This is the space where I come to scratch down love letters and life lessons. Like you, I’m on a lifelong quest for more wisdom, beauty, and justice. Like yours, my days are filled with the sweet and the bitter, the holy and hilarious, the mundane and extraordinary—and honestly, when I look close enough, those things are usually one and the same. Here, you’ll find words fueled by copious amounts of coffee and hopefully even more grace.

Conversations with the author. {Coming to Jesus, marriage surprises, favorite posts and more!}

You mentioned having grown up in North Carolina - so did I!  Where exactly did you grow up, and what's a favorite NC childhood memory? 

I grew up in Franklin, North Carolina, which is just over an hour west of Asheville. Its a beautiful little town, and I really can’t imagine growing up anywhere else. My favorite part would have to be Fall every year. Living in the mountains, Fall is absolutely breathtaking. People come from all over to see the leaves and waterfalls. Also, going to high school football games with my dad (who also graduated from FHS and played football when he was there) was a blast. We had more school spirit than anybody out there. :)

How did you meet Jesus?  When do you remember Him becoming real to you in a way that began to transform your life? 

I met Jesus at five years old, kneeling up against our couch with my mom and a family friend. The memory is faint, but I know that it was a really sweet moment. So I grew up in church, with the knowledge that I should be different because I was a believer. I was doing and saying all the right things, but I didn’t necessarily feel like I had that deep connection with the Lord. It wasn’t until college that I really began to look at the person of Christ and the scriptures in an intentional, relational  way. I knew that I needed to really surrender my life to the Lord, and college became a sort of rededication process.

On your About page, you call yourself a "car singer," which I absolutely love.  What songs might I catch you singing if I were a fly on your car window? 

I really love singing, actually -- growing up, I did solos in church on a fairly regular basis. Lately, you might hear me belting some Meredith Andrews, Audrey Assad, Sara Bareilles, Adele, and even some Taylor Swift. I don't listen to a lot of top 40’s songs, but Craig works at a radio station that plays adult contemporary music, so I do hear a few current pop songs now and then that I can sing along to.

When/why did writing first become important to you?  How has blogging impacted your relationship with Jesus? 

I have written for as long as I remember -- words have always been my way of processing, and of course, my faith played a role in that. But I think writing really started to impact my relationship with Christ when I began watching interviews with Ann Voskamp. When I heard her describe art as coming to the altar, and how she uses her blog to preach the gospel to herself, it totally changed my approach to writing. I have also learned how to incorporate scripture in my writing, which the Lord has really used to mold me in the past year.

You chose "rest" as your One Word for this year.  What facets of that word has the Lord been emphasizing to you or drawing you more deeply into so far this year? 

Part of the reason I chose the word “rest” was purely practical. Last year was the busiest year of my life, and so I wanted to be really intentional about self-care and recuperating this year. But more than that, I want to be intentional about resting before the Lord. My default response to life’s ups and downs is anxiety. In 2014, I really want to learn what it means to cease striving and live open handedly before God. Recently, I’ve been pretty overwhelmed at work, and so God has been using that to teach me. I’m really seeing how much intention it takes to rest.

If you could ask Jesus for anything having to do with your relationship with Him, and you KNEW He'd give it to you, what would it be? 

This is such an interesting question. I don’t know that I would necessarily ask for anything specific to change in terms of my circumstances. I really believe that I am here for this particular time in order to become more like Him and bring glory to His name, and the Lord uses all kinds of circumstances to accomplish His will. What I want more and more is increased passion for who He is and what He is doing. Also increased sensitivity to His voice.

How long have you been married?  What has surprised you about marriage thus far? 


Craig and I got married on June 22, 2013. For the first time ever, here are his words on my blog: “I would say the most surprising part about marriage was how hard it was for us to move in together as a married couple. We both had all of our stuff, and while we have plenty of room for it, getting it organized is an ongoing pursuit.”

What are a couple of key things you've learned about yourself in the last year or so? 

I have grown up SO much in the past year. My life looks so entirely different now than it did a year ago. In the past year, I’ve gained such a renewed reverence for life. I’m also a lot more self-aware now than I was a year ago, but if I had to narrow it down to two things I’ve learned, the first would have be that confidence for me really comes with experience. I am not naturally one to just jump into something totally assured, so I’ve had to really learn how to be patient with myself as I process things. Secondly, I’ve learned that it is not just okay, but needed, to have something just for me to take pride in. That’s a big reason behind my investment in this blog, especially recently.

Where do you and your husband see yourselves in 10 years or so, in terms of life vision, goals, etc.? 

Practically speaking, we would like to have both of our student loans paid off. We also want to start a family, whatever that looks like; and we are looking to decide in the future about getting masters degrees. Also, we still plan to have crushes on each other in ten years. :)

What's your favorite {or one of your favorites} post you've written?  Could you share a link and tell us a little about why you love it? 

At Christmastime, I wrote about the song “Oh, Holy Night” in a post called “If You Don’t Recognize Holy Tonight.” Reading that post still brings me to tears, because it truly is the heart of the gospel. Those words are so extraordinary, but not because of any effort I put in. Words have been pouring out from a place that is not of me. I’ve started to view my blog as a place where God speaks to me, perhaps even more so than I am speaking to you. His presence was so tangible to me as I wrote that particular piece.

Teaming up with my dear sister, Dana.You guys seriously do not want to miss the beauty happening over at her blog. Thanks to her for such fun and interesting questions this week. If you want to check out my interview with her, be sure to visit her space on the web. Do you have a question or want to share a story? Here's how to get in touch. {Linking up with #AskAwayFriday this week.}


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