the adventure of saying yes

I grew up saying yes.

I had to say yes to hugging and kissing distant relatives, even if I didn’t want to. I had to say yes to going certain places and doing certain things, even believing certain things simply because my parents did. I said yes to everything friends and teachers asked, all out of fear. Fear of rejection, fear of not being loved, fear of punishment. 

But eventually I got my voice and learned to say no. And that “no” made me feel so powerful. It felt good to put up a boundary, or at least I thought it was a boundary. Do you want to hang out? No. Can you do this job? No. Want to come over for dinner? No. I felt safe in saying no. Safe because I was afraid and saying no lessened the anxiety, kept me in bed, under the covers. And that fear told me, Rachel. You might feel uncomfortable. They might not like you. You’re kinda awkward. You might fail. You might be left alone, abandoned. So I said no, in the name of having boundaries and taking time for myself. Those no’s isolated me, and at times, robbed me of new experiences. But I was committed to saying no, damn it. But saying no out of fear gets tiring.

Then, last summer, I started saying yes, and that yes came out of love. And saying yes has been my biggest adventure. I’ve had some really amazing adventures in my life, but honestly, choosing to say yes and choosing to be brave and trust has trumped them all.

When I moved home from Alabama in 2016, I got pretty stuck. Not saying no, not saying yes, but frozen in a dismal state, deaf to any request made of me. I took a job because it was my only option. I hung out with friends because I couldn’t stand my bedroom anymore. Living a life of beige, no yes’s and no no’s, just survival.

Then I was invited to the mountains.

All throughout scripture and even history, mountains are for spiritual encounters. And somehow, there was a teeny seed inside of me. I couldn’t see it or name it yet, and didn’t even know where it came from, but that seed caused me to say yes to the mountains. I almost said no- I would be visiting people that I only knew from being with other friends; friends who felt safe. What if they ended up not liking me? What if we didn’t have anything to talk about? 

Stuck in a frozen state, I decided that any movement is good movement, and if the trip ended up a disaster, at least I’d be in the mountains. 

So I chose to say yes. Like I was drawn by a magnet, I needed something different, so I took the risk on relationship.

Two days before my trip, old friends, who I hadn’t seen in 15 years, wished me a happy birthday and said, if you’re ever near Savannah you need to visit us. Well Savannah was on the way to the mountains, and that little seed prompted me to say yes again. But as soon as I sent the text I became afraid. What if we had nothing in common? I almost backed out and said no out of fear. But that little “yes seed” pushed me to say yes.

My trip to Savannah was amazing. The girls and I ended up being kindred spirits, like we were always meant to be together, and we stayed up late, smoking cloves and drinking coffee on their porch, amidst the Spanish moss. We stayed up telling stories, and I remember thinking, I was made for nights like this. My spirit soared. I slept that night, so thankful that I didn’t let fear stop me. That little visit made my “yes seed” grow a little bit more, having more trust in my being.

The next day I finished the drive to the mountains with butterflies in my stomach, the record of, what if they don’t like me?  kept skipping in my head. But that trip was so incredibly beautiful, and I got to spend five days with people who made that seed grow and taught me how to say yes. I got to spend a week with my (now) precious family, and watch their “yes” life up close. And it was contagious. I envied it and decided to take baby steps and start saying yes out of love. Because when you say yes out of love, you’re truly safe. You’re letting yourself be blown by the wind, letting Papa lead your adventures, and deciding to be brave, which is truly our inheritance. And that week I got to watch people who followed that Wind, who trusted even when others thought it was foolish, who said yes even when afraid; who also taught their kids to say yes. And that whole week the seed kept growing, and laying in bed one night while I was there, I decided to embark on the adventure of saying yes out of love. Instead of fear ruling my being, I took the first step of letting Love move in.

I had lived a life of saying yes before, but it was different this time. The first season of saying yes was out of fear. My friend, Tyler, taught me that love and fear can’t exist in the same space, and you’re either choosing one or the other. Any decision, even a correct one made out of fear is still cutting yourself short, really robbing you of the chance to fly and an opportunity to trust.

Saying yes out of fear is completely different that saying yes out of love.

Fear makes you want to hide, to cover yourself and pull all of your soft parts inwards. It makes people acquaintances but never family. It limits your adventures. and causes you to live a life of comfort, instead of a life that soars.

Love causes you to trust, to love big and allow yourself to receive. Love makes you safe even in risk, because Holy Spirit wind is the greatest protector and the greatest adventurer. And i’m invited to soar in that wind and join the adventure.

Saying yes out of love is the greatest gift. 

So this was my year of saying yes. 

And this was also my year of risk and being afraid. But I chose to look fear in the eyes and choose yes out of love. Love for myself, love for God, and love for people. And it’s not perfect, but with every choice, I trust a little bit more.

Im now noticing the people in my life who say yes. And I can make a long list of relationships that are built on yes’s. And I find that I’ve always been attracted to those people, because there’s a certain comfort and authenticity when you find people who are also blown by the wind instead of frozen in fear.

And even now, though I feel high anxiety, wondering if I’ll make it, or if I’ll be eaten alive by anxiety and depression, I just keep repeating to myself, Papa knows the end from the beginning and its so good. So good. So good. So good. Choosing love instead of fear is an act of faith, believing that God is good and kind and for me.

So this year I said yes to trust after being in a traumatic accident.

I said yes to forgiveness instead of bitterness towards the person who hit and ran.

I said yes to making decisions based on passion and trust in the Wind instead of deciding based on money.

I said yes to doing projects even though I wasn’t confident in my ability at first.

I said yes to having my pieces in stores, even when I felt inadequate compared to the people around me.

I said yes to doing custom pieces, even though insecurity almost stopped me.

I said yes to new relationships and dinner parties and coffee dates. 

I said yes to a new job which required me to come out of my shell.

I said yes to more road trips to the mountains, even when money told me it didn’t make sense.

I said yes to editing books, even though I hadn’t done that before.

I said yes to doing a styled photography shoot, meeting new people and networking.

I said yes to teaching eight workshops this year, facing social anxiety and choosing to be brave.

I said yes to wholesale orders, even when the quantity was overwhelming.

I said yes to professional help in my quest toward wholeness.

I said yes to writing about my struggles, which meant I couldn’t hide anymore.

I said yes to relationships instead of isolation.

I said yes to daylight instead of darkness.

I said yes to speaking my mind instead of silence.

I said yes to being brave.

And every time I say yes, the little shoot that began to grow last summer gets bigger. And with every decision I'm seeing strong trees built into my being, bursting out of my chest, with strong limbs and green leaves and tree rings that show a life of overcoming.

And I’m a part of a forest of yes’s. Part of the adventure.

Thoughts on Mental Health

Trigger Warning: This post could potentially be triggering if you struggle with an eating disorder or depression. Please be aware while reading.

Yesterday was mental health awareness day, and I have a lot of thoughts on the subject, since it is something I’ve dealt with for a long time, even before I could name it. I grew up with the idea that mental illness immediately sent you to a psych ward. I loved books by Sylvia Plath and other memoirs about people with mental illness, but most of them were extreme cases, causing me to feel like I wasn’t sick enough to get help. In my mind, the kids who were depressed wore black nail polish and dog collars. I wasn’t bad enough to get help, but destined to suffer my whole life. 

I remember anxiety from a young age; fear that my parents had left in the middle of the night; so I would purposefully set an alarm for 2am, checking to make sure they were still there. I remember guilt and fear about what happens after death; praying multiple times a day for forgiveness, so I wouldn’t go to hell. 

I remember being eight and feeling so dirty, I would wash my hands over and over until they bled. The pediatrician told my parents that it was common and I’d grow out of it. I had to wear cream and gloves on my hands, mittens really, so I sat in front of the tv with clubs at the ends of my arms. Guess what? I didn’t grow out of it. OCD has been a constant since I started washing my hands, making eating and new environments a challenge. I didn’t get diagnosed until last year, when I was finally put on medication. I often consider what would have happened if that pediatrician knew to diagnose me with a mental illness, and what would have happened if I had gotten help when I was eight instead of twenty-six.

I remember developing an eating disorder in my pre-teen years, where I couldn’t focus in school; I was easily agitated and threw my lunch away when the bus dropped me off. I lost a drastic amount of weight, and was praised for my self control and passion for “healthy foods”. I have journal entries as a twelve and thirteen year old, where I cried out to an empty page about hating my body, how I didn’t have friends because I was ugly, and I “felt” like I could have an eating disorder, but because I wasn’t emaciated I didn’t. In health class we learned about anorexia and bulimia, but the pictures on the slideshow didn’t look like me, so I didn’t ask for help until last year. No one taught that you could be at a normal weight and still have an eating disorder. 

I remember being told I was self centered and vain for always worrying about my appearance. At twelve I was paid $20 to lose ten pounds. I was beautiful and “good” when I was thin, ugly and “bad” when I wasn't. No one said those words out loud, but I felt them deep within me.

I remember being depressed since I was a child, but didn’t know how to verbalize it, since I was always taught that a christian should be joyful at all times. I prayed and prayed for joy and peace, and felt frustrated when I still couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. I experienced a lot of shame because of it; growing up in a christian household, I was often given a “lets pray for you” response, which I have no problem with, but in my case, didn’t solve anything, and instead just caused frustration. For years and years I went up for prayer at every church service, asking for healing for my brain, and was told that I was healed, and just needed to have faith. I would leave so excited, and then wake up depressed the next day, overwhelmed with the feeling that God must be angry with me, causing the healing not to “stick”. No one told me that depression wasn’t caused by demons or sin. At the time I was wearing a back brace for scoliosis, but mental health wasn’t even spoken of. Now I know that the two aren't so different.

I remember being scolded for eating lunch in the school library everyday in high school. “Rachel, You need to be more social. You say you're painfully lonely, but you’ll never make friends if you isolate yourself. Go introduce yourself to new people.” In reality, social anxiety had me so exhausted by lunch time that I needed to decompress before the rest of the day. Eating in the library was self care.

It was exhausting defending myself and feeling constantly misunderstood. 

When I was struggling with an eating disorder as an sick, average size girl desperate to lose weight, I heard: “All you need is self control. Just don’t eat carbs. Take some diet pills, they’ll help. Just tone up. Stop being so vain. Cut out sweets. Don’t wear your hair parted down the middle, it makes your face look round. You’re so lucky you have a pretty face. You can't have everything...it wouldn't be fair if you were talented, smart, AND thin. Just suck your stomach in. You’ve lost weight before, you can do it now.”

When I was struggling with an eating disorder as a sick and thin girl, I was told: “Wow you have such great self control. What diet are you on? You look beautiful.  What are your plans to keep it off? How much more are you trying to lose? Don’t eat that or you’ll gain it back. I’m so proud of you. I’m so proud of you. I’m so proud of you”

Proud of me for what? For being good at my eating disorder?

When I was struggling with depression and anxiety I was greeted with: “You should get prayer at church. You just need faith. Memorize more scripture. You need to choose joy. What are you so upset about? Your life is great. Smile more. It will pass. Stop looking so sour. Start thinking about other people; they have it worse. Stop being lazy. Why are you so tired? Just stop worrying. Stop napping. You’re fine. It won’t last forever.”

Oh perfect. You telling me I’m fine just fixed me completely.

Because I felt so misunderstood, I sought out anyone who noticed me and made me feel heard. That resulted in dangerous relationships that made everything worse. I feel really sad for little Rachel and teenage Rachel. How would my life have looked if someone realized that I had a mental illness, starting from childhood,  and needed therapy and medication? Why did it take 20 years to finally have a doctor diagnose me? Why was religion and mental illness so at war with each other?

I’m sure so many of you had no idea that I struggle. I am diagnosed with a mood disorder, OCD, and an eating disorder. You can’t tell by looking at me. I function well to the world and have always done amazing in school and in life. But it is a daily struggle, and no different than if I had diabetes or cancer. Both need treatment, both can be life threatening. Unfortunately, I have to pay for all my appointments out of pocket, since insurance doesn’t cover them. And when I share about myself, a lot of people still act like I choose these things. I did not choose to have a mental illness, but I AM choosing to be treated so I can live a full life. No more surviving, but flourishing.

I hope in reading this you will feel compassion for people in your life who struggle with these things. Become educated and greet them with patience and love. Encourage them to get help, so they can do more than just survive.

Please know that most of the time you won’t be able to tell if someone has a mental illness. Take your children seriously when they are showing signs of anxiety or depression.  Don’t just think, “they’ll grow out of it”. Ask your friends how they are really doing. Stop using phrases like, “ugh I'm going to kill myself” when chipotle gets your order wrong.

If you struggle with mental illness, be open about it. Don’t be ashamed to get help. I guarantee the majority of people in your life either struggle or know someone who does. Let people in. You can’t do this alone, and you never know when you’ll hear a “me too”. And those words are the greatest gift. 

I know that I am more than a broken brain; I am spirit and full and creative and loving. I have hope and future and this life has been chosen for me before the foundation of the world. I am seen. I am deeply and eternally loved. I know that I’m made for adventure, and even though I have quite a few hiccups, I’m learning to love myself and that there is no shame in struggling. 

A letter to my 26yr old self

Dear Rachel,

Its August 16, 2016. I know you’re in a lot of pain right now; I know that you’re really confused, because things were hard but all of a sudden you felt hope, and felt led to go to Savannah, only to be in a hit and run. I know that you’re angry at God, feeling like he sent you there for that reason, and I can tell you that God doesn’t hit people with cars, but you’ll probably just roll your eyes. I know you think that things are only going to get worse, that there’s not hope for a good future, and I know you're so upset that you're alone in the hospital, that the sleeping meds aren't working, and you're wide awake surrounded by curtains, wondering why this happened. Things are hard, don’t you deserve a break?

But there are a lot of things you don’t know.

You don’t know that while you’re laying in the hospital bed, you’re going to experience the beautiful peace and comfort of Spirit in ways you’ve never experienced before. You’re going to meet a stranger named Paul who’s going to speak words into your soul that you’ll never forget. You don’t know that when your mom drives you home, you’re going to miraculously sleep the whole eight hour car ride, feeling no pain.

You don’t know that it’s such a good thing that you’re not able to go to Onsite in September, because you’re going to meet the most beautiful people at the program in November, people you wouldn’t have known if you went as planned.

You don’t know that as you sit in the recliner watching Bob Ross, you’re going to start to create art with new mediums. In fact, you’re going to create so much that you’re going to have enough to do your first popup shop, broken leg and all. You don’t know that at your first popup, you’re going to meet a grown man who cries while hearing your story, who hugs you and says, “I’m so so happy you’re alive”.

You don’t know that as you are stuck in the living room, relying on your family to help you, you're going to go deep into relationship with them, enjoying their company and making up for years not living at home.

You don’t know that as you’re recovering from your accident, you’re going to begin to love your body and appreciate her more than ever before. Instead of a burden and a place of shame, you’re going to be excited about being able to sit criss cross again, putting on your own socks, re-learning to drive, and even learning to walk again. You’re going to start treating your body like a beloved relative.

You don’t know that in October your orthopedist is going to clear you to drive the week before your friend’s wedding, and you’re going to be able to hug all your Alabama family, seeing them for the first time in months.

You don’t know that after the wedding, you’re going to visit the Millers, and the Gillespie's will be there too, and you’re going to spend almost three weeks with your favorite people, doing things your heart dreams of doing, helping with art projects for the retreat, chasing fall up the mountain, drinking beer around the fire and painting on chilly mornings. You don’t know that you’re going to be able to experiment with different art forms, things you’ll repeat when you get home to sell at your markets. 

You don’t know that by changing the dates to go to Onsite, you’ll be able to go to the Gillespie’s house show in Alabama, trick or treat with the Millers, and go to the first two days of their retreat. Onsite is going to be amazing, you’re going to love your group and the therapist you were assigned. 

You don’t know that when you get home, you’re going to do a show at the West Palm Beach green market. You aren't going to sell anything, and will come home discouraged, calling Jimmie to say that you’re quitting, that being an artist doesn’t work. He’s going to tell you to try again, and in doing so, you actually do well enough to support yourself all winter.

You don’t know that doing the markets will really help you get out of your shell. You were always afraid to talk to new people, but as you do this, it gets easier and you actually begin to love it.

You don’t know that by posting a photo of your plant hangers to Instagram, you’re going to be asked to rent a space in an up and coming shop in West Palm Beach. You’re going to meet the girls and really connect with them, and even end up working for them. This place is going to inspire you and stretch you in amazing ways.

You don’t know that you’re going to be asked to edit a book by a successful author, and even though you’ve never done this before, you’re going to say yes. I’m so proud of you for saying yes.

You don’t know that you’re going to be invited to a dinner party for creative women in South Florida. You’re going to be really nervous, but you’re going to face your fears and have a great time, overcoming your wallflower-like tendencies, and laugh and tell stories.

You don’t know that you’re going to be able to go to the mountains and Alabama in March, visiting all your favorite people, playing in snow and sitting by fires, feeding your spirit and laughing uncontrollably. 

You don’t know that you’re going to begin to teach workshops. And not just one workshop, but five workshops in less that two months. You’re going to be so nervous, but then love it. I'm proud of your for pushing through the fear.

You don’t know that you’re going to be asked to be part of a styled wedding shoot, You’re going to go set up your pieces and then see photos of them by professional photographers all over West Palm Beach. 

You don’t know that your therapist is going to recommend that you start going to support groups at the Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness, and next thing you know, you're going to have a treatment team. You will get help for problems you’ve had for years. You’re going to make so many friends there, and despite your tendency to hide, you’re going to fill your spare time with healing and laughing.

You don’t know that you’re going to start selling wholesale, and by the end of summer, you’re going to have products in six stores in the U.S.

You don’t know that your mom is going to buy you plane tickets for your birthday, letting you visit the Millers as bookends to this beautiful year.

Yes, I said beautiful. I know you don’t believe me, but this year is going to be one of the best. Your tree limbs are going to grow, and so much gold is going to be built into you. Be patient. It’s coming. Start saying yes now and wait for the adventures.

Love your future self,

Rachel

 



August 16th is the one year anniversary of my bike accident (you can read that story here), and this year has been both hard and sweet, lost and found, adventure and rest. I decided to mark the days and months, with little tributes on my instagram, using the hashtag, #greatbikewreck2016, and I would love to share them here, as a complete set. 

August 16, 2016

Tuesday night I was in a hit and run by a Ford F-150 while riding a bike in Savannah, Ga. I broke my leg in two spots, had surgery, and am already up walking with crutches and should be discharged tomorrow! I'm so thankful it wasn't worse and Holy Spirit was such a comfort these past few days. My spirit has been experiencing such peace despite physical pain. Please pray for the pain to quiet down, and for papa to do a quick healing so I can drive 😉 xxx (apparently when I was admitted and put on annethesia, I spent about twenty minutes begging for coffee.

Tuesday night I was in a hit and run by a Ford F-150 while riding a bike in Savannah, Ga. I broke my leg in two spots, had surgery, and am already up walking with crutches and should be discharged tomorrow! I'm so thankful it wasn't worse and Holy Spirit was such a comfort these past few days. My spirit has been experiencing such peace despite physical pain. Please pray for the pain to quiet down, and for papa to do a quick healing so I can drive 😉 xxx (apparently when I was admitted and put on annethesia, I spent about twenty minutes begging for coffee.

 

September 16, 2016

Jesus is sweet. Today is the one month anniversary of the accident and I spent it sharing my art with people. I told my story a few times, and one guy got all teary eyed, gave me a hug and said, I'm so so happy you're alive. // I feel the same way, buddy #greatbikewreck2016

Jesus is sweet. Today is the one month anniversary of the accident and I spent it sharing my art with people. I told my story a few times, and one guy got all teary eyed, gave me a hug and said, I'm so so happy you're alive. // I feel the same way, buddy #greatbikewreck2016

 

October 16, 2016

Looked at the date and realized it's been exactly two months since my bike accident, where I was in a hit and run. A few days ago, I asked a friend this: what if I celebrated the 16th of every month for the rest of my life? Celebrated the kindness of Jesus and the richness of relationships? It feels like I've changed so much these past few months, Holy Spirit is such a comfort. The other night I had a friend tell me, "I don't know why it happened. But I know you're loved. And even if you end up sharing this testimony and changing lives, ultimately, Jesus doesn't want to just use you. He wants to love you." // man I've felt so loved by Papa. I have lists of his thoughtfulness, his love through this. ((Also, Its fun that I'm here with the Millers today; trips to see them have been the bookends to this little crazy adventure.))

Looked at the date and realized it's been exactly two months since my bike accident, where I was in a hit and run. A few days ago, I asked a friend this: what if I celebrated the 16th of every month for the rest of my life? Celebrated the kindness of Jesus and the richness of relationships? It feels like I've changed so much these past few months, Holy Spirit is such a comfort. The other night I had a friend tell me, "I don't know why it happened. But I know you're loved. And even if you end up sharing this testimony and changing lives, ultimately, Jesus doesn't want to just use you. He wants to love you." // man I've felt so loved by Papa. I have lists of his thoughtfulness, his love through this. ((Also, Its fun that I'm here with the Millers today; trips to see them have been the bookends to this little crazy adventure.))

 

November 16, 2017

Today is three months. Month number three has been the hardest, and im not afraid to say that I've been angry 99.9% of it. But yesterday I was looking through my journal and read something I don't even remember writing 🙈 it said: "Jody said that you're big enough to handle my anger. And I feel like at the other side of this anger is a trust and tenderness that is sweet and sacred. So im excited to get to the other side. Hopefully it's soon." 

Today is three months. Month number three has been the hardest, and im not afraid to say that I've been angry 99.9% of it. But yesterday I was looking through my journal and read something I don't even remember writing 🙈 it said: "Jody said that you're big enough to handle my anger. And I feel like at the other side of this anger is a trust and tenderness that is sweet and sacred. So im excited to get to the other side. Hopefully it's soon." 

 

December 16, 2016

Four months today. Not sure what to say, I've found myself quiet lately. I'm working again, both subbing and selling my art, and if you asked me a year ago if this is what my life would look like I would probably laugh. Oh it's an adventure. And often sucks. But I have so much to be thankful for, and as I've been setting myself up to heal and discover deep things I've been getting quieter. Just a lot of thoughts and a lot of breathing in and out thanks to a Father who is full of mystery and good things. And I don't understand one bit of it. And I'm beginning to be ok with that

Four months today. Not sure what to say, I've found myself quiet lately. I'm working again, both subbing and selling my art, and if you asked me a year ago if this is what my life would look like I would probably laugh. Oh it's an adventure. And often sucks. But I have so much to be thankful for, and as I've been setting myself up to heal and discover deep things I've been getting quieter. Just a lot of thoughts and a lot of breathing in and out thanks to a Father who is full of mystery and good things. And I don't understand one bit of it. And I'm beginning to be ok with that

 

January 16, 2017

Night time work views 😍😍 it's been five month since my accident and grace is telling me that there are good things ahead

Night time work views 😍😍 it's been five month since my accident and grace is telling me that there are good things ahead

 

February 16, 2017

Today is 6 months. Maybe it is too much that I'm noticing all the days, but I've always noticed the days, just right now there's bigger things to notice. // i spent the evening eating with @sauceosofsky and a bunch of other awesome girls, and I'm kinda mind blown that this is where God has me now. A year ago, I honestly would have never thought I'd be living in south Florida again. And a month ago I would have never thought I'd be brave enough to go hang out with a bunch of strangers. But I did. And while it's still sad to be living here, there are lots of hints of grace and tonight was more than a hint, it was a victory cry.

Today is 6 months. Maybe it is too much that I'm noticing all the days, but I've always noticed the days, just right now there's bigger things to notice. // i spent the evening eating with @sauceosofsky and a bunch of other awesome girls, and I'm kinda mind blown that this is where God has me now. A year ago, I honestly would have never thought I'd be living in south Florida again. And a month ago I would have never thought I'd be brave enough to go hang out with a bunch of strangers. But I did. And while it's still sad to be living here, there are lots of hints of grace and tonight was more than a hint, it was a victory cry.

 

March 16, 2017

I just realized it was March 16th with eight minutes to spare. Today is seven months since the bike accident, and I got to spend it with my @legacysod family. It was so sweet and full and let me tell you something I've learned-just because you aren't with someone in person doesn't mean that they don't love you. Family extends past physical borders and miles and while hugs are better, texts and phones calls are cool too. We are so loved and safe and cared for, from pockets of beautiful people all over. And this past months I was able to visit family all over the southeast, dragging my hurt leg around. And it was more then ok. It was beautiful and healing. I tried to memorize all the hugs because I want to be able to remember how full I am. This year I've learned that relationships are the biggest treasure.

I just realized it was March 16th with eight minutes to spare. Today is seven months since the bike accident, and I got to spend it with my @legacysod family. It was so sweet and full and let me tell you something I've learned-just because you aren't with someone in person doesn't mean that they don't love you. Family extends past physical borders and miles and while hugs are better, texts and phones calls are cool too. We are so loved and safe and cared for, from pockets of beautiful people all over. And this past months I was able to visit family all over the southeast, dragging my hurt leg around. And it was more then ok. It was beautiful and healing. I tried to memorize all the hugs because I want to be able to remember how full I am. This year I've learned that relationships are the biggest treasure.

 

April 16, 2017

One of the most impactful moments when I watched The Shack in theaters last month was a specific conversation between Mack and Papa. Mack asks Papa why he brought him back to the place of his deepest pain, angry that he had to face it all over again. Papa patiently replies that Mack was brought back to the shack because it was the place that he got "stuck", and it order heal he had to go back and face the root of the pain, and get "unstuck". I think one of the reasons circumstances brought me home last summer was to face the place where I got stuck. Glory to glory, freedom to freedom. Lots of hope. Also I missed April 16, but that was 8 months since the #greatbikewreck2016. Life is weird and stressful and unpredictable but God is so good. I am so loved.

One of the most impactful moments when I watched The Shack in theaters last month was a specific conversation between Mack and Papa. Mack asks Papa why he brought him back to the place of his deepest pain, angry that he had to face it all over again. Papa patiently replies that Mack was brought back to the shack because it was the place that he got "stuck", and it order heal he had to go back and face the root of the pain, and get "unstuck". I think one of the reasons circumstances brought me home last summer was to face the place where I got stuck. Glory to glory, freedom to freedom. Lots of hope. Also I missed April 16, but that was 8 months since the #greatbikewreck2016. Life is weird and stressful and unpredictable but God is so good. I am so loved.

 

May 16, 2017

9 months since the #greatbikewreck2016 // long enough to have had a baby. And I know that good things are being birthed out of this mess.

9 months since the #greatbikewreck2016 // long enough to have had a baby. And I know that good things are being birthed out of this mess.

 

June 16, 2017

Today marks 10 months since the accident. // this year I always thought that I didn't have an adventurous life because I wasn't climbing mountains or living with people or doing things that kind of had a "shock factor" when it came to conventionality. But in reality, my life is still adventurous. I've had amazing opportunities this year. From editing books to meeting the best people to helping with retreats and taking road trips and finding wholeness and starting up a business, I've been busy saying yes.  I've also been feeling hopeful lately. Just a little bit of hope, but it's more than before. Jesus really does have me. I really am safe. And he's not mad that I still have a hard time trusting. Because every time I'm faced with a choice, I trust a little bit more. And that's all he wants

Today marks 10 months since the accident. // this year I always thought that I didn't have an adventurous life because I wasn't climbing mountains or living with people or doing things that kind of had a "shock factor" when it came to conventionality. But in reality, my life is still adventurous. I've had amazing opportunities this year. From editing books to meeting the best people to helping with retreats and taking road trips and finding wholeness and starting up a business, I've been busy saying yes. 
I've also been feeling hopeful lately. Just a little bit of hope, but it's more than before. Jesus really does have me. I really am safe. And he's not mad that I still have a hard time trusting. Because every time I'm faced with a choice, I trust a little bit more. And that's all he wants

 

July 16, 2017

I have a story to encourage your beautiful spirits: money is so freakin stressful for me. Life is soooo unpredictable. But I know that I know that I know that this is what Jesus wants me to be doing right now. The conviction is down deep, to the depths of my heart which matches the depths of his heart. So summer has been really slow. Markets are closed because it's hot, college students are home for summer break, and the store I work at has been undergoing construction. And every week I have to spend a set amount of money on things that further my journey toward wholeness that I started last summer. Something I know Jesus wants for me, even more than I want it for myself. And everytime The due date comes, I freak out. What if I don't sell anything. What if I'll have to cancel all my appointments. What if my bills end up going to collection. But EVERY SINGLE TIME Jesus comes through. And it's ALWAYS last minute. Friday I was stressing so badly, where it was actual crippling anxiety. I prayed despite the anxiety. I told Jesus that I trusted him, and he's faithful not matter what. I decided not to cancel my appointments for next week, because I trusted that it would work out. Well, in the past 48 hours, I sold a large hanging, three necklaces, and had two wholesale orders placed. And it's enough for this week. And I know Jesus will provide for next week too. Trust and saying yes doesn't feel comfortable, but I know that I'm actually truly safe. And you're safe too. //oh and it's been eleven months since the #greatbikewreck2016

I have a story to encourage your beautiful spirits: money is so freakin stressful for me. Life is soooo unpredictable. But I know that I know that I know that this is what Jesus wants me to be doing right now. The conviction is down deep, to the depths of my heart which matches the depths of his heart.
So summer has been really slow. Markets are closed because it's hot, college students are home for summer break, and the store I work at has been undergoing construction. And every week I have to spend a set amount of money on things that further my journey toward wholeness that I started last summer. Something I know Jesus wants for me, even more than I want it for myself. And everytime The due date comes, I freak out. What if I don't sell anything. What if I'll have to cancel all my appointments. What if my bills end up going to collection. But EVERY SINGLE TIME Jesus comes through. And it's ALWAYS last minute.
Friday I was stressing so badly, where it was actual crippling anxiety. I prayed despite the anxiety. I told Jesus that I trusted him, and he's faithful not matter what. I decided not to cancel my appointments for next week, because I trusted that it would work out. Well, in the past 48 hours, I sold a large hanging, three necklaces, and had two wholesale orders placed. And it's enough for this week. And I know Jesus will provide for next week too.
Trust and saying yes doesn't feel comfortable, but I know that I'm actually truly safe.
And you're safe too. //oh and it's been eleven months since the #greatbikewreck2016

 

August 16, 2017

One year. One beautiful year. If you told me last year, while I was in the trauma unit, that this year would have turned out to be so magical and the biggest adventure I've ever had, I wouldn't have believed you. But things only get better. I wrote a little letter to myself about this past year, and I put the link in my bio ❤️ "The way of [those in right relationship] is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day." Prov 4:18

One year. One beautiful year. If you told me last year, while I was in the trauma unit, that this year would have turned out to be so magical and the biggest adventure I've ever had, I wouldn't have believed you. But things only get better. I wrote a little letter to myself about this past year, and I put the link in my bio ❤️ "The way of [those in right relationship] is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day." Prov 4:18