Maybe it’s the season I’m in now, but life feels especially uncomfortable lately. As much as I try to fight for joy, discontentment seems to continually rear its ugly head in my heart. It feels like the things I am praying and striving for most, God has chosen to keep just out of reach...
We are scared of failing. Scared of imperfection and - moreso - of letting people see the ways we don't quite meet the standards we've set for ourselves. But, you see...in the most beautiful way, imperfection is an invitation.
July was full...and interspersed between the big and memorable moments were lots of wonderful small moments too. Lots of walks through our neighborhood to our favorite overlook. Ordering pad Thai at our favorite restaurant. Dinners with friends and playing volleyball with our small group...I also read a few books that I'm excited to share with you!
In our success and image-driven culture, we feel the pull to keep doing, because what we do is what we will be known for, right? Working hard is what will make us happy and successful, right? That is what will finally give us the peace we have been craving, right?
Right?.... Maybe not...
This month was a whirlwind, but between layovers and sports camp and hours on the airplane, I was able to squeeze in a few good reads!
I'm realizing that gratitude starts with a small shift of the mind. It starts with a shift towards noticing. It starts with clearing out space in your mind and in your schedule for slowness and stillness.
It starts with seeing, really seeing, and recognizing the gifts around you for what they are.
I'm really excited about these books. Several of them were highly recommended by friends and they did not disappoint! One might even be my favorite book I've read this year...
We're all just sojourners on this earth...united by a shared goal and destination. There is no room for comparison, only for mercy and uplifting words, for cheering each other on until the end.
As I consider my own treasured desires and dreams, my heart longs for God to tell me that I can keep them. That I can wrap them up in my hands and hold them tightly. That I can count on the assurance that these hopes will come to pass, that these gifts will stay in my hands forever…
But is that ever promised?
Has God promised to keep me safe? To keep my reputation clear and untarnished? Has he promised me children and a home and financial stability? To make my hopes and dreams come to fruition?
Brief reviews of the books I read in the month of April! This month I decided to spice it up and add some variety to my reading, so while I still read a few spiritual formation books, I added in some fiction (yay!) and a book on the craft of writing.
After His death, Christ's disciples were heartbroken and terrified.
Their Messiah had died.
The one they thought was going to save them had died on a cross like a common criminal. All hope had been lost. Their life, their plan, their hopes... everything died with Him.
The beginning of March slipped away quickly. Friends were in town [which was wonderful], but my time to read was limited. But towards the middle of March I was able to set aside more and more time to read.
And I've noticed a slight difference. Life feels just a little bit slower. My mind just a little bit clearer.
Why write when tomorrow you will likely forget my words?
Why write when quite possibly no one will read these words?
Why write when there are so many other, more qualified, more educated, more articulate writers out there?
Including the book I recommend to EVERY college student and young adult I know and some helpful books for pastors and pastor's wives!
2018 was such a difficult year.
But I can’t help but point to God as the good and faithful author of a story that I would never have wanted to play a part in unless he had written me into it.
As we were walking (or maybe I should say limping) through 2018, I found myself frustrated as I doubted God's character time and time again.
Was he really good?
Was he faithful if he walked us through difficult seasons?