saturday 5 and links!

top 5 things you don’t really need to know…but i want to tell you anyway

1. my new running shoes are fabulous. i love them. enough to blog about them and take pictures for you to see. they legit make me smile and are so pretty. pink and green are happy. plus, they match my headphones and cute workout outfits and they match my amplified bible to boot. who can beat that? running shoes that match your bible…

2. i finally updated the bible verses and such around my mirror to match where God’s been hitting my heart lately. plus, since you didn’t really need to know that…i figured i should add pictures for fun too. oh and see that cute workout outfit in the mirror when i awesomely took one of “those” pictures…that one matches my shoes.

3. i found out that big earrings keep people looking at your face. or at least at your chin area. i figure that’s a good enough reason to keep wearing them. besides i love them and if i can’t get big hair easily then i totally want big earrings.

4. monday is the day. the first of the month. the start of a new week. what a perfect combination.  one that you totally have to take advantage of when it comes around. i’m excited. i just have to use the next two days to dream up all sorts of plans and goals to achieve and start on that day.

5. sometimes i forget that people read my blog and fb and twitter. i try to and default toward assuming they don’t so when they reference it then i’m always surprised–especially if they’ve never commented–and yet it makes me laugh and be like oh ha you do know that already…such a funny dynamic this world of social media mixed with in person.  so comment away…then i’ll know =)

Your turn!! 5 things we don’t really need to know, but you want to tell us anyway =)

oh and i can’t forget the links!

I love friends who send me encouragement for my One Word (trust) especially in the form of words! I hope I can do this in my house someday because scrabble is fun.  Totally expect/hope/plan that my family will travel.  I so want to make one of these in the shape of Africa. This book looks intriguing! This article totally kicked my heart booty again about how I look at things even though I’m not sure what to do with it. Looking at this page both makes me excited and go like um really and ponder a lot.  Wait like a farmer and start out with purposeful prayer.  God is our personal bravery. “…the inciting incident is how you get (characters) to do something. It’s the doorway through which they can’t return, you know. The story takes care of the rest.” —I could use a few inciting incidents.  Oh hey I wrote about running over here!






i’m still in alexandria.

i’m still waiting to see my baby.

i’m still missing africa like whoa.

i still feel out of place

i’m still single.

i’m still missing and praying for my someday man and babies.

i’m still grieving things that didn’t happen… in the way and in the timing i wanted.

i still try to make a joke of it and then go cry behind my sunglasses

i’m still fighting the times when i find “i nearly left the real me on the shelf”

i’m still listening to this song

i’m still saying i do, still to god.

i’m still holding fast.

i’m still learning to choose trust

i’m still not anywhere near where i want to be

i’m still hurt

i’m still praying

i’m still in an i don’t know

i’m still caught in the in between

i’m still breathing

i’m still trying to exhale and enjoy

i’m still wondering what god is doing


5 minutes on still…definitely took a turn i didn’t expect. oh hearts are amazingly messy. but thankfully most of the “still’s” aren’t all the time.  plus, i can just say that most of the happy-go-lucky, optimistic parts are on the side of i’m now doing this…really. there are glimpses of sunrise new beginnings just not in the “still’s.”

your turn…what happens in your heart when you start writing about “still”?


i ran a marathon a little over a month ago and i’m writing about it over on peas {in a blog} today. i love them and love their site! vegetarian food and exercise…what can get better than that!?

p.s. i laugh because even though it’s been over a month i’m just now learning and fully wearing a battle scar from running 26.2 miles…um hello runner’s feet and losing toe nails! bah!!!! cue hilarious blog about that next week after i’ve emotionally recovered from the horror.

big love

“Enlarge your house; build an addition.
Spread out your home, and spare no expense!”

“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”

The tears well up in my eyes as I savor the faces on a flat, lifeless piece of paper.  They capture my heart all over again.  I scrunch my eyes and cringe when I think about how time passes much too fast.  The heart connections held together over skype make me want to jump through the screen for a hug.  My heart bursts.  Sometimes I forget how much love expands.  The missing stays even if I run headlong into those I love because there are still the ones elsewhere.  I realize now that I’ve wanted to plant roots deep and to tether my heart to one place mostly because the missing wrecks my mascara.  Somehow, I naively think that I could still plant roots into one place except I’ve already learned how to love all over the world.  No matter what I do now, the fierce love for those too far to hug follows me around.  The leaving, the staying, the constant adjustment to change twists my heart.  Fear begs me to pull back and protect myself, but that’s no answer at all.  That’s missing out on the beautiful love. I’m learning to embrace the overwhelming, crushing, heart-aching love in the moment even though I know the missing will come.  Taking risks to enlarge my tent and spread my “home” wide with love.

Because, loving people is worth it.

Popular favorite pictures on VisualizeUs


“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver…”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

(i love narnia. so good.)

“It’s okay not to be okay. Sometimes it’s hard to follow your heart…just be true to who you are…real talk, real love, good love, good night, with a smile that’s my home.”

(yes.  yes. i do love so you think you can dance. do you?)

(oh no my walls are gonna break. so close it’s more than i can take. love just isn’t everything you want, but it’s everything you need. it’s taken so long to finally see that Your love is worth the risk.)

breathe. exhale. rest.

Sometimes I try to convince myself that I want safe, comfortable love.  I may want that, but that’s not what I need. That’s the fake, at a distance kind of love that doesn’t satisfy.  I need love like a lion.  I crave an all-consuming fire.  A Love that tears down my walls and pierces my heart.  A Love that strips me of my insecurities and reveals all my triggers.  My gun shot run and hide from love responses that rip me apart inside don’t frighten Love away. Oh no, He relentlessly pursues me and holds me when I’m not okay.  That’s the love I choose to trust. That’s the love I stake my claim and lay bare my heart for in the depths of the night when my words are scattered.  He’s the one who gets it all and wants me to bring it all.  He gets the worries, frustrations, big picture plans, dreams, questions, I don’t know’s, praises, thank-you’s, and the simple just sitting together.  For the longest time, I missed out on this love.  I missed out on the intimacy that conflict, questions, pain, and expression bring.  I deliberately pulled out pieces of the puzzle to bring to Him, but left others untouched.  In that, I missed out on the joy and peace found in the exchange. I’m learning…to bring it all because while it may not be safe. It’s good.

saturday links and 5

So tell me, what are the top five funny or inspirational things you’ve heard this week? (via Annie)

we’ll go with inspirational/happy things:

1. That’s intriguing.

Not only do I absolutely love the word intriguing, but I love the mix behind it.  The subtle way of saying looks like you have a “wait and see” on your hands, but one that is interesting.

2. I saw this in the new book section and thought you would want to read it.

andddddd with that I felt incredibly loved and it was a book I was just thinking I wanted but couldn’t find.

3. You have been selected to be a blogger for the Women of Faith Conference

happy dance!!

4. katy

say my name…and i melt. names are so incredibly powerful.

5. often after seasons of the desert there’s a whole lot of movement

and that is a big exhale to my heart


and for the lovely links.

this is the one that challenges me to lead like jesus and really see people like he did. here’s where i talk about the place i didn’t want to go to ever.  this week, i’ve been taking advantage of white boards and this idea totally appeals to me. sometimes dreams die and things don’t look like how you thought and that’s okay. and here’s where i see myself as a “it takes a village” type and totally didn’t think about all these questions until talking about kiddos and reading this. a call to prayer and a little info about child trafficking. here’s where john maxwell reminded me to ask questions.  oh and um can i buy this and this and i still really want to find cute cowboy boots? oh and i’d be okay with going here. if my hair looked like this i’d be okay with that. and this…this looks like SO much fun!

Your turn! Share your 5 things that you heard this week and any fabulous links =)

full five minutes


Define full…

to fill up

to exhale

to smile

As much as I’m a storyteller and love weaving words in this place, I’ve come to realize that I write because I leave feeling full.  Being full is a beautiful feeling and oh how I wish I knew how to gather up all the confetti feelings it brings into a happy little pinata that never stops bursting.  I may be a storyteller, but really I love gathering, hearing, and valuing the stories that I get to listen to wherever I am.  I left Africa full of stories. I left Kids Camp full of stories. I leave work full of stories.  I leave talking with people full.  My heart contains so many stories all at different points and levels of sharing.  They are pondered and treasured there along with the stories that I’ve entered into by the beautiful melding of hearts.

The funny thing is that even though I so intensely love stories…for so long, I’ve hidden from my own story not knowing what to do with all the broken pieces piercing my heart and hands.  I left it alone because I couldn’t unravel the strings that bunched together and lay jumbled like pick-up-sticks.  They overwhelmed me and I didn’t know how to tackle the big questions or bring them to God.

Yet, God makes a way in the wilderness and makes our deserts into Eden.  Those places we’ve deemed and stated: Lord, I’ll go anywhere, but not there.  That’s where I’ve found a place to exhale and face my story.  In a place that I’ve avoided at all costs, I’ve stopped hiding from my story.   Because, really, to be full, you have to start empty.  To find a refuge, I needed to let go of fear. To be full of the present, I need to let go of the past.  This ebb and flow of life teaches me to embrace the empty because the full is coming like the morning dawn.


5 minutes on full. So, now that I’ve hinted about this lovely place that I find an exhale in the most unlikely of places…you can actually pop over to Mary Kathryn’s to read my guest post about “a place to exhale” where I share a bit of my heart and journey. I am definitely honored to be posting over there and goodness she is such an encouragement to me.  She’s lovely and wonderful and real.  So, for real, have fun and check out her little corner on the web.

Women of Faith–Whoa!


I love “God stories.”  They’re everywhere, but sometimes I get smacked in the face with one that just makes me smile extra big.  See, I happen to be in a season of “staying” and yet in that God abundantly keeps reminding me that “Oh hey, this staying doesn’t have to be miserable! In fact, it can be pretty amazing.”

Cue Monday night where I just happen to have a mini freak out, cry fest over relevant and important things, but still nothing that God couldn’t handle (this is where I half wish I had a cute blog title like “the very worst missionary” or “the worst preacher’s wife ever”—i’ll start working on mine…i’m open to suggestions).  Once I got over my mini meltdown and finally lodged bits of Isaiah into my heart and grabbed whatever peace I could, I fell asleep.  Morning came and circumstances hadn’t changed, but I figured all would be well and I’d go utilize a big whiteboard since this word girl can hardly visualize anything!  Choosing trust and feeding on God’s faithfulness totally make a world of difference once I actually get to them…

Still, I found myself in the in between of asking God to work in the situations and yet also needing a little encouragement/reminder…and God showed up big time.

Not only has He given me all sorts of things to look forward to recently in this season of staying (and He’s shown/reminded me that I so need things to anticipate and get excited about and that I love starting new things) but He totally gave me a big gift (I love gifts…definitely one of my higher love languages…after words of affirmation).

The gift?

TWO tickets to a Women of Faith Conference because I got selected to be a blogger for it! Hello a gift with a “I see you” from God.  Plus, not only do I get to go, but I get to bring a friend. And Sheila Walsh (who I fell in LOVE with at GodChicks) is going to be there and lots of other amazing speakers.  Plus, I’m just plain excited!  And I get to bring you all along with me as I blog about the conference!

So, how has God surprised you lately? Anyone else going to this conference (wanna come with!?) or another conference soon? 

On leaving…

Through the plethora of Christian non-fiction I’ve read, I see the common theme of chasing dreams.  The authors lately seem to encourage us to take that next leap of faith and jump.  Pray big and believe big and act big.  The moments of anticipation and excitement leading up to the change cause us to open our eyes wide.  Good-bye’s may be hard and the missing can be fierce, but the leaving.  Oh the leaving sweeps me off my feet.  The thrill of facing a new challenge and setting out on an adventure with God in a new place.  Striking out to absorb all the tastes, scents, and sights.  All of that goes down like sweet honey.  The warnings to those with fears about leaving never seem to phase me.  I just go.

From setting out to college several states over to transferring colleges to embarking on a new job to entering a seminary program to putting that on hold in order to jet off to Africa to making plans to go back to Africa…the leaving, I’m used to and is my natural.

When you’re used to leaving, staying and waiting becomes the harder pill to swallow.  Staying when reality settles and starts to rub against the rough edges of your heart.  Lackluster and grandeur seem to become a thing of the past. Every little thing God whispers seems to line up with staying to which I respond, “Are you sure?”  Patiently, the little doors I try to peek into are gently closed and I am once again reminded that I am in a season of staying and waiting on God.  A season with an “indefinite” amount of time which irks this planning type girl.  But, thankfully, in the midst, He proves faithful to provide mini “leavings” and “adventures.”  He meets me and refines me in new ways that wouldn’t happen if I packed up to leave.  In the end, there’s much to be learned in either season and He knows what we need and where we need to be even if it looks much different.  His ways are not my ways.  So, in that I trust that He says “stay” for a reason.

What kind of season are you in? Leaving? Staying? Preparing?