~ Freedom in Christ ~

So many faces, and you watch their facades. You imagine you are in a bowl, and God is looking down upon it. The church fills. And you can’t help but wonder, “What if what we believe in is in vain?” It’s a stirring, unsettling, unnerving thought. You nearly move outside of your body when you have that earth-shattering notion. No, it is not so, you slowly realize when you finally come to. Because you see the power in people’s stories; in their demeanor; in the way they glow when they’re talking about meaningful subjects. The connection is insurmountable, real, and completely captivating.

You also see the connection in the struggle. In the nitty gritty barren places no one wants to go. God calls us to these places to test our faith and release us from well, us. And the breakup with ourselves is one where we tend to grit our teeth. But it’s the best decision we could ever make in our lives. We are forgiven not by choice, but by sheer love and belief. And that is a glorious school of thought. But it’s also extremely unearthing, diminishing, and overwhelming. But when we are fearful, we always have a lifeline. And that’s where true, unrivaled, authentic love is made.

Of course, you don’t want to be dulled to the wonder. You want to embrace the big and little things before you run out of time. We are so dependent on time. We always think we have plenty of it. But what about the ones who don’t? What do they do in those scenarios? If love is a river then we are quick to take the first canoe. We have to get there as fast as we can. But what about those who can’t even walk or swim? What then? Do we simply forget about them? No. The answer will always be no. Because God cares for them so deeply. We can’t even imagine the depth of the ocean of love Christ has. And it brings ALL of us home. Crippled, decrepit, diseased, ill. All are welcome at the foot of the cross.

You know that feeling you get when you have goosebumps harrowing your arms, and you know God is calling you by name? That’s what total realization and acknowledgement of Christ looks like. And not just talking about it, but actually feeling it. Total liberation. We always talk about freedom in Christ. Well, here it is, folks. It’s in your daily routine. It’s in the words you choose to speak to your neighbor, or the extra hour or two you put in to finish your workload. It’s the relatable, grounding, understanding, passionate parts of your being which make you feel whole and truly alive. Let’s not forget where it comes from or mistake it for self-sufficiency.

Yes, we all have a choice. That’s what freedom in Christ looks like. And sometimes we beat ourselves up for our choices. A moment of realization is okay, but never let yourself get lost or distressed about it. I saw a quote the other day that said, “Be stronger than your excuses.” While you can literally {insert word here} to the end of the statement, I would argue that putting in the word, ‘mistakes’, is a valid contender. “Be stronger than your mistakes.” Another valid word is your past. Or how about your sins? “Be stronger than your pitfalls,” [because God loves you through the nuances]. If you don’t believe me, then try complete self-sufficiency and let me know how that goes. Or perhaps a loveless life. We aren’t called to be lifeless — we are called to be alive in Christ because He allows us to be. And that’s a notion worth living for every day.


// To the Free Spirit // 🌻

• your energy is unparalleled, but sometimes you need rest. Know the difference between healthy rest and unhealthy habits •

• you are not one for conformity, & some may be confused by your wildness. You can’t control the opinions of others, and you probably wouldn’t want to. Their thoughts of you don’t define who you are inside. •

• songs + creativity make your heart sing, but you can also find it in the flesh. Don’t forget who you are &/or lose yourself in the shuffle •

• life’s conflicts and sorrows are temporary. Thankfully, God’s Love for you isn’t dependent upon your mood. •

• inspiration can take hold in multiple places throughout your life. Don’t be afraid to break the routine and discover who you are in the process. •

• involve God in your decisions. He will give you wisdom beyond your expectation. Your dreams will come to fruition through His sovereignty. Belief is a superpower available to us through the Holy Spirit. •

• be kind to others. You never know when someone is struggling with their own human frailty or circumstances outside of their control. A kind word can save a life. I firmly believe it because I’ve been there. •

• it’s not enough to just hear or look at a word. We have to allow ourselves to feel the message in its entirety. Otherwise the heart-bearing is lost on our own inability to seek truth. •

• whether you are 23 or 28, you DO NOT have to have it all figured out all the time. Or at all for that matter. God didn’t say, “you will be saved if you have a ring on your finger by 25, or a dream career by 30.” We are saved by grace through faith. That’s.it. •

• if you are feeling uninspired or lost, practice the pause. Take a look around you at the world. Live in the present. Get out in nature. Go on that walk with your dog. Realize you are surrounded by beauty if you look for it. •

• the struggle means you’re trying. The mess means you’re alive. The fight means your heart is still beating. Be thankful for the weird contradiction that is this life. •

• you will have many opportunities in life. Some you will miss, and others you will follow. Do NOT let regret be your mindset. Protect your thoughts and flourish from the now. You are never far away from a new day. •

• plan for the future, but understand every given moment is precious. As uncomfortable as it is, you might not live to be 90. So enjoy your God-given breaths. •

• as tempted as you are to give into your past, you are not a ghost. Don’t be haunted by the what-if’s or could-have-been’s. It’s a miserable way to live. Trust me on this one. •

• there’s a time for organization & there’s a time for creative free-fall. Don’t let anyone tell you both aren’t valuable. But also don’t presume everyone thinks just like you do. •

• everyone has their insecurities. Some of us might not ever feel good enough. But what do those feelings even mean if we are truly loved? The truth is, there will always be someone better than us. We all have our hang ups. No one is immune. Take comfort in the fact you are NOT alone. •

• learn when to take a break before you throw in the towel. No, seriously, do it. Take the vacation. Take the time to reflect. Change your heart about your situation. •

• remember you are free. The chains won’t hold you down — you’re too strong for them. Be in love with your life; the rest will follow suit. •

Ringing in 2k18

Here’s a list of everything I am looking to accomplish in 2018. 2k17 was a fruitful year, filled with new friends, shindigs & general shenanigans. But I have a feeling 2k18 will be the best year yet.

~ building my faith. I have a deep desire to get closer to the Lord and understand him more. He hasn’t steered me wrong thus far, & I have no doubt he will fulfill his promises in the “year of the butterfly.” 🦋

~ less social media. Unless it’s healthy blogging, I’m trying to keep social media at a minimum. It means less insta & snapchat, and more personal self-awareness, accountability & growth. I’ve always said it’s how we use social media, and I’m choosing positivity.

~ less social comparison. It seems like everyone is getting married or having babies these days. And I’m 1000% on board with that. Heck, I love seeing those little nuggets or beautiful rings, & I’m truly happy for them. But I also have to keep in perspective that my time will come. And it may not be my story. And that’s OK. Everyone has their own path(s) to walk. 👣 It’s what makes this life so beautiful.

~ healthy self-reliance. I’m pushing to be a more holistic version of myself in 2018. This includes un-jading myself from previous relationships, taking on new feats, & actualizing long & short term goals. It also means more workouts and financial awareness.

~ inspiring influences. Influence is powerful. I want to surround myself with gems who build me up rather than those who tear me down. Life is short. I want to do everything in bold, courageous, unabounding love.

~ honestly over convenience. Unless I’m conquering the world 2k18, I really don’t think the people who love me will care if I’m completely vulnerable and unapologetically real with them. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

~ ditching the things that weigh me down. This could mean developing new relationships or ending those in which we have no longer grown together.

~ trying to fit the mold of what someone else wants me to be. I will not, under any circumstances, be someone’s else’s version of myself. I like who I am, and the right people will, too.

I could go on for hours about how many ideas I have to make 2k18 valuable. But the biggest takeaway for me is to have faith, trust in the Lord’s plans, and become connected through God’s love. What does your list look like?

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

• prayers to my father •

When the darkness overcometh,

I will praise your name in the valley.

Allowing you to fill the empty spaces.

Until I rid me of myself,

And all that’s left is perfect love.

I will spend all my time with you,

Even when the healing is gradual.

Because you stand on solid ground

When all I need to hear is hope.

You show up in my life every single moment

And there is no greater love than this.

I alone am unfinished, unrequited, fragile

But you are the beginning and the end.

I will live an inspired life

Because you’ve believed in me from the start.

Through you there is abundant life

And through you, I find restoration.

You stop time when all we do is stir.

It’s all about you, Lord

To God Be the glory.

Your presence is all I want for my life.

It’s like coming home.

So simple in its inception

Yet we forego the original source.

Your will, your way, always

Even when the light shines through glass.

We are shattered, broken individuals

All we want to be is holistically free.

How could I forget I’m already fostered in love?

The algorithm is fixed when I’m a prodigal

But you show me I’m the daughter of a King.

I feel for all the people who are lost

Myself included – when I stray, Lord.

You always bring me back to a place of peace

And there’s nothing more real than your love.

I can feel it in the smell of a blanket

Or the rustling of a train on a winter’s night.

All the beauty of this life will fade away

But you remain constant in your pursuance.

So I will not worry about tomorrow

Because I know you have the final word.

I won’t say a thing, because you still my soul

You are the alpha and the omega.

I will observe your strength

And only hope others see you in me.

When my life is done and I face you, Lord

I want to know I’ve made a difference.

Because your love is everlasting

And it brings tears to my star-struck eyes.

Your agape love changes my heart

Until I don’t know where you end and I begin.

Show me when to be still, Lord

And when to activate.

In you, I am fully known and fully alive.

My heart burns bright for a chance

The greatest of these is love.

Your transcendence makes me whole

I am transformed by your renewal.

I will revere you with a burning fervor

Because you loved me, first.

I’m leading with adulation and courage

I know how far and wide your ardency spans.

And I can’t wait to find out your plans

Because you live on forever.

Beyond my wildest dreams

Past the idiosyncrasies of this life.

That, my dear, is our strength.

You are our everything.


• It’s Not Your Fault •

It’s not your fault are the sweetest words you can ever utter to yourself after a breakup, disappointment, or loss of any kind.

Often times, it’s the gut-wrenching kind of love that means the most. When it’s gone, you feel your heart scatter. In that exact moment of loss, you can only close your eyes, breathe, and pray. You don’t even know what you’re praying for, and often times, it comes out in squabbles, cries, and heart-wrenching pleas. Your dreams feel so far away.

You go through the stages of grief. You mourn a person, idea, or plan for your life. Your previous vision is now a memory you merely hold in your heart. It’s no longer a reality.

Every time you feel the sting of grief, a part of you changes on the inside. You’re not the same person you once were {at first}. Your spirit might not have the same levity it had before {at first}. You can and will get it back, but it might be in more broken pieces and spurts of hope and strength.

You can try to fill the void in an attempt to console yourself. Healthy distraction is the name of the game. You find solace in things like exercise, shopping, or perhaps an overactive social life. Maybe you cover the pain with a bottle and call it casual. But when you’re alone, the panic starts to set in. There’s no hiding from the truth. Your life will never be the same. And no person can shield you from it. And that lingering feeling is sometimes harder than the lesson itself.

You can’t even pinpoint the root cause half of the time. It builds and builds until small turmoil turns into full-blown despair. You know it’s part of the human condition. It’s something everyone experiences at one point or another. But to understand at the elevation level is nothing compared to the abyss.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 (ESV)

Life can be full of disappointments. One of my good friends gave me a book called, “Expectation Hangover,” and it talks about how to cope after you’ve had your dreams shattered. I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking for clarity post-expectation loss. We can build things up in our minds, and sometimes our hearts need a moment to process.

If you’re walking through a valley, do not be discouraged. Remember the ways God has lifted you in the past. Take strength and courage from His sovereign will when your own is fickle. When you’re worn down to your weakest moments, God will show up and create new pathways. There is always hope.

Beauty In The Breaking

It’s nights like tonight we want to go back in time. To anywhere but here. We want to feel alive again. The brights lights of the city are blinding, and we don’t even know where home is anymore. It all seems so evasive and perplexing.

What once was a sense of familiarity now seems like a desperate plea. And we watched the story unravel before our very eyes. What once made our hearts beat now seems like a distant memory. And no amount of distraction can stop the affliction in the pit of our stomach.

We long for a different place. A form of travel, perhaps. Anything to take our mind off the heartache & melancholy. A time when we felt light and burden-free. We feel like we are living someone else’s life entirely. We intrinsically know there is hope amongst the ashes, but the light isn’t always near.

Every day we dig deeper and deeper. Every moment feels like it takes us further and further from the truth. We used to have it figured out. We used to be in love. We’ve lost our way.

Our head spins with the should have, could have, and what will be. We know it’s all by design, but that doesn’t soothe us in this very moment. In this moment, we are scared children wanting to run away. We resist the urge to flee: we have to sit with the feeling of uncomfortableness, as painful as it is. But there is beauty in the breaking.

We long to see our dreams come to fruition. The white wedding; the ideal career; the quaint house with budding children and tumultuous, loving canines. We can picture it. But who remains in the image is unknown. The image isn’t clear. And it terrifies us.

Maybe you’ve felt it, too. That upending feeling of despair. I feel it, too. And I want you to know you are not alone. We can get through it together. God will restore. We might make mistakes, but He doesn’t.

So if you’ve suffered from a broken heart that doesn’t seem to heal, take comfort in the fact that your grief is not in vain. Jesus went through it, too, and He’s right there with you. HE is bigger than any heartbreak you will EVER face. He will show you the way.

Psalm 37:4 (NIV) “Take delight in the Lord, & He will give you the desires of your heart.”

To the Fun-Loving One

You don’t always have to be the life of the party, as much as you may try to pretend you don’t get upset. We are all damaged inside. It’s what makes us strong, vulnerable, and beautiful all at the same time.

You can feel your feelings in their entirety & not be ashamed or try to hide from them. Your feelings are what make you real. The naysayers will try to break you. Keep going.

Some people will not see the love you give, and others will not understand your love languages. Love them through it anyway.

Not everyone makes it to the next stage of life with you. Old friendships may die, and others will stay. The ones who make it through the hardships with you are worth fighting for.

Set your spirit on fire. And don’t apologize for it. Those who see the fire will already know you have pure intentions.

Spread your wings free of expectation. Never, ever let the chains make you complacent or untrue to yourself. Life is so much more than the next best thing.

Never settle for normal. Be extraordinarily loving & embrace the grind. Normal is a fallacy: God made us for more than blending.

You gravitate towards those who love you. Let them love you back in a wholehearted, mind-breaking, holistic way. You won’t regret a thing when you come to the end of your life.

Comparison will leave you downtrodden and confused. Celebrate the successes & understand the failures. Believe in God and the rest will fall into place.

The only way to live your best life is to go out and experience things. But keep in mind, you also need the be still my soul moments to be your most authentic self. Life is a balance. We constantly need groundedness and imagination to truly thrive.

If bringing people together is a sport, you are well-versed in it. But don’t lose yourself in other people’s stories. Remember your purpose.

You’re going to be tempted to run from old fears and demons. Choose your battles, face them, & above all, live in the now.

Trust the process. Those who love you genuinely will stay by your side through darkness and light.

You’re going to feel everything. And sometimes, it’s going to hurt. Bad. But the painful seasons will be worth the fruit produced long-term.

There’s always something to look forward to in life. Be true to yourself, always. Your story is already pre-written. Now all you have to do is follow the plans God has for you. {Jeremiah 29:11}