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 not without you

Jesus laughs
with little children,
she said.

in my memory
we are clasped –
Your left for my right.

laughter escapes
the smiling mouth
awed at my curiosity –

I was young, tiny
in the hold of Love,
vistas blue above.

green trees before,
beside and mt Father –
how well I am known

within my heart.
pride has ensnared
my foot – Daddy,

I want to be right!
I can fix this – – –
I want to grow up,

like you,

this pretty much my last night and this last week. Thank you, Michelle for inspiring the beginning of this. 🙂 I can’t get the words out of my head. I’m so thankful for you. ❤

He came to me like rain this morning. And just like that butterfly I saw while singing this yesterday. He’s got something just up ahead. It’s probably more of Him. 🙂

that’s what you were saying

Jesus doesn’t show himself laughing to many,

she told me over the phone
on my 24th birthday.

he is reassuring you,

she continued through
questioning silence

I gave. I sat in room

unfamiliar, wide with 
loneliness. how could

you laugh, Lord, when

I spent so many days 
staring at your sympathy 

portrayed in inspired artwork?

your hand was pressed to your
heart–I am grieved for you,

my child. I swore fear caught 

my breath every time I dared 
stare a little than I wanted.

you were the sad God & I, 

the girl grasping happiness
at dead ends. the boy

I begged stay around,

please, please, I bought 
you a phone card. Promise

you’ll call tomorrow. Or performance 

I burrowed my heart below, so no
one knew my creviced heart.

I believed you always saddened,

laughter furthest from lips divine.
I sin & repent, your smile shining 

same. Your arms open same

distance from my troubled brow.
don’t you want to dance,

sway back & forth in celebration 

undeserved? don’t you want
laughter cracking open 

your tight lipped demeanor 

you’ve announced yourself 
forever wearing? I came

so you may live again–come,

come! there’s room for you 
by my side, darling.
inspired by this. My grandma had this picture of Jesus on the wall. For many years, it’s made me wonder if he’s always sad. With the name, “man of many sorrows,” it’s been difficult for me to imagine Jesus sitting back with friends laughing & enjoying life. It says so in His Word, he didn’t just cry. He enjoyed meals. Weddings. 

Last year, I had a dream the night before my birthday, where I walked with the laughing Jesus in a field. I knew I was holding his hand, but my vision was blurry. I knew he was laughing even though the dream was silent. I kept wanting to ask him what was so funny, but he keep walking with me and laughing. I was confused.

My grandma told me not many people see the laughing side of Jesus and this was reassurance. He was with me.

I think there was more to it. He isn’t the sad or angry God I’ve grown believing in. He’s life. Life isn’t only sadness or anger. It’s joy, too.

I so easily forget this. Because God is love. And love is patient and kind. He doesn’t boast in himself. He rejoices over us.

He hopes we’ll believe this.

And he’ll continue leading us in love, through the brokenness to happiness.

because i can’t stop staring

wake with your words
being sung inside mu mind—
where are your accusers now?

what you told the woman
after hushing crowd placing
her before you, shall we

stone her as instructed
in Moses law? they are
pleading, Jesus: this

adulterer needs to
punished, there must
be justice! you catch

her eyes, others.
only fear speaks
with such haste.

in love, you
exclaim—
let the sinless

here cast
the first stone!
all heads lower,

slipping away
unheard. you
& your beloved

stand together,
maybe tears
hitting ground.

hands held
silently, before
you annonce,

i do not condemn
you, either—go
live unashamed.

was your adoration
alighting her heart,
as is mine?

This song on his on iTunes radio station for days. (there is another he sings after, that sounds like me i can’t get the question out of mind, because i’m pretty sure Jesus has been asking me the same one. except i think i’m waiting for someone to condemn me. but my crowd is all the voices in my head. and Jesus keeps whispering, i love you, keep going. i’ll handle all the fear trying to push you to ground. you are free to love me as I keep loving you.

and i am torn between tears and laughter.

goodbye

in the garden,
earthly side of
heaven i sit—

i love you
falls swift off
their tongues

through screen.
mouth & my heart
beats a question

yet to forget.
why, when i
will make mistake?

tension crawls
inside, a clenched
fist ready to knock

truth sustaining
my next breath.
he’s holding

something back
from you, i hear
the serpent remark.

don’t you see
you9 still stuck?
he laughs.

i throw a rock
of your promise—
he has plans

to prosper me
not harm—
it is good

to wait upon
the Lord, he
will fight for me

even as i am
still. i may have
many problems,
but Jesus
delivers me
from all

——

he chokes
on belief,
slithering

sometimes you have to write out the truth, to release the tension that keeps tightening your insides. and imagine your throwing rocks at the devil.. though i know i’d scream or say “oh,God, please.” if i i saw a serpent.

God promises peace,though. His peace. Not the kind the world gives. (lately i’m thinking this is commercials that will instantly make me want dunlin donuts sugary frappes..), but the promise not to let my heart be troubled or afraid because he is God.

and i’m not the one in control. or need to know all the answers.

a speck i am

i am less
than the stars
i’ve only begun
see this summer—

who am i, Love,
that you desire
quiet intimacy
with me?

that white light
between V branches
stronger than a collar-
bone, but same color,

causes me wonder
the good news lighting
ember where sadness
pushes up & out my mouth.

Jesus.

i love when i am inspired by a friend. 🙂 so much thankfulness for the friends God has put in my life. who sit with me from miles away. who listen as i go what i’ve claimed to be “crazy” and end up being accidentally hilarious.

thank you, God, for reminding me on this simple tuesday, that watching cupcakes rise & constant hugs & hilarious texts are permission to relax in your love, not take everything, including myself so serious. & laugh

& receive grace to be your child.

i can’t bear you go your own way

do you love
me—Peter?
yes, Lord. this
follower who
gave a rooster
reason to crow
not once. do you
love me, Peter?
you know i do; again
the bird opens beak
wide. caw, caw.
(weren’t you with
this man?)—do
you love me, Peter?
his cheeks grow red,
Lord, yes! you know
i do! (you know this man,
no?) caw, caw, caw!
then, come follow me.
for when you were young,
you clothed yourself in
best intentions & brought
a smile to your face when
you swung your feet close
enough to forget the gravity
of earth. when wrinkles crease
your face, you will be asked, can
your arms stretch?, while a mysterious
hand leads you along gravel path—for
this, my dear son, is love.

I wonder if my best intentions when i was young, were trying to walk in hopes I’d be healed of cerebral palsy. Compared to now: God asking me to be his helpless child, so his love can fill me. Totally still stubborn, but I don’t try walking to get healed. I’m just get lost in his word. Instead of worrying where I am going. He is where my help will come from. And the late nights with him,even while I don’t feel good, are a beautiful thing. 🙂

I’m wanting to wrap my arms around him. all the time.

Kings don’t act this way

he asks,
what is truth?
standing before
his grace—
Jesus.

i lay down
to sleep after
2 a.m, asking
sing me a night
song, daddy—

my soul goes
downcast, mouthing
“please” into the dark.
water falls down my cheeks,
salt all i taste.

i am he.
the one willing
to make my home
inside your grievances,
even as you question

how can you love me?