Saturday, March 25, 2017


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 

you are not 

you are not

you are not

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

you are
essential, child.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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?

Sunday, March 19, 2017

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.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

what to do when you feel stuck

Everyone has been there. Everyone.
You feel uninspired or maybe stressed or maybe tired.
Or maybe you don't know what you feel but something just kind of

Take a deep breath.
No, seriously. A DEEEEEP breath.
Let it out.
Nice and easy.
Take another.
Sigh it out. Force it.
Take another.
Yell it out. Surprise yourself.

Are you wearing something uncomfortable?
Go change. Seriously. Right now.
Go find the comfiest clothes and put them on your body.
Let your hair down.
Rub your hands together. Create friction. Heat.
Lick your lips.

Drink a glass of water. Make it cold. What does it feel like to swallow?
Check the pulse in your neck. Your wrists.
You're alive.

Maybe you've been sitting a lot. Stand up.
Keep your feet hips distance apart and your knees softly bent. Swing your arms back and forth. Go with the flow. Make your spine happy.

Maybe you've been standing a lot. Sit down.
Massage your feet. Start with the arches and move to the toes.
Are they warm or cold?
Now massage your hands.

Go outside and breathe. It doesn't matter how cold or late it is. Go outside.
And breathe. Ten times.
Feel your lungs inflate and take up space in your body.
What does outside smell like today?
Exhale. Make some noise, happy or sad.
Let go.

Find a mirror. Look at yourself. Say, "You are beautiful."
Again. Whisper it.
Again. Shout it.
Watch yourself smile.

Everything is as it should be.

- abbiee
Monday, March 13, 2017

hey there, little dreamer

"she was afraid of heights,
but she was much more afraid
of never flying."



hey there, little dreamer

i know.

i know that it's scary

i know that the thought of it

knots up your stomach

and makes your hands shake

and makes you feel like you can't catch your breath. 

i know that you've got those big dreams

those ideas that make your heart beat a little faster

the ones that seem just inches from your grasp

but they're on the other side of the canyon 

and you don't see a bridge

and you're scared to jump.

hey there, little dreamer

take a breath

get ready to jump

i believe in you.

hey there, little dreamer

pick your head up.

it's gonna be alright. 


Friday, March 10, 2017

don't go back to sleep

“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth 
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch,
The door is round and open
Don't go back to sleep.”

- Rumi

this world is big, big, big
& full, full, full
waiting for you to reach out and take hold
of what's been yours all along.

don't let this today pass you by.
be here. be present.
be awake

it's yours, yours, yours.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

a list that you'll probably need

of things to do when you don't like yourself very much

- make cinnamon rolls, or cookies, or hot tea.
- listen to music that is actually happy, but muted happy so it doesn't just feel like nails against the chalkboard of your heart
- take a long shower and feel the hot water and shampoo your hair. be thankful that you can.
- go on a walk, seriously. doesn't matter what time of day.
- try making someone else happy.
- clean. organize. start small. it feels good, promise.
- look at the first and/or last sentence in all your books.
- start writing your flow of thought. maybe it'll turn into something.
- or draw your thoughts. get the bad ones out. make the good ones into something pretty, or just something that means something to you.
- go to sleep.
- make art. preferably watercolors. it doesn't have to be impressive. just art, because you are capable of creating.
- pray. write your prayers out. it has salvaged my prayer life.
- flip through your bible. look at the underlined verses. write them out. speak truth to yourself.

and, in case you forgot, Jesus loves you just as much in this moment as he did in the moment that he chose to endure the suffering and humiliation of the cross for your sake. you are so valuable and loved- fact. no matter what you feel.
Saturday, March 4, 2017

You'll Play Against You

I'm afraid that sometimes you'll play lonely games too
Games you can't win 'cause you'll play against you.

~ Dr. Suess, Oh the Places You'll Go

     Sometimes we hit a wall of overwhelming loneliness. There's suddenly no one to listen, no one to share with, and no one to help. At least, it feels that way.

     As an ambivert (half-introvert, half-extrovert), I know that both introverts and extroverts feel this way sometimes. It's a scary, sinking feeling in the pits of even the bravest stomachs.

     Surrounded by people, yet alone, we fight through the awkwardness and go home exhausted.

     But maybe the problem is that we're fighting against ourselves. You may feel like you can't win, but that is because you're on both sides of the argument.

     The fact is this: We have both lies and truth battling within us.

     Don't try and believe both, or you'll just find yourself losing. Separate the lies from the truth; then begin to believe the truth with every fiber of your being.

     I'm not good enough.
               I am covered by Christ's righteousness.

     I don't have anyone.
               He will never leave me or forsake me. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

     I can't do this.
               I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

     I'm a failure and an uninteresting person.
               I have unlimited potential and unique gifts to use in this world.

     I'm not as _________ {pretty, smart, valuable, etc.} as her.
               God calls me beautiful, and I can trust the way He made me.

     What lies are beating you down today? There is always a truth to combat it with. Speak the truth over yourself when a lie confronts you. If you stop playing against yourself, the loneliness will begin to melt away. The truth will fill you with good things.

     You are a truth-teller. You are an image-bearer. You are a masterpiece.

     Most importantly, you are not alone. I encourage you to find a woman a few years older or a few experiences ahead, who will encourage you in the truth. Maybe this is a friend's mom, a college student, a woman from church, a teacher. Having a guide or two on the path of truth is invaluable!

     If you can identify the people in your life who will cheer you on and help you battle the lies, you might just find yourself on your own team.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
~ Deuteronomy 31:6

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

how precious are His thoughts

Image result for tumblr morning sun
The other day I was reading Psalm 139, which I feel like Jesus basically breathed into the Bible for those days when I feel insecure, inadequate, less than. If you're not familiar with the Psalm, it's all about how God knows us, created us, sees us even when we're hiding. It's all about our relationship with God and how intimately He understands every fiber of our being.

Now I've read Psalm 139 about a million times, 
but it struck me recently just how much of this Psalm revolves around thinking:

"You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar."

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts."

And then the killer, the verse that really cut to the depths of my heart:

"How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!"

This can also be translated, "How precious concerning me are your thoughts, O God!" 

I never understood so clearly what I understood in that moment: 
God's thoughts concerning us all are positive, precious thoughts.

If you're like me, you may grapple with negative thoughts more than you care to admit. 
But God's thoughts towards His people are precious?! 

Psalm 139 is like the epitome of Biblical self-love and healthy, positive thinking: 
It reassures us that we are seen by God, and shows us that the way we think about ourselves is not the way God does.

"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." 
~ Isaiah 43:4

Y'all, I'm tired of my negative thinking. It's exhausting. And I'm sick to death of trying to constantly chase a boy or a body type that was never meant for me. After all: I am me! And you are you. And, my friends, when we truly grasp all that it means to be known by God and to dwell on how He thinks of us....that is precious. 

~ erin