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Midnight Pondering | Personal

(rooftop of The Messenger coffeehouse, Kansas City... there’s something to being able to overlook a whole city lit up under cover of night. Isn’t it beautiful?)

“Jesus didn’t need to be told, for he already knew what was in the heart of man

I just read this in the book of John the other night before heading to bed, and it hit me like a stone.  

Before I say what’s on my heart, 

He knows.  

Before I know what’s on the heart of my peers, He knows.  

Before I find out what tomorrow holds, what it doesn’t hold that I beforehand expect (can I get a witness?), yes... in my travels, in work changes, the curves or bends in relationships... He knows.  

When I’m hurt by another’s weakness, when my own requires an apology: He knows, and He knew when I didn’t.

What makes my life complete, whole, SET APART from the “old” man I would be, the dead man I would be, the joyless, peace-less, purposeless, strength-less woman I would be: 

It’s that at all times, HE KNOWS.

It’s part of the grand adventure of the Christian life: that we’re not always in the know! Jesus knew; God knows.  Both when I do myself, and when I don’t. There’s no more hiding, when in the light of His greatness you realize there’s nothing to hide - it’s all already seen.  There’s less surprise at turns of events, because we know who’s at the helm and who has been standing there all along with sure footing.  There’s no more dismay when one is in question, because He knows already and wants to be sought!

Ah to live THIS life!! The life in which He — the Captain of our hearts — knows, and we love living that way.  Dependent, not always in the know... and in this, at rest and exceedingly happy.

He is sovereign, and He is indeed sufficient.

Sunday afternoon exploring is so much fun with this girl! We may be 14 years apart — but it’s such a gift 🎁 

<3 Anna


a Time for All Things | Personal

what do Disney braids and spring 2020 have in common? ❄️☀️ 

We're currently living in a new world of clever memes, hand sanitizer sales, and talk of how to keep our elderly populations safe.
 Our conversations with the sales clerk have suddenly shifted overnight from the week's plans into the inspiration behind her homemade face mask.
 No matter the opinions we have on the virus, the stats, or how the world is responding to them:

it's 2020, and we're all walking the same earth for it.

Though one should not take light the fact of human life being cut short when prevention was possible, national shut ins are no small thing. A thought hit me the other day as the girls and I spent another afternoon of the stay at home order replicating hairstyles from youtube how-to's.  (After which, Gracie brought me ordinary dandelions from the foggy-rain drenched outdoors to finish it off)

My thought?
What if we saw unexpected turns of events (um hello, covid-19) as being all carefully wound up into our beautiful future we wouldn’t have the creativity to replicate with our own human thinking 
+ timing 
+ ways of going about these days that make up our lives...?

and with the gentle twists of schedule changes, job cuts, and “missed” opportunities (that don’t seem so gentle in the moment), 
tight ends of world news that we hear and filter through a renewed mind, 
and dainty flower heads of everyday but often unseen opportunities peppering as a last touch? 

Upon seeing the creation of my life tied in completion, in all its imperfect glory (because I was filled with a greater glory ), 

with all its perfectly placed strands such as weeks of Elsa braids and sprinklers and early morning park walks - I really don’t think I’ll complain one bit. 

What if we saw this as it is, now instead of later?

I want to see these interruptions as they already are: not the nuisances that keep me from the fullness of life, 
but the VERY pieces that intertwined by hands of love make my life 
not only full, 
not only meaningful... 

but on top of it all, 

make my life beautiful 🀍

God has a niche for doing glorious things with the impossible.

and the unexpected.

<3 Anna


2019: Saying goodbye to the last year of the past decade | Personal

Summaries are not my forte.
I think it all lies in the fact that to do so with a year is to withstand the temptation to not conclude at all and just recount everything!

I used to take the God sized dreams phrases lightly... but it’s something I now more than ever am awed by as I experience God shape desires that are bigger than I, plant 🌱 and bring to fruition delightful growth in my life I wouldn’t, frankly, think up on my own in the first place. The Lord does indeed work in ways that are not only higher, but just plain, well... 


from our own. 

Spring was so full of vivid goodness, yet tough, terribly good change. God’s kindness is so real and when we allow it, transforming 😭😍  Lakeside walks and amazing conversations on adulting + life with good friends, road tripping down south to a Texas wedding with a few of my favs (Galveston, we didn’t get to know you long enough), flying out from Chicago to Hong Kong to visit dear, hospitable people April-May.  I wish I could share photos; the 17+ hour flight was far more than worthwhile.  This was a childhood hope come to life, and I couldn’t do less than to drink deep of the tenderness of God’s heart in His fulfilling of even small things such as this!
Summer brought aunting privileges, and a full few months of everything else under the sun... nighttime volleyball and sand castles, the Hiding Place with sweet friends, 3AM Chinese class video calls, and guarding vehicle seats in a parking lot until help arrived.  Yes, true story. 

Ended the year with sooo many weddings (Texas, Virginia, Kansas, Missouri.  No kidding.  But God’s stories?  They’re the best. Also topped the year off with the most airport check ins I’ll probably ever be able to “pack” into one, along with missed flights and naps in these said airports), bachelorette parties, and more fellowship + sister dates.  How sweet is friendship, be old or new

These past few years have taken me where I haven’t expected to go, and they’ve filled me in ways I’d not know to ask to be filled.  Learning strength in weakness.  Learning a journey is made alone and yet in fellowship + friendship at the same time.  Learning I serve a holy God who loves me without an ounce of effort other than to receive, a God who breathes not only life into our lungs but desires into our hearts and then in ways only He might at first deem best, fits them perfectly into the crevices of the purposes He had built with His own heart... long before they met ours. A God who satisfies our soul, floods them with His favor as every waterfall was created to imitate, and yet in the sorrows, sufferings, disappointments and failings of daily pilgrimage allows that tug at our strings every morning we wake for the world we’re destined for.  A longing that Christ Himself bore, and we also will until satisfied with His very presence in that place.

I never imagined single years could be so rich, and yet here I am with so much humbled gratitude.  I’m so excited for another new year to learn what I don’t know yet I have to learn... my prayers for 2019 were answered above and beyond, and I can’t wait to watch unfold His plans for a new year.  Here’s to His making US new in the process; here’s to viewing the love of the Lord this year as if it were the low winter sun outside my windows, in pale colors sliding beneath the outstretched Missouri fields only to rise all. over. again. the next morning.  Constant, shining over my world when its glowing in all its glory and when its seemingly hidden, but in reality doing the same on the other side of the globe 🀩

<3 Anna

“Sometimes God asks us to step out, or step through.  We don’t know what we’ll see until we go through the deluge.  It’s Scary to step into the unknown, 

but it’s also where we find Jesus.

And wherever we find Jesus,
we find life.

Fear calls out our doubts.  God calls out our names.”
Bob Goff


mmhm, Oklahoma Island | Personal

foggy mornings.
pastel evenings.
seabirds. πŸŒŠ

My family's summer getaways usually contain lots of chatting and sightseeing and activity, but there are times of quiet “nothingness” when we just partake in the world around us together, silently. It’s been said that days can run ahead of your desired pace so quickly they resemble pearls slipping from a broken strand of necklace... one by one, following each other with no keeping them in tact. Here, mornings with a sister or brother and our warm mugs on the dock, my mind wandered to how days are really more like lake ripples. Created, one by one. They roll, they taper off into the great unknown, and no longer are they known for just themselves — but that ripple is not lost. The ripple caused another, becoming a wave that will interrupt any stagnancy threatening life to thrive underneath its surface. Looking out into that Great Unknown, full of majesty, full of movement and yet also tranquility...

you can see that one single ripple

now lost of itself (though far from lost),

owned a role that was lasting indeed. and so our days? our temporary but beautiful seasons? 

one at a time, they too, become a part of God’s grander sea πŸ˜

<3 Anna

and now fuzzy phone photos will have to suffice...


life of late | Personal

goodbye, ζ·±εœ³. ⛩

And like that, back to the states...! My, do believe I’m going to be wrapping my mind around it all for some time. 

I was told by a good friend that coming back my world would appear smaller, by another that it would appear bigger, and I found both of these to be true. The world is smaller in that on opposite sides it homes amazing people I now have met; The world is bigger in that I can see how each of our experiences and our cultures are such an incredibly tiny picture of the whole.

I was struck with the sight of freedoms we don’t consider twice still being fought for elsewhere, but also with the comforting recognition that there is a freedom for hearts so deep it can be shared no matter the language barriers (and let me tell you, when asking ‘how do you do?’ accidentally comes out in the native tongue ‘how do you do...horse?’, language can become a barrier).

A freedom that is not an overruling of government but is a change of heart, a freedom of good news that cannot be contained, forbidden, imprisoned, or ever be taken away from those who love and hold it dear.

There is so so so much to process and take to heart.  Isn't it interesting how it is often the unpredictable experiences that leave the most lasting impressions on our lives? πŸ’œπŸ’›πŸ’š

If you ever have the chance, allow yourself the opportunity to share tea with someone who doesn’t speak your language... Without words, volumes are spoken of the meaning of hospitality,
and the value of loving one another as fellow men and women, with needs both of the heart and physical, despite our other differences.

And when you do travel: do it with other Jesus-serving, people-loving people! ALL
the more meaningful and memorable.

<3 Anna


Love documented:: synopsis of recent favorites | him+her edition

Oh my, here comes a photo overload.  What a whirlwind these have been, watching both newfound and dear childhood friends celebrate togetherness
so much so... indeed I haven’t gotten around to posting any of these prior to this.  Eeks.  There is far too much to be shared from an event or a piece in time of one’s life in just photos, and I’m finding this more and more as life eases along (the father walking his first child down the aisle; the young, giddy, teary-eyed fiancΓ© who has found the one she loves; the devoted husband and wife of many years in marriage and life; all the tiny, most wonderful happenings that go uncaught by camera glass) - 

but it’s still worth it. 

It's still so worth it to retain, to capture, to remember.  
To take a glance at an image and recall all over, again and again, of how that moment, 
that embrace, 
even that chilly whisper of the wind, 

was etched in time and God’s heart alike. πŸ“· ✍️πŸ’• 

without further ado...


(shoutout to Olivia and Jennifer whom I shot a few of these weddings with)

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