Wednesday, October 19, 2011

a time to weep

"He who does not weep, does not see."
-Les Miserables

Something to think about in the seasons when
"there is a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance
{Ecclesiastes 3:4}"

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


"Hallelujah," by Kate Voegele--

"...and love is not a victory march
it's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah..."

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."
Psalm 51:17

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us..."
1 John 3:16


Monday, October 17, 2011

Beauty in the Broken

"Even in the crashing down
I can hear redemption calling"
-'Everything is Beautiful,' by Starfield {from the album Beauty in the Broken}

"I feel destruction running hard through my veins
but I see redemption rushing my way"
-'Castaway,' by Chasen

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."
Romans 3:23-24

Broken and loved-

Sunday, October 2, 2011


I will be the first to tell you that I do not believe in rebirth or multiple lives or any of that rubbish. But there are certain days that awaken something magical in me; days that make me feel nostalgic and reminiscent, as if I am remembering a perfect {or at the very least, a particularly comfortable} moment in a past life. A specific smell or a perfectly placed breeze can instantly rouse one of those feelings making me blink and wonder if it is simply deja vu or something more. Memories are a funny thing for me. I don't have an abundance of them, so the ones I do have are precious. And sometimes these moments aren't so much memories as they are feelings. Happy or sad; full of joy or full of despair; hopeful or regretful.

"But I say give me regret, as long as I can keep the good memories too."
-One Tree Hill

"Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has yet to come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering."
-Ida Scott Taylor

Fall tends to bring with it more than it's share of these bittersweet feelings, and the start to this fall season has been no different. The crispness of the air brings with it so many promising feelings and the changing leaves are more romantic to me than any swirling snowflake. Maybe it is the reality that although summer is at an end, something new and exciting is right around the corner. Something full of beauty and enchantment. To me, it is thrilling to watch a leaf change from a summery green to radiant orange, fiery red, or brilliant yellow. These past few days felt as though the Blue Ridge mountains decided to skip right over my beloved fall and welcome the dreaded winter, and my heart was saddened. But the cool, grey, rolling clouds and invigorating air today reminded me that autumn will not be forgotten so easily and it will show it's handsome face.

"He said to them, 'It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.'"
Acts 1:7 (ESV)

I can't do anything about the past. And who can say what this new season will bring; it is not for me to decide or even to know. All I have to do is be ready. Ready for the the next chapter in my story. Ready for the adventure. So bring on the fall-- that beloved season and all that it chooses to bring with it's chilling winds.

I am ready for you.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

remind me of the fog

fog is disconcerting
fog is scary
fog can be dangerous
fog obscures your sight
fog slows you down
fog can confuse you
fog is beautiful.

A few nights ago I drove up the mountain to an overlook on the parkway. I wanted to see the clouds that were forming and watch the storm that was rolling into the valley but when I got to the top I was almost stopped in my tracks by the fog instead. Notice I said 'almost'. The fog was so dense that I had to inch along at less than half my normal speed but I kept at it- both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road- and I finally made it to my destination.
Here is a taste of what I saw when I reached the top-

Or should I say, 'what I didn't see.' At first I was disappointed that I wasn't going to get the view I'd hoped for; but then I felt a familiar tug at my heart... the tug that I've come to recognize as, "Sit down... stay a while. I have something to tell you." So I got out of my car on that lonely stretch of road, leaned against the hood of my car, and stared out over what had once been so familiar but was now completely foreign to my eyes. I have been on that mountain overlook more times than I can count and yet in that moment I was virtually blind. I could barely see my hand in front of my face, and for just a moment it made me wonder, 'is it really out there?' But then the moment passed and I knew without a doubt what was just beyond the fog. I'd enjoyed the view before and I knew that the valley and everything in it hadn't gone anywhere since the last time I'd been to that spot. I knew what was true, I just couldn't see it because of the fog that was blocking my view.

As I sat there, I started to think about where I am right now in life and realized that I can relate a lot to that fog-covered valley. Life has been a little foggy lately. I know the truth that God is not only present, but active in my life, and I know that what he has for me is beautiful, but right now the fog just seems to be blocking my view a little, confusing me, making the going a little tougher, a little slower. As I stood in the midst of that dense fog, I realized that 1. the fog is temporary {the sun will ultimately burn it away} and 2. even though the fog seems to be blocking my view of something beautiful, the fog itself can be beautiful, too. And in the same way that I know my beautiful Shenandoah Valley didn't disappear while I was away, I know that God's promises have not vanished either.


"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord,
'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
I will be found by you,' declares the Lord..."
Jeremiah 29:11-14a

In this life there will always be fog, but there will come a day when all of the fog is burned away.

"Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."
1 Corinthians 13:12

So, Lord, until then, remind me of the fog.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

right off the stalk

Remember this post?? Guess what... Goal ATTAINED!
That's right, my friends, these little hands picked an ear of corn right off the stalk.

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I got to visit my sweet friend Ginny for one of her {many} bridal showers and she happens to live in a town more densely populated by corn than people. So after eyeing the cornfields for days and talking myself out of my strong {and somewhat rational} fear of the snakes that naturally inhabit the fields, I walked across the gravel path and made my dream come true. I felt like Pocahontas herself! All I needed to complete my vision was a basket to carry my treasure on my head. {Am I getting ridiculous yet?} All in all it felt just like I'd always imagined. Unfortunately, the corn I picked wasn't "sweet corn" {who knew there was a difference??} and I had to leave it behind instead of making my prize my meal. Still, the experience was satisfying enough to carry me for a while... so until I decide thievery isn't actually all that bad...

Much love,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

East of Eden

"It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action,
we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure on the world."
-John Steinbeck, "East of Eden" (1952)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

It's Time

"It's Time," by Imagine Dragons.

I adore this song. I can't help it... the beat is something addictive.
Whenever I play it (and let's be honest, that happens SEVERAL times a day), I turn it up really loud and have to stomp my feet. It's just that kind of song. (I know my downstairs neighbors are LOVING me...)
So, go ahead, turn it up real loud and find something to stomp on!

Imagine Dragons is playing at this rooftop concert (for FREE) in Utah on September 3rd. Road trip anyone??? (Their website is really kinda cool too!)

Finding my rhythm,

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Way

It's been a hard week- not depressingly hard, just not a week that I got to walk through without a care in the world. It was one of those weeks where I was faced with moment after moment and question after question: what do I say? what do I think? how do I respond? how do I love? how do I let people love me? who and what is worth my time? and what just isn't? when should I stick around? and when do I need to walk away?

My heart has been broken several times in the past week but it has been a gift to see 1. my heart break for what I know breaks God's heart (this has been a constant prayer for my life) and 2. what (and who) God uses to mend it. Some things really are too incredible to be called coincidence and can only be called the choreography of a loving God. One of those (many, many) things in my life tends to be music- and lately has been this song. At work we have Christian XM radio playing on a circuit all the time so I really do think I've heard every single contemporary (and not so contemporary) Christian song that has ever come out. We hear them so often that Katherine and I know them by the intro. We have the ones that we can not stand, the ones that make us chuckle, and I have the ones that I say, "Oh, I LOVE this song" every single time I hear them begin. This one makes me close my eyes at certain parts because bits of it are such intimate and personal prayers.

All creation cries out with longing
With groans only you can comprehend
And with wisdom, you always answer
And give the words of life so unfailing

And your glory shines all around us
Your faithfulness shown for all to see
When we think of all of your wonders
The beauty of your plan that's been revealed
When we walk in your light, we walk in it

Shine, bright
Let your glory fill this land
Lift high, the King of Kings and great I am
Jesus, you are the way

We can see the works of your loving hands
With a hope and peace not made by man
When you poured out your grace and your mercy
And you held out your arms so we could see
You bled for all mankind and set the captives free

Shine, bright
Let your glory fill this land
Lift high, the King of Kings and great I am
Jesus, you are the way

Na na na na na na, Jesus
You are the way
-The Way by Jeremy Camp

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it,
in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay
and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly
as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all.
Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit,
because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will."
Romans 8:18-27
(Please read until the end of the chapter- vs. 39- it's beautiful.)

Our world is not as it should be. My life is not as it should be. And something deep in each of us knows this unfailingly (even if we are too broken to admit it out loud). I am constantly reminded that my surroundings are creations and not accidents and that even they bow down to the creator (and often times, they do a better job than I do). The world knows that is is not as it was created to be, and yet all it can do is groan with longing and continue to worship while it waits. I do not always know what to pray for (vs. 8:26), nor do I always know what to write about (so forgive the jumble if you would...) but I will continue nonetheless to remain on my knees and wait in patient submission until I understand my role in making this world more as it was created to be, or until Jesus comes back to do it himself.

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful to touch me,
I know that I'm in reach 'cause I am down on my knees
I'm waiting for something beautiful...
-'Something Beautiful,' by Needtobreathe

"'I tell you,' he replied, 'if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.'"
Luke 19:40

...and all of creation sing with me now
fill up the heavens let his glory resound...
-'All Of Creation,' by Mercy Me

"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the father except through me.'"
John 14:6

Jesus is the way.
He is the only way that those groanings will be quieted and the longings of our hearts will be satisfied.
He is the only way that MY groanings will be quieted and the longings of MY heart will be satisfied.

Waiting for something beautiful,

Saturday, August 6, 2011

mormon humor

I appreciate different blogs for different reasons. Some give me design inspiration and good D.I.Y. ideas (Jones Design Company), some encourage me spiritually (dontwasteyourcancer and Hope in a Boy's World), and some are just familiar and I like to keep up on the lives of my blog-friends (don't judge me...).

While I read the aforementioned blogs for the above reasons, I do not necessarily read them for their contribution to the literary world or because they are particularly good writers (most of them are "bloggers" not "writers"). CJane is a "writer", and a very talented one, too!

I am not Mormon, and to be completely honest, I believe that most Mormon doctrine is way off. However, for some strange reason I follow several blogs written by Mormon women (Lauren, mentioned in this post, Stephanie, mentioned in this post, and CJane) and I must say that while their theology may be lacking, their humor is not! Courtney Jane Kendrick cracks. me. up. Last night she posted this video and I sat in my living room alone and laughed out loud. (disclaimer: I promise I'm not making fun of Mormon culture anymore than she is making fun of it herself)

Okay, I just watched it again- I had to!!
Questions about the Mormon nametag: --"What if you were at the bar...?"-- (I was rolling... much like Courtney.)
Statement about her Vlogs: --CJane: "I don't know if you watch these, Mom." Sister Clark: "I don't."-- HILARIOUS!
Reading the email from an angry reader: --"'They are not so cute to other parents, they are pains in the --' Courtney: "Well I would say it but you're on a mission, so..." ohhh laughing SO hard!
Did you laugh?? Please tell me yes!! I think she's a hoot! And the fact that she can poke fun at herself only endears her even more to me.

Have a beautiful day! (and make sure to laugh at yourself!)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

hope and a future

(no comment on the fact that these events happened over a month ago...)

When the graduation season hit this year it hit HARD! I began my rounds early May and didn't stop until June was nearly half over! Whew!

#1: JMU Graduation- May 7th

It's funny, as I drove through Harrisonburg on graduation day (2011), I got this huge lump in my throat and felt tears start to sting my eyes. I had not missed that town one single time in the whole year that I'd been gone, but in that moment something in me yearned for the life I had lived for 4 years in that place. It is strange how certain places {or smells, or songs, or just the way a day feels} can hit you out of nowhere and transport you to another time in an instant. The definition of bittersweet: pleasant but tinged with sadness. I think that is a pretty accurate way to describe these brief, yet poignant moments.

{It was so fun to watch good friends celebrate their big day- Nichole and Kate}

#2: Waynesboro High School Baccalaureate (the graduation ceremony where they actually allow you to acknowledge that God is the one who has blessed us with the lives we lead, not us. And that there's more to it than just doing whatever it takes to realize success or whatever else the graduation speaker might choose to say during his/her 15 minutes of fame... okay, I'll hop down off my soap box now.)

{me and my sweet friend Jessie- she didn't graduate, but came to support her friends who did}

#3: Waynesboro High School Graduation

{these are 4 of my favorite people in the whole world... I love them and their beautiful hearts}

{Isn't she lovely??}

#4: Cave Spring High School Graduation

I couldn't help but get a little misty eyed as 'Pomp and Circumstance' launched Rachel's graduation ceremony- the last one of the family to walk across that high school stage in red and black. I couldn't believe it had been 5 years since I heard my own name called to come receive my diploma. Time flies!

{Now that is one good looking family right there!}

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord,
'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
Jeremiah 29:11


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Better Than This

Is this what you meant? Is this what you dreamed of
When you were making your plans, shaking the dirt off?
Do you feel like you and I belong? Oh
Just keep your eyes on the road and nothing can go wrong

You can do so much better than this
You can do so much better than this

I've been checking my sums, oh where did the time go?
Holding my photograph up to the window
Through the paper and refracted sun, oh
I can see all the things I wish that I'd done

You can hang your hopes on the medicine
You can put your faith in the phone-in
You can tell yourself, you're doing your best
You can do so much better than this

Get a grip on yourself, get a grip on yourself
Could have been something but you're too late
And you weren't invited anyway

Just a photograph show the wrong man
'Cause there is no soap star holding your hand
You don't see yourself in the freeze frame
Must be someone else using your name

And everyone will be the same
And everyone will glow
And everywhere you'll see your name
In every shop window

It's better than this
You can do so much better than this
You can do so much better than this
You can do so much better than this
-"Better Than This," Keane

Something to think about...

Sunday, July 17, 2011


One of my favorite things about the summer is that there are so many tasty things to eat right off the vine (or bush or branch). My number one {unattained} goal is to pick corn. The other day when Taylor and I were in the car I felt compelled to apologize. "Um... sorry, I'm having trouble focusing on the road because I'm too busy looking for berry bushes." Ridiculous.

I have recently found that I have no green thumb whatsoever. And when I say none, I mean I have killed two very live plants since living in this apartment (and one lasted less than a week- sad). So thankfully, Taylor's family lives right down the street and they have a wonderful little garden in the back yard full of yummy (very alive) things for me to pick and eat to my heart's content.


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"Then God said, 'I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth
and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food... And it was so."
Genesis 1:29, 30b


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A day in the life

Do you ever have those moments that you realize you've made a major blunder but by the time you catch yourself there's just no going back? No pretending you didn't just do what you just did? You know what I'm talking about. Yeah... I had one of those memorable moments today (and yes it was witnessed and obvious).

The scenario played out something like this:

I was at work this afternoon, when all of a sudden a guy I know walks past me on his way to the bathroom. So of course I smile and wave and say a loud, "Hello!" Well... it turns out I was wrong. This guy was not who I thought he was. Now, bless him, he tried to play along and make my life a little less awkward by waving back but by this time I'd realized my mistake and proceeded to erase all of his kind attempts by saying (again, loudly), "Oh, funny! You totally look like so-and-so!" And then to the people around me, "Hey, doesn't he look like so-and-so??" By the time I was finished making a fool out of myself, the poor guy was practically diving into the bathroom (probably hoping to hide from me and my never-ending awkward moment).

Oh geez.

Needless to say, when he exited the bathroom I hid my little face and minded my own business as if nothing out of the ordinary had ever happened. Nope, I've never stuck my foot in my mouth in public... who me?? No, never!

Oh ya know, just a typical day in the life...

Silly me,

Friday, June 24, 2011

Brand New Day.

"It's a brand new day
The sun is shining
It's a brand new day
For the first time
In such a long long time
I know
I'll be ok

This cycle never ends
You gotta fall in order to mend

It's a brand new day
It's a brand new day
For the first time
In such a long, long time
I know I'll be ok."
-'Brand New Day,' Joshua Radin

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!"
2 Corinthians 5:17

I LOVE that exclamation point at the end of that verse.
It's like Paul is saying, "YES!! And don't you EVER forget it!"

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, 'the Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.'"
Lamentations 3:22-24

And so, I think it is pretty true-- "You gotta fall in order to mend."

He is my portion,

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Utterly Amazed

It's been a season- a pretty tough season lately. But I know those are the times I grow the most. Always. I was reading the other day and my team was heavy on my heart. The Lord brought his words into my mind and opened the pages of my Bible to just the right passages (funny how he does that...over and over and over....)!

"If a house is divided against itself,
that house can not stand."
Mark 3:25

No ifs, ands, or buts about it!
That's just how it is- plain and simple, I think Jesus makes himself pretty darn clear. And yet how often have I believed with all of my heart that I can do it best alone... or at least that I have no other choice but to try? Wrong.

Our team verse this past year was-

"May the God who gives endurance and encouragement
give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,
so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Romans 15:5-6

Such a foreign concept.
One that I usually think is impossible, at least for me. And a concept that is even harder for me to fathom as I sit in Waynesboro apart from the rest of my team as they lead our camp trip at Saranac Village in New York. How can there be unity when I am separate?
But then God whispered goodness into my listening ear--

"Look at the nations and watch-
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe,
even if you were told."
Habbakuk 1:5

I would not believe what God has planned even if I were told...

"However, as it is written: 'No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him'"
1 Corinthians 2:9

-and that's just it- it's HIS plan, not mine!

So I will just ABIDE. Another hard, hard concept (I always related to the lyrics of The War's song "Never the Same," when it says, "I have too much pride to abide"), and yet God promises that it will bring blessing and goodness.

"...and see if I do not throw open the floodgates of heaven
and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."
Malachi 3:10

And so, I'm praying for you, team. See you Saturday!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

You are mine.

"But now, this is what the Lord says-
he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:
'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass trough the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...'"
Isaiah 43:1-3a


Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I think this is awesome...


Monday, May 16, 2011

Let the rain fall

My after work ritual has become: come home, change out of my Chick attire, and crash on the couch to watch some movie or tv show that has me hooked at the moment (most recently it's been the Biggest Loser... the show brings me to tears every time!). Tonight though, I watched the most recent 20/20 episode about one of my favorite bloggers, Stephanie Nielson. (I have blogged about Stephanie before, here.)

As I watched the episode, I was struck by just how happy Stephanie is and just how much joy you can see in her entire family. Throughout the whole show the theme of hope is repeated over and over again. It is inspiring. And it hit me, how can a person who has been through so much trauma and tragedy be so full of joy and life and here I am, sitting miserably on my couch day after day, day-dreaming about the life that I would like to live one day but not doing anything about it? For once, the thought hit me in the face as completely and totally absurd.

As I watched the computer screen, the sky outside my windows turned from grey to slate and right as the show ended, the sky opened up and let loose. I haven't seen it rain that hard in a while- and something inside of me itched to get out. I hurried for a sweatshirt and stepped outside to watch the sheets of rain fall from the shelter of my porch. And then I wanted to be in the rainstorm. So I grabbed my rain jacket and ran to my car for a quick trip to the grocery store. I was completely soaked within two steps of the front door, but by the time I was in my dry car I was laughing.

It took the freezing cold rain running down my face and squishing through my toes to wake me up and bring me to my senses. I was created for full life- and that full life can not be found watching someone else live it on the Biggest Loser or 20/20, and it can't be discovered by reading about other peoples' adventures in books or on blogs. (Gosh, that sounds so obvious, but it's honestly a realization I'm just coming to.) I'm going through a bit of a storm right now, but tonight's thunder storm reminded me just how beautiful they can be because of the hope that I rest in. The hope that I am not lost or forsaken. But that I am loved and cherished.

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed."
2 Corinthians 4:8-9

"For you are a people holy to the Lord your God.
The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people,
his treasured possession."
Deuteronomy 7:6

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth
-"Praise You In This Storm," Casting Crowns

May there be many more life giving rain storms to remind me that I am not only alive, but that my days were created to be full of life... because there is absolutely a difference.


PS I couldn't resist- here's an oldie but goodie (:

Let's go back
Back to the beginning
Back to when the earth, the sun, the stars all aligned

'Cause perfect didn't feel so perfect
Trying to fit a square into a circle
Was no life

I defy

Let the rain fall down
And wake my dreams
Let it wash away
My sanity
'Cause I wanna feel the thunder
I wanna scream
Let the rain fall down
I'm coming clean, I'm coming clean

I'm shedding
Shedding every color
Trying to find a pigment of truth
Beneath my skin

'Cause different
Doesn't feel so different
And going out is better
Than always staying in
Feel the wind


Let's go back
Back to the beginning
-"Come Clean," Hilary Duff