Faith, Spiritual Life, Suffering

Just Keep Walking

August 24, 2016
cumminsfalls

One thing I love about Tennessee are the waterfalls. Tucked away in deep valleys and amongst thick forests are some of the most breathtaking waterfalls I’ve ever seen.They spill out over the mountains that hold them, a sign of their power and wonder. It doesn’t matter how many times I see one, they always take my breath away. Most of these waterfalls can be found by taking the carefully marked and laid out trail, following the signs, and staying safely on the path. But my favorite, well, it’s a bit more dangerous than that. You start by hiking down a trail to a riverbank. That trail, though muddy and a bit steep at times, is pretty safe and easy to maneuver through. Once you get to the rivers edge, however, the trail stops. Instincts take over, and much like the steady rush of the rivers waters, everyone begins to move upstream. climbing over rocks, wading back and forth across the stream, we have no idea how far we’ve gone and how far we have yet to go. As you walk you can see people beginning to quit. They set up their picnic, throw down their blankets and resolve that they

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On Doubt

August 18, 2016
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Good morning, sweet ladies! So here’s the thing. Sometimes following devotionals are hard. You forget about the book or the download gets lost on your computer no matter how amazing the content is. But today, I want to refer you to one of the most honest and beautiful devotionals I’ve ever read written by my friend, Gabby Llewellyn. Gabby and I met on the first tour I ever went on with Tenth Ave, Chris Tomlin, and the band her husband is in, Rend Collective. I was fresh out of college and newly married and she had already done this for a while at that point. She worked on the road gracefully and seeing her every day was reassuring. I’ve read her blog, ‘The Thin Places’ for about a year and I can remember how multiple posts have struck me in specific and helpful ways. God has used her words to remind my heart of the TRUTH and I want you to know about her 7 day devotional too. If you sign up on her website here you can download the Ebook and it will send you the daily devo to your email! Do it. Just trust me. 😉 If you decide

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Faith, God

Destination: Promised Land

August 10, 2016
new-mexico-desert

I hate New Mexico. Sorry if you live there. But if ever there was an appropriate time for me to pull out the good ol “I just can’t even,” this might be it. A few years ago I was traveling from Texas to Washington. New Mexico was part of that journey, and it felt like the absolute longest part EVER. If you’ve never driven through New Mexico, let me paint a picture for you… …Nothing…and more nothing. Hours and hours of nothing. Just dry, dead, desolate nothing. You can see for miles and miles! And what do you see? Miles and miles of nothing. Civilization does not seem to exist and the desert does not seem to believe there could ever be a need for bathroom breaks, gas stops, or the most important road trip necessity, FOOD. It was cool to see that part of the country for the first half hour (maybe). But then it just got old. No scenic view to watch out the window as we drove. Nothing changed for hours. It was hot and uncomfortable. And I just remember thinking we were never going to get there. What made it worse was my impatience to reach

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Family, Spiritual Life

Lead Me To The Desert

August 3, 2016
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“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.”  -Hosea 2:14 I never thought the desert was pretty. Growing up in Arizona, I’m not sure I knew the color green existed in nature until I was somewhere in middle school. Even now, as an adult, every time I fly into Phoenix for a visit I look out the window and all I see is a landscape that looks like someone took a brown crayon and just scribbled everywhere. It’s hot, rocky, full of cacti (which I have fallen into several times in my life) and did I mention brown? To me, the desert was a place where things went to die, not come alive…..or so I thought. > > > Three years ago my world was shattered. Coming to the realization that I had been sexually abused by an old boyfriend sent my life into a whirlwind. Everything I felt I had known of myself from those past thirteen years felt like a lie. I felt like I was a lie. The world I was living in, so rich with color and joy and life… all of the sudden….

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Community, Faith, Family, God, Identity

Lou, Smell the Flowers

July 27, 2016
flowers

When I opened the door, the refrigerated air and the intense smell of flowers filled up my lungs. I immediately became obsessed with this tiny warehouse. As I stepped out of the bright sunlight and into this cement room full of buckets, I saw Lou. We had just talked on the phone for an hour while he taught me about growing dahlia tubers and how to harvest flowers to make them last. When I went to shake his hand, I could feel the years of making arrangements and working in the soil in his grip. There was passion in his eyes but his wrinkled skin gave it away-the sun had beaten him up. Growing flowers is no joke. He said he would buy any product I could grow as long as it was quality and to call him again with any questions. I was curious about this little warehouse so full of life. I asked an annoying amount of questions and only some were about the wedding I was helping prepare flowers for. On my way out, I took one more deep breath of the rose-lily-peony-lavender-eucalyptus goodness and asked him if he ever got tired of that smell and I’ll

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Fear, Forgiveness, Identity, Redemption, Spiritual Life

Don’t Go There

July 20, 2016
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“I want you to make a collage.” After a couple months of counseling, I had my first assignment. I was given a big piece of paper and told to draw a circle. Inside the circle I would put pictures that represent things I know to be true of myself. On the outside, things I think other people believe to be true of me. I thought the assignment was pretty easy. I went home and mindlessly cut words and images from magazines and organized them on the paper. I didn’t think too deeply about what each piece meant as I glued it down. I just described myself the best I could in a visual representation of the me I put on display and allow people to see, and the me I keep carefully hidden. A week later I brought it back. I unrolled it. We talked about it. She asked questions. I answered. And the past month has mostly looked like that. This week, however, she asked a question I wasn’t ready to answer. “Is there anything on here that you want to talk about?” And that’s where I shut down. I could handle direct questions. “Tell me about the quote

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Faith, Identity, Spiritual Life

Little Voice

July 13, 2016
voice

  The moment just before I wake up is my favorite part of every day. In this simple and quiet moment the world feels still, as if I’ve somehow found the key to push pause on my life, and for a second I can breathe. Like really breathe. I’m obsessed with this moment simply because I know that as soon as I allow myself to really wake up, she’ll be right there waiting for me. Who is she? She’s the voice inside my head. No, she’s not some literal voice, but she is very real and VERY persuasive. She’s the unwelcome visitor into my world who always has an opinion and is never EVER nice. The worst thing about her though? She never goes away and she never shuts up. Look how fat you look today, Heather.  You really think those two things look good together?  You yelled at the kids AGAIN. Seriously, don’t you have any patience? I wonder if Jeff is bored with you.  I wonder if he still thinks you’re pretty Looking at your phone AGAIN? You’re such a bad mom.  You haven’t read your bible in like a month. What kind of Christian are you? No

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Our “Hot” List

July 6, 2016
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Summer is here and it is NASTY. Not sure where you guys live, but in Nashville, it’s gross. Humidity and heat…..gah… it feels like your sweat is sweating. But despite the fact that it feels like we are living in hell’s oven, summer somehow gives off this feeling of opportunity. Like if there was ever a time to take that trip or try that new outfit or binge watch that tv show, summer is that time. In case summer isn;t your jam and you find yourself in a midseason slump, we have provided a list for you of some of our favorite things that helping us beat the heat and make the most of this time. So here’s our current AGLM “Hot” list: – Daring Greatly by Brene Brown: YOU GUYS…this book is earth shattering good. If you’ve read any of our posts over the last few months, there is some reference or hint to Brene and her wisdom from this book. All three of us have read it, and it’s totally changed how we love each other, ourselves, and those around us. Total must read for sure. – The Bachelorette: Yes, we know it’s bad tv. Yes we know

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The Truth About Your Dream Job

June 29, 2016
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In college, I was assigned to write a business plan for my “dream job”. Yeah, no pressure. At that point, if I could finish my homework before 2am and wash my hair a couple times a week, I felt like success.   The assignment came with few restrictions besides making the financials work and being realistic. My classmates and I were living on a farm together so the different business plans ranged from growing the ingredients for beer and starting a local brewery to moving to Ecuador to start a dairy farm to help build communities.   My plan was simple. Or so I thought. My dream included growing food and flowers to serve an onsite event venue for banquets, weddings, and gatherings of any sort. Sounds cool, huh? Well, starting something like that takes a huge amount of money, so the job search began. I worked on a few farms and loved the atmosphere but was curious about that hospitality factor of having people come to a farm for events.   But let’s face it. Job hunting = BORING. Waiting is BORING. I’m SO BAD at waiting. Like, I would rather dig a hole to the center of the

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Faith, Fear, God, Redemption, Spiritual Life

Decisions, Decisions

June 22, 2016
Decisions

I hate decision making. Seriously, ask me where I want to go for dinner and the answer will almost always be “I don’t care.” And once we get wherever we eventually decide on, I need 10 minutes to look at the menu, and I still change my mind a dozen times before I finally order. Give me the task of choosing a movie to watch, an ice cream flavor, what shoes go best with your outfit or what to name your goldfish and I will agonize over it. And multiple choice on tests…don’t get me started. Even Buzzfeed quizzes give me anxiety. …Have I mentioned I HATE making decisions? I guess it all comes down to this fear that I’m going to make the wrong choice. I’m so afraid that whatever I choose, I’ll end up regretting it later. Yes, even the smallest, most seemingly-insignificant things. Somehow I still get hung up on which one is the “right” choice. So as you can probably imagine, I reeeally don’t do well with big life decisions. I think sometimes on the outside it looks easy. Drop out of college to travel the country with a ministry? Sure! Move over 600 miles away

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Faith, Relationships, Spiritual Life

Someone’s Somewhere

June 15, 2016
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For as long as I can remember, I’ve always struggled with the whole friendship thing. Never having the same friends from season to season, friendship for me has always felt like either a flood or a drought: more friends than I care to handle or so few that I wonder if anyone likes me at all. In the last two years, heck, the last six months, God has really opened my eyes to what I desire in a friend and how I want to be as a friend. But I’m finding the more that understanding grows, the farther off having these kind of friends start to feel. See, I don’t want nine million friends. Shoot, I don’t even feel like I want nine friends. What I do want are Somewheres. Somewheres, a term coined by author Sarah Bessey, are your people. The ones you can say anything to. The one you can tell that dirty joke you just heard, the not so humble brag about yourself, and the horrible ugly thoughts that nestle deep inside your heart. Somewheres are the ones you can call at two in the morning and will let you ugly cry on the phone with them

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