“What are you afraid of?” he said. “Don’t you trust that God has a plan?” I had this conversation with a pastor in the beginning of my junior year of college. I had spent the summer selling over-priced vegetable plants for minimum wage while my many of my friends had landed great internships, gone on exciting trips, or gotten engaged to the love of their life. The recession was in full swing, and I was terrified of what would happen when I was no longer living my life by a course catalog. God was at work in everyone else’s life, but was he going to take care of me? Continue reading
I remember learning about the elements of a story in my elementary school library, looking up at the overhead projector from my little table by the card catalog. We learned that a story has a setting, characters, a plot, a conflict, and a resolution. Nowadays, story has become a bit of a buzzword, as we often discuss how to tell a better story with our lives and write it in a way that draws other people in. Continue reading
For months, I dreamed about leaving.
I sat in coffee shops talking with friends about how we were going to live more exciting lives some day, I recorded every episode of House Hunters International, and I spent a lot of time taking virtual vacations on Google Street View.
For years before that, I dreamed about staying.
I wanted to put down roots, to form lifelong friendships, to find a job I loved, and to spend less time hauling boxes in and out of dorm rooms and houses and city apartments. I’ve always known there’s something valuable about staying. Communities need the ones who stay—the ones who are dedicated and responsible and stable. In the English language, it’s hard to describe the need to leave without using words like flighty, restless, or discontent, and that’s not who I wanted to be. Continue reading
“Enjoy it while you can, honey, because once you’re married you’ll just wish you could be single again.”
I’ve heard this one a few times, along with various other pieces of jaded advice from unhappily married women or well-intentioned friends who are trying to make me feel better. I’m sure most singles have experienced this — the “You should be happy you’re single, because marriage isn’t all its cracked up to be” pep talk. When we’re thinking about something we don’t have yet, it’s easy to console ourselves by writing it off and saying it must not be that great anyway. Continue reading
Just a few thoughts for today:
“We read to know we’re not alone.” – William Nicholson, Shadowlands
This is one of my favorite quotes, spoken by the fictional C.S. Lewis in Shadowlands, though it is commonly attributed to the real C.S. Lewis, who frankly has more than enough to take credit for without also taking credit for things another author supposed he might have said. Anyway, I would like to propose an amendment to this quote.
“We write to know we’re not alone.” – Becca Nelson
Or at least, I write to know I am not alone. I suppose some other writers may just enjoy reading their own words. Continue reading
At times in my life, I’ve had a definite sense of temporary-ness. In college, I lived in an an unfashionable on-campus apartment with peeling paint and wood paneling and outdated linoleum. Though it certainly needed some work, It wouldn’t have made any sense to re-paint or fix it up in any way, knowing I would only be there for a few months. Just get through it, I told myself, and then you can move somewhere else. Continue reading
Sometimes I imagine myself packing up everything most important to me in the back seat of my car and leaving.
I’m not sure where I would go, but I would pack up my G.K. Chesterton books and and my journals and my $20 camping tent from Target and some clothes and a few granola bars and drive until I get there, wherever there ends up being. Maybe I would climb a mountain in Colorado, or stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon, or kayak across the inlet in Seattle. I always imagine myself going somewhere scenic and exciting, because after all, it would hardly be worth packing up everything to go to Topeka. It all sounds strangely romantic and liberating until I start thinking through the mundane reality of eating and sleeping and putting gas in my car and actually driving across the country. Continue reading