thoughts + ramblings

Don’t look away

{it’s been a while…}
On July 1st I set out on my fifth journey into the NW zone of Haiti. It was my longest trip yet and to be honest I was just a little excited because I really felt like there was too much at home going on and that I didn’t need to leave; I had the misconception that I needed to stay here to be Mr. Fix-it. Since I was the leader and money had been put toward the trip there was no turning back. Thankfully! The few days before the trip my excitement grew strong and we set out with great anticipation.

I learned a lot in our 11 days away from home. I learned, once again, that it won’t be what you expect. I learned that that is a good thing- God’s exceeds our expectations but doing immeasurably more (Eph. 3:20). I learned that people want love more than they want stuff. We built a home for a family but that wasn’t the greatest thing we gave them; the greatest was love. I learned that life has tried to sell me the idea that I need Jesus AND the world, and too often I had bought into this lousy idea. I learned that Jesus works on you as He works through you. I learned that God will show up in the craziest of places and reveal exactly what He wants you to see. I learned to not look away…

I look away a lot. I look away from His calling on my life. I look away from the work He is doing around me. I look away from the work He wants to do in me. I look away from people who need to be loved. I look away from His truth as the world’s lies seep in. I look away. Sometimes I look away for just a brief moment. Other times I look away for whole seasons of life. Tragically, too often I look away for years. Whether looking away for a brief moment, a season, or years of our lives we are missing way too much. Jesus said, “follow me.” I can’t look away and still follow. Because the moment I look away I am looking at things other than what He would have me to look at. I cannot look away and still follow.

So, DON’T LOOK AWAY. He is working right now. He has worked in and through you before; He is now; and He will continue in the future. He is at work. He is to be our focus and everything simply falls into place as He would have it to fall into place. Some things will seem to fall apart as they are falling into place, but trust His sovereignty as you follow Him. So, go, FOLLOW.

Seasons of Goodbye + Hello

Last night I was driving down a back road late at night headed to a friend’s house (they offered ice cream, so I showed up… and ended up not eating ice cream… but that’s a story for another time). I’ve discovered lately that back roads through the woods are my favorite roads to drive. I can think a lot on those roads as I also really appreciate God’s creation.

So, last night (now, to the point) as I was driving down the road a thought hit me:

There will be seasons of goodbyes in your life as well as seasons of hellos. Don’t let a season of goodbyes scare you from letting a season of hellos happen.

Meaning, there will be times where people leave. It always happens. Friends move, people get married and life changes, circumstances divide people for a time, etc. There are simply, seasons of goodbye. These seasons usually aren’t fun but can be very necessary at times. 

There are also seasons in your life when people are moving into your life. Someone new moves into town and becomes a part of your church small group, an old friend introduces a new friend into your group, or an old friend comes back around. There are great times of hellos. 

So, the point. Goodbyes don’t feel good and sometime a goodbye makes us scared to let people into our lives because we just know that they will one day say “goodbye” and walk out. Well, we will all say “goodbye” at some point unless the rapture takes us all together. Even so, we must still let others in to our lives during seasons of hello. It’s best that way. Take chances, make new friends, let people come into your life, and let some go out of your life. It’s how it works. Don’t let that ugly “goodbye” scare you from saying “hello” to a new friendship, relationship, or acquaintance. These goodbyes and hellos are no mistake, it’s life, so just live and let it be as God wants it to be.

I Don’t Know Why, but I DO Know This…


I don’t know why {this} happened.

I don’t know why {this} didn’t happen.

I simply don’t know.

I don’t understand.

In a few moments of pure honesty over the past week these types of comments have come up with me and my friends.

In those moments of honesty we spoke about heartache, uncertainty, loss, love, the then, the now, and the to be.

And we followed that with this,

I know that our GOD is faithful.

I know that our GOD is sovereign.

I know that He will take care of us.

I know that He alone brings me joy and therefore, strength.

I know His Word and promises are true.


Life is GREAT sometimes. So great that maybe it seems perfect. And other times life is not so great, apparently nowhere near perfect, and flat out broken. BUT OUR GOD HAS NOT CHANGED AND NEVER WILL. HIS LOVE REMAINS.



On Time & Happiness

“Unfortunately, the clock is ticking, the hours are going by. The past increases, the future recedes. Possibilities decreasing, regrets mounting.” – Haruki Murakami

“They” have always said that the older you get the quitter time passes by. I don’t know about you but for some reason this seems so true. I love the quote above. May we always remember our time here on earth is limited. Take today and live it to it’s fullest.

As time races by and our past becomes larger and our future smaller, SLOW DOWN, enjoy what is around you. When you find yourself in a place of happiness, allow yourself to be happy and slow yourself down so you can enjoy this happy time in your life. And simply say “thank You” to God as you absorb the greatness of life. As time races by, you may be in a season of uncertainty, sadness, depression, or worse, or a little better; in these times find yourself simply thankful for life and that there are happier times to come and that have past. We all go through the rough patches and in those times maybe we look for the days to pass a little faster. 

Final thought: Let yourself enjoy the day. Find the beauty in today. When you find yourself happy slow down a bit and let yourself enjoy that time.

Tell Yourself the Truth

I have to share something with you that makes me feel a little bit vulnerable, but here it is…

Yesterday morning I woke up and immediately I had this feeling that consumed me. It was a feeling that was accompanied by thoughts that could have started my day in a spiral. I woke up feeling as though I was completely alone, no one anywhere that was FOR me, WITH me, no one who cared. I remember quickly, as I laid there in the bed telling myself this:

You are not alone. Think of all the people in your life who care about you. All the people who want you to be in their life. Think about it, it doesn’t take long to have those faces in your mind. Ok, got it? Now, get up, get ready and GO, GO DO LIFE… You’re not alone; you’re ok; you’re good to go so, GO!

See, I share that with you because the enemy wanted me to be defeated before I even left my bed… He spoke lies over me. The only way I was able to shut down those lies were with the truth. So, when the enemy speaks lies over you just remind yourself of the truth that GOD says about you and the truth that you know. When you have the truth, GET UP AND GO. GO LIVE YOUR LIFE. Once you get going you will notice that the truth is true.

Hold On… Wait just a little bit longer

In the midst of our journeys we find many times of waiting. There are times when we feel like there is definitely something about to happen and we continue to look forward to it, constantly asking ourselves, “ok, when is it going to happen?”. We find ourselves looking into the future so much that maybe, just maybe, we are completely missing the “RIGHT NOW.”

In your time of waiting (if it is to have kids, find the person of your dreams, for the dream job, or maybe even to collect on that promise God has given you) HOLD ON, WAIT A LONGER LONGER, DON’T GIVE UP because, GOD has something GREAT in store for those who love Him and are called according to His will! And MOST IMPORTANTLY, don’t waste right now and miss out on the great things in your life now because you are so focused on the future that you want. 

NOW is important. NOW holds treasures that tomorrow doesn’t hold and yesterday didn’t hold . NOW is your time to embrace life.



Preparation is so important.

I look back to a day, of which I can clearly recall the details of, when I found myself just completely disturbed. “Disturbed” is really the only word I know to use for what was going on within me. Let me explain. It was one morning here at the office and I went to the piano to play and sing a bit as I usually do and as I was playing through a song I so clearly heard God say, “quit playing…” Now, let me note here, that that was weird in the first place because it was a worship song and why would God want that to stop, right?!… but God said “STOP. Go turn on a song and get in the altar before Me. Bow below the control that you are trying to hold on to so tightly.” So, with that I went, turned on a song, and got in the altar. It was a time where I didn’t know if I was suppose to pray, or what, but as I knelt down, my spirit poured out. I cried like I hadn’t in years, and spoke not a word. My spirit cried out for me… it was truly an experience of the Holy Spirit interceding on my behalf as I had no idea what to say. But, I knew something was going on.

That day I cried, called out, and worshipped. I knew something just wasn’t right and I knew God had the answer. That day He started to prepare me for what was to come in the following months. As relationships were strained, dreams shifted, and what I thought I knew became unknown I started to realize that the prep was now going to pay off. On that morning that I found myself facedown in the altar letting it all out I had no idea what was to come but I am so thankful (looking back) that God had given me a discerning spirit that said “prep yourself” because, in the end the revelations that were given to me that day helped make what was to come a little more bearable. It doesn’t make it easy, it just makes it more bearable.

I share this to say that we don’t know what is to come in our lives. But what we do know is that we better be prepared. We also know that the only thing that will get us through the most trying times in our lives is The Lord, Himself. So the only way to prepare is be one with Him; to be in communication with Him; to let the Holy Spirit guide you; to know His Word and to know that it is TRUTH. He is what will get you through. When the hard times come you better be prepared. If we are not prepared we will more easily be defeated. When we are prepared with the Lord on our side, we will conquer and claim the victory.



Change Things

We wake up, run through the morning to make it out of the house on time because if we are out of the house two minutes later than usual we will hit the traffic, we arrive at work to rush through our day, go home take care of things, rush through the night falling into our bed too late, and wake up to do the same thing tomorrow. It seems like we have found ourselves in a never ending cycle. And then we start looking around at our lives wondering “How did I get stuck in this place, of which I don’t even really love?”

It is time we SLOW DOWN & change the rhythm of our life.

I am 25 years old, 3 years out of college, unmarried, & also childless… in the heart of Alabama this isn’t the “ideal situation” in many people’s minds. Personally, it only bothers me when I start thinking like the status quo. But, being only 3 years out of college and in the working world, I have to admit that I can already feel that nagging within that says “Watch out, you’re really close to settling. You are really close to missing the beauty in life. You are really close to just living an ordinary life.” And let’s be honest, I do not want anything to do with the ORDINARY life.

(Let me note here that I love my job, I love my family, and love my life. That should ease some of your minds.) But, I know this, if I continue with this routine (not focusing on life) I will find myself in a terrible place. We surround ourselves each day with our iPhone (Facebook app to the Instagram app to the Twitter app and REPEAT), our iPad, our computers, our loud music, favorite TV shows, etc. and we forget to slow down to enjoy REAL LIFE. The moment that we start replacing real life with tech life we will completely have lost ourselves. We were made for real life!

Social media, classic media, etc. are all good things and can be great things but we can so overuse them that we are no longer worried about normal interaction until one day we wake up and realize something is terribly wrong… we are all alone, we don’t know where the past 3 or more years have gone or we simply are completely exhausted because we have been so into our daily routine, social media, and schedule that we have missed out on life.

Here are some suggestions (that I am taking now):

  1. Put down your phone, switch off the TV, leave your laptop/iPad at the office and spend time with a real person. Call a friend instead of texting them. Ask a family member or friend what they are struggling with right now and share with them what you’re struggling with right now.
  2. Next time you are looking for media entertainment pick up a good book and sit down on your couch or outside and read it. (When you want to go to the app store for a new fun app go to the bookstore instead or to find a good film to watch.)
  3. Instead of going to the gym to workout next time take a walk in the park… and better than alone, find a friend you haven’t been with in a while and go walk with them.
  4. Send someone that you haven’t seen in a while a card in the mail.
  5. Instead of or your favorite gossip magazine (or men’s magazine or website) check out something more soul-filling.
  6. Instead of posting that #selfie on Instagram find a picture of someone you admire (that doesn’t know you admire them) and put a picture of them on your Instagram letting them know why they are amazing.


EVALUATE THINGS WITH THIS QUESTION: “Is this enriching me or depleting me?”Most things we do are depleting us. The sad thing is, we won’t even notice until we are almost fully depleted.


Trials + Temptations

Have you ever been in the midst of something and you just don’t understand why you would have to go through that? Have you then at the end found yourself looking back over that difficult time in life and telling yourself “Wow, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had not have gone through that difficult time!”?

Whether it’s a sickness that you have, a family member being sick, if it’s your best friend that no longer seems to be reachable, or that family member you’ve prayed for over and over again keeps falling over and over again, or maybe it’s that sin that you can’t kick, maybe it’s the depression that you can’t seem to get away from, or maybe it even seems like the whole world is completely crashing in on you. In the midst of these trying times the hardest thing to recognize is that God can and will bring good from the bad that you are in the midst of.

In the midst of these times the last thing we need is some Christian “cliches” but we DO need HIS PROMISES! His promises are all that will keep us holding on.

As I look at The Word here are a few examples that I want you to hold onto today to know that YOU’LL GET THROUGH THIS:

  1. Job is the ultimate character in the Bible that we go to for times of tragedy. So let’s go to him again. I love this verse that I read today: “God might kill me, but I have no other hope.” -Job 13:15a (NLT)/// In the midst of it all Job was still able to say this… but the next part is so interesting too: “I am going to argue my case with him.” -Job 13:15b/// Here Job says He is my only hope even if He kills me, but I have to argue my case with Him. Job goes on to ask God why is He staying silent. In the midst of our trials we can not understand and plead to Christ while knowing He is also our only hope.
  2. Mary and Joseph and the Son of God: Mary a teenage virgin becoming a mother… this is HUGE. Mary had to go through a time where no doubt everyone (including Joseph for a moment) thought she was pregnant out of wedlock. For Mary this is a social mess, but she had to stay strong through this and let God reveal to others the truth so she could conceive and bring the Son of God into the world. Mary and Joseph also had to go through a treacherous journey to get to the birth place of Christ. It wasn’t an easy walk around the park but they HAD TO GET TO BETHLEHEM… IT ALL PAID OFF PRETTY WELL!!
  3. Jesus in His last hours: “He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, ‘My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.’” -Matt. 26:39 /// Jesus knowing what was to come said “If there is any other way… any other way for the world to be brought to You, God… is there any other way?” Jesus pled with God… Jesus went through the ultimate trying time and difficult time as He died on the cross to reconcile the world with God. THIS WAS THE ULTIMATE TERRIBLE TIME TO BRING THE ULTIMATE GOOD FOR THE WORLD.

Know that HE IS YOUR HOPE… Hard times have come and will continue to come but we know that He will bring good from it for His children… trust His Word.


Let Hope In


I am so thankful that I was able to get an advanced copy of Pete Wilson‘s new book, “Let Hope In“, a couple of months before the release. It couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I needed this book!! Today the book releases for EVERYONE to pick up and TONIGHT at 6:30pm you can go to THIS LINK to stream the LIVE event that will feature Pete Wilson, Natalie Grant, Plumb, and MORE!

I think a lot of times in the Christian walk we get so side-tracked by normal everyday circumstances and situations that we miss what God wants for us in life. I think we also get focused on our past, sometimes the good past, but mainly the bad past. We can get caught up in the shame and guilt that comes along with personal sin and/or sins of others. When this happens we have a few different choices to make. We can let it overtake us or we can know that God has something greater for us… HOPE!

Pete’s new book is the perfect resource to remind us of what we need to be reminded of. It speaks of how to get over the shame and guilt, how to move on with life, and how to see that our true HOPE is found in Christ alone. So, will you check this book out? Will YOU let hope in?

*disclaimer: I am a part of the launch team for Pete Wilson’s new book, “Let Hope In”, and received a free copy of the book in exchange for an HONEST review.*




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