Day Nineteen– Crockpot || 30days30minutes

Somedays, I approach these posts knowing exactly what to say and how to say it.

Other days, like today. I have a handful of topics I could spill about on these posts that I am worried are more journal entries than anything else. But someone came up to me about a week ago —(*starts singing* about a week ago…week ago)  and she told me that she was thankful for these posts. Told me to keep going because I was doing good work.

I’m doing good work. I’m doing good work. I’m doing good work.

This is what I have to remind myself after ten hours of sorting through clothes and nannying. I find myself having to choke back tears of doing what I need to do to get back– but who I am to feel privileged in this? I really really try not to compare my story to others —BUT– so many people are out there hustling just to provide for their families, just to make ends meet and I’m complaining because I have to work with a rad couple and take a little girl to ballet class. But I can’t lie and say I don’t feel trapped- I don’t feel like I am hanging on the edge of my purpose, one foot doing the dang thing and the other foot just trying to make sure I can pay rent and a car not.

I’m tired.

I never want that to be my response to someone who asks me how am I doing, I don’t want to say busy, or tired or use “just livin the dream”when all that really means is actually, I’m LIVING VERY VERY FAR FROM THE DREAM– I’M JUST TRYING TO GET A VACATION SPOT THERE!

We hustle.

We hustle fast and we hustle with every bit of us. We run fast and drive ourselves into the ground.

I have a hard time believing that God can actually provide, that God’s “got this” without my hustle. I have a hard time believing that he just wants me to sit back and let him do his thing without me. it’s silly, maybe but sometimes I really struggle with finding his tangible provision as something completely unrelated to my actions. But my hustle has nothing to do with his provision who knows if my “hustle” produces anything but pure exhaustion and I’m just under the impression that I’m actually doing something.

My roommate asked me last night, if I knew when I need to say no to things and when i need to say yes.

The answer is no, absolutely not. I have no idea how to do this AT ALL until I crash and have nothing to give and then I have to take back all my yes that I just threw out like freaking candy to anyone who asked. I say yes and somehow everything falls into place around the same time and I’m running around trying to “figure it out” like a crazy person. I am trying really trying to learn “no” without feeling like I owed someone something or feel so bad like really really bad because I couldn’t do it. I carry “no” like burdens. My mind associates yes with strength and no with, oh you can’t handle it? Lies, all lies of course. So as I transition into this next season of life, coming from the middle of the tornado kind of season, I’m am trying to re-learn the art of no, the acceptance of no so please feel free to keep me accountable on that! (I might regret this later and come back and delete it—but for now I mean it).

I feel like this post is a crock pot post.

I am saying lots of different, random things but I hope at least they come together somehow and taste good.

Yesterday, at the end of the event Elizabeth passed out some of her first bracelets that she made. Each bracelet says something different and before receiving them she told us that she believes strongly whatever phrase you get is what you’re supposed to have. So everyone starts getting their bracelets, some of them say “be strong”, “courageous” , or “freedom”, you know those words where you constantly reflect on and attempt to understand where their place is for your present moment. I get my bracelet and it says, “ h a v e  f  u n”.

h a v e f u n.

We’re all walking around sharing our bracelet words and I read mine with a slightly bitter and disappointed voice and everyone else’s reaction is more like “Yeah…that’s a good one for you!” or “Yup! That’s accurate, you need that!” WOAH WOAH WOAH in my head i’m thinking what?! I AM LOADS OF “FUN” –I do things….Fun things. And in the midst of my slightly irrational defensiveness my friend Lisa says, “maybe try thinking about it as having fun as Arielle. Not as Arielle the nanny or the worker, or the do-er just Arielle.”

I sat with that all day today. How does Arielle have fun? And I realized how hard it was to dissociate myself from what I do. Anyone else feel that way? Our defining factors of who we are are completely centered around what we do and that becomes our understanding of who we are.

How does Arielle have fun? Outside of coming home, letting the introvert in me hang out and catch up on things I didn’t accomplish that day. Fun to me is just being able to sit down and not have to move for more than 20minutes. But no no-how does Arielle have fun? I haven’t quite figured that out yet but I’m sure I’ll come back to this space and let you know when I do.

Your turn!

Who are you outside of what you do? How do you think you“have fun” ? What kind of exploring do you need to do in order to explore what that looks like? It’ll be a neat little journey trying to figure out what that entails. Let me know what you’ve discovered!

I hope the crock pot post didn’t freak ya’ll out too much.

Thanks for sticking around, I appreciate you.

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Day Eighteen || 30days, 30minutes

In my Undergraduate, I studied Psychology. There was something about the human mind that fascinated me. Why do we do the things that we do? How do we define truth and where does that stream from? What does birth order have to do with our personalities?

I am constantly processing through a lot, all the time. I internally and externally ask a lot of questions. I analyze every concept I can get my hands on and I am constantly wanting to understand deeper. I am intrigued with discovering heartbeat and the root of people, places and things. I knew midway that I wasn’t going to pursue Psychology on the graduate level, I didn’t really have a desire to be a doctor or to have a practice, I just wanted to know how to love people. I quickly learned that Psychology was about more than diagnosing yourself or others. It was the ability to grasp a deeper, wider and more universal approach at understanding other human beings. I figured, that in whatever I did– I would always be around people and psychology would allow me to understand people better– thus hopefully knowing how to better love them.

My favorite class was a summer class taught by Professor Becky Murdock called Psych of the Exceptional Child. The whole focus of the class was geared towards the various mental disorders that children can have, their causes and treatments. This class wrecked me. I cried A LOT and every child I told myself I would adopt and keep them in this cute little house tucked away surrounded by willow trees so they could just be. (I realize how creepy that could have sounded but I meant it in the most sincere, nurturing kind of way) Shortly after this class, I started working with a beautiful little girl who is on the autism spectrum. Her name is Naiya, I’ve mentioned her before on my blog a few times. She is a precious human who reminds me to take everything in, every touch and every flutter of eye contact. She has taught me that it’s okay to know what you want and not know how to express it, she also reminds me that no matter what goes on in our own heads– we all have a deep desire to be known, seen and loved.

I’m not sure if you know this,

but currently we are smack dab in the middle of mental health awareness week.

Did you know that about 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder?

Did you know that an estimated 16 million american adults (nearly 7% of the population) had at least one major depressive episode in the past year?

These are barely scraping the surface of all that mental health awareness focuses on. However these are the ones I know about– these are some of the stories I can tell but can you imagine how many stories are out there not being told? Because when you are suffering from something that cripples your mind and sometimes hinders your ability to function to your full potential — the immediate response is to recluse. No one wants to see when you’re not put together, when you’re not whole and you’re walking around with all your pieces. No one is going to understand, these are the lies that bombard thousands of individuals everyday.

The biggest power mental illness can have is the power of silence.

The power over convincing those suffering with them that there’s no need to share but there is.

Tonight, I had the incredible honor of performing for an event for an organization called Link of Hearts, a jewelry company focused on, RAISING AWARENESS FOR DEPRESSION & SPREADING HOPE ONE GIFT AT A TIME.” The owner and founder, Elizabeth shares her own story about her walk and battle with depression here. A few months ago, Elizabeth asked me to write a piece for her kickstarter video raising awareness for those suffering with depression. I couldn’t do this project alone and asked my friend Sophia to write it with me. She agreed and then tonight we performed this piece;  

Darkness brings a lens that magnifies

the small evils that

have made nests inside my instability.

The micro fibers of their homes

Are too tangled to

Free myself from the

Residency they’ve claimed.

When horizontal

It all grows quicker,

it swells faster.

Grip hands to sides and cling to

Repetitive hopes that

Sun comes again and

Your skin and bones will wake again.

This can’t be living.

I never thought I would have to remind you

What living feels like — how to be the one to sing away the darkness

But I promise to your bedside lullaby

reassuring you that this night will pass

I promise to be the one who lies next to you

when you’re convinced everything in this world is against you

you are more skyscraper than abandoned building

rest, please rest

but rest means

Sleeping and sleeping

Means peace and

Peace means quiet,

Well it all must be

Wrong then because

Sleep is attempt

After tired attempt at

Finding reconciled

Ignorance to your

Too-filled mind at

A chance to focus

On your breath

In your lungs to

Carry you into the next day.

I will carry you into the next day

Remind you of your strength in the moments you are weak

And to be the one who sews your cape when it’s tattered

Hold the mirror to your face when you’ve lost sight of your identity

Is this when I have to face myself?

you are beautiful.

The time when the outside

stops growing because there

is no sun right now,

you are good enough.

but this thing inside me has proven to be

nocturnal because

when sun sets,

roots grow.

You are not falling apart.

When the outside does not have

chance at convincing

me of ignoring myself again,

is this when i have to face myself?

You are beautiful.

Pain searing through her bones

And taunting insomnia

aching more than just in your body

Sadness kissing her temples each night

fighting battles I always figured she had already won

I cannot pretend to understand

I cannot pretend to know how to hold you

I just know that I must

Let the dark be your space for

feeling fully.

Let your sadness swell into what

is not seen.

Let your chaos absorb what

is not seen.

this is only one experience untold

of the countless men and women

with this illness, suffering in silence

We hope that this will be their gateway–

you do not have to do this alone,

you no longer have to be silent

You deserve to be seen,

To be known, to be heard

every shaky, uncertain

roaring and unwavering voice

it’s time to out come out of hiding

you’re safe here

you’re safe here

you are safe here

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I don’t believe that any story should go untold. I don’t believe than any voice should be unheard. I do not believe that giving the power of silence over to these mental illnesses will make them go away. They’re not dramatic scenes in movies, these are the stories of real people all around you. So this week, I would challenge you to learn something new that you haven’t known before about mental health and the issues surrounding it.

Here are a few of my favorite resources for hope, encouragement, knowledge and support;

https://twloha.com

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml

you are seen. you are known. you are heard.

Day Seventeen||30days30minutes

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Up until last night, I didn’t know that tea boxes came with instructions.

I didn’t know that for your cup of tea to be full of flavor and goodness you have to steep the bag in hot water for 4-6 minutes. I pulled out cups for my housemate and I then she went to the cupboard and pulled out the box and carefully read the instructions. Tonight, I made another cup of tea for myself and read the instructions on the box for directions to a really good cup of tea. All this time, I’ve just been making tea pretty haphazardly not with ease, intention or diligence at all. I did not realize that there was an art to tea making.

Don’t we kind of do this with a lot in our own lives?

We get into a repetitive mundane habits, we rush decisions or miss out on really good steeped moments because we don’t want to wait for them to be fully what they can be.  The water has to boil, the tea bag and the water have to learn how to let the other one in a little bit in order to create something really good (Oo that was deep and definitely a good relationship connection, I’ll save that for later expanding).

Right after graduation, I got the idea to start a weekly email group. I currently get Hannah Brencher Monday email and that has always been a huge inspiration to me. I fought with attempting to replicate the idea because it seemed unoriginal but the idea kept me up one night and so I sat on my phone designing/ thinking of different names I could call it. I thought of a lot of terms that was geared towards a mainly woman focus because that’s my go-to comfort zone and where I feel I can share the most experience but then Hearts of Gold came to mind. That could easily be taken really female gender friendly but in my first email I explained why I chose the name, Hearts of Gold;

Why gold? Why not hearts of silver, titanium or some other type of chemical element?

I asked myself this same question on the night that this little email group started stirring in my soul. I had other names of course for instance, “The Sunflower Brigade” almost won because well I’m obsessed with sunflowers but for some reason gold kept coming right back to me. So then I did some research on gold not the color but the chemical element itself. According to good ol’ Wikipedia, Gold in its purest form “is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, dense, soft, malleable and ductile metal.” A Ductile metal means that when the metal is under stress it shapes and molds into something different BUT it does not break or crack.

Malleable means that something can be hammered or shaped completely out of its original form but it does not break. Instead, it turns into something different but with the same capacity of strength and simultaneously manages to remain in its purest form. I know you weren’t expecting to get a science lesson when you signed up for these emails but I figured what better way to start this journey off then by explaining the name that ties it all together.

Here’s the beautiful application that I see with this… with us, is that our hearts go through a lot, they are some strong mother suckers because we are reckless individuals who say hurtful words and get hurt in return. We sometimes forget how fragile yet how strong and malleable our hearts are. I chose Hearts of Gold because God is constantly shaping, molding, forming us under stress, challenges and all that life throws at us so that we can become our purest and most beautiful self. The discomfort that comes with being hammered and shaped is no comparison to the final result of who we will become because of his handiwork in and through our lives. And when it is “all said and done” after the tension, the stress, the shaping and molding our hearts don’t really break, WE don’t break, instead we realize that we are capable of so much because he says that we are and allows us to be.

Two weeks ago, I sent out a Wednesday email admitting that I wasn’t focusing or spending the time I would like to spend on these weekly emails. I was throwing them together with whatever came to mind — I felt frazzled and disoriented and overwhelmed. So I put the emails on a short hiatus, I got notification after sending the email that a few people unsubscribed from the list — I can’t lie and say that this didn’t sting a little bit. I realize that it’s hard for people to stick around when we admit that we are broken and empty handed. We prefer to see people put together with a plastered on smile whether that was their reality or not. But i will be the first to admit when I’m a hott mess (and not the attractive kind) because I never want transparency to be something I consider a weakness or become a downfall.

Now back to the tea–

The steeping of tea is worth the time, worth the patience because honestly good things do take time. They take work, they take diligence and a lot of love. I needed to take the hiatus from my emails in order to realize how important they are to me, in order to feel re-fueled and encouraged and ready to spill my heart out to a group of people who signed up.

I want these emails and everything that I write and even everything I do to be the art and process of steeping tea.

I want to pour the hot water, add the tea bag and sit and let the goodness unfold without rushing or skipping a step. You don’t get the full result when you skip a step, I wasn’t necessarily the savviest student in science class but I did get a B+ in High school chemistry and I’m pretty sure I remembered that when you go outside of the instructions and guidelines given for an experiment you will either 1. get an explosion or 2. not have any response or result at all. Good things take time, so sit back, light a candle and read a book while you wait. Then grab  your favorite mug, add your dash of honey and or steamed milk and enjoy the goodness!

It’ll be worth it, it’ll be worth the wait.

Day Sixteen || 30days30minutes

Dear College Students.

Hey, take a breath.

I know you’re probably freaking out right now because you probably started scrolling the interweb during your allotted procrastination time and it’s past the time you had initially planned. It’s okay, take a breath.

I’ve encountered a few of you the past couple days and your eyes are tired (i don’t mean that offensively I mean you genuinely probably haven’t slept in days and I can tell –hold your fire, you’re loved still, dark eyes and all). I know that your diet has consisted of more coffee and “snacks” than anything of substance. Come over, I’ll make you dinner…no seriously. Shoot me a text, email Fb message, DM and we’ll make a date. I’ll make you dinner with vegetables that didn’t come from a can.

The majority of you are frantic, stressed and stretched much too thin. Part of this is because well it’s what you signed up for when you entered into college and secondly, you’ve said yes to more than your hands can hold. Your cart is full, so is your schedule and also your entire day. You are wondering why the weekend feels more like a two hour nap than two full days and how the days manage to fly by so fast and you’re still catching up from your to-do list weeks ago. I talked with one dear friend and current student and she told me that she is having to say “No” to somethings and remind herself that her sanity and health is important.

YOUR SANITY & HEALTH IS IMPORTANT.

The assignments inevitably always get done, i’m not sure how. Sometimes it takes a few all nighters and then you have to remember to balance that with taking your overly caffeinated and fried brain TO BED. I honestly can’t remember the tests I took (passed and sometimes didn’t pass), I don’t remembers the papers I sometimes threw together, I don’t remember the amount of stress I put on myself. I do remember the moments where I felt the most weak and broken and had to ask for help. I do remember almost every coffee conversation on the main part of campus, I do remember work shifts and told that I was a “coffee goddess” which is just what really tired and grateful for good cups of coffee college students tell you in the middle of finals week. I do remember the moments where one of my resident asked me “How do you find worth in yourself” and I cried and told her I was still trying to figure that out myself.

You see the learning, is more than just in the classroom. The learning begins before you even step foot in a classroom and it keeps going once you leave. The learning is in your dorm room, it’s outside on your lawn past midnight because something feels heavy and you don’t know how to break the tension.

You are there to be scholars.

Scholars of life, scholars of yourself, scholars of people and issues that matter.

You are there to find out even more so about what you are passionate about, why you are passionate about it and what you’re going to tangibly do to make it possible.

You’re there to become skillful in your craft, whether that be teaching, creating, doing, whatever it is. The grades matter but then they also don’t matter– whoops, yeah I said that. The grades matter but they also don’t and I know that’s an oxymoron and i know that I wish I would have gotten some better grades in a class just to feel good about myself. But the grades aren’t worth your health. The grades aren’t worth your well-being. They are building blocks, not the ladder itself.

Dear College students,

It’s okay if you don’t date in college. It’s okay if you don’t find “your one” in college — I sure didn’t and I am so grateful because I didn’t even know myself enough let alone to get to know someone else too.

So DTR in the garden even though it won’t solve anything, let them serenade you outside of your campus housing door (before curfew hours of course, for all you private Christian schoolers.

Drink the whole pot of coffee in one day and then spend the next day drinking water before you pass out of dehydration and wonder why you keep getting headaches.

Go see a counselor because this is just beginning of the weirdest and yet most beautifully ravishing part of your story.

Know who your home team is, not the ones who you always cross paths with and say, “OH MY GOSH Hiiiiii, LET’S GO GET COFFEE!” and never do. Know who the people are that you can go to and they will not shy away from giving you truth, or just listening or knowing the moment when you come into the room that you just need the lights turned off and to be left alone. Find the people who will be there when the rubber hits the road because it most definitely will hit the road.

Don’t be afraid to actually say when you’re not good, don’t be so inclined to fall into the perfect march of I’m doing great when you’re really not. Be willing to admit that to others so you know when to believe it yourself.

Dear college students,

this time goes by really fast and you won’t be able to get it back.

So take it all in, love people well and learn what it means to love yourself just as well.

Do things you would never do and write papers that make you excited to learn.

Step outside your comfort zone, it’s nerve wracking but I promise it’s really fun there.

Day Fifteen || 30days30minutes

I’m entering into another year of life and that always makes you all reflective right? Tonight, I am overwhelmed with the gratitude of the people that God has plopped into my life at thee most perfect times. I have been blessed with overall really awesome people in my life but even more so really awesome mentors and older people who it is so easy to look up to. I have had people who have LITERALLY let me cry on their shoulders when I found out I wasn’t going to graduate “on time”, or over coffee when I had to admit that I wasn’t coping in healthy ways.  People who have told me about the truth of who I am and helped me heal from heartbreaks in the front seat of their cars.  People who have raced me to hospitals at midnight and cut tension of silence when both life and death are present in one place with truth that has struck me to do this day, “You know… you don’t have to be strong right now.” People who have encouraged, seen, heard me and loved me still. 

Like most twenty-year olds just barely comin’ in kicking to this strange, big world — finances. Are like not really a thing. Unless that’s just me… Trying to “budget” just looks like how can I get through this month, pay everything and still manage to eat? To say that I have stretched what I have been given is a very big understatement. My mom says that we live a life a manna, always just enough, not any more, not any less and it comes exactly when you need it. How I’ve managed this far honestly BAFFLES me — but ah yes, CAN’T HE DO IT?!

This week, I had to admit that I wasn’t doing well– that I needed time and had to ask for grace I didn’t think I deserved. I tried to pay my utilities and then had to tell my “landlord” aka a really awesome human that I had to cash a check first but would send it after. “Isn’t being an adult great?” “No.” I said, “it’s the absolute worst.” THEN he went and laid on the wisdom real THICK (you might want to screen shot, copy this down, or re-tweet this because, IT’S GOOD, real good and I can’t take any credit for it.)

“It gets better I promise. I hit rock bottom multiple times, scraped by with working meaningless stupid jobs. Did things for meal sand not for good purposes like creating beautiful art films.

And then one day it just begins to change in your favor.

The good thing is, just because you don’t have money in the bank doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It just means you’re a human and sometimes you have money and sometimes you don’t. My favorite quote,

‘a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.'”

WELL DANG.

A few posts back I mentioned how these seasons, these stretching, challenging, uncertain season are necessary for the bettering of who we are. The rocky seas, the storms are exactly what we need in order to know how to navigate through this isn-storm of life sometimes. How do we know what we deserve if not because of the example of what we didn’t? How do we know when to walk away from something that wasn’t good for us to be in if not because we had to experience the “bad” first? We need these moments. I need these moments, of knowing what scraping looks like so that I never get comfortable with earthly ‘provision” (but I mean…. a comma in those numbers every once in a while would be SO LOVELY) I digress.

The last thing he said to me was,

“Don’t ever underestimate the power of ‘falling forward.'”

hm Falling forward. In day eight I talked about how the falling is inevitable but the real meaning behind falling is to determine how to get back up and get back up strong. I think we assume if we’re falling then we either 1. go backwards  or 2. stay where we are. Falling forward gives us the confidence in the fact that there is power in the falling because we will be stronger when we get back up. I have been trying to hustle and work as much as I can just to make it but I don’t let myself rest even a little bit, I think “treating yourself” means trying to get to bed before 2am and I keep thinking that I need to say yes to every job that comes my way. I haven’t had much patience nor grace with myself lately.  So I mentioned in day eight that I was in the midst of reading “Rising Strong” by Brené Brown and her words just on top of being absolutely awesome are also extremely encouraging so I will end with this and hope you feel encouraged too.

“…sometimes when we are beating ourselves up, we need to stop and say to that harassing voice inside,

“Man, I’m doing the very best I can right now.”  ”

Do the best right now, with what you can and with what you have.

Be willing to show up and have a little more patience with yourself.

You’re doing the best you can and that is more than okay.

Day fourteen || 30days30minutes

For some reason, when I think of “feminism”, this is the first thing that comes to mind–

Maybe it’s the way she gets them all whiled up for this really great sleepover dance scene or maybe it’s the way they find a common thread of hurt and refuse to let themselves be victims because of it (oh yeah, 13 going on 30 can be real deep). Perhaps its because this moment, I think this scene is the perfection depiction of the power women have when they put aside the expectations of others and forced guidelines of who to and not to be and  thus dance harder because the weight on them is lighter.

I thought for a long time that feminism was a “secular” term, until I realized how masognistic the church can be sometimes (sometimes intentionally and most times out of naivety) and realized even deeper the need for it to be a universal topic of conversation. Last night, I attended my churchs’ women ministry event, WOMEN ARE _____ (the blank space is filled every month with a new word; Brave, Strong, United, Called, Enough. 

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In that room, over four-hundred women gathered together and heard the stories of other women who have been strong in their lives. SPOILER! Want to know the common thread in all of their stories? They had to experience what weakness looked like first, they had to be pulled out of their comfort zone and thrown into the dirt in order to know what getting back up looked like.

I was overwhelmed and literally had goosebumps by the experience of it all. Do you know the type of power women have when we’re all together? Do you know the type of damage (i mean the good kind) that we could do when we finally stop looking at one another as competition and realize WE’RE LITERALLY IN THIS TOGETHER?! *cue High school musical choreography*

The possibilities are infinite, the potential is monumental and therefore the fear is even greater.

Yes. fear.

Fear that we of women have in ourselves and fear that people have of us.

You’re not a threat.

You are not a ticking bomb.

You are not a volcano of unruly emotions.

You are not bossy.

You are not any name outside of your own given to you by birth.

You are not the fistful of apologies you stuff in your mouth when you have absolutely nothing to be sorry for.

You are not less.

I think it’s sad that we have to live in a world that we have to refer to ourselves as feminist when we just know exactly who we are, what we’re called to do and know that we will not in your boxes. THAT’S CALLED BEING HUMAN. I am human and I just so happen to be created with a little extra hip, sass and also potential and the ability to communicate really well. But you better believe I will call myself whatever I need to until people realize this is truth not the exception nor the rule but every bit of truth.

I don’t know why we’re still having the conversation of weather or not women should be pastors. GO SOMEWHERE.

The answer is yes. The answer is heck yes.

I will never forget when my Mom preached her first sermon at my baptist church and had to speak on the floor when just weeks before a twelve-year old boy speak and was able to share his message from the pulpit. This image– is engrained in my mind because I don’t believe that’s what Jesus intended at all. Not the same Jesus who allowed WOMEN to tell everyone that he had rose from the grave, not the Jesus who CONSTANTLY allowed WOMEN to be such crucial parts of the gospel story. Not the same Jesus who MIND YOU was brought into this world by –HOLD UP ….A WOMAN!! Woah game changer.

Today was spent surrounded by a group of high school and college aged women who were told in various ways by various people that their story was one worth hearing and worth sharing. This has to be reiterated at conferences because they get told everyday that they aren’t enough. It will never get exhausting having to remind women that they’re powerful, strong, wise, loved, gifted and worthy but it does get exhausting when they are hearing the very opposite from everywhere else.

This is my woman empowerment post.

This is my, you are more than enough girl, woman, lady anthem.

When we realize the potential we have individually AND the potential we have together — hot dang you better believe this world AINT READY. Because when we come, we will not come with vengeance, we will come with confidence and a woman with confidence is enough to shatter the very foundation of reality as we know it.

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Day Thirteen || 30days30minutes

Ah.Today was good.

But I mean, when there is an entire a day set aside for you to be showered with more love than you can fathom, how could that not be a good day? I woke up to streamers on my door and coffee paired with a bunch of goodies from my beautiful and loving housemate. Then I took on the day, wandered LA and grabbed coffee & flowers on the way with my ball of sass, drake lovin’ Karen (happy 1 year friend-aversary!), the night ended with small group time turned Scandal party.

At one point in the day, Karen being the inquisitive and challenging friend that she is, asked me what five positive things I learned and took away from this twenty-third year of life. After that conversation, we tried to figure out what my tag line or theme would be for year twenty-four. We thought of Lioness in the making (shout out to she in the making for the inspiration), Karen thought of Lioness in distress (don’t ask) and then when I got to small group today there were cute decorations hanging across Brittany’s kitchen area that read,

DREAM FOREVER.

She went to target and got a pack of decorative letters and wondered what she could come up with using the letters she had. Dream Forever. I mean– yes. 

When does it happen? 

At what point in life do we get to that it makes us stop dreaming?

Why do we stop dreaming?

Why do we fear ourselves out of thinking we can’t do something?

Why did we stop wearing the superman capes and tutus? Why do we hesitate when people ask us what we want to be, when before we would blurt out without any hesitation doctor, firefighter, teacher, nurse, actress, dancer, whatever made our heart skip a handful of beats. I know that poetry is more than a hobby, it has never been about being on stage or just doing it because it’s kind of fun sometimes.

It is my biggest dream to stretch past these California walls and trail words into cities I’ve never been to before and on the hearts of strangers.

I want this twenty-fourth year to be about more of that, Dreaming forever. Grasping a dream (or a few dreams) in the palms of my hands and running with them as fast as I can in the directions people continuously tell you are off limits.. I want this year to be about doing all the crazy things fear tells me I can’t.

To say that I want to kind of want to earthquake our preconceived idea of what we dream to be “possible” and “not possiblE” would be an understatement.


A few weeks ago, I received a thank you card from Emily, the founder of Daughter of Delight  and have been using the beautiful gold foil card as a  bookmark in the book we are reading for small group. And then this morning my housemate gave me a pretty framed pint version of the same quote on the card

She believed she could, so she did.

She believed she could, so she did.

She believed she could, so she did.

She believed she could, so she did.

It isn’t she believed she might, so she tried. It isn’t she almost did but fear stopped her.

She believed she could, so she did.

I refuse to downgrade or belittle what I know I’m called to do and who I know I’m called to be. I mentioned in Day 12 that twenty-three was the year I learned to listen and accept to the roaring of the Lioness in my gut — I have no intention of caging her ever again.

I’m in the midst of working on some projects that I’m really excited to share with you all; revamping my website, getting some prints available for purchase, a collaboration book with a sweet and talented poet sister and some other goodies coming your way– I realize that these are baby dreams becoming breathing, living wonders and I am in complete and utter awe at the birth of them. These are not a list of OMG I’M SO BUSY AND DOING RLLY KEWL THINGS —no no.  I believe, so deeply in each of these projects and want to be able to give them all the attention that they need. I never see profit in any of this, I don’t seek to gain anything but the satisfaction of leaving love letters in various forms whenever and wherever I can.

Dreaming forever && believing so deeply that it automatically elicits the urgency to do– that’s what I want twenty-four to be about and having no expectations in terms of what any of that may look like or entail. I want to be blown away (by the sometimes stressful) but wonderful orchestration of Gods timing and planning. I want to continue to lean into his time versus my own and approach every open door with wide and accepting arms despite how heavy it might seem when I leave.


I want to finish this out by thanking each and every individual who made this day so wonderful, you have no idea how much you mean to me. I am so so grateful.

from the deepest part of my heart,

A.E

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