Enough

Hi friends!

Just popping in to let you know that I have a guest post today over on In The Quiver, where I talk about the relentless pursuit of being “enough” and how it is ultimately fruitless. You can check it out here. Hope you enjoy!

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First Anniversary

This weekend, Josh and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary! We stayed at an AirBnB in downtown Durham and basically just ate our way through the city. It was glorious.

I initially wanted to write a post on things we’ve learned during our first year of marriage, but I think I’ll save that for another time. At the end of the day, we really don’t know a whole lot other than that God’s grace is relentless and that He delights in giving good gifts to His children (praise!!!). Marriage can be challenging, sure, but it can also be full of so much joy and laughter and just plain fun. I am so so so thankful for our first year of marriage and can’t wait to keep building on it.

Without further ado, let me share some snapshots of our weekend in Durham! (Disclaimer: If you hate delicious food, then you might want to skip this post.)

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Our lovely little loft for the weekend
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Burger (with pickled watermelon!) at Bull City Burger

Lavender vanilla ice cream! (also at Bull City Burger)
Bananagrams at The Atomic Fern
Flowers from the Durham farmers market
Arepas for lunch at Luna
Mocha chip ice cream from The Parlour


Card games at Pour Taproom

Morning donuts + coffee from Rise
Church at the Carolina Theatre
Lunch at Happy + Hale (again!)
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Our only couple pic of the trip!

Bottom line: we love marriage, Durham, and tasty food! I’m praying for many many more years of marriage and adventuring together. ❤

Seeking the Lord

I love how the Word of God gets all up in ya business. One minute I’m reading along, just hoping for a nugget of encouragement, when- BAM!- a truth bomb hits. Before I continue with the purpose of this post, I have to confess that a lot of times my prayers to God sound like a laundry list of things I think I need. How annoying of me, right? Like what if every night at dinner I just sat down and pointed out to Josh all the things he hasn’t given me? It’s even worse to do this to the Lord, who has graciously “given us everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

So anyway, the other day I’m reading the Bible, my mind filled with various requests, when I stumble upon this:

“The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” -Psalm 34:10

I wonder how I would live if I truly believed this Psalm. What if I truly believed that God gave me everything I would ever need when He sent Jesus to die in my place, and that anything else He gives or withholds is for my good and His glory? I’m thinking I would live with a lot more contentment and joy. Probably a lot more trust in Him, too. I don’t want to live like I think God is holding out on me. Isn’t that the original sin (Genesis 3:1-6)?

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John Piper describes the continual seeking of the Lord in this way: “It is the conscious fixing or focusing of our mind’s attention and our heart’s affection on God.” I don’t think it’s that God is hiding from us, but rather that our minds often don’t behold His ever-present glory and goodness because we are distracted by lesser things.

This week, I’m going to be repeating Psalm 34:10 in my mind as I go about my days. I’m going to practice remembering the truth that God is for me, and that when I genuinely seek Him, I find that He is every good thing I really need.

Happy + Hale

This Saturday, Josh took me on a surprise lunch date to a place called Happy + Hale! The man obviously knows me, because when we got there I wanted to order the entire menu. The store has locations in both Raleigh and Durham, and we checked out the Durham location. I loved everything about it- the atmosphere, the friendly staff, and of course, the food.

After much deliberation, I finally just asked someone what to order and they told me the Incredibowl (called the “Incredibull” at the Bull City location 😉 ) was their favorite, so I got that along with a can of kombucha. Josh ordered the Protein Bowl and the Hale Mary smoothie.

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The above photo does not even do my meal justice! It was full of beets, nuts, butternut squash, black beans, quinoa, and avocado. It also had a lemon tahini dressing which I am recreating at home as soon as possible.

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We had such a good experience at Happy + Hale and can’t wait to go back. I have my eye on the Almond Brothers smoothie (coffee + chocolate!) and the Ahi Poke Bowl, just to name a few. If you are ever in the Raleigh-Durham area, I highly recommend this place!

Loving Lately [#13]

1. The Next Right Thing podcast. I love Emily’s writing, and it turns out that her speaking is just as good. Her voice is so calming! I love how these podcasts are relatively simple and straightforward, yet so full of wisdom.

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2. Homemade brownies (from the WakeMed farmers market). No words, just happiness.

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3. Headspace. I totally decided to hop on the meditation app bandwagon, and I’m so glad I did. I’ve only used it for two days so far (slow clap), but I really enjoy it! They have super cute graphics and there are several shorter meditations for us beginners, not to mention that the speaker (at least in the ones I’ve listened to) has an Australian accent. Love! My goal is to do at least 5 minutes each weekday and slowly work up to longer meditations.

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4. Iced blueberry tea. All I do is boil water and steep the tea for about 10 minutes, then mix in a bit of honey and stick it in the fridge. Voila- delicious and perfectly sweetened blueberry iced tea for the next day! (Ps can we talk about how cute that bear on the tea box is?!)

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5. She Reads Truth. First of all, this site is just beautiful. Second of all, there are FREE devotionals every day and they are full of Scripture + truth! They are also very succinct, which is nice if you only have a few minutes and need to remind your soul of the Gospel (speaking for myself here!).

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This is my current lock screen courtesy of She Reads Truth 🙂

Happy weekending!

Peaches, Perseid, & Peace

Hope everyone had a fun weekend! It’s looking like it might be a gray week here in Raleigh, which I will happily take as an excuse to curl up on the couch each night with a book and some tea. No shame in my granny game!

This weekend we had two of our good friends fly in from New Jersey to spend the weekend with us, which was so much fun. I’m just realizing I didn’t take many photos, which I think is a sign that I was present and enjoying myself in the moment. 🙂

On Saturday we woke up and had a delicious breakfast- eggs, bacon, buttermilk pancakes- before walking around on NC State’s campus and then strolling around the farmers market.

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Josh and the giant peach! 😉

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In the afternoon we relaxed, went to the pool, and grilled out (grilled peaches = the best). We had been expecting rain all day but it ended up being hot and sunny, so I was happy we got to spend most of the day outside.

On Saturday night we drove out to Jordan Lake to see the Perseid meteor shower, but when we got there, a park ranger informed us it was “cancelled” due to clouds/lightning! We ended up staying by the lake and just looking at the stars for a little which was actually really nice.

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Definitely not my photo, but I wish it was!

On Sunday we sadly had to drop our friends off at the airport in the morning. From there, Josh and I went to our prayer group (which I always love!) and then decided to skip the actual church service in favor of going to Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. Same thing, right?

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Just look at that purposeful stride!

Josh and I are suckers for a good bargain, so our trip to Ollie’s felt something like Christmas. Boxes of Kashi cereal for $1.99? A huge jug of Tide detergent for $7? Bags of almonds that we don’t need just because they were cheap? Yes please!

On Sunday evening we hosted small group at our apartment, and we briefly talked about the events that transpired in Charlottesville over the weekend. It makes me sick to my stomach just to think about. On the flip side, it also makes me even more hopeful for Heaven, where, “I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9).

I am often naively shocked at acts of evil that are committed in our world, and it reminds me how important it is to share the message of reconciliation wherever we are. On that note, I hope everyone has a great week and finds some ways to spread the love and peace of Christ wherever you go!

 

Loving Lately [#12]

It’s Friday, friends! Let’s celebrate! I feel like I had to really fight for my joy this week, but I think that’s just how life is sometimes. I’m realizing more and more how much of a discipline it is to make space for cultivating gratitude, joy, and peace. I recently read a quote by Mike Foster that said, “Life is messy, hard, and weird. We don’t have to act surprised anymore.” Preach! Anywho, here are a few things making me happy lately:

1. Kids’ fiction books. I read Heidi (such a sweet little story) and am now making my way through the Little House on the Prairie books. I am so into them! I find that kids’ fiction is such a fun escape.

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2. All the Light We Cannot See. Speaking of books, this is the best fiction book I’ve read in a long time. It’s set during World War II and intertwines the stories of a young blind French girl and a German soldier. I don’t want to spoil anything but just trust me when I say this is an extremely riveting/compelling/creative/all-the-good-adjectives story!

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3. Siggi’s. I recently told a patient that I had been wanting to try this yogurt, and the next day her husband brought me in a whole bunch of them! So sweet and thoughtful! So far I have tried blueberry, lingonberry and strawberry, mixed berry and acai, and coconut. My favorite is probably the coconut, with blueberry a close second. They are pretty tasty on their own, but my favorite way to eat them is topped with lots of fruit/nuts/granola.

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4. How I Built ThisI am always looking for new podcasts, and this one is a winner. I’ve only listened to a couple so far, but they are so inspiring and remind me that it’s okay to dream big and take risks. Always a much needed reminder for my play-it-safe, cautious self!

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5. Teeccino. You guys. I gave up caffeine for a whole week and lived to tell the tale. I a) wanted to see if I could do it, and b) wanted to see if it improved the quality of my sleep. Results? Yes to both! I’ve partially returned to my caffeinated ways, drinking tea most days and saving coffee for only an occasional thing. I love the taste of coffee and don’t want to fully give it up. Anyway, during my caffeine-free week I drank Teeccino in the mornings and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Don’t get me wrong- it is not coffee (although it is marketed as a “caffeine-free herbal coffee”… isn’t herbal coffee an oxymoron?). If you can appreciate this tea for what it is without expecting it to taste like a Starbucks latte, then it’s pretty delicious! It can be kind of difficult to track down, but I ended up finding it at Earth Fare.

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Two of our good friends are coming into town later today, so I’m really looking forward to that. Hope everyone finds something fun and relaxing to do this weekend!

Rest, Work, Play

Mondays come around so fast, don’t they?! I worked on Saturday so the weekend felt a little shorter than normal, but I was still able to enjoy spending time with family who was in town (pictured below!), hanging out with one of my best friends, and going to church with Josh on Sunday.

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I had difficulty sleeping on Saturday night, so Sunday I was up early with lots of time on my hands before church. I have been haphazardly rereading (for the thousandth time) An Unhurried Life, and I decided to dive into it for awhile in the quiet of the morning.

A few things struck me, one being that I have once again allowed myself to devolve into “busyness.” I swear I don’t know how it happens! One minute I’m feeling rested and peaceful, the next I’m running around from activity to activity with no time to stop and smell the proverbial flowers.

I love this quote from the book:

“Today many of us have been so conditioned by efficiency that times of sitting on the porch feel unproductive, irresponsible, lazy, even selfish. We know we need rest, but we can no longer see the value of rest as an end in itself; it is only worthwhile if it helps us recharge our batteries so we can be even more efficient in the next period of productivity.” -Gerald May

I definitely feel that way. When I do give myself time to rest, or to do something just for fun, I feel like I am “wasting” time. What a joyless way of living! I constantly go back to the words of Jesus telling us to become like little children. Kids have fun, they are typically pretty carefree, and they aren’t afraid to infuse their days with both rest and play.

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Slow breakfasts are almost always a priority for me 😉

Another thing that hit me is that just because I’m busy doesn’t mean I’m being productive. I can have 20 things on my calendar and it doesn’t necessarily mean that any of them are worthwhile endeavors.

Along those lines, Alan Fadling writes, “Sometimes we get snared by the belief that we are what we do. What we do is an expression of who we are; what we do does not establish who we are. This reversal of primary identity and secondary identity can energize unhealthy drivenness and be deadly to our soul. Such hyperactivity may produce impressive quantitative results, but the consequent heart-hardening hinders the degree to which the Spirit might energize these efforts.”

Am I producing good quality work that is honoring to God? Or am I just being busy, a hamster on a wheel, cramming my days full of hurried activity so that I feel valuable?

I so desperately do not want to settle for a merely busy life.

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[Source]
Fadling later references 1 Corinthians 15:10, which says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them- yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”

He elaborates on the above Scripture, writing, “Grace enables quality, hard work. Grace does not inspire fruitless overwork.” 

Add that to the list of things that I am constantly learning and relearning. Sometimes I think all my knowledge stays up in my head and never trickles down to my hands and feet, to action. This week I am looking forward to a chance to practice all of this. Quality of work over quantity. Plenty of rest and “unproductive” fun. More peace and less hurry. Bring it on.

Ocean Isle Beach

Josh and I just got back from a long weekend with his family in Ocean Isle and I am feeling sun-dazed! Sometimes a few days away from “normal life” is the best medicine. I am also a huge fan of any vacation where the only agenda is to spend time together, be outside, and eat good food.

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Josh and I started each morning with breakfast and a bike ride. It was usually pretty cool in the mornings, so it was nice to get in a bike ride before the heat crept in.

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Waffle-ironed peanut butter & banana sandwich = best decision 

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Our days were mostly spent at the beach- playing volleyball, making sand castles, jumping in the waves, and floating in the ocean on our giant raft. In the evenings we would play games, go on walks, and of course, enjoy good food and drinks. 🙂

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All the sun and activity was exhausting, but in the best way possible, where you feel content and relaxed each night and then sleep like a rock. Nothing better.

One evening we went to Sugar Shack for dinner- if you are ever in Ocean Isle, you have to go! I don’t even like wings that much and I could have eaten an entire plate of their jerk chicken wings. Nothing was spicy, just super flavorful and delicious. Plus everyone who worked there was so friendly and accommodating.

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The crew at Sugar Shack!

Now we are back in Raleigh and getting into the swing of things with laundry, grocery shopping, and work. I always have a hard time transitioning from vacation back into the daily rhythms of life, so I am making an extra effort to be intentional about finding joy in the little moments. Hope everyone is having a great week and squeezing out every drop of summer from these long and beautiful days!

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