We trip. We fall.

We trip. We stub our toes and stubbornly pretend nothing ever happened. We look around to make sure no one saw our fumble and press on. Too proud to suggest that perhaps we slow down the pace. Take a rest. Unload our burdens.

Sometimes we fall flat on our face. And in that moment, when we’ve face-planted into the dirt, it’s too late to pretend that nothing ever happened. Pride goes down to the ground along with us, and humility reaches out its hand to help us back on our feet.

We fall. It happens. Expect it. At some point in your life, the very mountain you thought you conquered will appear in front of you once again and you will be forced to climb. It will be rough, the climb will be steep, and you will fall. But each time you fall, your pride goes down with you. Each time you choose to grasp humility’s hand, a bit of that pride stays buried in the dirt.

But please, remember this: When you trip, you are not weak. When you fall, you are not helpless. 

In fact, you are empowered.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence. -1 Peter 1:3

In the moments when you feel weighed down and overcome, you have a choice. You have the choice to stay on your face, and you have the choice to stand to your feet. You have the choice to remain where you are at the foot of the mountain, and you have the choice to keep pressing onward.

But I am afraid to fall again. It is better to keep moving forward and fall many times over than to stay where you are.

But the climb isn’t worth the effort. Is freedom not worth it? Trust me, just a taste of freedom’s air and you will know that every moment of the climb was worth it.

But the mountain is too great. No mountain is too great, because there is Someone greater who came before you. And He goes with you. And His name is Jesus.

But before we trip, will we admit that the pace is too quick, the burden too heavy, the exhaustion too great for us to continue?

Before we fall, will we take a step back and examine who we are and what’s in front of us? Will we stop long enough to prepare for the journey ahead? Or will we forge onward with blind eyes and stumbling feet?

Far too often I do just the thing I know I ought not to do. I ignore the problem. I refuse to admit that I am not okay. I don’t make time to examine what’s going on inside of my mind and heart. And then in my ignorance I fall to the ground and wonder how I got here. 

Regardless of my failures, I am at peace because I know the Truth.

The fact is that we will trip and sometimes we will fall. But the truth is that tripping and falling will never define us unless we allow it to.

So go ahead, fall. Fall hard. Let your face hit the mud. But don’t stay there. Leave your pride on the ground and allow humility to help you to your feet once again.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. -Galatians 6:9

Be Still


7:40am. I’m driving away from my beautiful home on Berry College’s mountain-campus and towards the start of a brand new day. As I round the corner and the road opens up and the trees part ways I gasp just a bit. Fields of trees with their vibrant fall colors peek through a thick blanket of fog. So many deer stare at me with wide eyes as I drive by.

I slow down and take a moment to let the peace of the morning soak in. I think about how incredibly thankful I am to be where I’m at. I think about how beautifully creative my God is that he designed the morning and all its glory.

10390010_10152829927678665_35272097042110110_nJesus, thank you. Thank you for allowing me to  experience just a glimpse of how magnificent you are in the beauty of this morning. Thank you for the constant reminders of your presence even in the most simple of things.

And so the day begins. Not bad for eight in the morning with just one cup of coffee in my system. Sometimes my mornings consist of me waking up late, throwing on a wrinkled shirt, burning my fingers on the curling iron, and choking on a bowl of oatmeal while I drive a bit too fast to get to class on time. But I’m thankful for mornings like these where everything seems to go just right and I can make a peaceful entrance into my day.

But as the minutes turn to hours and the day passes by I forget about the trees and the fog and the deer and the serenity of this morning. I get lost in a muddle of tests and books and to-do lists. I have things to do and places to be and people to see. Some tell me I like to stretch myself too thin, and maybe I do, but I enjoy being busy.

I finished this to-do list…but there’s always room for one more thing.

I have an hour break between classes…just one more coffee date. 

And not only do I need to do everything and be everything and be everywhere, but I have to do it all well. Even perfectly. 

Then my mind gets clouded by my anxious thoughts and fears of inadequacy.

Such-and-such person is in a bad mood this morning…I must have done something to make them upset. 

I had to turn down that invitation…I’m a disappointment. 

Today’s plans were changed last minute and now I’m not going to check off everything on my to-do list…I’m such a failure. 

But in the midst of marching from here to there to the beat of my anxious thoughts I hear Him whisper rest. breathe. be still. I hear Him say you don’t carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. I DO. He reminds me that I am nothing and I have nothing if I am not walking with Him. It doesn’t matter how many people I make happy today or how I prove myself at work if I forget that He is the one who gave me the gift of today.

In  a noise polluted world, it is even difficult to hear ourselves think let alone try to be still and know God. Yet it seems essential for our spiritual life to seek some silence, no matter how busy we may be. Silence is not to be shunned as empty space, but to be befriended as fertile ground for intimacy with God.

-Susan Muto

It’s so easy to forget how to be still, to be silent, to read for pleasure, to pray in solitude, to do something simply because I want to in a world so intent on filling up every second of my day with “productivity.” Humans were designed to rest. We were commanded to rest. I don’t know what makes me think that I’m above the need to take a breather when God Himself did exactly that, but I do know that my physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being is at stake here.

It isn’t just about doing less, it’s about a shift in thinking. It’s about stopping to thank the Creator for the beauty that I see every morning when I wake up. It’s about taking a moment to really listen to that friend and have a meaningful conversation. It’s about not allowing myself to feel like a failure because I’m sick and couldn’t go into work. So I’m gonna sleep a little longer, drink my coffee a little slower, and maybe watch an episode of Gilmore Girls. Or two. Or three.

Rest. Breathe. Be still. The weight of the world doesn’t rest on your shoulders.

“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” -St. Augustine of Hippo

A not-so-little update

This blog post is a little overwhelming for me to write.

My last post was approximately three months ago…before I moved into a dorm, started college, started dating someone, started dancing again for the first time in over a year, and started drinking coffee in the afternoons like a real coffee-loving college-student.

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The past three months have been wonderful. I have already made so many memories and had so many new experiences. I’ve gone on a few adventures like hiking and swimming at 2am and road-tripping to Florida with about 100 other WinShape students. I’ve also enjoyed the little moments, like spontaneous coffee dates with new friends. Daydreaming in a hammock on lazy Saturday afternoons. Spending time with Jesus on foggy mornings with a blanket wrapped tightly around me and a cup of coffee in hand.

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Life is oh so good. But despite all the blessings and moments of bliss, this adjustment hasn’t been ALL sunshine and roses.

Coming to college has been a bit messy at times.

Like yesterday, my oatmeal exploded all over the microwave. At 8am. Before coffee.

I’ve slept through a few a lot of classes because I didn’t hear my alarm, and my lovely and patient mother wasn’t there to make sure I woke up (pathetic, I know).

I’ve experienced the serious effects of grow-out as a result of not having time or money to spend on getting my hair highlighted.

But seriously, life transitions will teach you more than you ever wanted to know about yourself. Living in close quarters with 50 girls will stretch you. Cramming for exams and meeting deadlines will push you. Managing a brand-new schedule in a brand-new place that balances school, a job, relationships, alone time, time with Jesus, and still trying to get enough sleep at night will challenge you.

And thats why writing this blog post overwhelms me. I have learned so much over the past three months that I don’t quite know where to begin. I have enough floating around in my head to write about twenty different blog posts; yet none of my ideas form complete thoughts. I have a million questions and zero answers. I’ve seen some major areas of weakness that I never noticed before. It’s the stuff that Jesus has quietly but determinedly been encouraging me to break open and lay at His feet…but I’ve avoided it because pretending that the problem doesn’t exist always seems like the easiest way to approach things at the time.

Over the summer I wrote this blog post after I had the realization that I hadn’t allowed the Lord to heal me fully from my eating disorder. I finally saw that pretending the problem didn’t exist just wasn’t working. My mind had the tendency to drift back into old thought patterns and my body certainly wasn’t functioning as it should have.

Good news: the Lord is faithful. Like, really really faithful. And really really patient. And over the summer I was able to peel back the layers of doubt and fear that had been holding me back and let Him wash me clean.

I’m erasing the periodand replacing it with a comma. No matter how difficult and how humbling it may be, I’m asking the Lord to search my heart and take me through a journey of complete healing and restoration.

I’ve never before experienced such complete freedom from my eating disorder, both mentally and physically, and I am so thankful that I can honestly claim full healing and deliverance in this present moment.

So now it’s time to tackle some other areas of my soul that are being choked out by my own fear and insecurity.

I want to learn to love like He loves.

I want to be vulnerable so that my love isn’t so “safe.”

I want to let go of the need to be perfect. 

need to let go of the belief that my worth is tied to my performance and release the paralyzing fear of being inadequate.

But then I find myself making a neat little check-list of “things to work on.” And then I tie my value and worth to how quickly and efficiently I can place a check-mark in each box.

Have I learned to love? Check.

Am I being vulnerable enough with the people that I love? Check.

Have I stopped allowing my performance to determine with worth? Check.

Have I extinguished my fear of inadequacy? Check.

I can’t actually check off anything on that list; but I would like to even though I know it shouldn’t work that way.

My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

-1 Corinthians 12:9-10

Right now I’m walking a tightrope between complacency and constant striving for perfection…although I tend to lean heavily towards the latter.

But even now, Jesus reminds me that tightrope-walking isn’t my purpose. I was created for so much more than trying to become the perfect person. I was created to be made one with the Savior. To be in constant communion with Him and to walk with Him  every day of my life. My purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. He reminds me that simply by spending time with Him I am becoming more like Him; being sanctified has nothing to do with me and everything to do with Him.

And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all…For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

-Hebrews 10:10 and 14

It’s time to be sensitive to the things He is teaching me and allow Him to touch the parts of me that I would like to keep hidden. But it’s also time to throw away my “how to be a better person” check-list and just let him do the dirty work. Because He wants to. Because He loves to. Because He loves me enough to die in order that I don’t have to live according to a check-list anymore. 

My blog posts are usually very organized, heavily edited, and adhere to one specific topic or issue, so I apologize for the random nature of today’s ramblings. But life is messy and if my blog is going to be an accurate reflection of my life…well…it might be a bit messy at times.

Beautiful, but messy.

Happy Wednesday 🙂


Am I Worth It?

A beautiful post from one of the most amazing people I know. Thank you, Morgan, for sharing this.

His Feet Upon the Mountains

You don’t think you’re worth it child? Don’t you know I bought you out of slavery because I saw you as worthy? Child I spilled my blood and died, to buy you back. I gave all I had for you, down to my last breath. Receive what I give you with thanksgiving, and the knowledge that it’s because I love you; genuinely and passionately. Forget me not darling. I’m always here to buy you back, if there is ever a need. I have covered that payment a million times over.

Instead of focusing on the grace you are spending, focus on growing closer to me. It is going to require you to stretch, and at times this can be uncomfortable, but the closer to Me you grow, the more like me you become. The more like Me you become, the easier your troubles get, as the distance between us shrinks.

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to my middle-schoolers

Daughters of the King:

There are so many words on my heart, so many things that I want each and every one of you to take away from the time we’ve spent together. I know things have been a bit scattered, a bit confusing, and a bit overwhelming at times (ehem, kid’s camp) as we began this thing called Echo; but the past eight months have been such a blessing to me, and I hope to you as well, as Jesus has worked and taught and healed and grown all of us.

It’s not like I’m moving to Africa never to be heard from again. I’m just moving an hour and a half away to go to school. However, this is our last small group time together and I wanted to leave you with a few thoughts that I believe God has put on my heart for you all. So here we go.

  • First of all, more than anything else, above any other advice or wisdom, I just want you to realize the goodness of our God. I want you to fall deeply in love with the One who not only created you, but pulled you out of darkness and pursues you daily. He is the perfect father, the perfect friend. He will be your rock and your fortress. He will protect you and comfort you. The most important thing you can do right now and forever is get to know Him. Open up your Bible and read even if you don’t always understand it. Pray. Share your heart with God because He knows you better than you know yourself. Listen for His voice, because He longs to speak to you. Just like any other relationship, intimacy takes time and effort, and intimacy with God is worth more than gold. Get to know Him, He wants to show you who He is.
  • Secondly, I want you to know who you are. When I look at each of you, I don’t see awkward middle-schoolers who love frappucinos and The Hunger Games. I see royalty. I see warriors. I see beauty and strength and potential. I see all that you can and will be, if only you will see it too. I want you to know, not just in your head but in your heart, that you. are. worthy. You are worthy of love and respect. You are worthy of infinitely more than the lies that the world will throw at you. Be confident, for you are beautiful, intelligent, funny, kind, loving, wonderful young women made in the image of God. Embrace who you are as an individual, unique and set apart, confident in the fact that He has great plans in store for you.
  • Next, I want to tell you to dream big and say yes. Extinguishing a fear of failure now will set you years ahead. Try new things, be adventurous, and step out in faith. Whether it’s a travel opportunity or a new sport or a business idea, never turn down a chance to make yourself a more interesting person. Of course, I’m not telling you to be reckless. Common sense is a beautiful thing. But in the words of Mark Twain, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
  • Lastly, I want you to know that I’m here for you. Life is hard, and middle-school and high-school are not easy times. Girls are mean and boys are dumb (sometimes). You’re going to face some trials and challenges, and when you do, please know that I’m here. However big or small it is, I care. So give me call, shoot me a text, ask for prayer, let me know what’s going on in your life. I love you all so very much, and I’m here for you whenever you need me.

There are so many more things that I could say to you, but that’s all for now. Thank you for letting me be a part of your lives. I’m honored to call each one of you a friend, and I can’t wait to see what things the Lord has in store for you.

Lots of love,