Easter, Bleachers & Deception

Easter marks two years. Two years ago, I met this guy. Let me quickly assure you, I loathe this guy. He is a terrible human being. Absolutely awful. He will hurt you and he will make you cry. And he will do it while running his mouth in a way that makes you want to punch him in the throat.

Oh who am I kidding… He’s one of my favorite people on the planet.

He says words like “huge-er-er” (yeah, not a word) and, “Hey Erica, where you stay at?” (Translation: “Where do you live?” Don’t worry, I had to ask too.) But don’t be fooled y’all, he is brilliant. Maybe not grammatically, but he is a brilliant trainer. He is evidence that God intends for our talents and our passions to collide, that God has gifted each of us uniquely and wants us to do that which He has called us to with great excellence. So this trainer, this fitness FREAK OF NATURE, this friend that I love to hate, he does what he does, what God has so clearly called and gifted him to do, and he does it well. In that sense, I am an admirer more that he probably knows.

Two years ago I attended a class he taught with much hesitation and even more self-doubt. Tonight, I write having finished one of his workouts that involved bleachers and 40s and crunches and yards-on-yards-on-yards of lunges. I am better and stronger than I ever thought I could be and, you might not be able to tell from the outside, but I’m a different girl than the one that walked into that class two years ago. And for that, I am grateful.

Here’s my point. Tonight, I had an epiphany. I realized, as I ran down a set of bleachers for what felt like the thousandth time, how deceived we are.

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I’m Holding Your Place In Line

To a dear friend (and to countless others who need a spot holder).

First, let me paint this picture. Two singles girls, mid-twenties (just go with it), one dressed impeccably trendy with some mild hipster undertones, the other fresh from a workout in leggings and nikes (I’ll let you guess which was me), sitting at the edge of a bar at a reputable Texas steakhouse, eating steak and sweet potatoes, talking about faith and believing God for things we can’t yet see. I can only imagine what this looked like from the outside.

She’s my crazy friend. You will meet her one day and you’ll think I am normal. I can’t wait for that. But I love her crazy more than life. She’s Honest. Risky. Loyal. Passionate. She cries. She laughs. She prays for the impossible. Forget that I hadn’t seen her in seven months, it didn’t seem that way. Our conversation was scattered, like old friends with too much to say and simultaneously no words that seem adequate, and frequently interrupted while we made friends and conversation with the restaurant manager, who later picked up the tab (holla!). In the midst of our jumbled, halfway processed thoughts, my over analytical, more than likely separated at birth sister-friend, blurted out the most brilliant analogy. In the context of frustration and straining for faith, she said of a friend far from Jesus, “I feel like I am holding his place in line.”

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A Post About Yoga Pants That’s Not About Yoga Pants

So many posts about yoga pants. 

So many.

Too many. 

Too many likes. Too many shares. Too many comments weighing in. My head… and my heart… are about to explode. 

Yet here I am, about to add another. If you’re exhausted by it, you are in good company. But something gripped me differently today about the whole debacle. I was prompted to write and now to share. I know, I know. Give me grace. 

(If you quit now, out of sheer exhaustion on the topic, I understand and take no offense. Feel the freedom to tap out.)

Today I read probably my tenth post on the dreaded subject of yoga pants, in a sea of thousands more. Allow me to set the scene. I had decided to take a second stab at yoga-lates (a mix between yoga and pilates, but I lovingly pronounce it “yoga-LATTES”… for obvious reasons including increased appeal and thus participation) and in an effort to kill time before class, came across said post, shared by an old friend. Y’all I read it and wept. In the middle of yoga-lattes (that was on purpose), wearing… dun dun dun… yoga pants. 

First of all, you’re not supposed to cry in yoga. So let’s just throw that out there for laughs. No one else is crying in their down dog. Except me. Awesome. 

My heart hurt for us. For me. For you.

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Obedience Is My New Thing

I looked up (aka googled) the word obedience. Obedience means compliance. Compliance with a request, an order, a law or… an authority.

And there it is. I have an obedience issue, and as it turns out, an authority issue.

When we know Jesus, when we know, understand and accept who He is and trust Him for salvation, we fully come under His authority. It’s that authority that we submit to when we are obedient to His Word and to His Spirit at work within us, both in complete alignment to His will. We comply, or we should, because of who He is, because He is worthy of it. It’s not about our own inferiority, although we are, it’s about the goodness, the worthiness, of God. Obedience is hard, it’s something that we learn and something we choose. Learning means we don’t always get it right, and choosing means sometimes we choose wrong. The good news is that the grace of Jesus is bigger. He was fully obedient to the Father and His obedience counts as our own. 

This love, this great switch that was made on our behalf, our obedience for His, motivates us to keep learning, keep choosing. The love of Christ truly compels us and motivates us toward God. In order to pursue Him, we throw off every weight that hinders and sin that entangles. And friends, disobedience is a weight and a sin. I can tell you that with full confidence. It keeps us from fellowship with the Father, from enjoying His presence, from experiencing His peace and from seeing glimpses of His power. Disobedience clouds our view of the Almighty, and being with Him is our souls deepest longing. Without Him, we’re off. 

I’ve been off.

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Wanting To Forget

This post has been in my head for a few months. A few months, just stewing in my head. To me that is confirmation that this story and it’s implications are something to share. So here it goes.

A couple months ago a dear friend of mine made the hard decision to move from DFW back home to Arkansas. After the decision was made, the process began of either selling or packing every little thing she had to her name. Lucky for me, the sell list included some great couches, couches I had envied many nights sitting on them and chatting over life, our messy, complicated walks with Jesus and drinking cheap red wine. As soon as they were offered, I jumped at the opportunity to become their rightful, grateful owner.

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Bolsa + Purdy

First “Beats & Eats” post, commence!

A few weekends ago, a friend and I ventured out to the Bishops Arts district for dinner and some live music. Both were absolutely delightful.

Bolsa

First of all, just looking this place up and glancing over the menu was enough to convince me. If you do the same, you may not need to read the rest of this post. Feel free to stop here if that applies to you. You’re welcome.

Bolsa wins major points for location and atmosphere. Bishops Arts is definitely developing in a way that anybody who’s anybody should know about it. You can’t really go wrong with the all around shopping/dining experiences offered and Bolsa seems to be yet another notch in the Bishop Arts district’s belt… if you will. The atmosphere inside was similar to a lot of great new places, so it wasn’t anything special, necessarily, but it was great none the less. We sat inside, but they do have a substantial patio that I would love to try. The tables were a little tight inside, but I’m willing to overlook that offense, considering people watching can turn into people eavesdropping and make for great entertainment. Wait, is that bad? Parking wasn’t bad at all. We found a free spot in the restaurant lot.

Ok, food. Praise Jesus. Here is what we ordered:

Texas Cheese Board
Cilantro Grilled Chicken Flatbread
Duroc Tomahawk Pork Chop
Texas Peach Cobbler
Oak Cliff Creeper (cocktail)
Bolsa Sangria

I don’t know that I would have ordered the cheese board on my own but fortunately for me, my friend has a striking affinity for cheese, and as it turns out, I am thankful for that. For our entrees we shared the flatbread and the pork chop, both of which were fantastic. For dessert, the peach cobbler was OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD. Get it. Eat it. Trust me. I actually got extremely annoyed because our waiter took our dish with a few bites still left. If that happens, you need to chase that waiter down, pin him to the ground if necessary, and finish your cobbler! You’ll regret it if you don’t.

Joe Purdy @ the Kessler

Following dinner, we made our way to the Kessler. This was my first experience at this venue and, can I just say, yes. They were very laid back at the door, so we simply gave them the names we purchased tickets under, they checked us off their list, and we proceeded in. No wristband. Nothing marked on our hands. Very relaxed and enjoyable. The other great thing was the chairs. Chairs are great, can I get an amen?! As much as I want to pretend that standing during an entire set is no big deal, I am apparently old now and being able to sit is a gift from Jesus. It makes the whole experience a heck of a lot more enjoyable. Maybe I’m 80, that’s fine.

Anyways, Joe. Joe was great. I am more familiar with his older stuff, so I wasn’t sure how this would all go down. However, he played a good mix of the new and the old. A good portion was just him and his guitar, which I preferred to the portions with the band. I also preferred him live as opposed to his records, acoustic live performance definitely wins out over production. His voice is great enough to carry the weight.

The only thing that tainted this performance for me was the audience. I am pretty sure we were in a room with the most ridiculous people on the planet. Tip to all concert goers, artists have a set list, they made it for a reason and with much thought, let them play it. It drives me insane when the audience continually shouts out song requests to no avail and on repeat. Let it go friends. That is all.