still i rise | no. 3

dear march —

i. why does healing take so much time? and this thing called time — will it ever come?

i. big yellow umbrellas and northern lights… i’ll just sit with you in the dark and hold a big yellow umbrella over your head until the sun can shine again and we can see the best yellows. thank you for you a million times over.

i. joy is there, trust me… we are walking in it in spite of the storm in our life. we are taking our thoughts captive, trusting Christ, staying in prayer, and in His word… that secret place — joy can be found there.

ii. don’t wait it out… pray it out. prayer is the force that makes all hell quiver in fear and causes heaven to stand to its feet with joyful applause.

iii. nián gāo and dòu fu flan… safe from the storm.

iv. limited power doesn’t limit the power of the Holy Spirit… candlelit worship center, huddled in the cold; communion in huddled coats. overflow in this place… the spirit of the Lord is here. and indeed — where there was alarm and loss of power, He poured blessing and peace. loss of power became the Father’s great gain.

iv. you saw me sitting there, wrapped up in my coat. you beckoned me — bid me — to move towards the fireplace. and though i was okay where i was, i shed my coat and moved myself closer. i sat there on the floor, the warmth of the fire dancing against my back and giving heat to my cheeks. sometimes shedding and moving out of what did provide warmth is necessary for experiencing the next level of the warmth of His goodness. thank you for inviting me to draw closer… draw nearer.

iv. the paints won’t behave, the shading doesn’t look right, the gradients are simply awful… and yet what matters is the progress, not perfection. and reminders to give myself grace, to admire the beauty that is there, and not be too hard on myself. oh, the journey of an artist. this is what makes artistry — not so much as to perfect as it is to understand and grow — from within.

v. invigorated by the power of the Holy spirit… we’ve got the Holy Spirit and all of His power in us. in Him we have peace, joy, and hope and He will finish what He starts. confidently flawed. 

vi. learning the secret of being content… striving to give the glory due His name, for i deserve none of this.

vi. out of the heart the mouth speaks. so though my brain wanted to say one thing, You took it away and replaced it with my heart. don’t let what you don’t know about God hinder you from believing what you do know about Him. rejoice in hope, be patient in trials, constant in prayer.

vi. it started with a cat… and then the crazies came out and then we fell off the floor… and i became a laughing bobbly head. (falling rn, actually… rereading texts again)

viii. heaving all my cares away with each heave and agonizing shovelful. hot dogs in the cold, and blasting praises all the day long. the snow never bothered me anyway. 

x. in pursuit of becoming fearless… maybe God is letting all this happen so i may experience a breakthrough of all that is tying me down. maybe this is a year of fearing more so that i can be fear-less.

x. marks of the true christian… share with the Lord’s people who are in need. practice hospitality. a wake up to love — i need a change of heart.

xi. the power and influence of prayer, and the awe-inspiring hand of God in even the littlest of angels. pray, pray, pray. trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey. 

x. have you ever seen the wonder and spending time with little sunshines. Zay-Zay and Phyllis — thank you for allowing me to squeeze you tight, peck cheeks, make silly faces, and stand in the cold for you in such a love-doing way.

xii. from the journal: “the gentleman seated on the plane in front of us chewing his gum with such vigoration (yes idek if that is a word but it is now) made me laugh so much and i wanted to just swing a bat around at life because hey everyone should do the simplest of things like chewing a piece of gum with such satisfaction that all who watches them just can’t help but smile. kinda like the lollipop effect. wow… i’m deep. thanks, gum-man.”

xiii. more trust, less fear. and may purity line the spaces of my heart and mind.

xiv. random texts, gifs that say you’re rooting for me, and reminders to take courage. ❤

xiv. what if i didn’t complain but stuck through it? what if i didn’t question it as a sign of weakness but knew that God must think i’m strong enough through Him to come out of it? what if i didn’t mumble saying this is the worst, but changed my perspective, knowing God only gives me His best?

xiv. 2/4 now and i put this one aside with barely a second thought.

xv. mid-day spontaneity brings joy and laughter to my day. milkshakes and strolling with you leave me feely but mixed.

xviii. nothing i hold onto… heaviness in my heart but not knowing why and “feeling weird.” i walked out of the room, needing some space. you said it’s okay to let it out. oh God, it’s so hard to surrender. i lean not on my own understanding, my life is in the hands of the Maker of heaven. 

xix. God-given brain lapses remind me to fix my eyes ahead and remain steadfast. i need to trust His heart with all my heart.

xix. not everything in life has to show a rose in bloom, or a light at the end of the tunnel. sometimes the greatest ministry is to establish connection, showing the darkness in the tunnel or the thorns on the rose, sitting by someone in the dark.

xix. desktop wallpaper reflecting, “i will climb this mountain with my arms wide open…” and amazed at His way in nudging this theme to me over and over.

xxii. 3/4… oh happy day. plus two jars of kaya.

xxii. feeling cingulomania for you, kalon. 

xxiv. even after so much, you never stop loving… oh thank you for you.

xxiv. even here, there’s still grace… thank you for your warm hug that made me melt in your embrace.

xxv. seeing the early morning sun rise… a canvas of Your grace.

xxv. God you are sovereign… in sickness and in death. grateful for soulful anthems that we are not alone even in deep waters, and chats of wisdom and guidance. brokenness cracks open a soul so the power of God can crack the darkness in the world. 

xxv. broken seashell… along the edge of the shore; with the tide lapping in and out over it. even in the low and high tides of life, the waves don’t overtake me – there are people speaking into me, praying for me, and thinking of me. through emptiness and brokenness, celebrating life that comes after death while also taking time to grieve… through it all it will be alright. He makes use of the broken pieces of our shells and makes us vessels for Him.

xxvii. i will trust here in the mystery… i will trust in you completely.

xxvii. love — a continuing debt we owe others. may we love as You love. 

xxviii. people and places and all the like… things are changing, and it’s all so bittersweet.

xxviii. convictions… figuring out what it means to love as He loves and follow through. grant us the courage to give as You are calling.

xxx. seeing you after i had dreamed about you last night filled my heart with so much joy. God is good.

xxx. our lives a tapestry of Your grace… it is finished… yahweh. so humbled and blessed to serve You with such amazing artists before a packed house and an audience of One.

xxxi. following through with convictions… let’s love in that crazy love He’s shown us, one that He gives so extravagantly and freely. 

xxxi. when God’s children obey, the enemy preys… thankful for that recognition. this. this comes through following through.


i will climb this mountain with my arms wide open… there’s nothing i hold on to. [nothing i hold on to]

may your love cause us to open up, cause us to open up our hearts. may your light cause us to shine so bright that we bring hope into the dark. all that we do without love, it means nothing. grant us the courage to give as you’re calling. make me an instrument of your peace. where there is hatred let me show love. where there is darkness let me shine light [open up]

slipping by | pt. 3

dear march —

i. thank you for heart-wrenching convictions. for wakeup calls. for shouting your voice loud and clear like a megaphone.

ii. i sit in a hard back swivel chair in his private office. so many unknowns. the future draws near and my head spins like the swivel chair. it’ll be okay. i’ll be okay. how easily i fill with despair.

iii. i’ve never felt so dumb in my life. maybe i was good for nothing. i gulp and turn back to the voice. so many voices. which one will i listen to? i sit in silence and ponder.

v. sometimes i wish God would speak to me. loud and clear. but then i realize even in the subtle moments his voice becomes clear. p.s. i hate migraines

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no longer wanna-be

fake it till you make it yell “those” kids
that’s what they all say
maybe that’s how they made it up there

am i right?

i try, try, try
to be someone that i’m not
i’m an oughtta-be, wanna-be, gotta-be
the cycles of strife surge me on

i’m a workaholic, control freak, and perfectionist… to the T

i want to win, win, win
get up on top, feel good about ma self
i find myself bending down
bending myself to win the hearts of people
bending myself to win a little more love

bending myself to win just a little more approval and just a few more scraps of acceptance

but i fail, fail, fail
when i try

to win

maybe instead i should try to be
a serve-aholic instead of a workaholic
and let someone else be in control of me
maybe instead i should
turn to the cross of perfection — at the only true perfectionist

instead of making one out of me

what if instead i embraced myself
for who i am, and for who i will always be —
beloved, for all eternity. 

don’t fake it, honey

you think i can’t tell
but darling…

i can.

you are worth more than rubies

you, precious, never go out of style

won’t you look into my eyes
just remember

baby, you are priceless.

like a ring of solid gold
a smooth and flawless pearl
drawn out from down, down down

refined and raised above all else

don’t bend down, for i have drawn you up
out of deep waters i have pulled you,

calling your precious name

all the voices in your mind
that make you weak inside
don’t belong —
don’t belong
in a place
as beautiful
as you.

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}