Archive for November, 2008

just five.
November 16, 2008


It’s not just recognizing the grand answers to the years-long cries…

and it’s not just stopping to smell the roses…

it’s both.

Because as Dr. Estes is always reminding me…when it comes to God…there is great AND there is good.

In every day there are distinct replies to prayers or echoes & after-effects of replies, and there are quiet and small but lovely moments that just need to be held…

Today was one of those days.

Ushering the morning in with Phil Wickham…Apex…worship…prayer…Truth…spending time with my beloved roomie Janie…running into old friends…lunch at The Greene…a thrill of cold air and Holiday spirit…hands curled around a perfectly frothed hot soy peppermint chai…glitter and sweet scents at Sephora…singing Christmas songs…a warm and needed nap…a romantic movie…Rosie Thomas’s music online to listen to instead of simply my clicking at these keys.

Let’s answer some things together.

In the last five years, can you think of just five ways God has distincly answered you?
For me… hmmm…

1. It’s always come down to the wire, yet God has always provided me with a place to live…and through that I have made some of the best friends a girl could ask for …at The Bentley…at The Lodge…on Soule Drive…and here on South Monroe, and I look so forward to moving to Indianapolois in a few weeks… (even though we don’t have a house yet.)

2.  I have prayed for a church home and I have been exceedingly blessed- with two! Apex Community in Kettering, OH and Common Ground Christian Church in Indy… there isn’t enough breath to say how much those families…those brothers and sisters… what they mean… how they love like Jesus… oh I love you.

3.  A prayer I never even wrapped words around was my longing for a best friend after losing mine… Andrea Beth, you are the best friend I’ve ever known.  You have blessed my life in an exponential way that was beautiful because of Bob and Angelala and Mirn and Zach and Sissy and other family and friends, but is now even more so.

4.  For purpose.  It ain’t been extraordinary, but it has been evident. There were specific moments and prayers and conversations where I felt so valuable because of the God who was revealing the eternal in the everyday…at O’Charley’s…at Curves…at Rosewalk…at Arnett… and the women and men I met there gave my life a mission…a meaning… and they most likely don’t even know it.

5.  And most important…to know Him.
Still getting there… but thank you my Jesus for revealing yourself in my church, my house church and through my beloveds…my prayer will continue to know You for just You.

What are just five smile-causing, heart-cheering, soul-breathing-a-sigh-of-relief moments you’ve had just this last week?

1. Praying with Lauren & Janie till almost 5am.

2. Gifting the Gombis family.

3. Coloring my hair strawberry.

4. The thrill of Christmas shopping for my family… my absolute favorite.

5. A good fifteen minutes of just stretching and breathing after a really hard workout.

Bonus: Eating the world’s most delicious sandwich today at The Cheesecake Factory… the Monte Cristo… all you need to know is that it involved French toast, ham and jam.  I was in heaven.

What are just five utterly ridiculous things that just make you happy?

1. Be-bopping to my iPhone on the walk to my 8am class.

2. When people laugh heartily at my jokes.

3. Facebook photo comments.

4. Scarves.


Watching Extreme Home Makeover tonight…and crying as usual… the response of one of the Haitian boys whose family had just had their lives transformed caught my attention.  He said “If we could find a word that meant more than Thank You, that’s what we would use….”

We hardly take the time or make the effort to be simply aware…simply thankful…simply satisfied…

Why not be extravagantly appreciative?
Take the time…just for you…just for Him…just for five.

Let’s Hear It For The Boys!
November 3, 2008



I wrote the following e-mail to some of the closest men in my life, but have felt heavy-hearted to share it… for two reasons…

Men…be encouraged.
Women…let’s encourage.

Good Evening Beloveds…
Ever get sidetracked smack dab in the middle of your daily To-Do list?
Yea…me too.
Here I was, all “dressed up” in my workout gear, gonna bust out some homework and then head on over to work out.
Well, I still plan on hitting the gym, but right as I was finishing a letter to some professors… you were on my heart.
All of you.
The wonderful men in my life that I love as brothers and friends and family. 
I think that girls are great at the sweet cards, and the hugs, and the “‘let’s get coffee just to catch up” and the “I love you’s”… but what about the boys?
Unless it’s your mom or your wife or your girlfriend…are there women in your life that consistently let you know that you are loved?
Well…you are.
You are loved for your strength, your humor, your encouragement, your pursuit of godliness, for
I want you to know that I had yet another series of conversations last week with old college girl friends about how blessed I am to have such amazing men in my life, and I agree…wholeheartedly.
I don’t have a string of bad-breakups or uncomfortable heartaches with you… those boys have come and gone.  But you, you are in my heart as a wonderful reminder of my value and identity in a real way.  There is no pretense.  No awkwardness when you see me without my makeup or with my guard down.
Thank you. 
You are loved.
I hope that there are other women in your life with whom you are cultivating real, solid, warm friendships.  I mean, hey, all of us like putting on our leapord stilletos and going out for dinner and a movie… but real pursuit lasts longer than a Saturday evening.  Real pursuit of a girl means knowing her heart, cherishing her purity, her thoughts, her input… and that doesn’t just apply to your most recent fling.  I urge you to treasure the women in your life… your moms, your sisters, your friends, and yes…your wife or girlfriend.
We are simeltaneously quite strong and quite fragile. 
Do the unexpected…ask how you can pray for us…and mean it.  Pick up a card and send it… 

Oh but that’s not all…
Most of you on this list are single… and I’m glad that you are waiting for the right girl… you deserve nothing less than an awesome, quality woman.  (I mean, she has to at least make it through my intense interrogation.) 🙂
But I encourage you to take initiative…go on dates…enjoy getting to know the girls God brings along your path.  There is such a skewed sense of dating in the “Christian” world… you needn’t know if a girl can needlepoint, make the perfect pie, or bear 6 strapping sons in order to take her to Starbucks.
If you meet a cute, sweet, Jesus-lovin’ woman…man up and ask her out.  We long for that.  Yes, I’ll admit, some women read into everything and that can get realllllll obnoxious.  But not all of us.  Zach and Sean and I had a great conversation about all of this on our way back from Pennsylvania, and I felt like it might be something that was worth sharing…
We are longing to feel special, and it takes hardly that much effort on your part to make that happen.  Treat a girl with respect and honesty, and I think you might be able to enjoy getting to know her without unrealistic expectations on either side.
Don’t be afraid.  She might say no.  (But if she does, she’s clearly not smart, because I think you’re amazing.)  Ehh…I doubt you’ll be sobbing in your next “Dear Diary” entry.  It won’t be the end of the world.
And who knows…she might say yes…and you might get to spend a wonderful weekend enjoying the company of a great woman…who could turn out to be a girlfriend or a friend…either way, it’s mostly win/win.
Also, something that seems to be squeezing my heart like an iron vice to share with you.
Guard your purity.
Fight for it.
I don’t care what stage of the relationship game you are in… I don’t care if  you think no one will ever find out…I don’t care if you have so many skeletons in the closet you think there’s no point in fighting for it now… do it.  Fight for your purity.
I believe I’m speaking for a majority of women, but even if I am just speaking for me…know this:
A woman longs to feel safe, to feel protected, to feel honored and set apart…
I know the word “pornography” gets brought up at almost every men’s small group and Bible study, you’re probably sick of hearing it…sick of dealing with it.
But when was the last time you chatted about it with an important woman in your life?  If you want some fresh perspective…feel free to call me.  I mean it.
I almost married a man with serious and secret sexual sin and addictions, and it all-but ruined my life. 
You might feel that there’s no consequence… you’re not dating anyone, you have no clue who your wife is yet, so what does it matter?
It matters.
Those images would take more than steel wool and boiling water to scrub out of your soul…they stick.  And I know that as someone’s future wife (fingers crossed)… that after guarding my purity for twenty-some years, it would truly break my heart if he hadn’t done the same. 
I’ll share something with you that I did with one of my beloveds who struggled with this years ago-
Every one of those women that you look at for your own selfish pleasure needs Jesus. 
Is broken.
Is longing to be loved and valued in an eternal way.
And you supporting her sickening industry and career is only giving the Devil further footing in killing her. 
It is not fair to the woman who is right now praying for you and longing for you, to set unrealistic expectations on what your intimate love life will look like, what her body will look like…  Lust and self-gratification is a coward’s affair.
Stay strong my loves…it’s worth it.
What is done in the dark will be brought to light.
Being this old and “saving yourself” is hard… but don’t play with fire.
As my best friend Jason once said… “If the sign says “Don’t Swim”… don’t put your feet in the water.”
That’s the answer my loves…there’s no fancy way to stay pure…it’s just drawing a line in the sand, and not crossing it.  Period.
And it will be worth it. 
Trust me.
Wow…this is longer than I intended…but who’s really surprised by that?  Hahaha…
I love you.  You are handsome, wonderful, hard-working men who have enriched the tapestry of my life beyond measure.
Your sister…daughter…friend,