Stuff Mah Belly [and Mah Heart]

So, I haven't written in ages. It's mostly just because life is busy. But, with that, most of the stuff was heavy and hard, and I know the last 18 months have been rough on our family and I am not ashamed of that, but who wants to write about only hard stuff all of the time? It's emotionally exhausting enough to live through but sometimes writing about it feels like such a relief and therapeutic and gracious and then other times it feels like work. I refuse to let writing feel like work, so nope.

See that? It's at the end of this post. You can replicate it. And die of happiness.

Today there is a sliiiiiiightly heavy component to why I'm posting. Well, really heavy. But then after that is some much needed joy and grace I am dying to share. And then life changing deliciousness (no, really. And I just adapted the recipe so I am not even bragging like I made it up, but even if I did it's too good to try and be modest about). So there's lots of goodness!

First, the heavy. I have had myriad health issues that have just been, to be perfectly blunt, a real bitch. Mothering two toddlers with a husband who works a fairly demanding full-time job (and commutes 2.5 hours a day to get to and fro) and then another 12-14 hours on the side to get us in a better financial position [read: pay off mounds of student loans] can wear on a person. Add in that the two toddlers have autism and there're a lot of therapies and appointments and communication and meetings and plans and new therapies and insurance and...it's a LOT. And then add in that I am constantly exhausted, 250 pounds but can't lose weight (and the one diet that did work made me incredibly sick), cold and irritable and constantly feeling like my raw nerves are being run over a cheese grater and it's just tough. Not even to mention all of the Mars Hill and church yuck, and having people cry when we left and swear we would not stop being friends and then, 6 short months later, basically two relationships remain. It just turned to radio silence. I did all of the checking in with people and when my life just didn't let me constantly sustain relationships nobody reached out. No one checked in.

Worst of all, I realized that this probably would have happened even if we stayed at the same church as these people because if a relationship requires me to do all of the pursuing all of the time then it really doesn't matter how much the people say I mean to them. When you want someone in your life, and that person is willing to be in your life, then you keep them in your life. But if the second their life gets hard and they can't text or keep saying, "Hey, we should get together," the relationship turns to nothing but maaaaybe a random Facebook like or Instagram heart then, sadly, it wasn't a healthy friendship. And it's really, really hard for me to admit this still, but, after a looooot of discussion, my husband helped me see that it drains me to be the constant pursuer. To feel like a friendship will die unless I keep initiating conversation and contact isn't a healthy burden to bear. He encouraged me to simply not text or initiate conversations and see what happened...and that's the radio silence. No invites to Seahawks games like we were promised. No, "Hey, how are you?" texts. Nor a, "Hey, this article made me think of you," link-share on Facebook. Or even a text to say, "My life sucks and can you pray for me because this Mars Hillmageddon is death to my soul." And not even just initiating--some of them didn't even reply to texts when I would check in. Just nothing.  I get that they were going through a lot with the MH implosion, too, but we're talking about a solid two to four months now of just not a single word. Ouch.

So that has been hard a revelation for me, because I felt really guilty and like I needed to fix it. I must be the one failing them somehow. But how is it failure to be a good friend to cease being the sole pursuer? Am I actually the problem in that scenario? And if the person actually didn't enjoy me, didn't enjoy being friends, then a: they lied to me and that's not on me, either, and b: it's actually a relief to us both for me to let the relationship die so they don't have to keep up the facade and I don't have to carry the weight and burden of sustaining the relationship. It's certainly not a good basis for a friendship, to feel like it can only exist if I do all of the pursuing. It's actually just not a friendship.

So...yeah. I guess people will read this and thing, "Is this about me?" And it sucks, but if you are thinking that then it probably is. Like I said, two relationships remain. I am not even thinking of nor referring to any one or two people specifically--it's the whole lot. But it is what it is and I know eventually I will feel really free because the sadness will ebb. But yes...losing all of our friends, or at least the people we thought were our friends, who promised that our friendship was "all about Jesus" and not Mars Hill, has been hard.

[Side note: if you read this, and you think, "Is this me?" and you think, "Wait, but I felt hurt by her and like she didn't want me around," or, "Oh, gosh, I totally dropped the ball. I love Tami and I don't want the relationship to die!" then reach out to me. I know we can work through that, even if I do feel hurt by you or vice versa. But this is NOT me passive aggressively avoiding talking to people but trying to guilt trip them through some ambiguous public post. It's not because I want YOU to know this but I don't want to deal with telling you. Again, I wasn't thinking of names or faces. It's actually so many people that I couldn't really start with specific people to try and go talk to this about it if I wanted to. And, plus, going to people, initiating the conversation about why I'm the only initiator is pretty much the exact opposite of what the relationship needs. If people miss me, want me in their life, they'll reach out. I kind of hope the people this applies to don't read it because "fixing" anything isn't the point. The point is more what I learned through the experience and how there's a lot happening now that I couldn't see or appreciate had I not had the yucky stuff happen. And honestly, I wanted to delete allllll of the relationship stuff, because, gah, what if people think I just want attention? But then I remembered mentioning this in passing tonight--leaving MH and having pretty much every relationship die--and every other person who also has left MH over the last 8 years nodded their heads, and many shared how they have experienced or are experiencing the same thing. So this isn't just for me, no matter how hard it is for me to be this raw about it.]

Oof. Now you know why I don't like writing about it, because I can't deny the pain and how hard it has been but I just can't present it all pretty and cleaned up. It's hard. It's ugly. The health and family and relationship and leaving basically a cult issues are so much. I am weary to my very bones most days. There is such beauty and grace, too, which will come in justasecond, k?

So one thing that gave us some answers and sort of relief on the health front was that I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease. You can read the symptoms here; I have pretty much all of those. And the worst part is that, yes, medication can make me feel sorta kinda ok but never well and meanwhile my body will just keep destroying my thyroid until it's just gone. Yay, autoimmune disorders! Except no. I do not want my thyroid to just be dead and gone. Not to mention it is a huuuuuge PITA to have to take 3 pills the second I wake up, have nothing but water for an hour, then nothing but water from 12-2pm so I can take two more pills at 1pm. And I can't take any other of the gazillion vitamins and supplements I need within 6 hours of said pills, which puts me at 7pm at night but, oh, hey, btw, I can't take certain ones after 2 in the afternoon or else I won't be able to sleep at night. But I can't not take them. But if I do take them too soon the thyroid meds don't work. BARF.

So what does that mean? It means that I need to heal my thyroid. I'm still reading various books, but the very best way is to cut out all grains (especially wheat / gluten) and soy. For some people it will include dairy and caffeine. I will have testing to be sure what exactly I am sensitive to, but I have to have a super restricted diet. Oh, and because of the various insulin issues I have, I already can't have any sugar. For the holidays I am not being insanely strict, just careful, and if I want something then it has to be a very small amount, just a treat. But starting after Christmas I have to get insanely strict, because some people are so sensitive that one instance of eating gluten can set back thyroid recovery six months. SIX MONTHS. Seriously, when I read that, I almost wanted to give up.

But I can't give up. I have two gorgeous kids and I really, really want two more. And, even apart from wanting to lose more weight, I want to FEEL better. I don't need to feel amazing and go climb mountains but I want enough energy to not feel like crying at the thought of climbing our stairs.

And can I just say something here? I do not think my life is so much worse than anyone else's. Our church (which I am dying to talk about, so next paragraph! Promise!) started Bible studies for men and women on alternating weeks. At the first one for the women we shared prayer requests. And, my goodness. I'm a super empathetic person (I have finally accepted that about myself) so I cry even when the person sharing isn't crying. But I cried over and over, as did almost every woman in the room. I won't betray the trust of mah ladeez, but believe me when I tell you that just two to three of the stories of where people are in their life right this very second would make you go, "No. I am done. Too heavy. Too sad. Too much." So, I don't think I'm "Tami Hagglund, she living with a really hard life." I'm "Tami Hagglund, human liver of a life on Earth."

So then. Let's talk about the grace. We have an incredible church. Like, any non-abusive and generally non-a-hole culture in a church would have been a nice rest. But we are in a church where I just keep finding myself thinking, "Is this too good to be true? Are we really this wanted and loved because EVERYONE here is this wanted and loved?" There was a family spoken of with such affection that I assumed they had been there the whole time (the church is I think about 18 months to 2 years old; it's a PCA* church plant) but then I found out they started coming about a month before us last May. And if you came to a gathering you sincerely would not be able to tell who has been there the whole time and who has only been there since last summer. It's honestly incredible. [*PCA=Presbyterian Church of America. Maybe someday I will write about how I went to a Presbyterian college university and NEVER thought I would be a Presbyterian. But, honestly, I love it there so much. I even actually enjoy liturgy. But that's just a rabbit hole!]

But, really, it just speaks to the character of Jesus and how when people are living out the Gospel with one another and aren't caught up in the binders of law and works and performance and pressure to make the church succeed there is just a lot more sweetness and grace. Relationships just flow. And when the culture is, "Yes, we are sinners, but we also worship a big God who calls us to our identity in him," instead of constantly assuming people are only being horrible and are led by ugly motives all the time then there is a lot more genuine compassion and joy in knowing and being known. Seriously. It still feels too good to be true, but as my pastor and his wife tenderly pointed out, when you come out of such an abusive church where you are actually being perpetually coerced and sinned against in evil and ugly ways  it's to be expected that "regular" and "normal sinner" church life will take some adjustment.

And on that pursuing front? Jason was telling me how Mars Hill was the clique-iest church he has ever been in. We talked about how maybe everyone felt like they were the only ones on the outside looking in, and maybe people even perceived us to be on the inside, but I tried so incredibly hard to make multiple relationships be actual, real, face to face relationships. It never happened. It did happen for others to get together, for others who both said they wanted that same type of actually-hangs-out relationship with me, but they didn't actually reciprocate my attempts for it to happen with me. And the reason I say this is that in just a few months at Trinitas, even with our stupid schedule that requires planning sometimes a whole month out, we've had multiple gatherings with people--friends over for dinner, or Jason meeting up with another husband for lunch since they both work in Downtown Seattle, that kind of stuff. I'm being pestered (lovingly) to move to Snohomish since a lot of the people who are trying to hang out with me more (more there in a second) know how hard it is for me to get to them since they all live 40 minutes north of me (NOT in traffic. If you know this area then you know that *in* traffic isn't even worthy to think of). We'll see. I really, really love Redmond. But in Snohomish we could get a nice house and a little patch of land and chickens and goats and a garden still for less than what we'd pay for a horrible still-reppin'-the-'80s house with no yard and neighbors closerthanthis so...we'll see.

But anyway (say it like Joel McHale in The Soup) the point is that Jason was seeing women love me and want to know me, and one night when wrestling about whether we were for sure committing to Trinitas long term and not looking elsewhere, he said, "Tami, even if all of the theology wasn't as amazing as it is, or the leadership as solid, I would want to stay at Trinitas simply because for the first time in our marriage I am seeing women love and pursue you the way you tirelessly love and pursue others." If you know Jason, that theology and leadership part is HUGE. It's always first and almost his only priority.

I was so shocked at what he said, though, because I always think I am the problem. I didn't do enough. Or people didn't want to know me and were just polite but that's my fault because I am a yucky burden and, ew, who would want to have to spend any more time with me than they were obligated by their Christianity to have to? I wish I could tell you that I write that and only think, "Ugh, stupid lies!" but so much of my heart still thinks, "Yeah, duh." But I think Jason is right, at least that for the first time relationships are healthily two way and some ladies even pursue me more than I pursue them but it's because they just legit want to know me, and it's Jesus pouring grace upon grace over me. At Bible study Wednesday it was such an amazing connection of souls with ladies who love me and I love them that, as I marveled, I realized that Jesus was applying salve and binding up my long open and festering wounds ala the Good Samaritan that he is.

This all connects because tonight we had the sweetest Friendsgiving with our Trinitas peeps. And even though I loooooove regular old glutenous stuffing I needed to bring gluten free, grain free, & low carb goodness to nourish my body. And to assuage the guilt of the piece of regular ol' Costco apple pie that I just needed to have. But this stuffing--life changing, people. It's really great for ketogenic diets! No grains, no dairy, low carb, no sugar, no flours of any kind (not even almond or nut flours). Just fatty, meaty, veggie AMAZINGNESS.

I had a recipe that I totally changed and plus I couldn't link to it, but so many people said, "You HAVE to give me this recipe!" that I decided to just write it up real quick. Except me + writing is never real quick. Ask my friend Becky about the text messages she gets :)

Sorry there isn't much in terms of pictures, but honestly, it's so good and goes so quickly that getting a good pic is hard to do! But, speaking of pictures, before the recipe--you made it this far, so I think you'll survive--these are some sweet "living life" shots that the host grabbed with his phone camera. The first one is Juliet because I can't handle how cute she is in those glasses! But the rest are of  me because when I was looking at them I saw the sweet joy on my face. I was taken aback by it, TBCH. That is the face of a soul at rest, people. And half the people I was talking to were friends of church members whom I was meeting for the first time--that's how comfortable this group is. Even brand new people just get to chill and get to be known a bit. But then some of the people are dear friends and my heart lightens with joy just thinking about how grateful I am that they are now in my life.

So now, the stuffing. Make this. I promise it will be easier to go grain free. You know when you bring something to a potluck and you are flattered that people ate every last morsel but you feel sorry for yourself because even though there was tons of food and lots of leftovers your dish has no leftovers and you didn't make any extra? Yeah. This is one of those recipes.

Oh--and, since I forgot to take a picture at home, I will try to post next week the grain free & sugar free lemony goodness that I made for dessert since that, too, was a favorite and was gone before I could have taken a pic at the gathering. And I also had multiple people begging me for the recipe, and it's another I can't link to (and plus I tweaked it anyway). I plan to make it for our actual Thanksgiving and will get a pic then!

Ok. The stuffing. It's midnight thirty but I know I will never be on my laptop in the next few days and some people were interested in making this for actual Thanksgiving so just forcing myself to git. 'er. dun.

And again, because, well, oops. The only picture there will ever be of that pan of ecstasy is this one.

Paleo Low Carb Stuffing (Ketogenic diet friendly)

3 lbs ground sausage
2T grass fed butter
Whole bunch celery, chopped
Large Yellow Onion, chopped
2 bags / cartons sliced baby portabella mushrooms (or crimini. But please no white button!)
4-6 cloves minced garlic (or more if you love it like I do!)
1t sea salt
2t freshly ground black pepper
3-4T fresh herbs, chopped (I did a combo of roughly even amounts of sage, thyme, & rosemary)
2 cups crushed pork rinds
[if not strictly paleo then 1/4 cup ground parmesan is a great addition; just really watch the salty flava]

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Cook sausage over medium heat and break into small pieces in large pan (6 quart minimum)
3. Remove sausage with slotted spoon, reserving fat in the pan, and placing sausage in large bowl to mix later
4. Add butter to pan and allow to melt
5. Gently saute all veggies, adding all herbs and spices, until just barely soft
6. Again using slotted spoon, remove all veggies and add to sausage in bowl; leave the liquid!
7. Allow the juices & butter to reduce for a couple minutes until it's thickened but not syrupy (mine took about 7 minutes at medium heat)
8. Add reduced "sauce" to the meat and veggies--don't waste that glorious buttery herby amazingness!
9. Add pork rinds
10. Gently mix, then place in 13x9 casserole dish
11.  Bake for 50 minutes*
12. Serve and listen to people rave and not even care that it's paleo, unless they have dietary restrictions, in which case they will thank you profusely for making something that they can eat, and, holy snapdragons, it's stupid good. Like, slap the chef  good. Rejoice that butter and fat are not bad for you and this is legit GOOD for you!

*or, if you are making ahead of time, place in fridge and then bake later for 60 minutes if straight from fridge. I would GUESS 70-80 if frozen but that's up to you to experiment with!

Voila! If you make this let me know what you think! I never make things the same way twice, so mine today actually had baby kale hearts from Costco. I think carrots would be great, or some par-baked bite size yams tossed in; those both up the carb content quite a bit, though. Or maybe another onion because I love them. OOOOOOh, or leeks! So many possibilities! All I know is I brought home an empty pan that was stuffed to the brim when I arrived, and multiple people told me it was hands down the best stuffing they ever had. So woo-hoo! I think this is *the* stuffing recipe we'll use from now on. My friend Brittany said this would be a great standalone dinner with a sunny side up egg on top. And I almost died at the thought. So, yeah, that WILL be happening at some point!

Ok. Eyelids are sand paper. Jason is snoring on the couch next to me, too tired to even watch the crazy whooping his Montana Griz laid down on the Montana State Bobcats in Cat-Griz this afternoon. I am sorta watching and at 9:33 in the THIRD QUARTER the Griz just got their fifth interception and sixth turnover. Does the score even matter at that point? But, FWIW, it's 27-0. I digress. Late and tired, it is and I am. Hoping for the best in content and grammar and hitting publish. ;)


I {heart} Tullian


This is why I love Tullian.

We can say we don't believe God helps those who helps themselves, but don't we live the opposite of that? 

I sure do. Trying, trying, trying. Do and say and think and feel and be all the right things because God is holy, doncha know. Trying to raise myself from the dead and prove to God that saving me wasn't a waste of time.

Tuesday's post just hit me anew after writing it,like someone else wrote it and really got into my head and heart. That happens to me with other people's posts all the time, but to have my own hit me that way was new! But man alive, I can't do this Christian life thing very well on my own, so when I heard this quote in a Tullian sermon (part 4 of his Romans series) I just had to share it!

Let us remember that dead people don't raise themselves up to life today. Let us honestly admit our need of the one who does.


All Things New

So I need to just state right off that the most amazingly talented Lizzy made my blog stupid gorgeous, saying nice things about me to boot. *swoon* Even without saying the kind things, she is the best, and you can either hire her to make pretty things for you or pop on over to her Etsy shop! I ordered a coupl'a prints and I will post them when I finish up a li'l project happening in our home once it is all done!

Now, to that which is so much less pretty than this gorgeous space. I am going to admit something in this post, and I confess that I am ashamed of it. It's not a pretty thing, this horrible thought I had. So let us get there.

When Roger started his special ed preschool, there was a gorgeous little boy who clearly had a severe case of autism. With Roger, many people are surprised to find out he's on the spectrum, due to how he manifests, but with this precious boy it is clear right away. One thing that stood out to me was his chewy, this little teething-type tube that attached to his clothes. He used it for oral stimulation, and it really calmed him. Even though Roger wears a Spio (a special compression vest for children with autism) that chewy seemed infinitely worse to me. It represented the severe case. It was obvious and different and, truthfully, I remember thinking, "I am so glad Roger doesn't need one of those." 

Juliet recently started CUBS, a birth to three class for kids either on the spectrum or exhibiting behaviors similar to the autism spectrum--some of you may remember that Roger was in the same program this time last year. One thing her OT (occupational therapist) recommended is...a chewy. Today* they tried one and she really thrived. She struggles so much with sitting still for activities yet there was a marked difference when she had the chewy. It stimulated her mind so she could focus. It helped her. So, onto Amazon I went to find her one.

As I clicked "Add to Cart" the horrible, terrible, shameful thought ran through my mind, unwelcome and without warning:

"People are going to think she's a freak."

You know how I know at least some people will? Because I am the mother of two autistic children. I also tend to be empathetic and feel people's heartache in palpable ways. Yet, the little boy with a chewy in Roger's class seemed like a bit of a freak to me. That boy who is someone's beloved son, likely of parents who have grieved the loss of the son they thought they would have and felt the helplessness to do anything to rescue him from the prison of his mind. And I just think, "Thank God our case isn't that bad." 

Lord, have mercy.

I fought against the the thought, didn't let my heart run amok with feeling better about my son by thinking, "Ew," and staying there regarding someone else's precious boy. Yet the thought was there. Others will have it regarding my daughter when they see her gnawing on a "Q" shaped tube attached to her shirt. They just will. Not everyone, but some will think ugly thoughts about my beautiful daughter.

She'll always be my baby.

That's my baby girl. I cradled her newborn body onto my bare chest and felt utter bliss just 733 days ago. And I now see a glimpse of the ways this world will beat her down. The grief shatters my heart over and over.

People don't like suffering. We avoid it. We really hate it when others are suffering and it persists and they don't seem "better" already. I cannot tell you the number of times people have told me, "Tami, your kids are great. They'll be just fine. They'll grow up and be great."

Maybe that is so. But even if one day all of this heartache is a distant memory, what about today?  What about October 6, 2014 when I clicked "Add to Cart" and the ugliness sauntered about in my head and the waves of grief were fresh and familiar all at once and I wept? That "one day" is not today. There is no promise it will certainly come. I could easily die tomorrow and my suffering will have never ebbed. 

Text convo with my husband 

So where then is my hope?

There are two tattoos I want. One is "it is finished" just under my left clavicle. The other isn't quite as set, but it's something on my right inner forearm referencing this scripture: 

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." 
II Corinthians 12:9-10, NASB

Friends, I am so weak. I can't have a perfect heart that never sees the severely autistic child as a freak. I can't have the perfect faith that Jesus allowed all of this out of love. I can't have the perfect peace that snuffs 0ut fear of the future, or fear of what people will think. Hell, I can't have the perfect faith to not think the horrible things myself let alone not fear what others are thinking. I try to honor Jesus, to find rest and hope and peace and surrender, but I fail repeatedly. I'm simply far too weak.

Therein is my hope. My grace is sufficient for you. Jesus is enough! Grace pours into my failure! For [Christ's] power is perfected in weakness. The Gospel! I fail. I can't be perfect like Jesus! So he died as perfection, imputed his righteousness to me. Acknowledging my weakness ushers in his power to give his all sufficient grace. He perfects his power in me as I cling to him in my weakness and desperate need. 

I feel like this is the same entry I have written a thousand times. Perhaps I am a resounding gong. But this is my theme and shall be until I die--I need Jesus. Every single second of every single day.

And there is a "one day" ahead of me, but it's not this side of heaven. There is a day where autism will be no more. Where my last tear of sorrow and grief will be tenderly wiped from my cheek by Jesus' thumb as he cradles my face in his nail scarred hands.

No, really. Take heart, my own dear soul--Jesus said this. It is as true and real as the ground beneath my feet. Or chair cushion beneath my butt. You know. Really, really real.

...and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”      
And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. 
Revelation 21:3b-6, NASB

I'm tired of this pain. This theme. I'm ready to move beyond it, to a new chapter. That's just not what Jesus has for me. Truth be told, every time I try to not talk about my pain, or fear that I will just sound like a Mrs. Debbie Downer Whiner, Jesus gently brings someone to (seemingly) at random tell me how thankful they are that I am raw and honest, how much it points them to Jesus and his Gospel. How much he's able to comfort them and meet them right where they are because I took the risk of honesty and sounding like an ungrateful grumbler. In my weakness, he is strong.

So, friend, do your circumstances feel like more than you can handle? Is anxiety gripping your soul and no matter how hard you try you just can't believe Jesus enough to nihilate the angst? Do you repeatedly find yourself angry beyond explanation and no amount of Bible study on "in your anger do not sin" extricates the rage from your soul? Maybe depression clouds you and just will. not. pass. over. Or you are just impatient? Rolling your eyes and sighing countless times a day? Frustrated with God that you don't have a husband or kids? Bitter toward your husband and/or kids for how it feels like you disappeared and life is only ever about them? Just those things that lurk beneath when we have all the smiles and serving and giving and doing but things just still aren't right. Maybe you are like me, and all of the above is or has been true.

We don't feel arrived. 

My Dear, we do not arrive. 

I get it--your mind is nodding and saying, "Oh, I know," while your heart is whispering, "No, if we just _____ enough then we can get to that place! Where we actually trust God without wavering! Where he can finally use us for all those things we are holding him back from!"

Nope. But through all of it, Jesus is with you, allowing you the opportunity to receive his sufficiency in your weakness. We're right there together, sister (or brother). And, hello, you have nowhere near the power nor glory to hold God back from anything.

Finally, speaking of new things, I got around to making our condo decorated. Our "gallery wall" has had one picture...of our family with Juliet as a newborn.

She turned 2 on Friday.


Anyway, I want to end with this, because I normally am not into this sort of thing, cheesy sayings on the wall (gotta be holy and only post scripture, duh. I kid, I kid), but this just made me start crying right in the middle of HomeGoods. Classy, I know. Plus the colors worked.

*excuse me while I ugly cry*

I leave you with this: the truth is that no matter how you feel, Jesus is always holding out his hand and asking for this dance in rain. He is with you, friend. Confess your weakness and experience the grace of his sufficiency. And Jesus is a generous partner so feel free to cut in and take a spin around in this storm that is life with me.

*I wrote this yesterday, October 6th and am posting today, October 7th