Friday, October 25, 2013

simple dreams.

A picture is worth a thousand words. I know you've heard that one before.
This is a post full of dreams.
My dreams.
When you're having a rough day, there are two places you can look with a passionate or fond eye: your Lord and your dreams.
Of course, the Lord is the only One that matters. Our dreams may crumble, but He will always be there. That doesn't mean that dreaming is not good. In fact, it's good for the soul. It's something I take part in a great deal.
These are just a few images to reflect what I see. Of course, there are a few dreams that I simply couldn't find portrayed in a picture. Below is what I could find. Pictures that make me smile; make me think; make me anticipate.
Flowers delivered. Flowers received.

Textbooks conquered. High school years soon behind.
My girls always by my side...
Ladies & gentlemen, Kansas State.


Coffee for two.

More giddy.

Just darn cute.

Ordinary moments with your extraordinary spouse.

Adoption announcements.

Giggling with your little ones.
Brand new baby.
Just a girl wondering where her robber is. ;) From the movie Tangled, y'all.

Whether a groom has any space in my future or not, I am absolutely certain the Lord is going to fulfill this picture in many ways.


Journals on counters, Bibles on kitchen tables, sticky-notes of Scripture above kitchen sinks...

It goes something like that.
No happily ever after.

That will come when He comes.

However, these pictures reveal a lot of what every little girl heart dreams about.

I don't want to skip these years, but I would be lying if I said I didn't envy those already past them at times.

It 's a beautiful process of being joyful in the Lord right where I am. Friday nights alone, staying up late reading my book, pinning wedding ideas on Pinterest, coffee dates with my best friend, youth group, homework, family, afternoons with my horse, cuddly nights with my dog, babysitting, jam sessions, homesick for Uganda, writing my heart out every night, spending days with precious mentors, studying Greek, movie nights with the girls... after all, this is a pretty awesome time of life. That was even a short list. I'm so thankful.

That doesn't stop me from looking forward to the time of life in which these years were meant for.

What are your simple dreams? You've now seen a few of mine. Yours may be ordinary, but I can bet that in your heart, they are painted extraordinarily. It's probably not to be an author, world traveler, Momma, and wife. Maybe it's opening a coffee shop or writing songs. Maybe it's something completely terrifying or completely unique. I pray that if they aren't extraordinary to you that the Lord would paint your dreams in that very fashion. They might take hard work. Stay close to Him. He has the biggest dreams for our lives and it is our honor to serve Him through them.

With that, my loves, chase your simply wonderful dreams. Maybe, in the process,  you'll find the ones you didn't know were inside of you yet.

I'm still a dreamer,

Monday, October 21, 2013


“They are lonely Sundays over here. Only the Word makes a true community.” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer (during his time in America.)

  First of all, happy Lord's day, y'all. Regardless of everything that I might say in this post, I love Sunday. I do indeed love the fellowship, the worship, the learning, and the rest.
  This morning I was just given a huge burden {again} for life together; community. Turns out, that is what this morning’s sermon was on. I smile at the fact that I was already planning on coming to you with this message from lil’ ol’ me before I even knew what the sermon was on.

  Over and over, I shake my head at our happy little Sunday morning gig. How are we going to pursue real relationships if we don't first show one another that we need them? How can we have authenticity in our churches if we are first not vulnerable?

  Yesterday, I was reading Bonhoeffer in the car and was captivated by Bonhoeffer’s words about church in America. He was hungry for Jesus… His thoughts on sermons in America often went something like this, “…too much analysis and too little Gospel.” I love my church. There is no other place I’d rather be. Since going to Africa, however, I have been dissatisfied with our enthusiasm and authenticity. Real church, to me, isn’t sitting in a pew {kind of} listening to a sermon. That is a huge part of church. Real church to me, though, is sharing a meal together and sharing our stories. I shared about being home schooled and my dear Ugandan friend shared about being the first Christian in his Muslim family. Real church to me is hugging my friends and sincerely asking how they are. Real church is in the raised hands, the whispers of praise. It’s when I had to leave right before the sermon began and I hugged my Ugandan Grandmother. With her heavy accent and tears beginning to fall, she hugged me close and said, “I love you and will miss you dearie.” I find Jesus in talking like an absolute nerd with my pastor hovering over my textbook. The bottom line here:

Church is not Sunday morning. Sunday morning is when the Church meets.

  I’m hungry for more of Jesus. After reading page after page of Bonhoeffer’s words about the American church I told Him I was done with this. I was done settling for less in relationship with Him. Settling in my prayer time, settling in my reading of His Word.

  As an introvert, I would much rather “do it alone”, as we discussed this morning. Honestly, that would be an ideal reality. There are MANY days I want to stay home, but 99.9% of the time, I never regret going. I am always blessed and am hopefully blessing someone else in the process.You can be sitting with your church family and still be alone. It takes effort to connect. It takes effort to still meet with your friends, mentors, and acquaintances. It’s worth the struggle. The obstacles of friends’ busyness, screwed up priorities, and lack of passion.

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” --Hebrews 10:24-25

  See? We didn’t make this up. No matter how much I often dislike meeting face to face or addressing conflict, the Word says to not give up meeting together. Some times that is easy, on other days it’s a sacrifice. One day it’s convenient… the next you’re meeting your best friend for coffee and because of that you’ll be up until after midnight finishing homework. Some days it’s a life-giving lunch break and the next it’s a hard afternoon text saying that it won’t work again this week. Speaking of texts, don't depend on them. Social media is fun & I take apart in a lot of it. However, never underestimate the power of letting someone know that they're worth than that to you. Let them know they are more than words on a screen or a text sent because that's all you had time for. Use all of that to God's glory, continue using it for encouragement, but know that that will never replace meeting together.

“There hardly ever seem to be ‘encounters’ in this great country, in which the one can always avoid the other. But where there is no encounter, where liberty is the only unifying factor, one naturally knows nothing of the community which is created through encounter. The whole life together is completely different as a result. Community in our sense, whether cultural or ecclesiastical, cannot develop there. Is that true?” -Bonhoeffer

  Fact is, I can’t convict you to go to coffee or confess your sins to one another. I can’t make other people read Bonhoeffer’s word about the American church. I can’t even convince my friends to meet with me most weeks. What I can do, though, is make sure I am on track. If I’m making a true effort to encourage everyone around me, to stay in His Word, and to stay in His Presence, that is all I can do.

  After all, that’s a pretty spectacular to-do list.

Don’t give up meeting with one another.
Stay in God’s word.
Stay in His Presence.

Happy Sunday, y’all. Don’t give up.

Your truly,

{written on Sunday afternoon, October 20th.}

Thursday, October 17, 2013

memories of His faithfulness.

The other day I took a trip down memory lane and was reading through one of my old journals. I found my journal entry from October 17, 2012 and was reminded of His faithfulness; of the last year's struggles.

Two weeks ago today - right now - I sat in this place, beneath the cross rich with the Holy Spirit. In those two weeks we have more knowledge than before. Unlike two weeks ago we know how to string words together to be put on the prayer list. Grandpa Kerwin has cancer. Over all, we are praying that he would accept Christ wholly. ... I came to the realization that I needed this. I needed a day of unspoken for joy. Although circumstances have changed and drama has flared up I still can feel God's invisible love - like the wind turning my nose red & making the pages twist & turn. Wind is invisible, but Peter saw it. As I see His love for us, the yellow leaves about my head, the cross before me, countless words of encouragement later - God is good. I am still in love. I will not be shaken by drought or storm. God, know my thoughts & hear my prayers... and seal these thoughts. Know the deeper intent of my being's prayers & groans. May I live like You did, Jesus. Thank-you for the people you have brought into my path. ... I must go, but I know that You go with me. I cannot stand without You. Thank-You for this crazy mercy, joy, and hope. ...
 Y'all know how it ended. However, redemption still won. Grandpa DID accept Jesus! For this, we praise Him still.We miss Grandpa more than you know every single day, but we know that He knew what He was doing. Working it all out for His glory, whether we believe it or not. Praying for y'all. Be blessed!

Two signs of God's faithfulness: the unchanging truth of the gospel & the changing color of the leaves.

Yours truly,

Monday, October 7, 2013

happy october.


I can't say that I have a favorite month. I have my favorite parts of every single one, but October seems to enchant me. This post is to celebrate autumn & all of it's simple joys.

"My ghostly pumpkins, the pale vanguard of fall, are stationed at the front door beneath the abandoned web of a fat spider the size of a quarter that fell dead some days ago. The truth is, while I love all of fall’s post card nonsense, the sweaters and burning leaves, I really love it for the telltale cool winds, the dark encroaching, the days like sucking your breath in through your teeth. It’s ...
the brilliant last gasp of all that was hardly promised in spring, that swelled in summer. I love to watch it all burn up in a fit, all smoldering colors and trembling before it falls silent. Autumn is my memento mori, and I never feel more alive than when the leaves are dying all around me. The twilight is brilliant; in death’s theatrics, there is a promise: this is not it, you’ll be ok." ~Beth Kirby (

Coffee. Hot tea. Coziness.
This is a handmade card my camp roomie recently sent to me. I thank the Lord for sending her my way in His perfect timing. We've known each other since third grade. :)  
Leaves are turning. Anticipation.
For the million little ways He shows us He loves us.
Everything is so different. Yet, everything is so familiar. It's Him going before us in every season.
The world is spinning hurriedly by & the Lord reminds us that He has gone before us. It truly will be okay. Friends start driving, you start going to dances, little girls look up to you, friends come & go.... Life seems to start over in every exciting & terrifying way. Thus far, October has been like that for me.
Here's to terrifying new seasons, chasing dreams, turning leaves, hot drinks, & big books.
Happy October!
His Peculiar Treasure,