do brave

Yes, I am the weirdo in a lawnchair in my front yard, in 4 inches of snow, wearing a snowmobile suit and drinking a beer in front of the snowman I built. It takes bravery to put yourself out there. Do brave.

Lessons: Technical Difficulties Edition

Aside from the desire to throw a non-functional device across the room, aside from the desire to procrastinate because solving a problem feels overwhelming, aside from the embarrassment of failing technology... it turns out there are lessons buried within the stressful moments of technical difficulties.

Lessons: Evening Edition

Some lessons stop you as you're walking to the parking deck and present themselves as opportunities. Other lessons come from endless scrolling and regret. While others are realizations that not everything needs to be improved upon. It's okay for some things to be fine and enough. And in case you haven't heard it lately. You are amazing. You are enough.

Lessons: Cookie Baking Edition

12 pounds of butter can teach you a few lessons... about goofy hats, being present, sprinkles and cosmopolitans.

5 Short Lessons for a Short Week

Featuring the danger of coffee grounds and guesstimating winter, alongside the importance of power cords and reading the other side.

7 Lessons: some ridiculous

This week's lessons are brought to you by a bag of pants, timezones, hitting buttons and saying no to new baseboards.

balance

Jesus... without u, there is only Jess. And she’s a mess. Imbalanced. But this week, in between the home cooked meal and the burnt frozen pizza there were sunrises, Dolly Parton, local coffee, squirrels and 90s grunge. There was balance. There was Jesus.

time

When the alarm clock goes off, my instinct is not to wake up. It’s to lie there and debate with myself. One morning I debated with God instead.

windows

Today I am thankful for... windows. When it’s cold and I don’t want to miss it. For the world outside of me, that God allows me to see.

anticipation

God gave us another day. Another sunrise. Another opportunity to choose better. To respond with character, integrity and a patience... that will wait for a sunrise. What will you choose?

Lessons: Road Trip Edition

Font size is important, but so is the 3 second rule, the scan button on the radio, air conditioning, and the messages you choose to share.

Lessons: Observations, Wandering & Permission

Over the last week I learned about the unpredictable nature of green beans, braided hair, storms and chance meetings. And I also learned to look for the beauty that comes from getting lost, from practice, from buying the flowers, and from giving someone permission to try.

go make a sunrise

The sunrise exists because blue and yellow remain who they are, yet hang out together. Together they create a gradient. Go make a sunrise.

Lessons: Special Weekend Edition

Not all lessons occur Monday-Friday. Sometimes they explode all over the counter in a cloud of orange dust on a Saturday night.

Two Weeks of Lessons

Every day God is trying to teach me something. The question is whether or not I’m paying enough attention to notice it, reflect on it, and do something with it. The past two weeks a few new things came to light: serrated knives and fingertips don’t go well together, water is more important than coffee... Continue Reading →

My Top 9: Week 3

People say the devil is in the details. I disagree. Beauty is in the details. Insight is in the details. God is in the details. So this week I cut down my list from 20 to 9 and I went deeper.

it’s easy

Sometimes it is helpful to admit that being an adult is hard. Self-control is hard. Choosing to respond with kindness is hard. Choosing to be silent when the world shouts, is hard. Choosing God’s way is hard. But the hard stuff? That is often where the world needs you to be. Where God asks me to be.

My Top 20 : Week 2

If you slow down just enough, and look up you might notice a few things. Like someone turned off the light in the restroom while you were still in the restroom, the water delivery guy does not want a water, a determined child on a big wheel can keep up with the big bikes, and homemade ranch with a side of hugs are what the Midwest is made of.

My Top 20 : Week 1

This is my top 20 list of what I learned this week from observing the people and world around me. Coming in hot at #15... Pigeons do not scare easily. Especially Steve.

fear

I quit my job. But I wasn’t unhappy. I wasn’t running away from anything. I was running toward something.

my feet

Today I am thankful for... my feet. And the grass I was able to walk on. And the memories of jumping, of grandparents, of all that has been gifted to me.

you’re the one

You’re the one the world has been waiting for. In the rain. In the sun. Take the chance. Make the move. God gave you a purpose. Love.

the we

I tried writing so many times today and nothing stuck. It felt like a ramble of so many disconnected thoughts. Until one photo, with one post, from an old friend, reminded me of how powerful words can be.

I wanted to hug her

It was my birthday. I wanted to hug her. We awkwardly stood 6 feet apart and smiled. It will be normal again. We will hug again. Until then, I’ll keep coming back.

until the bubbles end

Some things never seem to have an end. Work. Email. Information. It's overwhelming. So I stepped away, and remembered it's possible. I remembered it's okay. And I stayed.

salt

Today I am thankful for a little salt shaker. A little reminder that not only should I not be salty, and not pour salt in a wound, but that we are called to something more. We are a key ingredient in every interaction in this life. We can bring out the best in each other.

responding

We often miss how much control we have in our response. We claim "we had no choice," but it's our response to their words, no matter what those words are, that reveals our character. We have an opportunity, you and I. To receive feedback with curiosity and compassion. To choose a better way.

planning meeting

Meeting Notes: It's been a long time since we had a planning meeting. They were scheduled but I wasn't showing up because "I had a conflict." I was the conflict. So we met and we started at the beginning.

the art of the thank you

Thank you notes are not required. But your words are powerful and meaningful and have the ability to change someone's moment, day and even life.

funk

It’s a weird thing to read something you’ve written and not recognize your own voice. To wonder where that person went and how to find her again.

break through

the sun breaks through the clouds like waves the lure breaks through the water makes waves the birds break through the silence in waves how can I break through to reduce the waves --- the water can’t create a new image, it reflectswhat’s around, the outline of trees, the light of sun, it revealsa hint... Continue Reading →

sometimes

most times social media ruins me. annihilates me. into a spiral of zombie behavior and destructive comparison. but sometimes it makes me cry in a good way. a healthy way. that reminds me of humanity and love and strength and compassion. That reminds me not everyone is selfish and self centered and tone deaf. Not... Continue Reading →

boiling

I don’t want to be perpetually agitated... quick to anger, easily set off by poorly timed red lights, political posts, rearranged super market aisles, incomplete reporting, the wrong kind of ranch dressing… I want to try something different. With you.

porch swing

If I had a porch swing someone could sit with me, and in that moment we could be a blessing to each other. But I don't need to wait for a porch swing for that. It's my excuse. I don't know what your porch swing is. But stop waiting for it. You are enough as you are right now.

throne

the game  it’s thrones obsessed with filling the void the empty longing for leading  they tried to rise  to demand command their right to fill it to sit in it own it throne it and win but alone it sits  empty as they fight the battles they fight not knowing the fight is within 

influence

You don’t get to decide what will or won’t leave an impression on someone else. You don’t get to decide what will or won’t leave an impression on you. You do get to decide whether to care. Whether to try. Whether to be better.

anthem

The concept of an anthem, a personal musical anthem, first surfaced in college. When I had to choose what song would play when I came out on stage for the date auction. Yes, a date auction. Men and women were auctioned off to the highest bidder for one date night, and all of the proceeds... Continue Reading →

high five

When you’re having a no good very bad day, can you still praise someone else for a job well done? When you’re having a no good very bad week? Very bad month? Very bad season? Can you still praise someone else for who they are? What they’ve done? For delivering a stellar presentation? For making a... Continue Reading →

choose

I cried this weekend. I experienced envy. In envy I longed for the clarity of direction from God. In envy I wanted to be pursued to participate in something bigger than myself with Him at the center. In one of the moments where this shade of green took over my emotions, I did what any... Continue Reading →

start slow

I chose to sit in the dark. Sometimes darkness is not a bad thing. It slows things down. In the evening after the sun sets and the sky darkens, your body prepares for sleep. For rest. It slows down. So I chose to sit in the dark. To listen to the rain. To start slow.... Continue Reading →

buffering

I stepped back into my life. Parts of it. My head swells. My jaw aches. I clench when stressed. The rest of me doesn’t feel stressed though. But my teeth hurt. So I must be. I’m buffering. Awkwardly meandering through familiar people and places. Using phrases I stamped out years ago. Hearing them leave my... Continue Reading →

layover

I people watch at the airport. With enough distance that I can't hear; I can only see and I write poems, imagining their stories and their lives based on body language. I. I look for you in between the pages of the novel how novel you never write back II. the secrets pile on layers... Continue Reading →

if i choose

not for work or for the store or for church or dinner or date night or plans with friends not for insta or snap not for you not for them not for me If I choose. no more researching and picking and buying and returning and putting on and taking off and irritation and fading... Continue Reading →

fixture

watching them watching love they’re watching they stop to observe to capture to smell to see to be if they would stop talking for a moment they would hear the sound of the music in the background building filling the bass bass slowly rumbles in the sound of the fountain goes on without their notice... Continue Reading →

rare

She smiles With all of her face With all of her heart She chooses to give Something rare I see you. You matter. You are valuable. Thank you. They smile back and blush They don’t know How to receive Something rare A pause between smiles Leaves just enough space An awkward compliment Wedges itself inside... Continue Reading →

the excess

walking in the sun. no trees around. we can’t pay the sky for clouds or bribe the sun to hide. around the corner a spot emerges owned by a cat. I shared my water he shared his shade we each shared our excess not out of requirement or obligation we simply chose to share what... Continue Reading →

a fighter

It was better because I had to fight for it. An early alarm clock though I hardly slept. A too tiny cup of hotel room coffee. Two hundred and fifteen stairs. Alone at a table with a wet chair. I sat down. I fought for this moment. The sun.

pose

Everyone wants to be a super model Orchestrated poses, scarves in the wind standing in dangerous places so the wind blows our hair just so Retakes and retakes and retakes by husbands and boyfriends also trying to hold our purse Filters and photoshop for contrast and saturation and the elimination of everything we wish we... Continue Reading →

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