Friday, August 27, 2010

ready for fall

these are the reasons i am ready for fall (in no particular order):

1. cooler weather
2. pretty fall leaves
3. pumpkin patches
4. pumpkin pie
5. pumpkin beer
6. pumpkin wine
7. pumpkin spice lattes
8. college homecoming
9. bonfires
10. smores
11. fall clothes
12. being cozy in blankets
13. fall tv
14. a big pot of chili and cornbread
15. not having a $200 electric bill from all the window a/c units

Thursday, August 26, 2010

11 weeks

between weddings, babies, dog-sitting, birthdays, and road trips, this coming weekend is my first weekend since june 12th without any specific plans. that's 11 weeks of crazy. (crazy-fun!)

i'm very much looking forward to some downtime with the roommates and free music at the park.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

random thoughts

•lately i've been wondering if the grass really is always greener on the other side. i have what i thought i wanted but now i think i want what i use to have.

•chipotle wins for best burrito in town. followed by baja burrito.

•the last time i left the country (for more than two hours) was 2006. that was too long ago.

•i keep forgetting that people with different values than me are going to value different things. common sense when you say it, but it continues to surprise me when it's lived out.

•i don't know what i would do without music

•i need to spend more time in intentional rest, focused only on him.

•i have amazing roommates.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

itunes/ipod playlists

i'm not very good at making these things, and it's something i want to start using more often. i have a lot of songs, and sometimes shuffle is too random.

these are the playlists i have on my itunes:

favorites - self-explanatory.
iphone - the songs i imported to my iphone when i got it back in january. i need to transfer more songs over and there's no need to keep this list, but i still have it.
nashville artists - i love how many of these songs make it to all my other playlists. nashville is amazingly talented.
rainy day tunes - this is a work in progress that i can only allow myself to work on while it is actually raining.
wednesdays - wednesdays at work i have to sit at the front desk, which means i can't use my earbuds. therefore, these are guilty-pleasure-free and foul-language-free "safe" songs

and on my ipod i have all of the above along with my sunny happy driving with the windows down list.

that's it.

what playlists do you have?

Monday, August 23, 2010

a quote. part two.

ultimately our gift to the world around us is hope. not blind hope that pretends everything is fine and refuses to acknowledge how things are. but the kind of hope that comes from staring pain and suffering right in the eyes and refusing to believe that this is all there is. it is what we all need - hope that comes not from going around suffering but from going through it. i am learning that the church has nothing to say to the world until it throws better parties. by this i don't necessarily mean balloons and confetti and clowns who paint faces. i mean backyards and basements and porches. it is in the flow of real life, in the places we live and move with the people we're on the journey with, that we are reminded it is god's world and we're going to be okay.

-rob bell, "velvet elvis"

Sunday, August 22, 2010

[insert content sigh here]

life is good.

i have my struggles, as we all do, but at the end of the day i'm reminded of how blessed i am. blessed by the things i've been able to do in 27 years of life and by the people who have joined me along the way.

that's about it. life is good.

Friday, August 20, 2010

life on the road

mother, teach me about the country
can you tell the lies from the lives that you've seen
now mother, can you tell me
where this road is gonna lead?

just let yourself go and sell your soul to the road
just let yourself go and sell your soul to the road

["road song" - steel train]

i feel incredibly redundant saying this, but there is something beautiful about being on the road. i have had the privelege to travel a lot lately (for someone who works a 40-hr/week office job that doesn't involve travel). since this time last year i have been to california, indiana (3 times), illinois (twice), north carolina, south carolina, georgia, new york, michigan (3 times), and places in between. currently i'm sitting in the passenger seat of my friend's car (i love technology) somewhere in kentucky on our way to ohio. this world is too big to sit still for too long; too small to make excuses to not get out there and go see it. it feels as though there's a piece of my heart out there somewhere, but then i'm reminded of its true location: the world that has yet to come.

[fun side note: as i wrote this, we definitely passed an old van headed east on 71, with a window air conditioning unit hanging out the back and a generator strapped to the front. have i mentioned that i love traveling?]

Thursday, August 19, 2010

my 4th "nashiversary"

it’s been four years since i made the 500-mile journey to start a new life here in nashville. as with any decision, i had my own set of expectations as to how things would turn out. where i would work, live, play, get my coffee fix. and all of those places have changed throughout the past four years, which is a good thing. we need change in our lives, even if it’s as simple as which coffee shop we frequent. and some things started out just like i expected. some didn’t. and some have been a little back and forth. but i do know that every moment of the past four years has added to this great chapter of my life. i don’t know when it will end, and frankly i’m not ready for it to. life in nashville has not always been easy, but it was during those hard times that i learned the most about myself, and more importantly, when i discovered my strengths god’s strengths at work in my life.

as i write this, nashville is under the threat of flash-flooding. the cumberland river is expected to crest to flood stage. though not nearly as devastating as the flooding we experienced only three months ago (where the river crested twelve feet above flood stage), it is certainly bringing back memories of that time. a time when i have never felt more at home here. a time when community was defined.

of course, i have seen community come to life in other places in nashville as well. whether it’s helping someone move, preparing for the arrival of a baby, asking life’s toughest questions over coffee, or being brought to tears over the honest truth of lost desire. community is alive in nashville and in my life. the past four years have turned out to be more than i ever expected. life is not full of mistakes or coincidences. god is not capable of such a thing. this is my home. the summer before i moved here i was interning with the mercy house in anderson, indiana. we had a few guests come teach us over the summer, and at the moment i cannot remember the name of the man who said this, but his words remain true: our goal as christians should be that we make our neighborhood better because we are in it. that is my prayer for the rest of my time in this city, however long that may be.

i realize these thoughts are all kind of jumbled together and that this is not the most cohesive thing i have written. but sometimes my thoughts are processed easier when written as they come

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

wanderlust and dreams undreamt.

reading things like taylor hanson's paper mag blog make me sad and jealous. watching their lives - and the lives of 80% of nashville... people living their dreams. i'm not naive enough to believe it's always easy for them. they have their own share of troubles, doubts, stresses, and deadlines. but at the end of the day, they love what they do. they work with some of their best friends, they work on their own schedule (to some extent), they travel and see the world. they know what they want. and maybe i do. maybe i'm too scared to admit it and to pursue it. i think it can't be done, that i'll fail, or that i'll learn it isn't what i thought it was. burn out. dead end. but i do know this:

-i was made to explore and discover
-i was not made to live in a cage of drywall and florescent lights
-i was made to create. god is the creator, and i was formed in his image.
-i was made to bring him glory.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


so yesterday i promised big news.

and, it might not be a big deal to those of you reading, but to me it is.

i'm officially the owner of an etsy shop.

i would like to introduce you to hope sewn journals.

i've blogged before about making these journals, and have thought of opening an etsy shop for a few years now. finally this weekend, i sat down and uploaded pictures. so. here it is.

take a look around :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

weekend road trip: chicago.

so i failed at blogging every day this month, as i didn't blog this weekend. i went on a road trip to chicago this weekend, and i had been planning it for months. so when i decided to attempt to blog every day august, i knew this would require that i blog while out of town, which can, at times, be difficult.

so i went on the trip and i took my laptop with me. but my body decided to catch some germs while in chicago, and so all my spare time was spent sleeping rather than blogging.

my apologies.

but i had a great weekend regardless. quality time with friends, family, and my favorite band.

so, i always think it's weird to blog about not blogging, and i went and did again. to make up for it, i'll tell you this: i have something exciting to share tomorrow. at least, it's exciting to me.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

life is funny sometimes.

i'm just lying here in bed, thinking about life. and how looking back, you can easily see how you got from point a to point b. yet while at point a, point b was unfathomable. and how more often than not, that path is totally out of our hands. and that's okay. but when looking ahead, i rest in the comfort of the past.

note: i'm a very sleepy girl right now and might even be on the brink of heat exhaustion, so i'm not sure how much sense i'm making right now.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

the power of a song.

i remember 9th grade. my youth group was on our annual winter retreat to warner camp. it was our last night of the weekend, and almost everyone had already gone to bed; there were maybe 3 or 4 of us still awake, plus our two youth pastors, chris and jim. it was late - probably 11pm. chris and jim were sitting in some folding chairs, and the rest of us were cuddled up on a ratty old sofa in front of a blazing fire, trying to stay warm. through the picture windows we could see the snow falling hard - big, fat, slow, heavy snowflakes falling upon the several inches that already covered the ground. it was a beautiful night.

jim started to tell us his own story - one of pain, guilt, grief, and hope. then he told us that this song helped him recover from this particular time in his life, and he and chris started playing their guitars and singing this song. meanwhile whenever i hear it, i'm back in that room, surrounded by close friends, gazing into the dancing flames.

"worlds apart" by jars of clay -

note: this is most definitely notan official video. obviously.

Monday, August 9, 2010

five blogs you should be reading

chris - my youth pastor from junior high, the father of one of my good friends, and at times he was a second father to me.

annie - i found annie's blog via twitter last summer, and i was immediately hooked. funny and inspirational, her blog is always one of the first i check off my google reader.

dave - barnes. hilarity ensues.

erin - one of my good friends from nashville, erin moved to haiti after the earthquake earlier this year. she is capturing her experience there in some of the most beautiful photographs i have ever seen.

- my favorite author. if you're new to don, i suggest you start with the entries written by his dog, lucy.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

the power of joining hands

tonight at church we did something we don't normally do; we all joined hands during the last song. it was a little weird at first, but then i remembered something i experienced when i was in high school. i went to a leadership conference with a group of fellow
marching band members. i don't remember the speaker's name, but i do remember some of the excercises he had us do. at one point he asked us all to sing a simple "ahh" sound. so we did. then he told us to grab hands with the people sitting next to us while we cntinued to sing. and as we did so, our voices suddenly became louder.

it's funny how things bring back old memories, and it's funny how sometimes it takes us ten years to learn a lesson from a story we lived. i'm continually being reminded of how important it is to have community. and i'm continually reminded
of how lucky i am to have found it.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

blueberry breakfast bake

deanna sent me this recipe a few days ago. i tried it this morning and really enjoyed it so here you go:

Serve this sweet and custardy breakfast bake for breakfast or brunch. It’s assembled the night before, so pulling together a delicious breakfast for guests is a snap. Ingredients with an asterisk (*) are available in the Whole Foods Market Family of Brands.

1 (12-ounce) day-old baguette, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pint blueberries, divided
12 ounces Neufchâtel cheese, softened*
1/2 cup sugar
8 eggs*
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup milk*
Maple syrup* (optional)

Place half of the bread cubes in a greased 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with blueberries, reserving a few for garnish.

In a mixing bowl, beat cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Gradually add milk until blended. Pour half over bread. Top with remaining bread, then remaining cheese mixture. Cover and chill overnight or up to 24 hours.

Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350ºF about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake about 25 minutes longer, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with reserved blueberries. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve with maple syrup, if desired.

Friday, August 6, 2010

all you need

sometimes all you need is a good drink and a couple hours with some old friends.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

dinner with the new guy

last night was the first time in a month that my community group got together. we normally meet every other week, but two weeks ago i was in michigan, heather had a meeting, and emily and gregory were on their honeymoon. so it was good to regroup and catch up on life together. we also invited our new pastor, russ, to join us. it was good to get to know him a little bit and hopefully we were able to help him feel at home while he waits for his family to make the move from kansas city*.

what originally started as a "get to know russ" question-and-answer session turned into some really good conversations about community, relationships (with both friends and family), and transitions. russ shared a lot of things that i really needed to hear. he reminded me that "god is sovereign, and that we aren't living an accident or a big mistake." while i never thought to that extreme (of living an accident or mistake), it was good to be reminded of his sovereignty.

so here's to family, friends (old and new, close and far), and being thankful that i'm not the one in charge.

*if anyone reading this blog knows of anyone looking to buy a house in kansas city, i know someone trying to sell. :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

a quote.

two guys are talking to each other, and one of them says he has a question for god. he wants to ask why god allows all of this poverty and war and suffering to exist in the world. and his friend says, "well, why don't you ask?" the fellow shakes his head and says he is scared. when his friend asks why, he mutters "i'm scared god will ask me the same question." over and over, when i ask god why all of these injustices are allowed to exist in the world, i can feel his spirit whisper to me, "you tell me why we allow this to happen. you are my body, my hands, my feet."

-shane claiborne

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

books galore.

i have a pretty long, ever-growing reading list. i thought i’d share it with you. some of these i have already read but want to read again. others i have owned for quite some time but haven’t picked them up yet.

a cry for mercy - henri nouwen
letters to street christians - jack sparks
journey of desire - john eldridge
ps i love you - cecelia ahern
tom sawyer - mark twain
shadow of a doubt - william j coughlin
seizing your devine moment - erwin mcmanus
grapes of wrath - john steinbeck
ragamuffin gospel - brennan manning
wild at heart – john eldridge
captivating – john & staci eldridge
sacred romance – john elderidge
searching for god knows what – don miller
praise of folly - erasmus
unstoppable force - erwin mcmanus
mere christianity – c.s. lewis
to own a dragon – don miller
the inferno - dante
screwtape letters – c.s. lewis
the wounded healer – henri nouwen
watership down - richard adams
radical reformation – mark driscoll
hinds feet on high places - hannah hurnard
telling the truth the gospel as tragedy comedy and fairy tale – frederick buechner
redeeming love – francine rivers
glittering images – susan howatch
the divine consipriacy – dallas willard
a brief history of everything – ken wilber
engaging god’s workd – cornelius plantiga

i think that should last me awhile. what are you reading?

Monday, August 2, 2010

stacy lantz

there is much excitement buzzing around my house right now. my roommate and dear friend stacy lantz is officially on itunes today! so you can just click on this little link here and get your own copy of "patchwork plains". you won't regret it. her songs will take you through all stages of life and love, and will absolutely be sure to brighten your day.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

welcome to beda

beda = blog every day august. i did this in 2009, and i loved it. the thing with forcing myself to blog every day is that, yeah, i get some stupid, pointless posts in there, but i also feel like i get more good posts than i do in a typical month. especially a month like july where i only blogged three times. i also think it's good exercise to force myself to write a little each day, even though i would never ever claim to be a writer (nor do i really want to claim to be a writer). i think it just helps me process things. i should probably apply the same discipline to my personal pen-on-paper journal as well.

so. welcome to august 2010. let's do this.