Friday Links

Friday Links are a round-up of my favorite posts/projects/photos/videos from around the web. 

road-trip-with-the-girls

Hello friends! Happy Friday to you. I’m super excited for today (and for the whole weekend).  I’m currently on a girls’ weekend with my college roommates, and we’ve got all kinds of fun planned. I hope you have a great weekend, too! XO

For your weekend reading pleasure….

 

*Photo Source

Advertisements

On Friendship

img_8390

This weekend I’m headed out of town for a girls’ weekend. My college roommates and I are celebrating our friendsiversary—10 years of friendship. 10 years of knowing each other.  10 years of dinners and trips and football games and dance parties. 10 years of arguments about who left her dirty dishes in the sink. 10 years of carrying one another’s burdens and celebrating one another’s successes.  10 years of birthday parties and weddings and babies. 10 years of friendship is a big deal. (Of course that also means it’s been 10 years since we started college, which definitely calls for a glass of wine or two….)

When we first met, most of us didn’t know one another. We didn’t know ourselves, really. We were nervous and anxious about beginning a new chapter, equal parts homesick and ready for an adventure. We had boyfriends, majors, and ambitions that wouldn’t last. We were craving community, friendship, and someone to go out with on Thursday nights. And we were BABIES (see picture for reference).

Our freshman RA referred to us—both affectionately and ironically—as the “suite of angels.”  Over the time the term stuck and became an accurate description of what we were to each other. We lived together for four years, and we grew up together. We laughed and cried and kept secrets and learned a little bit more about ourselves along the way.

Now, ten years later, so much has changed. We party a lot less and sleep a lot more. Five of us are married and one of us welcomed her first baby girl this year. We have mortgages and responsibilities and real jobs. We see each other much less often, and we don’t always know every single detail of each other’s lives (an inevitable situation when you have seven females living in one house).

But in a lot of ways, things have stayed the same.  We’re still there for each other through bad days and bad boyfriends and painful transitions.  We still tell the same stories every time we’re together and pick up right where we left off.  We still tell each other the big news first, still celebrate together, still show up for the moments that matter. We still refer to one another as angels (even though we still drink too much wine and Debbie always has an inappropriate story to share).  They’re still my people.

Today I’m feeling excited and thankful—thankful for friendships that endure time and distance and growing up.  It is a gift, and I’m ready to celebrate!

 

September Reading List

  1. First Comes Love by Emily Giffin. First Comes Love is classic chick lit—dramatic, predictable, and a real page turner.  The story follows the lives of two sisters whose relationships and stories are forever shaped by the tragic death of their older brother.  In my opinion, none of the characters are all that likable, but I actually really loved the ending of this novel.  Happy and satisfying.
  2. Falling by Jane Green. I was actually really disappointed by this book. I typically enjoy Green’s writing, but this one fell flat for me.  The story developed slowly (and without much depth), until possibly one of the worst endings ever came out of nowhere in the last few pages. It just felt thrown together and unoriginal.  Not one of my favorites.

Friday Links

Friday Links are a round-up of my favorite posts/projects/photos/videos from around the web. 

img_9047

Happy Friday! It’s been a pretty quiet week around here, and for that I am very, very thankful! This weekend I’m going shopping with my mama and seeing Ben Rector. Hoping you all have a fabulous weekend, too! XO

For your weekend reading pleasure…

  • So much wisdom here: Why I’m Prejudiced and So Are You. “We do not have a black problem. We do not have a white problem. Identity in blackness or whiteness alone is a problem. We have a Human Family problem. We are all being poisoned, and so are our children. We have got to come together to help clear the air so we can all breathe. This is going to require serious people who are humble about what they have become.  This moment is not asking us: are we racist or not? This moment in our country’s history is asking us: Are we humble or not? Do we have eyes to see what we have become and the courage it takes to unbecome?”
  • 20 books for your fall reading list.
  • A hilarious flow chart for introverts: To stay in or go out? 
  • Owning a new home: what to do now and later.
  • I love this dining room color. Thoughts?

The Art of Balance

balance

Hello friends! I know things have been pretty quiet around here lately.  September has been a crazy, busy, hustle-to-get-it-all-done kind of month. (And we’re barely at the halfway point—that can’t be right, can it?) I’ve been moving at full speed this month. Work has taken over all of my everything, and I’ve been struggling with rest. I’m tired and my house is a mess and I can’t remember the last time my husband and I spent more than an hour  or two together without our phones or computers. Life gets crazy, people. But you know that, of course.

I think we all struggle with this thing called balance.  How do we make it all work? How do we fit everything in? How do we care for ourselves and our relationships while also doing the work that has to get done?

The important thing to remember is that it’s all important. The Christian life is a sacred balance of both work and rest. Life cannot be all rest, but Jesus still calls us to stop, to be still, and to be present with him. We are to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy. We are to set aside time for worship and stillness and rest. It is essential to our faith and to our lives.

And we are also called to do the work—to go, preach, love, and care. We are to work as if working for the Lord, which to me means doing my very best with what God has given me. I want to say yes to helping, and I want to do things that matter to the kingdom of God. The work I do matters greatly to me—this busy, sometimes crazy and exhausting work feels important to me. And I believe it matters to God.

There’s a balance to be found there, I think.  There’s a lot of pressure on all of us to do more, to be endlessly and relentlessly productive. But when we never stop, we miss opportunities for the connection and creativity and peace that comes with good rest. And when we rest well, we are better able to go and do good, holy, important work.  We work with more passion and commitment.  We serve out of a deep desire to do God’s work instead out of a well that continues to run dry.

Balance is an art, yes, and it’s also a discipline. It’s a rhythm and a way of living that requires practice, dedication, and patience.

The past few weeks for me have been about the work. So I’m choosing in these next few days to take time to rest. I’m choosing to let some things go undone. I’m choosing to go to bed earlier and wait to answer just one more email until the morning. I’m choosing books and coffee and conversations over an endless to-do list. I’m choosing to do the things that need to be done without piling more on. I’m choosing balance. And my soul is grateful.

*Photo Source

Offering

field_grass.jpg

A few weeks ago I travelled to Atlanta for CBF Fellows orientation.  CBF Fellows is a program that invites young ministers to learn together, build community, and support one another. Our meetings were held at FBC Decatur, and the room we were in had a Bible verse written on the wall. Day after day, I sat in sessions forming new relationships and learning about leadership and family systems and healthy ministry practices. And I looked at these words:

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.” Romans 12:1 (The Message)

Weeks later these words are still on my heart. I can’t stop thinking about this idea of offering.  It often feels like I have nothing of value to offer God.  But the truth is that I do have something to give to God—we all do. The real question is not whether or not we have something to offer to God, but what we choose to give to God.

When I think about my daily life, here are some words that come to mind: tired, frantic, stressed, busy. But what would look like to live my life as an intentional offering and response of thanksgiving to the God who loves me and created this ordinary day? Joy, gratitude, grace, peace?

One thing I’m certain of is that I want to lay the very best of what I have to give as the feet of God as my life’s offering.

Now I understand that life is life, and there will be days and weeks and seasons that drag and weigh us down no matter what.  But this idea of our daily lives as an offering to God is an invitation to a different way of living, a more intentional way.  It invites us to approach each  day to day with more reverence, more hope, and a profound expectation that we will encounter something holy.

Yes, it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day. But that’s okay—there’s something sacred there, too. What can you offer to God today?

*Photo Source

Currently: September

tumblr_m9oeuzoAdo1r3sm6co1_500

Reading: Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist.  Shauna is my all-time favorite author, therapist, and personal motivator.  I am so excited about her book, and I can’t wait to share more with you soon!

Listening: Lauren Aquilana/Isn’t It Strange? Bryan introduced me to this artist, and she is so, so good.  We decided she’s a mix of Mumford and Sons and Taylor Swift. Love.

Anticipating: A weekend getaway with my hubby this month. August was absolutely crazy, and the first few days of September are even crazier. I am so ready for some plans we have to get away for two days to one of our favorite places.  There will be delicious food, relaxing, shopping, beautiful scenery, and exploring. SO EXCITED.

Loving: Getting ready for fall. I’m sad to see summer go, of course, but I love fall, too. I love football season and boots and changing colors and cozy sweaters and fall decor. Plus, the cooler weather–bring it on.