Ferguson, MO.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I have yet to "speak out" on this issue in Ferguson for a few reasons- the first being that my heart will not be correctly conveyed on social media. Secondly because even though I live less than 8 miles away- just ten minutes up the road and I can hear helicopters in the night- I still do not feel adequate enough to speak up. I am still far removed from the situation.

I will say this though- as Americans, we must stop assuming and pointing the finger just to have someone to blame. The fact of the matter is, is that this world is a crazy messed up place full of sinners, like myself, like Officer Wilson, and like Michael Brown.

White privilege is real, police brutality is real, racism is real- they all exist today.

There are many people who reject these things... To them I say this:

Come to Ferguson....

Teach at Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk, VA for a year.

Have a talk with Michael Brown's parents about their little boy.

Become a police officer.

If you're white- be black for a day.

If your black- be white for a day.

Spend a day teaching and playing with children who live in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the US.

Any of those things will change your perspective. 

The bottom line here is that this situation has exposed the sin of this country, and that of humanity. We all want to be right- but we are all wrong.

How do we fix this?

The sad truth is that we can't. A man is dead. Humans cannot fix that.

There are so many arguments coming from all sides of this matter. But take a step back and realize we all have something in common: We all know something about this situation is entirely wrong.

My personal belief is that the church has failed to be a leader in this matter. Christians can be so comfortable- but Jesus has called us to a life of adventure and unknown and to be uncomfortable- to pick up our cross and follow him no matter what. (Matthew 16:5) There is a real problem here. This problem isn't just in Ferguson- this is nationwide. In your city. Go love the people in your city and expect nothing in return.  (I am speaking all of this to myself as well)

If  you are a Christian reading this blog, it is my hope that you would realize the fault in our lives, remember that Jesus bridged all of our shortcomings, and that he calls us to love those in need. Now is our favorable time.

2 Corinthians 6
Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says,

w“In a favorable time I listened to you,
and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.We put no obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities,beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing;as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

I pray that Ferguson, MO and the rest of Saint Louis and this country can find some peace in the coming days.

For further reading on Ferguson to help form an educated opinion on the matter: 
Listening to Find Our Voice
Thoughts on Ferguson
Mike Higgins: Thoughts on Ferguson

You can find me...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


That is right. Most people already know we have been making plans to move to St. Louis for a while, and I have been meaning to share for a while but the last few months of school have been chaotic and I just have not been able to share.

So after a few years of praying and sorting out feelings from calling, Josh is officially going to attend Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis starting this August! He is going to study to become a pastor.

I am so excited! I admit when Josh first was toying with this idea a few months after we were married I was terrified and thought "Absolutely not. No way will I let this happen. I do not want that at all." However, after praying hard against it for a year, God softened my heart and I feel more ready than ever.  Josh has a passion for God, for people, and for teaching so I really think he will love this and I think he will be really good at it. I am so excited to see where God takes us for the next 3-4 years while we are in St. Louis.

Some things I am excited about:
1. Big city... I love Norfolk but St. Louis is a lot bigger and has a ton of cool stuff

2. The Zoo- one of the #1 zoos in the US. Plus in 2015 they're getting polar bears. (That sold me to St. Louis)

3. The City Museum. It is hard to explain. Not really a museum- more like a giant adult playground... just google it. Better yet, come visit and we'll go.

4. Something new. I love Norfolk, but this year has taken a huge toll on my life. Change is hard, but good. I am looking forward to the change.

5. MORE SPACE. We have lived in this little apartment for almost 3 years now and I will certainly be so sad to leave it, but I am really glad we will be living in a two bedroom, with real counter space, a little patio and porch, plus a huge basement for an office/craft room/work out space/movie arena/laundry room/storage. It's gonna be the best.

6. The possibility of seeing the Red Sox play so close to home- and in general major league baseball!

There are still a few things we have to work out (Top priority right now is me getting a job- I would love some support and prayer on this...) but overall things are falling into place and I am more excited than ever to be Josh's wife during this time.

So in short, this July marks the end of a good three years of marriage in Norfolk, and in August, you can find me in St. Louis (or St. Louie as Nelly would spell it)


february favorites

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A few of my favorite things lately...

1. SNOW. I believe a few "thank-yous" are necessary...
   ** Norfolk and the Hampton Roads area, thank you for being ill-equipped to deal with the slightest bit of snow.
  ** Norfolk Public Schools, thank you for giving us FIVE snow days over the past two of weeks all at the end of the semester due to the "treacherous" roads conditions.
  ** Thank you Café Stella for being open during the worst day of the aftermath- your coffee warmed my soul and my hands.

2. Letters to friends. I am the absolute worst at staying in touch with dear friends who mean so much to me. So this year, despite my killer job I have decided I really want to stay in touch  and let my friends know I am thinking of them. So I have started writing letters and am trying to be more intentional about seeing friends I do live near.

3. A few movies I would like to recommend:
Anna Karenina
Marie Antoinette
Monsters University
Okay and this is not a movie, but How I Met Your Mother is our new show we're watching.
Also not a movie, but a mini-series on PBS, thank you BBC for  Sherlock. We love that too.

4. Scuttle Cookies. My own creation (I married a couple recipes together and decided to name them after my cat because well, we all know I am a little obsessed with him.) I'll share the recipe soon.

5. Dreaming of summer and some big things happening- like our trip to Europe. This is really exciting for us! We are hoping to hit four countries. The definite places so far are: England, Ireland, and France.

6. And here are a few things I have on my current wish list... my obsession with 18th century France will reveal itself even further with these wishes...

(Card from Rifle Paper Co., Jewelry Box from Anthro, and French movie poster of my favorite movie)


7. Scuttle was being really adorable and kitten like the other day... thank you Cail for the photos.

Happy Weekend!


finding peace in the midst of anxiety

Monday, January 27, 2014

I have been incredibly thankful for a much slower month thanks to high school exams accompanied by half-days and due to some snow days.

However, I have been feeling incredibly anxious about life and questions of whats next and some-what of some quarter life crises. But God usually knows what I need to hear to reassure me.

In high school, I developed a 'disorder' of sorts in which I all of sudden would get anxiety attacks. I could be doing something and snap- I would hyperventilate. It was pretty scary the first few times. Most of the time I would be doing something stressful- like getting blood drawn. I remember it happened after school during dance practice (I was on the dance team at my school- I know, so cool right?) It was a really bad attack and they tried to call the ambulance and it was pretty embarrassing to say the least, which probably only added to the anxiety attack.

Anyways, all this I say because in a nutshell- I am a really anxious person. I worry. I stress. I try to plan and perfect. I mean, if you saw my agenda (planner) you'd probably think I was a nutjob. Seriously.

I have been constantly reminded in the past couple weeks though about trusting in God's provision for your life.

I listened to a Tim Keller sermon the other week in which he defined anxiety as 'to be in pieces' or 'multi-minded.'

My mind literally is in pieces and thinking in twenty-gazilion different directions, when in reality I need to be single-minded. Now I understand usually single-minded is used in a bad sense, but in this context it means to literally be focused on one thing; your assurance of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Instead of worrying what next move He'll make with me, why not focus on the one move He has already done for me.

Keller also said "worry is listening to your heart and peace is talking to your heart." He draws this from Psalm 142 in which David reminds himself of his salvation:
vs5: "I cry to you O Lord; I say 'You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.'" 

So this week, I am trying to rid my mind of the "what-ifs" and "what shoulds" and remind myself of the "what He has done."

im the statue

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Have you ever heard of this saying? Well today- I am definitely the statue. In fact, I have found that most days in teaching, I am the statue. I got an email today about my failure rate being too high. This means too many of my students are failing. I was then asked a number of questions in the email all about what I am doing to get the failure rates up. I am expected to report my answers tomorrow. Now I know I need to be encouraging my students to get better grades and contacting parents if necessary. But I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to feel like it is somehow my fault my students are not passing (at least that it is completely my fault...) A lot (I mean about 7 per class....) of the students come late every day, or do not come at all.(about 5 do not come at all)  A lot of them are just lazy and do not do their work. I do not have time to call 40+ parents (yup- the failure number is way high... about 40...) and talk to students individually every day about what specific things they are missing. It drives me absolutely insane. It is nearly impossible... but sadly, someone has to be blamed in the US public school system and the ones at the lowest end of the totem pole are teachers.  

I could literally go on for hours about this but I won't bore you. Just next time you hear someone is a teacher, give them a hug and thank them for trying. It is so hard to put your heart, soul, time, effort, LIFE into something with so little appreciation. 

So, today, like many others I am the statue. Maybe I will shoot for pigeon status next week...


a little break

Monday, December 30, 2013

I cannot believe that December is almost over! It was a very busy month for us to say the least. Between work work work, Christmas shopping, some hard family times, some great family times, a Christmas tree, Christmas cards- okay you get the point & the list could fill this entire post. It was crazy busy!

Overall we have had a wonderful break so far- that last week of teaching was so long because we could taste Christmas break it was so close. I am trying to avoid thinking about work this week (other than on Wednesday which we have labeled our "work" day over break- we will literally be working around the clock to prepare for the next week- but then Thursday we will break again and put it off of our minds.)

Last week was busy but in a good way- I started off last saturday with a baby shower for my dear friend Katie and her baby girl Ella. I made the bunting in the background of this photo- I'll maybe share the DIY soon :) Cannot wait to snuggle with Ella when she arrives so soon!

Then we celebrated Christmas with my family & my brother-in-law's birthday. We also continued our annual tradition of going to see A Christmas Story & (my personal favorite) It's A Wonderful Life at our local vintage theater The Naro.

We packed our bags, said goodbye to Scuttle & our Christmas Tree and headed west to celebrate Jesus' birth with Josh's family.

After a wonderful Christmas visiting family, we headed south toward Atlanta to celebrate another birth- our nephew Edmund Michael Searcy. My heart melted- he was the cutest. Congratulations Kaitlin & Steven.

We came back home last night and we were greeted with purrs and kitty snuggles from Scuttle. It has been a good break so far and we are looking forward to a week of relaxing at home. My plan this week is to:

1. Begin our 2014 travel plans including a trip to FL to visit our favorite friends Dan & Ally and a European backpacking trip this summer (I am SO ecstatic!) 

2. Cook REAL food. Like the kind you get raw ingredients for- the kind of food I would make if I didn't work sixty hours a week. (also I am excited because I'll be testing some recipes from this cookbook I received as a Christmas gift!)

3. This sort of goes along with #2 but I am going to try my hand at re-creating this delicious meal I thoroughly enjoy/crave/dream about at a favorite local joint The Handsome Biscuit. 

4. Continue and maybe even finish A Brave New World.

5. Thrift. I miss thrifting. 

Any fun plans for the new year? 



Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happy post-Thanksgiving Caturday... remember to shop small businesses today to support your home town!

Ally & Scuttle

an ode to my favorites

Friday, November 29, 2013

I promise this post will not be as depressing as the last few...

Here are five favorite things I am super grateful for today & everyday.

1. My husband. Not sure if I would have survived thus far without Josh here to support me and love me and care for me during this tough season of learning, long hours, and sheer exhaustion. He has totally 100% held my hand the whole way, let me lean on him for comfort & support, and provided me with words of wisdom during my roughest of days. I am so blessed to work along side him.

eating dinner in my favorite place in the world... Paris.

2. My home. I love this sweet little tiny apartment in Ghent. I love that we can walk places. I love that Josh lets me decorate & redecorate & then do it all again. I love the steam heat in the winter. I even love my tinier-than-an-itty-bitty-mouse bathroom. I love the way the sun shines in through the bedroom window in the winter. I love this tiny space we call home.

3. My cat. In all seriousness, I truly look forward to coming home to the little cuddle-bug at the end of an exhausting day.

4. Café Stella. Your mochas are to die for. Your cinnamon walnut coffee cake is the dreamiest. Your atmosphere is comforting. And your food rocks my world.

5. Band of Horses. My favorite band... this album has gotten me through many-a-days at Booker T... you rock.... literally.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving day... I made an apple pie. My momma made everything else. It was a good day full of love and hair brushing by Savannah.


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