peanut butter chocolate milk

peanut butter chocolate milk

I told Tim the other day,

you know,

the best things in life

really are free.

____

Like sunlight in the morning:

morning sunlight

And sunsets at night:

sunset

Parks filled with trees:

parks filled with trees

Views like these:

windows in my kitchen

views like this

A day at the lake:

a day at the lake

And the man that I love:

tim

I mean, I don’t know about you, but I need to be reminded of this. Because, as much as I talk about simplicity here, the truth is: I am easily swept away into opinions and concerns that are anything but.

That’s why I’m starting a new series here at the blog (in life?) focused on simplicity—starting with a recipe that’s so easy, it’s honestly ridiculous. Those of you who wanted more Vitamix recipes, here you go! Those of you who don’t have a Vitamix, a regular blender still works.

Behold: time-tested, always delicious, peanut butter chocolate milk.

making peanut butter chocolate milk

peanut butter chocolate milk

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roasted tomato toasts (+ an update on self-employment!)

roasted tomato toasts

Somewhere in the midst of the last two weeks—nestled right in amongst planning a wedding, looking for a place to live, climbing (up ropes! for my first! time! ever!) at Cummins Falls, watching fireworks, meeting and spending time with the very lovely Joanna and Brad (and feeling like we’ve been friends a long time), attending a Vitamix party, getting my car’s brakes fixed, and making two batches of coconut macaroons—I hit a pretty important milestone:

For those of you who’ve been with me on this entire journey, you’ll know it’s something worth celebrating, which is exactly what I intend to do with this post: as of this month, I’ve been self-employed for an entire year.

take a tomato and chop it up

Milestones have a way of making you think about things, if you know what I mean. You look back, you look forward, you compare where you are with where you’ve been, with where you thought you’d be. A year into something, you have a better perspective than you did two months in. And so, a year into working for myself, I say this more confidently than I could last summer: the last twelve months have been pretty amazing and truly a gift.

It was because of self-employment that I could move to Nashville, right in the beginning of February, without needing to quit one job and find another. It was working from home that’s allowed me to take trips back to Chicago almost every month since then—a rare blessing when living far from your family. And while it’s true I make less money than I did in my office job, I’ve still had every need supplied. What’s more, I’ve learned (and am learning) a lot about dependence through this variable income, things I didn’t know I needed to learn—and while I might not have chosen to learn them this way, I’m thankful for them, too.

fresh tomatoes

During the first ten months of the last twelve, there were times when I felt the insecurity of a changing income, sure, but overall, I saw amazing things happen, and these things helped me grow in trust: when one client would leave, another would come; when one project ended, another would start; businesses approached me with work. I’ve told so many people, I had known it was God providing for me when I had regular paychecks every two weeks; but in this new lifestyle, I’ve really felt it.

roasted tomatoes

The last couple months, though, have been stretching in an entirely different way, as work has slowed down and my income along with it. I’ve prayed. I’ve been tempted to worry. I’ve prayed more. Then I’ve been asked to give and, in faith, I’ve tried to open my hands, albeit grudgingly, and I’ve realized how much I still need to learn about trusting God—my provider when I have money to spare, but still my provider when I think I don’t.

roasted tomatoes on toast

Looking back at the last year and all the blessings and struggles and lessons it’s brought, I’m hit with the same things you’re probably hit with when you reflect on the last year of life or, marriage or, work or, something else. I’m thankful.

I’m thankful for the providence that’s brought me up to this exact point, today, where I sit, rich in time and rich in love, loving working from home but willing to return to an office. I’m thankful for the sovereign hand that’s been overseeing this whole process, overseeing me, using all of these things for good.

And I’m thankful for how looking back makes me more excited about looking forward—to whatever the next year will bring.

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