This is How We Learn

This is How We Learn


Forgive her--
Two little words sound so easy,
Burn so bright.
They look like hope and second chances.

We take a deep breath
For giving this gift
Isn't easy as it sounds.
Forgiving is a gift that humbles us.

And no matter what she did
We're supposed to forgive.
We're supposed to let go
To allow her a second chance.

Grace means you lavish
Her with something neither of you can imagine.
You leave the past in the past
You restore what you once had.

And dear, if you really want to move forward,
And if you are truly ready to be like Christ,
Don't avoid the conversation.
Don't wallow in your anger.

Let the love of Christ break down the barriers between you.
Don't hold on
To this frustration
This disdain.

Let love lead you to the cross.
See how much He forgave you?
How can you not grace her
With the same love and acceptance?

I know she hurt you.
I know it's hard, this thing you're going through.
Isn't it time to learn Christ's way?
Isn't it time to let go and give grace?

For this is how we learn
To be brave in the face of our enemies
To build or rebuild a friendship
To live and love the way Christ loves us.

Forgiveness.

~Madeline

P.S. This applies to forgiving guys too. I just used girls as an example.

let go

let go





















We all know what it feels like when you have to pick up something really heavy and move it. Your muscles ache, you're struggling to keep your grip, and it seems like those twenty steps to move that item across the room are the hardest steps you've ever taken.

And then, when you've reached your destination, you get to set it down, and it's the best feeling. It's a relief. You feel freer, you've let go.

It's easy. 


-----

Sometimes, our own minds can be the most tangled up, twisted places in the world. I don't know about you, but my mind really never stops going. It's constantly jumping from one thought process to the next, running from idea to idea, from project to project. And sometimes, my mind isn't the nicest place. It can get filled to the brim with negativity, and it feels as though your head is about to explode. 

Thinking, thinking, thinking too much. About those people who hurt you. About those old friends who bailed. About that person who let you down. You think that you've pushed it out of your mind, and then you see something that reminds you of them, and bam. Those thoughts are back. 

And even more frequently, those thought seem to extend to ourselves. Oh, you didn't finish your novel last week like you said that you would? Failure. You got a C on that test? Oh my gosh, how idiotic of you. You fell asleep instead of finishing that blog post? Well goodness, why do you even have followers? Clearly you don't deserve them.

But those thoughts just aren't right.

All of these thoughts just get more and more pervasive, to the point that they're all that we can think about. We can't get rid of them. They're even heavier than that box, but we can't seem to let go.

And suddenly, it's not so easy. 
-----

To forgive is defined as, "to stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake." This can apply equally to others and ourselves. We have to let go of those feelings of bitterness and anger. 

But gosh, why is it so difficult? 

I think that part of it is because we all have a little bit of stubbornness to us. We feel like the person that we're angry with isn't deserving of being forgiven. We feel like we're not deserving of being forgiven. So we hold onto that box a little bit tighter, not wanting to loosen our grip. But in Christ, we've already been forgiven of everything, despite the fact that we sure didn't deserve it. So why can't we extend that same forgiveness to others? Why can't we extend that same forgiveness to ourselves? If the Creator of the entire universe can forgive you, can't you try to do the same thing?

As hard as it is, why can't we just...let go? 

-----

Maybe you're always going to feel that little sting when you see that person. Maybe you're always going to be just the tiniest bit upset that that project didn't work out the way that you thought that it would. That's okay. That's disappointment, and it's natural. We're all going to be disappointed in life, many many times. We'll be disappointed by other people. We'll be disappointed in ourselves. But at the same time, we have to learn to stop holding on so tight to that box. To let it slip through our fingers, and let that weight fall off of our shoulders. 

To let go. 

It's not going to be easy. But man, is it going to be worth it. 

Take a breath. 

And let go.



- Grace Anne

change your thermostat

change your thermostat

 
for·give
fərˈɡiv/
verb
  1. stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake.


________________________________


That's the definition of forgiveness. And it sounds so beautifully simple. Stop feeling angry. But it's almost as hard as trying to write the beginning of this post. Because "offense, flaw, or mistake" can probably describe a moment of every single person's life on planet earth -- perhaps many moments, perhaps every day. 

We are children. Messy, inexperienced, 
writing on the walls with permanent markers. 
And we can't forgive ourselves.


But why? Why? When now, more than ever before, we live in a world where humanity is beginning to awaken to the light of a new dawn; the light of Grace and Peace and Forgiveness. Why?

Because forgiveness implies there is something to forgive. 

Offense, Flaw, Mistake. 

Trembling words with skeletal frames, whispering escape plans in each other's ears. We hate the fact that they infect our bodies, our minds, and the breath in our lungs. But hate is the very thing we need to cast far, far, away in order to forgive. 

In order to love.

 
There's something in psychology called "cybernetics." (And yes, this is going to be one of my Science Geek Analogies™, just warning you.) To put it simply, your mind works like a thermostat. And for those of you who don't know how a thermostat works, here is a quick overview: you tell the thermostat what temperature you want a given room. If the room gets warmer, the thermostat will work to bring the temperature back to your specific setting. If the room gets colder, the thermostat will work to bring the temperature back to your specific setting. 

The thermostat knows the norm. It is the norm. 
It changes everything in the room according to the norm. 
And it's the same way with your mind. 

If you always predict a certain outcome from yourself, your mind will literally work to regulate that outcome -- finding anything less or anything more simply unacceptable. If you're always like "I suck at parallel parking" it isn't just your lack of confidence that prevents you from being good at parallel parking; it's your mind saying "ok that's where you want to be WE SHALL SUCK FOREVERMORE." The same goes for positive things, too. 

But what happens when you expect too much of yourself? 
What happens when you fall short? 
When you make a mistake? 
When you do something wrong? 

If we hear so much about forgiveness, why is it so hard to simply make amends with our messy, inexperienced humanity? 


Guys, I'm not going to lie to you -- I mess up. A lot. And I expect things of myself that are ridiculously out of my depth. And I complete the vicious cycle by condemning myself, shaming myself, and hating myself.

WHY?

Who's thermostat is wired into my heart now? The thermostat that declares I am beautiful and forgiven and loved? The thermostat that whispers in the unwavering voice of my Savior that I am perfect in His eyes? 

Or is it the thermostat I see everywhere I turn? Those dark little thermostats that cower in the corner and mutter "you're a dirty sinner." Messed up and mistook. Unworthy of love. Shame, shame, shame. 

Someone set a thermostat to sit outside in the pig pen, covered in filth, shaking it's head saying, "No, I don't belong at my Father's table, no, I don't deserve to be anything more than a servant, no, I deserve to be a slave."

But I want to change my thermostat. I want to collapse into 
my Father's arms and take the rings and the robes and the sandals 
and the wild party and the loud music and the unbridled joy. 

I don't want the "dirty sinner" norm turning my thermostat down to a mere crust from the table of God. I want to be turned up all the way like the bass pumping through the front lawn. I want to forgive, forgive, forgive, because I thought it was impossible until proven possible by the hands that crafted my blood and bone. 

I want you to change your thermostat. 

To forgive.

To love.

To believe that you are worth it.

rock on,
abbiee

dear shame

dear shame























 Dear Shame,

I admit you're a subtle lover. I've been living with you for so long, I barely even notice that you're there. Except for the weight of you clinging to my shoulders at 2 AM when it's just you, me, and my regret.

If you were a person, you would be that bad boy on the corner, flashing a smile and a wink. All charm on the outside, rotten personality underneath. I think my mama warned me about ones like you some time ago, but, oh, you draw me in with the way you sweet talk, “Filthy, dirty, worthless, how could you do this, why did you do this, you are disgusting, you knew better and you did it anyway, forget about being forgiven, nobody can stomach loving you, least of all God.”

Yup, it's an REO Speedwagon, Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore, kind of sick the way you want me, the way I keep holding on to you, sort of want to leave, but you manipulate me into staying, in love with the way you chain me to the past, kind of sort of done with you, Shame.

Shame, this is your eviction notice. There's a new set of tenants taking up residence in the chambers of my soul. Don't try to fight it. You don't stand a chance against Grace.

See, Grace is backed up by Mercy, and Mercy comes with Forgiveness for my sins. Whenever you try to speak up, Love shouts that it matters what I choose now, not what I chose then.

Shame, you call me dirty.
He calls me pure.

You call me worthless.
He calls me Beloved.

You say I am unforgiven.
He says He has cast my sins as far as the East is from the West.

You tell me I have to keep paying penance.
He says the debt has already been paid in full.

You say I can never leave the past behind.
He calls me free.

You call me wicked.
He calls me holy.

He calls me holy. That is my name as a blood-bought, forgiven, and loved daughter of the King. 

Blood was spilled for my reconciliation. Love covered the multitude of my sin. He took my filthy rags and clothed me in righteousness instead. The mistakes I make now, yesterday, or even next week, have no hold on me because I belong to Christ.

Shame, I'm no longer accepting rent from you. My identity is not based on you, not on the things I do. It is safe in the One who delights in showing mercy. He loves me and because He loves me, He forgives me, and because He forgives me, I have no use for you.

Goodbye to shame, goodbye to hiding, goodbye to guilt.

Hello, love.

Hello, healing.

Hello, freedom.



Peace out,

Ashlyn.

fireproof

fireproof

I hold her face to my stomach, standing there, 
Feet going numb, 
Re-living that day when I watched it all go up in smoke
A seducing memory of heat and flames. 

I hold her face to my stomach and she 
tells me of how the fire in our lives sparked and flared.

I listen and pray 
and run my fingers through her hair. 
I think of how it took everything to ground level
and I never saw it coming. 



















Ashes, ashes, we all fall down,
We all fall down and then there's dirt and ash 
Dirt and ash and dirt and ash and 
I am made of the stuff,
It is embedded in my fingerprints and my knees, 
streaked across my face.

I am tired of the aged lemon juice sting of smoke in lung
and the gray smell of the gray ash and everyone asking
Is the fire is out yet?

Fires don't just go out. 

You pray for rain, and when it comes the 
Ash turns to mud.

Oh child, 
Wait. 
Be patient. 
Wait twice. Wait for the rain to come again. 
When it does it washes the mud away. 
It clears off the grime and the odor. 
And you stand up.






















Take a handful of ash. 
Find a blank canvas. 
You don't need green for your life to be beautiful. 
You don't need green to move forward. Find 
that white that the rain washed clean 
and make some art. 
Write some words.
Smile. 
Because 
You are brave
And you are beautiful
And you are strong
And you are loved. 
You are loved. 






















So here's what happens. 

Fires come. 
You run. 
Fires burn. 
You lose.
You fight. 
You lose again. 
You pray, 
Rain comes.
The fire goes out. 
Mud happens. 
Rain comes again. 
You pick up some mud and let the rest wash away,
and then
You prove to everyone and 
especially to the fire
that you don't need for everything to be perfect
for you to grow.

Make something beautiful about the ash of your previous life
your previous self and 
keep that on your wall
but don't ever
ever
ever
ever
ever 
think that you will be stuck in a barren land forever. 

Fires burn and hurt
but they are not the devil. 
They are a cleanser.
Nothing will be okay for awhile.
But listen:

fires don't cause anything
you can't recover from. 

You can get through this. 
Let it burn. 
When the fires are gone and the rain has come
Make your ash worthwhile;
make it beautiful and tell the fire
to run away home. Run
away and burn its own home
because yours is 

f i r e p r o o f

You have already made it through the flames. 

- sami 


The One for the Hard Days

The One for the Hard Days


     This one's for the hard days, the Mondays, the can't-face-it days. Life tumbles around and throws the unexpected, and we collapse in our weaknesses.

     For we are weak. All of us. We can't conquer these days on our own, and we'll fail miserably if we try.

     And yet.

     And yet we have a hope. A hope that transcends the darkest of days, the most pressing of cares. There is hope in the name of Jesus that can carry us through.

     Who else gives us strength when we are sapped? Who else carries us gently with a whisper of "rest now, little one"? Who else lifts us up as life tries to drag us down?

     He holds your right hand. Just trust Him through thick and thin, for that trust leads to the greatest peace ever known to mankind. It's a peace that transcends all understanding. Surely we could use that now!

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid."
~John 14:27

     The world may give us its cares and worries, its pains and struggles. But Christ does not give to us as the world gives. He gives us freedom and peace.

     Don't let your heart be troubled. Entrust it to the One who knows exactly what you are going through when no one else does.

     Don't be afraid. He is mightier than any sorrow and more caring than any loved one. He will carry you through. He will fight for you.

     And, most importantly, He will never let you go.

     Rest now, little one.

     This one's for the hard days. And the hard days are nearly over.

~Madeline

Fully Alive, Fully You

Fully Alive, Fully You


     "You do you" is my common whisper to myself. Be you bravely. Be the best, truest version of yourself. Be who God is creating in you.

     You may not have "friends" to hang out with. You may not be "cool" like your sibling. You may be a "work-in-progress." But you are you, and none of those quotation marks matter. You are loved deeply by the Creator of the World, and you are in a good place, even if it feels like a lonely place.

     Your soul health is dependent on quiet & crazy, balanced to perfection. You know you need both, but one always seems preferable to the other.

     You are beautiful. You are seen, known, and loved. You are mature & maturing. You are unlocking more and more of the beautiful deep places that have always been there within you.

     The temporal is passing away in all its glitter. The eternal is steady in all its glory. You go deep fast, but you know that not everyone can be trusted.

     Tears are not your way, nor the cold, hard facts. You bring balance and harmony to the world by delivering the truth gently. If one of those is missing - truth or gentleness - you'll notice. Truth can be brutal. Gentleness can be fake. The combination is a delicate, beautiful heart place.

     Stay in your heart place, dear one. Keep your brain in your head and your heart in your chest. Your perspective on the world is perfectly you and perfectly valued.

~Madeline {an excerpt from journal no. 3}

how rare and beautiful

how rare and beautiful



this is for the ones with light in their veins
all that's gold don't glitter

sometimes you are a 
dark
damp
ache
and i'm here too

but look at the stars

some of them shine across millions of light years
and fit in a teaspoon


but that breath in your lungs can do 
so much

it's ready


sometimes you feel tired and small
b u t 
my friend

you are courage

you just took another breath
and another
you allowed that war in your mind to become
a memory
and not a revised definition of
y o u

breath
in your lungs

do you feel it?

that
right there

is courage


how rare
and beautiful
it is


love,
abbiee

p.s. read the whole thing. then read the left. then read the right. then read the center. or in whatever order you like. remember how rare and beautiful you are.

gold underneath

gold underneath




you are the quiet after the rain

you are the sea,
the still fragments reflecting the moonlight,

but sometimes you are the storm.
the wild, howling wind

we don't know where you come from,
or where you are going.

you are the sleep that comes with the dawn,
but other times you are the aches,
the anxiety that comes with the starless dark

sometimes you are the prodigal returning,
but other times you are the prodigal making a run for it.

sometimes the earth is full and bursting
and other times we are full and bursting with the fear
that whirls down from the ceiling fan above our beds.

but there's life life
in those bones bones

they are made of gold
underneath

they are not
hollow

your eyes are dripping with all the light
that wants to break out from underneath your skin

you are made of
bravery





of a life that wouldn't be held back
by a gravestone

if even death couldn't hold you back,
if all the darkness of the tomb couldn't keep you down,

how much less can your own mind keep you locked away?
it only will if you give it the keys, child.

there's more than that darkness,
there's more than that tomb.

there's life rattling that rib cage,
and there's glory scratching at that holy skin

these more than bones underneath.
there's gold.
life
a comeback
a resurrection




lOVE,
kATE


take off your grave clothes

take off your grave clothes























Everywhere you look are dead men walking. The grave nips at the heels of every person you pass by. You'd see it if you gave them a second glance. Why else would the human race look so much like a rat race?
People pace, eyes downcast, pushing, shoving. Hands out, clawing their way up the system, standing on, crushing others just to get a scrap of love.
Of success.
Of acceptance.
Of peace.
Anything for a breath of life.
There are corpses on these streets, friend. Walking, talking, smiling on the outside, but there's a mummified spirit underneath.
The question of,
“How are you?”
Is quickly put to rest with,
“I'm fine,”
Because to admit to being anything less than fine is to admit that we are less than.
Less than perfect.
Less than okay.
Less than...
...alive?
You laugh at the foolishness of hope. Scowl at it, curl your lip, shove it away. There is no room for life in the land of the dead. You're knee deep in the mire of failure and forgotten dreams. You hold tight to those grave clothes, you don't want to think about what might lie underneath.
Did it ever occur to you that those dead dreams, that broken spirit...might only be asleep?
See, I know a couple who prayed fervently for a child. Ten years passed and still...nothing seemed to be happening. Meanwhile, they took in every foster kid that came their way. Nurtured them with all the love in their hearts, whether it was for six months or just one day. But they never stopped hoping for a miracle of their own. She's four now, always clinging to her mother's side. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.
See, I know a woman who spent eighteen years locked up in a cell for the things she had done. But those last seven years of time served, her heart had never been freer. All because she met Jesus in the back of a patrol car. It didn't matter that she was in handcuffs because every chain had just been busted off her soul. After her release, working in a little coffee shop, the daughter she had been cut off from twenty years prior sent her a message on Facebook. Broken relationships don't last when you belong to the One who will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.
See, I know a man from Nazareth. A place from where “nothing good could come”. He walked dusty roads, healing the sick and doing good to all people. The religious establishment saw Him as a threat. Ridiculed Him, tortured Him, hung Him on a cross. When He gave His final breath, the hearts of His followers were broken. All hope was lost. Three days later, He rose from the grave, bringing with Him all power and authority in heaven and on earth.
He is alive and He is in the business of resurrection, my friend. He has the final say over all things, even that which you have long since buried. Take off your grave clothes. Leave them right where you stand. Walk out of the tomb. The Resurrection and the Life is calling your name.

-ashlyn

scriptures: luke 1:45, joel 2:25, matthew 28:18

The Lady With My Blue Pen

The Lady With My Blue Pen




I gave my blue pen to a lady in a wheelchair.
Her lips retreated back into her face.
Her legs didn't work.
She couldn't quite talk.
And she knew it.

I gave my blue pen to the lady in a wheelchair.
She had a pink box full of poems,
Of dreams and wedding invitations.
It was full of her life,
And she knew it.

I gave my blue pen to the lady in a wheelchair
As she whispered to me,
"It all falls in place, doesn't it?"
I don't know what "it" was.
But she knew it.

I gave my blue pen to the lady in a wheelchair
Because she wanted to write a poem.
I could see the words
Bubbling beneath her skin.
And she knew it.

I gave my blue pen to the lady in a wheelchair.
She possessed poetry in her veins,
A power of words in her soul
As she showed me her work.
And she knew it.

I gave my blue pen to the lady in a wheelchair.
She held it with an idea,
A purpose was forming
As she wrote in the air.
And she knew it.

I gave my blue pen to the lady in a wheelchair
She pointed it to her grandchildrens' picture
"I just want them to..."
She couldn't finish.
But I knew it.

I gave my blue pen to the lady in a wheelchair.
She wrote a poem in the air,
And it landed in my heart.
This is that poem.
And she knows it.


The Lady With My Blue Pen showed me, without many words, that dreams never die, even if we face death. The Lady With My Blue Pen reminds me that God uses our gifts even when the world tell us that we are done. The Lady With My Blue Pen showed me what true poetry is, and she knows it.

Princess Hannah

The Gift of Life

The Gift of Life


     Sometimes it feels like we have nothing left to give.

     Our hearts are checked out for the day, and our minds are wandering down the lane.

     When there is nothing left in us, simple words come. Simple, beautiful truths that we can pass along to others. We didn't think there was any gift left within us, and yet, the words come.

     "You have such a kind heart," we tell the friend who stops in.

     And to the mom wrangling four kids at the store: "You're doing an amazing job. Hang in there!"

     If you think about the last encouraging words someone said to you, it's easy to see why words are so vital to our well-being. When we receive words, we store them up and ponder them in our hearts.

     We say these things to others because the words stick. They stay with us and hold onto us.

     So we say "Thank you so much!" to the elderly cashier.

     And bid the mail carrier "good day!"

     A text to a friend reminds them that they are held by Someone greater than their problems.

     These little gifts of words, sprinkled around, don't seem like much, yet the impact they leave could be lasting. 

     Though we have no money and our energy is spent, words of the "you-can-do-it-I-believe-in-you" variety to a friend can go a long way.

     Because although we may not realize it in the moment, the gift of words is the gift of life.

~Madeline

3AM

3AM



on the three am
it can be hard to pull the dark out of its kiss with the light
it can all be a tempest; swirling 
making it hard to see through those bleary eyes
what's what.

which is real. which is the illusion.

you share your room with you sister 
so you've learned to cry quietly.

the moonlight asks you questions,
or is that just the clash of swords
behind your forehead:

who are you?
who are you?
who are you?




and your heart is a canary
in your chest's collapsing 
coal mine

hurricane head, child. 
oh, you're such a mess. 

on the four thirty am
it can be hard to answer that echoing voice that wants to know
what happened to the you 
you used to know.

sometimes its hard to know who you are,
when everything is so loud upstairs.
when the moonlight becomes venom. 

sometimes you just need to know
who you aren't

you pretty, messy, bleary eyed child. let me tell you.




you are not
those voices

you are not
the fear

you are not
the darkness dripping down from your bedroom ceiling

you are not
the sick feeling in your stomach

you are not 
alone

you are not 
abandoned

you are not
invisible

you are not
unloved

you are not 
unspoken for




it hurts on the five am. when the shy sun flushes the hills pink. 
when you're the only one awake, tangled up in those sweaty sheets

when you hear your momma get up to make the coffee
and you think about your parents 
and you wish you were better,
and you wish you were better for them,
or that things were how they used to be.

oh, love. they love you. they love you. they love you.

and i love you.

and someone far brighter than the sun is reaching through that window 
to fill up those cracks in your heart with kisses. with life.

you are not
unnecessary

you are
essential, child.
essential.






lOVE,
kATE

you aren't wasting your childhood

you aren't wasting your childhood






















I'm not 'wasting' my childhood.

Contrary to what people believe, me typing away on my computer, me handwriting plot outlines, me making playlists for my work in progress, me filing draft after draft for this new writing blog I put up -- it's not a 'waste'.

You're not 'wasting' your childhood.

Contrary to what people believe, you investing hours on learning a piece on your cello, you in silent prayer every morning and night, you out on the field soaked through with sweat and your focus on the game, you pointing your camera to a sight you've never seen before, you dancing your heart out in your bedroom in the early hours of morning, you belting out to your favorite musical in the car, is not a 'waste'.

Growing up I'd like to honestly say that I've had support in terms of my hobbies. My family has been incredibly supportive of me with my early endeavors in ballet (which I quit and have little regrets about as it isn't my thing), gymnastics (a one-time free trial in a gymnastics club that I promptly rejected), piano and voice lessons (around three years? To which there was no avail), and of course, my writing.

But I still tend to feel judged.

The better half of me tells me not to mind it. It's their own line of thinking anyway. However, I would love to give my insight on this, and if a problem is just avoided, it doesn't mean it will go away, right?

Contrary to what people believe, the childhood and teenage years is not a single truth.

Childhood does not mean playing with building blocks, tying your shoes then wishing for velcro, and learning how to tell time.

It does not necessarily mean spending hours watching cartoons to reminisce them years later, play hopscotch, wish to visit Disney Land, and dream of being a princess, astronaut, or magician.

My childhood meant scribbling on bond papers and ripped-out pages, obsessing over filling up a new notebook with a collection of stories, and making a promise to myself, that in the future, I would get published.

Yours could mean receiving your very first instrument, learning 'Ode to Joy' and simple strums, and joining kids' recitals with your family videotaping you. It could mean you putting on your size three ballet shoes, or learning how to dribble, or whipping up your very first meal to present to your family: something like greasy bacon and wet eggs. It could also mean falling in love with your hobby, slowly, gradually.

Teenage years does not mean partying, hanging out with your clique, forming social circles, staying up-to-date on the latest TV shows and movies. It does not necessarily equal backstabbing your parents, rebelling, using the latest acronyms and shortcuts in texting, heartbreak, and first loves.

My teenage years are: reading book after book, hiding in my room to churn out my next novel, looking up books and author interviews, and attending book signings to meet people I consider my literary heroes.

Yours could mean: buying paintbrush after paintbrush, visiting art museums to improve your technique and hone your style, and joining art competitions. It could also mean mastering a perfect smash or serve, doodling, creating scrapbooks, finishing yet another piece of embroidery to frame, and packing for another hike you're so excited to take.

I feel like I'm in a gilded cage. Or maybe that's just the choking sensation of peer pressure. The glitz and glamor stuffed inside the cage to make me feel like everything's all right, but it's clearly wrong, because through the bars of this cage I can see it clearly: who I want to be and how I want to spend my years and what I want to do.

Go ahead. Let's pick the lock of this cage and step outside, because we are not wasting our childhood because we are doing what we wholly love.

what is your childhood?


when the future is TERRIFYING

when the future is TERRIFYING




Hi, friend. I get it.

The future is so, so scary.

Maybe you’re in high school, and you have absolutely no idea what’s gonna happen in a few years – where you’ll go to college, if you’ll even go, or what you’ll do if you don’t take the college route.

Maybe you’re in college, and you’re going back and forth between the things you want to do after – you want to get a great job, but you also want to travel, and you also want to start a family.

Where will I live? What job will I have? What kind of education is best for my future? Do I want to marry?

Maybe you’re facing decisions that you’ve never had to deal with before, and it all seems like too much to handle. The stress, the pressure, the anxiety – it all builds up, and oh, I so get it.

The future can be terrifying.

But I’ve found solace in this, that we’re only given one day at a time; we’re given today, and that’s it.

The future is simply the todays that are to come – one day at a time. This is today-living.

Our responsibility is simply to be good stewards of each day – to pray that God would lead us to the right opportunities, and to guide us to do the right thing, decision by decision, hour by hour.

Today-living means making wise plans, but not being afraid to let God lead us in different directions than we’d originally planned. It means trusting God at the beginning of a new day to bring us to where He has for us to be – and trusting Him at the end of that day that He has brought us to the right place.

It means making the most of the time we’ve been given, and living life fearlessly.

It means trusting God.

And yes, trusting God can be scary, because He doesn’t reveal His whole plan to us at once. He gives it to us one step at a time, one moment at a time, one decision at a time, and even then, His plan often seems fuzzy.

But in all of our decisions we make, He promises us His presence, His guidance, and His love to bring us to exactly the places we need to be. Even when they’re unlikely – even when they seem odd – even when they’re exactly opposite of what we imagine.

So the future? It’s still uncertain. We still have to make those big decisions about where we’re going – but we aren’t alone in those decisions. Because as we trust God to lead us to MAKE the right decisions, we can also trust that He’ll lead us IN them, even in ways we can’t see.

Today, do what you feel called to do. Trust God, and take the plunge.

He’s got this.


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