pencil it in.

so i finished cold tangerines this week (loved it, p.s.) and one of the chapters at the end really made me think about how i approach my life. i don't know about you, but i have the tendency to think of everything as written in stone...let alone ink. i leave no room for flexibility...and therefore no room for trust or having to rely on anything or anyone. i want to make the plan...and then i want to make sure it happens. (control freak alert...yikes!)

the message last week at midtown had to do with the fact that real power exists outside of us, and how we are all under the control and influence of something. it may be something tangible, like alcohol or money...or it may be harder to see, like people-pleasing or fear. and the truth is we were created to live under the control and power and influence of something...of Someone. in Him we live and move and breathe...by Him we have the courage to not fear...because of Him we can boldly and humbly walk in truth.
i've mentioned it before, but the idea of dependence is beautiful and freeing to me...i just don't always do it well.

so what does living as free, dependent people have to do with writing in pencil? here's a quote from cold tangerines:
"at a certain point, i have to wonder about my judgement or my sanity. how can i continue knowing so definitely what the future will hold, and then continue being so totally worng? this is my new thing: i'm going to write in pencil. life with God at its core is about giving your life up to something bigger and more powerful. it's about saying at every turn that God knows better than we know, and that His Spirit will lead us in ways that we couldn't have predicted. i have known that, but i haven't really lived that."
sure, we can pretend that we are the authors of our own story. we can color-coordinate our calendars (ahem), make plans a year in advance, and write our futures (as we'd like to see them) in stone on our hearts. but God would rather us just pencil that stuff in. He tells us that in our heart we can plan our course -- but it is HE who determines our steps. life lived under the influence of the One who designed it all is a life full of mystery and change....it's a life that finds purpose in the process. as we release the control and trust in the uncertainty, it's there that we find true joy and peace.

the destination? that's in stone. but the journey? pencil it in.


lookin brite.

some friends of mine in nashville started a new website last week... briterevolution.com.

the concept is you pay $4.99 a month, and get access to tons of music by the artists on board...including new unreleased songs each month.
check out some of my nash-friends... matthew perryman jones, randall goodgame, billy cerveny, katie herzig, and andy davis!!

oh -- and 10% of revenue goes to the cause of your choice, and each brite artist also chooses a cause to support!
mocha club is one of the choices for a cause, so if you join, choose us! (duh) :)


spring mix.

spring mix: (noun) // 1. a mixture of small, young salad greens, herbs and edible flowers. 2. a collection of current songs that i've put into a playlist to accompany my transition into


spring has sprung.

today marks the first day of spring...our official transition from winter to summer.
let's go through a checklist, shall we?

easter right around the corner? check.
windows constantly open? check.
flowers blooming? check.
daylight savings time? check.
busting out the flip-flops? check.
lots more hanging out on porches and decks? check.
pollen out in full force? check...unfortunately.

now if only i still got to go on spring break...


thursdays in nashville...

(benefit for ellies run for africa -- another endeavor of ours at african leadership!)

next thursday:
(how long have i been waiting for this??)


it's good to be green.

this is a picture from a little st. patty's day party at my place last night... the rule: bring something green to share.

so why do we obsess over the color green this one day out of the year? read the history of good ol' saint patrick here on mark driscoll's blog (thanks to david for the link)

but on another green note... (get ready for the segue)
there's a new store in town called the green wagon....accessible and affordable environmentally friendly products!!
(i met the owner, jen, and we're actually trying to figure out a way to partner the store with mocha club!)
i'm the first to admit that i do not consider my "carbon footprint" nearly enough. i am using reusable grocery bags and those green light bulbs! :)

how do you GO GREEN?


tea time.

about 7 years ago i weaned myself on to coffee...because college marisa needed something with caffeine to keep me up for those studying all-nighters (i've never liked soda...another post for another day)...and maybe because i wanted to be cool when i went to coffeeshops, too. it started with frappacinos...which really just meant lots of chocolate with a tiny bit of coffee, but you gotta start somewhere. then, when the weather went cool, i went to hot mochas and eventually to lattes. it took about a year to transition to drip coffee (a summer of working the 6am-2pm shift at waffle house largely contributed to that...yes, i was a waffle house waitress...but again, another post for another day). and then i was hooked...i was officially a coffee addict.

but tea? not so much. i just couldn't get into it. and why would i choose a hot beverage that wasn't coffee? (although i did very much enjoy an occasional chai "tea" latte...but come on, that doesn't really count) i recall my summer in morocco in 2006, when i was continually offered a cup of tea, the customery sign of hospitality in arab countries (cause nothing says "enjoy" like a steaming hot liquid when you're in 100 degree heat and sweating...mmmmm.) i had to force it down to be polite, but i did not enjoy it. yuck.

[did you know that after water,
TEA is the most widely-consumed beverage in the world?]

then it happened. i can't tell you why or how, but a couple years back, the tea-drinker in me started to emerge... i wanted to learn to like it. then i got a job at starbucks, so there really was no excuse (aka FREE drinks). i remember it well...it was a fall weekend in 07, and i was coming down with a cold. i needed something soothing more than i needed something tasty. so i did it...i ordered a tazo refresh mint tea with some honey. and it was HEAVEN...i loved it! why had i not been enjoying this all along? i think i ordered 3 more that weekend! and that, my friends, was the beginning of tea-drinking-marisa. i have since expanded my favorites to include all herbal teas...especially chamomille & roobios... and white tea, oolong tea, and green tea (still can't get into black tea, though).

today i picked up a couple of new options from trader joe's...a blackberry fruit infusion and a pomegranate white tea!

a new craze around nashville is bubble tea...i haven't tried it yet...but i wouldn't put it past me to wean myself on...



this song (by ingrid michaelson) has been on repeat for me today... (you might remember it from a montage on Grey's...) because sometimes the world feels just a little too overwhelming...and we want to do more. but all we can do is just keep breathing...one day at a time. [and maybe because i'm sick and i'm having to fight extra hard for those breaths today.]

the storm is coming but i don't mind.
people are dying, i close my blinds.

all that i know is i'm breathing now.

i want to change the world...instead i sleep.
i want to believe in more than you and me.

but all that i know is i'm breathing.
all i can do is keep breathing.
all we can do is keep breathing now.

all that i know is i'm breathing.
all i can do is keep breathing.
all we can do is keep breathing now.

all we can do is keep breathing
all we can do is keep breathing
all we can do is keep breathing
all we can do is keep breathing.
all we can do is keep breathing now.


redeeming time.

i have been in a major battle with the clock lately...and i'm not winning. (side note: i really like winning.)
i don't know what it is, but i just feel like there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish all i have on my plate. and i know i'm not alone in those feelings. we all are constantly fighting the urge to do more and accomplish more and fit in more in our day. (aka: i have not slowed down)

john piper puts it this way: "the clock never stops ticking. nothing but God is more persistent than the passing of time. you can't stop it or slow it. it is sovereign over all human resistance. it will not be hindered or altered or made to cease. it is utterly oblivious to young and old, pain and pleasure, crying and laughing. nothing, absolutely nothing, makes a difference to the unstoppable, unchangeable tick, tick, ticking of time...time is precious."

paul tells us in ephesians 5:16 to "make the best use of the time...". we must learn the balance of seizing each moment, while discerning the best, most profitable use of our time.
i love how the message version states psalm 31:15 - "hour by hour i place my days in Your hand" - i want to learn to think through each hour of each day, trusting God with the big and the small, and resting assured that it's a battle that has already been won.

"the future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is." - c.s. lewis