Word of the Year: 2020 to 2021

Processing perspective, forecasting fulfillment.

For the growth-minded individual, 2020 begs to be reflected upon. I would contend that each of us has witnessed the thresholds of our disappointment tolerance rise; then, at times, at least, the capacity of our hopes fall. I am certainly no exception. Nonetheless, in reflection, I choose to delight in the ways God has sustained me and transformed the way I think, even through a year like 2020. I remember that to Him, a year is like an infinitesimal fraction of a day.

The word I dwelled on to guide my year was “perspective.” Perspective is the way we see things, and for me, this particularly meant the way I see the world and interact within it. What a timely word to enter my spirit before I would step into a season where fundamentally, everything I perceived about the year to come would dissolve into incessant unpredictability. In tandem, the desires I had for the trajectory of my life began to unravel, revealing impure and often indeterminate motives. Navel-gazing is a fitting term I’ve learned for the way I spent prior months of planning egocentrically disregarding how there might be more to the desires I had possessed. In my physical isolation in a small town, my perspective began to shift to one which is global and eternal. God was trying to answer a persisting prayer–I only had to pause and listen.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2

Slightly over three years ago, I went to the beach at sunrise nearly every day, praying the same prayer. Definitively, I didn’t know what I cared about in life. It seemed like everyone around me, especially within the realm of believers I had newly entered, knew exactly what mattered to them–which of the world’s problems they were going to solve and how. Given, in hindsight, I recognize my perception did not accurately reflect reality. Still, I knew I wanted to figure out God’s purpose for my life, disparate from the narrow plans I had left Him out of. So I asked God to give me a dream. Over and over, when I didn’t know what else to pray, a desperate plea of “please give me a dream for my life” became my mantra (often followed by, “because I don’t know what I’m doing!”).

I have gradually but radically changed over the last couple of years. But even after getting involved with organizations and causes of many backgrounds, I did not find one which settled into my spirit the way I trusted a dream would. In those years, I was circumspect in pursuing or even admitting inklings of dreams I’d had out of fear of misperception, lack of support, and failure. I thought my dreams might be lofty and therefore unattainable; so I pulled them back under the covers to sleep, not to be awakened unless by happenstance. Then, it was through forced seasons of rest when I learned that rest was the very thing which would rouse my purpose.

I am burdened by the way the world’s dispositions to time, work and rest have fallen so far from the rhythms God designed and modeled since the Genesis story of creation. I am burdened by the lack of boundaries in a seemingly endless work week. I am burdened by how infrequently I find two or more people who are truly present with one another, free of distractions and ostensible multitasking. In response, I’ve begun to practice a weekly Sabbath. I’m working toward continuously learning what this has looked like biblically and historically, and what that means for today. Although I am wending my way to concrete steps forward, God has expanded my faith to believe there is hope for change, and I can be a part of it should I offer myself freely to Him.

2020 taught me to dream. God answered many of my prayers this year in unexpected ways, as He does so well. My perspective has been entirely renewed and I have a number of dreams I might have laughed at a year ago, that I wholeheartedly believe I will see fulfilled. Rest seems to be a central theme through them all. In 2021, I am choosing to meditate on the word “fulfillment.” There are two definitions I consider here. “The achievement of something desired, promised, or predicted” serves as encouragement to hold onto hope to see dreams come to fruition. I can trust God’s character of grace and generosity to remain. “Satisfaction or happiness as a result of fully developing one’s abilities or character” demonstrates fulfillment as more than achievement, but contentment with progress. I want to find fulfillment in the things I pour my time and energy into regardless of circumstances, because my character has much room to develop through them all.

If I’m being honest, many of the dreams God has put on my heart this year scare me. Unless I put them in perspective and remember who gave them to me, I often feel overwhelmed by and alone in them. In many ways, that is all the confidence I need to know I am headed in the right direction, knowing any plans may only be accomplished through Him.

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. Philippians 3:12

Peace and blessings to you in the New Year.

Picturing the Promised Land

Why do you keep trying to picture the Promised Land?

During a time of such uncertainty where making plans nearly feels painful, I’ve been yearning for something absolute. Each time disappointment and defeat has washed over me in the last two months, I’ve had to choose to remember the Lord’s promises which prevail beyond what I’m able to plan for. Like most people, I have hopes for what my future might look like. I feel settled about certain desires God has placed in my heart, but frustration sets in when I realize that I’m unable to picture them in a palpable way. While on a prayer bike ride yesterday (highly recommended), I felt the title of this blog come over me with the question: “Why do you keep trying to picture the Promised Land?” I’ll use the Abrahamic covenant of the Promised Land to depict my conviction from this. Two thousand years before Jesus was born, through Abraham, God promised the land we know as Israel to His people. Abram (as he was first called) was living a comfortable life in old age before God called him to leave it all behind:

The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others”… So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed. (Genesis 12:1-2, 4)

When reading the Bible, it’s easy to miss the emotions behind the actions we read about. Abraham trusted the Lord without any other picture of this Promised Land besides knowing it as “The Land of Milk and Honey,” and left his life for the unknown, becoming the father of the Hebrew people. Abraham was a human just like you and me. Although his faith in the Lord was obviously enough to make the decision to obey, I doubt it was without hesitation. If God asked us to do something similar in today’s age, I imagine responses of “But can I bring this?” or “Will I still have that?”. Abraham likely had some questions of his own, but God’s promise was enough of a picture to satisfy his soul.

I think we try to picture the Promised Land because we like to feel in control. Many of us trust God to make good on His promises, but we still worry because we can’t know what it will look like when He does. We know God will make sure we find a job that provides for our needs, but deep down we’re afraid it won’t pay enough to allow for the lifestyle we’re comfortable with. To that I say, we were never meant to live comfortably. We know God has someone out there for us to marry, but we worry it’ll take too long. Yet, we’re foolish to think we’re ready now, if God thinks we’re not. We’re scared we’ll never get to a place of contentment and happiness, but God gently asks if we’ve let Him show us what true joy looks like. God promises us a land of milk and honey in our own lives through intimate relationship with the creator of the universe. He allows the desires of our hearts to come alive when our hearts are aligned with His. Still, we struggle to fully trust in these promises because we do not know what they will look like– or more honestly, if they will look like what we want them to.

Did Abraham try to picture what life in the Promised Land would look like before he left his homeland? Probably. But remembering the Lord’s covenant to him and his descendants (including you and I) allowed him to confidently follow God’s calling. For me personally, this all calls for a ceasing of striving. I am quick to try to make things happen on my own, just because I know God has called me to something generally. This becomes a problem when I stop consulting God for each next step, and try to jump ahead to the Promised Land.

After Abraham and his family spent some time in the Promised Land (then known as Canaan), a famine hit and they were forced to flee to Egypt for food. In time, the Hebrew people were perceived as a threat and enslaved there for over four hundred years. This is what the Bible says during part of the journey of returning to Canaan:

When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea. (Exodus 13: 17-18)

How beautiful is it that God ensured His people would receive His promise, even though it may not have been the way they imagined? It wasn’t the quickest way, but it was the way God saw was best fit. If trying to picture the Promised Land is keeping you from wholeheartedly trusting in and following God, remember this…

What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you. (Genesis 28:15)


Investments & Adventures: September

Autumn happiness, combating anxiety, & the adventure 🙂

So I’ve never been one of those people who obsesses over autumn, & I certainly couldn’t care less about pumpkin spice anything… but I am SO excited for fall this year. It’s a little odd having temperatures in the 80s & up at the end of September after having spent last fall in Colorado, but Virginia is getting there slowly but surely. I don’t have any special trips to share this month–the only place I travelled to was Greenville, NC for a day and a half to visit my college & meet some professors. However, I do have a different adventure to share as you’ll read below! First, on a bit of a heavier note, my investment for the month was in combating anxiety.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while (or just know me more relationally) you’ll know that anxiety is something I’ve dealt with as long as I can remember. Even though the ways it has presented itself have changed over time, & although I spent the better part of my teenage years trying to combat it professionally, it isn’t completely gone. I’ve learned that the devil will do everything in his power to tear us down, most intensely when we are in our best alignment with God. For me, September has been proof of that–every day I was leaning into the Lord more & more and to be honest, the blessings kept flooding in from many aspects of my life. Of course, that’s when the devil would whisper lies trying to convince me of things I knew were not of God.

“You probably shouldn’t get your hopes up, because you’re just going to be disappointed again.”

“You might be happy now, but it’s not going to last long.”

“You’ll never be good enough and you don’t deserve what you’re receiving.”

All of these lies were the exact opposite of what I know God has been trying to redeem within me for the last two years, so I knew I couldn’t trust those thoughts when they entered my mind. But when they did enter, anxiety ensued, and it was a vicious cycle of highs & lows. Thankfully, I (WE!) have the tools to receive peace & rest from negative emotions through prayer, the Bible, & what I affectionately call “quiet time” spent with the Lord. These were the things I had to intentionally choose over my tendencies to dwell in anxiety. To be totally transparent, it was exhausting. I felt like a human pendulum as I sought to magnify the voice of God over the devil’s attacks on my spirit. Even though combating anxiety does not come without some exhaustion, I knew I could prioritize rest & relationships with those important people in my life in order to help myself cope with some of the “side effects” of the spiritual battle it felt like I was facing. As the month comes to a close, I can honestly say that those anxious thoughts have simmered down tremendously after fighting back the only way I know how.

If you haven’t heard the news… September’s adventure came in the form of a new relationship 🙂 I’m sure you’ll hear more about Jay in the blogs to come but for now, I am just super grateful that our paths aligned when they did so I could have such an admirable, endearing man of God to call my boyfriend.

I took a look back on a post I wrote about a year ago, “Not Afraid to Fall“, to remember that I had once absolutely dreaded this season of the year. I haven’t had that thought cross my mind even one time in 2019 until I read what I had written! I referred to fall as “my jinxed time of year”–that’s laughable to me today! All of this to say, God is continuing to redeem my story, every tear I’ve cried & every anxiety attack I’ve endured even though I am undeserving. If the colder seasons aren’t your jam and you’re starting to feel down like I did, remember that the Lord wants to show you what true joy is no matter the literal or metaphorical season.

Investments & Adventures: August

A Wilmington trip, dad’s birthday, & my word of the year.

To my surprise, I’ve felt more “settled in” to life (for lack of a better term) this month perhaps more than I have all year. God has been doing new things in me & around me and I couldn’t feel better about it. My August adventure started with a trip to Wilmington & continued into a 60th birthday party for my dad. My investment has been in my word of the year: HOPE!

As a bit of a continuation of some things I mentioned in last month’s blog, I decided to spend a week in my college town of Wilmington, NC at the beginning of the month to spend some time with my sweet friends living there. I was able to stay with my best friend/freshman year roommate Brooke, catch up with my friends June, Shelby, & Chetna over drinks/dinner, & hang out with one of my sorority littles Reilly every day I was there! Not only did I get to unwind in good company, but I also spent some much-needed time alone working at coffee shops & lounging on Wrightsville Beach. As social as I am, I’m an introvert who needs her time away from it all, so this time was the perfect way for me to reset & prepare for the busyness of the month ahead as I began my new job with Yelp Hampton Roads & a new semester of classes.

It was truly a privilege to plan a 60th birthday celebration for my dad! He is more deserving than anyone to have a day all about him. His siblings were able to make the trip to visit us in North Carolina from all over: New York, Georgia, & Florida. He also had plenty of other long-time loved ones celebrate with us at our home where we had a huge cookout & party. I could go on and on about how awesome this day was for everyone, but for me it was an event planning adventure that couldn’t have meant more!


Hope is something I’d struggled to keep at the forefront of my mind in the last couple of years, on & off. I’ve let lots of discouragements, disappointments, & letdowns get the best of me to the point where it actually hurt to keep hoping in something. But God has shown me a better way to handle these emotions through the hope I can have in Him. While I knew I’ve been called to meditate on the word “hope” in 2019, it hasn’t always been easy. From the first day of August, this month had seemed to promise a lot to be hopeful about. A new job I had been prayerful about for months, the clean slate of a new semester after (somehow) crushing my summer sessions, & a few weeks of down time before heading full force into it all. Even when I became overwhelmed with stress & anxiety, I was as intentional as possible to change my mindset toward a life-giving perspective on whatever situation faced me.

Having hope in things unseen can be scary–I had to let go of that fear. Having hope can be unnerving–I had to be brave. Having hope meant that I had to trust God to take care of me no matter the outcome. And let me tell you: God completely & unexpectedly blew me away with His love & favor this month in more ways than I’ll even share right now. A simple decision to remain hopeful in the face of uncertainty allows God the opportunity to exceed our expectations & calm all of our fears in the process.

That’s what I did this August & I refuse to quit as the year continues.

“Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!” Romans 15:13

Investments & Adventures: July

Peace with the past, east coast travels, & 21 years.

July was definitely a better month for me than June! This month I invested in obtaining peace with the past–something I’ve needed to work on the better part of my “adult” life but really thought a lot about the last few weeks. For July’s adventures: I went to South Carolina with my best friend Yajaunte who visited me over the 4th of July weekend from Colorado & I turned 21!

For me, the past can almost always be seen through rose colored glasses. It’s easy for me to look back on a time in my life & unintentionally see only the good in it, as opposed to some of the reasons why I was destined to get OUT of that season. For example, there was a time in my life a few years ago where I was completely out of God’s will–I nearly paid no mind to Him except to cry out when things got hard. No obedience or faithfulness. Instead of wallowing in melancholy & nostalgia, obtaining peace with the past has allowed me to find joy in remembering both the good & the bad memories, while understanding why God promoted me on to other things. The ways I did this varied from visiting special places from the past, to spending time with past important people in my life, to reading things I wrote at past times in my life and reflecting on how much I’ve grown. Even though I have a lot more peace to be gained from these kinds of practices, I know that July held a lot of healing for me and I’m grateful to God for stirring my heart to move into now-uncomfortable territories.

Yajaunte’s visit was the exact distraction I needed from the stress of summer classes (which I finished on Friday–time for a three week break!) We spent the 4th with my family & me showing her around Coastal VA a bit. Immediately the next morning we took a ~7 hour road trip to Charleston, SC and Wilmington, NC on the way back! She had never been to the east coast before, so it was a blast showing her my hometown and two of my favorite cities–including where I went to college. It’s already been hard being away from her again but I am positive our friendship will withstand the test of distance & time.

My birthday was spent with my amazing family who drove me around all day for obvious reasons 😉 It was great being home for my special day and doing many of the things I love: enjoying brunch, napping, hearing live music, walking on the beach. It was truly a great day and month both. I’ve got some exciting plans for August so I am looking forward to sharing next month!

Investments & Adventures: June

Leaving Colorado, an(other) 1,800 mile road trip, & settling in to Virginia.

I feel as though this month has the potential to be the longest or the shortest monthly I&A blog. Seemingly overnight, everything I knew my life to be in a moment shifted to a familiarity of a life I’ve lived before, yet as someone entirely different than I was then.

My investment this month was in my ability to feel comfortable with, and content in change. I did not talk about it with anyone too much, but every day has been a struggle to accept the change of life’s seasons. The beginning of the month was filled with a countdown of days left in Colorado to do as many things that I had wanted to do, in a short amount of time. Balancing the anticipation of finals and the big move with trying to enjoy my last couple of weeks was difficult. Half of me wanted to embrace each moment I had left there, while the other half wanted to rip the band-aid off and settle into my new routine. Thanks to some amazing friends, I was able to find joy in the finality of a transformational season which I did not want to say goodbye to. But the goodbyes were said, and in the beginning it didn’t feel real. I’m now trying to completely accept the new swing of things: a drastic change in my surroundings (no more mountains serving as my compass), physical distance between me & the friends I’d made, school work consuming the vast majority of my free time, not having my own place, reminders everywhere of an era I wanted to forget– the list goes on. Accepting all of this change has taken its toll on me already, but I know God will continue to give me the strength to embrace it with grace.

My adventure of the month was the 1,800 mile road trip across the country with my dad! It started with a car-sized game of Tetris to fit everything I had left with us. Besides a case of lemonade and a too-tall hamper, we got most of it. We left immediately after I took my two finals for my first summer session of school, getting 500 miles under our belts and staying in Kansas. The second day was the longest, since we woke up early, hit the road, and continued until after sunset. After staying in Kentucky, we left early again the next day and made it home to Virginia by the afternoon. My sweet cat Abel was an ANGEL, much to our surprise. He barely made a peep the first two days. On the final stretch, he was clearly getting sick of being cooped up, but one pit stop did the trick to quiet him down for the final hour or so.


Overall, this month has forced me to change my perspective more than I’ve needed to in a while– but that’s a good thing. God has been calling out to me to lean more into Him as I begin a new chapter of my life, despite what feels like a spiritual attack I’ve been facing. But when that happens to any of us as Christians, we can trust that God is up to something bigger.

Investments & Adventures: May

A new move, the stress of school, & self care.

Well this month most certainly did not go the way I expected. BUT, it went God’s way, and for that I could not be happier. May’s investment was in self care, and my adventure was packing my apartment up (actually, my dad doing so) in less than a week and preparing to move back across the country.

When May started, I decided to invest in self care because I knew grad school would be starting and taking over my life. I wasn’t exaggerating or overestimating whatsoever. This MBA program has truly taken over the majority of my time. I wake up before 5am almost every morning to get some schoolwork done before I go to work. Most days, I have to continue working on school stuff when I get home. I have off work one day per week to take my proctored exams and to focus just on school. I also devote Saturdays and Sundays for this, while still going to church and finding time to spend with friends. I easily spend about 30 hours per week on school stuff, but to be honest, I wouldn’t change a thing. My education has always been my priority and I don’t take the blessing of these opportunities for granted.

Due to all this going on, my first act of self care was buying a bunch of plants and outdoor seating for my balcony to create a cozy space for me to get away. Sadly this became futile since I ended up moving out of that apartment, but more on that soon. I had planned an amazing solo trip to Telluride that I ended up having to cancel due to school, the move, and a couple other factors. It was a tough decision for me to come to, but an invaluable lesson in sacrifice which I know God is leading me in.

So you’re probably wondering why I would be moving after all of the amazing things I’ve talked Colorado up to be. Believe me, they’re all true, but this month I learned that sometimes God has different plans for us than we had for ourselves, but trusting Him in them is a greater adventure than any we could come up with ourselves.

As I mentioned in last month’s I&A blog, going home for Easter was the hardest “exit” I’ve had since moving to Colorado, by far. For some reason, I felt differently than I ever had about the idea of moving back home. My heart felt so hesitant to leave my family behind again, but this time, having no idea how long it would be before I would see them all next. I talked about the possibility of moving back, as my lease would soon be up, but my immediate reaction was to stick to my guns of not letting there be a chance I would leave Colorado so soon. I had found a home here, truly started my “big girl” life here, and found a love for the outdoors that was waiting to be unleashed for longer than I realized. But, God was moving. God was leading. God was showing me He really knows what’s best for me.

My dad brought up the idea of moving again while on Facetime with me a few weeks after getting back to Colorado, visibly seeing the anxiety I had been bottling up since school had started. I had to figure out a way to not work full time anymore (since I knew I couldn’t also balance full time school) but still pay my bills, work hard enough to succeed in my classes but still keep my sanity, and find enough time to enjoy myself, friends, and family, but still balance all my other obligations. On that phone call I quickly realized that this would not be possible while staying in Colorado. My anxiety levels had not been this high since my worst days, and that was clear to my family members who know me better than anyone. Without having them close by to rely on for comfort & support during this stressful season of being in grad school, I knew I would soon reach my wit’s end. So after prayer, discussions with family, and a lot of self-reflection, I decided to move back to Virginia/North Carolina. My dad did not skip a beat before buying a plane ticket to Colorado to pack up my apartment for me (only two days later I might add) while I continued to work and do my schoolwork. He knew that after recovering from two hand surgeries to boot, I wouldn’t be able to manage packing up by myself so soon (even though I tried to convince him I could). Words can’t describe how grateful I am for all he’s done to make this move (and the last) possible for me.

As many of you know, my grandparents own the best breakfast restaurant in Chesapeake, VA. My grandma, the manager, has been in severe pain for years due to her knees. The surgeries she needs would put her out of the restaurant for months, so she put them off, worried about how the restaurant would stay afloat while she was out. Well, that’s where God had a plan all along. I’m literally going to school for Business and Hospitality Management– I don’t find it a coincidence that the exact place my family needs me is the same place where I can get more relevant, valuable work experience than I can right now here in Colorado. I’ll be able to manage my schoolwork so much easier with the opportunity to choose many of my own work hours (not to mention the restaurant is only open from 6am-2pm anyway) and still learn the ins and outs of running a business as I help my grandma out during her time away. I’ll also be able to save incredible amounts of money while I finish my degree, so that when I do, I’ll have the world open up to me again for whatever opportunities may come my way in my career.

Discerning what God wanted me to do in this situation was MUCH more difficult than when I knew He was calling me to Colorado. I was so conflicted because not one part of me would have ever thought of moving back to Virginia/North Carolina only a month before. Because of this, I knew it was only God who could have allowed my heart to change so drastically, so quickly. The peace I had with the decision was all I needed to know that this is how God had divinely arranged the timing of my life, my family’s lives, and each step I took along the way of getting here. I can’t wait to be able to spend time with my family again. Leaving the house a month after turning 17 for college was a decision I made with sacrifices in tact, and moving across the country a month before turning 20 included even more. But those decisions and sacrifices taught me so much about myself, about the nature of our God, and about how I want my will for my life to align perfectly with His. So here I am, taking another leap of faith, but one that takes me just one step closer to all that the Lord wants to do in and through my life.

Investments & Adventures: April

Grad school acceptance, a trip back home to Virginia, & quality time with all my loved ones.

This month’s investments were all about family and preparation for a new season of life. At the beginning of the month I was admitted to the Master of Business Administration program at East Carolina University! While this will all be online, I realize how much work I’ll have to put in to balance working full-time, going to school full-time, and maintaining my social, recreational, and most importantly–spiritual life. Furthering my education into graduate school is something I’ve known I’ve wanted to do for quite a while, and God made it clear that now was the perfect time for me to start. I am so excited to pour my effort & energy into this new endeavor. I’ll be completing a graduate certificate through the MBA program in Hospitality Management, as that is the specific field I’m continuing to head into. I have a feeling that the Lord is trying to press the idea of being hospitable into my daily life on top of my career field, so I look forward to seeking opportunities to get the most out of that calling.

As an investment and also this month’s adventure, I was able to spend an entire week at home in Virginia with my family over Easter. I actually had hand surgery on the Friday before the holiday, and hopped on a plane a few hours later (don’t tell my doctor)! Not only was I able to enjoy service at the church that first set me on fire for God, but I also got to indulge in the best Easter dinner with loved ones.

The week that followed was so needed for my soul in many ways. I was able to pick my little brother up from school almost every day and spend time spoiling him with sweets, exploring parks, and sharing lots of love & laughter that I miss more than words can describe while living so far away from him. Missing some of his key childhood moments is easily one of the biggest sacrifices of choosing to move to Colorado, but that just makes our time together than much more meaningful & memorable to us both.

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Of course the time spent with the rest of my family was just as heartwarming. My dad & I anxiously planned our upcoming summer National Park trip, my mom & I got the matching tattoos we’ve been wanting for years, my grandma taught me how to make traditional Filipino foods (lumpia & adobo), and the whole family was able to get together multiple times for dinner. Even a relaxing spa day with my grandma, mom, and aunt Krissie, and a whole day with my best friend Rachel was able to be fit in during the trip! I realized during this visit how much my family means to me than ever before in many ways, and that made it harder to leave than it has yet.

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As I sit writing this on the plane back to Colorado, I can’t help but thank God for how he’s moving in my life. I may have cried a gallon of tears leaving everyone, but He reminded me that He has purposefully led me to where I am now for my good & His glory, which makes every sacrifice I’ve had to make worth it.


Make Time for Your Maker

Because He has all the time in the world for you!

Here we go again, another blog post I was prompted to write a bit ago but wasn’t sure how. I’m learning that you have to live out what you’re sharing, then just go for it when you’re ready to write.

While having a faith conversation with a friend about spending time with God (particularly through church), I felt Him tell me that I needed to “practice what I preach,” if you will. While I’ll humbly say that I know I put a fair amount time into my relationship with God if I’m comparing myself to some other people, I realized in that moment that I wasn’t putting as much time into it when I compared myself, with myself.

When I first went all in for Jesus in 2017, I was in a place of brokenness where I didn’t know how I would survive the day without spending every waking moment dwelling with the Spirit. It seemed as though I was in prayer each minute I wasn’t spending talking to someone, and nearly every activity I did was in attempt to draw closer to Him. I remember waking up at dark-thirty every morning to watch the sunrise on the beach before classes as my quiet time (sidebar: remembering this is one of the only things that makes me wish I still lived at the beach instead!). Every day I would pray the same thing (amongst others of course): Lord, please set me on fire for You. And man, that prayer has been being continually answered daily since then.

I also remember a distinct prayer I often repeated as well: Lord, please forgive me for the times in my life where I am more distant from you than I am now–because we both know those days will come. I find myself thinking about this often, which would be good and well if I took each of those thoughts and turned them into a fix for the problem. Sometimes it’s easier to forget about God when we think we need Him less–when our pain begins to subside, when our circumstances start to change for the better, or when we become more confident in who HE is transforming us into. Since that moment in conversation with my friend, I knew I needed to be more intentional with my relationship with Jesus because He is so intentional with me.

I honestly couldn’t be happier that I’m making more time for my Maker again. I can feel the difference in my day to day wanderings in physical presence and thoughts alike. As I’ve opened my eyes, ears, and heart to recognize how He’s moving, I’ve seen my specific prayers answered in insane ways I could’ve never came up with on my own. The best part is that I know He will continue to move in this way as He responds to bigger and bolder prayers throughout my life.

I want to share a few practical tips for how we can spend more time with Jesus, even when we feel our schedule is just too busy and overwhelming for much more. Disclaimer: none or even all of this could be a substitute for complete quiet & alone time with God in prayer, attending church, or serving in any capacity. More-so, they are suggestions for how to turn your everyday tasks into opportunities to spend time with the Spirit.

  • Talk to God, out loud, in your car or shower. There is something so powerful about speaking to Him outside of our heads and being bold enough to hear our own cries to Him–or letting others see you cry in the car when it gets that good! You have to do these things anyway, so you might as well use them to connect with God. Turn on some worship music too if you’re into that, to help position your heart toward Him.
  • Go on prayer walks. This is personally my favorite way to experience quiet time and has proven to be incredibly impactful in my life. Sometimes I’ll do it around my apartment and pray out loud, non-stop for about 30 minutes while walking back and forth between rooms. Other times, I’ll go on a neighborhood walk or hike while listening to worship music and just being quiet for a while to let Him speak to me. Anddd, you can get your steps and exercise in this way at the same time!
  • Pick a verse of the day/week to dwell on in your in-between moments. This could be the verse of the day on YouVersion (an awesome Bible resource!) or you can search for one based on your current situation. Try to memorize this verse and find ways to apply it to what you’re experiencing. While it’s important to spend as much time as possible in the Word, this is a great way to be encouraged while you’re stressed or overwhelmed, by simply taking breaks during your day to remember God’s promises.
  • Find ways to speak to (or ask) others about Jesus in your day-to-day. Whether it be in the lunch room at work or on your usual phone call to your parents/kids/friend, figure out you can encourage them or how they can encourage you. If you have a friend who you know loves Jesus and you just want to know more, casually ask them about the church they go to. Ask your loved one how you can be praying for them before you hang up the phone. You’ll be surprised how God will respond when you are incorporating Him in your daily interactions with others.
  • Pray until you fall asleep! So many times I’ve gone through a mental list of people/things to pray about and woken up the next morning realizing I didn’t get to finish. And that’s okay! I was able to spend my last moments of the day talking to God and that sets me up perfectly for remembering Him first thing in the morning.

These are just a few simple ways we can try to spend a little more time with the Lord amidst our busyness. God wants to spend every single minute of your life with you, but we can’t experience the effects of this unless we let Him. I would love to hear any suggestions others may have on how they choose to make more time for their Maker! If you’ve read this and struggle with how to spend time with God, or even trying to find the desire to, PLEASE reach out to me. So many people miss an opportunity to transform their life in this way, and while I’m striving to get better every day, it would be great to help encourage someone else in this area too.

“Move your heart closer and closer to God, and He will come even closer to you. But make sure you cleanse your life, you sinners, and keep your heart pure and stop doubting.” James 4:8

Chosen, Not Rejected

Let His voice sing louder.

This is my second time sitting down to write this post after at least a month of knowing it needed to be written. I’ve recently recognized a heart issue I have: rejection. Not being (or rather, feeling) chosen. Somebody else getting what I wanted. Again. This rejection I’ve felt has come from friends, men (shocker), job situations, and even family members. It’s a heart issue that I didn’t want to admit I had for quite a long time. I stopped writing this the first time because it felt too difficult. I didn’t want to think about all of the ways I’ve felt this rejection, this feeling of being unwanted. I didn’t know if I could muster the right words to actually encourage someone in this area when in reality, I struggle with it more than I probably even realize. But of course, as soon as I closed my laptop and walked away, a perfect example of those feelings entered my day and left me feeling rejected. In that moment, God whispered to me to start again. He knew I needed to write this post for myself as much as someone else needs to read these words.

Does this issue of rejection sound familiar to you? Watching someone choose something or someone else over you, or watching an opportunity you prayed for pass you by? I’m sure all of us have experienced this at one point or another. Once I realized this is a daily struggle of mine, I knew I needed to actively pursue a path to freedom from these feelings. A few weeks ago I found something out which made me feel the ultimate rejection of not being good enough, not being wanted, and not being chosen. That night, God spoke a word into my heart that I’ve echoed to myself daily since then: “I chose you before your existence and I still choose you every day.”

In that moment, I felt an overwhelming sense of sorrow and guilt for having put so much value into the opinions of man when the only acceptance I’ve ever needed from anyone, I’ve had since the beginning of time. I’m here to tell somebody something today.

You’ve spent too much time thinking about why that opportunity didn’t pan out. 

You’ve wasted too much of your precious energy getting angry at people for leaving you out and forgetting about you.

You’ve occupied too many days wondering what you could have done better to earn the acceptance of someone who never should have gotten that much control over your heart in the first place.

Even as I continue writing this, thoughts of rejection keep filling my mind. The times where I wasn’t chosen by someone else still creep in. I can’t help but think of when I’ve been forgotten, left out, or abandoned. It’s a continuous battle to put the words of the Lord at the forefront of our minds and let them sing louder than those of any other person. But when we learn to, His voice becomes a comfort stronger than the fuzziest blanket or best home-cooked meal you’ve ever had.

Jesus will never forget about you.

Jesus will never leave you.

Jesus will never abandon you.

He only wants to remind you that you are chosen, not rejected, and He wants to keep choosing you every single day. Forever.

“Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be his through our union with Christ, so that we would be holy and without fault before him. Because of his love God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us his children–this was his pleasure and purpose.” Ephesians 1:4-5