Wednesday, October 29, 2014

our weekly coffee date...

If we were on a coffee date, I would order something over ice, because for the love, it is still in the 90’s here in Southern California.

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about how this Friday is Halloween, which means the holiday season is upon us! Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years… let’s resolve to not let our plans and to-do lists and Pinterest projects run our lives this season, okay?

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask you about your secret place; the place where it’s just you and God, where you are able to get on your knees and be honest and messy.

If we were on a coffee date, my journal would make an appearance. Lately, I have been learning so much, and we would most definitely be talking about that.

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you that this past weekend was a breathe of fresh air. Celebrating my birthday with great friends, food, laughter, and adventure.

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask you to pray for me, because the struggle is REAL.

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask you about the times God has delivered you and proven Himself faithful. I would ask because I think we all need people to remind us of those times once in a while, you know?

*These posts are inspired by this lady. She's a new favorite.*

Friday, October 24, 2014


For the past 25 years of my life, God has been so good to me. I look at each year, each trial and blessing, and through both, have been incredibly thankful for all. I have learned so much, and those lessons have not come cheaply.

This year, my 24th, has been a complete rollercoaster. Friends, many of you have seen me through some wild times; there has been rejection, loss of dreams, beautiful and hard ministry, new opportunities, travel, questioning, health issues, spiritual issues, and so much more. My life has been filled to the brim, rich in every way; the lows have been overwhelmingly dark and the highs have been a radiantly bright.

25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years
(in no particular order)

1. Drawing near to Jesus is just as important in the joys as it is in the trials. 

2. Learn to be still and let the Lord fight for you sometimes; this life is not meant to be lived under your control, but the control of the Almighty. Accept this and life gets a tad bit easier.

3. Sometimes the greatest Friday nights are spent on the couch. Cue the candles, comfy blankets, popcorn, and mildly inappropriate shows (The Mindy Project? Marry Me? New Girl? YES, ALL OF THEM, YES.).

4. Don't be afraid of the hard things. 

5. Sometimes it’s okay to break the budget on a Target spree (those dollar bins and Cartwheel and Shopkick and for the love, THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING ON SALE).

6. Laugh at yourself. Literally, laugh at yourself in moments of stupidity, embarrassment, and failure. If you take yourself too seriously, you will end up missing some of the greatest moments of life.

7. Striving to appear perfect is a waste of time. Christ didn’t die for your perfection; He died for your hot mess of a life.

8. Don’t be ashamed of your past, your family, the skeletons in your closet.  Everyone has their thing, so don’t be insecure about your thing.

9. God is for you, not against you. Emotions tell you differently, cling to truth.

10. Saying no is okay. Learning to say no to good things gives you the ability to say yes to the great things.

11. Anxiety is a real thing. 

12. Singleness is just as sanctifying as marriage.

13. The best way to kill a spider is with hairspray (#singlegirlwoes [see above]).

14. There is such a thing as too much Pinterest. Stop comparing and striving and live your life.

15. Sometimes being between a rock and a hard place means you’re between a good thing and a godly thing. Follow the godly thing, always.

16. There is something powerful about calling your mom and hearing her say that you are going to be okay. Being an adult is hard, and to have someone who knows you deeply tell you that you are going to make it? Soothes the soul like WOAH.

17. Don’t underestimate the power of a solo dance party.

18. You are not the friends you have, the medicine you take, the career you pursue, the man you marry, how well you fit into your jeans… You are found in Christ. Know that, believe that.

19. Take yourself on a date. Drive to the beach, go see a movie, eat lunch at your favorite café, splurge on a frilly coffee or a new dress.

20. The best way to grow in the Lord is on your knees.

21. Social media is a highlight reel. Real life is messy and gritty and wild and unfiltered. Live in that place.

22. Sometimes, the only accurate, valid response to life is a cuss word. (I am a sinner, obvi.)

23. A mentor can be the greatest, wisest choice you can make for yourself. Find someone who encourages you, challenges you, speaks truth into you, and texts you eCards and emojis and takes care of you when you have surgery and freak out over WebMD articles.

24. Prioritize rest.

25. Your high school crush is probably just as dreamy as he was in high school. At least, mine is…

What are some of the greatest lessons you have learned in your short time on earth?
Are you a fan of the solo dance party, and if not, WHY?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

our weekly coffee date...

If we were on a coffee date, I would redeem my free Starbucks birthday drink, because tomorrow is my birthday.

If we were on a coffee date, the topic of a quarter-life crisis would be discussed because I am turning 25 tomorrow and HOW DID THAT EVEN HAPPEN? WHAT IS LIFE?

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about change. Are you good with change? How do you handle it? Because friends, apparently I am just horrible at it. Navigating change is NOT my spiritual gift, let me just tell you that right now.

If we were on a coffee date, I would share with you that I am SO thankful for the people in my life, for you. I am definitely blessed by the love, prayers, and care of a great army of people and I praise God for that every single day.

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about make-up and appearance and how sometimes it’s just terribly exhausting. I assure you, the people of Trader Joe’s and Target do not care if we come to them in yoga pants, a messy bun, and no make-up. I am just here for the pumpkin cinnamon roles and Up & Up cleaning supplies, thank you very much.  

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you that my favorite pastor to listen to, as of late, is Louie Giglio. Please look up his sermon series, “Goliath Must Fall” and the sermon “Strong IN The Lord”. They will encourage your heart and change your life.

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about rest and saying no and trusting in God.

*These posts are inspired by this lady. She's a new favorite.*

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

our weekly coffee date (where we learn some Hebrew)...

If we were on a coffee date, I would order an iced latte with whole milk and not sweetener paired with a slice of pumpkin bread, because that sounds like heaven at this very moment.

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you that I am learning to stop fighting and to simply accept.

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you that the whole “Quarter Life Crisis” thing is real. (Turning 25 in a week and a half and it’s making me a HOT MESS of a person.)

If we were on a coffee date, we would watch the music video that Jimmy Fallon just created for his "Ew" parody. That man is a comical genius and can rap with the best of them.

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask you what God is teaching you right now… What are you reading through? How is God reminding you of His truth?

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about life and cancer and the hard things and how they shape our view of God.

If we were on a coffee date, I would share with you Psalm 91 and how I am clinging to the promise that Christ is our metsudah (Hebrew for “inaccessible place). The things of this world have no access to us; there is no place for fear amongst the grace and love found at His throne.

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask how I can be praying for you, and pray for you right there. Prayer, it’s such a beautiful opportunity.

*These posts are inspired by this lady. She's a new favorite.*

Monday, October 13, 2014

on misalignment...

Chiropractors scare me. At least, they always did… until I went to one.

Naturally, I was having some pain in my back and neck. Before they can begin adjusting you, they have to take x-rays of your spine, back, etc. As the resident hypochondriac of my friends and family, my first question to my chiropractor in lieu of my x-rays was “Do I have any masses? Any tumor-like substances in my chest? Cancer? Honestly, I am expecting something like that, so you can tell me, I think I can take it...” LITERAL WORDS. Apparently, I wore my crazy pants that day. And, as I am sure to your shock and amazement, there were no masses found. Praise Jesus and hallelujah! (Seriously, I was praising Jesus, because again, CRAZY PANTS).

What he did in fact find was that my neck was in Stage 1 Misalignment. He told me that this happens most commonly from car accidents, or other instances where whiplash has occurred. The cause of my misalignment is different than that of a bad case of whiplash, and my chiropractor and I created a plan to get my neck back to its healthy, normally curved state.  

Friends, I was dwelling on this thought of misalignment and health and all that God has taught me through this long season…

It’s easy to become misaligned; the whiplash of life’s tragedies and joys throw us out of tune with our Lord.

Align: to make straight, to make parallel, to support.

To align ourselves to Jesus is to make ourselves parallel to Him, to support Him and His causes for this world, for our own hearts.

The loss of a friendship, moving cross-country for a new career opportunity, the knowledge of an affair, the loss of a child, an unplanned pregnancy, unmet desires of the heart, addiction, waiting seasons, frail emotions, or the painful, spiritual dry spell... It’s hard, it’s messy. All of these things can cause spiritual whiplash and spiritual misalignment in our lives... How do we praise God during a deep tragedy, one that shakes the very core of who we are and who we believe God to be? How do we continue to dwell in His presence daily when life seems to give us a little more than we can handle?

And there are other times when our lives become misaligned and we are simply not aware. I had no idea that my neck was in such a bad shape until I started experiencing pain. Little habits created my pain, and it wasn’t until I experienced the pain that I became aware of them and was able to begin trying to change them. Sometimes, it takes tangible pain to wake us up from the hole we have dug in our own sin. 

Misalignment in our spiritual lives, I think, shows up in very different ways… Idolatry, wrong motivations, lack of spiritual discipline, and loss of direction. Our hearts become unruly and we cling to emotion rather than truth. (Side note: John Piper has an AMAZING article on praying for your heart. You can find it here.) This is where we recognize our state, diagnose our misalignment, and create a plan to correct it (much like my chiropractor and I did). This will take a lot of prayer, discipline, and patience with Jesus, but again, aligning ourselves to Christ is a lifelong journey.

Tragedy shakes us and unhealthy habits form us, but we have a God who has enough grace and mercy and power to mold us into something beautiful despite those things.

Throughout any type of tragedy or season, God is faithful and good and welcomes our unruly character back into His presence. He takes the whiplash, the sinful habits and blunt tragedies, and uses them to reconstruct us to Himself. The misalignment is then re-aligned through a new desire for Christ and His work in our lives.

Be encouraged today, that if you feel lost, or dry, or misaligned, that He will be faithful to turn you back to Him. 

Align yourself to Him, for He is the only one worthy of being aligned to, no matter how painful or uncomfortable it may be.