Archives For rest

My word for 2013 was rest and it wasn’t until yesterday that I saw the humor in it. I came into 2013 sleep deprived and exhausted. By the time I finished the year long theological training program in May (in which I needed to rise by 4:30am to make it to class on time), I wanted to swear off middle of the nights for the rest of time.

This year sleep has been my elusive friend and favorite companion. In other years I’d have said I was depressed, but this year was different. I honestly was tired. I was soul tired, heart tired, mind tired. I wanted emotional rest, yes, but really, I just wanted to rest.

There were so many times this year when I resented the sleep I craved. “What is wrong with me,” I’d ask myself. I’ve never been a snooze-button pusher and I would press it three, four, five times every morning. I’d keep myself up later than I needed, simply because the thought of more than seven hours of sleep sounded lazy, unnecessary, and entitled.

I know there are some of you who may roll your eyes at the luxury of being able to press the snooze button at all; your alarm clocks cry themselves awake intermittently through the night and early into the morning. It’s okay, there are other things you get that I don’t that are much nicer, so we’re even-steven.

As I reviewed my year, asking myself a dozen questions I ask every January 1st, I realized I’ve been given exactly what I asked for, rest, but I hadn’t seen it for what it was. God gives his beloved rest and sometimes that’s just plain shut eye. Sometimes what we seek is a haven, a quietness, a trust, and strength, thinking that will bring us rest, and rightfully so:

In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.
Isaiah 30:15

But sometimes we just need to trust the times and sunlight and darkness, and just go to sleep.

I’m grateful I slept through 2013. It wasn’t the rest I thought I wanted, or craved, but at the end of the year it was the rest I needed. I can trust that because God never sleeps, never slumbers, always keeps watch over His children.

He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
Psalm 121

My word for 2014 is work. Let’s see how this one turns out ;)

Silent Sanctification

August 1, 2013

still

I’ve written here for 13 years, about doubts, fears, concerns, questions, deaths, divorces, heartbreak, joy, moving, lessons, and learnings. In many ways this place is the very public working out of my salvation. Were you to peruse the archives you would find much poor theology and even more straight up narcissism. This page was my heart splayed out for anyone to read and I bled myself dry for it.

Last night I said to one of my closest friends that sometimes silence is the best sanctification, and I gave her a numbered list of all the things happening in my life right now that I can’t talk about publicly. At least not this publicly.

There’s so much of the blogosphere that lauds transparency and authenticity, but even that is rife with trophy stories and humble brags and I am strangled by the fear that I will join their ranks if I so much as whisper the numbers aloud. The truth is that even good things bring with them deep breaths and open palms. I do not know how this or that will turn out and I can’t even guess. And I don’t want to give you the opportunity to guess. Because I am selfish? Perhaps. Because I am fearful? For sure. But also because some things are best worked out in quiet, gentle, and still ways. Sometimes our rest is found there, in the stillness, in the mind’s sleep.

Sometimes writing in this place has been the best sanctification for me. But today silence might be my best sanctification.

In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.
Isaiah 30:15

A Life Full of Sabbaths

June 10, 2013

It’s Wendell Berry all this month. I drink in his essays, turning words over and over in my mouth. I read him aloud, even when no one is listening. Last night as she spreads cornmeal on wooden boards, I read her three paragraphs to give context to the quote written on the chalkboard: Though they have no Sundays, their days are full of Sabbaths.

He speaks of the cedar waxwings eating grapes in November. But he penned the poem The Peace of the Wild Things nearby then and poetry is meant to speak of the mysterious in the mundane and so he speaks of us, or the hoped-for us.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This morning I read in Mark of Jesus healing on the Sabbath, the pharisees outrage, and the calm response of the Lord of the Sabbath: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

How we have forgotten that. How have we forgotten that?

She is leaving to get bread flour to bake round loaves in the brick-oven. Do you want to come with, she asks, dropping her prepositional phrase and picking up her purse. I am drinking coffee on the side porch and nothing could bid me leave the wild rushing of the river in front of me and the song of the orioles above me. This is my sabbath and I am made for it, I think.

The last time I was home was a year ago, in May, and I have waited a year for these few days. They are not exactly as I imagined in my mind, other duties and events capped its full breadth, but it is a few days at least of quiet and still. I was made for this week, I think. The coals burned hot in the brick-oven the other night and faces gathered around the tables, children everywhere, laughter lingering. A phone call from Malaysia from a globe-trotting brother: you always sound so happy when you’re home, he said, and it is true, except when it hasn’t been.

I have lived this year holding my breath, it seems, waiting for the mornings when I could sleep past 4:30 or when I at least didn’t have to hit the ground running, literally, as soon as I woke. I have lived this year waiting for Sabbath, guarding it with a fervor I didn’t know I had. If anyone came near it, I would square my jaw and shake my head: it’s mine!

I preened myself for my Sabbaths.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Whenever I rest and really rest, empty my head of expectations (yours and mine), listen, really listen, I remember there is nothing of my doing in salvation; that salvation is one long rest in the same direction. There is work too, obedience and sanctification, moments of weakness and moments of strength. But at its core and its very marrow, the work of salvation is rest, Sabbath. It is to say, again and again and again, I rest in You, Lord of Rest. I find my Sabbath in you, Lord of the Sabbath.

The work of salvation is to live a life full to Sabbaths, even when there is no margin and little space, when there is demand from every outside element and every inside emotion. This is to trust that a God who rested when His work was not done—even when it was good—to set an example for His people: You are not done, children, no, but it is still good. And so rest. You are not made for Sabbath, the Sabbath was made for you.

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May Sabbatical

April 30, 2013

void

It’s been a year since my last writing sabbatical and I wish, oh I wish, I could say this May will be spent much like last May was. It won’t. But it will, however, be a sabbatical from this blog.

I always feel a bit guilty when I do this, but on the other side of a month away from the blog I am a healthier and happier writer. And this year I need it more than ever. I’m not sure what happened in the past year, but it still feels a bit like whiplash—a good kind of whiplash, but whiplash nonetheless. I’m writing regularly for multiple publications, trying to finish rigorous classes, coming off of an unbelievably busy March and April at work, still keeping up with 100 in 2013, prepping to co-lead a 12 week course this summer, and have a little more on my personal plate than I have stamina for.

I need a break.

And not only do I need it, God assures me there’s much joy in taking it.

This morning we read Isaiah 58 in class and I loved this short section:

If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,
from doing your pleasure on my holy day,
and call the Sabbath a delight
and the holy day of the LORD honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly,
then you shall take delight in the LORD,
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth. 

I don’t know about you friend, but I’ve been hobbling along in the valleys of the earth for quite a few months, riding on the heights sounds like a good plan. I’m grateful God designed our bodies to need rest and wish I was better about giving mine the rest it needs. But I’m going to just thank Him for the small ways we can step back and call the void of doing a delight.

While I’m gone I have a passel of friends who graciously fought all over each other to fill four weekly slots for the month. Why only four? Well, I suppose I figured a rest might be good for you too. These four ferocious friends are all steadies for me, men and women who love Jesus deeply and extol His name beautifully. I’m excited to share their words with you. I hope you’ll enjoy their posts and you’ll click through to their sites.

A post like this gives me an opportunity to just say thank you to all of you dear readers. It sounds a bit trite to say that, or I don’t know, gushing, but I truly mean it. As truly as I can mean it. I would still write without you, but it means so much to me that you all just keep coming back and telling your friends about Sayable. I read all your emails and am constantly encouraged by how transparent and hopeful you all are in them. Thank you for sharing your stories with me, telling me how much you love good theology, how it changes you and is changing you. Nothing brings me more joy than to know the God of the universe has dipped his hand to you and brought you to ride on the heights of the earth with Him.

He’s a good, good God.

See you on the flip side!

(I will have April’s 100 in 2013 up later this weekend, but that’s it. Promise.)

s t i l l

January 4, 2013

It came to me over lunch, baby carrots, blackberries, and tiny purple potatoes. I was reading, underlining a sentence I wanted to think about later.

Later. When later?

I took a deep breath and took another bite, letting the blackberry jewels burst against the roof of my mouth and the sweet juice fill every corner. I always mean to be part of the slow food movement but my life doesn’t let me. It is enough that I am a part of the whole food movement and it has to do for this season. Slow food, like slow reads and slow moments, take time and time is a luxury in these days.

And it came to me then: still. I thought the word for 2013 was going to be ask, but what if God was asking me to stop asking and just be still? What if He was saying, “Enough already, I’ve heard you, you persistent widow, you poor and needy, I’ve heard you. I’m on my way. Now be still.

Someone told me once a quote he’d heard, “Single men run better with a heavy load,” and I couldn’t help but feel it was applicable to me. I know how long stretches of idleness go for me and they never go well. I run better with a heavy load.

But what if God is pulling off the heavy load I’ve piled on, and asks me to stand still while He does so? Will I stand, like the child getting her shoes tied or the old man getting his hair cut or the woman waiting at the window, still?

I think about Still all afternoon. It smacks of someone left behind, but in its fullness, isn’t Still also something that is constant and steady, still going, still faithful? Isn’t Still an image of beautiful life frozen in time? Isn’t Still the act of being calmed, stilled? I have never wanted to be left behind and it is mostly all I have felt my whole life (Those are honest words, but God is Still faithful to me.), but what if being Still is the way God brings something beautiful to me?

What if this year He wants to be the Deliverer instead of me the offering?

What if this year He wants to be the Servant instead of me the savior?

What if this year He wants to be on the move on my behalf instead of me on His behalf?

What if this year, Still?

home

A Trustworthy Saying

December 1, 2012

Suppose there is someone in your life you trust implicitly. Suppose on every issue you gladly turn to this person for wisdom, counsel, support, encouragement. Suppose this person loves you, has your best interest and God’s glory in mind. Suppose in every direction, whichever way you look at it, this person takes the proverbial cake. Except in one area.

Say it’s that they cannot bake a good cookie. This person repeatedly disappoints you, continually confuses you, and surprises you every time with how lousy their chocolate chip cookies turn out. No matter how you look at it you cannot make sense of this one small area.

Now, suppose that God asks you to trust Him beyond how you trust this person, and in spite of their continual failings in this area. Suppose that God says, “I know this person cannot be counted upon to make a perfect chocolate chip cookie, they continually forget necessary ingredients, and almost always burn the cookies, but that’s okay, trust Me, because my faithfulness supersedes theirs and always will. Trust Me.”

Now you have a choice: do you trust God (even though you’ve never actually seen God make a half decent cookie of His own) or do you keep your eyes on this person who, despite this one little thing, has never failed you yet?

That is the question, isn’t it?

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
Psalm 20:7

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How to Get Things Done in Time

November 13, 2012

A good reminder for me on days like today, in weeks like this week, and in whole seasons like this season, is that I have 24 hours to steward and so does everyone else. I feel acutely the reality that I have 24 hours, but it is often difficult for me to remember that everyone else I know also has only 24 hours.

I’m feeling pressed and crushed and persecuted and torn down. I’m feeling like there is never enough time or enough energy or enough hours in my day to accomplish what I feel like I need to accomplish.

A few weeks ago Tim Challies wrote about being busy and I go back to that post often, especially the last few lines,

“This is what disturbs me most, that my busyness, or the perception of busyness, makes me less effective in the areas in which I want to do well. That cost is too high to tolerate. So let me say it again, primarily to reassure myself: I’m not busy. I have all the time I need to accomplish the things the Lord has called me to.”

There are so many areas in my life I want to do and I want to do well. I don’t do much halfway and I rarely do anything if I don’t know that I can excel at it in some sense.

This is pride and while it simultaneously brings me to the end of myself and to the foot of the cross, it also simultaneously puffs me up and drains me out.

I ask a friend the other day why God would call us to something that we couldn’t follow through on all the way and the more I think about that question, the more I realize that the entirety of the Christian life is encapsulated there: we have been called something that in and of ourselves, and left to our own devices and power, we cannot ever be: righteous, whole, and holy.

I have 24 hours today and it took me eight minutes to write this post. On one hand I feel as though I wasted those eight minutes and I do not have eight minutes to waste today. On the other hand, though, I have to know that if God has called me to do it, He has given me all the time I need to accomplish it. That’s His promise to me. I only need to be faithful and trust He is at work within me and without me.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10

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WHO TOUCHED ME?

September 27, 2012

It’s 8am and I slept in. It’s no secret in our house that my bed is the favorite—roommates take naps in it when I’m gone and sometimes they take naps in it when I’m in it reading or typing or staring. But mornings in my bed are my favorite and they are rare.

I told everyone who asked that this was the last week they could have a piece of me. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner filled up, and I hit last night going down hard. I knew it would be like this and I did it on purpose. I’m going to be saying no a lot in the coming weeks and months because saying yes to one thing means saying no to other things. God has built in an upcoming season in which I’ll have two projects that will need to take precedence, forcing me to say no, no matter how much I want to say yes.

A friend told me a few weeks ago that there’s a sense of celebrity in human-nature—everyone clamoring over everyone else to brush shoulders with someone else, network higher, garner more followers, get more likes, podcast more talks, meet more people, drop more names, and

I just want to stay home and drink tea.
_________________________________

Last night in church I felt the spirit go out from me. I sat in the back row, the corner chair, and I felt tiredness creep up and the weariness set in. I felt lost in the crowd, seen and at the same time, unseen by the only One I want to see.

I was reading about the woman with the hemorrhage in the Gospels, she who dragged herself from her home, covered her face so she was unrecognizable, and touched the hem of his robe. “Who touched me?” he asked and his disciples were incredulous, “Who touched you? In this crowd? Who touched you? Seriously?

“I felt the spirit go out from me,” he said. “Who touched me?”

I stop on that and reread it. “I felt the spirit go out from me.”

_________________________________

It’s easy to feel lost in the crowd, isn’t it? Where touch is pedestrian and plain, where being noticed feels impossible and oh so possible all at the same time? Where healing feels a hem of a robe away and holiness is near? Where we’re all so desperate to be noticed, to be known, to be heard?

I’ve been part of the crowd recently. I follow them. They follow me. We all run circles around the real One we want to see. We do ministry. We are ministry. We lift up the hands that hang down and strengthen the feeble knees. We run in packs, rubbing shoulders with the people who are already in.

We even touch His robe once or twice, or at least touch someone who’s touched His robe.

But He’s not stopping the crowd for us. He’s not questioning His disciples for us. He didn’t feel the power leave Him when our hurried pressing met his woolen dressing.

That was reserved for the one who pressed through all of us just to get to Him.

Last night I felt the spirit go out from me, but not because I am like Jesus and know so acutely the spirit inside of me, but because I am flesh and blood, real and broken, and if I do not run to Him over and over again asking for more, I will feel the lack. There was no time this week, no time to press in, close to him, crowding out the other voices and distractions, to touch the hem of His robe for the healing of my bleeding soul. To take from him the Spirit He freely gives.

But to come close, to touch Him, He knows this and stops everything for that moment. He sees past the crowd and gives freely His spirit.

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You don’t get to be a successful introvert without having somewhat of a panicky gaze on your heart and head and all things you fairly constantly.

What I mean is, if you want to know who’s going to struggle with preoccupation of self more than anything, look in the mirror first, and then look to your left and right. We’re everywhere—you can’t hide from us. Why? Because we can’t even hide from ourselves.

The benefit of this self-awareness is that if you want to know what I think about any issue, you can ask me. I will probably have a litany of thoughts on which I have ruminated and masticated until they’re confiscated by some other mounting question. You want thoughts, I have thoughts.

The damage of this self-acuity is that when it comes time to put my eyes on someone or something else, I have so poorly trained my eyes in the direction they should go that I cannot hold my gaze for very long without looking away.

I can train this heart of mine to follow the tracks, but even that doesn’t stop the train from derailing. The only steady things sometimes are the rails themselves.

The train has been derailing for me this year. It began with a glance away from beautiful Jesus and faithful Father, and it continued downward until my eyes have been setting somewhere south of healthy. So it’s time to trust the tracks. Time to trust that training my heart will get me home and, oh friends, there is no other place I want to be than home.

The tracks for me are repentance and rest, quietness and trust—and if this post resonates with you, I would guess those are the tracks for you too. To do those things, though, it’s going to mean sacrifice and I’m willing to do that.

Here are three of the ways my sacrifice might affect you:

I. If you primarily come to Sayable from Twitter, nothing will change there for you.

II. If you come from Facebook and you aren’t a close friend, family, or colleague, I would recommend that you go over and Like this page. This is because I will be slowly be straightening the rails of life by keeping a close watch on what I ingest on social media—beginning by removing the amount of people on the friends list of my personal page.

III. I will also be shutting down comments on Sayable for a season. If you’d like to contact me, please do so through email, though understand it may take some time for me to respond.

I said above that I know my heart more than anything else I know, and the truth is that I love interacting with readers. I love hearing your stories. I love when you track me down, find me, and say, “Lore, your words, they have encouraged me and changed me.” I love that. I love it mostly because I love knowing that the deep and agonizing work God does in me results in deep and beautiful work in you. But I’m afraid that sometimes all the words coming back at me don’t bear the sort of fruit I want the beautiful work of God to bear. Please don’t read into that statement or assume it to mean anything other than what I am saying: I want the work that God does in me to result in good fruit. If it does not, I want Him to prune it.

Thank you for loving me well and thank you for space. Thank you for always encouraging and thank you for challenging. I long to write for Jesus, but He lets me write it for you too, and I’m grateful for that.

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Made for peace

December 23, 2011 — Leave a comment

Our home is a quiet one tonight. The baby (her words, not mine) of our family has gone home to New York for a week, the mature one has gone to bed (or to study for grad-school), the world-traveler is sleeping on the couch in front of me, and I am sitting here, in our collective favorite chair. The silver spoon turned wind-chimes sound outside and the heater hums intermittently.

I was born for quiet nights.

A year ago at this time I was still working from home, making tangible, touchable art every day, creeping by on pennies and coffee, and loving life more than ever before. Peace was everywhere I looked and I felt alive, so alive. I was born for peace.

I know this about myself.

And yet.

I let the commitments, the pro-bono work, the meetings, the small-groups, the good-bye parties and welcome home greetings, I let them crowd in until I am suffocating under the weight of a blocked out calendar. Three weeks ago I suffocated. I went down, down hard.

Unless you’re the Baby, the Mature, or the World-traveler, you might not know that because I kept a smiling can-do face on until Saturday night. But Saturday night I came home and crashed hard.

A combination of leftover pneumonia and a sinus infection are good excuses as anything to lay low for four days, and so I take them. I tell myself, “After Christmas, you will get things in order. You will sit down. You will think about life. You will think about what went wrong this fall. You will ask for grace. And you will walk in the Spirit.” And perhaps that’s true. Maybe that will happen after Christmas.

But tonight I’m grateful for a quiet house. For peace.

I am no stranger to asking God why He made me the way He did. Why this gift? Why this talent? Why this personality? Why this prone? Why? I ask it of Him more than any question perhaps. And it’s mostly because I’m so desperate to be faithful with what he’s given me. I want to be faithful with that measure of faith. But why does He pile on the responsibility, the weight of knowledge and the drive to do more than I’m capable of in the end?

Why has He borne me for quiet nights and peace, if my life is most faithfully used in the middle of chaos and need?

I don’t have an answer to that tonight.

I’m thinking a lot about Mary and why God chooses us on the merit of the miracle, but also gives us responsibilities that look less miraculous and just mundane.

That’s all, friends. That’s all.

 Just me. And our favorite chair.

I meant to write about how grateful I am for parents who grew us up on whole foods, where the term “made from scratch” confused me because I never had a boxed meal until a sixth grade run-in with Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

I meant to write about a hero-friend of mine who’s fighting cancer and doing it prettily and genuinely and gospel-centeredly, who I can’t be around for more than ten minutes without the full gamut of emotions rising up inside of me.

I meant to write about how when your friends are getting married and getting loved and getting all sorts of things you want out of life, that the original call on both of you doesn’t change–bear the image of God.

I meant to write through the lyrics of Joy to the World before Christmas.

I meant to write about how I’m taking some of January off from blogging, but how I’d love it if some of you wanted to write for me instead.

I meant to write about how we’ve been working our way through a pomegranate all week in the office I share with her, and how every gem of juice in my mouth reminds me of one of my favorite conversations in life.

But instead I caught my fifth bout of sick in the head and lungs of the year and I really, really, really got nothin’ for you. So enjoy photos instead (especially you NYers who want to see our little nest).

Christmas Dinner with the Mates. 
My favorite people to be with. 
 
The pomegranate
of pomegranate fame. 
 
My niece. You get a peek of her for free.
You’re welcome. 

Our home
Where we live and love and work it all out. 
The soup I just made. From scratch. 
Just like my mama taught me. 

walk on

September 13, 2011 — 7 Comments

It’s the rhythms of grace that are the hardest for me. I think.

The finished work of grace, this I understand. The unfinished work of grace, the kind we have to wait for until heaven, this I understand.

It’s the rhythms. The ebb and the flow. The here, so strongly and tangible one day, and gone, so hard and difficult the next. It’s not the grace that changes, I know this. It’s the inbetweens.

This morning my boss read the end of Matthew 11 aloud in our staff meeting and I felt my heart choke, my eyes well up:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me.
Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.
I’ll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

This year has been a lot of just learning grace, sitting in it, basking in it, letting the fullness of what it implies wash over me. Bathe me in comfort, love, joy, fullness.

But this passage about rest is full of active verbs and this is what I feel my heart catch on this morning.

Get away with me.
Take a real rest.
Walk with me.
Work with me.
Learn the rhythms.
Keep company with me.

This seems like an awful lot of work to do rest.

And there’s a strange comfort in that. The comfort is this: rest is intentional too. It means saying no to being busy, choosing to be busy being unbusy. It means not answering my phone. It means letting the text messages build up. It means sitting with my roommates when I could be doing other things. It means lighting a candle, laughing, choosing rest.

The thing about rhythm is that the beat doesn’t change, it is grace, grace, always grace. But the melody does. And I am learning to fill in life around the steady tempo of grace.

How do I balance?

September 6, 2011 — 4 Comments

When I was small, still playing on playgrounds and wearing pink overalls, my favorite playground apparatus was the seesaw. A friend and I would try any number of tricks to try to defeat balance and gravity, but no matter how long we could keep that solid board parallel to the ground below us, inevitably it would begin tipping one way or the other. Perfect balance was impossible.

For years the concept of balance has irked me. When I would stand on one of my certain soapboxes and someone older and wiser, or younger and more naive, than me would begin to laud the importantance of balance, I would check out. Balance is sissy to me.

I like the idea of zen, order, some sort of divine knowledge that the universe can be steadied by my efforts and meditations.

But the truth?

The truth is that nothing about the faith I’ve been adopted into is balanced.

What we’re saying when we say we need to be balanced is that we need to not offend, or not be radical, or not be too much of any one thing, that everything must taste good, feel good, and not be irksome in order to keep balance in the world. What we’re saying is we’ve got to keep that seesaw parallel to the ground beneath us, or we’ll come crashing down with a pounding thud.

Like the hill at Golgotha, when a broken, bleeding man dropped his head and the sky went dark, the veil tore in two. A pounding thud.

Quiet.

Because balance was broken.

One man took the wrath for a limitless number of us.

Complete imbalance.

So when we ask that question “where is the balance?” I’ll tell you where it is:

Nowhere.

It doesn’t exist. Balance was broken. And what you’re searching for is not a parallel board, hovering peacefully above the earth and all its brokenness, what you’re searching for is Jesus.

Perfectly imbalanced Jesus.

Well. It has been a month.

It didn’t seem like much to you, I’m sure. In fact, that was probably the most regularly this blog has every been updated (Thank God for post scheduling!), but to me it was restful. I had high hopes for a month of no writing and I really meant it to be no writing at all, but it was helpful for me to remember a voice I once had that was lost.

I wanted to get it back, but I’m afraid it’s still lost.

But I think I’m okay with that. More on that later. Or not. We’ll see.

During this month:

My roommate Jenna headed to Africa for two months.
My best friend got engaged (to an amazing, astounding, wonderful man who treasures, adores, and loves her to pieces).
My other best friends had a baby, Gideon Archer.
My brother and sister-in-law had a baby, Iliana Mae.


I booked tickets home to NY for two weeks in October.
My friend Liz Boss moved to Texas, to our home, and got a job at Starbucks (you’d better believe we’ll be taking advantage of that little perk there)
It has been over 100 degrees every day of this month, plus a few days more.

I read some good reading.

I’ve gotten to know some people from church a bit more and I feel like my desire for community is both being refined, blessed, and challenged. All good.
I went to Echo Conference and ohmygoodness, I’ll be thinking about some of the things I learned there for a long, long time.

I discovered 1. A farmer’s market, 2. A used bookstore, 3. That I love the town they’re both in and hope to move there soon.
I was surprised with a brand new iMac at work that makes my life so happy and my work so fast every day.

I repotted all of my houseplants and watched them finally flourish for the first time in Texas.
I practically killed all of our outdoor plants because I cannot figure out how Texas does plants.
I celebrated the 4th of July on a lake with friends and felt myself breathe at the space found there.


Our campus pastor preached a four-part sermon series from the book of Haggai, which is a feat because there aren’t even four chapters in that book.
I gathered with a group of single leaders and brainstormed how to foster authentic communal living and deep biblical fellowship among the 3000+ singles at The Village Church.

I was very, very, very homesick.
I was very, very, very home.

I got my hair cut short.

I put Texas plates on my car and felt a bit of me die. A bit of NYer in me die.

I was challenged, rebuked, forgiven, blessed, joy-filled, surprised, sore, full, sad, heard, and so much more. It has been a staycation for my soul.

Thank you to those who stuck it out with me. I know I lost a few readers (the archives were too namby-pamby for them, I guess!), but thanks to the rest of you for letting me shut down the comments, for enduring a bunch of wistful melancholy and posts about home, for skipping over posts in your reader when they piled up, but thanks, mostly, for this:

Almost a decade of writing is piled up here on this page and it has been the most healthy outlet for my brain to absorb what the Lord has been gracious (and long-suffering) to teach me. But more than that, it has been a place where you have let me grow very publicly. You have let my theology fumble and my questions remain unanswered. You have let me sort out death, divorce, loneliness, homesickness, doubt, fear, sin, decisions, faith, redemption, and life. You, if you’re reading this, you have been a faithful friend to me.

And I appreciated that.

This month, more than anything else, I have appreciated you.

Thank you for July.

PS. Comments are back open!