Monthly Archives: June 2014

Starbucks-> manna from heaven??

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Well European adventure is over and the first thing I do with my 6 hour layover is visit Starbucks. I ask the surprisingly patient worker if it’s possible to make an iced peppermint mocha since the temperature here is up by about 20 degrees from my past two weeks. She asks another girl if thats possible, and then turns I me and states

“Yeah, she can make that.” My hero!

As I sit in the Philadelphia airport sipping my newfound drink, listening to a jazz band playing behind me (What!?!), I smile as my mind drifts back to my mana Starbucks year.

Now maybe you’re not the Bible reading type, but I’m a big fan. And there’s this story in the book of Exodus, chapter 16 which in my Bible is entitled Bread from Heaven. If you’ve seen any of the Moses movies the story takes place after the Israelites are freed from Pharaoh, cross the Red Sea, and Pharaoh and all his home boys drown, but BEFORE they enter the Promise Land.

They are wandering around in the wilderness and get pretty cranky, so naturally they start complaining to God. And God, in His great mercy, starts providing for them, manna. Bread from Heaven. The literal meaning: “What is it?” Haha. Seriously. That’s what it means. Anyways…each morning when the Israelites woke up, there would be this special bread all over the ground. Enough to feed the thousands.

Now there are a lot of other details to the story that are pretty amazing, one thing that just jumped out at me when I read it today…manna, according to verse 31, had the taste of wafers made with honey. How sweet! God not only satisfied their need of food…but he made it taste like honey!! Holla!

So what does that have to do with Starbucks you ask? Ok…here’s my little story…

A couple years ago I found myself working as a long term maternity substitute. I jumped from one classroom to another as teacher after teacher had her little one. Four positions in all. And while I loved my experience, especially the people I worked with, it didn’t necessarily provide me with a bountiful salary. It proved a little stressful financially, I was ok…but just had to really be tight with my finances. Totally fine. It was definitely a transition year, a preparation year as well.

So I have a heart for young adult women. I love spending time with them, love getting to know them, challenging them, speaking truth, living life together. I feel like that is one thing God has called me to in this life. And one of the most common ways this happens is through coffee dates. Sipping on something wonderful as I share life with many women. I love it! It is a blessing to be trusted with so many stories. In short…God has called me to get coffee with women. (Could be worse callings right! πŸ˜‰)

So the year I was subbing I truly didn’t have the finances to really go to coffee a lot, but here’s where the mana part comes in….I went a whole year not having to buy my own coffee and still going to coffee as much as I normally did. Maybe even more than I ever had! Through gift cards that friends, students, and family provided, I never had to spend money from my own paycheck. I didn’t ask for it,it wasn’t something I expected. In fact, it was truly unexpected. But I found that every time an opportunity arose, I had the money in form of a gift card. God simply provided, every time.

I remember at the beginning of this school year, probably a couple weeks before my first paycheck from my full time teaching job, I was standing in line with one of my coworkers and used the very last of my Starbucks gift cards. I told her my mana story and said,

“Well, I guess the mana….or gift card provision…is done…..I suppose God has provided me with the job though to pay for my own.” πŸ™‚

See that’s what happened to the Israelites too. When they got to the Promise Land, the manna stopped coming. Now some might say…what the heck God? You stopped providing! But God had given them something else….land….on which to grow their own crops, and make their own bread.

So…that’s my mana story! Do you have one??

Oh yes…and I also must leave you with a picture of my nephew and a few things I learned about him….if you’re still interested in reading them!!

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Things my nephew likes:
His mommy, food, milk, black pants on aunt Lindsey, daddy, the yellow lion on my Gahanna shirt, hard floors, balls, buttons, zippers, people holding him, my Hero book, straps.

Happy summer!

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Moms are Champions

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Seriously. I’ve had the privilege of spending time with my sister and her family the past couple weeks as well as had the unique opportunity over the past several years to spend time in other mom’s homes watching the daily grind.

And that is the conclusion I’ve come to: Mom’s are champions.

I mean, I came to this conclusion when I spent a year as a maternity substitute and heard more birthing stories in one year than I ever needed to in my lifetime. But the excruciating pain in the birthing process is only the beginning. Unless you are a mom I don’t think we quite get what it takes to spend your life for one….or more little ones.

Your time is never your own. My nephew is about 7 months old and for not actually talking and just rolling around…he is quite a handful. By the time you feed him, change him, play with him, get him down for a nap, feed him, change him, play with him….it’s 4:00 and time to start thinking about dinner!

Not to mention all the other things that fit in that time frame like laundry, showering, dishes…. And dusting? Checking email?? Are you crazy??

And it’s not like you can just put him in a crib and he can entertain himself. Even for only being half a year old he needs attention! Playing with him is not an option….it’s a necessity!! And he lets you hear it if he’s not happy. And you can’t just explain to a baby why he needs to play by himself for awhile so Mommy can throw a load of laundry in so people don’t start complaining that the family is smelling…

And this is all if everything goes according to “the plan.” Which never really happens like it’s “supposed to” when you’re a mom.

Then there are things to think about like discipline, figuring out what the baby wants when he’s crying, making sure he doesn’t flip himself out of his chair while you are doing the dishes…ehem….picture at the top.

But moms do all this and more. And they do it with grace. Tonight I watched as my sister got home from her dance rehearsal and was all smiles and hugs for my nephew who was so excited to see her. And she said it’s all worth it for the hugs and kisses he gives.

So what have I learned from all this?

1. I am very glad I don’t have kids yet. Someday, but not yet. I’m too selfish. Although I think I’ll always be too selfish for kids which is why I’m counting on the mom superpowers I keep assuring my roommate come when you have kids.

2. I’m very thankful for my mom who stayed home to take care of me while I was growing up. AND says it was the best job in the world. Thanks Mom!

3. Moms are champions. Don’t you ever let someone tell you you’re not! Thank you to ALL MOMS!! Your work does not go unnoticed.

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This face?? How could I do anything wrong?? πŸ˜‰

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Singleness

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Singleness.

(Insert bomb noise here.)

That dreaded “s” word which seems to be the reality for many young women and is an especially hot topic for Christian women. I’ve always avoided writing on this one because so many times it feels like a curse, or a subject no one wants to admit they know anything about. As if being single made me “unworthy” or “unwanted.”

I’ve often been plagued with the thought that no one would want to listen to what I have to say about God, life, and relationships because I’m single…which must make me a lesser human being. Let’s face it, not many young girls want to be “just like the single girl.” They want to be like the girl who appears to have had all her dreams come true and is living this beautifully romantic story. I have to admit…I’ve been one of those bright eyes young girls and now I’m living the other end of that reality.

I’ve also read some posts on singleness that, to be quite honest, weren’t that helpful and didn’t make me feel any better. Sometimes i would walk away feeling more discouraged than when I started! So nope, not writing about that topic!

Recently, however, I’ve had a nagging feeling in my heart saying…write about what you know. Because being single for all but about 15 months of my whole life….I do know a thing or two about it. I have experienced it. And I want to write on what’s real, and what makes me relatable to sooooo many others. May those of you who are single be allowed to relate and ponder, and would those of you who aren’t be challenged to get inside the skin and understand the heart and mind of a single woman. And might I add become more sensitive to and thankful for them.

Let’s face it…in our world today being single can be tough. I can tell you what it feels like to go to wedding after wedding (I went to 7 last summer!) and watch friend after friend get married, feeling blissfully happy for them, but also feeling a twinge in my heart for the state that I’m in. I know the feeling if going out with the girlfriends…again…watching a sappy romantic love story, only to leave once again thinking….will it ever happen to me?? I know what it’s like to be at an outing or party and you suddenly look around and see that you’re one of the only ones not holding hands or cuddling with their man. I know what it’s like to hang out with women who who talk constantly about husbands, houses, and babies. And when they get to you the only thing they know to ask you about is….”so….how is your job going?” And while it’s sweet that they are trying, but you feel that gut feeling of being left out. It’s not their fault…it’s just the stage of life that they’re in and you’re not in that same stage. But sometimes it still hurts. (I tell myself over and over again to remember moments like that if I’m ever on the other side. I think that will
Be a blessing to others in the future.)

I have things like this quick story happen fairly often: we were at a game of ultimate frisbee when a new couple showed up and everyone introduced themselves and their spouses and when the couple got to me they asked “and who are you with?” To which everyone who “knows” looks at me with pity as I say “Oh…it’s just me!” And smile. Because that’s what you have to do. People just don’t know…and it’s ok. πŸ™‚ So you just smile.

Then there are the things every single girl has heard that make her want to punch someone in the face.

“You just haven’t found the right guy yet!” (How does that help how I feel right now?)

“You’re such an amazing girl, there will be a perfect guy out there for you.” (And what if there isn’t? There is no promise from God of a perfect man for every girl…no matter how good she is. And if being an amazing girl is what equals a husband, then why has it not happened to me yet? That’s just asking for a performance track mindset!)

“Jesus was single.” (Ha! And I’m not Jesus.)

“Paul says in the Bible it is better to be single than married.” (Then what do I do with this longing, this ache in my heart?? Does God just want me to be miserable? Is that what He’s called me to?)

“God’s just not ready to let you go yet.” (I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. As if God “let’s us go” when we get married. I totally don’t agree with that one.)

“God has a plan. His timing is perfect.” (But what if I hate that plan? What if I am currently in a place where I’m not happy with the timing of my life? What if I can’t get there yet? It’s hard choosing to trust….every day of my life.)

Yes, so many women seem to struggle inwardly. So often we are told to just “be content” in our circumstances. But being told that never seems to really help, does it?

So what then? Do we sit around moping and feeling sorry for ourselves? Do we decide that God loves us less and we will either have to “settle” for something lesser or just try and make ourselves be ok with singleness the rest of our lives? Or do we go the opposite direction and try so desperately to find a guy…any guy…that finding a man and getting married becomes the focus of our life? Either option seems exhausting and not fun in the least.

Focus Shift:

Here are a string of random thoughts that are in no way organized, but speak to where I’m at in my journey where my season currently is singleness.

The reason it can be hard to be content where I’m at is because I don’t know the future. I will never know the future and for people like me, it drives us crazy! For me, knowing I will never know the rest of my story until it happens…pondering “what if” questions help my perspective. Questions like…

What if God has a bigger plan? A larger purpose for my life than I have for myself? How is God making me relatable to certain kinds of people?
What if I do have a truly romantic earthly story coming my way?
What if I don’t? Does that change how I live my life right now? In each moment? What if I spend my whole 20’s and 30’s wishing I wasn’t single and moping around, then I get married and it’s great…but I’ve wasted so many of those years??

Singleness takes away excuses. I have no excuse not to have adventures. I have no excuse not to go visit my sister in Holland (which is where I am currently writing this post!!) I have no excuse not to try new things, be adventurous, check some entries off the bucket list!!

There is freedom in being single. I’m not going to lie…I’ve often reminded myself these days to embrace the moments when I hang out with my beautiful young mom friends and see how their entire world is turned upside down as they constantly have to lay down their life for another human being. What a beautiful thing that is…and yet, in being single, I can eat what I want, exercise when I want, arrive at a party when I want, leave when I want, host a get together when I want. Sleep when I want, wake up when I want. The possibilities are endless! And if marriage and family are in my future, this freedom will not last forever! There is a season for everything and I’m going to enjoy this one I am in.

Singleness provides opportunity to bless. Because I am free I am able to go and do what I want when I plan it. I am able to say a resounding “yes!” when asked to teach for my friend’s neighborhood Bible club. I can bake cookies or muffins and bring it to a family or friend just because. I can rearrange my night fairly easily when a friend really needs me. I can go to my mom friends’ houses and hang with them while we wash dishes and change diapers. I can fold some clean laundry a mom hasn’t had time to think about. I can learn a new hobby or sport. I can pick up a bouquet of flowers for a friend who is having a hard day. I can go on a mission trip every summer if God calls me! I can plan a wedding or baby shower and bless other women…and it can be fun! No little ones to drag around with me as I scour the stores looking for the perfect decorations. πŸ™‚

I’ve recently been challenged by God to spend my life. I have been given the gift of singleness right now…there are some specific ways I can spend my life for others that I would not be able to in any other season. Life-giving. It’s always one of my life goals.

And what if someone young and single does that for me if I do become a mom of rambunctious young ones some day?? πŸ˜‰

The goal in life is not to be married. The goal is to love Jesus with everything I’ve got, and to love others. This gives me purpose apart from being married and having children.

My identity is not based on whether I am single, dating, engaged, married, divorced, widowed. It does not make me less or more of a woman. As I find more and more of who I am in Christ, I am more and more confident. I no longer have to spend my life proving to others that I’m worthy. Because I already know what I’m worth. And it’s all because of what He says about me. Because of the gospel, I’m free to live. πŸ™‚

So….do I have it all figured out? Do I have a magical prayer to pray or verse to read that will make those of us who are single feel better? Oh how I wish I did dear friends. But then again…maybe I don’t wish that. Because I’m learning that everything in life…everything….is a process. These are just some thoughts and challenges I’ve encountered through my process.

Do I want to be single? Am I excited about the fact that I have no idea when I get to transition into that next stage of life? No…not necessarily. But I’m learning to embrace it. To live it to the fullest. And live with my eyes wide open to what God might be doing.

What might He have for me during this season? What might He still want to teach me? What might He have in store for me? I will leave you with this verse…

But, as it is written, β€œWhat no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”
~1 Corinthians 2:9

Things you see in an airport

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-old lady with rolling cat carpet bag
-young lady wearing a UK jump suit
-angry people
-uptight people
-people sleeping in all sorts of positions
-couples in love ❀️
-every outlet occupied
-overpriced smoothies
-brown open toed sandal with real socks (who told her that was ok??)
-moms and kids running frantically
-elderly slowly moving
-very serious businessmen
-kids picking noses
-phones, phones, phones
-selfies being taken
-sorority girls camping on the floor
-sports teams hustling
-headphones in ears
-young men jogging
-meals being eaten solo
-accents being spoken
-flowery bags
-sporty bags
-overpriced smoothies
-families
-serious backpackers
-people thinking
-big windows
-over. priced. smoothies.
-maps
-confused people
-confident frequent fliers
-world travelers

Traveling. Soak it all in.

5K Thoughts

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Mile 1
Ok.
Here we go.
It’s a really nice day for this.
I can’t believe the weather’s this nice.
Maybe I should talk to the runner next to me…
…nah….it will take energy away that I’ll need.
It’s such a beautiful trail were running.
Is this pace faster than normal?
I wonder how far I’ve gone.
Oh boy….don’t start that already.
This is good.
Feelin good.

Mile 2
Hmmm…this is getting hard.
I’m not even halfway through the race.
I will be so excited when I see the first runners coming back toward me.
What if I miss them cause they’re so far ahead??
Ok this pace is definitely faster than I trained.
I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to finish this.
I’m already so tired and my body hurts.
I have another whole mile to go…
I dunno about this…
It would be embarrassing to stop now.
I will not be a walker!!
I’m runnin this whole thing…even if it kills me.

Mile 3
This is stupid.
I hate this.
Why did I sign up for this??
This is the last 5k I’m ever doing!
That’s what I said last time…but this time I mean it!!
This hurts.
This isn’t fun!
Stupid, stupid idea.
I’m gonna die.
That’s it.
This is how I’m gonna die.

Last 500 Feet
I hear cheering.
Oh my word…I may not die before the finish line.
Wow.
Ok…I can do this….I can do this….
Last stretch….time to sprint.
That’s my name!
Cheering is so helpful.
Ahhhhh!!!
I did it!!
Breathe.
Water.