Saturday, May 14, 2011

insisting joy

You'll have to excuse my absence. The past two months have seemed like a whirlwind, interrupting and invading normalcy with such unrelenting vigor I thought I may not withstand it's pace. But Jason and I have experienced God's grace, we've seen glimpses of his reconciliation begin in dark places, and we've rejoiced in his kindness and goodness to us as we approach our wedding day. It's funny to think about what I pictured this season to look like. How I vowed will all the energy I could that it would be joyous. As if I was given the power to insist gladness from my days. It has most certainly been a season of celebrating what has transpired and what is in store. What gift we have found in our families and friends who have encouraged and counseled us along the way! But, as life has a way of doing, it has held circumstances we couldn't foresee. Honestly, I didn't always handle them with grace. Why now? Again, believing in my desires more than the truth that God so sweetly reminds us of in Isaiah 55:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Oh yeah. Of course, they are. Oh, that His ways would be higher than ours. That truth is life giving, for in it we can surrender and trust. Knowing that God is not merely in this very moment, but in all our moments to come. Also knowing, he is deeply concerned about the refinement of his people, that means perspective may just take it's own time to take form.
I feel it impossible, and perhaps unnecessary, to try and share all that has happened. But I also feel it's time to be a little vulnerable and cease trying to insist joy from my days. Rather than insisting, I'm learning to appreciate it's presence along with the not-so-joyous things as well.
One story I must share, that is long overdue, will be one of my favorites to tell the rest of my life. A little tale of a clueless lady and a sweet gentleman that ended up in Chicago one Saturday morning.

Friday, April 8, 2011


"For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all nations."
Isaiah 61:11
This morning I'm found longing. For more of who He is and more of his kingdom to come here on earth. Longing for the day that all nations will stand united before the throne of a Mighty God who has drawn them together by his grace and steadfast love. Longing for my life to reflect that very truth. Longing for more of him and less of me.

Monday, March 7, 2011

the best surprise of all

I am going to marry my best friend.
A more detailed story, where I can brag on him, is soon to come. No worries.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

paper & string

I made a paper heart garland for Valentine's Day, don't judge. I have a serious love for paper and string so this just seemed like a perfect combination for decorating. Today, however, is the day after Valentine's so it seems as though today would be the day to take down the hearts. But my dilemma is whether to leave them lingering in suspension for a few days or take them down. Perhaps I'm putting off taking them down because I have the best Valentine in the land. Either way, here they are, I guess they'll just have to stay up for a couple more days.

Friday, January 21, 2011

the difference in a clenched fist

I'm becoming more convinced everyday that surrender is something I will continue to learn throughout my life. At different stages, at different levels, all the while applying this understanding to the very day and situation I am in. I think about surrender in three stages:
  • identifying what is before me
  • exposing what is before me (which is accompanied by acceptance in it's presence, sharing it with others and exposing my recognition of it to God)
Often times this is where I find momentary satiation in my surrender. I recognized and then I exposed what it was, but I am missing a critical part of true surrender in all of my surrendering.
unclenching my fist.
The most crucial facet of true surrender. It's the hardest part I think. Unclenching my fist as I expose what is before me, releasing control and most importantly trusting (I'm talking about REALLY trusting) the Lord is in control. I've been choosing to actively participate in that last part. Sometimes, usually when the thing before me is unpleasant, it's so easy to let go. With gladness I'll let it go, hand it off, and in that moment I know that I know that I'm over my head. But that dismissing is perhaps almost as dangerous as having a fist unclenched. I don't know about you, but being too dismissive brings me to a passive attitude about what is going on. I know I'm not in control so I excuse not truly experiencing the circumstance and happenings of my life. Then there's this other scenario where the happenstance is good. When it's easy to rejoice in my circumstances. And still, there in that moment, the Lord wants all of who I am. Not to steal my joy, but to make much of his name in my suffering and in my happiness. So, I say all this to say that I strongly believe that the Lord, in his grace and goodness, wants us to experience him in his fullness. And somehow he beautifully works our surrender into knowing him more and truly living. In every moment of our day, every situation, every feeling and thought. So good and bad, difficult and easy, he's present and he's teaching. And I'm learning to embrace that more and more. Knowing that I will seek and find him when I seek him with all of who I am (Jeremiah 29:13).

Saturday, January 15, 2011


My board of bulletins has been keeping a make shift journal of sorts. The creative part of me loves to have things revolving on and off this board. A couple occupants are permanently stationed: a map of midtown, an outline of Turkey, a mini-clip board & foreign language flash cards. But apart from that, this space is where I like to place new ideas, inspiration and mementos (yes, I'm sentimental. Don't judge). My favorite right now is a portion of Gustave Caillebotte's Les raboteurs de parquet (The Floor Scrapers), a product of visiting the impressionist exhibit at the Frist over Christmas break. I love the ordinary strength captured in this piece and the simplicity of it all. So, today I'm found at my desk dreaming about a couple fun future projects. Hoping you have little reminders in your home of places you've been, things that inspire or people you love. (Or any combination of the three). Happy Saturday!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Christi & Ryan

One of my dearest friends, Christi, got married right before Christmas. Her wedding pictures are stunning. I'm not talking about, I-think-they-are-stunning-because-I'm-biased-because-she's-my-friend. They are stunning.
Click here: C & Ryan.
You'll see.