in wanting.

a conviction that begins, not out of joy or out of pride or curiosity…

but out of necessity.

there’s a longing, a dissatisfaction, buried beneath the stuff… the things… that we are taught to want

to need

taught that will fulfill us

make us whole

make us happy

make us… us

Who here has found that is not the case?

we are drowning

in the stuff we bought

in the things we are worried about

in the ideas that have been smashed into our synapses.

we don’t even know we’re in wanting anymore

in wanting of something genuine

of something that isn’t fleeting

of something that lasts.. beyond the beyond.

this life? gone as soon as you even realize you should start making it happen.

but this. it lasts longer than that. in fact. this place? it doesn’t even matter in the long run.

yes it sucks like ass right now.

but tomorrow?

it’s gonna be beautiful.

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What do I stand for?

This post will not be what you think it is.

I promise.

When I pose the question to myself, “What do I stand for?” I am targeting my self-worth. Have I placed a value over my head that is equivalent to what God has for me? Or has my value been whittled away to something much lower than what God intended?

What do I stand for in terms of a relationship? I want one that is healthy, pleasing to God, loving, respectful, and trusting.

If I know what I stand for yet I have not attained those things, what does that do to me? To my heart? To my relationship with God? To my relationship with others, including my husband?

I realize it must be fairly detrimental to have lived so opposite of what I actually wanted for so long. I have covered myself with hurt, pride, no trust, tears, worry, angst, anger! These have divided me from the place I thought I would be at this point in my life. I have: graduated from college, a good job, a husband, a house, a dog. I have been divided from reaping the happiness of these circumstances. Instead, I feel like I have been washed with a dirty sock. I am dingy with a layer of grimy film that tinges my happiness with muck.

This is not to say I am unhappy. It is to say that I am not as happy as I know I can and should be. I am not a victim of my circumstances and I try my best to veer clear of a pity party. But I do know that I struggle to get out from under the weight of that grimy film.

This grime is attributed to a little over the last two and a half years of blows to the chest. Unfortunately, I never chose to stand for what I knew I wanted my relationship to be and to become. I allowed things to continue to happen to me and my relationship with my husband (who was my boyfriend at the time). I never got out from under the weight of those things that tormented our relationship, which would have effectively granted me permission to leave those things and ultimately end my relationship. I never stood up against what my then-boyfriend was doing to us.

What is absolutely wonderful is that God worked in us to bring us to where we are now. We are at the point of healing. We are trying to collectively stand for a healthy, trusting, loving, and respectful relationship. At risk of sounding like I’m in AA, we are taking it one day at a time. That is all we can do.

That and PRAY that God is watching over us, blessing our relationship, and that he provides beautiful retribution in the form of healing. And that is what we stand for.
Amen. 🙂

Fulfilling friendships.

When I see my good friends, especially one-on-one, I am constantly reminded of how much I miss them! I know some pretty great people. Sometimes I wonder if I am missing out on them by not seeing them frequently enough. I hope to be seeing the people I care about more often as I think it is beneficial to my soul… as corny as that sounds!

I am so thankful for one of my friends I recently spent time with over the weekend. We are cut out of the same cloth, for the most part. It’s wonderful to have someone I can relate to on several different levels. Here’s to awesome friendship, good pizza, happy hour priced beer and fulfilling conversations!

Thoughts on: never marrying the right person.

i love Relevant Magazine. it is an honest and awesome blog based around God, life, and a progressive culture. i always find topics that are being written about that absolutely apply to my life. i read this post, “You Never Marry the Right Person” a few months ago and it most certainly made me realize a few things.

we as a culture completely misunderstand what it means to be compatible with another person. there is the assumption floating around that if you both truly and completely love each other, then everything is going to be perfect between the two of you. right down to the silly things like putting shoes away and making sure the toilet paper is always full.

most of the time our ideas of compatibility belong to the category of “completing” ourselves through this other person – our soul mate, if you will. the author of the post, Timothy Keller, writes, “Today we are looking for someone who accepts us as we are and fulfills our desires, and this creates an unrealistic set of expectations that frustrates both the searchers and the searched for.”

it is as if we are looking for the un-findable, requiring the impossible, and assuming it will all just happen because, well… well, that’s just how it’s supposed to go! and we begin expecting so much out of our marriage partners while never allowing them to do the same to us. they can make no sort of assumption on us, but they must fulfill absolutely every need we have right when we have it otherwise they must not love us and we should probably go ahead and divorce.

it’s as though we’ve learned to bring self-fulfillment to the table rather than self-denial. where did we learn that relationships were created to fulfill our own needs, and ours alone, while our partner sits waiting in the dust to jump to our every need and desire? relationships were created to serve our partner. the craziest thing happens when everyone in a marriage relationship begins to serve their spouse – everyone gets a piece of the pie!

what’s interesting is that, because we are self-centered and sinful, we will always be the “wrong” person for someone else to marry. none of us are perfect, and therefore, none of us can automatically live a life of love towards another person while doing it well. that’s why good marriages always require hard work and hardship. why? because it’s hard! it’s hard to be that person who is living out of love towards their spouse 24/7, who never has a complaint or an argument, who is so willing and ready to serve their spouse, who completely gives up any sense of their own needs and desires for the purpose and objective of fulfilling their spouse.

what is this madness? marriage and a good, healthy relationship takes… work?!?! well, not if you’re truly soul-mates, right?!

this is a typical response to the fact that marriage can be super tough at times. but really, once we grab hold of the fact that no one is completely compatible with another, especially for the duration of a marriage, we can hopefully come to a place of reprieve and admittance. where we can admit that we are sinful, but that we are married to an equally broken person who has chosen to marry us despite, and because of, who we are as well.

Baked vanilla strawberries & cream oatmeal.

Here’s a secret about me. Whenever I feel stressed out, I have to do something that allows me to take my mind off of the current situation.

My go-to stress reliever is cooking and baking.

Maybe it’s the immediate gratification I receive by having made something delicious. Maybe it’s the fact that I get to eat whatever I’ve just made. Maybe it’s the step-by-step recipe instructions that ends with the creation of something wonderful.

I bet it’s all of those reasons rolled into one. I think it’s interesting that my go-to for feeling less stress is something that I can just do without thinking. I read the recipe, pull out all of the necessary ingredients, turn on the oven or stove, combine each ingredient in a process completely laid out for me, and, in a certain about of time, I have something to eat.

Simple as that. How wonderful! Why doesn’t life have a book of recipes? Which reminds me, I made a recipe book for Ms. Brown’s class in high school that laid out the story of my life. Super fun project!

Without further adieu, here’s the recipe that melted my stress away last night:

Baked Vanilla Strawberries & Cream Oatmeal from A Cozy Kitchen (wonderful food blog)!

Strawberries… vanilla… rolled oats… cream… milk… and butter!

I adapted A Cozy Kitchen’s recipe slightly because I just couldn’t bring myself to buy vanilla bean. It’s just so expensive and time consuming. One day, though, I will make this recipe with the vanilla bean.

This baked oatmeal was the best treat last night and such a delicious breakfast this morning. Thank you, A Cozy Kitchen, for turning my stress into a delicious meal!

Biscoff bliss.

I have a new, beautiful addiction. It really cannot be beat!

Yes, folks, you read it correctly. That is Biscoff Spread. It is the consistency of peanut butter, and I might say it’s a little smoother. The color is the same as peanut butter as well. The biggest thing that sets this creamy, luscious spread apart from peanut butter, hazelnut spread, and any other nut spread combo that comes to mind?

It’s made from Biscoff cookies!

How in the world do they come up with this stuff? I don’t even care, actually. I just want to reap all of the delicious, dreamy benefits. A spoonful of this magic spread alone? Pure bliss. Smear it onto a piece of whole wheat bread? To die for.

I cannot wait to try a few recipes that I have found which include this gem of a food product. My husband absolutely loves what he calls “Freezer Cookies,” so I was pleased to find a recipe that I can make his all-time favorite cookies with Biscoff spread instead. I will most likely be making these No Bake Biscoff Spread Cookies this weekend.

And since I’ve been on a unique cupcake making rampage, I can’t wait to try this recipe for Biscoff Spread Cupcakes with Biscoff Buttercream Frosting.

I’ll leave you with a picture to dream about.