taken at feed my starving children last night. i personally don't think we've ever looked better. also thanks, God. this is exciting.
i think of you every time i play this, buddy!
last wednesday my car got a flat tire. and not just a little air came out, friends. i had to pull that bad boy over into a safe parking lot because something was definitely wrong. i've never had a flat tire, and i was driving one of the folks i work with, so, kind of a stressful situation. after a phone call to dad though (who was conveniently in wisconsin with the rest of my fam), a little entertaining the person i was working with, and a really kind uncle who left work to come to the rescue, the spare was on and we were on our way. the next day i needed to take my car in and have the tire replaced, but i'm a noob when it comes to cars and tires and things, so on my way over i talked it through with my dad on the phone. and i just got super snappy and rude to him, and short. ugh i didn't like hearing myself. he was just explaining how i need to be financially prepared for things like this in the future, because that's how life is, and car troubles are a factor of choosing to drive as many miles as i do and i got defensive and rude and threw out the "what do you want me to do, not drive?!" like a diva teenager or something. at the end of that phone call i felt so ashamed. my dad's really patient with me and he doesn't snap back, so i felt even worse for taking advantage of that. and when i got to the tire store and the man said "hi, my name is stephen, how can i help you? there's coffee and water over there and you can just take a seat, we'll take care of you," i felt even worse. i didn't deserve his kindness. i knew i needed to apologize to my dad and to God, too.
there's a couple reasons i'm telling you this story.
first, because sometimes i get the sense that people think i never get mad or am never mean or rude. i've actually heard multiple times from different people, "alexi, i could never see you being angry/mean" with a little chuckle. it actually makes me sad when people say that. and kinda mad, too (please don't ever say that to me.) it makes me think, does that mean i'm putting off a fake projection of myself? is it because my voice is peppier/more high pitched than the average person? i work really hard to not be a fake person, so when i hear those kind of things i think maybe i'm not being honest enough about my ugly moments or something. or maybe i'm causing people to think i'm more than i am. whatever the reason, here's just a day's snapshot into one of my many "not my best self" moments so you can see, i am in fact human. i am mostly positive, and try to be, but i get really nasty sometimes, and snappy and short and angry. and if for no other reason, it's always better to be more transparent and honest, so this is one more practice of that.
also, because right now my relationship with God is in a really great place. better than it's been in a while, but i still felt this nasty person, a person i knew i was not created to be, come out of me. i always think that the closer i am to God and the better my relationship is with Him, the more He'll transform me, the more i'll look like Him, and the less "not my best self" moments i'll have. which i still think is true, but there's a battle every day between the "flesh-man" and the "Spirit-man." if i learned one thing from my kindergarten-through-high-school-graduation experience in a small christian school, one very valuable thing, was the concept of the never ending struggle between the "flesh man" versus the "Spirit man" until Jesus comes back for us. as a kid, i kind of got it, but now as an adult i see it even more. when we follow Jesus, we are His, we are claimed by Him and take on His righteousness, but we are also still human and still sinners living in the world with other messy humans and still wrestle with all that comes with that. and even yesterday i found myself in a place i thought i'd gotten over and moved past, and i had to be all "ughhhh... really, alexi? are we back there again?" oh, life. we all stumble and trip. but good thing it shows us that much more how much we need Him.
i'd recommend THIS ONE.
a series about scripture reading, called the "year of biblical literacy," and the one i've listened to is INCREDIBLE, and so necessary. it addresses every thought i've ever had regarding the Bible, and how we read it and don't read it, the significance of it and why it's important, and also why the Bible is really challenging and uncomfortable, too.
it's from bridgetown (solid rock) church, john mark comer teaching.
get to it!
i was the stinker and had to work on saturday until 2:30, and then on monday at 12:30, so that left about a solid day for us to enjoy milwaukee! (cuz travel time) so not much time, but we sucked the sweet out of every minute. plus i just live for little adventures like this. i cherish them so much! especially with dear ones i don't get to see often enough. amy and i literally had 7 hours straight of conversation (just from drive time!) plus all of our chats with anna, too, so you could say my heart is full from all that deep-drinkin. being twenty-two is really fun. and seeing my friends be twenty-three and twenty-six is really fun. i think we're all really good at being our ages.
and for some photos! ....
oh, amy fredman. you beautiful human. what the heck would my life look like without you?!
^^ i spy with my little eye...
^ doesn't that left pic look like a dream?! it is very very real, and it's colectivo cafe! the one and only! (just kidding, there are other locations ;)). you can't see em, but there are four men singing gospel music back there, so... yeah.
^ i'm such a tourist but i don't even care.
^^ and then, to the MAM! (milwaukee art museum!) ohhh the excited giggles about the thought of going to that place! turns out the building itself is quite the work of art, too. let's not talk about the unreal subzero temperatures outside though. let's keep this a happy pic.
^ this one's called "the two majesties" and i just liked it. it's like aslan himself.
time just me & her. real good. my best pal anna!
^ and then how bout these beautiful tacos, huh?! coolest little spot too, bel air cantina! applause all around!
a little eau claire reunion! how bout it! and it was like we just saw each other yesterday. they mean a lot to me.
^ and then just to show ya how well my friends take care of me, amy sent me home with her homemade pasta for lunch because i'd be drivin straight to work. guhh. come on!
these friendships mean a lot to me. a whole lot.
and this loveliest little video!
feelin allll the MN pride over this band... like the i-bought-a-band-tank pride. they're actually incredible and sound just the same live! hope ya love it.
for morning time with God. oh man, i've always loved mornings, but they've just been so sweet these days.
for leslie knope and the pawnee parks department. i wish leslie knope was real and we could be best friends. (holland's the reason i love them all so much, so thanks, holl!)
for sleeping at last's "many beautiful things" instrumental album that i'd somehow missed. you guys, they literally have a song called "this is the way God loves you" ....
for my family being so glad when i'm home. that's a really great feeling that i hope everyone feels. (i've been house/dog-sitting these days, so i'm not home too often).
for the sadness i feel about paige not being around anymore.
for warmth in the form of car heat, fireplaces, big sweaters, long jammie pants, & fuzzy socks.
for lunch with tj gouker in the cities!!!! haven't seen that man in six months and what joy to be reunited with a dear friend, huh? and not just lunch, lunch at a tofu house eating food we really weren't sure about what it was and talking about life and being adults. my favorite!
for growing friendships at church. my greatest joy these days.
for my dream coming true of paige going to roller gardens with me and the two of us bladin to "shake it off" (along with a bunch of folks from my church!) it was literally (chris traeger) the dream.
for alyssa and for rose. two women who are becoming dear sisters.
for a lot of folks i work with that i don't think i can name on here. we'll call them helen and sylvia and carolina and george and robert (; they teach me so much. i know that sounds so corny, and it feels like every christian is supposed to say that about their jobs, but really, they do!
for feeling like my mother's daughter when i make toast with pb&j for breakfast.
for art projects galore from friends who believe in me and who want me to create. that's the most beautiful honor!
for dad's prayer over dinner last week. it just stood out to me a lot.
for busyness and productivity. this summer when i didn't have a job, i thought i'd die. it's such a gift to work.
for holland. she makes me feel most like myself and i love just being with her. she slept over here a couple nights and it blessed me a whole ton. it's like the dear-friend-water my soul was thirsty for. dear friendships take time and it was just good to be with someone who already knows me so well.
for such beautiful, wise, kind, and Christ-adoring friends. i'm tearing up just thinkin about the souls i call friends here and my eau claire home who are just so extraordinary and so different from each other in really really cool ways.
for God's forgiveness over and over and over and over.
for His peace that settles my antsy, take-everything-into-my-own-hands heart.
for my dad, who reminds me a lot of Jesus.
^^ and a pic of paige because i love that little rugrat, and miss her so much already.
^ also, the "arbor lakes alps" as we call em! (; ...really they're just big ol piles of dirt covered with snow. we'll take what we can get!
"aslan, aslan. dear aslan,” sobbed lucy. “at last.”
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