Category Archives: Stories

On Mascara and True Beauty

The other day Jack and I jumped in the car and headed to a meeting together. As usual we were running late, and since the red lights didn’t work in my favor, I sat in the parking lot an extra minute or two to throw on some mascara and lipstick. And as usual, Jack had some questions.

“Mommy, why are you putting that stick in your eye?”
“Uh, well, it’s not IN my eye. It’s called mascara, and I use this stick to put it ON my eyelashes.”
“Why do you want… mas car a…  on your eyelashes?”

Walked right into that one.

But I was in a rush, so I dodged the implications of the question and my own self-reflection, and went with simple; I said, “It makes my eyelashes look pretty.” By that time I was opening his door and holding his hand as he climbed out and we ran in to meet our friend. (In case you were wondering, Jack was so well behaved that even I was impressed.)

This morning while I was still bleary-eyed, Jack asked me, “Mommy, why aren’t your eyelashes pretty?”

Uh… #GuessIShouldHaveHandledThatBetter

And also, crap. So we had a faltering conversation about makeup. How you don’t need makeup to be pretty, but sometimes a girl likes it and it makes her feel good. Like when you wear a nice shirt instead of a Tshirt.

“I don’t like nice shirts.”
“Yes, I know.”
And so on and so forth.

Friends, I did the best I could.

In case you’re dying to know, here are my not-all-that-well articulated thoughts about makeup: If you like it and it makes you feel a bit more confident, then wear it. But let’s also try not to tie our beauty or worth to it.

A little easier said than done. And not so easy to explain to a 3-year-old! The truth is, I like my eyes! I like their color and my smile lines and my eyelashes.

There are definitely things about my face that I like a lot less. As women we are pretty hard on ourselves when we look in the mirror, and I am no exception. I’d go so far as to say I was discipled in the art of self-critique. We are constantly apologizing for ourselves, aren’t we?

Which brings me to this little bit cheesy but pretty darned poignant little Ted talk:

Let’s get better at how we talk about our own beauty. Let’s be kinder to ourselves. Whether or not makeup is involved, let’s take note of our best features. And hopefully at least some of that will rub off on our little ones.

And If you’ve got a great makeup speech to give kiddos, I’d love to hear it!

Sonia’s Story

SoniaFallI live my life fully, completely, at 110%. I work hard, I play harder, I pray the hardest.

I wasn’t always like this.

I started life a very shy kid, scared to death of being out in the world by myself.  I cried my entire first day of school. I remember coming home crying often those first few years of school.

And then, in fourth grade, we moved from Portugal to America.

I was a shy, insecure girl, uprooted from everything I knew into a whole new culture. I never quite managed to find my place. I was bullied mercilessly in eighth grade, and I was awkward and unpopular and very much an outsider all through high school. I carried that pain with me into adulthood.  I found a bit of solace in college, feeling a little bit freer to be myself, finding a bit of happiness.  Still very insecure underneath, I became an expert at faking it.

My 20’s are a blur of friends, boyfriends, dance clubs and high paying jobs in the big city. I bought my own condo at 28 and took a job closer to home which slowed down my social life significantly, but really helped establish my independence and comfortable lifestyle. Life was good then. From the outside, looking in, I had it all.

Then six years ago I lost my job due to budget cuts. Single, 33 years old with a mortgage, I found myself at a crossroads.

I had hated my job. I had been a paralegal for 11 years, and it was the most stressful, least rewarding job ever. I worked long hours, never stopped thinking about work, had recurring stress nightmares, spent most of my days alone at my desk, could NEVER get to the bottom of my to do pile, and had no real life outside of work.

Around this time I was invited by my uncle to join a weekly prayer group. I’d been saying no for a long time, but this time, I said yes.

AND EVERYTHING CHANGED.

I have always believed in God. I remember my grandmother teaching me to pray as a young girl, I attended a youth retreat straight out of high school that changed my life, God has always been in my life in one way or another.  But I had created a distance between myself and my faith.  To be honest, I had created a distance between myself and everything else as well.

But God knew. He knew exactly how burnt out I was, and more importantly, He knew it was time for me to come home.

I found a much lower stress job at a credit union and working bankers hours suddenly allowed me to see how empty my life had become.  Now I had all this extra time to do whatever I wanted, only…I had limited interests, very few friends, and no idea how to spend my time.

At this time, I also became incredibly self-conscious about my appearance. I had gained a ton of weight, my hair was unhealthy, my eating habits were abysmal, and I didn’t even own a pair of sneakers, so I was certainly not exercising. I hadn’t dated in years. I felt unloved and unlovable.

That first year at my new job I joined a gym and changed my eating habits.  I lost 35 lbs. I reconnected with old friends and made new ones, mostly members of the group involved with the youth retreat I had attended out of high school (we still conduct yearly retreats all these years later). And I began to pray A LOT. I began to dig DEEP into my heart and my soul, have uncomfortable conversations with God about where I had gotten lost along the way.

Through one of these new friends, I discovered a love of running. Later, also because of her, I joined a new gym, the gym I have been at for nearly 4 years now. At 35 I began to lift weights, run races, and sculpt my body in ways I could never have imagined. “I Can do All Things…” Philippians 4:13 became a living motto for me.

I started a journey to eat cleaner (a journey of a million paces I have only just begun to walk). And I started to live my life. REALLY live my life. I started dating again as well, although that hasn’t quite been as fruitful an endeavor.

I have spent countless hours in conversation with God. Last year, for the first time in my life, I began to hear Him speak to me.  Not in an audible voice, but in such clear, definitive ways that I couldn’t deny the truth. I’m tuned in. I GET IT now. “Be Still and Know that I Am God” – another living motto.

I still have a lot of work to do, physically, emotionally, spiritually. I’m not expecting to ever be done, until I am done with life on this plane. But I’ve learned to accept the joy (and the pain) of the journey.

My life now is far from perfect, my journey is just beginning. I call myself a work in progress. A misfit. But I’ve also learned to call myself beloved.  And happy.

Today I’m all about taking life by the hands and twirling around on the dance floor with it, screaming the lyrics to my favorite songs at the top of my lungs, laughing until I’m crying, exhausted, and spent.

110 Percent.

The Gift of Courage

We are moving to Austin this weekend. We’ve been packing and cleaning and strategizing. And we’ve been on a sort of goodbye-for-now tour (I mean, we’re moving, not dying, people), which has been a wonderful and strange experience. While all these visits have been important on their own, God has really used the sum of them to remind me of who I am.

About three weeks ago, amid the chaos and the excitement inherent in this adventure, I had a pretty rough week. I know I know… it’s not surprising that these are emotional days. There’s a lot to process. Add to that a couple less-than-perfectly executed tasks and one high-challenge conversation, and I found myself in a sea of self-doubt.

ChrisCarrieKim
I canNOT get this picture to upload right-side-up. But, hey, it fits. Hot. Mess.

I generally fall somewhere on the sliding scale between Badass and Hot Mess. And, miracle of miracles, I tend to swing more toward badass these days–I’ve done a lot of soul work to trust and enjoy who God designed me to be. But every once in a while I slip into the shame spiral. And when that happens, it’s still hard to escape it. When that happens, it takes most of my energy to just hold my center. Glennon Melton might say, I get “extra-feely.”

I thought seriously about cancelling every visit I had scheduled so that I could just sit down in the pit (metaphorically, while boxing up my kitchen, of course). But I felt God saying, just show up. So I gulped air, tried to calm down, and just put one foot in front of the other.

GirlsWknd
My wonderful friend Beth

And I’m so glad I did. Seems like God, in His mysterious pre-knowing, had lined up a series of amazing encounters to encourage me. I had dinner with a new friend who reflected back how extraordinary some of our story is. I had breakfast with a mentor who knows the deep wells in my story, and she reminded me of how far I’ve come and how exciting this new chapter is, how even a few years ago I might not have been able to take this leap. I ended up on a wonderful 24-hour retreat with a friend I am still getting to know but already adore, and another woman who I’d never met–and they invited me to bring my hot mess anyway, and they brought theirs, too. For one sacred evening, we dropped our masks and were nothing but honest (and we drank wine, ate chocolate, and watched Buffy–the trifecta!) The parade has continued with old and new friends, who have each in their way gifted me by reminding me who I am and that I am loved.

Dancefloor
Our Going Away, um I mean, St Patrick’s Party :)

This weekend, we hosted our final Community Life party for 60ish of our neighbors–a St. Patrick’s Day bash with our favorite DJ, Mark. The night could not have been sweeter. It’s strange to be leaving, but we’re so grateful for how tight-knit our community has become. During our time here, we’ve often felt a burden to create one community out of the many ethnic cliques here, and as we looked over the dance floor at a fully integrated group of connected people, we felt God’s smile on us, His whispering, see how beautifully I’ve designed you?

My Amazing Mentor Lisa
My Amazing Mentor Lisa

I have a friend who often tells me, “Just do you.” Lord, help me to do just that. To stop trying to be enough for anyone else, and to accept, even relish, who I already am.

The word “encourage” literally means “to give courage.”

This may sound a little too gimmicky, but I don’t know how else to put it: For the past two weeks, God’s people have taken turns pulling me up and out of the pit, giving me courage one step at a time until I could brush the dirt off my pants, and stand sturdy again, on my own, thankful and smiling.

And you know what, most of them probably don’t even know that weight of their kindness toward me. The weight of their really seeing me, and helping me to “see me” too.

Who has given you courage this week? To whom have you gifted courage? This is part of how the body functions, friends.

 

Create and Consume

As I think about my OneWord365 for this year, Create, I am reminded, in contrast, of how much I consume. Obviously, we all consume things: energy, time, resources. But God is showing me how often I consume when it isn’t necessary.

I’m noticing that when I’m bored, tired, angry, frustrated or upset, my natural response is to consume. Sometimes I take in food (who hasn’t “needed” chocolate on a particularly stressful day), other times I look for a stimulating book, Ted talk or funny video. Basically, when I have a felt need, I look to consume something that will bring me satisfaction. Don’t we all? We wouldn’t survive otherwise, right? Yet, there are times when I let discontent grow in my heart, and it leads to overconsumption and more discontent. I want to get off this merry-go-round.

So today, when the weather was cold and unsatisfactory, and I didn’t feel prepared for the day ahead, I chose to create:

image

I still did more than my fair share of consuming, but this step reminds me that even when things don’t feel as they ought, I can contribute to this dance called life. I don’t do it perfectly. I’m learning as I go. Some days the discontent rages and I’m not even certain why, but I know my identity as a child of a creative God remains. I pick up my brush, my crochet hook, my recipe card holder or some other tool, and MAKE. And I remember that I am being transformed day by day as well into His likeness.

On Fitness Classes and Dancing Anyway

Blotchy is Beautiful

After my workout with Beth and Nate
After my workout with Beth and Nate

Last week I put on my not-exactly-workout gear and headed to Pro Gym in Oswego to engage in a CX Worx core training class with my amazing friend Beth Kolar. And then because I’m brave (or crazy) I stayed for a Body Combat class with the very intense but thankfully also kind Nate Rousseau.

This is kind of a big deal for two reasons:
1. I didn’t die. (I did briefly wonder if I would end up like that Biggest Loser contestant throwing up in the corner garbage can, but thankfully that didn’t happen, either.)
2. I showed up in the first place.

You may not think the second one is as impressive as the first, but you’re wrong. I don’t-die every day (so far), but I haven’t attempted any kind of group fitness experience since high school gym. I am an elliptical and weights girl, mostly. When I’m feeling brave, I might run on the elliptical or lift weights next to another person. I do yoga in my living room with a beginners DVD. But I’ve never braved a class with other “fitness enthusiasts” (a term which no one anywhere has ever applied to me).

Even contemplating a group fitness classes is a bit daunting for me. I know going in that I’ll probably be the least fit in the class, and when you add into the mix the fact that I will be fumbling through a routine I’ve never done before, my fear of looking foolish kicks in. I’m an extremely extroverted person who generally likes anything more if you add some people to it, but the two punch combo of looking fat and foolish has been a deal killer for me.

Just to give you an idea of how deep-seated this fear is, I’ll share this story: Many years ago I attended a party where people were playing DDRMax (a dancing video game where you have to dance on a floor pad of arrows to “win”), and I really wanted to try it. Even though nobody really knew how to play and everyone was messing up and giggling, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Instead, I purchased the whole system and became an expert alone in my living room before I went to the next party. (And then I surprised the hell out of some people. Which was actually pretty awesome.)

My point is that this was a HUGE step for me.

Dancing Anyway

Earlier this year, I chose the word “dance” for my #OneWord365.

Here’s the thing about me. I love to dance, but most of the time I don’t because I am just too afraid of what people will think and how I might look–primarily either fat or awkward.

This confession is both literal and figurative. It applies to actual dancing, and it applies to just about anything else I shy away from doing. You’d be amazed how much my perception of my weight factors in whether or not I attempt things that are not physical–things like writing, speaking, training, standing up for myself, even just introducing myself to people. Don’t misunderstand, I do all of these things, but I wrestle against fear and unworthiness before I do any of them. Over the past five years, I have conquered the fear more and more consistently, but the truth is it is far from gone.

Since I chose (or maybe admitted) my word for this year, God has been whispering “Dance anyway” to me. It is constant background music. I catch it playing in my mind like the one verse of a song that you just can’t stop singing. And it’s taking root. It has it’s own hashtag skit.

And that’s how I ended up blurting out to my friend Beth (a personal trainer who has regaled me with stories of crawling to the bathroom after being so wrecked by an aggressive workout) that we should work out together once before I move to Texas. I was thinking one on one personal trainer stuff, but it became clear as we worked out the details that we were talking about a class. What in the hell did I just agree to?!! Come for my class, she said. And then just stay for Body Combat. It’ll be fun.

I thought about cancelling, but then there was God, whispering #DanceAnyway like a holy Justin Timberlake.

So I got in my car, drove 1.5 hours in traffic and walked in, awkwardly and late to her core class. It was, for a few minutes, the stuff of my nightmares. But then it was actually pretty awesome. In a painful, dear-God kind of way, but still. Somehow I managed to complete both classes, and somehow I managed to be my full self. My full blotchy self.

I had fun. The tiny fitness enthusiasts were actually really nice. And I daresay I was surprised by how well I kept up. And you know what? I would do it again.

Fear: conquered. Another one down, thousands to go, but I’m dancing anyway.

How about you? Do you need to get off the sidelines today? If so, I hope my adventure lends you some courage :)

 

 

Floor Plans and First World Problems

82162-1LI’ll just go ahead and preface this post with a hashtag: #FirstWorldProblems.

I realize that people might read this and think to themselves, “Hmmmphhh! That’s a problem I would like to have.” But, this is a place that’s about being real and vulnerable so I have to speak honestly.

The deal is: I am up to my neck in this pursuit of finding the right house plan to build a home here in Oklahoma. This is the first and will most likely be the only home I will ever build. So I want to make it just right. Just how I want it. Everything I have ever dreamed. And let me tell you, if you know my personality, decision-making isn’t exactly my forte.

I am always the last person to order at a restaurant. Lord forbid I go to The Cheesecake Factory that has a menu like a book. It takes me forever. And even after I decide, I question if I should have picked something else.

So just imagine the process of sorting through thousands upon thousands of potential home plans. It is beyond daunting. It is down-right intimidating. And it feels as if it is consuming me right now. I’m not kidding. Practically every waking moment, and actually even in my sleep, I am thinking about this house. There are so many options. More decisions to make than you would believe. Do I sound like a wreck right now?

I am a hot mess.

grand canyonI think it is one of those life experiences that you have to experience to truly understand. You know. Like having a baby. Or raising a kid, period. Or how about the Grand Canyon. (I had to throw in the Grand Canyon… if you have ever tried to describe it to someone who has never been there, you know!)

So I am having a “Grand Canyon” moment right now trying to describe the enormity of this House-Plan-Choosing-Process to people. It kinda makes me feel like shallow, self-absorbed, spoiled punk, but somehow that doesn’t make it any less stressful or overwhelming.

It may not be pretty, but it’s real. It’s my life. Can you relate? Think I’m being crazy? Let me have it!

(Or if you’ve been here, I’d love to hear your story of committing to a floor plan! )

OneWord365: Courtney

When the BeBeloved team started writing about their one word for this year, I’d already been thinking along those same lines. I wanted a theme, something I would pursue, learn about, and express for an entire year, hopefully revealing some things about myself and growing the areas of my life that tend to get neglected.

I’ve known for awhile that my word would be CREATE. It was Kim’s word last year, so I’m working my way through any of her blog posts that reference it as I figure out what it means to me. I was hesitant to accept this word for an entire year. It’s pretty challenging to me. But the ideas of creating and consuming have occupied a lot of space in my peripheral vision, and it’s time I dig into what God is trying to say to me about them.

It’s not news to anyone in America that we live in a consumer-driven culture. As we fight against the barrage of stuff flooding our lives, it usually feels like our things own us, not the other way around. I consume all day. Food, entertainment, resources, words- I’m the black hole sucking it all in. And God is talking to me about the amount I consume versus the amount I create. In every area.

image

Of course, as people, we’ll consume resources. I want to consume responsibly. But in insecurity and  fear, I’ve been afraid to create. I haven’t been adding much to the world, because I thought I couldn’t produce anything worthwhile. “Nothing is new under the sun,” so what could I write that someone hasn’t already written? So I stopped writing. Kimberly asked me to contribute to BeBeloved just after I’d had a conversation with a friend who told me, “The world needs to hear your voice.” Also, I needed to hear my voice, and I needed to be vulnerable enough to share it with the world. So I said yes.

I’m saying yes to setting up and valuing creative environments, learning new skills that allow me to create in new ways, finding creative ways to cook that consume less resources, continuing  our little urban homestead and garden (that’s a long story for another time), and finding unique ways to create with my family and community. I’m excited to share some of that with you here. Join me and share what you’re creating?

We’d love to hear your OneWord365 and what it means to you!

Must Be Doing Something Right :)

IMG_8852My little angel turns three today. THREE.

And when I say angel, I mean a little blonde barrel of energy, sometimes snuggly and whispering love-you-mommys, sometimes obstinate and screaming no-I’m-not-going-to-DO-thats, always 100% himself.

I mean, really, just 100% Jack.

I never catch him wondering if he’s good enough, if he can be himself. And it blows me away. I feel like by 3 years old, I had already started to edit myself. I had already been ushered into the role of fixer, one I anxiously assumed into adulthood. Maybe that came later, but honestly, I don’t remember ever feeling as sure of myself as he does in every. single. moment.

And it delights my soul. I watch him and I can’t help but smile. And in the next moment, I’m praying, Please Jesus help me to foster this confidence, to help him be the very best of who you designed him to be and nothing less.

And I just keep doing the work on my own insides, because I know. I know how insecurities are inherited. How we pass down more of how we see ourselves than how we see our kids. I want to model more and more that I trust God’s design in me just as much as I trust it in him. That grace applies to me, too. That when people don’t like me, it’s cool. That other people’s opinions of me only matter so much, because God’s opinion matters more, and to him I am beloved.

So I just keep bringing my broken pieces to God, and He just keeps rearranging them into a mosaic that expresses who I am created to be, and part of who He is, too.

This Saturday we celebrated Jack’s birthday at Chick-fil-A. It felt a little lazy, but hey, we’re moving, people. Jack made the very most of his time with “his best friend” Cow, including leading him on a monster chase around the restaurant. So I’ll leave you with the precious clip that pretty much captures Jack to a T (Sorry about the iPhone portrait view!).

May we all boldly adventure today :)

It’s the “Little” Moments

abudance-silot of person facing skyI went to bed last night with my heart so full. I was overflowing with gratitude, love, and joy. I laid in bed re-walking my day, wondering what was it that made this day so wonderful…

I woke, grabbed a cup of green tea (yep I’m a tea girl) and sat down in my favorite spot. The house was calm, dark, and quiet. I snuggled up with my blanket and tea, and soaked in this time, thinking about all the things I needed and wanted to do. I thought about my dreams and goals, about my husband, Brian, and my friends, about new faces I would encounter…  All these thoughts merged into conversation with the Lord. This time feeds my soul.

I grabbed my favorite breakfast (congee) and more tea, worked a couple of hours, answered emails, and took one last look at a project I would discuss with my boss later in the day. Then I lucked into a huge smile and kiss from my hubby before I headed to yoga.

I was thankful for these moments.

My yoga class is at the Hays County YMCA. The Hays “Y” is a welcoming, thriving community. It reminds me of the sitcom “Cheers”…where everybody knows your name. A friend greets me with a big hug. I burrow in her jacket as it is 61 degrees in the room. Whew! Frigid cold! We start being silly jumping up and down singing some oldie song trying to get warm. Another friend joins us and we do the freezing dance together. (I was actually hoping it would be like the rain dance. But instead of rain coming through the ceiling, the temp in the room would increase. We tried to push it to at least to 65…but to no avail.)

Yoga gives me time to intentionally observe the blend of body, mind, and spirit. Whether I am tight, rigid, and down, or free-flowing, adventurous, and at ease, I learn about myself. It’s a time to focus on receiving more of how God sees me. It’s not about comparison, scarcity, or strife… it’s all about who he created me to be.

As class ended, I met a new friend who showered me with kindness and care; her words moved me to tears. We parted and I rejoined the post-class socializing, where one of the girls was talking about the scorpion pose, which launched us into discussing different challenging poses, and some of the students began trying these out. One would try a pose while the others were cheering her on or helping to physically support her. We laughed at our shaking legs and our wipe outs.

I was thankful for these moments.

I came home grabbed a quick lunch, said hi to Brian, and headed out to meet with my bosses.  They are a husband and wife team, co-owners of TLC Graphics., and all-around beautiful people. I assist them with project managing and operations, and there was a problem with the accounting numbers. My heart sank, but I told my boss I would figure out the issue.

When I arrived home, Brian could see the distraught look on my face. He put his work on hold in order to help me. We figured it out with about 15 minutes to spare before we headed out to spend time with friends. 

I was thankful for these moments.

Me and my handsome man!
Me and my handsome man!

We spent the night with friends, sharing stories and sharing our hearts. Lots of laughter and openness, and a bit of frustration, but our spirits were quieted as we joined together in prayer. Brian and I grabbed a late dinner, watched our favorite show, and then climbed into bed. We lay there chatting, a bit silly with exhaustion. He tells me that he loves me, kisses me, and turns off the light.

I am thankful for these moments!

So, after reviewing my day, I lay in the stillness. I realized I did not have a BIG moment that “made my day.” I pondered, “Why do I get caught up in reaching for those big moments?” The voices around me stress the big moments, and diminish all others, and I choose to believe them. But always striving for the big is a tough hike. It leaves me bitter, frustrated, sad, and disconnected. And, even upon reaching my “biggest” moment, it does not compare to soaring to this height.

Cosmic_Explosion_2_by_JacquelineDI thought about the last several years, each day’s moments drawn together. I love this picture. It is dynamic, colorful, alive…it is me. All of my moments intertwined together forming me, and then pouring out of me upon others. Some with beautiful colors and shapes representing the “uplifting” or even “successful” moments, others with intense lines showing areas of tension or challenge, and then there are those darker, even unnoticed sections of the heartbreaking or sad moments. None was wasted. All intersected. All become a part of me. And…I get to choose how it is expressed in me.

I look to today with anticipation and thankfulness…a new day! More little moments to seek out, entertain, and soak in, and then choose what will shine from within me onto another.

It’s the “little” moments that make me who I am!

What “little” moments are you celebrating today?

Big Risks and Borrowing Courage

Me and Jack at Mt. Bonnell
Me and Jack at Mt. Bonnell. That’s Austin in the background :)

Today I shared some big news over at KimberlyCulbertson.com: Ben, Jack, and I are moving to Austin! Click on over to read all about it :)

Obviously, this has been a very prayerful and reflective time for us. The height of our decision-making journey also coincided with my being horribly, ridiculously sick. Since I couldn’t really do, well, anything, I had a lot of time for prayer, and entirely too much time to think. And let me tell you, I am a thinker. I am a planner in all the best and worst way.

The only time I’m not a planner is when something just seems spiritually clear. Then I’m a jump-now-and-trust-the-parachute-is-there kind of girl. I’d love to tell you that this has always worked in my favor, but I can’t. Every once in a while I hit the ground, hard. But mostly, I’ve learned that there is no adventure if there is no risk, and that God is always there to fix me up when I get it wrong.

At the end of the day,  I want our family to go after big dreams. Even some that don’t work. Maybe even especially ones that don’t work, so that Jack can learn that failure and disappointment are not scary as living life safely on the bench.

So, we’re taking the leap, and sooner than we initially thought. In just under 6 weeks, we’re packing up our life and beginning a new chapter. A new state. A new mission field.

IMG_5191Part of what gives us the courage to take this leap is that we already have good friends in the adventure with us. For the first couple of months we’ll live with our Forge Austin homies Bre and Brian. Breanna also shares her journey here at BeBeloved, too–get ready for lots of selfies of the two of us!! LOL.

To embark on a journey with someone standing firmly in your corner–it’s a gift. It’s a lot different from taking a big risk alone (and we’ve done that, too).

As I’m processing all of this, it has me thinking about what God is doing with this community. I hope that when people come here and read, or jump into our facebook conversation, that they experience this same sensation. It’s a risk to just be who you are, and as you take that leap, or even just struggle to your feet, I hope you know that we are here in your corner.