When Friends Get Engaged Without You

One of my dearest friends got engaged last night. What started as an effort to convey my simple congratulations the night before it happened, turned into a deep and meaningful time of reflection, ending in an overwhelmingly grateful heart and basically… a novel. As a single, there’s a bittersweet feeling that comes with times like these, but the process of writing this was one of healing for me. A process of deciding what is really true over fleeting and selfish emotions. I would love to share it with you in hopes that it is an encouragement, especially to my single friends as they journey. This is what is true.

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Introducing… Beats & Eats!

This portion of the blog is a result of much coercion and peer pressure. Though I’m absolutely elated by the idea, I find it incredibly unbelievable to think that people actually care what I think. But with an appeasing heart and without further adieu I bring you, “Beats and Eats”.

Here’s the premise. On any given weekend, you will no doubt find me trying a new restaurant or snuggling into a table at an oldie but a goodie (Obviously, I eat out way too much. #singleprobs). Likely to follow said dining experience is a venture to hear live music, whether big name and crowded venue or an unknown in a musky bar. I’m always up for finding new music and I spend way too much money on tickets, covers and Spotify. Because of all this, I’ve been deemed the resident foodie (the number of times I’m asked for restaurant suggestions is astronomical) and a well respected, though unprofessional, musical opinion.

So here you go, a corner committed to you and your dining and entertainment adventures, a one stop shop for all my suggestions. I’ll be tagging restaurant posts by things like location, price, taste and overall atmosphere. And my musical mentions will be easily browsed by genre. Hopefully I can be an adequate guide as you eat and listen! Enjoy!

Stay tuned for my first “Beats & Eats” post!

And if you have suggestions, let me know!

The Forty Day Thing

Do you have certain things with certain friends?

I do. Here’s what I mean.

I have a friend I often meet for dinner and our thing is to go to the same restaurant, order the same drinks, a cup of queso and steak fajitas to share. We do it every time and it never gets old, because it’s our thing.

I have another friend and we go to concerts. We go to concerts and then we go to Whataburger. It’s tradition. Concerts end late and, without fail, we’re hungry when it’s all said and done. So a late-night, guilt-free, post-concert Whataburger run is our thing.

I have friends from college and Friends was our thing. Whenever the TV was on, we were spending quality time with Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Joey and Chandler. Not a reunion goes by without playing Friends Trivial Pursuit or at least quoting familiar episodes. Friends, it’s our thing.

I’m sure you have multiple things. Things shared between you and the people most dear to you. There are probably times that you’ve done or tried alternatives and, maybe it’s just me but, it’s weird. The first friend and I once went to the same restaurant and ordered different meals. Now, they were delightful, but something was off. I can’t even imagine how off-kilter the world would be if the latter friends and I watched Seinfeld or some other popular sitcom. Yuck.

I say all this to bring up one final friend. We have a thing and it’s 40-day prayer challenges. For some reason we tend to segment our prayer fervor into 40-day increments. I guess it keeps us committed and consistent, at least for the designated days. There’s also a steady momentum built as our faith increases and we anticipate God moving in ways only He can. Each time, as the final days draw near, not only do we find ourselves in uncharted waters, in places we have never been with the Lord, deeper and richer places, but we also end up craving more. Without fail, we itch to start again. I guess we can’t get enough, and I love that.

At the culmination of these last 40 days, this sweet, dear, precious and absolutely crazy friend of mine suggested that we pray through the night. Bless her. 

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When the problem isn’t the problem.

Many times I feel like my life oozes the theme of waiting, and not by my choosing. If you know me, you’re immediate thought is most likely, “Well of course, here’s a single girl just waiting for the man of her dreams. Poor thing.” Friends, can I tell you it is so much more? In fact, that is the least of my waiting worries. Recently, the Lord reminded me that waiting isn’t something to be loathed, but something to recognize as entrusted and something to be stewarded well. He has entrusted me with waiting; waiting on Him to answer prayers, waiting on Him to change my circumstances, waiting on Him to show up in places that seem dark and hopeless. I seem to be waiting a lot.

So I decided I was going to write a post about waiting (Y’all are alllllll welcome). I immediately puffed up with pride, my back straightened, and I sat a little taller in my chair. “Well how fitting, I am quite the expert on waiting, of course I should write about it. I wait like a BOSS!”

But the Lord immediately struck me with a very large, proverbial lightning bolt of humility.

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Come Back, Weary Wanderer

I recently had the opportunity to write a post for Biblical Woman about our constant temptation to wander from the Lord, especially in the face of weariness. I am so thankful for this opportunity and how the Lord has used this post. I think it’s something we can all relate to on some level. I love how God had me write it a few weeks ago but the truth is even more relevant and needed for me today. If you haven’t read it, here’s an excerpt and a link to read the rest. Enjoy!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been in multiple conversations with weary and wounded friends who have called it quits. Whether past or present, they’ve reached the point where their life’s circumstances have proven too broken and painful, their walk with Jesus too difficult and illusive to endure, their sin too enticing, and their faith rattled to its core. One looked me in the eye, in the midst of choices that I fear will wreak havoc on her sweet heart in years to come, and said, “I just don’t care anymore.” The other told of a season just a few short years ago, “I just didn’t care.” With great humility and compassion, what is that? Are we so exhausted, so toiled in our walk with Jesus and fight against sin that a breaking point has become inevitable? If this is true, are we really living our lives in a surrender to Christ that produces freedom and rest, a yoke that is light rather than burdensome? Or is evil so rampant and life so trying that, in our human capacity, we can no longer withstand? Can even trusting and depending on Jesus be too much, too difficult? Or are we in denial and really not depending on Jesus at all?

And yet, I find myself toeing the line of a similar defeat. Truly God’s grace has triumphed, and by no doing of my own. To be honest, I looked into the eyes of both these friends and I couldn’t help but think, this could be me… in a heartbeat. And while I entertain that possibility, knowing my heart has been just as much in turmoil, I wonder why it’s not. Trust me when I say it can’t be reasoned that I’m doing things right, not even close. But why would God keep me close, spare me from that breaking point thus far, yet let others run from His grace, from abundant life and freedom found only in Him? Why do I feel like Satan is winning? God help us!

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Characteristics of a Heavenly Father… A post for my Dad. 

There are times, excruciatingly painful times, when God is loud. His voice is booming over my circumstances, and His prodding hand is far from ignorable. While always gracious, He is clear, unwavering and all but demanding of my swift obedience.

There are other times, equally as painful, that God whispers and nudges. The pain comes as we strain to hear His voice and as we walk less than assured, tempted by thoughts of fear and doubt.

And then there’s the silence. Times when there is nothing, when we are left in an empty expanse, at least that is our perception. For me, being left alone with my thoughts is flat out dangerous, for all parties involved.

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