yesterday the beautiful katie beard and i got to spend some time together which resulted in my favorite night! we got to take so many pics and not feel bad about it (haha, if you didn't know already, i love taking pictures!) and explore the heart of downtown minneapolis, which is totally my favorite thing. so here are some pics we took together. SO fun! 10/10 would recommend. good for the heart, especially after a long day of work on a friday.
^^ this place. oh my gosh. unreal. if you're ever in the cities! the union rooftop! order the truffle fries, too! i was babbling like an idiot about how happy i was to be there. like this magical fairy greenhouse land in the middle of the city i have become so fond of. UGH. so good.
^ so many restricted & hidden staircases and rooftops! dave (my sister's boyfriend) called me a hood rat haha! if dave hackett ever calls you a hood rat, you're doin something right.
^ "we made it up here... yep.. we did!" (grinch voice) (:
happy weekend, you guys! mine's gonna be the happiest though because HOLLAND KABAT IS COMING TO SEE MEEEE! get yourself friends like holland kabat and katie beard.
just a little thought i had when i woke up this morning, and have been having for a while...
living life on planet earth is a constant mix of joy and pain. it is never mutually exclusive, it is 100% of the time both hard, sad, devastating, and wonderfully beautiful, joyful, and exhilarating.
an example... this morning i woke up so happy it's saturday because saturdays are the freakin bomb and i had a day full of really wonderful activities, but i also got a text from my sister asking me to pray because a car full of cru girls on their way home from panama city beach, florida, got in a pretty serious car accident. i scrolled through my instagram feed and saw so many fun pics filled with life but also looked through a coworker's feed and realized that she lost a baby a couple years ago. i'm celebrating one of my dearest friend's birthday tonight, while another one of my coworkers is reeling in the pain of losing her close and only brother just two months ago. other things too... every day there are different examples of this mix, sometimes more personal, sometimes more global. and we all have different examples within our own circles of this.
this isn't a sad post, it's actually really beautiful to me because this is human living. this is being alive. and Jesus is in the midst of absolutely all of it. He expounds joy to the millionth degree and brings sweet nearness and deep love in the darkest, most gut-wrenching pain. i'm not trying to wrap some shiny bow on this and i don't pretend to understand the extent of your pain or the world's pain and i'm not trying to say some kind of throw-away statement about beauty, just something i've observed about life this side of heaven. it oddly helps me deal with pain and suffering differently... knowing that joy can be felt deeper when we know pain, and pain can bring the colors of the world to life in a very unique way.
but what do i know, man. i'm just trying to figure this thing out. thanks for your grace.
for lunch break (noon to one babyyyy)
for this bowl of brussel sprouts that i didn't want to be my lunch but actually taste so good with the vinaigrette courtesy of my work kitchen
for spellcheck helpin a sister out with how to spell vinaigrette #collidgeduhgree
for the news that my mama's interview went really well!
for the sun across my desk
for this happiness i'm surprisingly feeling, considering this morning i was already wishing it was 5 o'clock.
for the little human, we'll call him devin, who is my favorite to work with and his little face and little voice and how he works so hard and is so precious!
for foxmeetsbear on instragram, the coolest lady i want to be like, and her inspiring posts and love for the earth. dang, is she cool.
for thinkin about those five little diva high school girls i get to see tonight and their lives. i love them so much.
i don't know. that's all, off the top of my head.
happy wednesday! may the sun shine on you, may Jesus be on your mind today, and may your lunch be more interesting than mine.
this is just a bubblin little thought, not finished and with no clean bow to tie it up, based on something i've picked up on probably for a while. how freakin often i say sorry, and how freakin often i hear the women around me say sorry. "oh sorry" after needing to back up and try parking again, "sorry" after asking my friends if i could take a picture of them... *lolz, my biggest offense,* "but we can do anything! ...but we don't have to!" after naming the thing i'd like to do, "sorry for talking so much" after spending some time sharing, sometimes i even hear women say "sorry" before they start speaking! "sorry, just a quick thing..." why don't we all just start apologizing for breathing someone else's air, huh?! geez. GEEEEZ. it's nuts.
not sure what the deal is here. i'd hate to make some grand statement about men and women without more than what i've observed in my circles. i am also not a man, so i don't know if men feel the same impulse or if they notice anything similar among other men. but why are women so prone to apologizing?! i have the thought that maybe it has to do with thinking it's polite and courteous and shows we acknowledge other people? but where did the thinking that to acknowledge other people we need to apologize for what we do and say and think and feel come from?! this is the part i have to leave in loose ends because i don't have an answer. maybe it's ingrained in us from somewhere.. maybe from our moms and their moms. maybe it's the message we're buying from social norms and the culture we live in. i really don't know.
all i know is, i get mad at myself for how much i do it. which is funny, because sometimes i laugh when other women are apologizing to me for practically breathing and i have to say, "what are you sorry for?! stop being sorry!" ha, i can hear holland's voice right now... "alexi! stop being sorry!"
well, gosh darn it, i want to stop being sorry! (of course, excluding the offensive and hurtful instances in which asking for forgiveness is necessary, good, and healing). this desire to stop apologizing feels daunting to me. daunting because i don't think i realized how ingrained it is in me. it's become a reaction, a habit, and will take quite a bit of work and unlearning this thing in me, wherever it is, that says i'm being inconsiderate or impolite if i don't apologize for stating my opinion decidedly, confidently. if i don't apologize for inconveniencing someone in their time. that thing that's telling me needing someone's time, using up any of it, is an inconvenience. on the other end i NEVER, ever, see a friend sharing their heart, opinions, perspective... needing to fix their parking... needing a minute to talk to me or ask me something... telling me what they want to do... as an inconvenience. and i'm guessing that's the way my friends feel about me so why am i sorry?
any thoughts you guys? why are we so sorry??
picked this pic because it looks like i might be sayin sorry (;
...or sleepin? ewww, why are my lips like that?
this morning my pastor talked about something so beautiful. he painted this picture of ordinary women and men, on the other side of eternity, around a campfire or something telling stories of endurance from life on earth. he called it "the fellowship of suffering," like old army buddies who went through the war. ones who willingly chose hardship for the sake and joy of others, following Jesus who "for the joy (our joy!) set before Him, endured the CROSS." saying things around that campfire like, "i saw how much it cost for you to keep loving that person who never loved you back. they never loved you back but you kept loving them. you thought no one saw, but i saw that, man," or "i saw how you stayed in that marriage, how you kept at it" and "i saw how you gave everything for your kid who was sick from the beginning. you gave up everything for that kid!"
he said it's great to give up chocolate for lent, but what if we thought of something that went beyond what was good for ourselves. what if we asked what we would be willing to suffer for the benefit and joy of someone else. what would we be willing to suffer, go without, endure, for the sake of others?
mary the mother of Jesus, would be around the fire, too, in that fellowship of suffering. she'd be sitting next to paul and mother teresa and a whole bunch of my friends. ordinary humans living quiet lives, following the example of beautiful beautiful Jesus, who is continually inviting us to come and die.
i recently listened to a podcast and this guy said a few things i've been chewing on since. he told a little story about himself as a freshman in college 20 years ago, on the phone with his dad. he was contemplating some decision and they were talking about it. his dad simply said, "you make good decisions." looking back on that time of life, this guy didn't totally agree, but remembers walking around his dorm room differently after the conversation... confidently. thinking, huh, i make good decisions! yeah! and it shaped his thinking about himself and his ability to approach decisions, believing what his dad said about him was true.
he also mentioned this somewhat famous study that was done in a school where these kids were all given a test and afterwards, random ones and their parents/teachers were told that those random students had a "genius gene" and were on the brink of leaps and bounds in all of their scoring/IQs. now none of it was true, but the predicted leaps actually happened. the teachers started paying a little more attention to these particular students... started telling them knowingly, "you definitely will understand this even if you don't yet." the students crazily started believing they were everything these experimenters had said they were, and performed as such.
i thought these were just neat little anecdotes until this weekend they kind of all came together for me when my roommate made a comment about how i am perceptive of other people/ the inner workings of people and why they do what they do. that was such a huge compliment to me and i started walking around a little differently after that, too, like this guy in that previous story. now i'm thinkin i've got everything all figured out and am all perceptive of other people and know their inner workings and insecurities and what makes them tick. (; no, not really, but i truly started to see myself as an insightful and perceptive person where i otherwise might not have. i now believe that to be true about myself.
so all of this to say, words, man! WORDS. i want to, and let's all, seriously, strive to cause others to walk confidently in something they might not even be aware is true of them. let's observe each other's strengths closely and tell them what we see and believe in each other, like the dad on the phone with his noobie son who might not've even made good decisions yet... let's see and call out the potential in each other. like, you're smart and you always have the right thing to say and you make everything funnier when you laugh and you're a good driver and i trust you and you're really good at what you do, etc etc! ughh, man, the confidence words like that can pull out of people! i love that. i want to make all of you believe you're lovely and loved and worth my time and good at things. don't you??
let's do it.
** (and of course using wisdom in the words we say to each other, that they really are true and helpful things, because i strongly feel that words also have the reverse effect).
k readyyyyy, BREAK!
"aslan, aslan. dear aslan,” sobbed lucy. “at last.”
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