independence.

I feel like most of our lives we’re searching for independence. It’s something that our country strives to protect and flaunts it everywhere we go. We’re the land of the free, we have independence day! Nothing wrong with either one of those things. I’ve been learning though about my independence and how it isn’t always about the streamers and BBQ.

I’ve come to this place where I feel like I am working to provide for myself, finding this independence financially, which is a really, really good thing. At the same time though, I see myself no longer crying out to God in ways that I have been in the past 6 months, and that’s no bueno.

I have found it really interesting working in a place where I’m around people day in and day out that need to see who Jesus is. It has been awhile since I’ve been in this scenario. Smiling to a customer or encouraging a co-worker has been some of how I’ve been able to be a light while working really hard. I’ve also found that in my striving to be everything that everyone around me needs, I keep emptying my cup without fully refilling it each day. I spend time with Jesus daily, but it isn’t as focused as I would like it to be, I’m usually on the go or rushing through it to check it off the list.

In finding my independence again, I’ve lost my dependence on God.

Just this morning, as I have a couple of days off. I’ve spent a few hours, reading the Word, writing down my thoughts, processing through relationships that I have, and listening. Some of my most refreshing times are when I’m gut level honest with Jesus and He is gut level honest with me. When I listen, he speaks. When I cry out, he answers. He has all the time in the world for me, I just need to make time for Him.

There has been such a pendulum swing in my life this year. So much learning, so much growing. Just when I think I find this groove of what life looks like, I see where I’ve failed in different areas. Focusing too much on one area, leaves the others to unravel. I’m constantly on this journey to be who God has created me to be, and I’m finding that those times where I see things unraveling is way shorter than it used to be. I’m still connected to the vine and He speaks to me. There is fruit in my life and I’m learning and growing. I don’t get as discouraged as I used to and I don’t let things unravel too far before God shows me what is going on. I’m finding that place of dependence in the midst of independence.

I’m learning to not let my life be a bunch of different areas that I have to keep tabs on, but rather that it is one holistic life that God tends to for me. No more compartmentalization. No more “I got this part God, you get that one,” but more of “here take all of my life and all of me to do what you desire.”

 

The Spirit of the Sovereign lord is upon me,
for the lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the lord has planted for his own glory.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins,
repairing cities destroyed long ago.
They will revive them,
though they have been deserted for many generations.
Isaiah 61:1-4

steps.

My life really is crazy. That’s the best way to explain it. i guess that makes me a little crazy too!

Every once in a while I get the opportunity to really stop and think about my life these last six-months… see. crazy.

I’ve been working at Storyville for almost 3 months now, and the 3 months before that I was in California. How did I get to this place? Where did these new friendships come from? What does the future hold for me? These are all questions that roll through my mind on a pretty regular basis. Obviously I don’t have answers to all of these questions, but I do know the steps that I took to get here. The obedience, the humility, the trials and most of all the time I have spent pressing into Jesus.

I’ve been doing my devotionals in Joshua lately, it holds some great stories and some great memories of where the Israelites have come from and where they are headed. They have entered the Promised Land and it is all getting divvied up between the tribes. This is the milk and honey, this is the bread and butter, this is what they have been taking steps toward for 40 years!

They still aren’t always totally convinced of God’s goodness in their lives though, still not quiet sure if it is all too good to be true. Is there another trek around the desert? Is there another enemy we have to defeat? I think I would say yes to both of those questions, there will be more time spent in the desert, and the enemy will come around again and again needing to be defeated. BUT God has the best intentions for them and for each of us. All throughout the book of Joshua the phrase “Be strong and courageous” is stated, it’s something that I think we need to remind ourselves often. God has our back, but we still have to step out, have courage and keep pressing forward into the promises He has given us.

I feel like I’ve come a long ways in the last six months, but I know that I need to remind myself of these truths on a daily basis, when things might not be going as planned or as relationships are changing, just knowing that God has the best in mind for me as I take these steps is a huge release and a burden that I don’t have to bare. Of all the relationships in this world, He isn’t manipulating me or forcing his hand… if I follow his lead and walk with an open heart, He’ll lead me to my promise land.

Thanks for bearing with me as I unfold and process my story. 

fulfilled.

Living a fulfilled life shows itself in so many different areas. I enjoy things that I haven’t for a while, photography comes easy, friendships aren’t work, healthy choices come naturally, and crazy hours are no big deal.

All of this has been true for me over the last few weeks. I’m seeing changes in myself that I didn’t expect. I’m lifting my eyes up more and enjoying the world around me, I’m looking around at all the beautiful things, I’m taking time to stop and enjoy a beautiful sunset or just let the wind blow through my hair.

I’m still amazed as I stroll through Pike Place Market and realize that work in one of the most iconic parts of the great Pacific Northwest. As I walk to the ferry I am in awe of the buildings around me. I’m so full of gratitude of this life I’m living and the opportunities that I have.

Today as I was driving to the ferry I was just praying for my day, praying for those I work with and those that I serve as I work. It’s amazing the difference it can make if your day starts out in the right foot. Granted I did get a full night of sleep and even got coffee and breakfast with my mom, but still having the right heart makes a huge difference! Being fulfilled by my maker and not looking for it from anyone else has been such a huge blessing. Apparently when you really are too busy to worry about all those other things they seemingly fall into place, but because they are habits that I have been working on before life got busy.

Being fulfilled doesn’t mean that everything is handed to you, I work hard day in and day out, and life choices have been made and practiced for years, I just feel like all of the pieces are fitting together, the puzzle is taking shape and it’s so much easier to see what the picture is, it isn’t just a mess of pieces everywhere, it a picture of my life coming together – and turning out quite beautiful!

If you’re looking to live a fulfilled life, you have to start with the life giver, know Him closely, talk to him daily and even more importantly listen to Him daily. Those are my thoughts, dive in head first and don’t look back!

thriving.

I’ve always said that I want to not just survive in this life, but thrive. I want to do everything with excellence, not just a mediocre pass. I strive to be the best at everything I set my hand to. I don’t always succeed, but I try!

These last couple of months I’ve found myself thriving like never before… sure, I’ve had my moments of frustration, but I’ve pushed through those to find my way. I read a bumper sticker of all things a few months ago… it was probably this last spring. It said “Don’t let a man be your financial plan.” When I read that I realized that I wasn’t thriving at the moment. I was living paycheck to paycheck, working really hard but not always feeling appreciated. I was surviving. I knew that I had so much more in me to be in a place of thriving, I think that is what started this whole crazy journey that i’m in the middle of. Yes, I said the middle. I’ve made a lot of changes in the last 6-months, but I don’t think I’ll stop here. I want to keep striving for more, keep finding what i’m made to do. Keep pushing myself to be my best. There are always ways for me to improve in everything I’m doing. Really in everything we’re all doing.

I keep asking what’s next. What else can I do? Who else can I impact? Who will I see that I can make a difference in their life? I think these are all questions that we should each be asking, never being satisfied with where life has you, not a level of discontent, but a place of going deeper. Every year as I read through the Bible I read the same scriptures over and over again, year after year, but new things are illuminated to me as I read and go deeper in relationship with God. It’s similar to this in everyday life, I might be doing the same things day in and day out, but I appreciate new things or see different things that I didn’t see the day before. I’m pretty sure it all has to do with thriving in every situation I’m in.

All this to say, let’s go deeper. In every aspect of our lives, we can dig deeper, go further and be greater.  With the help of Jesus all things are possible!

friendship.

I’ve often found myself in a place where I’m content with the friends that I have. Surrounded by great people, not really needing any new friends. I realize now that is no way to live a life, you have to be open to new friendship all of the time. You never know what someone can offer you, what they can do to make you a better person. Even those that you feel you can’t learn from, you can. I believe that as soon as you think you’re done with someone, that’s when you’re really getting started with them. I know that I’ve been written off before, it doesn’t feel good, and I never want someone else to feel that way.

I have some amazing people in my life, this journey that I’ve been on has been backed by so many people, so many prayers, so many friends. I left friends in WA state and hung out with some in CA, made some new friends in CA and came back to WA leaving those new and old friends behind. Even just being gone a couple of months, people change and move on. Lives move forward like they have to and all of the sudden you find that you’re not in the same timeline anymore.

As I have come back home to WA, I’ve found that there are many more friendships for me to have. It’s crazy that just a month ago I hardly knew any of the people that I now spend that majority of my time with. My life has changed so much even in just the last month, getting a new job, meeting tons of new people, going through a very intense time of training and learning along side each other. With all of the time we spent together, it’s no wonder new friendships were forged. We were welded together in a way that I know I didn’t expect.

As our training came to an end and we started opening new shops, we all went to different locations. They split the family up! They had to, but it all happened so quickly, i don’t think that any of us really knew that our time together would be over so quickly. The cool thing now is seeing each other in action. Going to each others shops just to say hi. I know when friends come in I get so excited and give them big hugs!

Friendships are so key in life. You need the new friendships that keep your story fresh, that keep you open and vulnerable in ways you’d probably like to close up once people know your story. On the flip-side you still need those friendships that you’ve had for years. Those friends that come and go, but you’re always able to pick up right where you left off. There is so much security in those friendships, people that know what you’ve been through and have loved you through it. There is a balance of nurturing all of those friendships, and as my pool of friends has grown exponentially this last month, there is a lot of my story that needs to be told. Be thankful for those friends around you, and tell them how much they mean to you!

normal.

I’ve been learning a ton this month. Not just about coffee but about me too. I’ve learned how much preparation it took in my life to be where I am and to be ready for anything that could be thrown at me. You might remember at the end of last week I was feeling pretty frustrated and not quite up to par…

Well, I’ve been working hard this week and it is all coming together, it is getting clearer and I’m getting more excited. I still don’t know all the in’s and out’s of what my job will really be like, but I’m getting little tastes here and there. And they taste sooo good. I’m still absolutely thrilled to get up every day and go to work. Everyday is a bit of an adventure. I spent monday at our Queen Anne location, which opens tomorrow! Tuesday was spent at our currently open Pike Place store, I even made a few drinks for customers, then spent most of the afternoon/evening in the kitchen. Then, today I practiced my baking skills at the roasting studio on Bainbridge, it has been a whirl-wind, but it is becoming my new normal.

I’m loving this normal, it’s hectic, it’s crazy and I don’t know what the next day will bring, which I love. I’m always praying prayers of adventure as I embark on my everyday. What are you asking for? Do you have big prayers? I know that sometimes I’m scared to pray those prayers, but without them, how do we get out of our ruts? I know that I’m challenged to keep praying those big adventure prayers, things that will take me out of my comfort zone. I’m sure that some people think I’m crazy to pray prayers like that right now, but it’s just how I live everyday. Let your normal be open to the shifting winds of the Holy Spirit and how He made lead you.

I’m so happy with where I am right now, I’m dead tired, but I’m so fulfilled with the work that I’m doing. It is such a great place to be and I wouldn’t be where I am today without those prayers. Do what you need to do in order to live to your fullest!

Roar.

i guess this is one of my guilty pleasures. Yeah, Katy Perry. Don’t judge. There is something about this song that just empowers me. I feel like I can conquer the world, I can be my own hero, I don’t have to seek someone else out to shine for me…
Honestly, these last few days have been rough on me, it has been an intense time at work, we’re getting ready to open two new stores in a matter of a week and a couple of days. it’s crazy. I know that. They know that. But we’re doing it anyways! This week I have kinda felt like I’m not sure where I belong, I was hired for one position and have been training at another one all week. I guess I just try and read into things too much. I’m really excited to learn as much as I can about every area so that I can be a well-rounded employee and I have just keep working hard.
Today was just an off day in one of my previously strong areas and that just makes me stop and tell myself that I can do this, even when I feel like I’m being pushed down, I have to get back up and keep going. Keep steaming milk, even if it doesn’t look pretty!
I did find out today that I’ll be working at the Pike Place location, not what I was expecting, but I’m totally down with it, I’m so excited to learn from the people that have been working there for months already and know the in’s and out’s of our coffee, I’m excited to keep learning and who better to learn from than those that already have had so much experience. it is a bit daunting being the rookie, but I’m ready for the challenge and the task ahead of me.
This song just reminds me that I do have a voice, that I do have a lot to offer, that i am a champ and can do anything I put my mind to!
As you think of me this week, say a prayer, lots going on, stress levels will be high and I want to be a light wherever I go. I want people to be drawn to the Jesus that is in me and for Him to receive all of the glory, he is the one that has brought me on this crazy journey, so he deserves it all.
Sorry this was all over the place, i’m really tired and couldn’t fall asleep until I got some of this out of me!