“you are a daughter of the king of kings and you hold your head up high because maybe when you were born the enemy said i’m getting rid of her and god said

no you are not.”

-sheila walsh

I can’t get this quote out of my head.  Hearing Sheila Walsh speak at God Chicks seriously messed with me in a good way.  She made me laugh when she joked about how she said, “God, take me anywhere, but just not that.”  She shared how God went with her to her very own “not that.”  How He went with her to the psychiatric ward and met her there.  In the midst, God reminded her, “The Shepherd knows where to find you.”

I don’t know what your “not that, Lord” is or what you fear.  I know I definitely have a few of my own and am laughing with God because I’m there now in one of my own “not that.”  But sometimes in those places, we find that there’s healing.  The very places we swore we’d never go turn into the places we find refuge.  The safe places, the places of trust, where we can breathe.

So, when I want to run, I remember…God knows where to find me. He knows where I hide. He knows when I’m crying on the floor. He cries with me.  He takes me to the uncomfortable places because He wants to make beautiful out of the mess.  Out of the hard work and patience comes the beauty.

He refuses to let go of me.  He fights for me.  Because the enemy certainly tried over and over to take me out.  He’s still trying. But God keeps saying…  She’s mine.

imperfect people

Airports fill up with interesting people. 

You have the little kids running around with smiles on their faces.

A momma pushing twin babies through the crowds. 

The gypsies sleeping on the floor who may or may not have shaved.

All sorts gather here to come, to leave, and create the perfect space for god encounters.

Before I encountered all the hustle, I found myself sitting quietly at the ticketing counter waiting.  I sat alone with my laptop being mindful that I should be working.

A complete stranger entrusted me with a part of his story.

My heart broke both for the pain in his story and in the threads of my own.

He shared of wounds from the church, affairs, a lack of leadership action, and his own struggle to show up to church.

I spoke what I could and heard his pain in a way that I could feel.

Because well I may not have been in his exact shoes, I have felt the pain in my own story.

The pain of imperfect people and the battle wounds they leave.

Imperfect people in imperfect churches.

The hard truth that we can see glimpses of God in people, but they pale in comparison.

I spoke life and reminded him while preaching to myself that people aren’t God.

Only God can make beauty out of ashes. Only God can work all things out for good for those who love him and are called according to His purpose. Only God gives every good and perfect gift.  Only God makes the wilderness into Eden.

People are not God. We fall short. Very very short.

And so when I chalk up another wound, I must remember…that’s not what God is like.


I wonder.

I ponder.

I mull things over in my heart.

I roll them around my head.

…about when, why, how, what, and who.

The questions seem endless.

I swirl around in the present worries, frustrations, and circumstances

Fighting fear

because I want to stand at the Jordan

put my foot in the water

and remember

He is the answer

He is great. no.matter.what.

He is good. no.matter.what


5 minutes to relax, play with words, and write from the heart without editing…time to just write. I’d love to hear what you write about “Wonder.”

p.s. anything i can pray for you about?

p.s.s. if you’d like…i’d love prayer for clarity. =)


made for monday

Hey there Monday! Let’s kick up our feet and play along because Monday’s need a little fun and questions seem to do the trick. Plus, I love hearing people’s responses =)

Are you going on any summer vacays? Yes!! Eee, leaving tomorrow for a little cali-cation. 

What is your favorite place to eat? Um. Why I asked a favorite question when I don’t do favorites well…but I think my fave place to eat pre-marathon is now Olive Garden—chicken scampi sans chicken…so basically scampi. so tasty! I do love panera, chipotle, starbucks (for PTL and vanilla chai), cheesecake factory, nando’s, and really though most of the time i love eating at home since most of those slash all of them aren’t even in my town… =)

What’s God whispering to your heart lately? rest. trust. hope. especially in the hard. share your story. and it’s okay to cry. 

What is the most random thing you see in the room you’re in right now? I don’t know if it’s “random” but it’s a wooden giraffe. I liked it so I put it on my bookshelf. 

Skirts or shorts? Skirts!!! Still looking for that elusive running skirt that will stay in place and keep me happy on those long runs that I love.

Favorite type of pen to use? I have yet to find one….on the hunt for one! I really really really would love to find some awesome colored pens that don’t bleed through the pages in my bibles. That would be fabulous. Though, I want all colors–pink, yellow, green, red, blue, purple, etc. 

What is one thing you always pack? A good book to read. Any recommendations?? I just finished “Whatever you do, Don’t Run” and it was fabulous and hilarious! So was Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me. I’m also FINALLY reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. Yay for good books.

Top love languages? Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Quality Time/Touch, Acts of Service. Shower me with words of love and encouragement and I melt especially when they come in the form of surprise gifts of words. Give me a BIG, honest, “I love you no matter what” kind of hug and I exhale. Connect with me and be intentional about talking/spending time with me and let me know that you’re not going to leave and you’ll have me teary eyed. 

What are you praying about like the persistent widow prayed? home. (not necessarily a place, but kind of…not necessarily people, but kind of…it’s just home. i want home. so many heart desires rolled into that little word that i keep asking with tears in my eyes saying, home? is that too much to ask for?)

Song(s) on repeat? Brian Wahl’s songs, Perfect by Pink, Redeemer by the Moment Sound, Last Train Home by FM Static, What if We Were Real by Mandisa, Just Cry by Mandisa, Amos Story by Aaron Ivey, When She Cries by Britt Nicole, Come Home Beautiful by Seth Primm, The Beat by Ben Rector, and I’m sure quite a few others…I’m SO a repeat girl. 

Your turn!

Marathon + Africa Love + Home

I love how God works things out. I do.  I sat here thinking how am I going to write a post that shows my heart and offers an opportunity and in the midst of my writing I realized that it’s Friday, which means I get to link up with The Gypsy Mama. Love that…and then I found out what the prompt was and how perfect it fit in with everything.  I was going to do two posts, but they connect together so…here goes… Five minutes on….


There’s a place I call home. There’s a place I find my heart and mind wandering to all the time. I can’t seem to get her out of my heart. I thought once some things settled the ache would go away, but it intensified. I thought I could go and then continue on my life as before.

My life got interrupted.

My heart changed.

My eyes opened.

I still see her sunrises and sunsets. The stripes of the zebras and the elegance of the giraffe.  The power of the lion and the ugly baby wildebeasts.  The dirt paths that took my feet running up and down hills at the foot of mountains that caught my breath.

The people who stole my heart. The babies that fought for their lives. The little ones who lost parents.  The park filled with children. The place where I put a name and a face to the statistics about AIDs, rape, and poverty. The joy unspeakable mixed with a hope for a different future.

You can take the girl out of Africa, but you can’t take Africa out of the girl’s heart.

She’s still home.

Tomorrow I run. I run for God. I run for Africa.

26.2 miles.



Now here’s the fun part.

You can catch the vision too.

Not only will I have Africa on my shirt, Sesotho on my wrist, stories in my heart, and prayers on my lips for Africa for 26.2 miles, but I also am going to be intentional and strategic about giving.

I’m still being the persistent widow who keeps asking God for a chance to put my feet back on African ground, but until then I’ll be like the other widow in the bible who gave abundantly and cheerfully.

I’d love for you to partner with me and send a little love and encouragement both my way and Africa’s way…maybe you can give $2.62 or $26.20 or $262.0 or $2,620 or maybe you can commit to pray for a 2.62 minutes or 26.2 minutes or 2 days or really however long or much God puts on your heart.  He knows, you know.

If you’d like to join me in blessing and giving to Ignite South Africa as they tangibly pour out love into the communities where I found home then follow this link and you can give online.



an update

One month left of reading through the bible chronologically and I’m still trudging along learning to persevere in the hard.  Knowing full well that this daily discipline keeps me grounded when all inside screams run.  I find myself cozied up with the gospels desperate for glimpses into Jesus’ heart.  I flip the pages through the hard love finding myself so eager to touch His robe to find healing in my own heart, in my story, in my broken places, in my messy.

Six months into this year focused on trust and I’m out for the count.  Flat on my back with no strength left in my limbs.  Deep in the valley of the desert where the storm rages yet water mocks my reaching hand.  You’ll find me there. Nothing left to give. Nothing left to say. Words hiding out along the corners of my mind taunting me with my story.  Deep in the dredges of my story, you’ll find me.  Frustrated with sharing and looking back, I flat out ask, “Why do we even look back? Aren’t we supposed to press on? Forget?” Eyes searching for an excuse to avoid and once again not even acknowledge the hurt.  I hear truth spoken back at my heart.  Sometimes things still affect us today.  Those places need healing so we can press forward.

So, where do I find myself?

Living out the mantra sometimes things get worse before they get better.  Sometimes to heal properly you need to break all over again.  To learn trust, you need to face the areas of mistrust.

When I am weak, He is strong.

woven in the flowers is my reminder:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I can tell my story.

I can trust.

I can heal.

but not on my own. only through Christ.


How’s your year going so far now that we’re at the halfway mark? Did you have a #oneword2011? Or any new year’s resolutions? Fill me in on how you’re doing =)

catching my heart: i’m learning to be my Father’s daughter

I wanted to find the words to my heart.  Thinking I would stumble upon a cute little post to send along its way in reply to an e-mail.  I wanted to share the twisting of emotions into words to glorify God and spur others toward raw, real, honest Love.   Instead, in the looking back, I found glimpses of what my heart needed to be reminded as well as my own raw, open wounds scattered along this journey.

I wince seeing my empty arms and empty bed still there tonight.

I thrash about overwhelmed by the waves when all I want to do is find rest.

I sigh as I still haven’t found anyone who knows how to hold my heart and feel like its only been crushed a bit more.

I feel the tears rush to my eyes as I now ask the question about home out loud instead of tentatively like before.

These mileposts along the journey show me something that I hadn’t expected.  Unlike before, now I’m learning to own my feelings while learning to tell all of my story. I’m learning to feel all the parts I hinted at, but adamantly avoided and “never went there” because I taught myself early on to be the “strong one” in order to survive.  I’m finally crying the tears for me.

I’m learning to be my Father’s daughter.

Oh hey there Friday: 5 Minutes on…Backwards

Ready for this? I’ve been waiting for Friday with bated breath…and I sure am happy it’s here!  Hope you are too and I’d love to read what you come up with for this prompt (it was a hard one for me!)


“Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Colossians 3:12

I love reading and I love reading books with people so Kelly Minter’s “The Fitting Room” happening over at the Bloom Book Club through (in)courage fit right into my summer plans.

The verse the book focuses around is that lovely one above…but see, the thing I’m realizing about a lot of things is that I get it backwards.  I start out with the list of “do’s” rather than the “be” and the this is who you are.

Lately, that’s been my heart…to BE. to BE comfortable in my own skin. to BE comfortable with my story. to BE myself. to BE who God called and made me to BE.

Back to the verse…even in Bible college, I heard over and over whenever you see a “therefore” pay attention!  Get the order right.  Go first and see what’s behind and then look at the verse.

As a daughter of the King, I GET to wear these clothes.  I am not a daughter because I wear the clothes and I sure can’t manufacture the clothes myself.  Nope.  They come with who I am not what I do.

Such a leap from my head to my heart.  To get those truths deep within my heart rather than just up in my head.