Tuesday, August 28, 2012

my thoughts:
a lot of people distort scripture and their own beliefs to make it fit their lives.
we're self-centered & its our natural inclination.
a standard byproduct is the thought: "god's will is for me to be happy".
each day im reminded of the blatant falseness of this statement.
through hardships we...
we are not called to happiness; we are called to joy.
sometimes joy & happiness coexist.
but sometimes our joy lives in times of despair.
sometimes it surfaces during anxiety & stress.

lately, this song sings the joy that resides in my being.

Friday, July 13, 2012

saint louis love.

friends, i am officially a nashville resident.
im no longer a mid-westerner.
i am surrounded by: storms, southern accents, musicians, & terrible drivers.
its an odd feeling, but i am loving my new city & seeing gods sovereignty in all things.

although i no longer live in saint louis, i will forever love the gateway city. just today, my dear friends dad asked for the "must-do's" of saint louis. obviously, i got overly excited and started typing away at all my favorite spots throughout the city that is so dear to my heart.

that being said, i feel like i should share all my favorites with you in hopes that you can enjoy the tastes, sights, smells, and experiences that i treasure. friends, here is a list of saint louis' best, in my eyes.

breakfast --

1) rooster (this is downtown; they have wonderful crepes--both sweet and savory...i just went there for the first time a few weeks ago and was very impressed!)

coffee -- 

1) sump (this is some serious coffee...takes a little bit of time, but its the best iced cappuccino ive ever had. no flavored anything...just straight, good coffee).

2) foam (this is right down the street from sump. more variety and still a very fun atmosphere)

everyday lunch food --

1) the mudhouse (this is on cherokee street, which also has lots of fun antique stores (its called antique row). they have great sandwiches, my favorite of which is called "the goat". it has arugula, cucumbers, apricot jam, & goat cheese. sounds weird, but its fantastic.)

italian/pizza --

1) guidos (this is on the hill...they use provel cheese on their pizza, which is definitely the selling point....i always get artichokes & basil as toppings. so incredible. it has become a family favorite)

2) pi (there are several locations for this AMAZING pizza place, but my favorite is the one in central west end. if its not too hot of a night, its really fun to do outdoor seating and just experience city life)

sushi -- 

1) sub zero (this is also in central west in. it gets a little chaotic at night because its also a vodka bar, but if you go a little earlier it shouldnt be too bad. its by far my favorite sushi ive ever had).

2) wasabi (this is downtown on washington avenue. also really great sushi!)

burgers --

1) THE ROYALE!!!!! okay, even if you dont go anywhere else, i think this is a MUST. they have great beer on tap, really good cocktails, and the best burger ive ever eaten. i love getting their burgers with goat cheese and a side of sweet potato chips. seriously my favorite meal in the city.

2) baileys range (this is downtown and has wonderful, quirky burgers. they also have all housemade sauces...even their ketchup!! their food is fantastic.)

other dinner options --

1) llywelyns pub (theres one in soulard and one in central west end. the central west end location is my personal favorite. GREAT irish food!)

2) the scottish arms (im thinking this is a MUST. you need to try the scottish eggs and the lamb burger.....oooo and probably their shepherds pie. all so good.)

dessert --

1) the fountain on locust (SUCH GOOD DESSERT! and a fun vintage feel to the shop....a good night time hang out!)

2) park avenue coffee (i know this is a coffee shop, but they have a secret....GOOEY BUTTER CAKE!!! this coffee shop is known for their HUGE variety of incredible gooey butter cake. i would recommend going to the location in layfayette square)

cocktails/beer --

1) TASTE (another MUST, in my opinion. its a bit more expensive ($10 cocktails) but theyre seriously amazing. they have a fairly famous mixologist that works in-house, and his creations are by far my favorite on the menu. they also have GREAT food....their pork burger was phenomenal. its a good setting as well.....a kind of 1920s feel. i HIGHLY recommend trying "the ab-duck-tion". the cocktail ingredients are definitely weird, but its my favorite cocktail ive ever had.

2) international tap house aka itap (this is in soulard...they have an insane amount of beers on tap. definitely a great selection and a great environment)

entertainment --

1) left bank books (there is a location right next to rooster in downtown and one right across from pi in central west end. its just a fun bookstore...both new & used)

2) forest park! (its fun & beautiful to walk around forest park, especially in the evenings. it just feels like such a vibrant park of the city....i LOVE the fountain right across from the boathouse pond. also, the muny is an outdoor theatre in forest park that does shows. if you sit in the back, you can go for free, but you have to be willing to endure the heat)

3) antique row on cherokee street (i mentioned this earlier when talking about the mudhouse, but its just such a cool strip of shops. there are antique stores, used book stores, local stores, etc. its definitely a fun spot.)

dear, sweet residents of saint louis....you need to experience these wonderful locations. and when you do, let me know! id love to hear your opinions...good or bad!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

been talkin 'bout the way things change.

ive always been one to claim adventure as my own.
spontaneous trips...unplanned events...
trusting that locals will tell me whats best to eat & the most awe-inspiring to see...
and now all of that adventure is coming to a head;
see, the adventure is no longer an isolated event.
it is now my life.
and when it comes right down to it......
[im a bit terrified by the unknown.]

friends, i am moving to nashville.

i know, i know. that doesnt seem like a big deal. its only 3.5 hours from my hometown & 5 hours from saint louis. im close enough to entertain visitors, and definitely close enough to venture back to my loved ones during school breaks.

but it is change.

at this point, i have been a part of the saint louis atmosphere for 6 years.
and to think of it even beyond that, my whole adult life has been spent under the shadows of the arch & within ear shot of the screaming cardinal nation. this is home.

i cannot express the feeling that overtakes me at the thought of leaving. but the grace of god is real & he is so good. i have prayed and struggled and weighed options....nashville is where i am supposed to be....at least for this season of life. it is in gods grace & the discernment that he has given, that i rest.
i rest knowing that he is writing a better story for my life than i could ever write for myself.

that doesnt take away the struggle, though. i am excited, but still.....i cry; i say goodbyes; i think of all i will miss. theres nothing wrong with working your way through something, feeling all your emotions fully & with abandon. christ doesnt call us to hide our emotions. he does call us to trust in his grace above all else, and to glorify him in all circumstances. and it is in adversity that we often see his grace & goodness the clearest.

"draw near to god, and he will draw near to you." --james 4:8
"cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares for you." --1 peter 5:7
"in his heart a man plans his course, but the lord determines his steps." --proverbs 6:9
"the lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." --exodus 14:14

i love that i can trust a god who promises such beautiful, beautiful things. 

so, in this time, some things are harder. some things strike me differently than before. a few days ago, i was in the car, and i heard the beginning notes of a favorite song. i started to belt the lyrics, but could not get them out. the words stuck in my throat, because all of a sudden, they were relevant & true. they applied & that hurt. 

that song:

"a year from now we'll all be gone; all our friends will move away.
and theyre going to better places, but our friends will be gone away.
nothing is as it has been, and i miss your face like hell.
and i guess its just as well, but i miss your face like hell.
been talkin 'bout the way things change.
and my family lives in a different state.
and if you dont know what to make of this, then we will not relate.
said, if you dont know what to make of this, then we will not relate.
rivers & roads, rivers & roads, rivers til i reach you."

saint louis, you have a place in the very deepest chamber of my heart.
and regardless of distance, the rivers & roads will lead us to one another again.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

nothing good gets away.

i stumbled across this letter written by john steinbeck to his son, thom.
thom had written his father, confessing that he was in love.
what a beautiful response...

New York
November 10, 1958

Dear Thom:
We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First — if you are in love — that’s a good thing — that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second — There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you — of kindness and consideration and respect — not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply — of course it isn’t puppy love.

But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it — and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone — there is no possible harm in saying so — only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another — but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.



Sunday, April 15, 2012

my head is full of dirt.

all that i can see is you cant see the dirt in me.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

death, be not proud.

i do not have words of my own to express what im feeling & thinking today. these bits and pieces describe it far better.

"death, be not proud, though some have called thee mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so: for those who thou think'st thou dost overthrow die not, poor death; not yet canst thou kill me. from rest and sleep, which but thy picture be, much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow; and soonest our best men with thee do go - rest of their bones and souls' delivery! thou'rt slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men, and dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell; and poppy or charms can make us sleep as well and better than thy stroke. why swell'st thou then? one short sleep past, we wake eternally, and death shall be no more;
  death, thou shalt die!"
---john donne

"but christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. for since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. for as in adam all die, so in christ all will be made alive."
--1 corinthians 15:20-22

Thursday, April 5, 2012

always you.

for some reason, this song is really getting me today.
i have no reason for it to make me emotional, but it is.