Encouragement for Sunday Night

OK, LOVES! It’s Sunday night. Monday is on deck, another week ready and raring to go. Sunday nights can be dark nights sometimes and rather trepidatious. So: that is why I am here. If, tonight, you are feeling a bit unsteady, I want to remind you of a few things:

You are strong.
You are beautiful.
You are intelligent.
You are loved.
You are enough.
You can do this.

If you feel like you could use a bit more of a pick-me-up–words spoken just for and to you–I’m more than happy to try my best to do that. Feel free to comment below. I would love to encourage you, love on you, and, if you will let me or would like, to pray for you over whatever this week and your life hold for you.



Words, Folding and Piercing


This is true not only of the words we read but definitely also of the words that we say.

“The world out there? It’s a tough place right now, you know? Sometimes, it feels like people are more interested in being right than being kind. Some want to have the last word, the final say, and the smug comeback. I see it too often: how people choose vitriol over virtue.

And that’s just the public word exchanges.

Some of us know painfully well how words behind closed doors can cut the deepest.

I have both loved and hated words. They have been used to heal me, and to hurt me.

You too?

We are all shaped by the words spoken over us. The names we’ve been called on the playground. The inspiring pep talks our parents gave us. The words the counselor spoke over us. The insults from the boss. The gentle affirmation from the kind lady who always sat in the last pew.

Behold the power of the spoken word:

“The tongue has the power of life and death.” {Proverbs 18:21}.

Words start wars, and they spark peace.

They are shadows, and they are chains. But they are also wings and freshest air.

Words can take you prisoner, or they can set you free.

Our words always fold into the souls of other human beings. That’s no small thing.Jennifer Dukes Lee

Settling Into This Next Version of Myself

My watchword for this year is grace and one of the books that I am reading (and have been looking forward to for a long while) is Jen Hatmaker’s For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards.

Quotes of the Day:

“Now fully able to cheer wildly for friends and colleagues, I am free to be me without the constrictive mesh netting around my heart, everyone else is free to be themselves, and I am thrilled about us all.” – pg 15

“You decide your day should contain laughter and grace, strength and security. You realize insecurity, striving, jealousy, and living in comparison will eventually define your entire life, and that is NOT the legacy you want.” – pg 16

“This is your place. These are your people. This is your beautiful, precious life. Probably about halfway done here on earth, you lay down angst and pick up contentment.” – pg 16

From Chapter 2: “On Turning Forty”.

This chapter is written as a small treatise from her now-forty-year-old self to those who are coming up behind her in their twenties. I am not yet forty but so much of this resonated with me, even at (only) thirty-two. What Jen writes here feels very much like what I am processing through right now.

“Oh, my stars, when I was twenty-nine, I was so hamstrung by what everyone else was accomplishing. Other people were my benchmarks, and comparison stole entire years. I lost much time in jealousy, judgement, and imitation. I just couldn’t find my own song (15).”

I could have honestly written this myself and it couldn’t be any more true. I lost years comparing myself to others and finding myself wanting or thinking that others found me wanting in important ways. I gave up a great deal of power to others over what I perceived was their disapproval or my being “too much”. It’s only now, quite a few years later, that I am finding a place of peace with myself and others, stopping the looking sideways so much, and, as Jen puts, it “developing some chops”.

My favorite quote, though, is at the end of this chapter:

“So, sure, your body and mind get whack, but I promise: you wouldn’t return to your twenties for all the unwrinkled skin on earth. You’ll like it here. You will love better, stand taller, laugh louder. You’ll pass out grace like candy. Real life will temper your arrogance and fear, and you will adore the next version of yourself. We all will (16).”


A Gift to Yourself

I posted this on my personal Facebook page this evening and I think it bears repeating. Here and everywhere. Over and over and over…

Valuing yourself is not arrogance. Self-care is not selfish. Replenishing yourself is not egocentric. Taking time to work towards YOUR peace and happiness is not narcissistic. You are unique and incalculably valuable in this world and life, and you valuing yourself is an absolute necessity. You are enough. And I will keep on telling you this.



NaBloPoMo Day 11: Solid Words to Live By

As I have gone through life, I have found that there are several quotes and axioms and Scriptures that have resurfaced or repeated time and time again, often extremely pertinent, relevant, and poignant to just what I was experiencing at the time. Several of these have come to form cornerstones for me and the way I live my life. What I will include here are four of those soul foundations.

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NaBloPoMo Day 7: Thoughts are Made of Single Words

The prompt for today asks me to write about two words or phrases that make me laugh. Truthfully, I cannot think of very many that I find that funny but I can think of several that are very profound and have stuck with me over the years.

One of them is one by Eleanor Roosevelt: “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” It might seem a little pessimistic but, honestly, it turned the tide of my mental talk in many ways. I cannot tell you where I first hear or read this quote, but it stuck with me, even if the proper words were lost and all that remained with me was the idea.

I spent a most of the first half of my life living in fear or people’s bad opinion, especially in my community. I truly and honestly believed that if people, including my parents, ever found out that I wasn’t the perfect girl they believed me to be, my life would be over. In a way, I think that fear was compounded by the thought that, if I didn’t ever leave the island and something happened that proved me painfully human, I would be stuck there. Stuck in the disappointment, stuck in the embarrassment, stuck in the whispers, stuck in all of it. Leaving for college afforded me the opportunity to forge my own life, my own path, my own reasons for believing as I believe and living as I live. Not for someone else’s approval but for God’s and, honestly, my own.


Another quote that has stuck with me is one by C.S. Lewis: “Do not shine so that others can see you. Shine so that through you others can see Him [God].” I have a ministry and purpose in life and I have been given the gifts to accomplish that purpose.  I want to reach out to the heart that is lonely or lost, that needs encouragement, that needs to know that someone is there and cares about them, regardless of sex, creed, belief system, skin color, whatever (theirs or mine). But I don’t do it because I want people to admire me. No. I do what I do because I want people to see God and His love for them. If I can be a vehicle for such love, I am all for that.