You just have the sweet memories of new friends, good food, morning light, friends sharing their incredible talents, phone calls with your parents, and drives around town with an ice cream cone.
That’s better than a picture sometimes.
We really love this city and its people.
I read this book a few weeks ago and the author asks some pretty great questions. (I know, I know…)
It wasn’t on my book list. It was in pure rebellion of my book list actually.
The middle of Jane Eyre is trying.
And this was a quick day’s read
Back to Jane soon enough though!
What do I love?
What makes me angry? In other words, what makes me say, “Somebody should do something about that?”
What do I need to drop the “just” from to open myself up to the possibility that more is going on in whatever it is I do all day? (i.e. I’m just a teacher.)
What would it look like for me to approach tomorrow with a sense of honor and privilege, believing that I have work to do in the world, that it matters, that it’s needed, that I have a path and I’m working my craft?
What feeds my soul?
And my favorite, “Who are you to do this?”
This is a quote that the author turns into, “Who are you not to do this?”
Ok, one more quote, “You have your life. And your life is not her life. Or his life. And his life is not yours. Is there a way in which you’ve been asking , “What about them?” When the better question is, “What is that to you?” There will always be someone who’s smarter than you. There will always be someone with more raw talent than you. There will always be someone more experienced and better qualified and harder working and stronger and more articulate and more creative with more stamina who can sing better than you can. But who you aren’t isn’t interesting.”
Ok. I think that’s enough for today.
We aren’t ready to have kids yet.
“You’re never really ready.”
I get it.
But when we are I know their dad is going to tell them about the greatest books.
He’ll fill their little minds with wonder and excitement.
And tell them about some pretty amazing people.
I roll my eyes sometimes now about his latest quest – Bonhoffer – but really, I feel the luckiest that he is so passionate and excited about history.
Because I know it hasn’t always been so.
When we’re ready I know he will always keep the diaper bag ready to go.
You should see the way he lays out his gym bag and our breakfast essentials – coffee lined up and ready to go, lunch packed, water bottle out.
I like to think I passed this preparedness quirk on to him – but really he’s much better than I am at it.
When we’re ready I guarantee he will give the best back scratches.
Which will be very hard to share…
My body is betraying me.
In more ways than one sometimes.
But lately, in its rebellion to nearing a quarter of a century, I awoke at 4:30 AM.
I tried lulling myself back to sleep by laying quietly.
Only thoughts of a sweet bungalow in one of our favorite neighborhoods with a perfectly cutesy blue front door.
This is Josh’s fault.
Normally I’m the one dreaming of bungalows, stalking them on Zillow, finding the one (albeit minute) detail that completely flaws the whole house rendering it useless to us. (“It’s not that we don’t have the money, it’s that those countertops are just ALL WRONG.)
But last night that man showed me the dreamy bungalow in one of our favorite neighborhoods with the perfectly cutesy blue front door and I did it.
I fell in love.
And at 4:30 AM I decided how wonderfully sweet that bungalow would look with a yellow flowered wreath on its door.
Which inevitably spiraled down to, “Well that’s not going to to happen. How are you going to afford a home when you’re not sure how to afford health insurance in a year? How are you going to have children if you don’t have health insurance? How are you going to have children when you will just have to drop them off at childcare for 80% of their day?” And so on and so forth.
There are a lot of things we have.
(Reasonably) healthy bodies.
A place to call “our own” even if we are paying a landlord and not the bank.
Work we enjoy.
Friends and community to share joys and sorrow with.
Food in our cupboards and in our refrigerator.
(Reasonably) reliable transportation.
There are a lot of things we want.
And to be present in their lives.
Small is ok.
Internationally and around America.
A new bike.
Wait. That’s Josh’s.
So the fight for contentment and gratidude, while still working towards our goals continues.
Because sometimes it really does feel like a fight.
And you reason with yourself.
“There will be more dreamy houses in one of our favorite neighborhoods when the time is right.”
And sometimes you just get out of bed at 6:00 on a Saturday morning, adjust the dining room chair you’re using as a living room chair in the best position to see the sun come up through the classic sliding apartment window.
And sit with Scripture.
We have so much to be thankful for.
^^This photo always sparks gratitude in my heart. Not because I was feeling especially grateful. Our “yard” is in the bleak brownness of winter and my husband is using a tiny grill on our front stoop which is an instant reminder of how long we’ve been in the same apartment. But I’m so grateful. I’m grateful for that tiny grill making some delicious hamburgers to share with my husband. I’m grateful even for this season of waiting and working.
Our laptop charger has been compromised by a small pup named Millie. And because we have higher priorities this year we are learning to live without. I mean, we both have iPhones and and iPad from J’s work. So it’s not like we’re living in 2001 here but it has made us think outside the box some days.
Also, my Word document journal hasn’t been opened since the compromise so…my memories are being recorded through photographs on my phone and scattered words in my notebooks.
So what to do when you would like to remember really good days?
Maybe this is actually a good thing?
I’m really trying to put a positive spin on this.
So here goes.
A really good Sunday.
Weekly coffee shop reading with Josh before church.
Mom and Dad joining us at church.
Treating us to lunch at our favorite local Italian place.
Then making a library run so that my students will have Valentine books tomorrow.
A delicious afternoon snack of coffee and crepes.
And conversation that lasts past the crepes and coffee.
Driving around neighborhoods in Springfield.
Packing away the eggs, homemade bread, and books they brought for you.
Hugging goodbye again.
And then waving at the window.
And writing your next visit in your planner.
I loved my parents as a child.
I loved my parents (mostly) as a young adult.
But gosh do I love them now.
Also, it was their 29th anniversary.
And I’m pretty sure they get cuter every year.
Do not tell your husband that you’re sorry the chicken you have chosen does not look like chicken nuggets.
There’s always someone on your team. This is both good and bad.
Sometimes you’re wrong.
Tapping the ceiling with the broom handle is perfectly acceptable when you’re upstairs neighbors have woken you up at 2:00 in the morning with their yelling for the tenth time this month.
And not the angry kind of yelling I’m afraid.
My husband also says this is not ok.
Stop signing up for things you know you can’t commit to.
Josh and I survived a solid 2.3 days on Whole30.
We were not made for that business.
And have since adopted an 80/20 rule.
Last year I set a goal to read 10 books.
One book per month with room for grace.
I found that I enjoyed a good mix of fiction and non-fiction and that I need to challenge myself to read a few pieces of classical literature. My Dad has started this task (on a much higher level) and it is really encouraging. If he can do it, so can I.
- The Celebration of Discipline
- Jane Eyre
- The Life Giving Home
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- Give them Grace
- Surprised by Joy
- Robert Frost’s Poems
- Little Women
- Of Mice and Men
- Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
- The Hiding Place
- Present Over Perfect
- An autobiography
What are you reading this year?
This year I want to look back and remember that throughout all the sweet moments, new territory, chaos, and challenges, Jesus was near.
This year there was a lot less writing for public and a lot more writing in a Word document.
So there aren’t as many links to site.
And that’s ok.
We spent several weekends with family. Here’s just one to St. Louis.
And having all of our family together in Springfield for Josh’s graduation was a forever favorite moment.
Both of us transitioned into new jobs and then back into new jobs again.
Discovering and rediscovering where our talents and passions connect.
Floundering is ok.
Friends are a sweet gift.
Laughing with them late into the night or standing around humbling asking God to do big things is such a treasure.
Bike riding, camping, taking naps in the park.
Bike riding on the Katy Trail with my parents and bike riding through Springfield with friends.
We took a crash course in public transportation in Chicago.
And learned the balance of planning and spontaneity.
We celebrated three years of marriage in June.
And somehow read 11 books this year.
The most important lesson of this year is one that I’m sure I will continue to learn year after year.
That it’s ok to ask big things from God.
That it’s ok to tell him when it doesn’t go our way.
And that trusting God doesn’t mean that the chaos goes away.
But that I can rest knowing that His love is deep.
Worry is fruitless.
And that times of anxiousness can be redirected to times of worship.
There was so much change that came in 2016 for the Morrises.
Too much to write down.
And honestly, some just too personal for this space.
The older I get and the more “life” just happens the more protective I become on this space.
But looking back the one thing I want to remember is that Jesus was near.
And, of course, for your viewing pleasure…
I’m kind of fond of these year end posts.
- The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Goodness. This book. Trust me, just read it.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People – Ridiculous title, I know. I’m going to use the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by it’s title.” here. Quick and easy read with solid advice in just how to be a nice person.
- The Girl on the Train – This was an impulse iBook purchase that I could not stop reading. Seriously addictive.
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – I believe this was suggested on a podcast I listen to and I am forever grateful for the suggestion. Francie Nolan truly stole my heart. I love a good coming of age story and even more when it’s set in the early 1900’s and in New York.
- Brooklyn – After watching the film, I reserved this book at the library. I have never really been a fan of reading the book after watching the movie but it’s so good. The inner dialogue of the main character that you have to rely on inferences from the movie create a whole new experience.
- Ruthless Trust – A sweet friend placed this book in my hands at just the right time. I will always be thankful for that bold and kind gift.
- Cold Tangerines
- Bread & Wine
- Present Over Perfect
Clearly, I went through a bit of a Shauna Niequist phase.
And I think it was just what I needed.
Her words made my crazy inner-turmoil ridden mind feel at ease.
I don’t have to have it all figured out.
Mess is ok.