MadisonNut_BW

One of the things that Joe and I have appreciated most about living in small-town Iowa has been our church family. We decided to live where we do because it was central to where Joe would work (east of Grinnell) and where I would work (west of Grinnell). Since neither of us work in the community in which we live, I was initially worried about how we would make friends and build a sense of community. Fortunately, it didn’t take us long to discover Community Heights Alliance Church in Newton, Iowa, a short distance from Grinnell.

Community Heights has been where Joe and I have grown immensely as a couple, developed friendships that have supported us beyond our expectations or hopes and seen God working in our lives. I don’t frequently talk about messages we hear at church, but last week’s message (you can listen to it HERE) has been on my mind ever since Sunday.

Our pastor talked about what it means to live our lives abundantly (as he said, “In the Lord’s favor”). He went on to talk at length about finding freedom in areas of our lives that we might not currently be experiencing freedom, such as out-of-control spending and debt, over-eating, lack of exercise, spending too much time on our phones/social media and not enough time with our families. He really challenged each one of us to look beyond our typical definition of someone who lives of life of addiction and bondage (such as alcoholics or those addicted to drugs) and realize that almost all of us have areas of our lives that are in need of changing if we want to life a life of freedom.

Thinking about this has felt extremely important to me for some reason. I want 2013 to be a transformative year for my faith journey and my relationships with friends, family and co-workers. To do so, I think that means putting away my phone more often, spending weekends disconnected from Twitter and Pinterest and connected in face-to-face conversations. Instead of putting up a facade that says I have it all together, I hope to simply be more human and real in my relationships. But that requires a willingness to be vulnerable, too, which is a scary proposition in itself.

Having a blog is a bit like a juggling act. There is a line about what to share and what to keep private that needs to stay in balance, at least in my opinion (and maybe my mom’s opinion, too!) But I do hope to be more real with my writing and blogging, taking time every now and again to write about things not necessarily related to food. To just chat life with you all, and find out how things are going on your end, too. Isn’t that why we all read blogs anyway?

Thanks to my friends Natalie and Shanna, who have both inspired me lately with their honest writing and vulnerability. Specifically Natalie’s post on Beauty Revolution (and her willingness to go makeup-free!) and Shanna’s post about compassion and kindness. If you don’t already read the blogs of these amazing women you are missing out!

Madison

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  • http://foodloveswriting.com/ Shanna

    Madison, Thank you for the sweet shout-out here. I love your line here, “Isn’t that why we all read blogs anyway?” because I know at least for me, YES. I love hearing from people’s real hearts and seeing vulnerability. I’m reading this book on writing from 1930 (!) and one of the reoccurring themes has been writing what is real, the stuff you genuinely are passionate about, digging down into your actual heart. THAT is not easy but it is so beautiful and valuable when it happens. Looking forward to learning more about you and your heart in 2013 — blessed to get to.

    • MadisonMayberry

      Shanna, I am so thankful that Joanna introduced me to you and your blog. It has been challenging for me to read your posts, mainly because they convict me to think deeper and examine my thoughts and actions more often that I probably would otherwise. Thank you for continuing to inspire with your posts.

  • Urban Wife

    Yes! Everything about this post is awesome. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you this year and how you will share with us. You have a wonderful Godly heart, thanks for being a great example. :)

    • MadisonMayberry

      Thank YOU for your support and consistent uplifting comments. I was telling Joe the other night how thankful I am for your support of Espresso and Cream. SO excited to follow along on your big adventure in 2013!

  • http://twitter.com/stephmwise Stephanie Wise

    This is EXACTLY what’s been on my heart lately, too! I’ve been thinking the same thing regarding my life as a blogger and my goal this year is to be more intentional about what I do — that is to say, not just post blog posts, tweets, messages on FB, etc. for the sake of posting them, but do so because they mean something. And maybe even, like you, post more “real life” stuff on my blog, not just food.

    Can’t wait to see where this goal takes you this year, Madison!

    • MadisonMayberry

      It’s so nice knowing others feel the same way I do, Stephanie! Blogs are such an extension of the people who write them, so I guess its natural that as we grow as people we want our blogs to reflect those changes. I always tend to want to share a little too much, but I think that is just because I like to have open conversations about real life.

      Looking forward to following along with your blog, too!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape

    Really nice post!

    • MadisonMayberry

      Thank you, Liz!

  • http://thoughtsbynatalie.com/ Natalie Lynn Borton

    I love this post, Madison! I look forward to your 2013 posts and hearing more “realness” and vulnerability in your life. I’m already a big fan of the blog, so it really can only get better! Also, thanks for the shout out :)

    • Madison Mayberry

      Thank you, Natalie! Your writing has been so inspiring to me lately. Keep up the great work!

    • MadisonMayberry

      Thank you, Natalie! Your words of encouragement mean a lot. And thank you for continuing to inspire with your awesome posts.