won’t stop you anyway. 

Jesus,

pave the way 

so I may see

myself through Your

eyes, help me accept

Your love. Let me open

my arms and embrace You.

You are wonderful and faithful 

to woo me beyond my every no. 

Don’t let me go – let me dance with you 

right here. Don’t mind

the tears, this is all new and the lies I 

don’t deserve this – I don’t deserve such 

mercy to cover me though I will turn 

away tomorrow 

fmf: accept

Tired doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel lately. Weary maybe. Worn out. Burned out. I have not come through on two things this month (one including reading a book I’m supposed to help launch) so far. In between telling God, I’m going to do it. Yep, got distracted again. I don’t have the energy. 

I keep doing devotionals (whispers of rest. I can’t quit it.) and reading the bible. And rambling to God about how things don’t make sense and blah blah blah. Not the things are supposed to make sense but I need I don’t know, more than physical rest. Though some solid rest would be cool. Can I have a hug? A looooong one. I know you’re here, God. I know it. I know it. I’m just a little I don’t even know. And all ELLIE HOLCOMB TICKETS SOLD OUT, ughhh God, I want to go! Please. Please please please. PLEASE. I’m going to wait and pray to you. 

In the midst of all my rambling there has been:

1. Yellow butterflies. I know they mean guidance. Always come when I’m least expecting. 

2. An explosion of snacks brought from dad from his last trip. Included: trail mix, candy bars, pretzels (eating soon) and chips. 

3. Oreo shake from my mom. 

4. Pop pies and laughter from my brother until my sides hurt. 

5. My dad getting me a window seat for trip to Texas in 9 days.

6. Late night Voxer (this is a very interesting app where I feel like I’m a cop with a walkie talkie but nice to be share our hearts and come back later if we need to) with a friend. So much laughter and goodness last night. 

7. Anticipation to hug another friend in 9 days and possibly sing all Ellie until I can’t 😂 and possibly this:

8. I can pave the road for you. seriously so catchy and I love how she dances with her daughter and she says: yeah. 😍

9. This friend coming back to blogging!!!! So excited you don’t even know. 🙋🙋🙋
Thank you again, Lord, for all the abundance in the hard places. I may not always recongnize or acknowledge it because I’m so busy asking for heaven now and for you to come comfort me. Hug me literally. Give me what I want right now. Because I am a child and sometimes I’m wanting, wanting, wanting. Wanting relationships to be better, vision, things. But it doesn’t compare to the way you sing to me. The way you dance within me when we are. The way it’s like heaven has come and I just want to stay with you in this moment, alone. Stay sith me and whisper how you will never leave even as I cry for home. You are good. And everything that isn’t yet is because you either want me to wait or isn’t meant for me. Everything that is coming or here, let me rejoice and feel you burn with me. Such delight within me. Promised for eternity. Amen. 

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Declare Conference 2017

This will by my first year attending the Declare conference. Or a conference period.  Besides being excited/mostly freaked out, I love that I get to come back to Texas, spend some time with a dear friend, and do something I hope will fill my soul to the brim. These questions are part of declare’s blog link up for this year. 🙂

1. When did you feel called to be a digital evangelist, what’s your main medium (podcast / blogging / books / speaking / social media / etc.), and how long have you been doing it?

I started writing when I was about maybe 14. A friend introduced me to the site, Deviantart. I learned a lot about community and how to encourage others, let them encourage me and made friends along the way through collaborations on pieces. I wrote many, many poems to a boy I had fallen in love with. And other people I wanted love from. When the relationship with the boy ended, I went to college and began a blog not really understanding why other than I needed to get out pain that was crushing my soul. I’ve always known I think, even when I’m writing a poem to someone or about them, I’m writing to Jesus. I don’t consider myself a digital evangelist, but a girl who is still trying to grasp his love for her in letters to him. If anyone who reads my blog meets him there, it’s a bonus. I’ve been blogging for almost 4 years. 

2. What is your life scripture?

I started reading the bible this year, and so far one of my favorite scriptures is: “For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.””

Zephaniah‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭NLT‬
This verse has my word for the year: delight. This has been hard to do this year, other than finding it in his word, but I’d like delight to permeate my life. Not just with delighting in God, but seeing how he delights in me. 

3. What are your passions?

Writing poems, getting into God’s word, music that helps me focus on scripture, encouraging other writers (especially moms lately).  Encouraging friends. Not in that order. 

4. What is your favorite candy and / or food?

Candy bars: Hershey’s cookies and cream/special dark candy bars. 

5. Where is your happy place and what’s it like?

This is a really hard question for me for some reason. I’ve been going over this in my head, repeating the question. My happy place lately  is in God’s Word of listening to Ellie Holcomb/Beckah Shae, orwhen I’m with a friend who really encourages me and where I can give my presence. Listening. Praying for them. Sometimes it’s online and sometimes it’s face to face, like this:

This is a recent picture from this year with my friend, Megan (I am on the right.) from this year at the Cheesecake Factory. This is the only picture I have from this year of myself. Selfies make me feel weird. It’s much better with another person. 

I’m most happy when I can give my attention to someone one on one. Especially when there’s food (like chocolate), laughter, music and good conversation. But most definitely laughter. And books. I feel like I experience God in my midst. Whether it’s the overflow with music or laughter with someone. It’s always overwhelming. 

6. Are you working on any exciting projects that you can share about? If so, please share!

  • I’m slowly, and I mean slowly thinking about working on a book of prayers after a friend suggested it. I think I’ve already started, but still unsure. 
  • Waiting to hear back from Just Between Us magazine about an article. 

7. How can we pray for you as you prepare for this year’s conference?

Please pray that allow God to meet me here. I would love if he would evaporate every fear as I walk into the door. This is the first conference I’ve been to and I’m unsure of why I’ve had the desire to come ever since I heard the podcast. I’m afraid of leaving the same as I’m coming – unsure why I still write. Why my voice matters. Why I matter. Please pray he would flood my heart with his love for me. 

I’m excited, nervous (mostly that) and can’t wait to see how God shows himself to me there. 

but I’m afraid of me. 

God,

will you find me

here today as I tell you:

I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. 

I’m sorry I get attached to people so easy. 

I’m sorry I want them to love me like only 

you can love me. I’m sorry I want you to 

take me to heaven to set me free. I’m 

sorry I’m angry, that I want you to hold 

me in your arms, my only support today. 

I can’t tell you enough

how I want to run away, hide away, cry. 

You should take me, take away every 

thing, person 

that I put before and leave me

empty please. I want your love

fmf: support

This is what I thought of when I saw the prompt: “I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭94:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬

How am I slipping? Idolizing people. I really don’t mean to do it but the more I see me doing it, the more I want to go hide in a cave forever. It’s why I like long distance friendships I think. I can’t get close enough physically to get attached. And even if I do share my heart, there’s always a space. A pullback.  I probably idolize things (not just people) that I don’t realize. This week has just been hard and tiring and I want to run as far away as possible but Jesus won’t let me. I don’t want to hurt people anymore or myself. Or Jesus. 

Everything within is just a whole bunch of wanting to cry. Get angry. Sit quietly.

I feel a bit like this: let me be while you’re holding me tight.  I hear this lyric and think of Jesus. Every time. 

Please hold me, Jesus. My heart wants to cry and cry and cry. But you promise you won’t leave even as I tell you I don’t like myself right now. I can’t understand why you love me. Why you want to, but that’s who you say you are. Even as I am scared of me, my need, everything. Wrap me in the shelter of your wing. Thank you. I have no other words. 

You are still worthy 

God, here we are 

again. The sun is 

shining out the kitchen 

window. The cat lays in 

front of my space so I cannot

physically write. It is not the same cat, 

but still shows me

You are faithful. Yahweh, you

are my provider, you are doing

everything for your own good pleasure–

some might say delight. God, it takes 

work 

to remember right now in this 

moment You are still good even 

I lose control, have to wait, things seem 

to be being taken 

away 

fmf: work

Right now, this song is playing. I love that it fits in with the prompt. 😂 I think God may have done that with a purpose. Every time I hear this, I’m always somehow telling God: 🙋 yes, no more drama to mess up my flow! I want to go on a holiday! Let’s go! 

But then I think if I went on a holiday, I would like it a little too much. Maybe. My brain needs a holiday from the thoughts that seek get me in a feedback loop of: did I really do, say that? Ugh, Lord, I don’t deserve your love. Can I just stay right here and not move? I don’t know why I’m doing this anymore. Why am I going again? I don’t understand this, Jesus! I need to be still and relax. I need to be still, not so pushy. How about we just talk forever. Jesus. 

This week has been hard. Tiring. Vulnerability is tiring. Wanting to pray for everyone is tiring/good (maybe not always necessary when you are tired and God knows your heart. Wanting to see and savor the good is hard when you’d rather push it away and ignore it, doesn’t mean God doesn’t still say, hey, I’m over here. 

It doesn’t mean I can’t still ask and wonder why, how can this be? Are you sure I can keep asking for things, but mostly to see you more and that’s okay?

I can keep reading your word and question it. Like the guy at the banquet table who isn’t wearing wedding clothes and is asked to leave or put where there is suffering. And the King says, many are called but few are chosen. 

Was the guy chosen? Provided wedding clothes? Are you not allowed to come to the King as you are? Is it specially selected clothing that sets these selected guesses apart? Why did the previous guests say no? I say no a lot.. But I mean, it’s a BANQUET. The food has to be top notch for a king. There’s probably pie..and cake..and bread..and garlic mashed potatoes because they are my favorite. And bosco sticks because cheese in bread sometimes is okay. And really it isn’t so much about the food and God looking at me and saying, hey girl, I love you. Won’t you enjoy this feast with me and stop worrying. I love you. Still. 

God, your eyes are so sparkly and twinkly.     I don’t want to look away. Even though it scares me. This intimacy. This love you have for me. Every day. Every hour. Every minute. Every second. Every breath. Every heartbeat. It is I love you, Julia. Not less because of the thoughts you had five minutes ago that I’m taking away from you. Not what you say or do. I love you because I do. You can fight and push me away, stare at me and ask me why why why? I don’t deserve this. Look at how pushy and vulnerable I am, how I long to be with you at a table and read, sing, talk to you all day long when I should want to do something. But I want to be, held, loved. Something that is so deep i don’t even get it. Lord. 

You know it all, and yet you love me still. 

my smile

In the valley,

it is hard to love 

your neighbor-those

that are your immediate 

family, much less yourself. 

How can I love them or any

one outside of this house if 

I can not love them or myself 

well, God. It starts slow, when I

take a pause from what I’m reading to 

listen to a laugh 

from my sister about a balloon

hat my mom made, a flower, my sister 

turns into a hat and we sit there and 

laugh. And then when I turn on a kids 

movie about singing and dad, her and I 

watch it and then dad and I watch 

another show about books, the librarians. 

And at the end of one episode there is 

rainbow. I think of you and what you may 

be trying to tell me again. That you are 

faithful, you love me and you will not 

stop making me and all things, your 

children, new. Keep my heart steadfast, 

Lord, because your beauty is captivating. 

Your love 

makes me hunger for more 

And more of 

you. I want to be still & know, you are God 

& you will be exalted over all the earth. Be 

my rock I run to now to declare now: you 

are beautiful, my neighbor, my friend, my 

father, the One who has wonderfully 

made with his breath 
fmf: neighbor

Really I saw this prompt and thought: won’t you be my neighbor? Mr. Rogers anyone? 😂 I totally went over the 5 mind with the poem. I have the timwe ser to stop when music stops playing for 5 mins. But it went to a commercial and then quit. Then when music played again, I forgot I had stopped the timer too, but was already on a roll in the words. I stopped midway and was like, oh..went over. But it’s okay. This was good to write, a sweet reminder God is working. May not be what I’d like all the time (anger can get on you after a while), but God really does promise to make all things new and beautiful in his time. His time. Not mine. 

Loving myself well looks a lot like digging into his word and praying. And this. Writing. It makes me feel really good to get everything out. Speaking I’m a mess but here I can think and breathe and ponder. Next month..it’s going to be another step of loving myself by going to a conference and spending time with Trisha and her family at the beginning of the month. Cannot wait. I mean I can wait because the fear has been creeping in like, what are you going to this for? What if nothing comes from it? You sure you’re not going to be a burden to this friend? I mean you can’t even talk to her well on the phone.. But then pure joy that I know is Jesus inside is all, it will be fine I hear all your prayers. You can’t wait. I know you want a hug. I know. You saw her before and it was fine. I was there and I’ll be there again. I know the peace you feel over there. I’m going to surprise you. 

And then my grandpa is looking to come and I haven’t seen him since last year. Maybe a movie and popcorn will be in order. 

And if God couldn’t get any funnier, one of my favorite singers is coming here toward the end of October. And VIP tickets are really cheap. And the thought of seeing her and being like, your music, JESUS MEETS ME THERE EVERY TIME! And I write too many poems to your song titles, like they are in the poem. And here I wrote you one.. Can we sit and talk for a few hours? Could we make a music video to Fighting Words, please? Also, would it be possible if we could write a song together?  I’ve written one, but have no idea how to put music to it. Yeah, I know lots of questions. I’d feel super crazy but it’s a burning inside just to ask. Her music has carried me through this valley. For years. So it’d take some bravery on my part. Just seeing her sing in person would probably make me cry. But I’m curious to see if God will add some extra special delight to next month. Especially to go with Megan, who knows if you put Ellie on I go in a zone of, “I’m just going to sit and sing now.” 😂 seriously, writing all that out feels like a fire just burning me up inside.

Jesus, you are good. You understand all these crazy dreams I have inside. Crazy ones that don’t make any sense to me. Ones that I’d like to just dismiss and forget because they scare me. And seem quite impossible without you. Make a way Jesus. Lead me by your song. And let me stay in this dream space and fill up on you so I can love my neighbor well. I’ve gone a bit into the crazy zone but it’s okay. You love me still. Don’t stop showing me. Please. Amen. 

to lift me out. 

God,

I am tired 

and yet the sun

Still comes through

The window, a light

that doesn’t compare

to the one I long to guide

me to dreams I’ve let die 

for the momentum has run

dry. Would you come find me

anew, or maybe an embrace from an old 

friend would do. Light from the eyes 

would capture me in the darkness 

my mind can’t seem to shake fully. My 

God, I need you to smile again and again

fmf: guide

Today, I saw this was the prompt and then read in Bonnie Gray’s book Whispers of Rest for part of a prayer, guide me to create new rhythms. Since this a devotional book, it was the section on dreams with the day’s word, Shelter. I’m on a second read through but lately when I pick it up and open to a random page, it’s as if God meets me right there. 

I need shelter from doubt that my writing matters at all. And that maybe, maybe..God would like me to write a book, but it freaks me the heck out. And makes me weary. But it’s been rolling around since my dad mentioned it a week or so ago after I told him about how well Bonnie’s book did and I how I’m reading it again. 

All I can seem to do is read other books right now. And I’d rather help others than write my own book. But I can sit with the idea a loong time. 

In other news, I’m hopefully going to be starting the New Testament Sunday! 🎉 I really can’t believe how much I’ve gotten in God’s word since the beginning. From coloring to note taking/conversations with God. The hardest thing that has been hitting me is how much I want to call my grandma and go: THERES SO MUCH IN HERE! HE IS HUGE ON MERCY! I THINK MY HEAD IS GOING TO EXPLODE! A well of grief will rise to the surface because I can’t. I know God understands it and I like to think maybe she’s rejoicing, is most likely. It doesn’t take away the ache or the fact I wish I would’ve asked who God was to her. How much did you pray for me? Why do you feel so much like a memory? Why is this such a big deal to me now? Am I even going to remember what I’ve read? Why are all the kings in chronicles mostly really young- seriously 7 years old?! Why. They can make a decree for candy and really late bed times. 😂 will my heart change? To believe his love for me? Is it?

And then there’s this and this

The first song, I love this lyric:

When I know You love me

Is when I find that I’m free

Love the way You love me

Love the way You love

(Goes along with this post from a dear friend, Trisha who wrote about how to be effective this week. 🙋)

And the second song, I love the beginning  with the piano and these lyrics 

I will cry out to You, Lord

Of Your goodness I am sure

‘Cause it never failed before

I will praise You. 

Her music this week has been lifting up my soul and making me get to the point I want to weep, but it won’t come out. Not that I’ve not cried this week but it’s like a well inside. 

Jesus, I love the way You woo me. Please don’t shop wooing me. It’s so delightful. Help me be still in it. Amen. 

(r) I want far away from me. 

Jesus,

I don’t want to 

speak anymore unless 

it’s going to build someone

up. Or myself. There’s too

much death and division I could 

could cry a river of tears or throw a fist to 

the sky. But what 

will that solve? I don’t want to be so 

much about me but I still

long to know I’m loved, so very loved and 

I don’t know what to

offer when others are suffering 

and silence doesn’t seem the way, so I’ll 

just talk. But I’m finding maybe 

sometimes that’s best. Only you can fix 

things go better than they were before 

and only you can love me well enough to 

rid me of ange

fmf: speak

What can I say about this week? I’ve gone into a bit of hiding. No Instagram, email and barely answering texts. Why? Because I’m afraid. Afraid of every time I open my mouth I will speak death over situations I’m particularly not fond of, people, myself. So I’ve gone into God’s word and have almost filled up a notebook with prayers and verses and questions. A lot of those. It took a friend to text me maybe 3 times the other day to make me realize just how afraid I am. It’s so easy to hide. it’s so easy just to turn it to you. because you aren’t sure how to allow them time to open up and the waiting makes it a tad harder. But you want to wait. And then the suffering around you/within is a lot. And then realizing you want to give so much, really just fix it but Jesus is better. He will teach you the more you pour out to him. The more you let go even if that means going to repeatedly. Which I’m pretty sure it does. 

I didn’t realize how important prayer and praise is. I’m on the last book for the Old Testament in my Bible in a year plan ((Seriously can’t believe I made it this far.), and both David and Solomon have taught me how important prayer is. And praise. The way both of them pray to God has had me in awe. Like this:
“He prayed, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven and earth. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion.
“But will God really live on earth among people? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built! Nevertheless, listen to my prayer and my plea, O Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is making to you.”

‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭6:14, 18-19‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I love that Solomon declares how God is higher than anything or anyone and nothing can contain him. And questions if God will really be with his people, which feels a lot like how I’ve been questioning if he’s here. (He brought over some brownies yesterday just cause he knows my love of chocolate, through a woman I met from where my dad’s boat is docked, and their golden retriever, Bear, who reminds me of bear in the big blue house 😂. He seemed a little skeptical of me last night and doesn’t like my cane, but look at this face. )


Wasn’t too fond of one of the kitties but so 😍 he’s just laying by me now. 

This ties into to the last verse about Solomon wanting to God to hear his cry and request. I continuously want to God to be open to my cry and request to see His face and love toward me. And he has this week by:

  1. Giving me so much time and space to read his word, ask a million questions. Okay not that many but a lot. Pray. Just be with him. 
  2. Letter in the mail (unopened still because I like to linger in the moment happiness and feel I gotta give something immediately back before fully receiving it. But that’s bypassing the gift all together)
  3. A book I need to start reading to help launch (also unopened but I will get to it hopefully tonight. A review will be coming.)
  4. Bear in the big yellow (our house is yellow.) house and he’s waiting for us to come and rest 😂
  5. Brownies (I need to eat one..)
  6. Slow movements of opening up with a friend. Healing. 
  7. This. I could go on about this for hours. I will say she needs to release a covers album because I just want to put it on repeat all day long. Ughhh. So good. 

Things might look bad, but I know You’re still good

You always show up like I knew that You would. –love these lyrics. So much. 

Thank you Jesus for the all the abundance in the hard places. Please help me receive. Don’t let me move from receiving until I’m full to the overflow. You give gifts, good gifts. I don’t have to be afraid they’ll disappear or I need to give before fully receiving. Help me enjoy then and praise you all the more. You are faithful. Amen.