To receive something is

to take it in.
to welcome.
to accept.

You can’t only half-receive something.
Maybe you pretend to welcome something in –
but you and I both know
you never really receieved it in the first place.

Receiving means taking something in
something in its entirety
seeing it
seeing it all
and still saying yes

So why this fear to receive?

Why is it so hard for us – for me –
to receive something like…

“you are loved.”

Have I ever really accepted this? Welcomed it in? Received this? Let it rest in my hands? On me?

Or do we only say “yes” when we warrant this statement to be true? When we feel it’s true? Do you see what I’m saying… we… us… when we

See – I don’t want to receive this because I feel that first I need to be transformed – body, personality, smile etc – before I receive this.
My standards… eh (pride)… get in the way… and suddenly I become the determiner of what love actually is.

But if I’m the one who is determining what unconditional love is… I don’t think it will ever again be unconditional. Because all of my “conditions” will keep it bottled up for so long that love will die… along with me…

So – receive.

To receive.
To take it in.
To welcome.
To accept.

What if I actually accepted “you are loved.” Received it. Took it in.

“I am loved.”
Loved by the One who loves me unconditionally.

And this is what would lead to transformation…?

And it was good.


When I take a moment

to pause.

To stop my own noise- to stop relating to the noise

hiding in the noise.

I notice



Notice what I could not notice before.

//Glory life.//

That glory life is happening all around me.

Glory living all around me. Glory that so often drifts past my eyes


Unseen to me. And yet.

We occupy the same space,

this glory life and I.

Emotional and physical and thought-space,

the Spirit having no boundaries,

His glory reflected in the life all around me

this life made to reflect God’s glory – Your glory. Glory life.

Yet… so often… I am too busy

to see it.

//So. I pause.//

I pause.

Letting the wind smooth out the rushed; rough; tangled thoughts

that spin


Letting You smooth –

smooth my fear into peace

I rest. Sun warming me. You warming me. Gently quieting me. Light dancing on my face and across my eye lids. Welcoming them to open. Whispering for them to open. And I respond.

I want to catch a glimpse. A glimpse of this.

This glory life.

And you invite me to see. To see the golden light. Golden light that reaches down, stretching and wrapping and winding through slender elm branches to tangle into blades of thick grass and oats and peas. Cover crop for healthy life. Glory life.

In this, I see glory.

I see spiderwebs crafted and hung between elm branches – daintly strung between blades of grass – precariously perched on the edge of a thick tangle of twigs – one strand transformed in an instant from nothing to glory – from plain translucent string into a sparkling thread when thrown by wind into a sunbeam.

I see hundreds of little wings flitting about – working and dancing and twisting through the air and channels of the wind.

I see grass and leaves – wheat and clover and willow –  a vibrant green, dancing in the wind, eating the evening sun, boasting of satisfaction and fullness of life – Glory.

I see Glory.

//Glory life.//

I see. But not only do I see. I also hear.

I hear glory.

I hear cry of the rooster and the goose from across the fields; gentle murmor of the creek as it dances down its rocky path – caressing boulders and stones into well worn, well-known friends; I hear the wind, whipping these well worn pages, stirring the tree tops into a steady whir, harmonizing with bird song, wooing me to peace and calm, welcoming in the night.

I hear peace. I feel peace. Your peace.

I feel the worry etched into my eyes and face and hands and back begin to ease, begin to leave, began to fade now. Muscles and tendons relaxed and skin smooth – free from fear-from tension.

I feel my heart. Can once again feel the life steadying beats of my existence. I feel glory.

//Glory Life.//

I feel the image of God. Wonder and joy and childlike innocence. Glory. And yet. At the same time, I feel so far from the glory God originally intended me to be.

So broken

in contrast to the glory that surrounds me. And yet.


He made me. You made me. Made me at the culmination of your glory. The culmination of your artistry. After you had made all this. This glory.

You made me. And said.

“It is Good.”

And you rested.

So I can rest in the One who calls me good and calls me higher and calls me Home. So I can rest and soak in the glory that surrounds me. Your glory that surrounds me.

Glory to the One who created this. All of this. My body and this heart and this ground and the light. Brown earth and birdsong and lilac branches and rooster call. Cream petaled poppies and thick bladed grass and rocks and fragrant mist. Fingers made for writing and cool dew on grass and morning dove. Glory.

//Glory Life.//






A Promise to quiet the fear


I will never leave you
You, who fears my leaving
Who fears being alone
who fears facing this cold winter

all alone

I will never leave you

I will never leave you
Though petals may leave their perch
to kiss the frozen ground

Though sparrows leave their nests
to start families of their own

Though snow leaves the clouds
to marry with snowy earth

I will never leave you

I will never leave you for something
I will never leave you for something

I will never grow bored of you
I will never grow tired of you
My affection for you never wanes
Never grows cold though all around is frozen
though frozen air nips at toes
and fingers
makes them cold

my love will

I’ll never tire of loving you
of caring for you
I will be careful to hold you
to hold your fragile heart
Fragile as the snowflakes that drift gently down
to rest
upon gently upturned lashes
to rest
you can rest with me
rest with me

You can entrust your fragile heart
your ever feeling
deeply feeling heart
to me
Your feelings won’t scare me away
they don’t scare me away
You can’t scare me away
They won’t make me leave

I’m not gonna leave
I will never leave you
I will never fail you
Never flee from you
Never leave you

I’m not gonna leave
Leave you all alone

Though others may come and go
drift here and there
like drifting snow

I’m not gonna leave
Leave you all alone

So let me hold your heart in
the safety of mine
Warm your heart
in the safety of mine

Your heart is safe
in mine

Now you can brave this cold winter
face this cold winter
embrace this cold winter
Not leaving.

You’re not facing it alone.

“I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”
Joshua 1:5

True wholeness – healing of the heart

True wholeness – through your soul, over your skin, in your eyes, resting on your frame wholeness – must come from a whole heart. From a healed heart. For the heart is the “wellspring of life.” Prov 4:23

If the fibers of my heart are woven with darkness,
with lies,
with bitterness,
with fear.

And if, my heart is the wellspring of life –
from it flow
the wellsprings of life…

Won’t what’s in my heart, influencing my heart, holding my heart
flow out into my life
affect all areas of my life?
Manifest itself in my frame? My everything?

So often we walk around like “whitewashed tombs.”
Pretending everything is ok and coating ourselves in layers of masks.
Yearning for depth yet only able to go so shallow.

Inside… our hearts are corroding.
Twisting with the death we’ve agreed with.

I’ve tried so hard on my own strength to solve the problem… to try and bring depth
to try and bring wholeness to my body.
But I feel that I’ve tried to go about it wrong.
Tried to use a bandaid when surgery was actually needed.

See, if a garden needs watering – needs life
needs nourishing
but the garden hose is kinked and
full of silt
and plugged with dirt

any water
no matter how pure and clean and healthy it may be
will go through those filters
will get stuck in the kinks

so the garden keeps dying

the problem is the kinks
my agreements with the lies and the fear and the self-hate

so agreements need to be broken
fibers need to be severed

Praise Jesus that the way for this has already been made
In the Name of the One who created my heart
Agreements with darkness, no matter if made consciously or unconsciously
are broken.

“I’m sorry Lord for agreeing with self-hate and fear and anxiety.”

Kinks, once capturing life and filtering in fear
no longer remain

Instead, Truth is spoken into broken heart
and new bonds begin to form
bonds of hope and strength
and you-are-more
and you-can-do-this

“I agree with your Truth that I am made for a purpose- that you’ve accepted me and not rejected me – that life has a meaning and there is Hope. That I am no longer a slave to fear, but a child of God.”

Now, pure life flowing in
flows pure life out

and plants
yearning to be nourished
can really actually be nourished

Health in my heart can manifest as health in my frame
and my eyes
and my soul

Nourishing the heart
nourishing the source…
opening to the Nourisher

this is where the healing begins.
This is where the wholeness comes.

And it’s not too late.

When Hope Grows Thin

When hope grows thin
and that once-bright-light in your eyes
fades, begins to dim,
come to me.
When hope starts to go
and holes form and slowly
tear into your soul
come to me.
When breath rattles through tired lungs
and your heart has just had enough –
is tired of fighting,
has given up
come to me.

“Come to me, all who are weary..”

If you are weary, come, if you are scared, come, if you are confused come.

All you need to do is come.
That’s the only thing required of you. Maybe the only thing you can muster up within yourself to do.

So just come. That’s enough.

“and I will give you rest.”


Rest from trying. From trying to be strong all on your own. From trying to be good enough. From trying to earn love. From the struggles and trials of life. From discouragement and lies.
I long to give you rest.

I long to whisper to you. I long to remind you that you have already arrived home in me. That you are my beloved. That you already belong.

I love you, my beloved.

The rest comes from coming to the One who IS rest.
All you need to do is come. Come to Jesus. Run to Jesus. Jesus promises rest.

“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles, they will walk and not grow weary, they will run and not grow faint.” Is. 40:31.
“Come to me, all who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

My heart goes out to you.
Let him renew you.

Reflections on Life and the Daily Struggle of a Woman

She steps out the door, shifts the bag on her shoulder and pulls the door shut. hard.

Key turns in the lock and she breathes: one deep, I-can-do-this breath. Hand to purse and keys in bag and foot swivel and, whew, here it goes.

The sun sends down shafts of golden light which gently fall on gentle face. A face that is beautifully crafted, and yet is creased with dissatisfaction and frustration; its beauty unknown and unseen by self-hatred-blinded eyes.

Trying to cover the ache, she shifts her mind to the tasks ahead – the day ahead. But one glance to her left and she sees it. The reflection. Her reflection.

Dissatisfaction slices inward.

Any attempts at hope stifled.

One glance to the right and she sees the myriads of women she can compare herself to. And the lists tick through her head… of what she lacks.. of what they have… of how much she wishes she could crawl out of her skin and frame and leave it to face shame on its own.

What more can I do? she asks.

What more can I change? How much harder can I push?

Dry, brittle bones begin to crack and creak under the weight of just one more self-hatred thought. They’ve piled on so thick.

Where’s the hope in all of this, she asks herself. Where is the end. Where is the moment that I will ever be satisfied. That I can rest.

What does rest mean?

What does it mean to have peace as your best friend? To break up with shame?

She sighs and breathes. Shaky, inward breath. Just got to keep going.

Hand to bag and foot to pavement and heart deflated, she walks on.


I write this because this topic is a very real struggle for most women. Let’s be real. Most of us cross paths with these thoughts, these emotions, these fears. Often. Daily.

I’ve been on my own journey with all of this. Sometimes feeling like I’m finally creeping towards the victory peak, and other times, feeling like the valley can’t stoop any lower.

I realize that none of this can be simplified down to an easy solution or a one-liner, here’s-how-to-fix-it-all step. No. it’s definitely a process.

I write this not to say I’ve found the answer, but to remind my sisters that you’re not alone in this struggle. And to encourage you that there is hope.

I have been tasting hope. Sipping in sweetness finally, after many years of bitter, thick fear.

I have been tasting this: that what I’m craving through all of this is to be loved. And that in fact, I am completely and 100% loved right now. Just as I am. Loved right now. And that Jesus is not ashamed of me.

I’ve also been learning, though, that Jesus also cares about my physical body and wants to help me take care of it. That there is a holistic approach to working through this struggle.

I’m learning that I can be at peace right now with myself. I can be at peace, while at the same time, be working towards healthy goals.

I’m learning that Jesus is good and i can trust him with this.

I’m learning that I am beautiful.

I’m praying that you can learn these things too. And that they’d sink so deep into the worn, scared, tired places of your beautiful heart.

What does “being healthy” really mean?


It’s a word that we use a lot.

A state of being that we try to achieve.

But what does “being healthy” really mean?

Media and everything around us stakes it up to losing weight and eating well and being that younger you.
Endless articles and commercials about the perfect you – the lotions to use – the weight-loss and dieting programs to try – the new clothes to wear – the do’s and dont’s of eating and exercising.

So many of us try these things. Believe these things. Live by these things.

But to our own injury.

Now, understand, I think exercising and eating well and taking care of your body is very important. But it has it’s place.

Hear me out.

For a lot of my life, “being healthy” has been the goal.

I mean, the goal.

So much that it has consumed me… and haunted me… and eluded me…

And for a long time, I worked and sweated and cried and starved and beat myself up to achieve the world’s image of health.

I don’t think it’s bad to be healthy. But see – I was doing it in the wrong order – I was working from

the outside-in

when I should have been working from

the inside-out.

But, like so many things, what I’ve been realizing is that healthiness needs to start on the inside – it needs to start in the deepest, most-inner core of myself.

If I work out to the max and acheive this “perfect” image and am, perhaps, the picture of happy and healthy on the outside… it’s not going to do much if I’m not healthy on the inside.

You see. For many years I pushed and contorted and molded myself into what I considered to be the best image. On the outside, (as I look back at pictures of that era) I think I was the closest to fitting that “runner” model I so idolized and desired – aka the poster child of “healthiness” that the world so upholds – but, on the inside I was so caught up and consumed and distraught over image and body and being healthy that I was blind to who I was.

Instead through my blind eyes I only saw hate and disgust and unworthiness in myself.

You see…

Maybe I looked healthy on the outside.

But I was chronically ill inside.

That illness – black poison coursing through my once brilliant red blood stream – convoluting and destroying and inking beauty into a film of black – it took over me. My mind and how I saw myself.

Even if I was achieving the world’s definition of “healthy” on the outside, I sure wasn’t healthy on the inside.

Trying to cover up ugly inside with “beauty” outside.

But God’s been speaking a new thing in me.
That I need to be healthy inside in order to be healthy outside.

I’m praying daily for wholeness and truth and freedom.
That He would help bring health to my core – how I see myself.

I still try to eat well and be active and make good choices… but I’m trying a new approach. A sustainable approach because my Source is sustainable and He is my Sustainer.

It’s not an easy battle most days but I have hope that the One who made me can make beauty out of my mess.

Praise the Lord!

“I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Ps. 139:14

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Is. 61:1-3

On self-hatred and finding freedom from it

So pretty hefty topic, yeah?


Well. I think more of us deal with it then we let on. And if we’re not going to talk about the hard stuff… the stuff that’s in our basements and crammed in our closets… how are we ever going to move forward? Step into new realms of freedom and life that God has for us?

So yes. This is why I’m talking about self-hatred. Because it’s real and because I believe there’s real freedom from it.
Freedom that I’m still struggling to find.

Self-hatred is very real to me. Still. Now. And it’s real to a lot of people.
It’s something that has wormed its way into the matter and life of many, myself included, and leaves a twisted, broken mess. A broken mess that maybe doesn’t look so broken on the outside, but on the inside?…

There are many forms of self-hatred – ranging from negative thoughts and remarks about yourself to actual physical self-harm such as cutting etc.

We often see those physical manifestations of self-hatred as being the real, extreme ones that we need to deal with.

But I think equally important is to address the destructive thoughts and words we speak over ourselves.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This post isn’t so that we all start loving ourselves to the point that we become consumed and prideful. It’s not just to have this warm-fuzzy feeling inside so we all feel better and can live a good life. It’s not just to give you a pat on the back and say it’s not neccessary to be responsible with your life and body.

Not at all.

No, it’s to reclaim our identity and the people that God has made us to be. The devil is trying to steal life -emotionally and literally – through the spirit of self-hatred and God isn’t really about that.

At all.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have LIFE and LIFE to the FULL.” John 10:10

Why does God want us to have LIFE?

Because this is how He designed us from the very beginning. And this is what He wants to restore to us. To make the broken whole. To release captives from prison. To bind up the broken hearted. (taken from Is. 61:1-4)

My own story with self-hatred is all too real still.

Now, you probably wouldn’t think that this is something I struggle with on first glance… see. The mask works people.
But the mask doesn’t help.

So, in taking off the mask and being real, here I am. In high school and during the first of my years at Luther, performance and hating who I was were big parts of my life. Driven by striving for a certain image and comparing myself with those around me, I engaged in habits that weren’t healthy or life-giving for my body. I hated how I looked and who I was and I was determined to do something about it. I ran and ran and worked and worked and maybe was sometimes happy… but not really. I was still pretty miserable even if maybe I was reaching my goals for image and fitness.

But what happens when you fall short of acheiving your goal… or when you can’t make it work anymore. What then?

Frustration. Hopelessness. And more self-loathing.


It’s kind of a bitter, painful, cycle that seems to keep playing in and out of my life.

I don’t believe this is how God wants us to live though.
And He’s shown me that over these last few years – that He doesn’t want me to live in death but in life.
He’s brought a realization to me, directly and through other people, that how I view myself and treat myself is not healthy. That He has a better way for me to live.

It’s been a painful process – healing from those frameworks and structures I put in place.

I still struggle with negative thoughts about myself and anxious, freak-out moments about who I am. But learning, slowly learning, about surrendering my thoughts and my mind to the Lord – because those negative, self-hating thoughts are not from him.

Why would He speak death words over me when He is all about life?

So. The opposite of self-hatred and dwelling on those words and thoughts? It’s about taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ. (2 Cor 10:5).

I think that’s where the Freedom comes in. Letting God purify your mind and dictate what’s junk and what’s Truth. It’s about accepting and receving who we are right now just as Jesus does for us, regardless of whether or not we like this or that feature about ourselves.

It’s about beginning to value yourself how God does.

(Now don’t get me wrong. I think it’s totally ok to have fitness goals or other sorts of goals and to work towards them, but it’s all in the spirit of how you do so – are you driven by fear and self-hate towards something that’s not super realistic or are you accepting and receving yourself now and healthily working towards something you can achieve? What’s your motive?)

Something that I’ve realized is that self-hatred leaves no room for the presence of God’s grace to soften and calm and bring rest. Self-hatred says that things are hopeless. That things will never change and there is no chance of “getting better” or “doing better” – whatever those things actually mean.
But God’s voice beckons and brings rest and peace. It says, “give this to me. Let me carry it. Let me carry you.”

So ask the Lord to tear the spirit of self-hatred out of your life. To replace it with the Holy Spirit. With His heart and His life and His words. Now, you might have to do this every day or every other moment… but don’t give up. There is life and hope for you. It’s not up to you to change this. Rather, it’s about surrender and submission to God and letting Him cover you. It’s about having his goals for your life. It’s about life and life to the full.

I’d also encourage you to be real with those around you – be real about the struggles in your life… about how you see yourself. Stand together – for each other – with each other. It’s what it means to be the church.

Vulnerability with God and with others is BEAUTIFUL and it is life.

I pray that we can walk in this freedom.


Learning to be satisfied – to be at rest

Hi. It’s me.
Early-twenties, college-grad with a big, ready-for-action heart.
Heart for adventure and exploring and newness and FREEDOM.
Heart for connecting with others and loving them and wanting to see them step forth confidently into what God has for them.
Heart that loves to keep moving and learning…
Heart that ultimately, longs for adventure.
I’m ready! I’m ready!

Heart that… on the outside… looks like everything is great and things are “in-order” and well, everything’s ok.
But Heart that really… on the inside… is restless and hopeful and sometimes… well. Dissatisfied.


Dissatisfied with appearance.
Dissatisfied with “singleness.”
Dissatisfied with the pace of life.

It’s not that my heart is not joyful. Or that I’m totally down-in-the-dumps. But my heart is just enough dissatisfied that I’m afraid that I’ll miss what’s right in front of me.
The adventure that’s unfolding right in front of my eyes.
But since it’s not the adventure that I would choose right now… I’ve rendered it as not exciting enough.

Because, you see, the heart is the core of a person, and when my heart is focused on dissatisfaction and all the things that aren’t quite right… my eyes are focused on dissatisfaction and all the things that aren’t quite right.


Maybe I can try to close my eyes and focus them on the right things, but if my heart’s out of focus, so will my eyes be.

See. I can’t stop looking and seeing dissatisfaction if my heart is seeing dissatisfaction. It’s a heart problem.

So often I do this…
Hmm.. God. I would be happy if you gave me __________. (fill in the blank). Or if I looked like ____________. Or if I just knew __________.
THEN. I could focus on you and see all your blessings. THEN I could walk forth in what you’ve given me and called me to.

Well. Hmmm. Has that ever worked before?

To be honest. No.

I went through a time in my life where I really struggled with identity and finding any worth in myself. I thought that if I worked harder and ran more and performed better and had a better image… that I would be satisfied. But I never was. I was so blind to everything and dealt with a lot of self-hatred and am still healing from this.

I look back now at that time and wonder how in the world I was so blind to who I was. How I was so dissatisfied with myself when, back then, I was i.e. a faster runner.. more fit etc. If at any time, I should have been satisfied then! I really had it good. And then I start thinking, to be satisfied now, I just have to re-achieve those things.. that fitness.. that image.

But if it never made me happy before, why would things change now?

God has been showing me that true satisfaction can never come from the things that I own.
Or the title I possess.
The image I have.
The people that I’m with.
Whether I’m single or dating or married.

Those are great things. A lot of them are gifts and are meant to be enjoyed.

But satisfaction is heart material. Not physical or status-related. It’s woven into the threads and passageways of that beating mass that we call the heart.
Satisfaction is trusting God with our lives – trusting Him that He knows the desires of our hearts and that He has made us perfectly and completely.

It’s a hard but really simple truth: satisfaction is being grateful for who you are – where you are – what you are doing – because the Good Shepherd has formed you and directed you and surrounds you now.

Living satisfied is living in trust. Living in the reality that your Good Father is looking out for you.
That He has a purpose for this season of life.

Living satisfied is the healthy-heart-kind-of-living where my eyes will be focused on the right things. Focused on what He wants me to see.

If I can’t be satisfied with where He has me right now – I won’t be satisfied later.

Lord, please help us. Please open our eyes to see the blessings right in front of us. To see the adventures right in front of us.

Please work on our hearts. Remove the poison of dissatisfaction and discontentment.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Ps. 51:10

Psalms 23
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff they comfort me.

Ask the Lord… “Am I satisfied in you?”

On Being Content


I haven’t written in what seems to be a really long time. But God has been prompting my heart to write again.

Specifically on being content.

What does that even mean? To be content?

Content –> Pleased and satisfied; not needing more.

Huh. How often am I satisfied with my situation? In a state of not needing anything more.

Hmmmm… not very often.