Today, I stood in the shower and thought about what I'm doing with my life. Yesterday, I had an advising meeting for next year and it made my insides swell and push against my brain until I was so overwhelmed that I went back to my dorm, had a chocolate covered cherry, and laid down to look at the blank white of the ceiling.

          I don't have a plan for the future. Every time somebody asks me what I'm doing after college, I simply say "I don't know." Because I don't. And last time I said it, the look on the person's face was enough to make me want to slump my shoulders and doubt the whole of my entire generation. And the thing is, I have at least a year to let the options sift through my head and my hands until I need to make a decision. If I think about it now, my thoughts start flipping through my head in glimpses, like someone shuffling a deck of cards or reading a list of random words.

          I could teach overseas or in Indiana or anywhere. I could go to grad school or work in a library or in a church or even travel the world. I could work a job that has nothing to do with my major. I don't know.
          I only know that I'm very good at wiping tables, maybe good at teaching kids, and able to scan documents. At the same time, I don't like sending emails, people are a mystery to me, and I am completely and totally unsure about the future.

          I don't know.

          About a week ago, a friend wrote me a note that reminded me of who I am. I'm thankful that she sees me in the midst of my mess. I'm thankful for people who speak truth about my value when am disappointed in myself and for people who still love me even when I'm selfish. I'm thankful for friends who say that I have a bright future, even as I sit in my dorm room eating stale tortilla chips dipped in nutella because I'm too lazy to leave the dorm. I'm thankful for friends who want to break bread with me and remind me of my inherent worth and friends who will work hard and laugh and grieve alongside me. I'm thankful for people who help me to see myself.

          Sometimes, I'm even thankful for an unknown future.
          Because while my future is unknown, I am not unknown. I am known. Even loved

Song of the post: Should Have Known Better-Sufjan Stevens


the small things (part 5)

It's spring break here and I'm sitting in a Panera (or St. Louis Bread Co. It's all in how you slice it...) surrounded by laughing toddlers and warm bread and lesson plans on lesson plans and it feels good. It's been good to have this much needed time of rest. Here are some things I'm thankful for...

-I'm thankful for my own bed and my own well worn sheets.

-For impromptu root beer floats and a family that will put up with my quirky movie choices.

-For chaco weather and the return of the sun.

-I'm thankful for funny, road-tripping, adventurous friends who update the world via hashtags. #TUthegrandcanyon

-For half priced books and friends who know exactly what you're looking for, even when they live far away.

-For a brother whose love language might be cruising around with shamrock shakes.

-I'm thankful for throwback pictures of NYC, that make me my own particular shade of homesick.

-And for oversized grey t-shirts that basically pose as dresses. Yes.

What are you thankful for, friends?

Song of the Post: Patience, First and Patience, Please- Penny and Sparrow


Friday Prayers

          Some days, my soul fits easily into my skin. My soul settles easily and my fingers are quick and my eyes are clear. I walk through the world, knowing that I am His. The words that I say are fulfilling and I see every moment of the light.
          But most days, I wake up and my soul is crooked under my skin. It's like putting your feet into the wrong shoes. No matter how hard I try, I can't be fixed without grace. So I fidget within myself and pray for the day when all of my corners will fit. A day when the whole world will be made new. And I pray over and over "Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me." Over and over and over under my breath because I know that I am part of The Body, even when my own soul doesn't sit right. And I know that others may not be able to see Christ in me on those days, not through my unkind attitude or grouchy spirit or even my simple humanness. Not without help from the Holy Spirit. So I pray it with the rhythm of every step. Please let them see Christ in me.
          This is part of a prayer called the Lorica of Saint Patrick.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, 
Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, 
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, 
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, 
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, 
Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me. 

         This year, I've spent a lot of time with this prayer. My soul is weary and most days I don't do a good job of being the light. But Christ is with me and before me. He does give rest for my soul.
           Friends, lets pray this as we move throughout today and every day.

Song of the post: Heart Gone Wild- John Lucas



open windows. open hearts.

       In the spring, I always have the urge to write again. I love the beginning of winter, the freshness of snow and liquid air in my lungs. But by the middle of January, the greyness settles in my bones and I get so so tired.
       Today I opened my window and stood in the light. I read poetry and dressed up and ate well. I laughed deeply, from the bottom of my being. Tomorrow I will take off my shoes and let my feet feel the earth again. Spring has come.
       The greyness will come back. But I can finally see the light and feel the sun on my face. Joy is mine, given by our greatest joy-bringer. I will rejoice.

Song of the post: She Lit a Fire- Lord Huron




Dearest Third South (and the rest of Third).
           I am continually thankful for your resilience, your patience, and your kind spirits. You long to create a place of beauty even when you are peering with your flashlight hearts into a very dark world. Thank you for showing me that vulnerability and strength can flourish in the same place. You are brave and still soft. You make hard decisions. You look to see the good. You always keep pushing up from under the trampled soil. You give willingly and receive with grace. And for that I am grateful.

Song of the post: Gracious- Ben Howard