my faith is bigger than my doubt (but i still have doubt)

Monday, August 26, 2013

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i was sitting in a new church yesterday. a church with hard backed pews and hymnals. the pastor wore a robe. there were no catchy video intros. no drums or electric guitar. no skinny jeans. it was traditional, reminiscent of my childhood, and it felt refreshing.

my bible was sitting in my lap open to the book of john. i was skimming the words as the pastor spoke them aloud when my eyes glanced to the opposite page. there was a small devotional written by a lady named debra klingsporn. i became absorbed in these words and tuned out everything else going on around me.

"sitting on my bookshelf is a book published several years ago called the myth of certainty. the title alone catches my eye and speaks to me with a ring of truth. how i long for a world of black and white, good and bad, yes and no; a world of clear-cut distinctions and effortless decisions because the good and bad can be easily identified. no blurring rationalizations. no complicating considerations. 

but clear-cut distinctions and effortless choices aren't true to my experience of life. between black and white are shades of gray. between good and bad are confusing questions. between yes and no is a strong maybe. 

the fact of the matter is, no matter how black and white and absolute some defenders of the faith portray the gospel, i simply can't buy that line. my experience and the experience of the people of faith throughout the centuries, is one of a God who meets us in the questions, who honors our seeking, and who created us to be intelligent beings. when it comes to our faith, if we're looking for proof and certainty, we won't find it. 

living at the heart of faith is living with uncertainty, trusting in the unseen. somewhere along the way, we have to leap the chasm between that which we know absolutely and that which calls us from within. yet even in our uncertainty, we walk in the presence of the holy. 

God is far more interested in our honesty than our piety. we have only to offer him a willing heart and truthful spirit and he'll take it from there, meeting us in the chasm as we make the leap."

if you're doubting, you're not alone. if you have questions, so do i. i do know that i am loved by God. i know that i have purpose. but i also have more unanswered thoughts than concrete answers. 

it seems that it would be nice to have my theology and thoughts of the divine to be laid out like silverware on a table-straight, perfect, polished. but i think it's better that my questions and answers are actually arranged in a bit of disarray, changing this way then that as i learn something new. if i never had questions, how would i learn? become stronger? how would i challenge myself and others?

i have been that person who is content with not diving deeper. with accepting things with a nod and a smile. and, at times, i still am. having everything figured out is not my goal. but there is beautiful growth that comes from asking "why?" and there is beauty when you see something from a perspective that you never had before. i've been learning this a lot lately. it's scary, exciting, uneasy, grounding. 

i am reminded of lyrics by one of my favorite artists. 

'cause grey is not a compromise -
it is the bridge between two sides.
the shores on which our stubborn land
and restless seas collide.
grey is not just middle ground,
it is a truce that waits to be signed.
i would even argue that, from where we stand,
it most represents the color of God's eyes.

-101010 by sleeping at last

don't be afraid to ask questions. don't be afraid to learn something new or refine the way you once thought about something. be willing to hear someone out. consider that there is more gray than you may realize. trust. pray. love. 

andrew belle still makes my heart swell

Thursday, August 22, 2013

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andrew belle's newest album, black bear, dropped on tuesday and it is amazing. i think i've mentioned the musical crush i have on him? oh yes, this post right here.

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a few weeks ago my friend lori and i took a little drive to casbah in downtown durham to see him and trent dabbs play.

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what a great show! trent dabbs was cute and funny and had his band projected behind him on a screen. a pretty cost effective way to travel with your band but not really travel with your band. he played one of my favorite songs, leave to see. check it out here.

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andrew belle followed after with his band mates. he played a lot of songs from his new album which inspired me to go home and immediately pre-order it. if you're into music at all, you need to check him out. his lyrics are creative and thoughtful and romantic. his sound is unique but not in an annoying or extreme way like when people record sounds of smashing glass and random clapping and call it music. how's that for a rave review?

{photo credit: me}

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one of his tracks, pieces, is so beautiful and compelling. i listened to it probably about 35 times in a row on a recent car ride to the beach. it's a good thing i was driving by myself because i doubt any road trip companion would have put up with that nonsense.

andrew belle, kids. this is good music. 

california tuna salad

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

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tuna salad is easy. tuna salad requires little effort and even less commitment. tuna salad is one of those meals that you can literally throw together in less than 5 minutes. it’s practically perfect in every way. unless you hate tuna. then none of this applies to you. you are excused from the table.
for those who stuck around, good for you. you know that even though canned tuna reeks, it doesn’t matter because it’s delicious when mixed up with a few spices and served as the world’s easiest meal. convenience trumps the semi-repulsive thought of canned meat.
california tuna salad
2 can (5 oz) water-packed white tuna
2 tablespoons coarse grain mustard (i used spicy honey brown)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped golden raisins
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium ripe avocado, chopped
1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes (optional)
juice of 1/2 a lime
salt and pepper to taste
combine all of the above ingredients. stir until well combined. season to taste with salt and pepper. eat with pita chips or tortilla chips. 

for full recipe, go here

the lovely list. part nineteen.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

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one very bright outfit. 

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stuffed cookie dough brownies. recipe to come! (you want it, believe me). 

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this excellent picture of my parents. i want to frame it and put it on our dining room table and make it the focal point of our living area. 

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a beautiful nature walk around our apartment complex pathways. i honestly don't take walks very often; i usually hit the gym after work and get my exercise that way. but this was a very good walk. i remember it well. and now you will too because i documented my reflection in a marble slab sign. 

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new white faux leather purse to display new manis. only the best backdrops will do. 

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a very balanced lunch.

oh! and i didn't get a photo of the experience, but my friend chelsea and i saw claire danes and hubby hugh dancy shopping at dean and deluca this weekend. they had their chubby baby with them, and they were strolling the aisles like normal common folk. except i'm pretty sure they were doing their grocery shopping. {as in what i do at wal*mart and dollar general}. i can only afford dean and deluca for a cup of coffee. still, it was very cool to spot these celebrities, and as we were driving away we saw them making out in the rain. proof that true love in hollywood does exist. 

what's lovely, ya'll?

the wine we drink

Friday, August 16, 2013

the wine we drink : drew and ellie holcomb

love these two. love their music. 

wilmington weekend

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

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sometimes you go away for a beach weekend and you don't go to the beach even once.
this is one of those times. 

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a few weekends ago, my family and i packed up our cars and spent the a few days and nights in beautiful wilmington. we don't usually take week-long vacations but from time to time my parents will rent a little house in the mountains or at the beach for a weekend getaway.

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we spent our time relaxing, shopping, exploring city streets, eating good food, riding go-karts, playing mini golf, coffee shopping, book storing, and having nightly cocktail hour on the back patio of our little cottage.

because we were busy doing all of the activities above, going to the beach totally and completely escaped us. i did see it, though. i saw the beach. a nice, quick glimpse of it as we navigated a busy street in wrightsville to get to my favorite boutique, hallelu. shopping or the beach? don't make me choose. except i did choose. shopping.

{photo credit: me, mom}

my younger brother (younger but taller and stronger) and i had some good, quality bonding time. with him being away at school for most of the year and me living and working in durham/chapel hill, we don't get a lot of time to hang. it was fun to have a few days to kick it together. he's cooler than i am but for some strange reason he likes to hang out with me. whatever, i don't ask questions.

it's nice to have a few days away from real life every once in a while. and it's even better when your lodging, food, and activities are paid for by your sweet and wonderful parents. i'm hoping to butter them up and coax them into taking us to disney. {any and all tips on buttering up your parents welcome.}

august mix

Monday, August 12, 2013

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“life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”

soren kierkegaard

* august mix *

summer in the city : the lovin' spoonful

try : pink

mine is yours : cold war kids

wings of summer : michael holborn

notion : kings of leon

sweater weather : the neighborhood

 wagon wheel : old crow medicine show

promises : nero

brother : lord huron

lex : ratatat

house of cards : radiohead

happy listening!

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