Thursday, February 23, 2012


Growing up I always thought Lent was for Catholics and never thought of giving anything up during these 40 days before Easter, but I've realized a few things since then. A lot of the "traditional" practices that I was scared of growing up are actually really awesome to take part in as long as your faith doesn't become all about them. And I've also realized that it is very important to prepare for the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord because otherwise Easter will sneak up on you and you won't be able to fully enjoy and appreciate his life and the life we have in him if we don't first experience some sort of death.

That being said, I'm participating in Lent this year by giving up sugar. It might sound small but treats and yummy things honestly hold a fairly high place in my life (i know, it's sad). It's a comfort and something I indulge in daily. But I'm giving it up because I want to uncover who I am without that delicious dependency. I want to strip away those things that allow me to hide and cover up the things of my heart so that I can deal with those issues and ask God into the places of my life. Because knowing my areas of struggle is the first step. If i don't know what's broken, how can I fix it?

It's Thursday and I'm barely two days in to this 40 day journey but already I am starting to notice things about myself. Day 1 I caught myself multiple times about to grab a starburst or cookie after a meal purely out of habit. Most of the time it was to satisfy my craving for something sweet but I think that I did it sometimes as a way to better my mood or the situation. And today, I caught myself feeling almost a sense of injustice as I sat there staring at a scone and knowing I couldn't have it. I felt entitled to enjoy it.

I realize how crazy this sounds to really dive into my feelings about the loss of sugar in my life but honestly I think this is somewhat representative of my heart. That I "reach for things" or sin without even realizing that I'm doing it or why I'm doing it. It's like I am trying to fix something without knowing what's broken so I end up using the wrong remedy. Instead of figuring out what is wrong and the best way to fix it, I just do something to make me feel better. Because the first option is too painful and time consuming and I want to feel good now. And secondly, I feel entitled to and tempted by sin and feel mad when i have to restrain from indulging myself.

Wow. This stuff is ugly. But necessary for growth. To learn where I have struggles, bring them to Jesus, and to continue in the journey of reconciliation.

Monday, January 23, 2012


One of the main reasons I love circles is because it helps me realize that me and my worries are actually really small and that my life is only a tiny part of God’s story. It’s encouraging to hear both the positive and hard things going on in each of your lives because it’s a reminder that God is at work. That he is growing and leading each of us very uniquely and for his glory. And it looks different for each of us which allows us to see more clearly the character of God. Throughout the week I often get caught up in my own circumstances with work, friends and decisions to be made and it’s sometimes hard to see past my life. But on Sunday afternoons I am deeply encouraged that God has his hand in all of our lives and I feel so blessed to witness the ways in which he uses us.
So thanks for showing up week after week and speaking your mind and sharing what’s happening in your life because it’s a true testament to God’s power and love and care for us as his body.

Friday, January 6, 2012

So this is the new year...

It seems kind of silly but I am so excited for this new year, mostly for the newness of it and what I have to look forward to. There is so much hope and room for growth with the beginning of a new season and it inspires me to do something instead of watching the time pass on by as I sit comfortably on my couch. With the start of this new year, I kind of feel like I'm on the same page as everyone else, like I have some sort of bond with strangers that I pass by on a daily basis. Everyone has goals and ideas and expectations for what this year will hold and at this point it seems like nothing with come in between us and accomplishing out dreams. I know there will come a day when I will skip my daily Bible reading, or forget to write in my journal, but as of today (6 days in) I feel pretty confident about sticking to it. It's a season of hope and joy and decisions to live life differently. And I don't know what it is about the first week or two of January that make me feel like I can do anything but I wish that stayed with me year round.

I made quite a few goals this year (both big and small) and below is one of them, to plant the garden I've always wanted and actually eat the stuff that grows in it. So when you see me, ask me about my garden and maybe even invite yourself over to share in a meal of leafy greens or something seasoned with rosemary or basil. Here's to 2012 and setting out to accomplish the little things, and the big ones too. Cheers!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ordinary radicals

I read an article today that totally hit home with me. It's about a couple who wanted to live radically. Who moved to Africa and China and lived on basically nothing and when they came home to the U.S. found themselves struggling to live radically while paying bills and buying expensive things. If you have a second you should read this...

It gave me a fresh perspective on what it means to live like Jesus and for him. To not get stuck into conformity but to make tough decisions and risks even in the mundane everyday life. Yes, it's necessary to buy certain things, but it gets messy when we view those things as an end-all. Yes, it's difficult to live in community, but that's what we were made for. Yes, some people we know buy a lot of expensive things that we don't really agree with, but who are we to judge? We don't know their motives. And God wants us to enjoy life.

I'm sure all of us have experienced times where we want nothing ordinary, we are sold out to God and his plans for us and we don't care if our surroundings and society think we are weird. But so often we lose that passion and become complacent. So what does it look like to live in the in-between? To understand that doing some things like the world does is okay, but to also take steps that keep us from just blending in with the crowd.

I keep asking myself, "How will you live radically today?" And not for the sake of living radically but because Jesus' kingdom is bigger and better than the world's and I definitely don't want to miss out on it.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


So clearly I have been avoiding this part (the blogging part) of my circles duties but I just haven't found the motivation to sit down and write about myself and how I'm doing.

I'm in a weird place. Everything in this season of life is new. New house. New job. New routines. New friends (you guys). And all this NEW is a good kind of NEW. I should be fine. I'm not scared of new. Typically, I'm the kind of person who likes new very much. Who decides on a whim to travel or move somewhere just for the sake of newness. I like when things change and I've thought for so long that I thrive on it. Well here I am in the midst of all this newness and I'm feeling anything but new. I feel Old. Numb. Complacent. I feel like God has been preparing me for this season and now that I'm here, I have no idea what to do with it, or with myself. I'm not grasping on to what he's given me and I'm not striving to see what role he has given me in his story.

But I want to want more of God. I long to desire his will so much that my agenda no longer matters. I know that God satisfies those who hunger and thirst after him but I need to get to that point. I want to yearn for Him and not be satisfied by anything else.

I guess I want to catch up to the rest of the newness in my life. I want to be made new and in that newness seek God and find him and find myself in him.

Side note: After sitting down to read a lot of your blogs, I felt fuller. As I stepped back from my own life to look at even a few of your stories, it is clear that God is doing his thing and he's so much bigger than I usually give him credit for. Thanks for being so open and real in your posts.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Why wait?

Lately my life has been stuck in a season of waiting. And the phrase, "if you are willing to wait" has come up a lot. Well, two times but in two very big ways.

We've been looking to move into a new apartment for a while (our first one of our married life, since we were sharing with roommates in Uganda and have been living with David's parents since we returned) and at the very beginning of October we found the perfect one. Once we did all the work of applying, getting copies of our licenses, pay stubs, and credit reports we finally go the word back. "If you're willing to wait a month to move in, it's all yours."

And two days ago I called Peet's to follow up after my interview and after being put on hold, was told that "If you are willing to wait 2 more weeks to start, we would be happy to have you."

Yes of course I am willing to wait for a great apartment and a fun coffee shop job at a place I love, but am I happy about it? No. I don't like to wait because I was brought up in a society that tells me I need things now. The snicker's slogan, "Why wait" is a perfect example of our culture's desire to satisfy our needs now. It instills in us that we are entitled to meeting our comforts and wants now and not later.

But isn't there significance in a season of waiting? Aren't there things to be learned and ways to grow during times like these? I know that I will appreciate my job and apartment a lot more because I have waited for them. But what does God want to teach me during this time? And what should I be doing so that I don't miss out?

These are the things I will be pondering for the next few weeks.

Monday, October 10, 2011


I am so inspired by the message last night. Inspired to live in a way that is founded on the fact that I am a child of God and that my identity is found within him.

I am often guilty of living in a way that is defined by outside indicators. One day I can be so happy and confident and free, and the next I'll feel like I have no purpose, no drive, like I'm losing myself. But when I really think about it, it is because I have been finding my identity in what people say to me, what they think of me, what I think of me, the things that I'm doing, and the groups I hang out with. When I don't feel affirmed or loved, or successful, I assume that I'm not instead of assuring myself that it doesn't matter. I grasp onto both positive and negative feedback and allow those to define who I am, and it is constantly changing. But I'm done with that.

Towards the end of the sermon I felt almost a physical freedom just knowing that I am not defined by others, what groups I'm in, or even by what I think about myself. It's a faith issue but I just have to rest assured that I am identified by the way Christ sees me.

So now how do I live in that? What does that look like to be rooted in our loving God and find our identity within him? What does he say about me? What does he call me to?

I can no longer live for myself. I have been reconciled, my trespasses are no longer counted against me, I am a new creation, I have been entrusted to share the message of reconciliation. We are literally God's hands and feet on this earth, so why I am just sitting around? I have a job to do.

My motivation needs to change. What if I did what I do motivated by the surpassing worth of Christ Jesus and who I am in him instead of being motivated by the hope to be known or liked or loved? What if, like Paul, I counted everything else a loss for the sake of knowing Christ?

It's going to be a process and I'm not sure what it looks like, but I will start by focusing this week on being defined by the atoning work of Christ.
Who's with me?