Wednesday, May 31, 2017


A lot of opportunities have come my way the last few months, big and small. One of those opportunities involves a study-away class that I'll be leaving for quite shortly. This means I'll probably be on hiatus from the blog for the next couple of weeks. But, Lord willing, I will return and have many stories to tell! 

Thanks to everyone who's been following my posts here lately - you all rock and I appreciate you with much much appreciation! 

I want to leave you with a few suggestions/challenges for the next couple of weeks: 

1) Take a friend out for coffee and good conversations, maybe someone you haven't seen in a while.
2) Take a nature walk. 
3) Look into blackout poetry.
4) Buy some used CD's - preferably of music you've never gotten into. See if you like it! 
5) Write a letter or encouraging note to someone. 
6) Be intentional about making memories. 
7) Press some flowers in a big thick book. 
8) Take a drive on a road you're not as familiar with and crank up the radio, windows down. 
9) Make a list of summer goals, both serious and silly. 
10) Cloud watch, or stargaze. 

Let me know in the comments if you try any of these. I'd love to hear about it when I get back! 


Saturday, May 27, 2017

the one about friends

you don’t know what a friend is until you’ve shivered with that person on a bench as they release everything they’ve kept in while their eyes become small oceans, until that same person has listened to you vent then revealed the flaws in your attitude, because friends aren’t afraid to call such things out over coffee, yes, friends ask the gut-wrenching questions that you fight against answering as you wince, twisting your hair, and they smirk at that familiar mannerism, yes, friends see you when you’re wounded but also when you’re stitched up, and love you anyway or perhaps because.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Home...In 100 Words

Home begins when the air rushing through my car windows becomes sweet from grassy fields at twilight. The fields harbor fireflies that light my way to gravel roads and deep blue woods. Coyote howls replace the city’s sirens; the stars shine a bit brighter, constellations visibly mapping my place in the world.

Home is sitting on the back porch as this world slows down for the night – the smell of my brother’s strong black coffee – dry pages of a book between my fingers. It is closing my eyes and listening to the beauty of stillness and wind in the trees.   

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The One About Music

So, here's the scoop: I dated a guy, and now I'm not dating the guy. (Long story).

Sometimes, God brings people into our lives for a season and for a specific purpose, and then shuts the door, because He knows what He's doing. That happened to me. Ouch.

But everyone that we allow into our lives makes an impact and leaves behind a little something that we never would have had the privilege of experiencing, had we not allowed them in.

A lot of these things are super spiritual or super impacting or super deep, but I'm going to talk about something not-so-deep, but meaningful, all the same.

The guy I dated is super into music, and thanks to him, I've now been exposed to a lot of artists/bands that I knew about but had never taken the time to intentionally listen to. Sooo my musical taste buds have been developing quite a bit.

I'll start with...

Said guy is a bit of a Led Zeppelin fanatic, and the first time we met to do homework together, we also grabbed earbuds and had a "Led Zeppethon." I was skeptical, since I've always been a little picky about music and generally wince at a lot of the songs spawned between 1959 and 2006. (Slight exaggeration, but you get my drift - the 60's through the 80's has never been my favorite time period in regards to music). But I found myself grinning over my homework as the first chords of "Good Times Bad Times" cranked through my earbuds.

Thus Led Zeppelin made it onto the list of jams (and classic rock became not-so-bad).

Probably the second biggest new entry on the list is these guys:

Um. Can I. Just. This band. 

So Transatlanticism is my favorite album, Plans a close second. This band is the real deal, and I must admit that I'd been waiting for a copy of Transatlanticism to cycle through at my local Half Price Books Outlet the other day when I found one and snatched it up triumphantly before my brother could get his paws on it. One of us was super happy and one of us was disgruntled, you can guess who was who. 

Next! Zees person: 

So this guy has kinda ruined my life with his song, "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room." Not to mention, the YouTube playlist of his Live in LA show is my official homework playlist. I know he's been around quite a while, but all I really knew of his work was "Waiting On the World to Change." Looks like I was missing out.

Moving forward to Icelanders who make music like they came straight out of the American South:

I'm a little in love with their album A/B in its entirety. I heard "Way Down We Go" and was instantly hooked. (I actually found these guys on my own, woot woot). 

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be off slow-dancing alone with my iPod to "Save Yourself." *leaves*

*comes back sheepishly* Just kidding. There is more music to speak of. 

Such as: 

"Like the Dawn" is one of the most beautiful songs to grace the music industry, in my humble opinion. Not to mention, their inspiration is Bible stories. These people are the best. If you're looking for good lyrics and a folksy sound, check them out. 

And speaking of Bible stories...I love all these folksy and faith-based bands that I keep finding out about, the people who craft genuinely good music and slip in positive messages for everyone to listen to - not just Christians. (That's an entire post in itself, though...I'll save it for another time). So the last band I'll be mentioning is...:

"Belly of the Deepest Love" & "The Kitchen" & "Porcelain" are my current three favorites. Poetic lyrics and gorgeous music. And talk about great album art

So there you have it! This is the new stuff that's been gracing my earbuds lately. (Well, new to me). If any of these bands have made your list of favorites too, let me know in the comments. Chatting about music is a past time I find to be very agreeable. 


Friday, May 12, 2017

Freshman 100 Words

Once upon a time, I was a hyper-nervous, mostly-confused freshman. College began socially: an honors freshman retreat, campus ministry events, orientation. There were name tags, information fairs, class schedules, then classes. Bible studies. Lunches with friends. Professors (who were mostly cool). I survived first semester and winter break sadness and came back to more classes and a horizon full of adventures. I changed, grew, embraced spontaneity, tried new lattes, and assertively claimed my study spots on campus. I made music, hugged a lot of people, tried out dating, tasted freedom.

Most importantly, I was brave.

Sophomore year?

Bring it on. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Worth the Risk

Stepping out in faith is a scary, scary move to make.

A lot of us aren't built for uncertainty, and we're easily shaken when times turn rocky.

So we like to hide in the downy folds of our comfort, our familiarity.

We like to keep our hands from getting messy, our hearts from being bitterly scratched.

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements." -- C. S. Lewis

Vulnerability is like nausea; anxiety is like a persistent ache. Fear is a crippling wound, worry a stifling noose.

But we were not made to live in such boxes.

Stepping out in faith is carefully cutting away the tissue and muscle covering your heart to expose it, pulse and all. You may encounter a situation so agonizing that you feel it bone-deep. You may expose your heart to someone who takes it in one hand only to stab it with the other. You may move forward toward a goal only to have the grounds of your ambition upturned beneath your feet.

But to move forward at all is to risk.

We were not made for shells, for boxes, for zones or fences.

We were made to scale mountains up to heights that make us dizzy, to run headlong through fields laughing the air out of our lungs. We were made to plunge into the depths of faith and trust and submit to the cold shock, to the prospect of what might lie below.

We were made for stepping forward one day at a time, praying and praying and praying, seeking grace upon grace upon grace, and loving fiercely.

Ambitions, relationships, adventures, they're worth the risk; even if it fails, even if you bend under the weight, even if you feel like you're walking through flames -- God wastes nothing, and He uses every situation for our good.

He uses risk to grow us.

To teach us.

To mold us as clay.

To remind us we are His, and He holds us firmly by our right hand, and we have no reason to distrust Him - not one.

God is good all the time, and by anchoring our heart in Him, we are freed to take steps of faith with His plan and goodness in mind. Not every step may end in success, but all are used to shape us.

God wastes nothing, and we would do well to take every step remembering that we walk hand-in-hand with Him. We may be shaken for a moment, but He will lift us up, dust us off, and remind us to breathe and keep moving.

To live is worth the risk.

Lord, remind us to live.

/ / /

In what ways have you stepped out in faith? 


P.S. Sorry for being virtually nonexistent on the blog the last couple of months. It's been a busy semester, you guys.