Oh what a month it has been! Today I come to you with a bit of a heavy heart as I reflect on the devastation + destruction of the lovely city of Houston. I have family + best friends in Houston who are all safe + sound, but the fact still remains that so many have lost their homes, cars, possessions, dogs, + loved ones. It is staggeringly heart breaking.
That is where today I want to come to you with a bit of a perspective change. This last month [+ year for that matter] has been a whirlwind, both in my life but ALSO throughout the happenings of our world. It can be so easy to just sit + think about how upset we are that the job we love didn’t pan out… or that we gained 10 pounds + have no clue why… or that we broke up with someone or WORSE, got broken up with + are left confused…or even that we can barely find a way to pay rent because finances are so tight. Of course all of these things would be discouraging. But I promise you, the more we let the light shine into these situations, the brighter our next steps for the future become.
So because of this, I find it all that more timely to reflect on the 3 things I am most grateful for this last month. While there is SO much going on even in my own personal life, there are still so many things to be grateful for. Even amidst the chaos I seek to find gratefulness + perspective knowing that 1. God is making all of this happen for a reason that is greater than I can even see or imagine 2. These happenings are just one blip on the radar to lift me up to something BETTER 3. Life is hard. But even the ugly hard times transform over time into something beautiful.
So, what am I grateful for this last month of August?
1. The COMFORT of Jesus.
I will be REAL honest with you all today. I had many hard nights this last month. I mean, extremely, devastatingly hard. One night in particular was probably the hardest night I have had in months…or actually maybe even years.
The morning before that hard night, I texted my closest group of 6 girlfriends asking for prayer throughout the day. They all knew what was going on + had been consistently providing counsel + wisdom for me throughout the process. That evening there was news that was to be shared [though this is a bit vague… I find it is wise to refrain from speaking in too much detail until I have processed delicate situations enough on my own + sought Jesus for healing + clarity.] As the night approached + the news revealed itself, I found a strange sense of strength from Jesus despite the heart breaking nature of the information that had now become my reality. I could actually FEEL Jesus comforting me. Immediately as soon as the news was revealed, I texted my 6 prayer warrior besties saying “I really need to talk to someone. Is any one of you available?”. Almost instantly they knew what happened + chose to run to my side for comfort. While I was only expecting to speak to 1 of the 6 ladies… God chose to BLOW my flipping MIND! I put down my phone for about 2 minutes + when I picked it back up to read through the group text I saw the words “Conference Call” + a dial in phone number. Wait WHAT?! As it turned out, every one of these 6 women miraculously were available at that exact moment to take a call with me on a conference line. HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN?! I still get overwhelmed with emotions as tears well up in my eyes thinking about how beautiful that moment was. It was pure love. It was pure support. It was pure comfort…. Jesus’s comfort made even more apparent through the physical support + love + encouragement of my 6 best friends on that conference call. My heart was stunned. I felt a kind of physical love + comfort that I venture to say I have never felt before.
We stayed on that call for FOUR hours as we shared prayers, many many manyyyyyy tears, + a whole lot of BOMB dot com wisdom. I have almost never felt God’s love + His comfort as much as I tangibly did in that exact moment. My friends grieved with me, came alongside me, + showered me with endless love + care. Just like JESUS would if He was physically here beside me. The best part is…. that kind of comfort is the comfort Jesus makes available to us AT ALL TIMES. He pains when we pain. He grieves when we grieve. He seeks to be physical comfort for us in moments of confusion + trial + hurt. He wants NOTHING more. Man oh man do I know that more than ever right now. THANK YOU JESUS!
2. Wise Counsel
You may or may not have realized that lately I am on a wise counsel trip!! Did you read my blog post last week on the “Key to Making Decisions”? It is so important to me that I just feel I need to briefly talk about it again. Indeed my obsession with wise counsel is actually nothing new as I have been seeking wise counsel for quite some time. But this last month I tapped into wise counsel + began to appreciate it unlike ever before! Just like I mentioned in my blog post on decision making, wise counsel is so incredibly necessary in order to make sound decisions amidst a bunch of confusion.
I am SO grateful for wise counsel, because whether I want to admit it or not I have blind spots… meaning because they are blind, aka invisible I CANNOT SEE them! It is through wise counsel that these blind spots get revealed. We may think we have the exact perfect answer when suddenly one of our mentors swoops in to hammer down the iron fist of wise TRUTH. Truth that can be hard to hear, but simultaneously so necessary to redirect our eyes to the path that God wants us on.
Also, while I think I have been through a lot, there are always endless other perspectives to be learned from friends + mentors who have different ways of thinking + have experienced entirely different things in life. All that to say, wise counsel is so life giving + truly is key to decision making.
3. Spontaneous Trips
For the most part I am a pretty well thought out person. I plan almost everything in my life from girl dates, to weekend outings, to the exact time I should go to sleep, to the order in which I should complete my daily activities. Everything consists of lists + plans + organization… hello type A personality! But something funny about my type A structure, is that I actually LOVE to be spontaneous. I think it’s the thrill that gets me. Doing something completely unplanned that is simultaneously SO MUCH FUN can be absolutely exhilarating for my soul.
The first spontaneous trip from this month included a day trip to Ojai for my birthday where we drank endless rosé, had the yummiest gluten free pizza, + laughed endlessly into the beautiful summer night. Oh la la was it ever glorious! A few of my best girlfriends were available last minute which made it all the more merry + delightful!
Next, for my birthday I went down to Laguna Beach + Newport. You know when you live close to somewhere beautiful but you never go there because it is so close you figure you can go anytime you want? It is often those places we end up going to the least because they are so accessible to us. Funny isn’t it? While I knew I wanted to do something different for my birthday, these plans came together last minute + it was so. much. funnnn. The night ended with a sunset cruise in Newport harbor listening to oldies tunes + sipping a bit of vino. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my birthday than a day away visiting gorgeous parts of California that I rarely see or experience.
Just over a week ago I took a VERY spontaneous, yet IT’S ABOUT DANG TIME trip to Disneyland! The little 5 year old Kaitlyn came out in full force as I pranced around the park happier than EVER. I also spontaneously bought a pass to Disneyland [you may have heard me talk about this in last week’s post]. I was never expecting or planning to do this, but after the hard night that happened not too long ago, I knew I needed to do something extra to add a dash more JOY into my monthly routine. Actually, it is not just a dash, it is more like a bucket of joy. Buckets + buckets of rainbows + princesses + sparkles + all the happy things!
My mom also just recently visited me on a whim. She booked her trip on a Monday + flew out on a Thursday! It was pure bliss having 4 quality days with mom as we redecorated my apartment, bought matching pajamas, + had girls nights on my couch every evening watching the heartfelt show, “This Is Us.” [Kind of my exact definition of the perfect weekend with mom!].
Last but certainly not least, right NOW as I sit here typing this post I am flying en route to none other than Sioux Falls, South Dakota to visit one of my very best friends, Sarah. I made the decision to visit her just about 3 weeks prior to leaving. Though Sioux Falls may not seem like a popular getaway destination, when your bestie has a beautiful home on a lake with her lovely husband + offers to host a “spa-like retreat” weekend for you… you MUST NOT for any reason turn her down! HA! Needless to say, my soul is so satisfied as I sit on this bumpy little plane closing in on our landing into Sioux Falls to spend quality time with my sweet sister.
Well my lovely dears, you certainly have read quite the novel in this post haven’t you? Indeed I could write more + more… but I will save that for next time. 😉 Despite the trials of this last month, just writing this post serves as such a great reminder for ME + should also serve as a reminder for all of YOU that what seemingly looks like impossible situations, can turn into the biggest blessings.
Love you all + if you are STILL reading, then I want to thank you for taking the time to read all the way through this novel of a post!