I love you. All of you.

That’s right.

I love you.

I love you so much it actually hurts, sometimes.

My heart aches because I can’t speak to you as loudly as I want to, or you’ll run away.

I can’t reach your heart. I can’t make you hear me.

My quiet pleading. My careful leading. I can’t make you notice.

I don’t know what to do. I feel so helpless, sometimes.

See, when I was 15 I was ruled by sweepingly-emotional, full-blast teen angst that couldn’t be tamed. My heart belonged to lyricists I’d never met, most dead from drug overdoses or suicides, singing me lullabies of lies each night. My headphones, mix tapes and CDs–my only trusted friends; my parents–my enemies; and my friends–all that mattered. I lived for myself. My own wants and needs, which I felt were rarely met. My own pleasure and happiness, which eluded me for two desperate years.  I just wanted more. I wanted better. I wanted meaning. I wanted truth. I wanted peace.

I’d never known meaning. I didn’t know what truth was. The only peace I’d encountered in those years had been momentary. So I went searching. I tested out Buddhist ideas. I was AOL Chat buddies with a girl in New York City whose family was part of the Jain faith, so I tried that on for awhile. It was the late 90’s, so of course I dabbled in Wicca. I tried on Athiesm. Agnosticism. When Godlessness failed me, I tried on the Christianity of my Lutheran youth. I found the children’s Bible my godfather and uncle Mike had given me at my infant baptism. I read the King James Version of the creation story in Genesis. As a first step toward meaning, truth, and peace, I decided that I would just turn my eyes toward the God I grew up with and see what happened. Almost like a test. I didn’t know much about Him except what I’d heard in church–“God’s gave his one and only son Jesus to die on the cross to save us from our sins.” I had no idea what that meant, whether it even happened, why it had to happen and if it had anything to do with me. It was just what they said in church. A historic event with no significance to my life. Why did I need saving?

What I didn’t realize yet was that I did need saving. Desperately. From things that had overtaken me and prevented me from seeing clearly–Selfishness. Hatred (of self, mainly). When I looked at myself, I had absolutely no worth whatsoever. I saw myself as garbage. Throwaway. Worthless. No one would miss me if I were gone. While I hated on myself hard, I was desperate for love. For acceptance. For worth. Where I lived emotionally and mentally during that time in my life broke God’s heart. I know this now, but then–I couldn’t see past my feelings. I was in too much pain and the untruths I’d clutched to for so long kept me bound in the darkest of places. I was far from God…but he was never far from me.

As I took a tiny step toward the God I knew of as a child, I could’ve never guessed where my life would lead. First, my friend group fell apart. Next, I did something I would’ve never had the courage to do without the urging of a special friend–I tried out for musical theatre at school and ended up getting a brand new circle of friends through that experience. I was invited to camp with my area’s Young Life chapter that Summer, where I heard the story of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins for the 100th time in my life.

I was in a much lighter place by then. My clothes were less black. My friendships were fresh and affirming. My smile was more frequent. This time, when I heard that story of Jesus’ death, the person speaking said something I’d never heard before. She said, “When Jesus agreed to be prosecuted, punished and killed, he thought of you. He had your name on his lips. He had your face in his mind when he closed his eyes. He loved you so much. He was willing to go through it all just for you.” My eyes welled up and I sobbed. I went outside of the meeting area, laid on the bright green grass, stared up at the bright blue sky and puffy white clouds. Tears streamed down the sides of my face into my ears. My heart was full of love. I loved Jesus. I loved him back. And I overflowed with it. I talked to him for the first time in years. I spent the rest of the day crying over the fact that I’d waited so long to see Him, to run to Him, to notice Him, to feel His love.

I had worth.

I knew truth.

I found meaning.

I felt peace.

That was 2000. Fourteen years later, I still have those things. Worth, truth, meaning and peace. And none of it has to do with me. It’s all Him.

 

So here I reach the main point of this post.

God loved me so much that he gave his only son to die, for me, Andrea, with his heart full of love beyond my human comprehension.

I am filled with that love, I feel it toward my God and it spills over to everyone I meet.

I love you. Yes, you. And for as much as that four-letter word gets thrown around these days–I don’t love you like I love white wine in the Summer. I love you like family. Because you are.

If you’ve made it this far into this post and you aren’t into church, or if you don’t believe God exists at all, or if you think Jesus’ death was merely a historical event without relevance for any of our present day trials and tribulations–I’m grateful you’ve spent this time listening to my story. And I want to talk to you specifically, right now.

I love you the most. My love for you is the most intense.

When I hear you say that you don’t believe in God,

that all of this is happenstance,

that we’re on our own,

that life sucks then you die,

that there’s no plan for our lives,

that you’d rather do your own thing,

that you don’t see a need for a savior,

that you’re perfectly fine as you are,

that you don’t need to grow in faith at a church because your God is the forest, your hunting rifle, your guitar, your garden, your children, your family or your job,

that you’re humanist/athiest/agnostic/your own brand of religion,

that you’re just not interested in talking about God,

 

my heart aches.

 

Not because I think you’re wrong. Not because my allegiance appears to lie with an institution you’ve shunned like a political party. Not because I’m worried you’re going to Hell or you’re doing it all wrong.

My heart aches because of the peace. the relief. the lightness. the guidance. the comfort. the assurance. the surprises. the joy. the blessings. the solidarity. the truth. the meaning. all I’ve ever searched for. 

 

I found it.

And I want it for you, too.

So my heart aches.

 

I want you to feel this. Place your hand on my heart and feel it beating hard and passionate. Look in my eyes and see no remnants of the pain and desperation of my youth. Place your hands on my cheeks and feel the tears I once strained for, flowing freely, spurred by joy and not sadness.

Life’s not a cakewalk. In fact, it’s harder with Jesus in it. But it’s worth it. Because without Him, it’s all about me. And I know what life lived for myself feels like. And I believe that for everyone, life lived for yourself will eventually come up empty. Teen or tween, grandma or great-grandpa. This is true. I know it, because I lived it.

I love you.

So much it hurts.

I promise there’s more.

There’s better.

Real truth.

 

There’s peace.

Give Him a chance. Just look toward Him and see if He’s there. You don’t have to clean up. You don’t even have to believe. Just walk toward Him.

For me?

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Where else can you go?

John 6:68 (NLT)
60Many of his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?”
61Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, Does this offend you? 62Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again? 63The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64But some of you do not believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and he knew who would betray him.) 65Then he said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.”
66At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. 67Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”
68Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. 69We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.
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The Monuments Men

This movie was FANTASTIC and it should’ve gotten way more press than it did. Clooney deserves an Oscar for directing and acting. The cast is incredible-Matt Damon, Jean Dujardin, John Goodman, Bill Murray, and Cate Blanchett as quite possibly one of my favorite female characters in a movie EVER.

The storyline floated effortlessly between tense moments of battle, soaring emotional interludes, and hilarious situations between these incredibly talented actors (Bill Murray and John Goodman can do no wrong, I am convinced. They are the most versatile at their craft. They win everything.)

The Monuments Men is a true story. If you have kids, they need to see it. If you aren’t aware that most of the European paintings and sculptures you’ll see in museums today were once rescued from hiding places that Hitler commanded across Europe during WWII, you need to see it. What an incredible journey these works of art have been on. And what an incredible sacrifice these men made–for a VERY important task.

GO SEE IT!

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If You Could Meet Anyone // TINA FEY

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If you could meet ANYONE, who would you want to meet?

For me, it’s Tina Fey. I’ve read Bossypants twice and seen every episode of 30 Rock more times than I can count. I’ve rarely missed a TV appearance since her early days on SNL. Her chapters about improv comedy in Bossypants are a big reason I took a step out of my comfort zone and took an improv class at Comedy Sportz last year. If I could meet Tina, ideally we’d walk through Central Park (because that’s where her apartment is…I’m a creep.) and talk about what it means to be a lady in 2014. We’d also talk about writing and using experiences to create smart, innovative, biting humor. I admire Tina because she is smart, strong, confident, obviously hilarious, committed to her family, and works to press boundaries for women in show business and art. Her commentary on culture and media is consistently on point, smart, and real. I admire her to the moon and back! Here are some of my favorite Tina Fey and Liz Lemon moments.

Winning the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

“I’m not gonna get emotional tonight, because, I am a stone cold bitch.” (4:00) THE TIMING. The. Timing. She is good.

Tina’s speech after shooting the final episode of 30 Rock:

“A lot of shows work long hours, but we worked HARD during those long hours. And what we made is really GOOD and is going to stand the test of time.” Quality over quantity.

Liz Lemon on working out:

Liz Lemon’s Accents:


The fact that Liz Lemon never dances seriously. Like…ahem…someone else I know.

Tina making fun of herself and playing up one of the several times 30 Rock broke the 4th wall. Love.

The 4th wall breakdown:

The mockery of the female predicament:






Her friendship with Amy Poehler. Galpal relationships are necessary and fantastic.:

Having Kids is the Worst

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It’s all I seem to be hearing these days. Ok maybe not in those exact words. But if I were to summarize? HAVING KIDS IS THE WORST.

As a single person, I’m nominating myself as the mouthpiece for the single masses when I say to you, parents:

STOP SCARING US.

Over and over we’re pushed toward marriage and babies. It’s THE ULTIMATE. It’s THE PINNACLE. It’s THE GIFT LIKE NO OTHER. YOUR LIFE ISN’T COMPLETE UNTIL YOU’VE RAISED A CHILD. These messages are pervasive from the time we can comprehend words. But the messages I’ve been hearing lately sound a lot different…

I think about the middle of the last century, when it was expected for women to sit quietly and not complain about all the work that was required of them as a wives and mothers. Maybe fewer people in general complained about their lives back then? I’m not sure. But something about the recent decade, with the mommy blogs and the TV shows about parenting, there’s this wave of brutal honesty coming from the mouths of parents. Now hear me when I say–for the sake of parents--I think this is a REALLY good thing. A very good thing. Commiserating is important. I believe it. But as a childless outsider? It’s terrifying.

  • IT’S THE HARDEST JOB. HARDER THAN ANY JOB YOU COULD HAVE, SINGLE PERSON. I WIN.
  • MY AFTERNOONS ARE MISERABLE.
  • MY KID HASN’T NAPPED IN FIVE WEEKS. I HAVEN’T SLEPT IN A YEAR.
  • I CONSTANTLY HAVE THE DAYCARE SICKNESS.
  • SHE’S BEEN CRYING FOR DAYS.
  • I’M IN TEARS EVERY NIGHT.
  • HE WON’T EAT ANYTHING BUT PEAS AND HIS TONGUE IS ALWAYS GREEN.
  • I HAVEN’T EATEN DINNER IN MONTHS.
  • I’M NOTHING BUT A MILK MACHINE.
  • MY KID TAKES HIS PANTS OFF IN PUBLIC.
  • MY HUSBAND/WIFE AND I BARELY SPEAK BECAUSE WE ONLY SPEAK TO THE KIDS.
  • I ALMOST PASSED OUT BECAUSE I FORGOT TO DRINK WATER ALL DAY.
  • I CAN’T LEAVE THE HOUSE BECAUSE THERE’S TOO MUCH GEAR TO BRING ALONG.
  • I HAVEN’T SEEN MY SINGLE FRIENDS IN MONTHS.
  • I WOKE UP WITH POOP ON MY FACE.
  • SHE’LL ONLY PEE ON THE POTTY IF I HOLD HER HAND SO I HAVE TO DROP EVERYTHING EVERY HOUR.
  • MY KID ATE THE DOG’S FOOD THEN THREW UP ALL NIGHT. I TURNED AROUND FOR ONE SECOND!

If there’s truth in the chatter I’m hearing–being a parent sounds SO AWFUL.

What’s interesting is, I like kids. They can be really funny. And if they think you’re cool? They’re a great self-esteem booster. “Read this book to me, Andrea!” Um, OK! Yay! A big goodbye hug from a little girl in a big pink coat and heart-shaped sunglasses? COME ON. Irresistible. I LOVE my friends’ kids. Like, really love them. If I had a budget to buy them toys every time I was going to see them, I would. I love tickling them and making them laugh and I even try to find little ways to help my Momma friends when I’m around…distracting the kid so they can eat a little more than they usually do, clearing plates, distracting the kids again, etc. And I have a TON of grace for my Momma friends that I don’t get to see that often because well–they’re Mommas. And believe me–I realize these kids are partially so awesome because I get to leave them with their parents when they have a freakout and I can go on with my life. They’re not my kids.

But all of the complaining… I mean, it makes me seriously question whether or not I want to have kids at all someday. I understand there being freedom in confessing the dark parts of your journey, and connecting with someone who GETS IT. But the way it’s been framed recently makes it sound like the worst decision you could ever make. From what I’ve gathered, you never get to sleep, you lose your identity, you don’t get to have friends, you don’t get to have hobbies, you don’t get to listen to your music anymore because it always has to be the kid’s favorite CD, you don’t get to eat, you don’t get to sleep, the kid.runs.the.show.

Maybe I’m selfish. Maybe wanting to maintain those things for my life is selfish. But I just want to say this:

Make me understand why it’s the BEST decision you ever made.

Put that into words. 

Next time you feel like opening the floodgates to complain-town–instead, spill over with love for your kids and tell me all the poop, tears, exhaustion, sickness, hunger, emptiness, anxiety, worry, financial hardship, loneliness, desperation, and pain are worth it. Is it worth it?

Now…I’m no dummy. You’re all parents and you’re not going to EVER say–No, it’s not worth it. I shouldn’t have had kids. I regret it. Because that would be horrible. And I know a lot of you are going to be tempted to save face in front of other parents and wax poetic about the loveliness that is being a “Mommy” or “Daddy” and how your life really didn’t have purpose until you had kids. I get that. I just want a shift in the conversation. Is it really all bad?

I also realize that this is probably a separation point for me as a single person. Probably, as much as I disdain these types of statements, something I just can’t understand unless I’ve been a parent. I know there are two clubs. People who have kids and those who don’t. And those of us who don’t have kids are often told by those who do have kids that, “They’re doing the hardest job.” I just want to congratulate you, in fact, I’ve been practicing my single-person clap so I can applaud you. Here it is:

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Ok. I feel kind of bad. I’m genuinely sorry for the sarcasm.

I’m VERY happy for you. (Really. I promise the sarcasm wave has ended.)

But if it’s hard? I’m not going to congratulate you for your martyrdom. Because you made the conscious decision to have kids. (Well, most of you did…) 🙂

What I am going to do is be your friend, help out when I can, miss you when I can’t see you, understand when I don’t see you for weeks on end, love you through it, and try to learn from you in case I ever…decide to have kids. Heaven help me.

A Musical Spring In Your Step

Ok. My last post was one heavy dose of lament. Winter, you can die now. Thankfully, it looks like you’re on your last breaths. Forecasted highs this week are in the 40s! Get yer cars washed, Minnesotans! Make sure that sunroof isn’t frozen shut! It’s time to soak up some rays and put the most miserable winter since 1979 in the history books.

One of my VERY favorite ways to welcome in warmer weather is to crack the car windows (because let’s be real, it’s not actually warm enough to have them all the way down yet…) and blare some tunes that put Spring in your STEP and in your HEART! Something to boost your mood, make you feel invincible, young, carefree, and happy. Here’s a bit of what I have on deck for this week’s Welcome Warm Weatherfest in the Kia.

1. Betty Who: I saw a DSW commercial that I liked the song in, googled it, and found Betty Who. I like. A LOT. Oh man. I have a thing for this mid-80’s influenced pop, right now and it can’t be stopped. Buzzfeed two recent college grads who get paid to write fluff blogs, lists and quizzes all day long says Betty Who is going to take over the US in 2014…I’m interested to see if they’re right!

2. Sky Ferreira:  I found out about Sky Ferreira during a late-night, Spotify deep dive. You know, you keep clicking on Related Artists until you lose track of time. She’s a hot mess. She’s a model/singer, looks like she’s maybe on drugs and has been in jail recently. But again, these songs have that drum-machine-down-a-hallway thing I’m into these days. Thus, she’s in the rotation.

3. NONONO: “Pumpin Blood” was essentially written for commercial success. Not commercial success in the terms of making money and playing on the radio. More along the lines of corporations buying it and using it in TV commercials until we’re all tired of it. I’m not tired of it yet.

4. Camera Obscura: Camera Obscura isn’t on the verge like the first few artists I’ve mentioned. They’ve certainly been around for awhile. I’ve known about them for years but never got pulled in until one day, “French Navy” played in my headphones at work several times. I kept going back to it and hitting repeat. It has an easy, summery, spring, new-love sway to it that instantly lifts your mood. It’s a toe-tapper, to be sure. Aside from new artists borrowing from mid-80’s pop, I’ve been interested in artists that borrow from foggy 1960’s sounds for the last few years, as well. Camera Obscura has been a welcome addition to my little group of musical friends. 🙂

5. Oh Land: I love thick and layered harmonies. Especially when it’s studio-tracked one-on-one harmony. The first time I noticed this technique was on No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom album. I’m a NxD geek, so one day years ago I was watching a documentary about them and heard Tom Dumont (guitar) explain how they didn’t want to have to use backup singers on Tragic Kingdom, and decided to layer Gwen’s voice several times on the tracks. There’s something about that sound that grabs me. I heard Oh Land for the first time a couple of years ago when I managed the playlist for my office’s overhead system and was looking for some newer, H&My, Target commercial-sounding stuff. “Sun of a Gun” is the song I used, which led me to this fave, “White Nights.”

6. Ra Ra Riot: Again, they’re not new and neither is this song. But it has a burst-out-of-your-winter-doldrums-and-start-car-dancing quality that you can’t deny! The vocal buildup! The falsetto! The keys! I mean seriously, try to resist it. Oh wait, YOU CAN’T. Not to mention (again) the 80s-pop qualities. Hello.

7. La Plage: Rendes Vous is another discovery from a Spotify deep dive session. They barely have a website, they don’t have a Wikipedia page, and their Facebook following is pretty tiny. So-that’s fun. 🙂 This song has a richer, fuller tone than some of the other mid-80s stuff I’ve included, here. I think it’s the fuller bass? I’m no expert- just my observation. It’s another great toe-tapper, head-bobber for cruising in the Kia. 😉

And last, but CERTAINLY not least…

8. HAIM! HAIM! HAIM!: Nope. Still not sick of them. They’re an every-other-day listen at minimum. They perfectly embody the mid-80’s pop sound and bring it into the NOW. What they’re doing is unlike anything anyone else is doing…either that, or they’re just the best at “it”. Love it, love it, love it. If they ever tour with Hanson, I’m a goner. It’ll just be too much wonderful. Can you imagine the six-part sibling harmonies?!


And just for funsies…

What will YOU play with the windows down, this spring?!

 

Winter’s Discontent.

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Every year since I was a kid, I get restless around this time of the year. But in 2014, I’ve found myself much more restless than usual. This sub-zero, satanic, snowy winter is dragging on like it hasn’t in Minnesota since 1979 and it’s beating up my resolve with a metal baseball bat. Most days I do the same things–get up as late as possible, drag myself in and out of the shower, put on ten layers of mascara and heavy clothing, my biggest puffer coat, a couple of handbags and totes, pull mittens over my dry and burning hands and salt-stained boots over my feet, and hit the garage door button. I walk out to my car sitting on the driveway in generally -10 to 0-degree temperatures, with wind chills well below that, and start my car. Most mornings I don’t even let it warm up. Out of spite toward Winter for expecting me to drop everything and start my car 15 minutes before I want to leave (and the fact that I woke up as late as possible), I rev the engine to warm it up just a little and jet quickly out of the glare-ice-covered streets of my parents’ neighborhood. Eventually I have to pull over, jump out, and hack at the ice on my windshield that I tried to melt with blue juice, only creating a more complicated icy mess. My cheeks burn, my hairspray melts under the weight of snow flurries, my eyes water in the wind, and I curse Winter for the millionth time, this season.

I often stop at Starbucks on my way to work. I’m embarrassed because Cindy-the-drive-thru-lady recognizes me every time. She plays coy, but I know she’s been expecting me. I reload my Starbucks card for the third time this month, even though I budgeted for just one card load of $25. I rationalize it and move along. I arrive at work and get settled at my desk. I pop open Basecamp (our project management program), and check out my to-dos for the day. I start replying to emails, visiting with my coworkers, and the day turns into the afternoon. My job is the brightest spot in my life at the moment. Some might say that’s a dangerous place to be, but I think when your job helps do great things that make a difference in God’s kingdom and in the lives of people who need hope–it’s ok to be head-over-heels in love with it. (I’m really not trying to brag…my job isn’t any better than yours!)  I look forward to going to work, I love being there and the work I get to do, I have great friendships with a lot of wonderful coworkers, and I do my best to keep the weight of my work at the front of my mind, to stay humble and grateful for the fact that God has placed me there.

After work, 9 times out of 10, I just go home. I eat dinner with my parents, then snuggle up with my dog on the couch and watch movies, listen to music or read books until it’s time to go to bed. I realize this is typical Minnesotan behavior for the dead of winter–so I’m not beating myself up for it. It’s just too cold to make plans every night and lounging under 20 blankets sounds much more appealing than getting in and out of your car one more time. But it’s a big part of why I get restless at the end of winter. And a big part of why THIS winter has me more restless than ever.

The isolation of winter wears me down. The repetitive nature of the daily grind wears me down, even though I do love my job. I just want to mix it up. I want to get OUT of here and see if grass and sunshine still exist. I want to go shopping for new clothes. I want to change my hairstyle. I want a new house. I want a new start. I want life to surprise me. I want a reason to get excited.

This restless discontent just clings to me, this year. All I want is DIFFERENT. NEW. NOW.

I look at houses online almost every night. But really, I only have about 1/4 of what I need to in savings in order to buy a house. I took the money I made from selling my townhome in Brooklyn Park and paid off some old college debt that was holding me back, so now I’m trying to save up enough to move to the next place. But I want things to happen quickly, I want to create excitement and change, so I press on looking at houses I can’t afford. I dream of inviting friends over and having big dinners. I imagine game nights. I imagine the opposite of wintertime isolation in my parents’ basement. When I had my own house, I loved the idea of inviting people over and treating them, making them feel at home, and hopefully having them leave my home feeling blessed and uplifted and cared for. I LOVED THAT. And I really miss it. Another thing I miss about having my own house is being able to decorate and arrange my furniture and belongings in a way that’s pleasing to me and to those who visit. That might sound like a surface reason for wanting to own a home–and I promise it’s not accolades for my decorating that I’m after. It’s a form of creative expression that I’m missing. I grew to really enjoy it and living in my parents’ basement with wall-to-wall furniture isn’t my ideal scenario. (I am typing this on my old kitchen table, next to a sectional sofa, an oversized lounge chair, an entertainment center, a record player stand, a large dresser, an end table, a bed, a smaller dresser and a vanity. *Sigh*)

I often look at vacations online, too. But people–if I can’t buy a house right now, I can’t afford to go on a vacation. Lord knows, it would do my spirit a LOT of good to feel the sun on my face and grass or sand beneath my feet. But I just can’t swing it. Can’t do it. It is what it is.

I may be stuck in this restless, discontented zone of 2014’s brutal Minnesota winter, with no clear direction about where I’m going to live in 2014, if and when I’ll get out of my parents’ basement, or if I’ll ever see the ocean on a vacation again (it’s been 15 years). But as I searched for houses online this afternoon, feeling a little bit of pain, stress and uncertainty in my heart, I heard God say something to me.

He said: Quit yer whining.

Yep. That’s how God talks. Didn’t know that, did you? Totally true. God speaks your language. 🙂

QUIT YER WHINING. Yep. I’m doing a whole lot of whining about things I don’t have, here. I see it. I don’t like it. I want to stop.

  • I may not have my own home that I can freely decorate and entertain people in–but I have a home. I live with two people who genuinely love me and really, you can’t beat that setup. It might even be better than living alone.
  • I may not live near most of my friends–but I have a car. And a job that provides enough money to put gas in it two or three times between paychecks. I can drive to their houses and visit and mix up my daily grind routine.
  • I may not be able to entertain friends with cutesy dinners or game nights in my home–but I can bless them in other ways. I can still surprise them, treat them, and love them even in my unsettled situation.
  • I may not be able to afford a cruise or a girls’ weekend in the sun–but I can have mini-vacations everyday. I can bake something sweet for someone. I can visit someone who lives a few hours away. I can watch a movie and have a mental vacation. I can sit in front of my space heater until I’m sweating…which has never happened because that’s just how cold it is here. 
  • They may be forecasting a low of -17 tonight with a wind chill of -30 (true story)–but it will warm up. Eventually. It has to. It always has. Spring has never NOT come. I just need some patience and positivity–and I’m praying to God for more of that.

I’m blessed WITH and WITHOUT. And it’s my choice to see that or to ignore it.

Don’t lose heart. This season of affliction is momentary.

I’m going to make it. We’re all going to make it. Rich or poor, with or without–daily blessed and lavishly loved by the One who gives us ALL things.

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On Modern Relationships: Part 2

Hello dear blog friends.

I recently wrote a little post called “On Modern Relationships” and to my surprise, it quickly bounced all over the interwebs and according to WordPress stats, it was “blowing up” for a few days.  I guess if you meta tag a post with words like sex and love, you’re probably going to get a lot of traffic. 🙂 Shouldn’t have really been all that surprised…

Anyway–thanks for reading and sharing with me!

In February, I became aware of Joy Eggerichs.  I loved her silliness as she hosted the backstage portions of the IF: Gathering so I looked her up online. She’s part of a couple of projects called Love and Respect Now Ministries, The Illumination Project, and has written a book that releases in August called Permanent Vertigo: How Relationships Cause Us To Question Our Own Sanity And God’s Goodness. I am SO excited to read it! She went through a devastating breakup in her early twenties (much like someone else I know…ehem…) and remains single at 30. To my delight, I found out she has hundreds of YouTube videos talking about dating and relationships. I spent an hour and a half today watching a random assortment of them. At the end, I walked away inspired by her desire to glorify God in everything and in all areas of her life, and to run every situation through that filter. It’s certainly not an easy way of life, but something I’m inspired to work harder at. For those of you that identified with my relationships blog post, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite Joy Eggerichs videos. Enjoy!