weekly gratitude | 2013 edition

thank you black flats that have somehow survived all these years, from london and back again

So this 2013 deal? Not bad.

We're a week in and though it feels like we must be at least halfway through January already, I'm pretty glad we're not because it gives me time to dwell on all the happy this year's got going on so far. 

Which brings me quite swiftly to my first point...


1. Thank you for this guy! 

Today is his birthday and as an early gift to him I did not remind all of our friends last night that today was the day (and yes, I realize the pointlessness of this act seeing as I am now broadcasting it all over these here interwebs, but if figure only like, what, maybe two of our friends actually read this thing?). Anyway, I can't say enough how grateful I am for this man. I am constantly in awe of him, forever humbled and eternally thankful that God saw fit to let us be part of each other's lives. He is my best friend and though he'll fight me on this 'til the very end, he makes me want to be a better person - to seek God, to stand up for what is right, and to love with my whole heart. And to make lasagna more often. 

Happy Birthday, Jared!
(you are loved, whether you like it or not!)

2. Thank you for a new series at church! We started a new series yesterday to learn more about the very nature of God and who and what he is. I'm so excited to dive deep into the text and study more about why I believe in God. Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to just go with your beliefs for years and years, knowing that while you believe in them wholeheartedly, you may not know exactly why? I lived like that for most of my life. And while it's not entirely a bad thing (especially when you're young - you rely on those around you to get you started, to guide you toward something before you can fully comprehend it) but at some point I think it becomes vital to do some real work for yourself and understand your beliefs from the inside out. Not to let it become a "because I said so" kind of deal. I'll tell you what, my mind was blown when I started reading the bible more earnestly, and reading the works of various scholars and pastors who helped me understand the bits that were harder to wrap my head around. Oh, and on a similar note, thank you for a pastor (John Mark and the whole teaching team at Solid Rock) who is an eternal student! These men who lead our church are never satisfied with the amount of knowledge they possess and are constantly studying various translations and texts and histories to understand the bible as fully as humanly possible (they're actually taking intense classes to learn ancient hebrew right now!). It's inspiring and reassuring to know that these men, who could easily be defined as "experts", don't consider themselves as such. They humbly proclaim that there is always more to learn about the infinite nature of our infinite God (you can tell by this rambling that I'm not excited at all).

3. Thank you for Janna & Mark getting a new house! So I've talked about how amazing Janna is and her husband Mark is just as incredible. Between the two of them they have six children, three of which are teenagers living at home and now they are also raising a sixteen year old boy as part of a high risk foster care program. So for those of us who are bad at math, that's four teenagers (two girls, two boys, ranging in age from 13-16) in one house. With what I'm pretty sure was only one bathroom - maybe two. Well they're moving on up! They will now be moving to a house with FOUR bathrooms! Which, as I told her, leaves one for the kids and three for her and Mark, right? Right!

4. Thank you for Mike & Maggie getting engaged!!! This is going to be one fantastic wedding. And while I'm of course thrilled that two of my best friends are getting married, I admit I'm about as equally excited to meet the remaining Firestines. Because I'm pretty sure he's making most of his family up. Also, he defines his mother as the "White Oprah" so obviously I need to hug her. 

5. Thank you for hope. Some amazing things happened to a friend of mine at church that have completely renewed my hope and faith in the way God works. And it's amazing to see her happiness. Ya'll... God is not wasting your time. He's working hard for you. Don't doubt it. He's got this. 


On an entirely different note, if you haven't seen Les Mis yet what in the world are you waiting for?

(if you say "waiting for them to recast Russell Crowe" then fine, I'll halfway grant you that but still, it's fun to hate him because he plays the bad guy)

TRUE STORY: the day after I saw it I was listening to the soundtrack while in the shower because obviously I was going to get the best acoustics for a singalong there but I had to turn it off because I started crying too hard. Sobbing. In the shower. I felt really cool.

But it really is that good.

And I really am that ridiculous. 


  1. Oh my goodness your last part on Les Mis is too good. I bawled like a baby at the end. It could have been SO cheesy and it wasn't! Love, love, love that movie.