Monday, September 14, 2015


I spent two hours in the outside world today. I smiled at the library lady, was quite friendly with the women in the Target fitting rooms and checkout counters, made small talk with the guy at the credit union. I genuinely like to be friendly and sweet, wanting Jesus to shine through my actions and words even if He doesn’t come up in conversations about depositing checks and whether or not my coupon app works with the sale (it does.). But when my truck pulls up our long, winding driveway, I turn it off and sit in the silence for 10 minutes before I even open the door.

Last week, my alarm went off early and I visited my favorite smoothie shop before driving the hour to my boyfriend’s grandma’s old house, where we ran errands and moved furniture and packed glassware while his parents ran the garage sale and sister and grandma cleaned. His family is wonderful, but constant communication and continual doing ran me down into almost utter silence and complete loss of appetite by 9 o’clock at night. My boyfriend drove me halfway home because he didn’t want me driving like that. (and by the time we reached his house, time with just him had me more energized and slightly alive again.)

I am an introvert.

A full-blown, completely shut down when overstimulated, make-myself-sick-sometimes introvert.
This can make things exciting when I’m around people for more than 4 straight hours. Yet, I’ll be spending 16 hours a week at college, 18-22+ hours babysitting, along with church and spending time with my family and oh yes, my boyfriend would like to see me occasionally. Friends? Um, how does Christmas break sound? I’ll meet you for white chocolate peppermint mochas then.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to give myself time to “be still and know that [He] is God” while gearing up for a crazy busy schedule that doesn’t show signs of slowing down. At the same time, I need to not be continually withdrawn or distracted, closed up in my room. The people in my life deserve my love whether or not class was completely exhausting or H only napped for half an hour. When it comes down to it, it’s not about me. That statement probably infuriates a large portion of the population, but it’s true. It’s not about me.

It’s not about me.

It’s about taking time to notice my little sisters and how our conflicting schedules hardly give me time to see them. It’s baking cookies or reading stories or just listening. It’s about being fully present at dinner and not just heading straight upstairs afterwards. It’s about a phone call with my boy or going out with him and not letting everything I have to do hang over my head. It’s about loving people with the love of Christ, because when my strength is gone, His is the only thing getting me through. He is the reason why I can’t hide, can’t dwell in my selfish wanting to be alone and alone 90% of my time.

This might sound messed up to some people. And yes, there’s definitely a balance between working/overstimulating myself to the ground every day. We are temples of the Holy Spirit, and need to be wise with how we handle our bodies. But the Christian life involves giving up your desires, for the sake of others and for being Jesus to everyone you encounter. He Himself had times of wanting to be alone, and instead ministered to the people around Him. He also withdrew to spend time with His Father consistently. I want to learn from His example. I want to find balance the way Jesus did.

Some nights, I’ll turn off my phone and shut the door and just plug away at school all evening in the quiet. Some nights I’m going to seriously mess this balance thing up and cry in the shower before bed. Some nights, I’m going to feel like I’m drowning in homework and housework and noise.
But I know a Lifeguard. He’ll pull me up and stand me on the Rock and wrap His arms around me as He whispers “Rest, my child. You are Mine. It’s going to be okay.”

He made me to be quiet, so quiet in His arms I shall be.

(written a few weeks ago before fall began.)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Freedom {InstaThoughts}

Wednesday morning, my business professor told me, "Some people say money doesn't make you happy. That's crap. Money makes you happy. And it gives you something you can't get anywhere else. It gives you freedom."

My instant thought was "I'll take my freedom from Christ, thank you very much." As I pondered his words throughout the day, I considered how binding living by them would be, how the continual pull for "More money! More freedom! More happiness!" would drive and overtake you. How thankful I am that I don't have to live that way! What a blessing it is to be free in Christ, and to rest in the assurance that He is enough, His death is enough, that He has paid it all. We don't have to buy our freedom. He purchased it with His blood. I can never earn it, and that's the pure, incredible beauty of it all.

"Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom." 2 Cor. 2:17

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'" Hebrews 13:5

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


I feel like almost every part of me is changing/ has changed in the past year. People aren’t kidding when they say 18 is all about change and decisions. It’s been a whirlwind and my feet barely seem to touch the ground before I’m spun around again.

I graduated.                                                         

We moved from the house I grew up in.

I finished with the theater group that’s been so influential in my life. (18 shows! Such a gift.)

I went from a potential nursing student at the big university in town to not being a student at all to taking up accounting at our community college.

I’ve been saying goodbye to so many of my dear friends who are following God’s plans for their lives at colleges around the country.

And… I started dating the boy I’ve had a major crush on for years.

It’s been a wild, beautiful year. It’s been a journey of learning how weak I am and how strong He is, how He is my steady place, my rock, my shelter from the storm, how no matter what happens and all life’s changes, my identity is in Him, He never lets go, and I am His precious daughter. Because….

When the scheduled first eighteen years (elementary school, then middle school, then high school) of my life are over, He’s known every plan from the beginning.

While my residence changes here on earth, my heavenly inheritance stays the same.

My theater group may have been a huge part of my social life, but God has woven a beautiful story of trust and patience and people will enter into and walk away as He wills.

Fulltime college may be overwhelming, but I have strength from the only source of Real Strength.

My friends may find new homes and new adventures and new friends, but the True Friend will never leave me or forsake me.

And as crazy and wild as this blending of hearts and planning for the future is, my First Love keeps my heart in His hands and loves me always.


As I start this new adventure of fulltime college + part time job + maintaining relationships and my sanity through it all, I’m looking forward to a consistent schedule and finding time to write. I’m pulling back from what drains me (Facebook, certain blogs, continual texting and checking my phone) and drawing nearer the things that bring me life (my Bible, stillness, prayer, healthy food, Instagram, writing, quiet deep evenings with my boy), in hope of being filled with the joy and rest of Jesus as I work hard.

I want to live life well, to finish my days tired and happy, to squeeze every bit of blessing out of my life that I can. My version of living fully is a lot quieter and slower than most people’s, and I’m learning to accept that. I’m learning that that’s okay. I’m learning that people can see Jesus reflected in my life not because of my striving, but because of His goodness and His Spirit in me. The Holy Spirit speaks in whispers.

May every moment of my life whisper His Name.

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Prayer for Today

Lord, help me not be obsessed with a countdown, but instead be obsessed with living each day fully the way You intended, with no regrets. May I thrive where You've planted me, instead of merely surviving. And may I not wish away a day of this glorious life, but enjoy every moment for what it is- beautiful, and part of Your perfect plan. 

{Originally posted on Instagram} 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

On Ice, Roads and Fear

This November, we had a record-breaking snowfall that began just as my Aunt and baby cousin flew in from California. Welcome back to Michigan. She teased that maybe she should rent a sleigh instead of a car, and it might have been a good idea. Snow kept falling from the sky. Within four days, we had twenty inches. Schools were cancelled, people warned to stay off the roads. It was a good few days to stay inside and be thankful for homes and heat.

That Wednesday was a work day for me, and as much as I was hoping for another snow day, another day to stay inside by the fire, it didn’t happen. A few of my friends and I texted early, sharing in our terror of the roads. One told me that they were a little scary but not too bad, he made it to work okay, and I would be fine. I later discovered he had less than two inches down where he lives. Thanks, dude. Give me two inches any day. I feel like I just drove through Elsa’s fury or something. My 15 minute drive took over 30, even in my 4-wheel drive pickup truck. I think my tension levels are higher than an astronaut’s are before takeoff… now I have to get home.

I read this morning that the weathermen are referring to our part of the state as the snowbelt, and that seems accurate. We tend to get dumped on, way more than my friends who live an hour south, and even more than my friends who live an hour north. We woke up to several more inches today, -11* wind chills, and another snow day.

I've always liked snow, always firmly believed that if it’s going to be cold out, there might as well be snow too. I think that fresh snow is beautiful. Then I started driving, and suddenly snow seemed a bit more evil. Winter driving conditions are nothing to laugh at in Michigan. On the highway, cars are in the ditch about every ½ mile, and all through the neighborhoods are tracks of vehicles sliding into yards and mailboxes and lampposts. There’s so much snow. So much ice. So much wind. It stresses me out.

A friend and I were discussing this stress the other day, how we’ve turned into weather-checking maniacs and how scared we get if we see that little snowflake on our weather app or, even worse, freezing rain. As we were joking about it though, conviction hit me.

I claim to trust God with my everything: my life, my day, my plans, my health, my friends. Can I not trust Him on the roads too? Isn’t it God who sends the snow? He knows when even a sparrow falls to the ground… do I really think that I could spin out, hit another car, crash into a tree, or even die without Him knowing it? Without Him caring? It seemed ridiculous to me that I could get so caught up in all my anxieties and forget to receive the peace that comes when you hand over your fears to Jesus.

I’ve been convicted of choosing fear over trust, and anxiety over joy. That’s not how I want to live my life. So when I shut my truck door, I’m taking a minute to remember that He tells me, “Do not fear, for I am with you… I am your God.” When it looks like I’m driving through a swirling vortex of white, white, and more white, I’ll just turn up the radio for more reminders that He loves me. And when my brakes grind and my truck keeps sliding, you can bet I’m praying frantically, but that my heart is where it should be, in the hands of a holy God, and that whatever happens to me, I’m trusting that His plans are always best.

The Bible is filled to overflowing with reminders not to fear, that anxiety and worry are not of God. I don’t want to be bound by my fears any longer, my fears of the weather, or of growing up, or of life. It’s okay to be cautious of unplowed roads and ice-sheeted highways, but it’s not okay to cower at home and complain about them. We are told to rejoice always.

So I’m choosing to see the beauty in the unbroken white. I’m choosing joy in that I have a working vehicle, a college to attend and a job to work. I’m choosing thankfulness for beautiful Michigan, and the glorious life God has given me here.

Baby, it’s cold outside. So we might as well let it snow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


I'm a giant sweater
But unlike normal sweaters,
I wear down with just a little use.
Normal living- conversations, class, the public eye-
Exhausts me.
It unravels me.
If I don't stop
I turn into a tangled pile of yarn
Not much good for anything.
So I need to get away
Really NEED to.
I need to curl up in a corner and breathe.
I need to read in utter silence.
I need to let my brain slow down.
I need to take my mess to the Master Crafter
And let Him knit me back together. 

I'd love to hang out with you.
I'd love to get coffee and go shopping,
Watch movies and party for hours on end.
But that's not how I was made.
I can't do those things hour after hour
Day after day.
I'm a sweater, not a raincoat.
Things don't just slide off.
Attempting to cover my holes
Only pulls out more threads.
When school and work and stress,
Social life and just doing empties me,
Give me time alone with my Maker
Let Him fix my twisted knots
And I'll come back.
I will.
Then I'd love to see you,
To hug you,
To talk.

And this sweater will be much more capable of keeping you warm. 

Monday, August 18, 2014


Summer always flies by too fast.

We already covered how I'm a sentimental person already, so let's just say I haven't been relishing the thought of letting this summer go.

I was all in the "I don't WANT summer to be over and there's way too much fall in my feeds already" mood last week when I read this post on (in)courage. yes. What can I do but give thanks?

Wanting summer won't bring it back.

Worrying about fall won't help either.

I AM thankful... thankful for the days of rest and healing after a tumultuous beginning of May.

Thankful for the sun after a winter of living in Arendelle.

Thankful for the weeks we spent at the lake with our family, for the sailing, the skiing, the food, the baby-holding, the Frozen singing with my two year old cousins. Thankful for the reflecting, writing afternoons and the fires on the beach in the evening.

Thankful for the coffee dates, the sleepovers, the "let's get together and dance" days, the texts that fly to my friends when we can't talk face to face.

Thankful for the babysitting, not just for the income,  but for the love and the lessons it teaches me.

Thankful for the ways the Lord has turned me towards Him, walked me through things I didn't know I needed to work through, loved me all the while, and continues to carry me through life.

It's been a good summer, a beautiful summer, really. I'm going to soak up the last few days of it.

And then it will be fall. And fall will be okay. School will happen, college will happen, HPA will happen, life will happen. And it will be wonderful.

Because a wonderful God guides our ways.