20, 02, 2017

the day my joy expired

I don’t know about y’all, but I think the struggle to keep our joy alive is one of the hardest wars we have to wage as followers of Christ. it’s a new battle I have found myself fighting over the course of the past couple of weeks and I’m in a season where I know painfully well just how hard it is. the struggle is uncomfortably real.

life is so full of peaks and valleys.. and we all know just how effortless joy is when we’re feeling on top of the world and how easy it is to excuse ourselves from holding fast to our joy when we’re tired and busy and just honestly not feeling it. here’s the danger in not fighting for our joy every single day though: after a while it just expires. it flickers out. and when it’s gone it’s gone and you have to replant it all over again. and the replanting process has never been one that I find myself desiring to undergo again and again.

so I’m writing this for the sake of hopefully saving someone’s joy. I have such a deep adoration for whoever reads what the Lord chooses to say through me on this site.. and I want you to know that I love you enough to tell you to hold fast to your joy. don’t let it burn out. tend to it. replenish it. be aware of it daily.

I’m convinced that satan’s foothold in our lives get’s stronger with every day that we forget to check on our joy. his success rate is probably highest in this area simply because our joy withers as a direct result of our own laziness and continuous neglect and that can be a sobering warning if we allow it to be.

I am in control of whether or not he gains footholds. you are too.

and with that control comes a responsibility to water our joy every single day. with that control comes the conscious choice to make quiet times a priority or just go to bed. a responsibility to give it everything it needs to thrive and in turn become a hope that is a light in a world growing darker and darker every day. and I wish it was easy, but the important stuff never is.

so we push forward. we strive to love others well, and we do it because the love lavished on us by our Savior is so great. we keep a picture of who it is that we long to become at the forefront of our minds and we pray for the strength to become them and the grace we will undoubtedly need throughout the process that will take all of the days, weeks, months, and years that we get.

there’s more to this life. there’s a joy that’s waiting to be tapped into – a living spring. His name is Jesus – and when we start walking beside Him, like Him, He shares a joy with us that words honestly can’t describe. a joy that becomes more and more deeply rooted every time we come away with Him and partake in it.

one of the truest things I have ever been told is that it’s impossible to walk away from time spent in communion with Him empty-handed – but we have to come to Him open-handed, palms up. there’s just no room for clenched fists in the presence of the Lord.

the easier choice to make would undoubtedly be to neglect so great a salvation, so great a joy.

and it would undoubtedly be the gravest mistake.

so if you’re like me – toting around a joy that expired months ago – let’s stop with that silliness. that empty way of living stops here. let’s move forward into places full of hope. places bursting at the seams with the sincerest desire to love on every soul that we meet. places where our joy is so sweet that we itch for opportunities to share it.

places where our joy is strong and sure enough to permeate every word, every action, every day.

“restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

psalm 51:12



23, 01, 2017

overlooked mercies

photo by Emma Elizabeth Tillman – a photographer I admire greatly. been itching to use one of her photos for a while and now is as good a time as ever.

 

“though the long path is uncertain, You are so faithful to shed just enough light for me to see the very next step. I now understand this isn’t You being mysterious. this is a great demonstration of Your mercy. too much revelation and I’d pridefully run ahead of You. too little and I’d be paralyzed with fear. so, I’m seeking slivers of light in Your Truth for today and filling the gaps of my unknown with trust.”

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11, 01, 2017

why your words matter NOW

I can’t help but believe that growing up produces within us a more purposeful way of living. despite the challenges and uncertainties that come as a result of taking on years as adults, it’s not as bad as it’s cracked up to be. that moment when we become aware that time actually is flying by just like our parents said it would – we panic, but then we breathe and actually start to appreciate the potential in every single new day. this time when we start to gain purpose from a realization that there are still lessons to be learned is a beautiful NEEDED season that we’ve got to undergo. the closer I get to my twenties, the more changes my bookshelf has undergone. what once was a massive collection of political books full of opinions about what I thought were pressing controversial topics that mattered has become a small collection of books on spiritual, personal, and mental awareness and growth. at the start of new years I no longer resolve to “go to more concerts” or “workout more.” this woman I am resolves to fulfill and embody scripture in her everyday walk. I now resolve to know myself on a more personal level than I ever desired to and appreciate her and all that she brings to the table.

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09, 12, 2016

it used to be a word

 

“You need to find your joy again, kind of like car keys.

When I lose mine, I just go back to where I remember seeing them last.”

 

“Joy” used to simply be a word in my vocabulary, but now I’ve learned that it’s a lifestyle.

this semester has been one of counsel seeking, big decision making, stress crying, and undeserved blessings. along the way I’ve tried my hand at intentionally seeking joy and the Lord has met me in my search in larger ways than I could have ever imagined – from providing me with new friends that push me to be the best version of myself to clarity about what I want to spend my time here on earth doing.

back in October, I was in the process of finishing Bob Goff’s “Love Does” and I was brimming with a desire to actually start doing the work that the Lord put inside me and me alone to do. I was looking for purpose, but not just a broad sense of purpose – purpose tailored for me. In the process of all this joy and purpose searching, I reached out to a ton of incredible people that I have crazy amounts of respect for just to shed as much light on the subject of loving your life as I could. one of those people was Bob Goff. towards the end of October, I shot him an email asking him about how he thought I could find my purpose and be happy in the day-to-day monotony that is college.

this morning when I was just about to lose my mind studying for exams, he responded with the above and today I’m one step closer to taking my joy back, even in the midst of finals.

so let’s be full of joy, because in His presence that’s one of the many things we are never lacking. what I’ve learned in the last four months is that with a God as good as ours and as big as ours, there’s really no room for two things: accepting mediocrity and ever choosing to stop looking for joy.



01, 11, 2016

but what will you do with your weaknesses?

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if you’ve had a conversation with me at any point during the last two weeks, you probably know that I just recently finished a book called “Love Does” by a guy named Bob Goff and that it changed my life. Bob spends an entire chapter of that book discussing this idea of being “secretly incredible.” obviously, this idea that we don’t have to be center-stage to make a lasting impression or difference in the world is completely counter-cultural, but if I remember correctly, that’s how Jesus approached just about everything during his 30-something years on this planet. its also how the Bible teaches us to live. every. single. day.

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20, 09, 2016

the pretty good life

cafe

“when joy is a habit, loving people is a reflex” – bob goff

I was out the door fast this morning, which is starting to become the norm for me these days and I guess it will continue to be for the next 3 years of my college career.Full Story »



13, 08, 2016

our thoughts on who owns us

“our” referring to myself and my witty and beautiful inside and out friend Caroline. the following is made up of our collective thoughts on a statement made by President Barack Obama at the DNC in 2012. after finishing this little project, I’m feeling so so blessed to have the kind of friend that’s more than happy to share her thoughts! caroline, you’re a rockstar.

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01, 08, 2016

the choice that is your dwelling place

words

“loneliness isn’t in a place where God’s love dwells”

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09, 07, 2016

come let us commune

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how heavily this has weighed on my heart, for so long now. I’ve tried to suppress this desire to write about it because I still don’t know how to even put all these emotions I feel into coherent sentences – but I am going to try!

before I explain why these three words are weighing on me all the time these days, I wanted to give definitions:Full Story »



30, 06, 2016

dangerously empty

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finding the balance between not allowing someone to drain you entirely of your compassion/kindness/positivity, yet still being willing to pour yourself into others without being refilled in return

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