Family, Spiritual Life

Lead Me To The Desert

August 3, 2016

“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.”  -Hosea 2:14 I never thought the desert was pretty. Growing up in Arizona, I’m not sure I knew the color green existed in nature until I was somewhere in middle school. Even now, as an adult, every time I fly into Phoenix for a visit I look out the window and all I see is a landscape that looks like someone took a brown crayon and just scribbled everywhere. It’s hot, rocky, full of cacti (which I have fallen into several times in my life) and did I mention brown? To me, the desert was a place where things went to die, not come alive…..or so I thought. > > > Three years ago my world was shattered. Coming to the realization that I had been sexually abused by an old boyfriend sent my life into a whirlwind. Everything I felt I had known of myself from those past thirteen years felt like a lie. I felt like I was a lie. The world I was living in, so rich with color and joy and life… all of the sudden….

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Community, Faith, Family, God, Identity

Lou, Smell the Flowers

July 27, 2016

When I opened the door, the refrigerated air and the intense smell of flowers filled up my lungs. I immediately became obsessed with this tiny warehouse. As I stepped out of the bright sunlight and into this cement room full of buckets, I saw Lou. We had just talked on the phone for an hour while he taught me about growing dahlia tubers and how to harvest flowers to make them last. When I went to shake his hand, I could feel the years of making arrangements and working in the soil in his grip. There was passion in his eyes but his wrinkled skin gave it away-the sun had beaten him up. Growing flowers is no joke. He said he would buy any product I could grow as long as it was quality and to call him again with any questions. I was curious about this little warehouse so full of life. I asked an annoying amount of questions and only some were about the wedding I was helping prepare flowers for. On my way out, I took one more deep breath of the rose-lily-peony-lavender-eucalyptus goodness and asked him if he ever got tired of that smell and I’ll

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Fear, Forgiveness, Identity, Redemption, Spiritual Life

Don’t Go There

July 20, 2016

“I want you to make a collage.” After a couple months of counseling, I had my first assignment. I was given a big piece of paper and told to draw a circle. Inside the circle I would put pictures that represent things I know to be true of myself. On the outside, things I think other people believe to be true of me. I thought the assignment was pretty easy. I went home and mindlessly cut words and images from magazines and organized them on the paper. I didn’t think too deeply about what each piece meant as I glued it down. I just described myself the best I could in a visual representation of the me I put on display and allow people to see, and the me I keep carefully hidden. A week later I brought it back. I unrolled it. We talked about it. She asked questions. I answered. And the past month has mostly looked like that. This week, however, she asked a question I wasn’t ready to answer. “Is there anything on here that you want to talk about?” And that’s where I shut down. I could handle direct questions. “Tell me about the quote

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Faith, Identity, Spiritual Life

Little Voice

July 13, 2016

  The moment just before I wake up is my favorite part of every day. In this simple and quiet moment the world feels still, as if I’ve somehow found the key to push pause on my life, and for a second I can breathe. Like really breathe. I’m obsessed with this moment simply because I know that as soon as I allow myself to really wake up, she’ll be right there waiting for me. Who is she? She’s the voice inside my head. No, she’s not some literal voice, but she is very real and VERY persuasive. She’s the unwelcome visitor into my world who always has an opinion and is never EVER nice. The worst thing about her though? She never goes away and she never shuts up. Look how fat you look today, Heather.  You really think those two things look good together?  You yelled at the kids AGAIN. Seriously, don’t you have any patience? I wonder if Jeff is bored with you.  I wonder if he still thinks you’re pretty Looking at your phone AGAIN? You’re such a bad mom.  You haven’t read your bible in like a month. What kind of Christian are you? No

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Our “Hot” List

July 6, 2016

Summer is here and it is NASTY. Not sure where you guys live, but in Nashville, it’s gross. Humidity and heat…..gah… it feels like your sweat is sweating. But despite the fact that it feels like we are living in hell’s oven, summer somehow gives off this feeling of opportunity. Like if there was ever a time to take that trip or try that new outfit or binge watch that tv show, summer is that time. In case summer isn;t your jam and you find yourself in a midseason slump, we have provided a list for you of some of our favorite things that helping us beat the heat and make the most of this time. So here’s our current AGLM “Hot” list: – Daring Greatly by Brene Brown: YOU GUYS…this book is earth shattering good. If you’ve read any of our posts over the last few months, there is some reference or hint to Brene and her wisdom from this book. All three of us have read it, and it’s totally changed how we love each other, ourselves, and those around us. Total must read for sure. – The Bachelorette: Yes, we know it’s bad tv. Yes we know

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The Truth About Your Dream Job

June 29, 2016

In college, I was assigned to write a business plan for my “dream job”. Yeah, no pressure. At that point, if I could finish my homework before 2am and wash my hair a couple times a week, I felt like success.   The assignment came with few restrictions besides making the financials work and being realistic. My classmates and I were living on a farm together so the different business plans ranged from growing the ingredients for beer and starting a local brewery to moving to Ecuador to start a dairy farm to help build communities.   My plan was simple. Or so I thought. My dream included growing food and flowers to serve an onsite event venue for banquets, weddings, and gatherings of any sort. Sounds cool, huh? Well, starting something like that takes a huge amount of money, so the job search began. I worked on a few farms and loved the atmosphere but was curious about that hospitality factor of having people come to a farm for events.   But let’s face it. Job hunting = BORING. Waiting is BORING. I’m SO BAD at waiting. Like, I would rather dig a hole to the center of the

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Faith, Fear, God, Redemption, Spiritual Life

Decisions, Decisions

June 22, 2016

I hate decision making. Seriously, ask me where I want to go for dinner and the answer will almost always be “I don’t care.” And once we get wherever we eventually decide on, I need 10 minutes to look at the menu, and I still change my mind a dozen times before I finally order. Give me the task of choosing a movie to watch, an ice cream flavor, what shoes go best with your outfit or what to name your goldfish and I will agonize over it. And multiple choice on tests…don’t get me started. Even Buzzfeed quizzes give me anxiety. …Have I mentioned I HATE making decisions? I guess it all comes down to this fear that I’m going to make the wrong choice. I’m so afraid that whatever I choose, I’ll end up regretting it later. Yes, even the smallest, most seemingly-insignificant things. Somehow I still get hung up on which one is the “right” choice. So as you can probably imagine, I reeeally don’t do well with big life decisions. I think sometimes on the outside it looks easy. Drop out of college to travel the country with a ministry? Sure! Move over 600 miles away

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Faith, Relationships, Spiritual Life

Someone’s Somewhere

June 15, 2016

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always struggled with the whole friendship thing. Never having the same friends from season to season, friendship for me has always felt like either a flood or a drought: more friends than I care to handle or so few that I wonder if anyone likes me at all. In the last two years, heck, the last six months, God has really opened my eyes to what I desire in a friend and how I want to be as a friend. But I’m finding the more that understanding grows, the farther off having these kind of friends start to feel. See, I don’t want nine million friends. Shoot, I don’t even feel like I want nine friends. What I do want are Somewheres. Somewheres, a term coined by author Sarah Bessey, are your people. The ones you can say anything to. The one you can tell that dirty joke you just heard, the not so humble brag about yourself, and the horrible ugly thoughts that nestle deep inside your heart. Somewheres are the ones you can call at two in the morning and will let you ugly cry on the phone with them

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Faith, Fear, God, Suffering, Uncategorized

Scaredy Cat

June 8, 2016

I can’t speak Spanish and I can’t dance, so you’d never know I’m Colombian, but it’s true.   My grandma, “Lulu” who loves all things tropical, tells us stories of how the weather in Colombia was—balmy and breezy and plants live year-round. My grandpa was a neurosurgeon and helped people he knew could never pay him. My dad grew up playing soccer and sneaking into the neighbors cherry tree with his brothers to eat the ripe fruit. So life there sounds beautiful except for the hard parts. Like the time when they came home and thieves had emptied their house of everything valuable. Or when the neighbor kids were kidnaped for ransom. Or when my dad was jumped on the street walking home from school. My dad learned to watch his back because he lived in a place where if you weren’t careful, you’d be taken advantage of or stolen from. When Brendon, my husband, visited my family’s house before we started dating, my dad told him, “This place is like Alcatraz, man. I see everything.” Laugh all you want, but it wasn’t a joke. (Insert crying smiling emoji face here) He probably wouldn’t be too happy with me if

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Identity, Your Story

Dirty Little Secret: I’ll Do It Tomorrow

June 1, 2016

I am a major procrastinator. I’m the queen of “I’ll do it tomorrow.” I always pack for trips the day before I leave…and end up staying awake half the night to get it all done. In high school, homework was not done and papers were not written until the night before. In college, it was more like the morning of. I once waited to get an oil change until I was 1,000 miles overdue. I’m the girl who will pass a dozen gas stations, but wait until my tank is empty and my gas light comes on to actually stop and fuel up. I often put off getting groceries until I have practically no food and have no choice but to finally stop at the Kroger I drive past every. single. day. I’ve been living in Nashville for almost a year now and I still haven’t gotten a Tennessee drivers license or license plate.   If I’m honest…I can be a little lazy. (…orrrr maybe a lot lazy…) When something needs to be done, I can think of a billion other things I would rather do at the moment that don’t involve me thinking, speaking or moving. (And by a

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