nineteen wishes.

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i turn nineteen years old today, and i thought it’d be appropriate to make nineteen wishes, and i hope that they come true this year. these wishes are for you, and for me, too.

i wish for beautiful and intentional friendships that stretch you and change you and make you a better person than who you are. for friends who meet you for coffee dates and long conversations filled with laughter and tears and smiles and love.

i wish for your feet to travel to places they’ve never been before.

i wish for grace to fall like rain and make flowers bloom in your heart.

i wish for laughter to be the soundtrack to your wonderful life.

i wish for tears and sorrows to be few, but when they happen, may they help you grow. may you embrace the bittersweetness of life.

i wish for you to find inspiration everywhere you look.

i wish for eye-opening and heart-stretching and soul-growing experiences.

i wish for sunrises and sunsets that remind you of your glorious maker and that bits of that same glory are sprinkled over you.

i wish for bravery to never leave you.

i wish for Love to guide you. that you may look at the world with love. that you show love to every soul you meet. that wherever you go, you leave behind a trail of love and mercy.

i wish for shame to be a dim memory.

i wish for sunny days and skies the perfect shade of blue.

i wish for you to uncover the beautiful work of art your life is.

i wish for words that make you feel. i wish for you to read words that make you laugh and cry and dream and want to be more than who you are.

i wish for you to meet people who bring you light and hope and i wish for you to meet people who need you to bring them light and hope.

i wish for long handwritten letters.

i wish for you to know your worth and how loved and special and beautiful you are.

i wish for moments in which you feel free.

i wish for every day to taste like hope.
and an extra wish: may all the desires of your lovely heart come true.

narrow hallways and big souls.

yesterday, i went back to the school i graduated from last June to speak about my book. i was nervous and anxious and afraid, but as my feet walked down those familiar hallways, my soul found that it had grown. my soul became too big and lovely and brave, too bold and bright for those old hallways. my soul could not squeeze itself and fit in those narrow halls anymore. and i didn’t notice until the moment i walked down those hallways that i am not who i was.

and if i had to guess why i didn’t notice, it’s because i am becoming who i’m meant to be. my high school years were dull and maybe a little bit empty. it’s not that i didn’t enjoy myself or have fun during those years, but i knew i wasn’t who i was made to be. the atmosphere i was in and the people i was surrounded by didn’t make me feel safe. i didn’t feel free to be brave, to find what i loved, to find what made my heart beat. i didn’t feel free to be free.

it wasn’t until graduation and the start of college that i began to unfold. i let God whisper to me, to my heart. i let him tell me the words he’d been telling me all along. i let myself listen. i let myself explore and uncover the art he put in me. i began to do what i loved.

and i changed. i became outspoken. i made new friendships. i began to be brave. i pursued a deeper relationship with God. i became free to be who God made me to be. i let myself fall and sink into God, into the creation he made of me, and it felt right. it felt so right and natural that i didn’t even notice. unfolding and turning into who i am feels effortless.

and i still fear. i still have to choose bravery and vulnerability over fear every day. my knees still tremble and my throat turns dry and i mess up my words and i forget what i want to say sometimes but it feels a million times more right than hiding behind masks and comfort zones and safety.

find what makes your heart beat. listen to God’s voice. let him speak to your soul, and let yourself listen to his words of freedom. choose bravery. don’t fear vulnerability. let the world see the gold you keep in your heart. let yourself bloom. set your soul free. and keep your eyes wide open, because you might not even notice when it happens.

A Song of Bravery



to this day, I have written two hundred seventeen poems.

two hundred seventeen poems.

two hundred seventeen little bits of my soul.

two hundred seventeen poems written on happy days, two hundred seventeen poems written on sad days and rainy days and sunny days.

two hundred and seventeen poems about bravery and hope and worth and grace and mercy and love.

two hundred and seventeen poems written for God, for myself, for you.

two hundred and seventeen poems written to inspire, to encourage.

two hundred and seventeen poems that mark a journey.

a journey of bravery, of uncovering my identity, of realizing what is my purpose.

a journey of becoming who God made me to be. brave.

two hundred and seventeen poems.

thousands of words.

thousands of words that didn’t even exist 365 days ago.

two hundred and seventeen poems.

and out of these two hundred and seventeen poems, seventy-three have been compiled into a collection.

seventy-three poems.

seventy-three little songs.

seventy-three songs that tell stories of worth and love and grace and redemption.

seventy-three songs different from one another.

seventy-three songs, different, but together they are one big song.

a song that says, “here I am.”

a song that is the proof that dreams come true.

a song that tells the world, “hey, I’m here. blooming. bold. brave.”

a song of bravery.

you can buy my first collection of poems, A Song of Bravery, on Amazon Kindle by clicking here.

Know Yourself

Whenever I get a God-inspired book, I postpone reading it as much as I can.

I do it because of fear. Because I know the words on those books are going to change the way I see myself. I know that knowing the truth about myself is going to require of me to be different. To be brave. To no longer act the way I used to. Knowing myself means that I cannot longer settle for what I used to settle. Knowing myself scares me. And yes, knowing myself should be scary.

But not to me. Not to you. Knowing and owning who we are should be scary to the enemy of our souls.

Because when we know who we are, we know what we are capable of. We know that we are not ordinary. We believe in God’s words about us. We believe that so much power and love and boldness have been breathed into us. We have a voice. We have a story to tell. A song to sing. Words to write. And the art that you and I make with our lives has the power to change others’ lives. It can change the world. There is light and healing and redemption and grace written all over us. There is power in our art. And not just any kind of power. Power from our Maker. He has given so much to us, and we are scared of uncovering who we are. We treat ourselves as if we are some kind of Pandora’s Box, when in fact we are the exact opposite.

We have life in us. We have a courageous and bold spirit. We have love. We have joy in our bones. There is wonder and grace and beauty in who we are. There is strength and hope and light in our souls. We are brave. We are bold. We are marvelous creations. We have dreams and words and songs and art that will break chains. That will bring healing. That will change hearts.

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And our enemy knows that. And he feeds off of our fear because he knows who we are. He knows we are fearfully and wonderfully made. He knows we were made to point others to love. He knows we are precious works of art. He knows we have so much worth and God-given power. He knows we have fears. And he knows that the day we understand who we are will be the day that fear no longer matters. He knows we will no longer believe the lies about ourselves. He knows that we will be walking confidently, knowing and resting fully in Who made us.

Know yourself. Know your Maker. Believe that you are a walking poem, a lovely creation, a brave and bold soul made to do great things. Believe that you were made to bring glory to your Creator. Believe that you are here for such a time as this.

“I can’t imagine anything more dangerous to the enemy of our hearts than people who know who they are.” // Emily Freeman

A Brave Year

Many friends of mine, especially the ladies from the #fireworkpeople community, have inspired me to choose a word for 2015.

My word is brave.

I know I write a lot about bravery, and it is a recurring theme in my life, but bravery isn’t a one-time thing for me. I cannot stop being brave. I cannot allow myself to let fear back into my life. I have to keep choosing to be brave. And that’s what I’m going to be this year. Brave. I’m going to pursue bravery and I’m going to be intentionally brave.

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•I’m going to be brave with my relationship with God. I’m going to pursue God more and trust Him and his plan for my life.

•I’m going to be brave with my poetry. I’m going to try and get it published.

•I’m going to be brave with people. I’m going to pursue community and friendship. I will be more open to others and their stories. And I will be more open about my story, too. I’m going to love wholeheartedly.

•I’m going to be brave with my dreams. I am going to see them come true this year.

I am going to be brave with my life, because it’s what I was made for. I wasn’t given a spirit of fear. I was made to be brave. I’m going to be brave because my life is so much more than fear. I wasn’t made to live in black and white. I was made to live fully alive, in full color. I was created to dream. I was created by the creator of dreams. And I wasn’t created to simply dream. I was made to see the desires of my heart come true. I wasn’t made to hold back. And I won’t. I will be brave.

What’s your word for 2015?