Wednesday, May 30, 2012


May 30.

God regularly uses odd methods to get my attention and to encourage me. Today he used two.

This afternoon at lunch, Aaron informed me that from his vantage point, I was more overwhelmed than he had ever seen me. I am sure that in reality I have been far more overwhelmed than I am now- but his words rang true in my heart. 

I learned a long time ago that I process things aloud... but lately I have had so much running through my mind that I've gotten to know my silent side a lot more intimately just to keep my thoughts from escaping and being lost. I am happy and life feels full and satisfying, but there has been a strange grey cloud looming for a while now. For someone who rarely gets headaches, my head has been aching an awful lot recently. I worry, I stress, I get impatient, I snap... and I don't like it. 

Here are a few of the {for the most part exciting} things keeping my hands and mind busy these days: 
.1. Chick-fil-A
.2. Aaron
.3. Trying to be a decent friend to the few I do have
.4. My sister, Sophie, moving in with me for 8 weeks this summer
.5. Having an intern work with me for 10 weeks this summer
.6. Trying desperately to spend time with my sweet small group girls before they go off and leave me
.7. Keeping my apartment in order
.8. Keeping myself {and Rue} fed and watered
.9. Trying to enjoy the warm days of summer that have finally arrived

And if I am completely honest, most days I feel like a failure at all of the above {every single one}. I feel like I am treading water... just barely keeping my head above water.

Aaron was the first way God grabbed my attention. 
Pinterest was the second, and the way He encouraged me and reminded me how much He loves me and is for me.

Refreshing truth. God doesn't expect me to exhaust myself to stay afloat. 
He just wants me to stand on Him. My Rock. 

Thank you, 

Monday, May 21, 2012


I am at a loss for words. Literally. 
I am searching for and seeking motivation, discipline, consistency, and inspiration. 
If you have found the secret to any of the above, please, do share. Thank you in advance. 

May 21.

Last week felt extra long and pretty darn stressful to be honest. People talk about the "weight of the world" being on their shoulders and I think I caught a little glimpse of what that might feel like. I felt like every day added more to my plate, so much that I felt incapable of doing anything with excellence. And gosh, that is a frustrating feeling! This weekend I was headed to Rockbridge with 20 high school kids and 4 of my YL teammates- so I decided for my sanity I needed to take a little "mental health day" before embarking on that adventure. Aaron didn't have to go to work until 2, so we packed a picnic lunch and found a grassy little spot down by the river about 100 yards from my front door. It was so refreshing to sit in the sunshine and enjoy a few moments to breathe deeply and calmly. 

God's promises are good. He knows just what I need and he provides it at the perfect time, 
in His perfect way. I am grateful. 

"I will satisfy the priests with abundance, 
and my people will be filled with my bounty, declares the Lord... 
I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint."
Jeremiah 31:14, 25


Wednesday, May 16, 2012


May 16. 

Sunday was Mother's Day. But sadly the 107 miles between us meant I didn't get to celebrate with my mama. {The disadvantages to living two hours from home.} So, even though the holiday has passed, I thought I'd give everyone a {quite accurate} little glimpse into our relationship:

{What do you think... am I my mother's child??}

When I was in middle and high school I was a punk. I'm sure my mom wondered daily where she had gone wrong. But let's just say I was a late bloomer and it took me a little while to figure out who I was and just how good I really had it. 

"Train a child in the way she should go, 
and when she is old she will not turn from it."
Proverbs 22:6

Now that I'm "old," I see what a gift my mom is. I see and understand that who I am today has so much to do with who she is. She is the reason I understand forgiveness {because she always forgave me}. She is the reason I spend my money wisely {and the reason I have a passion for thrifting}. She gave me my love of letter-writing {I still have so many of the sweet notes she left me over the years}. She is one source of the creativity I hold so dear to my heart. She shows me consistently what it looks like to step out in boldness, to speak my mind confidently {thanks for that one, mama}- and when I do those things with gentleness and grace I know it is because of her example. 

"Your beauty... should be that of your inner self, 
the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."
1 Peter 3:3a, 4

Mom, that describes you in a nutshell {well, I'm not so sure about the "quiet" part}. 
You did a good job. A very good job. Thank you. 


Monday, May 14, 2012


May 14.

Today we walked in the rain. And it was dreary. 

But I am trying to learn the lesson that sometimes what seems ugly at first is actually quite beautiful. This building is the perfect example of what that might look like. At first glance it's falling down  and overgrown and purposeless. But if you take a second look the shape catches your eye and the colors are vivid. It was something lovely to look at and I was glad to capture a photograph of it. 

That's kind of how I feel about the rain tonight. It rained practically nonstop all day, and by the end of the day I was done. Done with grey, done with damp... just done. But then the deluge started. The sky opened up and the sound was musical and the night turned magical. 

I will exalt you, O Lord,
 for you lifted me out of the depths 
and did not let my enemies gloat over me. 
O Lord my God, I called to you for help
 and you healed me.
O Lord, you brought me up from the grave;
you spared me from going down into the pit. 

Sing to the Lord, you saints of his;
praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning...

To you, O Lord, I called; 
to the Lord I cried for mercy...

Hear O, Lord, and be merciful to me;
O Lord, be my help.

You turned my wailing into dancing; 
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. 
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.
Psalm 30: 1-4, 8, 10-12

I'm going to end my night by enjoying the sound of the rain splashing outside my window. 
It really is the little things. 


Sunday, May 13, 2012


May 13.

Yesterday was a busy day. That's my excuse for blowing it. That's my excuse for missing day 12 of my challenge. But yesterday was also a lot of fun. I have been going to my home group for the past 9 months and it has been a blessing to be part of such a special group of people for this season of my life. This weekend we ended the semester with a cookout by the river. It was so nice to sit around the campfire with good food and good friends. Almost everyone was able to make it so we had lots of people to catch up with and lots of little kids running around the yard {and falling in the river}. Our music minister and his wife were kind enough to open up their home {well.. backyard} to us and John took the little kids on canoe rides to their hearts' delight.

{Floating down the South River.}

Needless to say, it was my last priority to hurry home just to post about the cookout on my blog. Instead, I chose to sit and enjoy the evening with my friends while the sun set around us. 

"So I commend the enjoyment of life, 
because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. 
Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life 
God has given him under the sun."
Ecclesiastes 8:15


Friday, May 11, 2012


May 11. 

I didn't have much inspiration today, so I thought I'd share some of the pretty flowers I get to look at and enjoy every day. The peonies are on the mantle in my living room and the ranunculus sit on my table at work. Flowers really do make my days so much brighter. Honestly they could be weeds from the side of the road and I'd get excited about them. 



Have a beautiful weekend. 


Thursday, May 10, 2012


May 10.

{Stuarts Draft, VA}

"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."
Habakkuk 1:5

Watchful and waiting,

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


May 9.

It is every little girl's dream to grow up and get married one day. It is just as much my dream today at 24 that it was the first time I ever laid eyes on the pearls and lace and beading of my mom's wedding dress and veil. I have made just as many plans as the next girl. But what if I never got married? What if I could glorify God more in my singleness than in marriage? What if my life would be more pleasing to God, what if I would increase His kingdom more as one than two? Honestly the very thought of that scares the pants off me! Just thinking about the possibility of a life without "marital bliss" makes me feel like I'm deserting a life-long dream; I feel the need to mourn something I've never even known. I've watched friends of mine go off and get married and I've been able to rejoice with them because I've been confident that "my time will come." But why is my heart so set on an earthly husband? Why am I not completely satisfied in my heavenly groom? He has already promised me more than any man on earth will ever be able to give me. Now please don't hear me saying I'm giving up and moving on to pursue life in a convent, but it is something to wonder about. Why do I put so much value in a ring on my finger? How much do I see my worth wrapped up in my ability {or inability} to have children? Don't I know that I am already betrothed?

"I will betroth you to me forever; 
I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, 
in love and compassion. 
I will betroth you in faithfulness, 
and you will acknowledge the Lord."
Hosea 2:19-20

"The king is enthralled by your beauty; 
honor him, for he is your Lord."
Psalm 45:11

So then what does marriage really mean? Why do we get married? Is it a selfish ambition? Is it for our own pleasures or could there be more to it? My sweet friend Ginny posted this video yesterday and it left me speechless. Please watch it, and please leave a comment with your impression. To be honest, I went through a few different emotions before landing on feeling inspired. 

{This Momentary Marriage.}

I think that is what marriage is really about. Living out {to the best of our ability} on earth that which God has already promised us from heaven. Being a life-sized example of the covenant that God invites us into; showing the world a picture of the relationship he gave his Son for. 

When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

I love the last line of text in the video: 
God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.

"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 37:4

I do believe that God knows the desires of my heart and my prayers will not go unheard. But he knows my desires better than I do {he did give them to me, after all} and I want to be satisfied in Him first. Satisfied in his love, in his provision, in his protection, and in his sacrifice. It is enough. Regardless of the twists and turns my own life may take, I will stand firm and still and I will let God fight for me. He is enough.

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."
Exodus 14:14

Dearly Loved,

{P.S. No pictures today, but I'm okay with it. I'm pretty sure that video speaks louder than any photograph I take ever could.}

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


May 8.

Today I made a Mother's Day card for my sweet mom {hope this isn't a spoiler for you, mama}. I remembered seeing some envelopes hand-addressed with really beautiful calligraphy on Jones Design Company so I went searching for more details. Sure enough, Emily is a true friend {even though we have never met or spoken} and had posted a tutorial. I painstakingly copied her instructions and after literally spending hours, I was incredibly pleased with the way it turned out. 

{Oh, and Mom, you better not throw that envelope away... ever!}

Happy Tuesday, everybody!

Monday, May 7, 2012


May 7.

This precious little girl came to work today. 

{Caroline Bennett Hawkins- 4 weeks old today}

She is awesome! 
That's all for now {and I think she'll be plenty for tonight}.


Sunday, May 6, 2012


May 6.

Last night Aaron and I went to the Drive-In in Lexington to see the Hunger Games. It was my first trip to the Drive-In so I was extra excited to go. I was a little worried that the movie would get rained out because it was dark and gloomy when we left Waynesboro. It started dumping buckets of water on us before we even made it out of town. But the drive-in Facebook page said "rain or shine, the show must go on" so we headed on down the road. 

As we drove, the sky started changing with each mile that we traveled. 

sky1 sky2 sky3 sky4 

Fortunately, by the time we made it to Lexington, the sky had cleared up, the show did in fact go on, and the Hunger Games was just as good the second time as it was the first time {at midnight}. 

The sky is a constant reminder to me of how beautiful God is and how much he adores us. 

"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. 
He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, 
he will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17

For me, Saturday's sky was a picture of God taking delight in me and rejoicing over me with singing. It was beautiful, and yet I am painfully aware that I do not deserve that singing. 
This morning in church, we confessed our sin corporately with this prayer:

God, our Creator, you made us to bring you glory and to bear your holy image. 
Forgive us for serving ourselves and ruining your world. 

Jesus, our Redeemer, you saved us and bought us at the price of your own blood. 
Forgive us for looking for salvation and worth in ways that are detached from you.

Holy Spirit, our Comforter, you remade us as a foretaste of everything that will one day be new. 
Forgive us for running back to our old patterns of sin and for failing to bring blessing to the brokenness around us. 

The prayer struck me and resonated within me. But thankfully it didn't end there... as a family, we then stated the truth that we are pardoned, forgiven, redeemed:

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit... 
The Lord redeems his servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him." 
Psalm 34:18, 22

Comforting, huh? Here is another pretty incredible promise God has made to us:

"I will heal their waywardness and love them freely
for my anger has turned away from them."
Hosea 14:4

Freely loved, 

Saturday, May 5, 2012


May 5.

It is a rainy Saturday afternoon in Waynesboro, Virginia. I've been out and about {yes, Taylor and I even accomplished our walk despite the rain} and now it's time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the sights and sounds around me. The dripping rain, the chirping birds, the cars driving by on a wet road, the boy playing guitar next to me. 

On Thursday, I had to work later than Aaron {which never happens}, so he headed to my apartment to wait for me before we headed out to a church softball game later in the evening. I made it home a little after he got there and could hear the sound of him playing his guitar on the balcony as I walked up the sidewalk. This is what I walked in to: 

It is a gift; and it is one of the many things I like about him. 

"Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy."
Psalm 33:3

"Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray.
Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise."
James 5:13

"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 
Worship the Lord with gladness; 
come before him with joyful songs."
Psalm 100:1-2

Cheerful on this rainy day,

Friday, May 4, 2012


May 4. 

My best friend and I have been waking up early every morning this month to walk before the heat of the day. So far we've been as faithful as I have been to my blog challenge {aka: so far so good}. Taylor is way more disciplined than I am, so that has been a huge help in keeping me on track {and the fact that she has a key to my apartment helps matters a lot}. 

The City of Waynesboro recently completed a really cool project: the Greenway-- a path from the YMCA near my house, to Constitution Park, planned so that you get to walk along the South River for .88 miles. There is a lot to see in that .88 miles- both biological and man-made. This morning I strapped my trusty iPhone to my arm and was able to capture this shot through the fence:

I don't know what it is exactly, but it reminds me of something I would have traced for "inspiration" in one of my Interior Design classes in college. I love the lines. I love the wear and tear. And I love the juxtaposition of this structure on one side of you and the river flowing gracefully on the other as you walk along the Greenway path. Pretty neat. 

{And yes, I just used the word 'juxtaposition'.}

Until tomorrow,

Thursday, May 3, 2012


May 3.

Tonight there was a thunderstorm. And it was magnificent. 

"The heavens declare the glory of God; 
the skies proclaim the work of his hands."
Psalm 19:1

{Can you believe I caught these photographs with my iPhone?? Pretty incredible!}

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-- 
his eternal power and divine nature-- 
have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, 
so that men are without excuse."
Romans 1:20

As I sat with light flashing all around me, I was in awe. I think that is what "fearing the Lord" feels like. A feeling of absolute security and protection while watching His hand at work in mighty {and sometimes scary} ways. There is definitely some danger to living a life for {and with} God- 
but I'd say the adventure is worth the risk. 

In awe,

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


May 2.

Today was quite the day. Lots of very real conversations had in jest and a few in more serious tones. Lots of broken people searching for life in all the wrong places. It makes me sad. But it also made me think a lot about how different peoples lives and experiences have been from my own. There is no comparison to be made, each life is so different. And yet I am convinced that there is a common thread throughout each life that has ever been lived. 

"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 through the rivers, 
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the 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...
Since you are precious and honored in my sight, 
and because I love you,
I will give men in exchange for you, 
and people in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you...'"
Isaiah 43:1-5a

We have been redeemed. And our redeemed lives have the potential to bring God great honor and glory. I had a friend tell me tonight that all he wanted was another shot, a fresh start, a clean slate. 
What he is blind to is the fact that we've already been offered a second chance at life. We just have to reach out and take the free gift. 

"The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, 
so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, 
who is the image of God."
2 Corinthians 4:4

What my friend doesn't {yet} understand is that we are precious in the Lord's sight... 
and we are loved. {Dearly loved.}


"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
-Jesus; Matthew 28:20b

Take heart, 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Sometimes I struggle with consistency. 
{This may come as a surprise to some of you who know me because generally I take great pride in being consistent. But it will come as no surprise at all to those who try to read my blog regularly.} 
A lack of motivation and inspiration tends to wreak havoc on my writing habits. In response to this, I have decided to issue myself a challenge: "A Picture a Day for the Month of May" {I can not believe that cheesiness just came from my fingertips... and yet there it lies.} I have challenged myself to post an image {or images} each and every day for the 31 days of May {and if we're lucky a story or thoughtful insight just may accompany my photographs}. With the help of my trusty iPhone I should have no problems accomplishing my task.

May 1.

day night

{Waynesboro vs. Lee girls soccer game in Staunton, VA}

{no thoughtful insights today... sorry, guys.}

See you tomorrow,