Thursday, August 3

[on incomprehensible peace that looks like God's fingerprints]

Looks like the joke is on me..


I was all about saying YES - boldly + proudly proclaiming that 3-letter word - to writing more back in March. And it's now.. August? Oops.

Here's to fresh restarts and coming back to the things that give me life again and again.


Life looks a lot different than it did when I wrote my last post in March. I quit my corporate job of five years (say whaaaat) back in June to pursue something that truly gets my heart pounding. A month ago - to the day - my husband and I packed up our Penske (it was cheaper than a U-haul) and paraded our Oklahoman selves down I-70W to Denver, Colorado in hopes of *living our best lives now*. Okay, not really, but sort of. I'm starting grad school at Denver Seminary later this month to study Clinical Mental Health Counseling. A little different than my corporate job dealing with oil & gas storage and transportation, dontchya think? It was a shock to some, but to the people that know me more deeply, it wasn't. Just as it shouldn't have been.

In the past I have written a TON about how change affects me - how transitions are hard for me. And I fully anticipate this becoming hard after I realize what the HECK we've done by moving away from our family, friends and church community. But for now, it's been wonderful. Truly.

The thing that I have most enjoyed about this transition is seeing God's fingerprints on everything. YES, we say that God is sovereign - that he is ruler over every tribe, tongue and nation (Rev. 7:9). We say that we believe he is consistently working all things for our good (Rom. 8:28). We say that he is constantly guiding us and counseling as us we go (Psalm 32:8). But how often do we r-e-a-l-l-y look closely enough to see this happening?

God graciously opened up mine and Andrew's eyes during this process to see his movement in our lives. It's been nothing short of amazing, and I've surely written down every little aspect of this journey that has pointed us to praise his name. And rather than list out every single thing that our sweet Father has orchestrated to get us to where we are today, I want to encourage you - in your transition, in your staying, in your in-between.. wherever you are.

Because whether or not you can actively see it, God is working on your behalf. This is because he loves you with an unfailing, passionate, steadfast love. He isn't focused on some future version of yourself or a previous version of yourself that was "more solid, more faithful, less mistakes".. it's the YOU that you're living in right at this very moment. He wants to open up your eyes to the good that he is doing in and around you. The Creator of the world - of galaxies and human anatomy and gravity - wants to have a relationship with YOU. He wants to speak to you as you open up your ears and your heart to listen to him.

And as we begin listening - searching to find him in both our most commonplace routines as well as our life-changing decisions..

He graciously pours over us incomprehensible peace. Incomprehensible for the fact that it is incomparable for it cannot be found anywhere else. Of course it can't be found elsewhere. This peace is unlike any other peace that we've experienced. It's not the temporary peace we find from placing stock in relationships with significant others; this peace shatters the very minute we begin to realize that we were never supposed to place our worth in it. This peace can't be found in a self-help book because eventually you will find that you're not fixable on your own. This peace isn't found in some self-discovery backpacking trip across Europe - because once you discover all that you are on your own, you will most likely not be at peace [party foul].

This is what I strongly experienced over the past 7 months during mine and Andrew's Colorado processing time. This peace had God's fingerprints all over it. In what could have easily been an anxiety-fueled, uncomfortable, twiddling-my-thumbs-for-7-straight-months kind of season, God showed me kindness by revealing his powerful + sovereign personality to me thereby leading me to peace. I didn't have to wonder what would happen if this counseling school thing didn't work out or focus my thoughts on what rebuilding community in a completely new state would look like if we did make the move. 

Because he was sweetly reminding me that he is working all things for my good. And there is no room for doubt in that.


31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

-Matthew 6:31-33

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 

-Romans 8:31-32

Sunday, March 5

[I missed you]

How much have I missed blogging?

SO MUCH.


Whenever I started designing for Wheat and Honey Co. and shortly thereafter decided to open my own business, Koselig Creative Co., it was quite obvious that priorities and schedules were changing. However, something that I l-o-v-e so much (WRITING) fell by the wayside, and over the past few months I have missed it incredibly. And, the funny part about it is that all along, WORDS have been my fuel.

Don't get me wrong - I highly enjoy good design, watercolor and some hand lettering.. but I love them even more when they're coupled with meaning: a hand lettered watercolor quote that inspires me, designing a brochure for a company that I know makes a difference in the community.. these are the things that get me going.

So here's to fresh restarts and saying "yes" to the things that bring me life. Here's to incorporating deep words of meaning and truth to Koselig through blog posts.


What fuels you?

  1. If money wasn't an issue, what job would you take?
  2. What gives you joy?
  3. What are your strengths?
  4. Are these the strengths that close family members and friends have mentioned that they see in you?
  5. What do you think that you need to cut out of your life in order to make space for joy (i.e. things that leave you feeling dull or apathetic)?

Sunday, February 7

[this week I am most thankful for]

Pushing myself, both physically and mentally. 
Going on a Sunday evening jog throughout my favorite neighborhood in Tulsa (which just so happens to be where our rental is located). Also forcing myself – because I know I love it – to write a blog post, even if I didn’t finish it until after my bed time.

Nesting.
Our house is becoming a home! And the beginnings of acknowledging that it doesn’t have to be [and never will be] perfect. And that’s what makes it good, quirky, and memorable.. or at least that's what I keep telling myself whenever I smell a strong scent of burning brussel sprouts coming from our neighbor below us.

Dinner invitations.
Andrew and I received a dinner invitation from a previous mentor of mine and her husband who I lost touch with recently for annoying life reasons. RSVP: Yes, yes, and YES.

THREE BOOKS IN THE MAIL on Saturday..
courtesy of Amazon.. and my bank account. I’m a non-fiction kinda girl, and I love me some reading + learning. If you're looking for me in the upcoming days and weeks, I will be in the nearest comfy coffee shop.

Loaded Questions: the game. 
Andrew and I stumbled upon this little goody after our impromptu sushi happy hour outing on Wednesday evening. Something about sushi makes me want frozen yogurt.. always. So there we went.. on to get some froyo at the shop across the street from the sushi restaurant (can a girl get an amen on that strategic location?!) where we found the Loaded Questions game. I only like interactive games.. and I just so happen to love loaded questions. And a game that involves both of these things?? Jackpot. Coming soon to a dinner party near you..

Saying "No". 
So let's be honest.. it's hard to say "no", whether it's due to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out for those of you who have not yet experienced this beast), giving in to the inaccurate belief that busyness is some sort of measure of success, or because we don't want to feel like we are letting people down. Each and every one of these reasons is a l-i-e. So if you need some alone time to process things, you've got far too many priorities and no purpose, or you're in one of those seasons where busyness overwhelms you because of everything that's going on in your life, just say no. People will respect your answer. Self-care is absolutely necessary and so very good for you.

Sweet reminders of God’s presence with me always.
Last Sunday night I had this strange urge to write out, You’re okay on some cardstock and then stick it on the wall (hooray for washi tape!) above my dresser whilst experiencing intense mouth pain and pondering life (#dramatic). Monday morning I just so happened to listen to a sermon on encouragement (I never listen to sermons in the morning due to me rolling out of bed at 7AM in order to leave at 7:30AM). 

And this is what I heard in that sermon.

God is faithful.
God knows what you're dealing with.
God sees your life;
He has purposes for you that you know nothing about;
Wherever you go, there God is;
There are other people who feel the way you do;
There are other people struggling with the things you are struggling with;
You are not alone;
The story is better than you think,
No matter what is going on right now and no matter how difficult life is,
How lonely or frustrated you might feel;
The good news in Christ is this:
This is God's world
And you are God's child, 
God's special possession,
And so ultimately, 
You're going to be okay.
--Jacob's Well Church, Kansas City, MO

So maybe you're super excited going into this new week.. maybe Mondays are your thing. And for that.. I give you two thumbs WAY up, for you are the exception. And maybe you reside on the other side of excitement.. you have mixed feelings about the upcoming week due to a stressful work schedule, feelings of busyness or feelings of idleness.. wherever you are, in the good and the bad, guess what?

You're going to be okay.

And I encourage you to write out the things that give you joy this week - because I think you will begin to see that it's all about perspective and that there are many good things to rejoice about. And I think that when you set yourself up to listen, you will hear many good things.

^^one of the ways in which I remember truth: writing


Sunday, January 31

[authenticity + calligraphy]

7.4 billion.


THIS is the estimated world population. Personally, I can't even begin to imagine what a million people looks like, so if you, too, are having issues fathoming this crazy number.. fear not, for I am right there with ya.

What makes this so crazy [besides the fact that it is a ridiculously huge number]? The fact that we each have our own unique fingerprints.. not to mention our own unique likes and dislikes, dreams and aspirations.. you name it.

Take, for example, two of my good friends who are in the medical profession.

a) I literally almost pass out every time I get my blood drawn. Every time. And the worst part about it? This fear has only increased as I've gotten older - pretty sure it's supposed to be the other way around.
b) I am one of those people you read about that transfixes their minds on their illness' [or lack thereof] potential. It sounds like I have a cough, you say? I better camp out on WebMD.com to read about it ASAP. By the time I am done I will have most likely improperly diagnosed myself with a terminal illness.. maybe even 2.

My husband works with the elderly and is phenomenal at it. Personally, my patience would be tested every single day, and I would also probably break out in uncontrollable tears whenever they told me about their health issues or the unfinished items on their bucket list.

Another good friend is a realtor. If I were in her position, I would most likely convince the potential buyers to hold off on their purchase for investment purposes while I secretly go purchase it and nest.

You get the picture. We are uniquely crafted with specific giftings.


So.. may I ask you [and myself] WHY we are so obsessed with trying to be like others? Whether inadvertently or on purpose.. it's a thing.



Lately I've been really into hand-lettering.. basically calligraphy but not quite as in-depth. What I mean by this is that I've started following at least 15 calligraphers and hand-letterers over the past couple of months on Instagram [and created a few pieces of art on my own here and there along the way].

Yes, I believe it is a good thing to be curious and to want to learn more about a hobby. Yes, seeing different calligraphers' and hand-letterers' Instagram posts can be inspiring and trigger new ideas and excitement.

You know what it can also trigger?

Conformity.

It's so easy + tempting for me to find quotes I like and want to write out via other people's Instagram posts. It's also just as easy + tempting to take components of their 'style' instead of just pursuing my own.


"But their work is cool, and they seem to be successful." 


Yes, but no.

If what I said earlier is true - the whole part about us being 1 out of 7.4 billion - yet each of us having unique characteristics.. why would we hide our originality instead of offering it up?


Yes, it's scary to be authentic.

Yes, it's harder to take the road less traveled upon.


But..


YES, your own authenticity brings so much more to this world.


I think you will surprise yourself. And I think you will find that you know exactly what you're doing.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one anotheras good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus ChristTo him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
--1 Peter 4:10-11

Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
--Isaiah 64:8

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
--Psalm 139:14



I think that Joss Whedon was spot on in his creativity quote.. so I wrote it down. In all things, 

explore,
nurture &
use 

your gift of God's varied grace.

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Friday, January 22

[the time will come]

For those of us who are just now making our New Year's resolutions simply because we were expecting a little bit of closure before moving on to the next year..

I want you to know that it's okay.

It's okay to be in process, to be dreaming of change, to realize that your present happens to be far from perfect.. to have just crossed the finish line after a long journey full of perseverance [or lack thereof] only to find yourself packing up for another one.

Because the truth is.. we are all in process.

And sometimes this 'process' looks different for you at different stages of your life - comforting yet discomforting, I know. And quite frankly, your process always looks different for you than it does for others.

But don't let it ruin your 'now'. Because just as easily as this 'in-between' came upon you.. it will soon be gone.

You will soon begin to see the ways in which God is leading you - and it might not be in the present tense.. rather, you may only see this leadership in hindsight. But this place has been Designed for you. It is at this time through these circumstances that our good Father has chosen to mold you.

And maybe.. at the root of all of these feelings of uncertainty and imperfection is just that: a yearning to be made into something Glory-filled. 


So fear not, friend. Because while waiting periods can be far from pleasant with their restlessness, you are being made into something beautiful.


We are not broken beyond repair.

We are not marked by our failures.

We are not our past mistakes in present tense.

We are not to be looked down upon for being in process.

B r e a k t h r o u g h is often just around the corner.


And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint.. for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen our courage and faint

--Galatians 6:9


Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. 
--Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday, September 7

[let's sit]

Today, I felt like Laura.

Do you ever get off track?

I know I do.

Especially in seasons of busyness, it is hard for me to remember truth. For some reason it seems to get covered up & perverted by the to-do lists and the ‘I don’t have enough time to get up in the morning to pray or read or process’ thoughts.. when that is exactly what I need.

This morning I was reading Leviticus. It’s a real hoot – let me tell ya. Anyway, I began reading about the Sabbath.

It is a Sabbath of rest for you, and you must deny yourselves.
-Leviticus 23:32


It’s crazy for me to think [and to acknowledge] that I control very little – that God is omniscient and omnipotent – yet I still tend to get off track time and time again in worrying.

He knows.


He knows that we are like this – that we are flawed because of our sin. That we ache to control our circumstances by overdoing, over-worrying, over-thinking. He knows that rest is good for our soul since he created us in this way. He knows what we need and wants to give us these things.

That is why he commanded the Israelites to take a Sabbath and then goes on to tell them that this would be hard for them – that they would have to deny themselves in order to take the Sabbath.

Doesn’t this speak to you?


It doesn’t matter what season of life you are in.. it’s a constant struggle to sit and be. You’ve got a 3-pager to-do list to complete by October 1st? I guarantee you that you need rest in the midst of the ticking off of items. I can guarantee you that you will be able to accomplish more after some down time. I can guarantee you that you will gain new perspective.

Sabbath.


What it looks like for me consists of coffee shops. It’s not so much of the coffee that I’m after – even though it’s warm & tasty and makes me feel at home;  it’s more so the atmosphere of the shop. The people – the strangers – surrounding me laden with their laptops and their Beats headphones (I’ve been meaning to buy a pair of these ever since 2008), their determination to complete what they came in to work on.. but mostly their anonymity. Knowing that I likely will be unbothered for the coming hour [or two] while I’m reading and journaling, processing and planning.

It’s in the bits and pieces of my Thursday – breakfast with dear friends before going into work.. talking about the happenings of our lives: the excitement, the stagnant ongoings, and the fears. It’s getting things out in the open and realizing that we are happiest and most full when we are known.

It’s the workout at the gym [that I put off days & days in a row until I own up to my goal] when I don’t bring my cell phone – knowing that I am there to focus on my own health and my own thoughts while neglecting to fill myself with social media/texts/phone calls for that hour.

I got all of these things in [in some way or another] this weekend, and it was g-o-o-d.

He knows us. He really knows us. And it’s good.


Cheers to a 3-day weekend and rest in whatever form(s) that may be.

Sunday, August 2

[all that I know is I'm breathing]



You're playing dodgeball.

Balls are being thrown at you from every which way. That boy with the killer arm- the one that's going to knock you right off of the court and put you right down on the bench if you're not careful- he's got his gaze on you, and he's waiting to disengage.

Then there is the the quiet girl with her stealthiness- you can't tell when she's going to let go but you remember that her aim is the best of all your opponents. And her consistency.. second to none.

Which ones do you attempt to catch?
Which ones should you dodge & never turn your back to?


This is what my life currently feels like. Now, please take this post with a grain of salt, knowing that I can be somewhat of a pansy, as well as slightly dramatic- oops. However, this is the one image that I keep coming back to- over & over again- replaying in my mind when I think about the current season I am walking through.

I hate this.

I hate making out my life happenings to be bigger than what they are when there are people out there experiencing things I could never even think about experiencing myself.

But for some reason it feels good to type out your worries & fears- handing them out like a free pamphlet on the street corner to the endless users of the world wide web, hoping they will find some sort of use out of them- while the writing somehow urges me to come back to focus on the Constant.

Like all seasons- good & bad- this season requires a daily refocusing. I'm reminded of a dancer who is spotting on her turns- knowing that the only way she will stay upright is if she comes back to focus on that one seemingly far spot on the wall as she inches closer and closer to it with each spin.

I always say that I hate change.

My roommate doesn't believe me. She thinks that I am good at it. Apparently I put on a good front.

This season is bringing about all sorts of change. All sorts of topics that I would have never thought possible 6 months ago.

Behold.


He says it when he wants us to listen- when he wants us to hurry up and come back to the realization that he is in control when we forget [or rather neglect to remember].

And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment."
-Revelation 21

A lot of life is choosing, I am finding. But what these clean cut words fail to show is the presence & reality of growing pains that these choices naturally bring about. Nevertheless, I am choosing to believe that he is working for my good. I am choosing to believe that I am outrageously l-o-v-e-d by my God who loves each of us with a passion so deep. A passion that urged him to give Jesus as a sacrifice to die for us so that he could get to know us.. he sees us as THAT valuable.

[Listen to me. I know what you're thinking. I've already thought out every detail of your life. After all, I did create you. Beloved, you're going to be fine. This is going to be good. You forget that I make the most perfect masterpieces- and that is exactly what I want to make out of you.]