Friday, January 23, 2015


This week I wrote an article for Christianity Today's Today's Christian Woman about what I'm learning as a brand-spankin'-new newlywed about the importance of keeping my own identity in my marriage. They wanted an expert to write about. I am an expert. Obvs. 

Check it out, here. It's fo' free.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Yes Please, Yes Please

You guys, I can't even. I woke up at 5 a.m. to read this before work. This isn't something Ashleys do.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Crap. Crap Everywhere.

I have too much crap. I started dragging it all around with me from dorm room to dorm room in college, and for the last seven years, I’ve dragged it with me from apartment to apartment. A few times a year I weed out a lot of it, and I’m always proud of myself, thinking, surely, this will make my life simpler. But I end up collecting more crap, or things I thought were necessities end up becoming crap, or I realize I haven’t worn those 25 shirts in my closet at all this year, nor have I worn the 12 sweaters I was certain I’d finally put to good use. Instead, I wear the same ten things. And then it’s just crap crap crap everywhere.

We currently live in a one bedroom on the basement level of our apartment building, which is equal parts awesome and horrifying. Awesome because we don’t have to walk far to get to our apartment, and when we take our dog out 75 times a day the outside is very close, but horrifying because I’m positive any well-seasoned burglar/serial killer looks at the location of our home and thinks, This is my next stop. When we first moved into this apartment, five months ago, I’d just watched a super scary episode of Castle (yes, Castle. I have a very low threshold for what makes something “super scary”) and was certain someone was going to climb in through our bedroom window at night and murder us both. I dealt with this by making Kevin sleep closest to the window. I am a delicate teacup. #bestwifeever.

Four months ago, I went through all of my clothes and got rid of probably 40% of them, because for the first time in my life, I was sharing a closet—with a boy. Adjusting to being married has its ups and its downs, but the idea of a future lived by constantly shoving Kevin’s collared shirt collection and fancy pants to the left so I could find my favorite dress or shirt seemed like an unnecessary evil. So after a night of alone time, filled with wine and watching The September Issue, which is about the offices at Vogue and high fashion and Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington and how everyone besides Anna wears the same black outfit to work every day because it makes their job so much simpler, I was wine-spired to downsize. I was relentless, pulling out my clothing and asking myself, Do I love this? If the answer was no, or, not anymore, then it went in the ThredUp bag for resale. It felt like a fire sale in reverse.

Moving Again

This month, because we’re crazy, we’re moving up to a new apartment unit, upstairs (No more serial killer windows. Praise the Lord). It’s a two bedroom, and it’s glorious. We’re painting and scrubbing and doing all sorts of stuff to make this apartment exactly what we’ll need for quite a long time, and IT’S GOING TO BE BEAUTIFUL. (I need to repeat this to myself because we painted like banshees five months ago, thinking the same thing about our current unit, and I am not good at repetitive hard work. Just ask my sisters.)

In the midst of all the painting and the repainting and the cabinet painting and the floor cleaning and the baseboards scrubbing and the broken-window fixing and glory and paint fumes, I’m finding myself once again overwhelmed by the amount of crap I have. It’s like a bunch of tchotchkes and clothes and accessories and shoes and books and mugs moved into our apartment and started mating.

Part of my problem is that I am sentimental to the max. I keep anything and everything that anyone has ever given me, written me, handed me, or made for me. Even the things people gave me simply because they didn’t want them anymore, I keep. If they hold a memory, I hold onto them. I’m a memory hoarder. 

So now, I'm at a place where I look at everything I need to hang back up and put away and find a home for, and all I can think is, I hate everything. This has been wearing on me for quite some time. I can always tell when I’m reaching my stress threshold (my streshold, if you will) because my throat starts feeling tighter, my dreams start getting crazier, and I get all bug-eyed. It’s sexy.

So today, after an overly emotional (on my side) conversation about whether or not to buy one more can of “Dove White” paint in Satin Finish for the trim, I broke down and started crazy-crying to my husband about how stressed out I am about a whole giant range of things. Basically, ALL THE THINGS. My poor amazing husband had, at this point, told me he'd work on the painting today, and that what I needed to do was to do nothing. I think this was part-sweet offer, and part-I need some time alone away from your crazy and you need to get back to being not crazy, but I took it either way. A few minutes late, I found myself tucked into bed, laying comatose under a pile of laundry and comforters, staring at the ceiling while being licked in the face by my dog. 

And this was when I decided this whole Get Rid of All The Crap thing needs to be for real this time. I need to simplify. This has to stop. In more ways than one, this has to stop. I spend too much time touching or looking at or worrying about things my life that no longer have a place.

You see, what I realized in that incredibly attractive, super-together-brilliant state, is that my life has become one big too-much-crap metaphor. Along with all my mismatched socks and ugly cardigans and weird candle holders that I keep thinking I’ll paint someday, I am dragging around a thousand little bits of my past that don’t fit into my life anymore. It’s been so subconscious, I don’t think I really was able to realize it until just now, maxing out my potential to be good at life while whimpering incoherent half-sentences about every single thing in my life, past past and present, to Kevin. As one does. By the way, I believe I began this beauty with, "Everything *sob* in my life *sob* SUCKS!" like a thirteen-year-old girl. I'm sure Kevin was thinking about how he'd like to marry me all over again. Duh.  

Idina Menzel, Sing to Me
I think when you get married, or even just when you grow up or move on, one of the most intensely healthy, but sort of new, things you can do is to work on really letting go of things. When I say I think this, I mean I just realized this. See above.

I’m not talking about friendships. Obviously, you keep those—the healthy ones, at least. I’m talking about 28 years of dating and depth and stupidity and mistakes and wondering. I’m talking about bad family history and past failures and all the heavy stones we drag through life. I’m not sure why I drag this cross around when Jesus did that for me so many years ago, but I do. Kevin’s always telling me I need to stop trying to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. For me, these are the people I still dream and worry about, or the failures I remember the most vividly. They mess with my day and my mind constantly, and they keep me from looking to future, or even enjoying the present. 

And the thing with the past is, it’s both concrete and malleable—you know what happened, but you can remember it however you choose to remember it. If you want to see certain experiences or people as all positive and all perfect, you probably can. At least I can. Kevin knows this, by the way, because I can’t keep anything from that man. I overshare, and somehow, he continues to like me. I have found my lobster.  

So that’s some of it. Memories that haunt me. I need to let that go.

But some of the things that don’t fit anymore are things that are still very much a part of my present. They’re those pieces that make me miserable to be around sometimes. I need to let go of this stuff, too, but it’s scarier to do, because it means I have to trust that God will fill those gaps. It’s sort of like those too-tight jeans that make me crabby to wear, but that I keep hoping I’ll be able to fit into, “eventually.” (God bless us, carb-lovers everywhere.) These aren’t things that make me crabby and stressed sometimes—if that were the case, I’d have to cut everything and move to Alaska to live with the Eskimos—they’re the things that stress me out and make me crabby always.

The crying in the kitchen and the laundry burial and the painting and the scrubbing and the ambiguous clean/dirty clothing all over our room has taught me a valuable lesson.

I need to simplify. I need to minimize. I need to look at my life and see the forest again, not just million trees. I need to get excited about people and things and places, instead of living in a constant state of overwhelmed exhaustion. C.S. Lewis once said, "There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind." I need to get on that train. I want to believe that again.

To start, I’ve decided to make a list. Here is what I know to be true about myself:

·         I love to write.
·         I equal-parts love alone time and time with good friends.
·         I love my husband.
·         I love my family—my parents, my sisters, my brothers-in-law, my nieces and nephews, my in-laws.
·         I love my dog like he’s a furry dog toddler.
·         I have close girlfriends, both near and far, who are the absolute best women I know.
·         I have best friends, and I want more time with them.
·         I love saying  “yes” to things and people and tasks.
·         Between work and freelance, I’m overdoing it right now.
·         I want to spend more time with Jesus, learning more and whining less.
·         I've always wanted to write a book.
·         I love to read.
·         I love to create.
·         Cooking stresses me out.

Here are a few things I am realizing I need to work on:
·         I have some control/trust issues.
·         I have a hard time trusting that when my husband says he’ll take care of it, he’ll actually take care of it—by no fault of his.
·         I compare myself to the unicorns in my life—you know, those magic people who can do everything and look great doing it and never fall apart and fall asleep under a pile of bed laundry because they’re too busy saving the hungry and pooping out rainbows.
·         I say yes to too many things, and this causes me to be super flakey.
·         I’m very into myself.
·         I’m very into my past, because the future feels too unknown.
·         I have too much crap.
·         I have church issues.
·         I watch too much TV.
·         I say I want to spend more time with Jesus, but I never make time for it, partially because there’s always somewhere to be or something to pick up or clean or put away or watch on TV.
·         I worry about everything that could possibly go wrong for everyone I’ve ever met. Ever.
·         I don’t write enough.

Okay, that’s all I’ve got so far. These lists could be a mile long, but that really defeats the point of simplifying.

I have a feeling this is going to be a longer process than I’d like to think it will be. I have no doubt I’ll end up crying over paint cans at some point in the near future. But writing this stuff down helps me see it—really see it.   

These aren’t really New Year’s Resolutions. I had big dreams of writing a super awesome NYR post about all the beautiful moments I was going to have this year, and all the food I’d learn to make, and the races I’d run, and how I’d smell more roses and pet my dog and write the greatest weird nonfiction memoir by a not famous funny woman you’ve ever read. I had dreams. And I’ll have them again. But I think before I start shooting for the moon (I mean, seriously, cooking) I need to clean up what I already have going on. I need to declutter.

Pray for me.

Also, not that I’m feeling insecure, but have any of you ever gone through a season like this? If not…no biggie…I’ll just be over here in crazyland alone…

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I'm a Writer, Dottie.

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post.

I suppose I’ve had a lot of external reasons for that—good ones, too. I got engaged to a dreamy, dreamy man, I planned a wedding, I got married, I went on a big amazing honeymoon with said man, moved, painted my entire apartment (the living room, twice, because I need a couch and a nice therapist), Gilmore Girls came on Netflix (priorities), and don’t even get me started on the name changing process (seriously why is that so hard?).

But mostly, I’ve just felt kind of stuck. The kind of stuck where when you think about writing, nothing comes to mind. You wonder what Jesus has been doing in your life, or how things are taking shape, what life has taught you, and you know there are a million things you could say, but then you go write it down and you end up with N-O-T-H-I-N-G. It feels like I’m staring at a shoreline. There are a billion tiny grains of sand I could talk about, but it’s hard to pick one up and look at it for any length of time without deciding to move onto another. And the horizon is both in constant flux, and always the same.

Okay yes, I’ve gone through huge changes. The kind that took me from single to married, the kind that took me from living with my sweet, sweet roomie to living WITH A BOY, and even the little weird kinds of things like, I don’t drive myself to work anymore—I ride shotgun in my husband’s car. While this has made it much easier for me to apply makeup on the way to work (it was getting bad, you guys), it’s still weird for your daily habits to totally change, and that kind of stuff can throw a person off her game for a while.

I could say that all of this has presented good reasons for me to stop writing for a bit. But that would be a big fatty-fat lie.

Sorry. I know that was sort of a bait and switch. I’m tricky.

The real reason I haven’t written in months and months is very adult, and very mature. Because I’m an adult now. I’m married and everything.

The real reason is this: I’m scared. Also I think the Internet is stupid.

Yep. I have developed a new found fear of writing. Even the thought of publishing this feels crippling. I know. NEAT.

 Not too long ago, I went through the experience of having something I wrote become that week’s trash—the bloggers picked it up, twisted my words, and made me miserable. It lasted one week, and then it was (pretty much) over, but it really hit a nerve for me. The way blogs and websites and social media can be so used for hate and anger absolutely took my breath away, and suddenly, all I could imagine was more of the same. 

I began to see my own name in print as an embarrassment, and when I was asked if I was planning on changing my pen name with my marriage, I didn’t hesitate. YES. Yes, I would love to put that ignorant girl behind me. I would love to detach from that one blog post that made everyone mad. I wanted to be done with her...but then, I sort of wanted to be done in general. I stopped seeing how any good could come from writing something down and putting it out into the world. And then I started wondering what I was supposed to do with myself, if not write. Something anonymous, preferably.  

So I looked a careers, I hid behind editing, I complained to my lucky new husband, I watched a loooot of Netflix (why are there so many seasons of Grey’s Anatomy? I have to watch them ALL), I decorated my new apartment, and I sulked about my loss of purpose. Like I said, I’m mature.

This went on for several fruitless months, until the truth has finally settled back into my bones. I was made to write. I stare slack jaw into space, I monologue in my head, I’ve been writing in journals religiously since I was four-years-old, I read other writers and feel horribly jealous and anxious about how I will never be as good as they are…I’m a writer. I’m not saying I’m a good writer, I’m just saying, I’m ah writer. I just am. I can’t help it. And if I can’t do the thing God has called me to do, then I can’t fully be the woman God has made me to be. Apparently I can’t change everything about me and become someone else. I know. Lame.

When you hit publish, when you send it to your editor, when you see it “go live,” that’s it. You have to own it. It’s tough—especially when you’re a people-pleaser, a pride-seeker, a “be-my-friender,” and a bit of a bleeding heart. It’s tough to stand by something when you realize it might have offended someone—anyone.  But as my husband recently reminded me, the Gospel is incredibly offensive, so sometimes we end up being a little bit offensive, too.  I think maybe my husband forgets that I’m a pansy, but still, bless him.

So here I go.

I’m going to put one key in front of another. I’m going to write until it feels like it was what I was made to do again. I’m going to write until I start hearing myself on the page, until I can stand again on my wobbly legs—until I can believe again that writing is what God called me to. I’m going to do it for myself, because I love it. I’m going to do it for God, because He’s a deeply creative God, and this is how I process His love. And I’m going to do it for readers, because I want nothing more than for my words to give people even an ounce of hope, and a knowledge that there is a Jesus who loves them

Also I’ll probably write dumb stuff here too, like Bachelor recaps and odes to coffee. Just FYI.

I still can't believe I let one bad experience completely derail me. But maybe that happens to all of us at some point. Maybe this was just my turn, my time to take a break from myself for a little bit. Whatever it was, I'm glad it's over. I feel like I'm breaking a fast, and my hungry little fingers have SO MUCH TO WRITE ABOUT. That came out weird, but you know what I mean. 


Monday, April 7, 2014

Twenty-five(ish) Things 7.5 Years In My Twenties Taught Me

I don't know if you know this about me, but I’m the kind of person who has spent most of her life expecting a piano to fall on her head every time she walks outside. Every time I fly, I make sure I say very intense goodbyes to the people I love. And then I have to take Dramamine so that I don't sit up and feel the nausea that comes with the impending mountain crash I'm positive will happen. 

At Christmas, I look around the room at my sisters and nieces and nephews and brother-in-laws and parents and think to myself, Welp, this will probably be the last year that we’re all in this room together. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, exactly, but it’s the way I’m wired. In college it used to plague me—the anxiety of loving people, the possibility that the people I loved might die someday. 

I remember when my sister had my first niece, I loved her so much that it almost hurt. She was so tiny and stupid, and she didn't know her butt from a hole in the ground, and I feared for her every day for a long time, simply because she was so very little. She just turned 11, my oldest niece, and she’s doing just fine. I’ve had to learn that I can’t worry about her—that worrying about her won’t make her any safer. I learned this in my twenties, because I had to. My sisters have (separately…wait, what?) made four more babies in the last 8 years. Five doe-eyed, sensitive little weeble wobbles I've fallen in love with. Five. I had to mellow out. It was that, or lose my mind.

I’ve learned a lot in my twenties about how to handle life, I suppose. And when I’m feeling sentimental, or when I’ve been home sick, and alone, for too long (Me. Today.) I take the time to look back on them and reflect a little bit. I am wiser than I was at 19. I’m in better shape than I was at 22. I have better hair than I did at 24 (can I hear an amen from anyone who knew me during my dark period? Yikes. Thank you, Jennie, for dying it back to blonde for me, for free, over the span of an entire weekend. You have saved my hair more times than I know. I hereby dedicate this blog post to you.)

Oh, by the way, it is very, very good to be friends with a beautician. Like, it’s the best.

So, I’ve decided to write some of this newly-discovered knowledge down. I hereby present what 7.5 years of twenty-something life has taught me. You are welcome. Or I am sorry.  

  • First of all, and most importantly, don’t spend your twenties waiting to find a man (or a woman). It won't make him show up any sooner, and when he does show up, it will only make you seem desperate. Just live your life. Even better, love your life, love your neighbor, and love God. That’s all.
  • You aren't tied down to doing whatever it was that you went to college for. I went to school to be an English teacher—turned out, I totally sucked at being an English teacher. I was made to be a writer, and at some point, I had to find the courage to believe that, trust God, and go for it.
  • Money will either serve you, or you will serve it. And you will not have any money in your twenties unless your life’s passion is to be a financial consultant or something or something. My friend Heidi’s husband is an actuary (I think), and he totally makes money and does things like, “flies out to New York,” and all sorts of things I can’t wrap my head around. But she is the least money-oriented person I know, so I think it’s kind of poetic. I like it.
  • Don't give up on the Church. Find a church that you can call home, with people you can trust. But know that they'll still, at some point, probably let you down in some way. The Church is the imperfect Bride of Christ. Keeping that in mind will make all the difference.
  • Call your mom, even if you’re fighting.
  • Love your friends' kids. They have them now, and they're new at this, and loving their kids lets them know that they're doing a good job as parents. And that their having kids and your maybe not being there yet is not something that separates you from each other. Your friendships will only deepen, I promise. Love your friends' kids.
  • Truly Jesus-loving, Bible-hugging, Scripture-studying, bleeding-heart individuals can look at issues and come up with different answers. I am not inherently right. Neither are you. That’s what grace is for.
  • Embrace the weirdness in your weirdest friends. You will have so much fun with them, and you will have the kinds of conversations that you’ll look back on with so much fondness when you enter into a period of your life when the most intense conversations you have are about money or jobs or where you’re going to live. In those times, you’ll be thankful that you had someone to reflect with. To talk about God’s glory, or to sit and stare at a fire with for hours and talk about how cool it is to watch stuff burn. Or how weird it is that society forces us to wear underwear when no one can see if we’re wearing them or not. Liz.
  • You might actually deserve the kind of person who respects you, your body, and your boundaries—namely because they respects themselves, their bodies, and their boundaries just as much.
  • Along with that, the past mistakes you've made in other relationships do not determine the caliber of your “right” person. Let me know if I ever need to repeat that.
  • Make a big deal out of your friends’ birthdays. We’re all so caught up in our own lives all the time—take the time to celebrate each other.
  • Don't be too afraid to miss out. If your couch is calling you, it's calling you. You're no spring chicken. Get some rest and promise yourself you'll go out with everyone next time. Your friends will not hate you for this. They get it.
  • For the love of Pete, start a savings account. Even if you have $50 in there to start, it will be something. And that's better than nothing.
  • At some point, you will get a phone call you never wanted to get—saying that your dad is in the hospital, or someone close to you is struggling with drug abuse, or your grandpa is gone. Those phone calls are imminent, and we waste our time trying to fool ourselves into believing that they won’t happen. God will never leave your side. In times of sorrow and trouble, he carries you through.
  • Keep being creative. Don't let adulthood suck that out of you. 
  • Thirty isn't as old as I used to think it was. I’m so close. Like, I’m the I-wear-night-cream-to-bed kind of close. I now find thirty to be the new twenty. It is very, very, very young. Do you understand? It’s young.
  • God is working to bring his children back to him—but nothing you or I say will ever force someone back to Christ. Trying to do so has the potential to border on abuse or manipulation. Jesus loved people where they were. He told them the truth, but he never clubbed them over the head and dragged them to repentance. And I suppose that means we can’t, either.
  • There is a fine line between dressing “maturely” and dressing “like an old lady.” Like, a super, duper fine line. Yeeesh.
  • A guy can buy you drinks and dinner and a ticket to your favorite museum/concert/play/whathaveyou, but at the end of the night, all you owe him is a thank you.
  • Thrift stores are magical places, full of fun. And also, full of furniture you can spray paint so that you have matching furniture. Same color = matching. Everybody wins.
  • Wine is for celebration. And it is delicious.
  • You will probably date a lot of different people before you find the right one. Or maybe you won't date anyone for a really long time, and suddenly you'll find the right one. I've seen both. Patience is the craps, but you have to have it.
  • 99% of the time, you can’t really have close, super-deep, platonic friendships with members of the opposite sex. Well, my friend Jenn can, but she’s Canadian. I've only experienced heartbreak or breaking hearts in those situations, and when you find the right person, you suddenly have awkward male friendships that you need to slowly ease out of. Except for my childhood forever friend, Caleb, but he doesn't count because he’s like a sibling. Or Cory. Because he's Cory. I'm getting distracted.
  • Anyway, use your single time to get closer to friends of the same sex. They’ll last longer, they’ll be richer friendships, and once you have that right person, you’ll feel awfully lucky when you get to have time with those girls who don’t mind when you need to talk about your newest hair color or your desperate need of chocolate or how much that last Bachelor season sucked or how cute Olivia Pope’s clothes are (I want every single piece in that flawless wardrobe, pride be damned) or commiserate over your deep understanding of the word “hangry.”
  • Or maybe, guys, y’all bond over that stuff, too.
  • But seriously. Hanger is real. I definitely learned that in my twenties. Keep snacks nearby.
  • You will always have stuff you're working on. Always. Ask my closest friends how I am at answering my phone, or returning phone calls, and they will give you an earful about the areas where I need some work. Ask my fiancĂ© how my culinary skills are (thank you Jesus for giving me a man who knows how to cook). Ask my sisters how I am at not spacing out during conversations. Haha...I dare you. The point is, I'm still figuring out many, many things. We all are--I mean, right?
What’d I miss? What’d you learn in your twenties?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Time I Got Yelled at on Twitter

One Sunday morning, I logged onto Twitter to see what the haps was, and saw that I'd been mentioned by a humanist Twitter account--not just mentioned, but called out as the "a$$hole of the week," because of a blog post I'd written ( It was about sex and about Jesus and about my convictions, and an atheist blogger at Patheos had written a response to it entitled:

"Christian Writer Argues Against Disabled People Having Sexual Surrogates Because, You Know, Jesus"

(By the way, in France, where it's most recently been discussed, sexual surrogacy has been banned, because, according to them, ya know, ethics.)

Anyway, said humanist tweeter read the Patheos article (a lot of people read the Patheos article) and then chose me as her weekly @$$hole shout-out. Last week, she chose DragonCon cosplayers (I don't know what that means) who dressed up as Marriott carpeting and got a cease-and-desist from the carpet designer. 

What I'm saying is, I'm in good company. 

This whole shebang came as a bleary-eyed surprise to me. When I found the tweet, and the blog, I was halfway through my first cup of coffee and dear Lord I needed more, but I'd woken up anxious already and I was trying to keep myself from overcaffeinating for the 120000th day in a row. So to discover, one hour into awakesville, that the internet was feeling a bit stabby at me, was a bit of a shock. I'm not going to lie, I hid in my apartment. For the rest of the day.  

I'm not sure if I was waiting for villagers with pitchforks or what, exactly, but I sat quietly on my couch, checking my phone every couple of minutes to make sure no one else hated found me. I went to a hot yoga class that afternoon in hopes that it would get some of the anxious out of me, but as I spoke to a few of the women in the locker room beforehand, I thought to myself, If you knew where I stood on certain issues, you would hate me. JUST ASK THE INTERNET. 

I'm super sensible in my thoughts. 

It's been two days, and nothing else has happened. No one has shown up at my door to ream me out and no one has threatened me with a sharp object, and, as it would turn out, the internet actually hates a lot of people.

But as I've been processing everything, what's stuck out to me the most has been the title of the Patheos post. The writer, Hemant, is a smart guy. He's a math teacher, and he's actually nearby. He teaches in a suburb of Chicago. I currently live in a suburb of Chicago, and I've lived in about a million other suburbs of Chicago, and I could have driven past this guy a thousand times and never met him. If we had met, we might even be friends. Honestly, he seems like a nice guy, and I think he's kind of funny.

So I'm not going to talk about him. I'm not going to argue with him. 

What I will talk about, a little bit, is this phrase: 

"Because, You Know, Jesus"

Because that's where everything changes.

For Hemant, "Because, you know, Jesus," sounds like a cop out. It sounds like a magical loophole that allows me to boss everyone else around and pretend to be super holy and offer up a catch-all that makes everything I say okay. It sounds like a pretend reason for people to think I'm right. 

But because, you know, Jesus died for this world while they hated him, the truth about me is this. 

I'm wrong. A LOT.
I sin. A LOT.
I get anxious. Good heavens. A LOT. 
And then I sin some more. 

I'm imperfect. I'm undeserving.

But because Jesus loves my stupid self, I'm going to be okay. 

Because Jesus, I have hope. 

Because Jesus, I'm saved. 

Because Jesus, decades of destructive decisions from my heritage have been broken. 

And because Jesus, I've been protected from millions of decisions that could have easily destroyed me. Decisions that I would have made. I could have made. 

Y'all, on my own, I'm an absolute disaster. But because Jesus has claimed me as his daughter, I'm saved by grace--undeserved, gifted, and free. And I want that for everyone, because that is the sweetest gift we can ever give.

So, that's where I'm at now. I'm thankful for this experience, because it's made me think more and more about how vastly different my life is because Jesus took a hold of me. It's made me think more about the ways that I will be despised because of my faith, and about how that's okay. Because Jesus suffered on the Cross, because he came to this earth to save the lost and the sinners, because he continues to pull me out of sin and shame, because he loves each of us so deeply and truly--because of Jesus, all else fades. What this world thinks of me doesn't matter, because Jesus will continue to be my reason for everything. 

He came to earth as a radical. He didn't make any sense to this world, and the Pharisees hated him for it. He spoke in love, but he spoke in truth. He loved those twelve morons who followed him around, and when he was arrested and they abandoned him, he kept loving them.  

And I love Jesus because he's impossible to feel medium about. He's either the Savior of the world, or the biggest liar, the most horrible human, that's ever walked this earth.    

I am crazy in love with Jesus, and the more I write about him, the more I realize it. So yeah. Because Jesus, this world is going to look a little different to me sometimes. Sometimes, it's going to look a lot different. 

Because, you know. Jesus. 

Monday, July 15, 2013


I've been the worst blogger in history, but I'm planning on actually writing in this thing more regularly, so stay tuned. I've been super busy, like a really large bee.

Until then, here are a few guest posts I've written in the last couple months, for your happy perusal.