Friday, September 27, 2013

The Right Kind of "Yes"

There was a time in my life when I had to learn to say "no." I had to learn to not over commit and to not say "yes" to every single thing asked of me.

And while there was a season in life of learning to say "no," these days I want to say "yes", not to every single thing, but to some things.

I want to be a person that says "yes" to the beautiful things, that breathe life into my soul, and that draw me closer to Jesus.

I want to say yes to sitting on roofs and gazing at the stars because I believe the stars speak to the Lord's impeccable beauty in creation.

I want to say yes to buying plane tickets to visit best friends because I believe that sometimes a hug, face-to-face conversations, and play dates are worth it.

I want to say yes to crying because I believe tears do not mean we are weak, but that we do in fact feel something.

I want to say yes to spontaneity because I believe we are not meant to live with such rigid schedules.

I want to say yes to dancing in the rain because it is freeing and reminds me that it is for freedom that Christ has set us free.

I want to say yes to dinner parties because I believe life is found over the table.

I want to say yes to coffee every single time because it reminds me to slow down and it warms the deepest parts of my soul.

I want to say yes to things that scare me because I believe that the God of the universe drives out fear and that His angels encamp around me.

I want to say yes to the late night phone calls because I believe the person on the other end deserves it.

I want to say yes to adventuring, hiking, exploring, and camping because I believe in the outdoors challenges that I am drawn closer to Jesus.

I want to say yes to sweatpants because I believe they bring rest to your body and your soul.

I want to say yes to road trips because I believe cars are meant to be driven and cities are meant to be explored.

I want to say yes to difficult conversations because I believe communication is necessary all the time.

I want to say yes to playing on playgrounds and swinging on swings because I believe you are never too old for a good swing set or playground.

I want to say yes to vulnerability because I know that we are designed for connection.

I want to say yes to interpretative dancing because it always makes for an enjoyable time and "The Circle of Life" insists upon dancing.

I want to say yes to snowboarding because I want to learn something new and to embrace my inner bro #jokes.

I want to say yes to girls' nights because I believe as females we need one another, to encourage, to pray, to giggle, to process, and to fight for one another as believers.

I want to say yes to Jesus every single time. 

There is beauty in saying "yes" and there is beauty in saying "no." But for right now, I am going to work on saying "yes."

Because for me saying "yes" is what I need and what is drawing me closer to the Lord. Saying "yes" to the whimsy things in life, to the things that deserve to be taken in slowly, and to the things that make this life just a little bit sweeter.

Here's to practicing the "yes" life...

Saturday, September 21, 2013


I will admittedly say I do not have a green thumb. Planting flowers, plants, or trees has never been my thing... nor is keeping them alive. Give me a bouquet of flowers and I'll put them in a vase, water them as I can, and then hope for the best. I do secretly hope to one day develop a green thumb because I think there is something incredibly beautiful about growing something, but right now in Colorado is not the time.

Recently though, my heart and soul is craving roots. Roots that grow deep, roots that breed life, and roots that thrive. 

First, I desire to be "rooted and established in love" (Eph 3:17). Oh, what it would it is to be fully rooted in the Lord's love. Being rooted in His love allows for us to begin "to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge" (3:18). 

It's the love of Christ that loved us before we repented; the love of Christ that loves us as high as the heavens; the love of Christ that went into the deepest pit of Hell to save us; and the love of Christ that goes before us and purposes all things according to His will. It is the love of Christ that cannot be fully measured or understood and is truly a profound mystery (5:32). 

It is in that love that I want to be rooted and it is in that love that I want to find my hope. 

Secondly, I long to grow roots here at Crooked Creek and here in Fraser, CO. It's easy to make the statement that I will only live here one year of my life, so roots are not that necessary; but I am fully convinced that the Lord wants to do a mighty work here in my life while I am here in Fraser, therefore, I need roots. 

My heart desires to be rooted in our intern community, intertwining with one another in ways that draw us close through openness and vulnerability. It is through that intertwining that I pray we push one another towards Christ and that we grow together as a body of believers. 

I pray that roots are grown deep in relationships and I pray that the Lord speaks through those relationships. It is through roots that extend wide and deep that we begin to be known and understood. Being fully known and understood makes me nervous, but I believe those connections are necessary and are of my heart's deepest desires. 

And my prayer is for roots in this small ski town in the mountains of Colorado. My prayer is to find some grounding here as the Lord works in my life and in the lives of the people in Fraser. I long to feel connected somewhere and the somewhere the Lord has me right now is Fraser, CO. So I got a library card and am attending a church in the valley and will be helping with Young Life in Grand County, because the Lord is drawing me nearer to Him through these roots. 

These second roots, the ones at Crooked Creek and in Fraser, they are enhancing the first roots, the truest roots. The roots that go down deep in my soul and my being, the roots that are clinging to knowing and being established in the Lord's love, are being nurtured by the roots that growing here in Colorado. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Prayer for Community

We walked in not knowing that much. Only that we had each committed ourselves to a year at Crooked Creek Ranch to serve as year-long interns.

There were ten of us that first day. In the past two weeks, those ten strangers have started to feel like family. We live together, play together, and work together.

This is my prayer for us and for our community together:

Heavenly Father, it is by Your sure grace and provision that You have brought me to Crooked Creek and it is by Your hand that You have brought each of the nine other interns here as well. It is by Your hand that we are blessed to live together and to learn about one another. And it is by Your hand that we will grow together. May we never lose sight of your faithfulness and provision in this year. 

I must admit that it is scary being in such a close knit community, but I find hope in who You are and who You have created us to be. You have created us for these relationships and You have created us to know You through our relationships with one another. Lord Jesus, may we know You more because of our relationships with one another. May You grant us the courage to be vulnerable and honest with one another. There will be days when all we want to do is put up our defensive walls and guard ourselves, but I pray that You shatter our unsound defenses and that we may find hope in You, El Roi, the One Who Sees. 

O God, make us a community that desires to seek Your face. Seeking You is not always easy. There are distractions all around us, things vying for our attention and focus, but I pray that above all our desire is to seek You and You alone. Remind us, God, that we were created for more than just this earth and that we were created for eternity with You. May we never lose sight of You, the Lord Almighty, our Father in Heaven who sent His Son down to earth to live as a man and die the death that we deserve. Oh, may we never lose sight of that. For all other things of this world, no matter how good they are, are a vain hope for deliverance and they will not save us; for You have already saved us.

Lord, my prayer for our community is that we in all things, we spur one another another towards Christ. That we encourage one another to know Jesus better every day and to lay our burdens down at the Cross. Some days this will be difficult and some days I will not feel like encouraging my friends, but God, You are greater still and You can do all things through me, so help me to spur my friends on, even in my worst of days. 

Grant us grace, Lord, as we fumble through these new relationships and friendships. Grant us grace so that we may extend one another grace. Some days we will hurt one another's feelings and some days we will fail at loving one another well; give us grace on those days. And then some days we will love one another well and we will be the friends that each other deserve; give us grace on those days too. Help us to keep short accounts and to forgive one another, on our good days and on our bad days; because You have forgiven us first. 

And at the end of this year, Lord, I pray that we can say that we are a community that loves You with all of our hearts, minds, and souls. And a community that loves our neighbors as ourselves. 

Thank You, Lord, for bringing us all together in this small ski town in the Colorado mountains. Thank You for knowing our hearts and for loving us so that we can love one another. Thank You for giving us the opportunity to create an environment for Christ to be glorified. 

Oh God, be exalted. Be exalted in our hearts, in our minds, and in our community. Almighty Amen. 

While this is my prayer for myself and the nine other year-long interns here at Crooked Creek, it is my prayer for you and your community as well. I pray that the Lord blesses whatever community you find yourself in and that your community is one that is centered on Jesus.

Friday, September 6, 2013


The days are days of happening. Life happening. In Colorado.

The days pass quickly, but sweetly. Each day a day of its own... full of challenges, excitement, laughter, joy, and endless happenings.

The Lord speaks slowly and delicately in the happenings: This, my daughter, is where you are supposed to be. It is here that I want to tell you, "I love you" and it is here that I will be your refuge. 

The sweet whisper of the Lord comes in moments and glimpses, shimmers of hope and delight and joy.

It's in the moments of...

... early morning conversations over coffee with all of the girls

... home cooked family dinner every evening at a table set for ten

... finding hope in the Lord's grace during these times of transition

... playing in waterfalls and climbing over rocks

... handpicked flowers delivered in mason jars from the lovely maintenance gents

... coffee shop sitting and dwelling

... exploration of small towns and hidden ice cream shops 

... cleaning of five entire dorms with new friends and taylor swift blasting

... serving 500 leaders from the colorado front range region

... moving bunk beds with the girls just to say we could 

... learning the ins and outs of retail

... french press coffee in the cutest french press a girl could ask for

... devotionals with all of the crooked creek staff

... home smoked ribs that will make your mouth water for days

... late night pillow talk with the roomie, chloe 

... interpretative dancing any time music is on

... fits of hysterical laughter anytime we are all together

... sore muscles, exhaustion, and blistered feet from a long day of work

... rainbows whispering of the Lord's faithfulness 

the days playing at adam's falls

playing together


family dinner... way to go sierra, getting in the picture twice 

making my heart happy

In the Lord's perfect timing and provision the days are happening. I came to Colorado with a list of worries a mile long and over ten reasons why I should really just stay in North Carolina, but since the moment I have been here the Lord is whispering sweetly: My daughter this is where you are supposed to be. Of that I am sure in the little daily life happenings and in that I will rest.