When It's Time to Go.

I have been thinking about how I would break the news for months, but words still escape me.  I love this space we have created, this little haven of hope we have chiseled out on the internet.  We have been here for seven years (my word) and I wouldn't trade our time here for anything.

But it's time to grow and go.

I don't say that lightly.  Even as I buzz with nervous anticipation for what comes next, my heart is heavy with sadness.  Goodbyes are always tough.

I have felt the desire to move our virtual home for a couple years, but I always chickened out.  It takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work to make a blog run smoothly and we already have such a good thing going here at Eyes of Faith.  I felt very blessed by the way this space was flourishing.  Would I be spitting in the face of that growth by relocating?  Can a girl be so lucky twice?

Plus, U G H.  All of the workkkkkk.

Yet I knew if this was something God wanted me to do, I needed to be obedient, no matter how scary or inconvenient.  

So I did some praying and I did some research and over a year ago, I started working on our new virtual home.

It isn't perfect.  I am operating on a steep learning curve, my friends, and I am far from a blogging guru.  We will have to learn as we go.  But if we are learning together, I think we can do it.  I believe in us.

I have asked you a million questions (my bad) and I have Googled all of the things because I have no clue what I'm doing.  It has been scary and frustrating and a full range of other tear-inducing emotions.

But God has been good and faithful here at Eyes of Faith.  I trust that He will continue to be good and faithful in our next adventure.

You are my people--my tribe, if you will.  I write for Jesus, but it would be no fun without all of you.

So after a year of keeping it mostly to myself, I am so ready to swing the doors wide open and invite you to our new home:

{Click the name above to check it out!}

 I'll meet you there, friends.

With all of my love,


P.S. - To ease any anxiety, I want to make it clear that nothing is happening to this site.  I am not closing it.  All of these writings, all of our years here, will be preserved for as long as the internet allows.  Don't care for the new site, but still love this one?  By all means, come back!  Visit as often as you want or need to.  I'll just be hanging out at the new place, so any new content will be offered there.  :)  Thanks, friends.  


When God Says No.

I've had a lot of conversations over the past month about how faithful God is, but how difficult the path can seem.

About how heavy our hearts can become under the weight of unanswered desires.

About the beating our faith can take when it seems like the only thing we keep hearing from heaven is an echoing chorus of no's.

Have you been there, friend?  You wanted the job more than anything, but the door slammed in your face.  You really thought this guy was going to be The One, but forever ended earlier than planned.  That house was just perfect, but you couldn't make it work.  The book proposal keeps getting rejected.  The nursery is still empty.  The ministry is still dying.  The bank account is still dry.

It feels like you can't catch a break for the life of you, and the Lord certainly doesn't seem to be handing out favors on your behalf.

I have been there, done that, and bought the whole dang clothing section because a t-shirt just wasn't going to cut it.  (Can I get an amen?)

But as I've wrestled through with others, I have looked back on my own unexpected journey.  Does my life look anything like I thought it would?  Not a chance.  I don't have the husband, babies, career, or home I anticipated having during this season of my life.  There are days when I don't think about it and there are months when it seems like it's the only thing I can think about.

I spent a lot of precious years thinking that I was just biding time until my fits of rage and pouting finally knocked some sense into heaven.  Surely, God would look down on my bitterness and throw me a bone.  I think we are close enough that I can tell you the truth: I was desperate for a pity "yes" straight from the throne.

Thank God I didn't get it.

My word, it has taken a long time to get here.  Don't think that this gratitude has happened overnight.  As I recently told a friend, God and I had to get through quite a few restless nights of, "If You don't do this for me, it feels like everything I know about You is a lie."

And that's it, isn't it?  God is supposed to be good, supposed to be for us.  An occasional no to protect us feels right and fatherly, but a parade of no's feels like straight up rejection.  And that doesn't compute with everything we think we know about a good God.

But as I've looked back over my years of waiting and wanting, of bitterness and hurt, I have seen a particular thread of grace woven through each and every tear-filled moment.

A no from God is always leading to a better yes.

Always, always, A L W A Y S.

And that means my yes?  Y'all, my yes is coming.  And so is yours.

Now please don't misunderstand me; I'm not saying that God is saying yes to your plans or desires.  I don't have the authority or the discernment to determine these things.  However, I am saying that if God is telling you no right now, it is only because His plans are genuinely deeper and more rewarding than we could ever possibly imagine for ourselves.  His plans include a better yes.

I know that sounds impossible.  And if it doesn't sound impossible, it probably seems like it's true for everyone else but you.  I wish we were face to face so I could look you in the eye and you could see that I mean this with every fiber of my faith: it's true for you, too.   

I know it so deeply in my gut that I can't shake it.  I pray that it settles that deeply for you as well.


To Find a Life.


As of yesterday, I am twenty-five years old.  Anyone who knows me knows that I have dreaded this number like a beating, that I have almost personally guaranteed a sobfest worthy of copious amounts of ice cream.

It's fine.

I should feel very blessed.  There are so many who don't get to see this age.  There are so many who didn't wake up this morning.  This breath, this day, this life. . . all are gifts.

But can I be honest?  My twenty-five years feel like a waste most of the time.  They feel like a fearful gathering of good intentions and unrealized potential.  They have been used up in the blink of an eye and I feel that I have so very little to show for them.

Like I said, it's fine.

I am a control freak, as you well know, so feeling this way about my life is very unsettling.  It causes me to shift and yank my life out of God's hands just long enough to do the damage that I like to call "progress".  Thus far, it is not going well.  Mainly because I keep asking God to do something ANYTHING with my life and He's all, "I can't do anything with your life if you keep taking it out of My hands."

And then I'm all, "Excuse me?!  That is a valid point."  Because, well, it is.

So, for my twenty fifth year of existence, I want to do something drastic.  I want to surrender.

God has been asking it of me for months, but surrender is scary and hard and not popular.  Surrender makes you look crazy to co-workers.  Surrender makes you scary to people who are just fine with their comfortable faith, thank you.  Surrendering your life and will to God makes you dangerous because God's plans become more important than your own.

It is intense.  It is insane.  And I have a sneaking suspicion that it may just be worth it.

I was reading a familiar verse in Matthew when it finally clicked:  
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. - Matthew 16:25 
I always hated that verse, if we're being honest.  I thought it meant martyrdom -- literally giving your physical life for God.  Because fear runs thick through my veins, I avoided that verse like the plague.  It wasn't until one Sunday morning, when I was wrestling with the concept of surrender and what it would look like in my life, that I realized another meaning.

 I have made valiant efforts to salvage what was left of my life after God told me to stand still.  Instead of losing myself in a sea of grace, I frantically tried to make up for time I had convinced myself I had lost.  I have been trying to save the very life that I thought I had placed in God's hands, and I have been trying to save it from the very God I claim to love and trust.  For each step I have taken in the direction of control and safety, I have been walking away from the life He has planned for me.  In trying to save my life, I have been losing it.  

I have to surrender.  I have to give God all that I have.  I have to let Him have my life.  Because that's the only way that I am ever going to find it.  I have asked others for answers, hoping to feast on their spiritual wisdom.  I have read books and blogs, hoping to find some hidden secret as to where I could go to find a fulfilling life I would love.  And the answer has always been the same:

The only place I will ever find fulfillment is in Christ.  

So I intend to find my life, the one I have been called and created to live for the glory of God.  This is my white flag of surrender and I am raising it high because I make messes, but God makes miracles.  And how awesome He is to see a miracle in me.

Friend, can I ask if you have surrendered?  Or are you losing your mind trying to save your life because you don't trust that the God of the universe has it all under control?  If so, know that you aren't alone, but that He can be trusted.  Let's pray for each other.


Dear Future Husband.

Dear Future Husband:

I came across an article today which implied that asking a father for his daughter's hand in marriage was belittling and sexist.  Because I am old-fashioned, the article didn't necessarily reflect my views on the subject matter.  I simply sighed and scrolled on because although I hold certain traditions and values dear, I am not under the impression that I am part of a vast majority.

But then I thought of you, wherever you are, glancing across those words and taking them to heart.  I thought of all of the articles you're reading, the words you are taking in and considering.  I thought of the wait and the difficult loneliness and the questioning if you're doing any of this right.

There are so many words, opinions, and voices out there.  And on days when the loneliness settles so deeply in my bones that it physically hurts, I desperately want to listen to those words.  If I just do this, maybe he will show up.

It's because I know the struggle that I want, so badly, to tell you this: don't listen to any of it.

The articles.

The blog posts.

The opinions of friends and family with good intentions.

You are not too much or too little.  Your hair isn't too dark or too light.  Your talent isn't too small or too quirky.  You are not too smart or too shy or too funny or too quiet or too loud.  

You are you.  Don't change any part of yourself because the world has made you believe that you need to in order to attract someone.

Please just be the man that God is asking you to be.

And maybe that won't attract a lot of girls, but it will attract me.

Don't give up.  Don't give in.  Keep your head up and your faith strong, love.  Our time rests in our Heavenly Father's capable hands and I am certain that He is always, always, always right on time.

With all of my love,



What I Know About Shame.

Let me tell you a thing or two about shame.

Shame will crack it's knuckles and reach for your throat, threatening to steal every essence of life in your body.  It will kick you while you're down, taunt you while you sleep, and harass you while you just try to make it out alive.  

Shame shows no mercy.

If you let it, shame will swallow you whole.  You'll tuck happiness away until you feel worthy of truly letting it seep into your bones.  You'll fight for bravery because it will mean that you're not a lost cause, that there's still some good left in you.

Shame can ruin you.  

But it doesn't have to.

This is a place of decision, for me and for you.  We can give God permission to only redeem some of our fear and some of our past, or we can surrender it all.   

Can we be honest?  Sometimes we just get comfortable in our messes.  I don't want to be broken.  I don't want the shame.  I don't want the guilt.  I don't want the inability to forgive myself.  Yet I have such a difficult time releasing those things to the grip of mercy that my Heavenly Father extends towards me.  

What if I give Him my shame and let Him redeem my past and still, underneath all of the junk I have hidden under for the last several years, I am no good?  What if my mistakes aren't bad; what if it's just me?

But, friends, I've discovered something else about shame: it lies.  It lies about who we are, Who we belong to, and how great His love is for us.  

I didn't come this far to give up now.  I didn't dive into the deep end only to get to this point and search for shallow waters again.  It's tough and it hurts and it's so scary that my stomach remains in knots, but it's time to take off my shame and lay it at the feet of Jesus where it has always belonged.

I am shedding years of guilt, of hidden insecurities, of distrusting myself and others and hiding in all of it.

Maybe it's time that you do the same.

Let's ditch shame together.  How can I pray for you, friends?

Memories don't make us who we are.  There's a silver lining in every scar.
Everything's forgiven.  Forgetting's up to you.
"Carry On, San Vicente" // Dave Barnes


Write Your Heart Out: A Giveaway.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I don't think I'm that great of a writer. 

Seriously.  I'm not going to impress you with perfect grammar or sentence structure.  I can't remember half of the literary terms that years of honors English classes tried to beat into my head.  It has never been my intention to create great works of theological study.

I don't want to be perfect, but I do want to be authentic.

So, in the spirit of authenticity, I need to tell you that I wanted to quit writing a few months ago.

I've been casually throwing words together since the third grade, so the idea that I would ever want to put my writing pen away seems unfathomable.  But I did.  What once felt like breathing suddenly felt like a burden, and it was the worst form of torture.

I put my pen down.  I locked up the words in my chest and told them they couldn't come out.  People had always told me I could write, and because I wanted to believe them, I accepted it.  But now?  Now I knew the truth.  I wasn't a writer.  My words were nothing.

I discovered, very quickly, that when God creates you to do something, you have to do it.  Even if you don't want to.  Even if you don't think you can.  There will be a literal buzz that hums through your body until you release the gift that God has given you.  It is constant.  It is annoying.

It is beautiful.

I picked up the pen, put words to paper, and felt myself exhale for the first time since I had mistakenly convinced myself that the words I wrote were mine to keep.  

And maybe there's a gift inside of you that you've locked away, and maybe it hums through your veins and begs to see the light of day.  And maybe, just maybe, you should remind yourself that this gift?  This annoyingly beautiful gift that you just want to put down? It's been given to you, but it's not really yours to keep.


My writer friend, Tiffany, is a gem.  You know those genuinely kind, creative people that you just love immediately?   Yeah, she's one of those.  And she knows a thing or two about using, and sharing, the gifts that God has given.

That's the heart behind her new creative ministry, The Inspire Shop.  She aims to create #mugswithamission: beautifully crafted mugs that will inspire you as you sip your daily cup of tea or coffee. 

But they aren't just coffee mugs.  Tiffany wants to bring that same inspiration out into the community.  Once a month, a team of volunteers come together to bring the love of Jesus and crafts to women who are choosing to leave addictions, abuse, and lies behind for a purposeful life. 

I love the heart behind her shop, and because God is good and His timing is impeccable, the mug came like a gentle reminder that these words and this heart are meant to be poured out.

And because Tiffany is so kind, she wants to bless one of you with the mug of your choice! 

So here's how this works:
  • Visit The Inspire Shop and pick your favorite mug. (WARNING: You will want all of them because they are beauties.)
  • To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below!  Tell us which mug you would want to win. (You must comment here on the blog; comments on social media WILL NOT count.)
  • One entry per person.
  • Winner will be chosen by Random Result.
  • Giveaway starts 5/8/17 at the time of this posting and ends 5/14/17 at 11:59 PM.
  • I will announce the winner on 5/15/17 via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  (If you're not following me on social media, what are you waiting for?!  I'm a cool chick.  Let's be friends.  You can find my social media over on the sidebar ------>)
That's it!  It's that simple.  So which mug do you absolutely love?  


It's Okay to Not Be Okay.

There are a million adult responsibilities beating at my door right now.  I won't bore you with the actual to-do list; just know that it is extensive and exhausting.

But my heart isn't okay.

There's no real reason for it.  It's just a season, I suppose.  But it's a difficult one where each breath feels like it's piercing the tender flesh of my chest.  

And so tonight, I'm giving myself permission to set my to-do list aside for the sake of my sanity and my soul.  

I'm writing words, not to share or turn in, but simply because they pour from my veins.

I'm laying in the floor and talking to God and letting the tears come and go because broken is not bad.

I'm taking care of myself because 24 is too young to be beat to death by this life.

And maybe you need to give yourself permission to set the to-do list aside and simply breathe.

Your homework can wait.  The checkbook can be balanced tomorrow.  We both know you don't really want to fold that laundry anyway.

Tuck your babies in and watch in awe as they fall slowly and peacefully asleep.  Rest in your spouse's arms a little longer.  Paint the scene in your head.  Read that book.  Text that friend.  Let the dishes set in the sink and the toys lay in the living room floor while you weep at the feet of Jesus over your broken heart.

Take the time and make the effort to sustain the life within you.

It's important.  It's necessary.  

May we never value a completed checklist more than this incredible gift of time we have been given.


Blooming Love.

It bloomed when we were happy.

The flower on the roof flourished when we smiled, when the heart in my chest loved the heart in his.  

But I watched as he left, stepping into independence and out of my life.  I watched and I wondered how a person could survive having their heart walk down the sidewalk while their body stood on the porch.

I turned to look at that flower on the roof, expecting to see a traitorous explosion of color.  Instead, the flower was dead.  Unwilling to accept it, I stared at that flower.  Intently.  Stubbornly.  Faithfully.

When the color returned and the petals opened wide, we would be together again.  We would be happy.  I merely had to wait for it.  And I was willing to.

Until I looked around and realized the season had changed.  The flower on the roof wouldn't bloom even if I wanted it to.  It simply wasn't the right time.

It broke my heart to think of all of the things I had missed because my gaze, my focus, my entire existence was spent willing something to happen that wasn't meant for that season.

I woke up from that dream and decided that I didn't want to waste my new season.  I wanted to look around, to experience my moments instead of missing them.

Can I be honest with you?  I know too many young people who are missing entire seasons of their lives because they're willing a flower to bloom that simply isn't in the proper season for blooming.

We can become so focused on our relationship status, like I was focused on that flower in my dream, that we lose essential seasons of our lives.  We waste precious time waiting and looking and obsessing.  And, y'all, I'm just not convinced that God would be honored, happy, or impressed.

This is what I know to be true:

God can be trusted.  With my heart, my life, my time.

And He can be trusted with your heart, your life, and your time as well.  

I'm begging you not to lose another season of your life willing a relationship into place when it simply isn't the right season.  Trust Him.  If for no other reason than the pure fact that He can be trusted.

Become active for God.  Get rooted in His Word and in His Church.  Fall in love with Him before you ask anyone to fall in love with you.  And when the right season rolls around, when a blooming relationship becomes possible, you will be so involved with God and His work that you won't have the opportunity to obsess over it.  You'll just take it as the gift it is.

What a beautiful way to live.  

What a beautiful way to love.