Tag Archives: Relationships

the smallest grasp

My friend’s youngest is learning how to walk. TBH, if I were her, I’d keep letting suckers like me pick her up to snuggle until I’m 18, but apparently that’s not how developmental stages work.

Not long ago I was sitting on her kitchen floor, arms outstretched, coaxing her to take a step or two. She’d done it before, so we knew the feat could be mastered, but she was paralyzed in a tiny little 16 month old stance. Making eye contact with me, looking at my hands, my fingertips just out of reach of hers. I balled up my fist and offered her just my pinky – because we’re classy ladies. #pinkysout
She took the tiniest hold on the tip of my tiniest finger and immediately raced across the tiled floor into my arms.

I scooped her up, we yelled “YAY!!”, and tried again.

I’ve been thinking about that small, necessary grasp a lot since then.

Thinking about how often I am paralyzed, reaching out for the smallest point of connection in order to move forward. And once I have that connection, how easy it is to run with zero hesitation.

Thinking about how, often, Holy Spirit is just waiting for me to take a step on my own. How Jesus – my Savior and Example – is cheering me on, knowing that I’ve done it before and I can do it again and it is okay to trust myself.

How just the smallest grasp – the tiniest tip – of connection and safety can propel forward soul-shifting action.

Often all I’m looking for with Jesus is a point of connection. His pinky finger outstretched in front of me.

The thing I hope this little one knows is that my pinky will always be there to grab hold of.
The thing I hope I never forget is that Jesus is always there to grab hold of.

Movement forward doesn’t need gigantic signs of confirmation, perfection in the steps to be taken, or zero-risk on the road ahead.

It just needs the smallest grasp.

Tagged , ,

2021 – the year of abundance

It’s time for a word-of-the-year recap! The only consistency this blog has offered in the last 3 years!

2021 saw me leave behind hope in an effort to move forward with abundance. 2021 was going to be the year that I watched God grow up out of the ground all of the things we had been planting together over the last few years. It was going to be the year that I asked, of every person/situation/choice/etc, “Is this life or death? Because if it’s death, I want nothing to do with it.”

The verse that I sat with for 365 days (2021 wasn’t a leap year, right?) was John 10:10 – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I (Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

I said to myself over-and-over again…

iykyk

“Is this trying to steal, kill, or destroy? Or is this bringing me life?”
One is from the thief.
One is from Jesus.

And if it’s from Jesus, abundance will follow.

The tricky thing for my heart in leaning in to that line of thinking was/is – does declaring something as God’s abundance mean that I think He is some kind of genie? That all along it’s just been up to me to ‘name it and claim it’? All God has been waiting for was for me to say some magical word and then He would open the floodgates of heaven?

Youth group worship song session, anyone?

I used to think that abundance would have to show up as grand, big, and uncontainable. But it doesn’t. Turns out, God’s abundance – the kind of life giving abundance that Jesus came to give to His people – found it’s way in to my life in really small, ordinary, what some might call mundane things.

His abundance was found in a condo with friends making homemade birthday potstickers.
His abundance was found in a new pair of cycling shoes.
His abundance was found in my nephew seeing himself as Iron Man on a poster for his third birthday and losing his mind in the best of ways.
His abundance was found in weeping on friends couches because I’d been delighting myself in the Lord for so long and yet He had not given me the desires of my heart and nothing makes sense anymore.
His abundance was found in a vacation in the mountains with my family.
His abundance was found in a thousand small ways that prior to this year I would have never given Him credit for.

The thing I learned from this year is that I need to keep asking, “Is this trying to steal, kill, or destroy? Or is this trying to give me life?”
Because if it’s life, it’s from Jesus.
And if it’s from Jesus, abundance will follow.

And if simple life from Jesus is all the abundance I ever get, I think I’ll be set.

Tagged , , , ,

teamwork makes the dream work

teamwork makes the dream work.png

 

Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers!

lovers.jpg

That’s all I have to contribute to the holiday.

Now.

I was at a conference this past weekend. Some of you may know about it. It’s called the if:Gathering. You can learn more about it here. I enjoyed the time I got to spend with some ladies from my church and came away with quite a bit to think about.

The structure of the conference was: listen to a teaching, talk about it at your table, eat some snacks, repeat. One of the questions that was asked at our table was, What is my dream for my people and my place?

The first thing that came to mind was: team.

Now, being the washed-up athlete that I am, that might not be surprising to most. But more importantly than what first came to mind was the images and feelings I got while I thought through it a little more.

My junior and senior year’s of high school basketball were some of the most fun I had as a player of the sports. It was so much fun to be on the court with my best friends, competing together and having the time of our lives.

One image that kept coming up over and over again this past weekend was our inbound plays – in particular, under-the-basket inbounds plays my senior year.

My friend Brandi and I had the best chemistry under the basket. As guard, I was responsible for getting the ball in play. If the play was busted, Brandi just knew where to cut and when to cut, and I knew she would always be there. I could no-look-bounce-pass Mr. Spaulding into the lane, Brandi would snatch that sucker up, and the LadyCats would have 2 more points added to their total. I never worried about a 5-second violation because I knew Brandi would be there.

We even played in a three-on-three tournament a few years later and did the same. dang. thang. My teammate was there for me.

Knowing each other that well didn’t just occur after one day of practice. We sweat together, bled together, went through hell week together. (side note: have you ever had 2 weeks of Christmas break practice with NO GAMES to play?! it’s the worst. you want to quit everything and just go home to eat Christmas candy.)

And that’s what I want from my people and my place.

I want my team.

I want us to be there for each other.
To anticipate one another’s moves.
To remind and ensure each other that, even if the play is busted, we’ve got each other’s backs. We don’t need to worry about hell week by ourselves because our teammates will be there in it with us.

A year ago I wrote about standing on holy ground with others. How there is something sacred about holding someone else’s story with them. And I’m so thankful that’s how my team has formed.

I know my team holds my story and I feel so thankful that they allow me to hold theirs.
I know we all stand on holy ground with and for one another.
I know that the sacredness we share in spiritual friendship is rare, and I hope I never take it for granted.

Whatever my dream is – or ends up being – I know it’ll be easier to chase because of the stellar team I’ve got on my sideline.

Tagged , , ,

holy ground

holy-ground

There’s something holy and sacred about being asked to hold part of someone else’s story. Whether it is being asked to pray for a certain situation or relationship, or having someone share wonderful, life changing news, there is so much beauty in being invited in to another’s life.

Having experienced this invitation, I feel terribly inadequate in carrying the title of “friend” in other’s lives. To be honored in such a way that a person trusts me with their story – man…I just don’t know that I have the words.

I can’t just ignore it – I’m standing on holy ground. I’ve been invited into sacred space with another image bearer of the Most High God.

It’s really easy for me to sit in a day like today – Valentine’s Day – when my social media feed is flooded with posts of husbands and wives doting over one another and girls posting all about how their boyfriend is the best boyfriend in the whole-wide-world*, and feel oh so sorry for myself. To look at what they have and get really lonely, dwelling on what I don’t. Longing for someone to share a BOGO at Qdoba with, just because we kissed each other.

It’s easy to forget what I do have – to let the singular voice of ‘not-yet-married’ drown out the many voices of ‘you-are-so-loved.’

What I do have is this: people that invite me into their lives in ways that I don’t even have language to express. People that weep with me. People that rejoice with me. People that allow me rejoice with them; not only allow me, but ask me to! Man! What a freaking honor!!

It’s like they are eating their most favorite dish in the entire world and, without hesitation, they slide their plate over to me with the last bite on the fork and say, “Here, I want you to have this. I want you to share in the joy that is mine.”

I think too often we blow past the sacred space others invite us in to because we are afraid of what it calls us to. We are afraid that we’ll have to do something with it. And, guess what, we will. We’ll be called to open up our own lives, which risks hurt and heartache.

It’s much easier to keep people at a distance, never admitting our need for one another. But it’s also much less beautiful.

I would rather walk away from a conversation, my heart bursting with joy and love and, well, holiness I think, than never know the depth of connection I can have with another person.

The risk is worth it.
The friends are worth it.
The sacred connection we get to experience is worth it.
Every. Time.

So, on this Valentine’s Day, I’m not going to be sad or bummed or lonely because I’m single.
Instead, I’m going to be ever so grateful for the ways in which God fills the sacred space in my heart – with Himself and with those that allow me to call them friend.

*can we talk about this for a second? Not everyone can have the best boyfriend in the entire world. They don’t all tie for first place. Some of them are kinda crappy.

Tagged , , ,

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. 

Tagged , , ,