Thursday, February 5, 2015

invest in people. period.

"Invest in people who invest in you."

A fleeting quote that I scrolled past quickly on a recent, late night pinning streak.

Huh.  How about that...

I'm not sure where it came from or who said it or the context of the particular conversation that drew the individual of this comment to their finite conclusion.

I imagine it must have been from a place of resolution, self-preservation, personal experience.

But I have to respectfully disagree.

It doesn't add up.  And I don't think we're designed to work like that.

What if the history of the world had been defined by individuals and leaders who only paid attention to the people who were capable of returning the favor?  What if we only gave the time of day to the people who could help us out?  What if we only reached out to the people who could give us a tangible something?

No.  That can't be right.

Mother Teresa didn't move to Calcutta because the people there would catapult her to fame and fortune.  Martin Luther King, Jr. didn't write his "I have a dream..." speech and share it with a small group of private donors.  Jesus didn't sit down with the people who had the nicest homes or the best jobs or the finest choice of livestock.


Our culture is motivated by prosperity at all costs.  And I fall prey to the expectations that are set for me by society and accept them for myself.  But I think we've got it all wrong.

What if we just loved?  What if we truly chose to put on love (Colossians 3:14)  and love one another deeply (1 Peter 4:8) and place love above all else (1 Corinthians 13:13)?

Because love is a game changer.  And I don't want to decide that loving the people who love me back is enough.  I want to live a life that is defined by love.  I want to invest in people.  Invest my time and my resources and my life into others.  Because I think that is what Jesus is calling me to do.

Invest in people who invest in you.

Invest in people. Period.

(shout out to Millie for the smudges. wet noses can be tricky.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

scruffy city streets

I started this post ages ago.  And never got around to finishing it. Until tonight.  I've decided to start an "unfinished" series.  I'm committing to completing all of the posts that are currently sitting pretty as "drafts".  So, here goes.

I live downtown.  It is an absolute dream.  Truly.  I've always imagined living in a place where I could walk down the stairs of my loft over to a grocery or a coffee shop or a book store or a quaint little local retail store.  And now, I do.

And yet, I forget that this is my neighborhood sometimes.  That this is the place that I call home - and it is a real life "living the dream" type of scenario.

Downtown has taught me to simplify.  That living in one room is plenty of space for a person and a dog.  That desks don't have to be big.  That chests of drawers can double as coffee stations and faux mantles work great for holding stockings.

And I'm thankful for simplicity.  I'm thankful for living in a city that is thriving and strong, but is pretty quiet once 10 o'clock rolls around.  I'm thankful for historic buildings that stand only a few stories tall.  I'm thankful for the character that is so evident when you walk these streets.

And I've had the realization that these days are some of my glory days.  That, sometime, I'll fondly reminisce on these magical, downtown days of mine.  And I'll smile and decide that Jordan and I need to have a dinner date in Market Square immediately.

But for now, I'll enjoy my view.  And I'll take a few extra walks on these scruffy city streets.

Friday, January 23, 2015


I have come to love Friday mornings.  Serving in the church means that my work week is Sunday-Thursday, so Fridays are sweet and least most of the time.

This morning, I woke up to sound of soft winter rain.  The kind of rain that feels like Grace. (Well, I think all rain feels like Grace.  But this shower is especially Grace-full.)

And I've had this thought as I eat my toast and drink my chai tea...What if breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, but for a totally different reason from what I've always assumed?

You see, I've never been much of a morning person.  But these days, my mornings are sacred.  They are the quiet, stillness my life so desperately needs.  And breakfasts, well, they require me to sit and sip and settle.  And it seems that breakfast is the time when I can sit and revel in the fact that His mercies are new every morning.  And I can intimately say, "In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus."  And I'm not consumed by lists or expectations, I'm just still.  I'm just sitting on a stool at the prep table my Papa prepared so many meals on, breaking bread with the Morning.

Maybe breakfast matters because it gets our metabolism running.

Or maybe, breakfast matters because it is a benediction.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

thursday thoughts: #newyear

I always get a little reflective around the New Year.  Generally, it hits me a few days after the ball know, when you finally get back into the swing of things and realize that life goes on - regardless of where you stand with your resolutions.

So, 2015 is gonna be a year of intentionality for me. I think. I hope.  It is going to be a big year.  A year of a new last name NO BIG DEAL. (Oh, wait.  That is actually a huge deal.  Good grief.  Oh happy day! But I digress.)

I want this to be a year of choices I make using my head and my heart.  A year when I pursue Jesus fervently.  A year when I write more handwritten notes.  A year when I eat more fruits and veggies and less chips and salsa...well, we'll see about that - let's just start with more fruits and veggies.  A year when I use time wisely.  A year when I read more books.  A year when I make space for creativity and coffee dates and movie nights and walks with my dog and the Holy Spirit.  A year when I chase Light and hope to shed some of my own.  A year when I marry my sweet fiancĂ©, the love of my heart, my closest companion.  A year of late nights and early mornings.  A year when I feel spent because of working hard and learn to truly rest, to be still.

I want this to be a year that I don't make a finite set of resolutions that make me feel guilty if when I fall short.  I want this to be a year that is full of life changes, heart changes.  Where my eyes are opened to the people and places right under my nose.  Where I hold grace before grudges.  Where I laugh. A lot.  Where I dive deep into the Word.  Where, above all, I love.

I know that is idealistic.  I know I sound like a hopeless romantic.  But why not?  Why not strive for what seems like lofty, extreme, over-the-top kind of dreams?  After all, "God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control" (2 Timothy 1:7).

So, 2015, I tip my hat to you.  And I'm excited.  Because you're going to be a little different, I can just feel it.