Living in the Waiting

img4324-46Anyone else a big fan of setting goals and making to-do lists? Something about cozying up at a table with a cup of coffee and a blank paper just fires me up {especially in this cool, fall weather}. I love the endless possibilities of what life can hold when we decide to live intentionally.

Most people don’t know this, but in late August Caleb and I were supposed to move to Spain. We were offered two teaching jobs in Madrid through a Christian program. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to move to Europe. But after much prayer, we decided to turn down the offer and stay in New York. Since then, I’ve been praying for the Lord to reveal our next steps- our purpose. I’ve been praying for the Lord to reveal His plans.Thus far, we have no update- we are still in the waiting game.

And you know what? That is okay. Life isn’t about searching for your purpose, it’s about living with purpose {tweet that}. I can write ambitious goals and make a million to do lists, but that won’t help me find my purpose.  So I’m choosing to live on purpose instead. Right now, right here- in my waiting.

Anyone else with me?! What does this look like for you?

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Grace not Perfection


Until recently, I prided myself on thinking I did not hold myself to a standard of perfection. On pinterest, I frequently saw Emily Ley‘s beautiful quote “I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection” and would think to myself- ‘well of course! Obviously.” {insert naive eye roll here} It wasn’t until this past month that the Lord really revealed to me my struggle.

As an individual, I am great at accepting grace. I will willingly give myself grace and look to the person I intend to be or plan on becoming. But when it comes to my life as a whole or my expectations for my marriage, I expect the final product. Why is that? Why do I hold these areas of my life to a standard of perfection? I cannot control all aspects of my life, nor should I try to. My goal shouldn’t be perfection, it should be Christ. Only Yahweh can give us the purity of perfection.

So this is my goal- to not solely allow me as an individual to be covered by grace, but rather to allow my life, my marriage, and my relationships be covered in grace. I am not a finished product. We are not yet finished products. Sophia Bush once stated, “you are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously.” And you know what? She is right. We are a masterpiece, created in God’s image. And yet, we are always going to be a work in progress.

Are you good at allowing grace to cover all aspects of your life? Or do you also compartmentalize which areas you hold to a standard of perfection rather than grace?

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Change can be Beautiful


“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

As the seasons began to change, my prayer was that my heart would change as well. Each season of life is good and trials are necessary- even though they are not always enjoyable. This past season of life was hard for me. Probably my hardest season of life yet, actually. But through this time I was reminded of my need for a Savior. This season forced me to look at my ugly and to learn about true grace. To say my troubles from this summer are now behind me would be a lie. I still struggle daily. But the Lord is teaching me through it.

We are currently in the peak of fall here in New York City and it is completely dreamy. While I know the leaves will soon begin to fall and the cool crisp air will soon turn to a bitter breeze, I am reminded of God’s omnipotence- of His goodness. The seasons are changing and I am changing, but God remains the same.

This season Yahweh is teaching me to let go of my control. He is reminding me that while I can plan to my hearts content, He controls the outcomes. I am surrendering my fears, my expectations, and my hurt. This is a season of change and I want to embrace it.

So this season, life is starting all over again. The old and broken is falling away- just like the leaves. This autumn season has been a sweet reminder that change can be beautiful. To borrow a quote from Pinterest, ‘the trees show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.’

What are you letting go of this season?

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A Table Experience

Confession- I am lost in the kitchen. After a year of living in Thailand and eating out every day, a couple months of traveling around the U.S. visiting family, and the past month of unpacking the boxes in our apartment- I think I have forgotten how to cook.

Prior to moving to Thailand, my parents gave me a book called “The Table Experience” by Devi Titus. If you have not read this book, you MUST!! Whether you are single, married, or have a family. This book is for you. I love it so much it actually plays a huge role in one of my goals for September.

I deeply believe in the importance of community and gathering together- whether this is as a family, with your spouse, or with your friends. I believe your table should be filled with laughter, stories, encouragement, and truth. The time spent around your table should be special and cherished.

My family was very intentional about sitting around the table every night growing up- and we frequently had friends or neighbors join us last minute.  I am thankful for the environment my parents created in our home and for the memories we spent bonding around our table. I yearn to recreate this tradition in my home.

While my cooking skills may be very limited and I may be quite overwhelmed at the thought of creating a menu for the week, I am determined to make our dining table a place of restoration, peace, joy, and community. I want our tiny apartment to be filled with His Spirit and our table to be covered in love.

So friends, I need your help. What are some of your favorite or go-to recipes? How do you prepare meals?


Authentic Community

As I mentioned before, September I am focusing on allowing room for my heart to be changed. September is a month where fall makes its grand entrance- leaves begin to change, temperatures start to drop, and our iced coffees turn to hot brews. In this month of change, I also want to focus on being true to myself.

I am at a point in my life where I don’t want to tip toe around people, pretending to put my best foot forward. I yearn for authentic relationships- and authenticity requires vulnerability.

Moving to New York has been so good for Caleb and my relationship. It has pushed us outside of our comfort zones while we dig into intentional living. We are forced to turn to Jesus as we stumble to build our lives together.

After starting our marriage in an eight-month long intensive Bible Study, we quickly learned the importance of having a strong community. While we did have some very close friends in Thailand, our local Christian community was lacking. Now that we are back in America, we are diving in head first.

One of the couples we recently befriended shared all the ‘ugly’ in their relationship within an hour of our first double date. To say this kind of honesty was refreshing would be an understatement. She openly stated that she didn’t want to start a relationship based on false appearances, as she wants real, meaningful relationships in her life.

If you follow me on Instagram or on this blog, you may have read my confession that the past few months have been really hard for me. The kind of vulnerability our new friends shared is exactly what my heart craves.

This kind of authenticity creates the opportunity for accountability as we stumble together after the Lord. I truly believe in the importance of community. We need people to pour truth into us and to call us out when we go astray.

I mentioned on September 1, one of my goals for the month is to join a women’s Bible study. While I do have this kind of community in other states, I am still praying for the Lord to open the doors for our community to grow here in New York.

Do you have this kind of community or a woman in your life you can turn to? Someone to stand alongside you and to call you out in love?

What does community look like to you?


A Month of Change

Happy first day of September!! Fall officially begins this month and while I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to summer, I am ready for a new season to begin.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may already know that this past four months have been hard for me. If I am being honest, hard does not really begin to explain the depth of my struggle- but that’s a story for another time.

I’ve made the decision September is going to be a new month, a new season of life for me. As the season begins to change, I am making sure a new chapter in my life begins as well.

In August, I posted on Instagram and asked if any of you had set goals for the month. While some of my goals for September are tangible, most of them are goals for a heart change. I yearn for the coming months to be a sweet season of life- a season of new beginnings, a season of growth.

I truly believe in the power of writing out your goals and intentionally asking someone to hold you accountable. So today I am sharing my some of my September goals with you.

1. Speak less. In September I want to speak less and listen more. I’m learning to bite my tongue-  just because I have something to say, doesn’t mean I should say it. My husband is great at knowing when to speak and when to listen. Hopefully by the end of the month I will be better at it too. I am ready to make more room for wisdom to be poured into my life.

2. Be positive. As I mentioned before, I am declaring September to be a fresh start and the first chapter to my next season of life. I am choosing to turn away from the struggles of the past few months and to be positive in all circumstances. It’s my goal to not let negative talk come out of my mouth. Less negative = more positive.

3. Find a women’s Bible study. My work schedule is a bit odd and inconsistent which has made finding a women’s Bible Study hard. The women Bible studies have also taken a summer break and will be returning this month. My goal is to find a local study & to consistently be involved. Online studies are great- but there is something special about grabbing coffee/tea with friends and diving deeper. {What is it about coffee shops that just make room for the Holy Spirit? Anyone else feel like God is always present in a coffee shop?}

4. Cook at home more. One of my favorite books is ‘The Table Experience by Devi Titus. If you haven’t read it- go buy it! It’s the kind of book you want in your home, not on your kindle. The book explains the importance of having meals at your table and the deep, meaningful relationships that are cultivated when we take the time to make meals together a priority. This month, we are going to eat out less and cook at home more. We finally have our kitchen set up so this is finally a viable option! Once we get back into the swing of cooking, I can’t wait to have friends and family over for dinner.

5. Hang our pictures and art. Silly, I know. Most of our apartment is set up, but we have NOTHING on our walls yet. Our building is pre-war so the walls are rock solid and painted with latex paint- i.e. nails don’t work and I’ve read reviews that the Command strips won’t stick to this paint… This month, I am determined to find a way to hang our pictures  and art.

Normally I like to stick with five goals a month so I know my goals are realistic, but this month just requires six goals.

6. Pray more. In Thailand it was easy to be in constant prayer. It was hard to escape the constant reminder that we were out of our normal comfort zone. Now that we have returned to the U.S. and we have begun to get into a routine, it is easy to get distracted and forget to be in constant prayer. This month, praying only a few times a day is not enough. I now have a post-it note on my work computer screen to remind me to pray for specific items, so whenever I look at the note, I will be reminded to pray.

My goals aren’t about a check list or about becoming more successful, my goals are about my heart and what is important to me. In September, I want to focus on what matters most. September is a month of change, a month of new beginnings.

What are some of your goals for September or the fall?





Praying into Purpose

grade 3

Life in Thailand was filled with such obvious purpose. Each day my students and I started with our Bible verse of the week and God’s love for them poured through me. My heart aches thinking about the distance between these precious souls and myself. I am thankful for my time in Thailand, but the Lord made it obvious it was time for us to return to America.

The Lord put a desire in my heart to move to New York when I was in middle school. Over the 10+ years, this desire remains. After much prayer, the Lord opened clear doors for us to move here. And who would have guessed my southern husband would have such a heart for the city?


I signed a contract with my company while on a trip visiting my parents, Caleb was able to continue working for my mom while he prayed for the Lord to open the correct doors for him, and we found our apartment in one day {which in New York, is very rare}. After a few weeks of attending the men’s Bible study at our church, a leader connected my husband with Deloitte.

Now that we have found a bit more of a routine, my heart and schedule is ready to be apart more. We are ready to find our purpose in the city. We are praying for the Lord to reveal our purpose- our good work.

We each have special gifts, unique to our personalities- not one gift is better than another. It has been such a joy to pray through this desire while going through Lara Casey’s new book and her powersheets. We cannot wait to see what the Lord has in store and to see what the future will hold.

What are some of your dreams or goals?


All about that Grace

give grace

So much can change in three months. I have changed so much in the past three months.

I truly believe the Lord uses each season of life to teach us a necessary lesson. This season, it’s all about grace.

We each have our own story and our own past. Some people have a testimony of confidently walking with the Lord; others have a story of stumbling frequently along their walk. I fall into the later of the two.

It was not until my sophomore year in college that I turned from my old self and was truly reborn. As I turned from my old life and began my new walk, I never really struggled with accepting God’s grace. I completely understood Yahweh was bigger than any mistake I ever made

The lesson God is teaching me about grace is not about accepting grace, but rather, it is about giving grace. Accepting grace can be easy, giving grace is hard.

I was recently gifted Lara Casey’s Powersheets- thank you to whomever sent them to me! In these sheets, Lara points out that “it is easy to look back on a year {or relationship} and just see the yucky parts, like when something happens to you at the end of the day and you automatically call it a ‘bad day,’ regardless of what happened the other 23 hours.”

The Lord is teaching me to forgive, to let go, to let His grace cover the yucky parts. How can I expect others to forgive my ugly, when I am unable to forgive theirs? It’s a struggle I deal with daily, but slowly Abba is transforming my heart.

I’m learning I need to celebrate the good in others, rather than allow my hurt to focus on the pain they have caused.

This lesson is a journey that does not have an end destination. It is something I will continue learning daily.  It is a beautiful, challenging lesson that needs to be learned.

Is giving or receiving grace something you struggle with?

What has the Lord been teaching you recently?


I’m back!!

I’m back!!

To say the past few months have been crazy would be an understatement.  Leaving Thailand and my 20 perfect students was harder than I could have ever imagined.  It was a tearful goodbye and we are already planning a trip to return. Thankfully, most of my students have smart phones and we have been able to continue texting and talking daily. (Praise the Lord for technology!!!)

Since returning to America, the Lord has been so faithful. We spent the first couple of months traveling from coast to coast to visit family.  What a blessing it was to be home to celebrate my grandparents’ 65th wedding anniversary in person rather than through Facetime!

If you follow me on instagram, then you probably know that my husband and I have officially settled down in New York City. After spending a year half way around the world, we are beyond blessed to live so close to my parents again. It has been a joy experiencing life with them again.

So much has happened in the past three months- joy, heart break, adventure, and so so much more. I am so excited to be back in this little corner of the internet where we {you and me} get to share stories and lessons together.

Hope you have all been doing well and are enjoying the last few weeks of summer! Anyone have an ‘end of summer’ bucket list? Would love to hear some of your end of summer goals or adventures from this summer!


20 New Normals when Living in Thailand


Thailand is one of the best countries in the world. Of the 20+ countries I have visited in my life, Thailand is easily in my top 5 favorites. Yes, I may be a bit biased… but I love it just the same. As a tourist it is easy to fall in love with Thailand’s incredible weather, gorgeous topography (hello gorgeous mountains and picture perfect beaches), and delicious food. But as a local in a non-touristy city, we have learned so much more about this country. Some good, some funny, some not-so-desirable, and some just odd.


Here are just a few things I did not expect to become my new normal.

  1. Squatter toilets… there is just no getting around it. they are everywhere.
  2. BYOTP. that is, bring your own toilet paper. yes, I carry a roll of tp in my purse & in my bike everywhere I go.
  3.  Wild chickens. everywhere. but this also means fresh eggs are cheap & delicious.
  4. Laughing at everything. i don’t know if it is possible to attempt having a conversation with a local without laughing. laughing at our awkward attempt to speak thai, laughing at our daily routine, or laughing with our students. somehow, everything is funny. oh, and in the thai culture, thai people laugh when they get nervous.
  5. Traffic stops for cows. yes, we have found ourselves in bumper to bumper traffic because a heard of cows decided to walk down the highway… not just across it, but straight down the lane {and sometimes going the wrong way I might add}. yes, this has happened more than once.
  6. 2 lane streets are actually 4 lane streets. meaning 3 cars and one bike or some other crazy variation… yes i often ride with my eyes closed.
  7. Men walking their pet cows down the highway. who needs to walk a dog when you can just walk your cow?
  8. Men RUNNING with their bulls on the side of the highway. again, why run a dog when you can run a bull??
  9. Gorgeous homes with A/C next to one room wood or metal shacks. zoning is not a thing here.
  10. Everything is CHEAP.  granted, we get paid on the thai baht so we make practically nothing. but still, who can pass up $1 meals and $0.33 fresh coconut water.
  11. You can pay your bills and buy plane tickets at 7-11. and they are EVERYWHERE!!!!
  12. Non-refrigerated meat. you can buy your meat on the side of the road, at the night market, or in the non-refrigerated section at a western-style market. yes, I have pretty much become a vegetarian.
  13. Fitting a class of 20 + 2 teachers into an 8 person van and calling it a field trip. Or fitting 40 students into a 20 seater bus that doesn’t have closing doors. don’t worry- one of the teachers always sits on the steps by the door.
  14.  Google always reverts back to thai… even when you  change your settings.
  15. Cold showers. even in the heat, i wish our home had hot water…
  16. Wai. a wai is the act of putting your hands in prayer position and bowing towards another individual. it is a sign of respect. we wai everyone and they wai us. truly, i love it. the younger generation truly respects their elders.
  17. Morning & night markets. in america farmers markets are definitely a trendy thing to do. in thailand, they are our normal. if we want food- we go to the night market. and they are such a fun experience!
  18. Running breaks due to the cows/goats/hogs standing or walking across your path. sometimes there is just no getting around them.
  19. Bikes. i never understood the allure of riding a motorcycle knowing how dangerous they  can be. now, i get it. we drive our little motorbike everywhere. to the market, to school, to the beach. and!!
  20. The joy. thailand is named the land of smiles for a reason. it is impossible to meet a stranger here. we have learned it is almost impossible to go somewhere without meeting someone new. whether someone is wanting to take a picture with us or someone is helping me as i struggle through a conversation at the bank. everyone wants to help and everyone is joyful. the people here are lovely.


Have you ever found yourself in a transition period with new normals? What did this look like for you?

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