day 9: neighborhood coffee

This was my view Tuesday morning at the neighborhood coffee shop. I took this photo around 8am, and you would’ve thought it was mid-morning the way the coffee shop was buzzing. People working on laptops, reading novels, groups of friends chatting to the background of folk music and the friendly hellos of the baristas.

It’s the kind of place where you become a regular – where they know your name, and already have your small drip coffee going as they see you walk in the door. It’s filled with friendly faces, hellos, comfy leather couches, handmade wooden tables and a pretty impressive deer mount. It’s a place focused on fostering community, and you feel like family when you walk in.

I’ve read books, prepared for job interviews, met friends, had work meetings and wrote stories at this coffee shop. It’s part of the fabric of my life, weaving in and out of my days. Sweet memories have been created here. I’ve always wanted to be a regular somewhere, and I’m thankful for places like this that comfort, that feel like home.

day 7: a voice

Today is Election Day.

I haven’t said much publicly about this election, but I want to say this today:

I was standing in line at Randalls last week to vote when tears came to my eyes. I was scanning the line, and saw people from all walks of life. There were mothers with their children, businessmen just getting off of work, elderly in wheelchairs. There were people of every size, age and color, and I was overwhelmed by the gravity and beauty of it all.

This election has been a hard one for many of us, no doubt. We are all ready for it to be over. But, at the same time, we live in a country where we have the privilege to vote, for our voices to count. It’s a beautiful thing when you really think about it – that people who are so different have the ability to come together and choose their leader.

Many have died so we can have this privilege. Many around the world are currently fighting to gain this privilege because they aren’t afforded the same liberty we have.

Don’t believe the lie that your voice doesn’t matter. It does.

Don’t allow frustration or cynicism about the election to paralyze you from using your voice. This is too important. We all need your voice.

I believe in us, today. We can do hard things. Use your voice and cast your vote.

day 6: taylor

Today, I’m thankful for the guy pictured above. 

I’m thankful for his love of the outdoors, and how we adventure together. (As I’m typing this, he’s fly fishing in an Austin creek while I’m enjoying the sound of rapids behind us)

I’m thankful for his silly side, and how it brings out the child in my heart too. 

I’m thankful for how he can make me laugh even when I’m annoyed or frustrated. He reminds me that life really is too short to sweat the small stuff. 

I’m thankful for how his logic balances out my emotions, but doesn’t negate them. 

I’m thankful for his integrity, thoughtfulness, and kindness. 

I’m thankful for how hard he works. He sets a great example in work ethic, commitment and just plain showing up with all you have every day. 

I’m thankful for how he pursued me from day 1 through my stubbornness and fear, and how he’s continued to pursue me in the same way every day since. 

Most of all, I’m thankful for how he’s shown me Jesus. Because of him, I know more of Jesus’ love and relentless pursuit of me. I feel safe and loved with Taylor, and with the Lord. That’s everything to me. 

Perfect love truly does cast out fear. Our love is far from perfect, but it points to the love we have in Jesus. I’m forever thankful for that, and for the gift I’ve been given in Taylor. 

Happy birthday to my other half.