// reasons for eucharisteo, vol. 5 //

Remember how I said I was going to get caught up with these?

Ha. I’m cute.

I’m about to share the ones from around my Disney trip– in October. Eep. So I’ll share double the number that I normally do, and maybe we’ll eventually get to the holidays, and then someday, someday… twenty fifteen. Nothing short of miraculous. And then I’ll be caught up, and the world shall rejoice. Or something like that.

120.) my Grandmommy, always there to pray and support and love.

121.) the call & the strength to love when it is hard.

122.) golden sunsets that make me anticipate His return in a blaze of glory.

123.) the birds that don’t worry– they sing.

124.) Relient K’s “Be My Escape (Acoustic)”.

125.) four adorable little girls with big blue bows.

126.) the trees and mountains of east Tennessee.

127.) road trip music.

128.) lengthy car rides that begin before dawn.

129.) morning mist arising from the valleys.

130.) the prospect of new adventures.

131.) journeys to the happiest place on Earth.

132.) little twin Elsas roaming Magic Kingdom.

133.) girls in princess dresses.

134.) having a daddy who watches over his girls.

135.) Tangled decorations– purple and lanterns everywhere. Yes.

136.) listening to “Kingdom Dance” while sitting in the Tangled town.

137.) the opportunity to meet my favorite princess!

138.) talking with Rapunzel about being out of my tower, frying pans, & ruffians.

139.) hugs from my parents.

140.) ice cream in the afternoon at Disney, just because.

141.) staying in the 50’s section of the Pop Century resort.

142.) attempts at healthy eating on vacation. (Ha.)

143.) dear friends who trust me to lift them up in prayer.

144.) feeling like a little girl again.

145.) adventures with Madre.

146.) drinking new tea from new mugs.

147.) feeling like autumn.

148.) rain that inspires creativity and makes the flowers grow.

149.) “C.S. Lewis Song” by Brooke Fraser.

150.) combination of Les Mis/ Wicked/ Phantom overtures.

151.) extended-family dinners with many a laugh.

152.) mingled anticipation and dread of NaNoWriMo.

153.) bonding with Padre over epic Christian rock anthems.

154.) the loveliness that is Spotify.

155.) Dad holding the car door open for me at night.

156.) family adventures.

157.) crimson trees all around.

158.) the beauty that is Downtown Nashville.

159.) FCA meetings to begin my Thursday mornings right.

160.) my grades do not define me.

161.) teaching Matt to bake cookies.

162.) spiritual discussions with classmates.

163.) Mom and I, each going through pruning.

164.) field trips that make Mondays infinitely better.

165.) golden sunsets seen from the front of my neighborhood.

166.) Dwell Bible studies every Sunday with my girls.

167.) time spent doing what I was made to: dwelling with Christ.

168.) talking about Marvel in sociology.

169.) days when my AP teacher drinks too much coffee & is consequently hilarious.

170.) reaching 50,000 words and chapter fourteen!

171.) when Dad teaches Matt what a godly man looks like.

172.) hikes through woodsy wonderlands.

173.) Fall Creek Falls.

174.) coziness on a frigid day– thermal pj’s, sweaters, and snuggly beds.

175.) Mom buying me candy cane tea, just because.

176.) writing a Christmas scene + listening to Christmas music + hot cocoa.

177.) the ability to make birthday/Christmas lists.

178.) there is a Truth I can stand firm upon.

179.) my youth group, small but awesome.

And now I’m off for a little family game night! Love y’all! xx

// this is my story, this is my song //

{the song I’ve always felt perfectly describes my testimony}


In fall of my sophomore year, when I decided that writing stories was what I wanted to do with my life (among other things, of course, but I digress), I determined that before I wrote anything, there was one story I needed to tell first.

My own.

So I sat myself down one September night and typed out my testimony on Microsoft Word. It’s nothing beautiful– if I were to rewrite it now I’d definitely go about it differently– but I refuse to change a word of it.

Because even if they’re the words of an amateur, 15-year-old writer, they’re genuine. And what’s the point of sharing your testimony if you dress it up with bells and whistles? The real beauty in stories is in their authenticity. Maybe that’s why testimonies are the sweetest tales told.

Tonight, I feel as if I need to tell my story here, on my little blog. So here it is, exactly the way it was written a year and a half ago, the way it was lived and is still being lived today.

This… is the story… of how I met Jesus…

A Testimony

(finished writing 9/24/13)

                At first glance, her story seems simple. She’s the kind of girl who’s been in church since she was born, and known John 3:16 for almost that long. But… first glances can be deceiving. For you see, a girl can have head knowledge of God without heart knowledge. In fact, she can have it without even knowing it.

That was the way it was for this girl. She’d always believed in God, Jesus, the Bible- that was never the question. And when she was four years old, her parents explained salvation to her. Even at such a tender age, she understood it, and not wanting to go to hell, she asked Jesus into her heart.

Nothing really changed after that- she wasn’t a bad child or anything before; she was only four. She just continued to go through life as usual, only this time able to say, “I’m a Christian!”

All throughout elementary school, the girl absolutely hated reading her Bible. For this girl, an avid reader, to dislike a book meant it must be really bad. And to her, it was. It was the boring, confusing book that Christians were only required to read on Wednesdays and Sundays. She was incredibly disappointed when she received her first Bible without illustrations- those were the interesting parts! Little did she know the power and majesty in that one book she’d known about her whole life, and how it would someday become a necessity to her…

Another thing this girl wasn’t all that fond of was witnessing to others. If one of her friends didn’t go to church (which equaled loving Jesus in her young mind), she simply shrugged it off. They’d eventually come around… maybe. She also tended to have a rather judgmental attitude towards others- surely she was better than them since she knew Jesus and went to church and didn’t lie or cheat or steal- well, not that often, anyway.

Perhaps the saddest thing is that the girl was perfectly content living this way. She had her ticket to heaven; she was good to go, right? Sure, life wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty close. She didn’t think she was missing anything- not until her first year of her church’s middle school camp, that is.

The girl was about to start her 6th grade year, and she was pretty nervous about it. But her worries about the upcoming transition to lockers and changing classes were forgotten when the camp speaker got onstage and gave a sermon on living for Jesus.

She sat in her seat and thought for a moment. Live for Jesus? Huh, I don’t think I’ve ever done that. I guess I ought to, since that’s what Christians are supposed to do. So she decided that she would go home and live for Christ.

She did… for a little while. But her quiet times grew less and less frequent, she still didn’t like her Bible much, and she wasn’t all that interested in evangelism. By this point, she’d realized that there was something missing- but what? And how did one go about finding it?

Sixth grade passed, and summer returned with the promise of another great year of camp. This summer, though, the girl was having some serious struggles. She was a smart girl, and a little too inclined to try and reason things out in her mind- to the point where she was doubting her salvation. Was her long-ago decision just a head thing? How did you know if you were truly saved? Was heaven even real? How could she know all these things for sure?

June 20th, 2010. The day she would never forget. The day her life was completely turned upside down. The day she was wrecked and transformed.

She sat there that night in the worship center at camp, surrounded by all her friends, and listened intently as the speaker told them that they needed to make Jesus the Lord of their lives.

Suddenly, in a single moment, it all clicked for her. That was it! That was the missing piece of the puzzle!

One word: surrender.

The girl knew what she needed to do. She didn’t go down the aisle (because at the moment she didn’t realize how huge this choice would be), she didn’t stand up. She just bowed her head and handed control of her life to her Savior.

Her Lord.

As soon as she surrendered, she was instantly filled with a peace and joy that she’d never known before. Now she knew, without a shadow of doubt, the truth. She didn’t have to wonder if she was saved.

She was all in. And her life would never be the same.

The girl was nearly giddy. It felt so wonderful to not have control anymore. It was relieving and exhilarating at the same time.

At the end of the service, the youth pastor challenged them to, if Jesus was Lord of their lives, stand up and yell it, loud and proud. There was the expected pause that comes before that one courageous person stands, but once he did, the floodgates opened. The girl was proud to be one of the ones to stand and shout, “Jesus is Lord!”

The last night of camp, the same speaker gave a sermon on being baptized on the right side of salvation. Now, the girl had been baptized years before, but tonight she felt God telling her to get baptized again, to ensure that it was on the right side of her salvation.

When she got home, she excitedly told her family and friends all that had happened to her. They were supportive of her and excited to see her life change. About a month later she got baptized in her family friend’s swimming pool, by her uncle, a pastor that she only got to see every few years.

This time, when she tried to live for Jesus, there was a difference. She discovered the wonders of the Bible, and that it was the best book ever written- authored by a God whose love for her was unchangeable. She began to spend time with her Creator daily and loved every second of it. In her heart grew a passion for the lost and the desire to lead others- especially little children- to Christ. She was firm and unwavering in her beliefs, and willing to share her story with anyone who asked.

Is she perfect? No. She messes up all the time, more often than she cares to admit. Is she forgiven? Yes. She’s been saved by grace, changed by faith. She feels free- freer than she ever felt before making Jesus her Lord. The peace is still there, and so is the joy. And she knows that it’s never going away- for all eternity.

That girl… is me.


{love, Em}

// Hosea’s Wife //

My judgmental little self used to read Hosea and wonder how Gomer could be so thoughtless, so cruel, so unfaithful to poor Hosea– and how could he keep going back and loving her, when any rational person would throw his hands in the air in defeat and walk away from his affair-having wife?

I didn’t see the bigger picture back then.

Oh, but I do now.

When I was little, I would have been absolutely horrified to know that, truthfully?

Gomer is me. Is all of us, really.

How many times have we promised we’d be faithful to the Lord, then the next day forget and get caught up in ourselves again? How many times do we struggle to overcome a certain sin? How many times do we hesitate to trust that He is faithful because we’ve been hurt by fallible people?

How many times has He welcomed us back with open arms, even while knowing that we’ll always struggle with our own worst enemies– ourselves? How many times has He reminded us that He loves us no matter what, that the past is in the past?

The book of Hosea isn’t a story of Gomer’s messed up life. Not really. It’s a story of Hosea’s enduring, patient, sacrificial love.

It’s a story of Christ’s enduring, patient, sacrificial love.

Because seriously, how impossible, how brave, how amazing is it to choose to love someone who doesn’t love you back?

It’s so difficult for us to fathom that kind of love, as I’m sure it was for Gomer. We don’t know about her upbringing, but considering her occupation before she married Hosea, it probably wasn’t all sunshine and roses. She was rough around the edges, to be certain.

But thankfully for her, Hosea didn’t give up on her, and she got her chance at redemption.

Thankfully for us, Christ never gives up on us, and we are transformed into a new creation.

We get a fresh start because of His forever love!

Lately, I’ve started to love this story, because one of its major themes happens to be one of my favorite words.

[ riˈdempSHən ]
1.) deliverance; rescue.
2.) salvation.
3.) recovery by payment, as of something pledged.
Isn’t it beautiful? My favorite stories are those with redemption in them. My favorite characters are the messed-up ones who receive grace– that impossible love– and make a change. As Edmund Pevensie in Narnia says…
And that’s why I’ve grown to love the story of Hosea and Gomer. It’s a reflection of Aslan and Edmund. It’s a reflection of my Savior and I.
The entire Bible is about redemption, when you think of it. Redemption– Grace– and unfailing Love.
The best and truest Story there ever was.
I just spoke silence with the seeker next to me
She had a heart with hesitant, halting speech
That turned to mine and asked belligerently
“What do I live for?”

I see the scars of searches everywhere I go
From hearts to wars to literature to radio
There’s a question like a shame no one will show
“What do I live for?”

We are Hosea’s wife
We are squandering this life
Using people like ladders and words like knives

If we’ve eyes to see
If we’ve ears to hear
To find it in our hearts and mouths
The word that saves is near
Shed that shallow skin
Come and live again
Leave all you were before
To believe is to begin

There is truth in little corners of our lives
There are hints of it in songs and children’s eyes
It’s familiar, like an ancient lullaby
What do I live for?

We are Hosea’s wife
We are squandering this life
Using bodies like money and truth like lies


We are more than dust
That means something
That means something
We are more than just
Blood and emotions
Inklings and notions
Atoms on oceans 

// Brooke Fraser, “Hosea’s Wife” //

// scraps and scribbles //

Because my typewriter app brings about a couple of interesting bits of poetry from time to time…


{A bit ‘o music for your enjoyment, in honor of it (finally) being Downton Night…}


she once built her castles in the sky

but clouds are no firm foundation

and she can do nothing but watch

in disappointed awe

as they come tumbling down

shattered fragments of dreams

scattered around her feet

the last vestiges of a hope-filled girl

who was forced to grow up too fast

and has since learned that she isn’t

the princess of her fairy castles

because they simply don’t exist

not in reality, not for her

because this princess is

merely a pauper

and dreams don’t often cater to

girls like her.

— e.g.w.

“castles” (inspired by one of my favorite characters, Éponine from Les Mis)


maybe I’m wrong

maybe we’re nothing but dust in the wind

maybe there is no hope

of a heaven

of a God

maybe you’re right

maybe we are descendants of primal rats

maybe there is no beginning

no end

no point to any of it

but if there’s no point–

why fight so hard for life?

why stand for truth and liberty?

why seek love and peace and hope?

what if the Bible

(the story you claim is crazy)

turns out to be the only thing that

makes any sense?

what if you’re wrong

and I’m right

but you don’t know it

until the sands of time

have slipped through your fingers?

what if you took a chance

and emerged forever changed

free at last

a portrait of grace?

see, if I’m wrong

I’ve got nothing to lose

but if you’re wrong

you’ve just lost eternity

be brave, dear heart

take the leap of faith

even if it’s out of your comfort zone

what do you have to lose?


“what if”

// welcome, twenty-fifteen. //

I think that all my feelings about beginning a new year can be summed up in a few Anne Shirley quotes (because Anne and I are kindred spirits, and you are a lovely person if you understand that reference):

“Oh, it’s delightful to have ambitions. I’m so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be any end to them– that’s the best of it. Just as soon as you attain to one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting.”

“Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive–it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There’d be no scope for imagination then, would there?”

“I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does.”

“Tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it yet.”

So yes– Happy New Year.

Happy 2015.

Happy clean slate, blank page, new beginning.

Let’s live this one abundantly, filling it with laughter, memories, and adventures.

May we all live brave, love well, and always make much of Jesus.

{love, em}

P.S. My lovely madre’s new blog. ^-^