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Breakthrough moment:

I’ve stopped praying for God to solve my problems and started praying for him to just be with me in them. I’m finding his presence to be way more satisfying than his problem-solving.

Jesus, you can sleep on my boat anytime. As long as we’re together, I know we’ll make it to the other side.

Stormy day snuggles with the King. :)

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I was in a conversation a few weeks ago in which a woman that I know was considering starting an Instagram movement called “My Not-So-Perfect Life.” I love the idea.

I’m a dreamer. A huge one. I spend most of my time thinking about things should be or how they could be better. But these completely unrealistic standards have started negatively affecting some of the really important parts of my life. And that’s, well…that’s a problem.

And then it dawned on me.

As I scrolled through Facebook and Instagram like I do everything morning, I realized at least one part of the problem. I read Facebook posts and Insta pictures of everyone’s perfectly described, perfectly framed, and perhaps most significantly, perfectly FILTERED life. And that’s all we see of each other on our primary mode of “connection” these days. Perfection.

There it is. False expectations set - and I begin spending too much time complaining about my not-so-perfect-but-pretty-good-life because it doesn’t look like the perfect life I’ve dreamed of. And because it doesn’t look like everyone else’s perfect life around me.

And the newsflash for me today is that perfection doesn’t exist. There are no perfect days or perfect plans or perfect people. There are no perfect schedules, perfect fixes, or perfect organization schemes. It’s all good and valuable at best. Perfection is not to be seen. And to pursue it leaves you wanting.

So…there’s my grand revelation. The dramatic side of me is tempted to delete my Instagram. And I may do that for a season. I could use a break from the standards I find myself trying to live up to. Maybe if I stop trying to snap that perfect picture on the perfect day with my perfect friends then I can just enjoy the not-so-perfect-but-really-good-life I’ve been given. I would love that. I would love it more than anything.

Help me Jesus. And help us all let the standards go.

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My boyfriend is amazing. Seriously. He’s incredible. And is one of the most loving, strong, thoughtful, God-honoring people I have ever met. He’s the best. Literally.

And because of this fact, I have spent weeks trying to understand why he chooses to date me. Not in a “woe is me, I’m the scum of the earth,” kind of way. But in general. I didn’t work for this. I didn’t flirt with him so much that he was tricked into liking me. This was completely hands-off. God seemed to do it all. And no, by my own merit, I don’t deserve this man.

But, what I started to realize this morning is that I think that’s the point…I didn’t work for this. I didn’t “earn” him. He is a gift. An undeserved gift.

And you know what that sounds like? Grace.

There it is…amazing grace. Saving me all over again.

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The biggest tension I’m navigating these days is the in-between. But now that I think about it, I’m constantly navigating the in-between because I’m always coming from and going somewhere. That’s life. 

My career seemed to get a pretty huge boost a couple of weeks ago. With Atlanta Harvest launching its crowd-funding campaign and with me connecting with Community Farmer’s Markets about an internship, I feel like I’m going to a place that I like. And that feels great. 

Thank you, Lord.

The challenge in the midst of this, and the temptation I’m resisting, is to focus so much on the new things that I want to start and do that I don’t stop and deeply enjoy the successes of the past two weeks. I can always go somewhere new. And praise God, I am. But I think Abba wants me to just stop for a few. Enjoy the fruit. And say thank you. 

Here’s to my Sabbath. 

Here’s to celebration.

Here’s to gratitude. 

I’m gonna go make a list now…

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there’s nothing quite like hearing the man of your dreams say, “Lord, I wanna marry this girl,” and knowing that the girl he’s referring to is you.

aaaaah, thank you Jesus. 

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Sometimes our biggest breakthroughs come in the funkiest packages. 

I’ve been on this Joyce Meyer kick - reading her books, watching her sermons on YouTube - and man, she teaches God’s Word in such powerfully practical ways! This has been a game changer for me. 

A couple of days ago I watched part one of her sermon on “Power Thoughts” and the premise of the teaching is based on Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Essentially, the things that we meditate on become our reality. If we are experiencing a lot of sadness, we are likely thinking sad things. If we are experiencing a lot of happiness, then we are likely meditating on happy things. So simple! And so true.

Take a moment to think about how you’ve felt the past couple of days and take another moment to reflect on the things you’ve been spending your brain energy on? My point is proven.

For me, I’ve been warring against negative, fear-based, and comparison-oriented thoughts. So no wonder I’ve been pleading for breakthrough in my self-worth and in my ability to receive the good gifts God has prepared for me! It has been such a journey! But with this token of wisdom from Joyce, and ultimately from the Word of God, I have been able to walk in new levels of hope, clarity, and direction. Even in the midst of negative and challenging circumstances.

So my big “power thought” for today is “My life is good and that is exactly what Jesus paid for.” It’s okay for me to enjoy my life. It’s okay for me to relax, take breaks, spend time with the people who give me life, to say yes and to say no as the Lord leads. It’s okay for me to love being alive. My life is good. 

Life is good. 

Let that power thought carry you into a great weekend! 

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Merry Christmas from B and HB! #happyholidays #merrychristmas #babyalliwantforchristmasisyou #myfave #loveyoulots #family @_haroldb

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In a staff meeting about a year ago, one of my favorite worship pastors said, “We’re not short on teachings on identity but I wonder if we’re any closer to living it out.” 

I feel like this statement wraps up the past five months of my life. I left college a year and a half ago with so many ideas about who I was and about who I was going to be. And I feel like the Lord has been placing me in a variety of situations to help me see that a) He really does know me better than I know myself and b) that who I am really am is good and worthy even if it’s different from what I was expecting. As it turns out, I’m not necessarily cut out to work for a church. And I’m also beginning to think that I’m not cut out for living in the thicket of the inner city. Not in a “this is hard and I’m going to quit” kind of way, but in a “being here doesn’t bring me to life; what in the world am I doing” kind of way.That being said, I’m open to the Lord writing this story however he wants to…

It’s taking so much courage and humility for me to look at my life and be honest about who I am and who I’m not in this season…and its forcing me to grapple with big things, like what I really believe about God and what the incarnation of Jesus really means for the world. Appropriate for the Christmas season I suppose.

Honestly though, this all begs the question, what does bring me to life? I’ve been working diligently on some details for Atlanta Harvest and I just signed up for a couple of Coursera classes. Those excite me. I’ve always loved learning. I’m also making plans to go work at a farm in Athens for a weekend and that has me thrilled. I dunno. In process, as usual. 

Tori Kelly is the soundtrack to my life right now. “Don’t quit your daydream,” 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ6IeqJjPmI&list=RDUJS5a3VetTs

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Time is relatively short, but I have so much that I want to share. I’m starting to think that blogging needs to be a real discipline of mine. Last night God told me that I need to slow down. And I think that taking the time to hear from God and write about what’s important will help with that process.

The end of this year and the beginning of the next is about to be quite the whirlwind. My company is going to be taking off in new ways, I’m hoping to really develop my “skills” as a disciple-maker in walking with a few college women, and things in my relationship with HB are exploding in the best way imaginable. So much to look forward to! And in the midst of it all, I’m really hoping to lean into Jesus and just fall more in love with Him than ever.

So yeah, I’m excited for 2014. I hope to write a blog reflecting on 2013 in the near future. Maybe this afternoon. 

:) 

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I don’t normally post more than one blog in a day. Actually, I don’t normally post more than one blog in a a week. But my head and my heart are so full today! I’ve been on a rotation of getting my thoughts and feelings out of my head and into writing all morning. First I wrote my last blog, then I wrote in my journal for a while, then I updated my Atlanta Harvest journal on Google Drive, and now I’m blogging again. Inside wants out. Thanks John Mayer. 

Moral of the story, at least for this rant, is that I can’t find enough trusted resources online for the sorts of processes I’m going through. I want books, blogs, sermons, TED Talks. Anything. I’m 23 years old, starting a company with a good friend, attempting to minister to the poor by living in a distressed neighborhood, falling more and more in love with the man of my dreams, and trying my hardest to just stay connected to the vine because I know that apart from the vine, I can’t accomplish anything that I’ve been dreaming of. 

The vine. John 15…maybe I’ll read that when I get off of Tumblr.

I just wish I knew where I was going..I mean, I know where I’m going. But I wish I just knew more. As if my knowledge would save me from making any mistakes…

Here’s the life of a pioneer. You strike out into new territory. For a while you feel alone until God provides the people to stand beside you. You take the land. And then you hand it over for the others to develop it.

I think everything is going to be okay.

Let me know if you know someone who can help me. I have a few ideas…