This is the space where I come to scratch down love letters and life lessons. Like you, I’m on a lifelong quest for more wisdom, beauty, and justice. Like yours, my days are filled with the sweet and the bitter, the holy and hilarious, the mundane and extraordinary—and honestly, when I look close enough, those things are usually one and the same. Here, you’ll find words fueled by copious amounts of coffee and hopefully even more grace.

Goals + nongoals for 2019.

Goals + nongoals for 2019.

Last year, I did something a little crazy and took a page from Erin Loechner’s blog, Design for Mankind. For the past handful of years, rather than sharing traditional resolutions for the upcoming year, she shared a list of things that she was proud of in the current year and didn’t have any plans to change. Needless to say, I fell head over heels in love with that idea and made my own list last year. Now, I’m continuing the tradition for 2018.

Here is my list of things I learned to love, the things I dared to do, the good stuff, the fruit:

We found a church home that we love. Or, did they find us? Some really painful circumstances brought about our leaving the church we had been part of since college. We stumbled in and out and visited where we were invited, but the truth is, we were going through the motions―attending out of habit and fear and obligation rather than love. When we realized this, we decided to take a break (I wrote about this in last year’s non-goals). We allowed ourselves to rest and heal and be wooed back, and in February of this year, we walked through the doors of our new home. It is the very definition of immeasurably more.

I went to counseling. I found myself at a crossroad a few months ago when C and I went away for a weekend in Asheville with our best friends. After dinner one night, we took turns being honest about the current state of our hearts. In that moment, I was faced with a choice: let the dam break by being real about the depression and anxiety that were strangling me, or let fear bully me into staying quiet. Sadly, I made the wrong choice that night. I lied to the people who love me better than anyone, and it was a wake up call, to say the least. So I did the work of finding a counselor, and I made the appointment.

I stood up unashamedly for what I believed in. Even when people didn’t get it. Even when people (my own family included) felt entitled to question my intelligence, make fun of my empathy, attack my femininity, and claim that I did not understand The Bible or my faith. I did not back down or give in, and I regret nothing.

And, for good measure, more fruit:

Because my one wing is strong, here are two areas I want to tend and cultivate in 2019:

I want to make more room in my life. One of my core desired feelings is spaciousness, so I ask myself, which spaces in my life are in need of editing? My closet? The list of people I follow online? Where I spend my time and attention? What I eat? My Amazon cart? Yes to all of these. Yes to relentlessly choosing quality over quantity and the joy of simplicity over the obsessive need for excess.

I want to practice vulnerability. You know those shiny happy people you follow on Instagram that post the loveliest one by one squares of their carefully curated mess—perhaps enough to make them seem human, but not enough to make them seem anything like you? Too often, I find myself aspiring to be like them, stifling my ordinary reality (and even holy passion) and sacrificing deep connection. We’ve been talking about vulnerability for the past handful of months in house church, and my friend Kathy challenged me to think of more ways that I could show up just as I am. I think it will look like more singing, more crying, hosting friends in our tiny apartment more often, fewer filters, less makeup, saying yes, saying no thank you, and generally less time spent fretting about what other people think of me.

What did you love about yourself and your life in 2018?
What wouldn’t you change for anything in the world?
What would you like to see grow in the coming year?

A prayer for 2019 (and please, hold me to it.)

A prayer for 2019 (and please, hold me to it.)

Currently.

Currently.