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There's a point in every conversation where the other person breaks eye contact, glancing away to look at, well, who knows what. Maybe it's another person, maybe a painting on the wall, or maybe it's just to see anything other than my face. You know that feeling, too? The one that says, "Well, they're done talking to you. You're boring, you have nothing interesting to say, and they are tired of you." I know it's not rational to think that a person's inability to look into my eyes without glancing away means they're tired of me. It's probably not realistic to think that a glance away means they're ready to dismiss me forever. But I'm not always rational, and goodness knows I'm not always realistic. My insecurities lie just under the surface of my consciousness, ready to assume control and lead me astray. That's because my insecurities are from my enemy. I've always had a hard time being comfortable in a group of people. I've assumed I don't fit in, whether there's evidence to suggest it or not. Even in a one-on-one conversation, I often wonder what the other person would rather be doing. My assumed belief is that, at some point,...


It's such a pain, meal-prepping every Sunday evening. I take out the spaghetti squash and the extra-lean ground turkey, and I put together my lunches for the week. I'm one of those who eats the same thing every single day, just for the sake of simplicity. The less I have to think, the better. But still, the prepping is a pain. It takes time, effort, and planning ahead, and I'd truthfully rather not do it. But I do. And it's such a pain, working out every morning. The alarm goes off before the rest of the house gets up, and I lace up my running shoes and pull my tangled hair into a semblance of a ponytail. I'm one of those who works out before going to work, to get it done early before my brain knows what I'm doing. The effort is a pain. It takes time, energy, and early alarms, and I'd truthfully rather not do it. But I do. I do the things I'd rather not do, small things that are a pain, because I've learned small things are larger than they appear. Meal-prepping and early alarms aren't really that terrible, even though it takes effort to do them both, but...


  Do you ever wish life could be reduced and simplified, just like our teachers taught us to do with fractions? Take the numbers you see and reduce them until they can't be reduced any more -- 50/100 becomes 1/2, the large and complex becoming small and simple. It doesn't work that way. I often find myself wishing for simplicity, wishing that everything in life could be categorized into either/or segments. Either people are good or they're bad. Either decisions are right or they're wrong. But it doesn't work that way. Everything is not always black and white. We live in a world of both/and, not a world of either/or. People can have good motivations but choose wrong actions. Decisions can be right in some people's eyes and wrong in others'. Everything doesn't fall neatly into a category, and everything doesn't lend itself to being either one thing or another. I don't get to simplify everything, even though I wish that were the case. Walking with God is a both/and journey. We can be both scared and stepping forward into the unknown. We can be both unsure of what will happen and confident in God's goodness. Both remembering the pain of our past and anticipating the goodness yet to...


  A little over a month ago, at the beginning of December, I decided to take a leave of absence from social media. You can read all about it here, but the main reason is that I just needed some white space in my life, and social media was filling my mind with unnecessary noise. I decided that for the month of December, I would stay off Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I did, and it was glorious.  I worried that I might miss it, that I would wonder what was going on in people's lives and feel like I was missing out. But 99% of the time, I didn't. I began to feel myself relaxing, not getting caught up in what other people were doing and saying. I wasn't constantly reaching for my phone, and I wasn't constantly living the life of a voyeur. Here's what I realized about myself and social media: I don't need it, and it usually doesn't make my life better. So here's what I've been considering as I've begun wading back in: why do I use it, and how will I protect myself? I've had to face some hard truths about myself and my choices. Prior to this fast, I was almost...