Saturday, March 28, 2015

a coffee date...


If we were on a coffee date, my drink of choice would be iced coffee with a ton of cream, because lately I like coffee that barely tastes like coffee and still packs a punch of caffeine.

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about how social media makes being an adolescent HARD. I thought that grade school was mean without Instagram and Burn Books (yes, this is a thing and its horrible) and Facebook… Holy Moses, social media is going to be the end of this generation.

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about how Southern CA has announced that summer is here and you know what? I am actually embracing it. This is weird for me and I am kind of having an identity crisis.

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask you if you think Tim Tebow and I would make a cute couple, and you would say yes, because we would. We would have the cutest babies in America.  Earlier this week, I was on Tim Tebow's website, trying to figure out what he is doing with his life, and accidentally read "for engagement requests, please email here" when it actually says "for SPEAKING engagement requests, please email here"... But, what about those engagement requests? #realtalk

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask you about what you are reading and what I should be reading. You should be reading “Scary Close” by Donald Miller because it is SO GOOD. Miller discusses his fear of being known, his trust issues, and how important it is to build intimacy with the people in our lives.

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about THIS Ted Talk and how 20’s are NOT the new 30’s and about the whole musical chairs thing.

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask you about what happens to you when you are in danger… Are you a flight or fight person? Can you think clearly? Do you have flashbacks to similar events from childhood? Sometimes, the world is not a safe place, and I wonder how you manage that.

What about you?
How are you taking your coffee this week?
What are things you are dying to share with me?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

a tungsten medal...


Competing in things is not my spiritual gift.

If you know me, you know that I am not very competitive. There is no desire in me to see who can run the fastest, jump the highest, yell the loudest. I played soccer in high school, which I totally loved, and even then, losing and winning were pretty much level. We were just having fun, making friends, and all the other cliché non-sports mantras. The only time I have been truly competitive was this past summer at Summer Camp, in which I legitimately scared my girls (I wanted the t-shirt that said champion on the front, in hindsight I am slightly embarrassed, but it was all for the kids… right?).

But this week, I had a moment.
A MOMENT.

It’s funny how even the woman with no competitive bone in her body can perk right up for the fight when she feels threatened, when she suddenly realizes that there is a race, a competition, and she might not be in first place like she thought.

This week, I realized that someone was still in the race. I thought that I was the only one, that I had no one to compete against. And then it all changed…

"THEY’RE STILL RUNNING? I STILL HAVE TO COMPETE? 
I THOUGHT I WAS ALREADY WINNING!? WELL, GAME ON."

Jealousy can turn even the sweetest woman into a warrior. I realized that I was no longer the owner of a gold medal, I might have a silver medal, or a bronze medal, or even one made of freaking tungsten. And I sat there in this moment, fuming and frustrated, seconds from completely bawling my eyes out; I wanted to fight back, to sit there and tell God why it isn’t fair, why I am more deserving, why this would be a perfect thing for me… I wanted to sit there and justify why I should be first, why I am the greatest choice. And I wondered, WHAT COLOR IS MY MEDAL? Then the Lord pretty much gave me one of those Holy Spirit slaps and brought me back to reality...
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"Jealousy can turn even the sweetest woman into a warrior..."
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I was immediately reminded of the disciples and how they argued over who would be the greatest in the Kingdom. The story is told in multiple Gospels, and the disciples just did not get it! Amongst the intensity of the previous weeks and the events that were ahead, they were most concerned about who would be labeled awesome, about who would be number one (can we just imagine Peter or John holding a big foam finger with “#1” on it? HILARIOUS). They didn’t get it, and I can’t blame them, because I am right there with them.

Friends, when it comes to sports, take the medal, take the trophy, take the t-shirt; but in life, I WANT THE MEDAL, I WANT THE TROPHY, I WANT THE T-SHIRT. I want to finally win, to get the job, to get the man, to be victorious. People, this is a constant battle and I need to preach truth to myself DAILY, because if I don't, I give other people the proverbial elbow to the side, which is not very Proverbs 31-esque. 

We are not competing for jobs and relationships if we realize that we are all running an individual race that matters; each race is different. The Lord has a beginning, middle, and end for each of us, full and bursting with details and blessings and tragedies. When I look to the right or to the left, at the other runners, my mind deceives me into thinking I am in a race, that I need to beat these other people, that life is about impressing others, getting their attentions, and winning. Our sin interprets the race of life as a competition, not a corporate sanctification. Life is not about looking to the right or the left; it is about looking forward, at Christ, because in Him the race is already won.
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"Our sin interprets the race of life as a competition, not a corporate sanctification..."
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We must cheer each other on, not compete against each other. This is not a new, wild, revolutionary idea, but it is a hard one to grasp. If this person gets what I want, well, the most appropriate response is to praise God, because they are lovely and sweet and godly and an example; crazy how we forget that these women, or men, are in fact awesome people. Jealousy does that; it twists an amazing example of a person into someone who is out to ruin God’s plan for you.

People, there is no competition in the Kingdom. Let’s stop comparing and competing and looking to the right and left. Let’s look forward to the beginnings, middles, ends and all the details in between of our own races. He doesn’t have just simply a plan for your race, but a beautiful one; trust Him with the color of your medal.

Monday, March 23, 2015

spring fever...


Spring is my second favorite season (silver medal, y’all).

Every single year, I get the fever… the spring fever; I want to bake new things, clean house, throw out the old, and bring on the new.

(coconut almond butter cups... recipe coming soon!)

This weekend I went a little spring fever crazy, which is totally appropriate since it was the very first weekend of the season… I bought flowers for my little apartment from our local Farmer’s Market, made a few new recipes (eggplant lasagna and coconut almond butter cups!), deep-cleaned the kitchen, sewed a new duvet, and installed new curtains. AND I WANTED TO DO MORE. So, I went to Starbucks to grab a coffee and imagine my surprise when I felt so tired driving there and back; the moment I stopped doing all the things, my body had a chance to catch up and say “FOR THE LOVE, NO MORE!”

So, I came home and did just that… nothing more. Actually, I did one thing more, which was pop in a movie and write this post!

This Spring feels different; maybe I am romanticizing it, but I feel something is coming, its in the air. There is change, there are good things, there is excitement. People, I can feel it in my bones, this season (literally) is going to be good. 

So, how are you celebrating the new season?
Buy flowers? A new candle? Take a trip to the beach?
What did you do this weekend?
Tell me all about it. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

road trips are my jam...


Most people can’t stand being in a car, but the car is my happy place. Windows down, radio up (mostly always country), sunglasses on… Perfection. 

About two weeks ago, one of my best friends and I decided to take a road trip throughout the Northern Coast. It was needed on so many levels… To get away, to reconnect (she lives in the mountains of Central CA while I am in Southern CA), to just have fun with my person. We reminisced over our college days, over our seven years of friendship; we talked about relationships and about what the Lord is teaching us and about the different seasons we are in as opposed to where we thought we would be. God is merciful and gracious to not answer some of our prayers, y'all!
Friends, I cannot tell you how much fun we had. We traveled 1,056.7 miles over four days, adventured through multiple cities, stayed in some awesome and questionable hostels, ate some of the greatest food, and had life-giving conversations. We laughed hard, drove recklessly, threw caution to the wind, drank too many lattes, ate too much food, and created lasting memories. 

DAY ONE
Riverside, CA -> Clovis, CA -> Sausalito, CA
Our first day was mostly all traveling, not sightseeing; I drove from Southern CA to Central CA to pick up my girl, then we headed straight towards Sausalito, CA. For three nights, we stayed in hostels through a company calling Hostelling International. They provide great places to stay for very cheap prices, perfect for road-tripping! We arrived in pretty late, so our only option for dinner was stopping at the local Whole Foods for build-your-own salads, mind you, we had roughly ten minutes until the store closed; cue running through Whole Foods, building salads that make no culinary sense, and taking selfies while the clerks judge us. Obviously, our trip was off to a great start! We checked into our hostel, ate our salads, and attempted to get a good nights sleep.

DAY TWO
Sausalito, CA -> San Francisco, CA -> Point Reyes, CA -> Pescadero, CA
We woke up our next day ready to plan our first day of actual road-tripping. Our first stop: the Ferry Building in San Francisco, CA. This place is filled with amazing eateries, local artisans, and great coffee. We grabbed lattes from Blue Bottle Coffee and walked through the building, sampling lotions and cheeses and all the things. And, then I ran into one of my friends from junior high school. Excuse me, yes, this did happen. I haven’t talked to her in roughly 13 years, and homegirl recognized me as we walked by her booth. CRAZY. I still can’t really believe that actually happened. We grabbed lunch from Cowgirl Creamery (known for their cheeses and salads) then headed out to the Golden Gate Park Windmills & Tulip Farm. We walked, talked, and cheered on the cyclists. We jumped in the car and drove to our next stop: Point Reyes, CA. People, Point Reyes easily became one of my new favorite towns; it is small and quaint, filled with cows and rolling hills and amazing views of the coast. We made a point to stop at the S.S. Point Reyes, an abandoned, shipwrecked ship in the middle of the town. If you ever visit Point Reyes, this is a must! We had a great time exploring the ship and taking in the beauty of it all (which meant a friendship photo session, complete with self timers and judgy onlookers). We planned to see the lighthouse, but for some reason, it was closed to the public, so we headed to our next hostel in Pescadero, CA, which happened to be on the shore of the coast, within 500 feet of a lighthouse. The view made up for the sketchy owner, the haphazardly organized kitchen, and the fluorescent-lit hot tub that the owner let us use for free. (Note to self: sometimes the best things in life are not free.) 

DAY THREE
Pescadero, CA -> Davenport, CA -> Big Sur, CA -> Santa Cruz, CA
This day was easily my favorite day of our entire trip! It was packed to the brim with great food, great sights, and great conversations. Breakfast was spent at Davenport Cafe, which is located on the side of the highway in Davenport, CA. And you think I am exaggerating, but we decided that we would be willing to plan other trips around this cafe because the food was so freaking good. I ordered an omelette with spinach, pesto, and bacon with hash browns on the side, my friend ordered a breakfast burrito, and we both ordered a cup of their special Mexican roast coffee. I am convinced that this breakfast was inspired by the Holy Spirit; legitimately, I am ruined for omelettes... There will never be an omelette that will live up to this one!
  We thanked the waitress and the cooks for one of the best meals in the history of our lives, and made the trek up to Big Sur, CA. We spent the crux of the day hiking the Pfeiffer Falls and driving through the coast, blasting T-Swift and Maroon 5... and let me tell you, it was just so dang perfect. 
The day ended in Santa Cruz, CA at the Santa Cruz Bookstore, Penny Ice Creamery and Verve Coffee. I grabbed a gift for a friend, a delicious latte, and went a little crazy on two scoops of ice cream! If you have never been to Santa Cruz, Penny Ice Creamery is a must. Their flavors are always changing, but if you get the chance, try a scoop of the Chocolate Sorbet and the Brown Bread. Again, Holy Spirit inspired, y'all! 

DAY FOUR
Santa Cruz, CA -> Clovis, CA -> Riverside, CA
Santa Cruz served as our bookend to our trip. We had breakfast at Companion Bakeshop, which serves Blue Bottle Coffee and bakes some of the tastiest pastries I have ever had in my entire life. If you are ever in Santa Cruz for the day (or the morning), this place needs to be on your list! The rest of the day was spent driving back to Central CA and Southern CA. 

I am telling you, it was a life-giving four days, but for the love, I am so very thankful for a long, clean shower and my own bed.

Next trip... Napa Valley, CA? Bend, OR? Cruise to Mexico?
The world is my oyster, apparently.