Advent: Day 3

I just moved into a new apartment, and it is 100% a victory in commitment and faith. I’ve been afraid to put down roots and this feels like a solid step into the ground. Right outside my window, across the way, are these gorgeous apartments. My bedroom is mostly bed, and I have 2 roommates. I’m grateful to be here, and to be with them, and I also know, or hope, or really know, this isn’t my final stop. This isn’t it, it. This isn’t my forever, god, I hope not.

Waiting is really hard when you know where you’re at is not it, it and a potential it stares at you from across the way. You wake up with longing, with a desire to be on the other side. It doesn’t take away from how great the right now may be. What is possible just reminds you how much space there is in your heart, in your longing, in your desire for more. It’s okay to want more. It’s okay to look across with even envy. There is a fine line between inspiring envy and covetous bitterness. It’s okay to know where you’re at is not it.

Because it isn’t. There is more. There is space for even deeper promises. There are promises waiting to blossom. So yes to embracing all you have right now and yes to knowing more is to snow down. It snowed today.

Where can your desire for more receive more grace and judgement?

What is on the other side? What does it represent? What would you get?

What is great about this side? (Because this side was the other side of something else.)

Take a breath. Let time do it’s job.

Yesterday I found out that a good friend of mine got an amazing opportunity. I was so happy and inspired by her. I wish my feelings stopped there, but as I am a hypersensitive overthinking feelings-drawn human, I sunk deep into a well of emotions that made me feel guilty. I was jealous. I was disappointed in myself. Dare I say, I was even angry that the world blesses people like my friend and people like me are meant to ride the Ferris wheel to nowhere special. And I know! “Jealousy and disappointment really just show WHAT YOU WANT!” “Friends getting great things means THE UNIVERSE CAN GIVE IT TO YOU, TOO.” “Express the feelings and they will move, sweet pea.” I journaled and I cried and I prayed and I drank and I walked up the Hudson River to get my body moving.

Yet the feelings lingered and I stayed in the not yet and already of, trusting what is mine will not be taken from me. I just wished I was less human and only had super celebratory thoughts for my friend.

Then today I got an answer to prayer — an opportunity that gave me a clear exit from the service job I wasn’t super excited about starting. I could not believe the timing of the call. I could not believe I felt so excited after weeks of ambient grumpiness. I experienced this unexpected joy again.

I don’t want the solution to jealously and disappointment to a tangible exciting opportunity that refocuses your brain. But it helps! It really helps because I am a scared child full of doubt. But banking on physical opportunities is throwing things into the wind. So in this current moment of bliss here are my takeaways that might snap me out of my next stretch of dark gray:

Who has reached out to me recently that I can point to as life rafters? Thank them!

I don’t need to justify my life to anyone who doesn’t believe in faithful living.

Is there anyone around you you can help so you can pull your head out of the well?

Treat yourself to a cookie or a margarita or an expensive Pilates class.

Only the brave can live moment to moment, like Anna, doing the next right thing. And if you don’t know, call a friend.

Thank you god for granting me gifts that remind me I am not forgotten, that my path is uniquely mine, and I am worthy regardless of the outcome.

Lent Day 23: I give up the Talk of Gratitude

If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

Isaiah 58:9-10

I give up the talk of gratitude, and instead, walk the life of gratitude. I give up saying I’m grateful because I feel obligated to say it. I give up declaring my gratitude because I’m afraid of what people think. I give up prefacing all my conversations with I’m grateful, without sharing the heartache and other areas I’m trying to work through as well. I give up lessening my desires and hiding my dissatisfaction for fear of being seen as ungrateful. Instead of making it plain in words, I want to live like I know each moment and each human is precious. I want to live like I have been given so much, time, money and energy wise. I want to live from having, being enough and still want more without guilt. I want my joy, my generosity, my care for others to be proof of my gratitude, even if I don’t say, I’m grateful.

Living like it’s a Gift of Grace

I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Ephesians 3:7-12

No matter how high and powerful you are, wherever you are, you serve something or someone. What philosophy, priority or perspective do you live by? Who do you seek to please? Where or from whom do you derive your power and purpose? What do you get to do which feels like a gift of grace?

I take many aspects of my life for granted, from being able to live in my city to pursue my dream career to being able to laugh fully. The former takes a grasp of hopes and dreams and the latter derives from exercising my diaphragm muscle. These things are not givens for everyone — the mindset of pursuing something that is brave and fulfilling, and the space and ability to enjoy, play and be silly. These are gifts I have received by grace because of my ancestors’ hard work and because of God’s divine provisions. I also don’t think there is a final arrival for these gifts; I will get to expand and grow until the end of my days.

I encourage you to press into the thing that you get to do that expands you, that reminds you of God’s freedom and confidence in you. I encourage you to serve the good news of freedom, unity and wholeness and see where it takes you, who it leads you to and how it manifests. I encourage you to lead by serving a purpose greater than yourself. I pray that you can live into the thing that makes you think in each moment, wow! woah! this is all a gift!

Hope is a Habit

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Romans 5:1-5

First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.

Octavia Butler

Before ALL else, we have to come back to our justification in Christ — that through the death and life of Jesus, we all have access to God. There is nothing we need to do besides believing that there is a God that loves us beyond our minds can comprehend. God loves us so much that he displayed a tangible example for our humans minds to comprehend. Because we are justified, we have faith and we have grace. Because we are justified, we have hope and we are marked by the last word of God, which is that good triumphs evil and love triumphs all. Out of this wholeness and faith, THEN, can we also boast in our suffering because we know in this context suffering builds us up. Suffering gives us habits and structures to get through every-changing circumstances with integrity and character. Suffering creates a moral road map for our ever straying hearts. When we endure and come back to the glory and justification of God in the midst of suffering, we are building incremental changes in ourselves that make hope more visible in this world. We do not suffer or persevere for its own sake; we do it all in and for hope. There will be moments when you don’t feel like going on. There will be times when you don’t feel led to persevere. Come back to the promises and days when you felt wrapped up in God’s hope and glory. Can you remember how you felt in those moments? Can you see how where you are not is so different than where you used to be? Can you see that even when you don’t feel it, God is at work? If in the valley, we can come back to our first truth of justification and find seeds of past & future promises, hope will eventually break through! Just look at Georgia!

CBG: Good Friday

And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered. But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.

Matthew 26:30-35

Prayer: You knew. You knew and you still chose to sing. You knew what was to come and still you were patient. You knew we were going to betray you and still you were kind. You knew the pain and sorrow and heartbreak of this world and still you chose to enter into it, know it so you can know us. You knew that you would be rejected. You knew you were going to be wronged, humiliated, misunderstood, forgotten, abandoned, killed. You carried your own death and our death on your back as each step was unbearably hard. You knew. I wish all I had in my heart was 100 percent faith and gratitude. I wish I had the level of patience, love and kindness that you showed me. I wish I wouldn’t hurt when I’m hurt. I wish I wouldn’t reject when I felt scared. I wish I wouldn’t deny your love and presence when I feel like it doesn’t even matter. Yet you still went and you forgive and you hold me still, and love me still. You know me. And I lay before you all the parts of me that you want to nail on the cross. Quiet my need for you to speak loudly. Grow my faith that you are right here, in me, saying, “I know. I know. And I’m with you to the end.”

Creative: Nail to the cross the thing(s) causing you fear and resentment.

Brave: “Sit” with someone in despair without fixing them.

Generous: Is there a relationship needing forgiveness? Can you give it?

CBG: #13

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate;

a time for war, and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Everyone is in a season of “refraining from the embrace.” However outside of that, no one can tell you or judge you for the season you’re in. What season(s) are you in? Knowing what season you’re in can replace frustration and anger with patience, doubt with stillness and distrust with potential. Knowing what season you’re in realigns expectation, or even better, helps you release any expectations. When you know what season you’re in, you’ll understand why some characters are starring in your life, while others should just be an extra. It’s okay. It shifts. Tomorrow, the next hour, the next minute could be a new “episode of life.” And each minute is the same length and has equal value. Each minute can matter when your focus is on eternity.

Prayer: What time is it?

Creative: What season do you want to be in? Imagine it. Create something as if you’re in that season.

Brave: Call someone in today.

Generous: Tell a mentor or someone who’s really shaped you in a former season, how much it meant and what you learned from that season.

CBG COVID Challenge: #1

It is natural and normal to paint the current situation as grim. It is. And it can feel insensitive and fake to simply find the silver lining or to focus on the positive. We as children of God DO NOT and SHOULD NOT do that because God does not silver line or simply zoom past reality to eventual heaven. If anyone and anything exemplifies how to “get through crisis,” it was Jesus f’ng Christ. He lived through humanity aka crisis and pain and hurt. He was with humanity. So as Christians we must set an example of how to live through reality while focusing on the goal and treasure we have already gained. This is our special time to overtly balance things that seem incongruent — here and not yet; fully clean yet needs sanctification; saints and sinners. What would it look like for us to be the truest church today, a church that makes others know and feel, we may be human form but we are Spirit guided.

As I was meditating on what the current situation feels like — anxiety, fear, depression, anger, sorrow, joy, gratitude, the movie Inside Out — I landed on this scripture which I think can be a way in to how we will get through.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?

Matthew 16:26

When we have the world, it’s easy to meditate on that scripture and tell ourselves — yes don’t be hoarding, don’t be selfish, meditate on God. We were focused on and we had the world, and we didn’t know it. Until now, when it really feels like we have lost the world. We have. We have lost our plans, our community, our money, our jobs, our hugs, life as we know it. So, now that the world is upside down, I’m going to flip this scripture.

For what will it profit a man if he gains his soul and forfeits the whole world?

That, children of God, is what we have. We have gained our soul and we have lost our world. This special time we have is a time for us to one, meditate and live into what it means to “gain our soul” and two, acknowledge and work through a reality of “forfeiting the world.” Can we do this? Can we do the hard work to shift and mold our character and soul while being real humans about our loss? I think by the Holy Spirit we can and we must!

Not sure if it’s Warren Buffet or Benjamin Graham, one of these old wealthy rich dudes, said to do something creative, brave and generous every day. Through these three categories I hope to make tangible the posture of Matthew 16:26. I also want to share a daily prayer posture. I hope this reset and reframe God has put on humanity will lead to a kinder, more vulnerable, and more overtly interdependent world. We need each other and each other is the funnest way through. Virtually, of course. STAY AWAY FROM PEOPLE!

Prayer: Grief. Be real and honest with God with loss you are experiencing and you see the world around you experiencing. Give it to God, hardcore lay it on God. Take a breath and let God really respond however God does.

Creative: Dance and jam to a song. YAS queen.

Brave: Who can you forgive?

Generous: Pray for someone who annoys you.


A manual on how to hurt

Navigate the silence and strangling of imminent gray, a gray that shades the colors of life to a muted fade

The inability to understand and rationalize the heaving chest and heavy eyes

The pressure to push it all away

A manual on how to hurt pt II



Sit quietly





A highway into glimpses of the good times of the past and how they mirrored good things yet to come




Dare to cry

Dare to laugh

A manual on how to laugh

A guide on how to heal.

George Saunders – Failures of kindness

What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.

It’s hard to put kindness in a box, yet when you’re in the presence of it, you feel it. Some people are naturally kind — what is it? This generosity of spirit? The authenticity of presence? This lack of sauntering their own ego? Their insistence on others’ well-being? All that is part of it. It’s hard to define kindness, yet when you experience it, it transforms you. You too want to be kinder. You feel a little lighter. You feel more capable of being you, nothing more. Being open to kindness is hard because it breaks your insecurities and propensity for evil down. Being open to kindness begins a journey of our own lack towards our true worth. I want to open to kindness. I am open to kindness. It’s my first openness to it that can lead me to my own kindness to others. We love because God first loved us. I am loved. I am love. I can love. I choose to love. I am kind. I choose to be kind. Let us experience heaven here.