It happens when the clocks turn ahead. When the days get a little warmer & longer. When what was once dead starts to wake up. I can’t help but think that spring shows us a little bit of what God can do with us.

Sometimes we don’t even have the hope for ourselves of a brighter day, but that’s okay because He still has it for us. He can teach it to us as He shows us each day.

He isn’t done with our story even if the last season wasn’t one we’re proud of. He isn’t giving up on us because we’re taking too long. He’s bringing in a new season into our lives where we can come alive in Him and realize that we do have a purpose. And we can’t go back but we can go forward into something different – something new.

Sometimes change is something we run from. & sometimes we even get to the point where we are running towards it with open arms, ready to leave yesterday behind. 

I think this happened quite a few times for people in the Bible. People who wanted to run from who they were yesterday. People like David and Jonah and Saul.

God was strong enough to bring them into a new season, and He’s strong enough to do it with us, too.

His hope for us is powerful enough to drive out the weight of guilt & shame we might carry. Or the darkness from winter. Or the discouragement that clouds our minds.

& it might take a little time, but that doesn’t mean He isn’t redeeming the worst parts of us.

We may not be able to get what we wish we could back. Or give it back. But He is pouring something new into us to give. & we can carry that into spring. Change might just be the best thing.

What 2018 Taught Me

When you look back on a period of time, do you ever feel as though you learned more within 2 months than an entire year? Growth seems to come like that. Healing seems to come like that too. You wait for so long, then it hits you, and then you come out of that season a little confused, stumbling over what you thought was complete healing.

That’s a little how 2018 went for me.

I made up my mind to be completely vulnerable with this post.

I’ve connected with more of you this year than any other year before. These connections encouraged me, but they also broke my heart.

So many people around us are walking through the same valleys we are and we pass them over because they look perfect.

This post is about disembodying the label of perfection. It’s about a year that transformed me in more ways that I could have ever imagined. When I asked for help selecting the topic of my next blog post, most of you said “What you have learned in 2018.” But I got a few other suggestions too. Relationships. Loneliness. Broken friendships.

To be completely honest I feel as though I am the last one to speak to those things. Right now, I am in a season of brokenness and learning. It’s funny how you think your season of healing will come and go and you’ll be alright again. But sometimes it doesn’t work that way. Sometimes, you back track a little. But you’re only getting pulled back in order to go that much farther forward.

So what follows is not an expert’s opinion. It’s not how I feel most days. It’s what I can look back and see that I have learned. What I want to feel. I am working on believing these things. I am working on processing them. I am working on getting the truth to my soul – but sometimes it just sits in your head for a while. I hope you can relate.


At the beginning of 2018, I was on cloud 9. 2017 had given me all I wanted. It’s funny how the best part of one year of your life can almost become the worst part the next. I don’t know if you’ve experienced anything like that, but this year I did.

I thought I knew how everything would work out, and what I wanted seemed to be going my way.

But in my heart I knew something was empty. Something was broken. But I kept getting what I wanted and slapped it over my doubts like a bandaid. That held together the parts of my heart that felt so meaningless.

I felt very confused for a while. I didn’t feel as though I could explain how I felt to someone. It seemed like too much. I knew I was listening to lies too often, but it felt like I couldn’t silence them.

My mom has always told me I have a very sensitive conscience, and that it’s a gift. I’m beginning to realize more and more how right she is. Looking back on the beginning of this year, I wish I had listened to that voice a little more.

I put all my happiness in the hands of one person. That was my greatest mistake.

I moved into Summer with expectations of change and wasn’t disappointed. It was one of the greatest summers of my life. I saw so much of the world. I experienced it with people I loved. I felt so content. There were ups and downs in between but they were the ups and downs of any happy life. Everything felt perfect and I didn’t want anything to change.

I moved back home. It was kind of hard at first but I thought it’d be better in the long run. It’s funny, I think God directed me to make that decision because He wanted me to stop taking my family for granted. He also knew what was around the bend. This decision also reminded me that it’s ok if my life looks a little different. You don’t have to be like everyone else.

Then the hands of the person I had put all my happiness in were pulled apart and all of that happiness looked more like pain scattered on the floor.

I’m grateful it happened when it did.

I am so glad I did not go on longer that way.

Because when you give one person the power to control all of your being, you sign over your life to them. Your thoughts, your emotions, your moods, your everything.

It was not their fault I had become this way. It was my own. I learned this lesson in the hardest way, but I think God knew the lengths He had to go to in order to get my attention.

I learned I cannot put my worth in the hands of anyone except the One who made me. He is the only One who can tell me what I am truly worthy of and who I truly am.

In the wake of this surprise I felt The Father pick up the pieces of my heart that had fallen to the floor and He put them all back together. He reminded me of who I was. He never failed.

I experienced loss and felt it hit my family in a different way. Another surprise. Another unexpected. But in the middle of that I felt The Father hold us like He never had before. I learned that most times, God  doesn’t take the pain away. But He sits with us and cries with us in it. He is present. 

He doesn’t leave our sides even for a moment. Often times we’re just too angry to see it.

I met new people. God opened my eyes to see the beauty of the people surrounding me. I had ignored a lot of beautiful souls for a while. & I faced a few more disappointments, but He covered them with an assurance that He had something better in store.

Lately God has seemed quiet again. I have felt discouraged. It’s not easy to break that habit of finding validation in someone else and just forget about it. Sometimes, you have to take a few steps back. I realize now how much of my life has been spent looking for what people can give to me instead of what I can give to them — instead of what I can give without expectation in return.

I’m not ending 2018 with incredible clarity or direction or perfect contentment, although I wish I could say I am. I am ending it still confused. I don’t think we should pretend to be where we are not. But I am ending it with so much assurance that 2019 will be better in every way. I am ending it with so much assurance that what He is teaching me now is far more important than what I think I should be experiencing now. I’m ending it with new struggles, but with new grace.

I am ending it with a bravery I never knew before.

2018 taught me that He will forever leave the 99 to find me. That He will hunt me down in my wandering. That He will remove the barriers that keep me from Him.

Because the thing is?

What you think you need in your life might not actually be what you need right now.

You may think you need more friends,

but He is just trying to make you see how much you need Him.

You may think you need to know what you will be doing next year at this time,

but He is just trying to make you see how much you need to learn to trust.

You may think you need someone to understand you,

but He is just trying to make you see that He understands every part of you.

You may think you need more,

but He is just trying to make you see that He is enough.

You may think it is all pointless,

but He is just trying to make you see how much you matter.

& you may think you need clarity,

but your heart just needs Jesus.

It could be your year of victories, or it could be your year of defeat. For me, it was a year of Him saving me from myself. He knows better for me than I know for myself. I don’t know if I could think of a harder – but more valuable – lesson to learn.  I hope I never forget what He taught me.

There are still things that don’t make sense. But I’m sure of one thing,

Next year will be even better.


He gives us what we need

I know you are confused.


You think that if you could just have the answers, you could be at peace.

You think that if everything fell into place the way your heart wanted it and you had your way then your life would be complete and fulfilled. That if the unexpected stopped suffocating you then you could breathe again.

You just want the answers. You want to come up for air, but you took a plunge so deep you’re not sure you can get back to the surface.

You want what you think you need to feel complete.

You are blindsided by what you never thought would come true and your mind is running a hundred miles an hour in every possible direction. You are questioning yourself and wondering if everything is your fault and if you could’ve acted differently to change it all. I know you–I see you–and sometimes, I am you.

It is as if we think that seeing the whole picture could make us happy. We want that thing that God has and that Eve wanted: knowledge–of everything. But what we don’t get is that our limited minds can’t understand plans that great and big and powerful.

He gives us what we need. & what we need is the assurance that He is walking with us through each and every day, ever present, always faithful.

He gives us what we need. & what we need is the confidence that we are His: chosen, loved, worthy, beautiful, and filled with His power.

He gives us what we need. & what we need is not more confirmation from the world or approval from people: it’s the knowledge that nothing can shake us from His love or startle away His opinions of us.

He gives us what we need. & what we need is not clarity as to why something happened the way it did, what we need is the face of Jesus.

He gives us what we need. & as beautiful as His gifts are, sometimes we simply just need Him–all else stripped away.

So even if you are confused. Even if you are hurt, broken, healing, happy, motivated, discouraged, or filled with joy–even if you think you are too far. I know that sometimes it is easy to believe you cannot handle what He has for you in this season. But even still, He will give you what you need. Because you simply need Him, and as painful as it can be when He takes everything else away, it will be the most beautiful thing that will happen to you.



Today is the start of a new month and the change of season. This is the month that the leaves are starting to turn, and so are the pages in your story.  This month is your chance to become the strongest version of yourself and to stop trying to be someone that you were not meant to be. This is your month-I believe in you. Grab a hold of this chance and don’t let go. Who you can become is limitless. It is your chance to breathe in, exhale, and repeat as many times as you need until you are OK. It’s your chance to break down and surrender in the arms of a God who has been pursing you all year long. September is the month for you to realize that He still wants you, and to run back to Him.


This is the month to stop letting voices or opinions or words or choices of others determine who you are. This is the month to breathe, and rest. It is your chance to let any sense of loneliness lead you to the One who designed your heart to feel a little lonelier than you’d wish, so that you’ll come to Him.

It is your chance to surrender all the people pleasing and the fear. It is your month to relinquish control — of your thoughts, your plans, and all you thought your life would — or should — be.

This is going to be a good month, I believe in you–but most of all–I believe in Him. & He is in you. He is strengthening you and He will work all things out for the very best. Remember that His best might never be the easiest thing for your heart to handle — remember that.

I can feel His presence this September. I can feel His peace. I don’t know where your heart was in August, but I know this: He still wants it. And it is never too late to come back to what you know is true. You are the one He leaves the 99 to find. Never forget that.

This September, we will be a people who come back. & we will be a people who remember what we were made for, but most of all who we were made for. We will not seek after answers or clarity more than we will seek after the face of a God who envelopes us in His peace, His grace, and His mercy even when we think maybe His ways are too hard.

So let the pages turn as the leaves do. I know you want to turn back and it’s tempting to re-read the last chapter thinking that maybe He’ll change the ending. Don’t keep turning back. He is doing something incredible in your heart, and a new season is coming. Trust me, there is so much more to come.

I believe in you — but most of all —

I believe in Him.

who do you want to be?

Who do you want to be?

In the core of who you are – where nobody sees – who do you want to be?


It’s a startling question really. To think about all of this. Because the second you start you feel you cannot stop. There is such an infinite reality of things and personalities and characters you can be. There is no limit to the amount of kindness you can grow to hold, no cap on the love that can spill out from your heart, and no stopping the creativity that can flow from your soul.

You hold so much power inside of you. There is so much beauty and potential to grow and become someone and something you never imagined.

I asked myself this question and I’m still scribbling down answers, memories in my head of people who I wished to be like, pictures etched of their joy and kindness and their hearts.

I don’t know where we got so trivial. So focused on the cover of a book. We spend so much time worried about our weight and not enough about how healthy and alive and full of energy we are. We sometimes hate our faces or bodies in the mirror and yet we can’t seem to remember all of the beautiful parts about us. We crave to be seen and heard and known and popular and yet we cannot sit alone with ourselves because our thoughts make our palms all sweaty and we get nervous.

We are beautiful beings bursting with ideas and sentences and pictures in our minds to capture and create and yet we stifle so much of that creativity sitting in front of a screen scrolling mindlessly through accounts of everyone else’s daily celebrations. Somehow we’ve forgotten our own.

We would rather look and see all the ways other people are enjoying their lives than we would embrace the gift that is right in front of us.

Who do we want to be?

I don’t want to be another dreamer who sits still and lets the world take her spirit. I don’t want to be a soul withered from comparison and defeated by my instagram that shows me how monotonous my life is. That is not the person I want to be.

& I think if you are here, you think that too. You don’t want to chase the trivial and float through on empty and shallow visions of what life could be. There is more. You are more. You have so much inside of you, and the world needs to see it. Don’t let it stifle your beautiful words. Don’t let them trample your beautiful art. Don’t let opinions put out the fire that burns inside of you.

Who do you want to be?

You can be her.

Starting now.

15 Quotes to Change your Monday

Nothing fancy here–just a whole lot of words that I love. I hope this collection of some of my favorite quotes inspires you to make this Monday count.

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“My mom said something, ‘you can lie down for people to walk on you and the will still complain that you’re not flat enough.’ Live your life.” -Mature Gambio

“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.” -Max Depree

“Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” -John F. Kennedy

“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.”

-Roald Dahl

“God’s plan for us is usually where our passions, our purpose, and our capabilities intersect.” -Bob Goff

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” -Joseph Chilton Pearce

“Be messy and complicated and afraid and show up anyways.” -Glennon Doyle Melton

“She understood that the hardest times in life to go through were when you were transitioning from one version of yourself to another.”

-Sarah Addison Allen

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” -Nelson Mandela

“Normality is a paved road. It’s comfortable to walk on but no flowers grow on it.” -Van Gogh

“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

“A long time ago I learned not to explain things to people. It misleads them into thinking they’re entitled to know everything I do.” -Lisa Kleypas

“Be kinder to yourself. And then let your kindness flood the world.” -Pema Chodron

“Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.” -Wayne Dyer

& my all time favorite…

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald


You are enough

Do you ever just breathe in and realize right in a single moment, that you are enough? That even if you never did one more thing or accomplished what you want to accomplish — even if you did “nothing” by the world’s standard, that your existence is simply enough? I admit it, I think about it every day: ways I could be a little bit closer to perfect or areas in which I am not doing “enough.”


I tend to shy away from an idea if I know I can’t do it perfectly. In fact, most often I run from something completely even if I could do it well. Because in my mind, doing something well isn’t worth it if I can’t do something perfectly. What if all that I put into my work isn’t enough for some people? What if all that I am doing is never enough?

It is easy to size up how your life is feeling to how someone else’s life is looking. & even if you’re not comparing yourself to someone else, it’s easy to constantly be wishing you could just be better. It’s easy to believe the lie that you are not qualified to step into a dream or calling because you don’t have yourself perfectly together. It is easy to believe that because you are still learning, you can’t teach others what you have learned. And above all, it is easy to believe that you can never reach a point of feeling like you are enough, because there is always something else you could do or a better version of yourself you could be.

In today’s day and age I think that it is so easy for us to idolize people that we learn from, draw inspiration from, or follow online. If you want, you can curate the perfect feed. You can compose blog posts that talk only about the good stuff, and you can share pictures that are edited to the T. You can show everyone your amazing life, your amazing habits, and your amazing relationships. You can leave out the real stuff. You can minimize your mistakes and blemishes. You get to select your content.

We can get caught in a cycle of always reaching for more, thinking that one more promotion will validate us in our career, that one more person will fulfill us when it comes to relationships, or that more recognition will take up the empty space in our hearts when it comes to what we want to achieve.

But no matter how much you achieve, who you know, or what you accomplish, you will never feel as though you are enough if you first don’t believe it when you don’t feel it. 

Believing the truth about yourself isn’t something you save for the days when it’s easy to do. Believing it starts on the days when your heart feels the exact opposite.

That means today.

Believe this: nothing you can ever do can make you more worthy of this life, more beautiful, more worth loving, or more “enough.” When you let that sink in, you can live fully alive in who you are called to be.

Know that you are enough in all of your imperfections,

& nothing you ever do — or don’t do — can change that.


so much more

I have so much.

BE2A3009I spend time. I spend so much of my time looking at all the things I don’t have, instead of all that I do. I pay more attention to all that I am not, instead of all that I am. And I let anxieties about what could be steal my joy away from what actually is.

I am learning-

that I have so much.

I do not stop. I keep running in circles. I have a lot of days where everything feels empty, and yet I can’t pause for long enough to stop and remember my purpose. I am not good at slowing down and being silent. I have grown so used to noise I don’t know what to do with the quiet.  I don’t have time to remember why I am here-and yet how will I ever be who I was made to be if I don’t make that time.

When I realize this,

I realize-

I have so much.

I have a gift. A gift that is irreplaceable and beautiful. A gift that is full of opportunities and chances. Every morning I have breath in my lungs. I have a day full of new chances and opportunities that I overlook and see as ordinary, when they are anything but that. I have a gift,

I have life –

I have so much.

I have a passion. I have a passion, but I bottle it up. I don’t set aside time to do the things I love, because it takes work. Discipline isn’t glamorous. There is always something mindless to do instead. I have a passion, but it isn’t growing because I’d rather do what’s easy.

It makes me realize-

I have so much.

I have love. He knows what makes me, me – and what makes me hurt. He hears it all and listens so patiently. He loves me so well. He is always there. He has never not been there for me when I’ve needed him. He is my biggest encourager and best friend. Yet I find his imperfections to point out and sometimes I spend too much time dwelling on those. I realize how discontent my heart can become when I make it all about me.

It makes me realize-

I have so much.

I have freedom to step into myself. To express my heart in front of an audience of one or one hundred thousand. And yet my eyes are glued to a screen that shows me how every other person is trying to be like every other person, and how I’m falling short. I choose to focus on their success, their joys, their lives – when I could pour so much energy into my own.

Sometimes when I remember this,

I remember-

that I have so much.

I do.

I have so much-

The question is, what am I doing with it?

Will I still have “so much” when I look back a year from now?

Or will I choose to live life differently,

and have so much more?

take your eyes off of everyone else: for the girl comparing herself

I’m not sure why but one of the first things we do when we’re feeling down is make ourselves feel worse. Comparison promises to make us feel satisfied but in reality it distracts us from who we were made to be.

It is hard not to spend all our time caught up in someone else’s success, friend group, money, or opportunities because the internet and social media pours it down our throats every day. If we don’t bring ourselves back to what’s true we will waste so much time chasing someone else’s purpose and miss our own.


If you spend less time focusing on what everyone else is doing, you’ll have more time to become the best version of the person you have been made to be.

Take the energy that you pour into wishing you were someone else or envying an aspect of someone else’s life and start using that to fuel your potential.

The more you do what you were created to do, the less time you have to be concerned with what everyone else is doing.

You will never get anywhere if you are not looking straight ahead. When you look around more than you look ahead, you can’t find your way. You start following everyone else’s path-one day it’s one way, and the next another. You’ll never get anywhere if you are always distracted, chasing all the things that God has put in other people’s lives and ignoring your own life.

There are more beautiful things in your life than you can see right now, because you are not looking for them. You’re looking for the beautiful things in other people’s lives and wishing they were yours because our human hearts want to find goodness somewhere. Purpose offers us greatness. 

This is one of the most challenging things for me–focusing on what my purpose is and shutting out the voices that try to distract me. The voices of comparison, envy, and discontent. But it’s comforting–relieving even, to realize that you don’t have to do it all. You have been given a purpose. Your heart comes alive to something and your Creator knows that. He knows where He wants you. Don’t let the fact that your life might look different keep you from following the desires that He has given you.

& remember this. Every person you are comparing your life to is probably comparing their life to someone else.

The cycle breaks with us embracing who we are, where we have been, and where He has us going! No part of your story or your life right now is a mistake and every season is growing you to accomplish your purpose. I promise He has a purpose for you. When you discover it, you won’t have anymore time for wishing it was something different. You’ll find freedom to embrace who you are inside that truth, because you’ll know why you are here.

Tonight, if you’re scrolling on social media or looking around at everyone else’s life,  I hope you read this.

I hope you remember that no one’s life is as glamorous as you think. That somedays life hurts and that’s ok. That there is no part of you that is accidental. & that when you take your eyes off of everyone else and put your gaze straight ahead, fixing it on the One who made you, you will discover who you were made to be. I promise it will be better than anything you could come up with.

Choose to silence voices of comparison, competition, and discontent. Choose instead to believe that you are right where you are supposed to be, given the gifts you need to accomplish what you were created to accomplish, and most of all that you are made perfectly in His image. Hear Him when He tells you how valuable you are. Take your eyes off the next girl: you are so much more than comparison.


19 things I’ve learned by 19

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  1.  The best way to waste your life is to wish it was different. You’ve spent a long time wishing parts of yourself were different, and all that time you’ve been missing what is right in front of you. Work to change what you can while you embrace where and who you are.
  2.  Your greatest heartaches often turn into your greatest blessings. They will hurt, but wait for the healing, because one day you will a different kind of whole than before you were broken. Cracks in your heart allow more love to pour in.
  3. Life doesn’t hand out do-overs. Today is what you have been given, and you might not get another chance to love the people who are right in front of you.
  4.  Never let approval become more important to you than who you are. You can gain as much popularity or influence as you want, but if you’ve lost who you are you’re only worse off.Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
  5.  A lot of people might not appreciate you. You are not for everyone. But you are for some. Your heart might not be understood by thousands of people.
  6.  You will never figure tomorrow out. Stop holding back your heart from the world. If you do, you’re holding back on of the greatest gifts you can give. A gift that brings more joy the more you give it away.
  7.  Life is sweeter when you let the Lord surprise you. Your life will hardly ever look like you thought or like you think it should.
  8.  Everything–the highs and lows and hurts and joys? It is all leading to your ultimate good if you are in Him. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt or that your heart isn’t still aching. It doesn’t mean nothing is hard, it means that nothing is wasted.
  9. God is who He says He is. He isn’t hiding. He is present, waiting, and ready to welcome you home every time you wander.Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
  10.  Don’t let what people think dictate the person you are or the person you become.
  11.  Your worth is never measured by the influence you have or the amount of people that approve of how you’re living. A lot of people thought Jesus was pretty stupid.
  12. You will make a lot more mistakes than you want. In them, you will find more grace than you ever imagined.
  13.  The world you live in will tell you a lot about yourself. People will give you opinions. Pick a few people you will listen to, and don’t let the others get to you. They can only see a part of who you are. God-He sees every part and every piece of who you are-He has intimate knowledge of you. Commit yourself to Him and not people and their opinions. He has said you are worthy and enough, and called you to walk in that confidence.
  14.  If I think my life is safer in my own hands, I’ve lost sight of who God is.
  15. You will miss your whole life if you are caught up in your own version of who you want to be and how you think everything should play out. Learn to want what He wants for you more than you what you want for yourself.
  16.  Anxiety will never accomplish anything. Your world is in His hands and the most powerful thing you can do is to hand over what you’re worrying about to the One who is in control.
  17. The things you love to do-your passions and what makes your heart come alive–all of those aren’t accidental. He has poured life into you so that you can pour out His love to the world. Pursue what He has given you a heart for. Running after what the world promises will leave you empty. Learning to embrace who you are will change your entire outlook on life.Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
  18.  Only one Person can cure your loneliness. He is the same One who designed your heart to beat the way it did and love the things it loves. He stays up all night to talk when you need to cry. Don’t try to replace Him with people, they were never meant to be your Jesus.
  19.  He knows far better than me. & nothing else matters so much when I remember that.