Falling in Love with Life

This past month has led me to think a lot. I’ve thought about my life – what I want to do with it, where I hope it will go, who I hope comes in and out of it – and through all of it, I’ve realized that my life isn’t the sad comedy I tend to not-so fondly think of it as. There have been bits and pieces of my life filled with pain and questioning that felt like they would never end. In this month alone, there’s been days filled with tears and driving in circles because I have no clue what I’m doing. But days like today that perfectly contrast those days – days that are finding perfect dresses and talking to wonderful people and hanging out the window while looking at the stars – make me realize how lucky I am to simply be alive and able to experience the world.
…because maybe everything affects each other, maybe everything happens for a reason and is meant to be that way. But maybe everything is just a moment. And that moment is enough for me right now, because sitting in my hotel room, looking at the city lights and thinking about everything that I’ve lived to experience up until now – the highs, the lows, and just the being- are more than enough. Because this world is as beautiful as it is horrible sometimes and tonight, this moment feels like one of those electric, perfect movie moments.

Because life is 10x better when you’re falling in love with it and because this beautiful world was designed for me. And you. And every other person who’s heart is beating.
Because even though I’ve been worried about it and wondered about it quite a bit lately, I am now entirely sure that God is working, no matter if I can see it or not.

So I hope that all of you have days where you simply fall in love with life. I hope that there are days that it feels like your heart is beating out of your chest simply because it’s so full of excitement for what is still coming. I hope that your life feels meaningful and that you trust there is something greater coming, no matter where you are or what is happening.

With so much love,

Elle

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Saturday

Here’s a little guide to a day in my favorite place, the KC Crossroads.

9 am –  Wake up and head down from the fourth floor in the elevator. Start the trek to Fizz and Beezy’s for the latte I’ve been craving since last week. Begin to tell myself that it’s not -10 outside.

9:10 –  Still walking and the cold is making my backpack seem ten times heavier and my typically short walk feel ten times longer than usual.

Keep thinking about my latte.

Keep walking.

9:15 – Pull open the glass door and walk into Fizz & Beezy’s.

Few coffee shops will fit the high standards this one sets.

SIDENOTE: I’m craving another one of their lattes as I write this, life is hard.

11:00- Step out of Fizz & Beezy’s and make my way to Ray Gun to buy a new postcard or ten. After all, if I’ve just spent almost two hours on a blog post, I deserve a reward.

11:10 –  Step inside Ray Gun and glance at the walls of sarcastic and/or post cards.There goes my nanny pay check. Oops.

12:00 – Lunch time. Start the walk.

12:15 – The blue store front of YJ’s Snack Bar is hard to miss and the smell of their blueberry pie is filling the street in front of it. It’s Saturday at YJ’s and that means one thing: their famous fish fry.

1:00 – Get to work writing on those newly-purchased postcards.

2:00 – Attempt to find a post office to mail before-mentioned postcards.

2:30 – Update: there is no post office.

3:00 – Need another coffee. Time to hit up favorite #2.

3:15 – PT’s, while not quite Fizz & Beezy standards, still satisfies my espresso cravings. Plus it’s close to home and I’m tired of walking.

5:00 – The all-too familiar Crossroads dinner rush is rolling in. Time to get a seat in at Town Topic before it’s too late.

5:15 – The line is already out the door but I’m cozied up in between the pin ball machine and grill in the back corner of Town Topic.

5:25 – Vanilla malt in hand, I slip through the packed entry way and onto the street.

5:30 – Hop on an elevator to the 4th floor and climb through the window onto the roof. Time to sip my malt, bite into the burger and look over a perfect Saturday in the Crossroads.

WHEN LIFE IS THE WORST

Sometimes life gets you in a rut.And when I say rut, I mean a huge, beneath the surface, feeling like everything is going wrong kind of rut. Picture this, me running into my best friends house, mascara-streaked tears streaming down my face.

*Record scratch*

Now you’re probably wondering how I ended up here.

Let’s start at the beginning. 

First it was a concussion that knocked me out of school for a week, scratch that, FIVE weeks.
Then it was the inability to cheer.

Or design.

Or read.

Or write.

Or do anything that I had spent my entire year doing.

Then it was having what seemed like my entire life flipping upside down without any warning or time to stop it.

In a nutshell, everything in my life was (and is) changing and I could do absolutely nothing about it. Life is rough like that sometimes I guess.

*Record scratch*

We back.

I’m dancing around a bedroom to bad country music and show tunes while downing ice cream with people that make me feel like life is worth every single bad day. And we’re squeezing three people into a one person hammock. And I’m sitting on a rooftop writing for the first time in a month. And just for now, in this moment, life feels a little bit better than it has for the past few days.

And I know that a lot of days feel like they aren’t going to stop and a lot of days you want to get in the car and drive as far away as possible because why the heck not. Except for every one of those days that turn into crying yourself to sleep, there’s another weekend filled with the people you love most reminding you of your own beautiful, wonderful spot on this planet.

And to my wonderful, radiant balls of light that I get to call my friends,

Thank you, I love you more than words can express.

With love always, Elle

Where You Are (the right place)

It feels like I’ve been doing so many seemingly pointless things with my life recently. I want to do something with my life that I know will benefit people. I want to be able to show what His light looks like through what I do, through how I live. Through all of this, it’s really hard to tell myself that doing the simple, day-to-day tasks of life will mean anything in the end. It’s hard to be okay with where you are RIGHT NOW.
So, if you feel like the way you are spreading the message of God’s love is the “wrong” way, if you feel like your testimony is not as strong or moving as someone else’s, if you feel as if where you are right now is not where you were meant to be, stop. Take a moment to remember that sometimes it doesn’t take a world-wide movement to draw someone to Christ, sometimes, it’s a small offering to read about Him with someone you love.

It’s hard to feel like you’re in the right place when all you want to do is be able to show everyone jus how amazing He can truly be. It’s hard to show His love when people will openly laugh at the idea of a God who loves unconditionally and formed each of us by hand. It’s hard to feel motivated to continue to live a life honoring the Lord when the places that you could once turn to for reassurance in His love now fill you with fear and worry. It’s extremely hard to trust that everything is where it should be when nothing feels right. It’s hard to keep pushing and showing what God’s love should look like. We were never told it would be easy, we were told that it was what we were born to do.

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earthand does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ [Acts 17]

We are called to reach out and find Him, not to shy away from His beautiful love. He is the reason we have hearts that beat and hands to write and mouths to speak and all of them should be used to bring Him glory.

He knows the challenges it will take to live a life wholly devoted to Him. He knows that sometimes giving up feels a lot better than continuous moments of doubt. But in Him, we can find assurance that life is about living for Him.

From friend to friend, you are exactly where you need to be right now. Stop questioning if you are doing “enough” to live in the light. No matter if your life is wonderful or horrible right now, you are called to show other’s what loving the Lord is like.
With love,

Elle

Will I Be Missed?

As I was scrolling through my Pintrest feed this morning, a neon blue sign with the words, “Will I be missed” popped up. This got me thinking, if I were to die today, what would my lasting impact on other people’s lives be? What would I be missed for?

And – do I want to be missed for that?

But on the top of the list is, “Have I made an impression of Jesus on the lives of people who have met me?”

If we are being honest, I don’t really care if people remember that I loved coffee or was happy when it rained or even if I wrote. 

I just want to leave a lasting mark of His light. 

I want to look around and see people looking happier than I have ever seen them because they are SO FULL of His overwhelming grace.

Something I have been struggling with lately is attempting to fill myself in worldly things. I over-promise myself in attempts to do things bigger and better than I could possibly imagine, only to find myself worn out and failing miserably at the things I so desperately want to succeed at.

This isn’t what we were made for.

We were made to live the beautiful life around us to the fullest. We were made to book the plane ticket and hop on the next day. We were made for spontaneous road trips and dancing to Christmas music and watching the snow fall.

We weren’t made to work ourselves to the point of forgetting all the life happening around us.

In 1 Peter, it says we are a,

“chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, people who belong to God. You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God, who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

FRIENDS!!!

We were pulled out of the darkness. Not to throw ourselves right back into all the pain and worry and doubts but to tell anyone we can get to listen about our Heavenly Father.

If we begin to live our lives just wholeheartedly sharing His love to anyone around us, I don’t think we are going to be disappointed in what we are missed for. So let’s get started living life with full intention of being missed for Him.

With Love,

Elle

The Best & The Worst

“But more importantly, surround yourself with people who you like and make cool stuff with them. In the end, what you do isn’t going to be nearly as interesting or important as who you do it with.”
Last year was full of some of the best and worst days I have ever experienced. In those 365 days I laughed more and cried more than I have ever before. I went to wonderful places & met wonderful wonderful people. Most importantly, I felt what complete dependence on the Lord is like and wouldn’t trade any part of this past year for the world. I learned what it felt like to forgive yourself and forgive others. Three houses later, I have realized that home isn’t what is in a place, but the people inside it. So here’s a thank you to the people who stuck around and showed me what home was like and what a beautiful place this world can be. (ily dinner club/Cas/Dasha/my varsity cheer bbs/komo 5/Ethan & Antonio/Nikki & Jake/hauberk nugs/sunshine/ a whole lot more of you sweet people)

Here’s to the beautiful human beings that I get to start 2017 with. Here’s to our adventures over the last year and to the ones that will happen in the future. Here’s to the good days that will be filled with memories. And here’s to the bad days that we stuck together through.

2017 might not be “our year”. There will still be struggles and uncertainty and worry and confusion but there also will be days filled with laughter and ice cream and bad movies.

With love & the best of luck,

Elle

A Prayer for 2017

In the middle of everything I won’t understand, I pray for faith in the good that will come. I pray to remain thankful for the people and good things in my life despite the circumstances. Most of all, thank you for giving me this clean slate to start over on.

How Should We Live?

Pro Life Tip: IF YOUR MOM SAYS, “LET’S GO TO NEW YORK” YOU DON’T QUESTION IT. YOU PACK THAT SUITCASE AND GET THE HECK ON THAT PLANE (even if you miss a final, whoops)

While walking through the Museum of Modern Art, I was struck with the question, “How should we live?” 

To be honest, I have no idea. I’m 15, figure out most of the answers to life’s problems through dance parties alone and sleep with a stuffed giraffe named Ferb. But what I do know is this; I have a heavenly father who knows what tomorrow looks like and he gave us something even better than a self-help book.

Like it says in Psalm 121,

The Lord will keep you from all harm—

he will watch over your life;

the Lord will watch over your coming and going

both now and forevermore.

There’s thousands of self-help books out there. There’s self-help books for when your parents are getting a divorce and how to cope with it. There’s self-help books for getting into the college you want to get into more than anything. There’s self-help books on getting over your fears. There’s even self-help books on how to transition into new points in your life. But here’s the thing – you can read as many self-help books as you want, be as prepared as you possible can and still fail. You will still have a breakdown because sometimes life is hard. You will still have a chance of not getting accepted. You will still be scared of some things because change is scary.

And that’s life.

And no matter how many times you try to convince yourself that you can plan everything and keep like consistent, you can’t.

And if you think life is going to work how you want it to, like I so frequently try to tell myself, it won’t. (jokes on me for thinking I know how life is going to work out when I don’t even know what I’m getting people for Christmas)

BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT 

We do have God’s word, and in that He tells us,

For, Whoever would love life

and see good days

must keep their tongue from evil

and their lips from deceitful speech.

They must turn from evil and do good;

they must seek peace and pursue it.

1 Peter 3:10-11 

So maybe we mess up and realize we don’t have any clue what we’re doing or why we’re doing it. AND THAT IS PERFECTLY OKAY!!!

We weren’t made to be flawless human beings who knew how to live their lives without any mistakes (and if we were that would be absolutely no fun at all)

We were made to live full of light and being so PROUD of our Lord  that everyone can tell. We were made to live life using what we love to spread His word. We were made to pursue peace as intensely as we possibly can.

We should live for Him because He died for us.

With Love,

Elle

ps- check out more pictures from my little adventure HERE !!!
ily people