UPDATE: I’m not dead.

To everyone who follows my blog:

While my blog may have flatlined this past month, my heart has not.

hurt yourself

Don’t get too excited now.

So where have I been these last few weeks?

boo boo time by myself

AKA: watching a lot of Netflix.

watching tv

(I’m pretty sure the devil suggested making the next episode automatically start after 10 seconds.)

While I needed a relaxation hiatus, I’m still working on some important writing…

writing

I’m crafting a book proposal to make this blog into a book!

So I’m still here, I’m still alive, and I’m still writing.

And I’d love to keep hearing from you– and especially what you would like to read in a My Letters to G book!

And most importantly… thanks for reading and waiting patiently for my return.

Forever grateful,

m

Where feet may fail

G:

I’ve been listening to that latest Hillsong song a lot. You know the one. The one that goes on somewhere between 8-12 minutes. And everyone that’s singing is Australian.

OK, it’s the one about oceans and feet failing and being called to step out upon the waters into the great unknown.

I’m a good hour and a half drive from the Atlantic right now, but I feel like you have me ready to jump onto some mighty waves before the ocean reaches optimal summer temperature.

And I’m nervous.

And I’m not ready.

So instead I worry. I worry about taking the wrong step, hopping onto the wrong wave, feet failing. Sinking. Sinking into the great unknown. Where there are probably sharks.

But just like the song says, You are there in the unknown:

You call me out upon the waters

The great unknown

Where feet may fail

And there I find you in the mystery

In oceans deep my faith will stand

My faith is like my arm muscles. They don’t become strong unless I put them to use. My faith isn’t going to get stronger if I’m sitting in the safety of the boat. My faith becomes stronger when I actually listen to the call to get out of the boat and step onto the waters.

You didn’t let Peter drown. I know you won’t let me either.

Your grace abounds in deepest waters

Your sovereign hand will be my guide

Where feet may fail and fear surround me

You’ve never failed

And you won’t stop now

Help me choose not to waste a single hour of my life worrying about the mystery of my life, because it’s not a mystery to you.

My great unknown is your great known.

So lead me. Call me out from the boat and onto the waters. Wherever that may be. Whatever the temperature. (Preferably with Flipper not Jaws.)

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever you would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior

Your child,

m

Because ‘seriousness’ isn’t a fruit of the Spirit

G:

I’ve realized two things lately:

1)     This blog has become more stale than a loaf of bread three months past its expiration date

2)     Christians are way too serious

seriousness

I can blame my busyness for my blog’s dryness, but what excuse do Christians have?

We can’t blame it on our expiration dates.

For a people that have been redeemed through a sacrificial act of extravagant love, we seem to be walking around like our puppy keeps getting run over by a truck every single day.

I’m not sure if You can feel the chill all the way up there in the clouds, but it’s pretty cold down here.

If the “Frozen Chosen” were a brand of popsicles, it would probably be a lot cooler than what they actually are.

My friend went to a Christian concert the other day and told me that the band, in an effort to get everyone to loosen up and enjoy themselves, said: “We’re going to have fun tonight because seriousness isn’t a fruit of the spirit. Joy is.”

I know it was written on the stone tablets, “Thou shall not steal,” but I’m totally stealing that saying.

Somehow we’ve forgotten the joy. The laughter. The happiness.

Yes, there is a time and season for everything. “A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” (Ecc 3:4). But we seem to be forgetting to laugh and dance.

We seem to be forgetting that seriousness isn’t a fruit of the spirit.

Like a spiritual fortune cookie, Solomon sums it up well in Proverbs 17:22, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

I’m not sure what’s crushing our spirits as Christians. The world. Money. Jobs. Relationships. Suffering. Depression. Illness. I’m sure it’s a list that rivals an exhaustive phone book of New York City.

And I’m sure our joy-less spirits are drying up our bones.

I wonder what would happen if we stopped being a stale people and started being the ones that displayed joy amongst love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Turns out laughter may be the best medicine after all.

Your goofball,

m

Sunsets are like chicken nuggets

G:

I’ve decided sunsets are like chicken nuggets. No two ever look the same.

I’d like to consider myself a “sunset chaser,” if you will. I’ve been chasing sunsets over the ocean like storm chasers stalk tornadoes in a field in Kansas.

And you blessed the socks right off me when I finally saw the sun set over the Pacific Ocean (because the sun setting in bays over the Atlantic just doesn’t count).

IMG_1592

Somewhere between creating day and night you decided to create this amazing transition between the two. And no two sunsets are ever the same. You just keep me guessing. And keep me chasing the new, the different, the beautiful.

Kudos, G. Kudos.

In awe, your child,

m

4 Ways We’re Wishing Our Lives Away as Single Christians

blurry

I used to have this recurring dream where I’m traveling on a high-speed train in a foreign country and I’m suddenly captivated by scenery previously unknown. I reach for my camera, zoom in, and it won’t focus.

And the moment passes by.

And I’m left banging my hand against my pillow while simultaneously slumber-swearing.

As single Christians, I don’t even think we make it to the slumber-swearing part. We’re too busy anxiously awaiting our arrival at the next stop to even take the time to get out our cameras and focus in on what’s currently outside our window.

And the moments pass us by.

Read the rest on Converge Magazine!

Sometimes, the boar doesn’t need a haircut

G:

It’s March already?! It feels like just yesterday we were celebrating your Son’s birthday.

It seems as if the older I get the faster time flies—as if we’re picking up speed the closer we get to the finish line.

Since I’ve been gone in Seattle for more than a week for work, my blog clearly showed the effects of my busyness. In my efforts to juggle so many things in seemingly so little time, I always end up dropping at least one ball somewhere (at least I’m not juggling chainsaws).

While at this work conference, there were hundreds of tables where people from schools or literary journals had fun and interesting freebies. My coworkers stumbled upon a table that gave away tarot card readings. Of course I don’t believe in it, but I was on a mission to get as many awesome freebies as possible.

I walked up to the table and picked this card:

boar

The guy at the table stared at it for 15 seconds and declared:

“Clearly, this is a man trying to give a boar a haircut.”

Clearly, this tarot card reading was directly applicable to my life.

I felt the excitement go out of me like helium from a popped balloon.

He went on to say: “This man is trying to do the impossible. You have to allow yourself to be realistic. Sometimes you can’t do everything. Don’t try to do the impossible. Sometimes, the boar doesn’t need a haircut.”

Even though this guy made up all this stuff up on the spot, it reminded me that I can’t do everything.

Clearly, I need help.

For all the things I need to do and can’t avoid, for all the balls I need to keep juggling, I’m thankful You give me the strength to accomplish it all when I focus on You (Philippians 4:13).

And then sometimes, there are those balls that can and should be dropped. Sometimes I try to tackle the impossible, when it’s not in Your best for me. Thanks for giving me discernment to drop the ball.

Because sometimes, the boar doesn’t need a haircut.

Your child,

m

I ain’t my Momma

Upon turning 22, my friend declared that “22 is halfway to 44 which is halfway to 88 which means you are halfway dead.”

(We are clearly no longer friends.)

Birthdays are kind of like New Year’s—they make you reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re going. You’re another year older. And another year closer to 88.

On the day of my 28th birthday, I couldn’t help but compare myself to those I love and admire more than anyone else in the world: my parents. I think about where they were at 28. And at this age my mother was married for 6 years with a two-year-old and another on the way.

If my life was supposed to follow those breadcrumbs, the birds clearly had a 28-year feast and unknowingly I stumbled upon the long, scenic route up the side of a steep mountain.

While I would be blessed if I had even 1/100 of the character my mother has, my life has not followed her blueprint.

I ain’t my Momma.

Chatting with another single friend the other day, I decided expectations for young adults are like kitchen cleaners under the sink to little kids. It’s just not fair that the blue stuff that looks like a huge jug of blue raspberry Kool-Aid is locked away behind childproof cabinets—seemingly unattainable. But here’s the thing: turns out that stuff may not be the best for us anyway.

My life and the lives of my single friends are not the lives of our parents. But our lives aren’t wrong. They’re different.

I’m single. I’m living on my own. I’m pursuing my passion for writing. I’m really great at making cereal for dinner.

I can’t help but compare myself to those I love most—and I pray that I have even a fraction of the love, faith, and character that my parents do. But I know You have different plans for me than you had for my father and mother.

I ain’t my Momma.

I’m me.

Your child,

m

On birthdays: a special shout out to my parents

family

G:

Well, 28 years ago today you decided to have me pop out into the world on a cold foggy day with my umbilical cord wrapped around my neck and my weight matching that of a popular convenient store chain.

I’d like to first give You a special shout out for creating me even before my parents did. You knew the plans You had for me even before my parents knew my gender. You knew how many hairs were going to be on my head even before the “no that’s not a perm that’s her natural hair” afro phase.

But I’d really like to thank you for blessing me by bringing me into an amazing earthly family. For parents whose love rivals the depth of Loch Ness. For a mother whose warmth is greater than the Sahara. For a father whose humor is better than any late night with Jimmy Fallon. For parents who have shown me unconditional love. For a mother and father whose kindness, thoughtfulness, compassion, encouragement, support, and guidance has helped form who I am today. For parents who lovingly guided and instructed me on a path to You.

My heart swells with love for them like a balloon to the point of bursting.

Thank you for blessing me with parents who reflect in real and tangible ways the characteristics of You.

Your child,

m