So here is what happened today. I got to meet Shalini in real life. It blew our minds. We laughed and giggled and talked and hugged (a lot) and walked and oh my goodness today was amazing. She is such a wonderful woman, and an inspiring one at that. I am so lucky to have become friends with her and Katie those couple of years ago. Today didn’t feel like meeting for the first time, it felt like we had always known each other and were just hanging out. So thankful for simple days filled with love and good friendships that will last lifetimes. 


i realized today that i want to be friends with everyone: the lady at the check-out counter, the man on the corner reading a book while waiting to cross, the waitress at the restaurant, the gentleman who lent a smile as he passed.

i want to know your heart, to know where you came from and what experiences formed and shaped you. i want to invite you into my heart so we can realize our similarities and understand what also makes us so different.

i want to know people, and not just know them but delve into what really makes them, them.

i want to be friends with everyone.

a short list of things i love.

- talking with someone who is so invested in the conversation you’re sharing and what you’re saying that you both forget where you are and that there people all around.
- eating a lot of really, really good food made by people i love dearly.
- slowly finding out what community is.
- men who are kindhearted, respectful, and genuine.
- having friends that are not ashamed of the desires of their heart, that kiss me on the cheek as they pass by, who hug extra tight when you leave, who pursue a relationship with my family members.
- seeing so many people that have love and respect for my best friend, shal.
- giving my favorite, well-loved, worn + torn book to a new friend tonight with the understanding that they will be able to read the vulnerable things i write in the margins, the revealing things i underline, the aimless doodles in the corners of some of the pages. jumping head first into that friendship.
- strong coffee, good music, and trading prayer requests with wonderful people.

sometimes i’m hit with a wave of joy and gratitude and it brings me to tears. this is one of those times.

i’m sitting in a coffee shop where i’ve accidentally made awkward eye contact with three men who are all sitting at different tables that face me. i’m reading love does by bob goff, listening to i am still running by jon foreman, and just started daydreaming of what life as a missionary could be like (depending on if i’m accepted to the organization or not). without warning, my eyes are hot with tears and i am struggling to keep them from falling down my face. these are the good tears, yes, but no one believes that when you’re crying by yourself.

there is so much joy in this life i live and i can say with confidence that this moment’s joy and peace is owed completely to shal. she introduced me to this song, this book, the idea that Jesus + coffee go together so well, and supplied me with the motivation to run at my dream of being a missionary. how blessed am i to not only know someone as loving, kindhearted, adventurous, and passionate as her, but to be able to call her my best friend? she is proof that He loves me.

best friends are people who show up. they walk in with open arms, open hearts, and open minds. they come equipped with love in whatever form that looks like. they look into your tear-filled eyes to see all of the brokenness inside of you and make the conscious decision to stay put through the mess. they bring coffee and comfort. they know the moments and words that hit you the most and reach for your hand to let you know that they know. they desire to know the new friends you’ve made and hear the stories of friends they’ve yet to meet. they pursue, pursue, pursue - even when you’re so busy that responding to a simple text is near impossible. they understand and share your love of solitude and having a life of your own, and somehow the two of you can do that right next to each other. they understand that a lack of presence does not equate to a lack of love.

…or at least, that’s what my best friend does. thankful every freakin’ day for this beautiful woman.

things i’m thankful for on this sleepy sunday:

  • getting a text from my big brother telling me to come over later tonight for the packers-vikings game. when i ask what i can bring, he responds with the above text. so much love for that wonderful man.
  • starting my day off bright and early with coffee + croissants, talks of tattoos and Jesus, and hugs + kisses with my beautiful and kindhearted best friend.
  • group texts with four of my favorite women from the ol’ tumblr.
  • the goofy-faced dalmation with his head out the window in the car in front of me this morning.
  • emails of authentic story and heart-sharing with miss elizabeth.
  • being given the chance to celebrate the progress and growth of someone i love dearly and beyond comprehension.
  • singing + dancing to this song while getting ready for the day.
  • feeling the warmth and joy creep back into my heart after a season of feeling lost.

thank you, Lord, for people like my best friend, shal. she calls me to catch up when it’s been a while since we’ve seen her (being a grown up with a busy schedule sucks), and let’s me just cry about things that i wasn’t even aware were affecting me as much as they are. she lets me verbally process things, situations, and relationships. she shares my excitement and my sorrow, and she walks with me through each trial and celebration. she truly understands my intense need of desire and how much it bothers me. she reminds me of the fact that we’re both human, we make mistakes, and that’s okay.

best of all: she always asks how she can pray for me.

thankful beyond words and comprehension for this beautiful woman { hercrossroads } and the extraordinary privilege i’ve been given to call her my sister in Christ and best friend.

tonight she laughed with me about times where i’ve been brought back down to earth and out of stubbornness, she listened to me cry about the different forms heartbreak so often comes in, and encouraged me on the path the Lord is leading me down. she took on my struggles as her own, celebrated my joys as if they were hers, and reminded me that we are family.