Tag Archives: oxford

The Day I was Supposed to Move

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A lot can happen in a year.

The last 12 months have been some of the most wonderful, painful, exposing, sanctifying, excruciating, and joyful months of my 28 years.

God has opened my heart, locked tight with fear, and poured in more love and goodness than can be contained in 10,000 lifetimes. He has begun the process of breaking down my Fort Knox-esque self-protective tendencies and given enormous gifts of grace so beyond my dreams and imagination that I didn’t even know to ask for them. I’ve watched Him answer six years of prayers in my small group babies as He has matured, purified, saved, sanctified, and led them deeper into His heart. He has faithfully and flawlessly demonstrated His sufficiency in the valleys and on the mountain tops and in every moment in between.

This year has been filled with sorrow, longings, dreams, and compassions that fail not. It’s been packed with patience from the Father, security from the Son, and constant hope from the Spirit.

The Lord has taught is teaching me to trust Him (and others) with my emotions, my unmasked soul, and my constant urge to resist grace and base my worth on performance. My heart, shriveled from 28 years of insecurities, has been expanded and nourished by a love unlike anything it has ever known from a human so marked by majesty that my soul explodes on a daily basis in worship and praise to the Giver of every good and perfect gift. And my mind constantly reverberates with this grace-drenched message: If His gifts are this good, how much greater is He?

God has proven to my fearful soul over and over that He is good and that He does all things well. He strategizes our lives well. He directs all things well. He writes all our stories well. He never makes a typo. He only ever writes with the highest quality grace-filled ink and He is plotting in all things for His supreme glory and our deepest joy.

Even when He says no.

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Happy Birthday C. S. Lewis! 12 Quotes from The Weight of Glory

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C. S. Lewis is one of my favorite humans and today would have been his 118th birthday. 

My small group girls will come over tonight and we’ll have a birthday party for him and watch David Payne’s An Evening with C. S. Lewis (we won’t watch the exact one linked but it is so good and well worth the time to watch a YouTube video with “antique” graphics) while drinking tea and celebrating the work of God in his life and legacy. Until then, here’s a little blurb I wrote about “Jack” for the November/December RTM Magazine, along with 12 quotes from his famous sermon The Weight of Glory.

We hope it propels you to worship the One who conquered hell for your redemption.

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Monday Morning Munch No. 156 – God Isn’t Clumsy

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I am a Klutz with a capital K.

My best friend tells me I’m the proverbial bull in the china shop everyone talks about. She’s right. I’m the one with approximately zero coordination who drops almost everything, spills pretty much any liquid, trips over shadows, and accidentally flings her pen across tables (and rooms). After 27 years of this, I’ve basically stopped being embarrassed by such things (my bff, on the other hand, has not. Whoops). Some things I could prevent if I paid more attention but some things just happen because I’m in a 5-mile radius. I’m like Tonks from Harry Potter—I’m just clumsy. The end.

The Lord, on the other hand, is not.

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Monday Morning Munch No. 147 – The Anti-God State of Mind

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There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which everyone in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves.

I have heard people admit that they are bad-tempered, or that they cannot keep their heads about girls or drink, or even that they are cowards. I do not think I have ever heard anyone who was not a Christian accuse himself of this vice. And at the same time I have very seldom met anyone, who was not a Christian, who showed the slightest mercy to it in others. There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves. And the more we have it in ourselves, the more we dislike it in others. … The vice I am talking of is Pride or Self-Conceit. … Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.

-C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

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Monday Morning Munch No. 143 – A Traitor’s Redemption

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I love good stories. Which is why I love C. S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia.

I’m reading through the series again for the first time since middle school and, wow, I enjoy them so much more this time (weird how that works).

Okay, question. As you read novels, do you find it easier to identify with the heroes or the villains? It depends on the story, I suppose, but I find it easier to project myself into the hero’s life. Do you find that true as well? Maybe it’s because we all long to be gallant and valiant and noble so, if we can’t be that in real life, at least we can vicariously live through the heroes of whatever story we’re reading (or watching) at the time. But also, let’s face it, most of the time we consider ourself the protagonist of our own story so it’s a natural default to transpose ourselves into the role of the good guy (or girl).

However, on this journey into Narnia, as much as I want to be identified with the courageous, heroic and brave characters like Peter, Susan and Lucy, I’m finding I identify more with Edmund than anyone else. Edmund. The traitor. #humbling.

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Missing what’s in front of me

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In the Oxford Botanic Gardens, where J. R. R. Tolkien would go to write. Be still my heart.

I’m a journalist. I document things.

It’s my job. I went to school for it. I love it. I do it when I don’t have to.

My daily life consists of taking photos, filling journals, compiling stories, transcribing meetings and interviews, writing lists and making observations.

During our recent trip to England, the documentation game was strong. I wanted to (surprise) document everything (is that a leaf? Is that an old hot dog wrapper that’s been trampled? WE MUST PHOTOGRAPH EVERYTHING). But from time to time, Haley would make me stop and look without taking photos and you know what? The world kept spinning.

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Oxford: A Tower of Dreams

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Everything is magical in Oxford.

Obviously I think our hotel is magical, but so is the entire city and all the contents therein. These photos are from my iPhone but Haley just posted photos from the good camera on her blog. You should go immediately to look at them. They’re so great.

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Oxford – Head of the River hotel excitement

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I’m in love with this city. 

Maybe I should clarify: I’m in love with our hotel. We haven’t actually, you know, been anywhere else yet… #introvertprobs.

We’re staying at Head of the River and it might be the best place I’ve ever been in my life. I’ve never before written a hotel review but I feel as though this might turn into one. Let’s make it easy: this hotel is like Mary Poppins—practically perfect in every way.

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Monday Morning Munch No. 136 – Traveling and Scribbles

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When this blog is published, I’ll be getting off a plane in London. 

The next two weeks will be spent with my bff touring parts of England that we’ve dreamed of exploring for five years, eating as much food as we can stomach (get it? hahaha) and hugging as many strangers as possible (except Haley will kill me so I’ll just hug them in my mind… which sounds so creepy).

ANYWAY, I wanted to keep up the Monday Morning Munches so here is one of my all time favorite quotes by one of my all time favorite people (and it’s fitting because we’ll be going to Oxford next week. Cue all the excited squeals):

“A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.” -C. S. Lewis

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