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It has pockets

Yesterday I saw this picture.
pockets

And I laughed. Because I never realized that anyone but me did this. (Really though, how can you not point this out? It’s important. POCKETS. There are hardly ever pockets. When there are, they need to be celebrated)

Then I scrolled through the comments and found dozens of people also saying “I thought this was just me,” and I laughed even more.

Sometimes you don’t even realize you needed a “Me too” until you hear it.

I’m not the only one.
Neither are you.
We should all say so, because nobody should be left to believe they’re alone.

And yes, there was a point when this post stopped being about the pockets.

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Thoughts on forgiving and being loved

Recently I found this that I wrote in my journal a year ago: Jesus has felt a deeper shame than any of us ever will, because when he was on the cross holding all of our sin(the past, present, and future sins of the WHOLE WORLD), God LITERALLY turned his back on him. We just FEEL like God can’t look at us when we’ve sinned…but it’s not true. Because of Jesus. God looks us right in the eye and sees Jesus. Always. No matter how deep we’re buried in sin. Because of Jesus. None of it’s because of me.

A few weeks ago my Lifegroup was studying Psalm 103.
Most of us have heard verses 11-12 by themselves. This time verse 10 hit me.

He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

And then verse 11 begins with “For…” which means it must connect with verse 10…

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; (12) as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

God doesn’t forgive us because we deserve it. Or because we apologized enough times or did enough good things to outweigh the wrong. He forgives us because he loves us.
If God, the perfect sinless God of the universe, can love us that much, horrible selfish sinful crazy humans, and love us enough to save us and forgive us…can’t we love other people that way too?

Of course we can. We should. We have to. If all of us who say we’ve been loved and forgiven like this would love and forgive everyone around us in the same way, think how much easier it would be for them to believe that God loves them even more than that?

That’s what it takes. That’s how the world will change. Not everyone has to turn their life upside down and move across the world, but all of us have to love whoever God’s put around us.

And that’s hard to do when you aren’t letting yourself receive love and grace from Jesus. If you’re striving for perfection and trying to earn the grace that Jesus already bought for you, if you’re spending all your energy proving that you’re worthy of love, people aren’t going to see Jesus in you. They’ll see the same frantic, imperfect version of love that the rest of the world has to offer.

Jesus didn’t die for us so that we could accept it and say, “Thank you, now watch me pay you back for it!” It’s a gift. He died so we could be free. (see Galatians 5:1, Ephesians 2:8-9, and probably several others)
This kind of love is something to rest in. We don’t have to strive for it or worry about losing it. When we’re loving people from a place like that, that’s when Jesus shines out of us.

I’m talking to me more than anyone else. I don’t do any of this perfectly, or very well at all. These are all places where I’ve been painfully convicted lately and where I’m praying for God to grow me now, and sometimes I think out loud in case I’m not the only one who needs it.

Your life is a thank you note. Not a payment plan. Jesus took care of the bill. You just pass on all the goodness he’s given you and show others how to get in on it.

He’s good. So good. The best.

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Oh happy October

I can’t remember exactly when I chose the Red Sox as my team(just sometime in elementary school), and I don’t remember at all why, but I know exactly when I fell in love with baseball.
I always liked the idea of it(I think I started claiming it as my favorite sport the first time I watched Daniel play t-ball, when I was three or four), but this is when it became my favorite thing.

It was October 2003 and it was the first time I’d ever watched the entire postseason. I was a kid and didn’t have my own TV, plus when you live in the south and don’t get cable you NEVER get a chance to watch baseball whether you want to or not. We didn’t have smartphones and apps that let you pull every game out of your pocket.
I’d been to minor league games before(because what’s now the Greenville Drive used to be the Capital City Bombers, and they used to be in the Mets’ farm system, not the Red Sox) and loved them. But this is when my dad really taught me how to watch the game, and I actually understood it and was so proud of myself. I still can’t understand any other sport; everything in baseball always makes sense.
And whatever reason I’d had for picking the Red Sox before, now I loved them because my dad insisted they couldn’t win and I believed they could. I was right…for a while. I threw a tantrum like a five year old when my mom made me go to bed before the end of ALCS game 7, and an even bigger one when she told me the next morning that the Red Sox lost. I chose the Cubs(I wasn’t allowed to like the Braves, because Dad said that Ted Turner didn’t like Christians. I didn’t want to like them either way because everyone in the south likes them)…and they lost their LCS too…but I couldn’t cheer for the Yankees in the World Series, so I grudgingly picked the Marlins, and watching the Yankees lose somewhat made up for not getting to see my team win.

And so I became addicted to October. Especially after the next October, when we won the most impossible series that had ever been won, the first win that Boston had seen in 86 years.
I like October better than Christmas. Me on the day after the World Series ends is like anyone else in America on December 26th.

When I came home from the World Race, all I had was Jesus and baseball. I was jet lagged and stayed up all night reading news and watching highlight videos and learning everything about every other team, and then I had PTSD and depression and threw all my feelings into games and it was one of the only things that made me feel alive. We ended the season in the basement of our division, but it didn’t matter; it was almost like a mirror of where I was at in life at the time.

It’s lonely being a baseball fan in the south. But I like what I like, and I can like it by myself…and I can also be happily surprised whenever I meet someone else like me.

October is TOMORROW! Cue the Green Day jokes…and the Christmas Eve level of excitement.

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Okay Jesus.

(Recently I realized how often I begin big and important prayers with this phrase, and how much it sounds like “Okay Google”. I laughed.)

The past three weeks haven’t been my favorites.
Sometimes when life is surprisingly wonderful for a while, I start to panic because I know it won’t last forever. This time I didn’t. I felt such a solid peace that I was hardly even aware of it.
And then suddenly everything got dark again. I was not at all prepared. (Depression is stupid. And unreasonable. I don’t like it.)

Wednesday night I started feeling better just as suddenly.
Ever since then, I’ve had this song stuck in my head.

Whatever you’re doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, but I believe
You’re up to something bigger than me
Larger than life, something heavenly.

Y’all. We’re terribly small.
That’s hard to remember.
And God is so big and so good.

Almost a year ago, when I had that complete mental collapse and my friends forced me to go to Recovery because they didn’t know how else to keep me alive, they would constantly tell me “We love you, and we’ll still love you even if you never get better.” Even if you never get better.

So, Friday morning I woke up, still feeling mostly better, still so confused as to how things got so bad so fast in these past weeks, and I was done. As in, done waiting to get better and stay better forever. Not done with life. Calm down.

“Okay Jesus. I trust you even if I never get better.”

In the past I’ve only ever thanked him for getting me out of another episode and then begged him to never let me fall in the hole again.
But I flipped the script because my brain is broken, and we live in a broken world, and I’m very possibly going to deal with this forever. I may have months or even years without a bit of anxiety or depression, and I may struggle every February, and I may actually be better for good this time. None of that is the point because it’s not where my hope comes from.
Hope isn’t found in never going through another dark season on earth; hope is knowing that Jesus already suffered worse than I ever will, so that someday I can spend an eternity with him where there’s no more pain. No matter how much pain or joy my tiny little life down here holds, none of it will touch what Jesus has stored up for me when it’s over.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.
It doesn’t say “In the absence of pain you may have peace.” He says “in me.” And he says we WILL have troubles. BUT it doesn’t matter because he’s already beaten it all for us. (read the whole chapter if you have a minute. It’s full of this stuff)
Your struggles don’t contradict God’s goodness.

I don’t know how to finish this because I don’t usually write from the middle. I wait til things are finished and sound good and look like a story that people want to read.
Being vulnerable is probably more helpful.

I also can’t write a post without using the word “I.” I’ll never be Ann Voskamp. This needs to be okay.

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My brain needed exercise.

What animal would be cutest if it was scaled down to the size of a cat?
An elephant. I love elephants the most even when they’re big but if it was cat-sized, I could realistically have one of my own.

What movie can you watch over and over without getting tired of?
Ocean’s Eleven. Hoodwinked. Mean Girls.
(It should be noted that none of these are in my top ten favorites. There can be too much of a good thing; my favorites are deeper and heavier and need to be savored only once in a while. The above three are a few of many that I love but can watch every single day for a long time)

What’s the spiciest thing you’ve ever eaten?
A terrible frozen meal in Thailand; we obviously couldn’t read Thai and our host(who was Filipino) looked it over in the market and thought it said mild. It was not.

What are you interested in that most people are not?
Baseball.

What movie quotes do you use on a regular basis?
I sing “okay byyyyyye” from Frozen every time I leave my house, and whenever someone else leaves either “Bye Buddy, hope you find your dad!” or “Have fun storming the castle!” and if you ever happen to eat mashed potatoes with my family, someone will say “These mashed potatoes are so creamy” in a Chicago accent.
I’ll wait for people to identify those last three movies.

What’s the most ironic thing you’ve ever seen happen?
A biker who got hit by a Dodge

What movie, picture or video makes you smile or laugh every time you see it?
Oh gosh always this…

What artist or band do you always recommend when someone asks you to suggest new music?
The Oh Hellos, or depending how well I know you, Mike Mains and the Branches. Never any of my absolute favorite bands unless we’re very very very good friends and don’t live together.

What’s the most pleasant sounding accent?
Wherever Jack Davenport’s from

What’s the funniest word in the English language?
Farctate. It’s an adjective meaning “full,” but it sounds like a verb or an expletive, so we use it as both in my house.

What’s the weirdest food combination that you like?
At Moe’s whenever I get a kid’s meal, I dip my cookie in my queso. (I’ve been doing it for ten years and was so happy when I started working there and found that our catering manager does the same thing)

What did you last Google?
“How to embed Youtube video in WordPress”

What’s the most annoying noise?
Snoring, closely followed by people chewing with their mouth open.

What odd smell do you really enjoy?
My soccer jerseys after a game.
And I guess clothes that I’ve worn at a campfire, but I don’t think that one’s odd. If they made campfire scented perfume I’d buy it in bulk.

What always cheers you up when you think of it?
Hippos and yellow birds

What two things are terrible when separate but great when you put them together?
Chocolate and milk

What’s your favorite holiday movie?
Die Hard

Just kidding. It’s a Wonderful Life. But Die Hard is absolutely a Christmas movie, and it’s in my top five.

What seemingly innocent question makes you think “It’s a trap!”
“What are you doing this weekend?”

What have you eaten so much of that you now hate it?
Nutella, except I don’t hate it, I’d just only eat it anymore if I had nothing else to eat.

What’s your “and then it got worse” story?
The time in that public restroom on the way to Thailand. But I only tell that story in person.

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26 goals for 26

I’ve been dreading my birthday since January.
25 is the last time that getting older gets you a reward(the ability to rent a car, and a whopping $9 off my car insurance).
26 just sounds old. 25 sounded perfect. Just old enough to be absolutely not young, but just young enough to not FEEL old. But 26? No. That’s older than any Camp La Vida staffer I’ve ever worked with and that’s not okay.

And I just don’t like the number 26; it’s Wade Boggs’ number and it shouldn’t have been retired, because he finished his career with the evil empire and that negates every good thing he ever did for us.

26 is the 20-something equivalent of turning 19. But my 19th birthday was the best birthday I’ve ever had, so it makes sense that 26 topped it.
The other day it struck me that since there are 26 letters in the alphabet, this gives me SO much potential for list making.

So if you’re still reading and wanted to continue, here’s the most important of several lists(don’t worry, I’ll only publish this one, and one more later).

26 Goals for 26-year-old Linda
Because a couple years ago I started making New Years resolutions on my birthday instead of on January 1st. [like this one] This year I couldn’t think of one big goal to work on, so I’m making 26 small ones. And I’m lettering them instead of numbering them, because this is the only year that I can.
(Also some of these are things I’ve done before, and many are things I want/need to start doing and do multiple times. If you’re thinking of a bucket list, this isn’t one)

A. Leave the country
B. See the Red Sox in two new ballparks(Rogers Centre for sure, and then either Nats Park or Citi Field; we play the NL East in 2018 so there are plenty of easily doable ones)
C. Read 35 books(if I can read 54 on the World Race, I can do this)
D. Read a whole Harry Potter book in Spanish(a better test of fluency than Duolingo)
E. Run a race longer than a 5k
F. Write something important
G. Find an offseason hobby(I’m a really boring person from November to March)
H. Run 100 miles(I made a resolution to run 365 miles in 2017; I’ve run 12. I’m being more realistic now)
I. Watch The Bucket List
J. Memorize the first 4 chapters of Mark(because I want to learn the whole book by my 30th birthday and there are 16 chapters)
K. Eat at Flight Deck(because how have I lived here for ten years and never been there?)
L. Go to a Blowfish game(because again, ten years and not once)
M. Watch a whole season of Friday Night Lights(I want to like it, I’ve tried so hard to)
N. Complete half of this list(because Jon Acuff always says to cut your goal in half)
O. Sell that bridesmaid dress I’ve been meaning to get rid of for two years
P. Make more of an effort to like football(it’s lonely being a baseball fan in the south; football opens up more conversations)
Q. Write to my Compassion child at least four times
R. Learn to cook something new(alfredo sauce and Linda Brownies aren’t enough to live off of)
S. Visit at least one new state
T. Go on a date
U. Write at least one blog post a month…preferably two or three, but again we’re going for realistic over ambitious.
V. Stop letting anxiety keep me from going to things; unless I know for a fact that zero friends will be there, I have to go and I will be all right. (Maybe I’ll tackle wading into a hoard of strangers with no life boats when I’m 27. Or 30. Or maybe never…I’m not Wonder Woman and I need to accept this)
W. Save more money
X. Spend more time reading books than reading my Facebook feed
Y. Go to the beach(it’s been way too long)
Z. Work out at 5am ONE time(so that Abby and Brittany can stop asking me to ;) )

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My car is in park

This first small section was written on October 27th and it was originally called Standing Still Is Hard. Today when I started to write about super similar things, I remembered that I never finished it.
———-
Think of all the roads, think of all their crossings
Taking steps is easy, standing still is hard.
Remember all their faces, remember all their voices
Everything is different the second time around.
-Ever wise Regina Spektor.

I wonder if it’s a personality thing, because I know a few people who would much rather stand still than go places, but those words certainly tell a harsh truth to my ADD heart.

Today, I’ve been in the same place for a year. I have the exact same friends, I work the exact same job, and I live in the exact same house.

I don’t think I expected this. My brain isn’t trained for permanence. As an adult I’ve never stayed anywhere for this long. I never had the same roommate in college or lived on the same hall, so I’d spend nine months with one group of people, spend the summer with a new staff and each of those weeks with a new set of campers, then repeat. Then I graduated and went on the World Race, where I moved to a new country every month and lived with three different seven-person teams within my squad of forty-three.

Roots are a very foreign concept to me.
I thought about it all day at work and decided that I’d have an existential crisis if my parents ever sell our house. I can go anywhere I want as long as it’s possible to come back home.

Everything is different the second time around…
I think I like different. All I’ve ever wanted is for things to stay the same, but now that I got my wish, maybe I take it back. (As I have with almost everything I’ve ever gotten that I’ve ever claimed to want)
—————
Now it’s today. June 16th.
I tried to move after I wrote that. To Texas, Georgia, Greenville or Ecuador.
Yes. Actually filled out applications. Actually looked at plane tickets. Actually begged God to take me away to anywhere but here.

Going and doing are easy to say yes to. Staying and being are hard.

I’ve always liked for things to move fast. It’s all I’m used to. So it felt like something was wrong, for me to not be going anywhere new or meeting any new people after a year. It felt like I was finally putting down roots, and the deeper they grew, the more I knew it would hurt when they were pulled up, and I was doing everything I could to avoid that pain.

My life from the ages of 18-23 was nothing but God planting me, digging me up, and re-planting me, over and over and over.
Not long after my 24th birthday was when I ended up here, and I spent most of the first year bracing myself for the moment when God would dig me up again…but it hasn’t come yet.

The other day I was in the drive thru at McDonalds and it was taking forever. I kept wanting to put my car in park, but I knew as soon as I did, the cars in front of me would finally move.

That’s how 25 has felt; if I park my life here, how soon will God tell me to go somewhere new?

Not for a while this time. My hypothetical car isn’t just in park; I’ve cut the engine off and gotten out. I’m fully living my life with the people God’s given me, not just sitting in the car and talking through my safe windows, prepared to drive off at any second.
And I’m not even worried anymore about when he might tell me to get back in the car and drive again, because he’s never taken anything from me without giving me something better.

I’m at peace with the roots. Maybe when God’s the one who put them down, not me, it doesn’t hurt so much to have them pulled back up.
Or maybe(hopefully?), these are for real roots and I get to stay this time.

Now that I’ve actually typed that sentence I’m mildly terrified that God will send me across the world next week.
I think I need to stop writing and publish this quick before I stop trusting him.

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Blue and white ESV Bibles

Sometimes certain things immediately bring a memory so sharply into my mind it’s as if I’m holding a photo album in my hands.

Other times, I’m struck with the absolute certainty that something should spark my memory, but I have no idea what. Like a broken circuit.

The first day I went to a Sunday morning at Midtown, the first thing I noticed were the blue and white ESV Bibles. It was one of those times that I knew it reminded me of an important something.

That was about fifteen months ago, and it was just this past Sunday that the switch finally flipped. I’d forgotten my own Bible, so for the first time, I actually needed to open one of those Bibles from under the chairs. I saw the pages and remembered sitting by the pool in Botswana across from Casey Baxter, a pile of highlighters between us, and a few monkeys watching from the trees above us.

Buying that Bible was the second best thing we did that month. The first was meeting the woman we picked it out for.

That day wasn’t supposed to be anything extraordinary. Based on the emails we’d exchanged, we were 80% sure this organization was not what AIM was looking to partner with and the meeting would mostly just be us doing the polite thing and listening to their pitch.

It was the furthest thing from a waste of time. I can’t even remember what we asked that led her to say this, but whatever it was she answered, “Well, I want to be born again. I don’t know how, but I want to.”

The next twenty minutes are a blur; this happens to my memory when it’s totally Jesus speaking and not one of the words is mine. But we talked with her and showed her verses and she said the most enthusiastic prayer and then we were all three on our feet and hugging, and it felt like a dream. The happiest dream in all ten months I’d been gone.

So Casey and I bought that blue and white Bible for her, spent an afternoon highlighting our favorite verses and then when we went back to give it to her, she wasn’t working that day and we had to have her coworker drop it by her office. We were really sad to not get to see her again.
Thankfully though, she’d given us her email address, so we messaged her a few weeks later when we were in South Africa. She responded and said she was reading her Bible every day and that her whole family was going to church. She said “I am so happy. You saved my life by showing me the good way.”

God can work even through your bad attitudes and negativity. He’ll show up when you haven’t even thought to ask him to. Nothing you say or do can get in his way.

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Happy birthday dear Ava

Ava was awake when I first met her. She was 27 hours old, and babies that new are always asleep, but not Ava; her eyes were wide open for the full hour I spent with her, looking all around like the world was way too big and exciting to ever look away from.
Jill was pregnant when I met her, so I was completely used to the idea of Ava being this invisible tiny person who lived inside my friend, but now here she was, a real tiny person lying in my arms, looking up at me with two real eyes and wiggling ten real fingers like she was trying to figure out what they were for.

Then when she was six months old I got to start taking a day off from a job I didn’t like so I could come take care of her, and when she was nine months old I quit the job I hated so I could watch her all the time. So now I have a job that I love.

She is a whole year old today and I love her further to pieces the bigger she gets. She’s the best snuggler, especially when she wakes up from her nap and she’s still half asleep, she listens so carefully when you talk to her, she loves to click her tongue, and sometimes she growls for no apparent reason. Like she’ll just be crawling around looking for a toy and growling like a puppy all the while.
I’m convinced that no one has ever been this smart or this funny when they were this little.

One day I was rocking her to sleep and singing Jesus Loves Me to her, and I thought how she’s just so so loved by everyone who’s ever met her right now…and when she gets older and people tell her that Jesus loves her, she’ll never wonder what that means because she’s surrounded by people who love her and love Jesus. Then I started thinking how she’ll be bigger someday and might meet people who don’t like her, or have teachers who don’t get how brilliant she is, and I got so sad that I held her for her whole nap instead of making her sleep in her crib. I can’t make there not be mean people in the world, but I sure can fill up her unbroken little heart with all the love I’ve got while she’s still perfectly innocent, and I still can’t believe that that’s my job.

When I worked at camp, I’d always be sad to send a few of my favorite campers home because I didn’t know who would love them when I couldn’t(in some cases, I knew no one loved them at home). But as much as I love Ava and I miss her on the weekends, I’m thankful that I never worry about her when I walk out her door at the end of the day. Her parents love her more than I do and that’s how it should be, and she is just the most blessed baby.

Other things about her that may be boring to people who don’t know her(but which should be written down in case anyone forgets when she’s a teenager):

She LOVES her doggy(for the longest time she just called her “daw”)
ava 006
She loves to feed her food to the dog when she thinks I’m not looking, and she loves to toss her toys into places she isn’t allowed to be(just to see if the adult in the room will notice if she goes and gets them herself. It’s the cleverest little trick).
She loves books. When she was tiny I’d try to read to her, but she mostly just wanted to chew on the pages. Now her favorite part is pulling all of them off the shelf(never only one), but she does like to be snuggled and to turn the pages herself as fast as she can.
ava 003
(I can read Brown Bear over and over for 20 minutes before she finally gets bored. She points to every animal and calls it a dog, and thinks it’s so funny when I try to correct her)
She also loves Phineas and Ferb, and she loves any show that I laugh at because she thinks it’s funny when I laugh.
She can say Da-da and doggy, and I really think she could say Mama, but she just thinks it’s too funny to say Dada instead.(I won’t teach her to say Linda until she’s said Mama, so I’m getting impatient) Last week she learned to say “ball,” but for now she calls all of her toys a ball. Much like Boo from Monsters Inc, she talks all the time, just not in real words, and she’s a very good listener. Even though she can’t repeat most of the words I’m saying, you can tell she’s really trying hard to learn.

She does not like to sleep, but look how cute she is when she does.
ava 005
She does not like meat or bananas.
She does NOT like non-living things that can move by themselves. (She has a dancing Peppa Pig that she won’t even touch for fear it might move. She also has a cute little car with an alien face on it that rolls when you push its head down, and she screams if I send it across the room to her. But she does like to push it and let it roll away from her, as long as I’m holding her so she’s safe from it)
She loves to wave; especially at me, when Jill is leaving in the morning and she’d rather me be the one leaving.
She loves it when you share your food with her; anytime I’m eating anything, she’ll come over and open her mouth for me to give her a bite. (She still has no teeth, so I can’t share most things even if I wanted to)
She LOVES playing with boxes; one day I was eating Triscuits and she really wanted me to share, so I gave her the empty box instead. She spent the better part of the next half hour putting various objects in it and shaking them around to see how they sounded.
ava 004
She likes it when I build block towers for her, and she CAN stack two together herself, but she’d rather chew on one while I build the rest and let her watch. (Once I read a study about these two year olds who’d watched so much TV all their little lives, that the doctor gave them blocks and they had no idea what to do with them. So since the first day I ever babysat her, I’ve been showing her blocks, because she’s a smart kid, not a scary kid)

She can crawl as fast as other babies can walk(so even though she can take several steps when she feels like it, she usually chooses to crawl).
She loves music more than anything and she’s always been able to keep time; she’ll bounce or slap the floor or clap every time she hears the Miffy or Hey Duggee theme songs(and almost any other music, but those two she drops everything to listen to every. single. time. I’ve tried to get a video, but she gets distracted by the camera and stops).
She likes The Price Is Right, especially when they spin the wheel. We watch it every morning when she wakes up from her nap and is too tired to not be in my arms but too awake to be alone in her crib. I think she’s an extrovert.

She is kind, she is smart, and she is so so important.

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Married people are the best kind of people(and other things I realized this weekend)

-If you had told me that I’d be the only single person when I joined my Lifegroup, I probably would have laughed and gone to our downtown church instead of Lexington. But that turned out to be a gift.

Once I read an article by a single woman that was basically an open letter to churches saying how single people feel invisible there.
It made me sad because I never feel invisible at Midtown and I don’t feel like the few others do either.

While we were all in the mountains with most of the rest of our church family, I kept thinking how much I love all of these people and all of their kids so so much and it hit me that this is all that single people need.

You need to watch tons of good dads in one room so you can know that they exist. You need to occasionally steal people’s kids so they can have a break. You need to see what real marriages look like so you can erase everything Disney ever taught you about love(except the part about how true love puts someone else’s needs before your own; Frozen is great). You need to be surrounded by wiser people who can teach you things(I’d say older and wiser, but I know far too many wise people who are younger than me).

-Meeting new people and learning new games are the two things that feed my soul the most. It’s Monday and my soul is still full.

-People ask me all the time what I want to do if I don’t want to be a manager at Moe’s or go into full time ministry. I’ve always said that I wish I could have a job that I love and that gives me enough time to serve with a church that I love even more than my job.
Sunday morning, sitting with all these people that I love, I realized that’s exactly where my life has landed. It doesn’t look much like I expected, but like everything God has ever done for me, it’s perfect.

-Months ago when they first announced that family vacation was happening, I asked at Lifegroup that week “How does that work if I don’t have a family?” All I meant was that I didn’t want to sleep in a room by myself, but what I didn’t hear myself saying is that not having kids or a husband means I don’t have a family.
That’s a lie that makes me feel much more alone than I really am.
I’m not at all alone and I absolutely have a family.
——

Life with these people is my favorite thing.
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