That’s The Way The Cookie Crumbles

There he was. The evidence of this morning’s #kitchenfail. The sesame seed. Just sitting there, between the “x” and the “c” keys, taunting me as I sat down to write.

He’d won out this morning. He’d gotten the best of me. But this afternoon, his presence only made me smile. The last lingering remnant of a cookie recipe gone awry, he reminded me that there was grace for my mistakes. That the whole day didn’t have to go in the garbage just because that seemed to be the destiny of my cookies. That my kitchen failure was an integral part of this sunny Saturday.

I’d woken early. The sun streaming through my windows at 6:30am. My blackout curtains no match for the bright beams.

Rather than reach for my eye mask and attempt to sleep a bit longer, I decided to rise early and get a head start on the day.

Inspired by the food magazine I’d been reading before bed the night before, I somehow got it in my head that tahini honey cookies were the exact right dessert to bring to the dinner party we’d be going to later that evening. That and a Napa Valley Zinfandel.

As I got to work on the cookies, I quickly realized that the coconut flour I had thought would be a fine substitute for almond flour was not working out as well as I’d hoped. The aroma was heavenly. Vanilla and cinnamon. A slightly savory touch from the tahini and sweetness from the honey. And who can say no to the creamy quality of coconut?

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Protect Your Margins

I’ve been staring out the window of this coffee shop for more time than I’d like to admit. Watching the train go by every 10 or 15 minutes, looking up to see a dad walk by with his curly-haired daughter in his arms, seeing people pop open their umbrellas as the rain starts coming down harder.

Woman in rain

I had every intention to write today – excited to finally have an afternoon with a few free hours. Between brunch at a new French restaurant in Hayes Valley and cooking dinner for a few of my girlfriends at my apartment in the Inner Sunset, I planned to hole up at my favorite coffee shop in the Haight and open my laptop to type out the words that had been floating in my head all week. To pull together the thoughts that I’ve jotted down in the notes app of my phone, waiting to come to life in a blog post or a new addition to Enough.

But once I actually got the white space I craved – the margins to write and process – I got stuck. I’d gotten so used to the running-around, back-to-back meetings lifestyle that it took me a while to settle down, calm my mind, and allow the words to come out.

The older I get, the more it feels like life is getting pushed up into the margins. Like there’s very little white space left.

Instead, my calendar is a mosaic of meetings and birthday parties and church events with a handful of dates with James and family gatherings thrown in to keep me sane.

But I don’t feel especially sane. I feel a little frenzied.

If my life were a book, the words would be bleeding across each page, no room for my eye to rest or to simply pause for a minute to make sense of what’s happening. If it weren’t for moments of connection with my dear friends and family, I’d lose it for sure.

Although, I have lost something. Something I long to get back. Something I cultivated over the last year – especially during my month-long sabbatical – that I know I need. And that’s the practice of silence and solitude. Continue reading

What No One Tells You About Letting Go of Perfectionism

Do you ever feel like there’s something rotten inside you? Like something has “gone bad” in your mind or heart – as though it’s an avocado you let sit out too long or a half-eaten loaf of bread you forgot about? It’s an unsavory discovery.

Recently, this “rottenness” manifested in the form of a generally cranky disposition. I was bumping into things and frustrated and tired and not feeling quite like myself – something was off.

Sweet James was the gentle observer of my frustrations. Over the past few years I’ve learned to not blame others for my frustrations quite so much, but it’s still a temptation. The opportunity to blame-shift and deflect my overall crummy feeling onto someone else has its appeal. But I’ve done the blame thing enough – sorry, Mom and boyfriends of seasons past – to know that any sense of relief I’d experience would be momentary and fleeting. Instead, I usually feel worse than before – because now I’m still frustrated and I’m feeling guilty and embarrassed about my juvenile behavior.

So, rather than get angry with James, I got curious. Continue reading

The Cats at the Door: Trust and Discipline in the Creative Process

I’ve been avoiding writing. Mostly because I’m scared. Scared of writing the wrong thing, scared of what people might think, scared that all this work may be for nothing. It wasn’t always this way, but the farther along I get in the process of writing Enough, the more feedback I receive. And the more feedback I receive, the more I remember just how hard creating is.

So I come up with all sorts of things to do instead of sitting down at my computer and typing out these words. So many tasks beg for my attention. They call out to me and entice me to enjoy them now and put off the hard work of writing until later. I’d much rather sit down and read a book or whip something up in the kitchen – like the pumpkin spice granola I just had to make last night. The granola is delicious, and I’m greatly enjoying my books, but when they come between me and writing, there’s a problem. Continue reading

The End of the Sentence: Becoming Unstuck

I’ve hoped to write this post for a long time. Nearly six years, to be exact. Six years of hoping and waiting and praying and searching out answers. Answers for why: why my body wasn’t doing what it should do as a woman, why my cycle had gone missing, why I was stuck in this period of waiting. And how: how to get healthy, how to get my cycle back – as though it was off exploring the world somewhere, and it was my job to figure out how to bring that wanderer back home.

The name of this blog was born out of these years of waiting. “Waiting for the end of the sentence” referred both to waiting for my cycle to return and the more significant process of learning to wait on God during this period of time and recognize his work in my life. Everything I’ve written on this blog and my book Enough has passed through that filter of learning and observing. Instead of simply asking why and how, I’ve been asking what: What is God teaching me? What does he want me to share with others as a result of what I’ve learned?

In every experience – from dating to sleeping (or rather, not sleeping) – I’ve become keenly aware that God is speaking to me and moving in me. While there were times where I felt stuck, I wasn’t stagnant. And God was moving, working, bringing things back to life.

The lessons he’s taught me, the ways in which he’s been present with me, the love he’s revealed to me…that’s the point. That’s the period at the end of the sentence. That’s what I need to share.

While my cycle has returned – prodigal daughter that she was – I know this isn’t the end of the sentence for me. The waiting doesn’t stop here. No. This is simply a comma, a dash, and ellipse. An opportunity to pause, take a beat, breath, and thank God for the healing work he’s done over the last few years.

So, without further ado, here’s how – after six years of waiting – God has healed my body and is bringing things back into alignment.

It feels like a miracle. And it is. It’s a miracle that I didn’t stay stuck in a cycle of perfectionism. It’s a miracle of small steps and big changes that have led to life. It’s a miracle of grace. Continue reading

Finding Rest in Seasons of Stress

Today on the blog, we’re talking about stress and how to deal with the pressure of competing priorities. Read on. And if you want more, then join me in the process of moving from perfectionism to wholeness – from stress to rest by signing up here to get updates on the launch of my book, Enough.


Halloween is nearly upon us, which means it’s going to be Christmas tomorrow. Not really, but that’s often how this season feels, isn’t it? November through January can feel like a blur of parties and presents and competing priorities. Blink, and two whole months have suddenly passed by in a flurry!

Somehow I’ve already managed to double-book myself – not once, but three times. As a result, I’ve reneged on RSVPs, declined party invitations, and missed a dear friend’s birthday celebration. And I’ve mistakenly committed to being at a church retreat in Santa Cruz and my company’s holiday party on the same weekend in December. Yeah, that’s not going to work out so well.

As my plate gets more and more full, I feel the tug between needing to prioritize and not wanting to let anything go. There’s too much to do and yet I also feel like I’m not doing enough.

Do you know that feeling? When it’s all too much and you’re either going to cry from the sense of overwhelm or freeze from decision paralysis? When you’re operating on autopilot because it’s all you can do to just get your work done – or maybe not even that – and go home and crash at the end of the day?

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7 Things I Learned from Online Dating

I’m writing a book about recovering from a life of performance and perfectionism. Subscribe here to get early access! 

Earlier this year, I published a piece called Everything I Know About Dating, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Clearly, lots of people are interested in the topic of love and relationships, and I completely understand why! Dating is an often-mysterious experience full of potential for mishaps and misadventures as well as fun and finding someone you truly enjoy.

OnlineSo how do you navigate the rocky terrain of dating while enjoying the process and avoiding the pitfalls?

Each one of my relationships has taught me to examine the three spheres of dating and connection:

  1. How I connect with myself
  2. How I connect with someone else
  3. And (assuming we’re well-matched) how we stay connected to God throughout the dating process

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Do the Next Thing: Thoughts on Writing, Running, and Life

As some of you know, I’m writing a book about recovering from a life of performance and perfectionism. Subscribe here to get early access! 

Writing is a lot like running. The hardest part is often simply getting started. Before I go for a run, I sometimes pause and try to rationalize my way out of it.

Woman above the cityDo I really want to go out in the fog? Do I really want to get all sweaty? Do I really want to feel the burn in my legs and the cold in my lungs?

As I ask myself these questions, I simply do the next thing: I put on my workout clothes and lace up my shoes. I pull up the run tracker on my phone and pick my playlist (usually something poppy and upbeat to motivate me or worship music, since running is one of my favorite ways of communing with God). Before I know it, I’m out the door and on my way. Even my overly-analytical mind can’t compete with legs that are ready to run.

The process of writing is extremely similar. I love writing – just like I love running. I know it’s benefits, and I know I will love it once I start. But it’s not as romantic as it may seem. It’s not like locking yourself away in a cozy cabin or beautiful beach house, getting inspired, and letting the words pour out of you. It is an amazing, inspiring, transformative process. But like most life-altering pursuits, writing can be painful or just plain hard. It takes initiative, momentum, and a constant placing of one foot – or one word – in front of the next.

Since returning from my month-long sabbatical, keeping up the momentum of writing my book on recovering from perfectionism has certainly been difficult. The silence on this blog over the last couple weeks is evidence of that. But as my primary writing focus right now is on the book, I’m trying to prioritize that, and let the blogging come as it may. Continue reading

The Joys of Berry-Picking & Other Discoveries from My Week in Oregon

1. Front porches should be a thing everywhere.

I’ve been to several cities where front porches rule the day: Columbus, Charlotte, Portland. California – at least, the Bay Area – is seriously missing out.

I long for a good front porch – it seems like the perfect place to both relax and get some good alone time and also be available to spontaneous chats with friends and passersby.

I don’t know that everyone takes advantage of their front-yard space, but I’m telling you: if I had a front porch, I would be out there almost every night. I love sitting out with tea or a glass of wine, chatting with friends, and saying hi to the neighbors. If the Lord ever sees to bless me with a house with a front porch, I promise to put it to good use.

2. Church is everywhere God’s people are gathered. As my pastor in San Francisco has often said, “We’re the body gathered and scattered.”

While I completely believe in the importance of regular gatherings with other believers – for accountability, teaching, and inter-generational wisdom – I don’t think that church is limited to Sunday mornings.

I saw this truth play out over and over again during my week in Oregon. Whether we’re talking over coffee or during a long car ride, conversations with dear friends is one of the primary ways I connect with God. I love learning other people’s stories, asking hard questions about our struggles, and “spurring one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).

There’s a reason God gave us each other; he knew we’d need each other to be a full and complete body – with all our vital limbs and organs – able to live out his love in the world. Continue reading

Life on the Inside: Finding the Connection We Crave

Woman in rainHave you ever felt like you were on the outside of a group looking in? Whether you were just on the sidelines of a party or trying hard to integrate with a new group of friends, it’s easy to feel like everyone else shares a secret that you don’t know. Or like they speak a language you don’t understand.

That’s the way I felt frequently throughout my growing up years. A little shy, a little uncertain, I didn’t fit in with the louder, funnier girls with their fashionable Gap jeans and pristine white Keds. I couldn’t keep up with their jokes and their knowledge of pop culture. I didn’t know who JTT was, I didn’t watch Friends, and I didn’t listen to No Doubt – unless I snuck in some secret CD time at a friend’s house. It was hard to fit in with the “in” crowd.

While I wasn’t often the center of attention, and I didn’t have an expansive circle of friends, I had a few very good ones. And to be honest, that suited me then and still suits me now. But as an impressionable, vulnerable girl, the fear of being left on the outside shaped me.

I learned to “armor up” and earn affection by making myself who I thought people wanted me to be – the good girl that my parents would praise, the perfect student that teachers loved, the Sunday school kid with all the right answers.

That “good girl” image sustained me through high school. I built my life upon it. I found my identity in it. It helped me feel like I fit in somewhere. But I soon found a more powerful draw than being admired for being good – the thrill of guys’ attention. Continue reading