Category Archives: Relationships

life around the table

life-around-the-table

This past week, I’ve been thinking about tables quite a bit. Just last Saturday, I was around 3 different tables with 3 different people in 3 very different scenarios. One, breakfast with one of my oldest friends, catching up on life since she’s moved to California. Another, packing up her kitchen as she and her husband move to their new home and next chapter in their story just a couple minutes down the road. And the last, a tiny pub table with fries on top across from my friend, introducing her to my local favorites.

In each of these instances, my day was marked by the significance of the table. Without the table, we didn’t have those moments with one another. Without a place to gather – to show up with and for one another – that day didn’t exist. Tables make you slow down and be. Tables make you look someone in the eye and see their humanity. Or, if you’re like me, they force you to stop awkwardly avoiding eye contact and remove the veil of feigned vulnerability and get real real with the person who has taken their time to sit and be with me. (Shoutout to L.S. who called me on my eye contact just a couple weeks ago. Jerk.)

I think there’s something to be said about time with one another. We can learn from one another’s stories, have conversations we may not even know how to start, and sit in the tension of where-do-we-go-from-here when we’re with one another. And where better to be with one another than at a table: packing, drinking, eating, playing games…being.

I think we all need a little more life around the table. Not just a mom-dad-children, put you phone away ’cause we’re eating combination. But as a friend-friend-friend combination. As a married couple/person-single person combination. As a widow-marrieds-singles-children combination. We all need life with one another, in deeper ways than we’re sometimes willing to admit.

A friend recently said, “I don’t even know how to start that conversation….”
And I think the answer is, “With one another.”

If there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s that I need your stories. And I think you need mine. And we can’t share those stories if we’re constantly pushing back against meeting each other at the table, pausing in life to listen and share.

So, if you want to sit across a table from me and watch me awkwardly not look you in the eye for 5 minutes, then settle down and finally lean into the whole thing, you know where to find me.*

Find a table today to just be with someone, even if that someone is just you and Jesus. I think it’ll be pretty darn neat to see what happens.

*and if you don’t….well…sorry. 

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how God is giving me the desires of my heart

how God is giving me the desires of my heart

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
-Psalm 37:4

If there’s one promise of God’s that people love to remind me of, it’s this one. That if I delight myself in the Lord, He will give me the desires of my heart. He’ll give me what I want if I just like Him a little bit more. And if I don’t have what I want, it’s probably because I want that thing more than I want God – ergo I do not get that which I want.

At least, that’s what I was lead to believe this promise meant.

I’ve got a birthday coming up somewhat soon and I’m not the most thrilled I’ve ever been about a birthday. And trust me, I LOVE BIRTHDAYS.

I told a friend this week that it feels as if I’m getting farther away from the life I desire(d) for myself. That I’m moving away from what 18-year-old Kayla pictured 26-year-old Kayla would be. And not in a good way. I feel like the desires of my heart are not being given to me in the time frame I assumed they would.

You see, when you grow up in a small town, the assumption is that you will graduate high school, maybe go to college, and be married by the time you’re 23 if not sooner.

I haven’t followed those plans.

But the kewlest thang is that, even though my life isn’t what I imagined it would be, even though I don’t have the desires of my heart that every True Love Waits era female has, God is still giving me the desires of my heart – it just isn’t in the way I thought He would.

What I thought He would do: give me a husband and some babies and the illest job I ever dreamed I could have.

What He has done:

  • placed me in a community of Christ-followers that I didn’t even know could exist. The church that the Lord has dropped me into fills my heart with the grace and love I believe we are meant to experience as the Bride of Christ.
  • given me friends that know me more intimately than anyone ever has. God has been so faithful in healing my heart from past hurts by the people who were closest to me by giving me friendship that I truly can’t explain. There are people – men and women – in my life that love me so well I don’t even know what to do with it sometimes. I cried earlier today thinking about the ways in which I am known even though I am not someone’s wife. The ways in which my people rally around me to make me feel accepted and loved is something I hope everyone feels in their lifetime.
  • given me friends that have really great husbands. I get to witness men value and love their women in ways the world doesn’t understand. God has placed a new desire in my heart for what a Godly man should look like because of the men my friends have married.
  • given me little ones to love on even though I don’t have a child of my own. Just this week I’ve had the opportunity to have some legit quality time with some of my favorite littles. I have the privilege of being a part of their story – of speaking life into their lives. I get to sit on a bedroom floor and step into the world of Super Bad Girl, Belle, and Prince James as they overcome their differences to save the day. I get to rock a 1-year-old to sleep, tears rolling down my cheeks because I can’t believe that God has placed me in his life, in this role, to love him and help raise him to be a man that warriors on for Jesus. I get to be a woman that loves children well, whether I’m their mom or not.

You see, the desires of my heart are being given to me by the Lover of my soul. He knows me so well – knows my heart and my desires better than even I – that He gives them to me. It may not be in the form of a husband and a house and a dining room table full of my own children, but it is in the form of long days with friends, late nights on a couch in a living room, a drink on a Thursday night while the restaurant shuts down, a hug from a psuedo-brother, a high-five from a middle child, a quiet night with a baby in a rocking chair, Finding Dory with best & her husband, tears over coffee, and a Savior that is making me more like Him day by day.

In all of this, I can see that my greatest desire is to know and love Jesus. To be like Him. To walk step-in-step with Him. To delight in Him.

And I think He and I are doing just that.

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seeking refuge

seeking refuge

This post is somewhat of a love letter to all people currently in my life.

I recently got to witness one of the most real, sweet, quick moments I’ve witnessed in a long time. I was around a couple of moms and one of them was just struggling. Struggling because her kid is a human. And humans are messy, sinful beings. Her kid was demonstrating sin and it was bumming her out. The other mom friend saw through the put-on smile and brush-it-off face, gave her a hug and said something to the effect of, “It’s hard. But you’re a good mom.”

She was able to look at her friend and let her know it was okay to be sad and hurt and feeling feels that were uncomfortable in a public place. She didn’t condemn, correct, or even laugh at the kid’s behavior. She comforted her friend.

I left that interaction (which, by the way, I was basically the creepy bystander eavesdropping on the whole thing…) thinking over and over again, “Man. That’s what we all want. Refuge from the mess. A safe, secure place to just be who we are.”

I think we are all in this space of seeking refuge. (Which is also appropriate in my life because that’s my church’s website, hhhaaaayyy)

We all want space where we can be – not condemned, corrected, or even joined in with the false cover of laughing away hurts and hard things.

In that moment, it was as if a hug from one friend to another let her be more human. It allowed her to feel broken, yet hopeful that she wasn’t alone.

I’m so thankful that I exist in a context of refuge seekers. Of people that allow for hard conversations, hurt hearts, and work with one another to see light pour into the darkness. I honestly don’t know how I did it for so long without them.

All I know is that we can’t seek refuge alone. Yes, our ultimate refuge is in Christ. And yes, He alone has the ability and right to satisfy.

But we still need each other. We need to lock arms and plummet head first into the heaviness of life, scratching and clawing for a bit of refuge in the pit together.

I’m tired of the mask of “Okay” and “Fine.” I’m tired of thinking that no one will ever understand, or, once they do understand they’ll want nothing to do with me.

Cause guess what, that’s exactly what the enemy wants. He wants us isolated. He wants us to believe the lie that we are incapable of love and goodness and redemption.

But once we bring people in – once we tell satan to suck it, and bring our fellow beautiful, messy, sinful, redeemed people in – the enemy has to leave. And we find refuge. We find it together.

So let’s get together a put a white-knuckle grip around one another, knowing that hard stuff is okay, unwilling to let go of each other. Let’s stop dealing with things alone. Let’s have tough conversations. Let’s listen well to those that are hurting. Let’s be just as good at grieving as we are at celebrating.

And then, let’s celebrate that the King and Mighty Refuge of our souls has indeed loved sinners such as us.

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redeeming lies

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If there’s 7 things I’m good at, one of them is believing lies about myself. On the Meyers-Briggs personality type, I’m an INFJ, which basically means if you sneeze in my direction and don’t smile at me after, I’m going to think that you don’t like me and probably never will. And I’ll come to that conclusion in about .4 seconds.

I like to think of this as a quality that is endearing, and makes me, me! My friends get a little worn out by it.

Another thing this means for me is that if I ‘hear’ a lie – whether I actually hear it from a person or it’s the enemy whispering it in my ear – I believe it. Without reservation, I can cling to whatever is spoken:

“You’re incapable of professional growth.”
“You’re not worthy of meaningful friendships.”
“You’re missing your window of opportunity for marriage.”
“You don’t look like everyone else, so you’ll probably never attract a man.”
“You’re all alone.”
“You’re the only one that deals with that problem.”
“Your sin is unredeemable.”

And these are not lies I just made up on the spot for example’s sake. They are lies I have heard throughout my life.

Even typing them out just now, my initial reaction is to say, “Yep. You’re right computer screen. All of those statements are true.”

For the last 5 years, God has been in the business of redeeming those lies. Of softening my heart to hear His voice when He whispers, “You are my beloved child; with you I am well pleased.”

God has been opening my ears to hear His Truth spoken louder than the lies of the enemy.

One of the beautiful ways the Lord is doing that is through meaningful community. If you’ve read much of this blog at all, you’re probably thinking, “well, here she goes again, talking about her lady friends.” And you’re right. Here I go again. Working it in. Because those lady friends are in the business of speaking God’s Truth, not only to me, but to one another, and into the worlds in which they live.

This past Saturday I had 18 (at least, I think it was 18) of my favorite ladies (shout out!!! and to those that couldn’t make it…shout out!! hhhaaaayyyy) over for Galentine’s Day 2016.
I wrote this on my Instagram before they came over: “If you would’ve asked me 10 years ago if I would have (female friends) like I do, I would have said, ‘no. because relationships with women are hard & I don’t fully believe I deserve good friends.'”

If there’s anything that is true in my life right now, outside of Jesus, it’s that I have good friends. Deep, meaningful community in my life that I do deserve – and I deserve it because Jesus died on a cross in order to call me first to Himself, and then into a team of believers. A team to come alongside with, serving Jesus and loving others. As my pastor said a couple weeks ago, community happens when we encourage each other more to follow & love Jesus.

And redemption of lies happens when we allow the Truth of God’s Word and the fellowship of other believers to push us more & more towards the cross – where blood was shed and redemption took place once and for all. Killing lies that so easily ensnare us.

Now, don’t think that the lies listed above are nonexistent today. I still struggle with believing my feelings over Truth. However, God is redeeming them. Love is filling me up. And Truth is winning out.

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communing well

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It’s Sunday and I just got done with church. Well, I didn’t just get done. I got done, then I went and ate some nachos, and now I’m having coffee. But, I went to church today. That’s the point of this whole thing.

One of my most treasured times at our church is that every week we partake in the meal of communion. Our Pastor presents the elements that Jesus instituted as the meal of remembrance for His people – that they would feast on this meal until the day He returns.

As we approach the table, the communion servers speak the words, “This is the body of Christ, the bread of heaven. The blood of Christ, the cup of salvation.” When I hear these words spoken over me, I think – every time – that I am given life by the Bread and redemption by the Cup.

I am often served communion by some of my best friends. And I get really emotional on those days. But that’s besides the point. Just a little extra nugget of what it’s like to be me. You’re welcome.

Dictionary.com defines communion as: “a group of persons having a common religious faith; association, fellowship; the act of sharing or holding in common.”

I love that every week, my church reminds me that I am in fellowship with the One who brings me life. That I participate and share in the act of redemption by the body & blood of Christ.

And communion is starting to mean a little more to me. I’m starting to realize that, as I walk down the isles to the table and as I partake in the elements of communion, that I am continually learning what it means to dwell with my Savior, and in a group of people who have a common faith. I am constantly learning that communing well with those around me means that I am open and honest about my life.

That I listen well to the needs of those around me.
That I not only pray for, but act on, the moments of joy and sorrow that enter into the lives of those I’m ‘communing’ with.
That I allow the truth of the Gospel – that Jesus’ body was broken and His blood poured out so that I can stand in right relationship with the Father – to transform my life. Not just for the sake of my happiness, but for the sake of His great name.
That I know in the depth of my soul that the meal Jesus offers will never run out – He will never say, “Sorry, we’re all out of queso.”

Communing well means that I receive and share in the redemption that Christ freely offers – no strings attached – and live in the freedom that my best efforts, and my worst moments, have no effect on the offering of the bread of heaven & the cup of salvation for me.

if you’re interested in knowing more about the lovely place I call ChurchHome, click here and join us some Sunday!

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