Thursday, December 31, 2015

simplicity 2016

I spent four months deciding what my theme for 2016 would be.

Four months talking about it. Dreaming about it. Telling EVERYONE about it.

And then today, it all shifted and changed like a toddler with an open bag of marbles.

I think it's crazy how sitting in a car for hours at time helps everything fall into perspective.

Maybe it's the constant change in scenery. 

Maybe it's the fact you are moving towards something. 

Or maybe, it's knowing that you could die at any moment  if some moron isn't watching what they're doing.

Regardless of why this act is so profitable for figuring out life's problems, my initial vision for this year was rocked by an unplanned road trip to Southern California.

I planned on spending Christmas with my gramma. Which I did.

I did not plan to drive to LA from Portland two days after Christmas. But I did.

And it was amazing.

It was spontaneous. It was filled with possibilities for chaos. I changed my mind 100x. But, it was also a needed escape. A time of exhaustion and refreshment all at the same time. 

So, while I spent over 30 hours on the road over the last five days, a great many things came into perspective for me.

1. I spend way to much time preparing for things that never happen.

2. Spontaneity is the thing that dreams are made of, and I need more of it.

3. Grand adventures do not require lots of money or even lots of planning.

4. Technology is overwhelming and wonderful all at the same time. 

(Example: it seems so unnecessary when I'm sitting on a sunny beach, but it's a great tool when I'm driving aimlessly through Long Beach)

5. My life is filled with things I don't need, nor do I really want.

As I was driving north on the freeway this morning, it hit me that my original "theme" is more of a project. 

A theme for me is something that permeates every single area of my life - for an entire year.

So while I sat in silence in the car this morning, I realized that this year's theme is simplicity.

I was overwhelmed with how peaceful I felt when I said the word out loud.

As I planned out my theme last year, I wasn't really sure where it would go. And this year is no different.

This year I want to discover and realize the things that truly bring happiness and life. 

I want to let go of the things that are not serving me well, but rather, are dragging me down.

So when an idea follows you around for five days like a dog with a bone, you  grab it and go. 


Monday, December 28, 2015

Do Life 2015: In A Dress

From about the age of 5, until I was in my early twenties, I wore dresses everyday.

Now? Well, I wear the same pair of jeans and grey hoodie everyday. Because I'm an adult and I can.

Both choices are equally amazing.

From the age of 8, until probably 23, taking risks was not something I did.

Oh I wanted to, but having order and structure was far more predictable and safe.

But now, I'm sitting in my friend's recliner in Southern California, on a trip I decided to take two days ago. On a whim.

When I was 7, I would take all of my socks out of my drawers, retold them and place them back inside in perfect order.

There are probably dishes in my sink at home that will need to be washed when I get back. But I really don't remember.

This year my personal theme has been "DoLife" and I almost don't want it to end.

Which is exactly what I said last year around this time.

The truth of the matter is that if my theme was truly successful, the aftermath won't end on January 1, 2016.

If I truly learned what I hoped to, this theme will have become a habit, and I won't need to document my life on Instagram and memorialize it with a hashtag in order to keep myself on track.

I totally can, but I won't need to.

So as I sit here in the most amazing recliner in the entire world, I think back over my year, remembering the super epic, and also odd things I did this year.

1. I went to Haiti on a missions relief trip with my wonderful friends Jessica and Jaime. 

(Some of my favorite humans, btw)

2. Got set up with online dating and gave that a half hearted effort. Meaning, I made a profile, chatted with one person, only to realize it's not my thing. 

(It's too much work, and I really don't want to filter messages from 20 year olds and men on the brink of retirement.)

3. I graduated my nutrition program and am now a CERTIFIED nutritional health coach!


4. I started writing my book - finally

(Had hope to have that done this year, but am also happy to be taking my time with a project that means so much to me.)

5. I made the conscious choice to not be such a hermit and as a result, have made some amazing new friends as well as connecting with old ones.

(Having people is basically the best thing ever.)

6. I joined an epic campaign that is working to end sexual slavery and exploitation by bringing awareness through the platform of clothing and fashion. Which is rad. 


These are only a couple of the super cool things I experienced this year. And while I thought of creating a photo montage for you all to see, I'm too busy living this crazy life. 

(Get it? Living life = doing life #dadjoke)

Actually, I'm just super sleepy (it's not even 7 yet) and want to drink my coffee.

But, I do have a years worth of blog posts you can check out if you are interested. 

I have some cool pics on my Instagram - see #dolife2015 - so you know...

I also have endless stories I would love to tell you in person. Over coffee. Or on the side of a mountain. Because, #dolife

My theme for next year is one I'm crazy excited about and have been on pins and needles since August when I landed on it.

So,  stayed checked in if you are interested in all the shenanigans that will happen in 2016.

Otherwise, my sagely words of wisdom for you this morning, as we approach year end are:

Don't take yourself to seriously. No one else does.

Don't sweat the small stuff. And sometimes the big stuff.

Laugh a lot, because it's fun and burns calories. 

And last... 

Eat cake. Why? Because I like cake and it's the shiznit.

Happy New Year Everyone! 


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Do Life 2015: Dressember

As 2015 is quickly drawing to a close, I have been praying how I could intentionally #dolife for these last 31 days.

Human trafficking is not an issue I gave much thought to until a few years ago.

I'm not proud of this, but I honestly didn't want to know. I didn't want to see the hurt, the pain or the despair. I wanted to stay in my bubble of safety and not go out.
Three years ago, I watched a film called "Rape for Profit", and my ignorance could no longer be excused or justified.

I now knew about an issue that goes far deeper than any of us realize. An issue that needs to be addressed and have much light brought into its darkness.

For that is how we affect change.

So what are the next steps? What should we do, and how should we go about it?

International Justice Mission and A21 Campaign every December to raise funds to combat and bring awareness to human trafficking.

The concept is this: women from around the world, commit to wearing a dress every day for the entire month of December. People post photos on social media to gain traction, and also ask for people to donate to the above mentioned organizations.

Why a dress?

To directly quote from Dressember's main page, "using fashion to advocate for women who've been exploited for their femininity. As women take on the creative challenge of wearing a dress for the 31 days of December, they are advocating for the inherent dignity of all women."

This is the first year I am participating in Dressember Campaign, and I'm so excited to see awareness raised and also to see what the Lord does in me.

My goal is to raise $1,000 over the next four weeks. My personal contributions will be made by relocating funds I currently spend.

Specifically, money I spend on coffee. The embarrassing amount of money I spend on coffee....

On average, a custom coffee is around $5. Just by relocating this money from my personal budget, I will be able to put approximately $150 towards fighting human trafficking by the end of December.

Imagine what we can do if everyone just gave up ONE or TWO coffees this month?? If you feel led to participate in my campaign, here is the direct link.

If you are not financially able to or led to give, prayers are always welcomed!

Also, if nothing else, I'd deeply encourage everyone to do some reading and put some research into this issue.

(These are the books I plan on reading this month)

There is a phrase people like to throw around, and it states "freedom isn't free." 

Which is true. But, more often than not, I think of lives being lost for freedom's sake, and not my bank account being a little lower than normal.

Sacrifice comes in many ways, and while I don't really see cutting back on coffee as a sacrifice, I do think it's worthwhile to put my money where my mouth is.

Let's live life together fully for the last 31 days of 2015! You never know what can happen!

#dolife2015 #dressember

Sunday, November 29, 2015

sunday musings

Does Christian living need to be made convenient for you to do it?


That was my first thought after hearing this statement during church this morning.

"Huh, I must feel convicted, because that's a challenging thought."

That was my second thought. And in case you're wondering? Yes, this is an inner monologue. Because, that's how I roll.

"I hate the word conviction. It's all shaming and judgy and guilt inducing."

My third thought was a launching pad for random thoughts and rabbit trails. None of which will be spelled out here, because ain't nobody got time for that.

So instead, I'll do my best to nutshell my thoughts...

As stated above, I'm typically not a huge fan of the word "conviction."

I find it shaming and guilt inducing, which I believe to be the exact opposite of what Jesus would desire our response to be when we hear an applicable truth. 

But, I'm also not one to blindly dislike something, so, I looked up the definition.

As I stared at both definitions, it hit me. So often, we tend to hold onto the first definition as ultimate truth. 

When truth is spoken regarding a certain area of our lives, we bend down in shame, holding the weight of the world on our sinful shoulders.

No one else has felt that? Well, I know I have.

But then, I thought, what would happen if we latched onto the second definition as truth?

What if we were so convicted by our beliefs, those beliefs dictated our actions instead of our shame and guilt over not being good enough determining how we respond?

Personally, I'm motivated by my beliefs far more than by shame and guilt.

You know who else is motivated by convictions? Jesus.

Just think about the manger, the cross and the second coming.

Now, for arguments sake, I'll state the obvious in that we know Jesus didn't have sins over which to feel convicted. Where as we do.

I still believe that in order for real transformation to happen in our lives, we must be propelled forward by the belief that change is necessary, not the guilt that we should be better.

Just some Sunday evening thoughts that had me thinking. 

Have a great week everyone!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Do Life 2015: Cesser de Faire des Listes

About six months ago I sat in a group session and took a personality assessment.

I could go into great detail about which test, what I liked about it, blah, blah, blah.

But, that sounds boring, and I don't want to.

However, I will say this - after taking the test, it was confirmed once again that I am highly organized.

Translation - I like lists. ALOT. Possibly to a degree that is slightly unhealthy and neurotic.

And let me tell you, I can justify my need for lists better than anyone.

If someone were to tell me I needed to stop making lists, I might combust a little inside and then make a list for how I was going to clean up the mess.

I mean, here I am, doing life with a sense of intentionality and purpose.

And in order to keep that in check, it makes perfect sense to make even more lists than normal.


I mean, how the heck am I going to schedule all my grand adventures AND get them done if I don't make a list!?

But, this morning I had an "aha" moment. One that, to be honest, punched me in the gut a little. Ok, actually a lot.

There I was - sitting at my computer, deleting emails, planning for the week, and researching how to get even more crap done - when I came across a to-do list from over a year ago.

Out of curiosity I opened it.

I just knew that everything on the list was somehow, miraculously completed; because, I am just "that good."

I started scanning, ready to be blown away by my own abilities.

I was not. Not even slightly astounded. Not even pat on the back worthy.

As I skimmed, I became more and more anxious as I realized NONE of these things got done!!

I hurriedly kept reading, hoping for something to affirm my list making ways, when my eyes landed on this - "learn French."

I paused, totally stunned. Not because it was on my list, or because I forgot it was on the list, or even because it was a year old.

No, I was stunned, because in that moment, I realized it has been on my list for the past 12 years.

I think about speaking French almost every single day; and yet, I still don't speak French.

What is my problem?? Why is something I claim to want so much, so far out of my reach.

If I am honest, it goes a little something like this:
  1. Make a list of things to do.
  2. Think of something I want to do.
  3. Add it to the aforementioned list.
  4. Carry over said list to the next day because it wasn't finished.
  5. After a week of this nonsense, realize the list is too long and not realistic.
  6. Lose the first list under laundry and mail.
  7. A year (or 12) later, find the list.
  8. Tears ensue as I realize I am failing at life.
  9. Make a new list on how to not fail at life.
  10. Run out of notepads for lists.
  11. Make new list to buy notepads for more lists.

Sounds like a pretty productive system right? I don't understand why everyone else isn't jumping on board?

Maybe it's that everyone else is out actually doing the things I am spending time making lists about.

Or that other people have just realized not everything has to be done right away.

Or maybe, just maybe, it has nothing to do with other people, and everything to do with me...

Everything to do with how I want to live the rest of my life.

If I really want to spend my time organizing the crap out of my life, or actually living it.

So I'm not this crossroads, because, I really really like my lists.

I like the feeling of accomplishment when I can check it off.

I like knowing I have a system that holds me accountable and helps me remember when my brain is in a hundred places.

But, even though I love it so much, I do admit it gets a little out of hand sometimes.

Like when I put "read a book" on my list. Or "relax" on my list.

Honestly, I don't have a solid plan or solution for this conundrum I find myself in, which is probably a good thing.

However, I do know one thing.

What's that?

I am going to spend an hour learning French today.

I'm not sure I'll work on it tomorrow, or if I will even work on it at all this week.

But, I do know it is coming off my list.

And it's not going back.

It's either going to become part of my life or I am letting it go.

When it comes to wonderful and delightful things I want to do, I think I'm deciding to "cesser de faire des listes" and just do them.

If I want to read, I'll read. If I want to practice music, then I will.

Dishes and laundry will always be there. And I have plenty of both to hold me over.

So, while the organized part of myself is something I deeply respect, I don't want it to keep me from doing my life. Rather, I want it to help me live it.

Fully, completely, with abandon and with joy.


Friday, October 30, 2015

Do Life 2015: Never Underestimate the Power of Red Lipstick

When I was 13, my mom sat me down and told me that I could finally start wearing makeup.

The catch? I could only choose one item, per year, until I was 18.

I guess she thought a 7th grader might go a little crazy on the eyeliner or something...

With this totally unknown realm finally open to me, I of course proceeded with great care and used ALL my babysitting money to buy the shiniest, most shimmery lipstick I could find at Sally's Beauty Supply.

And let me tell you... I looked... like a hot mess...

It should also be mentioned that I had a perm, braces, the eyebrows of a grown man and a cluster of whiteheads with a mind of their own.

Not my most shining moment...

Thankfully, years like that pass. I learned a little bit more about myself, my skin, what I like, what I didn't, etc... You get the idea.

But then, one day, I discovered it. Basically the most amazing discovery a woman can have. I say woman, because no pre-teen girl has any business using this or walking around with it on.

No, this is a gift. Straight from the bestowers of self confidence that reside in the sky.

This thing, this item, will blow your freakin' mind.

What's that you say? You are dying to know? You wish that I would hurry up already and tell you???



Red lipstick.

Now before you dismiss my wisdom and find another boring blog to read, hear me out.

I am not talking about clown red lipstick that stains your face for days. Nor am I talking about your gramma's greasy, oily reddish-orange lipstick that came in a gold tube and smelled like crayons.


I am talking about that deep, vibrant, powerful shade of red that tells you that YOU, YES YOU, can take on the world.

That no one stands in your way. And that no matter how much your hair needs to be washed, no one even notices, because with that shade of red?

You slay my friend, you slay.

But really, what's the point? Is lipstick really that big of a deal? What about the dudes? Or people who don't wear lipstick?

Well first, if any of my gentleman friends feel the need for a confidence boost that only a good rouge can bring, I will not judge. It's some pretty powerful stuff.

Second, if lipstick isn't your thing, then no worries. Because something else is your thing. Something else gets you through.

So, what I am really getting at is this....

We all have something to which we cling and claim when days are crappy, people are mean, you want to eat ALL the chips, and nothing is going right.

For me, it's a whole lot of Jesus and my bright red lipstick. 

Maybe for you it's taking a run, cooking, cow tipping, old school 90s music (Backstreet Boys anyone?), etc...

So whatever your go to, confidence booster may be - name it, claim it, revel in it and do life with it!


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Do Life 2015: The Paper Source

I sat for six hours yesterday in a windowless room, listening to someone talk about business and business strategies.

While I took a lot of good things away from it, I also felt some parts frustrated and some parts bored.

My reason for feeling a little robbed was because, even though the training had awesome parts, there was seemingly no room for individuality, freeness and light hearted laughter.

It was pretty scheduled, lots of fill in the blank notes (my least favorite kind) and not really any space for questions.

So, I sat in this room, full of like minded people, and the biggest take away I had was that most of us were being WAY too serious.

We all had something, if not many things in common, but we all basically sat there. Occasionally laughing at the speaker's jokes, but not a lot joking and laughing with each other.

You see, I love to laugh. About anything and everything.

If there is something funny, I am going to laugh loud and I am going to laugh long.

Someone once asked me "Do you even know HOW to be serious??"

Inside my head I really wanted to go tell them to piss off, but instead, I bit my tongue and gave the following answer:

"I have had a lot of pain and a lot of hurt in my life. Many situations in which seriousness and sorrow was the appropriate response. So, if I have an opportunity where I can choose to laugh or cry? I am going to laugh, every time. Because life is short and we should enjoy it."

They never mentioned it again.

And it is for the very reasons I mentioned, that I love to connect with and laugh with other people. Especially people I don't know, but have the opportunity to do so.

In retrospect, it wasn't a loss. I met lovely people, laughed with a few and am looking forward to connecting more of them later.

But man, if we had used ice breakers, or mini dance party breaks or used an open forum at the end, I feel like we all would have left a little fuller. I left feeling  pretty empty. Even though I sat in a room full of people all day.

After the session, I ran some errands and popped into one of my most favorite and wonderful stores, The Paper Source. This vintage, indie craft store always hooks me and causes me to spend too much money!

However, this particular store did something incredibly well, and I took note of it and plan on incorporating more of it into everything I do.

Let me walk you through my experience:

1) I walked up to the door with my hands full of these epic wire baskets from The Container Store. Which, while being awesome, prevented me from opening the door.

2) Mindie/Mandie (I cannot remember the right vowel!) opened the door for me. With the largest and most welcoming of smiles I might add!

3) When I asked her if I could leave my baskets at the front while I shopped, she said, "You can leave them right here with me so no one thinks they are for sale!"

4) I was then walked over to the items I was looking for and shown multiple options.

5) Mollie asked if I needed a basket, I said no. We chatted for a few. She laughed at my jokes, it was great.

6) My hands were getting more full because I don't know how to not buy cool stuff for people & my self...

7) Mindie/Mandie snuck up behind me, put ALL my COOL stuff in the basket and then winked at me as she took my stuff to the front. (I swear she must be Mrs. Clause in another life, because she is adorable)

8) I went up to pay and we all chatted and laughed some more. It was pure joy and delightful.

9) While Molly rung up my AMAZING trinkets,  Mindie/Mandie tried to sell me more Superhero Stuff and I just had to walk away... It was SOO hard!

10) Then, they asked if I wanted to come work there at Christmas, because, "You are so fun!" Not even going to lie, it was so tempting because they were adorable!

I have never in my life felt so delighted in when I was at a store, restaurant or place of business...

These ladies know where customer service and good people skills are at, and I took some serious notes!

What struck me the most when I got home later, was that I learned more about connecting with people in my 35 minutes hour and a half at The Paper Source than I did at 6 hours of business training.


Was the training good? Parts of it, yes. Did I leave feeling wanted or connected? Not really... Will I go to another one of these trainings? No, probably not.

Were the items at the store a little spendy? Yes. Did I leave feeling wanted or connected? Absolutely! Will I go back to this particular store? That's a trick question, right?

My take away then was this - the greatest part of doing life is connecting with people. Knowing them, learning about them, delighting in them and just being around them.

The speaker said yesterday, "You aren't in business to make friends!"

Um, Sir? Yes we are. We are in LIFE to make friends and if it's the right kind of business, you will have TONS of friends.

People don't go to the 5-star restaurant across the street when their best friend opens an epic Italian restaurant across town.

People don't buy million dollar art from a gallery when they fall in love with the watercolor paintings their friend did for them.

And this is why I disagree, because if your business is not about friends, then your business is not about people, it is about profit.

If your life is not about loving people, then what is it about? Because every single aspect of your life includes other people in some way, shape or form.

And people are great. Sometimes they are annoying, but then, so am I. But most of the time people are great.

Yesterday I was going about doing life, and I made two new friends - Molly and Mindie/Mandie.

They are the best and I will drive all the way to Bellevue just to see them because they are so great.

Doing life is awesome you guys. Especially when you make new friends, buy a book about kale and get the LAST Wonder Woman apron....


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Do Life 2015: Do Your Own Life

I woke up at 4:30am.

Without an alarm.


However, my aunt and I have a philosophy that if you wake up early without and alarm, then it must be time to pray about something important.

This morning though, instead of prayer, I spent some time mulling over something that has left me puzzled for about a week.

For sake of clarity, I will backtrack slightly.

The past two years I have had a personal theme for each year, and then have tried to blogged about it.

I have great intentions, but not enough time..

Anyway... 2014 was the year of love... (read about it here)

And 2015 has been about doing life. It has been amazing! 

(So amazing in fact, I haven't blogged since

I have however, read a lot of BuzzFeed articles. Not always sure that is a good life choice...

I mean, I can justify I use BuzzFeed to read the news, or I can be honest and say I really just take quizzes telling me where I should live based on my donut preference.

Which comes with a completely legitimate result thank you very much!

Back to my mulling and pondering...

The last few weeks have been filled with articles about people's failings, people's stupidity, people's lack of tact, etc.

What always surprises me though, is not the number of articles written, but in the number of people who think they have the answers for these people and their problems.

So wait...your life is in such great shape, you can write a blog post for someone you don't know, about something you haven't experienced for someone who will most likely never read it?


You mean to say that you have so much extra time on your hands, you can spend it writing about someone else's life vs your own?

Honestly...I'd rather read about your life. Maybe. Unless you write about snakes. Then I'm probably not going to read it.

I'd rather read about how Jesus is manifesting Himself in your life than your opinion on how another individual should or shouldn't live their life.

This is all coming from someone who is EXTREMELY opinionated and has to check herself all. the. time...

Personal Motto? 

Before I write about someone else or a situation, I ask myself these questions:

  1. Would I want this written about me?
  2. Do I know them/the situation well enough to even have this opinion?
  3. If I met them later on in life, would I be embarrassed I wrote this?
All that to say, even though I have many strong and possibly valid opinions, they don't all need to be written down and forever immortalized on the Internet.

Sometimes they can just stay in my home group. Or in my journal. Or in my head.

It feels like people are really free with opinions about situations that will probably never affect them. And if they finally do? Those who spoke the loudest initially are the most quiet in the end.

Final thought?

Stop writing about everyone else's life and go out and live your own.

The story Jesus is writing with you is the best one to tell anyway.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Do Life 2015: Hidden in My Heart

Two weeks ago, my phone battery gave out during the middle of church.

Honestly, it didn’t really bother me. It was just more of a minor inconvenience since I use the Scripture app to follow along with congregational reading.

I gave one last valiant effort to revive my phone from the depths of battery purgatory, only to fail.

I took a deep breath and  settled into my seat, ready to listen to the reading. No need to really follow along seeing as how the words are on the screen anyway.

“I beseech you therefore brethren...”

Wait, I know this one!

“by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice. Holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service.”

The pastor kept reading through a few more verses, and still, I knew every word.

I recited every single word. Without the app. Without written words in front of me. I knew them. Perfectly.

Memorizing scripture has been a part of my church experience for as long as I can remember. So, being able to recite the chosen passage at church that morning didn’t come as a surprise.

Rather, it was more of a sobering reflection and a personal challenge.

You see, I was always told one we memorize Scripture so that we won’t sin against the Lord.

In my 6-year-old brain, this translated into the following message:

“Memorize verses. Say them to yourself ALL THE TIME. And you will be able to prevent yourself from getting trouble.”

LIES! All lies! I got in trouble all the time!

Probably had something to do with a very strong will and an insatiable curiosity for the answer to the ‘why?’ question. Unfortunately, my mother and I weren’t always on the same page with this one.

For a long time, I wondered if I was missing something when it came to my understanding of why I had memorized so many verses. I could quote Scripture for days, but I still messed up ALL THE TIME!

And for this “type A” girl, that was super frustrating!

However, as I sat in church, rethinking my childhood perceptions, I came to realize that maybe the disconnect was in my understanding of the “WORD.”

Psalm 119:11 “Thy WORD have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was GOD.”

In Psalms, David talks about hiding the WORD in your heart. John says the WORD is GOD.


In that moment, it became much more than just memorizing and reciting Scriptures as the magical formula for avoiding sin.

This misconception I had regarding my understanding of the purpose of memorizing Scripture, quickly unraveled like a skein of yarn. 

And, as I looked down at this knotted mess of string at my feet, Jesus reached down and started to re-wrap it on the spinning wheel of my heart. 

Gently whispering to me that it has always been and always will be about RELATIONSHIP.

When I am speaking to Him. Loving Him. Confessing to Him. Listening to Him, seeking Him and learning at His feet – my mind is too preoccupied to focus on having my own way and seeking out my sinful, self-serving agenda.

There is no perfect number of verses to memorize to bring about a life void of mistakes and sinful behaviors. It’s about hiding HIM, the true WORD, in your heart. Staying close to HIM when you are at your darkest point. Relying on HIM to see you through to the other side.

We could read the Word 24/7 and we would still sin. In fact, we would probably sin more because we would be seeking good behavior in our own strength instead of casting all of our cares on Him.

He is the Way, the Truth, the Life – it is only through Him that we gain freedom and liberty from the darkness that holds us captive.

For when we commit to fully and completely doing life with Him, it is then we attain ultimate peace, contentment and fulfillment.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Do Life 2015: Love Being Awake

Irony - 'a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result'

"Guys! It's already APRIL!!! Can you believe it?
The year is just FLYING by and I am totally loving it!"

This is how my post originally read when I started writing it a month ago.

So perky and happy and quite honestly, a little disgusting....

Because, let's be honest... sometimes being busy totally sucks and all we  I want to do is curl up on the couch and cry. Because I want to eat cake. ALL. THE. CAKE.

Sometimes I want to be lazy and do absolutely nothing! Fuzzy slipper and sweatpants for days - please and thank you.

I want to eat donuts, feel sorry for myself and be super whiny.... "but I don't want to go to work today....waaa"

I want to put being an adult on the shelf and come back to it in, oh.. maybe a hundred years...

However... at other times, like when I decide to put my big girl pants on, I am totally and completely stoked on life!

For Example:

  • I'm stoked when I feel on my game at work.
(Translation: We are fully stocked on toilet paper and the hot water is working).

  • When I am getting everywhere early and completely prepared.
(Translation: I didn't oversleep and my hairs are curled).

When my pastor speaks on the topic of slothfulness and I am feeling very self-righteous that I am not a sloth...

(Translation: I got everything done on my to-do list today, so obviously I am way more organized than the rest of the world).
So then how do I stay stoked on life and motivated when I'm not?
Well, some days? I don't. Some days are just crummy. Nothing goes right. Everything seems to fall apart. And you begin to ask yourself why you even got out of bed this morning...

Other days are stellar! Everything works out perfectly. All your hard work paid off. You got enough sleep and you DIDN'T eat the entire cake that was left in the break room at work.

Both days are going to come as we all continue doing life. We will experience both.

During different seasons, we will often have an abundance of one, and a drought of the other.

Sometimes we control that, and other times, we are completely helpless to affect change on our circumstances.

Yet, at the end of the day, regardless of which one I am experiencing, I always feel compelled to remind myself of something that has kept me going in even the most difficult of seasons.

"There is always hope. There is always joy. Sometimes I have to dig for it. But if I am digging, then I am living, and that's what keeps me going."

Maybe this will help you, maybe it won't; but if at the end of the day you need a cheerleader - I can be that.
If you need someone to scream at, I'm a great listener.
If you just need someone to be sad with you, or laugh with you, then I am available.
Because part of doing life is doing it with other people, and no one should feel alone.
I love all of you my precious family and friends! Keep on and DO LIFE!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Do Life 2015: Super Hero Friday


It's a bird! It's a plane! No! It's.... Serve Seattle?

If you are going to do life, then please, please, just do it with a cape. Always.

Almost a year and a half ago, I started a little thing at work called "SuperHero Friday"

By started I mean that I wore a cape. Only me. Wearing a cape. Every Friday.

For. A. Year.

And yes, it was awesome. Thanks for asking.

All that being said, I hadn't kept up the tradition in awhile, and I blamed it on being so busy.

Which technically is true, but as a college professor used to say, "We make time for that which is important to us."

And you know what? He was right.

Cape wearing is important to me. Making people smile is important to me. Bringing laughter is important to me. So I wanted to bring it back.

Fortunately, I work and serve alongside some of the most epic ladies of all time at Serve Seattle.

(Shameless plug if you are 18-25 and don't know what to do with your summer. Check this out!)

I asked my small group a few weeks ago if they would want to bring SuperHero Friday back with a bang! Since they are so awesome, they enthusiastically said YES!

Last Monday we made 200 bags of candy. With capes. And stickers. #epic

cutest ever!
On Friday, with capes flowing behind us, we celebrated #superherofriday in the best way ever!

Swooping in to save the city, we took our bags of candy to three locations at Seattle's Union Gospel Mission. Basically, it was the best thing EVER!

People laughed. We laughed. I personally think I converted some people from being Batman fans to being Wonder Woman fans.

In case you didn't know, that's kind of a big deal.

All joking aside, if small bags of candy brought joy and laughter to the people, then dressing up in funky costumes and being crazy was worth it.

For what really matters at the end of the day, is that people feel the love of Jesus.

That my friends, is what doing life is all about.

#dolife2015 #BAM #superherofriday

Monday, March 16, 2015

Do Life 2015: 3 Days of Laundry & Netflix Binging

Sometimes you get so busy doing life that you forget to pace yourself.

Oh, that doesn't happen to you?


It truly seems to be the constant story of my life.

I like things busy. I like to look at my calendar and see it jam packed with things to do. I like knowing I have places to go and people to see. I like the sense of accomplishment I feel when I can look back and see all the things I have crossed off my list...

I love to LIVE!

Living definitely has it's perks, but sometimes I am soo BUSY that NOTHING gets done.

Nothing as in my laundry.

As in I am on load #5 and I have been at this for 3 days.

And while I would like to blame this predicament on the fact that I have a tiny washing machine and WAY too many clothes, the reality of the situation is that I desperately need to pace myself.

I feel you girl.....

A couple weeks ago, someone at work saw my calendar. Their first comment?

"Wow, you don't have much free time do you?"

In that moment my heart sunk a little bit. You see, I have prided myself on being busy for years.

I have "patted" myself on the back for all of my 'to do lists' and for all of the items I was able to check off my list.

However, in that moment, I started to second guess my approach to scheduling and how hard I push myself. Because, let's be honest, no one... and I mean NO ONE, has the expectations of me that I have for myself....

With those words from my friend resonating in my head, I slowly admitted to myself that I don't take much time to breath.

And when I do get to the point where I can't do it anymore, I sit on the couch, curled up with my favorite blankets, a bag of chips and binge watch Criminal Minds.

tell me about it....

At that point, it doesn't matter how much is on my list, nothing is getting done anyway...

How then do I maintain this momentum of doing life?

How do I accomplish the things I want to accomplish without feeling totally burnt out and discouraged?

I mean, the obvious thing, in my opinion, would be to hire someone to clean my house. Because really, who doesn't need that perk in their life?

Or a magic wand that would do my grocery shopping for me. Or fold my clothes. Or drive me to work.

aren't we all...

When I feel the most overwhelmed, these are the things that I tell myself would make life easier and allow me to get more done.

Yet, when I am truly honest with myself, the answer is far less appealing than having a personal assistant or a genie in a bottle.

Truth is.... I need to slow the heck down!
For starters:

1) Go to bed at a stinking decent hour! 11:30pm is NOT a decent hour. (there. I said it.)

2) Stop hitting the snooze button. She is not your friend. She hates you and makes a mockery of you every morning. Just stop it.

3) Your calendar it NOT your to-do-list. (even if I want it to be...)

4) Wash my dishes right away.... Do not let them sit in the sink getting gnarly. You have a dishwasher. No excuses.

5) Lay out my clothes the night before - Remember Mom' threat.... going to school in your unders

Is my schedule magically going to become less crowded? Probably not. 

Are my responsibilities going to lessen, therefore providing more time to get stuff done? Not likely.

Will these five things make everything fall right into place? Not sure, but it worked really well this morning.... 

And really, that's what it's all about. Finding balance. Finding what works for you and sticking with it. I tend to rebel against routine in my own life, but maybe it's time I start making it work for me.

Because, as I sit back and look at all the cool stuff I have had the chance to do this year, I am reminded that the simple stuff still needs to be done. And since I don't have a personal assistant yet, I am the one who gets the task of doing them. So if a routine makes it happen, then a routine I will make.

24 hours - that's what I got to work with and that's what you have too.

Make the most of it as you #dolife2015

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Do Life 2015: Haiti (Guilt, Perspective, Action)

guilt: a bad feeling caused by knowing or thinking that you have done something bad or wrong

Shortly before I left for Haiti, I spoke with my friend Stef. She mentioned that the biggest struggle she had upon coming back from a foreign missions trip was guilt. Guilt for what she had. Guilt for having more opportunities than the people she had just spent time with. Guilt for the excess and access we have here in America.

With that in mind, I prepared myself for the guilt I was sure would come to me.

It had to come, right?

I mean, I was going to a 3rd world country, where the unemployment rate is 80%, literacy is at 50% and the people are living in even more abject poverty than they were before the earthquake.

Day 1 - nothing
Day 2 - the start of something?
Day 3 - .....
Day 4 - .....I must be such a horrible person
Day 5 - BAM - it hit me. And I wept inside. Shuddering, harsh, deep sobs that no one could see but inside I knew they were there.

What happened on Day 5?

They stopped being "the Haitian people", and they became my friends.

Friends who bent over backwards and probably went without so we could share a traditional Haitian feast.

Friends who dressed up and looked their best because we were coming to meet and fellowship with them.

People who I didn't even know existed five days before, but now had found a way into my heart and I could not let go.

When we left Canaan later that day, I was pretty quiet. It was a lot to take in and process.

In fact, the last two weeks have been totally silent on my blog, because I just couldn't wrap my head around the experience enough to write about it.

But there I was, sitting on my bunk, wondering how in the heck I could go back to America and not feel incredibly uneasy about my attitude towards my blessings.

The more I thought about it, I realized that what I was feeling could not honestly be labeled as guilt. For as the definition states, guilt is an emotion you have when you have done something wrong. My heritage and the family I was born into was not my choice, nor was it wrong. So then what felt so uncomfortable about it?

My perspective.

I began to realize that I have never in my life lost sleep over the fact that someone else might be without.... And that's a convicting and somewhat embarrassing thought.

I don't think twice about where my next meal is coming from, nor do I wonder where I will get a pair of shoes and socks.

My friends do. And that's hard.

What next though?

Perspective and an honest appreciation for the plight and situation of others is all fine and dandy. However, if action doesn't follow it, it is nothing but a momentary breeze of good intentions.

So what's my action plan? I don't know yet. Still seeking and searching. 

But what I can tell you is this - the value of a dollar and how I spend it has a deeper meaning than it did a month ago.

The comfort of my bed is bittersweet. And the access to clean, fresh drinking water shames me when I think of how I have at times been wasteful.

Janet, Marckenson and their family made Haiti real for me. For that I am eternally grateful and blessed beyond measure by their pure, freely given love.

Guilt won't change anything.
Perspective might.
Action will.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Do Life 2015: Haiti (Intro)

To see things from a different perspective is helpful, insightful and necessary.

It's been 10 days since my place touched down in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. It's been 10 days since my friends and I joined in prayer for the week ahead of us. It's been 10 days since I ate meals and worshipped with my new friends, Marckenson, John Dennis and Israel.

10 days since my perspective shifted. 

As I prepared for my trip, the Lord kept telling me not to have any expectations. He told me to be open and just absorb a world that I truly knew nothing about.

Sure, I had briefly read about the earthquake that took place almost five years ago, but I didn't lose any sleep over it. 

And while that sounds like a calloused and selfish statement, it doesn't make it any less true. 

I didn't lose sleep because the event that changed so many lives didn't affect mine in the slightest.... 

However, as I sat in the box truck during the ride from the airport to the training center, the visual proof of someone else's reality was incredibly sobering.

I honestly expected to immediately feel guilt. A friend had shared that she struggled with guilt when she returned from her first mission's trip.

But, my first emotion was more of an internal statement regarding what I was seeing.

"holy just got real...."

Because, how do you look around you at months worth of trash rotting on the sidewalk and not be immediately jolted into a world you didn't truly realize existed?

I saw children wandering  in the streets. Women selling spoiled food and random smartphone chargers on the sidewalks. 

Cars so old and broken down - dark, black, billowing smoke poured out of their exhaust pipes.

Running water? Not for most. Women take large buckets to a filling station, fill them, and carry them back to the tent cities on their heads. And as they do, the buckets filled with those precious droplets slosh onto the pot-holed, unpaved roads beneath their feet.

What I look at as ultimate poverty, these people accept as their destined reality.

What I see as unbearable, they see as normal, daily existence.

What I see as discouraging and uncomfortable, they also share those sentiments.

Yet, through it all, I saw a beauty, a joy and an unbreakable zest for life from the people I know call my friends.

And what didn't affect me in the slightest five years ago, now seemed almost personal. 

As I realized that the people I now called "friend" had been in the midst of the chaos, pain, agony and loss. 

My protective fish bowl was shattered. And I had never been so glad to see broken glass.

I could so easily feel guilt, but instead I seek perspective.

Guilt won't change anything. 

Perspective might. 

Action will.