two years married.

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    “It has made me better loving you… it has made me wiser, and easier, and brighter. I used to want a great many things before, and to be angry that I did not have them. Theoretically, I was satisfied. I flattered myself that I had limited my wants. But I was subject to irritation; I used to have morbid sterile hateful fits of hunger, of desire. Now I really am satisfied, because I can’t think of anything better. It’s just as when one has been trying to spell out a book in the twilight, and suddenly the lamp comes in. I had been putting out my eyes over the book of life, and finding nothing to reward me for my pains; but now that I can read it properly I see that it’s a delightful story.” Henry James

    Thankful for the beauty of days past, excited for the adventure of future days.


    My Favorite Olympic Moments So Far

    My Favorite Olympic Moments So Far

    The Winter Games are cool and all (no pun intended) but I live for the Summer Games. Track and field, gymnastics, swimming — the best. These games have been super fun to watch, and we have been losing sleep because NBC doesn’t like to show the most important moments until 10:30 at night. Obviously, we could watch the footage the next day, but still… it’s more fun to watch live. And my favorite moments so far have been wide and deep.

    Simone Manuel’s joy on winning an individual gold. (pictured above, from New York Magazine)

    Aly Raisman starting to tear up before she even finished her Silver-winning floor routine.

    Also, Aly’s parents. The best.

    Abbey D’Agustino. What an inspirational woman, prioritizing kindness over winning, endurance over giving up.

    Zac Efron surprising the gymnasts. Have you seen this yet? It’s funny and cute.

    USA sweeping the 100m hurdles to make history!

    Kerri Walsh Jennings fighting and enjoying another medal

    Katie Ledecky owning her 800m swim. Spectacular, that one.

    Ashton Eaton and Brianne; they’re cool.

    Laurie Hernandez in her joy and support of teammates.


    the plot I’ve been given to tend

    the plot I've been given to tend | heartnatured

    We go over to a friend’s new home for dinner. They have three kiddos running around, a blooming side business, and summer activities, amidst the daily ebbs and flows of life. They are in a vastly different season of life than J and I are currently. Even when they went through the stage we’re currently going through, there were different circumstances, made unique with different personalities and jobs and church commitments.

    She and I talk about a myriad of things – children to past memories to home-making to church. All four of us bring different perspectives and colors to the evening, God’s beautiful design.

    I ask questions and learn about their life, and I think about ours. Different plots to tend, schedules to keep, goals to accomplish.

    I bless and encourage her as I can (being a non-mom and about 6 years younger), and we leave around 10pm.

    On the way home I reflect on the plot that God has given me to tend right now. 

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    words: mindfulness

    photo from unsplash!

    “When you sit down to eat, pray. When you eat bread, do so thanking Him for being so generous to you. If you drink wine, be mindful of Him who has given it to you for your pleasure and as a relief in sickness. When you dress, thank Him for His kindness in providing you with clothes. When you look at the sky and the beauty of the stars, throw yourself at God’s feet and adore Him who in His wisdom has arranged things in this way. Similarly, when the sun goes down and when it rises, when you are asleep or awake, give thanks to God, who created and arranged all things for your benefit, to have you know, love and praise their Creator.” St. Basil the Great


    What I’m Listening To | No. 1

    I have become a podcast-listener, you guys. It used to be challenging for me to focus during an audio sermon or speech, but I have started down the road, and I’m digging it. So, as I listen to a variety of things, I want to share what speaks loud to me. They could be hilarious, or helpful, or inspiring, or encouraging. Hope anyone who finds these lists enjoys them also.

    Olympic Spirituality: How Then Shall We Run? – John Piper

    “God has not saved you to sit in the stands. God has not saved you to lie on the track. God has not saved you sit on the edge of the pool with your feet in the water. God has saved you to spend yourself for the glory of his Son (Philippians 1:20). “You are not your own. You were bought with a price. Glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). The point of salvation is to make the glory of God visible in the universe.”

    The Happy Hour #100 – Jamie Ivey Podcast

    I’ve been listening to The Happy Hour Podcast for a couple of months and it’s gold. Jamie is authentic, funny, and a cheerleader of all her guests (which include Shauna Niequist, Jessica Robertson, Jen Hatmaker, Emily Freeman, etc). It’s a conversation between two girlfriends about life, books, adventures, family, love, challenges, etc. This is her 100th episode, and her husband Aaron interviews her. It will make you laugh, and it’s a fun episode to start with if you’ve never listened to this podcast before.

    Our Emotions Do Not Equal Our Circumstances – The Lively Show

    “This episode is perfect for anyone who is looking to have more positive feelings and less emotional reactivity to circumstances (or other people’s emotions) in their lives.” Jess Lively

    Justice and Law Enforcement – Matt Chandler

    This was a perspective changer for me. Matt talks about these past few weeks, and sheds fresh light on law enforcement — what they endure, how they are treated, what they strive for, etc. It was an interesting listen for sure.

    What I'm Listening To | No. 1 |


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