Our Wedding Day

I’ve been tinkering with words for about two months now, trying to find a way to express how I felt on the day that Josh and I got married. Words that come to mind: peace, joy, excitement, happiness, gratitude… Those are all wonderful and true words to describe our wedding day, but they still fall short of truly capturing what it meant. Entering into a lifelong covenant with my best friend, before God and so many of our family and friends, was such a surreal experience that I am finally forced to admit that I don’t have words sufficient to capture the feeling. So! Instead I will post some of our photos, taken by the fabulous Rebekah Senter. I hope you enjoy getting a glimpse into our day, and that you are encouraged knowing how purposefully and graciously God weaves lives together.

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Slowness

I am always in a hurry. Usually not in an I’m so busy I couldn’t possibly get everything done sort of way, but more like an anxious to get to the next thing and don’t know why sort of way.

There is no joy in that. I so rarely allow myself to enjoy the moment I’m in, because I’m always looking to the next thing. I posted about something similar here, but lately I’ve realized just how much this hurried mindset has infiltrated my daily life. I thought that maybe I was just anxious for the “big” things to arrive, but I notice it in my every day life more and more. When I’m hungry, I hurry to eat, but when I’m eating, I hurry to be finished. When I’m driving to yoga, I’m hurrying to get there on time, but when I’m in the class, I’m anxious for it to be over so I can get to the next thing on my agenda. And so on, and so forth.

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Saturday morning banana pancakes

I’ve found that I can ruin perfectly enjoyable activities (see above- two of my favorite things!) by putting unnecessary pressure on myself to hurry through them, thinking that life is an emergency and I’m on the clock.

Shauna Niequist writes about this beautifully in her new book Present Over Perfect, which I am reading with my friend Kate:

“Who wins, then? I handled it all! I showed them! But who is ‘them’? Who cares? Whose voice am I listening to? What am I trying to prove? What would happen, what would be lost, if I stopped, or if I slowed down to a pace that felt less like a high-speed chase all day, every day?”

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Everyone- go get this book right now!

Slow seems like a negative word to me. I don’t like slowness- not on the interstate, not when I’m making my coffee in the morning, not when I order something on Amazon, not when I’m making dinner, and certainly not when I think of my life in general. But I’m starting to wonder if maybe that’s where the good stuff is. If slowing down would help me notice more, and feel more, and appreciate more. If I slowed down enough to help someone instead of busying myself with my own needs, or if I slowed down enough to ask someone about their day and then actually listen to their response.

This idea of slowness is something I’m experimenting with, and something that does not come easily for me. Somewhere along the way I’ve come to believe that faster is better- more efficient, more valuable, more exciting. On a roller coaster, yes, but not when I want to cultivate deep friendships and explore new parts of the world and actually taste the food that I’m eating. So, here’s to slowness, and to taking the time to enjoy this beautiful life.

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September boat ride on Lake Norman

“We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in You.” -Psalm 39:6-7

 

Loving Lately [#6 – Fall Favorites!]

I would be a terrible wannabe food blogger if I didn’t post about some of my favorite fall-y, pumpkin-y foods, right?! I like to think that I am only minimally affected by the pumpkin craze (am I the only one who thinks PSLs are sickeningly sweet?) but I know that isn’t true. The minute the temps turn a little cooler, I whip out the pumpkin and incorporate it into everything. Two years ago the palms of my hands actually turned orange but we won’t discuss that.

1. Candy corn “trail mix.” This illustrates what I like to call the Candy Corn Paradox- I hate candy corn, but I love candy corn + peanuts. Must be the sweet/salty thing? Either way, this is the easiest, yummiest, halloweeniest snack and there will be a perpetual bowl of it sitting on my counter this fall.

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2. Pumpkin, date, & chia overnight oats. I think I have had this for breakfast every day for the past 2-3 weeks. I can’t get enough! I make it the night before and grab it to eat in the car on my way to work. Bonus- it tastes sooo good with coffee. Here is the basic recipe I use:

-1/2 cup oatmeal
-4-5 chopped dates
-1-2 tablespoons chia seeds
-big spoonful of pumpkin
-1ish cup (maybe less) milk of choice
-lotssss of cinnamon
-toppings (refer to #3!)

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I mix it up in a mason jar the night before and voila! In the morning you have a magical breakfast. I love adding nuts/nut butter on top for deliciousness and satiety.

3. Roasted salted sunflower seeds. I don’t think these have anything to do with fall but why are they so good in and on everything?? I put them on salads, oatmeal, a spoon, you name it. These are relatively cheap at TJ’s and lately I have been loving them on top of salad along with chickpeas, dill, and a lemon tahini dressing. They add the perfect amount of salty crunch.

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4. Pumpkin buckwheat pancakes + maple syrup. Sorry, Aunt Jemima, but you aren’t cutting it anymore. My cousins recently brought me some maple syrup they tapped from their own trees, and it puts all of the store bought stuff to shame. I didn’t think these pumpkin buckwheat pancakes could get any better, but then the syrup thing happened and they totally did. Also, according to a trusted source (google.com), buckwheat has tons of health benefits and is pretty much a super-flour.

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Here is the pancake recipe I’ve been using:

-3/4 cup buckwheat flour
-1/4 cup whole wheat flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-pinch of salt
-1 tablespoon brown sugar
-2 tablespoons oats
-lots of cinnamon and allspice
-1 egg
-1 cup milk
-1 tablespoon melted coconut oil (I’m sure any oil would work here)

The pancakes are next level delicious with sunflower seed butter on top, like in the photo above!

5. Dill. So much for my fall theme, because I’m pretty sure this is more of a summer thing. Either way, I somehow just discovered it and have been adding it to whatever I can! Last Friday I put it on salmon along with some lemon + olive oil and it was delicious.

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Thanks for reading, friends!