[may 2013]

goodness. is it that time again?

May has flown by and I can’t believe we’re hitting June already. where. did. the. time. go.

this month, WordPress informed me of the one-year anniversary of this little blog. I can’t believe it’s been a year since I carved out a space on the blogosphere and started pouring my heart out into it. it’s been quite a journey, with lots of lessons and tears and new internet friends. A heartfelt thank-you to those of you who take the time to read my words. In honor of this first birthday, I’m gonna drop a link to my most-viewed post right here. in case you missed it.

reading (on kindle)

  • I picked up Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle after it appeared on a few April What I’m Into posts, and loved it. It’s a fascinating and informative read on the food industry in America. If you’re interested in where your food comes from – and you should be – give it a read.
  • Lauren Oliver’s Delirium series (Delirium, Pandemonium, Requiem). Guys, I read these books in about two days each. So good. They fall into that strong-heroine-screwed-up-utopian-society-teen-romance category that I’m a sucker for (see: The Hunger Games; Divergent). This is a perfect summer beach read series. You won’t want to put them down.
  • Also finished the Percy Jackson series and am almost done with Inheritance, the last book in the Inheritance cycle. Basically: lots of YA fantasy.

reading (online)

(I wrote this whole section, complete with blurbs about why I liked all these blogs, and then WordPress didn’t save it. And I’m lazy. So: just read them all.)

listening

  • Flaws, by Bastille. on repeat. for hours. no joke.
  • also: Brave, from Sara Bareilles. I have such a girl crush on Sara Bareilles and this song is just so good. and true. be brave, friends.
  • Emeli Sandé’s cover of Crazy in Love for the Great Gatsby soundtrack. can. we. just. what.
  • anything Spotify plays on a radio station based on Ben Howard or the Lumineers or Mumford and Sons. good stuff.

watching

  • gave Hannibal a try, and while it’s brilliant and well-done, not sure I can handle it. It’s a little gory, plus there’s the whole cannibalism thing.
  • I am, however, newly addicted to Elementary. I’m also a huge Sherlock fan, but this is so different that they’re not competing in my head. Love it.
  • working my way (slowly) through Season 2 of Arrested Development. I’ve heard mixed review on Season 4 so we’ll see how I feel…when I finally get to it.
  • Doctor Who, of course. Still underwhelmed by this season – not really loving Clara? She feels a little underdeveloped as a character. Hopefully that changes next season.

loving

  • watching my countdown to home tick down the days. I cannot wait to be back in the States, but leaving Malta is going to be bittersweet.
  • I’m getting really good at cooking without accurate measurements. And also, frying things (churros? funnel cake? check.) Life skills, yo.
  • sweet potatoes. like, I really really love sweet potatoes. someone explain to me how sweet potatoes aren’t actually candy.
  • late nights full of laughter. we have good times around the kitchen table.

Linking up with HopefulLeigh, of course! Now tell me – what have you been loving in this month of May?

note to myself, but also to you too.

calm your heart, darling.

just breathe for a minute. calm your heart and clear your head.

because it is overwhelming and it is busy and it is too much and you just want to cry, I know. oh, I know.

but calm your heart.

because it’s hard to let Him in when your heart is a raging mess. He’s offering peace, but you can’t see it right now. so calm that heart of yours and force that head of yours to just. stop. for a few minutes.

and here you are, and it feels like too much, but He is here too. and He is good and He is kind and it’s all in His hands anyway, so you just let it go and calm your heart.

because this world is going to keep going, and no one’s going to hit the pause button for you. so find time, take time, make time. carve out silence, create space in that chest of yours.

calm your heart.

and curl up inside the stillness. for an hour, for ten minutes, for five. for the time it takes your tea to steep or for that red light to click over to green.

so calm your heart, and know this: He is in control. calm your heart and breathe, calm your heart and trust.

calm your heart, my darling. calm your heart.

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the phrase “calm your heart” was shamelessly stolen from Sarah Bessey’s One Good Phrase post and has quickly become part of my daily life. read her words, learn from them, and remember: calm your heart, love.

when this abundant life seems much too empty.

what do I do when there aren’t words?

when I don’t even know what to pray for. when I can no longer whisper faith and hope and trust to myself like a mantra. when peace is always just out of reach. when His voice is silent, or maybe just lost in all the sound. when this abundant life seems much too empty.

life to the full.

wasn’t that the deal? isn’t that how it’s supposed to work? surrender and submit, repent and be renewed. be healed. be filled with joy.

Joy has been playing coy lately. Healing clocked out and took a vacation. Renewal is just straight-up AWOL. and I’m feeling lost. feeling alone. feeling still broken. still anxious and still controlling and still hating these thighs and still unworthy and still and still and still and where in the heck is that abundant life I was promised?

’cause sometimes, it feels like I’m getting the short end of the stick.

and I keep trying. I keep striving. be good, say your prayers. be patient, be kind, bite your tongue when those harsh words want to roll right off. love and forgive, two words that take “easier said than done” to a whole new level. just keep trusting, just keep believing, it’s all part of this plan.

when do I get to see the plan?

and I admit to waiting for it all to just work already. for everything to be fixed. thinking that one day, I’ll wake up and everything will have clicked and then – oh, then. then I’ll be better. I’ll be courageous and strong. I’ll be gentle and kind. I’ll love my body and maybe I’ll even love running, too. I’ll trust unwavering and I’ll follow faithfully. I’ll love and forgive with grace and ease. I’ll won’t need to choke back swear words and I won’t be cursing at you in my mind, either. I’ll have it all together. I’ll always be rejoicing. I’ll bake perfect gluten-free cookies and I’ll write the best blog posts and I’ll be well-read in all the theologians and I’ll actually make those crafts on my Pinterest board.

that’s not how it works, is it. life doesn’t magically fall into place. it’s not always easy.

I will never be Perfect Christian Blogger v2.0. I like my cookies full of gluten and I have a love/hate relationship with running on the best of days and these thighs aren’t going anywhere and, well, I’ll try to keep the cussing to a minimum at least.

and I’ll keep struggling to trust. struggling to find hope. struggling for peace and patience and strength, and all those fruits of the spirit that far too often become a list of everything I’m not.

because this is who I am. beautifully broken. crumbling at the edges. and faith is a fight for me, sometimes. and I don’t read my bible, sometimes. and I post about my loving my body and then spiral into a battle with self-hate, sometimes. and I cry in the bathroom because I’m homesick sometimes.

and this is okay and this is good and this is beautiful. because we are none of us perfect. I don’t care what their instagram feed seems to say, each one of us has known mascara-streaked tears on the bathroom floor.

and the fruits of the spirit are that: fruits. of. the. spirit.

not a checklist. not a measuring tape. and I am no less of a Christian because my faith is a daily fight. no less a believer because I doubt,  sometimes. no less beloved because I feel unworthy.

I’m struggling to trust and believe and walk this path that I can’t even see. and that is okay. that is good. that is beautiful.

and maybe that abundant life is right here, if I look for it. because life needs to be lived, in the day-by-day, in the struggle and the mess and the broken-but-healing. in the being made new, slowly, painfully. maybe I can’t see it, but there is hope for me and I’ll cling to that, hold that truth tight to my heart. trust that there are seasons, seasons of struggle and doubt and searching and questioning. and they are seasons and they will pass, as the seasons do. but this is my season right now.

and it is okay. it is good. it is beautiful.