Tag Archives: Relationships

teamwork makes the dream work

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Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers!

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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.

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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.

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life around the table

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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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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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