Posts in Encouragement
When You Never Feel Like Enough

Have you ever wanted to do something but you let insecurity or fear get in the way?

I grew up loving to write.  I loved to imagine traveling to exotic places- destinations like Hawaii, China, and the local mall.  I started writing love stories when I started seriously falling in love – you know, around the age of ten.  I won some awards in grade school that earned me some recognition and a free meal at McDonalds one year.  I designed and created my own magazine and was delighted over my sole subscriber- my grandma.  I was going to be a published author one day- I just knew it.

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Made-up Identity | What Is True Beauty?

SO much in our lives is identity based. We determine who we are based on any number of things - the clothes we wear, the makeup on our faces, the friends we have, where we live, what we do, and even sometimes our relationship statuses. But what if we did something different? What if we determined our identities - determined our WORTH - based on what the God of the universe says about us?


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Cultivating the Secret Place

I think the best place to start when talking about the secret place is Jesus while He was on the earth. If Jesus had his own secret place, shouldn’t we? “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.” ― Luke 22:39 What I love about this verse is that Luke mentions that going to the Mount of Olives was Jesus’ usual thing to do. So often throughout the gospels it is mentioned that Jesus would leave to go pray, and we should follow that example. Which is why Jesus also gave us instruction on how to pray, giving us promises through seeking Him. Through seeking God in the secret place, we find deliverance and rest.

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How to Relax Well this Summer

Oh, Summertime. Summer is supposed to be our savior from the sluggish tradition of school, right? You picture yourself glowing in the sun, wearing a swimsuit Audrey Hepburn would be proud to own. Your Instagram is littered with polaroid pictures of pineapples with a background of aqua waves. Perhaps Prince Harry comes splashing up out of the water to meet you! Then you vacation in Europe and spend your summer free of all work forever, Amen. Or not. Maybe your modest “swim gown” makes your grandma look flashy, your phone is an android, the neighborhood pool smells like pee, and Prince Harry is married. Maybe, you spent a whole morning stuck in traffic unable to reach your summer job. Maybe summer sucks!

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The One Thing That Will Set You Apart in this Generation

The number of people I hear complaining about their present situation in life is fascinating. While there are undoubtedly circumstances that are uncontrollable, the majority of these complaints are centered around things that are totally within their realm of influence. Of course, I make these judgements not merely based on my observations of others, but on an attitude of which I myself am all too familiar:

Passivity.

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What a Toothache Taught Me About Worship

I just saw Ann Voskamp” was not the first thing I thought I would hear after getting through the LGA airport security. I scanned my friend’s face as I would a map for some specific direction on our search for Ann, but we were dumbfounded. In one excited breath, Bethany described the sight of Ann’s adopted baby, and her slight remorse of not having the courage to introduce herself while she could have. I remembered the book inside my guitar bag was “The Broken Way,” and it was no coincidence that what I chose to read on my way to the Delight Retreat was written by the same woman that stood barefoot with Bethany, waiting for the very same normal and mundane airport frisk.

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To the Ones Who Aren’t Happy with Average

Today I sat in a senior luncheon to celebrate the end of my undergraduate college career and it was awkward. Even though I've had classes upon classes with this same group of social work students over the last several years, it felt uncomfortable to talk post-grad plans and what we're going to do with our lives. You can feel the comparison, nervousness, and fatigue in the room as we discussed job offers, applications out, and licensing exams.

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In Relentless Pursuit of My Passion

 

Passion.

I’ve always heard that word and felt super inspired. Like wow. Yes, passion, let’s do this thing! But do you ever feel like your “passion” isn’t going anywhere, or isn’t ever enough?

I’ve been pursuing a professional career in the performing arts since I was nine, and even before I knew exactly how to categorize it, I could feel a calling deep inside me: a passion.

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2017: Why We Need More Discipline, Less Scrolling

The year 2017 is here and like many of you, I’m making my list of New Year’s Goals. One of those goals being to spend LESS time on social media. But HOW ON EARTH am I supposed to stay connected to people?! How am I supposed to stay up to date on the latest trends?! How am I supposed to market my business?! Everything in moderation, right? Simply, (or not-so-simply in my case) it comes down to more discipline, which is something I’ve been lacking in my life lately.

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How Ice Skating Taught Me To Trust God

I love ice skating.  I've been going ice skating since I was really little. Although I really like it, I am so, so bad at it.  I grip the wall of the rink and shuffle myself around. If I slip even slightly, I freak out. I went ice skating a few weeks ago with a couple of my friends and it was really fun.  We only had half the rink, so this meant I could shuffle round the edges quicker than normal!  I went with two of my friends, one of whom used to play ice hockey and trained in figure skating, and the other had just spent a few months in Canada going skating regularly with experienced skaters.  It's safe to say I felt a little out of place.

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What Being Home for Christmas Truly Means

The glimmer of my tiny Christmas tree lights shimmer and I exhale, writing this to you.We are about to celebrate the greatest of all miracles in a few short days – God coming to earth. It is truly a miracle, that God came down to get us.

There are just some times and some seasons that we realize, we don’t know how to save ourselves. And some days, we don’t remember the way home. And then in the softest of those moments, we hear God draw us near.

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Victory on the Dance Floor

When I was in 6th grade, I went to my very first dance.  I watched as all of the boys and girls found partners, and began swaying an arms length apart from each other.  My mom had insisted on coming to the dance with me, and she made it clear that if I wanted to go, she had to go to. I learned in that moment, that boys don’t ask girls to dance if their mom is hovering over them.  I think mom knew that. And I also think that’s why dad bought me a huge wrist corsage that night.  He knew the night was a big deal for me, and he wanted me to have something pretty to stare at just in case no one asked his little girl to dance.

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How I Faced My Biggest Bully

I met this girl many years ago, although I don’t really remember how or when she became such a huge influence in my life. Nonetheless, here we are. She’s ruthless, cold-blooded, and extremely detrimental. She’s insulting and, frankly, she’s just annoying, and I can’t seem to get her words out of my head. I know I should just let her comments roll off my back, but they seem to come with a weight that I cannot carry on my own. She and I grew up together. In fact, we used to be really great friends. We’ve been through everything together. She used to give me great advice and comfort me when things weren’t going the way they should. She never left my side. We kept each other’s secrets and shared each other’s stories. Our conversations would go on for hours on end, causing many sleepless nights. She adored me.

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When People-Pleasing Goes Wrong

People-Pleaser.

I’m pretty sure if I were to have a phrase tattooed on my forehead, it would be “people-pleaser.” I know there are many of you who are reading this saying, “Yup! That’s me too!” Now in a way, people-pleasing can be a great thing. Jesus commands us to help and serve one another in love and without ceasing (1 John 3:17-18). So in a sense, it can be translated to “giver.”

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Be Present: The Balance Between the Tenses

We have heard the adage, "Today is a gift, that's why it's called 'the present!'" But how can we BE present when so many distractions are calling us to look forward or to look behind? How do we find the balance between the tenses so that the here and now aren’t completely overlooked in the hubbub of life?

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What is Sacrificial Love?

What is sacrificial love?

The question is posed to a room full of young people. I mull that question over in my mind. Over, and over, and over. It tumbles through my thoughts as I'm shoving suitcases into the back of the van the next morning--trying to get people loaded up, because we're running not a half an hour, but an hour late! That though of "live sacrificial love" may be one of the only things that keeps me from losing my cool completely.

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