I’m not crying because she’s growing up. I’m crying because she is so much more than I could have ever imagined. ❤️ I asked her if she was ready or nervous to make new friends and she replied, “Of course mom! So freaking ready.” She’s a unifier is new life. New season. Fresh anointing. She’s already changing the world.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd be having a triple espresso in a grande cup and add my own shaken Bullet Proof protein & collagen powder as cream. It's a game changer I'm telling you!
If we were on a coffee date, what would you order?
If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you mind is R-A-C-I-N-G on the topic of women and men, church, equality, overcorrecting, under supporting, eyelashes verses mustaches, I admit, it's gotten weird.
But I've seen so many conversations, debates, opinion puking, and well thought out perspectives, that I wonder what God's intention is in this resolution. Or if he'll give us one ever. Or maybe He already did. See what I mean? Anyways, that's where my head is at.
Also, I'm having a boy (#imnotscaredyourescared), so I'm a little more aware of balance these days.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask you "how's your weekend going?"
If we were on a coffee date, I'd for sure be drinking a venti of anything. Black. Latte. Espresso. Some people judge the pregnant woman's coffee consumption, but I have two really cool kids that "appear" to be unaffected by my caffeine intake. #thisisnotamedicalopinion
If we were on a coffee date, we'd probably exchange week updates and a good solid baby bump examination.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd be coming up on 17 weeks pregnant and celebrating the sickness be gone. Unless I'm awake for too many hours in a row and then it returns in full force. It's like nature's way of telling me to "SHUT IT DOWN."
If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you I've researched the HECK out of third pregnancies and the information (or lack there of) is straight bumming me out. No one talks about #3. Not like the kid, the pregnancy. I mean, I guess by this point, people assume you have it down. You've done this three times, if you don't know what's what, you're not very good at paying attention to your body.
But I call BS.
If we were on a coffee date, and all my words weren't recorded for my grandkids to read, I'd say the real thing.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd probably get into the details of why this one's so different. (Hi Shaina 👋) And if we were really good friends, you'd know you could ask any question in the book and I'd answer it honestly. Like the baby bump for example. It’s not cute by #3, it’s more like a re-inflated flabby balloon. #alsoyouwouldntbeaman #idontreallygotocoffeewithmen #okwelloneman
If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you about my OB telling me to slow down my weight gain because, "You had a big baby last time." Yes, I remember. I was there. And I did everything text book for a VBAC and my girl was still wonder woman. (10 lb 6 oz sized wonder woman)
If we were on a coffee date, there would be no stopping me from telling you that my boobs don't fit my brand new bras, my jeans are too tight but maternity pants are too big, I cannot get my metabolism up to save my life, everything feels saggier faster, and my skin isn't glowing. It's sweating. They say glow to make us feel better but it's just excessive sweat we're constantly dabbing away.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd make light of the obvious things, but you'd be hard pressed to get out of me that this pregnancy has unearthed the insecure Jules. I don't like gaining weight. Even for the miracle of life. It seems warped, but it's the truth. And I wish so bad I could change my natural perspective.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd dig even deeper, because that's what I'd want you to do. I'd tell you I don't think it's about self-worth or acceptance. But more a silly lie of wasted time and defeat. Maybe it's laziness. Or exhaustion. I don't want to find a new rhythm to this pregnancy. I don't want to find a new routine that is crafted around this baby.
I want to be able to copy and paste the last one.
Because in that one, I was skinny and fit. I only gained 35 lbs and lost it all pretty quickly. Because in that one, my skin didn't break out and my hair was luscious and bouncy. I found a manageable routine of exercise and food, but never felt deprived or depleted.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd realize I just talked myself into an epiphany. I'm craving the rut, in 12 months, I'll beg to get out of. Damn. #sorrygrandkids
If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you you're a good friend for letting me get there. And refill your coffee.
This Fall I got to do hangout with a girl (and her peeps) that I've admired for a very long time. I didn't know she knew who I was, but one instagram message led to the next and we toured the midwest together. Talking, singing, laughing, crying about holiness and grace.
Can you be fully gracious and yet fully living in holiness?
That was the question she set out to answer. Or at least start a conversation around.
Is there room to ebb and flow in the "calling up" and "calling out"?
Do we have to be relaxed in our standards and expectations in order to be seen or known as women who dance in the grace of Jesus?
If you've been around here for any length of time, you've heard me rave about this book and trust me, I've read it three times already because it really is that good.
So we walked into churches and coffee stops, fully of women who were ready to tackle the same questions and guess what we found...
Grace. Holiness. Love. Mission.
It's as if the women of God are ALREADY doing, thinking, processing these things, but they're just searching for the permission to say them out loud. Jess would say, "You don't need my permission! Just go! Be fully alive and awake in what God's called you to!" But still, permission granted.
"What I’ve found is that we can all be the experts on grace and holiness if we’re believers in Jesus. We’re all covered in the same grace and given the same image- bearing identity. Who would you count as the expert on going to the moon—the guy who has read the most books about it or the guy who has actually gone there?"
- Jess Connolly
Are you ready to "go to the moon," so to speak? Because I've been on this spaceship for about 6 months now and ya'll, it's beautiful up here.
Also, if you're the girl that's like "But Jules, I don't even know where to start!" Good news. I didn't either. So I got the book, read it, realized I had women in my world that were feeling the same urgencies and so I invited them over, started a text thread and did we we did best: talk and talk and talk through it.
If you're a planner, there's also a specific book club, study you can do too!
LESSON ONE SNEAK PEEK:
- Who is God, and what are we here for?
- Have you ever tried to hide your holiness?
- 1 Timothy 1:7 says we’ve been given a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. Which, if any, of those are difficult for you to believe you’ve been given?
- What is holiness, anyway?
- What is God’s stance toward us?
It's okay to be nice to a complete stranger. I'm grateful for the lady that taught me this lesson.
I was sitting in the corner of my favorite hometown french bakery, sobbing my eyes out. I tried my best to conceal the tears, but the mascara smudged down my lower lids was a dead giveaway. I couldn't help it. I was at my wits end, and with every last ounce of girth in me I struggled to put on my every things-going-to-work-out cap on.
I knew it would. It always does. But at that moment, I was tired of waiting.
I ordered my usual, a breakfast crepe with eggs, ham, mushrooms, cheese and strawberries, a stared off into space as though the answers to my questions would inscribe themselves on the back wall.
Now, please understand there is a slight possibility I was overly emotional and approaching PMS week.
Nevertheless, off into space I stared.
For about 15 minutes.
And then the sweetest little old lady walked up behind me, gently rubbed my shoulder and whispered five words that shifted my mood and my philosophy on strangers.
She said, "Sweetie, you need to eat."
In that moment, the woman was my hero.
At a time when I felt all my decisions were either being made for me or non-existent, she gave me the simplest of directions. I needed someone to remind me to focus on the next right thing. I needed to eat. I hadn't eaten anything all day.
It was like she knew that and instead of pitying me in her mind and walking away, she sweetly and gently took the time to mother my exposed heart.
There are people in your life today, that need you to help them along to their next right thing. Look for them. They will come in all different shapes and sizes, looks and styles, ages and genders. Regardless, they need you to notice them and sweetly whisper something like, "Sweetie, you need to eat."
*Post Originally Written 2013
I'm sorry. Tonight, at this year's VMA Awards, every young girl in the world was sent a message we've been trying to dissipate for years.
A message sent by many other mediums and vices.
A message with potential to damage and inevitably demean.
A message with an illusion of strength, but a reality of sorrow.
A message glamorized by makeup and costumes.
A message fantasized by girls just like you.
Sex means "growing up." Use your sexuality to get noticed and get what you want. Sex is power.
No no one can blame Miley Cyrus for wanting to become more than the Disney Channel girl. We all need to grow up at some point. But what the world witnessed tonight was a juvenile and sorry attempt to do so.
We didn't see a little girl growing up. We saw a wildly inappropriate exhibit of sexuality distorted and warped.
Please hear me when I say, this: It is not truth, it is not good, and there is nothing glamorous about it.
Maturity doesn't come in the cheap sale of something so valuable. Value doesn't rise when something is thrown flippantly to all.
Don't hear me wrong, the fact that you and I, as girls, are sexual beings is nothing to be apologizing for. Don't be ashamed of it, but don't throw it to the dogs either.
You were made to awaken your sexuality in freedom, with no inhibitions and no audience. You were meant to explore your sexuality in freedom, with one man who's committed to love and cherish and adore you; no matter what. There is a time for that and it will come. I promise.
You are worth more. Miley is worth more. And when her audience has gawked enough, they will abandon her while her actions follow her into wherever the future leads. And while they're not unredeemable, they are pivotal.
Don't be fooled, sweet girls, by the glamour of what you see. Be wiser.
It was Tuesday morning and I did the same thing I always did on Tuesday's.
I woke up at 5am, slammed my snooze button, dragged myself out of my warm sheets and got started with my normal-every-Tuesday-morning-routine.
I drove to Starbucks, swapped the typical weather jokes with my favorite barista, ordered my grande coffee and bagel, and walked out the freshly decorated glass door.
What wasn't routine was the scraggly teenage boy I ran into on my way to the truck.
He was asking for something and though I didn't clearly hear him, I assumed it was money. I said sorry, I didn't have any, and continued on toward the truck.
He didn't ask again and he didn't pester. But something in my head did.
Did he ask for money or food? I quickly spun around and asked, do u need food?
His reply was so innocent and affirmative so I held out my goodie bag and said, here ya go, a toasted bagel with cream cheese made just for you. He smiled so big, I thought his lip ring was gonna pop out.
I didn't think anything of it until I got in the truck and started pulling away. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the boy peeling open the cream cheese, so carefully and joyfully, like it was freaking Christmas morning. I drove to the office, weeping like a broken hearted mother.
I didn't know this boy. I had no idea what kind of trouble or circumstances got him to the streets, but I do know that he is someone's son. And if my son were out on the streets, asking for food at 6:30 in the morning, I know I'd want that busy looking girl to stop and give him her bagel.
Every person we encounter throughout our days, hold a place in someone's heart. What might happen if we began to live with that perspective? How might our cities, our culture, our atmosphere shift?
We could at least try.
Post Originally Written in 2012
If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you I'm on the other side of a breakthrough.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd probably float in because for the first time in a long time, I'm walking stronger.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you I knew God had what felt like ankle weights, on me for the last 6 months, and I was so ready for him to take them off. I trusted Him in His training method, but I was ready for relief.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd probably start tearing up as explained to you that on November 27th, I woke up more free than I was November 26th and that my first thought was, "Thank you Father, for releasing the weight."
If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you I'm a tiny bit embarrassed at how long it took me to actually feel His response. It was like I was a kid grabbing breakfast on my way out of the house and yelling, "Thanks Dad!" But as I walked home, I realized the weights weren't gone. I'd just gained new muscle mass. He didn't release me. He strengthened me.
If we were on a coffee date, I'm not sure what would happen next, to be honest. We might cry. I do feel like crying together is a love language of mine. Although it does make some people uncomfortable.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you with this new found strength, I feel like I can move mountains.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask you what mountains you have in your life and that I want to pray through them with you.
Bravery isn't knowing all the answers. It's standing on the promises we have from God, knowing HE has all the answers and He loves us very much.
A retreat was what I needed to clear my head and start fresh. Six weeks away from a conference many had poured blood, sweat and tears into and I was still wracking my brain and Bible for a specific and timely word from God.
We trekked upstate and a little to the east, arriving at the beautiful Lake Tahoe. The next day we drove around the lake, wide and vast and still. "What do you want me to tell them," I asked of God. "There are 400 girls coming to the conference hear from you and I don't know what to tell them."
At that moment and for the next 2 hours, my mind flooded with memories and stories, verses and quotes that my life was being built upon. Middle school, high school, college and a tiny bit of marriage was the only life experience I possessed, but somehow I knew it was enough.
I couldn't grab my iPhone quick enough. Typing on those little buttons like a mad woman, I knew the Holy Spirit was reminding me of things that would connect with the hearts and experiences of those girls.
I cried with awe. Oh how He loves us.
I wept with overwhelm. Oh how He's shaping us.
By the time we'd wrapped around the bend, I had something to say. It wasn't my message, but I was living it. It wasn't my design but I was wearing it. It wasn't my idea, but it was my hope to give.
This is what He said:
Tell them I love them.
Tell them to love me with everything in them.
Tell them My love does not depend on theirs.
Tell them to not be afraid.
Tell them the world needs to hear their story.
Tell them they are precious to me.
Tell them I see them where they are.
Tell them I will meet them there.
Tell them My grace is deep enough to cover their hidden regrets and it is wide enough to cover their future mistakes.
Tell them it is time to awake. To be fully awake.
Tell them to be courageous.
Tell them, to be brave.
Today I pass on this message to you.
Whoever you need to be today, whatever you need to do, be awake, be courageous,be brave.
Post Originally Written in 2013
I’ve always wanted to invest in a good (like GOOD) watch for Ty. But early in our marriage I bought him a legit silver banded one and we found out his skin reacted to metal. How it took 26 Years to discover this issue, I’ll never know.
So since then, it’s been Apple Watch or die.
Guys. Their watch bands are made entirely from wood. And they’re super light. #improbablygonnaborrowit
So if you need a last minute “man” gift, I got you ;)
"But a certain Samaritan, as he traveled along, came down to where he was; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity and sympathy [for him], And went to him and dressed his wounds, pouring on [them] oil and wine. Then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn and took care of him."
“The samaritan didn’t say, ‘Here’s the wine and oil for your wounds,’ he actually poured the oil and wine.”
- Charles Spurgeon
Jesus is the Word of God. He is the manifestation of redemption upon the earth. And when He left this earth, He sent “one who is greater” so that we, His Church, could be empowered to do as He did.
He started something so we could finish it. You and I are the verb, the action upon Jesus’ word, to somebody in your life.
You are the hands that bring healing as you tend to their wounds.
You mouth the words that bring life into someone’s desperate circumstance.
You are the feet that walk beside them, up the hill and down again.
You are the arms that link with the man and woman next to you, forming a fortified army of warriors against a defeated Enemy.
But you can’t just hand them the ointment and wine and peace out.
Just as you and I needed God to come down in the form of a man and take our debt upon His back, they need you to pour it out for them.
Yes, there are safe boundaries. Yes, there are limits. Yes, enabling is a real thing to be aware of. But the line is further up than we think.
So who is in your life, right now, whose wounds have them pinned to the ground? Who in your life needs you to pour the oil and wine of healing?
I have mine.
Let’s invite them into our homes, our families, our churches, our sisterhoods or brotherhoods. Whatever that looks like, let’s do it soon.
- - - - -
[Jesus] took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant written in my blood, poured out for you.”
If we were on a coffee date, I'd probably be early because I'm getting my first pedicure in I'm-not-even-sure-how-long, tomorrow and will try and squeeze in some reading time.
If we were on a coffee date, I would have texted you what your coffee order is so it'd be ready for you when you got here. And then I'd add it to the "Organization" line of your contact in my phone. Just in the case of an emergency :)
If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask you how your Easter was! And if you celebrate Jesus or something else for the day.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd probably tell you I've recently started a recovery group at my church and I'm not even sure yet why. I've always been pretty open about brokenness in my life. Hence, this very public place. And I decided a decade or so ago that I wasn't going to be the girl that only talks or writes about things after I found victory. I was going to write and talk about the pain of the process. Because that's we tend to fear the most.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd probably go right for the deep stuff (because small talk gives me anxiety) and ask if you've ever done anything like recovery.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you about my friend (well, we've met twice but I'm going to call her my friend) Hosanna Poetry. She does spoken word, and she started out at Celebrate Recovery. She's expanded her repertoire now, but I've yet to hear a word that hasn't made me cry. Bernal Heights slays me. And makes me want to redeem every place that's broken me.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask if you want another cup, because I have a feeling we'll be here a while ;)
There's a pain that comes with miscarriage that is truly unexplainable to anyone who hasn't experienced it. And even to women who have, there are rarely words, just nods of understanding and tears of familiarity.
Tyson and I had the privilege of sharing our story with our church recently and I think we were both surprised at how much we still felt. A friend and co-worker put together the video and did an INCREDIBLE job showing the redemption we have in our two babes. Seriously, I bought him a "thank you" beer because no one has told our story the beautiful way he did.
After I got off stage the second service, I had this convo with my BFF who was watching from Cali:
It's a rough tension to know something is turning out for good, when you would do anything to trade the good for those babies. But if I learned anything through the pain it's this:
Don't be afraid to be honest and feel it all.
The overwhelming heaviness in the every day tasks.
The insatiable ache that sits in your stomach every single morning.
The tears that come at untimely and embarrassing moments.
The anger and doubt towards a sovereign and faithful God. #Hecanhandleit
But, don't reject the snippets of joy either. They will weave in and around your world as unpredictably as the sorrow. Don't push it away. Embrace it. They are your evidences of grace. They will be your life-lines through this terribly dark tunnel.
There is another side. It doesn't feel that way now, but there is. Hold on, hunker down, and ask God to show Himself.
Nothing is wasted. Ever.
"Though he slay me, I will hope in Him, yet I will argue my ways to his face. This will be my salvation, that the godless shall not come before him." Job 13:15
I love this.
Job points out, God sees and I'm confused as to the WHY behind all of this, yet my hope is that I CAN APPROACH HIM about it because I know He loves me and I love Him.
If you are a follower of Jesus, have entrusted and surrendered your life to Him, you can approach Him BOLDLY, as a royal daughter or son to a King. You have dibs. You are ushered right up to His presence.
And you can talk to Him. About everything. He is not afraid of your anger, your hurt, your longings or desires. He's not intimidated by your questions or doubt.
When you're honest, He will meet you there.
You are not alone. I know it feels like it, but you're not.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd txt you and ask your order. Unless you're one of my regular dates, then I'd probably have it saved in your contact information. #importantinfo
If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask how your week's been.
If we were on a coffee date, you might give me a short recount of the events, but I'd dig a little deeper.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask how your heart is. Like for reals.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you I've recently been re-inspired to cut the crap and get in people's worlds. Not that I didn't wanna be there all along, but nerves get me. Pretty easily.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd confess I'm a lot more afraid of what people think of me, than I'd like to admit. I think about how you'll respond or react. I don't like talking about possibly offensive things or touchy subjects, not because I don't feel passionately about them, but because I don't want to hurt your feelings. But we live in a world where it feels like everything could be taken as demeaning, attacking, offending or rebelling.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask if you felt that too. The shift. The slow groan.
If we were on a coffee date, we'd probably go up and down and all around rabbit trails from that single thought. Perhaps for hours. My love language is crying so if you cry, or get me to cry, we'll probably be BFF's.
I have a fear that one day my daughters might come to despise the church, without ever really knowing or discovering for themselves what it stands for.
I've seen my fair share of pastors' kids or kids with any connection to the Church, turn their back on it all because of any number of reasons. Some, because of all the things it took away from them--recitals, dad at their ball games, family dinners, vacations, Sunday morning doughnut runs. Others, because of the chaos it comes with--fishbowl lifestyle, open home, early mornings and late nights.
I know some parents completely missed the signs; the warnings and cries for attention or help from their children. But some really, really tried. Like really.
That's what terrifies me. I'm afraid I'll try my hardest to be balanced and still miss the mark.
So I started a journal.
For them. I plan to give it to them when they graduate, but maybe before will be best. Or later. I have no idea yet. Still feeling it out.
Or maybe it's first of dozens that I'll write in, pray over, cry through and laugh about.
It's just one more attempt to go out of my way to let them know, to let you know, my sweet girls, why we get up early and stay up late, why we spend most every Christmas and Easter in the walls of a Church.
This is why you know your way around the sanctuary and church halls and where every bathroom and trash can are. This is why everyone you waddle past knows your names and people who were once total strangers are now your papas and grammies. Women who could never conceive, find joy and satisfaction in seeing you grow up. People who've only had suffering in life, have been comforted by your smiles, your countenance, your comfort.
But even if none of that existed, this is why we do this beautiful thing called "Church":
Because Jesus loves us.
He saved us.
We, me and Dad, we shouldn't be here.
He wasn't planned.
I was supposed to be a sexual abuse statistic.
We are not supposed to be here, in this place, physically, emotionally, spiritually.
We made some bad decisions.
Petty, self-righteous, and sinful decisions.
AND GOD'S GRACE WAS STILL SUFFICIENT.
Trust me, that's some crazy good news.
We sing because we have to. We have to tell the world about this magnificent grace and love. We have to show you that it's the most real thing you'll ever experience. This is why we sing, and dance and act like crazy people on and off the stage.
Grace, love, peace.
It's all because of Jesus.
And trusting Him with our family is one of the toughest yet easiest decisions we've made yet.
- - - - - - - - - -
PS. Our family worships and serves at Shoreline Church in Austin,TX. If you're local we'd love you to join us! And tell us when you're here. Obvs :)
If we were on a coffee date, we'd probably be at my house because I can't drink milk lattes anymore. #whole30remember? Although, my bff just told me about cashew milk. CASHEW MILK HAS SAVED MY COFFEE. As of this morning. With cinnamon and coconut syrup. I admit, it's definitely a grey area but I'm cool with that.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you I'm watching this show called Good Girls Revolt. Have you heard of it? It defienitely sparks up the feminist in me, but it's doing a brilliant job making me not feel predicting emotions.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask what your favorite show is right now...or any show you're watching. This is Us? The Good Wife? Are you a Shondaland junkie like me? Ok, minus the murder one. It lost me on season 2.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you God's been doing some weirdly beautiful stuff in my heart lately. 2016 is what I'm calling my year of disillusionment. And this is my year of acknowledgment. That's not my word for the year but it probably should be. Now that we're halfway through January.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask what I can pray for you about. It's cheesy-Christian I know. But sometimes cheesy Christian is just truth. Let's called it Feta-Christian. Sounds more sophisticated.
Read that again.
And then raise your right hand and repeat after me:
"I, _______________, solemnly swear to not judge but only encourage my co-readers who love the idea of finishing dozens of books more than the actual act of reading."
Ok, now that we got that out of the way, W E L C O M E!
This is where we start a book and only possibly finish it, because starting is better than never-starting. Wish that could have been a little catchier, but you get it.
I like reading books. I'm just not a fast reader and I'm a mom. With a full time job. I don't get to sit and read for fun in this season but in the seconds I do get to finish a dog-eared page, I remember how much I love the act of learning through written words.
So here it goes. One book at a time. On my Facebook page, I'll write about things that strike me and I'd love to hear if you're reading the same book or another that's rocking your world.
First book I'm non-committally flipping through is:
From book website:
Breaking Busy will help you:
- Understand that whatever your age or season of life, new adventures are waiting for you. Walking in your God-given destiny is the best kind of life you can live.
- Learn how to stop chasing what leaves you empty and start doing what you were created to do.
- Identify the common lies you believe and how to strip their power from your life.
- Recognize that your passions and talents can give you clues into your purpose in life.
- Discover how to overcome feeling a constant pressure to be all things to all people.
Ready, set, read! Or not 😘
If we were on a coffee date, I'd be drinking a triple espresso over ice in a grande cup with coconut milk. Because I'm a mother. And three shots is barely enough to cover these days.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask how your Christmas was. Did you see family? What'd you do, what are you traditions, anything crazy or yummy?
If we were on a coffee date, there'd be a scone on the table because it's the last few days before Ty and I do Whole 30. There I said it. I committed it to this weird online world. My bff did it with her husband and she said they felt amazing! So we're in. #bleh
If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask if you'd ever done anything like Whole 30 before. We both have autoimmune diseases and we're so sick of taking medication. Not in the "hippie crunchy we hate western medicine and will only drink oil" sort of way though. More like the, "our kids have our blood and genes and if they have any trace of these diseases we'd like to set them up for success with healthy habits" sort of way. We'll see how it goes. It's just 30 days. What's the worst that could happen? #sayseveryonebeforetheygetthebug
If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you I ordered these RX Bars because they're amazing and will be my lifeline during the 30 days.
If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask what's got you excited these days. What's the hope you've grabbed onto in the midst of the madness? #didisaythatoutloud
If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask what your New Year Resolution is. Or if you even do those. Or what you do instead. We tried them, but then we found that picking and praying over a "word" for the year was much more fulfilling. It's like a focus point that you can easily check in on throughout the year. I used to be more of a checklist girl, but these days I feel like I can't keep up with the basic tasks of human life, let alone an additional pressure of meeting goals and benchmarks. Maybe I will again someday. Just not today.
What about you? ☕️
We pray your day is filled with joy and love and peace. Today, we're remembering the gift that Jesus gave to us, by breaking God's silence, coming humbly on a mission no one else could accomplish, and seeing it through to the end so we could be restored.
We pray our family has been an encouragement to yours as we seek to let the real be real, tough times be tough times, and the joyous ones be even more radiant. We will fail at this many times over, but we're thankful Jesus gives us the grace for that too.
"And over all these virtues put on love, which is the bond of perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, for to this you were called as members of one body. And be thankful." Colossians 3:14-15
Here's some free Christmas music for your day :)
In high school I told God I'd throw out my long list of "Future Husband Needs" if he'd give me just 3 things.
A man who loved (or at least appreciated) music.Because, obvs.
A man who was born to lead strong.Because, well, we all know me.
A man with unmatched compassion.Because, I come with a lot of overstuffed baggage.
On the original list I had hair color, eye color, freckle frequency, jobs, dreams, aspirations, height and anything else you could think of to make finding a spouse nearly impossible. And every guy I dated, post-list-trim, was a variation of these three, but none got all of them. I was honestly beginning to think he didn't exist.
And then I met Tyson.
Our love story is a soap-opera you can read at other places on this blog. We don't have enough time or coffee or pasta to get through it all right now.
But the nugget version is: the first time I actually got to know Tyson, it scared me. It scared me because he was what I'd begun giving up hope actually existed.
I'll never forget the day my mom came home from grocery shopping. I'd just broken up with a guy weeks earlier and was coming out of the funk of heartbreak. As we were unloading the groceries from the trunk of my hand-me-down '83 tan Volvo, she commented on the love song that was playing when she got in.
It was Realize, by Colbie Caillat.
"Who's that song about?" She asked. But the "Mom Ask," like she already knows the answer...
"What? What song?" I replied, honestly having no idea what she was talking about.
"The song in your car. It's about a girl discovering that the one for her has been there all along."
"Oh gosh mom. It's just a song." I probably threw some attitude over the giant wall I'd been building.
"Well," she said as I followed her up the white steps of our big yellow farm house, "maybe it's telling you something." We set our handful of groceries down and she looked me dead in the eyes with that look only Mamas can give.
"I know you. And this is you. You're finally yourself again."
I knew what she was alluding to. I didn't want to, but I did.
Tyson was all three of my non-negotiables I'd been negotiating on.
I'd spent so much time conceding to the fact that my dreams were too high and my needs too deep. I fell in love a couple times, with good men who seemed to fit a version of the mold.
I'd been living in a slowly growing conflict between love and life. Battling between the pressure of other's expectations and the still small voice God has placed in my heart.
For a while, I couldn't tell a difference between the two.
But when I was with Tyson, it was like my heart was at rest. There was no angst with him. No questions, no insecurity. I was me.
That day was a turning point for me. #tysonshouldsendmymommoreflowers
I didn't even realize the conflict had affected the fabric of me until she'd pointed it out.
Isn't that crazy? Our biggest life decisions often get made in the seclusion of our own minds.
That can't be healthy for us.
- "Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?" Job 12:12
- "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." James 1:5
- "Where there is no counsel, plans fail; but in a multitude of counselors they are established." Proverbs 15:22
So Dear Single / Dating Friends, ask for insight into your love life and make sure the one you choose lets you be you. You won't regret it.
Dear Mom & Dad, thanks for being bold and inserting your heart and love in ways I could hear them.
Dear Mentors, thank you for speaking into our marriage and cheering us on into these 8 years.
Dear Tyson, thanks for being everything I needed. Thanks for being relentless in your love for me. Thank you for not completing me as a half to a half, but rather, doubling our potency by powering up. Thank you for leading me, even when you feel like it's useless. Thank you for being patient and compassionate with me always.
With you, I'm me.
Ps. Fun fact, Tyson also met the pre-trimmed list. Funny how God works like that sometimes.