5389107128_a9378508ba_b

Birthday Questions

 

It was the spring of 2007, when I met her.  We were both high school seniors, eagerly anticipating the new season of life that would be college, adulthood, and freedom.  We were the only two declaring education as our major in our cohort of 40 students who had been invited to the university for a chance to interview for five full-tuition scholarships.  I didn’t land that scholarship.  But I gained something much more valuable.  We decided to be roommates after spending that week together, never realizing we would become lifelong friends.

This year will be nine years of celebrating birthdays together.  She created a tradition early on that would stick with us through all of our birthdays, whether we were physically together or not to celebrate them.  Each birthday, she would ask the first two questions to the birthday girl and the last question to our group of close friendsRead more…

Silence

When my parents visited us in Kansas City this past November, one of the things they kept saying over and over again was that they felt like they had come to a quiet cabin in the woods.  Everything was so peaceful and still.  Now, mind you, our house is like any other home in the suburban sprawl across America; we just happen to have real, green grass and three giant trees in our yard instead of the usual cacti and rocks my parents are used to (a.k.a. Phoenix).

But there is some truth to their statement.  Ever since I’ve moved to the Midwest, I’ve felt like my soul has done some unwinding.  It’s the first time in my young adult life that I’ve experienced something of a Sabbath lifestyle.  Sure, there is still the daily routine, working, keeping up a home, meeting friends, etc.  But something about the pace is different.  Or perhaps I’ve given myself the permission to breathe.  Or maybe I’ve realized that I erroneously placed so much value on hyperventilating through my “ultra-stressful, ultra-productive” day as if that equated to my life having real meaning and purpose.

I recently heard a speaker and teacher share about his journey with the Lord and how early on in his Christian walk, God taught him the importance of starting or ending his day with silence.  He did not “empty his mind” in that hour; rather, he would focus his thoughts on an attribute of God (e.g. His faithfulness, His mercy, etc.) or gaze upon a painting of Jesus on the cross.  And as the traffic of his soul died down, he experienced some of the sweetest moments he has ever had with the Lord.

Around that same time, I came across this article on Relevant magazine written by Jayson D. Bradley.  It’s a provoking read, but some of his closing statements resounded with clarity in the dusty caverns of my soul…

“The silence we need is more than an absence of sound; it’s a break from constant stimulus and activity. It’s about allowing the tangled cords in our spirit and mind to unravel and be stilled. It’s about stopping the constant need to control our surroundings with our actions and words in a never-ending quest to drown out the unrest in our hearts. It’s about facing the dragon of emptiness, loneliness, frustration, anger, hurt and need head on—and doing the soul-wrenching work of letting Jesus deal with it.”

Yes.  All of that, yes.  So that’s when I decided I needed to learn how to be still and silent before His presence. Read more…

FullSizeRender (7)

One Word for 2016

I’ve been pondering on my resolutions / goals / hopes / dreams / (whatever you call it) for 2016 for a while now.

Towards the latter half of 2015, I wrestled with the reality of “letting my ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and my ‘no’ be ‘no’” in my own personal life, thinking about the importance of speaking the truth in every possible way on a daily basis.  I am all for making goals, lists, plans of actions, etc.  But there is something sacred about committing to one thing, even a small thing, and carrying out that commitment with grace.

I was reading my friend’s blog today (she writes with such honesty, grace, and beauty…you need to read it for yourself) when I ran across the concept of One Word 365 (or I suppose it’s 366 this year since it’s a leap year!).

It is utterly brilliant.  Instead of having all of these resolutions, you pick one word that sums up your various goals, dreams, and hopes for the year, and you live with that one word in mind every day.

The funny thing is, I had already had one word floating through my thoughts and popping into my head at random times throughout the last couple of months.  I suppose this is best evidenced in my last blog post.

So here it is, 2016… Read more…

kaboompics.com_Blank paper with pen and coffee cup on wood table

My New Year’s Resolutions…In September.

Did any of you ever run for school class president?  You know when you make the big “vote for me” speech, and you have all these grand ideas and your delivery skills are just on point, and then you do get elected?  And then you’re like, “Wait, now I need to do all those things I talked about.”

If you’ve read my last post on disliking fair rides and following my dreams, then you’ll know why I have felt like the school class president for the past couple of days.  The post brought a surprising amount of blogger-world traffic my way (which when I started this blog, I had no idea such a world existed).  Also, by “a surprising amount” I mean like a few other really cool bloggers started to follow my blog and liked my posts.

But back to the point – what was I supposed to write about next?! Read more…

Secret Confessions

Here it goes…

I really don’t like fairs.  I don’t love the crowds, or the long lines, or the fact that all of the food is so not good for me but smells so stinking delicious.  But I especially don’t like the rides.  You know the ones – they spin around and around and somehow are also moving up and down and backwards all at the same time, made ridiculously complete with their too many blinking, colorful lights and blaring, machine-ish music.  It’s like a perfect recipe for vertigo on steroids.

So, I avoid them at all costs.  I’m usually the purse holder, the one who gravitates towards sitting in the middle of the roller coaster if I am absolutely forced to ride one.  It’s an experience to grit my teeth through, not one in which to find thrill or excitement. Read more…