Tuesday, December 22, 2015

What My Two Year Old Taught Me This Year About Decision Making

January 2015, I decided this year would be my year for "Decisions." 

I wanted to make wise, thought through, calculated and healthy decisions about my life, dreams, family and marriage.

I thought that by deciding to make my decisions this way, I could control the pace at which the situations that called for some decision making came. Did I lose you yet? 

I wanted to be in charge of my life again. I wanted to dictate how fast or slow it would go, depending on the speed of the day or week or month and how my family and I were grooving.

I wanted to, in my mind, finally be an adult about the mature decisions I made.

But after 357 days of toiling to form a routine, a process, a grown up adult plan for my life, I've discovered yet another one of life's dirty little secrets:

The adult decision process is exactly the same as a child's. The only thing that changes is the scenario, setting, weight and complexity surrounding the decision. 

My two year old and I make decisions the exact same way! 

She wants something.
She fights for it.
Someone or something warns her it's not good for her.
She then gets to decide if she will disregard warning for the sake of momentary satisfaction.
Or she gets to decide if she will heed warning and avoid certain heartache.

I want something.
I fights for it.
I then get to decide if I will disregard warning for the sake of momentary satisfaction.
Or I get to decide if I will heed warning and avoid certain heartache.

The only difference is that her decision involves things like a box of cookies or jumping on and off the couch and mine involves situations like whether I'm going to work or stay home after Baby Mo 2 is born. (Ok, sometimes mine involves cookies too.)

Decisions. Deciding. 

Most of us don't blatantly choose the wrong thing. Sometimes we do, but most of the time we want to do what's right, we just don't know what exactly that is. Thus, my lesson for the year:

“All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the motives.” | Proverbs 16:2

Only God can set my feet on the road to wisdom. He sees my heart, He knows my kryptonite and my strengths. He knows what He's fashioning me for and what I need to let go of.

He knows. And I've found myself laughing because of how little I included Him in my decision making process!

It would KILL ME, if I knew Symphony was up against a big decision, like whether she should poop in her pants or in the toilet, and she felt she didn't have permission to ask before making the wrong decision.

I want her to know she can come to me with any question and I will help her see what she should do.

And I'm not even God! Just a mama that loves her more than anything. Just think of how silly it is that God views us in that same vein, times 1,000,000 and yet going to Him first isn't yet in our routine.

I would make decisions and then ask Him,"Did I do that right?" Instead of inquiring before hand and allowing Him to lead me from the beginning.

And it's not this super spiritual "Jesus please send me a note or an angel to tell me what to do."

It's more like, "Hey, I am seeking You. I need help. I don't know what to do and I need you to give me a peace or discomfort if I'm making the right or wrong decision." 

"But God is my helper. The Lord keeps me alive!" | Psalm 54:4
So 2016, come what may. The crazy, the hustle, the sacrifice, the hidden and the boxes of diapers.

I am not afraid because, yes it took me 300+ days to figure this thing out, but from this point on, most of my decisions won't be made in vain or strife or confusion.

I am seeking God first, on everything.

Ciao --

End of the Year Reading in case you're bored

Monday, November 2, 2015

My God Will Supply All Your Needs (Even the emotional ones)

I've been feeling a little off balance lately. 

It could be the fluctuating pregnancy hormones. It could be work responsibilities and struggles. It could be I feel like I haven't had time for my marriage. It could be that I haven't sat and read a book to my kid in who knows how long. It could be that everywhere I look there's more sickness and death and mourning and struggle and loss. 

It could be fear. I'm not entirely sure yet. 

So this morning, I walked into the office, lit some candles, put on my new favorite chill playlist and started reading. 

My only agenda was to be refreshed. 

Whenever I'm doing a no agenda Bible read, I usually start with a passage I know will refocus me and then read the chapter before or the chapter after. Or both.

Today, I read before. The passage I started with was a verse I memorized as a child:
"Fear not for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
As a child, this verse brought me comfort in both dire and silly situations. It is my life line. 

So I started there and then read one chapter back. Isaiah 40; a chapter that goes in deep about God's comfort for His people, His promises and how they'll never waiver, and then into His greatness.

It's as if He knows our human minds and tendencies toward doubt and therefore validates Himself, probably unnecessarily, to remind us, again, who He is. 

I read verse one. Verse two. Verse three, four, five, six. Verse seven and eight. Nine and ten. 

I didn't know what I was looking for. All I asked for was a word. A word that would comfort whatever felt off balance. A word that would remind me of what mattered. 

And then verse eleven. 

"God will tend His flock like a shepherd, He will gather the lambs in His arms; He will carry them in his bosom and gently lead those that are with young." Isaiah 40:11

Like jumping into a crisp lake on a blazing, humid, hot Summer day, I got my word (words, really) and my soul was refreshed. 

Why? I found myself asking. Why do you just show up like that when we ask? 

It's simple really, He replied. Because I love you. 

He loves us. All of us. He wants us to ask Him and He will give. He wants us to seek Him and He will be found, pouring out love, security, peace and joy in our hearts, minds, and souls.  

So Jules, and any other girl, wife, mama, student, woman who needs them, here are your words: 
  • God is a God of action. He tends, carries, gathers, leads. 
  • The actions begin with Him. Alone. He initiates movement.
  • His people are His responsibility. Not yours. You show up, but He moves them. 
  • The burden is His. He carries. You support. 
  • He sees you, young mom of toddlers. He sees your babies and He sees that you have no idea what you're doing. He will teach you. Trust Him again today.
  • His mode of operation with His children is gentleness. Always. 

My family is taken care of. My work situations are taken care of. My home is taken care of. My friends and family struggling with life and health and love are taken care of.  There's no need to fear as long as my eyes and ears are open to how He's asking me to step in.

Anybody else need that today? Just me? Ok :)

"And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

Friday, October 23, 2015

Shine Women's Conference | Austin TX

"Movements are made of normal people moving."

History, legacy, movements. These are all words we associate with world changers and politicians, pastors or world leaders. Rarely do we name them of ourselves.

But let me tell you. In these photos, are men and women who embody every one of those words.

There is a seasoned generation that have gone before, built up the walls and vehicles by which we move today. And then there are the babies. The newbies, if you will, who are jumping in, head first, to a whirlpool of inspiration, aspiration, ambition and mission.

One generation looking back, reaching out and lifting up the other. That's the Church. That's community. That's legacy.

It's crazy to think that one season could have prepared me for this one. Oh geez, that's a whole other post.

I am so honored to be a small part of what happens once a year (and all the Wednesdays in between) in Austin, Texas. Shine conference has been a catalyst for so many women in this city. I can't wait to see what next year holds.

Jesus give us fresh vision, a fresh wind of ideas and creativity. Give us Your words and Your message, once again. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I Am Barabbas

If you have not seen this video, it was slay you. I watched it, not knowing what it was, and I ended up in tears and thanking Jesus all over again. #imsorry #yourewelcome

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Mo Christmas Starts Now

You know what time it is: Christmas Music at the Mo's. 
It starts tonight. Latte's. Cocoa. Blankets. Socks. Dancing. Sugar cookies. #crapineedtogotothestore

I made a playlist that we'll be starting our season out with, if you care to listen along. It's got a good mix: Colbie, Buble, Sufjan, Amy, Kelly, and an addition from last year, Penatonix. 

I'm excited that our girl is getting older and can understand music and dance along with us. It'll be fun to add some of her favorites to this list as the most wonderful time of the year approaches. 

Click here to listen to our CHRISTMAS MIX

Our other playlists:
20112012, 2013

Original Photo via

Good, Good Father

I shared this video with my FB pals and the response had me in tears. From the moment I heard this song, I know women (and men) around the world would resonate so deeply with it. I want to sing it everywhere at all times haha. 

As a girl who relied on Jesus to be her Father from a young age and then had a miracle step dad fill the earthly role, this song gets to me.

This beautiful song was originally written and recorded by Housefires.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Dear Parents of Teenagers, We Need You to Stop Freaking Out

Dear Parents of Teenagers, we need you to stop freaking out. 

I'm not talking about "we" as in the world in general. I'm talking about "we", the parents of toddlers. Little ones we're raising in the world you're posting about going to hell in a hand basket. 

Do you remember what it was like to be us? To be young and dumb and yet grasping for any and every book on parenting and discipline and organic food choices?

Do you remember how panicked you were that you'd screw up your kid's nap time routine or that the pacifier would get packed in their high school Jansport? 

We're there. Somewhere between mommy shaming and daycare options, organic and non-organic, co-sleeping and crying it out, we need you to turn around, look us square in the eye and tell us this:

It's going to be okay. 

Of course that's not a hard fast promise. No one really knows when it's going to not be okay any more, but when you post things about the rapid decline of civilization via gay marriage, Trump's wig taking over the world, porn and pot being experimented with at younger and younger ages, we need you to also communicate what Jesus did: H O P E . 

It's true, we need to know the facts. We want to be prepared. Dear sweet Jesus we'd do anything to be prepared. But more than that, we need to know that no matter how dark it may feel in the moment, the world is getting brighter because of parents, God-fearing parents like you.

We need you to show us, not tell us, show us that no circumstance, trend, industry, politics or dating fads can change what Jesus Christ says about us and how He will redeem our world. #fistbump

We need to know you've got our back.
We need to know you're blazing trails ahead of us. 
We need to know you're not curled up in a corner around the bend because more than the porn and the pot and the wigs, that is our worst fear.

That someone won't be there to help us out of the ditch when we get stuck or be at the top of the well when we're ready to move on. 

I know this may feel like a rant, but trust me when I say it's not. It's a plea, from a young mom who has no idea how to do this parenting thing. 

We need you to speak life and hope and power into our parenting. 
We need you to cheer us on because I'm not sure we'll make it without you. 

- - - - - - - - - -
If you're new to this space, I usually reserve Mom talk for Thursdays. This isn't a mom blog. But I do blog and I am a mom. So naturally, it leaks through.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Girls Rule, Boys... | Baby Reveal

Are still awesome but few and far between in the Mo HouseWe're excited to announce that Baby Mo #2 is a growing girl!

Some of you are saying, "Of course the Mo's baby reveal was with Starbucks!" And I'm not entirely sure if you're referring to the unhealthy obsession we have, the frequency of free drinks we get, or that most of my blog posts are written either about, in, or around coffee. No idea. ;) #iseeyourinstagrams

Also, not gonna lie, I've been so hungry and cranky with this one, I would have bet my life it was a boy. Nope. Just a very aggressive girl. Maybe there's a chance this one will be like me after all ;)

My favorite moment of the day: Me: Yay! They can share a room! Ty: Holy crap we're paying for two weddings! Sym: More coffee please!  #priorities

Friday, September 11, 2015

If We Were on a Coffee Date | No. 16

Oh hey! It's been a while.

If we were on a coffee date, it'd probably be because something got cancelled and I had a great need for some girl time. #sorryguys

If we were on a coffee date, I'd order a Pumpkin Spice Latte hoping it beckons Fall in Texas. But who are we kidding. Really.

If we were on a coffee date, we'd go straight for the jugular. Ain't no one got time for small talk these days. Visions and dreams, relationship questions and advice and life lessons, even the hard ones would pour out of both of us.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd listen to the words you were speaking but really trying to read the heart from which they come.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd probably be in awe at how God very specifically designed your character, your integrity, your heart and mind and everything that makes up you for a very specific purpose. Even the quirky stuff ;)

If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you it's rare that someone is as in tune as you are with your purpose. And yet, you hold it with an open hand.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd probably have closed up and reopened the blueberry scone I foolishly bought about 5 times by now. Because I'm starving. And already ate dinner. #pregnantprobs

If we were on a coffee date, we'd both check our phones and be shocked at the time. And then laugh, because it felt like we were just getting started.

Oh how I missed these dates. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Good Mom vs Bad Mom

I love supporting other writers and ideas that are exploding my mind. This piece by Esther Houston, is one that I can't get out of my head and I hope helps reshape some of my "guilty mom" syndrome. - JM

Original Post by Esther Houston on Hillsong Collective

Being a mother brings out stuff you never knew you had inside of you. An ability to love that you never thought possible before, a level of selflessness you had never experienced before, a grade of sleeplessness you never thought one could survive before. But we love it and wouldn’t trade it for the world. 

We would change everything about it but yet, change nothing at all.

What does that even mean? I’m not really sure, but that’s how I feel.

I’m sure the majority of moms share the sentiment, even though many would be too afraid to admit it and end up sounding like a “bad mom”. So here you go. I’m saying it first so that you can understand that you, dear friend, are not alone; and feeling like that from time to time doesn’t make you a bad mom.

If the single defining characteristic of iconic good motherhood is self-abnegation, her child’s needs come first and their health and happiness are her primary concern. They occupy all her thoughts, her day is constructed around them, and anything and everything she does is for their sakes. 

Her own needs, ambitions, and desires are relevant ONLY when in relation to theirs. If a good mother takes care of herself, it is only to the extent that she doesn’t hurt her children. A good mom MUST be able to figure out how to find time for herself, but only if it’s without detriment to her child’s feelings of self-worth.

How is any of that even achievable? 

Being a good father is a reasonable and attainable goal. You show up, you support, you’re physically there (when you can), you provide. I think I’m a MUCH better father than I am a mother.

- - - - - - - - - -
Do you feel the struggle? How do you handle the good mom vs bad mom mindset? 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Not Just Another Sunday | Project WOW

PROJECT WOW is the brain child and collaboration of Ashley Beckford and friends. If you're a woman, and you lead worship at any capacity or want to (I see you) this site is for you.

Let’s be honest, ladies. We’ve all done it. I know I have. We’ve come into our Sunday services consumed. Consumed, distracted and overwhelmed with life’s issues. We’ve walked through the sanctuary doors thinking about everything else besides the reason we are there and the One we are supposed to be there for. 

Then we take the platform still thinking about what the people in the seats (or pews) are thinking about us, our church, our abilities and extra-ordinary skills in nailing that high note or run.

We’ve somehow gotten things twisted. We are caring more about every other person in the room other than the One we declare in our songs. We sing words like “Holy Spirit, You are welcome here”. All the while, I think He wonders if that’s actually true. 

Have we put together such amazing run sheets and song lists that Planning Center would combust if we deviated from it, should God ask us to? 

Here’s the million-dollar question: Have we left room in our hearts to hear Him when He speaks to us? Or are we too busy getting to every service element before the countdown clock in the back turns red and we usher in a new crowd and do it all over again?

Post by Shunna Jones Moreno

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Notes from Sunday | On Trusting God

Trust is an enigma, its almost always preceded with a great amount of fear but once you engage it, it'll set you free.

I was a girl who was told having her own babies was probably never gonna happen. And now, 5 years later, I have a toddler and another miracle on the way (and I'm not even sure how this one happened...)

The doctors gave me a diagnosis that shattered my world, but God always works at a different capacity from this world.

Listen, I'm not saying that when you bring your needs to God he will fill them how you want them.

What I am saying is when you bring your needs to God, He fills them in a way that will cause you to know Him and love Him and trust Him even more than you do right now in this moment.

Whatever you're carrying around today give it to Him.

Someone here needs to know God is their defender.

Someone here needs to know God is their provider.

Someone here needs to know God is their ultimate healer.
Someone here needs to know God still love you. No matter what. 

Trust Him at His word when it says, 
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
He's not messin' around.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Letter to My Brother 4 Years Later

Four years ago, I wrote you this letter to say that I love you and I love her and I love that you love her and she loves you. That was the gist. Little did I know, just a glimpse of your story would draw people in so quickly and consistently. 

Maybe it's the pictures, young love and rosy cheeks. Maybe it's idea of marriage and fresh beginnings. Or, maybe it's the hope of what could be in their own lives. 

By now, I'm sure you've figured out that marriage is tough. 

There are good days and bad days. Dynamite days and get-out-of-my-face days. There are days you just want to lay in bed, forget the tasks knocking down your door, and cuddle. And then there are days you think, "Do we have to fight about this again?

My plan for this letter was to tell you why it's worth it. Why the fight is always worth it. I was going to tell you that for every bad day there are 100 good days. 

I was going to tell you that the history you two are writing together will forever be irreplaceable and it's the thread that binds your heart and mind and soul together, tighter and more aligned with each passing year. 

But over the last 6 months, I've never been more proud to watch you grown into the man of God you've become. The love we saw way back then, has proven to be just the tip of the iceberg that is you. Your affection and devotion for this girl has been an absolute joy to watch. 

You lift her up. You adore her. You praise her and trust her. 
You know her inner battles and you soothe them with your presence. 
You hold her even when she thinks she wants to be alone and you comfort her when her world is crashing around her. 
You see her wounds and you do everything you can to heal them.
You take joy in her, knowing she's yours and you're one lucky son of a gun. 
You make sure she belly laughs by doing stupid dances in the kitchen.
You make sure her eyes sparkle by bringing her flowers.
You let her explore her passions and dreams and you are her #1 cheerleader for every race she decides to run. 

You're not perfect, but everything she deserves, you have worked to give her. 

I've never been more proud of you. You two are beating the odds. Your marriage is most definitely a beacon shining in the the darkest of nights. Keep fighting, keep loving, keep laughing, and have a kid or two soon eh?  #jk #butseriously

I love you,

- Julie

Sunday, July 19, 2015

So...Chalk Anyone? | A Baby Surprise!

Guy Version:
We're having a baby!

Girl Version:
It's true. Totally unexpected, but totally true. AH! Ty and I were actually in a fight the day we found out. We'd just moved into our new home, sang at a wedding, had a mini-anniversary/mini-birthday celebration for us and Sym, and did a full weekend at church. 

Needless to say, by Monday I was exhausted. According to Ty, I was irritated, grumpy, and distant. The jury's still out on that... 

Things finally bubbled to the surface when he asked "Babe, you ok?" for like the 17th time. You know that meme that says I was fine until you asked me if I was ok for the 17th time, it was like that. 

Yes, babe, I snapped. I'm fine, I'm just exhausted, hungry, my stomach is bothering me and...we should probably stop by the store on the way home. 

So we did. Got home, peed on that silly stick and so many memories came flooding back. 

I handed it to Ty and he just stared. 

"So, if it has a + sign, it's positive?" he asked. 


The moment my eyes met the stick I had the same exact feeling I did when I found out with Sym. My stomach dropped the same way and my eyes welled with tears at the same pace. Instantly. 

OK. I looked at Ty, still reeling. This isn't possible. This isn't supposed to be possible. 

But God. :)

It seems His favorite thing to do is the impossible, because then we know, without a shadow of a doubt, it's from Him. 

It always is. 

Also, fun fact: The day after we told family, our old pregnancy announcement on FB resurfaced...but of course we couldn't say, "HEY GUYS NOT PREGNANT!" Because we totally were. #gotcha 

We're so ecstatic (and a little nervous) to add to our little family. Life in Austin has been amazing. This community has quickly become family. We're forming our tribe, and now we're gonna need them more than ever. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

I Want My Daughter to Know Why We Sing

I have a fear that one day my daughter might come to despise the church, without ever really knowing or discovering for herself what it stands for.

I've seen my fair share of pastors' kids or kids with any connection to the Church, turn their back on it all because of any number of reasons. Some, because of all the things it took away from them--recitals, dad at their ball games, family dinners, vacations, Sunday morning doughnut runs. Others, because of the chaos it comes with--fishbowl lifestyle, open home, early mornings and late nights.

I know some parents completely missed the signs; the warnings and cries for attention or help from their children. But some really, really tried. Like really.

That's what terrifies me.

I'm afraid I'll try my hardest to be balanced and still miss the mark.

So I started a journal. For her. Hopefully the first of dozens that I'll write in, pray over, cry through and laugh about.

It's just one more attempt to go out of my way to let her know, to let you know, sweet Symphony, why we get up early and stay up late, why we spend most every Christmas and Easter in the walls of a Church.

This is why you know your way around the sanctuary and church halls and where every bathroom and trash can are. This is why everyone you waddle past knows your name.

Because Jesus loves us.
He saved us.
We, me and your Dad, we shouldn't be here.
He wasn't planned.
I was supposed to be a sexual abuse statistic.
We are not supposed to be here, in this place, physically, emotionally, spiritually.

We made some bad decisions.
Destructive decisions.
Petty, self-righteous, and sinful decisions.


Trust me, that's some crazy good news.

We sing because we have to. 
We have to tell the world about this magnificent grace and love.
We have to show you that it's the most real thing you'll ever experience.

This is why we sing, and dance and act like crazy people on and off the stage.

Grace, love, peace.
Redemption, restoration.
It's all because of Jesus.

- - - - - - - - - -
Our family worships and serves at Shoreline Church in Austin,TX. If you're local we'd love you to join us! And tell us when you're here. Obvs :) 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Our Boots to the Ground on Human Trafficking

For 5 years I've have the honor of carrying a portion of the human trafficking burden. It's something that's real and that, thank God almighty, people are becoming more and more aware exists right in their backyards. 

After a series of horrific dreams of brothels, trafficking rings, and hopeless girls in 2009, Tyson and I decided do something, anything, to be a part of this giant solution. We found and sponsored a fantastic organization called LOVE 146. Our girls conference played a huge part in raising awareness on this injustice and YOU gave hundreds of dollars to support them! 

M y  e y e s  w e r e  o p e n e d . 

In 2012, I met Crystal and within 3 minutes of chatting with her I knew her heart was bleeding for this issue. She headed up My Refuge House in the Philippines; a safe home for rescued girls to experience freedom and restoration. The last girls conference was in FULL SUPPORT mode for these girls. We wrote them letters, gave our hard earned money and we even ran, like RAN, to tell the world about them! 

M y  h e a r t  w a s  b r o k e n .

And then, last year I met Lindsey. A girl whose heart became arrested with this injustice and whose mind could not fathom the gap that existed between her world and theirs. Prostitutes. Street girls. Modern day slavery. And even the pimps. She couldn't live her life another day and not do something. And she asked me to come along. 

M y  f e e t  w e r e  a c t i v a t e d .

And I believe yours will too after you watch this:


Because I trust you. Most of you have been with me on this journey from my initial awareness to every hands on opportunity we've had. The last 6 years have been our journey in changing our corners of the world and I want to extend, yet another invitation. 


All Worthy of Love is a justice focused non-profit that reaches out to men and women enslaved by street-prostitution. Our mission is to restore broken dwellings, based on the teachings of Isaiah 58.

We work in a three stranded cord; prevention, rescue, and restoration.
We prevent sex trafficking through awareness.
We rescue victims of trafficking through weekly outreach. 
We restore victims of trafficking through partnerships with local organizations that offer safe housing and restorative care.

We believe all are worthy of love.



PRAY. This is not a pat answer. Pray hard and pray every Monday at 7:00PM central time. Set an alarm. That's when we drive and find girls and pimps to give hygiene kits and lunches to. We ask God to bring them out of the darkness, both literally and spiritually. It's His job. We're just there when they show up. 

MAKE LUNCHES. If you're local to Austin, Texas, and you have a couple hours free on Monday afternoons, and you love us, you can make and pray over 20 lunches for us to give to the girls! Not kidding. Email me. If you're not local, but still want to donate to meals, go here! 

DONATE A HYGIENE KIT. Or a part of it. Each kit includes 9 travel-sized items: shampoo, conditioner, lotion, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, washcloth, deodorant, and a razor.

We also like to add in some special items when we can, such as make up, nail polish, or perfume to help the women to feel beautiful. So send those lip glosses and nail polishes right over! You don't have to be local to do this one! 

LUNCH BOX NOTES. Did your mom ever write "I love you!" or draw a smiley face on your lunch napkin? No? Just me? Ok. Well it's awesome and we want those girls to feel absurdly loved. Even down the the napkins. Will you write a note or a bunch of them and mail them to us? 

These are our main needs for the Austin Outreach location, but you can see more ways to be involved here.

If you're doing ANY of the above, will you tell me in the comments below?! If you'd like to ship or donate physical items mentioned above, email me and I'll send you the address.

You guys are the best and I am honored to have this community restoring the world with me and my friends :) I am praying this will be one of the biggest victories the Christian Church has seen to date.

- - - - -

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. - Proverbs 31:8-9

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound. - Isaiah 61
Photo quote via

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Are You an Intentional Friend?

Me neither.

Friendship is the mother of all relationships; ironically. (Click to tweet!)

Without friendship, the human race cannot thrive. We could survive, sure, but we wouldn’t be living at our full capacity. We wouldn’t be tapping into who we really are: Created beings in the image of a relational God.

Now with that, let me say I am a bad friend.

Or at least that’s what my sweet husband tried to tell me. We were watching a video series on marriage and that evening’s topic was on friendship. The pastor said thatfriendship is the foundation of all healthy relationships. Different types of friendships will go to different levels of intimacy, nonetheless, friendship is the required baseline.
At the end of the video, he told us to ask one another how they think we are doing on the friendship scale. When I asked Ty, he replied,
“You’re a good friend babe…when you want to be.”
Of course he was super gentle and compassionate in his response, so much so that I did not feel offended (for long). But he was right. Ty’s words to me that day were both timely and enlightening. I never realized I was that way with my friends. But as I started to evaluate my friendships and the ones that fizzled, I saw a pattern of declining priority among them.

I realized I am what I like to categorize as a “convenience friend.”

When the stars align and my schedule clears up, then we can try to get coffee. It’s not for lack of desire necessarily, but rather ignorant precedence. I love my friends, probably more than they know, but I wasn’t being intentional about showing them their value in my life.
That night I tossed and turned until 4AM, mulling over the many friendships I’ve probably lost due to my unintentional way of being a friend; or convenience friendship. I felt dichotomized because on one hand I felt so much sorrow for the past, and on the other hand I felt motivated to start showing my friends just how much they mean to me.
I was reminded while reading Colossians 3, that friendship doesn’t just consistent of the DON’T's (don’t gossip, don’t backstab, don’t hate, don’t hurt, etc), but more so of the DO’s (love, humility, patience, kindness, compassion, etc).

Friendship isn’t passive and convenient, it is proactive and sought out because it is necessary! We were never meant to be independent and self-sufficient. We were never meant to be alone.

You need them to get through this life and they need you.

So this is my challenge to you (and to me!)
This week, write a card, an email, or a text to a friend you have been “convenient” with. 

First, ask for their forgiveness for not being the friend they needed. 

Second, tell them how much you appreciate them and be specific. They will love it!
“Again, I saw vanity under the sun: one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business. Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:7-9).

Thursday, May 28, 2015

I'm in Love With Us

I love my family. This isn't as much bragging as it is me being in awe of how much God knows and cares about the details of our lives. The three of us, we're perfect for each other. Everything about us feels too natural and charmed. 

Don't get me wrong. We are human. We're flawed. We're temperamental and we each have our innate bends towards selfishness and stubbornness. Some a little more than others. #notnamingnames

But even those, the flaws and setbacks, they seem to come in perfectly timed waves amongst one another. We're never all down and out at the same time. We're never all stubborn at the same time. We're never all throwing tantrums at the same time. There's always one that is steadfast. And since we're being honest, sometimes it's the littlest of us. #notkidding 

The realist side of me goes to bed fearing it won't be like this forever. And maybe it won't. But we can't know that, until, well, forever comes and goes. 

So until then, we're going to eat way to many fruit snacks, giggle while reading something about a pig and parade, and talk and gawk at the "funder" storms outside our apartment. 
We're going to continue bending out patience and kindness and sweetness and love. 
We're going to tell each other "sowy" when we've hurt feelings or disobeyed and not fear repentance.
We're going to talk to Jesus through songs and prayers and listen to what He might be telling us.
We're going to take random drives down dream neighborhoods and end up on totally last minute dates to super unhealthy pizza places.

Because that's us. And I'm in love with every last bit of us. 

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600 Degrees Pizza is one of our family favorites. If you're local or visiting Austin, Texas, make sure to try the #3.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

20 Things to Remember If You Love a Highly Creative Person

So I discovered this article, thanks to the ever growing curiosity of Facebook, and my mind has been blown. Not just because I resonate with every single point on this list, but this is my daughter too!

Not sure why I ever doubted creativity would be in her bloodline, but I'm a little humored and embarrassed that a LifeHack list sealed the deal for me. #insertridiculousnessnow
Have a fun read through these, are you a creative too?!

1. They have a mind that never slows down.
The creative mind is a non-stop machine fueled by intense curiosity. There is no pause button and no way to power it down. This can be exhausting at times but it is also the source of some crazy fun activities and conversations.

2. They challenge the status quo.
Two questions drive every creative person more than any others: What if? and Why not? They question what everyone else takes at face value. While uncomfortable for those around them, it’s this ability that enables creatives to redefine what’s possible.

3. They embrace their genius even if others don’t.Creative individuals would rather be authentic than popular. Staying true to who they are, without compromise, is how they define success even if means being misunderstood or marginalized.

4. They have difficulty staying on task.Highly creative people are energized by taking big mental leaps and starting new things. Existing projects can turn into boring slogs when the promise of something new and exciting grabs their attention.

5. They create in cycles.Creativity has a rhythm that flows between periods of high, sometimes manic, activity and slow times that can feel like slumps. Each period is necessary and can’t be skipped just like the natural seasons are interdependent and necessary.

6. They need time to feed their souls.No one can drive cross-country on a single take of gas. In the same way, creative people need to frequently renew their source of inspiration and drive. Often, this requires solitude for periods of time.

7. They need space to create.Having the right environment is essential to peak creativity. It may be a studio, a coffee shop, or a quiet corner of the house. Wherever it is, allow them to set the boundaries and respect them.

8. They focus intensely.Highly creative people tune the entire world out when they’re focused on work. They cannot multi-task effectively and it can take twenty minutes to re-focus after being interrupted, even if the interruption was only twenty seconds.

9. They feel deeply.Creativity is about human expression and communicating deeply. It’s impossible to give what you don’t have, and you can only take someone as far as you have gone yourself. A writer once told me that an artist must scream at the page if they want a whisper to be heard. In the same way, a creative person must feel deep if they are to communicate deeply.

10. They live on the edge of joy and depression.Because they feel deeply, highly creative people often can quickly shift from joy to sadness or even depression. Their sensitive heart, while the source of their brilliance, is also the source of their suffering.

11. They think and speak in stories.Facts will never move the human heart like storytelling can. Highly creative people, especially artists, know this and weave stories into everything they do. It takes longer for them to explain something, explaining isn’t the point. The experience is.

12. They battle Resistance every day.Highly creative people wake up every morning, fully aware of the need to grow and push themselves. But there is always the fear, Resistance as Pressfield calls it, that they don’t have what it takes. No matter how successful the person, that fear never goes away. They simply learn to deal with it, or not.
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Is this you too!?

Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art, writes:  “Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”

Click to finish reading the last 8 on Life Hack's original article.
^^^Opinions, two-cents, questions and ramblings are welcome. And go above. Go ahead. Try it.

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