When Life Gives You Ramen pt. 2

Well hello, again, sweet friend. The first post about ramen noodles was a hit, so I figured I’d make a part two post, partially because I know it would bless a few people, but majorly because I need to write a post on contentment…AGAIN. To be really vulnerable, I just still haven’t mastered it, and Jesus has convicted my heart the last 5 days to rewrite the original post. So, if you’d like to cheer me on in this tender post, feel free to insert a custom made Caitlin cheer…..right….. H E R E!

Thank you. Thank you.

I have, just recently, caught myself in the middle of, what I’d like to call, an “Obedience Crisis” with God. You know, one of those times in life where God very blatantly asks you to do something, walk through a hard process, love that hard person, etc..etc and when you do it it’s like someone stuffed a confetti gun with a hand grenade and instead of soft confetti, you get a war weapon blown straight through your life and your confidence….yall know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, just follow along for a few minutes. I’m reminded of the phrase my friend spoke a few summers ago.

“Contentment is found in a bowl of ramen noodles.”

If you haven’t read the part One of this post: take a break and click here —> When life gives you Ramen.

I’ve caught myself thinking a lot, over the last week, “I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, Lord..but obviously it’s something.” I obey, I lose. I disobey, I still lose. I rejoice in the midst of all of the shambles, and things stay shambley. I worship God, beg him to come close, and I’ve felt distant. I’ve watched people (side note: comparison is the thief of joy) and they see the shambles come into alignment, they see obedience produce the freshest, juiciest fruit, and they worship God faithfully and not only does he come close, but he brings crazy breakthrough. YAY GOD for being faithful, but seriously what am I doing wrong?

It’s a lot like watching that bride walk down the aisle and fly off to a beautiful honeymoon and you’ve gotta fly back, sicker than a dog, and muster up the courage to go to work or not. Or maybe it’s living in a run down apartment because your job doesn’t pay that well and you’re watching people buy mega mansions. In my case, I live in my parents house (which is so healthy for me, thanks mom and dad), and I feel like I’m being left behind my all of my friends. If I’m being really honest, am I really sure that God isn’t out for me?

We all do it. It’s like we search for the next best thing, for the next better thing..and it’s not long after we get the better ‘whatever it is’ and we see an instagram post that takes the wind out of our sails and plants a seed of resentment and disappointment at Jesus.

Since when was Jesus not enough for our hearts? For my heart?

I’ve been seeing Jesus come through in crazy ways for me. I’ve labeled this current season of life, the season of unfinishedness. It feels as though every thing is attached to another thing and nothing feels like it will ever be finished. I also can deeply feel the unfinishedness of who I am and who Jesus made me to be. The other day, a friend texted me to check in on a situation, and I melted down. Curse words, destructive phrases, and spewing anger flowed from my heart to my keyboard to a text message to my sweet friend. I felt no conviction or regret until almost 24 hours later…I am so unfinished. As shame overtook my heart, I realized that my hope hasn’t been in Jesus himself, but in Jesus’ ability to come through for me. When situations haven’t gone my way, I’ve lost my ish over it. Some may pull the “rebellion” card, because I actually have felt quite rebellious toward the church, toward Jesus, and towards community…I’ve labeled it my “badass” card. Let me explain: If I can be tough enough, not show my emotions, and just be okay and look content all the time, I think I look as if I can conquer anything and that I am essentially untouchable.

Lets LOL at that for a hot second. HAHAHAHAHAHA.

But that “badass card” has led to many meltdowns and deep deep deep resentment and hatred towards situations and people. It’s not healthy. It’s not holy. It’s not God’s heart. So hear me when I say: “Your badass card pulls you farther away from Jesus and his heart and is one of the most destructive things in your relationship with him.”

You see, when we look around at our friends and our family and compare where we are with what they’re doing and what God is doing, we steal, not only the joy, but the celebration that should come with breakthrough from God. We also steal from ourselves, our view of how faithful God is changes, his character seemingly changes, and we hold him at a distance. But when we are unfinished, when we have sharp edges and mouths cursing like sailors, God doesn’t pull his “badass” card, he pulls us close. He snuggles with us. He brings us close to teach us that contentment is found snuggled tight in the arms of our Daddy.

So this blog post is ending with a list of things I’m thankful for…just because I believe thankfulness is one of the ways that Jesus pulls us close:

Coffeeshops with a sweet Dutch couple with thick accents.
Dirty chai tea latte’s.
The ability to delete online dating accounts 5 minutes after they’re created (hahahaha! no, I’m not online dating, y’all…but I thought about it.)
Bethel spontaneous worship youtube videos
Migraine medicine
My job and my boss
My pals
Cooper (ruff ruff)
My family

I’m really thankful that God is not a man. He doesn’t react like us. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He gives us our bowls of ramen at the perfect time. Hot, steamy, and ready to eat.

Even if I do not see it now: I am where I am, because Jesus is here.
My ramen is good. It is what my belly needs. It makes me full.

“Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.”
Psalm 16:5-6


twenty-three things about 23.

Well folks: I’m the big two-three.
23 years old, or 23 years young. Either way you flip the coin, my life has been an ongoing story for 23 years as of this past Friday.

I wish I could say I was more excited for this year than I am.
21-legal to drink and do whatever else.
22-you can sing Taylor Swift’s 22 song and it actually apply to you.
23-you’re a year older….WOO.

Another year older.

I recently started working at a hearing aid clinic. VERY different from my old job, but oddly similar. I’m still helping people and still getting to have contact with them…but they’re in a different age category. Instead of 2 years-21 years, I’m servicing 50-110 years. These people have lived quite the lives and in the process, most of them have become rather hard.

They’re bodies are so fragile, yet their hearts are like concrete, and with it being September, I have had thoughts of getting old running through my head.

Another year older.

In my thinking, I’ve started analyzing the elderly heart. Why does it get hard? What has it lived through? What does it feel like? In my pondering, I began applying the observations to my own life, thus the title of this blog: “twenty-three things about 23.” In this list, you’ll notice my observations of the elderly heart applied to my own and also desires of things I want in my 101 year old heart one day (yes, I saw a 101 year old patient come through the door today.)

  1. I want to love deeply. I want to look back on my life and say that I gave my heart away, trusting Jesus to keep it safe, and that I loved people with a depth that they could not grasp, yet they knew it changed them. I want to fall in love, I want to fight to stay in love, and most importantly, I want to celebrate love…not stay wounded by broken hearts.
  2. I want to love Jesus more at the end of my life than I did when I was 8 years old. I want my life to be a reflection of the grace freely given to me.
  3. I want to live fully abandoned to the plans and purposes of God…not hindering myself because of fear or selling myself short because the plans do not make sense…I want “yes God” stamped on my heart until my last day.
  4. I want to laugh frequently and deeply.
  5. I want to make friends and live in community.
  6. I want to have a legacy. One that pours into the lives of her children and others so wholeheartedly and in such a holy way that generations are changed.
  7. I want to keep up with technology and the latest news.
  8. I want to be thankful for where I’ve been and where I am going.
  9. I want to be able to celebrate on the mountain tops of life and in the valleys. Never becoming bitter or angry towards Jesus.
  10. I don’t want my life to be my own. I forever want to surrender my life to Jesus…in the morning and at night and every moment in between.
  11. I never want to hate the nations because of things that they’ve done or wars they’ve fought. I want to love people, and fight courageously for their salvation.
  12. I want to travel A LOT. I do not want to stay in one place forever, sure I want to settle down one day, but I want to explore and see and learn about other cultures.
  13. I never want to look down upon the generations below me. I want to honor them for the example they set for me to learn from, and teach them from the mistakes and the wins that I had in my life.
  14. I want to continue to desire to be hugged and touched. Bear hugs, hand holds, cheek kisses. The sweet stuff.
  15. I want to feed my holy imagination with dreams from heaven.
  16. I want to say “I’m sorry” frequently.
  17. I want to live in the Middle East.
  18. I want to risk it all…move over seas, buy my kids that Christmas present, give too much money to the homeless lady on the street…I do not want to withhold anything for selfish gain.
  19. I never want to stop learning.
  20. I want to have fun hobbies: knitting, hammocking, taking care of a pet sloth..(hey, a girl can dream)
  21. I hope to be a great story teller so when young 23 year olds ask me about my life I can give them incredible stories they will never forget.
  22. I want to stay passionate and full of zeal.

    and finally…..

  23. I never want to lose my wonder. I want to stand in awe of Jesus and of life. Standing with my jaw dropped and heart open to receive new revelations and wisdom from heaven.

I want to be a woman of wonder. Captivated by Jesus. Arrested by grace.
That is what I think my 23rd year of life is for me.
A  Y E A R  O F  W O N D E R. 

Wonder at the process and the product.
Wonder in the wilderness and in the harvest.
Wonder in the messy and the put together.

I’m thankful.
I’m expectant.
I’m held.