You may have (but probably have not) noticed this blog’s small hiatus. In full honesty, a recent incident hit my deeply seeded insecurity square on the nose. I realized my pride is as large as my shame (pride is what we use to cover our shame, after all). Over nights of wondering if I should give up this blog entirely, and worrying that what I write here is judged, disliked, and snubbed at, I’ve realized that I must be more insecure than I’ve ever truly allowed myself to imagine. The older I get the more I am surprised at how the smallest of criticisms can cut so deeply and heal so slowly. I’m aware this also says a lot about my shallow practice of grace. I understand I need grace but am terrible at giving it away.
Father, help my unbelief.
All that to say, I’ve decided to keep this blog up in an exercise of grace – to myself and to others. I’ve missed the catharsis it brings, and the memories it preserves for future reflection. It has always been my hope that my honesty here provides a small encouragement for others (but I will strive to do better at this) . I’m asking for your love and for your grace – the title of this blog, after all is “karis” (grace); this post is a timid first step back to blogging.
Hello again readers (ahem … Mom, Kiri, and Mrs. Phillips)!
The easiest way to begin is to share happy things. So, without further ado, recent things of great joy.
- Family in DC for Memorial Weekend. I love my little tribe so much. I love that my family is so easy-going and loving and full of affirmation. It was refreshing to have Mom, Dad, Steph & Jono up here. We kept busy – hiking Roosevelt Island, going to a Nats game, exploring the neighborhoods of Georgetown, Eastern Market, Old Town, and Del Ray, and dragging Franklin along to all of it. I am so thankful for you guys and thankful that Bryan and I have a place to host you all. I continue to marvel at this line between growing up and still being someone’s daughter.
- Going to India. This “small” factoid needs a whole post all its own (and it surely will get that). But, for now, I will just say I am going to India at the end of school (June 17 – July 2) with a service grant through the EARS Project and I am excited. Three co-workers and I are traveling to Mysore, India to provide training to teachers at two convents for children with hearing loss. The new culture, the new clothes (look up “harem pants” – these are my new favorite things) are enticing in themselves. And yet, more importantly, this service project is giving me life. It is so energizing and purpose-filling to realize that the small knowledge and experience I have is desperately needed and valued.
- Slowed-down pop songs (Thanks, Spotify). I recently put together a list of favorite pop songs slowed down and sung by alternative artists. I play this while cooking, doing laundry, or planning for therapy sessions and it calms me. For example, this song medley.
- Cycling Classes at Swet-Ride. Yes, you read this right. I’m a recent convert to cycling! I’ve only been to three of these classes, but I enjoy the high-intensity workout (the more you sweat, the productive you feel, am I right?). I go to a nearby studio that is so welcoming. The receptionist loaned me her socks when I forgot mine one night. Seriously, though. Generous customer service. If you live near me, will you join me one week? I would love it.
- FitBit. I am now the proud (obnoxious) owner of one of these little pedometer / life-tracking devices, and I’m obsessed.
- Blueberry Flaxseed from Trader Joes. I’ve been putting this in Greek yogurt and adding some honey for breakfast. Just enough sweet and just enough crunch.
- The Listening Life by Adam McHugh. I cannot get over how much I’m enjoying this book. The writing is lyrical in its descriptions and Scripture references – and yet so humbly down-to-earth. I’m about to recommend this to all my introvert friends – and possibly even those who thirst for practical ways to find quiet space in their faith.
“We don’t listen just to be filled with knowledge, and we don’t treat the Scriptures only as sheet music that we endlessly rehearse and memorize. The big movements of the Scriptures are the chords and rhythms that drive us forward into our own faithful and inventive compositions.
“Our improvisation flows from what we have heard, and with the Scriptures ringing in our ears, we move forward to create something new and stirring, a piece that is compelling to those who listen to us.”
– The Listening Life by Adam McHugh