Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Don't feel sorry for yourself.

What do you have to regret? You have been forgiven, you have been redeemed, you have been promised enormous, beautiful, great things. So live in those promises.

Choose to believe God.
Choose to believe Him when it doesn't feel like His promises are true.
Choose to live in joy, even when your heart hurts.
Choose to bask in that freedom and peace, because the God of the universe created you for this moment.

So choose this day who you will follow -- your own flawed heart, the same thing that beats in your chest and has misled you every day of your life, or the One who created it. Who created you. Who designed you with a purpose.

Your sacrifices are very small in the very large picture that is Christ's plan.
He has more for you.
So much more.
He promises... so believe.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


It's not that I'm a pack rat or even particularly nostalgic most of the time. I just save some things. Special things. Things with sentimental value. Small things that people give me that impact me deeper than they know.

Things like a letter my dad slipped in my suitcase when I went to Chicago for the weekend in fifth grade. He told Shelby and I to practice the Fruits of the Spirit while we were with our mom and Mimi and Aunt Bambi and Bailey and then he put some "American money" in it for his "two favorite American Girls."

Or the bracelet that one of the Brazilian girls pressed into my hand when I was in Village and the letters written in Portuguese, which, even though I cannot read them, I understand completely.

Or the silly mantras that my sister and I wrote at three in the morning or lists that we compiled through years and years of angst and secret crushes or the notes that got us through our boring high school classes or a sketch of a bottle of saline that brings tears to my eyes for the memories surrounding it.

Or all of the letters that my mom has written me over the years, full of encouragement and admonishment and compassion and anger and love, a mother's heart toward her oldest daughter on paper.

Or the playlists written out in scrawling, boyish handwriting, the result of painstaking hours of meticulous choosing and narrowing and deleting songs, subsequently burning memories into my heart just as permanently as they were burned onto a CD.

Or the pictures of Shelby and Bailey and I that I have hidden away... the ones from childhood and high school and then last fall...the ones that are too hard to look at regularly, but that I need to have easily accessible at all times.

Or the silver dollar that Papa randomly mailed to me one day so that I would always remember him, as if he were in danger of being forgotten, the very idea of which is endearing and laughable and heart- warming and -breaking all at once.

Or pieces of my own writing, scribbles on scraps of paper that range in topic from sermon notes to recently invented metaphors to letters to myself, outlining goals and dreams and hopes and desires. The handwriting is familiar, but not mine; it belongs to someone else, a different version of me.

All of that and more lives in a small box on my desk, and what I realized tonight is that it can all be consolidated into one idea -- words. Thousands and thousands of words sit in that box, words from my family, my friends, my mentors, people who have affected my life profoundly without even knowing it. I live on words. I toy with them like playthings and if I don’t get them from others, a piece of me shrivels up inside, like a plant without water. I need them. I need them because they are tangible and permanent and easy to reread. I need them because they connect me to people that I am far from, physically or emotionally or both. I need them because they link the past and the present, because they tattoo memories onto my skin, because they remind me in the hard times that I am loved, I am supported, I am known. Words help me to understand where I end and where the rest of the world begins, but they also give me links and bridges to communicate. I need words.

It makes it even more difficult, though, when I suddenly cannot say what I need to say. I’m sitting here like a captive, joy and heaviness warring for territory in my heart. How do I define this? Who do I turn to? What am I supposed to say?

Times like these make me wholly dependent on the Word, the one Letter that I have that can keep me going. How I define something does not matter in light of the fact that I have the Truth at my fingertips. What I say does not matter when I’m talking to the One who can interpret all of my sighs and tears and laughs and gasps. I am so grateful to be able to turn Jesus whenever I need Him – constantly. How sweet it is to have a Book so precious and valuable and flowing with love and encouragement whenever I need it.

It’s not a quick fix, but it is the best preemptive strike possible. It’s all that I know. It’s all that I have. It’s all I can do. And lately, at the end of the day, it’s all that I want.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

It is Good.

It is good to sink back into writing for the sake of writing. It is good to be sitting down to write for myself, to give voice to ideas and thoughts apart from literature assignments and emails. My entire being feels that contented feeling of finally finding the comfortable spot in bed after restless tossing and turning. This is it. This is where I am hunkering down for a while. This is good.

Things have been happening in my life lately. Big things, little things, things that change the way I think, the way I see, the way I live. I'm in a process of discovering Jesus in a new way, a process of learning obedience and love and faith with a deeper, more meaningful understanding. Ergo, I am also in a process of discovering myself in a new way. What does He want for my life? Where does He want me to go? How can I serve Him? He's been bringing amazing opportunities my way lately and things can't help but to change. My eyes have been opened to His face in a new way...even in my salvation, I was lost, but now I am found. I was blind, but now I see. My life will never be the same, simply for the fact that it can't be.

I hope that change is reflected in this blog. I hope you can see it in my face, in my writing, that you can hear it in my voice and my laughter. I hope that even in my failures and moments of weakness, God is glorified. I hope that this fire within me grows and grows and grows, steady and strong and ready to go where He calls.

So yes, it's been two months since I've written, but it's been a packed two months. Sorry about the hiatus. I could write a post about how I really want to practice discipline this year... I do. I want to lead a more structured life [I use the term "want" loosely - you know, I want-ish to lead a more structured life...] this year than I did last year. I've been reading a lot lately, and it seems to me that in order to improve my craft, I actually have to do it. Fancy that. I want to develop a more consistent writing time, a place in my day where I sit down to write even if I don't feel like it. That's what I want. I also want to pay rent and buy groceries and pass my classes and deepen my relationships, though, so it might be a toss up some weeks. The point is, I really have missed this. I've missed this a lot. I'm going to try to be better, and not because I have an inflated sense of importance, like anyone who might read this has some sort of deep need for it or something, but because it's important. It helps keep me sane. Again, I use the term "sane" quite loosely.

Besides, what happens in my life that people want to hear about? I got my tonsils out, I turned twenty-one with the most epic birthday week ever, I met one of my favorite authors on a whirlwind surprise trip to the city, I sold more panties over Christmas break, I went to the Passion conference in Atlanta and saw Jesus, I've made more new best friends and met more of the MOST INTERESTING PEOPLE EVER, I've had some great conversations, I figured out how to paint the nails on my right hand decently, and my journey towards cooking improved when I got two new cookbooks for Christmas. I mean, do you want to know something? Is there a story in there? I don't know. You tell me.

Anyway, the point is I am a writer, as clearly defined by myself at an obnoxiously high rate. Therefore, I must write. I would love to write for you as often as I can, if you're still around, that is. So...can we be friends again? Pretty please?