Everyday Grace

Searching for goodness in the ordinary

Our Relationships // Unstuck

Apr
16

photo: Brooke Cagle

Christopher and I have been together for five-plus years. Though we haven’t yet entered the season of marriage, we have been through a lot together and some of the challenges we have faced are ones we share with our married friends. I think if you are in any kind of authentic relationship with anyone and you spend several years together, you absolutely WILL go through something hard at some point – probably multiple somethings. It’s what we do to weather these storms that defines the quality of our relationships, and the quality of ourselves as people. One thing that is really important to us in our relationship is being intentional about showing love in the small things, because what we’ve learned is that there is no such thing as a small thing. The small things are really the big things in disguise. (more…)

Our Home // Unstuck

Apr
09

photo: Matthew Henry

Like many women who live a life on planet earth, I have questions. Why do people want to eat every day? Like, I just made dinner last night, and now you’re telling me you’re hungry again today? Calm down. Also, why does my apartment hate me and refuse to stay clean? I JUST mopped the floor like three months ago. CAN I LIVE? The worst part is the shame. Social media, I’m looking at you. It can be really easy to feel like my life is a pile of garbage when I have my eyes on a constant feed of lovely homes that look like Joanna Gaines comes over every day to tidy up and put muffins in the oven. I have spent so many days looking around at my space thinking about what a failure I am at this whole cooking/cleaning/home/life thing. I know I’m not alone in this, either, because I’ve heard the exact same thing from so many women. But – just guessing here – I’m reasonably sure a spirit of defeat and failure is not what God wants for us.

The secret truth is that just about everyone struggles with keeping their home to some degree, even if it doesn’t look like it on Instagram. Lack of time, lack of motivation, the presence of other people who share our space and mess it up again once it’s clean (we love them, though, just keep repeating to ourselves that we LOVE THEM)…all of these can easily derail us and make us feel like we’ll never have a nice home or have our ish together. (more…)

Away in a Manger // Advent: An Invitation to Hope

Dec
10

photo: Trinity Kubassek

Advent and the arrival of Hope and Goodness into the world just makes my heart want to sing! So this year, we are taking a closer look at some of my favorite Advent hymns. Each Sunday during Advent 2017, check back to find a new post and a new song, which I hope will fill you with the joy of Christ’s birth. This week, I’m sharing with you my take on “Away in a Manger.” Press play above while you read, sink into hope and rest awhile. This Advent season, let’s remember Who we wait for and sing Him into our world together. As the season unfolds, you can find all the posts here: Advent 2017: An Invitation to Hope.

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I have never personally given birth, but I can’t imagine the fear and completely crazypants emotions that must come with going into labor in a stable. First of all, that is basically outside. Can you imagine? I would have lost my mind, y’all. In a moment when you really want some privacy and comfort, that’s the last place I’d want to be. Jesus’ mom had no inflatable heated birthing pool, essential oils, or customized birth playlist soothing her soul. There was no epidural, and no doctors or nurses or midwives coaching her and ensuring her safety. Heck, this poor, extremely pregnant lady and her husband couldn’t even get a hotel room for the night. They had just survived a ridiculous road trip, but instead of getting a good night’s sleep, this woman actually brought her child into this world on a dirt floor with sheep and goats hanging around and watching. What a mama. We protestants do not give Mary enough credit. (more…)

Day 31: Forward // 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness

Oct
31

photo: Kasuma F. Gruber

Hi there! This is day 31 of a series I’m writing this October called 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness. You can find the entire series here: 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness.

Well, here we are. We’ve been diving deep into hope in brokenness for a whole month now, and I’ve been thinking about how I want to end this time together. I wish instead of interacting over a computer or phone screen, we could say these things over coffee on my couch, but for some of you that would be a pretty long drive. That being said, feel free to pause and go make a cup of your favorite warm cozy drink and pull up to this post when you’re ready. In my neck of the woods, where scarves and sweaters are coming out of hiding as fall temps drop, hot cider actually sounds even better than coffee today.

When I think about what I want you to take from this series, and what I want to be reminded of when I look back on it (because honestly, I mostly wrote it for myself as part of my own healing), my heart and thoughts are drawn straight back to the Gospel. To clarify, this is a safe place for Jesus folks and non Jesus folks alike – whether you are atheist, Christian, agnostic, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, or anything else, you are safe and welcome and wanted here. Completely and without strings. I also think that if I am going to talk about hope, but this core part of my own hope is not mentioned, it won’t be a very honest conversation.

One of my favorite hope stories comes from the Bible, and it’s one that Jesus told Himself.  (more…)