What To Do With Words

I wish I knew what to do with my words.

Pain, weariness, joy, wonder, beauty, love— they all seem to be colors on the painting of life. And I want to paint. I want to light up the world with beauty.

In a way, hands are a much simpler tool than the pen. They do. They act. They help. The pen does too, carving words and thoughts and emotions across the canvas of our minds, sometimes embedding farther than the hands alone can accomplish.

I am learning to use my hands to ease suffering, bring joy, and restore health. It is hard; very, very hard. But it is much simpler than words.

Words cannot be seen. Sometimes they allow themselves to be thought, but more often they are chased, as every one seems to fall short of reality. If only I could use them as I wish. If only they would follow my command, if only they would express the inexpressible.

But I suppose words fall short there. I can only use words for so much.

So what shall I use my words for? And how?

How can I heal with words? How can I help? How can I bring beauty, joy, discovery, and wonder? How can I show truth? How can I show love?

Oh Lord help me, for I do not know how to do this.

So show me how to show Your love. Show me how to weave, how to paint. Show me how to bring light. Show me what to do with my words.

May the Lord’s words guide mine. May He guide yours as well.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet
    and a light to my path.”

-Psalm 119:105

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

-Psalm 19:14

*All Scripture quotations are from the ESV translation unless otherwise noted.

Running the Race

I’ve been really liking the picture of running, striving, pressing on towards the goal, full of the joy of Christ Jesus. I’ve also been really liking The Gray Havens music lately. And Mike Winger videos.

One particular song from The Gray Havens fills my imagination with swirling scenes. I think of the bursts of light, the tiny glimpses through the darkness of a beauty yet to come. I think of throwing off my burdens, running with all my might. I think of longing, deep longing, to know the Light, and to see what is to come. Amidst so much darkness, and I mean so much darkness, every glimmer of light matters. Oh with what joy do I await the dawn!

Now I’m just waiting for the day // In the shadows of the dawn

But I won’t wait resting my bones // I’ll take these foolishness roads of grace // And run toward the dawn

And when I rise// And dawn turns to day // I’ll shine out as bright as the sun // And these roads that I’ve run will be wise.

-“Shadows of the Dawn” by The Gray Havens

I’ve always loved Psalm 19 and its story of God’s word shown throughout creation, echoing in truth, pure and beautiful in everything. I also love the picture of the strength contained in their beauty, when the psalmist describes the voice of the heavens going “out into all the earth” and God pitching “a tent for the sun,” with the sun “like a champion rejoicing to run his course.”

“The heavens declare the glory of God…they use no words, yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.”

-Psalm 19:1,3-6 (NIV)

As painful as I often find running in reality, I’ve never thought of running as drudgery. I think of freedom, joy, and peace; not in desperately running away, but in joyfully running towards the end, the result, the upward call. More like the final race of an athlete than the painstaking training it takes to become one.

I don’t know where that picture fits in with my everyday life. Like pretty much everything in life, I’m still figuring it out. But I do know I want to run.

Maybe it’s a reckless desire for a meaning. Maybe it’s a passion to devote everything. Maybe it’s a longing for freedom from the entanglements that drag me down. Maybe it’s because in peaceful moments like this, when I’m waiting on the Lord, strength I never knew fills my heart. Maybe it’s because I am still growing in patience and often fail to see the meaning in day-by-day toil.

But day-by-day toil is running. It’s all about where my eyes are—set on the course in front of me, set on Jesus the founder and perfecter of my faith.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

-Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

Frustration: both an emotion I feel at the entanglements that surround me and an entanglement in of itself. So many things cling to me, and oh how closely they cling!

Shame, frustration, distractions, irritations: they are everywhere. But I am not alone, for Jesus himself endured the cross and “despised the shame”.

And there’s the joy again. It is interesting to me that it says for us to “run with endurance the race that is set before us” and that Jesus endured the cross “for the joy set before him.” There’s that joy, that freedom, of not just letting go, but “laying aside” the weights and sins that cling so closely, and running.

“All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.

Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.”

-Hebrews 12:11-14 (NASB1995)

I want to run, but I feel I have not been fully trained. Without strengthening my hands and my feet I am indeed in danger of putting it all out of joint. Discipline is painful. If I am honest I would rather not pursue peace with everyone. I want perfection, but I do not want to be sanctified, because it is painful.

But to run, I must train.

I must strengthen what is weak if I am to yield the fruit of righteousness. Laying aside my entanglements is not just a reckless letting go of everything. It is a day-by-day submission to God’s sanctification, it is seeking out the straight paths, walking in the pattern of the founder and perfecter of our faith: Jesus.

“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

-Philippians 3:12-14 (NASB1995)

I lay aside my entanglements and lay hold of the joy set before me. I want to press on, I want to run.

Sometimes I wonder if I really understand what “the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” means. Still, it inspires a deep desire to keep going, to breath in deeply and run towards the dawn.

In a recent Mike Winger Q &A video I watched, someone asked how to gain a godlier perspective in a very blessed life (here). In other words, how to not complain in a 1st world country. I was very convicted.

I get so stuck on every little inconvenience and annoyance. I am so bad at forgetting what lies behind and am often guilty of “keeping a record of wrongs” (1 Cor 13:5). I need Paul’s exhortation to press on and reach forward to what lies ahead.

I don’t know much about running. I’ve never done track, cross-country or anything like that. I haven’t the slightest clue how fast I can run a mile.

But when it comes to my spiritual walk with God, I want to press on and lay aside with joy everything that keeps me back. I truly want to run.

The Bookworm’s Tag

Hello. Was May really the last time I posted?

I’ve had a good summer so far. It hasn’t been an easy summer, but God has been good. Isn’t that always the case? I look back at rough days, beautiful days, in-between days, and there is no denying that God is indeed good. I’m still discovering all of what that means, but I plan on learning more and more each day.

Today I am here with The Bookworm’s Tag, which my dear friend Amber @ Dancing for the Holy One tagged me for. She must know me well, for I love books. =)

Thank you for tagging me, Amber!!

The Rules:

  • Thank and link to the blogger who nominated you
  • Include the tag graphic in your post
  • Answer the ten questions the blogger asked
  • Nominate between five and ten bloggers
  • Ask your nominees ten book-related questions!
  • Don’t feel bound to these rules
  • (Most importantly) Have fun!

Here are Amber’s questions and my answers!

1.What is your favorite writing style?

That’s a bit of a loaded question. Probably the best way I could describe (one of) my favorite writing style(s) would be weaving. I love books that intricately weave a beautiful, impacting story together. I love books that leave you musing on them and soaking up the picturesque prose. The authors that I’ve found best exemplify this style would probably be Amanda Dykes, Susie Finkbeiner, and some of Charles Martin (I’ve heard not all of his stuff is like that). But I also like different writing styles depending on my mood, the genre, and a whole lot of other things.

2. On average, how long does it take you to read a 400-page book?

Often about 2 days. If we’re going for average instead of median, though, I’d say 3-5 days.

3. What is your favorite books series?

Heh. Like which one of my favorite series? The Wingfeather Saga, The Accidental Cases of Emily Abbott, and the Out of Time series are the top three if that’s narrow enough. 😉

4. If you were to write a book/novel, what type of book would it be.?

It would probably be contemporary, western, fantasy, or action genre (so narrow, I know 😉 ). Actually, it would probably be contemporary. And the 1st draft synopsis would probably look like this:

Lissa is a quiet but determined girl, wrapt up in a struggle bigger than she understands. She goes from business pitch to business pitch as an entrepreneur, now that she has finally finished her master’s degree. Worn-out, and a touch lonely, Lissa decides to enjoy the Tanzania country for two weeks before what she hopes will be her best business pitch ever. She little guesses that just after God opens a new door, he will close the door on her biggest dreams forever.

Jana grew up in poverty and her greatest dream is to escape it and live in America. When she rediscovers the God who changes everything, her dreams are turned upside-down. Then, when Jana meets a girl named Lissa, and the fulfillment of her dreams is finally in her grasp, Jana must choose between chasing her dreams, or surrendering to God’s dreams for her.

So yeah, that’s probably what it would be like. 😉

5. Do you take the dust jacket (or ‘book cover protector’) off when reading a book?

I have mixed opinions on this. On one hand, dust jackets are just plain impractical. Sometimes, if they are super slide-y they’re actually annoying because they won’t stay on or stay flat. They also tend to get wrinkled really easily if they aren’t slide-y, and plain books can be so much nicer. But then…sometimes they are so pretty! And nice to have on a new book. Sometimes I like them. And other times I can’t stand them.

6. If you could only read 3 books for the rest of your life, what books would they be?

How could you ask such a question??? Three books? 😦 Oh well. Let’s see…#1 The Bible, #2 Probably The Disciplines of a Godly Woman (don’t even own it, but when I read it was super instrumental in my life), and something fiction. Not sure what that “something fiction” is yet though. How about…Lord of the Rings? I haven’t read all of it and it’s nice and long. Not that I can actually choose just 1 fiction book, but yunno.

7. Is there a certain book that you thought you’d hate, but ended up really liking?

Well, usually it goes the opposite way. But I suppose two books I’m thinking of might qualify. A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers I was fully prepared to hate but ended up mostly liking it (still not sure if I’d fully recommend it because of some content issues). Dewdrops And Butterflies by Libby May is a book I was skeptical of (I mean…butterflies?) but turned out to be an impactful, awesome read about foster care. It’s on my top books list now. But I didn’t think I’d hate it…just was a little skeptical, so I don’t know if it counts.

8. Would you prefer to read in a library or a park?

Hmm…well, I love libraries. But I don’t really read in them…I mostly just love looking around for books and seeing lots of books and getting lots of books. So if there was a nice park with a nice place to sit I might prefer reading in a park to reading in a library. But I don’t know…I’ve never really tried either one, honestly, or thought about how I liked it.

I nominate:

If you choose to accept my nomination, here are the questions!

  1. What’s are two books you would and have recommended over and over again?
  2. What’s a fictional book that helped you understand God better?
  3. What are two authors that you think have a very similar style of writing?
  4. Have you ever almost guessed every single plot twist in a book? What book was it?
  5. What are two fictional characters who could almost sum up your personality?
  6. Are you the person constantly getting more book recommendations than you could ever keep up with or are you the person always recommending tons of awesome books? Or something in-between?
  7. Has a book ever made you appreciate something (or a food, in particular) more than you did before? What was it (the book and the “thing”)?
  8. What is a book that has made you both laugh and cry? (If you don’t have one, you could pick one for each, I suppose).
  9. What’s one book (fiction or nonfiction) other than the Bible that you wish every single person on the planet would read?
  10. Would you consider yourself a bookworm? If so (or if not), how many books do you read each month?

Have fun! Feel free to do this tag on your own blog, even if I didn’t tag you. I’d love to see your answers!!

“Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”

-John 21:25

Have a splendid day! The Lord be with you.

The Glimmer of Light

Hello faithful blog readers! Thought I’d pop in and say hi.

[Also note that the majority of this post was written around a week ago.]

Life is crazy but pretty awesome nonetheless. For one thing, last week was Crazy Writing Week. What’s crazy writing week? Basically a competition to write a bunch. I wasn’t going to join, but I ended up using it as motivation to tackle all of my school-related writing. Which means I now have time to write one blog post.

So where have I been? What have I been doing? What’s up?

Life’s pretty much the same as it has been for the past year. Too much time staring at a screen. Tired of being limited because of a pandemic. But there have been ups and downs.

This week I feel motivated. Pumped. Happy. Next week I might feel discouraged and buried under schoolwork. But life is still good. All I have to do is look up from my computer to see it. In fact, I don’t even have to look up from my screen to see it. In the corners of my PC desktop are Word documents titled “Dear Lord” or “Dear God.” They are combinations of letters and prayers to God, and every word reminds me of how faithful He is. Things I didn’t see then I can see now. Things I still don’t understand I can now place in His hands.

Life’s been the same. I’m pretty much just the same, too. Same struggles, same discouragements. But I think I am growing. Slowly, painfully, I am learning some things.

I’m not finding the answers I always wanted. I still haven’t figured out the secret to being motivated, the secret to smiling when you’re down, or the secret to getting mountains of tasks completed. But I’m learning to place all those things in His hands.

I don’t understand the mysteries of the universe. I don’t know the answers to the questions vibrating through my brain. And yet, I can write letter after letter to my Father in Heaven asking and asking and asking, and He’s still listening. At the end of the day, I may not get the satisfaction and peace of having figured out just the right solution, of having perfectly put the puzzle pieces together, but it’s okay. Because His peace is the peace that surpasses understanding.

My heart might be filled with sadness, disappointment, and confusion, yet in it all his perfect peace can shine through and light up the darkness.

I’ll keep pressing on to that glorious light. I’ll keep seeking His face. I’ll never stop wanting to understand. But that twinkle of light sparkling from the corners of my mind is enough. It only takes a spark to destroy the darkness and as long as I have Him, I’ll never be without that glimmer of light.

So hold onto that glimmer and don’t let go.

Finding your identity

Dancing for the Holy One

Finding your own identity can be hard. Sometimes we try to find it in objects, how much money we have, material things. And it’s so hard that it can feel impossible. Well, that’s because it is.

If you try to put your value and identity in material things, it will just leave you unsatisfied, and wondering if you’re even worth anything. That’s bad. That’s so bad, in fact, that I am now sitting here at 11:30pm writing to tell you that there’s something better. Something so much better, that it’s hard to describe.

In Ephesians, chapters 1 & 2 Paul writes to the church in Ephesus. He tells them so many things about who they are in Christ.

To start off, who am I in Christ?

I am blessed

I am chosen, which means that I am wanted

I am adopted into Christ’s family

I am redeemed by the…

View original post 976 more words

The Wonder of Macro

When I have a momentary break in the craziness of life or just when I need a break from all the craziness, I snap a macro lens onto a Canon and head outside. I’m not quite sure what it is about it, but macro, more than any other kind of photography, is magical. Maybe it’s the complexity in the simplest things. Maybe it’s the challenge of creating a masterpiece from a single object. Or maybe it’s the wondrous discovery of things I could never see before.

Whatever the case, it seriously amazes me.

With a regular landscape lens on my camera, I would have to seek out dazzling heights, brilliant lighting, or breathtaking contrast to get the same story and depth in a photo. It’s all about finding just the right angle, just the right lighting, just the right subject.

With macro I can just look right in front of me. Anywhere. Anything. Find the simple and zoom in. There’s a world of beauty and complexity in there.

“The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”

-Psalm 19:1 (ESV)

“It is the glory of God to conceal things,
    but the glory of kings is to search things out.”

-Proverbs 25:2 (ESV)

Don’t Give Up

To you who feel without purpose.
To you who feel like you’ve lost your passion.

To you who feel lost and without hope.

Don’t give up.

Life may seem hopeless. It may feel like joy will never come again.

Don’t give up.

It’s not hopeless. Life has meaning. Life has purpose.

God is holding on. He will never let go.

He has a purpose for your life beyond anything you could ever imagine.

As pain drowns out everything but the numbness, hold onto hope.

When you wonder what you’re even doing living, don’t give up.

Lean into his love. Press on, even when it is harder than anything you’ve ever done.

When you cross the dawn it will be beautiful like nothing else. The passion you thought was dead will bloom stronger and purer than ever before.

Don’t give up.

You will never be tempted beyond your ability. Don’t give up.

Cling to his promises.

He will provide a way of escape. Do not heed Satan’s lies. There is hope, invisible and invincible, through Jesus Christ the Savior of the world.

He who gave his very life to save you will not let go now. He loves you deeply, overwhelmingly, wondrously, awesomely. He will never, no never, no never, ever leave you.

For he has indeed promised “I will never leave nor forsake you.”

To you who feel life is too much. To you who feel another breath is too heavy a burden to bear. To you who have lost all hope.

Don’t give up. Hope is never lost. He will give you strength.

To you who are exhausted inside and out. To you who pretend to know your purpose, who pretend to feel passion, to those who feel their whole life is fake. To you who feel no one else will ever understand.

He understands. He heals. He holds you.

You who are weary, lift your drooping limbs and raise your eyes to heaven. You who are heavy-laden, who don’t have the strength, come to Him. He calls to you:

Rest, beloved. Let your soul find rest. Wait for me, and I will give you rest.

However hard it feels, however hopeless, promise me this one thing:

Don’t give up.

Hebrews 12:12-13

1 Corinthians 10:13

Matthew 11:28-30

Isaiah 40:28-31

Hebrews 13:5b-6

Philippians 3:13-14

At Her Fingertips Cover Reveal

Hello friends and random readers! It’s been awhile. In fact it’s been almost two months.

But today, I’m here with something super exciting: a cover reveal!!!!! Kellyn Roth is an awesome author with awesome books. One of the things I appreciate about her is how she balances resolved/happy endings with realistic ones. Her stories never end “happily ever after.” Instead, her endings leave you with wonder and fill you with hope. She doesn’t sacrifice truth for a perfectly happy ending.

And now, this Feburary 23rd, I am excited to be part of cover reveal for her release of At Her Fingertips.

What is At Her Fingertips? It’s the 3rd book in The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, following the lives of two sisters in the Late Victorian Era.

If you haven’t read the first two books or seen their gorgeous covers, you absolutely need to!

#1: The Dressmaker’s Secret

If they knew who she was they’d never accept what she’s become.

The Dressmaker's Secret (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy Book 1) by [Kellyn Roth]

#2: Ivy Introspective

In a world that doesn’t understand her, how can she grow?

Ivy Introspective (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy Book 2) by [Kellyn Roth]

And don’t forget the new in-between book (#2.5) Becoming Miss Knight!

Becoming Miss Knight: an Alice and Ivy novella (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy) by [Kellyn Roth]

Aren’t those covers so awesome?? Are you ready for #3?

First, a little bit about the author!

~About Kellyn Roth~

Kellyn Roth is a Christian historical women’s fiction & romance author from North-Eastern Oregon who has independently published multiple novels, the most notable being The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy series. You should definitely call her Kell.

Kell lives on family-owned property outside an unmemorable but historical town with her parents, two little brothers, arbitrary cat, precious border collies, a dozen cows, and lots of chickens. She also possesses a classic, vintage aesthetic which does not at all speak to her country girl side, but such is life.

When not writing, Kell likes to blog, teach writing to her various students, have day jobs which allow her to keep her car properly insured, and spend lavish amounts of money on Dairy Queen french fries. She also likes to talk about Keira Knightley and her own books way too much.

You can find Kellyn on:

And now for At Her Fingertips!!!

~At Her FingerTips (What it’s about)~

She’s willing to do anything to follow her plan.

Debutante Alice Knight is ready for her first social season in London. She’s determined to impress society and her mother with an affluent match, at last escaping her past and embracing a future of her own making.

Peter Strauss, an American reporter visiting England, isn’t exactly what Alice had in mind. However, his friendship proves invaluable as Alice faces the challenges of her debut. Almost immediately, she attracts the attention of a well-born gentleman—perfect save for the simple fact that he’s not a Christian.

The life she longs for is finally at her fingertips, but between her own heart and the convictions of her faith, she isn’t sure she ought to grasp it.

When is it Releasing?

At Her Fingertips by Kellyn Roth is releasing on July 17th, 2021. (It feels so far away…).

Where Can I BUY It? Can I Preorder it?

Yesss!!! You can preorder it now on Amazon and have it delivered to your Kindle as soon as it releases!! You can find the link at the end of this post.

Where’s The Cover? What does it look like???

And now…for the cover reveal!

Behold the dots…

















And now for the absolutely beautiful cover!!!!!

At Her Fingertips

She’s willing to do anything to follow her plan.


I’m so excited!!!!

Now for all the other fun jazz.

And now, finally, how to get it!!

You can preorder At Her Fingertips here!!!

Isn’t it so pretty? Are you excited for the release? Are you planning on preordering it?

Have an awesome week!

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.””

-John 8:12 (ESV)

12 Days of Christmas | Day 12 | Merry Christmas

Hello all of y’all.


Christmas is actually finally here!

I hope you have a wonderful and blessed day celebrating our savior’s birth.

See you in the New Year! 🙂

Song of the Day: Welcome to Our World by Chris Rice

Such a beautiful, precious song capturing the wonder of Christmas.

“When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”

And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.”

-Luke 2:15-20 (ESV)

12 Days of Christmas | Day 11 | A Prayer for Christmas

Today I’m going to do something a little different and I’m not really sure how it will go. I’m going to share some hopes, fears, and thoughts from my heart with you in the form of a prayer. I hope you are blessed.

Oh Abba! It is so hard to understand what even happened when Mary conceived of the Holy Spirit and bore the very Son of God.

I really can’t say that I understand it at all. But when I try to grasp all of its meaning, I am wonderstruck.

You, the Most High God became a Man, like any other and yet so unlike any other. Help me understand.

The story You have carved in history is wondrous. It is purely amazing. A rebellious people cast you away. A blind and deaf generation rejected you. Yet you sent your son, your only son, to die for us.

Forgive me when I think my sin is too great! Hold me and help me to trust you when I fear it is too much to ever comprehend. I can’t comprehend it fully, and I never will. But that’s okay.

Take my heart, it is thine own. Let it be thy royal Throne.”

Oh Father! How is it that you have sent Emmanuel, God with us? How can it be?

I surrender my heart, I will cling to it no longer. Reign in me, LORD. Reign in your rightful place.

Through your birth you have opened the way. Through the cross you sealed our salvation. You tore the veil from top to bottom. And now I can approach you Glorious Throne with boldness.

For you are mine, and you will hold me fast forever.

Dear Abba, when I think about tomorrow and all the surprises and stresses it holds my heart feels impatient and heavy.

Let me rest in you, right here, right now, for a moment longer. Let me glimpse the beauty of a Story never to be forgotten.

I don’t want anything to get in the way. Because you are most important in my life.

I am yours. You are mine. Your love is everlasting, you grace abounding, and as far as the east is from the west, so have you removed my sins from me.

I want to rejoice in you. I want to sing! For you alone are the fairest of all, my portion, and my strength, all the days of my life.

“Because your love is better than life, I will praise you. (Psalm 63:3)”

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I hope you enjoyed! Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas Eve. Hopefully you’re not like me, and you have everything ready for Christmas.

Song of the Day: Christmas Dreams by Francesca Battistelli

I simply couldn’t resist sharing this one, even if it doesn’t match the overall mood of the post very well. 🙂 It’s one of my favorite Christmas Eve songs.

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

-Psalm 23:6 (ESV)