Catch Up: SC Times Three

Monday, December 09, 2019

Sprinkled throughout the posts I bring your way, is going to be an effort to share the happenings of the time this space sat dormant. I've got a stack of index cards with things all planned out, a year's worth of pictures, and the words to tell the tales. 

First up, are the three trips I took to SC. There was the trip I took in August of 2018 which was planned at the last possible minute because my Dad had been on me allllll summer to come and make use of his pool before he closed it up for the season even though he knew I had been planning a trip that same November for my brother's birthday. The price and timing were right and one last bit of warmth before a North Idaho winter set in sounded pretty fantastic, so I packed my bags and went. I timed that trip so that I could celebrate my Dad's birthday with him as well. We traveled to Greenville and Asheville and ate cake and cooked out and met up with my Mom's side of the family. I accidentally ran into Robyn after countless tries to see each other when I've been in the area. I got to see the place were Zelda Fitzgerald died and the window where Scott looked out his window on the guests coming and going as he worked on his latest scenes.

Then, came THE trip I had been looking forward to all year (the pictures from this trip, are mostly on my phone...I need to figure out how to add them to this post). Summer was long gone, fall had set in, and I was about to celebrate my brother's birthday with him for the first time in 9 years. We were both beside ourselves. Little did we know that trip was marked by the beginning of a brand new relationship that would end up changing the course of well...everything. He says he totally called it. I was quite clueless and wondered when God was going to show me (or the guy) that it was time to walk away. I finally got to meet Renee and we sat in a little DD sipping hot drinks and chatting until the last possible minute about all that God was up to and totally enjoying sitting across the table without miles and keyboards in between us!

Then, following that relationship continuing and progressing to the point of getting engaged and planning a spring wedding, my sister and I made what we dubbed our "last hoorah trip" in April. That trip was marked by the three of us (my brother, sister, and I) driving out to Charleston to see the sights and the faces of ALLLLL the cousins we have down there.

It's crazy to me that I can sum up those momentous occasions with three paragraphs and a handful of pictures. I guess that's how life goes. The memories and fondness live on. Those three trips, each at the end of one season and beginning of another (literally and figuratively) will stand as major mile markers and times I'm increasingly grateful for. Every time I say my see you laters on the East Coast, there are two questions on everyone's mind, namely, "When will she be back?" and "Will she ever be back for good?"

Each time my visit begins winding down, I go over them again and again. I wipe the tears from my eyes as I've done for 24 years this day after Christmas and I shrug my shoulders and take a deep breath and rest in the fact that while I really don't know, He does. I'm no closer to knowing than I was before. A number of things have kept me on the West Coast all these years and behind every one of those things is the God who establishes the steps of my visits and my residence.

I say see you later trusting that there will be a later and that my home for now is granted me by Him. I text and call and flip through the pictures and make the food and the tea and remember. I thank Him for all the love and memories the East Coast holds and work hard to believe that I'll always be right where He means for me to be.

On Advent, Writing, and Life Right Now

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Lisbon, Portugal // May 28, 2019

I'm sitting cross legged on the floor because it's good for Baby listening to a Christmas Jazz playlist sipping an iced brown sugar latte surrounded by my planner and the index cards I filled with editorial notes for this space back in September with a heart encouraged by today's Advent devotions, an early morning drive with my sister, and the December temperatures that have it RAINING today. If the length of that sentence should tell you something, it's that this post is going to be ALL OVER THE PLACE. 

Grab a drink. Settle in. And let's have a coffee date. K? 

This Advent, I've got four things going. And not surprisingly, every day's reading ties together. I'm kind of amazed because they're not only tying together, they're reinforcing what God has been teaching me lately. While what I really want to do is come here each day to type up an Advent devotional of my own that sums up what I've been learning, I'll settle for taking it down in my journal and continuing to come here when I can. 

I will share with you what I'm doing and what the last three days have held...I begin each morning with the day's literature themed devotion from Biola University that you can find HERE. Then, I click over to my email where I have been receiving the Gentle Leading Advent guide from Abbey that you can sign up for HERE. After that, I go through my daily Bible reading plan (currently, I'm going through 1 Samuel and a Psalm). On Sundays, I finish up by opening up the pdf The Village Church made available and scrolling down to the page that corresponds to that week of Advent which you can find HERE

On Monday, I found myself steeped in HOPE and the light of the Gospel which is Christ Himself that shines out into the darkness of this world. On Tuesday, I was reminded that God has prepared a HOME for us and that we are on our way there. Today, I was reminded of the PATTERN OF FAITH and that while we wait, there are promises of God that require no waiting. Along the way, I listened to a sermon my Mom shared and have continued working my way through Piper's series on the God who strengthens His people. Let's just say...There is no shortage of truth. God's Word goes out and gets passed around and as it does, He works in our hearts to make them sure and firm and GLAD IN HIM. 

Even my prayers have changed lately. As I pray, I don't just pray for peace or faith or joy or help. I pray that God would draw those on my heart and mind to Himself and satisfy them with Himself as He teaches them to know Him and to be known by Him. Somehow...I expected and prayed for His blessing over them without longing for them to walk with Him and was disappointed by their struggles. My struggle to trust God makes so much sense and I'm watching it give way as I seek His will in His way ACCORDING to His Word. I'm not just praying that He would do them good, but rather, that He Himself would BE their good. 

As far as writing goes, I'm back to that place where the only writing I seem to be doing is in my journal. I've found myself there a lot over the years and then slowly but surely I get drawn back to the pages elsewhere. I still have dreams of being published and passing my words around and maybe even making some money. There is no "good" time or "right" time, you just have to sit in the chair and write and keep at it. Lately, I think about the women before me who have carved out space for their craft. They've silenced every excuse and made room. And something came of it all. They have books and articles and interviews and thankful people to their names. Some of them, like Mary Higgins Clark who just released another fantastic suspense novel are 91 and STILL AT IT. Their stories encourage me. They wrote in private. They were rejected. They figured it out and kept writing and found a way to get their words out there and that was the real work, after that, they just had to keep doing what they'd been doing all along and maintain willingness to share it. 

That's mainly what I had tumbling around my mind this morning as I shuffled around our apartment. I think I'll go ahead and hit publish, hoping this makes some kind of sense.

What's happening in your life right now?

What has God been using to encourage your soul?