one word 2016:: grow.


in lieu of new year’s resolutions (and to show support and solidarity with the #oneword365 movement), i’ve spent the last several januarys of my life carefully choosing a word that i hope will shape the coming year. this is perfect for me for a couple different reasons:

a) it doesn’t lock me into anything. selecting a word over a resolution is open-ended. it leaves room for mistakes and loose ends, and it allows the … Read the rest

the long way home

a few weeks ago, i had a dream. one of those dreams that stays with you, not just into the waking hours, but days later. some dreams are just that–dreams, nothing more. but this one… i remain convinced this one meant something, means something still.

in my dream, i was at a graduation of sorts. i was waiting backstage in my cap and gown, ready to walk across the stage and into a new future. … Read the rest

stay

yesterday, i put my heart on my sleeve for all of social media to see when i wrote this post:
IT’S BEEN A WEEK, Y’ALL. emergency rooms + doctor’s offices, car breakdowns + mechanics bills, grad school deadlines + the end-of-year blur. long days + short nights, weary bones + achy souls. it’s been a week of gritting my teeth + digging in my heels, of emotional highs and lows (mostly lows, if i’m being Read the rest

wordless things

i’ve wanted to write for weeks now, to sit down at a table with some coffee and a pen, and flesh out all the things i have inside of me. but every attempt ends up with the page blank and me frustrated and reeling in disappointment. and then i read this::

“I always find it more difficult to say the things I mean than the things I don’t.” (W. Somerset Maugham)

maybe the reason … Read the rest

in this place

sometimes people ask me about when i first got “saved”, and i tell them the story of the old Pentecostal church and a preacher who spoke with a slow, Southern drawl. i was young, not yet 18 years old, and still finding sure footing in my new country, in my new family who had taken me in as their own. i sat in that church and listened to stories about Jesus, and then i … Read the rest

your words mean more to me when i get to see you speak them

attention, people of the internet; let’s do REALTALK for a moment or two here, okay? pour yourself a drink, settle in for a little bit, and stay with me here. i may not know much about some things, but i’ve learned a lot about knowing people, and something tells me i’m not the only one who’s been feeling this way lately.
i’m weary, y’all. weary of these false connections forged over computers, of … 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

an embodied story

back in my baby Christian days, i hated tattoos.

at that time in my life, the world around me was very much black-and-white. there was good and bad, “Christian” and not, and i hadn’t yet learned about the beautiful in-between, the sacred tension that comes from the gray areas.

tattoos were sinful in my book because of that one little verse in Leviticus that had been taken out of context, twisted to fit a … Read the rest

when i have to say goodbye

i.
a pile of folded clothes sits atop the black suitcase, ready to be packed. photos come down off the walls, the closets are cleaned out and bathroom shelves cleared off. two large duffel bags, fifty pounds a piece, contain four years of memories. i think of the boxes and bins waiting for me back home and marvel at this, a life lived in such a way, packed up and stored at a moment’s notice. Read the rest

when we’ve come undone

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can i just be brutally, completely, in-your-face honest with you for a minute? this whole being a missionary thing is no joke. it is hard, you guys. really hard. and there are some days where i would rather be anywhere but here, doing anything but this. some days, i feel so totally, completely done. depleted. empty.

i’m having one of those days. only this day has gone on for the past three weeks. i’ve … Read the rest