I never wanted to be that person. That person that always seemed like they were having some dramatic issue, that person begging for prayers from others, that person that could barely stand up on their own 2 feet.

But here I am.

I am broken. I rely on others more than I ever thought I would. I can barely manage to stand on my own 2 feet and, in the case that I make it to a vertical position, I don’t tend to last very long – or at least that’s how it feels. I have people surrounding me, lifting me up in prayer, and telling me that what I’m doing and who I am right in this moment is okay and fine. They say it won’t be this way forever.

But I don’t know. When you’re in the midst of chronic pain it can feel endless and dark. But this morning my Spotify was on shuffle and playing through a new playlist I had come across. As I was standing in front of my bathroom mirror, staring back at a tired and weary face that I barely recognized this song started playing:

Surrounded by Michael W. Smith

And it occurred to me – maybe our battles aren’t meant to be fought from a vertical position.

In the past I have felt bad and guilty in sharing my struggles with others because I didn’t want to seem needy or be a burden to them. I thought I could only share the battles I had already fought and won – that way it would offer hope to others struggling with the same things I had already conquered. But isn’t that a bit unfair? If it brings me joy and happiness to share the battles I’ve already fought and won, maybe others would find that same joy in sharing with me in the midst of my pain.

We are wired for human connection. We are wired to fight battles from a place of surrender – down on our knees with our heads facing the earth and our arms open wide. I think I’ve been fighting this current battle from the wrong stance – vertical, facing the opponent and digging in my heels, refusing to allow others to see how truly detrimental this struggle has been…to my physical health yes, but mostly to my emotional health, mental health and many of my relationships.

On the other side of this triumph, on the other side of this failure, this sickness, this mountain, this heartache – there is more. There is Christ, Jesus. He sees us. He knows us. He waits for us. We have been adopted into His family. We are heirs of Christ.

Nothing in our lives gets lost – no battle goes unseen regardless of whether we let others fight alongside us or if we try to struggle through it alone. No triumph gets overlooked, no heartache goes unnoticed. No sickness lasts forever – because in eternity with Jesus there will be no sickness and no pain.

God blesses us so that we may be a blessing to others. And part of that blessing means allowing others to see us – in all our grit, pain, exuberance, and our triumphs and failures. Satan isolates us when we buy into the lie that we are too much, not enough, a burden, or not worth the time and efforts of others.

This whole process is teaching me to trust…to trust medical professionals, to trust my professors at school, to trust my boyfriend and my friends; to trust that if I become a burden to others they will speak up and say something. I’m learning to trust my parents with all the financial stuff. I’m learning to trust my tribe, these beautiful people in my life—to trust that they’ve got me. They are surrounding me. They are lifting me up. They see me. They care. And I am not too much for them.

This whole process is teaching me patience…patience with coming off of some medicines and starting new ones, patience with the slow process that involves medical testing and waiting for results, and phone calls with doctors and nurses, etc. It’s teaching me patience with myself – patience with the fact that things may take a little longer, be little tougher, and I may simply just get less done that I would prefer.

This whole process has been teaching me about surrender – I can not control any of what is happening to me. I can not control doctors schedules or testing schedules. I can not control how teachers and friends may react to my inability to simple show up at times. I can not control how much things cost or how my parents will handle the financial aspect of things. I can not control the days I have such excruciating headaches that I end up flat on the floor with my hands gripping my forehead.

There is so much that I can’t control. And so very, very little that I can. But what if the little things that I can control are actually the most important things for me throughout this process of dealing with pain?

I can control the stance from which I fight. And I’m choosing horizontal – down on my knees in front of the Lord, begging for healing, for mercy, for patience, for trust, but mostly for surrender. I don’t know what His plan is for me in all of this – maybe this was never part of the plan. Regardless, now it’s part of my story and I can choose to let it define my life and write my story or I can choose to surrender the pen to the finest author of them all – the Lord Jesus Christ.

In God, we are freed from our past. We are cared for in our present. We are assured of a future in eternity with Him. We should live out our faith boldly, love sacrificially, and treasure Christ greatly. All the things that I love and cherish doing to help others heal and to bring them comfort – maybe it’s time I allow others to do that for me. Maybe Christ is teaching me that I am loved, I can reach out, I can lean into others. Maybe Christ is telling me that I don’t have to do any of this alone – I am surrounded by a tribe of wonderful human beings and even more than that, I am surrounded by His love, His grace, His mercy, His unending power day in and day out.

It’s okay to not be okay, as cliché as that is. It’s okay to rest. It’s okay to question. It’s okay to lean into others and to allow them to see me as I truly am – pain, grit, dirt, glory, joy – all of it, the good and the not so great.

I want to use the pain of my past to help others heal in their current present. Maybe it’s time that I allow others to do that same thing for me.


Psalm 73: 26

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Philippians 4:19

And my God will supply ever need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”


You have to thank God for the seemingly good and the seemingly bad because really, you don’t know the difference [until we get to heaven].”
― Jennie Allen

In all things, give thanks with a grateful heart!



The Best Day

Four years ago I was sick. People worried. I almost died. I somehow managed to come back to life. But I left my parents with financial burdens that were unimaginable. I made a wreck of my own life and then was forced to clean up the messiest mess. I grew immensely out of my own failures and I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. But wasn’t once enough?

I’m okay because I’m alive – my heart is beating, there is breath in my lungs. I’m okay because there isn’t another option. But my spirit feels a little broken. It’s not the pain from the unrelenting daily headaches of the past 10 weeks that’s got me so frustrated (although, don’t get me wrong – that has been extremely frustrating!!). It’s more the fact that I haven’t been myself – low energy, low enthusiasm, low stamina, low patience…high maintenance. It hasn’t been intentional but because of what’s been going on I’ve required those around me to put their lives on hold in order to attend to me (or at least I’ve felt as though that’s what I’ve been doing). That’s not a good feeling and it’s not what I want.

I thrive on independence. I thrive on supporting myself, taking care of myself and my sweet pup, and on having the drive and passion to push through the tough things life throws my way. This is no difference except that I am burnt out and frustrated with never accomplishing all that I wish I could, want to, or am expected to accomplish. The worst feeling in the world is looking into the disappointed eyes of those around me as I once again fail to meet their expectations – academically, musically, socially, and on and on.

I hear the concern in my parents voices over the phone, “How are you today sweetie?”

I see the frustration on the faces of my violin teachers and other professors as I miss yet another class lecture or don’t play quite as well as they believe that I can play. I feel the weight of the worry in my boyfriends gaze as he watches me grab a hold of he closest piece of furniture and sink to the floor so I don’t faint—the only thing visible to my eyes is a sheet of black with bright spots. Even as I sit here typing this my left eye is twitching randomly and uncontrollably and my fingers are a strange sensation of both warm and tingly, as if I sat on top of them and they went numb and are trying to regain feeling – my hands shaking ever so slightly.

It’s easy to sit in the doctors office and hear him say, “It could be seven days or it could be two weeks. We’ve had some patients that have to stay at our facility for multiple months.” and to feel sorry for myself. The idea of being inpatient at a hospital for ANY length of time absolutely terrifies me – it’s far too similar to what I experienced in 2014, despite being for much different reasons, even the idea or suggestion makes me want to puke on the floor right in front of this team or 2 doctors, a psychologist, and a nurse. It would be so easy to start down the “why me?” path and to get lost in the maze that is self pity. And I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been down that path. I’ve been down it more times than I will ever publicly admit, but I also know I have other options.

I took a deep breath and, despite the knot in my gut, the words gushed out of me. All she had to say was, “How can I be praying for you?” The sweet woman who had been discipling me first semester had been traveling with her husband for what felt like 10 years but was, in reality, only 2 months. She was finally back, albeit very briefly, and we were sitting in the sun at our favorite coffee shop catching up on life and all the adventures that it brings. She asked the question…the question that no one in my school or social circles ever asks, the question that gives me permission to be a broken, sinful human being in need of a Savior. She asked and the words tumbled out of me like marbles out of a knocked over jar – spilling onto the table in front of us, loud and noisy, clacking against each other and continuing to roll over the edge and bounce down to the floor with a hard thud. Thoughts and things that I’ve been holding inside me, ashamed of and embarrassed about, things in need of repentance, came spilling out. Fears, failures, and more fears.

And so she shared some wisdom with me that a lady once shared with her: “Today is your best day.” Yesterday is history, today is all we’ve got – and today is our best day. Every morning when we wake up we can choose to live in fear of what the day will bring. We can choose to dwell on yesterday. We can choose to be anxious over tomorrow. Or we can live in the present and acknowledge that yesterday and tomorrow are both out of our control. Today is our best day.

As I move forward into the unknown – the medical stuff, the possibility of hospitalization, summer plans, senior year, etc I want to live each day as my best day. I’ll never be as young as I am right now. I’ll never be the same person that I am in this very moment – and sure, there’s always room for improvement…this isn’t permission to become complacent. But today is our best day.

How would our lives look different, friends, if we lived every day as though it is our very best day? Doesn’t the Lord call us to live lives like that?! Yesterday has come and gone and tomorrow is never guaranteed, all we have is today…right here, right now. I may struggle with headaches for the rest of my life – which means that today is definitely my best day and I better live it to the fullest. Or I may never have another headache again, which also means that today is my best day and it should be full of joy and happiness. Nothing in this world is guaranteed and we are called by Christ to look past our current circumstances and the trials we are undergoing and surrender it all to Him. Every day with Christ is our best today – and I’m calling you to make that day, today.

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.”

-Psalm 16:1

We fall apart when we look at our fears and inadequacies and compare ourselves to every other runner. But fix your eyes on a God like Jesus, and you will not quit. You will not shrink back. Not from others, and not from yourself. Risk something. Step out and fail. Be the fool. Build a life that needs our God.”
Jennie Allen

RISK. defines risk in the following way:

noun:  1. exposure to the chance of injury or loss; a hazard or dangerous chance.

verb (used with object)  2. to expose to the chance of injury or loss; hazard.

It’s funny how God never ceases to amaze me. Yesterday I wrote and published a post about how fear has already sunken under my skin and into my bones this year – 5 short weeks after we flipped the calendar over to January 1, 2018. Fear has prevented me from fulling diving into the beauty of being still and cultivating stillness within my life – physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, etc.

So today, when I opened up one of my devotionals and read about how vital it is for us to take risks I began to think about where I could take risks in my own life and why I haven’t done so already in those areas. And I came full circle back to one thing: FEAR.

Fear prevents us from doing a lot of the things that we want to do most. And even worse, it prevents us from doing many of the things we NEED to do…for ourselves and for the bettering of God’s Kingdom.

In order to fulfill our purposes here on earth we must be willing to take RISKS for the glory of God’s kingdom. Risk is not synonymous with reckless – let me be very clear. Reckless implies that we are unconcerned with outcomes, don’t take caution, or even that we are negligent, in some cases. Risk implies that we are taking a chance, a leap of faith knowing that we may fail or be wrong about something. Taking risks may mean we’re gambling with the outcome of a specific opportunity because we don’t know if we’re qualified, if we can do it, if we are good enough, if it will be worth it, etc.

But here’s the thing – Jesus changes people. He pushes us to new and uncomfortable places. In order to truly fulfill our place and purpose during our brief time here on earth we must be willing to allow Him to take us out of our comfort zones, lead us away from our comfortable lives, our day-to-day predictable scenarios, etc. And we must trust that, if we allow Him to guide us and we are willing to take the RISK of following, that He will lead us into greater healing, fullness, joy, and ultimately, He will provide us with more peace and abundance in our lives than we ever knew was possible.

But how do we know when what we’re hearing or feeling is from God?

When our passions align with God’s, wisdom happens much more naturally than when we try to absorb principles and implement them in our lives. A heart that beats with God’s inevitably generates thoughts and actions consistent with God’s heart.”

-Once a Day, 31 Days of Wisdom Devotional.

It is vital that we spend time in the Word with the Lord – learning of His plans, His works, His stories, His life and all the happenings that are held within the pages of the Bible. But it is also crucial and important that we get alone with God…that we cultivate stillness in our life and find the (and patience) to just be with Him inside that silence. It will be uncomfortable at first and it may even leave us questioning if there’s any point at all. You won’t always hear the answers you want to hear – and often times you may not hear any answers at all. But keep to it – keep seeking silence and stillness and God will move and transform your heart in those moments. Over time, you’ll find that your passions and your heart align more and more with His and the thoughts you will be thinking will be more Godly and…more reliable.

Those thoughts will lead you to the RISKS God wants you to start taking. And at that point, it’s all in your hands – will you be willing to take those RISKS? God will absolutely rock your world if you’re brave enough to let Him. Sure, life in your comfort zone may be “enough.” But don’t ever doubt that God isn’t capable of SO MUCH MORE.

We get more of God when we need Him and risk forces us to need Him.”

-Jennie Allen

It won’t be easy – it will probably be very, VERY difficult. It may not be fun or enjoyable at first, it rarely is. It may be the toughest thing you’ve ever had to do and things may seem like they’re getting worse before they get better. But God needs you to be at work in His kingdom. This broken world needs you and your Godly influence. It’s time to start taking RISKS, my friends!


And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Anaïs Nin


Still Searching for Stillness.


A new years resolution that, although I haven’t given up on yet, has proved harder to hold onto than I previously thought it would be. The 5th week of our winter semester and the burnout is already trying to force it’s way into my bones – fatigue is an understatement…try complete and utter exhaustion.

There are so many questions that I’ve been presented with this semester – so many challenges I was facing that I didn’t realize I was facing until I was already knee deep in swirling waters. And to make matters worse, these constant battles leave me in a sea of headaches, heartaches, confusion, and the fear of the unknown is absolutely numbing.

But the world refuses to stop and so, already – just 6 weeks into a new year, I got swept under the current of the waves and into a sea of go-go-go. Already, I have let my resolve of having one Sabbath day for every seven days of the week slip away and slowly turn into one day of every ten, or one day of every fourteen. But, it’s the Monday after my not-so-restful birthday and I’m finding that there’s no better time than this to get back on track with my new year’s goal – after all, it isn’t a diet, an exercise regime, a list of things to accomplish in any given day. No, this new years resolution is about what I can force myself to NOT accomplish in a day – an act of the greatest discomfort for someone like me who is driven by to-do lists and productivity. Today is the first full day of being 24 and so I’m taking these 24 hours to rest and be still because I owe it to myself to take care of myself – body, soul, mind, spirit, etc. In order to have a good, productive, efficient, positive week I must rest and prepare myself – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

It’s absolutely amazing how little it takes for us to get off track – the pressures of the world around us are constantly bombarding us with needs, wants, expectations, etc. It’s so easy to feel like we don’t measure up and as if we need to constantly be “on” in order to present our best self to the world and earn their approval…as if we need it?!

I have really, MASSIVELY been struggling with this lately. The question that’s constantly been on my mind – do I write or do I play music? I have less than a year to figure this one out and I’m going to be honest – I feel like I’m complete trash at both things. I can’t write unless I’m inspired by something. And no matter how much I practice or how hard I work at music, I never seem to be much better than mediocre at it. I love and have a passion for both things and I would love nothing more than to pursue both professionally, however the rational side of me keeps telling me that I can only do one thing if I want to do it well, that I have to be able to make a living for myself and support myself, that I want to be financially secure and well off and that neither of these professions will get me there, and on and on.

Cue the need for stillness. The rational side of me tends to get me nowhere good in situations such as these. Most days, it’s right on. But in times such as this, when my mind is reeling and going one hundred miles a minute, full of doubts and fear of broken dreams – only one thing brings me comfort.

God got me this far and He’s not going to quit now. He’s not finished with me yet and that should excite me rather than terrify me. He’s never left me alone, drowning in the rough waters of life and He won’t start now. He knows exactly where I’ll be one year, five years, even ten years from now and I can rest easy knowing that I’ll always be right where He wants me to be. It’s rarely easy to shut my anxious heart and brain off from the rabbit trail of destructive, self-defeating thoughts the world pelts at me (and all of us) on a daily basis, but that’s why days of stillness are so vitally important to our well being. These moments of quiet, rest, and restoration provide us with the opportunity to reconnect and further our relationship with the only One who makes the moon reflect the sun.

So, I encourage you today, to take at least a few minutes to enjoy stillness – take a walk, talk with God, spend time in the word. And when, if, you are able – take an entire day to be alone with Him and enjoy His presence – it is so vital to our overall well being and happiness. He will speak to us most loudly when we are still and open to hearing His message. He will lead us right where He needs us to be for the bettering of His kingdom here on earth!

Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among nations, I will be exalted in all the earth.”

-Psalm 46:10

This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promises give me life.”

-Psalm 19:50


So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”
Stephen Chbosky

Happy Monday, sweet friends! Have a wonderful week full of blessings, joy, and praise!

Rocky Terrain – Proceed With Caution.

Everywhere I look I see “Rocky terrain – proceed with caution” signs. No detours, no reroutes, no “do not enters.” I see no definitive signs that are directing me as to where I should go. And that’s terrifying.

I’m one of those people who is constantly terrified of doing the “wrong” thing. I will never forget a conversation I had with a wise friend of mine. He sat across from me as I poured out my worries and concerns – painted a half-color, half black-and-white image of different options and routes that were on the road map in front of me. He looked up at me when I paused to catch my breath and he said,

Maybe there is no ‘wrong’ path. Maybe any path you choose can be made right. And maybe if you take a path that isn’t meant for you, you’ll learn something valuable and be rerouted in the right direction. God has an end destination for us in mind and He will always provide a path to get us out of trouble and back on the road to that destination. And besides, what if you know yourself a bit better than you think you do and you choose the ‘right’ direction and it turns into something beautiful? You don’t want to be constantly second guessing yourself or you may miss some of that beauty.”

I have very wise friends and mentors in my life.

As I was reading my morning devotional it posed this question: “What ‘road closed’ sign is before you today that may be God’s way of redirecting you to something new?” I instantly recalled this conversation with my sweet friend.

I don’t see a distinct “Road Closed” sign in view and although some may argue that that is a great, amazing thing – it’s stressing me out because I’m getting towards a point where I need to make some major decisions.

My mother used to always say, “You can’t do everything and do it all well. It’s better to do one thing and excel at it.” Again – I’m telling you guys, I’m surrounded by some wise, wise people! I can recall, as I made the transition from middle school to high school, how difficult it was to choose whether to stick with doing orchestra and focus on playing violin or whether to keep playing violin but focus primarily on musical theatre. At the time, I had friends doing both things. I LOVED to sing, dance, and act on stage (although dancing didn’t always love me haha) but I also knew how competitive it was at my future high school that had a focus on the arts. At that point I had played violin for 8 years already – I was good at it. I liked taking lessons and being in orchestra – plus the orchestra director at my current middle school was also the orchestra director at my future high school. My parents and teachers were pushing for a focus on music, violin, and orchestra whereas my friends and a few others were pushing for musical theatre.

Obviously I chose to focus on violin – and look where I am today! What if I had chosen to focus on musical theatre instead – would I have been able to be successful? My vocal chords and singing voice say yes, but my dance moves argue no haha. I don’t ever regret the decision that I made, but I DO find myself missing being on stage – dancing, singing, acting…the costumes and makeup, rehearsals, camaraderie, etc. But I’m using what I believe God has given me and I’m trying to refine that craft and sculpt it in order to better serve and honor Him. I want to bring Him glory.

So now, almost 10 years after my transition from middle school to high school, I’m faced with some similar decisions. I don’t really want to delve into too much detail because I feel that it’s important that I sort this out in my own heart before I weigh societies opinions and pressures (and despite the wonderful people in my life – everyone has an opinion and feels it’s valid and worthy of sharing…and it IS, just not until I figure out my own opinion and where I stand on the matter).

I just keep reminding myself that I should continue putting one foot in front of the other and doing my best with everything I am currently doing. I know that it’s hard to keep in mind (at least for me it is) but we can serve the Lord in literally EVERYTHING that we do. That school assignment in the class that you hate taking? I know you hate it – but still give it your best shot because giving it anything less isn’t honoring the Lord. That exam that you know you can flunk and still pass the class? Just look over the material once or twice. You don’t have to get straight A’s, but you do need to give it your best shot. That project your boss gave you at work – the one that you know you don’t really need to look up any extra information for because you’ve “basically got it down?” (I put that in quotes because those are usually my famous last words before bombing an assignment). Just Google the topic one time and see what pops up – you may learn something new!

We don’t have to make rash decisions because, regardless of the road signs we encounter, God will always make a way to get us from point A to point B – even if there are a few rest stops in between. We need to trust that, regardless of our sinfulness and brokenness, God’s got our best interest at heart and He will lead us where He most needs us for the bettering of His Kingdom.

There are no “wrong” paths in this life – just some that may take a little longer than others. But those are usually the ones with the best views and the most adventure. Don’t be afraid to make a decision about who you are and what you want in life – but also don’t be afraid to wait on the Lord when you aren’t sure where to go next. He will use you wherever you are in this life if you are open to His promptings and His calling for you.

In retrospect I can see in my own life what I could not see at the time – how the job I lost helped me find the work I needed to do, how the “road closed” sign turned me toward terrain I needed to travel, how losses that felt irredeemable forced me to discern meanings I needed to know. On the surface it seemed that life was lessening, but silently the seeds of new life were always being sown.”

-Parker Palmer

Asking Questions?

Over the past few years, writing has become a passion of mine. I don’t feel as though I’m particularly good at it, but I really do enjoy doing it. I’ve come to realize that it has aided me in my healing process immensely and that it has played a vital role in the development of my beliefs, opinions, and sense of self.

But why? How? Writing has helped me heal and continues to help me heal and grow because in order to write something even remotely interesting you must first ask a question. You can’t write something unless you’ve been questioning something first and it’s inspired you or moved you in some way. This is one reason that someone could read something I’ve written for an academic assignment and not be able to identify it as my writing – the voice is so different, if it’s even present at all. Most of the time, the academic things I’m required to write hold little to no interest of mine and they simply fulfill a requirement or are written for a grade. They don’t require me to ask a question – the professor does the asking and all I get to do is answer….and typically there’s only one right answer, which makes my options slim to non existent.

I read a LOT. I absolutely love to read. When reading, I am presented with an idea or a suggestion and I am then allowed and encouraged to come up with my own opinion and belief in regards to whatever the topic is – in order to solidly form my own stance, I have to ask so many questions. The most efficient way for me to figure out my own answers to these questions is through writing.

Questions are so vital to our well being and to our sense of who we are. We are all constantly asking different questions of the people around us and also of ourselves. It’s what keeps us changing, evolving, and our answers and responses to the questions we ask are what make us unique and different from one another.

There’s one area of my life that I’ve been pretty (read: extremely) frustrated with lately. I couldn’t figure out why it’s been feeling different and why it’s felt…icky. It was never GREAT, but it wasn’t awful. So I started asking what changed?

A lot has changed. I started spending time with a Godly woman who disciples me. I started dating a Christ-seeking man who puts God first in everything he does in life. I started reading more and more books for pleasure – things that have helped me grow spiritually and have taught me so much about how far I still have to travel in my walk with Jesus.

It was in asking that question that I found the answer. I’ve grown so much spiritually both in my identity in Christ and in my walk with Him that the people I’ve been surrounding myself with and the books I’ve been reading have been feeding my soul. Those people and those things have been forcing me to ask myself the right questions – the questions I’ve needed to ask myself in order to heal and grow and move forward with my life; the questions that no one had ever asked me before.

When we ask the right questions – unfortunately these “right” ones are almost always the excruciatingly painful ones – we allow ourselves the opportunity to adequately feel and experience and search for the answers to these questions. Just because we may have asked a similar question of ourselves in the past doesn’t mean that the door is completely closed, either. We change. Our answers to our questions change. Science is composed of fact based evidence. Life is composed of personal, evolving self-truths and discovery.

Esther Fleece wrote, “By following a shallow prescription to move forward and forget my past, I missed out on understanding where God was in the midst of it. And God is always in the midst of our mess. God can be just as present in our past as He is in our present. We tend to think that when something is over we should be over it, but this is not where God does His best work. God is not limited by time. He desires to be with us in our pain – present, past, and future – so He can work His wonders in our lives.”

When we’re not asking or being asked the right questions, that’s when we get frustrated and stuck. We find ourselves stagnant and the slow progress, or no progress, that we’re making (or not making) is confusing and disappointing. We can begin to feel trapped in our lack of our continual growth as an individual.

I find that as I’m spending quality time with more of the right people – people who love with open hearts, hear with open minds, leave no space for negative judgment, gossip, etc – that I am being asked and learning to ask myself more of the questions that are truly useful to my self discovery and personal growth. I’m learning that by asking the right questions I’m beginning to heal in places where my past previously felt scary and broken. I am learning to accept the answers God provides, to stay steadfast in the times that He doesn’t give a quick answer, and to learn discernment between what is His voice and what the voices of those around me in the world sounds like.

When I think of particular parts of my life where I feel burnt out, weary, and tired – things that are frustrated where they previously weren’t, I realize that the right questions aren’t being asked. The opportunity for healing isn’t there because the focus isn’t on the right things. At this point, I’m not sure how I can change that if it’s possible at all, but at the very least, simply knowing and acknowledging that current reality has brought me some relief from the frustration – relief I never would have found if I hadn’t asked any questions of myself.

Writing stems from questions that we’re seeking our own answers too. Those questions are prompted by the people we spend time with and the things we devote ourselves to the most. Seeking our answers and solutions to these questions is uncomfortable, scary, revealing, and often times extremely painful – but it’s what brings us the greatest sense of healing. Especially when we allow God to be the one who provides us the answer – the hope in the midst of confusion.

Think about what questions your asking of yourself and others around you. Consider whether or not your feeling stuck or alone…and then ask yourself what and whom you’re devoting your precious time too. If you don’t like the answers, remember this: You’re allowed to change. You’re allowed to walk away from those who bring you down and any addictions or time-suckers in your life that have stolen your heart.

But it all starts with the courage to ask some questions.


It’s the questions we can’t answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he’ll look for his own answers.”
Patrick Rothfuss

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

-Matthew 6:21 ESV

A Well-Ordered Heart.

It’s only the third day of the year but so far my quest for stillness is off to a decent start. As I spend some quiet time alone each day – appreciating the solitude surrounding me…intentionally sitting in the chair by my window watching the sunset, reading a book simply for pleasure, journaling, reading devotionals and spending time in the Word, etc – I am coming to realize just how much I am learning in the process.


I thought when I chose the word stillness as my 2018 word of the year, that I was seeking out some sort of balance in my life. I thought that it would be an accurate solution (or at the very least, a waterproof band aid) for my over-scheduled, stressed out life.

But in the silence I am realizing that my soul wasn’t in search of a well ordered schedule or a balanced life – my soul has desperately needed a well ordered HEART.

To suggest that the issues I’ve been experiencing are due to balance issues in my schedule and my life would be to label the issues as purely external ones – fixable with a tad bit more organization, better time management, or less commitments. All of those things are good and helpful to me – I’m still sifting through the complicated process of learning to say no to things. Inside the quest for balance there lies a lack of notion that our lives are to be given to a service outside of us, something far bigger than ourselves.

I know that deep down my soul is longing for something more from me and my life and I think that what my desperate attempts at cultivating stillness are revealing is more than just an external problem that a well-ordered life could mend – I believe that it’s revealing the internal need to have a well-ordered heart.

I argue with myself – this busy schedule is unavoidable, this stressful pace of life is just “how it has to be” right now, this work load is necessary in order to get everything done. I tell myself that this is all just temporary – and then I end up repeating the exact same work load the following semester and I am in awe of how I keep finding myself in the same stressed out, burnt out senerios.

But next week, next month, next semester, even next year, it will be better,” I tell myself and those around me. My capacity for deceiving myself astounds me sometimes. It is because of the Fall that we, as human beings, have such disordered affections in our day to day lives. We are taught by society that being busy, stressed out, sleep deprived, is to be admired and sought after. We are told that we aren’t useful and we won’t achieve our dreams unless we are surviving on mere pennies by the end of the month – but hey, at least we have a 2018 vehicle with all the perks and amenities.

What this stillness is slowly revealing to me is that living in that way is what people do who are seeking after their own dreams and goals. It is not to be admired or applauded because the end result of those behaviors is for their own glory – not the glory of our Savior. God didn’t design us with the endurance or capacity to live like that long term. He gave us all these good and sweet things in this life that he truly wants us to enjoy and embrace and yet, if we aren’t seeking after HIS plan for our lives, we end up zooming quickly past these hidden blessings.

These blessings for me, are tucked within the stillness. The acceptance that it’s okay to be happy even when I’m not the best. I don’t have to be burnt out, striving, constantly achieving in order to be worthy of love and even more importantly – I don’t have to have everything done and done perfectly in order to be worthy or rest and relaxation. It is not indulgent or glutenous to want to and to allow myself to spend time alone doing something that I love that’s not for any specific purpose – it is soul fulfilling, it is fuel for my poor, worn down heart, it is rejuvenating.

It is through these quiet moments spent in reflection and in solitude that my heart is finding order and peace. And I want to hang onto and cultivate more of these moments in my life – even if that means not being the best at something, not finishing every little task on my to-do list, etc.

I long to be who God designed me to be – and I’m discovering more of that in the stillness of life than I have ever been able to find within the business and stressful pace of a hurried life.

It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What’s hard, she said, is figuring out what you’re willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about.”
Shauna Niequist


Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

-Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)