I have always loved the classic hymn, It Is Well With My Soul. It’s a beautiful [and famous] song that’s sung in most Christian churches around the globe. It’s filled with lyrics that speak of surrender, peace, and complete trust in a God Who is good and sovereign. One verse says, “When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.”
What I didn’t know is that the author of this song – Horatio Spafford – wrote this hymn nearly a week or so after his wife and four daughters set sail on a luxury steam liner to Paris for holiday in 1873. While he stayed behind to finish up some last minute work, the rest of his family boarded the ship. After a short time at sea, their steam liner was rammed by a British iron sailing ship and had sunk in the middle of the ocean. Horatio’s wife was rescued after being found unconscious – but his four daughters drowned and were killed. Once Horatio got word from his wife about the tragedy via telegram, he boarded a boat to reunite with her. As he sailed across the exact spot where the steam liner sank (and where his daughters were killed) – he penned the words to It Is Well With My Soul.
Hectic. The tragedy that Horatio faced while writing the lyrics to this song gives it an entirely new and significant meaning. Every time I listen to the lyrics play over my iPhone speakers – I am greatly challenged by this man’s faith, and I am greatly confronted with the lack of my own.
Continue reading “Is It Well With My Soul?”
This may come as a surprise to most of you, but… I love grocery shopping.
Well, actually wait. Let me rephrase that. I love food.
In all seriousness though, I love getting to stroll through the aisles of Publix while basking in the vastness of flavored ice creams, dinosaur chicken nuggets, and super unhealthy breakfast cereals. I love the smells of freshly baked breads and birthday cakes in the bakery section, and I love the beautiful sights of the rainbow colored fruits in the produce area.
But most of all, I love trying to carry all of my grocery bags from my car to my flat in one trip – even if it means sacrificing a groin muscle or a pinky finger in the process. I know it’s silly – but I do it every single time, and every single time I am left with bruises on my thighs and painful red indent marks across my forearms. Some would say, carrying all of those grocery bags in one trip is more than I can handle… but I say… try me.
Continue reading “When God Gives You More Than You Can Handle”
“When something becomes so important to you that it drives your behavior and commands your emotions, you are worshipping it.” – J.D. Greear
“Please hear me, Girl: The world has enough women who know how to do their hair. It needs women who know how to do hard and holy things.” – Ann Voskamp
I’ve been meaning to write you this letter, but it’s taken me some time to woman up about it. I can honestly say that we’ve been through a lot together – the good, the bad, and the ugly. I remember when we first started spending time together back when I was fresh out of my adolescent years. You were there when I first entered high school – still naïve to the party scene but determined to fit in. You were there when I fell in love and got engaged to my fiancé – and you were there several months later when we broke up and parted ways. You were there when I graduated from UCF with my bachelors degree in Sports and Fitness – ready to take on the fitness industry with zeal. And you were there to celebrate with me – every single year on my birthday (making sure that no one ever forgot). So thank you. Continue reading “Facebook, I’m Breaking Up With You”
[*Girly Post Alert]
Is it just me, or have you ever felt like every human being in the world is getting engaged, getting married, or making babies right in front of your eyes on your Facebook Newsfeed – while you’re just trying to survive (in Africa), struggling to find a reason to shave your legs, and barely finding the time to take a shower.
…Anyone? No? Just me?
Let’s be honest. Being single is hard, in fact, it’s harder than hard – and it’s something that I’ve been battling with since the 6th grade, when my parents told me I wasn’t allowed to date until I turned 35. Not to mention, as a maturing Christian woman who desperately wants to do the “right thing” when it comes to dating and marriage, the struggle has been exponentially real. This journey has been full of twists and turns, victories and failures, and butterflies and face-plants. I know that I am not the only female in the universe who struggles with this issue, so I thought it may be encouraging to share some of the nuggets of wisdom and revelations that the Lord has been teaching me throughout this faith adventure. I still have a lot to learn, but here are a few points that have helped me thus far… Continue reading “To All My Single Ladies…”
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain”
I don’t know about you, but I’m so ready for April to be over.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, April showers bring May flowers? Well, forget April showers, because this month came fully-loaded with torrential downpours! It’s been a month full of lost keys, acne breakouts, sinus infections, dangerously low bank account balances, and broken break lights. The struggle has been so deliciously real. (Deliciously, because I have never had to eat this many packages of super cheap 2-minute ramen noodles in my entire life.) Continue reading “Dance in the Rain”
We’ve all experienced it at least once in our lives.
That embarrassing moment you just can’t seem to shake out of your mind. Maybe it was that moment when you were spending quality time with friends, telling them a fantastic joke or sharing an impressive story—when all of a sudden someone interrupts you and points out the large piece of “something green” stuck in your teeth. Uhhh, embarrassing. How long was it there for? Who noticed? Awkward…
Or maybe it was when you were in 3rd grade and you took a quick bathroom break, only to return to your classroom unaware that part of your uniform skirt was stuck in the waistband of your Minnie Mouse underpants. It happens, believe me… it happens.
We’ve all felt it. Shame. Embarrassment. Fear. Rejection. Continue reading “Naked and Afraid”
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” – C.S. Lewis
The word “love”—along with it’s many definitions—is splattered all over the pages of the bible. You won’t have to look very hard to discover that love is patient and kind or sacrificial and selfless. But this week, the Lord has been teaching me about another way to define love that isn’t spelled out as clearly in the scriptures.
Love is… dirty.
And just to be clear, I’m not talking about the bow-chicka-wow-wow kind of love…but nice try.
This kind of love is messy and uncomfortable. It inconveniences you and it requires you to take risks. It’s a love that suffers, that gives, and that exhausts you day after day. It’s hard and time consuming—and it will most definitely cost you something. It’s also important to note that this kind of love isn’t about you—it’s about them. And to be honest, when I see opportunities to give and receive this kind of love—I prefer to yell “fire” and run as fast as I can in the opposite direction. Continue reading “Let’s Get Dirty”
There’s a question thats been floating around in my head these past few days…
It’s been driving me crazy, and it demanded an answer.
Why are Christians so shocked when a fellow sinner… sins? I mean, think about it. Say you’re sitting in church, and the guy next to you reeks of weed and bad life decisions. Or say you overheard your bible study friend admit to fantasizing about a guy she saw on her soap opera. I’d bet 9 times out of 10 you’d avoid eye contact and silently intervene in prayer for the person’s salvation. But what if that person was already saved? What if they loved the Lord? How would you feel then? Shocked? Disappointed? Angry? Continue reading “Shockproofing Sin: One F-Bomb at a Time”
I’m warning you now—you are not going to like this blog post.
This blog post is not filled with politeness or political correctness. It is not filled with flattery or superficial clichés that are meant to keep you comfortable. It is not a “feel good” post to boost your self-confidence, and it is not a post that will stroke your ego. This post is meant to tear you apart from the inside out.
You will not like this post because it will convict you, it will hold you accountable, and it will force you to look at yourself in a way that might offend you. So if you dare… read on. Continue reading “The Blog Post That Everyone Hated”
Have you ever had one of those days when everything seems to go wrong?
Maybe you caught every single red light while running late to a meeting, maybe a bottle of your favorite red nail polish spilled all over your white carpet, or maybe you were planning on buying groceries—but the amount of money left in your bank account said, “Ha ha, not today friend, you’re on your own…”
Yeah. Those days are the worst.
It’s when every little thing seems to go wrong. It’s when stuff breaks, things get lost, and there seems to be no justifiable reason as to why. It’s when the quality of our character and the quality of our faith get tested the most, and it’s in those split seconds when you truly discover where your hope and your peace lie. And let me tell you… I am the queen of messing those moments up. Continue reading “When a “Good Christian Girl” Has a Bad Day”