monthly update, or "monthdate"

It's time for a life update!

March has been a very busy month... mostly consumed by seeing friends and work and weekend trips and baby announcements! I have three close friends who are pregnant, all due within three months of each other (June, July, August). It makes for a very excited Aunt Sarah. Which brings me to my next thing: doula certification. I am doing it. I finally paid for the class and I'm ready to see if it goes anywhere! Seeing as most medical things/blood freak me out, it's funny that I would want to do this. But as it turns out, birth is fascinating to me. Give me all the birth stories, complete with details (and I mean real details, none of this "I went into labor and had the baby two hours later and it was perfection" stuff). Anyway, that's taking off in August.

My old roommate got married last weekend. As usual, I was too lazy to do my hair (plus I'm bad at doing it anyway). So I thought it would be a good chance to see my friend/sister Jude, who is apprenticing at a fancy hair salon. We had a lovely catch up time and it was so fun to see this girl work her magic on me! I joke that she got her start in hair the day I randomly asked her to cut off my ponytail in her front yard so I could donate it (yes, that happened). 

The wedding was so fun. We got to the area early and were starving, so we stopped by a golf/country club down the road. By country club, I mean a really old school joint with Victorian decor and a hint of taxidermy. Their bar was basically closed except for hot dogs and snacks, so Anya went with it. (Notice the stuffed fox eating a golf ball.)

For all of you former MD/DC-ers that have moved away, we are on a strict eagle watch! The eagle President and First Lady (those are their names, I'm not kidding) have hatched their eaglets and are nested in the DC Arboretum. You can watch the live stream DC eagle cam here. It's pretty cool. One of the elders at my old church is a big deal at the Arboretum and is running the eagle cam!

I got a screen shot of this on my phone. EAGLE BABIES! Mama is side-eyeing me.

I also took a trip to Snowshoe, WV with my friend Elizabeth and her husband. A year ago, we went to Snowshoe and Elizabeth and James got engaged! It was also the time we drove 10 hours through a snowstorm to get there and I wasn't sure if we were going to make it out alive. We had a gooood time reminiscing about that one. We went tubing and played Cards Against Humanity and made tacos. Also, Fireball shots. Because Elizabeth and I are in a little something called the Bad Girls Club, which we made up with our friend Lish. It's a thing of the past, but it also comes out unexpectedly. I won't say any more than that.

I've never had a fuller shot in my life... I couldn't cheers without spilling it. This photo was barely possible.

In sadder news, my friend Sarah's beloved guinea pig, Meg, got sick and passed away this month. Some of you out there probably don't think guinea pigs are "real" pets. They aren't dogs or cats, sure. But trust me, Meg had a big personality. Full of sass. And for some reason she would always lick me when I held her. I miss that girl already. It was a sad day.

Tonight my roomie Laura and I are headed to her mom's for Easter (love that mother of hers and her lamb cake that she makes me decorate every year). Every time I go to her mom's, I feel like it's a mini-vacation. Two hours away and always a fun visit, complete with Jenga and tons of food. I'm just mad the Tiki Bar isn't open yet. After like a million years of knowing Laura, I have only been to this place twice. And talked about it probably a thousand times. (I'll be back one day, Tiki.)

Have a happy Easter and enjoy your (hopefully) warm weekend!

Jesus Has Risen

24 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Manmust be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.
When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him. ....
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.

She Reads Truth :: starting over

A lot of women have talked about She Reads Truth. I tried it once a long time ago, but I remember something about having to pay for the plan I was interested in, or some other thing that turned me off to it. I didn't want to get involved with it at the time. Now I'm in this strange situation where my church has closed and I haven't gone to another one, give or take a few Sundays with friends. What's weirder is that I haven't felt like it. I almost feel like I'm making up for lost time; for six years I was devoted to serving at my church as the worship leader. I loved it, but I was tired and worn down. The church in itself was a struggle that never really ended until it closed its doors last September. After that happened, I feel like I shut down. I haven't felt motivated to go to church again. Not because I don't love God, but because I am hesitant and afraid to start over. It was very true that I needed to take a break from all of it when the church was done. I desperately needed a detox period from the past six years. And of course, I could use the excuse that I couldn't find another church to call home right away. Now, six months later, I think I have found a church I feel comfortable in. However, I've resorted to watching their sermons online on Sunday mornings. That is safer to me than actually going and having to be around believers I don't know and struggling through worship, missing it so much. Instead I get to stay in my cozy bed, singing to myself and being alone. And I like it. I'm not sure the detox period is over yet. But I do feel disconnected from everything: God, community, making time to grow in my faith, music. I've barely played my guitar since church ended, much less played any worship music. I feel listless and weird. Some days I wonder if I am still a Christian because I'm not going to church or investing much time in my relationship with Jesus. But I know I am. I've never stopped believing. I am just searching to get back on track and I don't know how.

All this is to say that today She Reads Truth came into my mind for whatever reason. I looked around the site a little and was glad to find this devotional. I am a big fan of hymns, and having worshiped in a 175 year old church, I made sure hymns were a part of worship often. They are some of my favorite songs to sing and play. Today I read the first one to see I would get anything out of it, because I haven't gotten much out of anything as of late. But these are the kinds of times that God speaks. He finds a way to get through to me.

"God has planned that my best life is right here, right now, even with the hurt and loneliness and worry that comes right along with all the incredibly good things. The truth wins each and every time-- if only I look to it."

"Rescuing is His specialty in my life."

"Whatever I think I don't have, I have in Him."

Plus some relevant verses:

"You have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith my be found to result in praise at the revelation of Jesus." - 1 Peter 1:6-7

"Perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love." - 1 John 4:18

"Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful." - Hebrews 10:23

Sometimes I feel discouraged when I look at other women of faith and I feel like they are so focused and "good at being Christians" and I am not. I have always felt rough around the edges and not someone who is happy all the time, constantly telling everyone, "Jesus is soooo amazing!" That's just not me, and probably never will be. Do I need to try harder and make faith a priority? Yes. Do I need to go back to church again? Yes. Is it okay for me to take baby steps and not jump back in all at once? Yes. The important thing is I'm trying, and I need to remind myself that it's okay. I am my own person with my own relationship with God, and I am starting over.