Archive for the ‘thoughts on things’ Category

the beautiful trait of neediness

In thoughts on God, thoughts on things on August 11, 2012 at 11:15 am

we think we are big and strong and can handle depriving ourselves of sustenance, like the pride that comes with how many meals you can say you’ve skipped (and for what?), the pride of being the busiest, most pressured, most caffeinated, the person who wins the trophy of being able to shout, “my life is the busiest, but look! i’m still alive!  and i’m handling it great!”

pride. because it’s what we can attribute to ourselves.  our power.  our strength. how awesome we are.

let’s learn to be okay with neediness.  to learn the trait of neediness.  we live in a culture priding itself on not needing.  i don’t need you, or this, or that, or anything, all i need is me and in me.  let’s learn the beautiful admittance that i cannot do it.  the lovely habit of following my need of Jesus straight to Him.  i am NOT big enough.  i am NOT strong enough.  to follow the heart-string tug of the Spirit that hums, “Come to Me, little one” and to fall straight at His feet instead of doing this one last thing or thinking, “yes, but later”  is to take royal advantage of the very thing Jesus died for.  for you and me to have access to the Throne-room of God.  here.  and now.

let’s learn the luxury of steeping in His presence as needed.  not once every morning, or once we’ve waited and withheld ourselves long enough that we’re near anorexic of Him, just to binge in a strange mix of self-condemnation and self-righteousness, where we try to spend enough time there to make up for the time lost, and then we do it all over again.

to recognize your need is God’s grace on you.  follow it and feast.


june start

In thoughts on me, thoughts on things on June 6, 2012 at 10:00 am

i love early mornings.

the coffee is going.  there is a sunflower in an old glass milk jar reminding me of the weekend – yard sales and farmers market.  violet hydrangeas from family in the country.  everything in my home needs a little mid-week reset, even me.  i’ll re-water the flowers, vaccuum, dust, straighten, hang a few more things on the walls… to send us off into the weekend.  birthday weekend!

new dress, friends, mexican food, enjoying our house!


just some notable nuggets from this morning i want to capture:

dreams about lost things.  many lost things from throughout my life all in one dream.

homemade blueberry muffin with farmers market blueberries

local coffee house with husband’s soft tee on over trusty skinnies

the gumption to create and write, and write and write

perfectly overcast drizzly day with everyone huddled inside


there are a few things that have given me inspiration this week.  i don’t think sensible artists usually share their very common, everyday inspiration sources – because you get to see the finer lines of their work –  but i just can’t help it!  this is what has been beating in my brain and heart.

this trailer for The Perks of Being A Wallflower 

watching The Lord of the Rings again.  big stories.

reading Chasing the Dragon – the Jackie Pullinger autobiography, recalling her life as a single British young lady missionary in the Walled City in Hong Kong.


my official answer to the “if you could meet any person/people, dead or alive, today, who would it be and why?” question is this:

i would sit down with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R.Tolkien in the Eagle and Child Pub in Oxford and sit in on their Inklings meeting, and discuss whatever it is they would discuss – life, love, writing, big stories, bigger stories, or maybe none of that at all – over a pint. hopefully i wouldn’t bother them too much.

it inspires me to live that life now, here.  create.  let stories come alive.  surround myself with creators to encourage and sharpen.  put myself in an environment i just enjoy, no other “efficient” motive, more often.

okay early mornings, i’m liking you more and more already.


In thoughts on God, thoughts on me, thoughts on things on May 8, 2012 at 9:44 am

it’s almost eight am, and i’m enjoying my second successful morning staying awake after john has left for work.  that is, second of 5 total mornings : )  5:30 is early y’all!

i frequently shake my head in disbelief that this is life now, this is my life.  like this morning – him with his work shirt on, embroidered name patch on the right side, leaving with his lunch packed and a kiss goodbye – us in this little apartment doing life as a unit.  thank you Jesus!  it is still so new.

okay, less gushing!  but it is indeed a full, overflowing season, a time of fulfillment of so many of the Lord’s promises to me personally.

many people make it seem like marriage is the end goal of young life.  you finally get married to that person you’ve been waiting for, and you settle into your house, your schedule, your pattern, until you reach the perfect equilibrium of comfort in life.  and while there is plenty of that “settling into” for us already, and beautifully so, i find that marriage has been the most sling-shot-y launching point into vibrant life, the life abundant, to the full – spiritually, emotionally, everything-ally.   we are babies in a life that i haven’t even scratched the surface imagining. 

i have a desire to create and write that is insatiable.  i’m so happy i get to go to sleep early and wake up early, and have time to take time in God’s presence, and creating.  and breakfast : )  more of that, Lord!

i love may.  everything is new.

a couple of inspies:

  • flowers
  • farmers markets
  • transition from spring to summer
  • fresh fruits and vegetables
  • a time of dreaming
  • “early to rise” inspiration – what’s your ideal start to the day?
  • yard sales


In thoughts on God, thoughts on things on April 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm

you know that feeling when you’re traveling, and you suddenly realize you might be lost?  you might have taken a wrong turn somewhere, or missed your turn all together.  and all of a sudden, when you admit in your mind that it’s a possibility you are lost, you suddenly become hyper-aware of the length of the road you’re on.  every inch feels like that much longer that you’ll be off course, that much farther away from where you think you’re supposed to be.  every sight you see feels that much more unfamiliar.

there’s a road in my home town that i know well.  in the middle of the developing city, around business buildings and busy streets, it remains a piece of rural Raleigh.  beautiful country fields on either side, horses and hay bales, old farm homes and ranches, oak and pine trees.  it really only connects two big streets, a definite beginning and end.  but if i didn’t live here, if i didn’t know my way, it would be a street that i could feel lost on, and it would seem to lead me further into lostness, further into nowhere that i know or think i should be.

it is a beautiful street, one of my favorite streets to cut through on.  to me, it’s a quick pass.  to a stranger to these parts, trying to find some place specific, it’s a long road you’d wonder if you should be on.

i’ve had a lot of seasons in my life like this.  i know i’m following directions all right, and after a while i get a pretty good idea of the pace and destination.  in the thick of the journey i just go, and lose sight of precision in my directions.  and then, the creeping realization – “did i go too far?” “did i miss my turn?”  which quickly turns into full-out panic.  i am lost.  and the road i’m on, because i cannot see the destination on the other side, becomes impossibly long, impossibly out in the middle of nowhere.  wilderness.

this is when i retrack my steps in my head.  i read the directions carefully, out load, and slowly, usually with complemting hand gestures.  this is the point at which i question where i am, how i got there, where i’m going, and usually assume i am in the wrong place.

God loves that road in my life.  in between point A and point B, points of clear revelations of himself to me and his plan for me,  He directs me.  He directs -sometimes i assume control, sometimes i think i know which way to go, i assume where point B is and how i should get there, and why that point B, and the way to it, is the best.  sometimes He quiets His voice of leading.  and i drive, and i drive, until the impasse that seems long and lost.

the rural road in my home town is one of my favorites because i know it well – where it is, where it takes me – and it is a hidden gem of beauty.  i see the beauty because i’m confident of where i’m going.

for all the roads in my life of apparent wildnerness, i’m reminding you – look around and see how really beautiful it is.  you won’t be led astray.


In thoughts on me, thoughts on things on February 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm

i am a planner.  i love to plan and prepare!  it is obvious in lists, margin notes, and thought bubbles scribbled in journals, on receipts, and emails sent to myself.  and the fact that purchasing a new planner is like Christmas to me!  there is just something so precious about preparing.   there is a sense of excitement, intention, importance, and value in it!

here are a few books i’ve been looking through to get inspiration and wisdom for the home.

This book by Caroline Clifton-Mogg is covered in beautiful photos of warm and homey dwellings.  Seriously, I drooool over these spaces!  What I love most is that she gives inspiration to use the well-loved items that you already have to enhance the spaces you and your loved ones spend the most time.  Less is more in decorating, and intentionality is key.

My mom recently brought this book home for me to peruse through.  Hello – the power of all shades of neutrals in all kinds of textures!  Linens and lace is the ultimate southern way, and really pays homage to a culture when women spent hours making these pieces for their home.  The best part?  The originals can be found in our  mom’s closets or at your local antique shop for next to nothing.

Don’t let the word green make you turn your head in dismissal.  This book has valuable information about the health- and money-saving techniques of home care that families have used for centuries, before the convenience factor of chemical infused products at your local grocery store.

There is also something precious and intentional about caring for these otherwise looked over details of home care.  Make your own laundry detergent – that WORKS.  Increase your knowledge of home remedies for all kinds of things – cramps, headaches, and the common cold.  Replace boxes and plastic bags crammed in your pantry with jars and reusable containers filled with the things you use all the time.  Not only is it green, but it’s beautiful.  It is not only pleasing to your eye, but pleasing to your heart.  It just improves the quality of home.


i don’t expect to “be perfect.”  no way!  everyone does home different, because everyone is different. but i do want to care and show love for the place called home.

fear & bravery

In thoughts on God, thoughts on things on February 3, 2012 at 11:23 am

i so desire bravery.   

bravery cannot exist without fear.

let me tell you the truth about how i feel about fear.

fear is a nasty thing in our society – American society and American church society.  if you have it?  don’t expect to succeed in that job of yours.  don’t expect to get promoted, don’t expect to achieve your dreams.  you are crippled, and as good as someone thrown in the quarantine room.  what i hear all the time is “don’t be afraid!” and “let go of your fear!”

well, i would like to call ye olde proverbial BS!

fear is one of the heartbeats of life.  it is what the best stories are made of!  it is next to love, passion, and adventure.  a life without fear would denote a life choked out, and really, you’d just be lying to say you didn’t have any.

it’s what we do with that fear that matters.  of course, i don’t mean to live a life of fear, because then you would be crippled!  you would be the one sitting in your house all the time trying to avoid that which scares you.  take fear and admit it, and bring it in the love-light of Jesus!  it cannot be cast out without His love!  don’t deny it.  don’t shove it into the quarantine room of your heart.  His Love makes us brave in the face of what is scary.  because He is bigger than the biggest thing that scares us in the biggest way.  and He loves us.

John A Shedd wrote,

“A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”

my travels

In thoughts on me, thoughts on things on January 12, 2012 at 10:48 am

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

– Saint Augustine

ah, january.  we’re all settled down in the schedule of work and the blanket of colder weather, and the feeling of wanderlust can’t help but eek its way in.  adventure, holiday, packed bags, generally warmer weather, visions of denim shorts, unkempt hair, and carefree activities!  i love to travel.

i think being well-traveled is one of the greatest gifts my parents (and contributing family and friends) have given me in my life.  my dad especially nurtured any interest in going to another country, even to the point that he once arranged for me to miss school for a few weeks.  pretty awesome for a young, curious girl like me!  he earned serious cool dad points with that one.

being involved in church also greatly contributed to my opportunities to travel.  my first out-of-country trip, to Mexico, was a perfect way to get my feet wet with cross-cultural travel.  once i saw that i could do it, i could work through the discomfort of a new place many thousands of miles away from home with different ways of doing things and have a fun, unforgettable time,  i couldn’t stop.  i didn’t want to ever stop going to new places.  i still don’t.

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard

adventures from Mexico, Kenya, Germany, England, France, Italy, Costa Rica, Thailand and Cambodia are all scribbled down in pages of various journals.  i can’t very rightly explain the benefits of traveling, except that there are so many of them.  you face fear.  you place yourself willingly into discomfort to discover different people and different ways of life.  in that, the point that discomfort meets familiarity is an incredible spark of travel.  taking unfamiliar, scary things and introducing yourself to them.

one of the sweetest benefits of traveling, one of the surest ways i love it and know i won’t stop, is seeing how very completely, 180° different people can be from me, and from each other, and knowing that God speaks all of our languages.  He is not American or Asian or African or any other distinction of a man.  but He perfectly loves and understands us all, and speaks to us in the ways that are meaningful to us – by culture, by language, and by our humanity.  seeing different people helps me see God more wholly and clearly, and helps me to love Him more.  He is so big, God of all the world! and loves us so closely and compassionately.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

at this point in my life, as i’m preparing to be a wife and to make a home with my husband, i have to consider the ways that traveling will fit into this life that can look like a certain thing.  “married life” can take on this image, healthily or unhealthily, of what it should be.  one of the ways John and I really connect is by our love for travel and ministering to people around the world.  “well what happens when you have kids?”  “how long would you be overseas?” and a thousand other questions come up, and that’s okay!  we will travel, we will have children (whether by blood or otherwise), we will love extravagantly and live well and follow the Spirit’s call.

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.
-Robert Louis Stevenson

so where do i want to go?  really, where do i not want to go!  high up on my list is Sweden, Israel and the middle-east, Poland and eastern Europe, Ireland and Scotland, and of course, Greece.  to pack my bags well, read up on the cultures beforehand, and go is addicting.

where have you been?  where do you want to go?


In thoughts on God, thoughts on me, thoughts on things on January 1, 2012 at 8:43 pm

the fire is burning, the rain is coming down, mean girls is on the tv, and i am excited to paint my toenails a bright cherry red.  2012 is here y’all, and there’s something great about it!  don’t you agree?

i haven’t always been a lover of the new years resolution.  it’s always seemed a little stressful to try and “perfect” my life by promising to achieve ultimate health and wellness, become extremely well-read, and a myriad of other things that i really would like out of my life, all at once.  re: my intense love for taking my time, gradual change, sweet tea… you know the drill.

but as a lover of lists and goals in general, i’ve come to embrace the year-long outlook and have developed an appreciation for realistic, challenging, and inspiring goals and exciting reminders about the things to come in the new year.

2012 is going to be a year i’ll remember all my life.  i absolutely love the turning of new seasons in life!  there’s so much that will be going on and changing so quickly this year.  i recall the words of my dear newlywed gal-pal emily, “there will be times when everything will overwhelm you.  enjoy those times.  enjoy it all.”   and that, emily and all, is what i resolve to do!

2011 was a year that was difficult, sweet, blessing-filled, a year where the Lord pursued my heart and i experienced new and deep things with Him.  i started dating John, rode a roller-coaster of jobs, learned more how to trust God with every detail of my life, joined a church, wrote and recorded songs, and got engaged.  so i blow a kiss to 2011 and smile at the things to come!

in 2012 i will get a stable job, praise the Lord.

in 2012 i will plan and prepare for a wedding and marriage.

in 2012, i’m gonna get married!

in 2012, i’ll move into and make a sweet, warm home with my husband-to-be, John.

in 2012, i’ll have wonderfully recorded versions of some songs of mine to share with everyone!


in 2012, i resolve to more intentionally seek the Lord first in my day, with my time, my mind, my heart, and my will.  to not forsake my first love, and to love Him first!

in 2012, i resolve to become more of an intercessor.

in 2012, i resolve to love the people around me more intentionally and nurture the relationships i have.

i resolve to laugh a lot!  great big laughs of freedom and love!

for january (with my month-to-month resolution friends) i resolve to limit soda (i’m not a huge soda buff to begin with) and not eat fries!  ah! you can take my sodas but you can never take…. my french fries!!!


and you know, there are plenty of other things, but i’ll keep it at that.

so with a belly full of black eyed peas and collard greens, happy 2012 to you –  a year of blessing and breakthrough!

day 99 – why ya gotta do that, zooey deschanel?

In thoughts on things on December 29, 2011 at 3:53 pm

herein-lies my annoyances and overall appreciations towards actor/singer-songwriter/entrepreneur, zooey deschanel.

everyone loves you, zooey.  from the moment you charmed your way into our hearts in your green and red spandex and perfectly original voice in Elf, we knew you’d be here to stay.

then you marry Ben Gibbard.  all quietly and mysteriously and away from the public eye, we had to respect you and imagine what life would be like in your personally decorated home playing songs to one another.

and then you pair up with indie-folk giant M. Ward to produce fresh and warm sounds of yesteryear.  okay, Ben Gibbard and M. Ward, and jazzy, old-timey Camera Obscura-esque songwriting, along with a modest tour around the US in drool-worthy sparkly outfits?  then 500 Days of Summer with a perfect character and soundtrack.  girls like me had to feel the subtle twinge of envy mixed in with love.

we’re like you zooey!  but we’ve been in our small towns and totally un-famous, growing up on our joni mitchell and ella fitzgerald, singing along to death cab for cutie and scribbling songs in our journals.  we’ve been your biggest fans because you are so like us!  but you see, i can’t help but feel you capitalizing on that sound, that look, that style, that personality.  you’re capitalizing on things that make me me!  and now people say i am like you!   okay, i stole your hair-do a little here and there, but you know, it just made you look so sweet and fun.

i love singing christmas songs.  thankfully i eked in a version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” last year before you came out with A Very She and Him Christmas.  but what happened this year when i had the brilliant idea to record another Christmas favorite, The Christmas Song?  you got to it!  in fact you got to all of them, all of the best ones!  and i just can’t follow that zooey.  i’m raising my little white flag.

so i thought, oh yes, i know what i can do!  a New Years song!  Auld Lang Syne or What are You Doing New Years Eve!  i even practiced my voicing in the car, dreaming up instrumentation.  you just came out with your version of all the Christmas favorites, after all.  surely i’d have my pick of nye tunes!


and you did it with a ukelele and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  you win zooey deschanel.  you always do.

and i still love you.  but why ya gotta go and do that!?

day 98 – fun news from the heart of yours truly

In thoughts on me, thoughts on things on December 22, 2011 at 12:38 am

it was a beautiful day, delicately planned, prayed over, and poured into.

and i got to enjoy it as a complete surprise and treat!

just another Saturday, a day with 24 hours in it, just like the rest of them.

but in it i was taken away in the middle of the night, straight out of a sleep,

taken on a road trip adventure,

i watched the sun rise with the love of my life and best friend on the shore

with candles, flowers, blankets, and the cool winter ocean air,

and was wonderfully proposed to.

and i said yes, of course!


it will be an honor to learn with him, to lean into the Spirit and hope in Him with each other, for forever.

we want to hear His voice and see His glory more than anything!

my heart is full of treasures!