Tuesday, December 31, 2013

But wait! There's more!

There were a few things that I neglected to mention in my last post.

1. I got a tattoo. It looks like this:

The words are lyrics from Coldplay's Yellow, which is one of my favorite songs. Yellow was released in 2000, which was (obviously) 13 years ago; 13 is my favorite number, and also my birthday, (10/13). 2013 was a big year for me. If you're unfamiliar with Yellow, this is my favorite version.

2. I didn't go home for Christmas, that is true.

Instead, I (gently) lied to my family, and surprised my mom, dad and brother by showing up in Florida for a few days. They had absolutely no idea, and their reactions were priceless. (Pictures coming soon)

It was quite possibly the greatest surprise I have ever planned... The three of them were completely unaware. Already making plans for next Christmas, though I don't know how I'm going to top this. You guys, my own *birth* wasn't even a surprise.

3. 2014 will be a year of writing for me.

I'm going to throw myself wholeheartedly into my other blog, Graceland. I'm still going to post monthly updates here, but Graceland will me much more regular. Thank you for journeying this far with me, and I wish the happiest 2014 to you all.



Saturday, November 30, 2013


 There's glitter in the air.

For the first time in a long time, it feels like the holiday season is a gift we are longing to receive; we are preparing for it with anticipation like one anticipates chocolate. It will be rich and satisfying. This of course could be my own impression, based off of the fact that my Christmases over the past few years have been marked by a kind of melancholy... But I don't think so.

This Christmas is different. 

There was the Christmas that was My Last Christmas At Home. There was My First Christmas In College. Last year was The Christmas Where I Wasn't At Home and I Wasn't Where I Wanted To Be, with a Job That I Hated.

This Christmas is different.

Life is different. For the first time, ever (gulp) I won’t be in North Carolina for the holidays. I will be tucked away in New York, FaceTiming and texting my family while I battle consumerism and celebrate with family up here.

I’ve been transitioning into a stable life in the city, one day at a time. I’ve been paying rent and utilities, I’ve been doing laundry, and getting to work on time, taking advantage of my health insurance... This is an adulthood that I haven’t really experienced before. So much of my time in the past has been spent barely making it, barely surviving. I did make it, and it wasn’t easy, and I am grateful for the lessons that I learned, many of them the hard way.

I can say with confidence that 2013 has been the year of blessing.

I would also say that 2013 has been the most challenging year of my life.

I made three big moves, changed jobs, watched plans fail, I watched promises come true, and there were words spoken over my life that humble me and astound me and bring me to my knees in awe and terror. Friendships that I thought were all but gone have been restored, fighting stronger than ever. New friendships have formed that are fierce and vulnerable, and breathing. I turned 21,
I changed roles at church, I ended toxic relationships, and before the year is up, I'm going to get a tattoo to commemorate it all.

There is so much in store. There are so many futures that are ahead. There promises that I don’t believe I will see for years, but there is healing and hope, and a promise that there are days ahead where some of my far off dreams will become present realities.

This has been the year of dreams.

I pray that I never stop dreaming.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

To begin again.

This post is long overdue, though with good reason. (promise)

So much has happened since September. In August, my mom and aunt visited me in Bronxville, and I tried to walk them to death. They survived, though not without a few blisters, I'm sure. 

As we were in Grand Central, ready to head back to the airport, I received that magical "we would be pleased to offer you a position..." phone call. I cried, no shame.

I packed up my space in Bronxville over the following 10 days, and was completely moved out by the 12th. Bright and early on September 13th, I began training for my new job. I couchhopped a bit, eventually landing at a friend's apartment in Brooklyn.

A friend from church forwarded me a room listing that seemed almost too good to be true; a beautiful pre-war apartment in quite possibly my favorite neighborhood. I visited the apartment, met my roommate and heard back within days. There can be no other explanation than the full orchestration of God. I live near a cafe and wine bar, an Indian restaurant, an Ethiopian restaurant, and a teeny tiny 24 hour market with a really good chocolate selection. I'm in heaven.

On October 13th, I turned 21. I celebrated with friends over dinner and cupcakes, and went to a charming Steampunk themed bar in Brooklyn. I celebrated later that day with more cupcakes and can say with much confidence that this has been my favorite birthday in New York so far.

 Six days later, I was on a plane to Myrtle Beach, where I celebrated and vacationed with my family. We walked on the beach, and I beat them at cards, and my dad made pumpkin pie cheesecake. 

My life is so different than it was mere months ago, even a year ago. I feel almost like a different person. This new season is rich with strong friendships that just needed some time, and I'm healthier in spirit and emotion. I'm still asked about Australia and Bible college, and my answer is much the same: I am very clearly supposed to be in New York right now. I don't know when Bible college will happen, though I believe it is certainly a part of my future.

My church is growing in leaps and heaps and I am excited to be a part of all that God is doing. Our tight knit family is growing to Brooklyn and London and Zimbabwe. We are reaching deeper into the heart of God to see what compassion looks like, and we are making differences. We are inviting people to kneel alongside us as we ask for wholeness, peace, and restoration. I recently handed over my leadership role of our guest lounge to a dear friend, who is bringing new life and a vibrant spirit to the team I love so dearly. I've been in charge of the lounge for over two years... It's been the single most consistent part of my life since I moved to New York in 2011. I'm still as involved as ever, but taking a break from leadership to serve and renew, and prepare to step up as our growing community expands.

Everything in my life right now is a new season. New friendships, new roommates, new apartment, new job, new role at church; it can be overwhelming. However there is peace in the new. I can say with absolute confidence that I am glad that I stayed put. I am in a season of rest that I have not had in quite awhile. My world is stable. I can see my family more often, I can sleep easy, and I can dream. Dream about the future, dream about what 2014 will bring (let me tell you: big things).

My plan is to write more, to listen eagerly, and to learn to rest. I have a feeling it can only get busier from here.

Friday, August 30, 2013


I said I wanted August to wow me, but I didn't quite expect it to actually happen.

My mom and Aunt got to visit this past week, I learned about myself, I worked, I cried, I grumbled and didn't sleep very much. I *also* gave my notice at Starbucks, because

I got a job.

I got a good job, a job in a high profile area (I won't say where here, but if you snoop enough, you'll figure it out.) and I got a considerable increase in pay-which brings me to near tears... New job, new pay rate means I'm moving back to the city, quite possibly somewhere in Manhattan. By myself.


Living in Bronxville has been an interesting season... I won't lie and say that I loved it, but I definitely had some fantastic moments, and hey-I had a roof over my head. I really have very little to complain about. I am glad that season is (quickly) coming to a close.

Suffice it to say, I am giddy with excitement, and awestruck at the very present, very real hand of God in my life. I have had favor, I have had provision, from rent being taken care of, to someone randomly handing me a $16 metro card, as I needed to reload. There is no question that my time here in New York is very much on purpose, and I cannot wait for what the future holds.

At this point, September has complete creative control, but it should be aware-the bar is set very high.

Aaaand because I think I may have signed away the rights to my firstborn this afternoon, my thoughts and opinions are mine alone, not belonging to or affiliated with any company. I am just me. And happy to be here. ;)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Life In Pink.

It’s been kind of a weird month. Not necessarily bad, but different. Strange.

God has tested and pressed and spoken to me in ways I could not have imagined, dared, or dreamed. A friend of mine has gone through a pretty tough situation in his personal life; through him, God has shown me an example of true love and forgiveness that astonishes me and takes away my word-making abilities.

I got to see my brother in Boston (very) briefly, and that was a long, however lovely day. I haven’t seen him since December, and he’s so much taller! He’s now pushing 6’1, leaving my 5’3 down here in the dust, almost a foot away. I love that my brother and I like each other. (mostly)

If A turns into B, and C happens, D will be my next great adventure- involving moving closer to Manhattan again, which would mean even further changes. I’ve been praying about leading a community group at church, and with a new season and new location, I might finally focus on that novel/memoir/nonprofit I’ve been daydreaming about. I know the first step towards getting anything done is just to do it, but I haven’t had a lot of mental or emotional energy to spare as of late.

That’s pretty much where I’m at. Haven’t slept much this month, sometimes I get frustrated with my situation and my location and job, then I walk past a restaurant playing Edith Piaf's La Vie En Rose, harmonized by murmurs and the gentle clinks of wineglasses. I breathe in, and remember there is so much more ahead that the here and now.

 I can look back on this year and clearly see how I've grown. I’m grateful for that progress, even though I didn’t always like the process. Today, I’m looking forward, into this new season, eyes on the ground*, head in the clouds, nose in a book, heart chillin with God, ready for whatever comes next.

Dear August: Wow me.

P.S. IF you want to read some more of my stuff, check out Graceland. I’m doing a super fun series called Dirty Laundry.

*That’s what we do here. Eyes on the ground, and if anything happens on the (subway) train, IGNORE IT.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer is hot.

I spend my days in a refrigerated Starbucks, or in front of a fan. I have a slight obsession with Blood Orange sorbet, and Brussels cookies from Pepperidge Farms. In the heat, the chocolate melts and gets all over my fingertips. I have daydreams of going vegan while eating goat cheese and crackers.

I sometimes get tired of feeling like I'm in an uphill battle in my life, and so I sit in front of a fan and watch an entire season of Best Ink on Oxygen because, "Hey, day off!" and "Hey, cable!" and "Hey, marathon!" I don't even really like tattoos, but now I kind of want one.

I believe in vacations. I believe in cold brewed iced coffees, and staying in your pajamas all day. I believe in staying up late, and bubble baths, I believe in sunshine, and sunsets, I believe in glittery nail polish, and I believe in deep rest.

So how was your Thursday?

Friday, May 31, 2013

Open Hands

Summer has set in up here in New York. Lines at Starbucks stretch out the door, and recent 90 degree temperatures threaten sanity.

While equally hot, my life a year ago was so different. I'm now in a place of stability and security, where a year ago, it sometimes felt like I was barely hanging on. I live in a tiny town just outside the city, with three babysitting jobs and as many hours as I want at Starbucks. I am connected closely with my church, and my friendships have matured... Namely, we're all counting the days until I'm 21, and can go to karaoke night at this super cool Dr. Who themed bar.

I'm learning to keep my eyes open to possibility, and being flexible enough to be obedient to God, even if I don't see the point.

Something that has been echoing in my mind lately, (and following me wherever I go) is that God trusts us with greater and greater things, but that we should never scoff at the small.

At this moment in time, my plan to go to Australia stands as a question of obedience. When I was handed something that seemed impossible, would I balk at the challenge, believing God not capable, or would I trust in what I heard, and believe that God would never let me fall?

I definitely learned quite a bit about myself, not limited to the awareness that I care too much about what others think of me. Guess what? I'm not in Australia right now. Guess what? I'm perfectly fine. In fact, opportunity has opened like a flower in front of me. I am protected, and I am surrounded by intention.

God is good.

Monday, April 15, 2013

In my shoes.

I love that the internet makes it possible to dream. Not only daydream, but the ability to step into someone’s shoes, and walk a mile in their worn soles. I love that with only a few clicks, I can live in Paris. I love that through pictures, I can be at a meeting in a pub in England, catching up with long lost friends. I love that the internet has changed our human experience that we might live our lives with a little more grace, a little more color, and a little more creativity.

Words are warm at my fingertips. They flow from my fingers like paint, giving me a medium by which I might paint you a picture.

Once upon a time, I visited New York. I was there helping a friend, however I was essentially alone- free to roam in the {not yet *my*} beautiful city. I’d only been once before, and that was for a measly 20 or something hours. This time, I had a week.
 Quite frequently I see large groups of people wandering around Canal street, and I feel depressed for them. Yes, they are in New York, but they are not IN New York. They are not experiencing New York like a breath, they are looking at New York like a movie.

The song “Eleanor Put Your Boots On” grabs on to what is my New York and turns it into an auditory film reel. Press play, and watch read.


The screen is black, then there is light. There is dust on the first few blurry bits of film. The scene comes into focus, and you see a girl, riding on a train. She is reading a small paperback book, and warm yellow sunlight is streaming through windows of the subway car. The train rattles and shakes over it’s tracks, dipping though Brooklyn, finally coming to a rest at Mermaid Avenue. The sky is clear blue, and the wind is crisp. Water is near.

Old roller coasters sit in the lot nearby like dusty shells, praying for spring to arrive, and life to begin again. Nathan’s Hot Dogs is closed for the season, bright yellow paint threatening to peel

The girl walks on the boardwalk, and sits on a bench, looking at the blue water, feeling small.

                            fade to black.

The girl is walking down shady sidewalks, praying that the rose-colored buildings would be real, and not just a figment of this beautiful daydream.

The girl is on a boat, giving her hopes and dreams to one person, pinning everything to that one moment. Later she will laugh and roll her eyes, but at that moment, she is physically present and she is nowhere to be found.

 The girl is sitting in a park, a cool breeze swirling around the block, Though it is dark, lights are everywhere; though her metal table all but disappears in the night. She looks over to see a fountain, illuminated and glowing. It’s so happy and sad and etherial all at once, she is silent.  Mind and soul take a collective inhale.

She has yet to land.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Life In Abundance.

Click through to be transported over to my other blog, Graceland. :)

Have a happy Easter!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Canopies of hand drawn stars.

I sit in my storage unit, my life packed up in cardboard boxes. That verse about losing your life and finding Christ? I packed up my life... Does that count?

How is it that the orange and yellow glare of the plastic subway seats sometimes feels more like a home to me than my own skin?

There is something comforting and fully eternal about rusted, painted-over beams, reaching upwards to support this stone and brick cave, home to fiery silver trains. This fluorescent cavern, breathing with humans as they climb up dirty cement steps to the ebbing metropolis above.

These trains glide over stilted platforms which threaten to snap as the machines rush past.

Many nights I sit in the flickering glow of candles upon white walls, and listen to Elizabeth Gilbert spell the tales of her life letting go of the past and praying on rooftops with star studded midnight indigo skies.

It teaches me silence. It teaches me to have a conversation with God-to know Him as an intimate part of me, not as some kind of overbearing father who lives by rules and hates the earth. No. This God is quiet, like a friend, sitting in the room with me, there for me to lean against and cry with, like He is reading a magazine, letting me know that everything is going to be okay as long as I trust him.

I sleep that night, underneath my canopy of hand-drawn stars, and feel God's closeness as he hugs me and reminds me that His presence is my place of rest, like a long soak in a bathtub. Warm water, which smooths out the scaly patches of my soul.

If I filmed everything I saw, I would run out of storage to keep track of it all in a day. Everything around me is stunning and complex and it takes a journey to see it. The most I can hope for is to paint a word picture, and provide a soundtrack to help illustrate the scene.

 I sit on a train and look out the window at snow of the ground, and stone bridges rush past as we race underneath them. On my way back home, I see the lights of the city wink at me. We ride by train stations with intricate staircases and that signature golden bumpy part near the doorway... Public transportation's yellow brick road.

I live my life in the air. I'm learning to let go. I'm learning to hold on most tightly to things that I cannot touch... The presence of God, friendships with people I hold dear, words by writers that challenge and inspire me. Music that sweeps me off my feet and spins me into a new reality. The fragrance of a good cup of coffee. Sunlight streaming through train window onto my face.

These are experiences which feed my soul, these are things which are so much more eternal than bathtubs and laundry and things.

I'm going to be sticking around in New York a bit longer-planning to jump over to Australia on one visa, instead of two. This is partially because I am still working out finances, and partially because I'm not ready to let go yet... I'm still charmed by the old brick buildings and the electric energy which makes up New York. My relationship with my church and my pastors has only grown since I decided to stick around a bit longer... I choose to not see this as a coincidence.

I am here, I am learning, I am growing, and I am learning to let go of my insecurities, and hold on to the parts of my world which are truly eternal.

We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. (1 Corinthians 13:12, 13 MSG)

Monday, January 7, 2013


2012 for me was a year of incredible change. I launched into full-blown adulthood (as much as one can, really) and I moved around New York SIX TIMES. I also learned to listen. God is so good, so full of grace, that His words are like a beautiful song. Listening to God for me, meant opening myself up to plans that are not my own. I am learning to accept God's timing, because he loves me so dearly. His plans are always better than my own. I would sell myself short if I only went by what I thought was okay or appropriate.

My plan was a small college in Virginia. God's plan was a small college in the heart of Manhattan.
My plan was a career in publishing. God's plan is a life of serving, wherever that may lead; that I might help others know the fullness and plan for their lives, written by the creator of the universe.

When I think small, God thinks big. When I see impossible, God blows my mind. When I am scared, I cry to our Father who is kind and holds me, reassuring me that my future is great and extensive, and only beginning.

It is easy for me to take credit for God's work, and yet it is equally easy for me to take on the feeling of loss, blame or failure if something doesn't work out according to my idea. God has never failed me, though I, in my own decisions and my own small mindset have let myself down. Point is, I have pride in who I am supposed to be, somehow believing that I play a larger part in my life, than willing follower of the plan that God has for me.

Moving to Australia isn't a cheap trip. It's costly, and a little complicated, and yet I know that it is a part of my future. I cannot provide the excess for myself. I can, however, open myself up, and allow God to work. I have a Paypal button at the end of this post, and on the top corner of my blog. Anything you can do would be greatly appreciated. Have enough frequent flier miles for a one-way trip to Sydney? I'm your girl. And if you can't contribute financially, hug your family, and pray that I continue to grow in this journey.

Thank you all for your support and prayers thus far. I look forward to the future with you all.