Chris asked me this morning if I had any “wisdom” for turning 30 today. LOL. 😜 But I told him the one thing I’ve really learned in the last few years is to trust my gut. That little voice that tells you when things feel wrong or that you need to wise up. To trust the eternity placed in your heart and lean into your instincts, conscience, inner voice. Also to always pack your swimsuit (thanks Rend), dry shampoo solves most problems, and to remember that if you’re cranky you’re usually either hungry or in need of a walk. This is 30 and I already love it.
Being your mom is the best, most challenging, rewarding, beautiful thing I’ve ever done. Love these last few sandy days of summer before you turn two.
Haha died laughing when I saw this picture— Danny having the best time, Chris having his face squashed under his hat. 😂 But also thought it was a pretty accurate picture of parenthood too. If he’s having fun we’re all (kinda!) having fun 😜 Family holidays in full effect for the next 24 hours!
Been having so many conversations with people about all the Christian public figures who have recently denounced their faith. I cannot pretend to fully know their circumstances, but I do believe this— if your faith can’t bend it’ll break. If you never learn the tools to process and discuss doubt, if you never truly let go of judgement of another person’s faith journey and comparing it to yours, you will burn out. I only know because I’ve been there so many times myself, and only come back when I realize the expectations I place on my faith are being put there by culture and not God. I can’t help it, I believe in God, I believe in Jesus. But I also believe “spiritual growth” sometimes looks countercultural. So for anyone who feels like they’re teetering today on the edge just know I love you and I get it. I hope you feel the freedom to explore your faith no matter what that looks like. Because you see, the edge is good. It’s the frontier, the horizon. We need courageous, compassionate people on the edge helping us all grow into new spiritual territory. ✨ photo: @jude._.thompson Ps. And if you’re someone who has let go of their fundamental faith I beg of you to not trade one form of fundamentalism for another. Allow yourself and your belief system to be more nuanced than that. Allow shades of grey and opposing views exist in your brain-space.
Got beyond spoiled this weekend for my 30th. Before I met Chris I had never dated anyone who not only told me he loved me, but who demonstrated it by treating me like a queen. From not eating out for a month so he could save up pennies to fly to visit me, or secretly breaking the bank to take me to dinner, to making sure I had flowers delivered on the day of my graduation and he couldn’t be there... sometimes you don’t know getting boutiques are your love language until you date someone who actually gets you one. 😉 We ended our weekend away with afternoon tea on the river and I was reminded how seriously blessed I feel to be married to the actual man of my dreams. Love you @chrisrend! (Oh and just to shatter any illusions you might have been on the cusp of conjuring that we’re perfect, we still did have one fight this weekend, on a street corner in Noting Hill. But honestly even that reminds me how lucky I feel to have the security in our relationship to express my thoughts and feelings without fear or judgement. Fighting and making up are part of the privilege of marriage, just like the magical times are too. 😏✨)
Son, you’re going to hear a lot of things in your life about who God is and why you should believe in Him. Some people say he’s an angry God, who doesn’t need to explain himself to you. Some will tell you there’s a very specific box with exact dimensions that he wants you to fit into for him to love you. Some will tell you he’s kinda like Santa Claus (who is totally real by the way 😉) doughy and bearded and a bit of a good behavior maniac. Some people will tell you God is more of a feeling than a person. Some will tell you God is in everything. Some will tell you he’s more concerned with his holiness than anything else and you might find that concept confusing. Some might tell you that God is definitely the one spearheading all their political and social opinions. But I hope through all of these chaotic and grasping ideas of who God is you’ll grasp on to one thing as your spiritual compass. Above everything else God wanted to make sure you knew He is love. Not a kind of love that doesn’t make sense, but the kind you feel when you hug me or your dad, and the kind you feel when you get tucked into bed at night. I think he said that because we all know what love is when we see it. It’s not confusing or hard to define. He is love, and he LOVES you. I hope you know that. @rendcokids
No fancy caption or picture, just a post from one real parent to all you other real parents out there trying to figure out what it looks like to raise kind, compassionate, generous, non-judgemental, curious and spiritually authentic children. Chris and I are far from perfect parents— we get frustrated easily, we bicker, we ask forgiveness, we get food stains on our clothes and forget to shower. But above almost anything else these days, we want to be parents who think deeply about how we introduce Danny to God. Many days it looks like putting him down after a long day and PRAYING we didn’t irreversibly $@#! up 😜🙈 All that to say, it brings me so much joy to announce @rendcollective started a kids ministry called @rendcokids that provides the kind of songs about God, identity and faith we felt we were struggling to find for Danny to listen to. It comes out at the end of the month, but if you’re a parent just doing your best too, I’d encourage you to go give @rendcokids a follow. Make some friends in the comments, and get ready because our first song comes out in less than three days!!!
I find myself so grateful for these extended times across the Atlantic. Even though there’s still work to be done, there’s something so good about being away from the usual rhythm of life in Nashville. There’s a slowness and peacefulness I think we all feel when we’re here and I’m grateful we get to enjoy it together. ✨
After a few gorgeous and sunny days exploring Ireland, the rain finally caught up with us now we’re home. This is perfect too.
Back with the fam this week driving around Ireland and praying. As the only American it’s been so interesting processing some of the history and significance of of the band’s spiritual and political history with them. Standing in front of this wall I couldn’t help but think of another wall that’s gone up in my own country. And symbolically, the walls evangelicals like to draw around who’s in and who’s out. The more I walk with Jesus the less convinced I get of the notion that my role in as his follower is to act as his border patrol. While this wall isn’t part of my own history, and I can’t pretend to understand all the nuances and pain it symbolizes, I can relate to what it looks like to feel on the “right” or “wrong” side of social and religious walls, and I can’t help but feel I don’t want to be found helping prop them up. Photo: @jude._.thompson
Rested and fueled for a couple of days of video shoots with the @rendcollective fam — feels like the old days haha. But in all seriousness, this project is one Chris and I have prayed over together quite a bit. Many years of loving and praying for Ireland between the two of us, and it’s going to be fun to get to spend some time as a team asking God to do more than we could ever imagine. ✨
Turns out sweater + bare feet is the perfect weather. You know, like when the sun dips behind the clouds and you get goosebumps? Only to have it reappear with so much warmth you feel like shoes are overkill? Turns out a lot of my life is spent in the in-between. In between cultures, in between political view points, in between beliefs. In this weird space where I feel like I want to be in societal, religious, non-religious clubs, but also not willing to fully wear the uniforms that come with them. Happy to try some sweaters on for size, but needing to keep my feet free to move about. What is it about our world that caters to this desperate need to figure who’s in and who’s out? As long as we humans have been being, it seems we've been drawing thick, definitive lines in the sand. Is it fear of the other? Is it a need to feel seen? We’ve all had those moments when we realize “the other” is more similar to us than we realize (or even like to admit), though few of us are willing to sit in that uncomfortable place and take it in. I’ve seen myself in the religious fundamentalist social media troll— using “truth” like a battering ram to try and make the world align into some kind of order. I’ve seen myself in the political liberal— unable to put my hurt down long enough to listen. I’ve seen myself sheltered and uneducated. I’ve seen myself angry and bitter. I’ve seen myself racist and atheist. I’ve seen myself believing in God, miracles and mystics. I’ve seen myself older than my age and still so very, very young. I see myself in everyone and yet no one because no one else is fully meant to be me. And maybe that’s the point? Instead of only humanizing people we recognize ourselves in, maybe we’re in the differences too. Maybe we’re in it all.
All the classic birthday tropes really feel inadequate. But truly I feel so grateful this man was born and that by some miracle he’s mine. Happy birthday @chrisrend — it’s good to be back running together along the Northern Irish coast and eating sausage rolls in the car park and talking about literally under the sun. Grateful for the way we’ve grown and evolved together.
Good-bye Nashville!!! See you in the autumn! Can’t wait to trade tank tops for sweaters, sandals for rain boots, and coffee for a cuppa. ☕️ also gonna take this time in Northern Ireland to spend less time on social media and slow down. Byyeeee! ✈️✨✌🏻
Felt cute, probably won’t delete later. ✌🏻👀 We leave for the UK tomorrow and there’s still so much left to do, but first, pizza tour of Nashville party to celebrate @chrisrend smashing his first ever CrossFit competition!! 🍕🍕 on the list: jets, Bella Napoli, desanos— what else needs to be on there?!
Really grateful to get to bring danny along today to @chrisrend’s competition. Even though it was more work it was really special to get to cheer him on as a family. I’m proud of Chris modeling what it can look like to be grateful for our bodies, stretching and pushing them for the joy and fun of movement. I hope Danny grows up knowing that we will always cheer him on no matter what and with a sense of confidence in himself. One day down, one more to go!
If you need me I’ll just be here trying to recreate the @herbanmarket1 Cesar salad. Honestly this pretty close...!
My favorite belly and person to run around the food court with. Five more days to soak in this Nashville summer! ☀️
Anyone else get a huge wet spot on their pants when they wash the dishes that makes it look like they peed themselves? Just me? K cool. 🙈🙄 #ootd #basicmomsofinstagram
I know, hair goals right? Happy making it to Friday, no matter what condition your hair is in. 😂🙈👀