Faith, God, Spiritual Life

Meet Me Here

September 14, 2016
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I sat down in front of an open journal. Blank pages welcoming me. Pen in hand. Hours of time and plenty of space to relax and breathe before work. I was so excited because I’ve been craving this uninterrupted time with God – I’ve been needing it. But when I finally sat down to write…to talk to God and just be with Him…I didn’t know what to say. I held the pen over that first line, wanting so badly to lightly touch the page and let the ink flow as freely as my thoughts. But nothing was coming. I felt blank. Empty. Unsure where to start or how to approach the Father I’ve been “too busy” for lately. But when I took a deep breath and let my heart speak, the words that came out at the top of the page were, “Father, I need You.” . . . I think I took myself by surprise. I haven’t said those words in a while. I haven’t needed God. (At least I haven’t thought so.) In the wilderness, where we often feel so alone anyway, I think we tend to go into survival mode and take on the responsibility of fending

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Faith, Spiritual Life, Suffering

If I’m Honest

September 7, 2016
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“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” -Brene Brown As any good traveller knows, the best trips are the ones you’re most prepared for. We make lists, plan outfits, check the weather- making sure that once we leave we’ll have everything we need to make the trip a success. Every once and a while though there is that one thing, that one critical item we forget to pack, and suddenly our whole excursion feels ruined. I mean, how can I go eight days without my flat iron?? The thought of it just feels tragic. As a traveller of The Wilderness for some time now, I’ve picked up a few things that I’ve found to be essentials along the journey. Things, that although it may not get me out of this place any quicker, are a source of life and growth and even joy in the middle of such a desolate season in life. So let me unpack my bag for you a bit, ok? *** I wish I could say I was an honest person. Now don’t me wrong, I can dish out a healthy serving of brutal honesty

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Faith, God, Redemption, Spiritual Life, Suffering

And Then I Saw the Flowers

August 31, 2016
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It starts with a few storms – some good, heavy rainfall. Something rare for Death Valley, California. Just enough to soak the parched earth in one of the hottest, driest places in the world. Just enough to encourage growth in a seemingly barren desert. Once every ten years or so, unforeseen beauty blankets the dusty ground. Thousands of flowers emerge in a phenomenon called a Super Bloom. And for a brief time…life exists in a place named for death. . . . It only took a week for my whole perspective to change. Just one week for my wilderness, my desert, to start looking like a field of wildflowers. Nothing about my circumstances changed…just my view… It started with one flower. I was scrolling through stock photos of the desert to use for my last post when I came across an image – just one – that seemed completely out of place in my search. In the middle of picture after picture of dry, cracked earth was a desert scene with one single flower sprouting up from the rocky ground. Had I been scrolling quicker or not looking as closely, I would have missed it. But the pop of color

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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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Uncategorized

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
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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
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  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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