Friends, Laughter, and Puppies in Sweaters

This past Saturday, my small group came together as an early Christmas gathering for some food, games, laughs, and you guessed it, puppies in sweaters. We played Telestrations (hilarious game) and watched funny YouTube videos, but the hit of the night was definitely Coco, the little yorkie that our small group leader was watching for a friend. He was such a calm and chill puppy and was wearing the cutest argyle sweater!

Puppies in Sweaters

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Identity Crisis

I want this space to be a place of joy. A place for encouragement and dare I hope, a little inspiration.

Writing brings me joy. It centers me in ways that I never expected and lets me process all the things that my mind tends to jumble up into one giant, well, mess. I only wish that I had realized this penchant for writing words sooner.

I’ve rebelled for so long against the idea of sharing anything overly personal on this blog for awhile now and I don’t even know if it was a conscious decision. Sure, I’ve shared of the grief that I experienced in Fall of 2015 when I lost my grandmother and my aunt but not much else. This blog was quickly turning into a blog that was centered around grief and loss and I had skipped right on over the “getting to know you” stuff. If you scroll back through my archives, it’s almost laughable at how random and sporadic my posts were.

When I was in the midst of that season of loss, I can’t tell you how many moments of joy and gratitude there were between me and God. It was truly beautiful. So many of the promises that He made in Scripture were being played out in my life and for the first time, I felt true joy in the Lord and in His amazing strength. I was so overcome that I wanted to write about it. I wanted to share that with others but I began to try and do that in glossy, picture-perfect ways. I wanted my blog to look like so many of the other blogs out there and share things the way that so many others did. But in doing that, I skipped over one of the most important parts.

The journey….

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Beards and Beanies // An Asheville Weekend

This past weekend I spent a day and a half in Asheville and it was no where near enough. I arrived on Friday around three in the afternoon and headed home Saturday night around 9:30 and the entire drive home, I daydreamed of a day when maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t have to leave.

My heart and my soul belong to the mountains, I’ve written of that before. I live for the crisp Fall days, the beautiful rolling hills, and the fresh snowfall in the Winter. The mountains may call my name, but Asheville in many ways calls me home.

The first time I ever visited Asheville was in the summer of 2012, and I knew this place was special. In Boone, where I went to college, it was very rural and very much a small town. Having grown up adjacent to Charlotte, city life was a far cry from what Boone was and I never really saw myself staying there to live. When I visited Asheville, I remember my jaw literally dropping when I realized that the city was both populated enough to be considered a city and it had the sprawling mountain views….

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Looking for Clarity

I don’t know that I really know how to write for this blog anymore.

I thought that I did for the better part of the past year, but here I find myself again. Consistently struggling to find the words to write for this space so that it doesn’t just become another idle corner of the internet.

When I initially entered the “blogging world”, I wrote about my favorite books, movies, and TV shows and I learned what I know about social media and writing on the internet from contributing and running fansites. But as time went on, I came to see that I wasn’t necessarily being sustained or fulfilled by doing all of that. I created this particular blog as an “escape” from the pop culture world and thought I’d just keep it as an online journal of sorts. But my posts were few and far between and I came close to deleting the site on many occasions. Later in 2014, when God really began to change my heart and my life, I realized that this outlet could be a good outlet for my walk with Christ and for sharing the things that God brings into my life and used to teach me.

My life at that time was going through some major changes. From late 2013 to January 2016, it felt as though my life was experiencing earthquake after earthquake. Each family member that we lost shook things up, crumbling away the misguided and detrimental parts of my life so that God could refine and reshape what was left standing. Each wave of grief was like an aftershock, molding things even further….

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In Between

You may have noticed this space has been a little sparse lately.

To be perfectly honest, friends, I haven’t wanted to write here for some time and that has been so hard. This blog is like a sanctuary to me. In many ways, my heart and my soul have been bared in this space over the past year as God both wrecked me and restored me.

Since I began to blog about things more personal, rather than the superficial pop culture articles I wrote back when I first started blogging all those years ago, I’ve learned something about myself.

It’s really hard for me to write on a whim.

As much as I wish I could pop out post after post that both inspires and encourages, I just can’t. Try as I might, I just can make this space look like the rest of the lifestyle blogs out there who have seemed to master weaving their faith together with topical/promotional posts.

When the Lord moves me, I write. When He teaches me, I write.

It’s not that the Lord hasn’t been teaching me in this absence. On the contrary, He has been working so hard in me these last few weeks.

This school year is hard. The Lord has entrusted 16 children into my care this year and oh, how their needs are overwhelming. I long to have all of the answers and somehow find the magical intervention and visual aid that will solve the developmental and behavioral struggles we face.

I am weary. By Friday afternoon, I am lucky to be able to string coherent thoughts together. Hence why the post is a little on the ramble-y side….

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