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This post is the sixth (and final) in a series about my five core values.If you missed the first few posts, you can find them here!As part of our worship, my church takes what we call Common Meal (you may know it as Communion, the Lord’s Supper, or Eucharist) every week. Each time, we take a small piece of bread – representative of Christ’s body broken for us – and dip it in juice – representative of his blood spilled for us.I think a lot of people probably wonder why the church has this practice. I mean, really, is there anything less appealing than the idea of eating the body and drinking the blood of another person? No, no there is not. It’s odd, to say the least.But, trust me, it is also so, so good.We eat and drink, not to be faux-canibalists, but to remember how the death and resurrection of Jesus changed everything. To remember that the brokenness of the world does not win. To remember that Jesus taught us a new way to live, a fuller way to live, a way to live that heals our world.The practice empowers us…

Confront Brokenness., Values.

Confronting Brokenness.

This post is the fifth in a seriesabout my core values here at Pure & Simple.If you missed the first four posts, you can find them here! I am a firm believer in looking for the bright side in all things. No matter how bad the situation, I’m always looking to find the positive perspective. When I don’t get my way, when I long for a different outcome, when everything seems to be crumbling, I find comfort in figuring out how goodness will come from a bad situation.Jacob will readily admit he doesn’t understand this about me. In fact, not too long ago, we realized he thought I live in a fantasy world where everything is rosy and I thought he lives in a version of the world that was all doom all the time.Turns out, we were both wrong.My bias toward finding the bright side in no way means that I refuse to acknowledge the brokenness around me. On the contrary, I fight so hard to see the positive side because I am painfully aware of the brokenness surrounding us.But I also know fighting the brokenness of the world…

Empower Imago Dei., Values.

Empower Imago Dei.

This post is the fourth in a series about the five core valuesthat form the foundation of everything I do at Pure & Simple.If you missed the first three posts, read them here and here and here! A few months ago, I came home with this tattoo on my left forearm. It is the Hebrew word “ezer.”It’s kind of an ironic tattoo, really, because this word is most often used to describe Eve as Adam’s helper. For my entire life, that’s how I heard Eve described. A helper. An assistant. A support system. A mother. A wife. Calm. Gentle. Quiet. I assume her laugh was airy and light.Meanwhile, you can hear my laugh from a mile away. I spend most of my time at either end of the emotional spectrum, and rarely linger around calm. I forget that I’m a full-bodied person and don’t do gentleness well. Quiet isn’t my style.If you’ve been around here before, you know that I have had a hard time reconciling my personality with the characteristics I have always thought a nice, Christian woman is supposed to possess.But then, a…

Lighten Burdens., Values.

Lighten Burdens.

This post is the third in a series about the five core valuesthat form the foundation of everything I do at Pure & Simple.If you missed the first two posts, read them here and here!When I think about what it means to be successful as a blogger, it’s incredibly tempting to say that success means reaching a certain number of views or having a lot of people know my name. It’s tempting to become wrapped up in shallow versions of success that don’t really matter.I want to be about so much more than shallow success here, because I know it will never matter if people know my name but do not know that I am for them.I want my success to be based on being one of your biggest fans – each and every one of you. I want you to hear my voice yelling in the bleachers for YOU as loudly as I can, encouraging you to keep going, to finish strong, and to never give up on what matters.Part of that includes being willing to have honest conversations, like I talked about last week. Another part is doing what I…

Honest Conversations., Values.

Honest Conversations.

This post is the second in a series about the five core values thatform the foundation of everything I do at Pure & Simple.To read the first post, click here.When I was in high school, I spent a lot of time trying to find resources for women who were in relationships with men who were addicted to porn. I wanted to know how to stay in a relationship in the midst of such personal pain. I wanted to find out how couples made it through the mess. What I found instead, though, were countless comments from women asking how long they had to wait before they could leave.I was discouraged by my inability to find helpful resources. More than that, though, I was disappointed that Church leaders were ignoring the tough topics and I didn’t understand why.Ever since then, I have deeply longed for Christians to have more honest conversations about all aspects of life.I have longed for our discussions about sex to include more than pre-chewed gum and torn up 20 dollar bill analogies. I have longed for young girls to hear about their purpose more often than about being fearfully…


Ditching the Small Stuff.

When I arrived at my first yoga class last Thursday, the instructor said that her goal is for us to learn how to move into the headstand position with control.Did you catch the key word there? Control. Almost anyone can put their head on the ground, place their hands on either side, through throw their legs up against a wall, and call it a headstand. That’s not what our goal is.Our goal is to intentionally move our bodies so that we have control of each progression toward the headstand.So we did planks to strengthen our core. We spent time in poses that stretch our hamstrings. When we gain control in the small stuff, we will also have control in more challenging moments.If we ditch the small stuff, we’ll have little hope of reaching a controlled headstand. At least, not in a way that doesn’t leave us feeling defeated.On a similar note, my six year old sister had her first ballet class the other night. When I asked her how it went, I quickly learned that she was expecting to do much more than the basics. After I tried to explain that it…