My absolute favorite part of any trip is coming home and unpacking. I don’t care if I get to spend a month in Fiji on the beach (well, I mean, I might care a little)—unloading my suitcase, doing laundry, putting everything where it goes, and reestablishing my normal rhythms again? This is where my heart is happiest. (Not sure if this peculiarity is due to my being an ISTJ or an Enneagram 1 or just straight up nuts. But I own my fondness for routine and home sweet home.) Something about unpacking brings the closure I need to move forward.

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Blessing and Sending

DAY 31

“The meaning of our lives emerges in the surrender of ourselves to an adventure of becoming who we are not yet.”

(Brennan Manning)

Oh, my sweet friend, you have done it. The scary, tiring, unsure work of seeing yourself as you are without turning away or grabbing the armor that keeps life at a safe distance. This past month has served as a spotlight over all the nooks and crannies of your soul (well, not quite all—you are a stunningly complex creature, and there will always be more to explore). In the light, you are both clearly exposed and graciously covered by the truest shade of crimson in a way you’d never have been able to relish otherwise. Beautifully done! Bravely borne!

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Marking Your Trail

DAY 30

Making a list and checking it twice is my jam. I love planning and details and hot cups of tea cooling as schedules fill up with washi tape and color-coordinated dates, information solidifying on the page. The energy of raw data being gathered, sifted, verified, organized, and recorded in a useful way is my happy place. Sure, it’s nerdy, but it’s how God designed me, and I thoroughly enjoy it. And it’s not so hard to believe, given that I’m operating in the image of the One who created matter in its basic form—chaos—in the beginning and spent the next five and a half days gathering, sifting, verifying, organizing, and recording it.

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Goal Digger

DAY 29

Ah, New Year’s resolutions. About 80% fail by the second week of February (U.S. News), and only 8% succeed in any given year (University of Scranton). And yet, come January 1, we keep doggedly showing up, writing down, and wondering what went wrong (curse you, Valentine’s Day candy!).

Resolutions are dreams. Goals are dreams with abs.

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Made for This

DAY 28

The scream ran its shockwaves through our entire house. Dad rushed into the room where my little brother and I had been playing to find Jared in tears, clutching his skull, me looking caught, and a very suspicious ping pong paddle wallowing in two pieces on the floor. “Kassie, what happened?” Dad demanded. “Well,” my little five-year-old self answered, “I accidentally broke the ping pong paddle over his head.” (Don’t worry. He’s fine now.)

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When You’re In Front

DAY 27

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed … Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

(Theodore Roosevelt)

What comes to mind when you think about leadership? Is it a corner office? A battlefield? A government? What about a mama wiping Cheerios off the wall or a six-year-old speaking hope into the heart of his hurting teammate?

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Body Language

DAY 24

No matter where you stand with food, this faith is steeped in it. The garden overflowed with choice fruit. God provided manna for His needy people in the wilderness, and Jesus Himself is the Bread of Life. We come together as a family around a table in memory of the work He’s accomplished for us. And then there’s the happy ending of this history and the happy beginning of a new one: the marriage supper of the Lamb. One of my favorite lines from this last year was that “Jesus ate His way through the gospels.” Surely there’s more to the Christian life than counting carbs and getting our step goal in. Surely there’s more than eating until we want to puke.

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