// the One who holds the pen //

{This poem has been whirling about in my mind for the past week or so, and today I got the chance to get it down on paper– the first entry in my new writing notebook. Terribly exciting, no? Or is that just a writer’s thing?}

Each person is a book.

A blank page on which a unique story is written.

The trouble is,

We often make the mistake of thinking we’re the Authors.

But if we were writing the story,

We would want to skip ahead to the climax.


Does that make sense?

Every writer knows that

Skipping plot points makes the story fall apart.

Every moment of exposition is important–

Every period of waiting allows for character development.


I like to fancy myself a heroine,

But deep down I know that I am my own worst antagonist.

Yet this world says, “You’re the protagonist of your own tale”–

And then they turn around and add

That every heroine needs a hero

And if she isn’t actively seeking him now

Surely something is wrong with her.


Does that make sense?

Any writer knows that

The greatest heroines don’t go looking for heroes;

They are too busy telling their own stories.

Instead, the Author orchestrates the meeting

Of strangers– to friends– to the greatest of partners.


Who is this Author?

Certainly not me,

For I am merely a character in an intricate plot

Planned out by the Maker of the Stars.

He holds the pen;

Most of my life’s tale is as yet unwritten–

And that is perfectly fine.

{love, Em}

// a word to two misguided wordsmiths //

Dear Emerson and Thoreau:

You guys are great. Really. I agreed with a lot of what you said, and loved the way you said it. Many of your thoughts have been exactly what I’ve been pondering on lately, just put into words more eloquently than I could. Civil Disobedience was on point, and I kind of want to start a mini revolution now. Thank you for that.

But… And this is a huge but… I have an objection to make.

In the words of C.S. Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity: “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

I’ve noticed both of you tend to class Jesus with civil rights leaders and famous teachers and philosophers– people classed as “good men”. You can’t do that; as Lewis so aptly points out, not making a choice is still making a choice.

Also, the Bible is indeed accurate and infallible, and honestly more trustworthy than the changeable opinions of our own minds, wonderful as our consciences may be. I have a question for you: where did we get conscience– morality– in the first place? Oh yeah, God. And how do we know about God? Oh yeah, His Word. Coincidence? I think not!
(I’m glaring at you, Thoreau. Saying we shouldn’t believe in the Bible or Constitution, simply because someone else wrote them… I don’t think so, sir!)

Look, you guys have really great points– I even think I would’ve been something of a transcendentalist had I lived in your time. But you’re missing the point. You’re on the right track, but you’ve fallen short.

Yes, it’s wonderful that you’ve learned to appreciate simplicity and the beauty of existence and creation. It’s great that you’re determined to really live…

…but a life lived in the seclusion of creation without acknowledging the one who created it is a life of unfulfilled existence.

I’ve lived more in my sixteen years than you ever did, because I view the world through the lens of a daughter of the King of Kings– and that changes everything. For you see, it’s only when we believe the precious Words authored by the Maker of the stars that we begin to truly live.

*drops the mic and walks away epically*

// embracing the storm //

I step outside and relish the feel of the breeze playing with my hair, the feel of autumn hanging crisp in the air, the feel of the leaves crunching under my boots. I’ve missed this feeling over the past week spent in sunny Florida.

The clouds gather on the horizon; my grandmother, standing next to me, comments on how we’re supposed to get storms later.

A year ago, I would’ve sighed over the poor weather and prayed I wouldn’t be caught outside in it.

Today, I merely smile, excitement threaded in my words as I say, “Oh, good– I just love rain!”

And I do.

Lately, I’ve learned to see the beauty in rain, to welcome the storms.

For isn’t it the rain that makes the flowers grow?

Isn’t it the rain that designs glorious rainbows?

Isn’t it the rain that brings a breath of freshness everywhere?

Isn’t it the rain that sparks creativity and creation?

So as the sky darkens, and the weather reports bring thunderstorm warnings, and the world retreats to its homes, safe and snug and warm… I smile and go hunt for my pen and paper, for every writer, every creator, knows that rain fosters productivity like no other. That’s another beautiful thing about storms.

Through the storm tonight, I will sing and write and dream with cheer.

And through the storms of life, I will do the exact same thing.

Life is so much sweeter when we sing in the rain, when we embrace the storms with hands raised and a heart full of praise, standing firm on the Solid Rock.

{love, Em}

// what is it like, out there where they glow? //

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I originally intended for my Disney post to be light and joy-filled… but now I see that while it can still be all those things, it has to go deeper than that. No marshmallow fluff today– dark chocolate is much more fitting. So bear with me and my deep thoughts for a few moments… then we’ll get to the fluff. Sound good?


At first glance, Disney is an amusement park. {I can see you rolling your eyes already; bear with me.}

Actually, it’s five parks– Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and Blizzard Beach {which we ended up not going to, since we’ve been rather spoiled by Holiday World’s waterpark}.

And these five parks contain a whirlwind of activities and fun that lasts all day and into the night.

Lights everywhere– pretty scenery from my favorite movies– a plethora of gift shops and rides and shows– parades– little girls running about in Elsa dresses and braids– music and laughter and family time.

I mean, a week in a place that celebrates some pretty amazing fictional characters?

For a writer, it’s wonderful.

But I am not just a writer who loves the characters and stories.

I’m not just a teenager who thrills at finally experiencing the pinnacle of childhood, a trip to Disneyworld.

I’m also a Christian girl.

And being a Christ-follower, I tend to view the world through a slightly different lens than most.

I look around me, and I see that Disney is filled to the brim with broken souls who make the park and characters their gods, and while away money they don’t have on trinkets and trivialities, and focus on nothing more than having a good time– all because they are so desperate for the joy and peace that they don’t realize comes from nothing else but God.

Ironic, isn’t it, that the very God they spend their lives avoiding is the same God their hearts yearn for?

I got caught up in the whirlwind too. As fun as it is, Disney leaves no time for God– for praying or quiet times or any of it. Yes, I had a blast, and it was amazing– but by about Wednesday I began to feel rather restless.

My heart lost its way in this beautiful, convincing fantasy; it wasn’t until I returned home and spent time with Jesus this morning that my heart got the sense of truly belonging again.

It was fun and entertaining, yes, but there was no peace.

“We’ll be back in a bit,” Mom tells Dad and me before hurrying across the lighted bridge after Matt, who is already running ahead to the Art of Animation resort.

Dad and I are content to sit on a bench and look out at the lake– at the lights from the resorts surrounding us, illuminating the night sky– while the others go see the Radiator Springs section of the resort. {Even the resorts are built with painstaking detail. We stayed in a charming 50’s style section of Pop Century.} It’s a beautiful night– our last night at Disney– and we are two happy but exhausted souls in need of a moment of rest.

We talk quietly for a few moments about nothing and everything, but I can tell Dad’s got something on his mind. Finally he says, “Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a lot of fun with you guys this week. But– I don’t know– it’s hard to put into words– maybe you’ve noticed it too– I just get this sense of godlessness in this place.”

I open my mouth to argue, for while Dad is a skeptic, I am an optimist, but as I stop and think for a moment– as I recall my own struggle to remind myself what truly matters– I realize he’s right.

Disney puts such emphasis on magic and imagination and good vs evil— all fine in themselves, but carefully keeping God out of the equation. They’re very convincing about it, too.

Disney is allegedly the “happiest place on earth”, yet most people are no happier when they leave than they were when they came.

Disney is a utopia– an attempt at heaven on earth with no God.

But you and I… we know better.

We know that there is no such thing as utopia, for there cannot be heaven– cannot be true happiness– where there is no God.

Please don’t misinterpret me; I loved this trip! It was such a blessing to spend the week at Disney with my family; we had several adventures, laughed a lot, and made memories we’ll cherish for years.

But at the end of the day, my soul is very happy to be home again, to spend much-needed time with my Jesus.


And now that we’re done with the dark chocolate, here’s some marshmallow fluff… a few memories and adventures…

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{We stayed next to a jukebox! Our resort was the darlingest. Pop Century is amazing, and so is the fifties.}

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{There were so many Tangled things… it made my heart happy. And meeting her was one of my favorite things I did– her face character was so precious! We talked about how I was finally out of my tower, of ruffians and thugs, and about how she didn’t have her frying pan with her because Flynn was “keeping it safe in the castle”. So sweet! They were also in the daily Magic Kingdom parade, and the lantern scene was in the castle light show… but the best thing was walking around the Tangled village while ‘Kingdom Dance’ played… Matt and I got very excited.}

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{Pictures with Cinderella’s castle– a must!}

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{Twin Elsas going on adventures in Magic Kingdom… little girls are my favorites.}

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{The castle, in all its lit-up glory.}

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{Tinkerbell’s float at the light parade… s o  l o v e l y.}

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{I think Hollywood Studios may have been my family’s favorite park…}

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{…But Epcot was pretty amazing too. I especially loved the England section ^-^ Oh, and we tried Moroccan food, and that was delicious. Also, we had crepes from France and gelato from Italy. And the employees at each country were actually from the country! So wonderful.}

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{I bought not one, but two mugs. Aren’t they darling? The cupcake one’s from England at Epcot. I was so excited about them I washed them at ten pm last night just so I could drink the tea we purchased at Epcot out of one this morning. ^-^ (If you’re wondering, I had orange black tea from the Rapunzel mug and it was delicious.)}

All in all, a lovely, once-in-a-lifetime trip, one that I’ll cherish memories of for a long time. Life is so sweet!

And now… to enjoy this Sunday of rest. 🙂

{love, Em}

// reasons for eucharisteo – vol. 3 //

In a quiet moment of rest amidst the whirlwind of light and music and fun and activity that is Disney, I thought it fitting to do another thankfulness post to remind myself of the lovely things that truly matter in life, and the One who created them. (Note: these are from about a month-and-a-half ago.)

61.) rainy Sunday afternoons.

62.) the scent of baking brownies.

63.) listening to loud music when I’m home alone.

64.) ice cream sandwiches on a scorching afternoon.

65.) the breeze on my face from an impending storm.

66.) unexpected thunderstorms.

67.) days of resting in God’s presence.

68.) songfic inspirations.

69.) walking into my movie theatre church on a sunny Sunday morn.

70.) a hundred voices raised in praise.

71.) my sweet mother who cares for me when I’m ill.

72.) a car that’s big enough to include the grandparents.

73.) the arrival of a much-anticipated four-day weekend.

74.) celebrating birthdays {Daddy’s}.

75.) adventures to East Nashville.

76.) dark chocolate mint ice cream eaten under fairy lights.

77.) Celtic music that sends my imagination soaring.

78.) days spent relaxing with my family.

79.) mini road trips + naps.

80.) picnics in the park.

81.) soaring on swings.


83.) celebratory Chickfila.

84.) impromptu visits from family.

85.) sending off stories for my friends to read.

86.) much-needed truth spoken at an FCA event.

87.) hot tea and pumpkin spice doughnuts on a September Sunday morning.

88.) a dad who cooks us Mexican food for dinner.

89.) a cozy bed to return to each night. {Side note: I MISS MY BED RIGHT NOW.}

90.) mom’s delicious pumpkin dip + graham crackers.

…I’m always listing food on here. It’s rather funny, actually. ^-^

Well, I must fly; we’re off to Downtown Disney. Be looking for a Disney post sometime this weekend– either Sunday or Monday!

{love, Em}

// crimson //

{written September 30th, 2014}


This is dedicated to the courageous Christian children who have been martyred by ISIS, and to their families— and to all who have faced persecution for their beliefs.


Take a stand for truth

And you will bleed crimson—

The fearful whispers echo through the town

Right into the ears of a young woman.


She is unafraid—

At least she tells her children so—

But remaining unafraid grows hard

When every day brings news of another friend lost.


She is watching, waiting

For the day the men come

To challenge her family—

And they will come, this much is certain.


She leaves the house only when necessary

And when she does she speaks to no one

And hurries back

Praying she’ll find her family safe.


Until the ball drops

And she opens her door

To find that the men have come

With guns at the ready.


They have invaded her home—

Twisted faces and half-crazed eyes

And home is no longer safe—

Her family no longer safe.


But the worst thing is

They do not look at her

Or her husband who stands firm—

No, they go directly to the children.


“Are you a Christian?”

Without hesitation, a courageous “Yes!”

And before the parents can protest

Shots are fired.


Innocent lives are lost—

A mother’s heart is shattered—

A father breaks down—

All because children refuse to deny their Jesus.


And on that day

As the woman meets a fate crueler than death—

Forced to watch her children martyred—

She sees crimson everywhere.


Why bother, the men ask—

Why be willing to die?

Little dreaming that these people, these children

Don’t have an ordinary faith.


Why give up your life?

Because of a Friday dark

And a wooden cross on Calvary—

A death that saved humanity.


On that fateful, glorious day,

The entire world turned crimson—

Yet we were given life

For true love is sacrificial—


And He is worth the sacrifice.