thoughts on the parting sea

walking through the valley

When you’re in the valley, it feels deep and dark and empty and lonely. But I know I’m not the only person to experience hardship. Really, I’m far from it. But in the darkness, it’s easy to believe those lies.

A dear friend reminded me the other day that the Israelites didn’t know God was going to part the Red Sea. Surely they thought they were marching to their suicide… but he did the unthinkable. They followed Moses, despite what they thought blocked their path. They pressed on and God’s plan was truly beyond anything man could imagine.

Adeline used to absolutely hate being in the car. Shortly after we’d start driving, the crying would start and she did not sleep. The crying would just go on and on. Desperate one day, I sang to her and she not only calmed down but fell asleep. You can bet that song became her new lullaby.

So now, multiple times a day and every night, I sing it to her.

Grander earth has quaked before, moved by the sound of his voice. Seas that are shaken and stirred can be calmed and broken for my regard.

Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on you. Through it all, through it all, it is well. Through it all, Through it all, my eyes are on you. And it is well with me.

Far be it from me to not believe, even when my eyes can’t see. And this mountain that’s in front of me will be thrown into the midst of the sea.

So let go, my soul, and trust in him. The waves and wind still know his name.

It is well with my soul. It is well with my soul. It is well with my soul. It is well, it is well with my soul.

God uses this song multiple times a day to remind me he is with me. This mountain that’s in front of me? It will be thrown into the midst of the sea. This valley that I’m walking through? Well, grander earth has quaked before, moved just by the sound of his voice. This valley doesn’t stand a chance of separating me from God. Even in my darkest days, even in the hardest moments, he is with me. And he’s telling me to keep my eyes on him. Trust in him. And it truly is well with my soul.

I’m grateful that on that day in the car when I thought I couldn’t handle more crying, God gave me the gift of remembering this song… this song that would become my anthem in this season. He knew what I would need long before I did.

So about this half marathon thing…

I’m getting really excited!! Because, guess what?? I ran really well on Sunday for the first time in over a month. I wrote last week about my determination to get back to the running grind again… so I set out Sunday wanting to run a solid two miles.

I really needed a good solid run that just felt good while also setting realistic expectations, since not meeting my expectations for my runs is what has been dragging me down. I would have been happy with two good miles that day. Baby steps.

But around one and 3/4 miles in, I still felt really great! So I adjusted my goal to finish three miles. Friends, I haven’t run three miles since that crazy day on May 24 when I ran five miles. So this is kind of a big deal!

And I felt wonderful the whole time! Sure, it was challenging, but I did it! And I probably could have kept running if there was more sunlight left… I didn’t want to become roadkill, though, so I called it a day.

Here’s a serious question, though: Working ladies, how do you train?? Mornings? Evenings? How many days a week? I’ve been struggling to fit it in this week and it’s just my first week on the job! I usually run on a road where I can really only run when it’s light out.


P.S. don’t forget about my awesome handmade BURLAP BANNER GIVEAWAY! It’s totally cute and you want to win it, I promise! So check it out before it’s over! 🙂

Home Sweet

Jacob and I traveled to Ohio to visit my family for Christmas last weekend. It was a weekend packed with visiting grandmas, aunts, uncles, family friends, and some of my very best friends from high school… and it was much needed.

Although we were exhausted upon arriving back home, I left feeling so refreshed from that time with family and friends.

Good Friends.

Monday was our designated “catch up with friends day,” so we packed in a lot. 🙂 So thankful for these women (and Abbie, who we got to see later in the day and isn’t pictured above!), who carved out some time during their busy lives to spend with us!! We even got to see Sarah’s sweet little sister, Brooke, who hung out with us so patiently for two hours! What a star two-year-old! 😉

Thank you ladies for staying consistent in my life even though we’re states apart. Praising God for you today… those few hours on Monday mean so much to me!

“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:22-25).

A Day for Thanksgiving

Today I am overwhelmed with the abundantly long list of things and people for whom I am thankful, so I thought I should share just a little bit of that list.

Above all, I’m thankful that Jesus died for me, for mankind, to rescue us from sin and bring us back to God in reconciliation. And even more than that, he continues loving me despite my tendency to forget him. What abundant grace–let’s gather at his throne today and give him the all the thanks.

I’m thankful for my wonderful, merciful, hilarious husband. Thank you, Jacob, for loving me when I’m at my worst and listening to my crazy dreams. I’ve learned so much about the depth of God’s love for me through you over the past 5 months. Thank you for laughing with me, cheering me up, encouraging me to sit with Jesus, and letting me do whatever I want when it comes to decorating our apartment. 🙂 And buying me furniture. Big thanks for that 😉 You are a superstar and I’m so, so thankful God gave me you as my husband, best friend, partner, and encourager. I can’t say thank you enough. I love you!!

 
I’m so thankful for my family, who loves me so wellall the way from Ohio. I’m blessed and so happy to be spending today with you. The love you guys have for me (and for Jacob!) has blown me away, and I cherish every moment we get to spend together. Thank you for sacrificing for us and welcoming us home no matter what else has been going on in our lives. You guys are such a blessing.

 

I’m thankful for our family here in Tennessee. It has been SUCH a blessing to have sisters with whom I can share life-I love you girls! And thank you Larry & Teresa foropening your home to us at all times, while at the same time giving us space to figure out what it is to be married and on our own. You guys are also a HUGE blessing to us and I delight in the time we get to share with you guys.

I’m thankful for the crazy communities the Lord has blessed us with! Thank you for surrounding us with people both here and in Ohio who love you and love us and encourage us to seek you together! We feel SO BLESSED and cannot even say enough how wonderfully encouraged and loved we feel by all of our friends, both near and far.

And thank you, Lord, for helping us adjust in our church transition. The past few weeks have been so refreshing and genuinely enjoyable. Thank you for transforming my mind, opening my eyes, and humbling my heart to meet you in our new church. Thank you for surrounding us with brothers and sisters who encourage us to do what may not be the easiest, but in the end is definitely the most growth-provoking and encouraging. Thank you for providing us with opportunities to use our gifts to serve you and be blessed by you and also to bless our brothers and sisters. I have been overwhelmed by your faithfulness in this season of our lives. Amen and AMEN!

And last but not least in the slightest bit, I’m incredibly thankful for our jobs. God has provided for us more than we could have ever hoped! We both are in positions that humble us and give us great opportunities for ministry.

We are so blessed!! PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE HIM!!!

I Think This Is Contentment

Lately I’ve been feeling very content in the mundaneness of life. Going to class, going to work, planning dinners, cleaning, trying to do homework, reading, grocery shopping, talking with friends, washing dishes, watching movies with Jacob, making coffee, eating Special K Redberries every morning for breakfast… really just the same things over and over, but it’s nice. I feel like there’s a rhythm and I like it. I like living with Jacob, and even though I rag on him about where he puts his clothes, I like doing little things for him like laundry and keeping a clean home. Everyone around us is getting engaged, getting married, getting pregnant, or having babies, but I’m content right here where we are now, living life together and enjoying the mundane, everyday-ness of it all.

I scheduled my classes today for next semester–my last semester of school! I can hardly believe it, but I am so ready. I’ll be taking 17 hours–Dynamics of Group Communication, Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasion, 3 hours of The Stampede (the school paper), Christ and Culture, Editing and Style, Alexander Technique, and–what I am most excited for–HORSEBACK RIDING! Yeah! I’m excited to round up my boots when we visit home next so I can get some horse time next semester!

Going right along with this random blog post, I read a few chapters in Luke today and I am happy to say it left me thinking. In Luke 8:9-15, Jesus explains the parable of the sower (the one where the seeds fell in various types of soil). The last verse jumped out at me today. It says, “As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.” Maybe this is only striking to me today because everyone else has already figured this out, but Jesus is saying that we make the choice to be good soil. Being good soil is not only hearing the word, but holding tight and fast to it and letting it invade our hearts! We must let the word of God change us and bear fruit in us, but–here’s the kicker– this is a process, so it takes patience. Sometimes it’s easy for me to be frustrated because I don’t feel like I’m learning anything or growing, but at the same time I give in to that frustration and stop pursuing the Lord. I am not holding tight and fast to his word with patience. Instead I’m brushing it aside when I don’t feel instantly gratified and blaming Him for not teaching me anything. So today I am listening to Jesus’ words. I am going to hold tight to his word and what his word says is true with patience. And while that sounds easy when I read it, I need to focus just one day at a time. So here we go.

Lord, again I come to you after searching elsewhere for what can only be found in you. You are my Light, my Foundation, my Rock, my Savior, and the reason I even have life. Thank you for patiently loving me with your prodigal love, waiting for my eyes to open and my feet to run back to you. Today I am choosing you, holding fast to you alone. Not my friends’ or families’ approval, nor the gifts with which you’ve gifted me, nor my appearance, nor my grades, and nor my possessions. Those things are but specks next to you and your great, great love. Amen.

Funny Tips & Tricks I've Learned from My Husband

Adding cheese to your popcorn takes it to a completely new level. I’m talking about serious yummmmmy.

You can freeze bread–something we’ve put to use since we’ve wasted a lot of bread during the first 4 months of our marriage.

Dyson vacuums are the best.

Root beer is also absolutely delicious (and therefore diet coke is not the only great soda…)

We don’t need to eat dessert every day. Even though I still do….

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And on a much more serious note, we’ve been seeing the depth of God’s grace and provision for us a LOT in the past few days. Praise the Lord for that encouragement. Amen!