One of the things I wish I would’ve done after the Israel trip was to capture the questions I found myself resonating with while on the trip… because I forgot them a lot quicker than I imagined I would. For … Continue reading
This site really haunted me. The image of people walking into a place, hoping to feel better, only to be lulled asleep and be told exactly what they want to hear. While primitive in many respects, its a shadow of our own culture. Just being told that you are “okay” and “normal” is comfort enough when we battle insecurity or unease. How do we stay fully “awake” and with an accurate perception of reality? We can’t be lulled into believing that we are okay, just because our culture says so.
How in the world do you thrive in a world like this, where everything points to idol worship? How do you begin to evangelize in a world where superstition works? While the world and Satan appeals for us to trust only what we can see and get immediate results, God calls us to walk backwards into the future, able to see clearly what has been and trust that faith will be sight for what we can’t see.
Revelation 2:20, “But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.”
The Necropolis at Hierapolis Ecclesiastes 7:1-2 “A good name is better than a good ointment, And the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth. It is better to go to a house of mourning Than to … Continue reading
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably have figured out that Jesse and I recently traveled around Turkey with a ton of people… and it was the GREATEST. Turkish food? Meh. Turkish delight? Bleh. Turkish bath? HARD PASS. Turkish (well… … Continue reading
Dear Susie Davis,
You get me. You totally do. We haven’t met… but you GET me. My small group Instagrammed you and you responded back to us. How kind is THAT? Seriously, you rock.
My BFF that I’ve never met, Susie, posted earlier today about making a list of things you love in your life. Since it’s been awhile since I’ve updated the blog, I thought… “why not do a list of my own as a little life/blog update…?”
My other BFF that I’ve never met, Jamie Ivey, always asks her guests what they’re loving this week… so why not throw some of that in there as well?
- Bilingual 1st graders. They are hilarious and sweet and clap for me.
- My small group. There are five women who know me better than anyone right now and that is SUCH a good and vulnerable thing.
- Spotify’s Christmas playlists.
- Morning car duty. It’s early and I don’t love that… but I love seeing all my students every morning.
- Community Advent dinner. It’s my new favorite favorite favorite. I will have to blog about that later this season.
- “Noel,” Lauren Daigle. As my friend Elle says, “In heaven we’ll all sound like Lauren.”
- Columbia straight leg hiking pants. They are my new yoga pant. #outdoorsy #NOT
- Our beautiful bedroom. It’s a haven.
- A little sister who is 11 years younger than me. It’s humbling to have someone who will always be looking up to you.
- Ghirardelli hot chocolate. Glory.
- Front porch views
- Elizabeth Clarke Brewer. She’s brand new and SO loved.
- Brain Gym. It’s a teacher life saver.
- Spontaneous Saturday trips with Dad.
- the worship team at Grace Community Church. What a gift.
- Squeals of delight about singing “jingle bells.”
- YNAB. It makes our marriage better.
- Breakfast scrambles and cheap mimosas at the house.
- Jesse Patrick Garner. He’s the ultimate best.
- Gold accents.
- Aeropress coffee. mmm.
- Twinkling Christmas lights.
- Fresh lemons from Jesse’s mom. They smell so good.
- Forge sisters
- Spanish. They were right. I would use it ALL THE TIME.
In 2009 Pine Cove sent teams of their summer staff out to work in the community of Tyler during orientation week. A couple dozen college students and I were given an address and told to clean up the area around … Continue reading
A few years ago, when I was a Forge student, we didn’t have easy access to internet or TV. In fact, we’d committed together as a group that we wouldn’t watch TV or movies at all. We adopted the habit of “bouncing our eyes,” when in the same room as a television, quickly moving our eyes away from the screen and keeping mindful to not get distracted by whatever was playing. Months after we’d graduated the program, I still caught myself involuntarily avoiding TV screens. Eventually, the habit wore off once media consumption became a regular pattern and routine in my life.
Do you want to now what’s strange? In the last two months, I’ve started “bouncing my eyes” from TV again. Not by choice. Something in my mind has all of the sudden flipped a switch and gone back into “Forge-mode.” Last week, I caught myself quickly adverting my eyes when I glanced at a TV in a restaurant. Um… hello? I can watch all the TV I want now, and it was now YEARS ago that I was in the habit of glancing away. What is going on?
I figured it out, though. The trigger is empty space. Lately, my lifestyle has been a lot less noisy. You see, our newlywed lifestyle doesn’t include internet or TV yet and we’re left with a lot of space and a lot less noise.
I didn’t feel the weight of that space, though, until Jesse left for his first trip out of town for work. I’ve lived with roommates or family members my entire life. In most recent years, I’ve lived with up to EIGHT girls sharing an apartment. A life filled with people has been my norm. But now… its different. There’s a lot more margin for space. When my husband comes home later from work than usual or has worship team practice, or goes on a week-long trip, I don’t have three other roommates to distract me. Instead, there’s space.
I wish I could tell you that I’m really great at using the space for deep, spiritual reflection and contemplation about how the Lord is sufficient, but that would be far from the truth. Instead, last time Jesse left, I filled my evenings with so much activity that by the time it reached Thursday, I was absolutely exhausted from staying so busy and really just wanted to crash at home. But home was way too intimidating. It’s not that I was afraid to be in house by myself (EXCEPT for the night when BEAVERS came and ate the pumpkins off my porch. #countrylife). I was afraid of the space.
In this new space I’m beginning to see how full and distracted I’ve crafted my life to be.
Ginger wrote about “Limiting Distractions,” the other day and she really put into words everything I’ve been mulling over. I’ve reached pro-status at distracting myself, and didn’t even realize it. From the time at a stoplight waiting for the light to turn green, to the few moments while I wait for my work computer to boot up, I can fill every bit of space in my day with something distracting. But what happens when we don’t have cell service, internet or TV to fill the emptiness? What’s left?
Jess and I have been given the gift of space, at least in regards to our media consumption. The scary question I have to tackle is, when Jesse isn’t here, what does my time look like? If I don’t fill up my time and stay distracted, where does my heart and mind land?
What would empty space look like for you? If you didn’t have your phone, TV or internet and were given four free hours a day, for six days, would it scare you or empower you?
I’m looking forward to exploring this new space. It might be quieter and more revealing, but I’m sure there will be a lot to learn.