a pep talk: keep on adulting, kid.

If you’re a tired twenty-something who has a long list of responsibilities and a whole lot of questions about what the H you’re doing, this is for you.

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Daylight Savings hit me like a bug on a windshield.

Most days I wake up before the sun is awake. My alarm goes off at 6AM and after pressing snooze 3 times I pull myself out of bed. By 6:30 I’m sitting with a cup of coffee and my Bible on my lap with the world’s largest cat curled up next to me. My morning ritual of rising before the sun doesn’t make me any less tired, and most mornings I debate trading sleep for sanity, but it’s my sacred space. So when 6AM feels more like 5AM, it’s hard make like Big Sean and bounce back.

Adulting is hard. A friend shared this on Facebook the other day and I literally LOL-ed in my office because of how true it is. Adulting means prioritizing and actually doing what life has served to you on your plate. And it’s exhausting, especially here in the PNW “Almost Spring Not Quite” season where it’s hard to tell where the gray starts and ends.

You’ve got a list of to-dos to prove to the world that you are, in fact, thriving but you’ve only got the energy level to put on real pants that day. That’s only if you’re absolutely killing it and you’ve done laundry in the past few days or so. Most weeks I’m lucky if I remember to do laundry in time before I run to Target and buy some clean clothes.

Maybe you’re facing a mountain of your finals or you’re buried at work or maybe it’s just been a couple of rough weeks for you since the shiny beginning of 2017. Whatever it is, your tank is empty. BUT. I believe we’re the comeback kids. So consider me your Coach Taylor (except not a man and way less handsome).

My words are not as poetic as “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.” But if you’re a tired twenty-something – like myself – who has a long list of responsibilities and a whole lot of questions about what the H you’re doing, this is for you.

First thing’s first: look up.

We get so heads down in the grind to prove ourselves as capable humans that we forget to look up around us and breathe. Everything seems a lot bigger when it’s the only thing you’re looking at. You’ve got a capable body and a sound mind a whole lot of future ahead of you. No matter what happens today, there’s going to be a tomorrow. Look around you and realize first and foremost that you’re not alone in this.

But there is something in this world that only you can do and the world needs you to do it.

This may seem scary, but it’s the truth! You were given a whole set of talents, abilities, opportunities and a brain that’s unique to you. You’re something special, you know that? And yes, everybody has been telling you this since the day you were born and it can start to feel like a pipe dream. But something magical happens when you realize that you play an important part in the world.

You could be the world’s greatest pinball player. Or you could use your dance moves to bring cultures and communities together. Or you could code the next app that saves lives. Or you could use your words, resources, and life to do a whole lot of good in your neighborhood.

I get that you can’t put words to what your gifts are yet, but they’re there. I know they are. YOU know they are. It’s only a matter of time before the golden parts of you are uncovered, but it’s on you to make the effort to do so.

You might not be able to create enough space right now to identify what it is you were meant to do on this big green planet, but that’s ok. Sometimes the most important thing right now is to show up and try your best to be present in the work you’re doing today. All of these little experiences make you more into the person you were meant to be. So keep track of what you love and what you hate, eventually you’ll start to build a clearer vision of who you want to be.

Here’s some tough love that I need to hear, too: stop being numb.

There are so many ways to eat the hours and keep us occupied. We scroll and like and click “continue watching” until our brains are exhausted enough to switch off and drift to a hazy shut down. You justify that you need this period of “rest” so that you can continue adulting tomorrow, but that’s not true. Numbing ourselves cheats us out of living and growing into real people. Eventually it becomes a habit and you wake up later and realize that you made a lot of plans and held a lot of dreams but never did anything about them. Don’t live your life in woulda/shoulda/coulda. Take a deep breath and do it, whatever “it” is.

I know you’re trying your hardest to make sure you’re doing everything right. You checked all the boxes of “ways to be a great adult” and still ended up doubting if this was the right thing to do. You look around at everyone else and make yourself responsible for being the example, even if you don’t even know what the example is supposed to look like. But remember when I told you to look up at the other pretty faces around you? They’re trying to figure out the same thing – what am I doing? We’re all wondering what we’re doing, so you don’t have to be the one person who does.

Today’s freedom: No one is expecting you to be the success story. Everyone around you isn’t holding you to these same measuring tape you use and you’re not going to let anyone down if you misstep along the way. No one is watching to see if you’ll fail. But there is a whole tribe of people who want to see you rise and make it to the finish line when you do.

They’re rooting for you to find that thing that makes you feel like all the disconnected parts of you came together – your symphony of strengths. That moment doesn’t have to happen today or tomorrow or next week. It might not even be a one time thing. It could be a series of decisions that all point to one obvious next step. Whatever it is, you were meant to find it and I believe you will.

Homegirl, you were never created to be good at “adulting”. Adulting makes it seem like you have to have it all figured out, and how boring is that? Life is way more fun when you have a sense of wonder and adventure. And grace is all the more sweeter when you mess up and don’t deserve it.

One day you’ll blink and you’ll be sixty. You won’t remember the each day’s ins and outs from when you had no idea who you were, but you’ll remember what you learned and made with your life.

There is always going to be another to-do or more responsibility piled on your plate, but you may not get another opportunity to sing karaoke with your friends on a Thursday night or watch college basketball with your grandpa. There’s only a select few days of sunshine in the PNW winter-spring, so go for a hike. Your laundry and your email inbox can wait and you’ll feel all the more human after you take a minute to truly rest and breathe.

You’re going to be alright, kid. You’re going to be alright.

it’s on the tip of my tongue.

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You know that feeling where a word or a name is stuck in your mouth? Its when your brain has stored a fact away for safekeeping and try as you might to excavate it, it won’t come out when you want it to. You can attempt to force it out with verbal cues and other various forms of muttering in hopes that eventually the letters will form what you know them to be. But the more you force it, the further away the idea becomes. The only thing that makes the words eventually tumble out is time.

I’ve had writer’s block for two months. For eight weeks, I’ve stumbled around with the words I want to say on the tip of my tongue and it has been infuriating. When my big ideas float around untethered to anything it leaves me feeling unsettled. Writing them down feels like coming home.

It’s not like I haven’t had anything to say. There have been more than a few events that looked me straight in the face and said, “This matters to you. It might matter to someone else, too.” I always keep just one reader in mind and think of what I want to say to them in those moments, like we’re sitting across from each other sipping a latte and letting the truths we feel spill out. I wanted to create a place for people to experience honesty in a world of filters and feel like they belong.

Something has shifted since the last time I wrote something for this little tribe. I realized that people actually might read this. And that’s freaking scary. It’s a lot easier to be vulnerable and honest when no one is listening.

The last few weeks have been spent trying to put words to what I think God is walking me through and coming up short every time. I’ve written and deleted entries and keep stringing together pretty sentences to make you feel good, but every time I type something it feels forced. I’ve been too in my head about what I think I should say rather than going with my gut about what I know to be true. The words are there, but now it’s on me to make the choice about how I want to respond.

The thing is: you can’t choose if you don’t know what you want.

Whenever I meet a person in their twenties who can say exactly what they want I immediately assume they’re lying. Seriously. I can count on one hand the number of people I know who can put words to what they truly, deeply desire in life and have actually gone out and done it. These people are inspiring and annoying and are the Millennial unicorns of the world. They’re the people who add you on LinkedIn and actually endorse you for your leadership skills.

No twenty-something actually knows what they’re doing or how to choose that thing. Some of us are just luckier to stumble into situations that make our eyes light up more often than not; myself being one of them. But my passive way of letting the world dictate what I want has been a cheap form of my middle-class privilege that allows me not to care. Because I have the power to choose what I want, but some people in this country have big dreams and goals that they are passionate about and they still don’t have this choice because the world told them, “No. Not allowed.” And I’m left being the asshole trying to get rid of this gift because I don’t want to be honest with myself about what I actually want out of fear.

I’ve felt the pressure to be some kind of spectacular for you. I feel like I need to keep appearing like I have the world figured out and I know exactly what I’m doing and what to say in any given moment. But I’m none of those things. I have no idea what I want. Or maybe I do, but I don’t know how to put words to it yet. I barely even know where to begin. And I’ve started paragraphs and pressed backspace too many times to pretend that I know how to tell you all how to figure out what you want.

The words haven’t been coming because I’ve been too focused on waiting for you to tell me what I should do. I avoid choice because I fear the uncertain aftermath that maybe what I want to say doesn’t matter to anyone else and that nothing matters at all. Which is semi-true, but it’s allowed me to be passive in my decision making and live semi-satisfied. I feel good when others validate me and yet I’m left longing for something I can’t quite place.

Just like the words on the tip of my tongue, my big “wants” are taking form with time and experience. I’ve tried to force them out when I so desperately want answers but they can’t be rushed. I think my dreams are most pure when they choose to show up in my everyday. Like when I’m making tacos or bumping Chance the Rapper in my car and all the sudden I’ll just know. Call it inspiration, call it God, call it luck or whatever. But don’t ignore it.

Your wants/desires/dreams are legitimate. They were planted in you for a reason and you’re worthy of letting them grow into something really beautiful. We owe it to ourselves, our Creator, and even the people around us to be active participants in our lives. Otherwise, you’re just another asshole who has traded away your gift of choice for mediocrity.

I guess this is my long-winded way of saying that I’m sorry for not showing up and being honest sooner and that I am making the decision to make decisions. We all get this one life and I’m learning how to say what I want without shame telling me that we weren’t all created for more than this.

ending well & other things I’m bad at.

Featuring that one planner everyone owns by Rifle Paper Co, that one bedspread everyone owns from Ikea, and my favorite wool socks.

There are few things as satisfying as finishing a great book. Knowing that I spent weeks (albeit sometimes days, or even hours, depending on the story and my schedule) devoted to finishing one thing and finally reaching the empty pages at the back is a unique form of relief. The definition of closure is flipping the last page and reaching “The End.”

I grow attached to characters and the message; often I’ll write my favorite quotes down on pieces of paper and stick them around my room to find later to help me through the post-book depression that starts to settle in soon after I’m finished. For awhile I’ll mope around and refuse to read anything ever again because I’m convinced it just won’t measure up. I’ll tell all of my friends that they have to read this book because I feel some sort of strange loyalty to it. One day I’ll go to the library to find another piece of fiction to tide me over and the cycle starts all over again: read, fall in love, finish, mope, move on.

That’s what ending well looks like to me.

Sometimes I wish life’s seasons were divided into chapters and bound by hard covers. That way  ending well would look like living the story, falling in love with it, finishing the season, mourning about the good times in memorandum, and eventually moving on a little wiser and stronger than before.

This time though, I’m eager to shut 2016’s cover. Screw the process. I want to duct tape this year shut, shove it away in a box marked “NO” and never look back. It’s easy. It’s quick. It allows me to ignore the tough stuff instead of doing the gritty work of sorting through this year. During a couch talk – aka the slightly less dramatic equivalent of a driveway car talk – with my sister, I realized that in order to move forward we have to decide what to bring with us from 2016.

Here’s an unpopular opinion: 2016 wasn’t actually the worst year ever.

Life really sucked when the Black Plague hit Europe in 1346. I’m also going to give a HARD PASS on going back in time to 1861 when the Civil War was taking place. I lived in North Carolina for a month this year, and even though that was less than ideal I would gladly take Charlotte in 2016 over 1861. Just saying. And I’m going there: World Wars. Hitler. Genocides. Even though you can make valid comparisons of these past crises to current world problems, the list for “The World’s Worst Year” is pretty thick.

I don’t want to invalidate the pain that has scarred this year for individuals and people groups. People made choices that left others hurt and confused about where they belong, if they belong. That’s devastating and shouldn’t be made small. But this year hasn’t had more or less letdowns than others. We have always been living in a world that is bleeding from the inside out, it just became more obvious this year. If anything, 2016 was the year that left me feeling a little less naïve than before because of this realization.

Surreal is the best way to summarize how I felt looking at the state of the world and my life after this year. It was hard to believe I was actually seeing and hearing things. Most things I held as true and safe were challenged. I kept saying that I felt older after reading the news of another worldview shattered. A lot of my good friends have expressed feeling frustrated by this constant second-guessing of what is real in their lives as well.

Life never gets clearer, you just get more sure of yourself.

I wrote this quote down on a sticky note and kept it on my work computer. It’s been acting as a subtle reminder that I need to rip the 2016 box open and sort through it. Otherwise it’s going to sit on my shelf for years taking up valuable space in my heart. So I’m holding the triumphs and trials of 2016 in my hands and choosing to keep close the moments – good and bad – that made me feel more sure of who I am. Kind of like a weird, mental version of “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. I’m in my mid-twenties and these are the kinds of books you read when you’re trying to pretend to have your life together.

Moments like standing next to my best friends when they got married are the ones that show me that this year mattered. Or times when I took a risk and learned something new. Or where I was when I found out about Brexit or the US election results. And how I felt when I looked at the picture of the little Syrian boy in the ambulance. This highlight reel of living 2016 out to my edges is what I’m able to point to as experience, wisdom, and has revealed more of God’s heart to me.

I mention God a lot in these blogs but I don’t really address the fact that yes, I am a Christian, and yes, my life has been completely changed by following Jesus. Maybe that’s because I’m afraid that somebody will assume things about me that aren’t true based off of what they read. So here it is: I’m passionate about loving God and His people (that’s you, that’s everyone). I still drink far too many margaritas and say things I shouldn’t and that’s ok. It doesn’t change the fact that I am completely sure that God has called me His daughter, even if I’m not sure about a lot anymore. That’s big for 2017.

I’m bad at making resolutions. It’s hard to set measurable goals when you only have a sliver of an idea of what you want or how God is working in and through you. But I want to give 2016 credit where credit is due: it made me more into the Emily that I want to be in 2017.

In 2017 and for the rest of my little existence here, I want to see people and run toward them rather than running away because I’m uncomfortable. I want to celebrate well and dance hard and often, because some things – like love, hope, and forever promises – deserve to have a bottle of champagne popped and a killer playlist. I want to freely forgive. I want to travel because I can and pet dogs because I can and vote because I can and love because I can. I want to be bold and say the things I mean and hug people a little closer because no one gives good hugs anymore. And I want to ride my bike more.

So as much as I want to ignore 2016, it mattered. And 2017 will matter, too. And one day all of the years will add up and matter a whole lot. Then everything that happened won’t matter at all because I’ll be way too focused on praising God for who He is and has been all this time.

Here’s to becoming more of who we already are.

Dressember 2016: Day Sixteen

I wrote a guest blog for one of my dear friend’s Dressember Campaign to end Human Trafficking. Read why I didn’t wear pants for a month here:

Dressember 2016

Day Sixteen: Emily Flanagan (Seattle, WA)

I love my morning coffee and cozy blankets. I live my life in scarves and will often go out of my way for the things that bring me the warm fuzzies, like visiting old restaurants or wandering my favorite bookstores. I love my comfort.

But I also avert my eyes when I’m at a stoplight and a stranger is holding a sign on the corner. And I’ll politely excuse myself when a woman at church begins to share stories from her past. I avoid tough conversations and plug my ears when I hear news that I don’t like. I love my comfort.

When I first heard about Dressember a few years ago, I didn’t get it. How can simply wearing a dress solve an issue as big as human trafficking? The answer is: it doesn’t.

What I mean is – simply wearing the…

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the good life.

I’ve been walking a pretty steady pace in 2016, and then November came into my life. November cranked the speed all the way up to 10 and told me to keep breathing.

Each weekend in my planner quickly filled up with celebrations, conferences, trips to the airport, and promises. In the moments between scheduled appointments, life’s news decided to push in for space as well. What little room I had to rest and recoup was filled with a mosh pit of hard feelings – the blues and the mean reds and even the confusing combination of violet, too.

At first glance, I’m usually pegged as an extrovert who is a “yes” person. I’m a chatty gal who loves a good happy hour with friends and holds her own when talking to strangers, so it’s easy to assume that I’m most relaxed in a group of people.

Hard as I have fought to uphold this image, the older I get the more I’m realizing how much alone time I need to function as a person who loves people well. I look forward to cancelled plans because that means I can go for a run or read a new book. Showers are the best because I have an excuse to be alone. After parties I turn myself into a blanket burrito for a day just to feel human again. At the heart of all social interactions, I’m an introvert of introverts.

Needless to say: November was exhausting.

Every other blog and op-ed circling the Internet seems to have the same feeling that we all got socked in the gut and we’re not sure why. I think we’re all just looking for someone or something to blame so we can move on with our lives, but when there’s no one to point to you just feel stuck.

How do you move forward when you don’t know how or who brought you to the place you’re in? It’s a desert out there and God feels far away. It feels like he dropped us off here in 2016 and left us with the clothes on our back and a canteen to build character.

Lately I want to throw my hands up and say “I don’t want to be here, I want to be there.” I’m guilty of treating this “desert” as the in-between before my actual life. Like once I move or get promoted or make 10 new friends or join one of those hip, niche gyms then the things that made November so full of disappointment won’t have a hold on me anymore. We’re all slaves to the next thing that makes us feel whole again.

I don’t think that there is anything wrong with hope. But the cocktail of hope and the in-between is a dangerous one. It mixes feelings of discontent with the reality of now. Because in the midst of all of the crap November brought, there really has been a lot of light.

This month I’ve been on six different planes and have spent weekends in four different places. At each stop along the way I’ve been able to share a meal with someone I love and do something I’ve never done before. I’ve checked two dreams off of my bucket list and have lived out the true stories I will tell my kids someday when they’re falling asleep. Disappointment won a lot of battles this month, but joy won the war outright.

Here’s a piece of wisdom that I’ve tucked away for the especially gray days:

“Whatever is happening in our lives right now, that’s God’s best for us. Even if what I think is best is different, He knows. And I want to live out His best and honor that gift.”

Yes – life does feel a little lost right now and God feels too big and far away in the midst of the mess. Where I’m at doesn’t feel like what’s best for me and what I think would be the best is over there… wherever there is. I’m learning that I don’t need to feel like everything is okay to come, sit at His feet and wrestle through the hard stuff together. He knows I’m tired and I need a moment to be upset. But He’s also a good gift giver, so good that I found myself sitting in Main Street in Disney World with a cup of warm coffee humming “The Good Life” and “Holly Jolly Christmas”.

It feels good to breathe in the now rather than wishing for less than. It might even be what’s best.

a Cubs win means more curses are ready to be broken.


W.

For those of you – like me – who don’t necessarily follow baseball and you might have sworn off all media for 2016 (not a bad idea, in hindsight) the Chicago Cubs just won the World Series after a comeback, a rain delay, and a 108-year “curse” hanging over their heads. A curse that said no matter how hard the Cubs tried or how dedicated their fans were, they would never quite achieve what they wanted to… except when Wednesday happened and it was shattered. For-ev-er.

Curses get a lot of credit they don’t deserve. It’s easy to justify crappy situations by pointing to something beyond our control, like a curse, and shifting all blame to it. I made a joke the other day with a friend that my dating life is cursed by me being the one before the One (has only been true once…maaaaybe twice, but it made us both laugh). It’s easy to say “unlucky” or chalk a bad situation up to being cursed rather than face the fact that maybe it wasn’t our turn. Or maybe we didn’t have the faith & patience & perseverance to break the curses weighing us down ourselves. 

In the words of Michael Scott, “I’m not superstitious, but I’m a little stitious.” Some things in life truly just happen, but I don’t want to credit life’s magic moments to just coincidence. It’s the victories, the W’s, that we need to lift up on our shoulders and hoist in the air. Let’s give them the facetime instead of the curses. Things like a 108-year-old curse being broken deserve to be celebrated more than just another mark in history. They deserve parties and parades, the toasts and speeches written about their long time coming, and they deserve to be recognized as on purpose. Things like the Cubs winning the World Series make me hopeful that all curses are just waiting to be broken by a group of ordinary people with extraordinary callings. 

This is not a political post. I promise I will not say the names of Those Who Must Not Be Named. But 2016 has made me cynical, and I’m not the only one. There has been a lot of disappointment in the state of the world and it can make a gal feel blue. Instead of letting all of the things going wrong dictate what we speak about 2016, I vote that we start talking about all the curses that were shattered this year because that’s what really matters. 

There are victories happening all around – like human trafficking busts and documentaries like 13TH being brave enough to tell the truth and love stories of people pledging stick by each other for better OR worse. These are the stories worth celebrating and telling our grandbabies about one day. Stories of hope breed dreamers, and we need more of those in our lives to grow up to be the curse breakers of the future. 

I believe in people, regardless of how unqualified and imperfect they are. I will root for the underdog and I will bet against all odds for the One to change the game. We give curses too much credit because it just takes one win, one person, one ruling, one change to shut it down forever. Even if it takes awhile, they always come to an end if you’re patient enough to keep the faith that promises curses are only temporary. So let’s keep the hope and let the rest of 2016 be a year of the W. 

restless wanderer syndrome.

home

I love autumn. I love the pumpkins and apples, the boots and scarves, the new Bon Iver album and old Death Cab for Cutie records that seem to always play in the background of my life. I love eating soup and reading when it’s an especially rainy day. I love hiking in the brief sunshine and running in the crisp air when it’s an especially bright October day.

But let’s be real: Fall is a transition season that makes you crave Home. All of the changing leaves and weather and even wardrobe make a person want to cling to something steady, which is hard when you’re living in transition yourself.

Like most people, I used to think home was a place – but I realized that you can live somewhere and not feel at home. So then I thought home was a feeling, one of being relaxed and safe – but this feeling frequently changed, depending on who I was with at the time. Then I thought home was with certain people, which is semi-true but as much as I want to I can’t hold onto people and claim them as home. And I think in the end I’ve landed on this: home is the space where you know those around you and can be known by them. Another word for this is ‘intimacy’. Whether it’s a place, a feeling, or people, home is an intimate space of being fully known. 

I’ve been extremely lucky to have two homes, each on one end of WA’s stretch of I-5, and now I’m currently living somewhere in between. When I lived in Bellingham, I missed the people who know and love me well back in Vancouver. And when I was in Vancouver, I missed my community in Bellingham. Now I’m in the process of building a new community, a new home, with new people – which is risky. It means letting people knowing all of the good and all of the bad, most of which I don’t want anyone to see. Far too often I run away from this out and I’m left retreating from the deep relationships God created us to have. Because if I am fully known, I risk not being enough.

Enter in a term I like to call Restless Wanderer Syndrome.

Restless Wanderer Syndrome (RWS) is this thing that happens when you look at your life and you’re always in pursuit of something better, usually based off of what someone else has. It’s a symptom of our culture’s deep evil of always thinking something better is out there, something that makes you feel more whole, complete, and enough. Humans have been struggling with RWS for years and if you don’t believe me, read the Old Testament of the Bible. There’s tons of stories of people who look at what God is doing in their neighbor’s life and then they decide that what God has for them sucks and they ditch that for what they think is better. In the end, these people somehow always end up lost in a desert to spend the rest of their days lonely and bumbling around until they come home to what God promised them years ago. RWS is the worst curse because you’re never quite home, and how sad is that?

Maybe you can connect to this nagging feeling of wanting home. We are privileged because we grew up in an era where we can call our people whenever we want, use WhatsApp/Skype/FaceTime to call my friends living overseas, see life updates via Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/_____ and text whoever you want without limit (who remembers the days of paying 10 cents per text am I right?!).

Technology is great, but it still doesn’t replace intimacy within your relationships. Relationships exist far beyond a double-tap on a picture or even separated by space and an iPhone. They happen when we strip down technology’s walls and show up. When we’re there, unfiltered and letting yourself be real and known by the people around you. I’m not saying technology is bad, I think it is a really wonderful thing, but I am saying that in order to create a home you can’t run away when it gets awkward, or leave if you find a cooler crew to hang out with, or even hide behind social media and say you’re in community with someone. To experience home you have to quit running. You have to be willing to personally show up and stay long enough to be seen, no matter how uncomfortable it is.

I’m learning that it’s okay to be frustrated with the process of building new community, especially in a new church. Sometimes it can feel like everyone has already been at this party and you showed up late, so now you have to look busy by getting a drink and pretending like you’re definitely supposed to be there even though the person who invited you isn’t there yet. No one likes being the new kid. No one looks forward to kicking it alone in the pews while everyone else sits down with their friends. For a large part of my life I’ve played an integral part of building community, so when I’m on the outside it feels strange. I always feel welcomed, but it’s almost a constant reminder that I don’t quite belong yet.

One of the reasons I love following Jesus is because he is a person who says everyone belongs. He didn’t wait for someone in the synagogue to say he was cool to start building community, he just did it because he knew that first and foremost he was in right relationship with God. Jesus flipped the script when it comes to dinner parties by eating with pimps, gang members, swindlers and prostitutes. He kicked it with folks that the religious people of his time deemed unworthy to be seen with. But God’s love doesn’t work like that. It is wild, unashamed, and proud to be seen with you – no matter who you are, what you look like or what you’ve done. God is just excited to BE with you in His house. You are more than enough because He created you.

“Enough is a staying word.” – Hannah Brencher.

Staying is growing my roots deep, even if it’s much easier to remain on the top soil. It’s a painful process to be vulnerable, open, honest, and raw, then to be ripped up and placed somewhere else where you have to grow through the process of knowing/being known all over again. Building genuine community is hard. It’s tiring and all I want is to stay, root, and be Home in one place forever. So I default to my RWS and I run. And then God gently reminds me, “Come Home. I see you. Be patient. You belong.”

So to all of the people doing the good, hard work of building a new community: remember that at the end of all your running, you were created by God to crave a place called Home. Risk vulnerability. Be brave in your relationships with others. Stay awhile.