What I’m Into | April 2014

On one hand, I feel like this month FLEW by. On the other, I feel like so much happened the past few weeks that I can’t believe it’s all happened in one short month. I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer again this month to share all of April’s goodness with y’all. Unfortunately, my wireless adapter has refused to work recently, so I’m writing this on my dear roommate’s computer… which means there won’t be any pictures in this month’s post, unless my adapter starts to work again!

Books // I (finally) started to read A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans this month. I’ve been slacking on reading, so I’m not too far into it, but I love what I’ve read so far. I also started rereading Lament for a Son because Nicolas Wolterstorff is my favorite. I received Elizabeth Esther’s Girl at the End of the World in the mail today and I am really looking forward to reading it soon! (Hopefully I’ll actually find time to read in May, so this portion will have real thoughts about books!)

Movies + TV // Guys. I know I said I’d try to watch more movies this month, but I SO DID NOT. I did watch a few more episodes of Parenthood, thanks to my dear friend Maggie, but I’m still in the first season. I guess I’m just not really the kind of person who finds enjoyment in sitting down and watching TV because I feel like there’s so many other things I could be doing with my time. There are a few movies that I’m really looking forward to seeing (The Amazing Spiderman 2, Neighbors) in the next few weeks, so hopefully I’ll actually see them!

Music // Thanks to my lovely friend Jennie, I am now OBSESSED with John Mark McMillan’s Borderland album. I actually downloaded it on iTunes, which is saying A LOT because I couldn’t tell you the last album or even song that I bought from iTunes. I’ve been on such a JMM kick lately, which is great because Jennie and I are going to see him in Columbus in a few weeks! I’m also seeing the Milk Carton Kids in Michigan next week and I am so stoked.

Community // Man, where to even begin here this month. My community tank has been so full recently. A few weekends ago, Jennie and I drove up to Indianapolis to meet up with Maggie, Jazz, Taylor, Abby, and Suzanne for #OTLtakesIndy. What happens when you take seven young women from Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio and allow them to spend time together in what should probably be known as the second Windy City? Craziness ensues. I meant to blog about how much that weekend meant to me, but y’all know how great I am at actually posting things… ;) These girls are so full of love and joy and they accept me just as I am, no matter what stupid things I do or say. They also speak my love languages so dang well, which isn’t too hard when most of them are food. In other community news, I joined a new small group this month and I absolutely love it. They are so honest and raw about their faith and it is so helpful for me, since I’ve been in a season of doubt and struggling to trust. They also completely understand my love for potatoes; they have joined me in awarding people for great answers with imaginary waffle fries. I’ve loved getting to know them and getting to know Christ more through them.

Growth // GUYS. I did it. I finally did it. As of April 23, 2014, I am officially a resident of the beautiful state of Ohio. I also have a super awkward license photo, but that’s beside the point. To celebrate my new residency, I bought a goldfish that night. Sadly, he died Monday night… On a semi-related note, I planted sunflower seeds last Monday and they are thriving. I think the moral of the story here is that I can be trusted with plants and not fish, so I probably should stay away from having children. In other exciting news, I’m taking a class this summer, so I can legitimately take classes again this fall (this class is a pre-req for everything I have left in my major). Things are just really swell right now, friends.

April was a really great month, if I’m honest. May is looking like it’s going to be stellar as well. I’m joining a 31 day Scripture Challenge to be intentional about digging into the Word each day in May and I’m a bit nervous about it because I suck at doing things daily, but I’m also really looking forward to it. I think I’m going to begin with the Corinthians and I also really want to read Isaiah again during the challenge because it’s one of my favorite books of the Bible.

How are y’all doing? How was April for you? What are you looking forward to in May?

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Words from a Scattered Heart

He turns my bitter into sweet. Or so the worship songs say.

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Today is Easter, a day of celebration of Christ’s resurrection. I understand that we’re all “oh, happy day” about this, but damn, it is hard to embrace “death, where is your sting?” in a time of grief.

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God in my laughing
There in my weeping
God in my hurting
God in my healing

Be my everything

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Y’all, I’m trying. I’m trying to hold on to His truth. I’m trying to feel His joy, His love, His strong embrace.

But it is HARD.

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I long for a day without grief and lament, sadness and sorrow, hurting and pain.

I long for a day with laughter and joy, tears only brought on by hope and gladness.

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I feel lost in the pain – Jesus, please find me; make beautiful things out of my dust.

Give me faith.

Grateful Heart Monday 04.14.14

Today I’m linking up with Emily to share what I’m grateful for on this gray Monday.

  • New boots, courtesy of the clearance section at Target
  • The completion of my taxes (finally (oops))
  • A Kroger employee who was kind enough to reach cereal on the back of the shelf for me (curse you, short arms!)
  • Leftover Chipotle
  • Green grass
  • The beautiful Overcome the Lie community
  • (and more specifically) The incredible weekend I had, thanks to #OTLtakesIndy
OTL takes Indy / Maggie's apartment

six of the seven lovely OTL ladies who took Indy by storm on Saturday.

What are you grateful for today?

A Dirty Cross and Me

I tend to feel a little nostalgic on Thursdays, thanks to the #ThrowbackThursday trend across various social media networks. Actually, I’ve felt a bit nostalgic each day this week, remembering great memories from high school and my time at Calvin. I’ve also been thinking a lot lately about my transition to Cincinnati and my first summer here.

I was listening to a Spotify playlist this afternoon and Bastille’s “Things We Lost In The Fire” came on. The lyrics instantly brought me back to a missiontrip we went on here in Cincinnati during my internship that summer. We spent the first day helping a family clean up after a house fire that occurred the day before. I left that afternoon with a small wooden cross that survived the fire and when our trip was over, I wrote about how I found beauty in the ashes that week.

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The cross now sits on the top shelf of one of my bookshelves, right next to a beaded keychain I received from a wonderful Navajo woman on that summer’s trip to New Mexico. I see it often and it brings back beautiful memories of that summer when I had no idea what the heck I was doing in this city.

That summer, it taught me about finding beauty in the ashes and joy in dark places. Since then, I’ve found new meaning in this small piece of wood. It’s still dirty and if you smell it up close, there’s still a faint smell from the fire. If I’m honest, it’s a little gross, but I love it anyway. Not one part of me desires to wash it off or throw it out.

I love it because it’s not perfect. It has literally been through a fire. It’s discolored. It’s dirty. It’s something that would have been thrown out, had I not kept it.

I look at this cross in my room and I see myself.

I’m so incredibly far from perfect. I’m broken and sinful. No matter how hard I try, I will still fail because I’m only human. My life has been one season of rollercoaster rides after another. In the last five years alone, I’ve battled so many different things; I’ve been in and out of more figurative fires than I can remember.

And yet Jesus looks at me and calls me His. His child. His beloved.

He looks at me and doesn’t see my brokenness. He doesn’t see my failures. He doesn’t see how dirty or discolored I am. He sees me and he calls me beautiful. Redeemed. Worthy.

Society kind of sucks sometimes and it can feel like they’re throwing me out, but dang, is it comforting to know that there is not a single thing I can do that will make Jesus love me any more or any less.