Daily Bread

I am realizing something absolutely ridiculous: I can stress myself out trying to de-stress. Can anyone relate?! (Please say yes please say yes…) Particularly when I know I have a busy week coming up, I try to hoard rest time as if it will last me throughout the coming days.

I do this spiritually, too. I can get myself all in a tizzy trying to store up peace and joy and love for the week ahead, like the Israelites hoarding manna when God told them only to gather enough for that day.

If you are familiar with the story, you know that the people who stockpiled manna found that it didn’t last them forever. In fact, it lasted only a day and then rotted. Similarly, I don’t think God intends for me to “stockpile” these fruits of the Spirit like I’m going to the grocery store to load up for the week. He wants me to rely on Him each day, in each moment, and He promises to faithfully provide what I need when I need it.

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Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow because each day has enough trouble of its own. Instead of wasting energy worrying about what tomorrow might bring, we are told to “keep in step with the Spirit,” and to trust that in each moment, His grace will be sufficient.

I wonder if, on some level, I’m trying to hoard these feelings of peace and joy when I can because I don’t trust that God will provide them for me each day. Do I really believe what Lamentations says, that His mercies are new every morning? That He longs to show us compassion, and delights in giving grace? I wonder.

Living a life in step with the Spirit is a dynamic, daily adventure. It isn’t like going to the ATM, where we can just withdraw a bunch of money and then not have to be inconvenienced again for awhile. It makes sense, because Jesus is clear in that He wants to draw us into a relationship with Himself, not a business deal or a long-distance pen pal thing. This relationship involves daily trust and communication.

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I’m realizing how silly it is for me to treat the weekends as if they are my only time of rest and peace. It’s funny because my weeks often bring me so much joy- I love my job, I love where I live, I love doing daily life with Josh. Although the weekday grind can feel stressful at times, there is no reason to believe that Jesus won’t come through for me in those moments and offer His abundant grace.

So here’s to enjoying the weekend, resting in the fact that we never have to hoard the good stuff that God delights in giving us each day.

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Pittsburgh Wedding

So… my mom got remarried this weekend! Josh, my sister and I all piled into my car on Friday morning to drive up for the festivities. My brother flew in and met us there (lucky duck). It was a super short trip but we squeezed in a lot- it kind of felt like a family reunion! The ceremony and reception were both at the Edgeworth Country Club, which was beautiful. Here’s a quick photo recap of the weekend:

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Cute little street where we stayed in Sewickley (our AirBnB was the top floor of that brick house)
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Rehearsal dinner at Andora
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My mom, sister & me (my brother evades all photos)
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Getting ready with my sweet grams- who always has a cup of coffee at the ready 😉
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Right before my gorgeous mama walked down the aisle!
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Because why not 🙂
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Fact: I will always order the salmon at weddings
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The newlyweds!
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Watching my grandparents dance is just the best
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And finally… it wouldn’t be a roadtrip without a flat tire! (Yes- that is a bike pump. We were desperate.)

After a wonderful weekend and some brief tire trouble, we made our way back to Raleigh on Sunday. I always feel a little sad when a happy weekend ends, but we have lots to look forward to in the coming weeks so I’m going to choose to focus on that instead. Hope everyone has a great week and enjoys the first lovely signs of FALL!

Bulletproof Coffee

Fall is slowly making her debut here in Raleigh, and I am starting to get excited about warm drinks and coziness. The mornings have been much cooler, and it has me pulling out my blender to whip up some magical “bulletproof coffee.”

If you are hesitant to add fat and calories to your beverages, then back away slowly. But if you love creamy delicious drinks and having lots of energy and happy feels, then keep reading and make this stuff stat!

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Bulletproof Coffee (serves 1)
-8 ounces hot coffee
-1 tablespoon butter
-1 tablespoon coconut oil
-1/4 cup coconut milk (I use the canned full-fat kind, usually Goya or Trader Joe’s brand)
-honey to taste

Buzz this up in the blender for a few seconds, pour into your favorite mug (this step is crucial), and enjoy.

Happy (almost) fall!

Paying Attention

It feels like I am on this constant quest to slow down, pay attention, and be more present in my life. I have read so many wonderful books on this subject, and right now I am reading The Attentive Life by Leighton Ford. I figured we might all need a little midweek reminder of the importance of paying attention (or at least trying to!). Ford says this:

“Hurry is the great enemy of the life of the spirit… I suppose that most of us live more like tourists rushing to keep up with an itinerary than pilgrims drinking in the lands we are passing through.”

“Attentiveness is much more than our attempt to see and understand; it is a species of faith, an open and receptive trust that God has much to reveal to us when we pay attention.”

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Loving Lately [#14- Trader Joe’s Edition]

It’s been such a weird couple weeks with all of this crazy weather, and it’s strange to me that I’m going about life as usual while so many others have had their lives completely turned upside down. Here is a link to sustainable relief funds if you are interested.

In the meantime, I am going to lighten things up a bit here on the blog by chitchatting about some recent Trader Joe’s finds:

1. Salted almond butter. This little jar of happiness is $6.99, which is one of the best prices I’ve found. I love to eat it on a sandwich, on a spoon, or- my personal favorite- stuffed into a medjool date.


2. Coconut milk. I don’t know much, but I know that putting this coconut milk in your smoothie will make you cry tears of joy. It makes smoothies next-level delicious! Sometimes I’ll pour the milk into ice cube trays and keep them in the freezer so I always have a cube or two when I need it. I also use the coconut milk a lot in curries, or as coffee creamer.


3. Grass fed beef burgers. Not much to say about these other than that they are burgers and I love them. Bun + grilled burger + pickles + ketchup/mustard is the besttt dinner paired with some salad and sweet potato fries. I’m not yet willing to admit that summer/grilling season is coming to an end!


4. Coconut cream yogurt. I am totally down for anything coconut flavored, and this was no exception. It was creamy, sweet, perfectly coconutty, and might just be my new favorite yogurt.


5. Pink lady apple kombucha. I’m not going to lie, at first I didn’t love the taste of this. As I sipped on it throughout the day, though, it started to grow on me (you better believe I’m not letting a $3 drink go to waste!). I ended up really enjoying it, and I recently bought a kit to brew my own… Stay tuned!


Praying for everyone’s safety this week! Praying also that we would cling to Christ’s promise that He will “never leave us nor forsake us,” and that He will be with us in the troubles and uncertainties of life.

Self-Righteous

Here is something I love about Jesus: He is not self-righteous.

If you’ve been around church for any length of time, then these verses will likely be familiar to you:

“Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to His disciples, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’ Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'” -Luke 5:29-32

I’m going to be honest- lately I have felt sad and heartbroken over attitudes and actions within the church that I perceive to be self-righteous. But then I read this and remember that while we humans may be prone to pride and self-righteousness, Jesus never is. There is absolutely no darkness in Him at all (1 John 1:5). While I love the church and intend to belong to a community of believers until the day I die, I have to remind myself that it is Jesus I’m following, not the institution of the church.

I need to pause here and point out that I, too, am susceptible to self-righteousness. My sinful heart is all too prone to create an “us” and “them” mentality, smugly satisfied when I find myself on what I perceive to be the higher moral ground. It makes me sick to admit that because I never ever want that to be true of me, but that is human nature and I know that I am no exception.

I want to be transformed into the character and likeness of Jesus, not of our culture. I want to look more like the One who gladly ate with sinners and called us into His Kingdom and loved us to the point of sacrificing His own life. There is absolutely no room for self-righteousness or moral superiority in a heart that mirrors Christ’s.

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While I continue to wrestle with prevailing attitudes in Christian culture and in my own heart, I never want to forget who it is that I’m truly following. Because, “you see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly… God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6,8)