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Thursday, September 24, 2015

In all my years, I've never had my heart break the way it is now. Last night held one of the best moments of my entire life, and tonight held one of the worst. The high emotion of everything has left me in a puddle. 

I'm just falling apart. And not in a pretty, cute, funny kinda way. This is ugly and heavy and debilitating.

One day I may share this story, but for tonight, I am sharing this song by Cheisty Nockles that I am clinging to. 

Great God, wrap your arms around the world tonight. And me too. 

Please pray. 



From babies hidden in the shadows
To the cities shining bright
There are captives weeping
Far from sight
For every doorway has a story
And some are holding back the cries
But there is One who hears at the night

Great God
Wrap Your arms around this world tonight
Around the world tonight
And when You hear our cries
Sing through the night
So we can join in Your song
And sing along
We'll sing along

From the farthest corners of the earth
Still His mercy reaches
Even to the pain we cannot see
And even through the darkness
There's a promise that will keep us
There is One who came to set us free

Great God
Wrap Your arms around this world tonight
Around the world tonight
And when You hear our cries
Sing through the night
So we can join in Your song
And sing along
We'll sing along

So let Your song rise
And fill up the earth
Let Your hope ring out
Let Your heart be heard

So let Your song rise
And fill up the earth
Let Your hope ring out
Let Your heart be heard

Great God
Wrap Your arms around this world tonight
Around the world tonight
And when You hear our cries
Sing through the night
And we will join in Your song
And sing along
We'll sing along

We'll sing along (x6)

Great God
Wrap Your arms around this world tonight
Around the world tonight
And when You hear our cries
Sing through the night
And we will join in Your song
And sing along
We'll sing along

Great God
Wrap Your arms around this world tonight
Around the world tonight
And when You hear our cries
Sing through the night
And we will join in Your song
And sing along
We'll sing along

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Sleepy thoughts.

It's 11:30 at night. My phone is at 8%. It's been a very full day, and tomorrow will prove to be full as well. 

I just looked at my planner. 
•training: 8 miles
•Shawn's 30th birthday 
•Taste of Clarkston/Village Art Fair/ Octoberfest 
•visit another new church 
•cider mill 
•yoga class 

It's going to be a busy one. I love days full to the brim with laughs and love, friends and family, food and festivals. It's going to be great.

But I also love the right now. The quiet house. The sleepy eyes. The book in bed. The cozy robe. The sleepy time tea. The time alone. And the rest that is about to happen. 

Sweet dreams, dear friends. 

Tomorrow let's conquer the world. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

I've got stories.

I'm such a day dreamer, and an over thinker. The secret subplots forming in my brain could rival Hollywood on any given day. My mind is a strange place. It creates stories and back stories for everything and everyone, while planning out vivid future story lines for all the above. 

Lately I've been thinking so much about the future. Probably because I just can't seem to grasp ahold of any of it. Every facet of life is currently unstable and uncertain. 

So when I daydream, it's not about next Tuesday, or next year, it's often so far down the road, it feels like it may never happen. Maybe that's why I like it so, it has a touch of magic. 

Tonight I was sitting on the front porch, just daydreaming, and attempting to read. But I was distracted by the sounds of a father and son playing basketball across the street. 

Lately my mind often wanders to my daughter. 

I have held her in my heart for over a decade. I have her name picked out, before I even know of her existence. I don't know if she will be born from this body, or if she will join us through adoption. I haven't met her father, and have no way of knowing when she will enter my life. I may still be years from holding her. 

But I still think about her. 

I'll bet she'll have wild hair, and a spunky streak. If she's anything like her mama, I would guess that keeping shoes on her feet will be near impossible. I imagine that books may be one of her first and most passionate loves. And I would hope that she loves big. 

I think about the stories I want to tell her one day. Of when God showed Himself faithful, time after time. Of all the fun and silly roads trips with my family. Of all of the people I loved and that loved me right back. Of adventures to South America, alone. Of when I vacationed with 200 girls I had never met. Of all of my bad dates while I waited for her daddy. Of my favorite whimsical small town. Of moments when I wanted to hold her, I thought my heart would just burst with anticipation. 

Oh how I want to freeze time while I soak up every second to share with her one day. But also how I want to fast forward to meeting her daddy, and meeting her. 

I know I have this beautiful life to live, right now, in the present. I don't want to wish it away. But I don't want to stop daydreaming.

So for now, as the storm blows in, I'm freezing this moment and ignoring the present troubles for a few more seconds while I think of little A, and how one day, I'll be able to tell her of all of my adventures with my Jesus, my wild hair, and my bare feet. 

Because, darling, I've got stories. 


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Doors.

Doors. I am so thankful for each of them, who they represent, and the refuge I found there. 15 days of travel can make a girl weary, but I found so much rest for my soul. And I am so thankful. 



So thankful for this first stop on my Texan adventure. Brian and Ashlee are the most gracious of hosts. I have not laughed this hard, nor slept this great in a very long time. I was thankful to visit with them, my youth pastor and his wife from over a decade ago, and my sweet friend/little sister from the sorority Gamma Eta Pi. Now onto phase two: meeting all the best friends I have never laid eyes on before.





So thankful for my second stop of adventure. 20 women, all together, in the same house, for a long weekend. It was perfect. I found so much love and laughter here. There were late night chats, and early morning snuggles. I have never met any of these women before Thursday, and yet they feel like life long friends. I am so thankful to have been so encouraged to dream with Jesus from these incredible women. They are true treasures.




Thankful for Houston. Here I found much physical rest, baby snuggles, late night big convos, pumpkin pancakes, and I finally watched the last 3 episodes of the office. I'm pretty sure sweat pants were worn more than real pants here. I'm so thankful for friends that opened their home to a weary soul, and had coffee brewing at all hours of the day. Houston, you were lovely. Until next time...




Oh Phoenix. You surprised me with your sweetness. Here I was spoiled and loved well. I connected with family, and old friends. I started to really dream big dreams, and began plans to see those dreams come to fruition. I shared the deepest parts of my heart, and it was received well. You are so dear to my heart, and I am so thankful for our unexpected time together.



Out of all the doors in all the world, I'm most happy to be at this one. 


Monday, September 14, 2015

September Adventure {part three}



After just meeting some of this women just six hours before (and five of those hours being spent asleep), I wasn't sure what I would wake to. But even after all of the months of sweetness, I never could have been prepared for what happened. 

Melinda had given me this beautiful journal the afternoon before. We shared a few sweet moments as we shared stories, hugs, and tears. 

Friday morning, I groggily woke up, and I wanted to write a little. So I grabbed my new beautiful notebook, and within moments, dear sweet Kimberly bounced in with coffee, and shortly after, Melinda brought me breakfast in bed. I joked that I must've landed at some resort, because this was just amazing. 

But then, so many many girls flooded our tiny room. I think at one point, I counted 12. There were 4 snuggled on my little twin bed, I think 3 or 4 on Annaliese's bed, girls on the floor, and girls in the doorway. We just snuggled up, sipped our coffee, and talked. 

When I think about heaven, I'm pretty sure it must look something like this. Different backgrounds, different stories, different people, all just gathered together, rejoicing in each other, and just pointing each other to Jesus. 

We girl talked a bit. Which actor was cuter, and what should we wear to the party. We shared funny stories. We laughed and we cried. We dreamed together, and encouraged one another.  We heard that Jen was feeling discouraged, so we paused our morning, and we just spent serious time praying for her. We sat in bed for hours that morning. I am so thankful that we had an open schedule, and had made margin in our time to make community important. 


We also ate A LOT OF BACON. 


After hours of lounging, we pulled ourselves together, got dressed, and hit the town. 

Annaliese drove, and naturally I rode with her. FTL Besties for the win. #babes



We went to Homeslice Pizza for lunch. It was ahhhhmazing. 

I tried Big Red soda, which was wonderful. It is a Texas thing, but tasted just like Michigan's Faygo red pop. ❤️


Just one of the tables of FTL girls on the loose in Austin. 


After lunch some of us wandered around SoCo, and hopped in and out of shops. We ended up at the famous "I love you so much" wall, and of course had to grab a pic! 



I have discovered that I'm mildly obsessed with food trucks. Especially when they are full of cupcakes. God bless Texas. 

Later that night, the Chicken Coop ordered Chinese food for dinner. After that, some girls got tattoos and piercings,  and other random things. I stayed at the house, and colored, and then later got a short run in. 


The next morning started with coffee in bed, snuggles, and sweet community. After breakfast, I decided to take a nap. Because late nights, early mornings, and being so busy was already wearing me out. So I napped for 37 min. (My sweet spot) 

Check out that tin and exposed beam ceiling. Beautiful. 



I got up, got dressed, and planned on running a couple of errands with Annaliese. (I needed chickfila again. Also we love to wander Target, but had never done it together. So clearly, really serious errands.) 

Before we left the house, I met Katy. She has been the one to manage all of us wild book launcher ing women. She works for the publisher, and is the marketing head on the FTL project. I have found such sweetness and a kindred spirit in her. 

Wandering Target with my ftl bestie. Love. 


I am not an animal person. But I kinda melt a tiny bit when I see some, like baby deer. Lucky for me, they were everywhere on this piece of property. So there was a lot of "awwwwweeee" moments. 


After errands, we got ready for the party. Hello For The Love Lanch Team Party at Jen Hatmaker's Farmhouse!!!!! This was a big deal. I would be meeting 240 of my new friends, taking a gazillion photos, and meeting Jen. So I spent the afternoon curling and recurring my hair, I put on false eyelashes, and pinned flowers into my hair. 

Picture perfect. 

Up next I'll walk ya through the whole party. But for now, coffee is calling my name. πŸ’› M 








Sunday, September 13, 2015

September Adventure {part two}

September 3rd I met my first For The Love sister.  (The entire reason for my Texas trip.) 



I picked up Kimberly from the airport. Over the last six months, she has become so very dear to me. She has been the loudest and most consistent cheerleader in my life. She is pure joy. She calls me "Princess of Clarkston", which I think makes me love her even more. So naturally when I picked her up, I wore a tiara. πŸ‘ΈπŸ‘‘


We went to coffee at the most darling coffee shop to get geared up for the day, where we met a local 4500 ftl sister, Julie.

 



And then we met another FTL sister at the airport. Our dear Kate. We wandered downtown Austin, and ended up eating some of the most delightful tacos from a little stand. I also drank a Mexican coke in the bottle. Ahhhhhmazing. 

And then then, there were four. 


We met up with the most precious Melinda. 20 of us stayed together in what was quickly and affectionately called the "Chicken Coop". So we gathered together, went to HEB to pick up ice, straws, and flowers.

If you know me well, you know I feel most alive when I have flowers in my hair, and I'm barefoot. 

So I set out to find some pretty flowers to pin in my hair for the big party. I asked the girl that was working in the floral dept was a good hearty flower, that would stand up to Texas heat, and not wilt in my hair. She immediately thought I was getting married. And once I calmed her down, she just couldn't understand why I would just want to wear flowers in my hair. She asked if it was a normal thing back home, I laughed and told her, "No, but I don't really do normal." So I ended up telling her about the book launch party. To which she asked about the book. Which of course I carried around in my purse. She looked at it, while I gave her a convincing speech that could rival all others. I then felt like God told me not to be just words, but to be actions too, so I gave her my book. The tears were free flowing in that floral department. And of course, through all the emotions, I just looked at her, and asked, "So I just really want to make sure these flowers are going to hold up in the Texan heat, are you sure these are the best choice?" Heaven help me. 

Back at the Chicken Coop, we explored. The Book house slept 14, the Writing Barn slept 3, and the Cabin slept 3. We thought that the more extroverted people may want to stay in together, and the introverts may want the quiet, and less chaos. I decided to be in the main house. Surprised? I knew I would be sharing a room with my ftl bestie, Annaliese. So I picked the room and waited for her. Naturally I chose the room with yellow walls. Glorious. It had two twin sized beds, a little bathroom, and that was about it. But it was perfect.


So. Let me take a quick moment and talk about planners. I have been wanting a pretty one for ages. I found out about The Purposeful Planner, because Corie, the creator, was a FTL sister. I have been looking at them online far too often. They are stunning, and just make sense. With not really having a job, I have been trying to be very wise with finances, so I haven't bought one yet. And then Corie arrived at the house. She is pure joy, full of sparkle, light, and love. (She's also a total babe!) And she gave out planners to our whole Chicken Coop! Ah. Love her even more. Seriously! If you want to check her planners out, go to http://www.corieclarkshop.com 



That night for dinner, we went to the Hula Hut in Austin. I had already eaten there two days before with Ashlee, so I knew it was really good! 

This was how I felt about eating dinner with 20 women I had never met before: 





After dinner, everyone dispersed. I still wanted to chat with everyone. Imagine that. So we walked next door, and got ice cream! 



After all those shenanigans, it was time to go "home." 

It was then that I actually met my ftl bestie for the first time! 


Late night sofa snuggles with Stef! 


And then it was bed time. Because it was after 2:00 am. For the love. That was only Thursday. 

When I crawled into bed, I found this note that said, "You sprinkle fairy dust wherever you go. Big things are in store for you, princess!! Love you sweet girl!" Oh I am so loved here. 

So much more to share. M 





Thursday, September 10, 2015

September Adventures {part one}


September 1st I woke up early at 3:30 am. Which of course felt like torture because I didn't go to bed until 2:00 am. 

But little or no sleep was okay, because it was the best of days! 

At 5:00 am, my dearest friend Jill came to my house and picked me up to drive me to the airport. We grabbed Starbucks on the way, and chatted about life. When we pulled up to the airport, she prayed for me, and then it was time to fully embrace a new adventure. 


I wore this fabulous blanket scarf because I love snuggling under a blanket while sleeping on a plane. I wore this floppy fedora because I hadn't washed my hair in probably 5 days. And I wore a tee and maxi skirt, because they were about the comfiest outfit I could put on, and still look somewhat pulled together. Also. I matched my outfit to the luggage I was using. because I am a FREAK. 

I got all checked in and through security quicker and easier than any other flight in my entire life. It felt like a dream. I called my dad before departure, as I do every time. And I was off. 

I was officially Texas bound. 

I was headed out to attend a party of someone I had never met before, with about 250 other women I had never met before. Isn't the internet a weird place?! 

I slept most of my first flight, and landed in Dallas, where I had my very first ChickFilA chicken minis. Praise Jesus. 

I am currently in this weird place of talking to Jesus about the possibility of moving. There's so much that goes into all of that, but at the top of my list, I've been asking Jesus for a ChickFilA near my house. Because I'm convinced it's just the best food ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. Why do I live in the north?! 

Anyway. 

I flew to Austin, where the fun would begin. 

My friend Ashlee picked me up from the airport, and immediately we went to one of the places on my bucket list to eat at. Hula Hut. It was amazing. I had the BBQ chicken tacos. Ahhhhh. 



My friends Ashlee and Brian let me stay with them for a couple of days. It was such a blessing. I found so much physical rest there. My first night there was probably the best night of sleep I had in years. (Possibly because I had only gotten 93 min the night before?) I also had some beautiful time with Jesus there. Ah. So peaceful. 



I have friends in Austin, and I was able to visit them, and it just made my heart soar. 

Johnny and Sara served in youth ministry when I was a teenager. I hadn't seen them in years, so it was so nice to catch up with them. 

Erica is my dear friend. When I was in my early 20's, I created a sorority (Gamma Eta Pi), and she was my "little sister". We spent an afternoon/evening together, and it was perfect. We wandered around shops, grabbed dinner from some food trucks, explored the state Capitol building, and then later went dancing at a Texas dance hall. 

In between all of that goodness, Ashlee and I managed a bit of fun as well. We went to Shake Shack (thank you Jesus!), became educated on the homecoming mum, and went on a short hike. 


Okay. We need to talk. Homecoming mums?! 

Apparently these are giant things guys make and girls wear to school and to the homecoming game?! They have ribbons, bells, lights, stuffed animals, and all sorts of nonsense on them. They are so long, and heavy! The craft store where I originally stumbled upon them, had multiple aisles of things to make them. They had some premade, and were being sold for $59.99. I had a cow, and posted it to my social media, and was given the response that that is a "cheap one". I guess most range between $100-150, but can go as high as $350. Y'all. I cannot deal. I mean I am loving the tradition. But I just can't even. In other news, I have decided I want to wear one for my birthday since I missed out on a weird Texan childhood. πŸ˜‚ 


Austin {part one}, you were an absolute delight. I am actually impressed at how much I did in those 2 short days! 


Thank you for being a place of physical rest, and a lot of fun.