Praying Through Pain

Praying Through Pain

I am guest posting over at the Hoboken Grace Blog this week about how to pray in the midst of pain. We’re currently in a series called “In the Meantime: What do you do when there’s nothing you can do?” which, in (too) many ways, perfectly describes my life right now. I am sure many of you ... Read More »

Five Years: An Ode to New York City

Five Years: An Ode to New York City

Five years seems like a major milestone for us – this raucous, seductive city and me. As one who loves new adventures, endless options, and would prefer to always be on the move, half a decade is a big deal. In my younger days, imagining five years with someone seemed like an eternity. I assumed I ... Read More »

Embracing the Meantime: Making the Most of It

Embracing the Meantime: Making the Most of It

For much of the last year and a half, I have lingered in a strange space of utter heartbreak and stubborn joy. The job descriptions I have wanted more than any other in life have been to be a wife and a mother, but things have not gone according to my carefully laid plans. With that, I ... Read More »

KonMari: A Simple Way to Organize with Shoeboxes

KonMari: A Simple Way to Organize with Shoeboxes

Organizing my home is not often my strong suit. I can organize thoughts and information like a boss, but I’d rather spend my energy writing or spending time with my husband and friends than reconfiguring my small space. Like most creatives, I work most efficiently under deadline, so that means my home is at its ... Read More »

Well-Rounded Summer Reading for 2015

Well-Rounded Summer Reading for 2015

bibliophile: n. a person who collects or has a great love of books. This describes me well. These days I seem to read at least two books at once, and if I am loving them, you are sure to hear about it. My master “to read” list is sitting at a hefty 205 titles. I check ... Read More »

29 Lessons I Learned in My Twenties

29 Lessons I Learned in My Twenties

Yesterday was my last day in my twenties. As strange as it seems to let go of this decade (already?!), I am looking forward to my thirties and what the future holds. This has been a wonderful, frustrating, identity shaping, and tear-jerker of a decade. As I approach thirty, I’m choosing to believe the best is yet ... Read More »

How to Marry to Love God More

How to Marry to Love God More

I saw a lovely little sentiment floating around the internet recently that said: “Marry someone who makes you fall in love with God every single day.” At first glance, that seems like a perfectly appropriate single Christian girl power sentiment to share on social media. But sorry (not sorry), I’m calling BS. Do you know what ... Read More »

What We Think We Are Promised

What We Think We Are Promised

We all have plans for our lives – specific ways we think they should go. We imagine that because we are good people who make the right choices, we will somehow be rewarded. Or for those of us who believe in God, we think because our faith is strong and we trust Him unwaveringly, He will give ... Read More »

We All Want to be Known

We All Want to be Known

Falling in love can be terrifying. When Nick and I were dating and our relationship was becoming more serious, my doubts battled my love for him in a serious way. We were talking about marriage only a few months into our relationship, because we had been friends for over two years and had already dated once before. As I ... Read More »

The Rhythms of Holy Week

The Rhythms of Holy Week

This time of year, I always feel slightly homesick. Not necessarily for a particular place, but a particular season in my life and way of worshipping. I spent seventeen months (only slightly over one rotation of the church calendar) with a community of believers who observed their faith in this way, but it remains one of my richest ... Read More »

Shifting Seasons and Giving Myself Permission

Shifting Seasons and Giving Myself Permission

I have felt my heart shifting for a while now. As a single person and for most of my married life, I have stacked fun experiences and friendships and travel on top of each other so tightly that I left little to no room to rest. After graduating from college having studied the craft I ... Read More »

On Giving Up Clothes for Lent

On Giving Up Clothes for Lent

I gave up clothes for Lent. Of course I’m not wandering around naked until Easter, but I am not buying anything new during this season. Why? Because buying clothes during Lent would only serve to parade my excess. I just finished reading Jen Hatmaker’s Interrupted*, which is the kind of book I end up highlighting ... Read More »

This is My Story

This is My Story

This is the first time I have attempted to tell my story in one sitting. While I tell you bits and pieces on a regular basis, I have never attempted to structure it and make it fit into something less than a ten minute telling. I love narrative. I love details, understanding a character’s motivation, ... Read More »

On Losing Those Last Ten Pounds

Every January, we make resolutions to get healthier. Well, January has come and gone. How are we doing with those resolutions, folks? While looking back at the goals I set in 2014, I was surprised to find that while I was still active last year, I did not cover nearly as ground than the year the before. ... Read More »

Five Things Friday: 2.13.14

Happy holiday weekend! I have the today through Monday off and am looking forward to a VERY chilly four-day weekend with my better half. The weather is in the teens here in NYC, so we will likely be hunkered down at home and will maybe brave the cold to hit a movie or museum. If you have any ... Read More »

When You Don’t Marry Your Soul Mate

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love Most ... Read More »

Walking Towards Hope: Love, Loss, and My Wedding Day

Like many little girls, I grew up fascinated by the idea of one day being a bride. While most girls’ daydreams are comprised of big white dresses, bridesmaids, and a mystery groom, I grew up wondering about what it would be like to walk down the aisle because I lost my father to cancer at ... Read More »

2015: A Year to Practice Presence

I want to show up for 2015. Last year I vowed to use my time intentionally. I was tired of living life only sporadically examined, days and seasons whizzing by as I wished I had spent them better. I wanted to plan better and follow through. My pace of life drastically changed when I no longer had ... Read More »

My Top 10 Posts of 2014

Thank you so much for reading, for commenting, and for face-to-face the conversations we’ve had over coffee. The overwhelming response to the “Waiting for Children” post absolutely bowled me over. Every time I turned around, there were more people sharing more stories of their own struggles and triumphs and encouraging me. I basically cried for ... Read More »

A Letter to my Former Self: 2014 Edition

Dear sweet girl, Have I ever told you how much I admire your relentless hopefulness; your capacity to dream in a wild way? Every year you want to start fresh, set goals, and picture a better version of yourself. You crave the taste of milestones met. I want you to stop for a minute, observe, and ... Read More »

Santa Christ? Jesus Claus?

Separating the attributes of Jesus from those of Santa this time of year can be tricky. Growing up as an American kid in a Christian household, I was told that “Jesus was the reason for the season” but that big ol’ jolly guy in the red suit was definitely a reason, too. Always the inquisitive ... Read More »

Have Yourself A 20-Something Christmas

I have always loved Christmas and the anticipation that leads up to it. As a child, I spent many hours trying to find the gifts my mom would so painstakingly hide. I relished the suspense of seeing presents under the tree, dreaming up all the possibilities of what could be inside. On Christmas morning I ... Read More »

On Fighting for Joy and Clinging to Hope

This Advent season has been hard. Really, if I am honest, this fall has wrecked me. Between constant reminders of violence, injustice, inequality and my own personal heartbreak, there have been days during the past few months have sometimes seemed unbearable. While I believe I know at the core of my being the loving Father-heart ... Read More »

How I Accidentally Ended Up A “Pastor’s Wife”

Originally published Jan 8, 2013 God absolutely has a sense of humor. Have you heard that saying, “Want to make God laugh? Tell him about your plans?” Well, He has got to be belly-laughing right now. Not in a “Ha Ha! I told you so!” way, but in a loving, fatherly, shaking his head at ... Read More »

Five Things Friday: 12.5.14

Here are a few things I’m loving lately… Yerba Maté Latte A friend brought me a can of this delicious herbal tea and I’ve been drinking it all week long. It claims that “coffee gulpers rejoice when this sip this rich, chocolaty infusion with its colorful and flavorful herbs.” I have to say, that’s pretty spot ... Read More »

Ugandan Gift Guide: Shop for Good

Last year, I fell in love with the beautiful people and country of Uganda. I traveled there with Bob Goff’s organization, Restore International, and while we were there our team visited many NGOs that made me want to go out and start something significant of my own. As I was thinking about the upcoming Christmas ... Read More »

The Reality of Grown-Up Thanksgiving

I am a sucker for family traditions and all their trappings. I love the holidays. I have a big family (three sides due to three parents, one departed) and Nick’s is even bigger (four)! The organized chaos of kids, parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents milling about, collaborating in the kitchen, and catching up on the ... Read More »

Laying Down your Dreams for Love

During our wedding ceremony nearly four years ago, our Pastor presented us with an incredible challenge. He said that each of us need to lay down our individual dreams for the dreams of our spouse. At the time, I thought, Oh, what a fantastic challenge. I absolutely agree with this 100%. I’m sure this will be ... Read More »

Five Things Friday: 11.14.2014

It’s Friday! Here are a few things I’ve been loving lately for stress relief… This relaxing candle that smells like lilies and citrus A recent obsession with this local ballet-meets-spin class Letting my brain roam free while listening to this band My furry dream come true for instant anxiety reduction This reflective way of praying that helps ... Read More »

Waiting and Dating: Thoughts on Singleness

One of the things this season of life is teaching me is how to better empathize with others. I realized recently that many of my single friends are likely experiencing a version of what I am now – this longing for a season of life that has not yet happened. Maybe, like me, you face ... Read More »

On Practicing Patience and Waiting for Children

There are many things Uganda changed in me, but of all the things this one is perhaps the most life-altering. It flipped my baby switch to “on.” If you are a long-time reader, you know that I have been slowly working my way through my fears of becoming a mom. The year I got married, ... Read More »

Cultivating a Creative and Authentic Story

Last week, I attended the Storyline Conference in Chicago and after a week of inspiring, challenging talks, workshop material, and conversations with other creatives, I realized I have been holding out on you. I aim for transparent and approachable, but maybe too often I try to tell you things from the other side, from the perspective ... Read More »

How to Get Perfect Curly Hair

Seven years ago, a brief encounter with a beautiful, curly-haired stranger changed my life. Being a curly-haired girl myself, I had to tell her this. If you have curly hair, you understand the never-ending struggle to find the perfect cocktail to tame your tresses. I approached this stranger, gushing about how beautiful her locks were, and I asked ... Read More »

Newlywed Finances: How to Choose Your City Nest

Newlywed life marks the beginning a grand adventure with a steady learning curve. There is no better way to begin that adventure than on a firm financial foundation. Here are four simple principles to help you start strong. Read More »

Learning How to Make Time for Marriage

When I got married almost four years ago, I loudly declared that we would never be one of THOSE couples. You know, the couple that is so wrapped up in themselves and their newlywed bliss that it seems like they have dropped off the face of the earth. Single friends get left behind and they ... Read More »

My Best Wedding Day Advice

Yesterday I met a friend for coffee who is weeks away from marrying the love of her life and having the wedding she has always dreamed of. She asked me if I had any advice to give. I laughed and asked, “Other than the archives on the blog?” (You know I love sharing advice!) After a few ... Read More »

A Summer of Anxious Hope and Rest

This summer was far different from the one I imagined at the start of the year. I hoped to spend it in grander ways, checking long-awaited goals off the list, like taking a lengthy vacation to Europe with my husband. But then, this spring, I parted ways with my job. While it was a difficult situation, ... Read More »

Five Things Friday: 9.12.14

Ok, five-ish. I have a lot to share with you! Listen I can’t stop listening to The Art of Simple Podcast thanks to my friends with great taste over at Help You Dwell. And speaking of dwelling, the things I am bursting at the seams to share with you this week are absolutely all about ... Read More »

Dating for Real: the Second Time Around

The first time we dated, I repeatedly told Nick I would not be his girlfriend “until I had peace about it.” What that looked like and felt like, I had no idea. I spent our dates and weekends together in a state of utter panic and constant comparison to my last relationship. I would run ... Read More »

The Most Powerful Words You Can Speak

One of the most important things Bob Goff taught me is how to love people in a bigger way with my words. As we prepared to celebrate the graduation of the children at Restore Leadership Academy, Bob challenged us. This, more than any other advice he gave, is what has stuck with me: “Don’t just tell people ... Read More »

Why I Dumped My Future Husband

The story of how I met the love of my life looks entirely different than I ever imagined it would. Our story doesn’t start with love at first sight, or attraction from the beginning – it starts with friendship. I got to know Nick because at the time, my roommate Rachel was dating his roommate. ... Read More »

Stitch Fix Friday: Fix #2

It’s Stitch Fix Friday! I first tried Stitch Fix a couple of months ago, and ended up with a fun printed top I have been wearing quite a bit this summer. This time around I tried to give more details about my style preferences and specifically, a few key items I’ve been missing in my wardrobe: ... Read More »

On Making Hoboken Feel Like Home

This summer marks my fourth year living in Hoboken. It is hard to believe I’ve been here over 1460 days already. This is the longest I have lived in one area since my high school days. I used to hate change, but after half of my life being filled with it, it has become harder ... Read More »

Five Things Friday: 7.18.14

Five things I’ve been loving lately… Governor’s Island I was first inspired to travel to Governor’s Island because of an art exhibit three years ago, and I have loved visiting ever since. I took a trip with some girl friends from college a couple of weekends ago and since experiencing the 30 additional renovated acres, I’m not ... Read More »

What Lifelong Grieving Looks Like

“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us ... Read More »

How to Fight for Your Fit

Over the past two years I’ve received messages from readers asking, “How did you lose the weight?” I shared the start of my weight-loss journey with you, but since weight loss hasn’t been a focus on the blog, I haven’t formally checked in much along the way. At this point, I have lost 16 pounds in ... Read More »

5 Tips for Finding Your Perfect Wedding Photographer

Our first kiss as a married couple, photo by Hoffer Photography Good photography is important and worth the splurge. Your wedding day is such a momentous occasion that should hire someone you can trust to capture the details to look back on and relive for years to come. When planning my wedding, photography was very near ... Read More »

Five Things Friday: 6.20.14

Five things I’ve been loving lately… StitchFix Confession: While I love the brick-and-mortar shopping experience, living in New York has pushed me further and further into becoming an online shopper. My lifestyle has just been too busy to shop for clothing like I used to. I’ve also tried to cut back on the number of ... Read More »

Five Things Friday: 5.23.14

Five things I’ve been loving lately… Something local Hoboken has a new coffee shop – Black Rail Coffee! I discovered this new spot while scrolling through #Hoboken tags on twitter and since I happened to pass by 800 Jackson street this week, I had to try their cold brewed coffee. Setting up shop right next to the 9th street ... Read More »

The Trepidation of Urban Motherhood

Photo Credit: Michael Comeau, Creative Commons I am thinking more often and more actively about what it looks like to be a mom in the city. I am asking more questions of friends who are moms, babysitting for friends, and finally picking up books that talk about child-rearing. I should know by now… this is ... Read More »