Friday, May 30, 2014

big moves.

well.  it's official.  at the end of august i will be moving to NASHVILLE, TN and i could not be more excited.  a lot of people have asked what i will be doing there so i thought i'd blog some insight into this big move.

a few months ago a dear friend of mine, haley george, told me she and her wonderful roommate were leaving charlotte when their lease ended to move back to nashville and in passing she said "you should come too"... and that got my wheels turning.  "why not?" was all i could think.  just one year prior we had been in nashville and i thought while there "this is a city i could see myself living in."  now a year ago would i have thought i would be making this announcement?  NO WAY!  this idea of moving started so organically with a "why not?" to something that has been pressing further and further into my heart... further into my hopes and fears... further into my desires to know my God greater. 

you may remember this post from a few short weeks ago where i wrestled with my comfort zone and the abundant life i believe is just outside of that.  i believe this move something that the Lord has set before me that will stretch me, that will grow me, and that will bless my soul in more ways than i can begin to imagine.

i currently do not have a job lined up, but have started the search.  i've worked a great job for the last 9 years in the insurance world, but my heart and passion did not lie in my full time work.  my hope and dream is that the heart, passion, and talents the Lord has given me can be used in my daily work.  this is what i'm searching for in nashville.  want to hire me? 

i'm very excited for new friends in nashville and cultivating the few friendships i have there.  i will miss SO many aspects of life in NC as my life here was really, really good.  my family and friends will be missed greatly.  this move for me is so bittersweet, but i press on... leaving something really good for something that i believe in my heart will be greater.  Jesus is calling me to step out in great faith and i'm saying YES.  an emphatic YES at that.

my prayer for a long time has been romans 8.  i pray my love for Jesus is multiplied, that i learn how to reflect Him to all those around me, that i learn to love well, to trust well, and truly lean into His promises for my life.

yes.  nashville is a big move, but i'm adventurously expectant.

::this resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!::  romans 8:15-17 {the message}

Thursday, May 22, 2014

{we must change}

are you becoming what you want?
you can't remain where you are and expect change.
give yourself time and take steps forward.

pray for change like it depends on God.
work for change like it depends on you.

change isn't fun, but man, 
when it's creating a better you, 
it's so, SO very worth it.

we must not remain.
we must become.
we must change.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


last month i decided it was time for an adventure so i tagged along with some friends who were running the nashville rock n roll half marathon and headed west for a few days. oh the joys of the open road.  the drive from north carolina to tennessee in the spring is absolutely beautiful.  

the five days away was the perfect getaway in music city.  we took time to explore, stopped by all our favorite little nashville hotspots, explored 12 south, and just enjoyed life.  just look at how beautiful this city by the river is!
 me and my travel buddy haley george (who's photography you need to check out stopped by our favorite coffee shop, the frothy monkey, for a little afternoon coffee and workity work.
 and no trip to nashville is complete without a stop at jeni's ... oh my goodness, this stuff is g-double o-d GOOD!  i just had to shove my dairy intolerance aside for the moment to indulge.  worth. it.
 we even spent a little time one afternoon at the ever trendy, barista parlor, where i was able to sit and draw for a spell.  great people watching, fabulous coffee, and sweet time to just create and dream.
 and can we just talk about this lovely wine bar, rumours, in east nashville??  it was a glorious friday night where i just got to sit underneath the spring evening sky and just relax as i had an evening to myself.  this place is located in a beautiful historic home turned restaurant with an amazing back patio.  this is what spring night dreams are made of.
   and then they ran... all 13.1 miles of nashville hills. yeesh.  i posted up at frothey monkey in 12 south all morning after dropping them off and enjoyed watching the runners come through while sipping on my glorious coffee.  i think i picked the right place to be here... running in the bright, early am or a glorious spring morning with coffee... is there even an argument here??!?  once they passed and i headed towards the finish line, i decided it was a good idea to send them selfies as they ran.  for encouragement of course.  yes.  i'm that friend...
our final day was spent attending midtown fellowship in the heart of the city.  what a wonderful service it was.  what a gift to worship with the church regardless of what city i'm in.  truth is the same worldwide.

all in all the timing of this trip was sheer perfection.  after five days in this wonderful city and meeting a handful of really amazing people, my heart was full.  i'm grateful for adventures and hopefully my future will be full with many, many more!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

{life abundant... outside my comfort zone}

com·fort zone
{a place or situation where one feels safe or at ease and without stress.}

if i'm completely honest with myself,  i don't just like my comfort zone, i love my comfort zone.  it's like a big cozy sweater or a comfy blanket that i can pull up to my chin and just snuggle there.  sometimes this is okay, but a lot of times it's just not.  not with what i believe.  i don’t think God called me here to be comfortable, but i do believe He put me here and now “for such a time as this,” for a purpose and for His glory. 

"my love of Jesus changes my view of the world.
only when i love the man who brought peace and
good will to all men, will i be able to effectively love
the world.  it is a love that radically changes, radically
restores and radically continues in the hearts of all
those who choose to die to self and live in Christ."
-t. b. laberge "God, grace, & the Gospel"

in the next few months, i will be making a big, scary, yet exciting decision for my life that is SO far out of my comfort zone that honestly there are days that i am absolutely TERRIFIED... and i realize it's because i am scared to leave my comfort zone.  fear of the unknown makes me want to run back to that big cozy blanket of my comfort zone and hibernate there.  no bueno.  like the quote states above, i believe that my love of Jesus changes my view of the world.  it changes how i see things, it changes how i make decisions, and it changes me.

the song "oceans" by hillsong has been one of my favorites over the past few months.  when i was in haiti this past february it began playing as i was walking down the aisle at church to take communion and it almost brought me to my knees.  the music and depth of lyrics in this song  just hit me to my core every. single. time.  i can't help think the reason that it has become so popular is that it has struck a chord deep in the heart of believers. 

we long for deep purpose and meaning. 
we want more. 
more than the comfortable lives we are choosing to live.  
"you call me out upon the waters.
the great unknown where feet may fail.
and there i find you in the mystery,
in oceans deep my faith will stand.
and i will call upon Your name
and keep my eyes above the waves.
when oceans rise, my soul will rest in your embrace.
for i am Yours. and you are mine.”
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
let me walk upon the water wherever you would call me.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
that my faith would be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.

as believers we know this life can be hard and that the world is not operating as God intended, but we also know that Jesus has overcome the world.  i want more of the God of the universe, more of the life abundant that He promises when we choose Him…  yet my comfort zone that i have created is so “safe” and comfortable, that i am tempted to run back to what i know and what is easy.  sometimes stepping out to serve God is absolutely terrifying and so very uncomfortable, but i have no doubt He meets us there!

a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of hearing author Allison Vesterfelt, author of “Packing Light,”  speak at CharlotteONE and she said something that has stuck with me ever since.  in short, she quit her teaching job, sold almost everything she owned, traveled to all 50 states and wrote a book about it.  she chose a path not frequently traveled of making sacrifices, pursuing her dreams, and walking away from all that she knew.  she chose to walk away from the comfortable, but less than fulfilling life she had created to pursue something she knew was greater.

she said “I wish I could say that it was easy.  It wasn’t.  It was hard, but I never felt so close to God in entire my life than I did during my journey.”

Jesus said he came that we might have life and have it abundantly.  i wonder if we don’t experience life in its fullness because fear paralyzes our steps.  fear paralyzes our faith.  i wonder if the song "oceans" actually became a constant prayer in each of our lives.  how might our lives look different?  how might our lives impact the Kingdom of God?  how might our joy and fullness of life abound if we just chose to trust Him and step out in faith?

i truly do believe that life begins at the end of my comfort zone, but i am also choosing to believe that in the scary, hard moments that lie ahead…outside of my comfort zone… that the God of the universe and the lover my soul will meet me right there.  that he will stretch me, grow me, and that he will develop my faith in who He is and that the love He has for me will abound and overflow into every aspect of my life.

where are you choosing to be comfortable today?
are you willing to seek God and step out to where it’s scary?
let’s do it friends.
let’s allow Him to take our feet farther than we would ever wander on our own accord, into a life so far outside of our comfort zone, yet so full, abundant, and full of Jesus.

i leave you with paul's prayer from ephesians.
"for this reason i bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family on heaven and earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith - that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory"
ephesians 3:14-21 

cheers to hard choices and to seeking the abundant life!

Monday, April 7, 2014

{this race called life. :: #firstfridayfinds}

{post originally written 4.4.14}

last night my sweet friend and fellow blogger, elizabeth maxon over at {words} and ::wonder:: sent me a little nudge on facebook to jump in on her #firstfridayfinds blogging.  what's that you ask?  ... just take a look at her post here

what elizabeth didn't know when she posted her gentle nudge on facebook was that i was sitting at home on my couch having a less than fabulous mental evening on my couch.  those nights come a little too frequently for me being single, living alone, and forcing my schedule to be relaxed for this season… too much silence and my mind starts to reel and go in directions that are just plain false.  instead of choosing to combat with truth where I know true rest and peace lie, most times i unfortunately choose to distract.  i choose a mcdonald's happy meal instead of the fine feast that awaits me with the lover of my soul and i have no doubt that the author of lies loves when i choose that happy meal over the bread of life.

when i read elizabeth's #firstfridayfinds that she posted on my wall, she had posted on the following verse, "I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” {Jesus}

…and elizabeth wrote one thing that grabbed my attention and my heart strings with full force ...

"...give Him an inch...just crack that door...and He enters in...

“what if I just crack the door? … I wonder if He’ll truly show up.”  i knew my soul wanted to let Him in, but oh how my flesh is so weak and how my doubts can be so many.  I opened the bible app on my phone out of sheer laziness, but curiosity too.  I chose to read the full chapter surrounding the verse of the day and after reading it a few times, there it was…

“"may the God of endurance and encouragement  
grant you to live in such harmony with one another, 
in accord with Christ Jesus" {romans 15:5}

I’ve struggled the last few weeks with hard things…  hard obstacles in my fitness journey, hard eating habits yet to be broken, hard feelings of loneliness and dreams yet to be met, hard feelings of unworthiness, hard life choices ahead, and yet this verse reminded me I believe in a God of endurance and encouragement.  The same endurance and encouragement I need when running just seems too hard to keep going.  The same endurance I need to love people well even when I don’t feel like it.  The same encouragement I need that I CAN do hard things and things that I don’t think I’m capable of.

ENDURANCE is the opposite of apathy, incompetence, weakness, indifference, and laziness.

ENCOURAGED is the opposite of weakening, disheartened, hurt, agitated, and confused.

The lies I’ve been hearing that I can’t do x, y, or z are just that… lies.  The author and perfector of my faith is about endurance and encouragement.  This life is a long race my friends.  It can be hard, it can be arduous, and it can be painful, but we are called to endure, to persevere with Jesus by our side, for His glory.  He is steady, He is constant, and He is our encourager.  

…. and that my friend is what makes this race called life so beautiful.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


for freedom You set me free
and yes, i am free indeed
You rewrote my name
and shackled my shame
You opened my eyes to see
i am free.
-shane & shane

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

{haiti :: trip numero 6}

the more times i ago, the more my heart falls in love with haiti and it's people.  here are a few images from my most recent trip this month to mission of hope haiti
(courtesy of @haleygeorge)
(courtesy of @haleygeorge)
(courtesy of @haleygeorge)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Thursday, September 5, 2013

{carry me through}

There's a mountain
Here before me
And I'm going to climb it
With strength not my own

He's gonna lead me
Or the mountain beats me
Carry me through
Carry me through

There's a river
Here before me
And I'm gonna cross it
with strength not my own
He's gonna save me

Or the river takes me.
Carry me through
Carry me through

Oh Lord be gentle
I'm just a man
Please don't crush me 
Help me in.

Oh Lord remember
I try so hard
I walk and talk
Your kingdom love

There's a sinner 
Here before me
And I'm gonna give them
Strength not my own
He's gonna carry me
when I get weary

Carry me through
Carry me through

Oh Lord be gentle
I'm just a man
Please don't crush me
And help me in

Oh lord remember
I try so hard
I walk and talk
Your kingdom love

Carry me through

Lord Sweet Lord
Carry me through.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


yep.  i turned thirty this month and let me tell you... i'm pumped about it.
for real.

most people i've talked to get so freaked out by thirty years old, but i've had a phenomenal first thrity years and am so excited for what's to come.  as i approached thirty years i started thinking back about what i've walked through and i can't be help but be overcome with gratitude of where God has lead my steps and the opportunities i've been given and experiences i've been able to have.

just in the last year i've been to haiti four times.  what the heck?!?  how'd that happen?  what an amazing gift to go and experience this country and love on her people.  this shot is from my last time there and man i love it.  i love those haitian babies.  can't get enough of them!!
i think my time spent in haiti is one of the most special things i've done in my thirty years.  maybe it's the humanity of it all... the sheer depravity of the situation in haiti is overwhelming, but the hope and love that exudes from the people overwhelms my soul.  the way that place pulls on my heartstrings and causes me to ask myself the question "does anything else really matter but loving these people and sharing what i've been blessed with?"  God's truth, education, wealth (yes if you live in this country you ARE wealthy), my time and love... it's all worth it!!  

...and guess what??... haiti gives me SO much in return.  my heart is so full when my feet are dirty and on haitian soil! i love the beautiful community of people down there. whether it's the team i lead down to mission of hope, the other teams that we have the pleasure of meeting and working alongside, or the haitians that i get to meet and have started developing friendships with, the community overwhelms me with gratitude every. single. time.  

without a doubt i have grown in my confidence as a child of God,  as a woman who can travel the world and trust that no matter what, God has me in His loving care as i love on my neighbors.  this makes all my worries and fears just melt away and joy abounds.

welcoming thirty and thinking on the past has made me so grateful for life.  the life i'm living definitely does not look like the life i had "planned," but man i'm so glad it doesn't.  the life the Lord has allowed me to live has been a beautiful one so far.  one filled with laugher and love mixed with heartache, struggles, and tears.  yet i've had more blessings in this life so far than my heart and mind can take in.  

gratitude.  it's the stance i take when looking back over my life so far.  gratitude for so many things.  for family, for friendships, for education, for joy, for creation that speaks to me in beautiful ways, for hard experiences that stretch and grow me, for hard work that does the same, for grace, for experiences, for adventures, for the church.  there are so many things that my mind continues to list of things i'm grateful for and i think that's where God wants our attitudes and our hearts.  grateful.

so as i enter this 30th year of life i'm reminded of this post from March of 2011 and continue to move forward with open hands, living adventurously expectant, & asking with child like faith as best as i can, "what's next Papa?"

::this resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!::  romans 8:15-17 {the message}


Friday, January 11, 2013

{a friday afternoon drive to my favorite place :: beech mountain}

a little rainy, foggy afternoon drive up to my beloved beech mountain.
worth the drive just for the sunset from the couch...
 it's amazing how quick God's masterpiece can change...

Monday, December 24, 2012

{it's a love haiti relationship}

"i have learned that something happens when one makes herself available to God: He starts moving in ways no one could imagine. God began doing things in me, around me and through me as I offered myself to Him. I began each day saying, "Okay, Lord, what would you have me do today? Whom would you have me help today?" And then I would allow Him to show me. I would like to say that I had all kinds of great ideas about what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. I would like to say my ministry was born out of a carefully thought-out plan. These things simply aren't true, though. I was walking through life one moment at a time, blown away by what God would do through me if I simply said yes."

-excerpt from "Kisses from Katie"

i said "yes" and i have fallen in love...
with Haiti.

i know i haven't blogged much this year, but i'm going to make it a goal of mine next year to start writing again.  i've experienced and processed A LOT this year and haven't shared most of it here.  now instagram may be another story as i feel like that's been my mini blog for 2012, but i miss writing.  i miss dumping out what's floating around in my brain and processing it through the art of "wordsmithing."

i was blessed beyond measure to have the opportunity to go to Haiti THREE times this year and i'm going back in February to take another team from my church.  the first opportunity to say "yes" to Haiti presented itself earlier this year, seemingly out of nowhere and without hesitation i jumped on board and said "yes," and this seemed to happen for july and november too.  each trip was not in my "plan" per say  but the opportunity arose and out of obedience i said "yes" and i was beyond blessed..  each time that i traveled to Haiti this year, the experience was uniquely different, but one thing is for sure...i developed a love Haiti relationship.  (you can thank MOH for that fun statement.  i even have a tshirt that says it... or maybe 2 :)

i love Mission of Hope and am grateful for the vision God has given them to serve and come alongside the people of Haiti.  it has been wonderful to gain an understanding of the Haitian people and their beautiful culture.  their seemingly slow pace of life, deep community, amazing worship even in the tough circumstances...  and the kids!  oh the kids, i love the kids.  they come out of the wood work when we head into different villages and i love it.  they're so open just to love on you and play with you even when we don't speak the same language.  

i'm so excited for this journey the Lord has me on and i can't wait to spend more time in Haiti in 2013.  for now here are a few photos from my time spent in Haiti last month.

my morning view every day.  beauty, beauty, beauty.
  glorious!!!  that's the ocean and the mountains ya'll.,  another one of the phenomenal MOH views.
 our team touring the MOH Bercy campus where MOH has a school now, but will eventually be home to a resort that MOH has plans to build that will provide Haitian jobs and an elderly care facility as well.
 the church in leveque that will be finished soon!
  my wonderful team.
 we had a wonderful work day in the warehouse putting together new chairs and cleaning.  the warehouse will also be home to all the MOH offices as of January 2013! can't wait to see it all in action when i head back in Feburary.
 i got to make CHALKBOARD SIGNS for the warehouse aisles. seriously?!?  what a blessing to be able to be crafty in Haiti.
 ya'll... Haiti is BEYOND beautiful!
 playing a little kick the can in one of the villages.
 nothing like being invited in to a family's home and them cutting down coconuts for all the blancs (aka white people)  one of the best experiences hands down.
 His promises remain.
 the team painting houses in leveque.
  heading into another village. glad i'm not afraid of heights!
 patty cake is most definitely universal.
 precious lovies.
 a happy new homeowner in leveque.
 me and my mama with this sweet ray of sunshine. (yes my MOM got to come!!  so grateful)   Jesus just leaked out of this little lady as soon as she walked by.  the smile on her face was unmistakable and i hate we didn't get that in a photo.  what a blessing she was.
Glory in the Highest!!!  Creation most definitely reveals God's majesty and Haiti's open skies blow my mind every morning and night!  what a beautiful reminder that God is with us.  
i pray you and your family have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!