You’re Not Behind In Life

Have you ever felt like life was leaving you behind?

We see so many stories of Rebelutionaries seeking after God, doing hard things, and changing the world. It’s amazing to see the work other young people are doing. Writing books. Graduating college early. Starting ministries. Starting businesses. All of those are good and beautiful and amazing, and we applaud and rejoice with each of them. But sometimes, there can be a twinge of hurt mixed in.

Because we look on those things from afar. We’re happy for them, yes, but we’re not there with them. We’re not doing what they are. We’re not in that same place. Everyone seems to be flying past us, and the years are too. Rebelutionaries are teens doing hard things for God–but some of us realize we’re not teens anymore. There’s a frantic whisper in the back of our minds, saying we’re behind our peers, behind our expectations, and behind in life. And that’s hard.

I know. I’m in this curious stage of life where most of my friends are engaged, married, or pregnant. They’re getting professional jobs, graduating from college, or moving across the country. But I’m sitting here. Still the same. Perhaps you can relate, even if you’re in a different age demographic. Everyone else is graduating high school. Everyone else is going on exotic mission trips. Everyone else is going to fancy colleges.

But we’re sitting here, still the same.

Have you ever felt like life was leaving you behind? Everyone seems to be flying past us, and the years are too. Rebelutionaries are teens doing hard things for God–but some of us realize we’re not teens anymore. There’s a frantic whisper in the back of our minds, saying we’re behind our peers, behind our expectations, and behind in life. And that’s hard.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Can You Interchange Live and Love?

My autocorrect is a passive-aggressive menace. Most days he follows along, a faithful butler who sees my needs and quietly corrects my errors. But, much like most movie butlers, autocorrect is not entirely compliant in his place.

He takes sideswipes at my past spelling mistakes by innocently including them in his suggestions. He won’t let me forget that one time I kept caps-lock on for an entire paragraph. He even presumes to know what I want to say, when in reality I want much the opposite. An exasperating fellow, that autocorrect. Still, I wouldn’t be able to get by without him. And sometimes, much like most movie butlers, he makes me stop and consider my ways.

The cause of such strange thoughts on autocorrect? A simple switching of vowels.

Almost every time I type the word “live” on my phone, this butler switches it to “love.”  You might not think this is a huge deal. But this slight change can become quite a problem when you ask a friend if they want to go see a live show.

But though it may cause a few mishaps, I wonder if my autocorrect is actually correct. Perhaps those terms should be more interchangeable. Perhaps they should be more the cadence of my life…

Can You Interchange Live and Love.png
Continue reading

Why I Write

Why do I write?

The question stares at me tonight. The span of time since I’ve written stretches far back into days, weeks, months even. A pulsing emptiness, the great void of silence. It asks, why should I attempt to bridge it? Why pick it back up? After all, there are plenty of other things to do. I could be studying. Or earning money. Or cleaning house. Or doing something, tangible, physical, real even. It warns me to back away from the canyon, to settle back into the normal life.

Because it’s hard to live the writer life. Making words is like giving birth–I don’t know how it works. It takes concentration, focus, and an undistractedness I rarely have.

So why do I write?

Because every word I write stands as a silent protest to this most chaotic world…

Why I Write.png

Continue reading

Abandoned Succulents and God’s Love

I don’t quite understand the current succulent craze. Perhaps you’ve never heard of it, perhaps it’s only a Southern Texas trend, yet all over, succulents are spreading. They’re in house. In magazines. In photos. On wrapping paper. In weddings.

Now perhaps this fad is a small act of defiance against this harsh climate we live in. Yes, we’ll live with the cacti, but we’re going to live with the small ones. Or perhaps it’s because succulents are small, and thus we project onto them that they’re cute. Regardless of the reason, I still don’t fully understand why people love succulents.

But one succulent helped me to more fully understand love.

Abandoned Succulents and God's Love

Continue reading

Toddlers and Our Dirty Hands| Guest Post at For His Great Name

I’m delighted to be guest posting on Alyssa’s blog For His Great Name today. Alyssa has such a heart for the Word and for proclaiming it to the world through missions. You can read my full post here, and be sure to read and follow her blog while you’re there!


“Bell-wup, Bell-wup!” my little brother calls, his toddler feet pattering across the wooden floor. Almost four and talking so well, yet my name has retained its babyish suffix. “I have dirty hands!” he proclaims sadly, holding them up for me to see. So I’ll help him up onto his stool in front of the sink, turning on the water and providing soap at the correct times.

But I sigh good-naturedly as I do so. Because this is the third time he’s done the exact same thing in fifteen minutes. And each and every time, no matter how hard I look, I can’t find anything on his hands. There’s no dirt. There’s no mud. There’s no smudges. He’s been playing with a mask, so maybe he brushed some glitter off, but even that I cannot see.

Yet he’s insistent that his hands are dirty. And if his hands are dirty, he knows they need to be washed.

Now, a toddler wanting to be continuously cleaned isn’t a big deal (in fact, I should probably be thankful, because the next little one will likely be the exact opposite). I’ll laugh at him and let him splash around and delight in the water that flows so freely out of the tap. But he’s not the only one who gets messy.

Because my hands are often dirty too. Not with physical dirt and germs, but with sin. With mistakes. With wrongs.

And yes, we know we all sometimes slip and land in the mud, the mire coming up to our elbows. We know we need to be washed then. But often it’s the little dirt that we pass over. I tell a little white lie (as if such a thing exists). I allow my anger to make me snap out, to just cross that line for a moment. I cut those corners because I just don’t feel like it today. I slip into gossip and condemnation. But we don’t see those as big deals. If someone else looked, they couldn’t really see it. But it’s still there. We still feel it. We still know our hands are dirty. Yet we allow it.

“It’s not a big deal,” we tell ourselves. “It’s just something little; I don’t need to go wash.” But that’s not true. Finish reading at For His Great Name

Toddlers and Our Dirty Hands

 

Going To Church Is Useless — If

It was Easter Sunday, and I had no reason to go to church.

It was nine degrees outside. Nine degrees. This Southern girl had never experienced that before, not even in the darkest depths of winter. All I wanted to do was bury myself deeper into my bed, resting under my white covers rather than braving the white snow drifts outside. And I should have. I could have taken my time waking up, and eaten a nice warm breakfast, rather than scoffing down cereal. And I should have. I could have slowly and thoroughly prepared myself for the day, rather than rushing about in a flurry searching for gloves and scarves and tying shoelaces for my little brother. And I should have.

In fact, I should save myself the trouble of having to go to church every week, I should do away with the discipline of reading my Bible every morning, I should dispense with the whole of my faith — if.

If Christ is not risen.

Going To Church Is Useless -- If

Continue reading

Surviving Leviticus: 3 Tips To Persevere in Your Bible Reading

Leviticus.

That dreaded name in your Bible-in-a-year plan.

“In the beginning” of January, you start off just fine. The Creation of existence, the Garden of Eden, the ark of Noah — we’ve heard these stories since Sunday School, and comfortably sail through our two or three chapters every day. Then comes Exodus, and it’s full of adventure and intrigue. Burning bushes, massive plagues, attempted coups within the camp of Israel — you can almost hear the echoes of The Prince of Egypt soundtrack playing as your read.

But January turns into February, and the white of winter turns into slushy brown, and you start to drag. Because all of a sudden you begin to read every detail about how the tabernacle was built. And I mean every detail. Use this many rings on the left wall. Use this many rings on the right wall. Use this many rings on the front wall. Use this many rings on the back wall. Put this many pomegranates on the left curtain. Put this many pomegranates on the right curtain. Put this many pomegranates on the front curtain… And so you trudge through these last few chapters of Exodus, convinced you can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Then you’re hit by the train of Leviticus.

Surviving Leviticus.png

Continue reading

Announcement and Post on TheRebelution: How Do You Define a Christian?

I was recently asked to join TheRebelution Staff as a regular contributor! You might be familiar with the site, as I’ve been published with them several times before. I’m so honored to join this team, and to be a part of their work in equipping and encouraging young people to go out, chase after Jesus, change the world, and do hard things. So you can head on over to TheRebelution every third Monday to see a post by yours truly, and follow TheReb for daily encouragement (and sometimes conviction) to love and live and work with excellence. Here’s my first post as an regular contributor!

canva-photo-editor-1-620x350

I paused as I read the post. It asked, “How do you describe a Christian? I’m asking because I think I have a different definition than many of you.” I clicked to see the comments, morbidly convinced I was about to witness a full-out brawl between different denominations, or the putting forth and praising of strange cult-like beliefs.

But there wasn’t.

Each person described what it means to be a Christian a little bit differently, yes. And the original questioner had a unique answer as well. But rather than the soft heresy or warring factions I had so morbidly expected, I found I generally agreed with them all. True, there was the occasional ambiguity of the precise intent of phrases like “Love everyone” because these phrases have often been co-opted by wrong ideas. But with a charitable reading, I found myself nodding to almost all of the answers. And yet none of the answers were the same. They were all different.

Does that mean I’m a naïve Christian? I hope not. Does that mean I don’t know how Christianity or doctrine works? I don’t think so. Does that mean that all of these people were confused about being a Christian? No.

Perhaps it means that we can’t truly have a small, concise definition for something so big.

Continue reading

Valentine’s Day Doesn’t Have to Hurt: Guest Post On Delighting In Him

I’m honored to share on the lovely Moriah’s blog, Delighting In Him, talking about singleness, joy, and Valentine’s Day. Go take a look, and while your there read Moriah’s wonderful blog, and subscribe to catch her new upcoming series on delight!

 

“Valentine’s Day used to really hurt.

Not because I have anything traumatic that ever happened around it, nor because anyone was ever unkind to me, and not even because I hate chocolate or red and pink wrappers. (As if such a thing could be.)

No, Valentine’s hurt, because it was a reminder. Because all around me people were getting flowers and buying cards and posting photos of them and their significant other. And there’s nothing wrong with them doing that. But to me it was a reminder. A reminder that there are the Have’s and the Have-not’s of relationships, and I was well and firmly in the latter…”

via Valentine’s Day Doesn’t Have to Hurt | Isabelle Ingalls

The Olympics and the Single Moment

filip-mroz-194421

One moment. Everything hangs upon it.

My family has been watching the Olympics together this week, tensing as a figure skater gets tossed several feet into the air until she lands safely again, holding our breath as the hockey player takes the shot, cheering as the skier lands that fantastical flip. It’s incredible the feats these athletes can do. But what’s even more impressive is the labor these athletes have put into their sport.

They’ve trained since they were ten. They’ve given all their attention to this one thing. They lift those weights, just one more time, so that they can get here. They hit that alarm, just one more time, so that they can get here. Thousands of pushups and crunches, and hundreds of thousands of hours out on the snow, out on the ice — they dedicate the whole of their lives to training.

And yet some of them only compete for 38 seconds. That’s the whole of their race, that’s  how long their track is.

But for many more, the outcome is decided in one single moment. Continue reading