30 Years in the Making

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 1:6

“Welcome to the age your childhood self couldn’t even fathom. Happy 30th.”

3 decades. 30 years. 360 months. 10,950 days.

A lot of time.

Yet not enough.

It flies so fast.

This post is to shout out to the Big Sister who has always taken me in as her own! Being the oldest of 3 girls, I didn’t know what it meant to have a big sister.

I knew I was one.

And to be honest that didn’t always feel that promising to me.

And then I met Jamie. Your younger sister and my best friend. She had a big sister and I had little sisters. Perfect match.

And from day one I knew exactly how awesome it was to have a big sister- specifically if that big sister was you…

This post is dedicated to all the wonderful things, and tragic things, that have filled these 30 years- the best of things though being you.

You helped two girls navigate their first classes apart in 5th grade and then again as they entered High School.

You participated in a number of antics that otherwise would not have been possible without your reliable assistance and infinite wisdom.

You reminded us when we needed to sit down and listen.

And you stood beside us as you helped us stand back up.

You endured the greatest of losses.

And you are raising (shout out to Smitty) the greatest of gifts.

Both of which, loss and gifts, you lovingly shoulder and share with all of us.

Reading the verse from Philippians, the only thing hard to fathom is that God has not completed the good work which he has started in you. At least from a little sister standpoint. I am fairly certain 4 out of 4 us vote you are perfect.

And then again how exciting it is to think what these next 30 years will hold as God continues to write and reveal your beautiful and celebration worthy story – moment and by moment.

Also, just so we are clear, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Cheers to leveling up!!

Bunches of Love to our beautifulest- graceful giraffe – fearless leader – Big Sister,

Amie, Jean Bean, Kaykay and Smalls

 

Thank You Becca Tapert on UnsplashΒ for Photo.

In the Silences

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Ephesians 6:13-17

I have officially passed the halfway mark for this summer.

In the middle of my internship and my classes, trying to stay ahead no on… trying to stay above the sea of a schedule, I have searched for the boundaries. Walking on water yet drowning in what ifs, how cans and papers… lots of papers.

And then this week- there was a reckoning.

My personal beliefs, foundational truths and heart of all I know was called into question. Challenged. Attacked.

Do you really… think? believe? Defend… why? how?

You stand alone. Against a world of opposition. A world tells you all the reasons you must be wrong.

Crumble. Cave. Call it.

Back out gracefully. If you must believe, believe quietly. And secretly think that maybe you are no longer certain.

My soul hurt and was exhausted. It was a brutal exercise, pushing me to my limits.

But like most physical workouts that push you to your limits- the time comes shortly afterwards where you look back on what you just survived. What you just accomplished. And there is a joy. An exhausted and often times sore joy, but joy.

And as I drove in the silence between location A and B, as hard as the battle was, as harsh the beating… I realized as the dust settled that my foundation was unshaken.

My absolute truths stood. My deep personal beliefs had come out tender yet unscathed.

And I realized the power in that discovery.

I had carefully weighed the opposition. I had reflected and fully taken in the thoughts set before me.

I recognized the parts that were true and I proposed they weren’t wrong but perhaps I was still right. The ends connected.

Knowing what you believe at your deepest core…

there is a hope there.

And hope is a power this world does not know how to completely defeat.

This week it was reaffirmed that I do not have all the answers.

Yet I have all the answers that I need. In a world that tries its hardest to keep you from believing, I believe. In the face of standing alone, I still stand.

I have never known myself more deeply than now. Not only knowing what I believe- but knowing I believe my beliefs when challenged, pushed and questioned.

As I drove in the silence I could feel the dust settling, my head rising and the tears falling. Not in defeat or lack of faith but in thankfulness.

To have a faith that is rooted and grounded in the love of God. A faith that did not fail.

And I know that this is only the beginning of a career. As Christians, we will continuously be called out into the arena and onto the battlefield.

And I know that I will answer that call. Because as painful as it was, I found something there and now I know- that I can.

Here’s to the silences and to the end of the silences here on this page! (I am working on those “time boundaries” and believe I have finally discovered my balance) πŸ’πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Also that 90 day physical challenge is still going strong! πŸ™Œ

Take in the silences after the fire.

Refining is a difficult and painful process.

Refining is also a beautiful and encouraging process.

—— Writing In the Silences —–

It is here.

In the silences…

After the battle…

…that the disciple on their knees takes their first deep breath.

And than notices their tears.

For they have survived…

Every belief, thought and foundational truth attacked, challenged and covered in dust.

But as the dust settles they see…

They see the Sovereign God who incomprehensibly loves them, though they continuously fall short of glory.

They see the God who fought the fight beside them and in them.

And as the dust settles they see the evidence of the defeated enemies that have fallen.

The horizon clears and they lift their head and see the piles of useless weapons that came against them.

Covered in dust and sweat and blood and tears it is in the silences they see.

The spiritual battle they have fought.

And their weapons.

The sword of the spirit. The shield of faith.

Battle worn, but unchanged.

In the silences they decide they will fight again.

In the deep breath they decide they will continue the race.

Sword in one hand. Shield in the other.

In the silences…

They rise.

 

*Photo Credit and thanks to Austin Ban on Unsplash