Heartburn and Heart Yearn


A couple months ago, I was preparing to leave on a writer’s retreat with some dear friends—a gathering that has become a beloved tradition at the start of every summer.

I ran to the grocery store to pick up the food items I was bringing for the weekend and I took a call from a friend while in the store. My shopping list was on my phone, but I figured I could freewheel it.

I had a great conversation with my friend, ran trough the check out with my items, took my coupons from the cashier (excited I had earned two instead of just one!) and left for home.

Half-way through the drive I realized I had forgotten the chicken breast—a key ingredient in grilled chicken. I decided not to turn around—chances were I would have to return to the store again before I was done packing.

Putting away the groceries, I found my not-one-but-two coupons at the bottom of a bag and was disappointed to find that they were both for heartburn medication. Not the buy-one-get-one ice cream coupon a bunch of friends had been talking about getting. I thought it was sadly funny and continued to prepare for the weekend.

After dinner, I ran to the store once more to pick up travel-sized soap and chicken breast. Again I managed to forget the chicken breast.

But guess what I came home with? A third heartburn medication coupon! Now it was just getting cruel. I have not yet had to experience the joy of heartburn. And, for the most part, the coupons from this store are based on your purchases…so what was in this soap that causes heartburn?!

Finally at eleven o’clock that night, I went to the store a third time along with a friend. This time I left with the chicken breast and my friend left with a buy-one-get-one ice cream coupon. Guess what coupon I got?

Yeah. 30% off heartburn medication.

And I had to laugh thinking back on this the other day because how much of my life is like this?

I didn’t go to the store to get coupons for heartburn medication or pints of ice cream for that matter. I went for chicken!

There are so many season in life where I have looked at what others are getting, upset with what I’ve been given all while missing the entire point. There are things that my heart wants that it is not getting, but in the midst of that, am I pursuing what my heart needs? (And no, I don’t mean chicken breasts!)

I confess that I loose site of the kingdom so often, caught up in hustling, achieving, and competing. Trying to have it all so often becomes the name of my game rather than slowing down and taking in what I really need: Jesus.

But once I have what I really need, what I want starts to change. What I was striving for starts to matter less and the circumstances I’m not pleased about become secondary. When my heart yearn is aligned where it needs to be, my longings begin to reflect the kingdom in proper ways.

Find A Place in Your City

I am a firm believer of the importance of place, be that your place in a season of life or your spiritual journey, but mostly physical place.

Though I am not in a relationship, I would argue that I lead a fairly romantic life and this is why:

I am in love with my city.

Grand Rapids is a beautiful and diverse city that loves the arts, food, and beer—all things I can get behind. I love exploring new corners of it, or trying a different restaurant, or just going someplace that is familiar—that’s home.

I think if you live anywhere, bit it for 90 years or just a month, I think you should fine a place that is your “spot.” Go there often. Observe the people there, watch how the light plays with the scenery. Bring a journal and your bible, let that place become your sanctuary. Read there, let your favorite characters enjoy your spot as well.

Find your favorite place in your favorite city and claim it as your own.

Originally from grkids.com

My favorite place is the Pantlind lobby of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. It’s decorations remind me of something out of Gatsby. There is a Starbucks around the corner. The armchairs are welcoming and the lighting is warm. It’s absolutely perfect.

I will go there to journal and figure out life. I will share it with close friends like it’s a special secret. I will just take a break from the hectic pace of life and just enjoy.

I think if we are rooted in a place, we need to embrace that place. This might mean finding a physical spot to pass special moments in. This might mean investing in a local church. It might mean making a friend in a city that is still unfamiliar to you.

Be rooted where you are. Fall in love with the city your are planted in. Enjoy the life before you.

With Courage


I wouldn’t say I’m a particularly courageous person. Never have been.

I spent most of my childhood afraid that ALF lived in the hole in the panelling of my closet. Once my sister and I watched an episode of Urban Legends where a woman died from wearing a dress she purchased from Goodwill, and I was terrified of used clothing for a good stretch of time. During a vacation to Disney World, I refused to ride the Pirates of the Caribbean ride because I had been informed by a kid at school that the boat falls off a 100 foot cliff.

(In my defense on that last one, the movie was a few years out from being made, otherwise, I would have been all over that thing.)

But you get the picture! I was a jumpy kid! I’m just as jumpy an adult, but I’m better at compensating for all my neuroses.

Risk has never been the name of the game for me, but I’ve learned as I begin to wade into this adult thing that it is necessary. Necessary and even healthy.

So when a dear friend alerted me to the fact that my dream job at my dream employer had opened up, I knew I had to make myself apply.

I was well aware that it was a long shot, that I was completely under-qualified, and that I was very much in love with the team of people I got to work with and the purpose we were working toward. But I hadn’t risked in a while.


I didn’t get the job. Didn’t even get an interview. I’m pretty sure the software the HR department used to help prioritize applications took one look at my resume and said, “Well isn’t that precious!” and took me out of the running.

But this opened up a conversation with the company I’ve contracted with as a social media marketer over the last few years.

A month ago I was not looking for a job.

I love my job. For the past two and half years, I have worked at Calvin College. I’ve been a project manager and admissions liaison in their communications and marketing department and it has been a rich experience.

During my time there, the college underwent a rebranding process. Out of that process came the concept that Calvin exists to cultivate courageous wonder. And yeah, I get it if this hits you as irrelevant. It is—at least in the context of the college.

See, I quit my job.

And this scares me.

But I walk away from my job at Calvin equipped with courage and wonder. Courage that what is ahead is where I need to be. Wonder at this beautiful calling God has placed on my life and at the rich and dynamic relationships he has allowed me to build during my time at the college. I am so grateful for every moment.

Throughout scripture, God often asks two things of his people: to not be afraid and to be obedient. These are not easy tasks and they are not things he takes lightly.

But what do we know of those he asked to leave comfort and trust what he had next? Abraham left behind all he had built to go to a land God hadn’t yet reviled to him. Moses decided to go to Egypt despite his fear of public speaking. Esther went to plea before the king, risking her position and even life. Joseph spoke honestly to pharaoh despite having it all go wrong so many times before.

Scripture is full of men and women who gave up the known for the unknown because they were asked to turn from fear and to trust.

Yes, this risk scares me, but I know that God is asking me to step out of the boat and go for a walk.

So what’s next?

I have accepted a full-time position with Apricot Services—a digital marketing firm specializing in tribe gathering and mobilizing for publishers, small business, and non-profits. I have always dreamed of working in publishing and this opportunity puts me directly in contact with multiple publishing houses and their marketing departments.

I am excited to partner with authors and help bring their messages to the people who need to hear them.

This is so where my heart is and I am grateful God has opened doors in this way, even though it has happened rather quickly.

So I step out in courage and with gratitude. That’s all I can do.—trust and see.

I don’t quite know what happens from here, but I trust it will be what is needed and that the result with leave me in wonder.


Bible College Spinster: Wringing This Season Dry


A few months ago, I discussed the concept of living deliberately. I discovered that there was a fine line between living life to its fullest and just doing for the sake of doing.

In this haze of fatigue and frustration, I found myself longing for not only purpose in how I was spending my time, but some passion. There was a desire to discover and pursue my gifts, and urgency to do what I loved, but to also love what was right in front of me.

A week ago, I sat through a talk on sloth. Yeah. Sloth.

And I always thought sloth was just laziness, but that is so not the essence of that word. It’s closer to an apathy, a despair, a restlessness in the face of what one knows to be true and not acting upon it. Complacency.

I think one of the greatest temptations I think one can fall into in this season of almost-but-not-yet is complacency. I’ve seen it too often when I look at my peers, when I look at myself.

Here’s the thing: God has placed you where you are and has presented the opportunities in front of you that he has with great purpose.

Want to live life deliberately? Take a risk on something right in front of you. Don’t let fear keep you stationary.

As I wrote in my previous post, you can’t do everything. But you also can’t do nothing.

So how do you find that thing? Here are some questions I’ve had to answer in the last six months that have helped me make some important decisions and changes:

  • What do you love about your life as it is right now? List those things out. Remember, nothing is too small.
  • Where you you imagine yourself in five years? Think details! Think calling!
    • What about where you currently are is pointed in that direction?
    • What, in your life currently, do you need to change to move toward this calling?
  • In what areas in your life have you felt the most joy?
  • In what areas in your life have you felt the most purpose?

Wrestling through these questions, I had the help of some olders in my life, but also some great books. I recommend taking a look at Restless by Jennie Allen and Present Over Perfect by Shauna Neiquist.
I pray you move forward rather than staying still. I pray God meets you as you search for purpose and fullness in a season we’ve been told for so long is just a waiting game.
There’s no waiting here. There is only you and God and the adventure he’s prepared for you.