6 Things I’ve Learned In Our First Month of Marriage

I’ve learned a few things in my first month of marriage.

I know, I know. One month hardly seems like enough time for two newlyweds to come to any major conclusions about marriage. At least, not compared to couples like my parents who are coming up on 33 years of marriage this May (so grateful for them and their beautiful example of love!).

And yet, that paradox is part of what’s struck me this month: Marriage is at once a marathon and a sprint. It’s long – thank goodness, because we’re going to need all the time we can get to strengthen and enjoy these beautiful bonds that are forming – and it’s fast – so much has changed in such a short period of time. Continue reading

The Best Gift I’ve Received This Christmas Season

“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.”

We say that a lot around the office. Probably because we’re all a bunch of perfectionists brought together (strategically) for the common goal of creating something great. And we’re all constantly battling the desire to make something perfect – instead of just making something great.

Even with that statement, my bias reveals itself. Like so many others, I frequently buy into the idea that “great” is just that: great, but not perfect. And wouldn’t perfect be so much better?

Most companies are looking for people who won’t settle for less than the absolute best and who will work tirelessly to achieve greatness – both for the organization and for their own careers. And most people (if they’re honest) would really like perfect. Perfect is what many of us tell ourselves we should be.

And yet, perfection is an illusion because there’s always something more we can do, something better. We can never reach perfection, but we keep driving toward it, and that keeps us endlessly spinning and pushing and running. Continue reading

Thankful for the Thorns

No one imagined our Thanksgiving table talk would end in tears. As we went around the table sharing what we were each thankful for, we couldn’t have anticipated my sister and I would soon be standing in the kitchen, sobbing, holding each other close.

And yet, that’s exactly how this year’s Thanksgiving meal ended. With only scraps of turkey and stuffing and lingering bits of glazed carrots and mashed potatoes left on our plates, we all went around the table sharing the things, the people, the moments we were most grateful for.

We all had similar sentiments. We were grateful for family, for each other, for the new baby sleeping peacefully by my sister’s side – my beautiful nephew. And, in some ways, we were even grateful for the pain that had brought us this beauty. We recognized that the discomfort of the unknown was also bringing us exciting new challenges and opportunities we hadn’t even discovered yet. Continue reading

10 Life-Changing Effects of Yoga (Part 1)

Friends, I’m writing a book on what I’ve learned while recovering from perfectionism. If you’d like to join in on the journey, subscribe here for sneak peeks and personal encouragement I only share over email.

Back when I was working for RELEVANT Magazine, I wrote a piece about how yoga had helped me become more comfortable in my own skin. How it had helped me embrace my body’s strength instead of hyper-focusing on the bits I wished I could change – the chicken pox scars, the stretch marks, the knobby knees.

The article resonated with other people who saw themselves in my story. They were on their own journeys toward self-acceptance, and they appreciated that I was offering an honest look into my struggles. But here’s the thing about being vulnerable – especially in a public forum – it opens you up to scrutiny and often to resulting criticism. On this particular piece, a handful of critics posted strongly-worded comments – mostly expressing dismay at my references to yoga.

They claimed that yoga is “the devil’s tool.” That it’s the equivalent of witchcraft.

On the one hand, I can see where these people are coming from. Anything can be destructive if it takes God’s place as the Ultimate Provider, Savior, Comforter, and Redeemer of our lives. Anything can be the “devil’s tool” – even really good things like food and music and marriage and family and, yes, yoga.

But those things can also be really really good – as long as they play a supporting role in our lives. They’re good gifts from a good father, not The Gift (James 1:17).

Continue reading

I Thought There Would Be More

This blog is called “Waiting for the End of the Sentence.” Choosing that name was partly just a funny little play on words about how I’ve been waiting for my missing period (get it?) to return for the past five years. But the name was also birthed out of a feeling that I’m waiting for the end of my story – the end of the story God is writing.

What I’ve come to realize in the last five years of posting on this site is that the end isn’t coming. At least, not on this earth. Instead, God is teaching me so much in the process of him writing my story – a story that fits within the bigger picture of his grand story of love and redemption. He’s using the wonderful, joyful moments and the hurtful, confusing ones to create something much larger and powerful than I often comprehend in the moment.

Finding Grace in the Gray

A more appropriate title for this blog might be “Finding Grace in the Gray.” Because life is not black and white. It’s not a series of starts and finishes. Clear beginnings and clear endings. It’s an often messy work-in-progress. A charcoal drawing that blends varying shades of black with splashes of white to create something more nuanced and beautiful than we can recognize when we’re staring at it too closely. Continue reading

Humility: The Prerequisite to Grace

God is a master storyteller. He knows exactly how to craft our days and shape our world so that we’re reminded of him and his beautiful truths. I’ll often find that he’s been weaving a theme through my life over a period of days – like a gifted writer, subtly infusing the pages of a book with a powerful and lasting message.

In my devotionals, Sunday sermons, words from friends, advice from my mom, my personal prayer life, and so on, God faithfully repeats the message I need to hear or the lesson I need to learn (or re-learn). And because He does it with such beautiful artistry, I can’t help but stand in awe of the truth He’s unfolding in front of my eyes…even when those truths are hard-hitting,

In the past few weeks, he’s been painting a portrait of humility and grace, showing me how the two work in perfect harmony like light and shadow in masterful oil painting. Now, one of those on its own would have been enough to chew on for a while – I mean, humility? Come on, that’s a tough, and often painful, lesson to learn. But God gave me the one-two punch of a lesson in humility and grace. And I’m so glad he did, because what I’ve found is that the two cannot be separated. Continue reading