Monday, June 8, 2015

Write to Know

I have a draft folder full of ideas and intro paragraphs from last fall. They're full of ideas about growth and moving forward that are all anchored in this profound concept of being known. I was full of confidence and a touch of arrogance in the progress I had made in knowing myself, in feeling sure about who I was and where I was going.

And then my 27th birthday came and I had another aha people loved me in ways that showed they knew me. Not just recognized me, but knew the ways I feel most celebrated. I had arrived! I was investing in authentic relationships. I was doing work that I felt fully called to do! 27 was going to be my year! (You see the set up here, right?)

And then my new little love showed up on the scene.

9 Weeks...and in the thick of it for another 15.
Also, I'm still terribly awkward at this. I missed the posing gene!

My stowaway secret wasn't being so secretive. As much as I loved this little life, I didn't recognize that girl in the mirror, the one with the puffy face, the tired eyes, the thrown out back. The one spending way more time on the bathroom floor than being productive. The one without any extra energy for the long talks with her high schoolers.

Was I still me if I wasn't a night owl? the one with the crazy schedule? the coworker always up for lunch? the girl confident with the way she looked? the host always up for opening her home?

And if I wasn't that person, could I still write? Could I write if I wasn't sure I knew myself anymore? Was there even a point?

And of course somewhere in the deep I knew the answer, but in the midst of being wrapped up in the meta, I forgot. I forgot that the good stuff, the words that stick, is rarely written from a place of knowing. It's written from a place of seeking. The writing can start without knowing where it's going to end up. But by going through the process, that sense of being known, the sense of knowing assures us that we've arrived.

So here we are, on the cusp of a big transition.

38 Weeks
It's one where I'm learning myself all over again...and over and over and over again. But this time I'm writing to remember that's exactly what God intended. To stay humble, to keep a posture of leaning in, to kindle the desire to keep seeking Truth and Beauty, we have to stretch and evolve and lose and rediscover.

So, sweet boy of mine, your momma is going to flounder here for a bit. But I promise you, she'll keep writing to know and to be known and to show you there is joy in the seeking. Because God promises that whose who seek will find, and you can always trust our Jesus at his word. That I very much know.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Preposition, a Confession, and an Invitation


Both enigmatic and profoundly intimate.

One of my favorite things about our Jesus is that he's totally fine with the immense limitations of our minds. He offers a multitude of ways to speak about the deep truths, so we can begin to learn more and more about our infinite God. His is a beautiful love, isn't it?

So while a front door explanation of the power of prayer is locked to me, there is a back door that’s swinging open, so let’s try that one.

I’m a language girl through and through. Selecting the right adjectives, explaining grammar rules, aligning verb tenses, using parts of speech in blog titles…I love it all. And while it’s easy to see language as my personal playground or just a necessary tool, scripture makes it clear that our words matter much more than simple amusement or practicalities. Take a look:

“The tongue has the power of life and death.”
Proverbs 18:21

"Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."
Proverbs 12:18

"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."
Proverbs 16:24

Words hold power. They matter. And there’s one word I haven’t been able to get off my mind: for. I’m particularly overwhelmed by its use in the common expression “I’ll pray for you.”

See, this phrase that I’ve heard since I could stand falls out of my mouth and slams into ears and I don’t think I pause to actually hear what I’m saying.

Continue reading...
Honored to be writing for Thrive today!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Our Little Marriage is Growing Up

The last few weeks have been nice and full of living summer while running out of time to write about summer. But days like to today make me a hard stop to remember and reflect. Four years ago I got to become this guy's wife.

And while I love to reminisce and browse through the photos, I can't help but notice that we're starting to see those dancing eyes and giddy smiles as a bit young and naive. Not any less authentic, but we are starting to use those words If you only knew...

The longer Nate and I are married, the more it feels like a marriage has a lot in common with a new little one. Our baby marriage with it's sparkler love is cute to look at and full of anecdotes. But it still included a fair amount of upheaval and confusion, and it tookseveral months to figure out how to sleep through the night. (Because there's a boy in my bed!)

As we move from our early twenties into our later twenties, our little marriage has grown from a wobbly toddler into an inquisitive preschooler. We don't fall nearly as often as we used to, and we're finding our groove while growing into who we are as a couple and soaking up all the knowledge and insights we can muster.

Our marriage is just a touch older than this little miss.

Our Niece Lydia
I love the way an almost-four-year-old sees the world. She doesn't hesitate to show her awe and wonder, and her little mind constantly connects new ideas to the ones she already has figured out.

And that's where I feel like we are at the four-year mark. Still in awe of this mysterious thing called marriage, figuring things out but learning all the time. And hopefully all of you out there with grown-up marriages are at least a little amused as we grow.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I believe it's the same with a marriage. We had a village cheering us on four years ago when all we really knew is that we loved Jesus and loved each other. That cast of supporting characters has only increased as we dig into those big things like calling and purpose and what our marriage can do for the kingdom.

And even though these four years have peeled away much about what I thought I knew, they've also revealed a little peek at mammoth ideas. Commitment. Forgiveness. Selflessness. Perseverance. Grace.

As blurry as our future may be, I do know I can't wait to grow up with this man of mine. Happy anniversary, sweets.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thursday Three: In Three Words

We're right in the thick of the craziness of May! And while we've been busy, it's also been a great few weeks. Here's a little peek at the last seven days.

1. Deep. We spent a long weekend in Minneapolis with two couples who just light up our lives. We celebrated Ryan graduating with his Master's Degree, and just generally spent time with each other. It was just about the perfect mix of relaxation, activity, intentionality, authenticity, laughter, and just enough conviction to keep spurring one another toward growth. I'm so thankful for the Six Strands!

2. Full. Full home, full schedule, full table...I tend to think life is pretty epic when fullness is a part of it. This week we hosted a friend for a few days, threw together a little get together on the fly, and spent a few extra hours at work for some fun, upcoming projects. I kind of love it.

3. Alone. While I love keeping life full, I'm also barely an extrovert. So after seeing some of my favorite people for four days in a row, my inner introvert demanded some attention over these last couple of days. Alone time + perfect spring weather = a rejuvenating end to the week.

Happy Thursday, everybody!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thursday Three: By the Numbers

1. 1393. Consecutive days Nate and I saw each other. We didn't set out to see each other every day, but we got a kick out if it, and I was sad to see our streak end this week.

2. 11.5. Time zones between Nate and me this week. I've been trying to wrap my head around the distance between us, but at some point my mind just short circuits. Even though I can't fully understand the technology that seems far closer to magic, I've had a blast eating my dinner and chatting with Nate while he's eating breakfast.

Hooray for Technology!
3. 3. Trips out of town I've taken while Nate's out of town. I've made a lot of progress over the years, but I don't sit still very well. Ha! This week I've tried to fill my time with a few outings to keep time moving a little easier. I loved visiting my nieces last weekend, but who wouldn't just love some squeezes from these little ones? I also was able to go to nearby town for some me-time, and tomorrow I will finally see in person a certain Dutch heritage festival that I've heard so much about over the last few years. Bring on the Dutch Letters and the poffertjes!

Nothing makes me smile like these smiles!
Happy Thursday, everyone! And hooray for the weekend!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thursday Three

Thursday Three is back! Last week didn't happen because...Easter. But we're back this week!

1. I love Easter. Yes, I put in some extra hours, and there's much to do at a church to get ready for the day, but it's the best reason in the world to celebrate. This year Easter was everything it should be: constant reminders of redeeming grace, relaxed time with family, singing "Up from the Grave He Arose," little ones in bright, new clothes, gorgeous weather that convinced me winter is actually gone, and these little treasures.

All time favorite Easter just can't be helped.
2. I love how some of the best things in life can't be planned. This week we planned a midweek date to try out a downtown restaurant. We ended up walking through a road race celebration only to find that the restaurant was located directly at the race's starting line. We didn't plan that. We couldn't have planned that. We watched several thousand people start their one-mile race from our table, and on our walk back to the car, we watched a U.S. Silver Medalist win the men's championship race. Even though we are very much not runners, we were speechless. Unless laughing counts as speaking...then we had a lot to say.

Our faces on the car ride home. Hilarious!
3. I love big questions. Last night my high schoolers were asking some big questions. The ones that we don't have a feel-good answer for. The ones that I have legitimately say, "I don't know." I've always loved knowing the right answer. But I also love that my Jesus doesn't let me know everything. And I love watching my girls wrestle with their faith.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursday Three

I'm still working toward getting posts completed between Thursdays, but until we go!

1. I love my job, but sometimes working at a church is hard. Admitting this in a public space feels strange, but that's been the kind of week it's been. It's an honor to help prepare everything for Easter, but like every job, it has its stressors. This week has had a few. Tonight I'm thinking about one of my favorite Easter lessons: Friday is brutal, and Saturday is dark, but Sunday always comes. Thank you, Jesus!

2. Vitamin D + a little sweat = Ahhhh... This week may have stressful, but spring is finally showing off! After work the sun was still shining, and the warm breeze cheered us on as we went for a little jog to clear our heads. How is it that I so easily forget how simple things can make the biggest difference? (Hitting up Chick-fil-A after the run was also a great way to celebrate the end of the week. Ha!)

3. My brothers are the best! It's National Sibling Day! I've sung their praises here before, but seriously, they're amazing. This week has reminded me of just how lucky I am to count both Nathan and Andrew among my best friends. While growing up they made sure to inform me of the many, many reasons I was lucky to be the youngest. They just didn't realize that the best part of being the baby is getting to call them my big brothers.

I tend to be laughing in all of our pictures together.
See what I mean?
That's all for this week, everyone! Have a great weekend.