a fall reminder (for myself)

Taylor and I woke up yesterday and felt run over. He shuffled into the kitchen for coffee and was sitting at the table when I walked in. We locked eyes, shook our heads at how tired both of us looked, and burst out laughing. The last two months finally caught up with us.

Between work events, weddings, and travel over the past 8 weeks, it’s been hard to carve out time to simply be with each other. Those few hours yesterday morning- the ones where we sat on the couch, drank coffee, let the silence be, asked each other questions, stared out the window at the morning light – those were a gift. A mercy.

One morning last week, I woke up not because I wanted to, but because I had to. There were things on my list- work, errands, last minute shopping for wedding shoes – and in my exhaustion, my human self simply couldn’t muster the motivation. It had been almost 2 months of “just keep going a little longer” and I was spent. Instead of starting to get ready for work, I put on sweatpants, grabbed my coffee and sat out on my back porch.

I took a deep breath of the crisp morning air and as I began to pray, my eyes welled up. This particular season has been marked by almost daily wrestling with God. By unknowns and fears and just trying to get through the day. By wrestling to believe that God is who He says He is, that His promises are for me too, not just everyone else. You may have noticed I’ve posted here a little less frequently this fall- the writing is still happening. But sometimes, the writing needs to stay between me and my Dad for a little while.

As the tears came, I began to notice the cool breeze on my cheek. Squirrels and birds playing in the trees. My pup happy as can be dragging around a stick twice his size. The leaves blowing back and forth in the wind, hanging on for the last bit of life until next spring. And I remember:

Call this to mind, and have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness. 

Every morning since then, I have woken up and read this verse. Because I am human and I so quickly forget. Because literally every day I have to remind myself that I am loved, that it doesn’t matter how bad I messed up yesterday- there are new mercies for me today. I have to remember to give myself grace, that it’s ok to not have it all together, to not have it all figured out because God’s mercy and love are enough for me today. I can stop the striving and rest in Him.

In the verse right before, the writer says that his soul continually remembers his affliction and his wandering, and is bowed down within him because of it. I relate to that- continually thinking about all the ways I’ve messed up, failed, not measured up.

Yet, it’s incredibly beautiful how, as we are in our darkest place, continually convincing ourselves that we’re not good enough, our good Father continually pours out his never-failing love and mercies on us. He speaks into our hurt, our exhaustion, our dark places and says, “You are enough.”

His new mercies and steadfast love are enough. They will never come to an end. That is a soothing balm to my tired soul today. I hope it is for you too.

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I’m sitting at my kitchen table staring out the glass door into our backyard after a slow morning of drinking tea, and reading while curled up in a blanket on my couch. My tongue is stinging from the steaming mug of hot chocolate I’ve been hesitantly sipping on, and my nose is taking big whiffs of the sea salt candle burning. The scent traveling through my nose and gently relaxing my whole body.

It’s quiet in the house except for the sound of our 20 year old washing machine, and Rio barking at squirrels in the backyard. He wanted to go outside even though it’s dark and drizzling, and after a few minutes of him pleading with me,  I reluctantly let him out knowing I was signing myself up for mud duty later. For the past 15 minutes, he’s been sprinting back and forth across our yard, reveling in the freedom of being outside, and only taking breaks to drag around a stick twice the size of him.

Sometimes, after a long week with a full schedule, I feel like I need permission to rest. I need permission to slow down, to stop going, to stop running my brain. I need permission to take time by myself, and not make phone calls or hang out with friends or even go to a coffee shop.

One of the reasons I love Austin so much is because we get on average 300 days of sunshine a year. I love the sun. But on days like this lazy Sunday, I’m thankful for the rain, and its whispers of “rest” into my mind, soul and bones. It’s presence acts as affirmation to my heart: rest is good. You’ve been going 100 mph this week, and it’s time to slow down. It’s ok to slow down. It’s ok. Let Me refresh you, and give you new life. You are enough.

Happy Sunday.

P.S. – Remember that time I said I was signing up for mud duty? I wasn’t kidding.


birthdays + bonfires

Taylor turned 25 yesterday, and it was pretty close to the perfect day.

It is such a gift to watch the person you love come alive with the knowledge that they are so loved and valued. To come alive because they’re in their element, and being nurtured on a soul level.

That’s what yesterday was for my sweet man, and I loved every minute of it.

We had a surprise breakfast together before I went to work, served on the special birthday plate of course…

Then, Taylor got to spend the whole day fishing with his dad (they are the same person). Talk about being in your element…

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We all met up at his parent’s house and enjoyed a delicious birthday dinner and amazing chocolate cake, again served on the special birthday plate…

And topped it off enjoying a bonfire with friends in the crisp Austin air- the perfect nightcap.

Those are the types of days I want to remember for a long time. The days where I’m ok with them going by slowly because I’m trying to soak in every moment. It was a simple, rich, gift-filled, ordinary, amazing celebration of life.

I was so physically exhausted by the time we got home, but my heart and soul were filled. In my book, that’s a day well lived.

So, I’m heading in to this weekend thankful. Thankful for community and the gift of life, for time to rest and prepare for a little trip coming up next week, time to just be and soak in the days.

Hoping for a restful weekend for you as well.