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Monday, August 25, 2014

one year of city livin'

what an adventure this past year has been
& to be honest...I'm not much of an adventurous person.

// but...the deepest desire of my heart is to be like Jesus.
& as Jesus prayed, "not as I will, but as you will."
...that is my prayer.

& God called us NYC.
& to be's been challenging, fantastic, hard, eye-opening, incredible, 
& the biggest learning experience of my life.

8.24.14 marked one whole year of us living in NYC. 

last year at this time we were knee deep in boxes (& cockroaches...)

but somehow we made this quaint, little space our home

I've learned organization is key!

I've also learned this new sport: grocery shopping.
I feel like I could write a whole post about this. 
I've never seen anything like it.
50+ people in line with an employee holding a sign "LINE ENDS HERE"
30 cash registers with flags to wave when they are ready for you.
it is always an adventure.
I've learned to do small loads & more frequent trips
& to always bring tote bags (easier to carry on the subway & healthier for the earth too).

& then there's laundry...
to be fair I've never been a huge fan of doing laundry in the first place...
but it is quite a different experience bringing laundry down to the basement of our building rather than having it in our home.
(a lot of people don't have laundry in their I am really grateful that we do! 
...the basement can just be a creepy place...)

& our super keeps a few cats in the basement (to take care of any mice problems)
....I'm not much of a cat person, but Im grateful they keep mice away!

we learned how to use mass transit
(it took me way longer to figure this out than it took Matt)

it was an adjustment for us not having a trunk to throw everything into...

we've learned to be prepared...traveling in the city can take a while...

& if we want to take Gins anywhere...this is how that happens 
(he's in the carrier)

oh yeah, that leads me to another thing that happened this year...we adopted a pup!

he is quite the city-dog.

& we love having him!
cuddling is one of his favorite hobbies :)

& he loves to play

don't get me's definitely challenging having a dog in the city.
(lets be real...having a dog at all is a challenge & takes work!)

but we love it!
having a dog in the city has allowed us to meet people we never would have met & go places we probably never would have gone. 

we love meeting people at dog parks (especially on donuts&coffee saturdays!) 

& thankfully Gins is a really easy dog :)

we've now experienced all 4 seasons in the city & it's safe to say my favorite is fall :) 

winter was intense, but we learned a lot during that cold season...

-having a warm, fluffy coat (that goes down to your ankles) is a wonderful thing
-those scarves that I wore to be fashionable are now a necessity for warmth
-hats are not just for fashion either...they keep your ears&head warm! who knew?!
-snow becomes slushy verrrry quickly in the city...and that puddle that looks super shallow is actually knee-deep...beware.

we have made incredible friends & have worked with amazing students

we celebrated 2 years of marriage in June.
this adventure has deepened our marriage & we've fallen more in love.
we have learned so much about each other this year through all the ups&downs we've faced.

 we've discovered some of our favorite spots 
& learned to visit them often to find rest&quiet in this busy city.
(J. Hood Wright Park)

(below the George Washington Bridge)

(running in central park)

(& my favorite...Ft. Tryon Park.)

Ft. Tryon is so quiet, so peaceful.
It's where I go to think&pray.

Ft. Tryon reminds me of how detailed&intricate my Creator is
& it causes my heart to worship.

I'm blown away at the beauty of creation.
& my heart is overwhelmed that we are created in God's image...
no flower, no mountain, no beautiful scenery could ever compare to the beauty of
people created in His own image.

every day as I pass by hundreds, thousands, millions of people in this crazy, busy, beautiful, unique city I am surrounded by the image of God.

I'm humbled & honored that God called us here.


these are just a few things we've learned in our short time here.
I feel like I could go on&on for days...
but I won't :)

// happy one year anniversary, NYC //

Friday, August 1, 2014

dog bites, fearfulness, & deocrations

We're coming up on one whole year in our apartment in NYC & we've had a love-hate relationship with our humble abode.

From an infestation of cockroaches to calling 911 because of an attack happening on our stoop this place has caused us to turn to the Lord for refuge. 

We've wrestled with our desire for control & comfort as we've seen hard things happen.

As we lay down our tendency to cling to control & comfort..we've been met with peace that comes only from the Lord. He has reminded us over&over that He is faithful. 

I, personally, have wrestled with fear. 

Not too long ago we woke up to a woman screaming, "Call 911!" at 1 o'clock in the morning. As I was on the phone with the operator I froze...she was asking for the address of the crime...and I was giving her my address...

everything was handled & the police caught the attacker, but after that night so many "what-ifs" began to bounce around my head.

little by little fear started to paralyze me. 

two days later I was on a run & was attacked by a dog...he grabbed my leg & bit through my shorts. The owner was there and pulled him off of me. 

As I looked at the bite I didn't think it looked horrible. The dog-owner asked me if I was okay & I must have said something to her, because she walked away. 

I don't remember. 

I went into shock and couldn't get myself together.

Somehow I made my way back home and Matt went into defense-mode. He went out to the streets full of thousands of people in search for that one dog! Needless to say, he didn't find the dog.

We went to the hospital & although there was a five hour wait, a nurse took me back right away to a small room to take a peek. She said I would be okay, but if anything changed to come back. 

Although the dog ripped my shorts he thankfully didn't break my skin--only a giant bruise. 

For the next month, although that baseball-sized bruise was healing it served as a constant reminder of my fears.

It seemed like one thing was happening after another & I didn't know how much more I could handle.

Before this dog-incident running was exciting to me. It was a way for me to exercise & a great way for me to spend time with the Lord.

After the dog-incident I couldn't think of running without the image of a giant dog on my leg. I was frustrated that I couldn't just 'get it together' and get back into running...but if I'm honest I thought a dog-bite or something worse would happen the next time.

fear had its hold on me.

A few nights later I was home alone & I could almost feel my fear pulsing through my veins. I was just waiting for something else to happen.

As I sat and listened to all the "what-ifs" screaming in my head, I heard a faint whisper from my heart.

"He restores my soul. 
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me."
-Psalm 23:3-4

I needed to be reminded of the Truth.

"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit."
-Psalm 34:18

God met me in my mess & in my fears. He reminded me that true peace, true refuge comes only from Him....not in a location or by my own doing. Slowly, I began to hand over all of my fear to the Lord.

I turned on all the lights in our small apartment as a reminder to myself to bring all my fears, doubts, and frustrations into the bring them to the Lord. He already knows them, but how sweet that we get to bring them to Him and ask for help. 

& I a crazy woman.

I danced because of the freedom that I felt. My circumstances were the same...but I was no longer being dictated by face was now turned to the King of kings & Lord of lords. The One who holds me close & the One who will never leave.

I still struggle with fear & I'm working through that with the Lord. It's a process & I'm okay with that.

As far as running goes...I took over 2 months off. I was freaked out and needed to allow myself time to process & deal with what happened.

I started running again this week. The Lord brought a new friend into my life, Jenni, who is an avid runner. She didn't know anything about the dog-incident and asked me if i wanted to go running with her.

Now, those of you who know me, know my running habits: I run alone. I don't really like to chat while running...I'm more of a loner while's my time to think & reflect & pray.

But God knew what I needed. He knew I needed some help getting back into something that I really enjoy, and by me saying, "yes," to running with Jenni I was saying, "I trust you," to the Lord.

This process has made me dig deeper into my heart to see the root issues. You see, I'm not fearful of dogs. I love dogs. I have a dog! fear comes from feeling like I'm not in control {we're never actually in control...but we can tend to feel like it a lot of the time}
& going running...out in the city...because of that incident...makes me feel out of control. It's actually a good thing for makes me cling to the Lord--the One who is always in control.

This process has also reminded me that I can't do this alone--not just getting back into running, but life in general. I need the Lord & I need community.

The Lord used Jenni to help me & I know I'll be back at it soon enough.
& I really enjoyed chatting the entire 5.5 miles. What a fun way to spend time with a friend. I learned something new about myself!

jenni & me running by the Hudson.

& as for our apartment...we signed our lease for another year...because even with the hard things, there are so many good. This place feels like home & even though we may not be in this apartment forever...for now, it's home.


With everyday feeling more & more like home I started to actually decorate our bedroom (more pictures when I finish it all!):




{more to come!}


have a great weekend!

updated look

I've learned so much this past year of living in New York City. One major thing I've learned is the seasons of life: the good, the bad, the ugly, & the beautiful. 

This year has been filled with ups&downs (but more on that later), and as I've reflected on these things I've been able to see the Lord in each up&down. 

As I was reading Ecclesiastes the other day I realized this is what we was experiencing...different seasons. 

This blog holds our stories as we walk through each season.


thanks for reading!