what i’m learning:
what following Jesus looks like for me, in my life, in a potential career path, in daily interactions, in habits, in desires, in choices. also that knowing truth and speaking truth requires boldness and does not always make friends.
what i’m loving:
that it's fall. it's fall it's fall it's fall. also being done with homework for, what i can tell, the rest of my life... (insert praise emoji ;)) guys, i'm actually quite glad the school part of my life is done. of course there are things i miss, but school is all i've known up to this point, so. it's pretty bomb.
what i’m reading:
dabbling in hosting the presence by bill johnson, lent to me by my friend lauren, and your beautiful purpose by susie larson, lent to me by my friend alyssa. cool friends, huh? also psalms and romans.
fun fact: hosting the presence inspired my posts about the gospel because of how it made me think.
what i’m listening to:
my mom telling me i need to pray. you guys, my prayer life has been kinda dry and not so hopeful these days (guhh, not good) and when my mom asked me if i had been praying about this job interview i had yesterday, and i said "no," she got mad at me ha and said, "alexi! He's all we have goin for us!" so i prayed about it. and will continue to pray about it. thanks, mom. reminds me of something holland said this summer that i still think about. she said, "prayer isn't an option."
...also, i'm listening to john mark nelson's music and john mark and sarah mcmillan's EP (every song has me like "daaaannnngg") ...on repeat! guess i like the john marks, hah! actually, john mark comer is my favorite pastor and my dad's name is jon mark, so go figure..
what i’m writing:
well, you kind of already know if you read this blog. but you may have noticed i've been writing a lot more about big life-purpose, what-am-i-doing-on-earth-what-do-i-believe kind of posts lately, which i guess greatly reflects my thought life these days.
what i'm noticing:
i was so much more in the habit of gratitude when i was happier with the state of my life and where i was at (when i was at school). i didn't think i was one of those people who only thanked God when i'm satisfied with where i'm at. i don't like that. that needs to change.
what i'm feeling:
what a difficult question to answer! i feel like it changes all the time. right now? hopeful. potentially, there are exciting things in the works!
what i'm bookmarking:
okay so this is gonna sound corny but i'd say i'm bookmarking moments (: i know, sooo corny. but really! last night i ate dinner at my aunt tia's with my cousins and aunt wendy and it made me the happiest. i like to hold onto things that happen like that.
where i am right now:
can ya guess?! ...the new spyhouse... with emily. haha. i'm serious, we should just pitch a tent in the back. i'd be a lot easier (; the barista today was like "what's up?" and i was like, "are you starting to recognize us?" and he said, "yeah, you guys are here all the time! ...i don't say 'what's up' to just anyone!" (: we love it.
this song is SO good.. i can't get enough! AND i guess he's a fellow Jesus-lover! cool beans, man.
enjoy & happy friday!
^^ blanket from coral's momma. favorite tea in the world. favorite sweater. favorite jeans. (yes, i bought them that way! little three-year-old lucas was very confused ;)) ...i was a happy camper at this moment!
allergies. i was so in denial, but they're real. woahohoho they're real. and i hate them. hate, hate, hate, double hate. (:
yesterday i met up with my old pal lauren after a long time had passed since we'd seen each other, and it was like no time passed at all! her 5-foot-10 self walked up to me in her heels and yellow shirt and we sat in the sun and she told stories from her life in california... two hours passed like nothing! she makes me want to be more brave. i love friends who inspire that in me!
i didn't get a job i was really hoping for. kinda bummed.
i'm so proud of my church. just so proud! i've only been going since summer began, but so far everything i've seen i so believe in and am excited to be a part. an answered prayer to have found this community here.
this past weekend i attended the most beautiful wedding! still thinkin about it. my dear friend, laura, married a man named kyle and the whole thing was marked with Christ. the covenant of marriage was taken seriously and joyfully as they made their vows and the sweetness of their love was evident to all. literally the sun came bright from behind the clouds as laura walked down the aisle to josh garrels' heaven's knife. ya kiddin me.
i get to see anna mateffy this afternoon and there may or may not be pie involved, so...
(also, not sure why i always feel so inclined to include her last name when i talk about her haha! i always do though! guess there are just some people who are first-and-last-namers :))
i keep thinkin about my dear friend, holl. i miss her.
truly one of the things i feel most blessed by at this stage in my life is watching my friends who are in serious relationships consider and wrestle through how their relationships can best bless and honor the Father and advance the kingdom of God on earth. holland & adam, emily & james, nathan & marissa... the way i see them love and cherish one another while keeping Christ as number one really brings tears to my eyes! i felt honored to listen to james talk about his thoughts on what intentional living might look like when he and emily get married. these relationships make me want to grab every woman and man by the shoulders and tell them "don't ever settle for less than this!"
sometimes i get worried that after enough time, my eau claire friends won't call me lex because too much time passed and we won't be on a nickname basis anymore. sometimes you just need to speak out (or write out) little thoughts like that so you realize how silly they are (: but ya'll know how much i love being called lex. i even blogged about it one time, hah!
if i lived in la-la-alexi-world, i'd get paid to blog and write and make wedding invitations and live in another country. (:
the other day i was thinking, it's so special to have thoughts and dreams and parts of me that are only known by God. i really love that! even the people who know us the absolute best still could never know us like God knows us.
i don't know about you guys, but this statement is becoming increasingly prevalent around me. i hear it often and it seems to be the only conviction people hold these days... "whatever makes you happy," or, "as long as you're happy, that's all that matters." usually it's in reference to people making big changes in their lives, from things as little as changing their major to changing a job or even to divorcing their spouse, it always comes back to that.
i must respectfully disagree.
i know i might sound like a scroogey old lady, but i feel very strongly about this. my intention is not to offend anyone, but i don't think your happiness or my happiness matters as much as everyone says it does, and here's why. i don't think we really know what makes us "happy." a bigger house, better car, safe neighborhood, eating out, hot spouse, comfortable retirement plan, vacations. i'm not saying these things are bad. but they usually create a cocoon to keep us from ever being uncomfortable, and i think that being uncomfortable is how we are supposed to live. (i'll explain more in the next paragraph). what makes me happy is a big bowl of cheetos and men paying attention to me and binge-watching netflix and buying nice clothes haha.. now because Jesus is working in my life, my self and my desires are submitted to Him and i am growing every day to want what He wants, but just look at that list! i don't know what's good for me! and i'm sorry, neither do you. sometimes, the things we think will make us happy go even further against who we were created to be... drugs, alcohol, sex outside of the covenant of marriage, lust, cheating, indulging. and we pat each other on the back while we're doing whatever we want- things that go against what God meant for us- and say "at least you're happy." with all due respect, i think it's crap. because then "happiness" becomes our god, the thing that we chase after and worship, but happiness is so fleeting and i don't think any of us really know what's good for us.
of course i care about you and i think it's great when the people around me feel good! but it's not most important. it's not what needs to be driving our decision-making. here's what is: Christ. and the advancement of the kingdom of God and the gospel of Jesus on this earth. and actually Jesus promises everything but our happiness in this pursuit. "uncomfortable" is in the job description- rubbing elbows with "messy" people, living with less, being dependent on and vulnerable with other people, awkwardly sharing who Jesus is to a coworker...
i was struck by a chapter of donald miller's a million miles in a thousand years so much that i want to share a portion of it with you:
"i'm convinced the most fantastical moment in story, the point when all the tension is finally relieved, doesn't actually happen in real life. and i mean that seriously. i've thought about it fifty different ways, but i can't figure out how a human life actually climaxes so that everything on the other side of a particular moment is made to be okay. it happens all the time in movies and books, but it won't happen to me- and i'm sorry to say, it won't happen to you either.
growing up in church, we were taught that Jesus was the answer to all our problems. we were taught that there was a circle-shaped hole in our heart and that we had tried to fill it with the square peg of sex, drugs, and rock and roll; but only the circle peg of Jesus could fill our hole. i became a Christian based, in part, on this promise, but the hole never really went away. to be sure, i like Jesus, and i still follow him, but the idea that Jesus will make everything better is a lie. it’s basically biblical theology translated into the language of infomercials. the truth is, the apostles never really promise Jesus is going to make everything better here on earth. can you imagine an infomercial with paul, testifying to the amazing product of Jesus, saying that he once had power and authority, and since he tried Jesus he’s been moved from prison to prison, beaten, and routinely bitten by snakes? i don’t think many people would be buying that product. peter couldn’t do any better. he was crucified upside down, by some reports. stephen was stoned outside the city gates. john, supposedly, was boiled in oil. it’s hard to imagine how a religion steeped in so much pain and sacrifice turned into a promise for earthly euphoria. i think Jesus can make things better, but i don’t think he is going to make things perfect. not here, and not now," (p.200, 203).
i had to include these words, because i think they're much wiser than any way i could have put it. and i feel like i haven't even scratched the surface of this topic!
you might be very upset with me right now or offended or uncomfortable with what i said. that's okay! i don't mind. if you think i'm messed up, i'd actually love to hear it and want you to reach out to me and maybe we can grab coffee and talk about what you think of all of this and why you think i'm off. this is actually really important. because it sort of forces you to think about who/what you're actually living for. is it for a feeling or is it for the living God? please do comment or reach out if you have something to say or questions! i'd love it. i'm no expert, i am a human being who makes mistakes. but i believe, with every ounce of me, that this is truth. and friends, this post is not without hope. donald miller says it beautifully, "what i love about the true gospel of Jesus is that it offers hope. paul has hope our souls will be made complete. it will happen in heaven, where there will be a wedding and a feast. paul says Jesus is the hope that will not disappoint. i find that comforting. that helps me get through the day, to be honest. it even makes me content somehow. maybe that's what paul meant when he said he's learned the secret of contentment," (p.204).
on tuesday sid the kid started her junior year of high school (sorry folks, she is in fact not the oldest sister despite her 24-year-old-looking face) and so the day before, i took her to our favorite coffee shop in minneapolis and we enjoyed a chunk of the day together! so that's the story of these pictures, but really i posted them because i like my sister and i like posts with pictures and didn't want my fall playlist to be without a couple things to look at!
so here it is, kicking off this glorious season with music because how else!
i won't dance by fred astaire (not the remix this time, so it's different than my last playlist! ;))
don't know why by norah jones
let's call the whole thing off, the harry connick jr. version
when i fall in love by bill evans (am i the only one who thinks jazz in the fall >> jazz in any other season?)
tenenbaum by paper kites
the heart of life by john mayer
the great escape by patrick watson
fields of our home by tallest man on earth
promise by ben howard... ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS this song.
(ideally played while it's crisp and windy outside, in a big sweater and socks, golden hour sun streaming in on wood floors, tea on the stove, chili in the crock-pot, and a pumpkin candle flickering nearby... reading laura ingalls wilder or something like that haha! ;))
it's weird, sometimes people say we look alike... i just don't get it! (;
my cool friend becky hjellming invited me to go hiking/camping with her along the superior trail up north for a weekend and i held an inner dialogue (that i vocalized with holl and coral, too hah!) for a couple days that looked something like this: "um, is the pope catholic? that sounds amazing, alexi, and you always say how much you want to do that!" and "but i'm a noobie noob noob and don't know what i'm doing and don't have any of the gear!" thankfully, i came to my senses and after warning becky of my noobie-ness, oh boy what an adventure! the most wonderful... challenging & breathtaking & teaching & gratitude! we also met the coolest people while we were out there, like 67-year-old chuck on day sixteen of his hike alone, with a son and daughter living in eau claire and a wife who dropped him off in duluth for his adventure, and joe & pat who lead a Bible study group for "young people" haha! and the guy who hates the cities with his son "nathaniel river" who didn't talk, and that loud couple with their teenage son who did not know where they were at all haha! it's good stuff out there, friends.
and some photos because i am alexi (:
^^ night 1, we set up camp really close to here. oh my stars, isn't that a sight for beauty-loving eyes?!
^^ becky's in this one, so it's different! haha
let me tell you what, becky is wonder woman! she really is. she knew what to bring and how to filter our water & throw a bear bag onto a tree limb, and where to buy dehydrated meals and which trails to take. i mean, seriously so cool. such respect for people like her, who live life so FULL. i learned so much from her!
^^ this right here was the most rewarding swim! we had hiked almost eight miles and were sweating like we had already been swimmin haha, so floating in this spot was top notch. i kept thinking how rewarding it was that we were swimming where it was only accessible by hike! just untouched beauty!
^^ our trusty little home for two nights! kept us dry after a wild (LOUD) thunderstorm on night #1
you know all of those pinteresty quotes about how much the human soul needs untouched nature to revive? it's all true. every word.
^^ this was on our last day, our final destination was this waterfall in tettegouche state park after we had hiked about ten miles, and we sat at the top of this big beautiful thing in awed silence and ate our little lunches in satisfying exhaustion. oh, the beauty.
heights of love and depths of peace... all weekend.
it might sound kinda odd, but my favorite part about this trip was the gratitude it brought. and the simplicity of having everything we needed right on our backs. while we were out there, becky made the comment that it was so much more rewarding drinking water we had worked to get, to seek out and filter into our waterbottles. and it's true! when i got home, i felt like buddy the elf watching the water flow from the sink at the touch of a knob! haha! and i felt so deeply satisfied to be so safe and warm in a cushy bed with clean feet. it's the little things, folks, that are actually the huge things.
and this time i don't mean josh garrels'! (:
for just this week, i'm hangin out with lucas and sophia (those kiddos i nannied last summer) and this mornin, i saw home for the first time with them! honestly, i think the reason i was so into that movie was because of the soundtrack... dang, it's good! like, so good! (also, the main character's name is gratuity tucci but she goes by "tip," so that's another thing haha!)
^^ this one was my favorite from the movie ^^
"aslan, aslan. dear aslan,” sobbed lucy. “at last.”
B L O G A R C H I V E