Friday, May 8, 2015

In Which I Bid My Twenties Adieu

The clock behind me ticks away each remaining second of my twenties, an audible reminder that I'm inching closer and closer to a whole new decade of life. I find myself in a juxtaposition of wanting to hang on to my twenties, and the seemingly allowed naivete and youthfulness associated with them, while also being [nervously] excited about the years ahead and what unforeseen possibilities and maturity and growth may come with them. Each tick of the clock brings with it a different flood of emotions, yet also the reality that though a part of me may want to remain in my twenties it just will not happen, I will be thirty in a matter of minutes. It seems only fair then that, at a time such as this, a farewell is delivered.

Farewell to the years that solidified lifelong friendships.
Farewell to the years that educated me the most, both inside the walls of a classroom and beyond them.
Farewell to the years that found me living in six different towns, three different states, East Coast, West Coast, and somewhere in between.
Farewell to the years of first "real" jobs, short-lived jobs, active jobs, desk jobs, split shift jobs, and overnight camping kind of jobs.
Farewell to the years that took me up and down and all around in my faith.
Farewell to the years where I learned how to deepen relationships, with family and friends, and to adjust to the changing dynamics.
Farewell to the years that led to being more comfortable in my own skin, more capable of dismissing undue expectations.
Farewell to the years of falling even more in love with simple pleasures.
Farewell to the years where I pushed myself to try new things and experiences, refocused on past interests, and came to realize what captivates me and brings me joy.
Farewell to the years of first experiences with dating (oy vey).
Farewell to the years that bit by bit, shaped and molded me, and matured me as best they could.
Farewell to these years, for all that they were, for who I am as a result of them.
Farewell, my twenties.

And. . . hello, my thirties! Welcome. What should we do together?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

29: The Year of Trying

Who am I? What do I enjoy? What am I passionate about? These are all questions that one would hope to have a strong answer to, especially at this stage of life. And yet, I’ve found that I don’t know if I really, truly have concrete answers for them.

I do know that I once loved writing, do I still? My intention is to find out by documenting my new, focused endeavor of discovering who God has designed me to be. Akin to the experience that Julia Robert’s character in Runaway Bride had where she attempts to decipher how she likes her eggs, this year I’m going to try a variety of activities, interests, disciplines to [hopefully] gain answers to the aforementioned questions. I desire to identify the things that make me genuinely excited and fired up, that make me feel alive; to stop doing things due to the dreadful “shoulds.” I desire to step out of my comfort zone unreservedly to experience what God has had planned for me all along that I have been too hesitant, too complacent to step into; to stop telling myself that certain things are intended for certain people, of whom I am not one [lies, I tell ya]. I desire to have a full-on, authentic, real and raw relationship with God that is uniquely my own, figuring out what works best for me, personally, to know Him more and to live a life with Him at the center of it; not falling into the rote religious life. I desire to know thyself . . . and thus, know God better as well as His intentions for fully engaging in life and in community with others.
It may be uncomfortable, confusing, frustrating at times, but it also may be invigorating, joyous, rewarding. I think that 29 could just very well shape up to be my best year yet. Buckle up, here we go . . .

Saturday, August 24, 2013

It's Gonna Be Good

Forgive me for the disappearing act. A lot has been happening in my life, and also within me, in these past [too many] months and the words just seemed to be content to reside in my mind . . . until now. I'm a little rusty though, so bear with me as I bumble my way through sharing the latest stirring within me:

"Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good." ~ C.S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe 

Like the steady beat of a heart, the words redemption and risk have been resounding in my mind over the course of the last few months. Redemption. Risk. Redemption. Risk.

Redemption from time that seems as though it were lost, as if whatever it was spent on was all for naught.

Risking my comfort, my contentedness, my plans, in order to live life to the full.

This season of life has made me ever aware that God is in fact good. Is a life in pursuit of Him and His will going to be safe? At times, yes. More often than not, no. But in forgoing the guarantee of safety one has the opportunity to step into a life that is much, much richer and fuller. A life that is marked by new beginning after new beginning. A life that beckons us to live beyond our meager ideas of fulfillment, and to step [courageously and trustingly] into God's far grander plans for us.

One of the musicians that I enjoy has a song that reiterates these same kind of sentiments. Needless to say, the song has been adopted as a sort of theme song for this current season of life. The part that resonates the most with me is this:

"I wanna see what you're made of
Get up and fight, you know you should
Try, there's nothing you should be afraid of . . .
This ain't safe but it's gonna be good." [Matt Wertz's Gonna Be Good]

Per 2 Timothy 1:7, God has not given us a spirit of fear or timidity, rather, He wants to see what we're made of, what He knows we are meant to be/do, and He has given us a spirit of power to help us get there.

Will we allow God to redeem us? Will we dare to live unsafely? To trust that God is good? My hope and prayer, not only for myself, but for all of us is that our response to all of those questions will be resounding yeses.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." ~ John 10:10

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Si. Ja. Oui. Yes.


It is a one syllable word. And yet, it is one that can be so difficult to spit out at times.

In spite of the fact that it, phonetically, is a simple word, the reality is that "yes" is a complex word due to the implications that stem from its use. Saying yes often times means making a commitment, agreeing with/to something, taking action, or even giving someone else the reigns.

It's counterpart, "no," however, typically suggests refusal to do something/go somewhere, disagreement, and maintaining control. Basically, saying no tends to mean getting to stay put and do whatever the heck you want. Is it any wonder that "no" becomes one of a child's first words?!

Currently, I do a fair amount of hanging out with a one year old little girl. Nearly anything that I ask her receives the response of "no." Even if the question is not a yes or no question, the answer still ends up being no a lot of the time. Go figure. I started to think that perhaps she just hasn't learned to say the word "yes" yet so I set about trying to teach it to her a few weeks ago. After going down the "repeat after me" road, I quickly ascertained that she does in fact know how to say yes, and even knows it's meaning. . . she just chooses to not use it.

How often in life do we act as if we don't know the word yes? How often do we say no at all costs -- staying right where we are because it's safe, it's comfortable, it's controllable; holding tight to our plans, thoughts, and opinions without entertaining the idea of allowing the uniqueness of someone else or other plans to broaden our horizons; more importantly, how often do we say no to God, thinking that we both know ourselves and our plan for our lives better than He does?

I'm guilty of all of the above, more often than not.

Acknowledging that I know the word yes means acknowledging that I choose to not use it, that I choose to remain complacent, and stubborn, and close-minded, and even fearful.

Interestingly enough though, while spending time with my little friend the other day, I noticed that she had started to give "okay" as her response every now and then. Not fully committed to saying yes, and, in essence, not fully committed to committing to whatever she was saying okay to, but, she was at least open to taking that first shaky step out.

Since that first day that "okay" first popped into our conversations, she has used it more and more frequently, and, I have seen her grow more courageous and deliberate in her actions, more sure of herself and more sure of me and our relationship.

You see, while saying "yes" can [mistakenly] feel like we'll lose ourselves, it's quite the opposite, it allows us to learn more about ourselves and see things in a different, clearer light; it allows us to become more relational with others and allows us to truly experience life; but, most importantly, it allows us to partner with God and fully experience Him and what He has planned for us so that we might fully live.

And, you know what, it's alright if we just start with the first shaky step of saying okay. Okay, after okay, leads to growth that leads to surer footing, which leads to being able to say yes more assuredly and excitedly. And saying yes? Saying yes means opening yourself up to a vast world of wonder and relationship, opening yourself up to life.


Say yes.

Monday, July 2, 2012


God bless my dad and brother who's lives are inundated with females -- even my brother's dog is a she! The poor guys are quite the troopers when the whole family gets together, given that they're basically tagging along to "girl-time."

Aside from my hope for male companionship for my own personal gain someday, truth be told, I also hope for that so that the men in my family can have another guy to add to the ranks [read: enjoy a good brew with and talk sports].

Dad and Jeff, I'm doing what I can -- while still being a lady, of course -- to get the ratio more in your favor (let's be honest, it's mutually beneficial). Thanks for your patience in the meantime, both with the elongated period of being the only males. . . and with putting up with all of us gals and our shenanigans.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Fear of failure can be crippling at times in one’s life. It has the ability to introduce irrationalities into our mindset, to awaken anxiety within us, to hold us hostage . . . if we let it.

After failing, miserably, the potential to fail again may send someone running in the opposite direction, running to a safe haven where no risks have to be taken, where one can just float comfortably along the lazy river of life. But, is that truly living? If we don’t have to put ourselves out there ever again? If we don’t push ourselves to try new things, not knowing whether or not we’ll be good at them, if we’ll succeed?
True, it can be frightening, really, really frightening, to step out into the unknown, to dare ourselves to move out of our comfort zone, especially if we’re still raw from a recent failure . . . and yes, I won’t sugarcoat it, we may in fact fail [again] . . . but, we also may find ourselves reaping the abundant rewards of success and/or, if nothing else, relishing our newfound strength in ourselves after conquering our fear. 
The great Babe Ruth is cited as saying these two quotes that I believe can go hand in hand: “Don’t let the fear of striking out hold you back,” and, “every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”
So, whether our endeavor itself results in success or failure, the truth of the matter is that it is still a success regardless since we stepped up to the plate, gave it our all, and swang away instead of just hiding out in the dugout. 
Loosen failure's hold on you, and don't let fear hold you back -- even if you do stike out be emboldened by your resolve, and keep swinging away until you hit your home run.