit us into our tutus and leotards.

A diet that kept us in leading roles and secured us into our costumes. A diet and intense exercise regime that kept the whispers away.

When I stopped dancing and the, albeit inevitable, weight-gain earned its way on my bones, I could feel their whispers. I could sense their judgement. Their assessment of my growing body passive but present.

And I don't think I've ever fully processed the impact that has had on the decisions I've made and opportunities I've let slide as a result. I don't think I've processed what it's like to have a bride assume my larger-than-I'd care-to admit dress size - and be right.

I don't think I've processed what it's like to lose 10 pounds here and there only to gain it back after a stressful, sad or, heck, even joyful season.

I don't think I've processed what it's like to run at least twelve miles a week and still look out of shape. 

I don't think I've processed what it's like to be a writer and have a no-no subject. What it's like to sit in counseling appointments and never breach the subject.

Because, I'll be vulnerable. I'll write about relationships, the big

mistakes, career flops. I'll go anywhere but there.

Never there.

But it doesn't impact only the writing. Or the counseling. Like everything, it's fluid. It bleeds outside the walls I build up in almost every aspect of my life.

Instagram, blogging and book deals are for pretty, thin people.


I could never do that as a career.

She'd never want to be friends with me.

I'm not that good at this. 

Being noticed? Having talent? Having a dream-job? That's really more fitting for a size-four than a size-fourteen.

Best to stay where you are.

I can't tell you how many opportunities I've let pass, how many

friendships I've kept at shallow's end, how many clothes I haven't tried

on or leadership roles I've left for other people while I've waited to be

skinny.


"I'll get to it," I tell myself. "Skinny first, though."

But for some reason, through prayer, perhaps, or an unusual season of confidence, I stumbled into a breakthrough.

Maybe we don't all struggle with our weight. But, I believe that most people have their own version of skinny. Their own trait or life stage they reach for. Their own ideal they'd like to achieve before they allow their real-life start. For some it might be marriage. Others it might be starting a family. Fighting depression. Anxiety. Faithlessness. Anything.

I've been fighting this battle for a decade and skinny has not happened. Anything close has
Whatever your version of skinny is:

Don't wait to be skinny to be a better friend.

Don't wait to be skinny to put yourself out there.

Don't wait to be skinny to date.

To try a new hobby.

To fall back in love with an old one.

To ask yourself why not? And do what you've been meaning to but haven't. Because of fear. Because of doubt. Because the costume won't fit. Because of how you might be perceived by others.

Or even by yourself. 


photo credit: Waiting for the guests to assemble via photopin (license)

photo credit: Rainbow 99s via photopin (license)
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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

For the Beauty of the Things We're Not Good At

Even before I finish stretching my heart feels like a bird in cage.






































I push my leg behind me in a lunge, turning my bum from the street careful not to give the passing cars a show. I dip my head. Breathe. Push play on an Around the Table podcast and launch from the sidewalk.

My shoes kiss the ground with passionate friction for a few paces. Until the thought crosses my head that today might be the day that I can't run for very long.

I might need to stop. I might need to take a breather. I might feel like I've been running for a decade when I've only run a block.

But a voice clear, distinctive, yet gentle presses me on.

Do not grow weary in doing good.

I'm not winning medals for it. I'm not setting personal records – most of the time I'm barely within eyeshot of the people I'm running with. But, I believe it's good.

So I keep pushing at this one thing I'm not entirely talented in. Because it gives me joy. It gives me a goal to work toward. Fragile, unpredictable and tiring hobby that it is, even the days I hate it, or that it's raining, or when I'd much rather be binge-eating popcorn and watching Gilmore Girls reruns, I'm glad to have run.

Lately, I've been treating my faith the same way.


























I show up.

I lace up my shoes.

I map out my route.

I put one foot in front of the other.

And I never really know how things are going to turn out. I can never be sure I'm on the right side of this world's history. I never have answers in the midst of chaos. I never know why bad things happen to good people.

And yet. My marching orders, from scripture, sure, but from millions of other reasons: fear of unknown, wanting my future children to be good, wanting to be more like the amazing people in my life, knowledge of what my life looks like without it, are clear.

Do not grow weary in doing good.

So, I keep running.

It's funny how much harder the race is to endure when you're flaky on the finish line.

Do not grow weary in doing good.

It's funny how we don't like to do what we're naturally inclined to do – even if we know the end result is good for us.

Do not grow weary in doing good.

It's funny how our bodies and minds are so against what our hearts are naturally inclined to do.

Do not grow weary in doing good.

And it's funny how in the midst of all the questions, confusion and

indeed, the weariness, we forget that we're all runners.

We do it for beauty. We do it for good.






Also, have you followed the blog on Facebook yet? It would mean the world to me if you did! 

photo credit: Midsommer/Sonnenwende via photopin (license)
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Thursday, July 7, 2016

I Don't Want You to Pray for Me

Prayer doesn't work.

At least, not the way I've conditioned myself to believe it does.

Not the way I do it, like an automated email signature to the end of a hard conversation, diagnosis, or tragedies that simply don't make sense.

I say: I'll pray for you.

Then, because I'm human. Because I'm hopelessly flawed. Because it's not easy, I don't.

It's not intentional. It's not that I mean to be neglectful. It's more of a testament of how often I utter the phrase rather than the heart behind it.

For some odd chance that I do remember, if it's something really important and if I'm extra prudent in the way I use my time throughout the fringes of the day, prayer seems in a different realm from where I sit.

It's distracted.

Ineffective.

Oftentimes selfish.


I know that God does hear the prayers that we offer in flip drags to the sky. I believe that He does. This is the God of grace and second-chances, after all. I'm sure He hears and answers the prayers that we offer the sky, like we're tossing scrap paper into a waste bin.

They're the prayers that fall off our lips like smoke.

The ones that we breathe out and watch disappear. Sometimes in the midst of our own hurts, faults and shortcomings, those are the best we can offer.

I have to believe these fly-by-night prayers of desperation, this total lack of discipline offered in a fit of rage or a moment of deep, desperate fear are sufficient. That there is grace sufficient for all of us. Even those of us who utter I'll pray for you more than we spend quiet, intentional time in prayer.

Not as a vocal filler. Not as a response to a horrific event from states away displayed on our phones and tablets. Not as a way to try to fill the void. To make it seem we're doing all that we can.

Because if tragedy unraveled in my life. If disease struck, if calamity was en vogue, if I was anxious or angry or confused or doubtful, I wouldn't want anyone to pray for me.

I'd want them to pray alongside me. 

As real, earnest, tucked away prayer that isn't proud. Or condescending.

Prayer that doesn't seek political or social gain through passive language.

Prayer that seeks justice. That encourages the oppressed.

Those are the prayers I want to offer. Those are the prayers I want to be a part of.

The prayers that are with not for. The prayers full of empathy. The prayers that change you. The prayers that give you another perspective.

The prayers that don't say "I told you so."

The prayers that motivate action. The kind that unite us. The kind that call us to love those who've wronged us, and the kind that encourage us to pull through when another, another, another tragedy strikes - and it seems like another is due. And it comes right on schedule.

I want to be the friend, the sister, the believer, the spectator, who prays alongside. Who says yes, I'll pray for you. But I'll be there. I'll answer your call in the middle of the night. I'll be honest. I'll send you flowers or maybe chocolate if things are really rough.

Those are the kind of prayers the world needs. The alongside prayers. Now more than ever.

photo credit: Summer and Serene via photopin (license)

photo credit: Peace and quiet via photopin (license)
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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

You're Gonna Have a Lot of Fun

Marriage is hard work.

The days (and even months) leading up to our wedding - now officially a year ago - we were swarmed with the naysayers of the institution.

We heard it all.

The first year is the hardest.

Okay, but for real, the second year is really the hardest.

Everything is going to change. 

Life gets boring.

You'll get tired of each other.

You'll watch a lot of Netflix.

Happily ever after never seemed so far-fetched. Never seemed so scary.

I'd wonder when the tide would turn? When would the newlywed bliss fade away and leave behind dregs of misery? When would the man I fell in love with turn into someone completely different?

So we entered this season together. Husband and wife. Stopping every once in a while to look over our shoulders. Asking, are you really you? Trusting each other, but checking to make sure the safety net was secured beneath us.

Which we all know isn't really trust at all.

I was in a happy season, in a loving relationship waiting for it to fall to pieces. I was left with my feet on the floor trying to discern rumbling in the distance for signs of a bigger problem. Something that would escalate into something larger over time. That we'd need extensive counseling for.

To be fair, we did watch a lot of Netflix (hello, entire LOST series, I'm lookin' at you) . And a lot of stuff did change. Some for the better. Some for the complications that simply comes with bringing two lives, ideals, and schedules together.

But we also had a lot of fun.  





Perhaps it's my Pollyanna-sensibility, but people don't talk about how fun marriage and life in community is.

Sure, it's work. Sure, it's refining. Sure, it can bring you to some ugly realizations about yourself. When you don't get your way. When you can't get a dog. When you have to explain to another person why you really needed that Kate Spade purse that was on sale.

(Hypothetically, of course.)

We're new at this. And I'm not expecting our entire lives together to be a complete cakewalk. But somehow soberly expecting a large facet of my life - the most important one, alongside my relationship with Jesus and my family - to turn sour doesn't seem wise.

And it certainly isn't the way I want to live out my days here. Constantly checking my back. Constantly wondering what's at the next turn.

Further, saying marriage is hard work discounts the struggles of so many of my lovely friends who are single, engaged or somewhere in between. Their marital status is hard work, too. It's hard coming home to an empty space. Carrying the groceries from the car, up the steps. Getting an invitation to another baby shower or wedding. Saying, "thanks, but no-thanks" to the plus-one option.

We're not naive. We know that there are hard turns at every season, in every stage. Without warning, in this world, it seems as though the unthinkable could happen. To anyone. At any time. In the midst of any sin, neglect, normalcy, goodness, or endurance.

But, there's fun. There's joy. There's reverence. There's refinement - the good kind - the kind that makes you believe in your calling. The kind that strengthens you and doesn't tear you down.

The kind of joy that's represented in that 1 Corinthians passage that's grown a bit cliche, but encompasses everything I want to be:


Patient.

Kind. 


Protective.

Hoping.

Persevering. 


Trusting.

Rejoicing.

So, to those of you entering a season - any good, topsy-turvy season, marriage in particular: it's work.

And you're going to have a lot of fun with it.

photo credit: Breakfast via photopin (license)
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Friday, July 1, 2016

What Happens When You Find Your Space

 

Christen Allocco back at it again with the amazing artwork. I don't deserve her. And y'all should check her out.

I need some space.

It's what we say to overbearing people in our lives. In romantic relationships or maybe that one friend who holds you a little too close and needs you a little too much.

But, how often do we admit this to ourselves?

I need some space.

It's easy to remember when you have the time and space to do it all.

To take time away. To refocus. To get perspective. To seriously reflect on the comings and goings of our day-to-day lives and realize that we're in the grooves. We're in the rings of the tree trunk. We are in the pocket of a great Protector.

And the struggles.

The worries.

The doubts.

The dreams. Fulfilled. Expecting. Or Exploring.

They all serve a purpose. They all lead to a higher place.

I was lucky enough to have some space alongside the people I love most last week. Gracious, powerful, whirlwind space. You wouldn't think that ha beach house full of twenty two nearly grown-up people and a one-year-old would be relaxing. Or that there would be moments spent, quiet, deep together.

I couldn't remember the last time I sat still with my journal and my Bible. I couldn't remember the last time I sat at a computer without less than 10 different tabs open.

I couldn't remember a time when my dreams seemed within reach.

Or if I even cared that they got done.

So I gave myself permission to let go of guilt. To let go of the squirmy, crawling feeling that there were words that need to be written. There were emails that needed to be sent. There were people working toward their dreams in big strides. And there were years in my life ticking by where so little progress could be tracked.

But then, space came. 

And in an odd, quiet moment where I found myself alone, I heard that elusive still, small voice -- the one we all know and try our best to follow -- nudge me. Prompting me to stay the course.

To let go of comparison. To let go of the notion that the time lived in the nine-to-five aspect of my day matters just as much as the time spent creating on my own or living within the folds of a Christian community.

That all of this is for a purpose. That all of this -- all of it -- is triumph. It's for a purpose. It's gathering the bits, the pieces, and making us whole.

And it isn't something we can measure with likes, stats or bank accounts.

It's something that we can only understand when we take a moment. Admit weakness. Come up against our own stubbornness. And if you're anything like me, you put up a pretty good fight. But break it. Push through it. And listen.

It makes me laugh to think of where I was when it happened. The space. The nudging: in a hot tub with a glass of pink wine.

But it also scared me for how infrequently that happens for me, a woman with no kids and a pretty rhythmic routine. It scared me how difficult it is to be so purposeful. To carve that time out. To sit. And listen. And be encouraged.

So, to all of you, my prayer is that you won't wait too long. That you'll find pockets of time while the tea is brewing, while the kids are napping, while you commute to your jobs, that you'll give yourselves space.

And that you'll have the courage to stay the steady course.



If you need a little reminder, my wonderful friend Christen Allocco created a little phone wallpaper and a desktop background, on us! And, while you're at it, give her a little love on Instagram, won't you? 

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