What Dating Taught Me in 2016

I spent the majority of 2016 getting to know and then dating a strapping young man, and we broke up in early October. So when I reflect on the year–that relationship is a major part of the things that shaped it. Though breakups suck, I am thankful for the experience of dating this year, and have complied a few “takeaways” from the relationship (I blogged about the takeaways from the break up here!).

In no particular order, and this list is certainly not exhaustive, but dating in 2016 taught me:

  1. That sometimes two awesome people, are not awesome together.
  2. That dating someone super disciplined in being in the Word and in prayer, makes it a whole lot easier to listen to their leadership.
  3. That becoming too physically affectionate stunts emotional & relational growth (it’s super easy to cuddle the night away, and it’s laborious to know one another–be willing to labor).
  4. That if their definition of best friend is very different from your picture of a best friend-you’re probably going to struggle to be best friends.
  5. That there is a beautiful, gospel centered way to respond to sin–and it brings freedom and a sense of safety.
  7. That I’m less trusting/more insecure than I thought I was.
  8. That I love big and I love quickly-I need to slow down my heart–and pray for discernment.
  9. That learning is a love language of mine.
  10. That “thy will be done” is a prayer always answered perfectly ❤

One of my favorite quotes of all time is by A.W. Tozer, and says, “When I understand that everything happening to me is to make me more Christlike, it resolves a great deal of anxiety.” So when I think about getting to know, dating, and breaking up this year–I know it’s purpose in my life is to make me look more like Christ, and that is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

Oh, and here’s a little diddy I wrote when processing post-break up thoughts!

Guess we’re a Square Peg in a Round Hole,
It’s not you or me,
It’s us.

Yes we’re a square peg in a round hole.
It’s not you or me,
It’s us.

I get blinded by my own heart,
Love too big that I can’t see.
I get blinded by my own joy.
I’m not for you, you’re not for me.

I know I tend to try, try, try, to be all I long to be.
I get in my mind,
convince myself it’s fine.
Love can be so blind.

Though there was so much that was so good,
we long for and offer different things.
Though there was so much that was so good,
It’s best to wait for what God brings.

Because we’re a square peg in a round hole.
It’s not you or me-
It’s us.


Grace Unmeasured

So a little while ago, I got together with these two amazing musicians to jam some of our favorite worship songs. The good news is I recorded it! The bad news is I lost ALL OF IT BUT THIS SONG (saaaaddddddd).

So here’s this song, which is a wonderful song! Although we certainly don’t execute it as perfectly as we’d like (I sincerely apologize for my pitches graces :(!)–we LOVED playing together! (also go to 1:00 to miss us starting over haha :))

Grace unmeasured, vast and free
That knew me from eternity
That called me out before my birth
To bring You glory on this earth
Grace amazing, pure and deep
That saw me in my misery
That took my curse and owned my blame
So I could bear Your righteous name

Grace paid for my sins
And brought me to life
Grace clothes me with power
To do what is right
Grace will lead me to heaven
Where I’ll see Your face
And never cease
To thank You for Your grace

Grace abounding, strong and true
That makes me long to be like You
That turns me from my selfish pride
To love the cross on which You died
Grace unending all my days
You’ll give me strength to run this race
And when my years on earth are through
The praise will all belong to You

© 2005 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI).

You are the Answer to a Gypsy’s Prayer

Last night at our Spring Banquet, I sang a song from Disney’s 1996 animated film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In it, a gypsy shunned and rejected from society, prays to God asking him to help people like her (and Quasimodo the hunchback) since they have it so rough in this life. She asks for mercy to be shown, and for life’s purposes to be revealed to them.

Here’s the thing, believers–WE ARE THE ANSWER TO HER PRAYERS. As the hands and feet of Jesus Christ WE are to be the ones showing mercy, and explaining beautiful truths to EVERYONE. WE are the ones who are to show people love and value and grace-especially the kinds of people that Christ himself dedicated most of his earthly ministry to-the outcasts.

If You Believe the Christmas Songs


I stumbled across their version of “the Little Drummer Boy” this morning, and my oh my I was in for a treat! Have a listen!

A newborn king to see. 

King Jesus. 

No gifts do they bring that would be fitting for such a child. 

And earlier this week I was listening to and thinking about their rendition of “Mary, Did You Know?”

So beautiful! Did you catch the words they are saying about the baby we are celebrating this month?

He would save our sons and daughters. 

He will deliver you. 

He has walked where angels trod.

He is Lord of all creation. 

He is the Great I Am. 

Here’s the thing. I don’t know where Pentatonix, or anyone on the Christmas radio station for that matter, lands theologically. I don’t know if they believe what they are singing about, if they think it is just a classic, endearing tradition, or if they think it’s a ridiculous, inflated fairy tale. But I know what I believe, and what I hope you believe.

Jesus was a real man-100% God, 100% man. He was born of a virgin, lived a PERFECT life because he was God, and then willingly sacrificed his life on the cross in payment for the sins of all who believe in him as Lord so that we could be reconciled to God. He rose on the 3rd day, conquering death and Satan and is seated at the right hand of God the Father-now and forevermore. I believe the Christmas songs we sing about Christ are rooted in truth and written to stir our gratitude to God for the beautiful, creative, selfless gift of Himself in the incarnation. The incarnation was the first human footstep of God to the cross, and our redemption. The manager was the first human resting place for our Savior who has now gone to prepare a place of final rest for us in his Father’s house.  

So as we listen to Christmas carols, and songs of the season that aren’t about hippopotamuses or the Grinch (which I love too, by the way!), know that the fact that we BELIEVE the foundation of the lyrics should change how we listen to them. Let’s allow our heart to swell with joy in thinking about the purposes for Christ coming. Let’s try not to just listen, or just sing these songs this year-anyone can do that. Instead, let’s think about the truth in the lyrics, and worship God because of them. 

Merry Christmas!

All I Need and Trust is the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

When my eyes are wearied by what I see around me–and by what I do not see, I realize that I am often looking in the wrong places. Instead of what I lack, or what pains me, I turn my eyes to the Founder and Perfecter of my faith, and find my once heavy heart now light and peaceful. 

Dear friend, pray for a heart that understands and delights in this precious love. His love changes everything!

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me
Underneath me, all around me
Is the current of Your love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Your glorious rest above

Oh the deep, deep love
All I need and trust
Is the deep, deep love of Jesus

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Spread His praise from shore to shore
How He came to pay our ransom
Through the saving cross He bore
How He watches o’er His loved ones
Those He died to make His own
How for them He’s interceding
Pleading now before the throne

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Far surpassing all the rest
It’s an ocean full of blessing
In the midst of every test
Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Mighty Savior, precious Friend
You will bring us home to glory
Where Your love will never end

john piper quote: