{Gallivant Reads} The Circle Maker

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Reading is one of my most favorite things, but unfortunately my reading time decreased significantly in the second half of last year, and I sorely missed it. In my world there aren’t many things better or more restful than making a cup of tea and cozying up with a good book. Confession: I am the kind of nerdy reader who actually gets stressed when they look at their “to read” list on Goodreads. I love books so much that the thought of missing a good one totally stresses me out!

(Sidebar: Don’t have Goodreads? Get it! It’s a great way to keep track of books you would like to read, get reviews, and see what your friends are reading! Once you sign up let’s be friends! Search for Emily_Richey -- I’d love to see what you are reading!)

So this year I set a goal...to read 30 books. Between working full-time and having a social life outside of work, that number is intimidating, so to break it down I am aiming to read for 30 minutes everyday. So far I have been doing pretty well--my lunch break has definitely been my friend. 

I kicked off my challenge in January with a book that I have been meaning to read for forever--ever since one of my best friends raved about it in college.  As it turns out, I picked up The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson at exactly the right time, years later. This book radically invigorated and changed my prayer life at a time when it was, I’ll admit, a bit lacking. I was reminded me that our God is bigger than this universe He so lovingly created, and He wants us to pray big prayers, crazy prayers, visionary prayers, which is essentially the premise of the book. (If you'd like, you can read more about what I believe here.)

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

"Every once in awhile, I need a no-agenda day with nothing to do, but those aren’t the days we’re going to celebrate at the end of our lives. We won't remember the things that came easy; we’ll remember the things that came hard. We’ll remember the miracles on the far side of “long and boring.”

"Our minds are subconsciously primed by everything that is happening all the time. It’s a testament to the fact that our minds are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” It also testifies to the fact that we had better be good stewards of the things we allow into our visual and auditory cortices. Everything we see and hear is priming us in a positive or negative way. That’s one reason I believe in starting the day in God’s Word. It doesn’t just prime our minds; it also primes our hearts...When we read the words that the Holy Spirit inspired, it tunes us to His voice and primes us for His promptings."

"In case you missed the message the first time, if you keep trying, you are not failing. The only way you can fail is if you quit trying. If you’re still trying, even if you’re failing, you’re succeeding. God is honored when you don’t give up. God is honored when you keep trying. God is honored when you keep circling."

"Goal setting begins and ends with prayer. God-ordained goals are conceived in the context of prayer, and prayer is what brings them to full term."

I highly recommend The Circle Maker if you are looking for a good read, and you can find some other books I have enjoyed in the past here, here, here, here, here, and here

What about you? Have you been reading anything good recently? Although my "to read" list is long, I am definitely open to suggestions! Leave them in the comment box below. 



P.S. This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click a link a buy something I may make a small commission. But, as usual, all opinions are my own. 

P.S.S. Like what you are reading? Subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin, pinterest, instagram,  and/or Twitter!




A Flight School Update + Thoughts on "The Next Thing"

Happy Friday people! The past few weeks were busy, and I have wanted to spent as much time as possible with John when we are both off because it has seemed like we have been on opposite schedules a bit, hence the lack of blogging. I am getting back in a groove though, and am so excited to share some recent adventures! First off, though, in accordance with one of my blogging goals for 2015, a general update and some thoughts about where we are in the flight school pipeline.

The past few months have flown by, and a couple of exciting things have happened in terms of our flight school journey: John finished Primary, selected Helicopters, started Advanced training for Helos, and promoted to LTJG! Luckily, Advanced for Helos is in Pensacola (Milton actually) so we didn’t have to move. We were so excited to get Helicopters because John has been pretty sure that is what he wanted to fly since day one of flight school.

While it seemed like API and Primary dragged on a bit a times due to cancelations,  since John started Advanced he has been flying through (see what I did there?) and we have started talking about potential winging dates. Crazy, right? We have been in Pensacola for almost a year and a half, and even though we have about four to five more months here it is starting to feel like our Pensy time is winding down. We have grown to love Pensacola so much and will miss it hugely, but with winging comes moving, (we won’t know where until John wings,) and recently it’s been hard not to obsess a little over what is next.

There are so many unknowns in the military, and flight school is just a little microcosm of that: Where will one go through API? What aircraft will one select? Where will one be stationed after they wing? There is a tendency to constantly be looking ahead, to the "next thing.” Before I go any further I want to say...it is ok to talk about the possibilities of what is next, and we often do, but the point is that it is tempting to talk about it all the time, and we have to balance that with the healthy perspective that we simply aren't there yet and our life doesn't begin then--it is happening now, right now, this very second, here.

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I have been trying, and at times wrestling, to be present through this. I have been frequently reminded of my last semester of college, when I was simultaneously preparing to graduate, nannying, planning a wedding, and wrapping up my time leading Younglife. I had never been so busy in my life, and it was a temptation to put my head down, chug through school, and just focus on the future:  our wedding and moving to Pensacola. Early on in the semester, though, I realized that God was doing so much in those last few months of school—in my friendships, my ministry, and even my relationship with John, and I needed to be present in order to experience that. In the midst of so much transition and a grueling schedule, I needed to seek Jesus in the morning and claim Him as my peace. I had to take in one day at a time. The future would work itself out, and if I had spent all of my time worrying and dwelling on it I would have missed the joy and growth and deepened friendships that were such a sweet part of that season.

I am feeling similarly now, in another season of huge growth. It is easy to make “the next thing” the topic of every conversation, with both our Navy and civilian friends and loved ones. It is so tempting for John and I to spend all of our (sometimes hard-won) time together weighing the pros and cons of each possible location and the available aircraft. (More on that in a later post, but in a nutshell: we have five different options for locations and three different possible types of helicopter.) Too often we find ourselves talking about moving dates, and possible job options. I even catch myself asking friends in the Navy community what their thoughts are, whether students pilots or significant others, because sometimes it seems like the easiest way to start conversation.

None of these things are inspiring presentness.

The problem is that when we aren't present we miss it, we miss what is here, we miss time and the infinite things that could happen in that time. We miss people. We miss learning about our friends. In the hours we spend talking with them about “the next thing” we miss learning how our friends are now, what they have been up to, what is inspiring them, what they are learning, what keeps them up at night. I don’t want to miss that, and I don’t want the remainder of our time here to morph into a waiting game, because that doesn’t feel like it will honor the time we have spent in Pensacola and the way we have grown here, both individually and as a couple. I don’t want to miss what the Lord is doing in this place. I want to finish well here, and as gracefully as possible.

The truth is, though, sometimes the future is the thing that is keeping us up at night. I know I am not alone in that. And yet again, it seems as though so often my life is an exercise in giving up control, in recognizing that I am not actually the “captain of my ship,” but that the One who is in control, who does steer our fate, is immeasurably better at it than I am. Our job is to pray and wait, to be patient and present, focusing on what is right in front of us. “The next thing” will come, that is certain. And I do believe it will be good.

Obviously, I will post updates here as we get closer to the Fall and John’s winging date. I am also looking forward to sharing a little bit about what the second half of flight school has been like, as well as our favorite places and things to do in Pensacola. Also, we have a jam-packed summer ahead, full of exciting travels, weddings, and time spent exploring more of the Gulf before we head to our next destination, so stay tuned! 

Hope that everyone has a lovely weekend! If you would like to see what we are up to than follow along on instagram @evr_thegallivant ! As always, thank you so much for reading. 



P.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along with The Gallivant on  pinterest, instagram,  and Twitter!

Lent: A Pause

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Hello! Today was Ash Wednesday and as I went through my day I found myself reflecting on this season of Lent and asking myself how I was going to observe it this year. Throughout the day the same themes have been popping up in front of me: focus, discipline, thoughtfulness, humility, intentionality, sacrifice. With that in mind I am going to take the rest of the week off from blogging and prepare my heart, my mind, and my home for this season. 

Ash Wednesday is for remembering our sin and humanity—for reflecting on our fallen state and our gaping NEED for a Saviour.
— Raechel Myers | Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross: Day 1 | She Reads Truth

Looking for a way to meditate on Lent and what it means for us? I am excited to be using the new Lent study from She Reads Truth--definitely download the app if you are looking for a good devo. Not sure what Lent is  and want to know more? Feel free to email me via the contact form or comment below. 

See you back here on Monday!



Simple Joys of Autumn

I shared some simple joys I was experiencing a few months ago and was blown away and humbled by the response I got from my lovely readers. Since then I have been trying harder to pause and notice the little things that bring my heart peace and joy in the midst of crazy busy-ness. Here are some little moments and things that have made my heart sing and  praise God so far this fall. 

Simple Joys Of Autumn- The Gallivant | www.thegallivant.net

Here are the original joys, a little more pinnable/printable. I am sticking mine on my desk as a reminder on days when I feel like I am spinning my wheels. 

Simple Joys- The Gallivant | www.thegallivant.net

What are some simple joys that you are experiencing these days? I would love to hear. 



P.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along on instagram and pinterest!

Our Weekend + A Reflection on Easter

Photo: Author

Photo: Author

Happy Easter Monday! We were so blessed to have my wonderful parents here with us this weekend to celebrate Easter. We went to church yesterday and then had a yummy late lunch with my parents and our good friends. My mom has always done incredible holiday meals and inspired me to pull out all the stops: leg of lamb, spoonbread grits w mushroom sauce, roasted asparagus, sugar cookies, and a beautiful lemon bundt cake. It was a hit. 

Easter is my very favorite holiday. I love the time of year, the awakening of Spring, the pastel colors, chocolate, etc. More than all of this, though,  I am so deeply moved by the celebration of victory over death, the resurrection of Jesus, and what it means for us as a broken and rebellious people. I believe fiercely in the resurrection of Christ. I believe it based on reason and logic, as well as a deep ring of truth in my gut and my soul. In my life, I have been wrecked by the love of Christ, and the fact that he died for me, and for all of creation, that we may be able to turn away from the sin within us and have a relationship with Him. It amazes me and endlessly humbles me to think that God could love such a sinful, prideful, broken person such as me that much. And you, he loves you too! This weekend we heard that our God is a God of infinite and supreme grace, and that "He loves people with a past and who are wrestling within the present." We remembered that Christianity is not about being good people, living by a moral code, but rather it is about who Jesus is.  When he died he said "It is done." Our faith is not about what you "do" but rather how it is "done." Finished. You can choose joy! You can choose life! Eternity. You have been qualified by Christ. All you have to do is turn to him. 

If you are reading this and are a believer then rejoice with me. He is risen. If you are unsure, if you have doubts, if you vehemently disagree, or you just don't care then I would ask you this--Are you willing to weigh the evidence? Are you willing to examine it for yourself? Heres the thing--as cliché as it sounds, life is short. If these claims are true then they are of utmost eternal importance to you. They are, quite literally, a matter of life or death. As our pastor said this weekend, "Don't sit on the sidelines--think deeply about life." 

I felt a need today to be honest about where my hope and my joy come from. Thank you so much for checking in. Please know that no matter where you are in life and what you believe- you are always welcome here. And if anything I have said has brought up questions for you I would be happy to talk, so feel free to shoot me an email. Also know that I have not always been so sure of these things, but Jesus pulled me out of some hard places in my life, and I  have been radically changed through knowing Him. If you are curious to hear about that than I would love to share that with you. Finally, no matter how you spent your weekend, I hope it was as lovely and relaxing as ours was! 

Love you all,