The Grass is Always Greener

During the summer, I made a trip home to see some friends before heading to the beach with friends from Charlotte for the weekend. On my way home, I stopped to see a friend and her children. I’m not going to be too specific as to give away the identity of a friend who doesn’t know a blog post is being written about her, but let’s just go ahead and state for the record that there was a newborn involved, which was the main reason for my stopping on the way home.

I hadn’t seen this particular friend in quite a while, so there was a lot of catching up to do. We talked about her life as a wife and a mom, her husband’s job, the house they’d bought in the suburbs, and how she was going to continue resisting buying a minivan for as long as possible. Then she asked me about my life, and for the first time in a while, I didn’t want to answer.

What did I have that would measure up to what she was doing? She was (and still is) investing in the future generation right there in her home. She prepares meals for her husband and washes clothes for her kids. She makes sure they are learning to share, to be kind, and all that they can about Jesus. She is what I’m sure plenty of us have in our mind when we imagine the “Proverbs 31 Woman”.

This is a friend who has been a friend for years and years, and to be honest, it was hard thinking that I couldn’t share with her what was going on in my life. And it wasn’t her–it was all me. I know that she never would’ve looked down on me for my singleness. Just the opposite, in fact, happened when I did start to share about my life.

I told her about trips I’d taken–my road trip up the East Coast last summer with Kaila, a trip to DC in 2016 with church friends, and at the time, my most recent big trip was our trip to New York over New Year’s. I went to NYC with people she also knows, so I caught her up on our friends’ lives. I mentioned how one friend of ours had moved to New England, and when I said we visited his place before going down to NYC, she kind of got this whimsical look on her face and smiled before saying, “Man, I wish I could do all of that.”

My brain sort of stopped for a minute. What in the world? SHE wants to go and do all of these things I’ve gone and done? When she has this super sweet life right in front of her? She wants to do these same things I’ve done?

I was floored, honestly. Did she not know what a sweet blessing she had right in front of her? Did she not know how many people want exactly what she has?

She does. And she did. And not because I went off on her about it, because that’s not the kind of thing that would’ve been helpful in the moment, especially considering her lack of sleep at the time.

We’re in two totally different places in our lives–hers involve wiping snotty noses, changing diapers, and losing lots of sleep. While mine also involves all of those things (thankfully the diapers are only in the church nursery or when babysitting), none of them are done for my children. My life involves many more road trips and spur of the moment decisions than hers does, but it doesn’t mean that her much more scheduled life is any better than mine.

It’s just different.

And while I still desire to be married and have kids, I’m learning to embrace the different. To be content in the different. And to not think that the grass really is greener on the other side.

Because apparently it’s not.



Titles Aren’t My Favorite

I’m so bad at coming up with titles for posts that are really “specific”. I’ve used versions of “lately” and “as of late” so many times that I can’t do it again. So, here’s a post with a horrible title. Consider this my version of a facebook picture where the poster writes, “caption this”.

Anyway. Here’s a post recapping the last few months.


I spent the last few days of summer with these two cuties. Baker and I decided to smile and laugh instead of crying about our sweet friend Rynn moving to Montana, which she and her sweet parents did soon after this picture was taken. 

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I chaperoned our student ministry’s summer camp, and this was the view we got to see each day! Carrie, my pastor’s wife, came up for part of the time, and she brought me my favorite drink multiple times ūüôā (If you’re ever in Black Mountain, you really should get the Killer Bee from the Dripolator. Really.)


This was our group, including my pastor and his family. It was such a privilege to be able to chaperone these students and take them to camp in a place that means so much to me. Those Blue Ridge Mountains have always held a special place in my heart, and I love how God can be so kind to us in ways we can’t even begin to expect.


I started teaching First Grade at a different school this year, and everything about my new job has been wonderful! Praising God for His faithfulness!


Emma Kate came in town, and it was a really fun weekend. Even more fun than our normal low-key, visit to JCrew weekend because we managed to book a trip to EUROPE for my spring break! We’re also planning to bring backpacks as our luggage. I’m not even sure who we are anymore ūüôā


We headed to D.C. for Labor Day Weekend, and while it was rainy all day Saturday, we had a really good time! We spent most of that day at the Holocaust Museum and the Portrait Gallery (my favorite), as well as eating good food and catching up with friends!


On Sunday, we went to CHBC for church, ate lunch at Union Market, then headed over to Georgetown to shop/explore. Georgetown is for sure my favorite part of D.C., and it was really fun to get to explore it with these sweet friends!


I headed to Augusta this past weekend and watched these two play some awesome soccer. I’m also not sure who these two boys are, because they’re clearly as grown as can be, but they called me Ash Ash all day, so I guess they’re Jack and Joe ūüėČ


When I was home, Kaila also happened to be home, so we hung out with Evan and explored our old stomping grounds. It was fun to hang out with some of my favorite college friends!

So, that’s the past couple of months. Here are some other things I’ve been enjoying the past few months that you should check out:




summer reads

I had been trying to write a real blog post for about a month or so, but I think I use all of my words throughout the day and can never manage to get them out the way I want when I do have a chance to sit down and write. I love the routines of the school year, and I love what I do, but I miss having the mental capacity to really write during the school year. I’d like to try to get better at disciplining myself to write even when I don’t want to write, but that may take a few months/years. I did finally manage to write one this week, one that was fairly raw and real. Read it¬†here.

Anyway, I didn’t manage to read all of the books I’d planned on reading this summer, but I did read a lot of good ones. I always like to document what I read because it helps me remember what went on during that season of my life and what I was learning in that specific season. So, here are a few of the books that I read during my “Summer of Interviews”, as I’m affectionately calling it :), that were really good!

  • Messy Beautiful Friendship¬†by Christine Hoover. I have probably recommended this book fifty times. I’m not even kidding when I say that. It is SO good. This book is everything I’ve wanted in regards to navigating female friendships in the church as an adult.

Everything in our culture works against friendship. We move at such a rapid pace and live such over-scheduled lives. Whereas marriage, work, and family are permanent commitments, friendship is a voluntary commitment and is therefore easy to neglect. If we’re going to leave room on our dance cards for friendship, we’re going to have to be firmly committed to it and to going against the grain of our culture. – Christine Hoover

  • Adopted for Life¬†by Russell Moore. While this book is geared towards those who are interested in adopting, I found this to be a great resource for those who¬†are¬†adopted. It was incredibly refreshing in some ways for me. I also think that it is a great resource for those who are looking to adopt. However, even if adoption isn’t on your radar, this is still a good book for those of us in Christ–to remember and understand better our adoption as sons and daughters of God.

An adoption culture in our churches advances the cause of life even beyond the individual lives of the children adopted. – Russell Moore

Finding your birth parents, though, won’t tell you who you are. Who you are has been forged by more than genes, coming also from thousands of dinner table conversations, hallway arguments, church group retreats, quiet moments of prayer, and much more. Above all, you are who you are in Christ. – Russell Moore

  • Struck¬†by Russ Ramsey. I read most of this while I was at summer camp with our student ministry. When they were off swimming during free time, I was reading because this was so good. Ramsey tells his story of “encountering death”, and I have to say that this book reminded me that we all suffer in some way or another–and we all will. It’s how we respond and cling to Christ that changes us in those times.

If my affliction was a severe mercy to awaken in me my need of God, the it is a wise gift from a loving hand. – Russ Ramsey

  • Alive in Him by Gloria Furman. I’d heard a lot about Gloria Furman from my friends with young kids. She’s written a book about motherhood that is apparently a very good one. My pastor gave me this book in the spring, and I decided to read it this summer. I enjoyed Furman’s writing and learning more about the immeasurable love of Christ.

It’s a good thing that eternity will last forever, because it will take us that long to experience all the dimensions of Christ’s love for us. – Gloria Furman

  • Not Yet Married¬†by Marshall Segal. I randomly came across this on Amazon one day, a day or two after it came out. I am really glad I bought it, and while there have been many articles and books on singleness, this is one I wholeheartedly recommend. Segal’s theology is sound as well as his advice and wisdom. Sure, Segal is married, but he¬†gets¬†it, and I really appreciated his consistency in pointing his readers back to Christ.

In Jesus, God is always and only doing good to us. He loves our lasting joy in Him much more than he loves our temporary comfort today. – Marshall Segal

  • Unparalleled¬†by Jared Wilson. I read this book because Jared Wilson was the speaker at summer camp. I wanted to have a general idea of what Wilson would be speaking about, so I read it the week before we left. While I enjoyed reading the book, I almost wished I hadn’t until¬†after¬†camp because Wilson practically preached the book in his messages. Which was totally fine, but I felt, at times, that I knew his point before he made it. Anyway, this book is about why Christianity is unique, which was really intriguing to me. Wilson addresses different topics–the Trinity, human life, sin/conviction–and discusses how no other religion is like Christianity. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who didn’t have the chance to listen to “Evening Jared”, as we call him at church, (the morning speaker at camp was also named Jared) preach.

Biblically speaking, Christianity is not an individualistic faith. Christians have a personal relationship with God, but it is not meant to be a private relationship with God. – Jared Wilson

Well, those are just some of the books I read this summer that I’d definitely recommend if anyone was looking for a new read.

Current Reads:

Wanting to Read (a.k.a. I’ve read the introduction already):

What are you reading these days? Any recommendations?


Nothing of the past few years has gone as planned.

I broke my ankle at camp, came home, then turned around and went to AUSTRALIA (the next summer–not with the broken ankle). Um, hello, so unplanned. But then God, in His kindness, let me spend two¬†sweet¬†summers at camp.

I graduated a year later than planned. No harm, because it meant that Kaila and I became BFFs. And let’s be real, y’all, God blessed be greatly through that whole process. And still does.

I moved to a city where I knew NO ONE. Again, not a problem because I love Charlotte, my OBC family, and ALL that God is teaching me here.

I sit at a Panera tonight, totally unplanned, because my internet is out. I brought a ton of work home to do, and then brought it to Panera, to hopefully complete, yet here I am pounding away on this space I’ve neglected for months. I feel as though–no, I¬†know¬†God is teaching me something about my plans because hardly anything has gone the way I’ve planned these past few years or specifically the past few months. Sometimes it’s been big things (i.e. those above) but other times–and honestly the ones that have impacted me the¬†most are the ones like tonight. The middle of the nights where I wake up sick, the dinners I have to cancel because of said bad internet (I’m looking at you, AT&T), the lazy Saturdays that get postponed because of babysitting or dinner offers, the books that don’t get read because of the books that are more appropriate for the time being, the household chores that don’t get done because of phone calls or friends who just need to listen.

The things that I tend to view as not important because they weren’t written down in my planner but the things that God calls¬†so¬†important.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately–this need to be and do all the things yet somehow still connect with our Savior on a real basis and be open to all of the plans¬†He¬†has for my life. I’ll be honest–I don’t think I can and do and be all things to all people. I’m not that egotistical. But I do struggle with doing all of the things I’m called to do, all of the things¬†I’ve¬†planned to do. Especially when they aren’t always the things¬†He’s¬†planned for me to do.

In our student ministry equipping hour (Sunday School for those of you who grew up in the 90s, like myself), we talked about our daily fellowship with Jesus. And, as always, when I’m the one teaching/facilitating/leading small group discussions, I feel as though I get so much more out of it than those who are listening to me do. We ended our time talking about the things that distract us from fellowshipping daily with Jesus. For them it was a mixture of friends, technology, pets, etc. One of our students just said, “life” and I wanted to hug him because YES.

It all distracts me. Finances. Friends. Family. Fellowship. Community Group. Volunteering. Working. Insurance. Writing. Reading. Watching¬†The West Wing.¬†Going/not going to the gym. Traveling. Painting my nails (that’s so dumb but incredibly accurate). Shopping. Spending quality time with the people God has placed in my life. Ironing my clothes. Meal planning (my you pick two from Panera was definitely¬†not¬†scheduled for tonight). Podcasts. Visiting friends. Reading blog posts and articles. Serving at church. Preparing for anything that I feel the need to prepare for.

Everything distracts me.

We all have these grand plans that we go through life making. From the time we can talk, we’re asked what we want to be when we grow up. I’m guilty of cultivating this lifestyle–it’s something I’ve asked my students each year that I’ve taught (and maybe we’ll write about it tomorrow during writing time). We dream and daydream and desire a life that is written by us. A life that has a beginning and a really sweet ending. A life that doesn’t involve hurricanes or terrorist attacks or cancer or miscarriages or even something like singleness. Because, for me, I know that’s what it boils down to.

Singleness is¬†hard. But what is harder for me is accepting that my life may¬†never¬†go the way I’ve planned it to go.¬†Never.¬†

I’m not going to sit here and write a sad and sappy post about how I might be single forever. I’ve played that pity party card one too many times. I don’t know whether I will or won’t be single forever. But what I do know is that¬†I won’t.¬†

Those two words–really the words,¬†you won’t, have been going through my mind for the past 48ish hours. I was praying on Saturday, trying to get to this place where I blocked all of those ridiculous distractions out of my brain and just¬†listened¬†to God, but of course I only had about seventeen minutes to do so. But, God, in His infinite wisdom, used those words to teach me something. Something that just started to make sense as I sat here and typed.

You won’t¬†live a life you’ve planned.¬†You won’t¬†know what’s next.¬†You won’t¬†do everything on your to-do list, in your time.¬†You won’t.¬†

But He will.

I know it can be a bit of a cliche, especially in the Christian circles, but remembering that it is¬†all¬†in His hands is such a sweet comfort. It’s a promise that I forget so often, but I want to remember more and more, to mediate on each day. He is sovereign. He’s got me.

Even if–no,¬†when this life doesn’t go the way I’ve planned.

So, there’s that. There’s where I’ve been the past two/three months, trying to learn exactly what God’s teaching me all through fighting distractions and living a life that is so unplanned.

But oh so sweet.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading, friend. Sorry for the rambling, but these thoughts just needed to get out. 
How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word
What more can He say than to you He has said
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled
Fear not, I am with you; oh be not dismayed
For I am your God and will still give you aid
I’ll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand
When through the deep waters I call you to go
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow
For I will be with you, your troubles to bless
And sanctify to you your deepest distress
When through fiery trials your pathways shall lie
My grace all sufficient shall be your supply
The flame shall not hurt you; I only design
Your dross to consume and your gold to refine
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose
I will not, I will not desert to its foes
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake
How Firm a Foundation, Norton Hall Band arrangement

5 Things I’m Enjoying

This summer, I discovered a podcast called Only The Good Stuff. Writer/blogger Stephen Altrogge discusses the 5 things that his guests are currently enjoying in his/her life. I often ask myself, while driving to/from Charlotte, what my five things would be if I were on the podcast. Stephen Altrogge isn’t going to have me on his podcast anytime soon, but here they are:

  1. Unsweetened Black TeaI started drinking this when I did my Whole 30 experiment earlier this summer, and now I’m pretty hooked. I usually get the Pure Leaf kind, but I also really like the unsweetened iced version from Starbucks. I’ve never been a fan of black coffee, but I do like this. Who knows? Maybe I’ll rid myself of my coffee addiction altogether. For the record, I know that this still has caffeine, but without the sugar, this is a better option than coffee for me.
  2. Fresh Flowers: The family I nanny for is in the process of moving, and because of that, Anna is cutting her flowers in her garden often. She let me take some home last week, and I have all the heart eyes for them every time I see them. It really makes me want to have a garden!
  3. My Kitchen: Because of my Whole 30 experiment (basically I tried it and failed), I have been spending a LOT of time in my kitchen. I have really enjoyed cooking, washing my dishes, and meal prepping. I’m sure I won’t enjoy my kitchen as much in the school year, but I really do like it now.
  4. Hymns: Norton Hall Band has two great albums out with hymns that have always been some of my favorites but have recently been on repeat a lot. My favorite is “Be Thou My Vision”. I really like the simplicity and the power of these songs. 
  5. T-Shirts: I know this is sort of dumb, but after having worn a LOT of t-shirts in college/during the summer, dressing up for work eventually gets old. I really am glad that I’m able to dress “down” in the summer. There’s just something about a good t-shirt (like a good pair of jeans) that I really like. 

Alrighty, these are my 5 things. Sort of unimportant, but still fun. ūüôā 

s u m m e r

I love summer. I’ve always been a big fan of sleeping in, later nights, and a pretty laid back schedule. In college, I spent most of my summers doing something big–Australia/camp. Summers post grad life seem a little less¬†big, but they are definitely still so very special. And this summer has been no different.


In June, Jordan (far right) and I threw a bridal shower for our roommates, who are both getting married soon. So fun!


I finished Year 2 of teaching!


Lauren, Jordan, Michelle, and I went to the beach for a weekend in June (the first of many beach weekends for me this summer).


I spend most of my mornings with this sweet girl! ūüôā


Mrs. Judy (and her husband, who took the picture) took us to a Knights’ game in June. This might be one of my new favorite things to do in CLT!


My cousins (and their kiddos) came up for the day one Saturday. We had a blast. I love it when family turns into friends. 


Fourth of July + sparkler pics + good friends = an excellent night

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I spent two solid years with these friends in the education program. We spent a weekend in Beaufort and laughed, ate good food, and had really great conversations. 


We had a goodbye party for Rachel that was a really sweet time of fellowship.


Kaila and I just got back from a trip to the beach that was so fun. I haven’t laughed that much in a long time. Grateful for a wonderful BFF.¬†

I hope you are having a wonderful summer, too! Here’s to hopefully finishing off the books on my to-read list I haven’t read and to getting my gym routine down pat before summer is officially over!

Year Two. 

I have officially been in Charlotte for two years. 


Some days it feels like I just left home and other days it feels like I have been here for years and years. I am so thankful for the 23 years I spent not in Charlotte, but I am also so incredibly grateful for the 2 (and however many more the Lord sees fit to give me here) years in Charlotte. 

What has happened in year 2, you ask? Well…

  • I checked off a few things on my CLT bucket list like: going to the Billy Graham Library (7.16), going to the Mint Museum (3.17), and going to a Knights game (5.17). 
  • I started (8.16) and completed (6.17) my second year of teaching Kindergarten. 
  • My women’s small group met in my house for most of my second year in Charlotte. We decided to end it (for good reasons) in April. I’m grateful for the relationships that were formed from that time. 
  • I taught Sunday School (10.16-5.17) to the 1st-3rd graders at church with my sweet friend, Michelle. 
  • I had visitors–Elizabeth (7.16), Kasey (8.16), Emma Kate (10.16), and Kaila and Scout (2.17), as well as my parents a few times. 
  • I took a Skill Pop class on hand lettering (4.17).
  • I suffered through the death of my grandmother with sweet friends who prayed me through three hard weeks. 
  • I started volunteering at the hospital (5.17). 
  • I said yes an incredible amount of times but also started to say no more often, which is a good thing, honestly. 
  • I finally visited downtown Davidson (8.16 & 10.16)!
  • I fell in love with Park Road Shopping Center– Blackhawk Hardware, anyone?!
  • I read more books than I could count. 
  • I started to branch out in ways I’d never planned on or dreamed of doing. 
  • I went to Boone (11.16) with a bunch of girls from church. 
  • I hosted an Olympics party (8.16) which made me (for the first time) really feel like I had true community in CLT. 
  • My roommate, Rachel, moved in (8.16), and we had people over for game nights, a Christmas party, meals, and more. 
  • My friend Jordan and I threw a bridal shower for Rachel and Jordan’s roommate, Lauren (6.17). 
  • I planned lots of birthday dinners, attended more than I planned, and was blessed to have a sweet one thrown for me. 
  • I dined at plenty of new restaurants–all probably introduced to me by my sweet friend Aubrey. 
  • I spent lots of time at my friends David’s and Kelly’s house–where I now have a signature dessert I MUST bring each time I come (according to their kids). 
  • I decided that Trader Joe’s has the best flowers, Harris Teeter is still my least favorite grocery store, and made it blatantly obvious that I love Publix maybe a smidge too much. 
  • I ate many dinners prepared for me by someone else because there are so many sweet families at OBC who include me in their lives. 
  • I walked through some weird health things with a sweet community group who has faithfully prayed for me and supported me over the last tear. 
  • I sat (and thankfully still sit) under some incredible Biblical teaching at OBC. 
  • I watched Friday Night Lights and The Office for the first time. #TexasForever #MichaelScott
  • I answered the question, “If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?” with a resounding and confident, “Charlotte!”