Thursday, October 23, 2014

our weekly coffee date...

If we were on a coffee date, I would redeem my free Starbucks birthday drink, because tomorrow is my birthday.

If we were on a coffee date, the topic of a quarter-life crisis would be discussed because I am turning 25 tomorrow and HOW DID THAT EVEN HAPPEN? WHAT IS LIFE?

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about change. Are you good with change? How do you handle it? Because friends, apparently I am just horrible at it. Navigating change is NOT my spiritual gift, let me just tell you that right now.

If we were on a coffee date, I would share with you that I am SO thankful for the people in my life, for you. I am definitely blessed by the love, prayers, and care of a great army of people and I praise God for that every single day.

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about make-up and appearance and how sometimes it’s just terribly exhausting. I assure you, the people of Trader Joe’s and Target do not care if we come to them in yoga pants, a messy bun, and no make-up. I am just here for the pumpkin cinnamon roles and Up & Up cleaning supplies, thank you very much.  

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you that my favorite pastor to listen to, as of late, is Louie Giglio. Please look up his sermon series, “Goliath Must Fall” and the sermon “Strong IN The Lord”. They will encourage your heart and change your life.

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about rest and saying no and trusting in God.

*These posts are inspired by this lady. She's a new favorite.*

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

our weekly coffee date (where we learn some Hebrew)...

If we were on a coffee date, I would order an iced latte with whole milk and not sweetener paired with a slice of pumpkin bread, because that sounds like heaven at this very moment.

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you that I am learning to stop fighting and to simply accept.

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you that the whole “Quarter Life Crisis” thing is real. (Turning 25 in a week and a half and it’s making me a HOT MESS of a person.)

If we were on a coffee date, we would watch the music video that Jimmy Fallon just created for his "Ew" parody. That man is a comical genius and can rap with the best of them.

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask you what God is teaching you right now… What are you reading through? How is God reminding you of His truth?

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about life and cancer and the hard things and how they shape our view of God.

If we were on a coffee date, I would share with you Psalm 91 and how I am clinging to the promise that Christ is our metsudah (Hebrew for “inaccessible place). The things of this world have no access to us; there is no place for fear amongst the grace and love found at His throne.

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask how I can be praying for you, and pray for you right there. Prayer, it’s such a beautiful opportunity.

*These posts are inspired by this lady. She's a new favorite.*

Monday, October 13, 2014

on misalignment...

Chiropractors scare me. At least, they always did… until I went to one.

Naturally, I was having some pain in my back and neck. Before they can begin adjusting you, they have to take x-rays of your spine, back, etc. As the resident hypochondriac of my friends and family, my first question to my chiropractor in lieu of my x-rays was “Do I have any masses? Any tumor-like substances in my chest? Cancer? Honestly, I am expecting something like that, so you can tell me, I think I can take it...” LITERAL WORDS. Apparently, I wore my crazy pants that day. And, as I am sure to your shock and amazement, there were no masses found. Praise Jesus and hallelujah! (Seriously, I was praising Jesus, because again, CRAZY PANTS).

What he did in fact find was that my neck was in Stage 1 Misalignment. He told me that this happens most commonly from car accidents, or other instances where whiplash has occurred. The cause of my misalignment is different than that of a bad case of whiplash, and my chiropractor and I created a plan to get my neck back to its healthy, normally curved state.  

Friends, I was dwelling on this thought of misalignment and health and all that God has taught me through this long season…

It’s easy to become misaligned; the whiplash of life’s tragedies and joys throw us out of tune with our Lord.

Align: to make straight, to make parallel, to support.

To align ourselves to Jesus is to make ourselves parallel to Him, to support Him and His causes for this world, for our own hearts.

The loss of a friendship, moving cross-country for a new career opportunity, the knowledge of an affair, the loss of a child, an unplanned pregnancy, unmet desires of the heart, addiction, waiting seasons, frail emotions, or the painful, spiritual dry spell... It’s hard, it’s messy. All of these things can cause spiritual whiplash and spiritual misalignment in our lives... How do we praise God during a deep tragedy, one that shakes the very core of who we are and who we believe God to be? How do we continue to dwell in His presence daily when life seems to give us a little more than we can handle?

And there are other times when our lives become misaligned and we are simply not aware. I had no idea that my neck was in such a bad shape until I started experiencing pain. Little habits created my pain, and it wasn’t until I experienced the pain that I became aware of them and was able to begin trying to change them. Sometimes, it takes tangible pain to wake us up from the hole we have dug in our own sin. 

Misalignment in our spiritual lives, I think, shows up in very different ways… Idolatry, wrong motivations, lack of spiritual discipline, and loss of direction. Our hearts become unruly and we cling to emotion rather than truth. (Side note: John Piper has an AMAZING article on praying for your heart. You can find it here.) This is where we recognize our state, diagnose our misalignment, and create a plan to correct it (much like my chiropractor and I did). This will take a lot of prayer, discipline, and patience with Jesus, but again, aligning ourselves to Christ is a lifelong journey.

Tragedy shakes us and unhealthy habits form us, but we have a God who has enough grace and mercy and power to mold us into something beautiful despite those things.

Throughout any type of tragedy or season, God is faithful and good and welcomes our unruly character back into His presence. He takes the whiplash, the sinful habits and blunt tragedies, and uses them to reconstruct us to Himself. The misalignment is then re-aligned through a new desire for Christ and His work in our lives.

Be encouraged today, that if you feel lost, or dry, or misaligned, that He will be faithful to turn you back to Him. 

Align yourself to Him, for He is the only one worthy of being aligned to, no matter how painful or uncomfortable it may be.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

on wednesdays, we wear pajamas...

Wednesday mornings are my Sabbath.

On Wednesdays, I sleep in. And by sleep in, I mean sleep in. I wake between 10:30AM and 11:30AM. It is holy and glorious and I am not one bit ashamed.

I sleepily tread to the kitchen; I pull my favorite mug from the cupboard and fill it with piping hot coffee, cooling it down to a drinkable temperature with some pumpkin spice creamer (mmmmmhmmmmmm, give me all the pumpkins). This morning, I paired it with some homemade monkey bread, courtesy of my amazing chef of a roommate. Perfection, ladies and gentlemen.

My bed, still warm from the nights sleep, welcomes me back. I gather my pens, Bible, journal and devotional readings and prepare my heart for what is ahead.

Wednesday mornings, I sit with Jesus, soaking in His truth, allowing it to soothe my worn and weary heart like a sweet salve. I greet Him with my messy hair and pajamas, eager and antsy with excitement. I read and I write and I pray and I sit. His grace never fails to meet me in this place, the place where I set Him apart, above all things. 

The week before has torn my heart, and this is the place where Jesus mends it. This time with Him is unlike my time with Him throughout the week, it is slow and calm and open-ended. Hours are spent in His presence, there is no urgency to follow a schedule or to neatly box up the time; it is messy, strewn, and stretched.

These mornings routinely look like sleepy eyes, breakfast in bed, unrushed time with Jesus, dancing, and grace gatherings.

On Wednesdays, I sleep in and greet Jesus in my pajamas. 
And no, my pajamas are not pink.  

Thursday, October 2, 2014

our weekly coffee date (featuring Hawaiian lattes)...

If we were on a coffee date, it would have been in honor of National Coffee Day.

If we were on a coffee date, I would order you a Hawaiian Latte. Yes, there is such a thing, and it is as close to Hawaii (and Heaven) you will get without actually going there. Coconut and honey and milk and espresso… For the love of all things… Thank you, Jesus!

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you about how I am now a substitute teacher for my local Christian junior high and high school system. Note: I made sure to tell the principal that I absolutely cannot teach math in any sort of capacity. When it comes to math.... GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS.

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about how Citizens & Saints came to my church this past weekend. They showed up at our junior high event in between worship services, before they went to lunch off-campus, and let me just tell you, I was more excited than our students!

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask you about struggles and how God is using them to teach you His truth. I would share with you that I am indeed struggling with some things, and that God is using them mightily. But right now, it’s not fun.

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you that I am going to Texas in February for the IF: Gathering. I am beyond excited to spend a weekend away with great women, focused on His will and desires for our ministries. Not to mention, I am going to hunt down Christy Nockels, Ann Voskamp, Jen Hatmaker, and Shauna Niequist at this thing! I am determined to have sit-down coffee with at least one of them! PLEASE JESUS, MAKE THIS HAPPEN!

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about She Reads Truth and Shop Kick and lose track of time. 

*These posts are inspired by this lady. She's a new favorite.*