Saturday, December 31, 2011

my new year

Well hey! I knowwww-- I've been absent from the blogging world for most of the fall. But I'm excited about getting back into it-- posts are always swirling around inside my head and so they will certainly be making their way to the blog.

Good timing, too, since my New Year is looking pretty incredible: Travels, weddings, lots of yummy food, ministry news, marriage year 2, Young Life camp trips, New Orleans adventures, a job I like...

Here's a snippet of joy for your New Year's Eve, for your year, for whatever lies ahead.

It is, I think, the ultimate encouragement; the most solid of grounds to stand upon, the sweetest confirmation of our purpose and worth. Sit and let it cover your anxiety, quiet your fears, and steady your heart.


1 Corinthians 1:4-9

I give thanks to my God always for you

because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus,

that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge

even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you

so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing

of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end

guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God is faithful, by whom you were called

into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Monday, October 24, 2011

three songs for fall

So call me crazy, but the seasons have definite influence over what I listen to. For example, fall and spring will find me listening to Sea Wolf quite a bit, but I rarely do so in the winter, and never ever in the summer. For years it has been like this. I don't know why. My brain just doesn't approve of Sea Wolf and summer. Underoath and the like get played November-April (with the exception of this gem which I would listen to every day if I remembered). Winter also finds me playing a lot of Damien Rice; spring & summer, Iron & Wine and Sufjan.

Perhaps there are deep psychological reasons for this, but I am not aware of any real rhyme or reason for these preferences. I want what I want when I want. Regardless, I present to you three songs that scream fall to me, for reasons I apparently cannot explain.

Get excited. They are GOOD.


The first: "Welcome Home" by Radical Face. If this song is new to you, prepare to fall in love. Listen to the beginning: The chimes you hear are the exact notes you can hear on the porch of the home I grew up in. They are perfection; I hear them and can almost feel the crisp, cool Michigan air on my face. Ahhhhh.

It is lovely in it's fluid melody, staggered with skippy claps and intricate piano. The vocals are simple, quietly powerful, with a hauntingly sweet quality. For me, this song somehow evokes a stark contrast of both buoyant joy and excitement, and a deep awareness of grief, almost mourning. But it flows so sweetly through the emotive chorus and bridge that I find myself in a place of worship and joy and wonder at the great God who inspired someone to weave together such perfect sounds.


The second: "Leftovers" by Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit. You know when you rediscover something you've had for a while and it takes on new life? That's Johnny Flynn's 2008 album A Larum for me this fall...I can't get enough. Me and modern folk get along reallll well. Oooh and you even get a real video for this one, fun right? Take a listen:

It's one of those songs where you start out tapping your feet and then suddenly you're bopping your head and before you know it you're dancing like a fool all by yourself while you're brushing your teeth. Errrrrr well maybe that is just me, but you get the idea, right? Love the quirky lyrics and catchy chorus with its perfect harmony. His voice is one of my favorites, and I love when the fervor of his singing slips into a perfectly-tuned shout. I can't say enough good things about Johnny Flynn. If you like this, check out the rest of his stuff-- everything he touches is gold, I swear.


Last song: "Love Immeasurable" by Ryan Long, a former Young Life musician. We sang this song at camp this summer, and I fell in love.

I don't have a ton to say about this song. The words are beautiful. The melody is simple and sweet, lingering perfectly on each word to bring the incredible lyrical imagery to bear. Imagine this song being sung at camp in a darkened club room with just an acoustic guitar and the voices of 300 middle schoolers. It was SO beautiful that when I bought the song I was actually disappointed (even though the recorded version is great).

Good huh? What have you been listening to?

Monday, September 26, 2011

freezing soup: it's a heart issue.

As a girl I was enchanted by the Little House on the Prairie books. My great-grandmother passed on her set to me; they were yellowed and tattered when they came to me and I read and re-read each one until pages were falling out. Laura's life was so attractive to me. She explored woods and played with paper dolls and swam in creeks and made maple sugar candy. And she was perfectly content. I remember wishing that the world was still a place where oranges and cakes were delicacies and people were happy to eat mere bread and butter when there was nothing else. The simplicity and yet fullness of this lifestyle was attractive to me even as a child.

Sometime in middle school I told my mother I thought I would be really good at being poor. I don't know what we were talking about; probably something related to living a simple lifestyle. My lovely mother is the queen of the simple life. She's got it down. We were probably talking about how she makes her own chicken stock or uses bread ends for croutons or doesn't buy paper towel or something else amazing that she does. I saw such value in these practices from a young age, and carried along the assumption that it would all transfer seamlessly into my own life.

Surprise ending: It didn't.

This is partly because being poor didn't seem like a real possibility to me. I grew up fully expecting to one day stake my ground in the upper-middle-class world. Little daydreams about pinching pennies and living off of soup were merely daydreams, more fascinating than they were serious.

But now here I am, and the truth is I really stink at being poor. And it has taken me a long time to figure this out. Growing up with one socioeconomic status and landing in another is a confusing journey of replacing old habits and being really honest about where you are. It's hard to walk into a grocery store on a tight budget and ignore all of the Kashi-organic-superfood-crazyexpensive goodness screaming your name. When I was single it was easier to pretend I could afford things like that, since the only person my budget affected was me. I spent a few years in college attempting to maintain the lifestyle I desired, thinking, "I'll tighten my budget when it really matters."

But here's the problem with that: when "it really matters" your old habits will still be in effect. Your flesh will still be patterned to react a certain way. If you are used to ignoring your bank account and buying whatever you want, you will do that even when it really matters.

My hope in writing this is to encourage you, whoever you are, to think about you and money. Are you pretending to be in the "it doesn't really matter" place right now? Are you trying to live above where you can afford to? Do you spend money when you know you shouldn't?

Think about these things. Ask the Lord to reveal to you why you mess up, because habit is involved, but it is ultimately a heart issue. Maybe you are medicating your life with new things, or doubting that God is good, or believing that you are in control of your life, or trying to win the approval of people. When you begin to understand which lie your heart is believing, the burden will be lifted and habits can be changed.

So for me, this:

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. [1 Timothy 6:6-10]

and this:

Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, LORD, preserve both people and animals. How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. [Psalm 36:5-9]

are what I want to soak in this week.

And I am actually going to put into practice something I saw my mother doing; buying and eating a rotisserie chicken and then using the rest to make chicken stock. I found this great tutorial and plan on using this clever method

to store it! Look how cute, little soup muffins. You freeze them, throw them into a bag for storage, and grab a few in the morning to put in a thermos for lunch. Perfect right? Yes, this is me getting excited about soup-freezing methods. It's the little things.

Monday, September 12, 2011

good days in disguise

Sometimes the day arrives dressed as a bad one.

Sometimes morning sun can't shine bright enough to pierce through last night's tears.

Sometimes the very saddest of songs aren't a sufficient match for your sorrow; the loveliest song grates against the stubborn grains of your heart.

Sometimes you get stuck thinking in what ifs and why nots and how comes and why mes.

Sometimes old insecurities, once beaten, rise up again til your blood races inside charged veins and breath escapes you.

Sometimes the Enemy whispers and snickers and deceives and suffocates and contrives his way right into your very mind.


But always you are a child of the Most High God.

Always you may take refuge in His arms.

Forever He will be your defender, your shield, your fortress.

Day after day He promises His plans are detailed and perfect and good.

Without cease He will fight for your soul and heart and mind.

You. Are. HIS.



Psalm 91
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

totally 100% craving a vacation

I've got the vacation bug. Thanks Pinterest.

If budget allowed, I'd totally pull a Yes Man and run to the airport to buy the first ticket out. (Which, from NOLA, would almost certainly be Atlanta. So...maybe the second ticket out?)

Maybe my surprise ticket would take me here...

Gondolas! Yes. Perfect. I know Venice is supposed to be an overpriced tourist trap that is overcrowded and stinks like pee. But whatever! Let's do it.

Or this? I think I could be about it. I mean..I guess don't really know what it is. Some sort of little modern caveman resort hut complex? Super. I'm in. Leaving tomorrowww!

Or this bench. It's in France. So, that right there should be enough. Look how perfect it is. I just want to go sit on it. I bet wonderful things happen when people are sitting on that bench.

I'd also be quite content to wander around the English countryside and pretend I'm Elizabeth Swan do some exploring. I'm very fond of walking.

Sometimes I get caught up in the everywhere-but-here excitement of vacation dreams,

and I forget that this

and this

and this

is right in my backyard.

And as you can see from that last photo, we have a pretty good time in Wal-Mart, so...we're gonna be just fine.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

holy wow

"I believe that Jesus is calling for people to be a nobody for him — people who would forsake the “American dream” to be a part of bringing gospel hope to the nations. People who don’t mind if they are not recognized, respected, praised, or promoted — as long as the name of Jesus is cherished, exalted, and adored. People who understand that Jesus didn’t come to this world and die on a cross so that we could have a comfortable suburban life and enjoy going to our local church's corporate gathering on Sundays."

These words come from Michael Oh via his post on John Piper's Desiring God blog. You can read the post in its entirety here.

I felt sharp conviction upon reading this. I've had 21 years now to craft my idea of the "American Dream." The desire to attain and possess is a giant part of my sin nature...In high school I would lie in bed at night writing 100-point lists on "How to Create a Lovely Life." Even when Jesus came became central in my life, seeking after Him ran parallel to seeking after this perfect life. I never really considered another lifestyle. I was an intelligent, college-bound Christian...what could possibly stand between me and moderate wealth? I was certain that both Jesus and a BMW was in my future.

Later in his post Oh says, "We must realize that we have absolutely no right to tell God, 'I’ll do this for you, but not that.' We must understand how globally worthy he is to be loved and adored, how incredibly hard the task of making him known is, and how great are the sacrifices needed to see that happen."

Sure God, I'll go all out for you. As long as I can continue to craft my life as I see fit.

I'll live in New Orleans, God, if that's what you want for me. I'll give you that much I guess. But in a pretty area of the city, and not only a pretty area but I want my house to be pretty, too. Preferably new made to look old. Gated communities and subdivisions are your options, God. I will also requre a fancy DSLR to take beautiful pictures of my perfect life. Oh and I would also like to be skinny and fit and two inches taller. And kind of a hipster, but also ridiculously glamourous. Please one, just ONE pair of Louboutins? Also everything Olivia Palermo wears? Which reminds me that I NEED a walk-in closet with a chandelier. Are you writing this down God? Santa Claus Jesus, are you there?

And's funny. And it sounds lighthearted and playful. But my heart can attest that it's true.

How utterly ridiculous is all this?

Who am I to say to God: "Here is what I will do for you. That should be enough. Don't ask me for more, please. Ok thanks bye."

Who am I to say to Him who created me, gives me my every breath, and charted all my days: "I know better for my life than you do."

Who am I, a nobody, marred by sin, to say to the One who calls me his precious daughter: "I need other beauty, other luxury, other loveliness before my eyes. You are not enough to satisfy my desire for perfection."

This longing for perfection is insatiable outside of letting God be its answer. He defines and embodies perfection! And he is desperate for me to come to Him. I KNOW this.

I just need to know that I know that I know it.
Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

carrying capacity, new orleans style

When we moved to New Orleans last year, amazing grace and comfort were waiting for us; we had ready-made insta-friends from our beautiful Young Life community. Put in microwave, open top to vent, heat for thirty seconds. Done! We loved people instantly and we were so grateful to be loved back instantly. Their presence breathed incredible peace into my heart and made me believe we could make a home here.

We had left behind another incredible community of folks in East Lansing, Michigan, that we loved desperately. Just thinking about them puts a HUGE silly grin on my face; if you ever hear me speak about this time, you'll think I'm looking back through rose-colored lenses. Except everything was actually totally 100% rosy all on its own! It was a time saturated with joy and vibrance and hilarity and honesty and deep, deep love, all happening by the hand of God. So many good people.

Somewhere in the middle of my time there, I wrote about the curious existence of a carrying capacity within the realm of human relationship. I was basically exploring the idea that you simply don't have the capability to be besties with everyone. I felt there were too many people in my life I wanted to know and love well, and I just...couldn't. There was not enough time. It made me kinda sad.

To be honest, I think I thought then that I was at a unique time in my life. College was practically 24/7 playtime, so there was plenty of time to pursue friends. I thought maybe that's why my friend circles were ginormous. Maybe whenever I became an adult the carrying capacity problem would disappear. I mean, do adults even hang out with their friends? I wasn't really sure.

But I was sure that 1. I loved and held dear those friendships that were deep and real, and 2. I constantly met people that I wanted to have deep relationships with, and 3. those relationships just can't always come to fruition.

In fact, deep relationships can really only happen with a few people in any given season. And for the first few months in New Orleans, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend all my time with our cozy circle of insta-friends.

But six months later, it's happened again. MEGA FRIEND CIRCLES!

If Coryell and I have a free evening, we have to have a serious conversation about who to call. Sometimes I just want to eenie-meenie the whole situation and not worry about the outcome. We have friends we wish we could see every week that we've hardly seen all summer, the insta-friends we want to see all the time, friends we see weekly at YL functions we wish we could just hang out with, and individual friends we want to spend time with. Not to mention family and friends in Michigan we're dying to skype and call and vidchat.

Last time around, the existence of a carrying capacity was a huge revelation for me. Since then I've been painfully- and increasingly- aware of it. Now I'm learning that not only does it exist, but it's okay that it exists. Some weeks I won't see my best friends. A month might even slip by without seeing them. Sometimes I will meet someone new and have to bite back the conventional, "We should get coffee sometime!" and it's okay because it's not who God has set before me to love at the time.

He has set before me first and foremost Himself-- then my husband, then family, friends, ministry, and community. And that is an order I can handle.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

hello sweet monster.


Today is my last day at the office and HOLY WOW does it feel good! Goodbye frigid office and incredibly uncomfortable "ergonomic" chair. Goodbye 5th floor vending machine, you steal my quarters, we are not friends. Goodbye forced unpaid lunch, I really kind of hate you. Goodbye papercuts and headaches, not a big fan of you either. Goodbye temperamental copy machine and filing cabinets, see ya never.

Hello...whatever is next! Something that feels like freedom and fresh air and dreams.

Grateful for both the peace in my heart and wild, wild excitement for whatever lies ahead.

Monday, August 15, 2011

how to be rich

I am getting ready to take a step into a Dream. It's honestly such an exciting step that it feels more like a skip or a hop or a jump or a leap or a Reverse 1&1/2 Somersaults in the Tuck Position dive. (yes I Googled that came up with that by myself)

The Dream step is BIG. Leaving my cushy office job is a risk and I know it. Taking a job sewing hems and fixing buttons is less prestigious and I know it. It pays less and believe me do I know it. People don't understand this decision, and I know it.

But ohmygosh am I excited. Because the Dream step is just that- a step. The Dream is a step to the Big Dream. And the Big Dream is a stepping stone to the Biggest Dream. And the Biggest Dream...well, frankly, if I think about the Biggest Dream right now I find myself cowering and shrinking back from the impossibility of it all. It's such a lofty, rich, extravagant dream. It seems so perfect, almost unattainable. Soooooo I am focusing on what is right before me! C.S. Lewis said it well:

Exhale. That idea just breathes assurance into my heart. I can take a step. And then someday, another one.

So, without further adieu: all of the Dreams, each step explained and laid out to the best of my ability.

Right now the first Dream means this: I am quitting my secure, reliable, salaried, comfy, albeit boring and dull 7-5 office job. Sound the Hallelujah chorus. I am taking a job with an alterations shop, where I will be hemming pants and the like. There, I will become familiar with diferent fabrics, use new machines, and sew more straight lines than you could ever imagine. Additionally, this job's loose schedule will give me time in real life to plan, research, practice for, and execute the Big Dream.

The Big Dream is that in a few years, I would operate my own business out of my home. I would love to work as a seamstress (like my lovely Aunt), hemming and re-purposing and re-fashioning, old to new, drab to fab. Making whatever people ask me to make: bridesmaids dresses or drapes or wedding gowns or slipcovers or baby clothes. Perhaps creating and selling my own little line of whatever I want on Etsy or Big Cartel. Fueling my business (online and otherwise) through a blog. Writing and working and creating to my heart's content.

And all of that is lovely but is only a gateway to doing what I love most, to the Biggest Dream: Being freed up to serve my family well. Enjoying life with my wonderful husband and the little ones we will have running around someday. Having the incredible luxury of staying home with my children. Being able to work from home as I stay and do life with them. Continuing to join my husband in ministry, serving both our church and Young Life, inviting people into our home and loving whoever God sets before us.

And we will never be rich, and my job may never be glamorous, but this seems to me to be the richest, fullest, most priveliged and luxurious life possible.

Friday, August 12, 2011

a heart issue

"If you're fixing the moral issue but you don't address the heart issue, then you'll never be free. You can't see the problem as, 'I cuss too much. I'm not a good enough husband, I'm not a good enough parent.' Can I tell you the most freeing news in the world? You're not! That's right, you do stink! In fact any acknowledgment of your guilt is shallow and incomplete. You are far more guilty and far more of a failure than you think you are. The reason that's such good news is because Christ has made provision for your shortcomings. So when you understand it's not a moral issue but a heart issue, you'll understand and long for a Savior rather than trying to be your own savior."

-Matt Chandler, Pastoral Prayers Pt. 2, 5/15/11. Full sermon available here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

on the Big Dream and the Importance of Cheese

Cheese and I have never gotten along very well. (Of course not real life cheese, gouda and I are BFFs obvs.)

You know, "Life is a box of chocolates/highway/rollercoaster" kind of stuff. It just doesn't do it for me. If we're being real, what I mean to say is that I am a stuck-up eye-rolling snob skeptic when it comes to movies, pop culture, self-help books, the Internet phenomenon that is "quotes"...You name it, I'll scoff sneer gently poke fun at it.

But somehow, in the middle of my officesuppliesfluorescentlightspapercuts9to5-induced coma, that darn cheese got to me. I began tweeting quotes-- Twitter probably couldn't handle all the cheese coming from my account!

But the cheese was good cheese. It woke me up. It made me dream. It tugged at parts of my heart that I had hidden for a selfishly twisted fear of vibrance. And anyhow, I think sometimes the cheesy things are the true things. So let me share with you some of this glorious cheese:

"If you know God's grace, love boldly, live robustly. Swing from the trapeze; his safety net will break your fall." (Max Lucado via his Twitter account)

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

In the words of my dear friend Sara, zing, zing, zing, and ZING.

And the dreams came flooding out. I couldn't stop them. They are many and feverishly exciting, all. And for the first time in my life I'm intent on seeing them through, expecting both victory and failure but frightened of neither.

So what exactly is the Big Dream? My heart knows it in full; putting it into words will take time. Stop by later this week if you're curious; I'll have some more great cheese waiting.

Monday, August 8, 2011

happy resignation day to meeee!

A note of business first- I have made a switch from my old address-- -- to this one, If you have my old address saved in a reader somewhere, feel free to update it!

God is leading me into some super exciting changes. I cannot wait to share them all with you. It will take a while. I have big plans for this blog, which I will unfold and explain over the following weeks and months. Today I'll get the biggest chunk out of the way-- my work situation.

I started my job in April, and to be honest, it has been a long few months. Office life was oddly alluring to me at first. Salaried pay. Dressy clothes. Paid vacation. An official title. It all fed my ego nicely...I am absolutely the youngest in our adulty friend circles, and sometimes that is uncomfortable. Having a "real" job at an engineering firm on St. Charles gave me a strange confidence-- it was a fancy accessory for the adult costume I was stitching together. Upon meeting new people, I could answer the inevitable "And what do you do?" with a simple "I work at an engineering firm downtown"...and we could skip the terribly awkward "Oh, so you haven't finished college?" and "YOU'RE ONLY 21 YEARS OLD?!" Everything was easier.

But with every copy I copied, every scan I scanned, and every file I filed, I seriously felt my brain rotting away. Office work, salaried and steady though it may be, is NOT for me. Sitting in a fluorescently-lit box from 7am-5pm every day? So not my dream job.

God was, of course, ever so faithful through all of these long days. He graciously gave me a work BFF who broke up the monotony of my days and made the whole thing funnier and more enjoyable than I could have ever imagined. We spent lunch hours eating Lean Cuisines and watching Bravo and shopping and getting pedicures. My engineer friends Eeyore and Old Man Potato were certainly entertaining as well. And God also gave me clear opportunities to love co-workers well, and in doing so helped me to see his purpose for this time.

Even so, I have never felt such a restlessness. I would come home with my muscles craving a 90-mile run, my creativity itching to paint the whole house, and my mind craving a theological think tank...but then I would take a nap. And in being so bored and discontent, I stumbled upon a big realization. I am absolutely giddy with excitement.

I can spend my life doing something I love.

I know you are all like DUH EMILY! right now but hold on, let me explain. So 8th grade, Brandon Middle School has us all take a little quiz to see what careers might fit us best. As if 13 year olds aren't confused enough. My results: librarian, garbage man, stewardess, neurosurgeon. In 9th grade we took a personality test- the one with the colors. My results look like a rainbow, no help there! The rest of high school guidance counselors say: figure out your college major so you can take related AP classes to get accepted to the best college with the best program to get the best internship to get the best job!

Whew. Somewhere in there I went from future editor to businesswoman to interpreter to political advisor to Spanish teacher. I went into college confused, and I went through college confused, and I paused college even more confused. Thank God for the pause. Because now I get to pursue doing what I love.

And that, friends, is creating. Yes. Creating. I'm leaving it vague because I don't know exactly what I want to create. I know I love making beautiful things. I know I love writing. I know that I love to sew. And I know God has given my passion in my heart and talent in my hands for a reason.

So in two weeks, I will leave my office costume behind to be myself. Officially, I will be working full-time at an alterations shop. I am beyond excited. I get to gain valuable experience with sewing machines and fabrics. The people are great. The schedule is less demanding. I can breathe easy. All of which means that unofficially, I am freed up to pursue the Big Dream. And that I will talk about soon. Sigh. I am so happy.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

love immeasurable.

Love immeasurable, Love divine
Love unlocked this prison mine
Love who paid for all my crime
wrap my heart in Thine

I had built a life on shifting sand
Bounding down the brink, You grabbed my hand
Unaware was I my tragic state
Rescued how can I but celebrate

Love immeasurable, Love divine
Love unlocked this prison mine
Love who paid for all my crime
wrap my heart in Thine

Drowning in a well of dark despair
Dropped a rope and dragged me up for air
Purged my lungs of liquid, given voice
Bid this twisted tongue of mine rejoice

Love immeasurable, Love divine
Love unlocked this prison mine
Love who paid for all my crime
wrap my heart in Thine

Sleeping in a coffin set to die
Wakened by the Son and grateful I
Raised to life and love and faithfulness
Happy I to give you nothing less

Love immeasurable, Love divine
Love unlocked this prison mine
Love who paid for all my crime
wrap my heart in Thine

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


"People do not-- will not-- drift towards holiness.

Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not

gravitate towards

Godliness, prayer,

obedience to scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord.


we drift towards compromise and call it tolerance

we drift towards disobedience and call it freedom

we drift towards superstition and call it faith

we cherish the indiscipline of lost self control and call it relaxation

we slouch towards prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking that we have escaped legalism.

We slide towards godlessness-- and convince ourselves that we have been liberated."

D.A. Carson -For the Love of God

Friday, June 17, 2011


Believer! Does your soul say within you:

"Oh that he were mine! and oh that I were his; that I could please him and live to him!"

Then do not toss your spirit and perplex your thoughts in fruitless, endless doubtings,

but as you are convinced of ungodliness, believe on Him who justifies the ungodly.

You are condemned, yet Christ is dead and risen.

Flee to Him as such.

[Matthew Henry's commentary on Romans 8:39]

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

om nom.

in the past four (four!) days, I have eaten:

crawfish bread
fried chicken
oyster-bacon pastry
bread pudding
bourbon shrimp
crab cakes
crawfish-stuffed bell pepper
a fried shrimp poboy
boiled shrimp
fried chicken

guess I live in n'awlins, huh?

Monday, April 18, 2011

oh Love that will not let me go

O Love that will not let me go,

I rest my weary soul in Thee.

I give Thee back the life I owe;

that in Thine ocean depths its flow

may richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way

I yield my flickering torch to Thee

My heart restores its borrowed ray

That in Thy sunshine's blaze its day

may brighter, fairer be.

O joy that seekest me through pain,

I cannot close my heart to Thee.

I trace the rainbow through the rain,

and feel the promise is not vain:

that morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up head,

I dare not ask to fly from Thee.

I lay in dust life's glory dead;

and from the ground there blossoms red

life that shall endless be.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


it took me all of 20 years

to come to the conclusion

that I am beautiful.

but at last this realization was given to me

by the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ--

who says that

I am His perfect creation,

that He is satisfied and delighted

with my my mere existence;

and although lovingly he designed my exterior,

His plans are for my heart.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

time flies!

It really does.

APRIL was the time of my last blog post! What a season of life God unfolded for me since then. I couldn't possibly detail, or even summarize, everything that has happened since then-- so I won't try.

Oh, except, I got married. Wooooo!

I intended this post to explain something that's been on my heart this past week, but my thoughts aren't yet settled or organized, and I'd like to give it its own space.

So I'll use this one to say: I miss Michigan intensely. I miss family and friends and places and routines and habits and hangouts and communities and churches

and Golden Harvest.


And I know all too well that I can call and text and videochat and email-- and still I will not be able to keep up with everyone I want to as well as I want to.

So: this blog will transform a little. I'd like to frequently include simple posts about what's going on in our lives-- pictures, videos, stories, big important updates, and life's little quirks. And lots of what we love: stories upon stories about Jesus' work in us and our communities.

My ultimate intent for the future of this blog is that it would be an invitation for friends (meaning you!) to experience New Orleans with us, from wherever you may be. We miss you already!