My Grandma Esther (affectionately called “Mee-Maw” by me and my brother), always told people that she was “twenty nine and some months.” I never really understood why she chose 29. It didn’t hold any traditional significance like 16, 18 or 21. It just seemed like a random number.

Mee Maw

Looking good for 29 and some months, Mee Maw :)

Mee Maw had both the sparkle of youth and the matter-of-fact wisdom that comes with time. She always told it how it was. There was no wondering whether the precious gem of truth she just shared with you was actually true. You knew it was because she was confident in who she was and there was no pretending otherwise. I  treasure the letters my mom saved between the two of them, kept safely in a pretty binder on my desk. I laugh out loud reading her words, remembering her personality as it shined through her writing:

“While I’m on my soap box – I hate shopping – for clothes, for food, for furniture, anything – and it seems your Dad loves it but likes me to tag along as if I have a say in whatever he’s looking for.” (I totally get it, Mee Maw.)

Maybe she was onto something with this whole 29 thing. Young enough that you can still fully embrace your girlish, youthful tendencies. Old enough that you start to understand why it REALLY doesn’t matter what other people think.

So here we go twenty-nine. I’m ready to let go of what the world thinks of me and just embrace the life I’ve been given.

Mee Maw, this year’s for you.

Sunday Thoughts

I kind of like this idea of posting some Sunday thoughts to start the week and cap off the weekend. Thanks for reading along.

1. Our small group attended an event together on how important our health is to our faith. The event featured a local physician who incorporates Christian spirituality into his medical practice. While he did discuss faith healing, he also shared several studies and research trends supporting both the power of prayer and the critical changes we need to make to our food system and mental health.

Did you know that engaging in prayer actually creates change in your brain?!

I’m really excited to further explore this area. I’ve asked one of the doctors in the small group to help me track down the research so I can read it for myself and share it with you all on the blog. Stay tuned!

2. I recently discovered Rachel Held Evans and had to share this post: How to Follow Jesus… Without Being Shane Claiborne. Confession: I haven’t read anything by Shane Claiborne. But I definitely relate to the challenge of how to follow Jesus without feeling like you need to throw all responsibility and caution to the wind. Rachel shares five mantras that remind her how she personally plans to follow Jesus, including “Love the person in front of me” and “Care for my community.”  Have you read anything by Claiborne? What might your mantras be?

3. This post made me laugh out loud: God Wants to Give you Disney World but All You Want is the Bounce House – I just discovered this blogger/coach/pastor/father and love his fresh and honest voice. This is a sweet account of how God’s dreams for us are so much better than what we aspire toward. And it reminds me of this hysterical youtube video.

4. “Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” Philippians 2:14-15

This verse spoke right into my soul last night. Sometimes the news (and occasionally interactions and observations in my daily life) overwhelms me with the negativity, evil, selfishness, greed, lust and envy that seem to saturate our culture today. This verse reminded me that a. it has always been this way, crooked and perverse people are not new and b. there is a better way! I know I have a lot of work to do to shine like a bright light and I’ll be praying over this verse in the week to come. I’d love to hear how you overcome the desire to argue and complain. It’s not easy!

5. I’m still loving this song. For anyone who has ever asked the question, “I wonder if I’ll ever find my way, I wonder if my life could really change at all?”, you have to listen to this.

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

Cheers to a blessed week!