Marathon Monday is a holiday favorite for Bostonians. Students get the day off to sleep in and take a break from school, and thousands of people line the streets to cheer on the runners as they pass by. Yesterday was extra special in light of last year’s marathon tragedy. People always talk about how we are a tough, resilient city, that we are “#BostonStrong”, but I’m going to talk about another reason why I love Boston and why this day is special to me. 

I always tell people that one of my greatest passions is urban ministry and it brings me pure joy to witness cities being transformed. In the last twelve months, I have had the privilege of witnessing and taking part in God’s work at home in Philadelphia, in New Orleans, and in Boston. Each city has gone through some pretty tough stuff. Some haven’t fully recovered from devastating events that were out of their control, like we saw in the 9th ward of New Orleans. Some have come back quickly and stronger than ever, which was exactly the case for Boston this year. Yesterday was many things for Bostonians: honoring of those who were injured or killed in last year’s events, a celebration of those who survived as well as the runners who chose to come back and run the marathon again (or run it for the first time!). But the one thing it was not was a day of fear. 

I remember that indescribable week of the marathon last year. Even though our hearts were heavy with all sorts of emotion, we still carried on with our daily lives. There is no doubt in my mind that God has been keeping such careful watch over Boston in the past twelve months. I could see how he raised the spirits of runners and spectators to bring us together yesterday as we gathered to watch the marathon. Last year was one of the most awful, heart-wrenching things we have had to live through, but God is using it to grow his Kingdom in the city by uniting the people here. He is still here, and He is on the move. 

Boston is so full of love, life, and strength. The people here are some of the toughest people I have ever seen. For me, Marathon Monday will not solely be a reminder of how sin is around every corner or that it only takes one person to hurt many. It is a reminder of how amazingly resilient and fearless the people here are. It is also a reminder that God is bringing new life out of the ashes. He making something new out of the brokenness in this city, and I am truly, genuinely excited to see what He has in store for this place. 

22nd April, TuesdayReblog
At Mile 25 earlier today! Boston, you deserve this ❤️

At Mile 25 earlier today! Boston, you deserve this ❤️

21st April, MondayReblog
trading-places:

Someone find this in Melbourne for me.

trading-places:

Someone find this in Melbourne for me.

18th April, FridayReblog

7sobm:

Zack Seckler

Absolutely beautiful images from Botswana, the colours and patterns are breath taking. It’s so easy to forget how incredible nature can be.  7

‘Being above the ground at such low elevations, and having the ability to precisely maneuver, was like gliding over an enormous painting and being able to create brushstrokes at will. As soon as I saw the landscape from above I knew there was potential to create a special body of work.’

17th April, ThursdayReblog

livefromphilly:

Reading Terminal Market Neon Signs (1/3)

Can’t wait to go back to all of this :)

14th April, MondayReblog

As the school year is starting to wrap up and I realize just how quickly grad school is approaching (and then the rest of life after that, eep), I’m actually finding that I just want to move on to the next part of my life now. Don’t get me wrong - I am content with the way my life is now. College has been amazing and I’m immensely grateful for all the joy and trials that I have experienced these past few years. But for some reason, I’m so ready to move on. I keep wanting to move at a quicker pace than what my circumstances allow for right now. Y’all have probably experienced the constant, unexpected changes that come with being in college, so you understand what I’m talking about right? It kind of just leaves you…exhausted, and you just want to skip all this stuff, get your degree, and start to settle down. Yeah, that’s how I feel. But wanting this gets in the way of me living life as a college student, which I really do love. 

The biggest problem I see arising from this is that I have this diminished desire to keep building upon what God has given me on campus. If I’m being completely honest, there are times when I would much rather invest in my church and my older friends and my career instead of school. What scares me even more is that sometimes I feel apathetic about my attitude. Then my thought process comes to an abrupt halt because God incessantly reminds me to be in the present.

I think that’s my biggest problem, that I never live in the present. Usually I’m too busy planning for the future (and when I’m not doing that, I’m stuck in the past). Looking ahead and looking back aren’t inherently bad things, but when it becomes a selfish desire to stay one step ahead and be in control, then it doesn’t leave much room for God to do his thing, does it? When it limits my ability to be fully present for what is happening NOW, that’s when I need to take a step back. I can’t forget that God designates a time and place for everything. Right now I am an undergraduate student living in a beautiful city, and I am serving in my campus fellowship and other school activities because he called me to all of these things. 

So where to go from here? I think I know what I should be doing: first, thanking God for what he has given me thus far in college. I should be asking him for the strength to balance everything - school, church, campus ministry, relationships. I should be listening to him, and I mean really listening. And I should be praying that God would grow my heart for all of these things because he cares about them. 

Meh. The process of growing up involves so much change, which has always been something that I always refuse to embrace until I have no other choice but to do so. But I guess those changes are what God uses to challenge us, to stretch us beyond our comfort zones so that we can experience his love and grace, and so that he can mold us into who he intended us to be. I pray for him to open my heart up so I can welcome whatever he has set before me. 

13th April, SundayReblog
Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and your casting down is but the making ready for your lifting up.

— Charles Spurgeon (via h-o-r-n-g-r-y)

(Source: godmoves)

13th April, SundayReblog
aseaofquotes:

Langston Hughes, “April Rain Song”

aseaofquotes:

Langston Hughes, “April Rain Song”

12th April, SaturdayReblog
I feel like I’m living in Tumblr or Pinterest 👌 (at Puritan & Co.)

I feel like I’m living in Tumblr or Pinterest 👌 (at Puritan & Co.)

4th April, FridayReblog
a typical morning

Decided to do one of the suggested writing prompts (thanks, wordsthatyousay !). 

Most people know that I am not a morning person; it’s really hard for me to get out of bed and become fully awake. It’s already past 10 o’clock, and I should be well awake by now, but instead I’m falling asleep (and during my dean’s host duties…woops). But I digress…

I’m usually awake around 8 or so (depends on the day). I turn off the 5+ alarms that I set the night before PLUS the sleep cycle alarm that I set, stay in bed for another 5 minutes, then finally go shower and brush my teeth. I get dressed, put on any face products I feel like putting on, dry my hair, make coffee, and head out the door. Most of the time I’ll try and make a to-do list for the day. There isn’t anything particularly special about my mornings. I will say that I find it ironic that even though mornings are always rough for me, I would still prefer to get my day started early so that I have time for everything that I have to do. Sigh, so little time and so much to do…

2nd April, WednesdayReblog