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I know these things to be true. I have for most of my life: “Your grace is sufficient for me." "I have all that I need." "You do not withhold any of your love from me.” But I am learning these things in a deep, gut wrenching way this week. 

I had oral surgery last Thursday. I got my wisdom teeth out and a bone graft to prep for an implant. The recovery process has been infection free and supposedly smooth, but the pain will not cease. It’s relentless, unceasing, excruciating, definitely the worst physical pain I have ever experienced. There has not been a single night in the past seven days where I have not woken up in the middle of the night, kept awake for hours crying out to God begging for Him to ease the pain so I could sleep. I wish I could learn resilience and endurance by listening to a sermon or someone else’s story — not my own physical pain. I keep asking God why I have to learn this way. I have this theory, though. God loves me too much to let a hard experience come and go, so He uses trials even like this ache in my mouth to teach me about Himself. He cares for my growth too much to let this disappear into another journal entry in the stack of notebooks under the bed. 

There are new words that this trial is giving me to worship with. God is taking this experience from pain to suffering. From physical to emotional to spiritual. So these are the prayers that have been inspired within me. They are being sewn deep into my heart. 

If you are in a trial — whether it be seemingly meaningless like a toothache or visibly tragic and totally life altering — I invite you to pray these words with me. Pray them until you believe them in your gut. Pray them even if they roll right off your tongue. I am realizing my need for these words in my every day. Let them become a new liturgy in my life. 

Lord the pain is severe. The pain is excruciating. Let the pain to be what I need to know deeply and truly in my heart that no matter what I lack, no matter the unfulfilled need, your mercy is active over me and sufficient for me.

I have your fullness right now. You are not withholding grace from me. Healing does not dangle on a stick before me saying “pray longer” “ask for one more person to lift you up” “obey me better”. Your heart is good. Your love for me is complete, it is not fractured, and it is fully present. 

I give you permission to use every physical pain in my body and every emotional and mental pain in my mind to draw me closer to you.

In my lack, show me your complete love, abundant grace, total mercy. I will take the pain if it teaches me more about your love. 

If you want this message of your sufficiency to sink deeper — if you know the fight will increase my trust — then I trust that you will let it stay if it’s forming my heart. 

Please do not let my suffering go to waste. I will worship you here in it. I will worship you for the things I struggle to believe. And after, I will sing even louder. On that day, when the pain is gone, it will be easy to sing of your faithfulness. But I know I’ll forget. I’ll forget how much wrestling it took me to get to this place. I’ll forget my desperate cries for healing. So please help me to not forget. Help me not forget these moments when the true words felt so foreign to my lips. I always forget when it is good. Come Lord. Help me not forget what it is like to feel so far from fullness. The memory of this desperation will fill my worship with even more belief. 

And lastly, throughout all of this, I have been meditating most on the Lord's Prayer, given to me for the days when I have a million beautiful words and the days when there are no other words. 

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Yours is the kingdom,
the power,
and the glory

This is my daily bread. This suffering is not the bread that I asked for, but it is what You have allowed for me. So I will take it. I receive it with willing hands and a faith filled heart. This bread fills me with the most satisfying grace -- I will not let it go to waste. 


pic by my babe boy noah

Arrival Moments by rebecca keating

July 7

There have been so many things happening inside me. I’ve been writing most of them down every day but I haven't had the right words to share them. My Instagram captions are not as thoughtful as usual. This website has been a digital ghost town. The season I am in is unique from other seasons that I have identified in my life. Typically, everything is really wonderful and I am soaring OR everything sucks and I am in full on crisis mode. This season is a really even mix of both. I am not in shambles but I am not thriving. I am not balanced either. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about Arrival Moments lately. I don’t think we live life with an end goal of who we are to become. There is no final destination to our purpose or anything. But I believe that there are moments in life where you feel like you’ve made it. Like you’re all there. All set. The moments often come alongside a good and deep revelation for me. They come after a longwinded pursuit of growth. They are accompanied by huge amount of relief and it feels like nothing can separate you from this feeling of being “there”. They happen with the true awareness that this is not the final stop—this is just a big building block for everything to come. 

The idea that growth builds upon growth has been something I have pondered a lot this year. In a book on purpose and calling by Parker Palmer, he inserts a poem that includes these lines: Whatever’s been uprooted, let it be / Seedbed for the growing that’s to come. These words have stuck with me like scripture as I have learned well that being present in seasons of growth is crucial in order to welcome in the next patch of growth required in the process of becoming. Growth never ceases to build upon growth, and I like to notice the Arrival Moments that kind of bookmark each patch of growth. 

Arrival Moments are less “arriving at your destination” than they are a check point. Moments that make me feel like I have arrived are so temporary. It is good to get swept away in them for a second. The boost of confidence is empowering. But it is easy to be shaken quickly afterwards if you hold the moment as too definitive for you. Arrival Moments come after periods of uprooting and are sort of like a fresh seedbed. 

Back to this season. I am really unsatisfied with the personal narrative that I speak to myself. I am a creative, lighthearted, energetic individual most days. But my deep, internal life is not as healthy as I desire for it to be. There are so many mindsets and thinking habits that need to be uprooted in me. There are pains carried from my past that need to be processed further. I know who I want to become. There is an image in my mind of who I will be when I have detached myself from negative self talk and live as the independent and confident woman that I know I am capable of becoming.

I've recently realized that I would not have been able to understand these needs for growth and maturity if I had not gone through the growing pains I went through this past winter and spring. That season was painful and my whole world was upside down for weeks. But I have joy looking back on it because of how refining it was for me. The discomfort of the start of that season is similar to what I am experiencing now. Last time, I dreaded it all. I was terrified of who I would become through it. What is different this time is that I am also thrilled at how I will grow. I am no longer fearful of the growing pains, but I welcome them and the healthier version of myself that they will develop. 

When I began the previous period of growth, I knew that the end "goal" was to make choices because I was worth it. Worth the effort, worth the good grade, worth the love. I knew that I would be better at the whole self-love/appreciating self-worth thing when I cared for myself better than Noah cares for me. And so the Arrival Moment of that season was when I consistently started making choices because I want them for myself because I am worthy of that goodness. 

I don't know what the next Arrival Moment is going to look like and I'm not saying I need to get there in order to do all of the things I have been called to do. We can live out our callings at every stage of becoming. I don’t think that things will be easier or smoother the second I unlock this level of self-assurance and respect. But I am so aware that there is more in store for me and who I have been created to be. I am praying for peace in just knowing I am on my way there.

I started seeing a new therapist this week. Both of us are really optimistic that counseling is really necessary for this season. At the end of our session, she looked me in the eye and said with utmost sincerity that she believes that the best is ahead. And I believe it too. I believe there is more goodness ahead for all of us--Arrival Moments, in-betweens, and everything. 


Our conditions are a framework for our humanity, but they are not a framework for God’s divinity.  by rebecca keating

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Resurrection Sunday
16 April 2017
9:22 pm

I was sharing with a good friend some of the pieces of the rough patch that I have been calling this season as of late. I was telling him about my experience with a mental illness has been heavy and more difficult that usual. In that conversation, I was encouraged as he reminded me that the trials are faced with in life are not definitive of our identity. They are merely circumstances. My struggle with depression, with my health, with academics and the difficult relationships and friendships I have with friends and family—they are not the sum of who I am. They are not definitive of my identity, but merely circumstances of my human life on earth. 

Tonight Noah told me he had been pondering that conversation (because I told him about it, because I was encouraged by it). He affirmed my friend’s wisdom and added his own thoughts. He said that we can look at our conditions as a framework for our humanity—but our conditions are not a framework for God’s divinity. 

God does not look at our human conditions and say that he cannot work in us, through us, for us, because of our conditions. He does not see a person with a mental illness and say that because they have rapid mood swings, He cannot use them to be a light to others and have a steady faith in His name. He does not see a person with a serious wound in their body and say He cannot heal them. He does not see a broken relationship and say that He cannot give us His love to reconcile that relationship. If He were limited by these fallen pieces of our lives and bodies, He would not be of the unconditional way that He is! God does not have conditions. God’s divinity—God’s power, grace, mercy, redemption—it is not limited or hindered by any of our human conditions. 

This is a true aspect of God that I forget when I reduce my vision of God to being constricted by my fallen conditions. But tonight I am praying: 

Lord, you reign over the conditions of my life. Rule over the fallen ones, the burdened ones, take over the conditions that I am trying to control on my own, and the ones that I doubt your power over. You are not limited by any of my circumstances. You rule over all of the parts of my humanity. Let me have peace that You are healing and restoring me. Give me more faith so that I can trust that You are present in my hurtful and discouraging conditions of life. 

Christ is risen from the dead and His hand is present and active in our lives, healing and mending and restoring our human conditions. How glorious that we are made worthy of a love so deep and pure as this!

pic by Jerusha Crone on our recent Spring Break trip to Co<3

Things I am Learning in this Season of Lent by rebecca keating

For six months, I have been feeling disconnected from myself. I would sit down to soul search and walk away still feeling detached from myself. It was so difficult to get a good read on my heart. 

But last week, some conversations happened and it felt like tables were turned upside down in me and scales were lifted from my eyes. I see the things I have been blind to. 

It is painful--coming to understand that a great amount of growth needs to be had. 
It is painful--realizing you have been hurting people you care for because you don't love yourself.
It take courage--to not run away when it is time to be honest with yourself.

There are many hard and heavy things in life right now. The realizations that came from last week's conversations feel like they have the weight of the world attached to them.

On March first, when the prompting to change was fresh and startling, I sat in a small chapel at school and took communion with a mini snickers and water. I ate the snickers and the Lord spoke to my heart, "This is my body, broken for you--because you are worth it." I sipped the water and he said, "This is my blood poured out for you because I love you endlessly. . . You are worth good grades because you are a child of God. You are worth a healthy body because I love to heal. You are worth a loving boyfriend because redeeming love is your true theme. You are worth a caring roommate because I died so you can love purely and kindly." I am learning to see myself with more worth and value than I have in a long time. God is guiding me beyond the shallow and familiar waters of my inadequacies and self doubt. 

I couldn't imagine a better season to be in while I process these things. It is the season of Lent and, as my mind and heart turn to the cross, my spirit is softened. It is ready to be remade. I am spending a week in the mountains--there is no better place to be in this stage of renewal. Edna Hong writes, "The purpose of Lent is not to escape the conscience, but to create a healthy hatred for evil, a heartfelt contrition for sin, and a passionately felt need for grace". Later on in her piece called "A Look Inside," she says, "a guilty suffering spirit is more open to grace than an apathetic or smug soul." She calls Lent "a downward ascent. It ends before the cross, where we stand in the white light of a new beginning." My heart leaps every time I read and remember these words. I am more connected to myself than I have felt in many months, and the self I feel connected to feels so true to the self that God has created me to be. This is my downward ascent to the foot of the cross--I am no longer fearful of the discomfort that accompanies growing pains because I know my destination is "the white light of a new beginning."


My Band is Now a True Serious Band by rebecca keating

HELLO HI! Four days ago, Tapestry, the Band had an EP release show and it was the greatest time of tunes yet. 

For those of you who didn't know, Noah and I, along with the band have been putting together an EP since the fall. God opened some insane doors that made recording process and EP itself feel like it was just handed to us--and we are full of gratitude and enthusiasm for what has come of it. 

The EP can be found on Spotify, iTunes, and Google Play--if you haven't listened yet, we would love for you to check it out! Each song comes out of a moment, situation, or season of some sort of becoming and growing--they're some of the most meaningful collections of words we've put together, and we hope they can mean something to you too.

The concert was a BLAST--and it was a joy to have so many people hang out with us to celebrate the release. Keep your eyes on our social media -- another show is in the works for this Spring and we can't wait to have another night of more friends and more music! 

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HUGE thanks to Glen Ellyn Bible Church for the space, the pics, the sound, and all of the other little things we often don't even know go into making the show run so smoothly. I'm mad grateful for all of the people who came together to help us celebrate our first project as a band. 

How I Have Known Love by rebecca keating

7 Years Ago
He told me stories in his letters. I would re-read each letter until I received a new one. He would text me all his daydreams for our love and I had a deep hope that one day our relationship could grow out of the confines of our parents driving us everywhere and it could be our love for real. This love was innocent. 

5 Years Ago
He paid for all of my meals and drove me around. He would stay up late to FaceTime me when we were in different time zones. Commitment, am I right? This love was sweet and compassionate. 

3 Years Ago
He sang songs over me, and I still told him I loved him so much, even if he forgot to text me back for two weeks. This love was passive and desperate. 


2 Years Ago
He told me I was the most beautiful girl he had ever known, that I was meant for him, that we could do anything together. He promised to get better for me. He told me that love was best displayed when our bodies moved together. His first I love you to me was slurred, I didn’t want it like that. This love was impure and selfish. This love left a stain. 

He doesn’t always open the door. He doesn’t even pay for half of our dates. He doesn’t have a car. He falls asleep on FaceTime. But he doesn’t force himself on me. He is honest and kind, trustworthy and balanced. He stays with me when I am frustrated, when I lash out, when I act out of selfishness. This love abounds with the presence of our First Love, a love that redeems, frees, heals, rebuilds, and forgives. 


How did we get here and why? by rebecca keating

I deleted my Instagram today. I cried and it hurt so bad. It was like that part of a break up when you both know it's over but you both don't want to be the one to end it but you just have to man up and cut the cord as fast as you can. It's over now. And it's super weird. My muscle memory keeps opening my phone and tapping the app that's now in it's place. Then I'll remember that what I subconsciously wanted is not around anymore.

I wish I could just call it a hiatus. Maybe a short fast. A head start at lent perhaps. 

But come on, whenever you hear your friends tell you about their "sort of break up" where they leave it open ended and all that, you just want to call BS on it and tell them that's not going to give them the space they need. And so I won't put any labels on it. I'll just say that I deleted the app and I don't plan on using my @rebeccakeating account anymore. 

Maybe you're curious about how I got to this place. I sure am haha. I've had an Instagram for seven years now. That means that every single teenage year of my life -- every single year where who you're becoming is really important -- had the presence of Instagram in it. It's wild to think about. And it's startling too as I have begun to ponder who I have become with Instagram in my life. I had my phases throughout high school where it was all I cared about. . .I went places just for the photo. . .followed a bunch of accounts for the fans, only to unfollow them the next day. I was labeled as "best social media presence" at my senior prom. That was super important to me then. But I grew out of the "immature stages" of being obsessed with Instagram, and on the surface layers, haven't noticed any issues since. 

But man oh man the Lord has been convicting me so hard of the deeper impacts of this app in my life. He's been nudging at me for weeks now to take some time away from the app, and I'm finally convinced that deleting it is obeying. 

I have this really great group of girls that meets for a small group. I've never posted anything about it on social media, though. I never felt a need to. But recently, another group of girls on campus -- girls that I love and treasure and admire -- started a small group. They posted about it on social media right from the start and instantly got so much applause for their commitment to building each other up and siding with one another in prayer. Yes, the Lord is glorified when we gather to seek Him together, but all I could think in this situation was this: because I never posted about my Bible study and the goodness of it on social media, nobody got to hear about it except the girls in my group and maybe the friends they directly told, but anyway, my group is less meaningful. But, the other group that told social media about their Bible study got a lot of praise and admiration from other people about their Bible study, making it super meaningful. 

I pouted about it to God. I want to be recognized and I want my pretty Christian girl actions to be adored. Gently and with grace, the Lord brought me to a place of recognizing how ugly my heart was in this situation. 1. I should be cheering these friends on no matter what. They are loving one another in a Christ-like way and they are going to bear fruit because of this small group. 2. I learned from this situation how I allow my value to be determined externally. I came to see that, while on a normal basis, I could care less about how many likes I get on an Insta post, but when it comes to posting something and getting praise for it outside of the app, that is how I am validated. 

This brought me to see how I really do need to take some time to live without the voices of Instagram. I need to re-anchor myself in the truth that value comes 100% from what the Lord says about me. 

Please please please don't misunderstand me--I am not against Instagram at all. My goal is not to make anyone feel guilty for enjoying Instagram. I don't hate people who talk about their small groups on social media -- I think it is such a blessing and freedom to be able to share how we are growing with others online -- I think it should be shared! I still love Instagram and I treasure the community there so much.  

You might be thinking to yourself that I am making way too big of a deal about a little app. Maybe. It might be a super secondary issue in some people's minds, but for me and the way that Instagram has been such a prevalent part of my life for so long, it's a big deal. 

Since one of my greatest beliefs is that "You can't erase, you must replace," that is why I've started up this new site at the same time as I've nixed my Instagram. I don’t have big huge dreams for this space to be the absolute most important thing I’ve ever done. I just want it to be where I can do all the things I tried and wanted to do with my Instagram, but never accomplished. I tried for a long time to make my Instagram message-based, and focused on writing meaningful words. But on an app that has so much going on and so many different purposes, you just kind of get lost in everything that it is trying to be. 

I don't want to keep throwing my words in a deep pool that expands into every direction. I want to seek out a truer, direct connectedness, and I believe that in creating this site, I might be able to accomplish that better. 

I want to love people through my words. I want to tell my stories and tell others' stories. I want to hear your stories as well. So if you found this site from my Instagram or from Facebook or some other means, I am so happy you are here. Welcome to the first official post of this site. I am grateful for the time you have spent to learn this bit of my heart, and I hope I can make this space safe and free for you to drop a note or spill your guts out without hesitation. 

photo by: Jerusha Crone 

On Prayer by rebecca keating

From / January 27, 2017

Lately, I have been having these nighttime spurts of mad creativity. I just want to write and look at pretty pictures and make plans to go places. It’s honestly really disrupting my routine because I LOVE going to bed before 10p and I really value sleep. But over the past week, I just keep wanting to stay up all night cause I can’t get my brain to shut down and I just want to imagine more things.

Whenever I get these late night wanderlust feels, somehow the dreaming and the imagining always moves to prayer deep in my heart. There are so many things that I want for my future right now. There are so many unknowns and so many options and when I think about them all at once, it’s overwhelming, and I have no other way to find relief then to unload it all to the Lord.

A few weeks ago, I having quiet time with Noah and we were writing. I was flipping through old journals from high school, trying to get inspired, and I kept fumbling across my scribbled prayers. They were always a mess and I was shocked at the way I cried out to God. Prayers like, “LORD I HATE THAT I CAN’T BE PERFECT. I DON’T WANT TO STOP SINNING”  and “GOD I’M SO PISSED OFF THAT I HURT SO MUCH” were planted on the page. I reflected on what was going on in my life during that season. . .I remembered I was in a lot of pain at the time and trying so hard to sort out where I stood with God. I was blown away at how brutally honest I brought my worries and confessions and complaints to His feet. There was a certain desperation in those prayers, and as I re-read them, I wanted to be in that place again.

I have been working my way through Henri Nouwen’s book Reaching Out and I finally reached the third part of the book (the part I have been most excited about), where he talks about prayer. This was so convicting to me: “when we do not stay in touch with that center of our spiritual life called prayer, we lose touch with all that grows from it. When we do not enter into that inner field of tension where the movement from illusion to prayer takes place, our solitude and our hospitality easily lose their depth.” I lost touch with that center of my spiritual life! Somewhere between moving to college and getting really busy in college, I stopped spending time in prayer that lasted more than 90 seconds. This quote grabbed my attention because I want to be a hospitable person that invites people into a free and deep space. I want to experience better moments of solitude in my heart. I want to learn how to be alone with the Lord again, not because I know I should, but because His presence is my deepest desire.

I get so caught up in my meaningfulness. I believe so easily that my meaningfulness fluctuates depending on what it is I spend my time doing or who is noticing me. I know meaningfulness is not the goal, but, Nowen’s words got me thinking. . .how am I ever going to be meaningful if I am not more intentional about spending time in the presence of the One who I derive all of my meaning from? So from that, focusing on meaningfulness was replaced with focusing on being with God in prayer. A lot.

But prayer is so dang hard. Situations from the past are weighing heavy on my heart and I don’t know why. Whenever they come to mind, I wrestle my way into dialogue about it with God. “Lord why do I care about this again all of a sudden? I thought we handled it. I came to a place of peace and I thought it was okay now.” I am realizing that just because I have peace myself, I don’t necessarily need to remove the prayers from my heart. There is still healing to pray for. And the healing I am feeling led to pray for—it doesn’t even include me—making it all the more difficult to earnestly pray about it in my heart.

I believe these nudgings to be in prayer about past stuff are from God. And I believe He is at work, wether I am directly effected, or don’t ever get to see what He’s doing. I am learning that I need to obey God even in what I pray about.

I am learning that prayer is insanely intimate and includes more than just an attentive mind thinking about God. Nouwen wrote it best: “To stand in the presence of God with our mind in our heart, that is the essence of the prayer of the heart. . .the prayer of the heart unifies our whole person and places us without any reservation, mind in heart, in the awesome and loving presence of our God. . .the prayer of the heart in the most profound sense unites mind and heart in the intimacy of the divine love.”

I hope that we grow into a prayer of the heart where goes beyond being an intellectual exercise and more than a morning task. I hope that we fall in love with His presence so dang hard that we can’t help but find our whole selves caught up in prayer.

I hope that we learn to be faithful in the little things by developing habits of prayer. I hope that when you and I hear God’s voice, we are less hesitant to dismiss it.

I hope that as Christians, we can pray for the hard things. I hope that our belief in God becomes so real that the prayers get risky. I’ll be honest. I am scared to pray about God bringing physical healing to situations. I get all weird about medical stuff and I’m like nah God, you don’t heal our physical bodies. That’s for the doctors. You love us and you interact with us but you don’t do those things enough to do the healing work in our bodies. If you did, then I would know so many people who are better by now, right? I don’t like that that’s how my thoughts go when it comes to praying about healing. This is my area with faith where I identify with the father in Mark 9 who cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

I also hope that you develop a habit of coming before God in prayer that is more honest than you thought you could get. Prayer to the Lord of all Creation does not have to be polite. I believe there is a certain level of reverence we must have for God, but the Bible does not say that God only wants our pretty and respectable prayers. We have a God who lets us bring forth our whining. We have a God who listens when we tell him that all we want is vindication and none of His grace towards the people who wound us. We have a God who makes His presence all the more visible when we call out and say all we can feel is His absence.

You are a beloved child of God. He is perfect in understanding and generous in compassion. Even if the only prayer you can offer up is one of your silent presence, He receives you, He sees you, and He pours His love out upon you. May you find yourself in a broad space where the Lord is present, for that is the sweetest and the most joyful and the most fearless space to be.

Reflecting, Anticipating, Etc. by rebecca keating

8 January 2017

On January 18, 2016 I wrote, “I am on a journey to find myself outside of my sad stories.”

For years and years I felt like the only thing I was good at feeling was sadness and abandonment. My stories and songs always wound up in the same place, in recounting how I’ve been wounded by someone I cared about. I was still writing songs about boys who left 3, 4, even 5 years ago and I had no emotional boundaries from past wounds.

But, 2016 was a quiet breakthrough. She was a long winded departure from many cycles of anxiousness, sin, and hopelessness. 2016 felt like standing tall and firm saying, “I will not be held captive by these cycles anymore.”

The quiet breakthrough of 2016 did not beg to be noticed. She took the rhythm of balance and sounded like steadfastness. She taught me to make choices that made me feel free, but also that freedom is fleeting when sought out apart from God. She taught me to love with utmost sincerity and that being a sob story is not glamorous.

In 2016 I entered into a love that I so deeply believe God was preparing me for all 19 years before. After almost a whole 12 months of growing into this extension of God’s love, I’m amazed by the countless ways I see His faithfulness. Romance can be redemptive! How beautiful it has been to know that so well. I know better now that our Father loves to redeem us and He is the absolute best healer. Getting to experience His love and healing through Noah is all grace. For that I am grateful.

Looking onward, I am trying to ease into 2017 with excitement. I am trying to convince myself that this year holds countless possibilities and has great things in store. But I am an emotional adrenaline junkie, I am an extremist, I crave bookmark events, and I live for huge “aha” moments that change everything. 2015 was a big year because I finished high school, I started college. 2016 was huge because my first year of college concluded and I spent the whole year falling in love for the realest time ever. And here we are in 2017, it’s one of the middle years of college, I am not planning on falling in love with someone new or anything, and there are no huge trips on the horizon. Looking onward into the year ahead, I feel so ready for it to pass.

What a waste it would be to live these 365 days completely unexpectant. There are goals to make, aspirations to pursue, new ways to love, and growth to continue. So I write this as an attempt to fight the temptation to slip into the apathy that characterizes cycles of the past. The fight against the old cycles doesn’t end because it feels like the cycles ended. I know they could creep up again when the seasons change, but I’m not letting them make their way in easy.

Pushing past a lack of excitement for what is to come, I am not hopeless about what can and may rise up in the 12 months ahead.

For Noah and I, 2017 is the year of less. We watched a documentary by The Minimalists where they and many others pursue a minimalist lifestyle, seeking out more connection with those around them and choosing to only possess things that bring value to their lives. As we co-journey through this year, Noah and I are putting into practice what this documentary inspired in us. We hope to decrease the amount of meaningless things we own and have scattered about our lives. And we really believe God is present in this desire also. If I go about each day with less “things” to keep track of, maybe my focus will be more single minded and directly fixed on the Lord.

What am I abandoning and what will I fill this year with more of?

I’ve been wanting to live with less external stimulation since I got my first iPhone. What’s it gonna take for me to get consistent about carving out solitude when the agenda calls for hustle? I want a less distracted life and I really think the fruit of that will be more efficient productivity with my to-do’s and a clearer head when it’s time to be alone.

Online shopping is a trap and I am really vulnerable to it. Online shopping is the reason I am guilty of spending money carelessly because impulse purchases are really fun and gratifying. I am guilty of settling for being a consumer of the internet, rather than pushing myself to be a creator and producer. In this year, I am working to trade the brainless time I spend checking the new arrival section of Lululemon for undistracted creative time. Rather than taking a mental break to shop, a more life-giving mental break for me would look like opening up a blank Word document and taking a mind dump for 20 minutes and spewing words all over the page, even if they aren’t going anywhere.

I want to do less binge eating this year. Food is my favorite topic of conversation, but at the same time I am so uncomfortable discussing my personal relationship with food. This year I’d like to heal that. I know what’s good and what’s bad. I know what my body needs to sustain itself and function well. I also have refined enough taste buds to know what food to pass on and what food is worth the larger check at the end. But I don’t know what consistency looks like in my eating habits and I don’t know how to limit myself when it comes to the splurging. In this year I long to create more order in the way I eat. I want to be more confident in my choices and be less hard on myself when I choose satisfying over energizing every once in awhile. Feeling guilty about how I eat is something I have yet to be free from, and I know it can be healed.

I want to think better. I want to stop procrastinating. I want to play more boardgames and go for more walks. I want to go on more double dates and forgive faster and I also really want to develop a good skin care regimen. Let there be more sanctification, more balance, and more heaven on earth moments in this new year.

Today is January 8, 2017. It has been almost a year since I last wallowed in hopeless expectancy of having nothing but sad stories to share. I do have plenty of sad stories from 2016, but what is truer echoes the old hymn, singing over every sad story, “Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.”

I thought it was cheesy to say "God is enough" until I really needed his enough-ness to be the truest thing to me by rebecca keating

October 2016 

“God is enough for you,” they say.

“Bullshit,” I’ve been responding lately.

I’ve been a bit apathetic towards God the past few weeks wrestling with this whole “enough” thing. If He is enough for me, then why do I still have longings unsatisfied? If He is enough, then how much longer until that enough-ness rubs off on me? If He is enough, am I worthy yet?

This is the way my brain/heart works. They toss and they turn, swallow lies, internalize lies, spit them back out when I really don’t want them near me.

Steady my heart, Lord! God I am desperate for you to satisfy me today because honestly I’m driving myself crazy.

Today I found myself begging God to somehow be enough. After days of being frustrated and discouraged and disappointed at God, He is still here. He is, right? I want to believe He is at hand.

My “God is not enough” freakout specifically this morning came from being afraid of people close to me changing their minds. I have reservations about commitment and community because I know far too well relationships and friendships ending because feelings, intentions, characters. . .they can all change.

Steady my heart, Lord! I need You I need You I need You. 

And as my heart was sinking and saddening, the Spirit of the Lord swooped right in with the firm reminder that God’s character does not change. That God’s mind does not waver. God does not second guess His adoration for me when I am an emotional mess. He does not offer satisfaction to me to manipulate me, removing His enough-ness when He is not proud of me.

Steady my heart, Lord! Let me better understand your constant and unwavering love. 

Today I know that God is enough because even when people change, He does not. His enough-ness breathes life into me, saying I am capable, saying I am worthy, saying I am called, saying that He sees me. His enough-ness satisfies me in a way that I have peace knowing that if my friendships were all removed from me, I could still be satisfied because of that enough-ness.

It’s a Monday morning. I’m having coffee with my dad at my favorite coffee shop that welcomed me like I was coming home after weeks of wandering, my heart is finding rhythm again, and God is enough.