More Than Enough

Last weekend was the $10 bag book sale at our local library and we made out like bandits.  In the mad rush of fellow bibliophiles grabbing titles off the shelves and shoving them into bulging bags, I snagged a copy of Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist.  I started the book Saturday afternoon and finished it Sunday evening.  Needless To Say, I’d highly recommend it.

In the same vein as some of my other favorite books, Necessary Endings and Essentialism, Shauna provides a raw view of her journey from busyness addiction to whole self healing.  There were plenty of chuckles along the way and I interrupted my husband’s reading at least a half dozen times to share a particularly poignant passage.

What really struck me about this book; however, wasn’t the funny anecdotes or deep wisdom.  As I read Shauna’s story of hustling to the point of exhaustion, I saw myself–but not my current self.  I saw my high school self and my college self before senior year. After three years of literally running from classes to meetings to events, I knew exactly how far I could push myself and what I was able to accomplish.  In my last year of college, I wanted to find out how little I could do and still be a productive, well-rounded, grounded, contributing, and happy soul. I hunkered down in my underground single dorm room, went to bed at 10 pm and exercised as much as I wanted to.  I still do that and it’s wonderful.

Not to say that there aren’t days when I let the lust of others’ affirmation and the pride of being a do-it-all direct my steps and steal my joy.  But those days are few and far between nowadays. Just the other day, Luke and I looked at each other and realized: we have more than enough time. How crazy is that?  Each day feels sufficient for the work, play, walks, reading, and reflection that we desire and there’s often time left over to let the mind wander.

After watching this Ted Talk with Laura Vanderkam about time management, I made a personal vow to never say “I don’t have time for X” when I really mean “I am not prioritizing X right now.”  It’s forced me to be more truthful with myself and others. We always have time for what we prioritize, irregardless of whether our priorities are aligned with our long-term goals and happiness.


I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror this morning and it caught me by surprise.  I hadn’t seen my face in a while.  Since I don’t wear makeup and my hair doesn’t listen to me anyways, my morning routine doesn’t have me looking in the mirror very often.

My strategy for staying body-positive in our social media world has been to ignore how I look.I work out because I want to be strong and my capsule closet is an insurance plan to cover clashing so there’s no reason for me to spend much time examining my features.

Here’s what I discovered:

  • Looking at my face isn’t as scary as I thought
  • My eyes really are more green than brown
  • My hair really is out of control

I’ve found myself with more time for reflection (both literal and figurative) during this time in Russia.  I don’t plan on becoming a millennial selfie queen but I am very grateful to be forced to take life a little more slowly.

In high school, I studied and volunteered and worked to fill out my college applications.

In college, I studied and volunteered and worked to fill out my resume.

In California, I studied and worked to fulfill my duties as an employee and make a living.

Here, I’m finally free to take a deep look in the mirror and learn more about what I actually enjoy doing.  There are no more applications to live for, no more resumes that cry out to be updated.

For the last 10 years I’ve been running away from not being enough, not doing enough to get where I thought I needed to go.  And now I’m finally able to look forward and whisper “Onward and upward!” and mean it.  I walk slowly and cautiously as I explore what the future could look like.

Impossible Nostalgia

I just wish things were the way they never have been.  174984

It’s fall in Southern California, which means that it’s not fall at all.  Palm trees don’t change leaves, and over-priced cider from Walmart isn’t the same as freshly squeezed apple nectar from an orchard.

At first, I attributed my intense nostalgia to the lack of autumn here and a general homesickness.  Yet, as I attempted to self-medicate this heart sickness through Facebook crawling and copious amounts of decaffeinated tea (official sign of the end of college life), I realized that I was battling an impossible nostalgia.

1043516I have this idea that at some indeterminate point in my past, I enjoyed  quality time with my closest friends while attending a continual coffeehouse and the charms of my hometown.  The reality is, many of my closest friends from college graduated before I did.  School was stressful and cafeterias are inhumane and I was more likely to be serving coffee than sipping it in acoustic bliss. Not only that, but I have dear kindred souls from childhood and high school and none of them are ever in the same place at the same time.  And if I walked through the streets of my hometown, very few would remember my name or face.

It’s a feeling of impossible nostalgia that carries the hope of a reunited tomorrow.

I am not missing out on anything nor can I return to this rose-tinted moment that never existed.   And I have hope for my own Clapham group in the future.  Luke and I are so blessed to have such incredible friends from coast to coast.  Maybe, one day, we’ll all be within driving distance (or at least the same time zone).  I know I’m biased because the common denominator between you all is my husband and I, but I promise you it would be awesome if we gave it a try.  Because you all have already impacted our lives in so many ways for so much good.  Thank you.

Until next time,


Sometimes I just like to question everything.
What if, just for a day, we completely ignored time?  We didn’t use clocks or shadows to determine our next actions but rather reacted with each other to figure out what we were going to do.  Or maybe we’d just do nothing.  Mostly likely, there would be chaos and confusion and no one would know when the day without time ended since checking would be cheating and everyone would end up confused and sad.

I wonder if we ask the questions of others that we want to asnwer ourselves.

Is it okay to be discontent?  Is there a difference between being discontent with your circumstances (not okay) and being discontent with your state of self (possible motivation for improvement?)  If you aren’t discontent with yourself on some level, isn’t that just personal apathy?  Don’t you just become stagnant?  To want to be better, you must recognize that you aren’t the best and there are greater things.

Shouldn’t a cinderblock wall be soundproof?

Is it possible to love others without a hint of selfishness?  Even the purest of love is out of a heartful desire to care for someone else because they mean something to you.  Although even an attempt at selfless love is millions of times better than satisfaction with self-centeredness.

Does laughter help you think better?  I’m pretty sure it does.

Grove City Standard Time

I have exactly four minutes to write this.  Welcome to Grove City Standard Time.  Activities that imagesCARR51YAused to take you an hour have about 10 minutes of scheduled time to get done.  You will manage your time or you will lose it, along with your sanity.  Yet even though the time has compressed and the clock’s hands seem to be racing to see who can get there fastest, there is no other time zone I’d rather be in. It’s amazing what you can get done in a minute when a minute is all the time you have.

Life at this speed is insane, impossible, exhausting, but also beautiful and precious.  We have such a short and undetermined time to be here.  This isn’t a race to run you raggard but one to run with dilligence while resting in God’s peace and ultimate sovereignty.  For as much as I’d like to think I can do, I am completely useless without Him.

My time is up for now, but I’ll be back.

Tick Tock

This post is over a year in the making.  Having said that, don’t expect it to be great.  I’m just done waiting for it be better before I write it.
I’ve always wanted to write about time.  Time fascinates me.  It is cursed and blessed in the same breath.  It is the one constant in our life and instead of being thankful for this smigeon of stability we either want it to go faster or slow down.

This is what I love about time: it doesn’t listen to our unfounded whims.  It continues to march on at the same pace no matter what our feelings are regarding it.  On some nights, when friends are happy, and I’m exhausted from dancing, and the world is full of rainbows and chocolate chip cookies, we beg for time to just pause.  Give us a breath to soak in life.

Then there are the nights when the world is ending.  You have been smashed by life and being broken has become a way of existence.  All you want is to be able to catch a breath.  It is on nights like these that we are so grateful that the seconds keep ticking by because it means that at least something moves on and maybe we can too.

At this point of my life, the days are extremely long.  It might be a result of my tendency to be a night owl combined with 8 oclock classes so I really am awake for a good portion of the day or that there is so much to do and experience that it seems inconievable that everything fits into 24 hours.  Yet the weeks fly by.  I’ve finished the first three months of college but it feels like summer just ended yestersday.

The amazing people I have met.
The oppurtunities that continue to amaze and excite me.
Warm blankets and hot coffee.
The friends and family that I have to come home to.
Amazing roommates that make sure I don’t accidently hurt myself beyond repair.
A beautiful place to live and learn.
A loving God who is constant and faithful.
Peace from knowing I am His.