2018 Book List

2019 is, like, actually here! Some days I really didn’t think we were going to survive 2018, and then all of a sudden we’re a week in to this new year and I’m still working on my December to-do list. Oops.

I always try to post my yearly book lists in December because, Christmas gifts. There is nothing I love more than giving (or getting!) for Christmas than books. So ignore the fact that it is currently January (double oops), and think of all the books you can *exchange your other gifts for*. You’re welcome!

In 2017, I tried to read 30 books in a year – and I accidentally read 51 (I blame both insomnia and the Harry Potter series). This year I, once again, tried to read 30 – and I read TWENTY NINE AND A HALF. Triple oops. Read More

Christmas Presence

It’s finals week and I can barely remember what day it is. What time it is. I have 0 groceries and pretty sure I’ve spent more time at the library than I have at home. It’s been a blur of carrying my backpack to one library to another to a coffee shop, just to dump it on the floor and sleep for a bit before the next round. People ask me what I did last Friday and I stare at them blankly because, what is Friday? When was that? Who is that? Huh?

I had to say no to 5 Christmas parties this past weekend. I’ve had to say no to SO many things, so many people. I’m so ready to not have to respond with, “Can’t, I have to study” and “Ah, I’ll be at the library” or “Wish I could, but I have school!”. I’m so ready to sit with people and not be thinking about all the precious minutes of studying I’m missing out on. So ready to not pack up 4 different bags in the morning, with 3 different meals, and 2 additional layers. I’m ready for this semester to be done.

I’m in a new relationship, which is all sorts of wonderful, but also a bit all-encompassing. My already limited free time feels like it’s now in the negative category. Combine that with a crazy end of a semester and this little known time of year called The Holidays – I’ve had about 73 things to do in what feels like 30 seconds to do them and it’s been a bit overwhelming.

Life has just felt FULL. Too full. Which, after a year of hard, I’ll take full – but it’s so full I’ve had to say no to things, and I really hate saying no. I really hate being the MIA friend. I really hate being the person who shows up, sometimes. I’m used to being the one who remembers to text you on your first day of the new job, who checks in about something you told me about a month ago, who knows that one thing is happening a week from today. I usually remember small details and small dates and small celebrations.

And lately it’s taken all my energy to remember to put gas in my car.

I just want to be present. I want to go to the Christmas parties and I want to sit on the couch with friends and I want to feel like my brain is actually working. I want to text friends back, “Sure! How about Tuesday?” instead of “Oh man, life is so crazy, maybe let’s circle back in January??” I want to feel like I’m in the moment, instead of constantly, constantly catching up to the moment. Every conversation this month has felt like I arrived to it, mentally, 7 minutes late and out of breath. “Wait, who are we talking about? What happened? What day is it?

Christmas is so soon and let’s forget about all the presents I still need to buy – I just want some presence. I want to feel like I’m in the moment, this moment. I want to take a deep breath and let my mind settle a bit and just be. But I’m finding I’m trying to hold on to who I used to be and who I am now, in this season – and I can’t have both. I can’t be both. I can’t be Krysti in Seminary and also Krysti Not in Seminary. I can’t be Single Krysti and Krysti in a Relationship. I can’t be 2017 Krysti and also 2018 Krysti. I can’t do all the things, be all the people.

Advent is the season of expectation, of waiting. But this year, I’m learning that includes desire, as well. A deep longing, a wanting. For the next season, sure, but for presence. For rest. For sanity. I want to sleep for 17 hours. I want to sit on my couch. I want to take my time cooking a meal – not to pack up to go for the week, but just to enjoy in the moment. I want to see my friends and sit and have long, time-wasting conversations that fly by. I want all these things.

<><><>

I’m so ready for this season to be over, and yet I can’t help but feel something deeply spiritual in this longing. In this season of advent I am oh-so-ready for the next season. I am ready for things to come, promises to be fulfilled, dreams that are only hopes at this point I am ready to see become reality. I am eagerly expectant and deeply longing; I am so very in the midst of the hoping.

We celebrate God showing up in a way humanity could have never fathomed. We celebrate the fact that longing and desire for a powerful king, a political messiah were met – in a baby born into the most common of families, in the most unlikely of places. God shows up. It just isn’t always how we expect, it isn’t always exactly what we were thinking. God’s heart for the world and for humanity were displayed – in ways no one saw coming.

I am studying the New Testament (for finals!) and read through the gospels and I see time and time again how no one expected Jesus. Not like that. Not like how God chose to answer the prayers of His people. Even after Jesus died, even after He rose from the dead – so much of the New Testament is letters explaining to people, again, Jesus is the Christ. He really was holy. He really was God’s delivered promise. You can trust this. You can trust Him.

And so I sit in the library and I try to pull myself off Instagram and I try to summon the energy to study a little bit longer. A little bit more. The new season, the next season, feels so close and yet still so far – it’s painful. But it feels holy. The waiting feels holy. The expectation, as frustrating and maddening and forever it feels – is holy, too.

I know I’ll finish finals and life won’t be as magical as I’m expecting. I know I won’t get to sleep for the next 17 hours and I know Christmas is bringing its own stress, its own crazy. I know that we can overhype things, when we’re waiting for them to begin. But I also know that God shows up, God meets us in the middle – in ways we can’t imagine. It’s not that He doesn’t answer prayers – it’s that He answers them in ways we could have never expected. Ways that, years from now, we still might question and still might doubt. Ways that we need people to remind us over and over again – you can trust this. You can trust Him.

In this season of advent, I want free time and space and s l o w. And yet it feels like I’m getting the exact opposite. And maybe that’s okay. Maybe the presence I’m deeply desiring is hidden in one of these 73 to-do items. Maybe answers I’m searching for have already shown up – I just haven’t recognized them yet. Maybe all of this longing has already been fulfilled, in places I’m stubbornly expecting political royalty when God sent me a child.

Maybe it’s a babe in a manger and maybe it’s finals week. Maybe it’s health or reconciliation, maybe it’s a big “yes” or a hard “no”. Maybe your season of advent is agonizingly long or maybe it’ll be over in a blink. It won’t always be the answer you’re hoping for, but it will always be Him. I’m sure of that.

26 Was Rough

This week I’m saying goodbye to 26. Birthdays always make me nostalgic, always make me think back on what the past year of life held. This year, I’m realizing I’m not too sad to see 26 go. I’m realizing I wasn’t the biggest fan.

26 was when life got overwhelming.  Life felt like it was heading one way and it suddenly, jarringly, changed directions. It felt like in so many areas of life I kept hitting this impenetrable wall. In so many areas I was spinning plates while treading water while trying to put out various fires.

26 was when I started to question a lot. My current life, my potential future. What I wanted, what I needed. If I should come up with a new life plan. If I even needed to have a life plan.

26 was when friendships got rough. Easy, life-giving relationships all of a sudden started taking lot of effort. They started taking work. They started taking energy, in a season where I seemed to have so little of it. Read More

How to Adult

Life has been a bit of a whirlwind, lately. It’s been a no-sleep, going-going-going, wait-what-day-is-it?! constant. And in the midst of the crazy, a friend said the sweetest words to me the other day – the kind of “I didn’t know I needed that, but wow I needed that” unexpected goodness that soothes your soul a bit. We were catching up and she said, “Hey, I know you – and you’re doing the best you can.”

 

One of the most beautiful things to me is being known by my People. I spent a whole lot of my life guarded – even to those closest to me – and the past few years have been a lot of un-doing, a lot of breaking down walls brick by brick. When people know me, it still catches me off guard. It still stops me in my tracks a bit. It still overwhelms me, in the best way.

Everyone tells you life after college is hard, and mostly it’s because friendships after college are hard. When I first heard about this, I laughed at the post college blues. Ha. Whatever. Not gonna happen to me.

But last year two of my favorite people moved up north. That sucked.
This summer, my best friend moved across the country. That really sucked.
Then a few weeks ago, I hugged another friend goodbye. And I’m realizing this is an unfortunate trend. One I don’t like – but one I can’t stop. Read More

Midterms are Hard & So is Change

Midterms wrecked me this week

I mean really, really wrecked me. I could go into the laundry list of to-do items I had (laundry being high on the list), I could explain what a killer this semester has been, I could go into how life has just been being life – but it’s not necessary. I had two midterms on the same night and one weekend to prepare for them, and it just felt impossible.

And impossible, if I’m being honest, felt incredibly frustrating. Read More

America is Sick & So Am I

Every two months, they put me on a new medicine. Every two months, my body freaks out, adjusts, attempts to align. Every two months, for the past year and a half, I get a blood test that tells me the same news: Nope, not healthy yet. Not normal yet. This is not over yet. Try again. And again. And again.

Every few months, there’s a new name in the news. Every few months, we go through this process: shock, outrage, he-said-she-said, a call for justice, an attempt at justice. Every few months, we see another man “fall” (is that what happens, when they get multi-million dollar early retirement plans?). Every few months, we have to live through shocking headlines, heartbreaking stories. Every few months, women across the country are re-traumatized for the hope of half a step of progress forward. And again. And again. And again.

I’m tired and once again not sleeping and it’s been so dang long of on-and-off insomnia. I’m tired and there’s nothing I can do about it. Nothing I can do to make it stop. Just hoping the next cycle brings healing. Just hoping the next cycle brings change.

We’re tired and we’re exhausted and we don’t know what else to do. We’ve voted and we marched and yet still this? Still no change? We’ve done all we can do – and it makes you wonder if we can do anything at all. Can we ever stop this? Can we change anything? Read More

SINGLE-handedly Surviving Wedding Season

Every year, I wait until the very end of wedding season to take down alllllllll the invitations from my fridge. My once cluttered fridge has some breathing room, my once over-used magnets are now free (every year I think I need to buy more magnets, every year I somehow make it work).

Every year I take my carry-on – which has permanently lived in the corner of my room for the summer, always in a state of unpacking or repacking – and gleefully stick it in the garage. It’s time for it to gather some dust; it’s time for me to get some rest.

And, every year, I write a blog post. It started the first summer I went to 5 weddings – which felt laughably ridiculous – and I was in this new, weird grove of writing about singleness on the internet. The next summer I found myself in the in the same exact place: 5 weddings, 0 dates. So I wrote one again. And again.

And forever? We’ll see…

Every year, I write about the cringe-worthy moments (getting seated with your ex, YIKES) and I write about the funny things that always seem to happen to me and I write about how tra la laa weddings alone aren’t so bad, tra la laa weddings while single can be fun, tra la laaaaaaaaa it’s fine, people. We’re fine.

Except that, this year was different.

This year, wedding season was hard. Read More

Summer Reading List

Labor Day has come and gone, which means it’s time for my round-up of what I read this summer. This year, in my life, it also means grad school is back in session (insert me crying). Instead of focussing on my insane to-do list or all the homework I’m currently avoiding – LET’S TALK BOOKS.

summer reading list

Any good ones you read this summer? Anything you’re currently eyeing? I’m always, always, always down for some good recommendations!  Read More

Clean Sheets & Comfort(er)

Do you ever wish doing one small thing to make life manageable would make your whole life manageable?

I was changing my sheets today – nothing makes me feel more like I have my life together like changing my sheets. Ridiculous, I know. Anyway, I was changing my sheets, wishing this one small act of responsible adulting would magically make my life feel more manageable. Like, hey, I changed my sheets. Shouldn’t everything else take care of itself? What more do you want from me? How much can you really expect out of someone?? Read More

My Flood Ladies

Somehow we were all free this weekend. Somehow, someway, we found two days in the middle of busy seasons of busy lives to all be in the same place. Somehow, it was like no time had passed.

lil baby freshmen

We’ve officially been out of college for the same amount of time we were in college. That’s so crazy to me. College was so much – so much life, so much growth, so many things, all wrapped up in four years. These past four years of life have seemed like a lot, too, but also, somehow, not as much. They don’t feel equal, they don’t feel quite the same.

This weekend was a mix of catching each other up on everything we’ve missed and also reliving everything we were a part of. I forget how much these girls saw me through, how much we walked alongside each other, how much life happened. When I think of college it’s easy to remember the big moments – it’s somehow easy to overlook the 4 ladies who I saw every Tuesday, who made a community out of nothing, who chose to show up week after week and simply just be there. Read More