I do my best to ensure my first meeting every day is with God. Sometimes we meet on the patio, in my home office, on the couch, or while traveling. But he always has something to say.

These are my meeting notes.


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.

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?

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.

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.

fear

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Haley A Photography

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 →

thank you card in the rays of the sunrise

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 →

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 →

a listening hug

It was over a year ago. And it was a bad day at work. I still remember. I felt inadequate, anxious and not quite smart enough to do what was being asked of me. There did not seem to be enough hours for meetings and email and people and the work I was supposed to… Continue Reading →

your roots

Digging around the internet trying to piece together my family tree has been a scavenger hunt like no other. Deciphering handwritten census lines, attempting to translate Danish baptism records, and sheepishly reaching out to strangers to ask if we just might be related somewhere down the line. Finding your roots can be a challenge. As… Continue Reading →

in spite of

This is about focus. In spite of the bad things. In spite of the loss. In spite of lost opportunities. In spite of the things that slipped through your fingers. Because in between those “in spite of” moments, were good moments too. Moments worth recalling, worth remembering and being thankful for.

i don’t know

I don’t know what it’s like to be you. Something about us is different. So I don’t fear the same things you do in the same way. I don’t take the same precautions that you do. Something about us is different. So I don’t see opportunities or limitations in the same way. I don’t make… Continue Reading →

connected layers

I love this little hut over the ocean. We dubbed it our coffee hut, the spot we claimed each morning after a walk on the beach. And the roof of this little hut is rather impressive. A patchwork providing shade. One branch would not have been enough. But connected tightly and layered multiple times, it… Continue Reading →

well & good

Some of you are grammar nerds. No judgment, honestly, I love you all. There their they’re… you are keeping us from spiraling into lazy language. But I must ask you… Did you do good? (I can hear you cringing)  or… Did you do well?  My college president felt it was possible to do both and… Continue Reading →

radiant gradient

It started to spit. I looked up at the cloudy sky and started to place my bets. Should I pack up and run to a covered shelter or wait it out… I chose the former and watched as the soft rain fell all around me. And then the sun came out and I smiled. A… Continue Reading →