hooray for femininity, sincerity, serving one another, and intentional time spent together! (the only thing missing was paiger. :( )
last year's tea HERE.
my new favorite family tradition is definitely this garden tea that my aunt kathy has put on twice now, this summer and last, always during the week when great aunt shirley comes to town from arizona. it's just for the women on dad's side of the family, and it's so fun and special to dress up and wear fancy hats and eat scones with clotted cream on antique dishes (<<haha, dad said that sounds like a heart issue and i said that's why he wasn't invited ;)). and it meant the most when aunt kathy read proverbs 31 and talked about honoring the women that represented that passage before us in our great grandmothers and blessing the granddaughters/nieces/daughters to represent that in our lives as well. i got to contribute to the tea in small ways this year, too, by creating the menus and invitations and i loved that a lot. it was fun to talk with kathy about doing these teas when there start to be weddings in the family, as bridal teas and baby shower teas one day, too! i'm a sucker for this kinda stuff. (:
hooray for femininity, sincerity, serving one another, and intentional time spent together! (the only thing missing was paiger. :( )
^ aunt kathy really is incredible. i'm always amazed! she has the biggest heart i know and serves, serves, serves in every area of her life. ^
^^^ so fancy! ^^^
we were all in tears reading all the instagram hacks i've done on wendy's instagram account over the year... another one of my favorite family traditions (: ...any time there's an occasion, i enlist the help of my cousin, elena, to steal her phone and i post the blurriest, most off-centered shots with the CHEESIEST captions & hashtags! it's become the best family joke. aunt wendy's a good sport. (: #lovefamilylovelife #ptl #livelaughlove
^ that tea is the same tea prince william & kate had at their wedding! and man, they picked well! mm mm mm! ^
^ haha, dihh-vahhh! taylor took a few of these when she was supposed to be taking shots of all of us (; ^
^^ haha, we love it! ^^
^ elena and mama! ^
pip pip cheerio! (that's british for "til next time!" ;))
last year's tea HERE.
the other day, my uncle mark said that he thinks it's important for every family to make a "mission statement," (a formal summary of the aims and values of a company, organization, or individual). i thought that was a beautiful thing, and i decided that what better time than in this awkward-shaky-transition time in my life to write my own life mission statement? ya know? to put where my life is pointed and what i'm all about down on paper (or internet)... something to consistently look at, to remind me, and take seriously. so here goes! after much thought and care into each word, the mission/ vision statement of alexi rae speich! (: haha
i, alexi speich, made in the image of God the Father and redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, brought into daughter-ship, exist to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ as Lord by loving and cherishing the individuals around me well, as fellow image-bearers, pointing all i encounter towards the reconciliation of Christ by my words and actions. to effectively do this, i will commit myself to first the daily cultivation of personal intimacy with God, attentiveness to the Holy Spirit, and the relentless pursuit of becoming more like Christ so that i may honor God with my life.
my mission is being fulfilled through these core values:
1. commitment to the study of the Word of God so that i may know truth and gain wisdom.
2. commitment to seeking God through prayer.
3. commitment to a posture of thanksgiving and gratitude. i am only redeemed because of the love and goodness of Christ; may i never forget.
4. commitment to vulnerability so that my relationships represent authenticity.
5. commitment to repentance, as a broken human being with a sinful nature.
6. commitment to the appreciation of other cultures and backgrounds.
7. commitment to a life surrendered to Christ alone.
^^^ and a picture of myself, to formalize things, so you know it's really me! you know, alexi? from mn? (; ^^^
do you guys ever just get sick and tired of living in a cracked and broken world? of your loved ones hurting or you yourself hurting? physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, financially, and any other kind of -lly ha! i don't know about you, but for me it just feels like these days everyone around me is carrying some tough tough stuff! just big whoppers! and it seems every day i hear different stories of people getting terrible news, death & sadness & depression & rape stories from isis & sickness & hard conversations & hard heartedness... the heaviness of it all gets wearisome, huh?!
so here's what i recommend: memorize the lyrics to the following song so that when you take a night drive with the windows down by yourself, you can scream the lyrics and play it over & over as you breathe in the night air.
kinda healing and i think you'll just start naturally crying it out... at least it always makes me (: don't forget to play it loud!
also, there's comfort in knowing that feeling all the hurts of living in the world is inevitable for a bigger, more beautiful heart and a deeper intimacy and response to the Father. a saying that i totally love (a bit over-used, but i still love it) is "be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." i think that's true, because gosh, the more i live, the more i realize that you just never know what people are carrying and kindness and really seeing people go such a long way.
words fall short tryna comfort the grieving,
but you gotta know that there's hope to believe in!
one day my God's gonna crack the sky
He's gonna bottle up every tear that we ever cried
bring truth to every lie, justice for ever crime
all our shame will be gone and we'll never have to hide
no more broken hearts, no more broken homes
no more lockin doors, no more cops patrollin
no abusive words, or abusive touches
no more cancerous cells that'll take our loved ones
no more hungry kids, no more natural disaster
no child will ever have to ask where his dad is
no funerals where we wear all black
and death will be dead, He'll unlock the casket
this mornin, while sitting in my favorite talkin-to-God chair, i thought of syd. and ron. and taylor. and zach. and then i started thinking about katie ruff and the long family and isaac and alyssa and ariel and coral and katie silcock and holland and justin weber and adam t and luke gladis and molly bray and nicole and chase and justin bloom and cassie and byron and nik doll and amy and vic and hannah ibs and alexis and savannah and casie and nick weiss and nathan & mar and adam & devyn and adam & angela and sam & becca and trent & lexie and jay & andrea and logan & lauren and adam & mary and lorne & rachel and ben & sarah and anna red and anna mat and afton and jo and andrea baranick and yui and lauren draayer and allie tang and andrew tschumper and mariah brink and sean and elijah and ethan and trevor and ethan from madison and james and emily and little oswaldo and marisela and rosa and lucas and sophia and anna & darin ciavarella and matt emami and kelsie and claire fischer and the brink family and laura turner and katie beard and justine and kahalani jordan gilbertson and jenna and mckenzie and tessa and cindy and lauren and mikayla and meghan and jeni and karin fay and abel and the kuelbs family and spencer, jp, and riley, and the davises and the velascos and rachel tiede and molly dunlap and rachael mickelson and the schierkolks and lauren gehl and lauren voigt and becky and bethany and lynita and justin dade and gracia and gabe and the rasmussen family and rebekah and emily johnson and mikayla mandel and tj and cole and cory lipinoga and chris and jessie and bill and christina and wendy and emily and taylor and elena and lucas and tia and kathy and jim and gary and dad, paige, mom, and sidney and clayton and brandon and mark and four grandparents and paul and shawn and cameron and allison and andrew and renee and matt and dave and mona and randy and sarah
it's hard to stop! so many people i've known through each stage of my life! i just feel so loved by each name. by the thought that of all people that ever were or ever will be, these are the ones i have gotten to know and look at and be inspired by and talk to and wave at and learn from and love. not all have remained in my life, not all are close friends, some are only acquaintances but, i'm just thinking about the people i get to be breathing on planet earth with at the same time in history. i'm glad it's them. i feel that i have about a hundred plus reasons to thank God today.
so if by chance you're feeling lonely today, make your list of people you know and have known and feel the wonder and gratitude instead for each one. thank God for each name. and it's cool, thinking about how each of us have different lists. and how lots of the names on mine are doing beautiful things around the country, in different states, and around the globe! woah.
(this thinking reminded me of a precious thought i had sophomore year. you can read it HERE!)
til kingdom come by coldplay (this is one i'll just never get sick of.)
if you find her by future of forestry (a sweet love song!)
DEFINITELY this i won't dance remix, originally by fred astaire
it practically goes without saying, and this song deserves its own separate post, but this song by the gundersen family!!
yours alone by phil wickham
son by sleeping at last... um, what?!
vous etes mon coeur (you are my heart) by gungor
glorious by thug magick (<haha) and jamar rogers
this instrumental song from the p.s. i love you soundtrack
found all of these perusing old old posts... hidden gems i had forgotten about!
you know how sometimes you say whatever you want at the people on tv because they can't hear you anyway, even if it's kinda mean and judgey? (not promoting this! i'm totally guilty though. like when i watch say yes to the dress with aunt wendy, we'll both tell the tv the dress looks bad or the girl's voice is weird.. really not nice!) but this morning my sister said something kind of profound at the tv. it was a commercial for a weight loss pill. it was saying how easy it was to lose weight if you just take one little pill, and sidney grumbled, "oh, just do the work, people!" and it got me thinking. when it comes to weight loss, nobody wants to do the work but everyone wants a hot bod. ha. but actually with every other thing, no one wants the work but everyone wants the result. not three hours of studying every night, but straight "a"s, not the sweaty hike, just the mountain-top view, not the hour of cleaning, just a neat room, not the work of a relationship, just the butterflies and perfect closeness, even as silly as not waiting in line, just the hot food, on and on... this really is nothing new.. our country seems to be built around the idea of results now. whatever, nothing new. just another "tisk, tisk, society" rant that you've heard a thousand other times.
but then i was thinking.. everyone (okay, not everyone) wants a deep intimacy and closeness with God, to hear from Him, be attentive to Him, be blessed by Him, but no one wants the work. to go through dry seasons where He feels far and still you press on and push further into Him even though you still don't feel anything, to go through training your ears to His voice and being wrong more than once, to go through living in a neighborhood you're not crazy about because you feel Him leading you there, or go through feeling lonely because you're being ridiculed and written off as a nut-job by people, even people you thought were your friends, for what you believe. to go through reading leviticus even though you'd rather be doing anything else. to wake up and go to church even though you hardly slept the night before. you see what i mean?
and i know i'm tap-dancing awfully close to the line where people will say, "but hey, it's not about works! God came to us because we can't get to Him on our own... we don't have to worry about works to get to God! we are blessed just because we are His children and it's not contingent on what we do or don't do" which i say to that, yes! i absolutely agree with you (titus 3:5!), BUT. i think most times when people say that, it's because they're sleeping with their boyfriend and don't want to acknowledge the Spirit prompting them to stop or they're not reading the Word at all and don't want to feel bad about it or they're not seeking God at all but want to be told it doesn't matter because "it's not about 'works' anyway!" friends, please know i'm preaching to myself right here with you. recently i've been so convicted of not spending the time i know i need to spend with God to make our relationship thrive, but then get mad because i don't feel close to Him. and of course, God loving you and me doesn't depend on how much of leviticus i've read, that's just legalistic. my point is, let's just do the work, people. ha. you and me. let's stop with the excuses and saying things about God to make us feel better about not doing what we know we should and let's work for intimacy and closeness with God. let's not take a weight loss pill and lose weight, let's "feel the burn" haha. let's run after God, let's seek, knock, ask. me, too! i'm right there with ya. read a chapter of psalms today with me, sit in a quiet chair and talk with God even if it makes you squirm, do what ya gotta do. and i think we'll all find that discipline quickly turns into delight!
k a t i e r u f f i s t w e n t y - o n e !
s o m u c h J O Y !
a t a s t o p l i g h t, t o m y l e f t
c e l e b r a t i o n
p r e t t y b r i d e !
s e n d - o f f
c u r b s i d e
E C' s f i n e s t
b r u n c h w i t h t h e b e s t
l i k e i n f r a n c e, e x c e p t i n m a p l e g r o v e
b e f o r e & a f t e r h a i r c u t (haha)
every season of my life is filled with different colors and textures and people and tastes and smells and sounds. it's so interesting! freshman year my life was benjamin dunn and friends, walking across the bridge for barbara kernan's class, and freshman year was this new intervarsity thing and omelets every monday, wednesday, friday. freshman year was the faces of rebekah and angela and devyn. summer after freshman year was chase's face and nicole's face and johnny's face and the new loft sessions cd on repeat. sophomore year was the same spot in the hallway of haas before class. junior year was promise by ben howard and chai teas from austin and 1 peter read out loud in emily lancette's dorm and becca at racy's and greek yogurt and the same pair of american eagle jeans and syd in night class and the smell of eucalyptus lotion as a christmas gift that still reminds me of my first heart ache. last summer was lucas, and sophia. it was house, m.d. with dad almost every night and it was five weddings and turquoise shorts and this song. last fall was coral's house and shake it off and tessa, alexis, lauren, and cindy pilled in my car and natalia's house, chicken teriyaki bowls, and tuesday morning hugs from amy with pumpkin muffins and coffee and last fall was cory with an animated movie and some smoked fish in towers commons. this spring was zach and ron, josh garrels' home, bailey the longboard, cassie and that parking lot, salad in davies, cory and pho, afton and jam-outs, ethan on our futon, aft, isaac, and taylor and byron.
and now this summer is a minnesota/wisconsin pillow and it's mckenzie at the state street house and tow'rs all day every day, and it's sherry, bill, chris, mat, alyssa, christina, and jessie, it's yasso bars (!!!), it's sidney's perfume and blistered heels and wendy's living room.
some things in the seasons have remained (like certain dear friendships), but they're never the same. and thank goodness! i'm so glad my friendship with holland or my friendship with anna or coral or isaac or amy or the other dear ones look different, because that means we look different, that we're growing, sharing, learning, bumping around through life and new experiences with one another and that should change a friendship! since myers-briggs once told me that i am 100% a feeler (!!!) (100%, people! ah! isn't that kind of scary!? ha) i guess it makes sense that i would look back on each season and remember how it felt in these ways. i don't know if you ever do, but you should try thinking through what smells and faces and sounds characterize your life and how they've shifted. it's kind of a cool thought to think they brought you to here and they will keep shifting. and one day you might write a kid or a husband or a country or a new band that hasn't even written a song yet or a scarf or a cereal into your list of things that make up your life at that moment. because these are the things that mean we're human beings, walking around, living, loving, tasting, smelling. what a startling thing that we're alive, huh? let us not forget to thank God for the gift of being human beings, with breath in our lungs, moving and thinking and breathing in 2015 on planet earth. and all of these things look drastically different from one another. we each have the uniquest stories we're writing but they're all important.
"aslan, aslan. dear aslan,” sobbed lucy. “at last.”
B L O G A R C H I V E