November 2, 2015


I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend celebrating the end of October and the start to yet another beautiful month of fall: November. While the former is definitely my favorite, I also love the latter. The air gets chillier, we all get a little cozier, and the leaves finalize their descent to the ground. It's kind of magical, right?

Another reason I am excited for this new month is because the general mood around November seems to be one of increased joy and thankfulness. I think that we are all on similar journeys in that we're continuously learning the importance of being thankful, regardless of our circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). And seeing as how joy is a natural byproduct of giving thanks, I am so ready to take the time each day this month to intentionally put on an attitude of thanksgiving, focusing on all of the wonderful things I have, most of which I don't deserve... namely Jesus and His grace.

Here's to November!

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Lastly and just for some laughs: I'm not one too get too into Halloween nowadays, but I never pass up the chance to dress up as my favorite person/character/legend. And I don't mess around...


October 26, 2015

Recent Reads: Vol 1.

Happy Monday, friends!  I hope you all had a glorious weekend and are enjoying the final week of October (which yes, makes me very sad because it's my absolute favorite month of the year).  Lately I've been thinking about what it would be like if you and I were to sit down together over our respective cups of coffee and just gush about life to one another. I'm pretty sure it would be amazing, and so sweet, and I would undoubtedly ask you what you've been reading lately.  See, I am that girl that always has at least one book on hand, because you never know when you're going to have a few spare minutes to dig in.  Since we can't actually talk face to face right now, I thought it might be fun to share some of the books I've read and loved recently:


Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge
Y'all. This book has easily become one of my absolute favorites. In it, John Eldredge (Wild at Heart) shares different ways that we can (and need to) think about and experience Jesus - as playful, cunning, and even scandalous - and as a result, I have found myself reading the gospels with new eyes. Jesus is so much better, so much bigger, so much more real than we tend to give Him credit for, and this book reminded me of just how amazing and relatable our Jesus is.

Knowing God by J.I. Packer
This classic read took me a while to get through since it is so chock-full of of wisdom on the deeper parts of God's character. If you are wanting to expand your knowledge of who God is, what He is like, and how He interacts with His creation, get this book. Really, just get this book regardless.

We've all experienced hard, challenging, or unwelcome circumstances as they pop up in our lives, right? Well this book ended up in my hands at a time when I was experiencing a lot of personal challenges, and it was sweet balm to my weary soul. SO good.


Girl Meets Change by Kristen Strong
I snagged this book because of the subtitle - "truths to carry you through life's transitions" - seeing as how I am someone who naturally has a hard time with change. While Strong's points and advice were not necessarily revolutionary, they did help me better understand the hurdles change can bring and how to navigate them in a way that not only acknowledges, but honors God.

The Grand Paradox by Ken Wytsma
As Christians, our lives are all about our pursuit of God, and the more we get to know Him the more we realize just how much paradox permeates the world we live in. This books begins deciphering what it really looks like to live by faith in a seemingly senseless world, and it's golden.

Who Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
Mindy is basically my spirit animal, so her second book (after Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?) was quick to top my list once it came out. If you're looking for something light-hearted, funny, and saturated with nuggets of wisdom, this is it.

Up next, I've got some new books I'm really excited to crack open and a few that have been started but I never got around to finishing.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot

The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas

Birthing the Miraculous by Heidi Baker

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Prayer by Tim Keller

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Friend, I wish we could just have an actual little book club where we got together and shared all about what we're reading. Maybe one day... but until then, Recent Reads will suffice.

So now, indulge me, what have you been reading lately?  Any recommendations that I should add to my list?

October 19, 2015


The other night, I found myself in the middle of a conversation whose topic has become all too familiar, one that I have run through many times both in my head and with others. We were talking about God's guidance, the way He chooses to lead us and illuminate our paths as we continually move forward in this life.

Allow me to get candid real quick: it can be frustrating to follow Jesus sometimes. There are moments when things seem to make sense, and then the rug gets pulled out from under me. Or I begin to make a plan of some kind, for Him to only tell me that, while may plans may be good, His are way better. I know I'm not the only one who thinks this back and forth can be challenging, right? And yet maybe that's the point. Maybe He enjoys keeping His kids on their toes.

It has been my personal experience that, when really trying to follow hard after God and praying for His guidance, He can be vague with answers of what to do or where to go next. What I typically want are visions that are detailed and concrete and easy to strategize around, but what I frequently end up with are fuzzy, even lofty ideas of what may - or may not - happen in the future. #ugh

It's as if God, as He leads us by the hand through our lives, holds onto a flashlight that He uses to light up our path. But He is specific, as He only shines enough light to illuminate the next step. In my stubborn and need-to-know-more nature, I just wish He would move His flashlight up a little bit to bring light and clarity just a little farther out, ya know, to like the next five steps or something. But nope, He keeps His light steady, only allowing me to see one step at a time.

As frustrating as that can be, I've grown more and more confident over the years that He does this intentionally, and ultimately for our benefit, because how much more tempted would we be to skip ahead or try to control our circumstances if we knew what was coming. Yeah, I'm pretty certain I'm not the only one who would abuse that kind of foreknowledge.

And maybe tahat tension we find ourselves in - not knowing fully what's ahead or how to get there - is purposeful. It leads us to cling to God's side, to trust Him to work it all out as only He possibly can and on His timetable. This discipline is hard, yes, and yet it is so worth it. He knows what He is doing far better than we ever could, so maybe we just need to get over ourselves, lay down our control issues, and trust Him with it all. And from there, we can move forward confidently knowing that His divine flashlight will bring light to that next step, and the next, and the next, one step at a time.

Where you go, we want to go, Lord. May we release control and let You lead us there.

October 14, 2015

Another Year Older.

It's only been a week, but so far twenty-six has been filled with nuggets of good stuff. Twenty-five was six months of radical good and six months of heartbreaking hard, so this past birthday was welcomed with open arms and a hunger for change. And friends, I am already tasting the goodness of this new season. Here are some things that turning twenty-six has already taught me:

1. Age really is just a number. First, I don't feel any different than I did at twenty-five, and not much has changed aside from my knees suddenly cracking all of the time.  I'm not wiser, or older, or smarter, or more put-together, or anything of that sort; I am just a year older. Second, I have realized that if I want to be more driven, more passionate, or more prepared to move onto new things, it's not a matter of "when I'm older"... it's all about attitude. If I want it, I need to just go for it. Nothing is holding me back, especially not my age.

2. It's not about me. I had a sweet friend get married on my birthday, and when it came down to choosing celebrating my day or going to her wedding, well, it wasn't really a choice. The truth is that I will have lots of birthdays, she only has one wedding day, and I was more than happy to share it all with her.

3. The stomach-flu does not discriminate. It does not care how old you are or about the fact that it was just your birthday. It will knock you out, and hard.

4. I am allowed to do what I want to do (aka it's okay to say no). My birthday was on a Saturday, which is typically my day to sleep-in, lounge around all morning in my pj's, drink coffee and generally not interact with the outside world. But some friends wanted to help throw me a pancake brunch to celebrate my day. The compromise? A few sweet friends, coffee and gluten free pancakes, and 3 hour Jesus-talks in sweatpants. It was perfect, and exactly what I wanted.

5. True friends treat you better than you would ever treat yourself. A pumpkin spice cronut and nutella latte? A giftcard for a massage? A candle from Anthro? A check with the note to buy something you want that isn't practical? Nothing says "treat yoself" better than friends who love you that well.

6. If you invite God into something, get ready. This one almost deserves a facepalm. As I prayed about turning a year older, I knew God was preparing me for an intense year... so much so that I actually invited Him to do whatever He needed to do to refine me (because Lord knows I am a mess and could benefit from some growth asap). If you ever pray a similar prayer, where you invite God to just do His thing, be prepared for Him to begin that process quickly, if not immediately.

One week of twenty-six down, fifty-one more to go, and I am more than confident that this new age and season will continue to teach me some seriously valuable lessons, which I am excited to be able to share here. It's going to be a good one, y'all.

PS. check out a recent contribution I wrote at the Unveiled Campaign blog.