Tag Archives: friends

Making Honesty Contagious

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It was about a year after I moved to Nashville. A friend tweeted me about a friend of his moving to Nashville. Just a few weeks later that girl & I were enjoying breakfast at The Perch on a beautiful Saturday morning & one of those “I feel like I’ve known you my whole life” conversations. 

Over the next couple of years, our friendship meandered down life’s path, as many do.  Then, one day last November, my dear friend Ashley asked if we could catch up for coffee. And she shared a dream. One of those “Oh crap, I just said that out loud, now what?!” kind of dreams.

Since that day, the manifestation of her dream has evolved. It has been refined & reshaped. And her passion in it has been tested & established.

That dream now has a name: The Known Project.

And it’s not just a dream. It’s a calling. I can’t quite articulate the joy that comes from walking with anyone, let alone a dear friend, through such a journey. From naming to logo to capturing video to the first event. Getting the opportunity to offer whatever small bit you can in helping another bring their dream to life as they live out their calling is a sacred gift.

The mission of The Known Project is simple: create a safe place for honesty in order to provide people a chance to be known, not just seen. It is a place where secrets whisper hope.

And I don’t know about you, but in a world where identities & self worth & purpose are lost everyday to hopelessness, I think we could use a little hope.

I would love for you to join us at a special event in November for The Known Project. It’s going to be a fabulous fall evening under the stars with live music, apple cider, yummy fall treats, & a community of people committed to making honesty contagious.

You can find more information here.

Three Things I Love About My Friends

My friends are more unique than I can wrap my mind around most days. They’ve grown up all over the country…some in different parts of the world. Some, I’m almost certain, are long lost twins of mine & others I threaten to never speak to again because they don’t like mint chocolate M&Ms :) We have bonded over everything from Mexican food to a night on the town to music to a fiercely competitive game of Phase 10. They collectively have more quirks than I can count.  

But I’ve come to see that despite the differences, there are three things all of my closest friends have in common that I love about them:

  1. They live like they believe relationships matter
  2. They embrace the unconventional 
  3. They crave growth

At the end of the day, those three things are at the core of who I am. I believe that making time for friends is what gives life depth & richness. That unconventional may be risky & non-sensical but it’s also often a door to a fuller life. And I am passionate about growth because seeing God’s redeeming restoring work in action is one of the most beautiful things.

I’m beginning to think that those heart connecting similarities are the ones that really matter. They are the things that allow us to fight through the not so likable sides of one another & come out friends on the other side. To see the beauty in working through the ugly. To embrace the awkward moments & seasons as catalysts for growth. To feel like no time has passed when we only get to catch up every 6 months. And to experience a fuller richer life because of it.

What do you love about your friends? 

Here’s to You, My Friends

I love my friend Sarah for a lot of reasons but especially because, in her words, she’s “on the look out for extraordinary relationships in a sometimes too ordinary world.” She wrote a post the other day with a fun opportunity to join in on a Great Big Friendship Blog. I decided to take the opportunity to brag on my friends because I don’t do it enough.

I’m bending the rules because I can’t pick just one. So, my friends, here’s to you…

To my “friend family” as I call them: Luke, Stephen, Nick, Christian, Angee, & Ariel. When I call them family I mean it with every bit of me. There aren’t 6 other people in the world with whom I can be more myself & rest with. Our worlds were connected long before we knew it & I love the story of how we all became a “group.” They are my favorite people to sit around a fire discussing life with & around a table laughing with as we play Phase 10. And when we’re scattered across the country as work has us on the road, 2 hours group text conversations keep us together. Ask me about any of them & an instant smile will spread across my face, I just can’t help it. :)

To Emily, one of my longest friends. We met as freshmen in college volunteering together at a youth program at church. I’ll be completely honest, we butted heads for a long time. I was the “responsible get it done by the book” person & she was the “carefree, it’ll all work out, just have fun with the kids” person. But something changed after we graduated & she moved across the world to China. She’s now one of my dearest friends & I appreciate that she has known me through so many seasons of life & seen me at my worst much more than most. She has endured a month of traveling in China with me & and our friendship has survived different time zones, countries, & states. Emily is one of my favorite people to do nothing with…simply be…because she values that & it makes me value it when I’m with her.

To Matt, another one of my long friends. I’ve known Matt since we were enemies as freshmen in high school. We quite literally had yelling matches & said very unkind things to each other. I don’t quite remember how we ended up becoming friends, but we did. My favorite memories are Sunday nights regularly spent eating pie at Perkins & blonde highlights at home gone bad. He’s the one friend I always make a point to visit when I’m back in Minnesota. He too has seen me at my worst much more than most & I appreciate that about him…honestly I’ve probably had to apologize more to him than most people :) There is something valuable about people who can reflect for you the changes you’ve been through & the ways in which you’ve grown.

To J & Carl, and the rest of the crew that gathers on Sunday nights, who love better than perhaps anyone I’ve ever met. Truly, the way they love people challenges me. They’re some of my newer friends, but I love them still the same. It’s been incredible to watch the community that organically grows around them simply because they live who they are & they aren’t afraid to climb into the mud with people.

The list of friends I would love to brag about could go on for days. They are the most diverse, craziest cast of characters I could’ve never dreamed up. And when I stop to think about the people whose paths I’ve been blessed to cross I’m quickly overwhelmed with the deepest gratitude because they are grace with skin, they make God’s love tangible in ways I could never imagine. And maybe, at the end of the day, that’s what friendship is ultimately about: a way for us to understand just how much God loves us…for us to see ourselves, through our friends’ eyes, as He does.

Join the fun & tell us about a friend who has helped to make you who you are. 

Throwback Sundays…Nothing…and Everything

 

“Mooch and Earl just stayed still and enjoyed nothing…and everything.”

I don’t know…there is just something sweet about that…the ability to sit with someone or a group of people and enjoying nothing and everything all at the same time. I am incredibly blessed to have people I get to do that with here in Nashville. And most weekends, that’s how I spend my time…savoring life…being still with friends I love enjoying nothing…and everything. For that and for them, I am grateful.

It was true then & it’s still true now. Friends with whom you can enjoy nothing…and everything are an absolute gift. And spending time with them is what weekends are made for.

Ponder…Severest Tests of Friendship

It is one of the severest tests of friendship to tell your friend his faults.
So to love a man that you cannot bear to see a stain upon him, and to speak painful truth through loving words, that is friendship.
-Henry Ward Beecher

Because I Love Sharing Stories

For most of my life, Asia wasn’t a place I wanted to visit. In fact, if I’m completely honest, it was a place that I had a lot of negative stereotypes about in my head. I lived in a dorm in high school along with about a hundred students from all across Asia. A few of them became very dear friends, but most of them drove me absolutely crazy at age 15.

So, the fact that God has been breaking my heart for that part of His world over the last 6 months or so is quite comical to me. It’s completely His way. And I love that.

In February a few people from my church, people I am honored to call friends, are headed over to Thailand. My heart and prayers will be going with them and I want to share their story with you. Because one of my favorite things in life is seeing how God uses people for His Kingdom purpose, especially when those people are my friends. And I love love love sharing those stories with others.

But, they can tell their story much better than I, so take a minute and watch the video:

The Story of Journey & Thailand from grateful inconvenience on Vimeo.

Please keep them in your prayers. If you want to be a part of their story…of God’s story in Asia, you can donate here