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what i’ve learned

younger me, don’t live so afraid.

Posted in faith

Lately, I’ve had reason to look back into my middle and high school years and self. And those are the words that come to mind:

Girl, don’t be so afraid.

This past weekend we celebrated my only niece’s 13th birthday with a blessing brunch, we dubbed it. My encouragements (things I would’ve told my 13-year-old-self today) to her were:

  1. You don’t have to be everyone’s best friend, and not everyone will like or love you, and that’s okay.
  2. You will never regret choosing Jesus and His way of doing things, over the temptations, tendencies, and promotions of the world.

In all honesty, I walked through middle school and early high school years timidly, paralyzed with fear of making a mistake or being thought of as out of the culture-loop. I was insecure about my appearance because I was afraid of being confident and feeling beautiful exactly as I was, believing the lie that comparison was better. I was afraid of letting the weight of who I was – my hopes, dreams, quirks, passions, interests – bear on those around me, for fear that I’d be judged or put on the spot.

I didn’t idolize the ‘popular group,’ or even want to be one of them, but I did want to blend in, and be someone other people wanted to be around. 

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What I’ve Learned: From Having A Best Friend

Posted in relationships

That friend that you can actually say back their home phone number and the names of their parents, a rarity in a world where everyone is so connected on the surface. It’s that friend who brings about the best and most meaningful of conversations, about life and love. Sometimes those conversations don’t even involve words. Just sitting. And looking forward. And acknowledging the silence or the pain, the joy or the confusion.

It’s that friend that pushes us and challenges us. They tell us that yes, we did good, but they definitely know we can do better. It’s that friend that we will never have to question if one day we will be without them or if a fight will cause our friendship to rip. We know in 10, 20, 50 years, they will still be the best listeners to the stories we tell.

It’s that friend whom you grow up with, believing you can give them the world. It’s that friend that holds you when you find out for the first time that the world doesn’t always have to be kind to you. It’s that friend that you can tell with conviction, “the world is going to love you.” And then you think in your head, the world would be crazy not to. via

One of the greatest things about having a best friend is that I’m not afraid of showing my heart of hearts. I know she’ll love me through it.

One of the greatest things about being a best friend is the joy of loving someone — & being present — through the thickest and the thinnest.

We’ve been together since we made up our secret handshake in 2nd grade. We’ve been through valleys and mountaintops together, seasons of distance — sometimes geographically, sometimes emotionally.

I’ve learned a lot from her — she’s strong, beautiful, determined, outgoing.

I’ve learned how to be brave and take chances.

I’ve learned to step out of my comfort zone.

I’ve learned to not get stuck inside my head, bogged down by my anxieties. (She’s pretty great at lovingly calling me out on that.)

I’ve learned to believe the best in people.

I’ve learned what it means to love continually.

She rocks — thankful & happy she’s my best friend.

Best Friend

What I’ve Learned… from the first two months of marriage.

Posted in him

View More: http://chrisguzzardophotography.pass.us/eubankwedding

Two months married! It feels short and long all at once. I love living with another person who loves me like J does. There are great calls in marriage, expectations given by God — love even when the other is unlovable, serve out of humility, etc — but it’s also simply fun.

In these two short months we’ve been married, I’ve observed many things, about God’s desire for the institution itself, but also about myself. (Hallelujah grace.)

  • Always believe the best — good intentions.
  • Before you respond, take a breath. Slow to speak, quick to listen.
  • It’s vital to daily ask God to lead my heart to love deeply, wide open.
  • Make it a point to slow down at some point of the day/night, to reflect on how I’m blessed.
  • Be intentional in asking questions about my husband’s day, what’s happening in his heart and mind.
  • Celebrate the tiny moments, i.e. dance in the kitchen. Choose joy. It’s important.
  • Flirt, and have fun doing it.
  • A short term memory and a forgiving heart can change the course of an entire day.

I love the man with my whole heart, but I know it’s only two-months-married-deep. We’ve got a lot of life to go, but I wouldn’t want to be in the trenches with anyone else. Thankful for who he is.