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here + now.
I love palm trees and college campuses (and working on a college campus surrounded by palm trees).☀️🌴❤️
There are a lot of unknowns in this life. And when the hypotheticals and the “what-ifs” start swirling through my brain (read: attacking with the vengeance of a thousand Trojan fighters), this truth is put on repeat: “We don’t have grace for that yet.” God gives grace, sufficient, beautiful, breathtaking grace, for right now. This moment. Today. We don’t have grace for hypotheticals, because God doesn’t live in the realm of what-ifs. But, because He changes not, He will give the grace necessary for us to survive all the days He leads us into. When the what-ifs become reality or when the curveballs come, the grace we need to follow Christ also comes. Yes, there are a lot of unknowns in this life. And all of them are fully known by the grace-giving, covenant-keeping God who fully knows us and provides everything we need for every circumstance He ordains for His highest glory and our deepest joy. Because of the cross, we can now rest and rejoice in the middle of unknowns. We don’t have grace for those yet, but we have Him, and He will hold us fast. ❤️
“My hope lives not because I am not a sinner, but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; my trust is not that I am holy, but that being unholy, He is my righteousness. My faith rests not upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ is, in what He has done, and in what He is now doing for me.” -Charles Spurgeon

Follow me as I follow Jesus

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There are so many hard, frustrating, grievous things happening these days. 

Each one reminds us that this world is broken and there is something deeply wrong in us at a core level. But, at the very same time, there is so much beauty, laughter, and joy happening.

We could all use a little more of the latter, couldn’t we? My friend Jaquelle does a monthly “favorites” blog and it’s one of my, ahem, favorite things. So, I’m snatching her idea and sharing some of mine. I’d love to hear your current faves!

Here are 10 of my favorite things right now.

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Honorable mention for this list: palm trees. I love palm trees.

This sermon.

I will listen to anything Sam Allberry preaches and this sermon, “Prayer and the Trinity—Ephesians 2:18,” from January 27 at Immanuel Nashville is worth listening to repeatedly. It’s  phenomenal. I’m so grateful for Sam and God’s work in and through him. He (and this message) is a gift to the church (and beyond). 

This article.

If you don’t want to be encouraged, don’t read this. Justin Taylor gave us a gift when he published A Note to the Discouraged: ‘We Are Very Apt to Have Wrong Thoughts of Christ.’ 

This chapstick.

Some people have said I use an “excessive amount” of chapstick. While I can neither confirm or deny these allegations, I will say I don’t know the last time my lips were dry. This chapstick is basically my perfect lip moisturizer. It’s lightweight and silky and worth every penny. I may or may not buy it in bulk. You could say it’s the balm.

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This book.

After a sweet friend on Instagram recommended David Powlison’s short book God’s Grace in Your Suffering, my cute parents gave it to me for Christmas and it was better than I could have imagined. Intensely practical and Gospel-drenched. Everyone needs to read this.

This drink.

For the most part, I’m a black coffee-only drinker. BUT this little gem is so creamy and delicious and, if you get it with a pump of gingerbread syrup, not only does it up the caloric value by approx. 97,000, but also your enjoyment. (Drink pictured above with the Powlison book. Not pictured: the warm fuzzies that come during consumption.)

This movie.

Practically perfect in every way, Mary Poppins Returns was everything I wanted it to be—and I have exceptionally high standards for anything Mary Poppins. I saw it in theaters four times and would watch it again right now. The whole cast and production staff did such a good job. It was magical.

This hot sauce.

My boyfriend is the hot sauce master and introduced me to YellowBird’s Habanero Condiment at the beginning of the month—y’all, my tastebuds have yet to recover from the glory. I’m not saying I’m addicted but the bottle is almost empty.

This quote.

“The end of the Big Story is beauty, because the end of the story is God. This world and its history are prelude and foretaste; all the sunrises and sunsets, symphonies and rock concerts, feasts and friendships are but whispers. They are prologue to the grander story and an even better place. Only there, it will never end. J. I. Packer said it so well: ‘Hearts on earth say in the course of a joyful experience, ‘I don’t want this ever to end.’ But it invariably does. The hearts in heaven say, ‘I want this to go on forever.’ And it will. There can be no better news than this.’” -Steve DeWitt, Eyes Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything

This App.

Marco Polo is a gift for long distance relationships. Or relationships in general. I’m so grateful. 

This story.

After moving to London in 1854, Charles Spurgeon could not afford to stock his many shelves with books. He had his book binder create blank dummy books (which he later replaced with real books). He titled some of them:

“Aches and Pains, by Feltham (felt ‘em)”

“Cricket on the Green, by Balls”

“Over the Stream, by Bridge”

“Do it Again, by Dunnett (done it)”

“Rags and Ruin, by a Brewer”

“Pilgrim’s Progress hindered by a Bunyan (bunion)”

“Lectures to My Servants, by a Shrew” (Autobiography 4:292).

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