Feb 10, 2016

time for a break

Just told Ella that we’re giving up social media for Lent.

Me too, girl. ME TOO.

Tough decision because I love, LOVE, scrolling and liking and reading (and saving all the posts.. let’s be real). I love seeing your kids and pets and trips and memes. I love celebrating and laughing and connecting. 

But what I don’t like is how I sometimes (ok... usually) feel defeated, envious, defensive and judge-ey when I sign off. More often than not, I pick up the phone to just see what’s happening in the world, and feel wretched when I put it down again. I mean, I just used the word "wretched"... Clearly, I need a break.

So with that, I’m out until Easter. No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, nothing. I have hives just thinking about it. I miiiiight get on just to blog on Sundays, but for the most part, I’ll be using the time to know Jesus a whole lot more, work on this tired heart of mine, and snuggle with my favorite people.

Praying an amazing Lenten Season for those who participate, and an amazing 46 days for those who don’t!

Oct 23, 2015

The many (many) miles of the first-time Detroit FreePress marathoner--

I am batman. I reek of bananas, Nike Dri Fit and promise. Six months ago I had no desire to even walk one mile but now? Now I feel like someone liquified the Beastie Boys and fed them to me through an IV. Let's do this.

Mile 1
It's still dark, people are cheering like crazy and clothes are hitting the ground at a rate so fast you think the Rapture happened. 
You giggle and say "one down, 25 to go!"

1.5 Fluid Station
Flasks are full so you don't stop, but you stare because you can't believe everyone just throws the cups on the ground like that!

Mile 2
You might need to retie your shoes. Why is your belt bouncing like that? When should you GU? 
(Mental math as you attempt to calculate how long those 6:00a bananas will stay in effect) 
Take one just to be safe.. You brought like, 15. 
Hold the wrapper so border patrol doesn't tackle you for littering. Smile, they have guns

Mile 3
Almost a 5K! That was easy! You should do the Color Run or something!
Wow..the sunrise is gorgeous! Let's stop, immediately, in front of the 20K people behind us, and take a selfie

Aug 12, 2015

the state of my spirit

I’m breaking through some afflictions today using the proven strategy of amazing-worship-on-repeat. Today’s blessed weapon of choice:

Oh, this song. This song!
“The skies lay low where you are. On the earth you rest your feet.
Yet the hands that cradle the stars are the hands that bled for me.”

God is big, and He is good. And no matter what I face, He is there. 
And though I know this, I still fall apart at times. 
Like, fall… and hit the ground completely broken. 

But today I’m just stricken with pure overwhelm as I remember His nearness, and what that proximity actually means.

For He is not only above or around me, but BESIDE me. 
And I don’t just have access to Him by some luck of the draw or chance occurrence.. 
I have access because He went out of His way to make Himself accessible. 
He came down and wore flesh and loved me all the way to His last mortal breath.

And then He came back--to show this world that His promise was real and His covenant is strong, and His death was the best thing that could ever happen to us.

May 22, 2015

i saw her today

The girl with like, two bibles and a crumpled study workbook sprawled across a Starbucks table.
Little multicolored pens speckled that space like confetti. Fitting.. it was a party, after all.
Because I didn't just see a girl neck-deep in good book -- I saw a girl who was just thirsting for a word and a hope. I saw a girl letting her text messages ding and all the people walk by as she stayed focused on the only One who could speak the very message she needs today. She sipped her coffee, and she glanced at the screen, but she boomeranged back to the bound book in front of her, scouring scripture for her treasures, promised.
It wasn't a fellow Christian woman who recognized the hunger of that posture. It was a tired momma, drudging through the thick of it, seeing her and saying "that one is anchored to something right now." 
And in that moment, my heart asked to be anchored, too. It begged me to stop seeking approval and acceptance elsewhere, and just dwell in the warmth of grace and true love. 
I saw her and my heart settled, knowing I had access to the same tranquil appointment.
I saw her and my hope swelled, remembering who I was and why I am here. Telling me that the restlessness is good, because it gives me space to choose and move and live. 
I saw her, and I saw the only place where the weary could rest, and the broken could heal, and the lost could find refuge. 
because in seeing her, I saw Him.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

Oct 22, 2014

firstfruit (a 31 Days post)

today's joy is both simple and complicated in nature. 

it came in the form of a completed project--the first major project i've been part of in my new position--and it just feels plain great to see it in hard copy. 

at the same time, i cannot help but recall the past couple months of wondering if it would ever make it to this. 

the process of waiting on God's message, leaning into valued leaders, considering the hearts and minds and faith walks of thousands of attenders... it just became overwhelming. even a bit scary!

we are a big church prepared to do big things. we've been given much and so, we know God expects much from us. this project reflects that. without spoiling too much i'll just say, it's a spiritual formation piece for a stewardship event. it bridges the goodness of God's blessing with the struggle to be obedient. it's more than an elaborate request, but a humble invite. 

getting to this point, however, was so hard. in one ear we had the wicked one telling us that we were crazy and ineffective. in the other, we had an ear trumpet, hoping to catch God's messages amidst enemy fire. day in day out we wavered between confidence and conviction. we never gave up, but bordered on becoming careless--which is pretty much the same thing.

seeing it through meant seeing God around every corner. each draft submission carried fresh faith with it. each approval meant thanks, and lots of them. this is the firstfruit of our big project at NorthRidge, and my joy is in sharing this picture of its completed form.

Oct 21, 2014

sibling love (a 31 Days post)

he drew his first picture of himself and "Baby Ella." 

(if you don't already know, we are not finding out the gender of this baby. but since day one Eli has referred to my belly as "Ella" and so we go along with it)

i loved this little demonstration of acknowledging a relationship. before he even knows what it is to be a big brother, he sees that he is big and strong, and the baby is smaller. he sees that they look the same. he sees that they are close.

maybe i see too much into things, but how could i not? he is so pure and innocent, and as deeply rooted in the present as he'll ever be. whatever he does, i hope i never miss seeing it through his eyes. today, this little image of him and his sibling-on-the-way brought me so much joy and hope and love. 

little one, we cannot wait to meet you :)