why i believe in better stories

a year and seven months ago, my life changed forever, and it all started with a five and a half hour conversation at starbucks. in the early spring air, i clutched a white cup of steaming espresso and eyed the man across the table from me. he was well spoken and personable, and his friendly smile instantly put me at ease. it wasn’t long after that before i realized: he’s it for me. it was … Read the rest

in celebration of the small things {or, what jim & pam taught me about love}

i’ve never been a big t.v. watcher, but one show that i instantly fell head-over-heels for and still adore to this day is the office. from jim’s goofy grin to pam’s adorable cardigan collection to michael’s horribly hilarious one-liners, i felt an instant kinship to the small, scranton-based paper company. i watched the show religiously each and every season and have re-watched it (several times) since then.

there’s so much that i love about the … Read the rest

tiny paper hearts

fifteen months ago, i took pieces of construction paper, bright red, soft pink, and scattered them across a dining room table. pencil in hand, i traced little hearts and cut each one out, nearly fifty of them in all. and as i said my goodbyes during that last week in liberia, i’d slip a tiny paper heart into each girl’s hand. she would look at me with tears in her eyes, and i’d pull her … Read the rest

when love looks nothing like you thought it did

in the nine months i’ve been out of liberia, i’ve spoken countless times of the deep ache that comes with saying goodbye. there are moments when i miss liberia and her children so strongly it takes my breath away, where the loss and all the emotions that come with it feel as real and true as the hot blood running through my veins.

i miss liberia. a lot. i miss my kids. a lot. my … Read the rest

be love

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four and a half years ago, i stepped foot on african soil for the first time. i was overwhelmed and unsure, broken and laid bare in a place that would ultimately change + give me so much more than i could ever leave behind.

liberia was nothing that i could have been prepared for, yet i knew i was following God’s lead. i’d been to this tiny nation with the mandate to “be love” to Read the rest

when the heartache sometimes haunts you

five years ago this october, i went through one of the most heartbreaking, messiest, soul-tearing experiences of my life. after nearly seven years of marriage, i found myself in the aftermath of a divorce, picking up the pieces of broken dreams and shattered expectations. it took me a long, long time to get over him, but the day finally came around when i could think of him without crying + when forgiveness had settled … Read the rest

[celebrate] love

in honor of valentine’s day, i wrote a special piece for So Worth Loving this week, celebrating the miracle of Love! below is an excerpt from my post, which you can read in its entirety here. much love to you guys! xo

What I’ve noticed in my work with these kids is that most of them have very little self-worth. For so long, they’ve been viewed as nothing more than a statistic, just another

Read the rest

[messy]

i already know what my word for 2013 is going to be:: grace.

beautiful grace. lifesaving and life-changing grace. i don’t think there’s a word so lovely in all of the English language.

grace.

here’s the thing, though:: grace is so much more than a word. it’s this powerful, mysterious force that has worked its way into every fiber of my being, affecting the way i think and feel and act and … Read the rest

saying goodbye to Lamie

today, i write to honor the life of a friend. i met Lamie around Easter of
this year, while i was still in Liberia. he was sick and listless, unable to move (presumably because  of a stroke he had suffered.) he was sleeping on the ground, in a pile of garbage, directly across from a dumpster. during the day, he was there, baking in the hot sun. at night, he was there, exposed to the … Read the rest

a love letter to my body

[i’m a little late at jumping on the “love letter to my body” train that’s been taking the internet by storm lately. but better late than never, right? so here it is. and ps: more info about this project can be found on SheLoves magazine’s syncroblog.]

to the body that belongs to elena teresa ann:: this is my love letter. for you. {yes, you.}

i know, i know. why the sudden kindness?Read the rest