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Picture Perfect

Her eyes were burning into the back of my head. I could feel it. I was standing in the checkout lane at Target. I had been driving for 8+ hours, was just over an hour from home, and I was wearing the same exact thing that I wore the day before; but by this time my leggings had stretched and were baggy. Like really baggy. Nearly parachute pants, it seemed. My hair was tied tightly on top of my head in a giant...

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The {Messy} Art of Intentionality

On March 17th, it happened again. That moment where I read exactly what I needed to read. Patrick and I were in the middle of a disagreement. It had been one of those weeks where we had about thirteen and a half seconds in between work, meetings, and youth to look at each other and say "Hi! How was your day? What's for dinner?" Between prior engagements, work obligations, and general busyness of day-to-day life, we had failed to have any...

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Besties, Babies, and the Bridge

Alyssa insisted we do the shower today. I told her I wasn't ready, but all the guests told me this was the only day that could work. So we approached the cafe that I had never seen yet booked, a dark building with hardly any windows. They didn't close the cafe for us. Not only were we not alone, it was also the early bird special so the Q-Tip tour had packed it out. The walls and chairs were covered...

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Fear and Sadness and Skiing

Work was less of a success and more of a minute-by-minute juggling act one week last month. Most evenings had busy meetings or demanding commitments. Being an introvert and also fairly new to working again, I was in desperate need for alone time. I get energy from cozy blankets and quiet atmospheres - quite opposite of Patrick, who craves people and busyness. The movie "The Martian"? That will be my heaven. Jesus will be like "Here's your own planet. Holler...

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The Exhibition Team

The Biggest Loser premiered the beginning of my Junior year of high school. I was hooked. Could I go on this?  Mind you, I weighed a whopping 135 pounds at 5 foot 8 inches. While I didn't go as far as to research contestant information, I actually believed I would qualify to compete on the Biggest Loser. At some point during my middle school and high school years, I began to have a horrible body image. And I can't help but...

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Still Waters

The other day, I was binging on all things Netflix including Friends. But because I know Matthew Perry’s lines better than him, my mind started to wander to other light-hearted and hilarious things. You know – like the future. Oh wait. Wrong H word. Hellish. I meant hellish things. Health. Student Loans. Children. Career Goals. Writing. Ministry. And I started to get a little angry. Sometimes I feel like Patrick and I are at a standstill. We strive to be good...

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When Cooper Met Ashley

Who likes being set up on dates? Me either. That’s why it’s a Christmas miracle that Patrick and I got together. In the beginning of Fall 2011, I was sitting at my parents’ kitchen table as I overheard our friend Amy talking about Cooper from work (It took me a solid month to learn his first name). While the staff at our church had grown a great deal, I still knew names pretty well so I was confused. “Who’s Cooper?” Amy didn’t skip...

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An Anxious Heart

I’ve never been held hostage, but I have been in a group text. Anyone with a smart phone can relate to this. I’m certain. I sub in my spare time – or when I turn my auto Do Not Disturb button off at night. I like my sleep. I do not particularly like 6 AM phone calls. I was subbing the other day and had a jam-packed schedule. But I started the day right. I brought my KIND bar (heaven sent)...

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Perfect Love

I don’t always prefer The Message when choosing a version of the Bible to read. However, I recently re-read my favorite verses in this version and it gave me an even better perspective. Philippians 4:6-7 says “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what...

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Lonny

(Photo credit: Cara Dee Photography) My uncle was just as much a part of my life as my aunt was. He'd brave freezing cold Lake Huron with me when everyone else sat on the shore. He cheered on my dance recitals and plays just as much as the rest of my family. He'd take my brother and me to county fairs and even hauled a ginormous red stuffed dog home from Florida because my brother won it fair and square and...

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