Dear October


Three different events in three different cities. October, I will reach your end exhausted. I can guarantee it. Over the last couple of years, you & September have been a marathon – one that requires several sprints to get to the finish line.

Yet, I repeat the same marathon every year. I say yes to the same projects knowing when they take place. And I say yes because, in the end, the exhaustion is sweet. It’s an “I’ve poured out absolutely everything I’ve got & I got to do it alongside some of my favorite people on the planet” kind of exhaustion. And so, the memory is always sweet no matter how painful the road is as I’m running, some days unsure I can take another step.

I want to fast forward & slow motion your weeks all at the same time. This year that is particularly true. I am exhausted already & my heart feels pulled in one too many directions.

But, I am resolving to savor you, dear October. Savor the long lasting relationships that are woven through your days. Savor the new relationships waiting to be birthed. Savor the fact that I have a job that takes me traveling this beautiful country. Savor the opportunity to have a small part in creating experiences that will forever mark someone else’s story just as they have mine.

I sometimes wonder how I possibly have the passion to pour so much care into so many different visions. And on some levels I still wonder that. But on other levels I see they’re different missions but a common vision of a world where people are inspired to live fully alive to their life, to their calling, to their own passion and story. And that’s a vision I can support all day long…even when I’m doubled over in pain at mile 23.

On the 24th it will all be over & I’ll be wishing I could relive some of the next 24 days. For now, welcome, October. Let’s do this.


In Suspense and Incomplete


I wrote this post a year ago reflecting on what had been three years of living in Nashville. Reading it now it feels almost a bit self-prophetic.

“It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out.
I want to repeat one word for you:
Leave.” (Donald Miller)

Returning home to Nashville after 11 days of traveling earlier this week I was unnerved by my lack of excitement. I couldn’t wait to be home, but for the first time in as long as I can remember my soul wasn’t longing to be back in Nashville.

I walked into my apartment hoping for that “ahhhh, I’m home” feeling. I’m still waiting. I missed my friends, sure, but not in the way I used to. I was glad to be sleeping in my own bed, but that could’ve been in any city. I was happy to be back in the Southern part of this grand country but just so that I could say y’all without getting funny looks and even strangers would be hospitable. But a certain giddiness about returning home was missing.

Is it possible that I’m falling out of love with this city that has been such an instrumental part of my story? That’s a scary question to ask aloud. Because the truth is, I want to be giddy about returning home here. I want it to still feel like home. I want it to be the place where I feel like I belong.

So what do you do when you’re living somewhere between before and not yet? How do you find peace for your soul living in limbo as it senses change coming without a clue what that means or looks like.

Perhaps there is nothing to do but continue living, and waiting for the next step, knowing that you’ve survived leaving before and you can do it again.

“Give our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Those Things We Call Friendships

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“I do not wish to treat friendships daintily, but with the roughest of courage. When they are real, they are not glass threads or frost-work, but rather the solidest things we know.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We toss the word “friendship” around loosely these days and in doing so we’ve cheapened it’s meaning. A lot of what we call friendships are merely connections.

Connections are those people whom you say you’ll get together with…and you do…six months later. They’re the people you probably won’t hear from unless you reach out to them or bump into them around town. Most of what they know about your life comes from Facebook and Instagram, and when someone asks them about you they’re response will likely be centered around what you do for a living.

Connections aren’t bad but I’m learning it’s dangerous to call them friendships. 

Friendships are those people for whom you rearrange your calendar. They’re the ones who text or call just to share a funny or exciting story from their day. They’re the ones you text or call for the same reasons. They’re the ones who give you a hard time if they find out about a significant life event of yours on social media before hearing it from you directly, the ones who know the details of your life that are too sacred for social media. When someone asks them about you, they proudly share details about who you are and what you mean to them, not just what you do.

Friendships are hard to find. And they’re not so much waiting to be found as they are waiting to be built. 

As I get older, I become more convinced that true friendships are relationships almost as sacred as a marriage and almost as hard to come by. Now, I’m not married and it’s a different kind of intimacy, but I know that any true relationship requires vulnerability and vulnerability in any context is hard work.

With the wisdom of hindsight, I realize that many relationships I thought were friendships were merely connections. Again, those connections aren’t bad but believing they were friendships left me failing to understand the value of actual friendships. Oftentimes, while I enjoyed the company of those connections, I felt like something was missing. That missing feeling left me hesitant to place too much value on friendship at all.

As my understanding of what friendship truly is deepens, I can honestly say that I have some of the first true friendships of my life now at the age of 29. Some of those friendships are a few years old now, and the older a friendship gets the more valuable and treasured it becomes. I can also say that for the first time in my life I understand the responsibility and gift of being a friend to others. It is not a role to be taken lightly.

I agreed to meet a couple of friends for lunch. We had discussed a 12pm-ish meeting time so I left my apartment accordingly. Halfway to the destination I received a text that is was going to be 12:30. Okay, I’ll go to the nearby park and knock out some emails on my phone. 12:30 came and went. 12:45 rolled around and one friend said she was almost there. So, I headed to the restaurant. Fifteen minutes later that friend actually showed up. And the other friend another 10 minutes after that. Can I tell you I was upset? I was not a happy camper and my friend could tell. She straight up told me I was unpleasant and almost cancelled lunch because of it. In the moment that made me more upset. But, we pushed through it and lunch was more than enjoyable.

As ugly as those interactions seem in the moment, in hindsight they are some of the most treasured & beautiful because they are moments when friendship is handled with the roughest of courage. In those moments we are reminded that true friends are safe, and that we are loved not in spite of our flaws but as our whole selves – flaws and all.

Oh how I treasure those relationships that I can treat with the roughest of courage. Even when I think the ground has been shaken, my friends quickly show me that our friendship is rock solid. It is grace and love in the flesh.