Category Archives: Relationships

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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refrigerator rights

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I first heard the term”refrigerator rights” when I sheepishly asked for some water, or coffee, or other beverage at the home of my Gospel Community leaders.

*disclaimer: if you do not know what the phrase ‘Gospel Community’ is, I’m sorry for the Christianese and will try to cut it out from here on. Also, Gospel Community is simply a small group. And if you’re unfamiliar with ‘small group’ it’s basically Sunday school…just not on a Sunday…and also kinda different. I digress.

Okay.

Refrigerator rights.

So, when you have refrigerator rights somewhere, it basically means that you get FULL RANGE of their ‘fridge. Like, you can open it and eat all the things if you want. Now, a normal person wouldn’t eat all the things, but you definitely eat some of the things. Because you’re typically in that place for a long enough time that you’ll need a snack. And at some point you’re cool enough with each other that the people whose ‘fridge you’re eating from are basically like, “dude, get your own cheese stick. You know where the coffee mugs are. And George Clooney isn’t going to pop out of nowhere when you hit that Nespresso machine.”

When I think about dwelling somewhere, I immediately think of all the places where I have refrigerator rights. I think of the people that fill those homes.

I am absolutely blown away by the way I am loved by those around me.

I love that I can invite myself over for lunch after church on a random Sunday and I end up staying for 4 hours – and be so caught up in conversation that I don’t look at my phone once. I love that at another friend’s house, when she gets me water, she automatically puts it in a plastic cup because she knows I love that cup – also, no ice please. I love that another knows just the right amount of wine to pour in the glass, and that she knows what kind of wine I’ll like because I don’t even know myself half of the time.

I love that I am known by so many. And yes, I am saying that selfishly.

I love that my people (really, they’re more like a tribe) know me better than I know myself. That they can look at me and know something is wrong. Or they can look at me and know there is something going on that is worth celebrating.

And I also love that they let me know them. That they share their struggles, their life-highs, their tears, and their deep belly-laughs with me.

I have never been known and known others the way that I do now. And I’m realizing more and more, day by day, that life is not meant to be lived alone.

God Himself even says that. It is not good for man to be alone. So He made a helper for him.

It is not good for woman to be alone either. And I think God made helpers for us, too. Those helpers come in many different forms – moms, sisters, friends, husbands, grandmas, etc.

Right now, my helpers are those that give me refrigerator rights. They are my tribe – the ones that will not let me live life alone.

This week is basically just a brag table moment of how awesome my people are, but I don’t really care. Dwelling with my people is one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me.

*also, yes, the kitchen pictured here is the kitchen my original refrigerator rights were given out 🙂

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you don’t have to have an answer

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I like to have conversations with people about life and all that occurs in it. I really enjoy being around people in different stages of life than me – hearing about how God is working, has worked in other seasons of their lives, and their hopes for what He will do in their future.

What I don’t always like is how we always have to have an answer for one another.

I often find myself in conversations with people where I feel the need to have all the correct answers to their life issues. I need to always have the right Bible verse, the right cliché saying, the perfect attagirl speech to fix all their issues.

I’ve also been on the flip side – I’ve simply wanted someone to hear my frustrations, struggles, or anxieties of life but in return I get a pep talk that concludes with, “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.”

Neither of those are healthy places to be in.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we interact with one another. It’s not good for me to listen to my friend that is struggling in her job, and follow up with, “Well, at least you have a job that pays you on a regular basis, and there’s no threat of you losing it, you should be grateful.”

That leaves my friend feeling like she was never heard in her struggle – that her voice was silenced, her hurt heart shut out, and her personal life doesn’t matter.

If you think I’m taking that a little too far, then you might be a robot. Or just a non-emotional human, which is more likely than you being a robot.

I have definitely felt those feelings – that I was silenced, shut out, and of no value. (Dramatic? Yes. I know this.)

I’ve been in conversations where I’ve poured out my struggles with singleness and in return have heard things like, “When you least expect it, God will bring the right guy along” or “You just need to be content in Christ right now” or “You’re such a great catch, any guy would be lucky to have you!”

While yes, all of these things are true, I already know this. I just need someone to hear me, cry with me if necessary, understand that I can get sad, and pray for/with me that God would meet me in my pain and comfort me. If I ask you for your input, please give it. And I’ll try not to open my mouth if it isn’t appropriate. But let’s agree to be quick to listen & slow to speak with one another.

We don’t need to have the answers for each other – God already has them.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15)

*PS, tonight’s clip isn’t a Debbie Downer sketch, BUT it is a sketch of her freaking out while attending a game night. Watch it cause it’s awesome.

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we just need each other

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Sometimes life is tough. I’ve experienced (what I think are) a lot of tough times thus far in my short life (no comments on my height, please).

However, life has been a lot less tough in the past few years, mainly because I know what community looks like. I know what life with people should be like. I’m learning what it means to bear with one another, to live life with others that actually means something.

I think all too often we are afraid of being real with one another. We hold back our struggles, sins, insecurities, and doubts. We may even hold back our joys, wins, and celebrations of things going well in our lives.

We are afraid of being known, yet that’s all we really desire. We are made to be in community with one another.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2)

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15)

“I don’t like going this long without being with you guys in the same room. I feel like the devil knows we’ve been apart, and he chooses those periods of time to just give us all the junk he can throw at us.”

I got this text message last night from one of my dearest. I’d been having a rough week – and by week, I mean multiple weeks, maybe months – and, after a long conversation about life, she sent this. It’s so right.

We need each other. And I’m not just saying I need my friends and they need me.

I’m saying you need your friends. They need you.

We need to create a safe place for one another to just be – the be able to weep, to rejoice, to celebrate, to hold one another up.

May we all be willing to admit that we need one another – that life is better with people.

Let’s keep showing up.

*if you want to giggle a little & feel some feels, click here to watch Kristen’s last go-round as a SNL cast member!

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great expectations (not the Charles Dickens kind)

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First of all, I haven’t read the classic by Dickens, so maybe this is exactly the Charles Dickens kind. You’ll have to tell me.

If there’s one thing us ladies can miscommunicate with people in our lives about, it’s expectations.

I would assume that most of us have pretty high expectations in relationships across the board – with family, friends, boyfriends, coworkers, etc.
And I would also assume that we are usually the only one in those relationships that knows about and acknowledges the expectations.

In my life I have placed unknown and unrealistic expectations on all sorts of people in my life.

I have expected a friend to know that they hurt me with their words, so I hold out on communicating with them until they finally come around and apologize. This is a mishap because if I don’t tell said friend I’m hurt, they don’t know they may need to apologize, or that we need to have a conversation about the situation.

I have expected a friend to know that I could really use some quality time (my love language, hhaaayyy) because my life feels all out of sorts, but they’ve already booked their weekend so I don’t let them know I’m feeling sloopy (just made that word up) and instead hold it against them and think, “Well, they really don’t care that much about me then!” This is a major mishap because 1) I’m putting them in the place of Jesus, and 2) again…no communication.

I have expected a boy to realize that spending a lot of time with me is causing my heart to leap to places that may be unhealthy without a definition on the relationship. This is a mishap because I’m expecting the man to know my heart as his own when we aren’t engaged/married/or (potentially) DATING, and this puts him in the place of Jesus. (Whitney told me to tell you that married people can fall in to this trap as well!)

I think I can even place an unrealistic expectation on God when I expect Him to act as my personal genie and just give me what I want, when I want it. This is a mishap because…well…God is the sovereign Creator of the cosmos who came to the world to redeem and restore sinners…not to make my life a Disney fairytale. (But speaking of fairytale, I saw the new “Cinderella” with some friends and it was DREAMY!)

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:33-34)

The highest expectation we should place on ourselves is to seek first God’s kingdom. Then everything else falls in to place. I don’t have to worry about unrealistic expectations.

Bottom line, don’t be afraid to communicate and clarify expectations in relationships. It will only help to alleviate heartbreak and confusion, especially for you! And you just might find deeper, more meaningful connections with those around you in the process.

*for all you comedy nerds out there that remember MADtv you’ll enjoy this throwback of Lowered Expectations with Stuart!! and for those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about, go ahead and enjoy for the first time! Click here!!

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