Whether you are one of the people I speak to every day or one of the many more that have had an impact on my life but with whom I don’t often get to catch up, I have felt for a little while that an update is in order. I want to write a bit of a snapshot — a “my life in a nutshell” — for anyone who’s interested. I realize that while I do possess some strengths, being forthcoming was NEVER one of them. However, if I don’t think that what I’m up to is worth sharing with the people I care about, maybe it’s not worth doing at all. So I’m going to practice being a little bit more open — thanks for being a sounding board. Here goes nothing!
Here’s what my life looks like at the moment. I live in the city of St. Louis, MO. The neighborhood in which I live is called the Central West End, a progressive, “hip” pocket of the city characterized by tasteful dining and people much cooler than I am. I rent a condo with two roommates. One is my best friend from college whom I roomed with for two years during my undergraduate career. The other is a contemporary from Greenville College. The three of us are all college athletes and the two of them are completing the same Physical Therapy program at Washington University here in the city. The condo is so much nicer than I had dared to hope for in searching for an apartment last spring, and came complete with a dog, a yard, a two-car garage, and a huge kitchen. What more could a girl want?
I currently work for a small startup company called TeeTurtle. TeeTurtle.com was started three years ago by our CEO and sells pop culture t-shirts. Long story short, I work in an office of 12 young (or that think they are) coworkers, perform most of my responsibilities on a computer, wear basketball shorts and t-shirts, and get to experience some of the best perks a white collar job can offer. Nerf gun wars, Christmas parties at nice restaurants, benefits, and coworker dynamics galore.
This past season, I also had the privilege of acting as the assistant coach for the St. Louis College of Pharmacy women’s basketball team. The experience presented me the opportunity to learn more than I ever would have imagined about sport, team, respect, and humility. It was one of my favorite growing experiences to date.
The Rest of the Time
I spend the rest of my time on various projects and enterprises:
I write music and plan on recording some of it when I have the time. I am working with a friend of mine on arranging some of those pieces for performance — we’ve got an Americana/folk vibe right now. We may hit the road someday and tour. That would be fun.
I write a food blog because I love food and eating healthy things. (You can read it if you’d like. www.SimplyFoodBlog.com.)
I write on this personal blog quite consistently. As in every other month or so.
I am helping a friend, Norm Hall (Dean of Student Development at Greenville College), start a business creating beef jerky that serves as a gluten-free, all-natural protein source and an alternative to processed meal replacement bars. Optimistically, this turns into a company and a really cool movement. Alternatively, we determine that the idea wasn’t as revolutionary as we’d hoped and it becomes a good story. (You can read about that if you’d like too. www.UnlimitedSkye.com/MomentumJerky.)
Beyond those things, I like helping people edit papers and manuscripts and all manner of writings in my spare time. I enjoy playing in my church’s band when I am in town. I love the outdoors and sport and miss it all terribly. I might look for a 5k or two to run this summer. I also love cooking and enjoy experimenting with Paleo/whole food diets. Yep, I’ve officially become one of those…
The Past: A Reflection
Here is probably the most interesting part of what I wanted to share with everyone: namely, the way I’ve seen God move during the last two years of my life. Through my graduation from college, my life’s trajectory was rather straightforward. There were riffs and struggles, sure, but I always had food to eat, a loving family, a wealth of blessings I can now reminisce upon, and even more that I may never consciously recognize.
My steps away from my college campus however, now newly tasseled and christened a productive member of society, preluded not just unfamiliar territory but the first instance where I didn’t have a specific goal towards which to strive. Suddenly, what had been the security of a track to follow fell away and left me in a bustling train station with very little inkling of where to turn or what to do first.
What follows is a very long, winding, and funny series of stories which I can certainly share in greater detail. But the thing I most want to share is a testimony to God and what I’ve seen Him do in the two years since that point. Over and over again, starting with what I thought was a sure-fire job at a boarding school called Cono, then the subsequent offer of a graduate assistantship at my Alma Mater, then the plethora of seemingly perfect job opportunities that came and went, I was presented with what seemed to be an ideal situation. Jobs that exactly fit my skillset, or were exactly what I wanted to do, or that paid more than I should have gotten or that were located in places I’d love to have ended up. However, through God’s intervention, none of them came to pass. I ended up in situations that, according to my tastes, were less than ideal — places where I struggled, complained to God every day, and wrestled with more darkness than I thought I could bear.
And yet all the way through, He was there. Despite my dissatisfaction, despite my angst, and despite my grumbling. He has led me to the very moment in which I write these words to you now. My life is filled with light, my past rich with lessons I didn’t know I needed to learn, and my relationships with a cornucopia of treasured people deep and meaningful.
This story doesn’t actually have an ending yet. Only an encouragement in the midst of its advance: God is faithful. He knows you more than you do. He knows what you’re capable of, and what you could be capable of if you let Him take the reigns. Success and accomplishment sound great. However, God offers a whole new realm of fulfillment that doesn’t involve or require our performance. It just involves showing up and being willing to let Him move you. That lesson, which He has been teaching me over the last two years, has become enough to get me up in the morning.
The Future: Who Knows
As for what I’m up to now: I don’t know yet. I am pursuing graduate assistantships and assistant basketball coaching positions all around the country for the fall. I’m also contemplating living overseas, possibly to pursue coaching or sports ministry. Right now, the most I know for sure is that I am going to Alaska to work at a church camp for the majority of June. And beyond that, I’m asking God to open the next door. I know that a desk job can’t be in my future but I don’t know what my fall will look like beyond that.
And there is my life in a nutshell. Thanks for reading — I know this was a long one! I would love to hear your feedback. Give me a call, leave a comment, or come visit me sometime. Tell me what you think of my projects. Looking forward to hearing from you. And I’m looking forward to looking back on these years when a few more have passed and getting to see a little more of God’s tapestry I’m trying to get out of the way of Him weaving.