dichotomy - a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different.


there’s this amazing new establishment in my hometown’s downtown, called dichotomy.  they serve both coffee & spirits.  a coffee shop and a bar.  and it’s amazing.  the energy in that place is incredible.  last fall, I spent a late Friday night there with my bestie Brynn sipping on hot chocolate [dreaming about moscow mules] and it got me thinking.


why do we feel like we have to fit in some sort of “category”?

why do I have to chose between a vanilla latte or a glass of red wine?

why can’t I love both? [I do, by the way]

I feel like so much of life we feel like we have to chose between two polar opposite things, like in the game me + my college girlfriends have played for a decade.  it’s called “this or that” and you name two things, say beach or mountains, and you have to chose or die as we so politely say.  it’s a fun game to pass the time, to get to know new people, and maybe back in the day was a fun drinking game [don’t tell my mom].  it’s harmless, obviously, but got me thinking – why do we have to pick? 

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why can’t I be a beach girl who absolutely swoons over the sight of a 13,000 ft mountain in Lake City, Colorado?  why can’t I absolutely LOVE being in a big diverse city one day, and the next minute be so at home on the front porch swing at a farm house?

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our identity isn’t in choosing.

we are complex people, and that’s the beauty of it!

none of us are the same.  and we aren’t always the same.

we change, and grow, and develop new loves and passions as time goes on.

and for that I’m thankful.

I’ll be a big city girl one day, and a small town girl the next…..

what about you?


catch up on my “note to self” series here.

  • carlee stratton - I LOVE this post! I completely agree. Why is it that we assume we need to be this one type of person and that if we don’t fit in that box it’s not okay? The older I get the more I’m discovering different passions and interests for things that I never expected to because they’re so different from each other. I love the example you used because just last summer my brother took a trip with my dad to the mountains and I had no interest. But for the last 5 months I’ve been daydreaming about escaping to the mountains. I love how intimately and creatively the Lord continues to mold us as time goes on.ReplyCancel

  • Bailey Jean Robert - AH! So good for my heart to hear! I joke that I dream in six different directions, and most of the time none of them seem to line up. Why can’t I pursue theatre and directing while still being part of a church plant? Why can’t I be dedicated to my grad school work while still pouring into others online and back at home? The truth is “can’t” doesn’t belong in those sentences. I CAN chase after what God has in my heart, even if it is different than someone else or supposedly contradicting its neighbor dream. ReplyCancel

  • Chantel Klassen - Yes! I love so many things that are polar opposites. Also I just can’t get over how much I am loving hearing your sweet voice every day. You’ve got to do these posts on a semi regular basis after your 31 days are up.ReplyCancel

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I felt 17 again.

driving around back roads, with the windows down and nowhere to be.

no sitter on the clock.

in my husbands hometown.

you are always 17 in your hometown, as the song says.

we opened up a huge accordion book of my old mix (pre-ipod) cd’s and went to town.

something about those old cd’s labeled, “finals 04” or “camp mix 00” “for my girls”, well they just do something in my soul.  they take me back.  they fill my head and heart with memories and they make me want to just sing along.  


something about tonight made me feel free.

free to dream, free to relish in the memories, not of “the best times of my life” in a way that makes it sound like the best days are over, but just thinking about the good old days.


while also dreaming about the future.  the best is yet to come.

  • Chantel Klassen - I just pulled up a bunch of songs on YouTube the other day that took me back to ’03-’04, so I can totally relate to this! But you are so right, those were definitely not “the best times” but fun to look back on, the best is definitely yet to come!ReplyCancel

  • Caroline - Love finding old CD’s – Brings back so many sweet memories – just by the sound from a song!ReplyCancel

sticking with my regular programing, I’m adding a #fertilityfriday into the mix of this series.


I remember so vividly writing this note on my phone.  I was staying at one of my dearest friend, Shannon’s house in Austin this spring.  I wanted so desperately to have a free moment to sit down and actually write what was going on in that spinning head of mine, but a note in my phone was all I could muster.

I haven’t really talked about this on the blog, but you all know we’ve been struggling with infertility for the past 5+ years.  what you don’t know, is in the spring we did our first [and only so far] IVF cycle with our fertility doctor in Austin.

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my spring was so crazy nuts y’all.  left march 7th for created for care retreat outside Atlanta, Georgia for the weekend, then straight from there to Jinja, Uganda for my first ever blogger trip, then home for a few days before starting our IVF cycle in Austin.  then to Dallas to speak at Hope Spoken, then to Waco where me and the kids made our home base for the entire month long cycle.  I drove back + forth to Austin every 2 days for sonograms, and then the last week my parents were moving [oh boy] so me and the kids got out of the way and just stayed in Austin that entire week, between sonograms.

we quite literally stayed with a different friend every night.  which probably prepared us for our #wactour a few months later.  we spent time with some of our most favorite people, ate all our favorite austin restaurants, and had a lot of fun – but it was cra-zy.

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amidst tears and tantrums [by both me and the kids] I realized that home is most defiantly wherever I’m with my little tribe.  sure, I missed my bed, I missed my friends and community at home, and I missed routine and normalcy.  sure I uttered words, through tears, like “if this doesn’t work I will be SO mad!”  you know how it turned out.  it didn’t work.  we retrieved the eggs, and implanted 1 embryo on Easter Sunday, my 30th birthday.  I was so sure that new life was coming.  a new decade, resurrection, easter sunday!
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I’ll tell you more about that later, but today I’m just reflecting on that season.

knowing and believing, no matter how hard it was, there was a reason for it.

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home is wherever I’m with you.


catch up on the rest of my #notetoself series here.

  • Elizabeth Madeira - Oh Wynne, I had NO idea you guys were doing IVF! What a big commitment on so many levels! I’m so, so sorry it didn’t end in a pregnancy. That is seriously tough stuff. :( Sending you guys hugs and saying prayers for you as you continue on this journey! I know it’s just absolutely so hard to have so much disappointment. :( We haven’t been down the IVF path yet, but I know if we did it would be heartbreaking after ALL you go through with that to not have it turn into a pregnancy.ReplyCancel

  • Bailey Jean - Home is something I am so ready to establish. I want to put down roots and find what home means to me after a long season of transitioning, but earlier in the year the Lord told me that I will be in transition for quite some time. It’s encouraging to hear that home does not have to be a place but it can be a people! And my community (even though it’s changed, too) has made each place more of a home base than anything else. Thanks for sharing so willingly and vulnerably!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn Perry Shirey - I’ve been there – and know what an emotional roller-coaster you’ve been on. This infertility journey is a difficult one – and IVF is especially tough. I did two cycles and when the first didn’t work I almost gave up. It was a test of endurance and of my faith. Took many months before I was emotionally and spiritually ready to take any next step in the journey. Praying for you and your journey!ReplyCancel


riding down the windy roads in the land of a thousand hills [Rwanda] this summer, with my new friends Anna + Jennie we were playing the question game.  ya know, getting to know each other.  I don’t remember exactly the question that was asked – but somehow I got into talking about all the different places I’ve lived or worked that stretched me the most.  the ones that were most out of my comfort zone:

living in a trailer park for 14 days, sleeping on a park bench in Paris, working in a trash dump slum community in Ethiopia, and spending a few terrifying nights in a covered wagon as big cats paraded around.

yes, my first big girl job out of college was working for the Rodeo in our state capital of Austin, Texas.  before you get a mental image that I wore a crown and paraded around on my horse every night before the show started, let me stop you in your tracks.  I worked in fundraising and event planning, and in case you didn’t know the rodeo is a non-profit that raises scholarship money for youth!  but it’s true.  I lost 14 pounds to match the 14 nights I slept and showered in a trailer during the “show”.  this was culture at it’s finest.  this baptist/private school girl all her life was thrown into the ring so to speak.  but I loved it.  it pushed me out of my comfort zone, opened my eyes, and while most of the time I felt beat down, I think it strengthened my faith.


[also apparently too busy to take photos – but these were my lovely co-workers and friends!]

now the sleeping on a park bench in Paris is less scandalous than it sounds.  I was studying abroad with Baylor University in London, and our whole team did a weekend in Paris.  but at the recommendation of others who’d gone before me, me and a few friends opted to not pay the extra thousand dollars or whatever it was, and decided just to sneak into the rest of our groups hotel rooms.  meaning, we took an earlier train and couldn’t “Check in” to the room.  we were exhausted after we’d toured the Louve, and walked around Paris all day so we elected to take turns taking naps on benches in a city park.  it was a memory for the record books – and there are way more stories to record from that once in a lifetime experience.  backpacking Europe on the weekends for sure taught me flexibility. [also, back in 2004, there wasn’t Facebook, so finding photos of this event was difficult….enjoy the only photo I found – eating dinner at the Texas Embassy in London]

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unlike the pre-blog timing of the other stories, Ethiopia was in this blogs lifetime.  you could possibly remember my missionary summer  where I said yes, and lived the dream of living in Ethiopia [without my man [insert sad face]] for a solid 3 months while we were finishing our adoption process of Camp + Asher.  working everyday in my beloved Korah, a community build around the capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Abbaba, trash dump.  I lived with a family, but I was still very much living there alone.  figuring out my own transportation, which often led me to take 3 city buses to Korah on a Saturday [not very safe] alone…but hey.  it was an adventure, it was hard, but it gave me some of the most memorable experiences of my life so far.


so Hume Lake.  In case you didn’t know, I was a church recreation major in college, and to graduate I had to do an internship.  I totally could have worked at my beloved Camp Mystic, where I spent 14 summers of my life, but I wanted something to push me out of my comfort zone.  I read about this camp in California from a text book, and even had a friend in my sorority who grew up going there with her church group, so I said what the heck.  I applied, got in, and went not knowing a soul.  and I was the only one from Texas, and well pretty much the entire south.  my nickname was Dixie.  I wouldn’t have traded this summer for anything – I met people I would NEVER have met, was exposed to a totally different culture in our own country, and learned so much about a state I love so much.


the thing all those stories have in common?

I did all those things alone.  I took a leap of faith, and went.  These experiences pushed me out of my comfort zone, they taught me so much about myself, they gave me a love for other cultures, and an “I can do anything” attitude.  I hope as a family we can continue to take these sort of leaps, and we can encourage our children one day in this too.

what about you?  is there a time in your life you took a leap + it changed your perspective on life?


what is this #notetoself series? check it out here.

  • Lindsy Wallace - I LOVE the screaming kid in the background. (And all these stories;-) I made my first voice memo note to self today;-)ReplyCancel

  • Caroline - What adventures!! I love that you had all these opportunities to take a leap of faith and be just you and Jesus – what a way to be desperately dependent on Him!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea Worley - loved this, some awesome experiences you’ve had. and the screaming kid just kicks it up a notch!ReplyCancel

  • Kiersten - Oh the comfort zone. I know it all too well. :) I think the biggest time I had to leave my comfort zone was when I did my 6 month intership in Trujillo, Peru. It was for my missions degree and by far the hardest thing I’ve done so far. But yet, it’s also been one of the most rewarding. :)ReplyCancel

  • The Gray Matters - HA! All of that is definitely out of my comfort zone! I don’t do well with alone! ReplyCancel

  • Catherine Diehm Wilson - Awesome! Love this “voice memo” series!ReplyCancel

  • Chantel Klassen - Can I just tell you how much I am LOVING this series?!?! I love your courage to do things alone Wynne, many people would see that as an easy out, but not you! Can’t wait for the rest of the month. Also, I think the audio note is brilliance, I know you use your phone but do you use an app? I’ve got to look into this.ReplyCancel

  • tasha - Love this post, Wynne! Yes, I can so relate – I look back on the times I was most out of my comfort zone, face-to-face with fears and the unknown and see SO much of HIM and so much growth and new life and beauty. I wonder if we were ever in Europe at the same time (I lived in Germany for 2 years on my own and then another year later on after marriage and traveled a bunch in those years) -we could’ve passed each other on a cobblestone street. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - Oh my goodness this is so good. I love it… this inspires me because I feel as though I haven’t taken nearly as many leaps of faith as I would like! I think quitting my reliable job at a University and jumping into the world of nonprofit was a big one! SO glad God led me to do that! And also… I love the voice memo!ReplyCancel


yes, you heard that right.

my first every 31 days challenge right here on gloriously ruined, is a crazy voicemail series.  we’ll call it “note to self”

just like this first voice memo says, I will be including voice memos for these posts.  I’ve been brainstorming this series for a while, and a hot day at the lake in July it hit me!  voice memo series!  I don’t know why I do this, but I love making voice memos for myself.  As my current iPhone says, I’ve been doing this since October 28th, 2010.  Sometimes I just have these thoughts, ya know.  thoughts that need to be recorded RIGHT then.  Most of the time I have these thoughts while driving.  isn’t that funny?  when I’m finally pulled away from distractions [aka, technology, to do lists, laundry…] I have these crystal clear thoughts.  sometimes I intend for these thoughts to be recorded through writing, and sometimes they are just memories I don’t want to forget or things I want to do.

I never thought anyone would ever HEAR these thoughts, but I’ve been dreaming about finally taking the time, and challenging myself to write the stories.  write the thoughts.  so this month, I’m challenging myself to write every. single. day.  I’ve pre-written a few posts, but most days I want to literally sit down, listen to a voice memo, and write.  some of these posts might be from “notes” on my phone, and not actual voice memos, but they are all the same.  things I scribble down while traveling, after I get out of the shower, or when I can’t sleep at night.

now that I think about it, I think I know where I get this from.  my dad used to carry around [pre iPhone] a handheld recorder that he would talk into as we were driving down the road, or on vacation, or sitting at lunch.  things to not forget, notes to his assistant, whatever it was in his world.  [thanks dad!]

so this is MY world.  welcome;)

to find out more about this crazy writing challenge, visit the #write31days site here.


I’ll have all my 31 days posts linked HERE, or click the “note to self” logo on the sidebar!

  • Bailey Jean - I love the idea of using the voice memos! In college I would record memos of to-dos on my long drive home from Baylor, and you’ve inspired me to start doing it again. SO many ah-ha moments have happened in the car or on the go and then disappear by the time I get to my destination.

    SO excited to follow along, Wynne! This will certainly be a challenge to complete, but praise the Lord for His grace and provision along the way :)ReplyCancel

  • sarah beth - love this idea!! so clever…looking forward to what God says through you!ReplyCancel

  • McCall Townsend Aldridge - Love you, my creative friend!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - I seem to have clear thoughts while driving too and have just started taking voice memos! This will be such a fun series to follow Wynne! Looking forward to it!ReplyCancel

  • Kallie Karper Pitcock - Love it! I have a million little notes of thoughts on my phone but never thought to use the voice function. Genius! Looking forward to following. ReplyCancel

  • Andrea Worley - what a cool idea, can’t wait to follow along.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda Van Tuyle - Love this! I do voice memos too!!! So brave of you to share ;) I’m doing 31 days too!!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsy Wallace - This is going to be awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Brittany Taylor Willard - Love this! Glad I’m not the only one who records voice memos to remind myself of all the things I need to write or say. :)ReplyCancel

  • Natalie Weaver Busch - I can see why you would be reluctant to post the voice memos that you never knew would be published, that’s brave, and so cool! Good for you. Can’t wait to hear more. ReplyCancel