Sunday, December 16, 2018

On Pursuing a Simpler Life

I want a simpler life.

Sitting in church or walking along the edge of the sea, I feel it, the pull to step away from the madness, the noise, the technology. Especially around Christmastime, our lives can become cluttered with lists of things we need to do or buy. Traffic gets crazy. People get impatient. I crave peace.

But it's not just the coming of Christmas.
It's the desire to have more by having less.

This morning's church service has me thinking about what fills my time, pulls at my attention.
Am I spending time sitting and reading God's Word? Or am I looking for the next distraction? Pretty convicting stuff. It sharpened the growing sense that I've been having of the desire for simplicity. The desire to carve out a life for myself that values time with family and Christ more than distraction. That values quiet time.

What does the simple life look like?

In theory, this could look different for everyone. But for me, in these last days of December and soon in 2019, I hope they look like more time spent with my Bible and in prayer and less on checking notifications and thinking about aesthetics, self. My simple life would include a lot more time having conversations with people I love and care about, writing by hand, taking nature walks, and spending more time in the moment than worrying about documenting it. More instruments, less internet.

What about you?

Do you have any goals that you are working towards for 2019?
And what would your ideal simple life look like?
Hope you are having a non-chaotic Christmas, friends! 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

To the Friends Who Stayed

I wish I could tell you what it felt like to open the door and see Sophie standing there, bearing gifts of cream cheese frosted cupcakes, mocha hot cocoa, and flowers.

I wish I could explain just how strange life has been lately, sometimes a good strange, sometimes a bad. How this whole 2018 has been a study in letting go, starting again, and keeping on keeping on. 

What I've learned is simple: Some people leave, while others stay.

I've written a little about this on my The 25 Project blog, but there's more to say. As we enter December and start to anticipate the new year ahead, I also want to look back. This year, more than any other, I have had to learn that you can't keep everyone. I don't know if that makes sense? What I mean is, you can't keep everything the same as it is when you're younger. Friends grow up, grow older, grow apart.

The hard part of it is, you don't always know who is going to go,
and who is going to stay.

Maybe I'm just one of those whimsical, wistful souls who wishes everything could stay the way it was in childhood and everyone would always want to be friends with each other and let's just all hold hands and get along, THE END. But this is life, and so that's not the case. I get that now; I've accepted it. You can't have positive life change and new seasons without leaving the old seasons behind.

All this to say, it did a heart good to see my friend Sophie standing outside my door yesterday with her sweet soul and surprise treats.
It made me want to be a better friend.

It helps to remember that for every person that leaves, there will be amazing people who hang tight. There will still be people you can call on the phone laughing that tell you they love you even if you haven't talked in a while. There will still be people who want to go to emo concerts with you, or drive hours to see you even though it's been years since you hung out last. 

There will still be people who bring you cupcakes and a kind word.

What about you?

Have you experienced friendship changes as the years go by? How do you stay connected to your close friends? And what three things would you want someone to bring to your door?

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Definitive Guide to Not Having It All Together

Lately, I've been trying to Keep Up.

Everything online seems to scream at me that I need the clothes, the #aesthetic, the fitness journey, the picture-perfect blog. Meanwhile your girl just wants to wear her favorite thrift-store cardigan and continue her family Christmas movie marathon (We've watched Home Alone and Christmas with the Kranks, if you're curious. Elf is up next).

It can be so easy to fall into thoughts of comparison and appearance-obsession, because that's what the Internet seems to invite.

But all I want is to use it to create something great and honest, even if that means bowing out of the social media and numbers game. I don't know why I even think about those things. My end goal is not to have an explosive social media following. I just want to share my thoughts and have a genuine connection with people, even if it's only a few. To me, that means more. 

But yo, sometimes it's really tough.

This morning in my car, my hands raw from the cold as I scrolled through my phone's cracked screen, I thought randomly of 2nd Corinthians 12:9. "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." That really made me feel at peace. Because lately I haven't been wanting to be weak, I've been trying to be strong. I've been pretty anxious. I totally forgot that the Lord wants me to be weak, because then He can be strong through me. I also thought about that verse James 4:6: "But He gives us more grace."

So it's completely fine to not have it all together.

Which is good, because I definitely don't. A little while ago I was thinking about giving up with this whole blogging thing; it was just getting me down. But when I have moments of stillness like this it re-centers me. I remember how much I enjoy connecting with a person over shared words and reading someone else's thoughts. I've loved having honest conversations with some of you over things on my The 25 Project blog, and it means a lot that even one person would care to read my words. That makes me smile.

What about you?

Do you ever feel like you have to have it all together or chase perfection? How do you combat the social media/blogging numbers game? PLEASE GIVE ME YOUR TIPS. And for fun, what is your favorite Christmas movie and/or treat? I'm in prime Christmas mode over here, my dudes. 🎅