Saturday, March 30, 2013

Earning my spot.

Today, I feel like I earned my spot on planet earth. Let's not talk about what that means theologically or anything. I just got my hands dirty.

We started our own garden - something I've been dreaming of for years. We haven't even planted anything yet - we just dug in the dirt and tilled the soil and got it ready. I think it's fitting for the day in between Good Friday and Easter, actually. I love gardening and I see the Kingdom of Heaven through it and through the way our bodies function (thrive) with food.

I feel like I've earned my spot on planet earth when the water runs brown when I wash my hands. When I come home a little bit sweaty, with a few more freckles than the day before. This probably sounds really silly, and it's coming from a girl living in the city, but it's true. People and dirt and sun and rain. It's a way I connect with God.


So, it's been a while. Crazy stuff: we bought a house. Now here we are, settled a little bit more, and I'm ready to do this again. A little bit.

I have some thoughts about staying and settling, and this is the opposite of what I thought for my life 4 years ago. I wrote a little bit about this last August, and that was a mere three weeks before we bought our house (which we didn't know we would do at that point). 

Here's a link to that post:

And here's a link to a post by a blogger that I admire greatly (though I've never met her). This post encouraged me so much.

Like she says, this is hard and it's shaping me. Little things, things that I didn't even notice needed to be changed. But they're changing and it's so hard and so necessary. I think I'm discovering things about myself that I never knew before, things hidden deep down inside that given the opportunity they arose with a passion. 

And then recently I read this: 

And I agree again. The Church rarely talks about this and it's hard and so beautiful. We just moved in here at the beginning of winter, but now it's spring. The neighborhood is starting to wake up again, and every time we're outside on our porch for more than three minutes, we meet someone new. I love that.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


I've never really liked poetry... never been stirred or moved by it.

Until this:

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Staying put.

I have been thinking a lot about staying put lately... Because that's what we're doing. We've been here in this city for almost 6 years (longer than anywhere else I've lived except the place I was born), and God is giving us more. And this isn't the dream I dreamed all those years, but I'm realizing that this life of staying put is better than I imagined. Our dream was always to go and I'm desperately feeling the itch now. But it sure seems like God is calling us to stay. This blog post captured some of my thoughts and I thought it worthy to share:

Not that I really think what we're doing is "radical", but it is hard and it is beautiful. And I'm coming to terms with this dream that I never dreamed, this dream of community and breaking bread together and the hard conversations and the transformations and the coming and leaving of others and the beauty of babies being born and children growing up around us. The dream of the change of seasons, again, and the knowing of the streets around this home we've lived in for two years now (longer than I've lived in one house since my parents') and the pain and the beauty. I'm learning more about myself every day. I'm learning to trust God in new and different ways every day.

[I was just reminded that this blog is called "Life in the City" and my old blog was something like "Elise - Viaje" (trip/travel). Interesting]

And now we're off all day to learn and talk more about investing in our community and growing this little group we call a house church. And one of my coworkers expressed how she was sorry I had an all day "meeting" for church today... And I realized how much I was looking forward to it, even though it's a meeting. Our community is beautiful and things are happening and it's so exciting, and so even though I see these people two or three or four times a week, I love it and I love them.

So we'll stay put as God is leading us. And I'll cry when I miss the friends/family that are scattered across the country and the world and my heart will jump every time there's an update about the work they're doing. I'll live vicariously through them and try even harder to love those around me.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Summer is over.

I failed at posting this summer (and most of the time). But here's something of how I feel.

And there is one more day of this longest (and hardest?) summer yet, and I'm so happy.

Fall usually inspires me to blog more, so here's hoping.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


I've learned 100 words in French now, and I'm longing for France. I have no idea why, but I'm longing for the cool fog of a fall morning camping in Southern France, microwaved lasagna and peach tea for Thanksgiving dinner, wandering the streets of Paris, lost, at 2am... The chance to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower, petit dejeuner, le fromage (lactose intolerant, unfortunately), l'amuse bouche (I love to say it but I still don't know what a canape is)... I'm feeling a lot of wanderlust right now. France, maybe one day I'll see you again. And if I do, I'm for sure visiting Donostia too!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Life is a never-ending learning experience. Just when you think you know everything (right in the middle of and right after college, of course), God shows you a different way. A better plan. Sometimes I get tired of learning... A lot of the learning I do comes through my job, and it's difficult. So good, but difficult.

We're learning things in our lives, too. Learning that we don't know what the future holds and sometimes the plans we were sure would come to fruition just aren't meant to be - at least this year. So at this 2.5 year mark we reevaluate - what do we want out of life? What is God calling us to do? And sometimes our long-held dreams need to be put aside for a while to make room for the dreams God is giving us now.

I can't wait to look back 2.5 years from now, at the 5 year mark. I can't wait to see where God takes us - what is around the bend.


It sure isn't fair how much some children see in their short lifetimes. How much hurt and pain they carry around in their little hearts and minds. I want desperately to be able to help them, and I fall short every day. Only by the grace of God.

Lord have mercy.


Even though Colorado feels like it's on fire, I'm so thankful to live in this beautiful state. To take a short drive and escape all that pains me in the city. To have a view like this with the one that I love.