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

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

Everything I Know About Dating

Yesterday one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, shared “all that she knows at 61.” There were so many gems in her post…

Laughter really is carbonated holiness.

Everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy, and scared, even the people who seem to have it more or less together…So try not to compare your insides to their outsides.

Earth is Forgiveness School.

Yes. Yes. And YES.

Inspired by Anne’s honesty and spot-on humanness, I thought I’d share “all I know about dating.” By no means am I an expert on this topic. I am simply another late-20s, verging on her 30s, city-dwelling girl trying to date well. Which, to me, means treating others with respect, enjoying the process, and learning a lot along the way.

People have asked me to write about this topic for a while, so rather than keeping it all to myself, I’m sharing it with you. 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