Monday, November 24, 2014

walking on water

We are walking on water. 

It hit me this morning during my "quiet time" with Jesus. I was reading and praying and drinking, arguably, too much coffee. My devotional was about giving thanks in all circumstances as an act of spiritual obedience. It's not easy. The best way to explain what happened next is to say the Holy Spirit hijacked my morning and took me to another passage of scripture entirely (he's funny like that.)

I found myself in Matthew 14:22-36. The story of Peter walking on the water resonates with me. Peter is not challenging Jesus when he says "If it is you, command me to come to you!" He is exhibiting bold, unwavering trust. He knows only Jesus can give him the strength and the ability to do the impossible. And he's right! But moments later he loses sight of that simple truth, and that is when he sinks. 

Isn't this the perfect picture of how we live? My faith is bold, my trust runs deep. I can thank God for my circumstances, I can trust that He is using them for my good and His glory. Until ugly, nasty fear and doubt creeps in and pulls me under. Suddenly I catch myself drowning in a sea of anxiety. It rushes over my head. I panic. 

The truth is, anxiety feels a lot like drowning. So frantically Peter calls out "Lord save me!

I've been there. I've so been there. 

There are deep pains. There are hurts that you think can never be erased. There are fears and struggles and disappointments.  

The life we have been called to live is impossible. We simply cannot do it on our own. To give thanks in the worst circumstances? To lift our hands in praise when we are weary and burdened? To put the needs of others before ourselves? To trust that God is working in every situation? It's like walking on water. That's why we cannot do it without Him. 

We are walking on water, one step at a time. Sometimes we sink. But before we even utter those three simple words, He's already there, reaching His hand out to save. 

[throwback: more thoughts on anxiety here]

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

on my wind...

revving up, s l o w i n g  d o w n. stop then go. 
hear the sounds of cars passing right outside my window
it's locked closed but air seeps through it's worn-down weatherstrip
that empty space, it leaves a crack
that's the way it goes. 

he doesn't care if he's welcome
anyone will tell you that
permeating hidden spaces, buried deep in this old house
too hot in summer, too cold in winter:
extreme and uninvited. 

try your hardest just to fight it
resist with air conditioning and manufactured heat. 
fill that space with new air, breathing life into these rafters 
but that old window can't be trusted
she'll let the bought air out

so now it's cold and I should've seen it coming 
it's happened time and time again
the Indian summer is all too cunning
he'll have you believing he's a faithful friend.
when that October breeze wraps itself around you..
don't buy it. don't give in.
this tired game we play so often, I know it all too well. 
he doesn't need an open the door, he much prefers creeping in
so batten your hatches and play pretend
tell yourself you're safe. 
but wait.

boy you take the cake
I've made my share of mistakes  
but you are-- by far-- my greatest disappointment

revving up, slowing down. that's the way it goes. 
the problem with old houses... 
all the old windows. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


I went for a run yesterday morning. The sky was clear, the air crisp, the day promising. I set out on an old familiar course, a looping path I often take. I felt good until I rounded the last turn and saw the final mile stretch out before me. I felt the wind blow hard against my face. I resented it. I battled it. I struggled and pushed through that last mile, relieved when I finally reached the finish. 

I set out again this morning for that same familiar path. It was another glorious day, and feeling all the wiser after yesterday's struggle, I reversed my regular course, thinking I'd tackle the long stretch first, thinking the wind would push me along, thinking it had to be easier. But from the first few strides I struggled. My joints were achey, my muscles sore, and my mind was a jumbled mess. I didn't feel the wind helping me along, I felt my ankles locking and my heart hurting. And then I rounded that turn, only to realize my familiar course didn't seem so familiar after all. I never noticed the way those winding turns all have a slightly downward slope. Only this time I was fighting an uphill battle. And I was losing. When things go your way, you don't realize that you're coasting down easy hills, taking His provisions for granted. You don't realize that the other side of the street has always been shaded until you have sun and sweat burning your eyes.

It's supposed to get easier.

Like training for a marathon: each day gets a little easier, you're a little lighter on your feet, your gait becomes more natural, your stamina increases. Except when it doesn't. I struggled through my run and I caught myself wrestling with God. Instead of His beloved bride, I morphed into a bitter, nagging wife, bending His ear and hurling accusations. "I cooked dinner! Can't you at least do the dishes?!" What was relational became contractual in my limited mind. "I'm holding up my end of the deal, God! When does it get easier?! WHEN are you going to SHOW UP and make everything BETTER?!" I was drowning in my sinfulness, clinging to my self-righteousness like a flotation device, failing to realize it was a weight pulling me down even deeper. But grace abounds. 

He doesn't see me for my faults and my failures. He doesn't see a nagging wife, He sees His blushing bride. Sanctified, a new creation entirely, wearing the veil of righteousness of His perfect son. Your Maker is your Husband. (Isaiah 54:5)


He created the entire universe and He cares for me. He holds eternity in one hand and my hand in the other. (Isaiah 41:13) On my own I am stubborn and indignant. In His sight, I am blameless. (Colossians 1:22) No matter how many times I fail Him, no matter how many times I turn or push Him away, He never gives up on me. He pursues me relentlessly. He reminds me who I am. 

So I'm realizing that sometimes it doesn't necessarily get easier. I can't say He didn't warn me. "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) There's peace in knowing I will never have to figure it out on my own. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Oh October

Oh October… She's stolen a place in my heart forever. Summer's final flourish, one-upping the months before her with a welcome change. A breath of fresh air. She can't keep a secret, heralding good things to come. She's sandy toes wrapped in a beach blanket. A clean house and messy hair. An old soul, a kindred spirit. "A pretty girl who plays her cards as if she were plain." She'll knock the wind out of you, an unexpected icy chill, but her golden rays will warm you to the bone. She's a quick wit, a kind heart with a sharp tongue. She means no harm, but she'll break your heart. It's not her fault, she knows good things-- they rarely last. She's used to getting her way & some will call her a show off, but I can't say I blame her. She laughs 'til she cries and cries 'til she laughs. She's a million contradictions, but her intentions: all good. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

the best sounds

wine glug glug glugging into the glass

that wobbly little laugh amidst tears

mom's old bread machine

distant waves on the shore


kitchen aid mixer


the first three notes of that familiar tune

a snoring pup

tea kettle whistling

fire & rain

bicycle bells


still, small Voice

the keyboard clicking faster than the words in my head.

Monday, September 29, 2014


She thought she was a painting.
A fine French masterpiece.
he beheld her in holy reverence,
knew every shadow, edge, and curve.
Contrived meaning, albeit superficial.
She used to glow in his spotlight,
held together by his frame.
Underneath the awestruck wonder,
a tinge of emptiness remained.
Mere canvas stretched over wood,
with watercolors running together, bleeding dry.

Before that: a book.
A spellbinding novel,
a page-turning thriller.
An epic, tragic, mystery.
he learned her language,
found meaning in her poetry,
found comfort in her prose.
Cover to cover, until the pages ran out.
No promise of happily ever after, simply:
The End.
These days she's at a loss for words.

He tells her she is clay.
Ever changing, malleable
She's softening in his hands
She's learning to trust him,
sometimes s t r e t c h e d thin || she cracks
He puts her back together, lovingly, carefully.
He knows her, He's been knitting her together since the beginning.

She is His, and she's finally realizing that's all that matters.

Monday, June 2, 2014

On my mind...

I am trespassing.

It's a strange feeling, in a place so familiarly unfamiliar, the nagging feeling that I don't belong.

Like the house of your childhood, where you lost your teeth and your training wheels, returning with nostalgia, only to see someone else's bike in the garage.

Or even worse, it's empty. The shadow of a home. Peering in the dusty windows, hoping for a sign of life.

The hardest roads we have to walk alone//

I flip through the archives, they stare back at me like an old photo album. Memories of a girl.

Memories of a voice. 

It's strange to see myself a stranger… to be inspired by words that I once claimed as my own. To be moved. 

Even stranger still, as that bellowing baritone became more muffled, so did everything else.  

That baritone was my metronome.

Though deep down I believe: you can't lose it if it was ever truly yours, it never goes away. It's always home, the cozy spot, tucked away in the trees, where daydreams and fantasies take afternoon tea. 

Everyone has their vices.

Vice, voice, virtue. 

Truth be told- I'm a little rusty.

I know, I know//

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I've said it before: I can be a bit of a wine(glass) snob. I'd rather dink a mediocre wine out of a nice glass than sip the finest wine from a Dixie cup. Unfortunately, this can be problematic on the go. Enter: govino. Flexible, shatterproof "crystal." I picked them up at my favorite wine shop thinking they would be perfect on the beach this summer. We finally had a chance to use them at an oyster roast last night and they were a hit! I adore the feel and all my friends mistook it for an "real" wineglass. Can't wait to break them out on the boat for sunset cruises. (c'mon summer!)

Monday, February 10, 2014

How to be an adult...

Ok, so 24 isn't really an adult. I can still depend on my mom & dad's health insurance and I can go days at a time without cooking a real meal (unless protein shakes count) but there are a few things that as a twenty-something you just have to do.

1. Own a coffee maker. Even if you don't drink coffee. Your grandmother will stop by or your best friend will come to spend the weekend with you and you should be able to offer her a cup of coffee.

2. Set up your voicemail. Even if you hate how your voice sounds on the recording- I promise it doesn't sound so strange to everyone else. But really, it takes all of 30 seconds.

3. Apologize. When it's your fault. When it's not your fault. Recognize that being happy is more important than being right sometimes. Move on.

4. Recognize when you're being unreasonable. Don't be afraid to admit it.

5. Accept the things you cannot change. (Even if it means only after trying your absolute darndest to change them.)

6. Have a signature. A signature drink, a signature pose (even if it's hand on hip with a head tilt… guilty!) a signature style… And don't forget a signature SIGNATURE. You should know how to write your name, and I'm not referring to the scribble you scrawl on the credit card receipt after two drinks at happy hour or as the line builds behind you at Harris Teeter. Take pride in it.

7. Know when to give up and have a a cup of coffee (or a margarita.) But also know when NOT to give in. Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit. So when you're holding the most grueling squat in kickboxing, remember you're not just training your glutes & hams, you're training your mind to keep going even when it's tough.

8. Trust yourself.

9. Take care of yourself. This is a tricky one, because all your life you've probably had someone dedicated to taking care of you (and a little secret- they probably still are) but you're equally responsible for yourself now. Be kind. 

10. It's ok to hold on: that box of letters that sits under your desk. The stuffed animal from your childhood. The long hair you've been rocking for approximately 11 years. But sometimes you have to let go of some things to make room for others (that's the tough part)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Guilt-free Friday!

Hi cats. It's Friday! Truth be told, it's been a long week & I'm greeting this weekend with open arms. Nothing too exciting on the books, but it's sure to be an adventure. I must admit I'm getting SO excited for Valentine's Day. Let's be real- it's the only holiday that directly caters to my needs: chocolate, wine, flowers, and so much LOVE. So around these parts it's all things pink and RED (as in a wine tasting at one of our favorite spots) and some last minute shopping for the near & dears. Hope your weekend is sweet too. 

Hey! It's ok…

If you're slightly germaphobic when it comes to sharing gym equipment or shaking hands with strangers, but you subscribe to the 5 second rule as soon as that dark chocolate almond hits your kitchen floor []

If you refuse to acknowledge the humble opinion of a lowly groundhog unless he comes heralding good news. [6 more weeks of this crap? Ain't nobody got time for that.]

If buying new running shoes feels like choosing a life mate. [holy.decisions. finally decided on these guys when I learned the color was called "Diva Pink"]

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Here's to...

I've always admired people who have the ability to raise a glass and propose a proper toast. Probably because toasting combines my two passions: drinking and communication! I read an article in Esquire about how it's a lost art, especially in the US, and I couldn't help but agree. The British Royal Navy, for example, has a toast for each day of the week (Saturday is my favorite!)

Did you know North Carolina has a state toast? I loved the idea of memorizing it, but I was intimidated when I realized it's several paragraphs long! On a recent car ride though, as I was fighting sleep (I make a terrible co-pilot) we decided the give it our best shot. We picked our favorite paragraph (the last one)
It's become a tradition for us to split the toast (I do the first two, he does the last two) when we open a bottle of wine. 

What do you drink to? 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Snow Day

There's something magical about snow at the beach. Dunes are the only hills to be found for miles and boogie boards are used as makeshift sleds. Tow ropes and knee boards are retrieved from our winterized boats and we pull them behind trucks. The streets take the place of the waterways, and in the midst of all this winter we find comfort in a familiar feeling. We pour salt on our walkways and the taste transports us back to the sea. The sting of rosy, windburned cheeks in January is reminiscent of July's sunburned skin. Neighbors gather around the fire instead of the grill, and our children build snowmen with buckets and shovels that are still a little sandy from their last trip to the beach. More than anything, the sense of community that we all thought went into hibernation comes out to play, if only for a few fleeting hours. The sun sets, albeit much earlier than the days of summer, we say goodbye and retreat back into our cozy homes with a sense of satisfaction that we haven’t felt since late September. In all the snow and ice, we find within our tiny town a private island, the spirit of summer, and the promise of warmer days just beyond the horizon… 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Guilt-free Friday!

Hello loves, it's Friday!? This week has been a fantastically drowsy blur. We got "snow" here in Coastal Carolina (more on that later!) so life stood still for a few days. Now the ice melts outside my window, slowly and surely, reminding me life too must begin again. I feel refreshed. It was a welcome break, a nice change of perspective, and the perfect dose of winter. Now the sun is back with a vengeance, and my spring fever with equal vigor. But for now, tomorrow is February, and you know how I love all things sweet

In the mean time, it's the weekend… I hope yours is the happiest. xoxo

Hey! It's ok… 

If all "beach body preparations" are being abandoned until after Valentine's Day. (I'm lookin at you, Ferrero Rocher) 

If Adult Snow Days include significantly more red wine than hot cocoa. 

To rep your favorite team on Sunday… even if they're not actually in the Super Bowl this year. (Go Panthers!)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

put an egg on it

Remember when we talked about microwave poaching? That's for babies. I poached an egg on the stove last week sans vinegar which officially makes me a culinary B.A. 
Ok, since we're doing this whole honesty, full-disclosure thing
1.  I wanted a salad for lunch, but a girl’s gotta eat! I needed protein too and I was out of chicken. I like to save grocery store trips for torrential downpours, so that didn't happen until later in the day (cue thunder and lightning)
2. As far as groceries go? Out of white vinegar too. (I do have a fine, aged balsamic, but research shows it doesn’t have the same effect. Drats.) 
3. My (shanty)townhouse's microwave is rusted through, so microwave poaching would probably result in a display resembling the 4th of July. Don't even get me started on microwave popcorn. [Update: My microwave has been replaced. Praise.]

But y’all. It’s really not that hard!
So here’s the long and the short of it. I immediately texted my dad (natch) b/c he’s kind of an egg guy. One great thing about my dad is that he makes the same cheesy jokes over and over, but I swear they get funnier every time. One of those jokes is “Put an egg on it…” which he really does say about pretty much everything.  I was thrilled to find this book for him for Christmas. But really it’s kind of true… you can put an egg on just about anything. And if it’s perfectly poached? (insert pat on back) Winner winner chicken egg dinner… er, lunch.
So tell me, do you relegate eggs to Saturday mornings, or have you tried them in other interesting dishes too?

p.s. as far as poaching goes… the swirl is crucial. :) 

Monday, January 6, 2014


Here's to…

…cutting to the chase

…trusting the process

...structure, discipline, goals

…being honest, staying true

…more face time (and FaceTime) 

…the heroine and not the damsel

…beyond your wildest dreams

…more second chances, less second guessing

…fewer walls, more windows

…more comfortable beyond the comfort zone

… writing, for heaven's sake! 

…holding hands, holding my tongue, holding every thought captive

…giving less, taking more [advice, that is]

...doing all things with great love.

Never a resolution, always a toast. 

It's been a wild one. I look back at previous toasts for 2011, 2012, and 2013 and it's crazy to think about the ride (and to think we've been toasting this long!) 

A little late, but I hope your 2014 is off to a fabulous start, let's have an amazing year. xo


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