h u m a n

I think I haven’t written these past few months because I began to realize how little I know. 


Looking back at these posts, month after month I’ve written about something I thought I understood in that moment. And I’ve learned, oh how I’ve learned through that process. But in these days, I am discovering that times change. Thoughts change. Opinions change. Life moves and flows and we are constantly in a state of flux. I don’t have the answers I thought I once had. And I don’t always feel peace about that. But I feel like I don’t have to have answers — that life is beautiful and will be beautiful even when I never figure out all the things I want to figure out. Or fix all the things I want to fix about my life.


I haven’t written because I’ve become exhausted with fixing. With repairing. With trying to make something new out of myself every day. With striving. And with disappointment that always comes…inevitably cold and hard. Even after I think I’ve succeeded. 


Many days I feel raw. I feel like a little girl who’s skinned both her knees in front of all her friends at a birthday party. Her face is flushing and her eyes and throat are trying so hard not to cry in front of everybody. I feel like that little girl who felt confident before that fall and now feels embarrassed and vulnerable and human again. 


Maybe I’m strange. Maybe it’s odd to be able to feel scared and incredibly loved and human and overwhelmed at the same time. Maybe it’s normal and maybe I’m just becoming an adult somehow through all of this. All I know right now is that I have questions. And I have some really, really good answers to those questions. But I’m not always sure they’re the right answers. Or if there are right answers. 


My conclusion is this: I am slowly learning what it is to be human.


Society paints us pictures of what that’s supposed to mean and I know I’ve been human from the moment I was conceived in my mother’s womb. I know I was human when I took my first breath and had my first kiss and fell in love and then fell in love for real. I know I was human when I kissed boys who didn’t know my middle name or when I screamed at my brother or when I talked about my best friend behind her back in middle school.


But somehow, along the way, I forgot I was human in the moments when I thought I was better than someone else. In the moments when I thought I had it all together. In the moments when I got better grades or had better hair or played better music or wrote better words. But I was wrong. I wasn't better. I just began to view myself as a better form of human and I got high off that thought.

But today is today. And today I am learning what it means to be human. Again, or maybe really for the first time. I am learning to be real with myself. That I am and will be flawed. In my best and worst moments I am flawed. In this life I will always be flawed. To be human is to be flawed. But oh how beautiful to be flawed and loved at the same time. I think I would pick that over being perfect and loved. 


Because real love loves in spite of imperfections.


If I know one thing today,


forgetting all the other things


I thought I knew - 


It is beautifully raw to be human


because we get the chance


to be loved 


and human




and to call it beautiful.

why Christians just can't shut up

Imagine if you had found what you believe to be the cure for cancer. Unfortunately, you are stuck in a position where sharing your discovery puts you at risk for judgement by the rest of the world. Some people think you’re wrong and some people are offended because it’s not their discovery. However, it is the cure for cancer as far as you have determined. 

What would be more selfish and immoral—to share your discovery with as many people as possible in hopes of keeping them safe and healthy or to keep your discovery to yourself out of fear of offending someone?

Now, if you call yourself a Christian—or more explicitly, you are someone who follows Jesus—you know what it’s like to have a deep, intimate relationship with God. You know what it’s like to draw your hope from him and to find assurance in the fact that you will never be separated from him. You know what it’s like to be loved unconditionally. You know what it’s like to be redeemed and accepted.

After you have found this gift of salvation and you see so many people hurting in this world, wouldn’t you think that the natural response is to share this gift with the people you encounter who don’t know? 

The sad fact is that there are moments when pride gets in the way. I cringe walking by Sanford Mall when the preachers are out there, holding up signs telling people to “REPENT OR YOU’RE GOING TO HELL.” These kinds of people have forgotten what it feels like to be part of a hurting world, and instead of helping to heal they are rubbing salt in already throbbing wounds. They have traded in their relationship with a loving God in favor of a salty, legalistic religion. They are doing the opposite of what Jesus did. Jesus healed the sick, spent time with prostitutes, and picked his chosen friends not from the church crowd, but from groups of fishermen and tax collectors. Jesus knew hurt. And He knew how to love.

But if you did know Jesus and followed him—if he radically changed your life and made you new—would you not be chomping at the bit to share this with the rest of the world? Would it not be more selfish to hold back the knowledge of a life-changing relationship from a hurting world out of fear of offending people?

I say all of this because I’ve quietly been watching and listening and noticing while people who follow Jesus are judged when they share what they’ve experienced with others. Granted, there are people who love Jesus and—bless them—try to share him with others but do so with a condemning attitude. But friends, not every follower of Jesus does this. Today’s world that prides itself on “acceptance” and “tolerance” should practice what they’re preaching. I have watched many instances where Christians have been labeled as “selfish” and “trying to force their religion down throats.” While these feelings are understandable and many times very merited, we must make attempts to understand one another—and understanding followers of Jesus means understanding that they have experienced an intimacy with God that they’re eager to share with you because it has changed their lives for the better and it is their greatest gift.



As I type this, I'm sitting in a beachy little coffee shop surrounded by mamas with babies and people on business meetings and old men reading the newspaper. One thing I love about writing in coffee shops is that it's completely acceptable to be alone here. 

As I reflect back on this year, my junior year of college, I am not in awe of how fast it went. It doesn't really feel like it "flew by." In fact, coming into my senior year now, none of it feels like it came and went in the blink of an eye. Life feels like it's barreling through space at unbreakable speed but college feels like it's plodding right along. I don't mean for this to sound depressing, but I think that whoever came up with the phrase "College is the best four years of your life" was lying or delusional.  I certainly hope that these four years aren't the end-all-be-all of life's very existence. And I certainly wish we would stop treating them like they are. 

If I've learned anything while spending these years in school it's that college is part of your life--not your whole life. It's school, ultimately. It's a place that will provide you with a degree. You are allowed to have--and should pursue--a life outside this bubble. Yes, you will meet some of the best friends of your life here but you will also meet some of the people who will hurt you the most. If I'm being honest--and maybe I lived a bit of a sheltered life in high school--I expected college to be better than high school in terms of drama, but I never dealt with cattiness and cliques in high school to the extent I've experienced in college. And I'm not just whining after having a bad day. It's factual. It's also factual to state that I've made some of the best friendships I could have ever asked for here. You just can't have your cake and eat it too--unfortunately. 

There are those who believe it can't get any better than college. I fear for their futures. Instead of living like college is the prime of life, I want to live like I believe that life gets better every day. I want to live like I'm not afraid to grow and be honest and real when everyone else is pretending to be having the time of their lives for each other. Let's celebrate every stage of life. Let's celebrate our college years for what they are but stop pretending that it doesn't get any better than this. I'd rather live like life continues to unravel and amaze me every single day that I get to breathe than live like I'm constantly trying to prove something to myself. 

and can we call a spade a spade? College is hard. Life is hard. Hard but beautiful. Heartbreaking but amazing. 

but let's celebrate the journey & refuse to be defined by just one stage.


glorified busy

This culture has begun a scary little habit. And it’s called the glorification of busy.

This morning, I had a mini-epiphany on a few things. As a Christian, I feel that a lot of people around me have so complicated and busied their lives—leaving next to no breathing room—in the name of “Christianity.” As a college student, I have noticed that more people around me have piled on responsibility after responsibility—clubs, volunteer work, extra classes, etc.—in the name of “accomplishment.”

Until now, I’ve had moments where I have doubted the relevance of these things in the lives of people that I’ve noticed, but for the most part I’ve just watched as others do more and more and more and I’ve tried to do more and more too only to become run-down and weary in the blink of an eye. 

This morning I was pondering self-care. Up until this weekend, I hadn’t been making any time (as of late) for running in this beautiful weather, for yoga on the porch, for time spent getting outside or just away from the busy-ness to take time to recuperate. And I didn’t think that was a problem. 

Why? Because of the glorification of busy. Because really “selfless” people run themselves on empty, right? Because “real Christians” volunteer wherever they’re asked and whenever they’re asked and “accomplished” college students are always studying or working on things for this or that club, project, event…right?


I have one question. When did it become okay—not okay, BETTER—to multitask and cram up our schedules with constant obligations to the point of exhaustion?

I think all this stuff we’re doing in the name of Christianity or the name of accomplishment or the name of perfection (ouch) has got to go. I know that sounds harsh, but bear with me. I’m not saying that we should spend all our time going to yoga class and taking epsom salt baths while ignoring needs in our community. What I am saying, is that we have to stop GLORIFYING the habit of doing one million things at once. Chances are, those that are doing this, probably aren’t doing any one of those things well. So, we must make friends with uni-tasking (or single-tasking…whatever you want to call it!). We have got to learn that self-care is just as important as volunteer work.

…because when I have not cared for myself—and am running on empty—I simply will not be able to give my best self to whatever or whoever it is that needs me. 

That being said, I want to tell you something today. A little nugget that you can tuck into your pocket and think on when you’re feeling like you need to do it all.

There is absolutely nothing in the Bible that says we are called to be constant multi-taskers. There is absolutely nothing in the Bible that says that if we’re doing life “right” we’re exhausted and running on empty all the time. There is nothing in the Bible that says we have to say “yes” to every good opportunity. There is nothing in the Bible that says that denying yourself means neglecting self-care.

There is something in the Bible that says that we are to treat our bodies as temples. There IS something in the Bible that says we must be FILLED to be emptied again. There is something in the Bible that says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. There is something in the Bible that says God is our Shepherd who wants to restore our souls.

So friend, please know that it is okay to invest in one thing at a time. That because you aren’t on every committee or a part of every club or involved in every event that the PTA plans—that doesn’t mean you’re lesser, that means you know the importance of balance. Please know that the time you take to care for yourself is an investment you make in the quality of care you give others. You know the truth that many people struggle to grasp, which is that your body, mind, and soul must be filled in order for you to be able to give the best of yourself to those who need you. 

So college student, please please please don’t worry that you’re not a part of all those clubs, events, ministries, etc. You are doing a good thing just getting up and going to class in the morning. You are making a conscious investment in your future, even when you don’t feel like it. And, you are making an investment that is not selfish—because by making an investment in your education, you will multiply your impact on the world and the value of what you can give to it. 


Let’s stop the glorification of busy.

little again

A few weeks ago, I experienced the joy of having all four of my wisdom teeth extracted. I’d been having problems with them for a while, so it was an inconvenience I knew was necessary for my own further comfort. Everything went well & as planned until the second night after my surgery, when I woke up with incredible, throbbing pain in my mouth. I had gone home for the surgery &  I woke my dad up because I didn’t know what else to do. I later found out that I had two dry sockets (I won’t go into detail if you don’t know what that is—google it and pray you never get it)—and that whole waking up in the middle of the night feeling like someone shot me in the mouth  thing happened twice. 


I’m so glad it happened. 


Not because “it made me stronger.” I’m not one of those awesome people whose mantra states that  “pain is weakness leaving the body.” As far as I’m concerned, pain is pretty darn unnecessary and I avoid it at all costs. Hence, I was surprised after going through all these complications that I was so glad it happened.


—because it allowed me to be a kid again. It allowed me to wake my dad up in the middle of the night to sit next to me and comfort me while I cried and didn’t know what else to do. It allowed me to be weak and vulnerable and to be cared for by someone whom I know loves me. It was awful, but it was this beautiful release for me. I didn’t have to pretend that everything was okay. I was allowed to be a full grown woman and my dad’s little kid all at the same time.


—which I think is the best picture of the beautiful vulnerability we can experience with God when we allow ourselves to be his little sons and daughters. To climb up into his lap and cry because we don’t always need have it together. To mess up huge and come to Him ashamed, only to have Him gently remind us of His love and mercy—that we are and forever will be his children. 

4 Things Learned From A Social-Media-Free Lent

This Lenten season I took some time off social media (specifically Instagram and Facebook. I leave tweeting for the birds.) and in the process I made a few significant discoveries. The reason I did this in the first place was because I became frustrated with the way in which I would constantly open up Instagram or peruse Facebook whenever I had a minute where I didn’t have to be doing something else. It became second nature to open & scroll all the time. And as a person who doesn’t even like having my phone on me all the time, I was over it. I highly recommend doing this if you haven’t — even just a week off social media is really freeing and clarifying. And I promise you’ll learn a lot!

So firstly, I discovered that I have a lot more fun and am a lot more genuinely myself when I’m doing something fun without trying to get a picture of it. Or even (shocker) sans phone completely. That whole #doitfortheinsta thing? Kinda funny but kinda…sad. From now on, I’m going to be doing leaving my phone in the car/at home as much as I can. I’ve found that it’s so freeing and allows me to really connect with wherever it is that I am or whatever it is that I’m doing.

I patched up my relationship with selfies (Not group selfies. Always been a fan of those). For quite some time I’ve been one of those selfie-cynics, rolling my eyes at the solo self-pics as I scrolled through my feed. That is a thing of the past. We should be allowed to celebrate our individuality and unique beauty, and if that means posting a selfie for you, I fully condone it. Heck, I might even join you…maybe ;)

I also realized that Instagram is about posting the people/places/things that YOU love. If that means 900 pictures of latte art or 25 baby nephew photos in a row or hilarious quotes you found on Pinterest, it doesn’t matter. Just post what makes you happy and call it a day. And if people unfollow you because of it, they’re probably not anyone with whom you were good friends to begin with. Instagram isn’t about the number of followers you have, the number of likes you get, or the number of cool things you do—it’s about self-expression and connecting with others. Not numbers. So post what you love. 

I can honestly say that I didn’t miss Facebook one bit. By taking time off for Lent, I completely broke the habit of logging in as soon as I open my laptop or mindlessly scrolling the app when I’m waiting for something. I now rarely go on Facebook except to check notifications and friend requests and probably only stay on for about five minutes, tops. No more mindlessly scrolling of my news feed. For this, I’m thankful. Because if we’re being honest, my newsfeed rarely ever did anything good for me.

On worry - #MugMondays

So it's basically Monday for me today because we've had so many cancellations this week! Yay snow! (That's my lame excuse)

Matthew 6. I’ve read it a few times before – the portion on not worrying or something. Every time I read it, I journal something nice about it and think that I’m putting the thought into practice. I try really hard not to worry…or do I? 

Whatever it is – this spirit of worry or anxiety – has bound itself to this culture. It's addicting, in a sense. I feel like I'm always concerning myself with the next thing I have to do. I’ve even let myself get to a place where I'm operating out of worry and allowing anxiety to fuel my actions.

Which hit me pretty hard this morning when I realized these words – “ do not be anxious about your life,” “ do not be anxious about tomorrow” - are not merely suggestions for believers. They are commands. And the culture that tells us that worry and anxiety are normal modes of operation that even fuel our productivity is just plain wrong. 

Even greater, is the promise of the Lord that He will provide what we need if only we will stop worrying. And that's not an empty statement, it's a promise. Our obedience will be rewarded. I'm realizing now that it's time to obey this command. And practice what we’re always preaching.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭25-34‬ ESV)‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

A side note: 
**Today marks the first day of the Lenten season. I've decided to participate this year because I feel that my soul needs a deep reminder of the cross. I'll be taking time off from social media – this means Facebook and Instagram for me! – to free my mind from distraction during this season. There will be many blog posts during this season, but they won't be advertised through Facebook and Instagram, so remember to stop by on Mondays! ( I promise I'll be more consistent :) )

on engagements...and everything else

I came across these thoughts journaling about 5 minutes ago and tried to jot them down and save them for the next #MugMondays post, but I don’t really think I can wait that long (And buckle in, this is longer than the usual). Also, disclaimer - I hope this doesn’t come across too harsh, because please know these words are meant to be a lesson to ME more than any of YOU, I’m sure of it.

So we’re here. Our news feeds are heavily seasoned with photos of engagements, foreign adventures, new jobs, graduations, and everything else under the sun. (I’ll admit I’m a sucker for engagement photos- just give me another reason to cry over love - I digress) 

We’re all within the same decade of our lives and yet we are oftentimes in completely different stages of our lives. It’s sometimes hard not to wish for a second that you were in someone else’s shoes - especially if those shoes happen to be flip-flops on a glorious white beach in a place much warmer than Boone, North Carolina. 

And I totally get it - it’s easy to take a second to judge someone else’s life. It makes you feel more OK with your life to justify to yourself why so-and-so’s engagement was “just too young - oh I’d never want to be engaged that young,” or “just too early in their relationship - they haven’t even been dating for a year”

And it’s easy to look upon someone’s world-travels or decision to take a gap year and call it “irresponsible” because you’re the one trudging to class or work every day with no cool adventure planned anytime soon.

I’m not judging you for judging. Because I’ve been there. But can I ask you if it makes you happy? Or simply justified for a half-second?


I wrote these words in my journal this morning,

Something I’ve learned throughout this season of life is that I never want to take a moment of my own life for granted - or wish a moment away. The Lord knows the plans He has for me and they are to prosper me - so why waste any time wishing away these days - or wishing them to be any different than they are? It is much more exciting to live each day with your heart on your sleeve and your mind open to whatever comes your way than to be wishing for someone else’s moment - or analyzing and judging someone else’s life decisions in order to make yourself more comfortable with your own. Marvel at this...

You have been given a unique, exquisite gift - one that was not “picked out” with you in mind, but intricately designed for your exclusive use and enjoyment. Only you can use it for it was created for you and only you. 

That gift is your own incredible life. Why would you ever desire to waste any one of YOUR life seconds concerning yourself with someone else’s life that was designed for THEM - not you?

The bottom line is this:

You have a life to live. And it’s not a chore, it’s a gift. Your gift - that’s been specifically designed for you. You can certainly spend all the time in the world comparing your life with someone else’s, making judgement calls on their decisions, and justifying your own... but when you do that, you’re judging their life-gift based upon your life-gift, which is really quite odd considering neither one is designed to replicate the other.

Instead, choose to celebrate your life. Take it as a gift, because it most certainly is. Each day of your life - right down to the tiny minute seconds of it - is a glorious gift designed to be exactly what you need. Rejoice in that fact.

And when something wonderful happens to someone else, rejoice in the unique gift of their life and all the treasured aspects of their moments. 

Because we don’t want to be the two siblings on Christmas morning with equally bright, shiny, incredible new gifts who are to busy wishing for each other’s gift than to even begin to explore the beauties of our own. 

Two Things - #MugMondays

There are two things that need to be said today. It’s uncharacteristic of me to write a piece that doesn’t even count as a whole paragraph, but when I try to expand upon these two things, my words feel empty. 

I pray that whoever these words are for reads them and lets them sink in. 

1. You have something to say. 

2.You have permission to rest.


Now don’t be afraid to believe, Beloved.

What To Do With Big Dreams - #MugMondays

"He must become greater; I must become less."

Last week God allowed me to see a vision for a project that is much bigger than me. I got so excited. So excited to see change and to see His name become more glorified and to see freedom reign and healing and justice that I hardly knew what to do with myself.

Then the doubting and the questioning began. Why did He allow me to see this? Why didn’t He pick someone more equipped to give this vision to? How am I going to do this? It’s huge and incredible and way bigger than I am.

And then someone I love told me that that’s how we know it’s from Him. Because it’s huge and crazy and over-the-top. And as much as I feel the weight of it, it’s not about me. In fact, it has pretty much nothing to do with me and everything to do with Him.

And when I remember that, it’s like a burden is lifted. Yes, He wants me and others to move with this vision. That’s why He gave it to us. But He didn’t give it to us FOR us. But in order to bring healing to His people and to bring glory to Him. 

So today I’m reminding myself, and maybe you can too...Whatever the calling is. Wherever He’s taking you or whatever He’s showing you or creating in you - it’s not for you. It doesn’t have anything to do with you, but everything to do with Him.

I think that’s how we deal with huge, crazy, mind-boggling dreams. We take a deep breath and tell ourselves that it’s not about us. It’s about Him. The story is always about Him. It always begins with Him, always points to Him, always makes His name great, and always ends with Him - His victory. 

And we, the lucky blessed ones, get to take part in His great adventure. What could be better?

YOUR drum

I’m sitting on the fourth floor of the Student Union - my favorite study spot - alone. I get out my books and lunch and get down to reading. Most of the time the fourth floor is so silent it makes your heartbeat sound loud. I start to eat my lunch and it sounds deafening. The crinkle of a package of crackers being opened, the extra-loud chewing of an apple...I’m getting really embarrassed. I’m sure that the two other people around me are probably annoyed with the sound of my chewing/cracker-package-opening/paper-crinkling self. 

I’m driving down the road with the windows down and Shania Twain comes on my shuffle so naturally I’m singing my heart out. I’m drumming on the steering wheel and engaging in a series of weird hand movements that just happen when I’m singing in the car. Maybe because you can’t fully dance while driving? I don’t know. But then I pull up to a stoplight. Afraid the person next to me will think I’m weird, I turn down the music and roll up the windows slightly and assume a look that says “driving is so whatever.”

I rent books at the library for my Adolescent Literature class and feel the need to explain to the woman at the desk that no, I don’t have the reading level of an 8th grader, I’m just studying to be a teacher one day...Did she ask? No. Did she even care? probably not.

Maybe I’m actually super weird and you don’t do stuff like this and I’m really the only one in this boat. But can we agree that it’s downright ridiculous behavior I’m taking part in? When did I allow what random people “might think” of me change my actions and make me less true to whoever it is that I am? When did I let that become okay?

I envy those people I see who could care less what others think. They’re wild and free and they do what they want and some people think they’re crazy for it. They speak their ideas without listening to the lying voice that says they don’t have anything to offer this world. They sing loud and dance freely not “like no one is watching” but because it doesn’t matter who’s watching. They believe they are beautiful and they believe they are worthy. Which is what makes them truly beautiful and truly worthy.

Which brings me to a decision I think I forgot to make somewhere along the way...a decision to value my heartbeat enough to break free of what people think. Because maybe the answers to the questions we have in this life are have never been what people think of us. Maybe the Voice that really does speak truth - the One that tells us we are loved and enough and forgiven and free and valuable and beautiful and captivating and worth it all actually created us - the people - and it is His Voice that matters.

And He has given us our own drum, our own rhythm to which we dance if we can slow down enough and drown out the voices of the people people people enough to hear that wild beat.


On Forgiveness #MugMondays

Here it is! The first ever #MugMonday. 

And we’re just gonna go ahead and get real over here. I told you it would be deep!

So, I have this little charm on my favorite bracelet that says “Give forgiveness.” I try to let it be a little reminder for me because for some reason forgiveness is a little difficult.

..okay, a lot difficult.

It’s kind of embarrassing to type that out. But maybe you feel the same? 

About a month ago I was so angry with myself for not being able to truly forgive. I would think I forgave someone in my heart and then the next day I’d find myself becoming frustrated over the same situation or angry with that person all over again. And then, because I would overthink situations to no end, I would “forgive” and then relapse multiple times per day, letting even the littlest things bother me. A hot mess? Yeah, I was.

I thought it was just my issue with giving forgiveness that was the problem. However, I think the crux of the matter was an even greater issue with receiving forgiveness.

Because how do you give someone something you never truly received in the first place? Kind of hard, right?

And I realized something...If I don’t receive real wondrous life-giving forgiveness from God I can never - I repeat never - truly forgive anyone for anything.

I have to be in a place where I am walking daily in the forgiveness and grace of the Lord. It has to be real to me before I can extend it to others. 

So what does that even look like? Well, I’m still figuring it out - but for now, it looks like daily deep communion with God. Not just a quick devotion void of emotion, but time. It requires time spent in worship, time spent in the Word - letting it all change me. 

And belief. Belief in His promises. Belief in the glorious reality of the cross and what that means for the world. Belief that because He died, I have been forgiven and set free.

The more that I soak on those truths, the more I am reminded of His grace and patience with me, which makes it much easier to quickly extend forgiveness to my fellow humans. And to repeat that process daily as problems arise. Because heaven knows we all need heaps of grace and forgiveness from God and from each other...It might just be what makes the world go ‘round.

“...For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” -Ephesians 2:8


Over this break I have become semi-adept at hanging out with myself.

Yes, I do realize how lame that sounds.

It was really weird at first - traveling back up the mountain after Christmas to a quiet little town that looked like Boone but didn’t feel like it. Going to work, coming home....At first I was going to sleep with the TV on in the living room + a light on in the kitchen + How I Met Your Mother reruns playing by my bedside every night. I wanted to run outside and hug my neighbor right around the neck when he came back a few days later (I didn’t) - just because it feels better being able to attribute strange noises in the apartment to the neighbor (we’re just gettin’ by here, folks).

I wasn’t comfortable with the silence. I wasn’t comfortable with Boone silence. I wasn’t comfortable with having no plans for a while and apparently I needed a lot of help from Lilly, Marshall & Ted to fall asleep at night. 

Oh but how I needed to be confronted with that silence. With that alone-ness. NOT loneliness, but aloneness. Because loneliness means feeling sad or embarrassed about the absence of companionship. But aloneness just means having no one else there - being “on your own.” And that doesn’t shouldn’t have any bad connotations. 

Just for a second, let me ask a question. What happens when we don’t fully experience aloneness - when we don’t seek it out or even accept it?

We become so wrapped up in collecting friends that we forget about friendship. We use people to “hang out with” just so that we can keep ourselves from the “lameness” of sitting alone. We spend time with people we don’t even like just so that we can say we have plans. We can’t sit still while waiting for a doctor’s appointment without scrolling through our Instagram or Facebook, connecting ourselves with somebody else’s life so we don’t have to be alone or make eye contact with someone we don’t know who sees us sitting alone.  Maybe, just maybe, we even go places and do things and hang out with certain people just so that we can take a picture to post to show everyone that we have friends. we go cool places. we do awesome stuff.

Oh wait. That’s already happening.

I don’t want this to turn into a rant, so I have to be careful here. I’m guilty of...let me see...all of the above. Yep. Check. Done.

And. I. Am. Over. It.

Because instead of running from the idea of being alone, even just for a second, I want to stop searching and believe that I am enough. 

I am enough. I am enough without a constant stream of adventurous plans and super trendy friends readily available to hang out with me whenever I call. I am enough without a thousand texts from a thousand people every minute of every day. I am enough without tons of pictures on the internet of all the cool things I do.

Because at the end of the day, when I lay my head down on the pillow and have a moment to think, I have to be enough. To keep moving and breathing and feeling and living, I have to be enough. And He says I am.

So the next step is believing that I am.

Introducing #MugMondays

I’m starting a new little series today. I’m dubbing it #MugMondays. 

It’s kind of funny how many mug pictures are floating around social media these days. You’ve got the trendy coffee date shop pic with the sweet latte art, the lazy morning home-brewed mug pic featuring your derpy PJ’s and of course, the classic “Coffee and the Word” pics. 

I know they’re borderline cheesy and repetitive but I LOVE (really deeply appreciate) a good coffee Instagram. They are somehow inspiring/aesthetically pleasing/comforting to me in a weird way. Probably because I’m a don’t-talk-to-me-unless-I’ve-had-my-coffee kind of morning person. But also cause they cuuuute. I don’t know.

So (because I love them) #MugMondays will feature a mug shot (hehe) and a quick couple of paragraphs on something that matters. I’m not entirely sure what it will be yet, but I can assure you it won’t be shallow. This year I want to start every week with purpose and a time of re-centering on what’s really important. 

When I was in high school, I hated Sunday nights. I hated Sunday nights because I REALLY hated Monday mornings. I would drag myself out of bed angry at the world for being sound asleep while I had to get up and force down some toast and drive to school. I was rushed, angsty and pretty wretched. But somehow, in the past three years of college I have fallen in love with mornings. I think it’s the best time of day and I think it’s an incredibly important time for setting the tone for each day. 

So I guess I’m okay with Monday mornings now. But I have some rules for them.

I refuse to wake up and start stressing about everything that has to get done this week. 

I refuse to let myself become so wrapped up in my day-to-day school/work schedule that I miss important moments where God is speaking to me or showing me something. 

I refuse to see Monday mornings as a time of dreading the week to come, but instead as a time to be thankful for the life I’ve been given and focus on what really matters. 

So I hope in the coming Mondays, these few paragraphs will bring you back to center - to what is wonderful in life and what is truly important.  




overwhelming Christmas

Today I learned a priceless lesson.

In the middle of the chaos and the schedules and the to-do’s we must make space.

We must make space for treasured hymns and hot chocolate and Grace stories and tears of joy. 

It’s the recipe for a full heart. A soul satisfied. 

Because Christmas is somewhere far away from department stores and crumpled receipts and Santa Clause and shiny new things. 


Christmas is somewhere deep. It’s in the middle of a choked out thank you when the soul is overwhelmed by blessing upon blessing. It’s in the middle of ancient melodies that soften hearts and moisten eyes. It’s in the middle of wrinkled smiles and youthful laughter and a waterfall of praise. It’s wedged in the middle of our Grace stories. In the middle of our vulnerability and thanksgiving. 


Christmas and Thanksgiving - holding hands. Tied together because you can’t have one without the other. We give thanks and receive the gift of life swaddled tight in a manger, the cannon ball of Grace that changes everything if we let it. 

May we never lose our wonder for all that is given, for all is Grace.

after 17,000 failures, still.

Have you ever been totally and completely in love with God and then found yourself falling into sin you never expected?

Have you ever thought about turning to God but felt like your past - your failures, sins, disappointments - made you too much for Him? 

Have you ever felt unworthy? Or like forgiveness is something for people who haven’t messed up quite as badly as you have?

Have you ever felt trapped?

I’ve been there. I know how it feels.

It’s hard to believe what you read in Scripture and what you are taught about forgiveness and redemption and restoration when it feels like you’re stuck in the middle of hopelessness. When you don’t feel good enough. When you don’t see how a good, holy God could really forgive after the 17,000th time.

And this morning I read the story of the prodigal son. I’ve heard it so many times but something is different today.

The father had two sons. They younger asked for his inheritance, left home, and squandered it on worthless riches and prostitutes. He wasted every last penny and landed in destitution. He was feeding slop to pigs.

Then he decided to go back to his Father, expecting nothing but maybe the hope to become a servant in his Father’s household. 

Oh but wait,

“When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’

But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’”

So now, think about it this way.

Your heavenly Father sees you broken and weary, ravaged by sin and hanging on to your one last hope.

Does He turn away?

No, He starts running.

When you turn around and start to come back to Him, He runs to meet you. He can’t wait. He is filled with joy and he won’t even let you finish your desperate pleas before he is celebrating you. He restores you not as his servant, but as his son.

You see, it’s because it doesn’t matter how “bad” you’ve been. Whatever the unspeakable thing you’ve done -- it doesn’t matter. No, that doesn’t mean we get a free pass to sin as much as we like because God doesn’t care. Our sin grieves Him. But it’s never so bad that He won’t forgive. It’s never so bad that He won’t run to meet us when we turn to go home.

So turn around. Take a few steps toward Him 

and then look up over the hill and see Him running to get you.


Be loved, for You are His beloved.




*Luke 15: 20-24, The Message