The Celebrating Soul

This Was 23

Last January, I wrote a post about my dream jots for 23. My life as a 22-year-old was broken up for most of the year. I experienced intense spiritual warfare and disappointment. I had to give up long-held, suffocating views of God to really see the God who sees me, the God who doesn’t live in my box...ever. Life at 22 was a necessary, flat-on-my-face, long fall into the shadow of God’s wings. Here I learned to hope and rest in God.

But then my 23rd birthday came like a crossroads.  And I was ready to fully live. It was time to step into life. My desire for 23 was simply, “I hope I can look back and say, AH, I lived rich. I lived better. I lived LIFE.


Perhaps, the best birthday present I receive today is that I can honestly say those words. I lived rich. I lived better. I lived LIFE. In God’s grace and with the boldness He gave me to stop hiding beneath my covers, I was able to open my arms wide and step into life….again, again, and again. Continue reading “This Was 23”

Words for Women

The Greatest Gift the World Can Offer

I’m exhausted of Christian cliches, and I know you are too. I’m tired of feeling the scrapes against my tired heart, and I know you are too. Well-meaning words turn to salt, and trite words reopen closed wounds. So I’m sitting next to you…as close as I can…and I’m telling you this.
You are not a failure because you’re not where you think you’re supposed to be. Your heartache is deeper than the paper-thin statements your friends have tried to use as encouragement. You don’t need to listen to the assumptions people will make for why you are suffering. You don’t even have to listen to their version of God’s perfect timing for your life.

Continue reading “The Greatest Gift the World Can Offer”

Life & Learning

Things I Love about Life

I love the way the sun filters through the window of our little home. I love vacuuming on Saturdays and watching the dog hunt something mysterious beneath the ground. I love flipping the new page of my day calendar and watching the rain fight to be snow.

I love little smiles and big uncontrollable laughs. I love listening to an imaginative game I might have played once. I love being surrounded with bright colors and well-worn dolls twice loved a decade later.

I love laughing with my husband and watching his face crinkle up. I love that it’s just the two of us for now. I love grocery shopping and making plans to budget better. I love listening to the same Christian music over and over again to keep my mind on truth. I love that my husband doesn’t mind the replays at all.

I love deep conversations with a good friend that don’t end until 12 am. I love squeezing a lot of people into our tiny home and maneuvering between the sink and the table. I love that they know which mugs I have in the cupboard, and I love that I get to make a full pot of coffee for the people in my life.

Continue reading “Things I Love about Life”

Life & Learning

This Merry & Bright Christmas

I entered this Christmas holiday rather naively…AS IF I WOULD TAKE A LOT OF PHOTOS WHEN MY WHOLE FAMILY IS JUST CHILLING TOGETHER. Oh, excuse my yelling.

I was just so busy catching up, drinking coffee, inhaling whip cream, laughing, joking, acting 15x more immature than usual, talking late at night, waiting for my brother to get engaged, wedding planning with Ember pretty much as soon as that engagement took place, looking at our wedding photos, laughing with my sister about the awkward photos we both received…and well OK! You get it! At what point did I have time to take photos? I do have a hap-hazard amount, but I kind of love that.

Continue reading “This Merry & Bright Christmas”