4 months ago you came into our lives and completely changed everything. You constantly bring joy to my heart. I’ll love you forever, Izzy.
Here’s to @keren.m
, a dear friend. In our brief 20-hour visit, she:
• Gallivanted around the Christmas markets with me,
• Helped me to restructure and sharpen my research proposal,
• Made me laugh so hard I spit tea onto my white duvet,
• Sat on my floor and discussed the implications of our work,
• Once again, reminded me how insanely lucky I am to know her.
Keren and I hadn’t seen each other in over two years but that didn’t matter. She’s one of those people that I know anytime I share something with her, she’ll understand.
Somewhere between our shared love of Anne of Green Gables and joking about the poltergeist that lived in our apartment in Athens, I knew I’d found a friend for life. #fieldfriendsarethebestfriends #Manchester
one of my favorite photographs captured from the last wedding I photographed. Y’all know I do weddings? (Rebrand inc)
Alhamdulillah a new age with a high motivation to finish my MBBS on time hopefully. Thank you for all your warm wishes ☺️. Do pray for my study in this final semester and hopefully me and friends pass the final professional exam soon with flying colours. Ameen.
P/s this is the only time when you can see the mall get overwhelmed by sweaty people rather than the smart-looking ones 😂.
#vsco #vscocam #purevsco #birthday #nightrun #iwlutnr18 #icewatch #themarathoncompany
I had the best time shooting for the incredible @blendsmiths
folks yesterday, which included this stop at @trove_foods.
Absolutely adored everything about their space and menu. More shots coming soon. In the meantime, y’all should go and give them both some love. #Manchester
.: Silence & Solitude :. Today was so refreshing for me. The last 2 weeks have been so busy between the holidays and life in general. I needed some time to rest and re-center my heart and mind. I had no agenda and I didn’t have any idea where I was going to go. I ended up having out at @safehousecoffeeroasters
for a bit, and then I found myself at Indian Springs State Park. It was one of the most peaceful and quiet days I’ve had in a while. Learning to hear the Father’s voice and learn the unforced rhythms of grace is an art that I’ve yet to master. I will continue to press in, listen and learn how to grow as a disciple. I encourage everyone to take time to rest and reset. Learning how to listen to the fathers voice.
Cannot put into words how beautiful this place is
Today is the birthday of @lenahelensmith
— my best friend in the whole damn world. If you’re lucky enough to know Lena, you know that she is brilliant and fierce and insanely loyal. From drafting legislation to traipsing around the globe to fight for religious freedom and human rights — Lena is one of the most badass people I’ve ever met.
But outside of just an impressive portfolio, knowing Lena has changed my life. While it may sound trite, I genuinely don’t know who I would be without her. You see, Lena and I have spent the last few years challenging and encouraging one another to figure out what it means to be a good human. How do we keep showing up to our own lives? How do we live fully? How do we leave the world better than we found it?
Lena is the type of friend that you’re lucky to find just one of in your entire life. She’s my middle-of-the-night phone call, and I’m hers (although that’s mostly because of her complete disregard for timezones). She gives me pep talks on days when the weight of my work and the world feels too heavy. She calls me out when I start to tell myself lies. She helps me believe in better things, the ones we’ve been discussing for years.
These photos are the most recent ones that we have together, yet they’re from July of last year — the last time we saw each other in person. I had just completed six months living in the hospital compound outside of Mosul (and it shows, I know). The clouds had parted and Lena happened to be in Iraq for her job the same few days before I flew out. What a gift it was.
Happy birthday, Leenz. Sometimes, our days of apple trips, almond butter, blueberry doughnuts and Joshua Tree feel so very far behind us. But here’s to shawarma, cheese boats, a faraway desert and serving refugees. Looks like we’re growing up.
Duhok, Iraq // July 2017
On my way back to Nashville I stopped to take this picture. It may be a long drive but it’s nothing short of beautiful.
🎡 Just finished my first exam and handed in a paper that was due, so I had some free time to finish editing pics from my trips to Belgium and Italy, and when I exported them I realized I still haven’t posted pics from London. Might have to start posting more than once every 3 weeks 🙄
“I spent a great deal of time trying to be good, but was good the same as whole?”
—Barbara Brown Taylor
I read this line a few weeks ago and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.
Porto, Portugal // May 2018
Starting a family means creating some Christmas traditions. So yesterday we took some time to sabbath and put up the Christmas tree. Izzy is too young to enjoy Elf yet, but we’ll keep working on it. Thankful for my girls tonight.
Got to see @bobseger
last night. The man still has it.
I woke up on Friday morning with sore feet and a happy heart. Thanksgiving was something special this year. After weeks of planning and days of prep, simply stepping back and watching 20 or so friends enjoying a meal together was lovely.
I’m working hard to cultivate gratitude in my life right now. So in many ways, this post is a thank you, both for Thanksgiving Day but also just in general.
To my friends who helped me throw an incredible Thanksgiving meal.
To the folks who showed up to celebrate with us.
To my family for their insane amount of support (always) and answering all of my FaceTime calls.
To those who have helped make Manchester feel more and more like home.
To my friends who still pick up the phone, even though we haven’t seen each other in years.
And to my field friends, who are all over the world and answer every single text, voice message and DM that I send their way.
Y’all keep me sane. I can’t imagine my life without you. #Manchester
Thankful for my girls today. Life is so much different and so much better than I imagined years ago. Feeling super grateful for God’s blessing on my life today.
The light coming in my office was pretty tight today. @ugmonk
My time in Iraq has been weighing heavy on me, and it’s made for a taxing week. It’s one of those things that I struggle to put into words. I don’t talk about the details of that time very publicly. Instead, it sits inside of me. Living in a new community has made it complicated to know what to do with those stories.
So instead of telling you about Iraq, I present to you this mural. In all sincerity, it’s one of my favorite memories from living there. Two nights before we left the compound, Rebekah and I stayed up nearly all night painting this roughly five-foot tall sriracha bottle on one of the blast wall panels. We finished around 4am (which included a pancake-making break in the middle) just as it began to get light.
For context, whenever someone would ask Rebekah or I want we wanted from the U.S., we always included sriracha in that list. In our six months, we consumed a remarkable amount of it, usually coating a bowl of rice and beans. Perhaps, in some strange, poetic way, that sriracha became a symbol of our sanity. Well, maybe not.
As far as I know, in the plains of Ninewa, there sits a former trauma hospital. Inside its enclosed walls, adjacent to some actually incredible murals, sits this sriracha bottle. Rebekah’s and my legacy. #Iraq
Ninewa Plains // Iraq // June 2017
“My life's uncertain
and sometimes strange.
But one thing I've learned
is it won't stay the same.
Even in the darkness,
I'll be okay.
The sun will come up,
the seasons will change.”
I’ve now lived here for two months, and it’s difficult and stretching and beautiful. It’s a weird mix of re-entry and culture shock. Some days I wonder if I’ll ever feel like I belong.
But the reality is, it doesn’t really matter if I do. I am here, and I’m giving everything I have to being present and showing up. Most importantly, I just want to be kind.
I’ve discovered that being genuine and kind surprises people. In a world that’s so often cruel, kindness disarms them. When I feel overwhelmed (as I often do), at least I know I can be kind. #Manchester #inmynisolos
Blown away by Leon Bridge’s showmanship. What a night. #Manchester
Adventures in Berlin No. 2 | standing together
This bookstore is said to have inspired J.K. Rowling while she was first writing Harry Potter. However, I did not realize this fact until I noticed all the HP paraphernalia. The sizable crowd in such a small bookstore suddenly made more sense.
Livraria Lello // Porto, Portugal // May 2018