still i rise | no. 7

dear july —

i. who am i?… why does it seem my work is so tied to who i am? yes, my work ethic draws characteristics, but who am i and what am i at my core? what makes me…me?

ii. just allow yourself to be… just being you, whatever that looks like. learn to separate yourself from the things that you do so that you can thoroughly know, understand, and believe that you are enough without any of the extra stuff that you do. if God loves you before you were even born, before you had the capability of doing anything, He loves you the same even as you have the capability of doing everything.

iii. we aren’t very good at resting… what does it mean to be at rest in this restless spirit and world of mine? what does rest even mean? doing nothing leads to laziness, filling my mind with busy thoughts leads to an ill spirit. do i just sit in solemn silence? 

v. they flaunted me as a mom too… and yes my flesh does feel proud, but inside, i cringe. what happened to team? 

v. royalty… we are royalty, yet i don’t feel like royalty. am i royalty? then that still but present whisper reminds me, i’m not entitled to feel or be treated like royalty. i simply am.

vii. it hurts it hurts it hurts… they ask if i’m okay and i say yes but how can i, when my insides are stabbing searing pain and all i can do is curl into a ball and squeeze my eyes shut. but even when it hurts like hell, i’ll praise You. 

x. sanctification at work… in progress of healing, yet looks and feels better. so maybe we need to push through. the breaking of us can truly be the building of us. He makes us new…

xi. turn your worry into worship, pain into praise… through it all my eyes are on you, there’s nothing i hold onto, i want more of you, God. i believe you’re my healer, i believe you are all i need.

xii. feeling like Job and juggling hope and despair… i am sorry to see your face twisted in anguish, fighting the pain, crying with questions. but it amazes me how even so, you choose to praise. when hope seems far, you choose to speak His name in faith. your praise will ever be on my lips.

xvi. it does not suffice… i got a bomb in my inbox and my shields go up. questions fly and i become disengaged, no longer even pursuing or hoping or believing. if He made a way when there was no way, will He really do it again?

xvi. are you attending college or not?… your words always have a way of stabbing a knife into one’s back and that’s exactly what i feel right now. stabbed, and pinned to the wall. hope you have not given up. 

xvii. You will stay true, even in the chaos… Your word remains truth even when my mind wreaks havoc…

xviii. meeting up… i trust and i pray that we were divinely orchestrated to spend the next year together.

xviii. sunflowers… we brought you sunflowers and honestly, they made my day. i can’t imagine all the questions or thoughts you had to wrestle within yourself to say yes to what today entailed. but you are brave and you hold a lot inside.

xix. learning to trust in the mist of unexpected uncertainty. peace, bring it all to peace. 

xix. how are things?… melting into hugs, coveting prayer, letting off the load in His presence. i rush out of the room… she sees my tears. it will be okay. i’m here for you. 

xx. knowing Papa’s love in a whole new way. i am so thirsty, so desiring, so yearning, so quenching for love. when all you see is pain, you lose sight of Me… yes, the garden is a mess. it’s wild and wonderful and perfectly in process. this mess is you. 

xx. i always marvel at His timing. like that night he talked of Sean, this night seemed so divinely timed as well. and maybe so well timed because i haven’t yet gotten over it yet. you’re not stuck because you can’t, you’re stuck because you won’t. have i? will i? please give me strength because i know this is all from You and i can’t do this alone. you don’t have to do this alone. I’m here with you… 

xxii. utterly low and utterly broken… oh God, meet me in this place that i’m in.

xxii. faith is not by sight, you said… why am i wavering like the wind? why am i losing sight of the promise of Your faithfulness? when all i see right now is looming clouds, where is the Light? thank you for speaking truth to me. for hand-in-hand prayers. for being a tall pillar of faith when i am weak. ❤

xxii. will you say yes to God or turn from His call? i felt a tug, and obeyed. would you like me to pray for you? Charise, she said. and then her hands in my hands, i prayed. God blesses our yes.

xxiii. if the wind goes where You send it so will i, if the rocks cry out in silence so will i, if creation still obeys You so will i…

xxiv. do not be afraid, do not be discouraged… you are looking at uncertainties, letting them unnerve you. fear and discouragement are waiting alongside your pathway into the future — ready to accompany you if you let them. grateful. and i woke up to thy will be done and you texted me the same. ❤

xxiv. they’re blowing up outside and i’m blowing up inside… steady my heart. 

xxv. 365… i’m grateful for so much. i’m grateful, ultimately, for how the Lord brought us together. i’m grateful for shared loves and shared passions – for our Savior, worshipping Him, and crafting words into art that express and heal the soul. grateful for trust, heart to hearts, accountability, and soul sisterhood. for the times our hearts resonate and are bound by the Spirit. for times of prayer, reading Scripture together, being in agreement with Him. you encourage me, inspire me, and sharpen me in so many ways. we rise and fall and learn and grow together and it’s so worth it. i love your squishie Care Bear cuteness for you. your beauty, your artistry, your strength. and the way we can laugh, cheshire grin, and fall off floors together brings such joy. thank you for stand by you and the broken beautiful and listening to them together. for always being there to listen, and trusting me enough to share your open and honest heart. thank you for grace, for seeking joy, for planting seeds, for being light. you are my honey bun, and you drizzle my days with sweet honey each and every day, you are the kaya to my toast, my bugaboo, and my little monster. and i love you mucho than muches and moster than mostest, babes. ❤

xxvii. in the crushing, in the pressing, You are making new wine… the worship screamed surrender and trust and the weight of the world came off as tears streamed. she spoke of return to surrender and it was then i said, okay God – your will be done, i will return the glory to You – whatever happens. and in the beauty of it all, despite shaky reception that whole weekend, one bar wavered to two. texts popped up, emails came in. all was well, the situation had passed through. worship came on again, this time screaming You are worthy and i’ve seen You move, You move the mountains and my heart and my lungs screamed out with abandon along with the thousands of others shouting His name. God you’re so good, you’re so good to me.

xxviii. being donned the mom… plus times with my wifey and pouring salt on my fam. sharing roses and thorns and belly laughing just because. and triumphing in my first battle of laser tag. though the day was full of hard conversations, needed reminders, and wretched tears, at the end of the night it felt good because this is the body.

xxix. sunrises and morning worship… and crazy dance parties on the bus. where there is new wine, there is new power. 

xxx. incredibles ii… spontaneously. my family is incredible. ❤

xxxi. encouragement spoken to another yet needed as much for me… courage and being brave don’t mean there will be no fear or no longing for something else or somewhere else but it means pushing through boldly making His strength your strength each step of the way


i know you’re good but this don’t feel good right now and i know you think of things I could never think about it’s hard to count it all joy, distracted by the noise just trying to make sense of all your promises. sometimes i gotta stop, remember that you’re God and i am not so thy will be done [thy will be done]

make me a vessel, make me an offering, make me whatever you want me to be. i came here with nothing, but all you have given me, Jesus bring new wine out of me. [new wine]

slipping by | pt. 2

dear february —

xii. i was lost in my worshipping. when she wrapped her arm around me and held me in tight embrace it was a rather pleasant surprise. she rested her head on my shoulder and remained for several minutes. all the while she didn’t utter a word — just stretched the sweetest smile across her face. warmth glowed from her eyes. i felt cared for and loved for who i was. i don’t even remember receiving a hug like the one during that moment. there have been passing ones, yes, but far has there been one with that tender feeling.

xiv. thank you for second sisters who point the way, who empathize, who care, who affirm, and who drop a “hello” at just the right moment. the amount of love i have for her is overwhelming. ahhhh. iron sharpens iron and this girl is such a blessing.

xiv. precious moments include waking up and watching the sun rise. treasured moments include doing something for the first time and totally bossing it. memorable moments include, after succeeding, people surrounding praising you but most of all your dear father enveloping you in a papa bear hug and saying “well done.” treasured moments include your teacher telling you did a perfect job. oh, to feel loved. oh, to feel affirmed. it’s moments like these that i enjoy life.

xiv. “i consider you one of our leaders,” stated the voice on the other end of the phone line. wow. this person of authority saying such a statement about me? this blew me away. thank you for surprise guides who spur me on to reassure me in what i’ve been doing and to keep living out.

xiv. hallelujah for confirmations and blending in with a bunch of nerdy thirty-year olds. what a road paver.

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139.

O God, you know everything about me.

you know when i’m fully engaged and full of whimsy and when I am frustrated, beaten down, and exhausted. you know when I am excited and when i am upset. you know when I am content and when i just feel like throwing myself on my bed and sobbing. you don’t need to read my blog, or my journal, or the last text conversations i had with my best friend, or even the last scripture i highlighted to find out what’s on my mind. you know full well what makes me tick, frustrated, and annoyed even better than i do, because sometimes i don’t even know what to think!

you, Lord, cast the vision. you go before me and know what will come along my way. you go behind me watching my back. you place your hand on me even now, making sure i am okay because you, Father, always want the best for me. let me not, Lord, ever run away. if i were to run away let me run to You– because you, the king of my heart, are the mountain when i run and the shadow where i hide. because really, there’s no such thing as running away. 

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a rub on your shoulder

girlbenchprecious one, dear one…

if only i could hug you and embrace you. but i fear you’re too distant, and everything i do seems to bounce off as if i didn’t even try. listen to me. i do.

i understand what you’re going through. you don’t believe me, but i do. oh, the pain and the suffering in your eyes were once in mine as well. when your walls seem to cave in and all you want to do is evaporate or slam the brakes. i’ve felt it.

some people don’t understand. but i do. life happens. feelings erupt. thoughts of “if only…” “could have, should have, would haves” flood my brain as i’m sure it does yours. but listen. life isn’t perfect. it just isn’t. we fail. we all do. you might look at yourself and say you’re not good enough. you may think you can’t do anything right; that you are a failure. you don’t have to strive for perfection because guess what: Jesus is your Perfecter. his grace is sufficient and covers all your weaknesses. (2 Cor. 12:9-10)

you might be shameful for all the things you’ve done. all the hurt and pain you’ve caused; the mistakes you’ve made. you might think you deserve bad things to happen to you because of what you’ve done. please know that God is a god of forgiveness and if you come to him with a heart of humble repentance, he will give you grace and mercy. with him, the chains that are bound around you can be released because there is victory in him. you no longer have to live with shame because he has overcome your past mistakes.

you might grow weary at yourself and think you can’t change. sweetie, you can change. God is a God of miracles and he is a mighty, powerful God. he has made the impossible in me possible, and i believe he can do the same for you. keep clinging and trusting him. (Matthew 19:26)

you may see yourself as too ugly; that you’re too tall or too short; that you’re fat or too skinny. but darling, won’t you look in my eyes… you are a wonderful human being created by a loving Father to do great works which he has already planned in advance for you. (Eph. 2:10) he has created you with radiant, true inner beauty so shine for him, gorgeous!

at times, you may feel out of place and alone. you may feel rejected and ignored. i have felt the same way; i’m sure everyone has at some point or another. even Jesus was scorned at and rejected. he knows your pain because he has experienced it also. for that reason, he loves you even more so, and hates seeing you feel this way. instead of rejection, he opens his arms and accepts you– he calls you his beloved child.

honey, you are an awesome spirit being of magnificent worth as a person. you are deeply loved of God. you are fully pleasing to God and totally accepted by him. you are absolutely complete in Christ. and when your person is expressed through your performance, the reflection is dynamically unique.

there has never been another person like you in the history of mankind, nor will there ever be. you are an original; a one of a kind; a totally awesome someone in Christ Jesus! for he chose you, blesses you, and allows you at times to be broken but only to enable you to be a blessing to others in their brokenness.

“i have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. in this world you will have trouble. but take heart! i have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)” 

from the depths of my heart, to the depths of yours… with love.

{the inspiration}