personal blog

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up

You are


Let that word resonate with you for a few seconds. Now, if you started this Monday morning rushing around the house, spilling coffee down your clothes, and running later than usual, just stop for a second. Or if you “woke up” from only a couple hours of sleep because your dorm room sink was overflowing (because I know I did) and you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and frustrated, take a second to rest. Or if you woke up this morning, not feeling rushed or frazzled at all, but waking up and looking in the mirror to think, “Well, this is as good as it’s gonna get,” then give me a few minutes of your Monday morning.

God has placed you exactly where you are for a reason. Let that sink in. God has called you where you’re standing for a reason this morning. Put on “called” and walk around with the reassurance that you are not alone. God sees you as His perfect child of the light. Slink into that “perfection” for the day. God calls you worthy. You are worthy of love from the Most High God. Put on that “worthy” with a cup of coffee in hand and nice pair of shoes on your feet and some of that new lipstick you’ve wanted, but haven’t dared, to try to take on this wonderful Monday morning. Put on those new clothes of “true righteousness” and “holiness” & walk around with that new reassurance of a new self (Ephesians 4:24).

This past week, I reminded a dear friend of mine how God has planned everything out for our lives. How special and cherished does that make you feel? He knows where we will be in 20 minutes, 20 days, 20 months, 20 years. He knows the plans he has for you, plans to give you hope and a future, even when those plans are unclear to you (Jeremiah 29:11). Have patience with Him, dear child. He knows where He wants you. He knows the impact you will have on the world. He knows who your future spouse will be. He knows how many kids you will have & what colors their eyes will be & how they will eat their food. He knows what you find joy in, and He tries to provide as much of it as possible. He knows which relationships will better you and which will bring you down, which is why some relationships must come to an end. He gives us a hiding place when we need it (Psalm 32:7). He knows every little quirk you have. He knows what words of His draw you in the closest to His heart. He knows the way you like your coffee, the way you read His Word, and the routine you have in the morning. He delights in your heart & persistently seeks you out. He cherishes Your time together. He knows your purpose & the days He has set out before you. He formed you before He even hung the stars in the sky. He chose you before He formed the foundation of the earth (Ephesians 1:4). He delights in you. He wants you. He loves you. Let those words sink into the deepest corners of your heart this morning. You are loved by the God of the universe. The King of all kings. Your Heavenly Father. Your comforter.

12-13 Moses said to God, “Look, you tell me, ‘Lead this people,’ but you don’t let me know whom you’re going to send with me. You tell me, ‘I know you well and you are special to me.’ If I am so special to you, let me in on your plans. That way, I will continue being special to you. Don’t forget, this is your people, your responsibility.”

14 God said, “My presence will go with you. I’ll see the journey to the end.”

15-16 Moses said, “If your presence doesn’t take the lead here, call this trip off right now. How else will it be known that you’re with me in this, with me and your people? Are you traveling with us or not? How else will we know that we’re special, I and your people, among all other people on this planet Earth?”

17 God said to Moses: “All right. Just as you say; this also I will do, for I know you well and you are special to me. I know you by name.”

Exodus 33:12-17 MSG


Little Tastes of Heaven

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

– Mary Oliver

It is 1:02 AM on a Saturday morning. Most people have gone home for the weekend, including my roommate, which is how I ended up here. Hidden beneath the exterior of an IKEA box, I found my journals from the past year and a half, which brought on nostalgia, which brought on the thirst for writing, so here we go. This isn’t the kind of nostalgia that makes you miss things, but rather a sort of nostalgia that makes you grateful for every little memory that sprung from those late night conversations and early morning journal entries. In my opinion, this is the best kind of nostalgia. It makes me sort of sink into myself and remember why I am sitting here in this moment.

God has picked me up, set me apart, and placed me in room 173 in a hall at Berry College because He knew exactly what He was doing with my heart. I’m trusting that He knows the plans He has for me. Plans to prosper me and not to harm me. Plans to give me a future. Jesus knew I would need this night without a roommate just to dance around my room (with great enthusiasm) to Taylor Swift & Rend Collective. He knows the words that set my soul on fire, which is what I found myself writing about this morning.  This thirst for Him can only be quenched by His Word and this incredible quiet time I have been persistently seeking.

There was a conversation had today that switched my perspective on something major. It was one of those conversations where you want to pull out your phone and start taking notes, but you feel like the person would think you were texting and it would be rude (I took a couple of notes anyways). Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to soak in all of this new knowledge from one of the most amazing, God-fearing women I have ever met (and luckily I work with her, so I get to hear new things from her quite often).

We’re judging ourselves and we’re judging each other and we’re scared to death that this [relationship with God] isn’t actually happening.” – Erin Moniz

We get this idea and set up these expectations for how we think we should hear from God. On one hand, we’re saying that God is always here and speaking through people, His Spirit, and His Word, and pouring into our lives, but then on the other hand, we’re sitting here, desperately waiting and wanting God to say something, loud and clear. We question whether or not He is actually here, while we’ve already said that He is always here. She told me that God is always speaking into our lives, but we just have to learn His voice and learn how to turn off the noise around us long enough to get what He is trying to convey to us. I think that has definitely been a hurdle that I have yet to jump because I am a very structured person who believes that God will speak to me in very specific ways, but I learned today that is rarely the case. Not only does He use His people, His Spirit, and His Word, but He uses quite literally everything around us. And now that I think about it, I have consciously found Him in many things over the past month (house church, bike rides, notes in the margins of my Bible, letters, relationships, car ride conversations, speech class, coffee, new worship music, etc.). However, so much time is spent focusing on these distractions that when we hone in and try to focus on God’s voice and seek Him out, we get lost.

If we were able to teach ourselves how to cut out that noise, we would be able to hear God’s voice. Now, I wish I could give a “How to” on this one, but unfortunately, I’m still learning how to do this too because it does not come easily. You can’t just sit down one day and say, “Alright, God, speak to me.” It just won’t work like that, or at least it definitely hasn’t in my experience. Try it out and let me know what happens.

Another thing is that it is so hard for us to understand that we don’t have to present ourselves a certain way to God. You know, I don’t have to set up my Bible, my journal, and my coffee, all nice and neat, and make my bed before I jump into my quiet time. I don’t have to get up, take a shower, brush my teeth, and get dressed before I pray to God. I could just open my eyes, first thing when I wake up in the morning, pull the sheets back over my head and preach the gospel to myself, all before 7 AM.

And I know this was all very scatterbrained, and I kind of haphazardly strung together thoughts, like Christmas lights, as they came at me, but I’m new at this. I enjoy it though, so here goes nothing. Here’s to a new season.

Here’s to the craziest experiences and adventures I’ve ever had in my life. The never-ending theological conversations in the chaplain’s office, which leave me wanting to seek Jesus even harder than before. The many “first times.” The items I have crossed off of my bucket list (karaoke & clubbing, among other things). Learning that I should probably never sing “Time After Time” for karaoke ever again. Ever. The evening bike rides, I find myself taking quite frequently nowadays, to watch the sunset. The naps I have taken in my trusty ENO. Fawning over little fawns (I’ve also learned how to make puns…incredible ones at that). The sarcasm I have so gracefully decided to pack up & carry with me into college. The strengthening love for my coffee pot (we’re actually in a very committed relationship now). The photo strips on my wall that remind me where I came from, because sometimes everyone needs some of that. The carefully thought out letters from a dear friend, which make my day. The fact that I can make “adult” decisions now. The stories in the Bible that God draws me in with. Here’s to God revealing Himself to me through sunsets, Guatemalan coffee, and an empty college chapel. Here’s to having little tastes of Heaven with each new day.