Over the past few months, I’ve been in the beginning stages of putting together a magazine centered around the idea of community. In this span of time, I’ve had meetings about community, sent countless emails about community, I’ve asked questions about the value in community, I’ve brainstormed around the one thing we oughta all know about community, I’ve sought awe-inspiring stories about community, I’ve tried to redefine community without lowering the bar of what community can be, I’ve talked about what Jesus intended with community, I’ve typed the word community so many times that I’ve questioned if I’m spelling it right anymore, and I’ve said the word community so many times that it has honestly started to lose all meaning.
And in all of that, I have tried my absolute hardest to just keep it at arm’s length. Coordinate, edit, and write other people’s stories. Don’t internalize any of this. You got a job to do, Schmidt. Continue reading →
My least favorite thing about what I’m about to write is that I know that in so many ways it’s a peek at my least favorite version of myself. How is it possible that this insecure girl, with her desperate need for attention and affirmation, is still alive and kicking inside of this fully-grown adult with her life full of love, joy, and tacos?
A couple weeks ago I texted my three best friends to let them know that I couldn’t shake an overwhelming sense of inadequacy. At that point it had been building for a few days and it felt all-consuming. While this happens sometimes without being more than a blip on the radar, this one felt different and I wasn’t in a place where wallowing with a jar of cookie butter was an option— one of those super fun fake-it-til-you-make-it-days where it doesn’t actually matter what kind of mood you’re in, you better at least pretend to pull it together. So I did.
In the days following, for whatever reason, the theme of rejection was everywhere I looked. I couldn’t find an area of my life that was untouched by the big, loud, unmistakably clear message: you are not enough. Continue reading →
Since the beginning of 2016, I have had my purse and its contents stolen, a stomach bug/bout of food poisoning that left me void of food for 36+ hours, and a looming change in what I know of my world on the horizon that has me constantly playing Hermione Granger’s voice in my head saying “everything’s going to change now, isn’t it?” and then Harry’s ominous reply. Yes, yes it is.
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On any given Tuesday night you can find me running barefoot through the Herndon Lobby at Summit Church being chased by a posse of middle school girls chanting “8th grade girls…WE RUN THIS PLACE” I’ll be a little out of breath, sure, but make no mistake about it— there’s no place I’d rather be and no group of girls I’d rather be with.
If we were to rewind back to my own middle school years (which, let’s all take a minute and praise God that this isn’t possible), we would meet a version of me that would tell you with absolute certainty that once she got out of middle school, she was not going to look back. Because in so many ways, middle school is the least enjoyable thing I’ve ever spent 3 years of my life doing. And I venture to say I’m not alone in that. For me, the years between 6th and 8th grade were tumultuous. I didn’t know Jesus, I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with my insanely curly hair, and I didn’t know how I was going to manage three whole years of drama, hormones, and so much awkward. They are three years of my life that I was fine pretending never actually happened. Continue reading →
There are two things that I consistently muse on and measure a book with when I’m reading it. The first is whether it’s the right level of a page-turner or not. I can get pretty bored with a book if it’s not enticing me to keep reading, but I can also get pretty frustrated with a book if I feel like I’m being manipulated into reading it all in one sitting (I’m looking at you, Hunger Games). The second thing I take note of is a book’s narration. I am always more likely to stick with a book if I feel like the author is doing something fascinating and new with the narration, while maintaining a level of readability and excellence.
Where’d You Go Bernadette is readable, it’s excellent, the author Maria Semple did something fascinating and new with the narration, and also I read it in one sitting. But for the first time in a long time, I’ve deemed this a good thing! I was in no way manipulated to do this by cheap cliff-hangers at the end of chapters (yes, Hunger Games, still looking at you). Instead, I was absolutely all in and remained incredibly interested in what would happen next throughout the entirety of the novel due to skilled writing, unique characters, and a plot worth turning pages for. Also I was in a house without Netflix, just to be perfectly honest.
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