brutal, belabored BECOMING

I love long chats that have unexpected twists and turns. I love iced tea in the summer heat and the bitter-sweetness of lasts. I love gentle and deep questioning and becoming and adventures of the soul with a similar heart. I love those well-spoken and perfectly-chosen words that soak deep and fast into my spongy heart. I love that I got to drink all of this in this afternoon with a lady who is quickly becoming a fast friend.

here’s the battle, friends:

what happens when you no longer feel able to participate in and subscribe to the things you once did?

when you break out on your own, trek into new spaces, discover the old and glorious truths that never made sense before?

when you unveil the new breath in your lungs to a world not ready for the shining brilliance on your face- like Moses’ face when he came down from the presence of the Lord?

when you are in the constant state of brutal, belabored BECOMING… the place where you are discovering the true design created in you and beginning to feel out this new skin that fits better, gentler, less constricting?

when you finally feel like you belong inside yourself… and suddenly feel like you belong nowhere else?

when you don’t understand how they don’t understand because the revelation and truth is so deeply ingrained in your very soul?

this is for you, sweet soul. I am for you. He is for you.

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in this sweet and soaring transitioning that is allowing you freedom in grace, freedom in personality, freedom to be who you were designed to be without the bondage of self-judgement and condemnation.

this is such a beautiful space- one I’m sitting in. one I’m breathing into. one I’m living and working and learning in.

because your right and your must-do as a child of God is to walk faithfully in who you are called to be… in your own unique design. in your own perfect origin which He so diligently delights in. anything less than living as your full self, in all that you are uniquely and personally crafted to be under His blood, is fake and fraudulent and works-righteousness and an embarrassment of graceContinue reading

what I’ll miss

Joey & I are officially moving. To Washington state.

I’ve written a lot about wanting to move over the past year or so. It’s been a hard year, and many of you have had a front row seat to all of it through this blog. There’s been so much emotional trauma, so much pain, so much growth, so many unexpected little joys.

Lately I’ve known we’re ready for this. It’s time. But I forgot something. You can be ready, and it can be time, but just because you’re ready doesn’t mean it won’t hurt like hell. Just because it’s time doesn’t mean it won’t be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. And the two feelings- that elation & fierce loss- will war within you.

and it sucks, y’all.

and I’m all “is this seriously what it’s like to adult? because I am out.” and then I remember there is no “out”, and I’m just gonna have to live this year 22, and I remember I have an awesome hubby and Jesus on my side. and guess what? yeah, it’s still hard.

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so, just as I’ve let you into the hard parts of my waiting, I’m letting you into the hard parts of our going. of our obeying. of our picking up and moving.  Continue reading

Namaste.

mmmmm. this word, you guys.

for those of you who don’t practice yoga, you may be surprised at how downright biblical this word gets.😉 if I’m being honest, at the core, that’s why I love Holy Yoga so much… the parallels in yoga to so many of the truths in Scripture are startling and eye-opening. “Namaste” is one of those.

I remember in 2011 when I went to India for a missions trip, we would often greet the native people in return with the response of “namaste” or “namaskar”. it’s a common Indian greeting which carries significant spiritual and cultural weight. it isn’t just the word either, it’s nearly always accompanied by the pressing together of one’s hands over one’s heart, and bowing forward gently.

it’s also a word and gesture that in western cultures has been contorted, or is just said by heated yoga-practicing white girls because that’s what their teacher concludes class with. (sorry.) if we’re honest, most of us (even some of us who do practice yoga) don’t know what this word means.

online Yoga Journal defines it this way: “The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us… The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another.

so here’s the thing. while, as Jesus followers, we certainly don’t believe that we ourselves are divine, we do believe that we are made in the image of God, or in other words, carry the signature of the One true Divine in the very core of who we are as humanity. this is why tragedy is tragic. this is why loss of life is so terrifying. (more on that here.)

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how often do we forget this? how often do we allow careless words and judgement to come between us and others, forgetting Jesus’ words that “whatever you do for them, you do for me.” (paraphrased) how often do we treat our fellow humanity like nuisances to be ignored or creatures to be judged?

how often would we do this if we truly remembered that they are Image-bearers? how often would we sin against one another if we constantly acknowledged the Divine spark, the Image of God in the faces of those we interact with?

Namaste is our reminder that we have all been created in His image, that we are all walking resemblances of our Creator, however tainted and torn it has become. Namaste is the word that brings us back to the basic belief that God so loved the world… and that we are called to do the same. Namaste is the gesture that nudges us to make ourselves low, to humble ourselves because we all bear the same image, and none of us is better than another.

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So when your next class ends, and the teacher bows her gentle “Namaste”, look around you and soak in His image. look around you and walk in love towards humanity. look around you and be gentle in love and firm in truth and bold in your very soul because you bear the image of the Divine.

how to make life less sucky when you’re crazy busy

let’s just be real guys.

when we get too busy, everything becomes a blur of checklists, schedules, meetings, getting things done, disorganization, chaos, family world wars, atomic bombs… waitno. mostly just checklists and schedules. but seriously, as the speed of life picks up, I end up feeling like I’m in the middle of a race I didn’t realize was happening, and I’m all out of breath and miserable and confused. (it ain’t pretty)

and right now, with less than four weeks to pack up and move cross country, you could say I’m stressed worried nervous in a total panic. so, believe me… I need this post as much as you do. let’s take a deep breath and read on.

here are a few ways to make that out-of-breath chaos a little less sucky while you’re living it…

1.) give yourself a time-out
while generally time outs are associated with mischievous toddlers (or, you know, normal toddlers), sometimes we all need a couple minutes to simply get our bearings and take a deep breath. so set that iphone timer for 10 minutes, shut and lock the door, and just breathe for a second. pay attention to that breath in your body, and focus on just how it feels to breathe instead of letting your mind loose on all the things you have to do. I went full yogi on you with the breath. sorry not sorry. thank me later. Continue reading

#Avricksonthemove

BIG. NEWS. Y’ALL.

This teeny tiny Avrick fam is about to have a massive (like, really huge) yard sale, pack all the crap that’s left into boxes, and have a literal cross-country road trip…

We’re moving to Washington state.

I mean, can you even? After a whole lot of heartache, and over a year of wondering and praying, post-occurrence of the Incident That Shall Not Be Named, Joey FINALLY has his dream job. And in one of the neatest spots in the US to boot! It makes my heart sing to think that someone else in the position to hire sees in Joey the rich faith & talent that I see everyday. That is priceless, I’m telling you.

Here’s another thing- I’m legitimately terrified. So that’s cool. Like, I’m losing my freakin’ mind. My entire life looks like these two binders & notebooks now:


Also roadtrippers.com is slowly becoming one of my favorite Internet sites of all time. (Thank you Jesus!) We are desperately trying to find an apartment and get everything done in the four very short weeks we have before we’ve got to be over 2,000 miles away from our families, friends, and the good old East coast where we’ve spent all our lives. (Though I can’t say I’ll be ready to trade the Washington mountains for Maryland humidity anytime soon). 


It’s really kind of horrifying, as well as beautiful, and it’s difficult to sit and breathe and enjoy these last moments here, instead of blindly rushing to desperately get everything done. It’s all happening so fast, and that makes it tough to swallow.

In the meantime, I’m holy-yoga-ing all over the place and just trying to make time to be still and soak it all in- the wonderful, the fear, the downright hilarious. We are continuing to choose the belief that God’s fingerprints litter the surface of what we see, and that GOODNESS is in store for our hearts, no matter how far away or lonely we feel.


You can follow us on Instagram (untidygraceblog); we will be using the hashtag #Avricksonthemove to make sure our adventures are easy to keep track of!

getting free from the bondage of TOXIC PEOPLE (what no one tells you)

ugh.

this topic.

this topic is the worst you guys.

no really, I actually hate it.

knowing the difference between a toxic person & a person you just don’t gel with is sometimes really tough. and in our “It’s all about MEEEEE” world, it’s easy to just start labeling people without much wisdom or thought. definitely not cool. (also, you would kind of start to become that toxic “label-er”, and no one wants to be that guy.)

so, here are 6 signs your friend is toxic… with strategies to set you (both) free❤

TOXIC STUFF

1.) THE PROBLEM: the “too busy for you” toxic friend
she only texts you when she’s having a bad day, only calls you when disaster strikes, only wants to hang out when the world is ending. but they make sure to let you know that you’re crazy for thinking that. she’s just busy, right? there’s just a lot going on right now… surely you understand?
THE STRATEGY: don’t let their bad days run your life. they only contact you because they know you’re the only one who will drop everything to come to their aid… even though you haven’t talked in months.
if you’re busy, let them know. “sorry, I can’t help right now, but let me see what’s on my calendar, and I will let you know.”
set a time. don’t let them suck you in for hours on end. spend the time on them that you would with anyone else, and then go on with what you have to do.
Continue reading

the only thing that should matter to Christians about the Orlando Massacre

My heart hurts.

it hurts because over a hundred men and women were maimed or brutally killed this past weekend.
it hurts because these were people… people with souls and parents and loved ones and beating hearts.

I’m scared, too.

I’m scared because the hatred for the LGBTQ community that fueled this killing is one that is present and so vaguely masked by pretended “holiness” and “righteousness” in our churches.
I’m scared because I know people who say ugly things born out of that hatred.
I’m scared because it’s obvious that we the church have no idea how to actually act like Christ as opposed to making a hobby out of turning differences into hatred.

It’s obvious in the comments I see on facebook that turn this sacred time of mourning and weeping and grieving into a religious battle or political war-ground.

don’t be foolish.

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With it [our tongue] we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. //James 3:9//

because, and please listen carefully, claiming to follow Jesus doesn’t make you the only one who matters. Continue reading

Creating Positive Triggers

for those of us whose life stories contain chapters of mental illness or trauma, triggers are a terrifying part of everyday life. it’s like your life is a jack-in-the-box that keeps getting rewound. you’re not sure when it’s going to pop out at you, dragging you back to that point in time you were most vulnerable, most taken advantage of, but you know it’s there… waiting… and the fear of it can keep you from living your life.

it feels rather unfair, that something you survived and lived through should then be allowed to haunt you, to surprise you, to not let you forget. but it is a scar, and though they fade they don’t disappear. I’m right there with you, friend.

but let’s take a step back real quick.

here’s the definition of a trigger:

trigger
verb
(used with object)
to initiate or precipitate (a chain of events, scientific reaction, psychological process, etc.)
so, as you can see, even though it is overwhelmingly used to describe a person, place, thing, word, situation, (etc, etc…) that ignites a negative process or chain of events… there’s no rule that says that has to be the case.
but what if we started combating this with like firepower?
what if we started creating our own positive triggers?
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I realize this might be a new concept to some of you. it’s not really something that I’ve ever heard of either. it just kind of came to me during my yoga flow a few days ago, and it stuck. it won’t leave my head, and I just can’t lose the idea that this could be something so big in my life.

Continue reading

how to rest (a totally useless guide)

so I haven’t written much since I returned from my holy yoga training retreat, except to update you all who were so sweetly and so diligently covering me in prayer. (you are the BEST, y’all.) But here’s a little peak into the wild and holy work that went on in my soul that week… Consider that (along with the history of this blog😉 ) your disclaimer.

you have been warned. proceed with caution.

it all started with the flight. boarding scared & doing it afraid, and being so utterly terrified that I just curled into a ball, stuck my headphones in, and listened to music about God carrying me as the plane took off. miraculously, no panic pills were involved. so great, right?!
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((photo from the HOYO family facebook page- not mine))

after a whirlwind night meeting people for the first time, only to bunk with them about ten minutes later (only through Jesus, y’all), and rushing back to the airport to reconvene with the rest of the HOYO sisterhood that was arriving for retreat, and bumping along the Arizona desert for 3 hours, and moving into our cabins & going through our first flow as a group… Sunday was killer, guys.

and Monday and Tuesday were hellish. yeah. I said it. constantly moving from dawn to long after dusk on little sleep, high elevation, and surrounded by people I had never met before. (and all the introverts draw a collective gasp of horror, as the extroverts are thinking I must have intended to type heavenly). I honestly wasn’t sure I’d survive the week at that point.

and then Tuesday night hit, and I’m lying in savasana on a hard wood gym floor, only separated by a thin yoga mat, surrounded by quiet breathing and muffled sniffles, staring up at the dimmed lights and orange glow of the heaters, thinking, “what the hell have I done? I’m so utterly exhausted. I don’t understand. I thought I was called to this. but no, I’m still exhausted… just like I have been for the past year of my life. it never ends, and God you still don’t give me any sort of strength, for some reason that continues to infuriate and frustrate my ever-loving mind.”

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((photo from the HOYO facebook page- not mine))

and then the touch came. soft and subtle, the hands of a kind friend massaging my scalp, pressing into my shoulders… and her voice: Continue reading

Why just showing up is the most important thing you can do

Just. Show. Up.

It doesn’t even matter how you show up, but show up. Keep showing up every day, every minute. The second you stop showing up is when apathy and numbness set in.

So keep showing up.

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To life. To your quiet time. To the hard thing. To other people. To the healing work. To the fun. To what scares you. To the people who make you angry. To the situation that is good for you under all the muck.

Just. Show. Up.

Show up angry, messy, hurt, disheveled, broken, raw. Show up as yourself. Show up happy, confused, wondering, hopeful, in pain. Show up as who you are, and as no one else.

Wholeness requires your whole mess.” ~Brooke Boon

Show up every single minute of every day, and keep showing up no matter what. Even if you’re judged for it, criticized, looked down on. Because there are others who are looking for the courage to show up, and you showing up in all your messiness might be how they find the courage to show up in theirs.

Show up. Always in all ways. Whoever you are, bring that person. That person needs it desperately. Showing up is how that person finds courage, freedom, grace, healing… Showing up is how you become yourself. Showing up is wherein you find the strength & peace & hope you didn’t know God would or could give you.

Show up. And keep showing up. It’s the most important thing you can do.