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

Looking for the Light & Learning to Trust Again

Tonight I watched the sunset from my bed. Curled up with my blue blanket and a mug of cinnamon tea, I was struck by how fast the colors changed and how quickly the dark clouds moved as they swept past the hills.

It’s been remarkably stormy here in California. And while we need the rain after years of drought, it’s been devastating for some. Day after day, the rain has pounded on the roof of the little yellow house I call home in San Francisco…home for two more weeks before James and I tie the knot and move to Los Angeles.

The rain certainly hasn’t made this transition easy. As we’ve made Target runs for bubble wrap and packing tape and dashes to the car with boxes of Goodwill donations in tow, we’ve gotten more than just a little bit sprinkled on.

But the annoyance of having to manage moving logistics in the midst of one of the biggest storms we’ve seen in years is only part of my issue with this rain. The worst part is the darkness.

 

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One Thing I Know at 30

The eve of my 30th birthday was relatively quiet. I chopped rainbow carrots and kale in my little San Francisco kitchen. I did not turn on the TV or listen to music. I resisted the urge to fill the space with noise. Instead, I washed the kale and peeled the carrots. I minced garlic and stirred it around with olive oil and cumin and coriander.

I listened to the sound of the knife on the cutting board, and savored the aromas filling the room.

IMG_0658I reflected back on my day – how busy it felt, like I was moving too fast and yet not getting enough done. How I kept having to remind myself to slow down. As my boss would say wisely, “This is PR. Not the ER.”

I carried that purposeful slowness into my evening. Letting my body and mind rest after a day of post-vacation email pile-up. Not avoiding it, but not worrying about it too much either. Sometimes you just have to hug the slog.

Much like excelling in the workplace, cooking from scratch requires patience and a methodical commitment. It requires focus and time. And if you’re going to enjoy the process, it requires slowing down and being present.

This is the greatest truth I’ve discovered in my 20s. Slowness. Savoring. It’s the truth I want to carry into my 30s. The gift I want to give to others. 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).

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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

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

Forgive…But Don’t Forget?

Friends, I’m writing a book on what I’ve learned while recovering from perfectionism. Subscribe here for sneak peeks and insider updates I only share over email. No spam. Just love.


What’s the difference between holding a grudge and being cautious in your interactions with someone who’s hurt you? Can you forgive someone but still maintain distance from them in the future? Is it possible to actually wipe the slate clean?

Conversations with my gentleman friend often progress from simple updates about our days to deep, thoughtful questions such as these. It’s one of the things I appreciate most about our relationship – we don’t shy away from the hard topics, and we’re genuinely interested in learning from each other.

Let GoBut our conversation about forgiveness the other night left me scratching my head. As I ruminated on these questions throughout the next day, I found myself wondering if there were people in my life that I hadn’t truly forgiven. Had I honestly let go of the wrongs they’d done toward me? Or was I still clinging to those injustices out of a need to justify my cold shoulder toward them? Was it okay to avoid interaction with them, or was that unloving?

Questions like these require soul searching and truth seeking, so I turned to the only solid truths I know: the Word and words. That is to say, I turned to God, and I sought to better understand the meaning behind the words I was tossing around. What is a grudge? What is forgiveness really? What does the Bible have to say about self-defense?

My searching brought me to these five insights. Continue reading

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

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