The Becoming

…the becoming is even better than the being. It’s where the change happens, It’s where the bravery happens.

It’s where the magic happens. — Mandy Hale “Beautiful Uncertainty”


Earlier this year, I choose the word “emerge” as my word of the year. I had no clue what that looked like but I had this desire to no longer be a shell of my former self. The previous year had been full of pain, sadness, numbness, and just going through the motions. I was over it. I needed to move on. I needed to find joy and purpose again. I needed to do whatever it took to get there. Fast forward five months and again life looks nothing like I had ever imagined.

Thankfully, new opportunities, new friends, and involvement in youth ministry have reignited a sense of purpose in my life and joy. I am learning again what I am good at, what I enjoy, what brings me life, and what is dispensable.

If I’m being totally honest, emerging does not come without its own set of growing pains. The past few months have also been filled with stress, questioning, and lots of “what am I doing” moments. During this, the book “Beautiful Uncertainty” came out and spoke into so much of what I was going through. The author, Mandy Hale, is popularly known as “The Single Woman” and writes a lot about singleness, but this book had so many layers beyond that. It is a book for anyone to read that is going through a time of transformation. I was so glad it came along at a time so needed for me. You can grab this book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.



Silent Saturday


Silent Saturday has become one of my favorite days over the past few years. It is a reminder to me that God is working behind the scenes. That, when I feel hopeless, is when He is working the hardest. That he sees the big picture far better than I ever could.
It also reminds me that doubts and questions are totally a part of the human experience. That there are times we need to embrace the silence, the doubts, the darkness. We want to skip over the bad stuff. Over Easter weekend you tend to hear the phrase “Sunday’s coming” and YAY for being able to celebrate Easter. I am beginning to believe more and more that for Easter to have a deep impact on our lives, we need to not skip over Saturday and what that day means.
I often wonder what this day was like all those years ago for Jesus’ followers. To have spent so much time with him, believing His teachings, seeing miracles, and then watching Him die like the worst of all criminals. For the first time, having to believe in what they could not see. If I’m honest with myself and you, I would have to say at that point I would be tempted to just be done. I would have felt like I fell for another con, and it was time to reassess my life choices.
I think there was some of that. Some of the disciples had returned to their old jobs by the time Sunday had rolled around. They were back to doing what they knew. They weren’t waiting at the tomb thinking that he was going to come back. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to me like they struggled with doubt at that point too. Thankfully for them and us, the story doesn’t end on Saturday. As Christ-followers, we celebrate Easter as a day that God fulfilled His promise. I also see it as a time of redemption for those of us that have those times of doubt and question. The bad stuff doesn’t need to be scary. Doubts don’t need to make  you run for the hills thinking you aren’t a “good Christian.” I think those times can strengthen us like no other.


Emerge…One Word 365 for 2016

I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to see a new year than I have been today. 2015 was a jerk. Because of where my mindset has been, I kept telling myself that I didn’t need to have a “word” for 2016. That I wasn’t ready. That it wouldn’t matter.

Just a couple weeks ago, I kept seeing a butterfly in my mind. The picture of new birth just would not leave me. Then, my word hit me…emerge. I am not the person I was a year ago. To deal with loss, I have gone into a cocoon of sorts. I’ve changed silently. I haven’t known how to deal with it, so I’ve kept to myself.

It’s time to emerge. I don’t completely know what that looks like yet, but I’m willing to give it a shot. I think this means taking chances and saying yes to opportunities that come my way and take things from there. It means letting go of the idea in my head of what life should look like and make the most of what it actually does look like. It means letting people in and allowing myself to be known. It’s not going to be pretty or easy. “Emerge” is terrifying, but necessary.

If you want to join me on this journey of looking at your year through the lens of one word, check out

Sandcastle Kings….book review

SK cover

“Even after encountering Jesus and being transformed from life to death, many believers allow their pain and sorrow to control them. They let their setbacks and mistakes define them. They put their faith in the same people who let them down before. In other words, they keep on building the same old sandcastles.”

Sandcastles. Building them was never one of the things I liked doing at the beach. When I did it went like this: Put all the sand in a bucket. Pack it down as much as I could. Repeat this process until there is no more room left in the bucket, then turn the bucket upside down and admire my sand mound. Yeah, I’m not so artistic.

The thing with sand is that once the waves come crashing in or a rain storm comes, the creation we work so hard on goes right back to its original form. If you want a structure that lasts, it has to be made out of something durable. Something that will stand up against the elements.

As Christians, we are taught a story that Jesus told about 2 houses…one that was built on sand and one that was built on rock. When the storm came, the house on the rock was still standing…the house on the sand was rubble. The moral of the story was that we should build our lives on what lasts…a relationship with Jesus.

In the book “Sandcastle Kings,” Rich Wilkerson Jr takes us on a journey of what it looks like to build your life on Jesus. He seamlessly weaves the bible with personal experiences and makes these tough truths about the Christian life more accessible. It was relatable. You find yourself nodding with him all over this book. You see Jesus not necessarily in a new light but in a clearer light. You see clearly how Jesus is love but also black and white on sin. It’s not an either/or…it’s and.

Sandcastle Kings is a great book for those still seeking their faith, those new to a relationship with Jesus, and those who just need a fresh perspective.

You can pick up a copy of Sandcastle Kings at

The truth about Santa (and other harsh realities)



It was the Christmas after I had turned 10. The previous few months were a whirlwind of life change for a nine-year-old. Being packed up in a truck and taken away from the only home that I loved. Parents divorce. Abuse. Being torn between my parents and realizing that my choice had consequences. A few more trips across state lines. Finally being able to return home for good. It was a summer that would change my life and solidified the type of person I am.

Back in Montana for my first Christmas as a kid with visitation obligations, I was still excited to see my Grandpa’s tree overflowing with presents (that side of  my family is pretty big) and stockings on the mantel. I was a typical kid on Christmas eve…full of excitement and suspense, waiting for Santa’s arrival. I was not tired. My mom realized I was still awake and told me to go to bed. I explained that I was staying up to see Santa. I wanted to make sure he knew where I was. (Yes, I’ve always been a planner and control freak.) What happened in that next moment is something no kid likes to hear… “There is no Santa.” I may have yelled at that statement, not believing what I heard. In that exchange, the last piece of my childhood innocence was taken from me. I had already had to grow up way too quickly and deal with things no child should have to handle and now not even Santa was safe.

For the next Christmas back at home (as seen above), I learned to play along with the Santa is real scheme. In time, I learned to love Santa again and realized that whether he is real or not doesn’t matter int he grand scheme of things. Christmas is about more than a jolly old man bring junk in my stocking.

Truth is…reality is not always fun. There are parts of reality that I wish I could skip over. This year has felt like hearing the truth about Santa over and over. I learned that parents actually die and leave you to fend for yourself. I learned that as independent as I am, I have felt lost without my dad here. There is a big void. I’ve learned that the loss of a parent throws you ito this club you didn’t want to be in and at times can feel very lonely, but can also make relationships closer with people who “get it.” I’ve learned that dreams may need tweaking after hitting roadblock after roadblock. Basically, I think 2015 can jump off a cliff.

As I look forward to 2016, I am ready to figure out what this new reality looks like. I want to “love Santa again even though he isn’t real” and find joy in the new normal. I want to push aside the expectations of others and focus on the race I’ve been given in this life. We all have bumps in the road, and things happen that are out of our control. We have the ability to take our obstacles and sorrows and make them into something that will make a difference in someone else’s life (or the world).



“There is a clear correlation between how we treat each other and how a watching world will feel about Jesus.” Jen Hatmaker


Opinions. We all have them. Our brains, environment, and experiences work together to form a personal worldview. Having a view and belief system is amazing. It makes us human. It can be a catalyst for change. It can right wrongs.

Unfortunately, in this age of social media, the way we express our worldviews has a growing dark side. Opinions are shoved down throats, trolled across Facebook streams, and have drawn a line in the sand.

We are a divided people. When your opinion differs from mine, it has become easier to say you are wrong, ignorant, close-minded without looking at my own judgmentalness. When the back and forth, argumentative rhetoric is coming from Christians on both sides, I have to wonder what kind of message we are sending to the world. What I love about my faith is that I don’t have to have all the answers. What matters is that I believe in a God who loves us so much that He came to save a fallen world and a “me” who has missed the mark many times. All the other stuff pales in comparison to that.

It’s not my job to force my opinion down your throat when it comes to so many of today’s issues. It’s not my job to comment on every Facebook post that I don’t agree with and tell the world why you are wrong and I am right. It’s not my job to put you on public blast because I don’t look at the world the same way you do. There has to be a better, more loving way to express ourselves. There has to be a way to express what you believe without putting down other beliefs.

Over the last couple weeks, I read a book called “For the Love” which discusses so many issues and really spurred this blog post. This book has a little something for everyone and will challenge your thinking. Grab your copy here.

Stop the Comparison Game


“Small things have big influence.”— Emily P. Freeman

We are told at a young age that we can be anything we want to be. It’s totally acceptable for a child to want to be a cowboy or a princess or president. When I was in sixth grade, that meant I was going to Harvard. My Language Arts teacher never made me feel like that dream was not attainable. He encouraged me every step of the way to make that dream a reality. Never telling me that the chances of acceptance were slim or that even if I was accepted, affording it was a whole other challenge. I will never forget how he let me dream dreams that were bigger than myself and gave me the confidence to fight for what I wanted.

Since then, my dreams have changed, but I still have always wanted a life bigger than myself and bigger than my circumstances and have accomplished most anything I set my mind to. I am surrounded by people doing extraordinary things. They have big lives that are fueled by big dreams. In my “grown-up” state, I have begun to play the comparison game. I look at what they are doing or have done or are going to do, and I think that my dreams and accomplishments are not enough. Even more so, that God’s calling on my life isn’t significant enough. I have bought into the lie that the ones on the front lines are the important ones.

God has called us all to different things. The Bible says we are all “the body of Christ” and that each part needs the others in order to function properly. I have been given a great example in my own life of how true this is. A few weeks ago, my thumb started hurting and locking up. I quickly realized how much I depend on this little appendage. Writing with a pen was difficult, opening anything had to be done with the other hand…this little part of myself was creating chaos because it wasn’t doing what it was designed to do.

During this time, I also started reading “Simply Tuesday” by Emily P. Freeman. This book hit the nail on the head. In a world that celebrates big things, we need to see the significance in the small. There are no small callings in God’s world. If He has given you a task, it’s huge and needs YOU to accomplish it. By feeling like it is a “small task” or not as great as what someone else is doing, you are depriving the world of something great. When I compare what I am doing with someone else and thinking the grass is greener on the other side, I am saying that I know better than God for what my life should look like. If we each wholeheartedly embraced our tasks, callings, and God-given dreams, how incredible would this world be?

**”Simply Tuesday” hit the stores today! If you want to see more ways on how to embrace simplicity, I highly recommend picking it up. You can get it here.

Learning as I Go



This season has been a struggle. More of a struggle than I imagined. I would even venture to say it’s been more difficult than the last. Being a task-oriented person, I am uncomfortable when all I can do in a situation is feel, and that is where I am. This has also been the season in the grieving process where life has moved on for the rest of the world (which it should), but in so many ways it hasn’t for me. That has been the underlying cause for my silence. In my stubbornness, I don’t want to reach out because I am exhausted, lonely, and generally feeling silly for still being sad.

The other night, in that still small voice down in my heart, I heard, “You know how you are longing for human contact and connection, that is only a fraction of how much I want to be connected with you.” I realized that in my sadness and inner focus, I’ve also left God behind in so many small ways.

Maybe you can relate. We tend to cry out to God in the really bad times and praise Him in the really good times, but in the normal day to day, it’s easy to let that relationship fade to the background. I think as with all relationships, it’s not always a dramatic choice we make in a moment, but it’s an accumulation of little hurts or little moments that go unnoticed until you turn around and see that the expanse between you two is great.

It was a good reminder to me that even when I don’t feel like it, I have to “check-in” with my relationships. When it comes to God, I can’t go days or weeks without purposefully investing in that relationship. As much as I cherish my in-person relationships… when I neglect my relationship with God, it is truly like neglecting the deepest part of myself and everything else is out of whack. If you are feeling out of line, take a look inside and see what needs to be put back in place.

Dealing with the Inevitable

This space has been quiet…too quiet. In so many ways, it truly represents where I’m at.





The past couple months have had some amazing moments, but there has been a shadow of sadness lingering. I know in my head that I have to allow myself to go through this process to fully embrace this new season in my life, but I want to shut out the hurt. I don’t want to let people know that dealing with loss is unbearable at times; that I have so many emotions running through me that the one I choose to embrace more often than not is numbness.

Yesterday, I went to see Inside Out. Ever since I heard that this movie was coming out, I’ve been obsessed with it. Little did I know the true impact it would have on me and speak to me during this time in life. Without wanting to be spoiler alert central, I was so moved by the message of how important all our emotions are. To be whole, we need to allow the not so desirable emotions in our lives to get to the good stuff.

Tomorrow is Father’s Day. My first Father’s Day not buying a card or making a phone call. Honestly, there have been a few times in the past couple weeks when I started to go look at the card aisle before realizing that I didn’t need to buy one. This holiday is only one of many that will be full of firsts this year. As these moments come, I want to be purposeful and embrace all that comes. I want to fight the temptation to be numb. I will try to allow the good feelings and bad intermingle.


Dreaming in the Desert…book review




We all have them. Looking back on my life, I have made almost every dream that I’ve had (that was in my control) come true. I’m not saying that to brag…in fact, most of the time I’ve made a dream a reality, it turned out to be a disaster.

When I picked up this latest book from my pastor, I had mixed thoughts. On one hand, I was not looking forward to reading another “dreamer” book, but I’ve loved his other books, so I thought “why not.” I was pleasantly surprised that this wasn’t just another “do this and your dreams will come true” book. This was an honest look at pursuing your dreams while staying grounded. How to keep pursuing them in the face of disappointment and the unknown.

In my life, I’ve seen many seasons of desert life while walking toward what I believe God has for me. I’ve also seen how by being open to opportunities as they’ve presented themselves, I’ve been able to see dreams come to life that I had long ago surrendered. Our dreams are funny things that take a crazy amount of faith and persistence.


You can pick up your copy of What Keeps You up at Night here.