(Less Than) Extravagant Hospitality

I often find myself reading books on friendship and hospitality, wondering where and how to start drawing people into my life. I want to show myself friendly. I want to have a home with an open door policy where people know they are welcome at any time.

This long held desire in my heart led me to Rosaria Butterfield’s The Gospel Comes with a House Key. I would love to have a conversation with Rosaria. I would love to show up on her doorstep and be invited in for some of that hospitality she so freely offers. I would love to hear more of her story than what she offers in these pages. I would love to pepper her with my “but how?” questions and have her tell me to quit being so focused on the big picture and just start small.

I think if I met Rosaria Butterfield she would laugh at me the way I laughed at myself upon finishing her book last night. I finished it with a dozen questions, my mind racing and wondering how to become the kind of home Rosaria writes of in those pages. How do I live in such a way that people can show up as they please and find that I am prepared for when they do?

The laugh came when I suddenly realized there had been eight extra people at my breakfast table that morning. My house had that recently been full of humans and I still questioned my hospitality. Do house guests count when the majority of them share DNA with your husband? Because apparently I’m not convinced they do.

So here I sit with this epiphany that all these years I have felt like I wasn’t doing enough are because I’m viewing hospitality as some extravagant gesture that encompasses the masses rather than the consistent fellowship of a few. In light of this revelation, I started combing through the archives of my mind for past attempts at hospitality.

I thought I failed at hospitality when my weekly game nights fizzled out after the first few months, as if it hardly counted that one of those guests continued to show up every Tuesday evening for the next two years.

I thought I failed at hospitality because I only talked to my neighbors in passing, never giving myself credit for learning the names of every resident in the seven apartments closest to mine.

I thought I failed at hospitality because I have yet to invite my neighbor into my home, despite having his birthday recorded on my calendar.

Names and birthdays. Two very small things. Hardly feels like hospitality. But what is hospitality?

Hospitality: the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers

Honestly, greeting someone with a smile seems like a pretty generous reception these days. It’s so rare to encounter another human who appears genuinely delighted to see you.

The hardest part of engaging in hospitality in modern day America is that the grand gestures of hospitality are counter-cultural. We are not taught to live in community. We are not conditioned to rely on our neighbors. In fact, we are conditioned not to. We don’t want to intrude. We don’t want to be a burden. Our neighbors have lives and they should be left alone to live them.

But I don’t want to be left alone. Not really.

Which begs the question: Is that really what your neighbors want from you? Perhaps some of them do, but perhaps some of them would readily step into that invitation. And perhaps some of them need to be invited more than once before they learn to accept it.

I may be an introvert, but it is still a rare day that I feel burdened by people stopping by. And on those days, it is rarely the fault of the company. Some days we exceed our limits. (Some days the baby has been excessively clingy and Mommy didn’t get her quiet time.) But I still love having an open door policy. I still love living a hospitable life.

We are not made to live in such small, isolated little circles. We need to grow those circles. We need to expand our hearts and let others into our homes.

Hospitality does not have to be a grand gesture. It is the mere welcoming of people into your daily life and ordinary routine. It’s saying, “I saw this and it reminded me of you.” Or, “We’re eating soon, and there’s enough if you’d like to join us.”

Hospitality can be less than extravagant. In fact, most people probably prefer it that way.

As Rosaria Butterfield writes: “Start anywhere. But do start.”

Singleness, Marriage, and the Burden of Perspective

“Singleness is only a gift to a few people. For most, it is a burden.”

I’ve read those words (or some version of them) a thousand times and they never cease to frustrate me.

It’s not that I don’t believe them. Quite the contrary, actually. I would agree that most people do find singleness to be absolutely burdensome.

Years of research and observation have brought me to the conclusion that the general consensus regarding singleness is that it is only a gift to those who feel called to it. It also appears to be widely speculated that in order to feel said calling, one has to have virtually no sex drive whatsoever, making it easy to embrace a lifetime of solitude. For those rare (nonexistent?) people, singleness is a gift. For everyone else—for those who yearn and pray for marriage, for those who burn with desires that have nowhere to be expressed, for those who feel lonely sleeping by themselves in a bed made for two—singleness is a burden.

Allow me to state the obvious. Of course singleness has its burdens. Of course I could find a dozen things to bemoan about that season of my life. But would I look back at those (27 or 29, depending on whether you count dating or marriage as the cutoff) years and say it was all a burden? Absolutely not.

It’s interesting to me that, while singleness is almost entirely written off as a burden, marriage is portrayed, nearly always, as a gift. And I don’t have to have a conflict free marriage for someone to tell me so. Sure, it’s a blessing when Levi and I are walking in perfect harmony, but if we get a little out of sync and start grating on each other’s nerves? Somehow we’ve been conditioned to believe even that is a gift. Those little rocky patches are just iron sharpening iron. Look at that lucky couple, smoothing each other’s rough edges like sandpaper so they can be more wholesome individuals than they would ever be on their own…

Hard times in singleness though? Those long, dry spells of discontent? Do we argue for their redeeming qualities? Oh no, no, no.

Singleness is a burden. Marriage is a gift.

That is what we believe.

And yet, strangely enough, I can think of a dozen burdensome things about marriage.

Do you know what I didn’t have to do when I was single? I didn’t have to step around piles of laundry on the bedroom floor or walk around the house turning off lights that had been left on long after the sun had risen. I didn’t have to scrub eggs off the stove after they had been splashed there and left to dry. I didn’t have to clean tiny mustache hairs out of the sink mere hours after I had cleaned the bathroom. I didn’t have to think twice before spending money on frivolous things that I wanted for myself. And if I didn’t feel like cooking dinner one night, I could abandon the menu plan and just eat a bowl of cereal without feeling like I was letting someone down.

These are all things in my marriage that can feel tiresome, tedious, and, yes, burdensome, even. But I am expected to accept these tasks as a gift (or at least ignore them so I can appreciate the many other ways in which marriage is a gift).

Why, oh why can we not do the same with singleness? Why is it that singleness is bemoaned for its many hardships instead of its myriad of gifts? Why is singleness considered inherently burdensome with perhaps a handful of perks, while marriage gets to be lauded as a sacred gift that comes with the occasional trial?

Do you know what would wreck my marriage? If I let the above list of tedious, burdensome things become the sum of it. How easily I could let my husband be measured by the loads of laundry he makes, and the coffee stains on the countertops, and those tiny little hairs in my freshly cleaned sink (why does he only ever shave over a freshly cleaned sink?).

Marriage is a gift only when it is a conscious choice not to measure another person by their irritating little idiosyncrasies. Yet here we are, believing in the inherent goodness of marriage while cursing singleness for being so troublesome.

What we believe about singleness shapes that season of our lives, and we are believing some harmful things. Perhaps the worst thing we can tell a person is that something has to be permanent for it to be considered a calling because that makes it really, really hard to embrace the calling to be where your feet are.

“I’m not called to singleness,” we argue, because we want to be married. And surely if we want something this badly, it means that our calling lies within that dream. Then one, five, ten years pass and we are still living outside of that calling. It is no wonder we are discontent. It is no wonder we think of singleness as a burden. We are living with a foot in both worlds and finding ourselves entirely off balance.

There was a time in my life when I really did feel that I was called to singleness (not because I was missing a sex drive, mind you, but because I found that I was otherwise content living a solo life). At twenty-five years old, I put a pen to paper and started mapping out an unshared future. Now here I am, five years later, married.

I don’t think I was wrong about my calling to singleness just because I met my husband eight months later. I was only wrong in that I expected it to be permanent.

It’s really tempting to think of life as having in-between stages. In between childhood and adulthood. In between singleness and marriage. In between marriage and motherhood. In between one big thing and the next.

Those eight months weren’t just some in-between stage; they were my life, and God offered me an invitation to truly live them. He called me, not to some elusive future, but to that moment.

Here’s my hot take on the subject: I think a calling is something that guides you toward the future, but also something you live right now. I’m convinced that if you find yourself living in a place that you didn’t anticipate living in for long, God has something to teach you there. So if you’re still single, whether or not the goal is a future marriage, you should embrace your singleness as if it is a calling. Because today… Today it is.

I consider myself one of those rare people who had “the gift” of singleness. Was I simply more naturally inclined to thrive in solitude or was it my mindset that protected me from discontent? I don’t rightly know, but I imagine it was a little of both. And I do know that my marriage is better served when I think about the gift my husband is rather than the burden his laundry is.

I think your singleness could be better served, too.

An Interruptible God

Adriel Booker writes of Jesus and His ministry:

“He was the kind of God who was interruptible, the kind of God who noticed pain and doubts and suffering and confusion, the kind of God who engaged deeply with people so that his heart would be moved to take action when they needed him most.


That word jerked me right out of the pages, sending me searching through my own heart.

Jesus is the kind of God who is interruptible.

I think the reason I’m so enamored by this thought is the fact that I, personally, am not so gracefully interrupted. (To phrase it mildly.)

I am not a fan of unexpected detours. Sudden changes to my schedule have a tendency to make me spend the whole day trying and failing to recover my rhythm.

But here’s Jesus, making an entire ministry out of interruptions, taking them all in stride.

Take Mark 5 for example. He’s on His way to minister elsewhere when someone tugs on His cloak in search of her own healing. And Jesus stops. A little girl’s life hangs in the balance while He takes a moment to commend this impertinent woman for her faith. He speaks life into this woman even as the little girl He was on His way to save breathes her last breath.

Y’all, I get annoyed when my Tuesday dinner plans turn into Thursday lunch plans. Jesus got interrupted and a child literally died. His detour kept Him too long. His miracle came too late.

(Except, *spoilers* it didn’t because nothing is impossible with God, so this deadly interruption wasn’t quite as fatal as it seemed.)

You know what I would have done had I been in Jesus’ sandals that day? I would have shaken the woman off. I would have ripped my cloak right out of her desperate hands and rushed straight to the bedside of that little girl. That was the mission, after all. If Jesus had accomplished nothing else that day, healing that dying child would have been enough.

But Jesus knew there was room for two miracles where I would have only carved room for one.

He healed a woman of her infirmity and He also brought a child back to life.

Healing upon healing. A two-for-one special.

Jesus was the kind of God who was interruptible because He had to be. Life is full of interruptions, and if you don’t learn to take them in stride, you won’t accomplish much of anything.

My problem, I am coming to realize, is not that interruptions exist, but that I let them overstay their welcome. I dwell on them, fussing over the inconvenience, rather than moving on to the next thing.

What if I learned to hold things for that crucial moment they need to be held and then breathed them out and let them go? What if I learned to be more interruptible? Would it make room for more blessings, more miracles?

I think it might.

So here’s to embracing interruptions with the same attitude Jesus did——like this moment is all that matters. Like I have all of the time in the world to deal with the next thing. Like there is room for more than one miracle in my day.

The Rush

“I want you to try slowing it down,” Kim said. “It’s like you’re in a rush to get to the landing. I want you to be in a rush to get in the air and just kind of float there for awhile. Like a little fairy.”

She’s right, I realize. While there are multiple steps to a jump, I find my mind fixated on the last one—-gliding backward with arms to the side and one leg extended behind me.

Crushed it.

Except I didn’t. Because the jump itself was sloppy and haphazard. Rushed. Like so many other things in my life.

I love accomplishing things. I love drawing check marks on to-do lists. I like looking at the finished product and saying, “Look what I have done!”

And I rush the process trying to get to the landing.

I find Kim’s voice rushing through my mind a lot these days. I guess that’s what a good coach does. She trains you to hear her gentle commands even when she’s not there to deliver them:

“Slow. Don’t rush. Cross and hold. Now look back and hold. Whoa. Hold that position. Now step forward. Hold. Now UP!”

And the funny thing is that I hardly think about the landing anymore. Landing is the easy thing. The natural thing. It requires so little of my focus.

Savoring those in-between moments… From the first crossover to the landing position… That’s the hard part. Being aware of my shoulders and my core… Being intentional about each step… That’s what kills me.

I spend too many of my days in a rush to get to the end of them. I look at the checklist of things I need to do and, instead of savoring each one, I simply rush through to the next.

Quiet time? Check. Workout? Check. Grocery shopping, house cleaning, coffee date? Check.

And by the time I crawl into bed, my day is a blur. It feels as sloppy as my waltz jump. As reckless as my Salchow. I may have gotten to the ending, but I failed to infuse intention into each step, and I feel the lack of it.

So I’m learning to slow down, both on the ice and off. To savor each step. To be present in each moment. To rush into the next thing, but then just kind of float there for awhile. Like a little fairy.

I like to think that someday I will be content to live a step-by-step kind of life.

A Life You Can Fall in Love With

“Is it weird,” she asked, “to see Josh get married when you’re still single?”

“No,” I shrugged. “I’m used to it by now.”

Which is true. I mean, it was weird when she got married. She was the first of the “younger generation” to tie the knot, and she married my baby brother who was certainly not old enough to get married, right? But the next three years have been so full of both bridal and baby showers that I hardly blink at the news that yet another kid is getting married and having kids of their own.

As I sat there watching the bride and groom share their first dance, I pondered my sister-in-law’s question a little deeper. Is this weird? Is it strange to watch Josh—this boy I’ve known all his life—get married?

Yeah. Maybe a little. After all, last time I looked, the kid was about twelve. But is it weird that he’s getting married when I’m still single? No. Not at all.

I don’t expect everyone to wait on me. They could stay waiting forever and, as you all should know by now, waiting is not what I am about.

I watched Josh’s hands dance up and down Maria’s shoulders and wondered (as all good writers do), what if?

What if I was living for this, hoping for this? What if I spent my single years obsessing over the thought of having my turn on the dance floor? Would it be weird then, to witness this moment?

I think, in that case, the answer is yes. Yes, this is weird and hard and decidedly unfair. I’m twenty-five years old; Josh is just a baby.

But I don’t live for him.

Him—the elusive someone who is supposed to come sweeping into my life and become my everything. The someone I’ll wear a white dress for. The someone I’ll devote the rest of my days to.

If I’m going to be honest, I thought I’d be married by twenty-five. As a child, it seemed as good an age as any to start settling down. As an adult it seems sort of like a cruel joke I played on my future self.

That’s right, make plans, Rebekah. It will be so amusing to see how unexpectedly your life actually plays out.

This is perhaps the part of the story where I’m supposed to become angry and jaded and bitter, but that seems to sad of an ending, so I rewrote it. I took this unexpected mess of a life and decided I wanted something different than a fist to shake at heaven.

I wanted something more magical, more unpredictable, more poetic than that.

I wanted a life I could fall in love with.

So I threw myself into my work, and befriended coworkers and customers alike.

I signed a lease and started collecting things to furnish a home of my own.

I filled journals with stories and ideas and words that may or may not be better left unsaid.

I started taking ice skating classes and, you guys, you guys, I am learning how to twirl. (Well, pivot, really, but it’s where the spinning starts… so maybe soon?)

I am trying to be spontaneous and adventurous and vulnerable. I am striving every day to let down my hair.

Would I like to be married? Sure. Maybe one day.

But not at twenty-five. Twenty-five has a different ending in mind for me.

And that’s okay. Different than I once expected, but okay.

Some people say that every girl deserves a man who will treat her well. And maybe they do.

But what I hope that every girl has, regardless of her relationship status, is a life she can fall in love with.

Love your life, darling, and if you don’t, rewrite it.

Make it the kind of life you can be proud of. Make it the kind of life you can find joy in. Make it the kind of life you can fall in love with.

You deserve that.

You really do.


On the day she dared to publicly confess that she felt brave for the first time in her life, a disillusioned reader wrote back to say she didn’t know the meaning of bravery. She was too young, her life was too pretty, she still had to live a little before she could staple herself with the title, “Brave.”

It’s amazing to me that there is a critic who would honestly think a girl is too young to be brave, when I’m sitting here on the other end of the spectrum thinking she is far too old to experience bravery for the first time.

Darling, if twenty-five is when you finally feel ready to face the danger, I can’t imagine how fearful your childhood must have been.

Because Brave is not for after you’ve survived it all; Brave is for a lifetime. You don’t need Brave once you’ve overcome; you need it for right there in the thick of the storm when the waves are crashing onto the deck and the ship is starting to crack in two.

Brave is for the band of children trekking deep into a forest that may be filled with coyotes and Indians on the warpath.

Brave is for the ten-year-old child who watches her grandmother succumb to cancer.

Brave is for the fourteen-year-old girl afloat deep in the ocean, urging her little brother to just keep swimming toward shore.

Brave is for the nineteen-year-old aspiring author, clutching a manuscript to her chest as she prepares to offer it up for rejection.

Brave is for the twenty-one-year-old young woman realizing everything she has ever dreamed of is not everything she imagined it would be.

Brave is for the new teacher, cradling a child whose whole world has fallen apart around him, trying not to fall apart with him.

Brave is for the girl with the broken heart, picking up the pieces and deciding she will love again.

Baby, you had better believe I wouldn’t be standing here today if I hadn’t learned to strap Brave to my shoulders like a parachute. I would have crashed. And burned. And died.

And I’m not even twenty-five yet.

But how else does a girl survive the way the world likes to throw her about even as it goes on spinning if she does not resolve to be Brave?

So if you think Brave is a cloak that doesn’t fit your shoulders just right, maybe you need to stand a little taller, darling. Just straighten on up and tug it snugly into place. I think you’ll find, with a little practice, that it fits you prettier than you might think.

Do me a favor and set the lies aside. Stop believing you’re too young, and that your life is too pretty, and that you have to live a little before you can staple Brave to your name.

You deserve a lifetime of bravery. I hope you find it. I hope you find it.


The Best You Ever Played

It was my first piano recital. I had played the piece a hundred times, so I was familiar with it’s dark, slow rhythm. But I wasn’t familiar with the roomful of people who all had their eyes upon me.

I placed my little fingers on the keys and let the music fill the air.

When it was all over, my grandma wrapped me up in her arms and told me it was the best she had ever heard me play. She sounded sincere, but I knew she was lying. I had played the piece for her before and executed it flawlessly.

I missed two notes during my actual recital. And the perfectionist in me beat myself up for it so severely that I still remember it fifteen years later.

I’m not exactly sure why I’m remembering it now. Not sure why I’m thinking about fumbling over notes and how that relates to my life today.

I’m working my first secular job now, and it has made me think about how to live like Jesus in the world around me. Made me start wondering what to say and what to do and how to make my life add up to something that points toward heaven.

I can do a lot of thinking. And I can practice the words until they flow through my mind with all the practiced rhythm of that old recital piece.

But then I get out in the world. And everyone’s eyes are on me. And I get nervous. And my palms start to sweat. And I fumble over some of the notes.

So I’m standing there last night with my co-worker, realizing this girl needs Truth in her life, but fumbling over a way to deliver it.  Because all The Answers my mind is conjuring in that moment might sound a lot like judgement to someone who doesn’t know how much I love her wounded heart.

So I listen. And I nod. And I’m honest in those moments when I say I wouldn’t make the same decisions and, yes, her brother has legitimate concerns and she shouldn’t be upset with him for caring that deeply.

But the perfectionist in me lies in bed at night and scolds myself for doing it wrong. And as my mind rehearses all the things I could have said better, God shows up.

God walks right into my bedroom and curls up beside me and brushes the worries from my brow. God whispers in my ear and sounds a lot like my grandma when he says, “You did so well out there. That’s the best I’ve ever heard you play.”

And I say, “You must be lying. Didn’t you hear me fumbling over the notes?”

And God whispers, sure and strong, “You’ve been practicing that song forever, but it’s pretty worthless when there are no ears to hear it. But I saw you, just when you were poised above the keys. I recognized the very moment you realized a different song was needed. So, no, I’m not upset that you improvised. I’m not disappointed that you chose a different melody. And I don’t care that you fumbled over some of the notes. Because your heart was in that song, and I’m not the only one who noticed.

“You did well. You did well. Yes, I do believe that’s the best you ever played.”

Your Worth is Not Measured in Numbers

This blog has been shrouded in silence because life has offered little to speak of lately. Well, little Big Things anyway. That’s what I’ve been waiting for—something big. Something earth-shaking. I’ve been waiting for words big enough to wrap the whole world in the power of them.

Maybe that’s ridiculous, but it’s what I want. It’s what we all want, really. Every time we post a status online, we are searching for validation.

Let me be completely honest here:

Validation, on a large scale, is a stupid dream. Of course we want approval. Of course we want affirmation that our words and our actions and our lives have value. But you don’t need dozens or hundreds of people for that; you just need one.

Last night, my brother walked out of his bedroom with this big, stupid grin on his face. His eyes were glazed over, his mind somewhere else. I recognized that look because it’s the same one that was on my face when I finished reading Vicious and Cress and Everbound. It was the smile inspired by a story that roused a heart to its feet.

And, in Micah’s case, I put that smile there. It was my manuscript that was still tripping through his mind. My characters that had won his heart and captured his imagination.

In the eight years I’ve spent dreaming of becoming a published author, this was the first time I thought I would be okay if that dream never came true. I could have written this book for Micah, and that would be enough.

We don’t realize often enough that the impact we have on a single life is important.

We want numbers. And the internet has made it easy to put a number on our worth. So many likes on this status. So many hits on this blog. And we’ve given numbers the power to either make or break us.

They break us more often than not, because it will never be enough. There could always be one more. There could always be one thousand more.

We miss the immeasurable moments of our lives because we’re waiting on the big things—publication, promotions, marriage, children… Always looking for the next best thing and failing to realize the value of the small moments.

Because the little things add up. They may not boast the big numbers, but once you collect enough moments, they really add up.

Because your worth is not measured in the status that got seventy likes. It is not measured in the blog post that went viral. That was just one moment. One moment out of many that happened to capture the eye of more people than you may have expected.

I could get published. I could become a New York Times bestseller. And I won’t lie and say that the numbers won’t mean something to me. But numbers—no matter how high they count—could never be as real as the smile on my brother’s face when he first read my words and declared them good.

I’ve been floundering these last few weeks, trying to find my footing in the world again. I’ve been waiting for big events and failing to delight in the small.

Life doesn’t “begin” when I finally get a job again; life has been happening for a long time now.

The important things are not what I’ve often imagined them to be. And the moments in which I find true value are these:

Snuggling on a couch with my sister, laughing at the latest YouTube video we’ve discovered together.

Watching my brother do a happy dance as I print the last two-thirds of my manuscript for him.

Noticing the slight swell of a belly on my sister-in-law.

Being informed by my father that he is selling me to a childhood friend in exchange for goats. (Long, funny story here.)

When my mother comes home from Goodwill with an exact replica of a pan she has possessed all my past… to put back for my future.

These—the things cannot be measured in numbers—are the important things. And it is these moments that hold me when the numbers fluctuate and the world rocks crazy and I don’t know where to stand anymore.

Braving the Waters

Oswald Chambers said that faith is deliberate confidence in the character of a God whose ways you may not understand at the time.

I like that. I like that faith is not just a shot in the dark—a frantic grasping at something unknown. While the circumstances may be uncertain, our God is not. We can be confident in His character. We can trust our Father’s heart.

That’s what faith is, isn’t it? It’s being that child who launches himself into his father’s arms, never doubting that his daddy will be faithful to catch him.

I’ve watched a lot of children interact with their fathers. I’ve had a lot of children place their unwavering trust in me. Believe me when I say that kids don’t hesitate, not once you’ve earned their implicit trust. They don’t stand at the drop-off and wonder if this will be the one time you fail to catch them. They just jump.

I remember so clearly that day at the beach. I was maybe eight or nine at the time—old enough  that I should have been confident enough to play in the ocean waves, but I wasn’t. I never did like water. I always did fear the unknown.

So I sat on the shore and watched my family splash in the surf until my dad decided he wanted me to be more than an observer in our family vacation. I was hesitant, but he promised he wouldn’t let anything happen to me. He promised he wouldn’t let go of my hand.

When that wave washed over my head and ripped me from his grasp, I was angry. There I was, somersaulting through the surf, wondering when I would finally get the opportunity to breathe again, and thinking of how my father had betrayed me. He promised nothing would happen. He promised he wouldn’t let go.

I think we have it on video… that moment where I stormed back to shore and buried my face in my knees because I didn’t want to look at my dad after that. But when I think back to that day at the ocean, I realize that maybe Dad wasn’t the one who let go. Maybe in that moment the water crested above my head and my mind started screaming at me to retreat, I did exactly that. Instead of bracing myself for impact, I let go of my father’s hand.

And my feet came up, and my head went down, and the sky and the sand and the sky came to meet me over and over again. And when I finally came up, sputtering for breath, I was too disoriented to realize that he had been right there all along, reaching to pull me back to my feet, keeping his promise that he wouldn’t leave me alone in the ocean.

This happened with my earthly father only once, but I cannot even begin to count the number of times I’ve braved the waves with my Heavenly Father only to find myself running scared when the waters rise above my head.

I think I’ve finally reached the point where I’ve stopped accusing Him of being the one to let me go under, but I don’t know if I’ve quite reached the point where I fully trust Him to hold me steady when the waves come crashing down.

But I want to.

Because I don’t want to be afraid of life. I don’t want to be beaten by the waves. I want to live with deliberate confidence in my Father’s character. I want to face the ocean with Him. I want to say to the entirety of the sea, “You cannot defeat me.” Not because I am stronger than the tides, but because my Father commands them.

I wonder what it would have looked like that day at the beach had I not turned back toward shore when that wave began to swallow me. I wonder what would have happened if I had clung to my father’s arm instead. I wonder if I would have opened my eyes to find us standing safely on the other side.

It’s too late for my childhood self, but not too late for the Rebekah who wades the oceans of life with the God who spoke them into being.

So as this next wave rises above my head, I don’t think of retreat.

My Father has my hand. My Father has my heart. My Father has my faith.

We go under.

braving the waters

Driving Through the Fog

The thing about living in the Blue Ridge Mountains is that sometimes I have an awesome view out my bedroom window, but other days, it’s not even worth opening the blinds. Driving through fog is not the most fun thing in the world. In fact, it’s a little disconcerting to not be able to see beyond the narrow stretch of road you’re on.

While driving into town awhile back, I had the surreal experience of being able to see nothing but bare branches poking through the fog alongside the road and realizing, “There’s a mountain over there. I know there’s a mountain, because I’ve seen it, but if I didn’t already know…”


I feel like driving through the fog is such an accurate portrayal of my spiritual life. So many times when I can’t see beyond my circumstances, I find myself saying, “God is faithful. I know He’s faithful because He’s proved Himself before, but if I didn’t know…”

Because I can’t always see Him at work in my life. I don’t always know what He’s doing in the midst of the messes. I don’t know how to cope in the fog.

But sometimes… sometimes…

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of Him, rising up through the fog of my life. And even if it’s just for a moment before I descend into the valley again, I’m comforted.

Even though I can’t always see Him, even though I don’t know what exactly He’s doing, I know that He’s there. I know that He’s working. I know that He is faithful—forever faithful.

He has been so good to me, so real to me, ever-present when I need Him most.

And so I continue through the fog, unsure of what lies before me, but certain of the One who paves my way.

forever faithful