Tuesday, November 1, 2016

live like it.

Happy Tuesday!

I found my journal from the months I was living with Egypt and even though they are my words, it's like I couldn't stop reading. I was in such a vulnerable place when I was living in Hawaii and Egypt. I know that is because the Lord was doing so much work on my heart and in my life and I was just really easy to mold during that season. As I was reading this particular journal entry I was just reminded of how truly amazing and committed Jesus is to us--even when we don't deserve it. Even when we don't want it, Jesus protects us. He covers us with grace and it was just exactly what I needed to be reminded of. And, I wanted to relive that day in Egypt all over again--but I can't. So, I'll write about it.

We lived in Cairo for the majority of our time in Egypt but we also traveled to Alexandria for a week. Alexandria is one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited. We stayed in a really beautiful home--minus the elevator that played creepy music. The halls were probably 30 feet tall and at least ten feet wide. It was such a beautiful place. We also had wifi that entire week which we weren't use to. Egypt is also 12 hours ahead of us so we would all stay up until 4 AM on wifi and just talk to everyone back home and catch up with social media. There was one night, though, for some reason I couldn't get the wifi to work. Like I mentioned earlier my "God" senses were extremely heightened and I just felt like God wanted me to talk to him for this night. So, that's what I did.

I've (fortunately) never struggled with wanting to fit in or drinking alcohol or drugs or anything extremely "scandalous." The biggest battle I've faced in life is the lie that I'm not enough. I lived in fear for most of my life that I would never be good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, etc. I always cared way too much of what other people thought. I would lose sleep in college over what I thought other people thought of me. I just never had a lot of self confidence. I was so easy to judge other people when they were self conscious and preach to them to "love themselves, Jesus loves you anyway, etc." But, I didn't believe it for myself. There are still days now that I still have trouble believing it for myself. But, I let Jesus teach me how to love myself A LOT over the past six months. I've never been more at peace with who he created me to be, either. 

I was in the car listening to a playlist to a playlist and a song came on called "Live Like You're Loved." A group, Hawk Nelson, sings it. And it hit me right when I needed it to.

"live like you're loved, it's okay to act like you've been set free
his love has made you more than enough, so go ahead and be who he made you to be
and live like you're loved"

...Then, tonight I was reading this journal and it was just a gentle reminder to remember what Jesus has been teaching this year and to remember to not stop growing. It was a reminder to live like I'm loved.

In Hawaii--and in Egypt, we had this rule we preached and practiced. Assume you're loved. Assume that any time someone corrects you that it is out of love and it's because we want to be there for each other and help each other grow. That made our team transparent. That made me have to be honest about a lot of things I didn't like about myself. That also made me feel empowered that my people were cheering me on--even when they were correcting me. I was living like I was loved by God and by my people around me--and it was just a super sweet season that I would repeat in a HEARTBEAT (yes, Jesus, send me back to the middle east, I'll go!!!).

Anyways, part of the entry I'm just going to type here:

[I want my life to scream to the unbelieving that I love Jesus every second of my life. I want my actions and my attitudes to translate to others that I know I'm loved by Jesus and I want to please him, not other people. I don't want to live life hiding behind disbelief anymore. Jesus loves me. I have to start living that way--that's the only way this nation of beautiful people enslaved to a religion that isn't about relationship will know about God. I've gained a new confidence in who I am in Jesus and I want to continue to take a step forward everyday. I want to invite other people into a lifestyle of living like we are loved.]

What do we do to the people we truly love? We want to make them happy. We want to support them, encourage them and please them. If we don't truly love that person, we stop trying. I want to give 100% in everything I do-work, friendships, relationships. I want to live like Jesus is the center of my life.

I've struggled since I've moved back home with decisions. I feel like I've needed to end some dreams and friendships and things like that. I've also gained a lot of new friends since I've moved back. I've gained some new dreams. But, I want to keep Jesus as the focus. I want to live like it. It's hard, though, isn't it? To live like Jesus wants us to. It's not always fun or easy or our first choice. But, I'm telling you--living in Egypt and growing so much in the word and with other believers--and being reminded of that today--I want to continue to press forward and live like that. I want to have a soft confidence that I know who I am now in Christ and that radiates out in every aspect of who I am.

Maybe it's hard for you, too. Maybe you're getting out of a relationship that you let define you for a while. Maybe you're walking away from a group of friends who don't speak truth to you. Maybe your job isn't where you feel called to. Maybe, maybe, maybe. I could think of 100 maybe's. But, for every maybe I have an answer--cling to Jesus harder than you ever have before. Pray. Don't just like good morning/good night pray. TALK to Jesus. And, then, listen to Jesus. He'll speak to you but we have to listen. 

If you need prayer, let me know. I'm not good at a lot of things but I mean woah, Jesus is my best friend. So, we talk a lot. It would be an honor to pray for you. Or just listen to your situation. I know sometimes for me (especially with this blog) it helps to just get it out.

Just a gentle reminder I'm on your side. Whatever your dream or goal is, I'm cheering for you. I genuinely want what's best for you. And that's exactly what Jesus wants for you, too. So, go on--live like you're loved. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

i'm not political.

i am not political. i use to be, i use to be that annoying alabama republican that would post annoying long three paragraph statuses about how wrong every liberal or democrat in the world was. yep. not my shining moment. but i've learned a lot about life lately and i've grown more in the past six months than i have in my entire life. and with all the political posts and videos and statuses, i realized, i am not political. 

(don't worry dad, still a forever registered republican)

all i am saying is there's more to it than being 'political.' america has gotten so caught up with who is the bigger 'bad guy.' i mean, obviously, look at our candidates. the presidential election has turned into a popularity contest. who has the most money? who has the most friends on the inside? who can get the most likes on facebook? i was thinking about the election more than usual after the debate last night when all the talk about late term abortion came up. and that whole topic, i mean WOW, that's a whole other post. but, like, Jesus wasn't famous. he wasn't popular. he wouldn't have been the most liked guy on facebook. but oh goodness did he know how to lead. and you know what he did? he led by example.

i'm reminded of my sweet leaders while living in Egypt. i have a whole series of living in Egypt that will be posted on another blog really soon and i'm SO excited to share more about what we did and what i learned. but, back to my leaders--matt and christina. i have met few people in my life that pushed and inspired and led me as well as they did. they set boundaries to keep us safe. they prayed for our team every day. they sacrificed more than anyone of the team members ever really knew. who else led like that? 

Jesus did.

i'm not political. i don't even want to say i'm religious. i'm in a relationship following the perfect example of what a leader is.

i'm not going to vote on a politician based on what they say. i want a leader to LEAD. by EXAMPLE. i want a leader of America who isn't afraid to go out on a limb and fight for our country and keep our military safe. i want a leader who goes hard after the refugee crisis we are facing. i want a leader who is forgiving and accepting and brave and a leader who uses discernment and by all means i want a leader that loves Jesus.

and the more i think about it, why aren't more of us being leaders in our everyday lives? we have the capacity to be better leaders everyday. you are a leader to SOMEONE in your life. it could be your younger siblings, your co workers, your children, etc. Someone is looking up to you as a leader. 

we've gotten so lazy in america. we want to post a status about how we are voting for the right option. we take part in tearing down other citizens on social media because we are 'right.' right? but how many of us are sincerely fighting and advocating for what we want to see change?

a big part of our ministry in Egypt was working with Syrian and Sudanese refugees. before i left for Egypt i will admit i had a negative outlook on refugees. i assumed that each of them were muslim extremists who wanted to kill all the christians and they were staged as refugees to look helpless. that was SO wrong of me to have that preconceived idea of what a people group were. 

the first night we visited Sudanese center and met with the leader he showed us a video of the war going on in Sudan that is driving millions of natives to surrounding countries. i had tears pouring down my face the entire time the video was playing. i had never felt more compelled to act on the injustice. it is unjust what is happening in Sudan. and you know why? it's a political battle and struggle. what if they stopped being so political and started loving people the way God created us to? there would be no war. there would be no politics.

i've been praying a lot about what the next season in life will be for me. i have so many amazing opportunities in front of me and i want to make the right choice. i want the world to be a better place. i want to be a part of the change. 

i felt like i was a part of the change when i lived in Egypt. like mentioned above, the Sudanese and Syrian people taught me so much about life. they taught me about fighting for justice. they taught me how to love better. they taught me how to be a better person. because, to them, the war was political. the war was personal. they were fighting for their country to be like it was at one time. they had more hope and faith in humanity than i have ever have. 

they made me not want to get so caught up on being political or being a fan of someone. i want to be a fan of humanity in general. 

so, i want to stop being political and i want to be part of the change. i want to fight to give the people of Syria and Sudan a voice. i want to fight for the girls being sold into sex slavery that they will not have to go through that. i want to fight for our country to see the love of God in every day life. i want people to be fair--because every soul is equal.

we had the perfect example. Jesus. he fought for the needy. he prayed for the sick. he shared with the poor. he sat with the hated. he talked with the quiet. he wasn't political and he saved human kind. :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


dear girl.

yes ma'am, that means you. oh, and you, too. and your sister and her friend and her brother's wife, too. this is just some thoughts i've been gathering lately in my mind and i felt like it was time to get those darn things on paper. errr. on the internet?

anyways. being a girl is hard. i'm not one to ever play the poor, pitiful girl card because being a girl is awesome. it's fun. it's exciting. 


i've never been filtered while writing on this blog space. and that has always been my heart--to be unfiltered. whether you think i'm messy or brave or shy or dumb, i've wanted to be unfiltered. you know why? because it's hard to be vulnerable. and being vulnerable means talking about the messy parts of life that you probably never want to talk about with anyone but your own mind or best friend or mama. i get that, too. i try to keep as much as possible to myself because i honestly don't think that many souls are that interested in what i had for dinner. let's be real, you know it was tacos. 

but, back to the subject of this blog. girls. it's hard to be one. it's hard to go through life comparing every single aspect of who you are to every other girl on planet earth. (disclaimer: not saying dudes don't go through this, but i'm not a dude, so...) I wake up every single day and scroll through social media and my time lines are filled with gorgeous women. i walk past tons of girls in person who are beautiful every day. and i instantly compare. 

"her hair is longer" "she is skinnier" "she has better teeth" "she's just BETTER"

i mean, rightful so, yeah? i can always lose more weight, have better clothes, have better hair, etc. 

but these are all worldly standards. these are physical things that cause me to stumble every day. i was having a rough day just today with some things someone i've never met said about me. i was in tears asking God why i couldn't be more like this girl or that girl. and as clear as i've ever heard God, i heard him say 'well, i made you just the way i wanted to. you're enough. you're brave. you're beautiful. you're kind. you're worthy. i didn't put any of those standards on you. you put them on you. the world did, the devil did but i didn't. so please, stop fighting me and listen to what i think of you."

and then i cried some more because, you know, i'm a girl.

i've written posts about mean spirited girls before. since this blog, i regularly receive hate mail. i have people who take the time to sit at a computer and type me messages that i pray no one ever receives. they tell me how ugly i am, how this man will never love me, how i'll never make it in Nashville, how much of a disappointment i am, etc. those messages had stopped for a while--and obviously i was happy about that. but then, in the past few months since moving back from Egypt it's like the negative emails have returned with a vengeance. it's worn me down. it's not ok to do that to a girl. it's not fair to put any more pressure on a soul than they already have. it's not ok to tell a girl to kill herself. it's NOT OK. 

so, maybe i can be a voice of hope and reason for others going through that. i am not playing the victim card. there will always be people who are not fans of me as a person--and that is ok. but i can honestly say that i have never, NEVER intentionally sought someone out to cut them down and be mean. that has never been my intentional or my purpose in life. so, if you've ever felt that way by me--i apologize.

i build this image or personality or whatever of never being broken or hurt or sad. and i mean, 100% of the time, i am happy. i know my identity in Christ. i know he loves me. i know that everything is part of a bigger plan. but girls, i am so worn out of fighting back to prove to people that i'm good enough. that i'm simply enough. it's like i sit up and wait for a comment or a text or a message from people that says i love you, good job, you did it. in reality, a man died on a cross for me (and you, and everyone in the whole whole world) over 2000 years ago. His arms were stretched out as far as they could possibly reach. he was screaming he loved me. why isn't that enough? why isn't it?

it is. it so is. please, if you don't know that, figure it out. pray. ask Jesus to show you. he will. he craves your attention. and he's screaming that he loves you. 

i'm given too much time and miles and feelings to people who will simply never give that much back. and it made me resentful for a while. this person isn't giving as much as me. this person isn't putting in as much time as me, etc. you know what though? how many times do we think that and Jesus is thinking the same thing? 'i died for her and she still questions her purpose.' 'i answer her prayers and i never hear thank you.' 'i showed her true love and all she does is return to empty lust'

stop running back to the same man that broke your heart and just left. stop trying to fix him. stop giving yourself to someone who isn't who God has for you. stop crying over someone who didn't realize you are full of purpose and beauty.

stop caring about what car you drive. stop caring about what sorority you're in or what lunch table you're at. stop caring if you're eyebrows are on fleek or if your highlighter is just right. stop trying to be the regina george of life.

be kind. be humble and polite and gracious and understanding and listening and comforting.

you have something in you that other girls need. your story is a part of your testimony and God gave you that story to change other peoples stories--for the better. 

thank ya Jesus for not leaving me where you find me. and thank you for meeting me every time.

ladies, it's my mission to be the nice girl on another level. girls rock. you do. you rock. if you are going through a tough time, please message me, text me, email me, something--i would LOVE to pray for you. i would be honored too. i'm not good at a lot of things but by golly i can pray.

ps- Jesus is obsessed with you


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

you never know.

hey. hello. hi.

I've been struggling the last few weeks with whether I wanted to start blogging again--or not. I've always LOVED writing, obviously, which is why I started this blog. And, I guess like most writers, I go through seasons of writing every day and then writing nothing at all. But, life has been happening lately and I've been loving it and wanted to start writing again.

I moved back to Alabama about two months ago from Hawaii. Before that, I lived in Egypt for several months--for those of you sweet souls that stumbled across this blog and are new. I plan on doing a lot more writing about my time in Egypt but I think that will come in time. For now, though, I just wanted to write a little encouragement. For myself, first off, because I need encouraging but to anyone else who may need some encouragement as well.

I've posted several statuses on Facebook the last few months about how much I love my job and the people I work with and life in general. People I went to high school with, people I barely know and even a few people I work with messaged or texted me asking if I made it back to Nashville full time in the music world yet because I seemed so happy. Well, jus to clear the air on that one, I am not in Nashville right now. I'm in sweet lil' Montevallo on my family farm and I'm loving every minute of it. Nashville is such a reality and it's so close and it's making me want to work every second I can to save and get there 100%. My heart beats faster there and I'll stand by the statement until the day I meet Jesus.

But, for now--I'm in Birmingham working for the GREATEST group of retina doctors and I am honestly loving every minute of it. I love my co-workers, I adore the doctors and the patients teach me things every day. It really is such a treat to work for good people and work with people who love Jesus, too. Of course, not every day is the perfect day but I learned so much in Egypt that I feel like I'm having the opportunities now to walk out daily here. Happiness is a choice. We wake up in the morning and decide how we are going to feel that day. We can decide to see every person as a miracle of Jesus--because they are--or we can see them as burdens. I was praying a few weeks ago that Jesus would give me eyes to see people the way he sees them and he has done that.

I will say working in a hospital it is easier to see that because you are "helping" people for a living but oh my goodness what joy I've experienced since returning from Egypt and just getting to be around people. I took SO much for granted living in America--and living in Egypt taught me that. I just want to live each day to its full capacity. I want people to see Jesus in me. I want to be Jesus to someone who needs him everyday.

I also learned so much about forgiveness and releasing people from the expectations we have of them while in Egypt. I trust way too easy in most situations and I choose to believe the best in people. Since moving back, I've been hurt by some people that I never thought had the capacity to hurt me--and I had to do a lot of praying and a lot of forgiving. But, guess what--I made the choice to forgive them and move on. Forgiving them doesn't excuse their behavior but it does release me from carrying that hurt anymore. And, it's been the most freeing and rewarding thing ever. I've also embraced people that I never thought I would never get to know. And again, let me tell you, those people have been the biggest blessings in my life.

This post, as usual, is me rambling about life. But, I just feel like I've grown so much even since moving back to America and I just wanted to jot it down and try my best to do a little encouraging.

Each of you were designed by a God who loves every fiber of you. You are fought for by a God who sent his ONLY son to die for you. And, he would've died if you were the only person alive. God has such a plan for your life, such a purpose, such a beautiful plan. And he has one for me, too. I just know that I needed a reminder and maybe you did, too. Choose happiness. Choose to help people. Choose to be Jesus to someone. You never know what someone is going through. They may have simply decided not to be happy that day--or one of their best friends have juts died. Don't be so quick to judge. Give people the benefit of the doubt without letting them run all over you.


PS. I still love music, yes. And, yes, lots of that will be featured on here, soon.


Sunday, May 8, 2016

walk on the water, too

27 But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.”

 28 Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.”

 29-30 He said, “Come ahead.”

Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!”

 31 Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?”

 32-33 The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The dis-ciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, “This is it! You are God’s Son for sure!”

-matthew 14:27-33

Isn't Jesus fun? He let Peter walk on the water--for fun. And why? Peter had the faith that he could do so because of Jesus. What happens the second he takes his eyes off Jesus? He started to sink.

Friends, I don't know about you-- but goodness, I am tired of taking my eyes off of Jesus. I miss out on far too many opportunities for the kingdom of God when my eyes are venturing to other things and not fixed on Jesus. I don't want to miss one second more of the glory Jesus has for me on this earth. I want to experience it all, all that he has for me.

If you are a new reader here or somehow stumbled on this post, you may not know that I'm currently living in the Middle East for 3 months as part of a discipleship training school. I spent the first three months of this year in Kona, Hawaii in "lecture phase" and am now living here until June.

((hope that brings you up to speed a little, of course, as usual, email me if you have any more questions!!))

Living in the Middle East has not been on my top 5 easiest life decisions. It is extremely hard most days living and trying to witness to people in a closed nation. It's hard that-as women-you have to dress a certain way (especially when it's over 100 degrees a lot of days). It's hard to learn a new culture where you can't cross your legs or say certain names/places or even walk too close to a male in public without being judged.

It's hard---see a theme?

But goodness, is it rewarding. I do not regret one single day of living here. It's hard, yes. But I wouldn't trade a single moment of it. I grew up in a baptist church and was baptized when I was five. And, yes, we believe and we love and we serve and we worship Jesus. But, for me, personally, I didn't think Jesus still performed miracles. Or, I guess he did but only in revivals in Africa. Surely not in the United States or in the Middle East and surely not in front of my eyes. But that's such a lie. I've seen two miraculous healings since living here and I've seen 15 salvations in just 4 weeks.

I've written about it here many times but I need to expand on it a little more today, if that's ok. I've written that it's been relatively easy for me to love Jesus my entire life. I've struggled with things like any girl has but for the most part, Jesus has always been number one. I was raised that way, my parents lived that way, I knew that way. I've had the Lord's protection on me for my whole life and it's been a FUN and EXCITING decision/journey to follow him. I've been protected from a lot of brokenness and other disasters of the world simply because Jesus has always been enough for me. I didn't need the word to fill me, I knew Jesus was good enough. But, it wasn't until recently that I also came to the knowledge that Jesus is also worth it.

He's so worth it.

He's my first love. He's got every piece of my heart. He's the first one I want to go to with problems. He's my Heavenly Father who knit me together and he knows that tacos and country music and Nashville and my nieces make my heart beat a few beats faster. He knows that onions, to me, are not my favorite. He knows every, little detail about me. So, why did I not know every little detail about him?

Lecture phase of discipleship school wrecked my world. It made me realize I had an awesome head knowledge of who Jesus was but I didn't have the heart knowledge of Jesus. I could half way quote you the four gospels but I couldn't tell you what was on the heart of God. I knew all the right book answers but lacked a serious relationship with Jesus where I had to trust him. I didn't need to trust Jesus to come through because I had most of life figured out--in my head.

I was reading Matthew 14 one day in March and realized that Jesus did still do miracles today and that he uses regular people like me and Peter. The difference between Peter and I is that he had the faith and I didn't. It shook me a little. I wrestled with that realization for a few days before tucking it away and deciding that I had enough faith, to pull it together and to continue on.

Fast forward 6 weeks and the same passage came back to my mind tonight. There is such a power that comes with putting all of your faith in Jesus. A supernatural power. Jesus wants to use his people to perform miracles--everyday. He wants to use me in the Middle East in a closed nation as much as he wants to use me (and you!!) in Nashville or Montevallo or Kona or wherever you live, too. He wants to use us. We have to have faith, though. I don't know about you but I want to have so much faith that I can walk on the water, too.

It's not an unattainable faith, either. I'm trying my best to walk it out everyday. I want to have so much faith that people question it. I want it to look like a faith they've never seen before. I want that because I want Jesus to be seen. I want people to meet Jesus so much. I want to have so much faith that I hear Jesus telling me to approach a Muslim to pray for healing or to tell my waitress at Chuy's that Jesus wants her to know she's chosen and beautiful. There is no limit on how or where you can use your faith. Just use it. Walk it out.

Oh goodness how sweet of a season this entire year has been. I have never been more sure of who I am as a daughter of God. I've never had more of a passion to introduce people to Christ. I've never experienced and heard God as clear as I have in the past few weeks. And the fun part is--as my faith grows, so will the power.

Jesus told us to have faith--so I am. I am putting it here as a space to be accountable to anyone who reads this and sees me not acting in faith from here forward. Too many souls hang on someone just smiling or saying one word to them or having enough faith to share Jesus with them. Too many people are walking the fence of right and wrong. The fence belongs to the devil, too, you know? I want so much faith that I go after those souls and pull them as quickly as I can to the side of the fence where Jesus is. Faith is not always easy, no. But goodness is it worth it. There's no more fear in my heart that I'll look silly when trying to tell someone about Jesus. There's no fear in praying anymore. I know who I am in Christ and I know he delivers on his word, every single time. But, in return, he's asking me everyday to increase my faith.

That's my challenge, to my soul, and to yours--is to increase your faith. Approach that friend and encourage them. Invite that co worker to church. Pay for the car behind you in the drive through. Pray for someone when you say you will. Share the gospel with someone you don't know. Love in such a radical way that people stop you and ask you why.

I've learned so much about the heart of God in the past few months it's revolutionizing my life--and I have the rest of my life to learn more and more about him. What a privilege. What a call on my life--and yours. Be Jesus to someone. Have more faith. Everyday, pray it out. Take chances, increase your faith because it produces power. It produces healing. It produces salvation.

It means you can walk on the water, too.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

you're enough.

   It's 10:52. All six roomies are tucked in bed and presumably sleeping. Except me. As I climbed into my (surprisingly) comfy top bunk, I'm in awe of Jesus. I'm in awe of everything He is doing in my life. I'm in awe that He cares so much that He will come and meet us in any moment, big or small, if we just LET Him. He's a good, good Father. He has so much in His hands that He's waiting for us to ask for so we can receive. That's the beautiful thing about God, He created us yet He doesn't force His love or gifts on us. It's our choice--but sweet friends, I beg you to release your white knuckled, clinched fists and take everything He has for you. Take hold of the truths, of the promises and of the life He freely gives and run after Him with everything you have.

   I am sorry I've been absent from this little realm of the Internet for so many weeks. I've sat down each weekend to type summaries of the weeks and somehow haven't been able to process through all the information in an uniform way that would even make sense on this little blog of mine. And, to be honest, I am not sure that any line of words that I am stringing together tonight will make any sense but goodness gracious His love is filling me to the brim of my entire being and all I want to do is write it down. Even if it doesn't make complete sense, I want to tell you how much Jesus is doing here--and how good He is.

   To be completely honest, I didn't think coming 5,000 miles away from home to a tiny little island in the middle of the ocean to go to missionary school was going to change me. I "knew" God. I've led worship on Sunday mornings, I taught every chance the church doors were open, I was the good girl, I had it together. Excuse me, I was wrong. God has wrecked me--in the sweetest, most gentle way possible. I don't know why it took 10,000 dollars and 6 months away from home before it could happen but oh how happy I am that it happened. I had so many lies spoken over my life that I believed for so long. I didn't even realize it. I had the right job, the right car, the right friends and connections and the right clothes. I had it together. My Bible was perfectly highlighted and I could watercolor a perfect Bible verse to post on Instagram to draw hundreds of likes. And while those aren't necessarily sins, they weren't truth. You don't have to drive a BMW or go to a private school or have a apartment on Broadway or the newest Marc Jacobs for God to meet you. If doesn't matter how many followers you have on social media. All that matters is that your heart is yearning with every beat for more of God. 

   I've been believing the lie that I have to perform for God to meet me and love me. My entire life I have been trying to perform to win approval of people. I thought I had to have the BEST everything, the highest grades, the best friends, the most popular blog--to be loved. What lies. Sweet friends, if I could just stare into your eyes and beg you to not believe such lies, I would spend the right of my days looking you in the eyes. God meets you where you are--in your high rise condo or on the streets in Kona, Hawaii. He's been using so many beautiful souls here to gently start speaking truths into my life. 

   And while gentle reminders had softened my heart, He took a sledgehammer to the concreted lies in my soul today to tell me the most beautiful truth of all--

You are enough. 

   Not me, though. I thought. You know what? Our honesty doesn't intimate or scare God. Our honesty positions our hearts for breakthrough. 

   There has been so much freedom today in speaking those words out. There's freedom in others speaking those words over me, too. I am enough. Yes, I sin daily and I desperately need a Savior but I am enough. He isn't disappointed in me trying. He's basking in my trying. The example was presented today that when a child is learning to walk and they fall down, the parent doesn't get disappointed that the child falls. No, not at all. They focus on the trying--on the one of three baby steps that the child accomplished. What a beautiful picture of how God sees us. He isn't focusing on us falling. He is championing us each baby step of the way. You're enough, you're enough, you're enough--He is whispering that with every baby step we take. 

    What a weight that has been lifted by accepting and believing that truth. There are pages and pages of notes from amazing speakers that I will try to organize into a mini blog series later of all the neat truths and blessings and lessons I've learned so far but for now, for tonight, I want you to simply know you are enough. I am enough. Three simple words that can change your life if you'll let Him. 

The Lord is so faithful. He is so forgiving and teaching and humbling. Do not believe that you have to perform one more second to be worthy of love. Do not give up when you fall down. You are worthy of every drop of love this world can give you. You are worthy enough to the Creator of the universe that He sent His son who willingly gave up His rights and ultimately His life to tell you-- you are enough. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

aloha ll week one.

Aloha friends :) 

It feels good to be able to say that word again. 

I arrived in Kona, Hawaii last Thursday at basically midnight and have just finished the first week of DTS (Discipleship Training School) here at University of the Nations. I kept going back and forth on whether I would post weekly updates or not but decided it would be fun to post updates and not be radio silent for the next six months.
Disclaimer: When we go on outreach for three months there is a strong possibility that I will not be able to post due to no internet or wifi BUT I am definitely going to update when possible. 

I have always tried to be vulnerable when writing--especially in this space. It's easy to put a front up when writing for Lucky Magazine or other websites because to an extent--I am trying to sell what I am saying. Here, though, in this little space on the internet, I've always felt incredibly safe to share the good days and the bad ones, too. 

I absolutely cried the entire first three days here. I am not even being dramatic. I was comfortable at home. I was finally in the groove of having an amazing job, awesome group of friends and just a sense of belonging. I've made notes about being comfortable in my journal several times over the past few months and I've been praying to never be comfortable because I don't want to be complacent, either. I do know we serve and love a BIG and a REAL God because He let me get real uncomfortable--and fast.

The first weekend we got to spend at one of my favorite beaches here on the Big Island-Hapuna Beach. It was such a fun time to get to know all of my classmates. I've been so blessed by their stories and testimonies and we are only one week in. Living with six other girls is an adjustment when you aren't use to sharing anything but they are all incredibly lovely girls and they all LOVE Jesus and I'm so happy to be doing life with them for the next season.

Each week we will be discussing a different topic and this week it was on communicating with God. Friends, I've been wrecked. I've loved Jesus and asked Him to live in my heart when I was a mere 5 year old girl asking my daddy to lead me in prayer. And, goodness, I have loved Him since. I've always known He was who He says He is and that He is enough. BUT, there is a whole other level of LOVING and COMMUNICATING with God that I have missed. I've terribly failed at communicating with God in the ways that are available to us. Yes, I did my devotion and I prayed to God and I've always done my best to obey Him. But, beyond that, there hasn't been a deep relationship. It has been very surface level with God. And that's not the way He wants my relationship to be. He never sleeps, He never rests. He is always, ALWAYS fighting for our hearts. He loves us so much and wants to communicate with us on a daily basis. I'm four days into this new way of learning to communicate with God and while it's extremely frustrating when I think I'm not hearing from Him, it's okay. It's not a process that I'll ace overnight. It's about a day by day decision to choose to be in relationship with Him. Our speaker, Mike Brown, said a statement earlier this week that stood out so much. He said "Jesus is worth throwing everything else away and running wholeheartedly towards Him."

That's it. I've been missing the communication with God because I'm not devoting the right amount of time to Him. Just like with any earthly relationship, we have to take time with it. We have to communicate and we also have to listen. I'm not content with where I am at anymore. I want God to use every second of my life until I die to bring Him glory. I don't want my name or my self to get in the way. It has to be all about Him. God has way better plans for my life than I have. And, it may not look like I thought it would and it may not BE where I thought it would, BUT, it is SO much better. 

This is the beginning of a long and painful yet beautiful process of learning to fall in love with the One who created my heart all over again. I am so excited to see what the next 11 weeks look life before we leave on outreach. We will know locations in the next few weeks and when/if I can, I will definitely keep everyone updated as well. I'm nervous about this part of it because it's all about having more faith and trust--and I honestly lack in said areas. But, I know that God's hand is in this and I know that it's going to be messy and painful and amazing all at once. And, I've never been more excited to pursue Jesus for a set aside season to learn how to love Him better, to learn how to communicate with Him better and then how to take that love and relationship to the Nations. Thank you everyone so much for all the prayers and sweet emails of encouragement. If there are any ways that I can be praying for you, please let me know. :)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

jan 2016 playlist.

Happy Sunday, friends. Isn't it crazy that it's already three whole days into 2016? Yes, I did have to delete 2015 four times before I finally got the 2016 part right.

I'm sorry that I've been so absent from the blogging world for a while. Holidays and family and friends and traveling (oh and did I mention having to pack for a 6 month relocation to Hawaii) have pushed blogging to the bottom of the list.

I have been getting so many fun emails from readers asking me what's been on my playlists lately because y'all are so interactive on social media and have seen me posting about some newer artists like Jacob Davis and Luke Combs.

So, I decided to make a playlist of who I'm really digging right now. And, since I am moving to Hawaii on Thursday, I figured I would name the playlist "traveling tunes." It doesn't mean that you can only listen to it while traveling, of course. I will attach the playlist from Spotify as well below so y'all can follow along there BUT I also encourage you to purchase these artist's music on ITunes--that helps everyone!

 I've been able to connect with an AMAZING female artist, Kelleigh Bannen. Y'all, she needs another post dedicated to her because she is the epitome of what a darling friend and sister in Christ is. I've been SO encouraged by her and cannot wait to see what this year brings for her. I'm sure if you follow Luke Bryan or Cole Swindell that you may already be introduced to her. But, if not, take some time to check her out. She's got a voice of an angel. She also has the most darling blog that you can check out here, too.

There are some newer guys included on this playlist that I've been able to connect with and see play in the past month or so that I really enjoy their music. Luke Combs, Sam Grayson and Blaire Hanks are three of those guys. As much as I enjoy their music, I can also say that they have good souls--and that is even more of a reason that I want you guys to listen to them!

Of course, there are some staple tunes from our main guy, Sam Hunt. He released a killer acoustic version of "Break Up in a Small Town" that makes you fall in love with the tune all over again. "Cop Car" was recorded by Urban but Sam's acoustic live version of the song is amazing.

And, of course, any good playlist has a ballad or two, so make sure you give Lacy Cavalier's "Put You Down" a spin or two (or 1200). And since I'm really 16 years old on the inside and listen to Radio Disney, I'm pumped that a great role model like Lacy is on there for the next generation of music lovers.

Lastly, one guy on the playlist that only makes one appearance (because that's all Spotify has!!) is Jacob Davis. Jacob is an incredible artist with an amazing band that I'm happy to be able to call friends. They are really hitting the ground running this year and they are giving away Jacob's CD for free. It's an incredible group of songs and his fan group, the Squad, would LOVE to send you one. If you want a FREE copy, simply email me at

and I will send the Squad your info and get your CD to you as soon as possible.

As big of a year that country had in 2015, I am so excited to see all these amazing artists included in the playlist below continue to be front runners for the genre in 2016. Hope this helps several of you who have been asking. Like I mentioned above, make sure to pick up the singles that you can on ITunes and support these artists. Also, make sure to email me if you would like me to send your info to Jacob's people ASAP. Happy Sunday!!