F O M O

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so i have been thinking a lot about this F O M O thing. if you aren’t familiar with that acronym, it stands for: Fear Of Missing Out.

F O M O is no joke. it doesn’t mess around. and it is stealing joy and lives left and right. especially in this digital age, where everyone is sharing pretty squares of their lives and we can consume it all day long. filters. curation. et cetera. and while there is nothing wrong with sharing the beauty in life – inspiring – aspiring…caveat emptor. beware of the trap of comparison. beware of F O M O.

i recently read a passage from brené brown (#risingstrong) and it summed up the danger of F O M O perfectly. i was going to ramble and muse, but instead, i will let brené do the talking:

DON’T LET FOMO KILL YOUR MOJO. the “fear of missing out” is what happens when scarcity slams into shame. FOMO lures us out of our integrity with whispers about what we could or should be doing. FOMO’s favorite weapon is comparison. it kills gratitude and replaces it with “not enough”. we answer FOMO’s call by saying YES when we mean NO. we abandon our path and our boundaries and those precious adventures that hold meaning for us so we can prove that we aren’t missing out.

BUT WE ARE. we’re missing out on our own lives.every time we say YES because we are afraid, we say NO to something. that something may be a big dream or a short nap. we need both. courage to stay our course and gratitude for our path will keep us grounded and guide us home.

so on this lovely friday and heading into the weekend, say NO so you can say YES to the things that matter. don’t let comparison steal your joy. let us work for God and not for man. let us seek the approval of the Most High. let us find rest in Him. let us find joy in the beautiful lives He has laid before us.

CORAM DEO.

 

miles and meditation + common prayer

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#milesandmeditation

i have been spending my running time not only working up a silly sweat (come ooooooon, fall!) and ideating (running is the BEST time for the ideas to flow) but in more meaningful spiritual pursuits. setting the tone for the day. not just jamming out to music with a good beat, but filling my ears with worshipful music that uplifts and inspires and encourages and humbles. melodies and lyrics that point me heavenward and help me to fix my gaze on the things above as my feet pound the earth below. and as i run, i pray. i think. i meditate.

this week, i have been pondering the following passage in the first book of corinthians. the pauline epistles never fail to challenge me. make me dig deeper. ideas and precepts and philosophy and practices that resonate and stick with me through the day and sometimes, through the week.

1 Corinthians 9:19-27 (ESV)
For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

 

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and when the world seems especially dark and hazy and murky and ugly and scary, i tend to get back to basics. repeat the truth of God’s word over and over and over. i dig into the archives of the faith and look for constants for absolutes and writings that have stood the test of time. the puritan prayers and spurgeon are morning and evening mainstays, but lately, i have been drawn to the book of common prayer. here is a passage that i have been praying over our home – community – church – family – friends – neighborhood – city – state – country – world. praying it over hearts. praying it over humanity.

O God, the creator and preserver of all mankind, we humbly beseech thee for all sorts and conditions of men; that thou wouldest be pleased to make thy ways known unto them, thy saving health unto all nations. More especially we pray for thy holy Church universal; that it may be so guided and governed by thy good Spirit, that all who profess and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life. Finally, we commend to thy fatherly goodness all those who are in any ways afflicted or distressed, in mind, body, or estate; [especially those for whom our prayers are desired]; that it may please thee to comfort and relieve them according to their several necessities, giving them patience under their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their afflictions. And this we beg for Jesus Christ’s sake.
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever.
AMEN

prayer of saint francis

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in light of (or should i say, in the shadow of) so many brutal and wretched and heartbreaking and atrocious and ugly things happening in the world, in hearts, in homes, in nightclubs, in schools, in the streets, in big cities and small towns, at the happiest place on earth, in the halls of congress, and in the media – i wanted to share some words that has been spoken around our home A LOT lately. the prayer of saint francis of assisi has been moving through my mind and clinging to my heart for the past few weeks.

truly, i hope that it is your prayer too. that it is OUR prayer. that it guides our hearts and words and motives and actions. but the greatest of these is love. Lord, hear our prayer.

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

amen and AMEN

full arms. full heart.


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don’t spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

– epicurus

this. this right here. this is so true of my life right now. i am trying to live in the moment and soak it all up. learning to enjoy what i have, right where i am. not spoiling the moment by being somewhere else or thinking about the next thing. not allowing my mind to wander too far into the future or be distracted by the things that could be or should be. not desiring to be doing something else or having something else.

instead, being mindful. being present. and being thankful for the great blessings in my life. so many things that i have hoped for and dreamed about and prayed for – they are right in front of me. i am living in it. living the good life. truly, living the dream.

and not that i can’t hope for the future or make plans and set goals and take action (after all, the life i have now has been built upon such hopes and dreams and plans and actions) but i need to appreciate my life right now. as it is. and link my present blessings to my past prayers. seeing those celestial threads. noting the work of the Providential hand. not overlooking or devaluing His great miracles and sovereign movement in my life.

He is a good, good God.

Coram Deo.

uprooted & rooted

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this week’s humpday jaunt was to our favorite, the farm at agritopia. i know that our nice weather days are numbered and even though it was in the nineties, there was a nice breeze happening and we decided to brave it and grab some uprooted kitchen plus a nice spot in the shade. perfect.

gosh, we have been doing the agritopia thing for two and a half years now. it holds such a special place in our collective heart. and the food from our friends at uprooted holds a special place in our bellies. the farm is going through an exciting season of change. and gosh, so are we. at one point during dinner, i found myself so overwhelmed by it all. here we were, our little family. our “baby” getting his first full plate of uprooted food. our kids splitting a meal. elinor sipping on her requested “farkling water”. i remember strolling the grounds when she was just a bitty thing in the sling. and now, she was carrying on a conversation with us while we ate.

the farmstand and food trucks buzz has settled and the farm is more calm on wednesday nights, but it is also humming with an energy of AMAZING projects that are taking shape. this farm is coming into its own. finding its groove. growing up. and i couldn’t help but be struck by the similarities between our beloved agritopia and our family. we aren’t in that “everything feels fresh and new” season of life anymore. we aren’t newlyweds or brand new parents. we feel a little more seasoned, a little more settled. there is a strange sense of ease to our life right now. a good groove, in spite of the unknown that we are experiencing. and while there will always be breezes or gusts of change, we feel more rooted and prepared to sway along with them.

our little friend the food truck has only six more weeks operating as such. very soon, the uprooted kitchen will plant its roots in agritopia’s new craftsmen community, barnone. and we are SO EXCITED for them and for the other creatives and crafters and cooks and cool people to be featured there. so while there is a ton of change coming and lots of work to do, the change/work, oddly enough, is making things feel more settled and secure.

and golly gracious, isn’t that just how i am feeling right now. life decisions and big shifts and lots of work on the horizon. new seasons. ch-ch-ch-changes. and yet, a feeling of coming into our own. hopefulness. serenity. God is moving. moving in our hearts and minds. moving things into alignment. reminders of his provision. moments of clarity. clear providential blessings and not-so-happenstance occurrences that show me he is on his throne. he is working. his timing is perfect. and that our faithfulness will never be in vain. he is a good God. and even when it seems like he is taking away or plucking us from something or yanking us out by the roots, perhaps it is because he has accomplished what he set out to accomplish in us and through us, in that particular place. perhaps we have outgrown our little pot. perhaps we need an infusion of fresh soil. perhaps he has a bigger and better place in mind. a place where our roots can dig deep. a place where we can bloom. a place where we can yield more fruit and be a blessing to others.

so here’s to the growth process. here’s to change. here’s to finding our roots. here’s to flourishing. may we continue to walk in the light. may we be faithful. may we have hearts of gratitude. may we look for ways to benefit others.

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the race that is set before us

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therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. / hebrews 12:1

i know it is cliché, but for me, running is more than just exercise for the body. it engages my mind, my thoughts, my focus. and even, my heart. some of my best lightbulb moments occur on my morning runs. there is something amazing that happens without fail around the 5.5 mile mark, the fog lifts and a brainstorm begins. my body kicks into autopilot. i feel like i can run forever and not feel a thing (i think they call that a “runner’s high”. oh magical endorphins.). the music is pumping and my heart is pumping and the ideas are pumping too. sometimes i am struck by some great theology from a song i am listening to. sometimes concepts that i have been pondering finally come together and make sense. sometimes a random thought or word pops into my head that leads me down a wonderful path of creativity or planning.

and then there are those rare occasions when i become so engrossed in the rhythm of the run that everything else fades away, my mind quiets. i can go for a few miles without realizing it. that is such a cool feeling. and the best part is that i am usually brought back to reality by some moment of beauty in my surroundings. the sun beginning to peek through. the beauty of the colors of the desert. birds chirping. tiny leaves flitting about.

for the better part of my pregnancy with ridley, i traded in my distance running for convenient (and air conditioned) workouts at home. i did insanity workouts with ben, i did lots of yoga, i did tracy anderson method. but as i eased back into a workout routine after ridley’s birth, one of the things on my list was to get back into my running groove. the first few runs were rough. summer runs are a tough place to start. but it felt so good to lace up and go. the initial postpartum runs were 3-4 miles at a snail’s pace. as those became more comfortable, i added distance. for me, distance isn’t an issue. if i had all the hours in the world, i could run and run. my limitation is time. and so, i realized that i would have to push myself and focus on my pace.

when it comes to running and my life, the pace is the hard part. i can very easily “settle in” and get comfortable at a 10 minute per mile pace. i can do that all day. and for a while there, i was happy with my 6+ mile runs at a 9.25 average pace. the first mile is usually one of my fastest. i settle into the run after that. i find my happy place, my happy pace. i had found my groove! running is easy! i have all the endurance i need! but that isn’t what this exercise is about. it is about trying, testing, getting outside of your comfort zone. let’s see what i am capable of…

so last fall, i decided to switch it up. i would do 10K runs 3-4 times a week with a long run on saturday. on weekdays, i would stick to runs that are familiar. a reliable route at the same time every day. runs that make it easy for me to hit the pavement before the sun comes up (and that allow me to return home before ben has to leave for work). but, the focus would be on improving my time. making them quick, getting my body used to six plus miles at a faster pace.

in december, i maintained my quick and easy runs on weekdays but really bulked up my saturday run, logging some serious miles. that has become my training day. i get to see what i am made of. i get to test my endurance. on january 1, i started the new year with a 14 mile run. it felt great. it had been about two and a half years since i had logged a half marathon. i had gotten close to 13.1, but usually stayed below the 12 mile mark. now that i have busted through again, it is all open road.

two weeks ago was another milestone: i maintained a sub-8 pace for a little over 8 miles on my saturday morning run. sub-8 months postpartum. that one meant a lot because after all that pace work for the past few months, i finally stayed below the 8 minute per mile mark on a longer run. it wasn’t more than a few seconds under eight, but it counts. victory! i know that for some folks, that’s nothing. but for short-legged, non-athlete me, that takes some pushing. i can’t just settle into that pace, that requires me to be focused and in control of the run. for the last six years of my “running career”, i have been all about the mileage. there was a period of time when i was running 5-6 miles a day, 6 days a week. for months. but this milestone? this was really something for me. it was a goal that i had set for myself for the first quarter of this year. a half? sure, i can do that. no sweat. well, not *no* sweat. this is arizona. and it is friggin’ 90 degrees in FEBRUARY!!! have i mentioned my outrage about this yet? and marathon, i am coming for ya. but quickening my pace, that is where my challenge lies. she’s going the distance, she’s going for speed… (remember that song? so good.)

some days are for long runs. some days are for recovery runs. some days are for quick runs. some days are for sweaty runs. some days are for frigid runs. some runs are easier than others. and sometimes, the run is uphill and against the wind. a few days ago, i had what i consider to be the perfect run. everything was working in my favor. and gosh do i savor those experiences. because more often than not, the run isn’t ideal. but i have been thinking about that hebrews passage a lot. the race that is set before us. what race is set before me now? is this a season of life where i am competing in a sprint? hurdles? 10K? half-marathon? marathon? triathlon? each race requires different training. each race requires a different physical response, different muscle memory, different mental exertion, different focus.

the race set before me right now is a wild one. it feels like a hybrid 100 meter dash / triathlon. i am hustling. there are moments in the day that feel like a full-on sprint. but most of the time, i am just pushing myself through each stage of competition. continuous and sequential endurance disciplines. swim. cycle. run. in immediate succession. i know it won’t always feel like this, there will be seasons that are slower. when i can just settle in and enjoy the surroundings. take it all at a leisurely pace. where i can be alone with my thoughts and have time to ponder and decompress. but right now, during this time of life (raising and chasing young children, planting our roots, planning and dreaming, building our careers, advancing, learning new disciplines, pursuing additional degrees), it is go-go-go. and when one portion of the race ends, another begins. a fresh challenge. and you know what, i am okay with the fast pace. it is invigorating. and it will make my recovery run feel that much better.

just do it.