Do you ever wake up and feel like your heart could overflow at any moment?
I feel like this in life sometimes.
I don’t feel like this all the time, I can’t give you the wrong impression. A great many of my days are full of repetition: Emails, laundry, errands, bills to pay.
But there are days, moments, seasons in my life when I feel like God’s presence is just so palpable I could cry, moments when He’s so close, so tender, and so real it’s all I can do not to fall over with the majesty of it.
I live most of my life in one of two places. I’m either in a living place, or I’m in a writing place.
The living places are fast-paced. They’re life-out-loud. They’re full of packing, and moving, and doing, and experiencing. They don’t leave much time for reflection, don’t leave much time for figuring out what it all means.
I’m in one of those seasons right now.
There are also the writing places. These are the slow, introverted seasons I have every once in awhile. They’re the times when life gives me a chance to catch up, to breathe, to rest, and to reflect.
This is not one of those seasons.
So today, having no idea what all of this means in the grand scheme of things, and having no specific, perfectly tied up lessons to share with you today, I’d love to just share a few things that are on my heart today. Just a warning, this is totally messy, but to me, it’s totally beautiful.
I was a journalism major in college, so we’ll call these my top stories. 🙂
- I love people
This summer has been a summer full of people. Carl and I celebrated our anniversary at the beginning of July — taking time out of our crazy, busy lives to pause over a dark table at our favorite restaurant and remember all that’s happened in this last year.
It’s been a crazy, unbelievably challenging year. It’s not that marriage has been challenging, necessarily, but rather LIFE has been challenging. I feel like we’ve been on a roller coaster of faith — gripping the safety rail in front of us, begging God to provide for us. And He has, the entire way. But one of the very best ways He provided for us was by giving us each other, and by giving us wonderful people to walk through this last year with.
So Carl. I love Carl.
And I love our people. For the rest of July and August, we’ve been sprinting around the United States. Atlanta, Nashville, Indianapolis, back to Nashville, Milwaukee, Boston, a lake in New Hampshire, back to Boston, Denver, back to Nashville, Atlanta, and then off to Cambodia… but I’ll get to that in a second.
In every single one of these places, I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest for how much I love my people, old and new.
In Indianapolis, we got to spend the 4th of July with Carl’s family and family friends that might as well be family. In Milwaukee, we spent a week with the most wonderful, beautiful, adorable middle schoolers I’ve ever, ever met. And I thought my heart would explode with the sudden, uncontainable love I felt for them.
Then in New Hampshire, we got to catch up with my family, immediate and extended. I spent an entire week with my beautiful grandmother, one of my favorite people on the planet, and I got to watch as Carl was officially indoctrinated as one of us.
In Denver, I was surrounded by my very best friends to celebrate my VERY best friend’s bridal shower and bachelorette party. Michelle has been my best friend since we were 8-years-old and celebrating her that weekend was enough to make my heart burst.
We finished off this whirlwind with a few days at my friend Emily’s house in Atlanta. Carl had a work meeting, so we tacked on a few days and snuggled up at her house with her wonderful parents. They cooked for us, nurtured us, and loved us, and it was this incredible gift to sit across the table from a friend who knows and loves Carl and I in equal measure.
All of that to say, this has been a summer of people, and I’m so deeply grateful for each and every one of them.
2. Launching is scary
If you haven’t heard me say this before, then let me say it now. Launching something into the world is terrifying. A blog, a book, a friendship small group guide — putting something you love out into the world might be one of the scariest things ever. It’s every bit as scary as you’d imagine.
It brings up every bit of insecurity you have buried within you, and does its very best to convince you that you definitely aren’t cut out for this, and that you should just throw in the towel immediately.
That’s what I’ve been facing this last week. It’s been a battle of epic proportions, as it always is. And I spent this last week fighting lies and fear with the truth that I know who God made me to be, and I know what He’s called me to do, and gosh darn it, I’m going to keep doing it!
3. God is so faithful when we step out of the boat
That’s the other thing about launching something new. You do your very best with it, and then you set it free into the world where only God can take care of it at that point. That’s how I feel about my work all the time, but especially when I’m doing something new. I push it out into the water and say, “Alright God, you HAVE to take care of this one. I’m sunk without you!”
But that’s the beautiful thing. Every single time I’ve stepped out in faith, every single time I’ve done something that seems so entirely crazy and will certainly fail if he doesn’t step up and help me, He has done something amazing.
And this last week, you guys have been the amazing thing. The beautiful group of you who decided to step out in faith towards better, stronger, more fulfilling friendships, you guys have been my answer to prayer, miracle this week. I can’t tell you how incredible it is to write something and have people want to read what you write. So thank you so much for participating in such a beautiful miracle in my life.
This last week was just another example of the fact that God is a God of more than we could ever ask for or imagine, and I’m so deeply grateful for that fact.
4. I’m SO grateful to be home
This may sound like a silly top story, but this morning, slipper-clad, and savoring my coffee, it’s definitely not.
I’m so deeply grateful to be home.
Carl and I have been homeowners for about two months now, and we’ve spent the vast majority of that two months away from our beautiful new house.
I have exactly one week at home before I have to leave again, and I’m over-the-moon excited to be here. Cue curling up on the couch, Netflix marathons, doing laundry (which actually sounds like heaven right now – don’t judge!) and all other cozy, “I’m home, and not leaving for a hot-second” activities I can think of.
It’s amazing how the lack of something gives you such an appreciation for it. I haven’t been home lately, and so I feel like my heart could burst with how grateful I am for the chance to be.
5. I’m going to Cambodia (cue the tears!)
This Saturday, I’m going to Cambodia. I know I haven’t mentioned it, which is just further evidence of how nuts this summer has been, but that’s what I’m doing.
I’ve been invited on a bloggers trip with World Vision, and I get to head to Cambodia for a week and tell the stories of the people there, and the wonderful work that World Vision is doing.
So until this very morning, the fact that I’m returning to one of my favorite countries in the entire world, a country I haven’t been to since The World Race, hasn’t hit me. But this morning it’s hitting me full force, and I’m crying like a baby.
I’m sitting here in awe of what God has done in my life since I left Cambodia the last time, and all of the memories of that beautiful country and the World Race in general are sweeping back over me.
What a wonderful God we serve. What a wonderful God who takes us away to show us who He is, and who He’s created us to be, and what a wonderful God who lets us retrace our steps.
So those are my top stories this week friends. I’m home, I’m exhausted, I’m grateful, I’m gearing up to leave again, and my heart is so, entirely, unbelievably full.
I’d love to hear your top stories! Pop them in the comments below! 🙂