Friday, January 31, 2014

7 Quick Takes: February is Tomorrow!

Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes!

1. In case you missed my passion for link-ups the announcement, I'm going to be participating in #blogeverydayinFEB, aka #TryNotToCrashAndBurn jk not really okay maybe sort of. Anyway, the lovely Bailey Jean is hosting and I've already got Laura to commit with me :)

2. Kayla will probably appreciate this: last night I painted my nails blue and green.

I'm not even sure what happened, because we all know about me and sports {Fantasy Football, anyone?}. But I guess there's some local pride showing, so I'm rolling with it and will repaint my nails next week.

3. Alright, book lovers...what are our feelings about audio books? I've been listening to a trilogy in the car, and a couple months ago I heard/read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time. Audio books are great, I think, because they make my commute much more pleasant and productive. I'm 25% done with my 2014 goal, which means I'm probably going to have make an adjustment.

My only "meh" feeling towards them comes from the fact that sometimes the vocalist {what is the correct name for the person reading?? Performer? Voice donor?} reads things differently than I would have if I had been reading it for myself. Listeners get the tone that the vocalist interprets, which is not necessarily how I would have interpreted it. But it doesn't happen very often, and I'd rather have a story going in the car than be searching for a good song on the radio.

4.  Last night I watched the very first episode of Doctor Who. "An Unearthly Child" aired in 1963, and the rest, obviously, is history...or the future...or a big ball of wibbley-wobbley, timey-wimey...ceasing the fangirling riiiiight now.

5. Remember last week's Take about "Gimme Shelter"? I went to see it on is incredible. The characters were so, so genuine and did such a great job. If you're able to see it, I recommend it. There was one scene I wanted to keep going, but they ended it too soon, in my opinion. Other times, it seems like certain situations were not completely resolved, but the main plot is well done and so inspiring.

6. Have you read John Green's The Fault in Our Stars? The first time I read it, I finished it in 12 hours. Three months later, I re-read it {which rarely happens, and never in the same year} and finished it in 24 hours. Check your tissue levels. Read. This. Book. Refill tissues. And then watch the trailer for the movie.

7. Because it's Friday and everyone needs a laugh, here are some faves:

Happy Friday! Go see Jen at Conversion Diary for more 7QTs!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Today this little blog celebrates its fifth year of existence! Does that mean it's a birthday, not an anniversary? Possibly. So maybe to stick with the anniversary theme, I should say that this blog and I have been together for 5 years? Sure, that sounds like I have no life great!

For a much better blogging-versary/birthday read, hop over to Samara's post about her 5 years. Yay for my bestie! And yes, we are those friends who started blogs within one day of each other and who will probably have kids at the same time... oh, sorry, TMI? You should be used to it after 5 years ;)

To celebrate this anniversary/birthday/awkward title, I want to share some ways this blog has helped me grow. Hopefully this won't be too snooze-worthy, and if it is, too bad - I already told you to go check out Samara's post.

I've grown in my writing; that's obvious, because this is a blog. Specifically, though, posting over the years has helped me grow more confident in my own voice. When I go back to old posts, I can tell when I was writing for myself or when I was writing for my audience's imagined expectations, and I like the former better. I'm sorry if a Disney song bursts forth right now, but I have to say it: when I was "bee-ing myself" like the Genie recommends {would you like some wine with that cheese?}, my posts were and are a more pleasant read. Because isn't the point of blogging to share yourself with others? And the point of reading other blogs to learn about other people?

Also, creative challenges like Victoria's 31 Days of Writing have been full of opportunities for growth! And now I'm signing myself up for a similar challenge in February...must be a challenge junkie.

I've grown in my ability to process life. I don't know if I would have been able to describe the strange combination of emotions surrounding my grandpa's memorial, or fully process everything from Nicaragua, or handle all the feels that came with choosing a college, without this blog to help me sort things out. On the flip side of this, I think I've grown in my ability to discern my level of personal privacy. What kinds of things am I comfortable sharing on this blog and what things do I want to keep to my journal and close friends?

I've grown in the blogging community. Five years ago, I didn't know what a blogging community was. I didn't even know how to find other blogs. {Sometimes I laugh at my former self, but then I realize that laughing at silly people isn't nice, so I make myself stop out of pity....and you can laugh at the current me. Don't feel guilty.} Now I reward myself with reading other blogs and following the rabbit trail, if you will, from one blog to another and discovering even more treasures on the internet. Also, I know that more people than just my stalker sister {hey, Paige!} read my blog, and that's kind of cool {but not as cool as Paige is}.

I've grown numerically. Here are my posting numbers from the last five years: in 2009, I posted 31 times. In 2010, 48 posts made their way onto the web. 2011 saw the "publish" button clicked 51 times. 2012 hit a multiple of eleven with 88 posts. And 2013 broke the triple digit ceiling for a smashing {see what I did there?} total of 135 posts. Between the Not Alone Series, Finish This, and 7 Quick Takes link ups, plus the afore-mentioned February challenge, 2014 should continue this upward trajectory. Woot!

Life is crazy, and is it weird that I'm glad to have some documentation?? In 2009, there is no way on God's green earth that I could have imagined life in 2014. Five years ago, I was living at my parents' house praying about where to finish college and wondering if I could leave my bff. Now I'm living in my own home with my bff, and college is something I tease my sisters about. How things do change.

Thanks for being a part of the journey!

Finish This: Week Four

Linking up with Jen at The Arizona Russums, Becky at The Java Mama, Nicole at Three 31, and Lisa at Coastal Chicster for another week of Finish This.

I use my "green thumb" to open the screen door as I look at Samara's potted plants. Sometimes I use my green thumb to wipe away a tear for what might have been. But then I come back to reality and recognize how many plants are still alive because I am not the one responsible for them.

The secrets to life are good friends, good food, good wine, and a great God. Bam. You're welcome :)

I get my money's worth by choosing quality, experimenting with making my own, and taking good care. Some things are worth paying more for higher quality {dress pants and high heels come to mind}, some things are worth making my own {laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, mojitos}. Taking good care of all these things should be implied {except for the mojitos - they don't last long!}.

On the scale of 1 to 10, my level of organization is um, high? I'm curious as to what number my IRL friends would say {cough COMMENT! cough}, and I would probably put myself at about a 7.5. Organized does not equal spotlessly clean, but I generally know where everything is and it's usually all put away.

I can answer this today much better than I could have yesterday, because last night Samara and I had a cleaning session, so my organizational conscience is feeling wonderful today. :)

A gentleman always protects. This sums up a lot about gentlemen, because there are so many people and so many facets to be protected. Also, my personal preference is for a gentleman to always smell good :)

Handwritten notes are the best! Stationary is one of my weaknesses - seriously, it needs its own column in my budget - and I love sending pretty notes to my friends and family, and I love receiving them. My address book is a few years old and probably has more white-out in it than a new white-out bottle, but it still works. Thank-you notes from my birthday were just mailed this week {same month - don't judge!} and I wrote each by hand. There's something lovely about taking the time to use a pen instead of a keyboard.

There you have it! If you want to finish these statements, give it a whirl and add your link here.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Preparing for February

Do you remember waaaay back in October {okay, that was only like 4 months ago, but still!} when I participated in Victoria's 31 Days of Writing challenge? If you don't remember, then a) you'll understand why I think October was 8 months ago instead of just 4 and b) you can check out what I wrote by clicking the "Creative Writing" tab a few inches above these words.

That was a really long introduction that didn't actually introduce anything. Sigh.

The point is, I'm going to partake in another month-long blogging challenge! This may seem like a cop-out because February is a short month, but I'll take what I can get and let the odds of completing a challenge be ever in my favor and may the best man win. {"Anecdotes! I need anecdotes!" I feel ya, Sherlock.}

Bailey Jean at Anchored in Love is hosting this link-up challenge. Here is the cute button she created just for us, and we'll be using the hashtag #blogeverydayinFEB.

Here are the prompts: 

Don't these look fun!? I'm pretty excited. If you want to participate, huzzah! You can let Bailey Jean know by commenting on her post and find the link-up starting Saturday. Hope to see your link there!

Not Alone Series: Another Engagement

Do you struggle with balancing the sting of hearing about yet another proposal with genuine excitement? What emotions come into play? What virtues do you enlist to deal with it all?

Am I happy for you and your TDH's {Tall, Dark and Handsome} engagement? Yes, absolutely.

Am I thrilled to bits for you and wish you the very best? Of course.

Will I help you in anyway you ask or need? What are friends for!

Is your ring the prettiest, sparkliest diamond ever? It's divine.

Does your TDH know how to bless you via the way he proposed? You are blessed, friend.

Do I wish that I was engaged? Or even dating? Hell yes!

I think the hardest part about responding to a friend's newly-announced engagement is recognizing that you may feel both genuinely happy for them and bummed for yourself. One emotion does not cancel out the other, and that is where my struggle lies. I wrongly believe that if I am happy for my friend, I won't feel any sadness for me, or vice versa.

I don't think that sadness for your own situation cancels out your joy for you friend. However, the Lord tells us not to envy {Exodus 20; 1 Corinthians 13} and He tells us to be content {Psalm 131:2; Matthew 5:5; Philippians 4:8-14}. Sometimes it feels like I am grieving what isn't {a relationship}, and while in the moment it may seem appropriate, it doesn't proclaim a trust in God.

We are all familiar with Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 3:5, and Psalm 23. I want these verses to go in me deeper than just recitation. I want my default to be trust in the Lord. I want to hear of a friend's engagement with joy for her and a trusting peace for myself.

I love the scripture that Natalie at Here I Am shared. In fact, I love it so much that I'm going to conclude this post with it. His thoughts are not my thoughts, and for that reason alone I trust Him to direct my life in ways that I could never see possible.

Isaiah 55:8-9 ~ "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways," declares the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts."

Linking up with Jen at Jumping In Puddles and Morgan at Follow and Believe. Join us!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Poem: I Am Beautiful

I read a poem by Jen at Jumping In Puddles this morning and am going to give it a try. The template is from Laura at Catholic Cravings {I tweaked it just a bit, since she said we could}. Laura's poem and template were inspired by last week's Not Alone Series.

I Am Beautiful

I am beautiful.

I am beautiful because I am  made in the image of God, Who loves me
with a love from which I cannot be separated.
I am beautiful inside and out, for He didn't just make my soul but my body, too.
All of me, body and soul, is a reflection of Him.

I am beautiful because my smile is wide and contagious,
because my hands are small and scarred, short and curvy, 
and that reminds me that it is okay to accept those descriptors about myself
because I am scarred and short and curvy.

I am beautiful because I am "tongue-tied" and can still both roll and fold my tongue. 

I am beautiful when I organized our entire Dr. Seuss collection on the stairs, 
pretending to work in a library.

I am beautiful because the moles on my body remind me
of my mother and grandmother,
and I am proud to be connected with two amazing women.
I am beautiful because the roundness of my tummy reminds me that 
one day my female organs will carry a newly-created life.

I am beautiful like laughter between friends on the beach in the middle of summer.

I am beautiful when I smile.

I am beautiful when I take Communion 
and when I raise my hands in worship.
I am beautiful when I laugh and when I mourn,
when I pray for my sponsor child who is beautiful.

I am beautiful when I wear my black lacy dress and Samara's pearls.

I was beautiful even when I did not see it. Though I tried to vomit
and cried when I couldn't go through with it,
I was beautiful.

I am beautiful still.

I don't know whether my eyes are doves behind a veil,
or my hair is like a flock of doves descending from Gilead.
But in my own way, in my own Rebekah-way, I am beautiful.
Perhaps I am beautiful like a peacock's feather, 
or like a pink and orange sunset reflected on the Pacific.

I am definitely not beautiful because I am perfect.
I am not perfect, inwardly or outwardly.
I have flaws enough.

But I am beautiful.

For I am loved by God,
and love is in my heart,
and where there is love,
there is beauty. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

7 Quick Takes

Alright, people, no judging the depth and shallowness of the following takes. Rules are rules, and the rules say that I can whip out both moral issues and British television. Thank you, Conversion Diary, for facilitating posts without transitions and/or connectedness {if you don't believe me, check out her first take!}.

Without further ado...

Uno: My birthday was this week, and I think that either I have gone completely fan-girl crazy and there was no question as to what presents were appropriate OR my family has simply accepted that I am a slightly crazy fan-girl and if you can't beat 'em, join 'em buy fan-girl gifts. Either one works for me. My dear parents gave me a Disappearing Tardis mug, and my aunt mailed me some gorgeous Downton Abbey earrings. Also, two sisters have presents still in transit {the joy of January birthdays is that sometimes Amazon is still playing catch-up}, so there may be more fan-girl-themed gifts forthcoming. 

Dos: Speaking of Downton Abbey, can we just talk about Season 4!? No? You haven't caught up yet? It's ok, we're only 3 episodes in so far. Hurry! Catch up and then tune in Sunday. Then we can talk about the Crawleys and the staff and the yucky people with creeper smiles and the lovely people who are making either wise or stupid decisions and oh my word can Baby George with his chunky legs please please please get a little more screen time? 

Tres: Kye Kye -Amazing band. Have you heard of them? Listened to them? Go and do it now. Stream their new album or check out their music videos {Honest Affection and Dreams (2am)}. You're welcome.

Cuatro: March for Life 2014 happened! I know a few bloggers who did go {Laura, for example}, and a few more who did not go {Rachel, who wrote a beautiful piece about work and prayer}. This past Sunday was Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, then there was the March for Life on Wednesday, yesterday was my volunteer day, and then this coming Sunday is Presentation Sunday {also known as Conception Sunday, when couples trying to conceive are prayed for}. I'm so thrilled by the advances that the pro-life movement is making! Keep praying and working, friends! 

Cinco: Speaking of the March for Life and dear Laura, check out this powerful video about the past 41 years. Incredible.

Seis: One more for the pro-life movement: "Gimme Shelter" opens in theaters today. If you haven't seen the trailer yet, check it out here. I encourage you to go see it... my plans are being made as I type!

Seite: Aaaand back to music. Anyone heard of John Newman? Please jump onto his musical train asap. And then {if you're in my neck of the woods-slash-country} come to his concert with me and Samara on April 16th, because this girl is going to her first concert since 2010. And let's please move on to the last take and not focus on how ancient and decrepit I now feel. Carrying on.

This now concludes the presentation of 7 Quick Takes. Check out more takes at Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Finish This: Week 3

I have so enjoyed this weekly link-up with Jen, Nicole, Lisa, and Becky, and I hope you are enjoying it as well. Check out Week 1 and Week 2, and then get someone else's perspective from the link-up here.

A typical day in my life has at least two plots going on in my head. I've got an audio book playing in the car and a paperback also in the car, but to be read when not in the car {safety first!}.

You'll never see me with fingernails longer than my finger. Piano lessons from my youth spoiled all chances of me tolerating even semi-long nails. Sorry, Mom!

It's really unattractive when a guy doesn't make eye contact. It's really unattractive when a girl interrupts.

If I could buy one thing right now, it would be a bookshelf that matches this one that I got for a steal.

I have high expectations for an upcoming weekend retreat with Samara and Jesus!

There you have it. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Not Alone Series: Beauty

What does authentic beauty mean to you and how can you be better at accepting or believing that you are, in fact, beautiful?

First of all, I want to share this wonderful perspective from a mom. I will definitely be needing that someday!

Now onto the nitty gritties of my personal thoughts.

All morning I thought about this question, and since the point of this series is, I think, to force yourself to be brutally honest so that you can recognize that everyone else has those brutally-honest-but-totally-secret thoughts {run-on sentence points, please}, I'm going to be brutally honest. Whew. 

Authentic beauty encompasses much more than physical beauty. No, this is not a pass or "get out of talking about fore-mentioned brutally honest thoughts" line. I'll come back to the physical beauty right after this rabbit trail. 

Call me morbid, but I've been thinking recently about how after someone passes away, you refer to their physical form as "John Doe's body." The body does not house John Doe anymore; John Doe is more than his physical body. It is his body, but he, the essence of his personhood, is no longer present in the body. Does that make any sense?

I think the same principle applies with beauty. Part of beauty is captured by physical features, but not all of it. Authentic beauty constitutes {including but not limited to} physical attributes, character qualities, and spiritual aspects. Someone can have beautiful eyes, a beautiful listening heart, and a beautiful relationship with Jesus. Authentic beauty is comprised of aspects of humanity, and physicality is a part of that.

That's all very nice, Bek, but let's get physical {not a euphemism!} already.

Alright. My brutally honest thoughts? Physical beauty is something I struggle to own and know. I don't always feel beautiful, meaning that most mornings I get up and look in the mirror...and sigh, because what on earth am I going to do with my hair? and why can't my make-up look as good as {insert anyone here}'s? and good lord I need to whiten my teeth and on and on it goes. Some days I feel good, like when my hair decides to work with me instead of against me, and when make-up brings out the blue in my eyes. Some days it is easier to believe I'm beautiful, and some days are hard. 

That's why the holistic definition of authentic beauty is so appealing sometimes, because it reminds me that beauty is not simply talking about my physical traits. But on the other hand, it can be really discouraging; it feels like a cop-out. "I'm not physically beautiful, but I make some bomb brownies" is not always what I want to hear. 

There are two things that encourage me when I'm feeling bleh. First, I know that God made me and that He did not nor does not call me a mistake. He says I'm beautiful, and that pretty much takes care of that. Secondly, there are other women I see who would not be called drop-dead gorgeous by our culture's standards. But their husbands love them and look at them as if they are Heidi Klum. I look forward to being beautiful to one man, and I know that my eyes and heart and soul will see him as the most handsome man on the earth. 

So there you have it! Hopefully my brutally honest thoughts remind you that you are not alone. I'm grateful to Jen and Morgan for hosting this series {here's the link-up}; this has been really, really amazing to process your questions.

Monday, January 20, 2014


Did you guys watch Sherlock last night?!!? Samara and I had some people over to view "The Empty Hearse," and we wore costumes! Check them out:
Jayna + Rebecca

Moriarty, Irene, Sherlock
Josiah, Samara, Jerry

Sherlock with clothes on + Sherlock with a sheet on 
Jerry + me

One more Insta: Irene + Sheeted Sherlock
Samara + Bek 

We had fun! And do we even need to say how amazing "The Empty Hearse" was?!? I think not. Happy Monday, and welcome back to the U.S., Sherlock!

Friday, January 17, 2014

7 Quick Takes + Funny Friday

I'm going to attempt to bring some humor into my 7 Quick Takes, thus killing two birds with one stone, or rather accomplishing two goals with one post. I really didn't have to spell that out; you guys are smart and get my metaphors...I hope.

Jumping right in and away from the train wreck of a first paragraph...

1. Sherlock Sherlock Sherlock Sherlock Sherlock Sherlock Sherlock Sherlock Sherlock Sherlock Sherlock

In case you've been living under a stupid rock caught unaware, Sherlock airs in the US this Sunday at 9:58pm, immediately after Downton Abbey. Click the image link to find local channel information, watch the past two seasons {it only takes 9 hours!}, and to see special previews. Do it now.

2. I've checked out a few other 7QT this morning, and literally every single one of them mentioned running. I don't understand it, to be honest. 
3. What I can understand, however, is Zumba. And Zumba understands me. Most of the time. 

4. Relevant Magazine has been wowing me recently. There's this little nugget which is totes approp considering I'm basically at one of life's milestones.  And this list is encouraging in the "way to go, you're on the right track" way and inspiring in the "keep moving in this direction" way. I don't know if those descriptions make any sense, but read the article and hope for the best, ok?

5. Need something sweet in your day? Watch this Peter Pan proposal...break out the tissues first!

6. Do you guys like reading about personality types like I do? Here are two fun pieces to look at: first, fictional characters representing each of the Myers-Briggs types. Secondly, here's an infograph demonstrating income by personality type. Fascinating!

7. In case running really is your thing and in case you hate Zumba or in case you were expecting a real life funny story, read this tweet from my flatmate. She actually said this in conversation while describing a movie. As soon as we realized what she said, we both collapsed on the floor laughing. Literally, we both dropped to the floor. Obviously, we are both hysterical. Try and rein in your jealousy that I get to live with my bff

Linking up with Conversation Diary for 7 Quick Takes. Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Not Alone Series: Getting Outside My Comfort Zone

Hey friends! I'm excited to share with you a lovely link-up called the Not Alone Series. Jen and her friend are the hosts, and I found them through Laura. Since one of my resolutions with Rachel is blogging well, I thought this link-up would be perfect. I'm a few days behind {I think the link-up happens on Tuesdays}, but better late then never, right? So here we go!

Topic: In what ways can you grow and stretch RIGHT NOW that could affect the whole of 2014?

Right now, I want to grow in my friendships. I want to stretch past old limits of being hospitable. I want to grow out of old, small circles of relationships. I want to speak more thoughtfully and listen more fully. 

Right now, I'm choosing to trust God and ask Him where He wants me to be, what He wants me to be doing. I'm asking Him for direction and for new dreams, and right now I'm choosing to trust that He knows what He's doing and that He'll guide me.

Right now, I'm asking God to grow my capacity for love. I read an article that basically said that humans have a limited capacity for relationship and that's why some friendships fade away after a move, because you build relationships where you're at and you can't handle maintaining all relationships. I don't want that. God is bigger than research and findings from experts. I'm crying out for God to expand my relational capacity.

Right now, growth can happen in my writing. In the next couple of weeks, you'll probably see more of Edna Walters, since my Writing Guild goal was to have "a day in the life" for her. You'll also see some more link-up participation. I don't know what God is going to do with the words that flow mind to fingers to screen, but I know that He has called me to be a good steward of His gifts, so that's what I'm going to do. 

There you have it! Check out other Not Alone Series links here, and join us for next week for a discussion on beauty

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Finish This Week 2

Linking up with Jen, Lisa, Nicole, and Becky!

Check out the links here :)

If I could make anything grow on trees, it would be instant manicures. Pick one off the tree and BAM! Your nails are done. No waiting, no chipping, no clumping. Done nails, just like that.
I can't stop smiling because I've seen Sherlock Season 3. Because it's almost my birthday. Because zumba is tomorrow night. Because there is a Tardis blanket on my bed.  Because I'm in the middle of two good books. Because January has been awesome {and hard and wonderful and challenging and stretching} and February is shaping up to be pretty darn awesome. Because today is a good hair day. Because tomorrow is Volunteer Day. Because God has great plans for me.

I get back to nature by admiring Mt. Rainier. Ahh! 

I dread washing the fridge. I can clean the bathroom and the rest of the house until the cows come home, but please dear Lord above don't make me clean the fridge. Please distribute grown-up points here, though, because I have actually cleaned the fridge since moving out on my own. Once. Moving on. 

There ya have it! See you next week for Version 3 of Finish This. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Guys, I'm getting old. Maybe not as old as this guy and his white whiskers, but definitely old. This week I turn twenty-five. And in honor of this event, I would like to follow in the steps of my friend Victoria {who is mom to newly-born Carson --> birth story!} and list 25 things I've learned in 25 years of being alive. These are in no particular order and are definitely still being learned all the time. Without further ado,

  1. Everything is a story to be laughed at. Get to the laughter point sooner than later.
  2. Sisters make the best of friends.
  3. Best friends make the best of flatmates.
  4. God can be trusted all the time with anything. He can handle it.
  5. Goals are good, but they exist to make life better; life does not exist only in accomplishing goals.
  6. I don't have to live in the same state as someone to keep growing our friendship.
  7. Massages are gifts straight from the Lord above.
  8. It is perfectly acceptable and even admirable to admit when I'm struggling and to ask for help.
  9. Character counts.
  10. I don't have to be the best of buds with every person I meet, but I should be a good friend to them.
  11. I make mistakes. I have made them and I will continue to make them, and God keeps loving me.
  12. Find a swimsuit that works with you and then work that swimsuit. Heck to the yes.
  13. Just because nail polish stays on your toes forever does not mean that you should leave it on forever.
  14. There is nothing like the hope that is found in Jesus.
  15. Personality types are wonderful, but I don't have to fit perfectly into any "type."
  16. God's "no" means that something better is coming... I don't have to see it now to trust His answer.
  17. Life is very different from how I pictured it in my head, and that's okay.
  18. If there's something I want to do or see, I should just go for it and make it happen.
  19. Flexibility is key.
  20. Invest in good chocolate. I recommend sea salt.
  21. Sometimes talking with your bestie and getting "nothing" done is the best thing to do.
  22. Don't judge someone by what you think is their life story.
  23. If it's British television, a) I will watch it and b) at least one actor will be from Doctor Who.
  24. Listening is important.
  25. It is ok to not finish a book that is not worth your time; find one {or six} that are.
There you have it, folks. 25 life lessons from an almost-25-year-old. Enjoy!

Friday, January 10, 2014


Ah, Friday...usually the easiest day of the week, at least for us office-dwellers. But since prayer is not limited to the office, I'm not surprised that today's theme is probably the hardest for me to grasp. I think the Lord is saying today is a day of listening.

Listening to the Lord is hard for me. I'm a doer, so I'd much rather be praying and interceding. Listening involves waiting and silence and focus {ha, good thing we've already practiced that theme, right?}, and that is a difficult practice for me. Yes, it is a practice and yes, I probably should practice it more. So guess what I'll be doing today? :)

I'm listening for answers, for direction, for encouragement. I'm listening to hear God's voice deep in my being. I'm listening like Samuel; I want my answer to be "Speak, for your servant is listening."

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Tonight my church and our two "sister churches" will be coming together for a night of worship and prayer. I have been looking forward to tonight since they announced it several weeks ago. When the Body of Christ comes together in worship, big things happen. It makes sense; Jesus told us that when we are gathered together in His Name, He is with us {Matthew 18:20}. So today, with this evening in mind, I'm praying for unity.

I'm praying specifically for my church families tonight, that we would honor and love one another. I'm praying that relationships will be strengthened and hearts joined.I'm praying for Holy Spirit to move powerfully and direct the worship leaders. 

Also, I'm praying for unity in the Body of Christ. No matter if you're Baptist, Evangelical, Presbyterian, or Lutheran, or if you are Catholic or Protestant, our Church needs to grow in unity so we can grow our witness. 

Jesus told His disciples that the world would know us by our love, and unity is one of the fruits of love {so is poetry, of a fine stout love...sorry, P & P reference!}. I'm praying that believers can walk more closely with each other. 

I'm not saying that we don't need to discuss theology or that anything goes; I'm saying we should try and focus on the things upon which we agree. Let's let Jesus be our standard and guide. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Are you okay if I keep sharing prayer themes? They are personal and vulnerable, but they also hold me accountable and help me process what God is highlighting. Hope you don't mind :)

The Lord gave me today's focus last night: healing. I know so many people, including myself, in need of physical, spiritual, emotional, mental, and relational healing, and today they are all on my heart.

So today I'm crying out to the Lord for my friends and family. I'm praying for the presence of Jesus to flood and surround these specific people:

  • C and her family
  • R and her family
  • A and her family
  • the CCU community
Will you pray with me?

Finish This

Jen is such a gift! Right when I'm thinking "I should blog but I forget how," she posts this lovely little link-up that has the prompts. All I have to do is finish the story. Pressure = gone.

I first felt like a grown up when I got my first job that was not babysitting. The summer before my senior year of high school, I applied to work in a Christian bookstore, and while on a youth retreat, I got a phone call from them. I was hired! Such a cool feeling.

I am one-of-a-kind because I have a passionate love for my Wat Bot. Seriously, my water bottle is with me more than my bff is with me, and that's a lot because we live together. If you want to know the full story of my Wat Bot, here ya go.

Spanx is a life saver... and the one item of clothing that my mom steals from me. Samara and I were just discussing how some outfits give you confidence while others require confidence to pull off. Spanx is basically instant confidence!

My favorite family tradition is opening pajamas on Christmas Eve, after listening to days and weeks of my parents telling us "you're not getting pajamas this year. You're too old." Yeah, right, Mom and Pops, yeah, right :)

The last thing I do before bed is put on chapstick. I've weaned myself to not really use it during the day {these winter-y months are challenging my resolve, though!}, but I put it on at night after brushing my teeth. So soothing!

Happiness is laughter with all 4 sisters home. Staying up waaaaay too late talking with the bestie. Stories in the round. A good hair day. Painted toenails. Visiting my favorite Southern state. Painted nails. Phone dates. A new book.

And that does it! How would you finish these prompts?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Call me whatever you want to call me, but I love traditions. Traditions remind me of the things that have value, because if something doesn't have value, it won't {or shouldn't} last very long.

Maybe this doesn't count as a tradition, but in some ways it feels like one, so here goes. For the past several years, my church has set aside the first full week in January as a week for prayer and fasting. This year things have been adjusted and we're fasting and praying Tuesday through Saturday instead of the whole week, but I think the different length will help/is helping us to go deeper. It's a brief drilling down deep, instead of an extended trough.

This month {ha, all seven days of it!} there are a few big things I'm praying about and asking God for revelation, and I'm really grateful for this short intense time of prayer and fasting. I think some great breakthroughs are coming, and I'm excited to see God move!

The Lord has already given me a theme for this year, but He's also emphasizing a different theme for each day of fasting and praying, too. This thrills me, because I find it's so much easier to pray specific, targeted prayers. Which, ironically or not, is tied to today's theme. Today, the theme is focus.

Today I'm focusing my prayers on:
  • the next step in life
  • goals {10 years, 5 years, 1 year}
  • growth, healing, reconciliation in my church body
Hopefully I'll get my life together and share the next 4 themes with you this week. That would be something, to look back at the end of 2014 and say "Here is the specific fruit of these specific prayers!" I'm looking forward to that :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Let's Look Back at 2013

Happy 2014!

It seems that the general consensus is that 2013 was a more challenging year and that 2014 is primed for something new and different and amazing. I for one agree wholeheartedly and am looking forward to all that the Lord is going to do and reveal this year!

I thought it would be fun to review some highlights of 2013 before jumping in to 2014. So here goes: the highs and lows of 2013!

January: I was living with my maternal grandparents and laughing my socks off at their antics {example 1example 2}. Here are my blogging goals for 2013, and here is a recap of Laurie and my adventure with ice skating. Also, I started watching Doctor Who...I definitely did not imagine getting SO sucked in to the Who-niverse!

February: Samara and I started planning in earnest to get a place together. I also got really excited to move home, and so I packed my suitcase a month before leaving.

March: a high was seeing The Lion King with Laurie. So so wonderful. A low was my grandpa passing away. Another high was moving home!

April: I got settled at home and we had a memorial service for my grandpa.

May: I got to visit Laurie in Texas for one week and then got to visit my Kentucky families the next. There were also many viewings of British shows.

June: Nothing big happened in June, but there were several Funny Fridays! Check out Thing One, Thing Two, Thing Three, and Thing Four for laughs and eye rolls.

July: Easily summarized into one word: NICARAGUA! First post, second post, third post, fourth post. Boom. Yet July kept on being amazing. Samara and I found a place to move into and we signed the papers and we shared our announcement with much rejoicing.

August: Augh! So much fun! First of all, we moved! Secondly, Dahlia and I went to Prince Edward Island! Here the compiled travel journal, pictures included. Enjoy. Thirdly, August is Family Camp, which didn't get its own post but is always a highlight of the year.

September: Samara and I said goodbye to the Tenth Doctor. Laurie came to visit {although I failed to blog very much about that}, and my condo was invaded.

October: Wow, 31 Days of Writing kind of took over the blog! Here are some non-fictional-but-still-creative highlights: settling into the condo more, hanging pictures on my bedroom wall, having Jamey visit, and watching Danny Boyle's Frankenstein with friends on Halloween, dressed as Fantastic Mr. Fox characters {Halloween summary}.

November: had a wonderful experience with one of my CareNet clients! This story has changed my life, I think. On a lighter note, the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who was quite lovely and wonderful {sorry, I blogged about it in December even though it aired in November}. November was apparently a month for me to recognize my own maturity {which therefore proves my immaturity, right?}, because I blogged about it not once but twice.

December: Samara and I had a great adventure getting our Christmas tree. I spent several nights at my parents' house {and subsequently forgot how to blog}. Also, I learned am learning how to process feelings as a Thinker {the T in my Meyers-Briggs personality of ESTJ}, which has been a challenging but still positive experience.

2013 was wonderful and hard and exciting and stretching. Definite highs, obvious lows, and everything in between. But as Samara noted here, I'd rather have the highs and the lows than the safe mediocrity of middle ground.

2014, I'm excited to see what highs and lows you hold!