Here's a glimpse into our new place in the heart of our city-- it's not perfect, it's nothing fancy, but it's home, and we love it!
I'm on a beach in the Caribbean, but that doesn't mean coffee dates can't still happen, friends.
I'm ALL about these clean, green, earth-conscious products, and getting them delivered to me on demand? Yes please.
Wide open spaces out the windshield in front of me, sun shining, scenes changing, music blasting, fingers tapping, wind blowing my hair around my face.
Standing in a room full to the brim with no empty seat to be found, colored lights shining from the stage, and hundreds of voices joining together to sing, to praise, to worship, to know we aren't in this alone, to know there's One who is worthy of all this and so much more.
Hot coffee in a handmade mug cupped in my hands, the steam rising to meet my lips, the flavor sweet but not too much so.
A new journal, the pages cracking open, the scent of the paper, the smoothness of untouched grids on that creamy background, the glide of an inky pen over it all as the words start coming.
Her little arms wrapping around my leg to squeeze me tight, because I haven't seen her in three weeks, and she missed me, I can tell. Her bigger sister sandwiching me in another hug too, giggles and wild streams of words flying everywhere.
The words in small black type, surrounded by smaller black numbers, whispering words of life and love and redemption to my soul.
Sitting at my desk, the new one my dad built, in the new room I now live in, in the new apartment with a new roommate, with new art on the walls, but typing on the same old computer, feeling the same old need to write but same old procrastination pulling me away, the same old heart learning so many new things and finally, finally, putting them into words.
The afternoon sun shining through my windows, shadows of tree branches dancing on my floor, the wind outside carrying faint hints of the fall I know is coming.
Trying to hammer in nails to our new walls, and laughing harder than I've laughed in a while when all they did is bend and bend and bend again.
The ache of muscles so sore from moving everything I own from one home to another, reminding me I should move like this more often, I should push myself harder, I should be thankful for a body that works and should strengthen it better.
Phone calls with an old friend and wine+Bachelor nights with a new one.
These are the things that make me feel alive. These are the things I am grateful for.
Everything is gone. Just slanted wood floor and shadows from the sunbeams remain. There's nothing here to give a sense of scale or even to make the space make sense. You can't tell what happened here. The walls can't whisper memories of the hands held on the couch or the tears cried there months later. The floors can't sing you the song of how he twirled you around, half asleep and sliding in your socks yet safe in his arms as he dipped you low and pulled you in close. The windows can't wrap you in lullabies of how the rain soothed you to sleep when the darkness seemed desolate, or how the sun stirred you to believe again, try again, love again. You can't hear echoes of late nights of laughter with best friends, the tunes of the songs blasted here, the voices on the TV from your favorite shows. The kitchen doesn't carry the scents of the meals cooked here, the cookies baked here to be shared with friends, the coffee brewing every morning to keep the writing coming. The hallways don't hold the frames of memories from past travels and photographs from seasons long gone. The air doesn't hold the sweet scents of autumn that burned from crackling wicks long into the night.
This place is empty. A shell. A vacant memory.
Everything is gone. Soon this space will hold new faces, the floors will carry new feet, the walls will surround new life.
Remember: you were here. This space mattered. Imperfect and impulsive though it was to live here, it mattered. Life, sweet and stretching and important, happened here. This place is empty and this is a farewell, but the next steps are full, your heart is full, and this is the start of something new.
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In January, I moved into my very own apartment. I loaded up my family's van with all of my bedroom furniture, bunches of clothes on jumbled hangers, boxes and boxes of books and knick knacks and everything I had accumulated in my 21 years of life. This was monumental. I finally had my own place. My own rent. My own bills. The next chapter of my life was beginning. I was an adult! A real one!
We lugged everything up the stairs and into my new little place and it began to look like my own space. I arranged the pieces of furniture I had in the best possible configuration, I hung art on the walls and tried to make it look as cute and cozy as I could. I've lived there for 9 months now, and something struck me as I was cleaning this weekend.
This is home, but it's temporary. My lease will end, my time here will be over. I'll move out and only a few holes in the walls from once-hanging frames and shelves will prove I had been there. There won't even be colored walls to blanket with white again-- I knew I wouldn't live there long enough to make painting worth it.
I lived among white walls, just waiting for the next place.
This past week, I sat in a circle of the best people I know in the bright and open concourse area of my church. I listened as the newest class of 10-month interns was introduced to the staff, fidgeted awkwardly as I, too, was introduced in my temporary role here. I heard our pastor speak to the five of us. We want you to make your mark here. We want you to make an impact. We want you to put your stamp on this place.
This, like my apartment, is temporary. But this time, I don't want to leave the walls white.
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