things (people) i love thursday! (april 25, 2013)

This week is our last week at our church so I’ve done a lot of crying. I don’t really have any other words to say about this week (it really has kind of sucked) so this TILT will be kind of short. But also kind of personal.

embaptism_1

PEOPLE WHO HAVE MADE ME SMILE AT SOME POINT BUT WILL LIKELY ALSO MAKE ME CRY THIS WEEK:

  • Dan.
  • Dax.
  • Eric.
  • Emily.
  • Shana.
  • Levi.
  • Lori.
  • Savannah.
  • Beka.
  • Ashley.
  • Evan.
  • Suzanne.
  • Libby.
  • Rori.
  • Sydney.
  • Sarah(s).
  • Zack(s).
  • Sammie.
  • Kelby.
  • Kyle.
  • Liz.
  • Hannah.
  • Karen.
  • Mary.
  • Lindsey.
  • Hookers.
  • Caleb.
  • Nora.
  • All the students/leaders in E3SM.
  • All the kids in E3Kids.
  • Everyone else at E3.

And I have to stop because I’m crying in my cubicle. See you all Sunday. One last time.

things i love thursday! (april 11, 2013)

Is it spring-ish where you are? I know a lot of my friends are posting on Facebook about being covered in snow. Hate to brag but it’s ten kinds of gorgeous here in Florida. See the picture below. Yes, those are shorts.

IOA

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • Three-day weekends!
  • Road trips!
  • Seeing family.
  • Going to theme parks with good friends wearing obnoxiously brightly-colored matching shirts.
  • “Fart” therapist.
  • Fanny packs!
  • Seeing a very dear friend get baptized.
  • Cover tunes.
  • Melodicas.
  • Long hugs.
  • Productive lunch hours.
  • Free food.
  • Watching my son absolutely DEVOUR a pickle spear.
  • Bubble baths.
  • Sweet friends sweeping in to watch my kid last minute.
  • Sushi dinners.
  • Newcastle.
  • “Welcome home” kisses.
  • The snooze button.
  • The way my kid’s face lights up when I walk into his room in the morning to get him out of his crib. THOSE DIMPLES YOU GUYS.
  • Getting back on social media! Hiiii!
  • Except for Twitter. I’m a bit scared to go back to that world…
  • Encouraging, yet vulnerable lunch meetings.
  • Making my own baby food. (Even if it does take a little bit of time.)
  • Vegan ice cream.
  • Anything vegan because I miss dairy so hard right now.
  • My husband’s beard.

What do you love this week?

things i love thursday! (january 10, 2013)

Happy Thursday, friends! We’re finally on the mend around here, thank goodness. Onto the love.

RHE_retweet

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • Hitting my third anniversary of this blog yesterday! Wow, time flies. Click here to read my first post and don’t laugh. Okay you can laugh. (DISCLAIMER: I was not, in any way, shape, or form, high when I wrote it.)
  • Secret projects.
  • My husband’s “nerd” voice.
  • Getting retweeted and tweeted at by Rachel Held Evans! I am such a fan girl, and I don’t care who knows it.
  • Hot tea and beer.
  • Celebrating my husband’s birthday!
  • Seafood.
  • Somehow managing to trick my husband into doing all the chores for a month. Muahaha. : )
  • Eating out instead of grocery shopping. See also: Christmas gift cards.
  • Seeing Dax be social with all my friends. He really is the happiest when he’s around people. He must take after me.
  • Catching up on Parenthood on Netflix and having Dan say, “I didn’t know you wrote for this show.” Thanks babe.
  • Encouraging text messages and emails from fellow mommies.
  • The 25 Best Jennifer Lawrence Quotes of 2012. I LOVE HER.
  • My bestie, for knowing I would LOVE that link.
  • Finally getting a pack n’ play for Dax to go in Dan’s new office.
  • Dan has an office now??!
  • Super random and last minute lunch dates.
  • Figuring out that I don’t need milk in my coffee to like it. What is this, growing up?
  • Painting my nails, even though I did a slap-bang (Rachel Held Evans!) job because Dax woke up from his nap after I did one hand.
  • I may or may not have gotten nail polish on his face. MAY OR MAY NOT.
  • Trying and failing to mimic my kid’s face.
  • Funyuns and Sunkist!
  • Getting unexpected I’M PREGNANT texts!
  • Not being pregnant myself. ; )

What do you love this week?

to be known and, yet, loved.

I think it’s safe to say that there are few things in life we want more than to be totally known and still loved at the same time. If you were to break down each and every insecurity I have to its bare bones, you’d probably find this deep-seated desire.

To be known and, yet, loved.

This blog has been the vehicle by which I achieve self-love. By being honest and vulnerable in my writing, I’ve learned how to look myself in the mirror — through my reflection as well as at it — and be fully delighted in the image before me. (Well, for the most part. We never really arrive, do we?)

But, as far as letting other people love me, I’m not entirely sure I’m there yet. I still seek it. I still crave it. I still wish to, whether it be romantically, familially, or relationally, be surrounded by a small, yet fierce group of individuals who know every deep, dark, twisted ingredient to my soul and still find me worthy of love. However, despite this burning passion (which, as I learned recently, comes from a Greek word that actually appropriately means “willingness to suffer”) to be known and loved, I still find myself holding back out of fear.

I’m just so scared to let many people get close enough.

They get kind of close, I guess. Pretty close, even. But not that close. Not close enough to “smell my farts”, if you will. (Confused? Refer back to this post.)

I lamented over this desire to a friend over lunch last week. As I clumsily poked at my thai noodle soup with my cheap, splintery chopsticks, swirling the chives and roasted duck in a deep brown broth, I breathed my fear into the steam rising from the bowl.

“I’m just so worried I’ll get found out, you know?”

And there it is.

You begin a relationship with someone and, at first, everything is perfect. Everything is coming up roses, as they say. But, as time passes, you get “found out” — the roses begin to wilt and droop, leaving behind a soggy soil of past regrets, hurts, and insecurities. That can be scary. It is, at least, for me.

“When I first met you, I knew you were a hot mess,” my friend replied.

Well, okay but tell me how you really feel?

“But that’s not you anymore,” he clarified. “And those who really know you know that.”

A statement almost as comforting as thai noodle soup. Almost.

The story isn’t over when the roses wilt. If the soil is still there — albeit quite messy — beautiful things, lovely things, can still spring from it.

Allowing someone to get close enough to you to bend down and work their fingers through your dirty soil also allows them to plant seeds of life — beautiful words of encouragement, trust, and, yes, even love can foster the growth of a gorgeous garden of a real life worth loving. A real relationship with a real person worth celebrating.

The ability to be known and, even still, adored.

things i love thursday! (january 3, 2013)

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here’s the first TILT of the new year. If the first week of 2013 is any indication, this year is gonna be a good’un.

becky__NYE

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • Not having any New Year’s Resolutions. (Last year’s? Gain 20 lbs and be okay with it. I gained 40 and was still okay with it. Then I lost 50, soooo….)
  • Spending time in my hometown with my family.
  • Watching my baby boy figure out his new toys! He’s so smart, y’all. Oh and he’ll probably be a drummer.
  • Seeing one of my besties for the second year in a row on New Year’s Eve!
  • Getting to see what all the fuss is about concerning Sister Hazel.
  • Finally seeing The Dark Knight Rises. (May or may not have had to watch it in two sittings because I’m, like, old and got tired and needed to go to bed halfway through it but WHATEVER OKAY IT’S A LONG MOVIE DON’T JUDGE ME.)
  • Beer and champagne.
  • New glasses. Yeah, I’m a hipster and I don’t care who knows it.
  • “Bartering” with my husband.
  • Getting a full night’s sleep for the first time since Dax was born. And then doing it all a second time! My husband is the best.
  • Reading books. Like, just because.
  • Friends going into labor! YAY BABIES!
  • Eating junk food.
  • Productive healing exercises.
  • Catching up on Parenthood on Netflix. (When will season 5 of Mad Men be on there?! COME ON, NOW.)
  • Bubble baths. Even if they’re too hot.
  • Watching my baby boy sleep and clutch his blankie. UGHHHHH THE CUTENESS.
  • Being dubbed a “long lost sister”.
  • Food you can eat with chopsticks.
  • New beginnings. Old finishes.
  • Being loved. Like, really loved.
  • Loving others. Like, really loving them.

What do you love this week? Happy 2013!

active listening: “crossroads” by sarah mac band.

smb_staticsignals

I’ve mentioned this before, but there’s something voyeuristic about consuming art created by your friends. I never know how to really navigate it. It’s like you go over to their house while they’re on vacation and rummage through their memory boxes and try to fill in the blanks on your own. It’s beautiful, and raw, but also super sketchy. (Hey, many of you may feel the same when you read my blog! Like, isn’t it weird that you guys get insight into my life without actually hearing it come out of my mouth? Come on, admit it — how many of you stalkers have never actually met me but know my kid’s name? No judgement here, y’all! Just keepin’ it real.)

Anyway. Today’s active listening comes from a band which is comprised of three (sometimes four, when the need for violin or SLEIGH BELLS arises) of my friends. Because I’m creepy like that. This song, “Crossroads” on the album Static and Signals by Sarah Mac Band, has wrecked me since I first laid ears on it. (Don’t be a chump — drop some cash for the album here because OH JUST DO IT, IT’S WORTH IT, I SWEAR.)

Most of the lyrics speak to a younger me, a me that was, for lack of a better term, a hot f-ing mess. And while I’m not there anymore, there are elements of my hot f-ing mess of a past that have weaseled their way into my otherwise completely well-adjusted present and have reminded me of the “crossroads” from whence I came.

I was too young to consider such things as a healthy dose of caution and fear /

I was set on an adventure and how my life would change by things bound to happen there

Five years ago I was standing at a crossroads. I could go one way, a way of the familiar hot mess, or go somewhere completely different and just kind of see what would happen.

So I chose the adventure. I randomly moved to a foreign country.

Sadly, it was not, like the song later suggests, to “save souls for Jesus”. It was to, ultimately, enhance my academic career and, um, oh yeah, mendmyverybrokenheartBUTWHATEVERwedontgottatalkaboutthat.

I knew it wasn’t a financially sound decision; I had my college education paid for (for the most part) by scholarships and grants and would need to take out a butt-ton of loans in order to do it. But something deep within my soul screamed out, You have to do this! You have to go! Don’t ask why now — just go! You’ll know why later. 

I didn’t know it then, but packing “my shit” (a lyrical mention, both in the literal and figurative sense) and hauling my butt across an ocean for a time would end up being the best thing to ever happen to me. The girl I was before I left — heartbroken, reliant on others for validation, battling an eating disorder — died a quiet death on the stoop of 99 Great Russell Street in the heart of London. Her scent is still heavy in the dark tunnels of the tube, but she is but a distant and, thankfully, faded memory.

Fast forward to today: I have a perfectly full heart, a beautiful family, a steady job, a strong community… and all of these things are pretty solid. Pretty stagnant. I’m not really at a crossroads anymore. Rather, I’m on the freeway using cruise control. But others around me, others very close to me, are standing at their own respective crossroads.

New relationships.

New opportunities.

New jobs.

New locations. 

So much newness. So much uncertainty.

But if there is one thing I know, it’s that the refrain of the song is so true.

It’s funny how we don’t know then the weight of what we’re choosing at the crossroads.

Five years ago I intentionally chose to embark on a journey wrought with isolation and uncertainty. That, in and of itself, is beautiful. But it’s what I unintentionally chose that is even better.

Health.

Rebirth.

A fresh perspective.

Self-love.

And so, dear friends. I urge you to not be afraid of the crossroads at which you find yourself. I’m certain that, even if you don’t know it yet, the direction in which your heart tugs you will be the one that offers up the best possible scenario for you. Even if you don’t realize it until years later.

It’s funny how we don’t know then the weight of what we’re choosing at the crossroads.

what sorrow. oh, but what joy.

So, we’re knee-deep into the season of Advent and I have yet to acknowledge that on my blog. While I do mention my faith on here from time to time, I try not to blog exclusively about it because I’m a bloody coward and don’t want to lose my Atheist followers. (SHOUT OUT! Love y’all!) But, as a woman of faith, sometimes there are things about my life that are totally, completely, 100% wrecked by Jesus and, at the same time, super bloggable.

This post is about one of those times. Sorry if it offends you or whatever. I don’t mean to do that.

We cool? Cool. [Atheist/Christian approved fist bump]

Being a non-denominational gal, I typically shy away from stuff like Advent. But I have been actively participating in Lent the past few years, so I figured why the H not, because Lent is a lot harder than Advent, in my opinion. If I can refrain from straightening my hair for 40 days and learn something about God, I can probably learn something about God in the days leading up to a holiday where I know I’m gonna get a butt load of presents. #winning

My daily devotional time (that’s just a fancy-pants Christian-ese way of saying, “reading the Bible and praying and journaling every day”) has been through a guided set of scriptures put together by a friend in my bible study. Typically we start out in the Psalms, either crying out to or praising God for pain or for joy. Then we read some Old Testament major/minor prophet goodness, then hit the Gospels, then call it a day.

Monday’s chunk out of Isaiah is all about Judah’s guilt and judgment by God. Without getting into too much detail, Judah is a little brat. And God is tired of it.

A lot of the time when I read these stories, I find it hard to connect with them. After all, I’m not a drunkard, I’m not an adultress, and I’m not a murderer. I’m a good little Christian girl, trying my hardest to stay under the judgment radar. But when I read this excerpt, it clawed its way into my heart and hasn’t left since.

What sorrow for those who drag their sins behind them
with ropes made of lies,
who drag wickedness behind them like a cart!

— Isaiah 5:18

While I’ve never killed anyone or had an affair, I felt as though the writer was speaking directly to me.

In recent days, some interesting things have developed in my personal life. (No, before you ask, I’m not having marital problems and my child is completely healthy.) I can’t, in good faith, blog about these things so candidly because I wish to protect the other parties involved. But I will say this — going through what I’m going through right now has made me realize that, like the sinful Judah, I tend to drag my past hurts, failures, and sins behind me, tethered to my weary ankles by the deepest, darkest lies I’ve ever heard told.

You have failed at relationships. You have failed at a lot of things. You are a mess and everyone around you is about to find out. 

Advent is a time of “active waiting” — that is, actively seeking the savior that is bound to somehow be born to a virgin (which, side note, after giving birth I’d like to say that it’s completely unfair of Mary to have to go through the BS that is childbirth without at least getting some action first) and allowing His grace to be enough.

For me in this moment, active waiting looks like this:

  • Allowing those who love me to actually love me 
  • Allowing those who know me to actually know me and still actually love me
  • Basking in the grace I receive everyday, not because of anything I’ve done, but because of what He has done
  • Not giving a f___ what others think about me, as my good friend Nora, the self-proclaimed monk, has told me.

What sorrow for those who drag their sins behind them. What joy for those who die to them and rise to Grace!

friday favorite: my friends.

“Maybe you just have good taste in people.”

That’s something a good friend of mine said on the phone to me earlier this week. I happen to think she’s right. I do make a pretty decent effort to surround myself with people I know will lift me up rather than drag me down or drain me of my emotional resources.

When I survey the group of people I’m blessed enough to call my friends, I’m blown away.

Talented artists. Writers. Musicians. 

Fervent believers. Inspirers. Teachers.

Comedians. Listeners. Sympathizers. 

I could go on all day.

Basically, if you’re not friends with my friends, I feel sorry for you because they’re baller.

Happy Friday, everyone. 🙂

things i love thursday! (december 6, 2012)

Happy birthday to me, y’all! I turned 27 on Saturday so, obviously, I have a lot to be thankful for this week.

nora_redeye

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • My epic birthday weekend!
  • My awesome husband for putting that together.
  • Birthday dinner at the Melting Pot.
  • Libby taking on Dax for round two. (She won this time!)
  • Butterbeer cupcakes.
  • My Harry Potter themed birthday party and the fact that Dax (for the most part) slept right through it!
  • Sleep. Always and forever.
  • Getting visited at work by my two favorite guys.
  • Praying over text message. Oh, technology.
  • Getting to hang out with Nora a lot because…
  • … we played a show together on Saturday! What a great birthday gift.
  • The season of Advent.
  • Dedicating our baby to God in front of our community.
  • Dinner with the crew after church, just like old times!
  • A happy, smiley, adaptable baby that allows us to drag him everywhere.
  • Hulu Plus and Netflix.
  • Dinner with the Mocks at Piggy’s.
  • Running into another family from our childbirth class! Baby Oliver is so cute!
  • Friending said family on Facebook so I don’t have to keep praying I just randomly run into them around town anymore.
  • My counselor.
  • MY AWESOME MOM, whose birthday was yesterday!
  • A delicious, fun, agenda-free lunch with this dude.
  • Coffeeeeeee.
  • My friends and family. I have the best life.

What do you love this week? 

things i love thursday! (november 29th, 2012)

I took last week off of the blog for the holiday. Hope you’ll forgive me for that. But despite losing sleep over a teething four-month-old and my own unnecessary hormone ingestion (blog post in the works) I have so much to be grateful for! Let’s get to it.

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • He’s finding his hands! So cute.
  • Getting to spend Thanksgiving with my mom! She drove all the way up here for me! (Okay, let’s be honest — she drove up here for Dax. And who can blame her?)
  • Seeing a doctor that finally listened to me about my issues with my IUD.
  • Days at home with my boy.
  • Lunch at Red Lobster.
  • Encouraging text messages.
  • Leftovers.
  • Melted marshmallows on top of pumpkin pie. GENIUS!
  • Gratuitous Emoji use.
  • Making music with good friends.
  • Salt and vinegar chips.
  • Coffee.
  • Birthday celebrations.
  • Our amazing nursery and our friends!
  • Bathtime.
  • Jammies, particularly those of the “footy” persuasion.
  • Beer.
  • Starting and ending my work day by nursing the boy.
  • My “broken but not broken” ring.
  • Gingerbread lattes!
  • My kid being “not impressed”.
  • Cupcakes.
  • Bagels.
  • Carbs in general, really.
  • Hearing that Chrissie is having a baby girl!
  • New beginnings for good friends.
  • An early Christmas for the Durrenbergers.
  • Spiritual truth.

What do you love this week?