Today–and the next 6 Fridays–I’m linking up with She Reads Truth for their #SheSharesTruth experiment.  

Psalm 130

Help, God—the bottom has fallen out of my life!
Master, hear my cry for help!
Listen hard! Open your ears!
Listen to my cries for mercy.

3-4 If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings,
who would stand a chance?
As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit,
and that’s why you’re worshiped.

5-6 I pray to God—my life a prayer—
and wait for what he’ll say and do.
My life’s on the line before God, my Lord,
waiting and watching till morning,
waiting and watching till morning.

7-8 O Israel, wait and watch for God—
with God’s arrival comes love,
with God’s arrival comes generous redemption.
No doubt about it—he’ll redeem Israel,
buy back Israel from captivity to sin.

I love this translation (The Message) of Psalm 130.  It is full of rich, heart-healing, comforting truth about our God.  Most of all, it emphasizes that He is faithful.

Faithful to hear us when we call out to Him from the depths of our despair.

Faithful to forgive and redeem us.

Faithful to love us–no matter what.

Faithful to rescue us when the bottom drops out.

When life gets hard and things aren’t working out the way we’d expected/hoped/planned, when the bottom drops out, it can be so hard to smile and thank the Lord and say “He is faithful.”  We are so quick to focus on the darkness, on the yuck, and brush aside the hand of Jesus, ready and waiting to pull us out of the pit.

You guys.  He is faithful.  He is good (even when it doesn’t feel like it in the moment).  He is sovereign, and He is working all things out for your good. (Romans 8:28)

When it seems like life is against you and your world is crashing down around you, take heart.  He is faithful to come to you when the bottom drops out.

With God’s arrival comes generous redemption.



You guys. This weekend was kind of nuts.

Friday and Saturday were super busy (with good things!).

Saturday there was a meet up of local Influence Network girls; one of my conference roommates, Lillie, hosted it at her house.  It was awesome!! I have been longing for community lately, and spending a couple of hours with some kindred spirits was just what my heart needed.


I’m going out of town for work this week, so I had plans to spend Sunday afternoon preparing some great things to post on the blog while I’m gone.

Alas, a change of plans was forced upon me.  We returned home from church and brunch to a minor flood–our washing machine was gushing water (I know. crazy), and our kitchen and guest room were drenched (our guest room backs up to our laundry room).

The rest of the day and evening was taken up by some lovely disaster restoration gentleman, who kindly ripped up our floors, removed our dishwasher and refrigerator, and filled our home with fans and dehumidifiers.



My relaxing afternoon of writing sadly did not happen. But hey, how often do you get the opportunity to clean the sides of your stove and the floor underneath your refrigerator?

How was your weekend?



…Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corin. 3:17

Freedom from:


Jumping through hoops for approval


A religious to-do list



Performing for love and acceptance

Your past 

freedom sign (1 of 1)

this beautiful canvas print is from Naptime Diaries

What junk do you need to get free from?





Having nutritious, low-calorie lunches prepared ahead of time for work is crucial for me. I have learned this the hard way. (I talk about my work lunch disasters in this post.)  And quinoa with veggies is one of my very favorite things to prepare on a Sunday for the week ahead.

work lunch quinoa & veg (1 of 1)

You can use whatever veggies you like and/or have on hand. I always use carrots, green beans, kale, baby bell peppers, mushrooms, garlic and shallots.

Carrots (1 of 1)

baby peppers (1 of 1)

Now, let’s talk about golden beets for a minute. They have a milder taste than red/purple beets; I’d never had the golden ones before and only bought them because Sprouts didn’t have any other kind. They’re scrumptious when they’ve been roasted and salted, and for this dish I even used the greens. Delicious.

golden beets (1 of 1)

beet greens (1 of 1)

shallots and garlic (1 of 1)


You’ll need: the veggies you want to use, a couple of cloves of garlic, 1 large shallot, 1 cup of dry quinoa, olive oil, 1 tablespoon of oregano, salt & pepper to taste

If you’re going to include beets: cut the greens off, scrub the beets well (with a veggie scrubber like this one), wrap them in foil, and roast them at 400 for 40ish minutes.

While the beets are roasting, start cooking the quinoa, and clean and cut up the rest of the veggies.

Begin to heat a large pan on medium; throw in some olive oil and about a tablespoon of water.

I put the harder veggies (the green beans & carrots) in first, so they have enough time to soften up. (I keep the lid on the pan for the part of the time so the veggies heat evenly and some moisture is preserved.)

After about ten to fifteen minutes, add the rest of the veggies and the chopped up garlic and shallot, along with a tablespoon of oregano (and salt & pepper to taste).

Once the quinoa is done, stir it into the veggie mix. When the beets are done, chop them up and stir them in, as well.

Taste a bite to see if the veggies are soft enough, and then divide it into 4 containers for work (1 cup of dry quinoa makes 4 servings).

I’ve never tried this before, but I think kalamata olives would be amaze-balls in this dish.

Green Beans & Carrots (1 of 1)

quinoa and veggies (1 of 1)

Let me know what you think if you decide to make it! :)



I sort of hate Valentine’s Day.  Although it can be fun, it can also be a huge source of pain for many, many people. For those who have lost their loves to death (or a nasty breakup…), or for those who are single or struggling in their marriages/dating relationships, it can turn the volume of loneliness up to a deafening roar.

Forced romance and awkward conversation (when what you’re really feeling isn’t being said) and candles and roses when your heart is hurting sucks. I say we hijack Valentine’s Day from that creepy baby cupid; instead, make today a love party.  Bask in the love of Jesus.  If that’s difficult for you, ask Him to reveal to your heart how He truly feels about you.

Give the people in your life–coworkers, family members, friends, kids, your significant other–a little extra love.  Call your grandma. Reach out to a lonely neighbor. Tell your dad you appreciate him. Invite a coworker to lunch–your treat. Get together with your girlfriends and tell them how much they mean to you and watch funny movies and drink wine.

Celebrate love with your people–all of them.

Valentine's DayUSED

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end. I Corinthians 13:4-7



You’re not really supposed to say this as a Christian woman, but Proverbs 31 was always kind of a thorn in my side.

When I was a kid, we attended a legalistic church for awhile that had a class for young girls on becoming a Proverbs 31 woman. It was all about preparing ourselves for marriage, children and home-making–never any talk of college or pursuing the dreams and desires God had put within our hearts.

As a 13 year old, I was deeply indignant about my needs and desires already being put on the back burner when I wasn’t even out of middle school yet.  I wanted to go to college and maybe become a doctor, or a teacher, or a marine biologist. What about my dreams??

Ironically, I now want to stay at home with my kids and–gasp–even homeschool. But, I have made peace with Proverbs 31. I have come to understand that a woman of God can be passionate about her family (even completely devoting a season of her life to caring for them) and still pursue her dreams and passions if she so desires.

Joining The Influence Network has been huge for me. At the conference last September, I met several women who are devoted moms and are still rocking their careers–through online shops, running amazing blogs, and writing books. (Some great examples: Haley Morgan, Jessi Connolly, and Shauna Niequist)

The Sashes Market, the shop at the conference selling stuff made by Influence girls, was inspired by Proverbs 31 (v. 24 “she makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant.”).  The Proverbs 31 woman is creating and selling and delivering; she’s rocking it.

During one session of the conference a man holding a tiny baby quietly walked through the hotel ballroom, approached the woman seated next to me, handed her the baby and then left.  She nursed the baby and then sent a text, and he returned and quietly took the baby away again.  I wanted to stand and applaud--both the woman for making the effort to invest in her career and her passions by attending the conference, and her husband for being so kind and supportive of his wife’s dreams.

 Kim of Oh, Sweet Joy! and Ashley of Written on Her Heart–two of my favorite Christian mama role models at The Influence Conference last September:

oh, sweet joy (1 of 1)

Kim taught a great workshop on monetizing your blog


Ashley onstage with her newest babe

What are your views on pursuing your dreams while being a Christian wife and mama? Has Proverbs 31 been a struggle for you, too?

***To my mama friends out there who aren’t pursuing projects and careers outside of their families: please hear me when I say that it’s admirable and brave for a woman to solely dedicate herself to her children for a season.  You’re a rockstar!!



Several months ago, my doctor told me I need to drop well, a lot of weight.

I  feel weird sharing his real name with all of the internets, so I will call him Dr. Man, because he is a doctor, and he is a man. We have a great doctor-patient relationship; I bring him gifts for his new baby, and he tells me the cold, hard, truth.

So, anyway, one day he walked into the exam room with my file in his hands and said: “this says you weigh ___. The nurse made a mistake right? Or is this what you really weigh?” To which I responded: “ummm, if you haven’t noticed, I’m a little chubby, Dr. Man.”

I’ve been a little on the chubby side most of my life, but having an actual medical professional tell me I need to lose that much weight was a brutal wake up call.

berries (1 of 1)

So, I’m putting it out there that this is my year, the year of freedom, when I will finally take control over my health.  I want to be strong and energetic and healthy for my family.  I want to set a good example for my children by not only encouraging healthy eating and exercise, but by actually doing it myself.

running shoes (1 of 1)

I’m learning that always doing what feels good in the moment–having a giant bowl of pasta after a stressful day at work, having that second (or third) brownie/cookie/piece of cake, choosing the couch over a run in the park–leads to slavery & bondage, not freedom.

fruit & veg (1 of 1)

It’s time to discard the things that are keeping me bound up. How are you pursuing freedom in your health this year?




speak hear see (1 of 1)

…the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.  And the tongue is a flame of fire…It can set your whole life on fire… James 3:5-6

When I read this, I had another punched-in-the-face-by-scripture moment. I don’t have much of a filter, and my mouth has gotten me in trouble (majorly) on numerous occasions.

Our words have power, and we have the choice to either speak & declare negativity or life–encouraging, hope-inspiring, building-up words. Words are powerful tools and can be used to either destroy others or to build them up.

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18


Not only can we hurt people with our words and destroy relationships, but we can also hurt–or help–ourselves. When faced with difficulties, pain, and struggles large and small, we have the choice to either respond with negativity and hopelessness or to speak life to that situation.

Words kill, words give life;
they’re either poison or fruit—you choose. Proverbs 18:21

Instead of wallowing in self pity and declaring negative things over your life, speak scripture to that mountain: “thank you Lord that you are working in all situations for my good. Thank you that no weapon formed against me/my family/my business/my [fill in the blank with your whatever] will succeed, and that you are in control and faithful to fight for me. Thank you that you have plans to prosper me and not to harm me.”

Throughout the entire Bible God uses the spoken word to call things into being, to bring people healing and even to raise the dead, and we are made in His image. It’s time to start speaking life–your words have power!

This post is a linkup with Whitney and Danielle.




After the beatdown marathon that was chapter four, I was suuuuper grateful that chapter five was a mere 15 pages long. In this chapter, Brené discusses how we have to:

pay attention to the space between where we’re actually standing and where we want to be… [which] requires both an embrace of our own vulnerability and cultivation of shame resistance…to pay attention to the space between where we’re standing and where we want to go.

Brené’s discussion of disengagement, which she says is “the issue underlying the majority of problems… in families, schools, communities, and organizations” is what really stood out to me in this chapter. So many of us are completely disconnected from those around us, with our eyes glued to our phones, because it’s much easier to observe a sterilized, prettified version of life from behind a screen than to truly engage and do the work of being vulnerable with those around us.

Sometimes we want desperately to connect on a deep, vulnerable level with others, but we don’t quite know how to get there.  Brené breaks it down like this:

The gap starts here: we can’t give people what we don’t have. Who we are matters immeasurably more than what we know or who we want to be. The space between our practiced values (what we’re actually doing, thinking, and feeling) and our aspirational values (what we want to do, think, and feel) is the value gap, or what I call “the disengagement divide.” It’s where we lose our employees, our clients, our students, our teachers, our congregations, and even our own children…We have to pay attention to the space between where we’re actually standing and where we want to be.

London underground (1 of 1)

I think the only way we can “mind the gap” and bridge the divide is to seek the Lord for healing of the hurt places in our hearts that cause us to disengage in the first place. I’m so thankful that we serve a God who “heals the brokenhearted and ·bandages their wounds.” Psalm 147:3



A few representatives of Mocha Club spoke at the Influence Conference last September, and I immediately signed up as a supporter. The Mocha Club is “a community giving up the cost of a few mochas a month to support development projects in Africa.” Mocha Club supports 5 projects in Africa: clean water, education, healthcare, economic freedom, and orphan care. They also run fashionABLE (mentioned in this post), which provides jobs for former prostitutes and women at risk in Ethiopia. Check out their beautiful scarves and bags!

mocha club table2 (1 of 1)

A few weeks ago I was asked to volunteer at Matt Wertz’ Dallas concert on behalf of Mocha Club to share what they’re doing (not from the stage. yikes) and to sign people up.  It was a fun night, and I met a lot of great people.

mocha club sign (1 of 1)

Matt Wertz (1 of 1)

Caroline at Mocha Club table (1 of 1)-2

Mocha Club is doing amazing work in Africa, and their projects will be making an impact for generations to come; join us!