Grave-Sitting and Ugly Crying (and also JOY)

I decided to give up distraction for Lent. (Queue laughter). I had just started to notice how often I was distracting myself with social media, TV, food, or anything else to keep from engaging in how I was actually feeling. I came home one day and said basically out loud to myself, “I just need something mindless.” I caught myself mid-remote and thought, this cannot be helpful.

So I am trying to give up distraction. This is in no way measurable or practical, but it is real. When I sense myself going to something because I want to tune out, I choose not to do that thing. This looks like sitting in silence doing “nothing” a lot of the time. It means choosing to do something productive over doing something lazy. You know me, I’m all about self-care, but sometimes binge watching a show you’ve already seen all the way through three times is not actually caring for yourself at all.

Instead I’m eating breakfast. Without my phone. And I am cleaning my kitchen while listening to worship music instead of being a couch potato. I am looking out the car window instead of scrolling social media.

Here is what I am learning. When we choose not to be numb, we feel a whole lot more. (DUH.) But really. When I deliberately choose to feel whatever I am feeling rather than stuff it down and pretend to be fine while eating a whole bag of M&M’s (ok fine I still ate the M&M’s), I realize how much I actually feel. So yes, this Lent practice is actually quite hard and sometimes painful.

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Lessons I Learned From the Flu

Thursday I woke up feeling tired and low energy, and it only got worse as the day went on. Late afternoon came and I found myself shivering under a heated blanket and knew that I was in for the worst. The stomach flu is unlike any other sickness; it is life consuming and utterly terrible. I honestly can only think of like one or two people in the world that I would wish it on. Thursday I woke up feeling tired and low energy, and it only got worse as the day went on. Late afternoon came and I found myself shivering under a heated blanket and knew that I was in for the worst. The stomach flu is unlike any other sickness; it is life consuming and utterly terrible. I honestly can only think of, like, one or two people in the world that I would wish it on. 

I knew that the following days would be absolutely miserable and there was nothing I could do about it. Nothing requires mental toughness like the flu. And there is nothing to make it more obvious that you are single and live alone than being stuck in bed without the things you need because there is no one there to do that for you (thank you, sweet Jesus, for my precious neighbor ladies who brought me the necessities, those darling angel college students).

But these are not the lessons that I want to share. It may seem silly, and hopefully it doesn’t leave you feeling nauseous yourself, but I felt like I found some valuable takeaways from my time in darkness…

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Can’t Stop the Feeling

I am in a season of transition. Fall, if you will. Leaves are detaching from the branches and I am feeling a little bare. So many things have changed in my life, some are really beautiful changes, and some are incredibly hard. We think fall is beautiful because the change is slow and dramatic, but then all of a sudden the first snowfall comes and all the leaves are on the ground and the trees are left exposed. Winter comes far too quickly. There is so much change. I don’t like it. Every year I write about how hard fall is, yet I never learn to be ready for it. In these seasons I am hungry for truth and guidance; I am almost desperate for it.

Through this I am learning that Scripture is exactly what we need and rarely what we want. Really. One morning I woke up with a craving for Scripture. I thought, “I’ll read this and it will tell me what I want to hear. It will confirm what I already know (that I am right and everyone else is wrong).” Guess what? It did not do that. It taught me that it should be my glory to overlook an offense (Proverbs 19:11) and that those who love purity of heart and gracious speech will have the King as their friend (Proverbs 22:11). Scripture told me that I don’t get to sulk in my anger, that I don’t get to gossip and try and make myself feel better. Scripture called me to a higher standard.

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A Morning Prayer

I’ve been sick this week (darn November colds), and so not a lot of energy to write. So here is something I wrote a little while ago, a prayer for my mornings. A prayer to cover my day, to help me begin well. Pray it over your Friday?   I pray for today to be […]

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Back to Basics

When life is messy and hard, when it seems like our world is headed full speed towards destruction, when fear is ever present, I think of the One who I follow.

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On Running, the Sunrise, and Saying Yes to Your Life

So I’m choosing to run. I’m choosing to say yes to depth in relationship, to the scary new things, to knowing Jesus even more personally each day. I’m choosing to read Scripture and figure out what I believe. I’m choosing to fill the space God has given me, to step into my life and stretch it to its limits.

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Sacred Space

Picture my blog as a room: It would be a spacious living room with fluffy carpet, big cozy couches ideal for snuggling up with dear friends. Conveniently placed coffee tables would house mugs and ice cream bowls and tall glasses of white wine. There would be a fireplace – a real one – to keep us […]

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Dear Friend (Part II)

In this season of Lent, we practice confession and receive grace and mercy from our dear Father. Sometimes it is really easy to sit in our sin and let it form a mold over us until it seems like that is actually who we are. I wrote this “letter” (just like this one) to all […]

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"Create In Me"

My lovely aunt sent me the new Rend Collective cd, and I have jumped on the bandwagon… One of the songs is particularly speaking to my heart right now. (It is at the bottom for you to listen to.) It starts with this:Create in me a clean, clean heart Create in me a work of […]

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