interrupted: when jesus wrecks your comfortable christianity

let it be known.
i love jen hatmaker {if you don't know who she is, go here and educate yourself}.
i love her blog, i love her new hgtv show, i love her books.
i love it all.

so much so that i may have spent an afternoon watching any youtube video connected to her.
i know, slightly weird, but i couldn't help myself.

my sister shares my same love {obviously}, and so, a couple months back when jen sent out an email offering a free copy of her book interrupted to the first 250 bloggers who responded to the email, i was all in {now, my sister may have thought if you responded to the email you got to meet jen hatmaker, but that's neither here nor there}.

now just to let you know...
this is the kind of book that can mess you up.
it's the kind of book that may cause you to shout "AMEN" at your dog.
it's the kind of book that speaks to the core of who you are and makes you wonder if you've been doing things all wrong for your whole life.
it's also the kind of book that makes you sigh in relief and say, "thank God it's not just me."
it's the kind of book that sticks with you, and convicts you, and changes you.

 interrupted is a story of transformation. a story of how God called jen and her family to a life of service to the least. to creating a church where people didn't just go to church, but they were the church. 
and it was convicting, to put it mildly.

i think i was most powerfully struck as i read by the responsibility that comes when we say yes to God.
because if everything is true, if what i say i believe is what i actually believe, then that has to profoundly impact the way that i live.
it has to change the way i use my money, and the people i spend time with, and my desire to be comfortable, and all the ways i try to preserve my own ego.
it has to transform me in such a way that i stop waiting for a church, or an event, or a system to love my neighbor.
i have to just go out and do it.

because the truth is, people don't need another event, or another service, or a run in with the morality police.
people need relationships with other people who love God and who love them with honesty and sincerity.

one of the hardest parts for me in all this {minus the fact that it's all hard} is the redefining of who my neighbor is.
my neighbor is not just those who look like me and talk like me.
it's not just the ones who are easy to love and show appreciation.

it's the ones who would rank in the "least of these" category.
the ones i like to pretend i don't see.
the ones who make me feel uncomfortable but whose need is unmistakable.

if i'm honest, i know how much i fall short.
i am in constant need of God's grace and the ability to actually listen to what he is saying.
but i can't ignore the Bible when it says "whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

bottom line...
i want to try.
i want to ask.
i want to become.
i want to love.
in ways that follow Jesus, wherever he leads.
even if it's uncomfortable, or scary, or dark.
because that is where his light is needed the very most.

so i guess i say all that to say, if any of this rings true with you, read this book.
and ask God to help you to listen for what he has been saying since the very beginning.

my sister has called my copy first, but anyone is welcome to it after she's done:)



the land of enchantment.

i spent the last week of my summer vacation traveling to the land of enchantment {aka new mexico} with my friend kim {formerly known as new friend kim}, and i may have fallen in love. 
with the state, that is. 

her family lives near albuquerque, she wanted a rode trip companion, and i'm not one to say no to a little adventure. so away we went.

we stopped at the great sand dunes in colorado {which you may remember from here}, and we climbed all the way to the top. each time i visit the sand dunes, i am overwhelmed with how beautiful and strangely located they are.
we spent the next six days driving through and exploring new mexico. 

it all started in taos, where we stayed in the most adorable casita, tasted the best margarita in town, attended mass, posed for senior photos {that was kind of a staple throughout the trip}, hiked to a beautiful lake in the rain, had some of the best ice cream in the u.s., got hit on by a biker gang, explored the town, and most importantly, kim savored one of the best donuts of her life.
on our way to albuquerque, we stopped off at the rio grande gorge bride to take in the gorgeous views and obviously spent a few hours at ojo caliente mineral springs resort and spa because nothing says true relaxation like a whispering policy, mud baths, and hammocks. it was glorious. 
i was so happy to meet kim's family when we got to albuquerque. they were the nicest people, and her aunt makes some amazing food. they was no lack for snacks, cookies, or diet coke. their kindness and love for each other definitely made an impression on me, and i hope i can hang out with them in the land of enchantment again soon.

the highlight of our albuquerque adventures included visiting the plaza, taking more senior photos, and most importantly {for nick} visiting the breaking bad house. i have to admit, i've never seen an episode but nick instructed me that i just HAD to go. the owners of the house were outside, so i asked if i could take some photos. they politely agreed as long as i stayed off their property. and they told us {other people came while we were there to take pictures too} that we would't believe how many people came to their house, day and night, to take photos. intense.
we finished off our new mexico adventure with a trip to santa fe. we spent the day there walking around, admiring art, and eating at the tea house.
i have officially decided that i LOVE santa fe and want to go back as soon as possible. 
it just had a great vibe with a lot of color and beautiful art. 
two very enthusiastic thumbs up from this girl.
before we knew it, it was time to head back to colorado and start work again.
i had the best time and can't wait to come back to the land of enchantment again soon.
p.s. kim is currently single, and i will be accepting resumes for interested suitors on her behalf. 



change is inevitable. 
life brings about new relationships, and locations, and ways of thinking.
friendships start to look different, people lose touch, and sometimes we find we can't quite connect in the same ways we once did.

when we are lucky, there are those relationships that can compete with life.
they don't fold through distance, they don't wear thin over the years, they stay right where you put them.
they are the good ones. 

this past weekend, i had the chance to reunite with some of those good ones {we missed you desperately adri and bethany!}
my college girls will forever be some of my favorite people on the planet, and it doesn't seem to matter where we live, or who's married, or who has children, or where life has taken us since college. 

once we arrived in salem, oregon, it was like nothing had changed. 

we slept in, cuddled with chelsea's new puppy coco chanel {i die}, explored a beautiful waterfall, drove to the coast, snuck in pops to restaurants, dominated beach jumping pictures, tramped it up, tried to do a photo shoot on the side of the road {relax your face!}, ate mexican food {i would LOVE more beans!}, karaoked with a tambourine in hand {making ORU proud}, enjoyed a delicious brunch at a vineyard {thanks joe and jan!}, introduced char to voodoo doughnut, and filled in the gaps with a whole lot of laughter. 

  i know that life will continue to change us.
i am grateful for growth and adventure, but i hope my friendship with these ladies will stay right where we've put it. 

and i'm already planning our denver reunion in 2015, so there's that.