// real talk. //

There’s this trend recirculating around Instagram where you post your favourite Bible verse, then challenge others to do the same.

My feed’s been filled with Scripture.

Shouldn’t that be a good thing?

It is, don’t get me wrong. I love seeing people share verses they love! I even did it myself.

But when people share verses and I catch myself thinking I didn’t even know they believed in God in the first place, let alone knew Jeremiah 29:11, well…

See, that’s the problem with living in the Bible Belt: it’s so incredibly easy to fake it.

I’ve got no right to determine who’s a Christ-follower and who isn’t, but I can’t help but think of the verse that says “they will know you by your fruit”.

And if the only indication to others that you believe in God is that you share one verse because you were challenged to and feel socially obligated to do so? I would be sitting down and asking myself where my heart truly lies– because that’s what’s important.

Do we think we’re fulfilling our “Christianly obligation” by posting a verse on social media? While other Christians around the world are being executed every single day for their faith– we sit here on the religious fence, unable to take a stand for anything? Are you serious?

If you can’t stand for Christ– don’t pretend to, please. We live in a country where it’s easy to go through the motions– go to church, do good deeds, post a verse once in awhile– and never have any meaning to any of it.

Life is black-and-white, y’all. And when people are dying for this faith, there’s no room for greyscales anymore. I would honestly rather you come out and say “I don’t want any part of this” than pretend that you do. At least then you’re being real.

Even better: if you do want to stand for and with Christ? Do it. Don’t be lukewarm; Jesus says He won’t acknowledge you if you don’t acknowledge Him. Harsh? Perhaps, but that’s because this faith is quite literally an issue of life and death.

This world is full of drowning people. We have the Life Jacket— the saving grace– the solution to its problems! Why on earth would we hide it away if we have the opportunity every single day to help?

Why wouldn’t we stand with our brothers and sisters who are facing actual persecution?

Take it from someone who played the game for years: It’s not a game anymore. This is real life.

And it’s time to wake up and get moving.

You want to post your favourite verse? Please do. The world needs to hear the Truth.

But only do it if you’re willing to live wide awake.

Only do it if you’re brave enough to stand for Christ.

That is all.

{love, Em}

// a song and a dance: Downton Abbey appreciation post //

{Because I’m such a procrastinator and really, really would rather not write a character analysis essay for Streetcar. So instead I’m turning to my current favorite period drama…}




Downton Abbey is hands-down one of the best period dramas in existence– rivaling even the works of the esteemed Miss Austen. (*le readers gasp*) It’s true!

There’s a reason that even my period-drama-disdaining dad has been watching it since the fourth season (we’re on season five now over here in the States, in case you were wondering :))…

And now, I shall divulge the reasons I’ve been a fan of this delightful, delightful show for the past couple years now.

i. It’s set in what is quite possibly my favorite time period at the moment: from the Edwardian era into the first World War, then on to the Roaring Twenties. Oh, and it’s in England, which makes everything instantly awesome. Ahem.

And with the change of time came change in character– and fashion.

 downton fashion change unodownton fashion change dosdownton fashion change tres

ii. The fashion. Oh my word. It’s so beautiful.

fashion sistersedwardian downton ladieslady sybilsybil in pantslady mary jewelrywedding fashionslady mary wedding dressseason four fashionrose coming out gownlady rose in a rose dresslady rose wedding dress

Even the servants have better style than I do:

anna and batesanna and bates at le beachanna in bluedaisy in the kitchenawww daisycarson hughes and obrien oh myhughes again

iii. The story. Or should I say, stories. (I mean, five seasons, at least ten years, and a whole estate full of characters? There’s going to be lots of stories around here.)

Each character has an arc, even the minor ones. Each one you feel as if you know (whether you like them or not is another story). They’re always surprising you with a new facet to their personality; there’s good characters, and then there’s bad characters, and then there’s characters with questionable morals– but there’s never two-dimensional characters. Sometimes the choices they make or the challenges they face hurt you as you watch, but that’s because you’re invested in them. You care about them– they seem real to you for an hour every Sunday night.

iv. The love stories. They’re all charming, but I’ve got my favorites. Some end happily– others end tragically (for as someone wise once said, “if you get married in Downton, and your wife has a baby, one of you must die”)– but they’re all beautiful. 🙂

-Matthew + Mary Crawley

The one that took forever to finally happen but was totally worth it in the end. Mary’s the eldest Crawley daughter, full of sarcasm and elegant beauty– but mostly sarcasm. Matthew’s the family’s cousin and heir, which does not go well with Mary because she’s the eldest and should inherit her father’s estate, right? Yet after several brief engagements to others, a war, a paralysis, and general conflict… all’s well that ends well. 🙂

mary and matthew asdfghjkl mary and matthew in le snow  mary and matthew ARE THE BESSTTTmary and matthew and george

-Tom + Sybil Branson (nee Crawley)

They. Are. My. FAVORITES. (Mainly because Sybil is my absolute favorite Downton character.) She’s the youngest Crawley daughter– always the brave, independent one. He’s the family’s opinionated Irish chauffer; a marriage between them would never be allowed. So of course, what do they do? They fall in love. 🙂

i'd wait foreversybil and tommmmoh sybilawwwwwwwsybil is bravesybil tom and sybbie

-John + Anna Bates (nee Smith)

They’re just so cute, and they’ve gone through so much together that they deserve all the happiness in the world.

anna and bates are so lovelyannaaaaaa

v. The Dowager Countess. That is all.

Seriously. She provides three-fourths of the wit of this show. It’s fantastic.

dowager countessi take that as a complimentdowager countesssdowagerrrreeeeeeeegrandmothers

In conclusion: Downton is wonderful.

That’s pretty much it.

born of winter 2014-2015 095

(I sketched a thing. ‘Twas very fun to draw!)


{love, em}

// the snow glows white //

So, like I said yesterday, snow is so rare and beautiful and perfect that I just had to get out today and take some pictures.

Without further ado, I give you… the “snowpocalypse” of 2015, seen through the eyes of a Tennesseean. 🙂

Photo Feb 17, 10 07 32 AMPhoto Feb 17, 10 02 32 AM

Photo Feb 17, 10 09 27 AMPhoto Feb 17, 10 09 54 AMPhoto Feb 17, 10 09 04 AM

Photo Feb 17, 10 11 10 AMPhoto Feb 17, 10 12 10 AMPhoto Feb 17, 10 13 26 AM

Photo Feb 17, 10 13 44 AMPhoto Feb 17, 10 13 53 AMPhoto Feb 17, 10 14 32 AM

Photo Feb 17, 10 14 43 AMPhoto Feb 17, 10 15 00 AMPhoto Feb 17, 10 15 17 AM

Photo Feb 17, 10 16 05 AMPhoto Feb 17, 10 16 49 AMPhoto Feb 17, 10 17 24 AM

Photo Feb 17, 10 17 49 AMPhoto Feb 17, 10 18 28 AMPhoto Feb 17, 10 11 38 AM

Photo Feb 17, 10 23 04 AMPhoto Feb 17, 10 24 46 AMPhoto Feb 17, 10 27 04 AM

Photo Feb 17, 10 26 03 AMPhoto Feb 17, 10 25 46 AMPhoto Feb 17, 10 35 34 AM

Photo Feb 17, 10 39 17 AMPhoto Feb 17, 10 27 15 AMPhoto Feb 17, 10 50 04 AM

// reasons for eucharisteo, vol. 6 //

Guys, it’s SNOWING.

Not just a few flurries, mind you; no, it’s pouring down and coating the world in a blanket of white. My favorite kind!

Snow always makes my heart rejoice, because it’s just so beautiful and pure-white and rare here in Tennessee. I’ve caught myself standing and staring out windows for way too long several times today. 🙂

Even now, I sit here at my writing desk next to my open window, sneaking glances at this beautiful winter wonderland outside and thinking to myself that this is probably the sweetest Monday ever.

Snow reminds me how beautiful life is– and that I’ve got so many reasons to be thankful for it.

So, without further ado… (Note; these begin in mid-November)

180.) Union college visit with a dear friend.

181.) Taking my dear cousin to dinner on said Union visit.

182.) waking up to gently falling snow.

183.) unexpected gifts with handwritten notes.

184.) echoes of falling snow in my hair.

185.) surprising the grandparents.

186.) little-boy cousin cuddles.

187.) spiritual discussions with Uncle John and Aunt Christina.

188.) “then bursting forth in glorious day, up from the grave He rose again!”

189.) celebrating the life of Brother David, and knowing we’ll meet again one day.

190.) the entire Argo family, all together.

191.) becoming party planners with Taylor.

192.) the eerie beauty of a rain shower on a sunny day.

193.) people standing for purity on National TV.

194.) late night/ early morning writing.

195.) Lindsey Stirling’s “Phantom of the Opera“.

196.) breaks for Thanksgiving.

197.) family photos.

198.) early birthday presents.

199.) “The Wizard and I” from Wicked.

200.) the actual day of Thanksgiving.

201.) spontaneously holding a prayer session with Matt.

202.) the little ways my Pawpaw shows me he loves me.

203.) completing my NaNoWriMo goal of 80,000 words!

204.) the songs cut from Frozen– “We Know Better” + “More Than Just the Spare”.

205.) talking musicals with Matt.

206.) goodbyes: while sad, they leave the hope of a reunion.

207.) Christmas décor bathing the house in light.

208.) electric blankets, useful for cold upstairs rooms.

209.) Novembers.

210.) that delightful once-a-year event called a birthday.

211.) birthday emails + cards.

212.) unexpected gifts.

213.) hymns for when I feel so distant.

214.) realizing that you no longer struggle with what you did a year ago.

215.) a day of fun with Aunt Laine in Memphis.

216.) being the one people confide in.

217.) unexpectedly meeting awesome Internet friends.

218.) the rare occasions when I don’t do work in algebra/ AP English.

219.) Disney movies with the family.

220.) the newest book of the Christy Miller saga!

221.) having friends I can fangirl with.

222.) the clarity of hindsight.

223.) Christmas parties.

224.) the lightheartedness born of no longer being lonely.

225.) Jesus.

226.) creating drawings to give for Christmas.

227.) Pepperidge Farm cookies.

228.) lights twinkling from houses like beacons in the rain.

229.) hearing Matt sing in the shower, all the way from my room.

230.) Monday encouragement.

231.) trading music with Anna Grace.

232.) discovering forgotten drawings that give me fangirly feels.

233.) reading (and adoring) a book my friend published! {Lydia Petersen, The Seven Thrones. :)}

234.) “Brave” by Moriah Peters. (Over + over again.)

235.) Christmas light looking with Madre + peppermint milkshakes.

236.) Saturday afternoons with lovely friends.

237.) finally feeling that Christmas spirit.

238.) the darling kids I get to babysit.

239.) family traditions, like Memphis BBQ on Christmas Eve.

So… we’re finally to Christmas! We’re getting somewhere! 🙂

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to write and prayerfully get close to finishing my first novel! Enjoy the snow, lovely ones!

{love, Em}

// love’s far away, far away– but we’re movin’ closer //

the seal of wax

“Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”

// Song of Solomon 8:4 //


On this day, Valentine’s Day, I want to share my heart with y’all.

(I love puns, guys.)

See, there’s this book. (Doesn’t it always begin with a book for me? :))

Have you ever read one of those books that just completely flips your worldview upside down, and you know as you read it that this book will mark a turning point in your life?

The Bible, obviously, is one of those books. And so is Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. (See my first “reasons for eucharisteo” post if you’d like to know more about that one.)

But way back in middle school, a girl with braces and ponytails and cross necklaces and Aeropostale t-shirts visited the Creation Museum in Kentucky for the first time, and made a beeline for the bookstore as soon as her parents suggested they go check it out. While her father was perusing the Answers in Genesis books, her mother checked out the awesome sweatshirts and t-shirts with truth written on them, and her little brother occupied himself with toy sharks and dinosaurs, the girl hung around the teen/family books section– for she wasn’t really into all the “science-y” books like her dad.

A title caught her eye– Before You Meet Prince Charming: A Guide to Radiant Purity, written by Sarah Mally.

And the girl just knew that she had to read that book.

See, she’d been having some pretty strange and confusing and– to a middle schooler– even radical thoughts about dating.

And maybe, just maybe, this book could help her figure out exactly what she believed about it.

So she did get it, and began reading it on the car ride home that afternoon. Her nose was in that book for hours; it was charming and funny, yet poignant, and she arrived home with so many new thoughts whirling around in her head.

See, she was learning so much about what purity really means– that it isn’t just physical abstinence (something the girl had already committed herself to), but rather saving your heart for the right man. Waiting on God’s timing. Even obedience for those who walk in the faith.

Remember when Paul said, “ Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do (1 Cor. 7:8 NIV)”? Other translations say “it is better for you to remain as you are”.

Paul isn’t trying to doom us to a life of singleness. He’s trying to tell us to be content where we are.

Because God’s agape love satisfies where the eros love us girls long for cannot, and it’s only when we fix our eyes on Him that we can grow into the godly young women who will be good wives. The Proverbs 31 kind.

It’s so hard, sometimes, to trust that the pen is in His hands– but we can be confident in the knowledge that He is writing our story. The heroine can’t write her own story– that’s the Author’s job. Hers is to go forth bravely on the adventure He has planned. I believe that if this heroine is meant to have a love interest, he will be penciled in at just the right time.

And in the meantime, I will pray for him.

That he’s safe, healthy, and already a follower of Christ.

That he’s waiting for me too.

And I will write him letters– for I’m a romantic and an optimist, and I want him to know how much I’ve always loved him, how long I’ve been waiting.

But most importantly, I will fix my eyes on the Cross and choose joy no matter what my relationship status is.

Because, as Sarah Mally wrote:


I won’t lie to you and pretend it’s easy all the time— it most certainly isn’t. I go to a public school where the concept of waiting– of not dating by choice and not just because nobody’s asked you (although no, that hasn’t happened to me yet :))– is ridiculous. “Don’t you have to have experience to know what you want?” “What’s wrong with dating?” “But why would you want to have your first kiss on your wedding day?” “You must be superhuman or something– have you ever had a crush on anyone?” “It’ll be so ironic if Emily’s the first of us to get married!”

There’s really nothing wrong with it. I get so excited for my friends when they start relationships with sweet, godly guys! I read and write books where people around my age begin to fall in love– and adore them. I’m well aware that everyone’s got different convictions about this– and that’s totally fine!

But as for me, I am content to remain as I am.

Because I look around at the lonely girls who are so desperate for love that they lower their standards and give their hearts to anyone who’ll take them– and get themselves hurt every time. They don’t know that hearts are only completely secure in God’s hands.

I don’t need experience to know what I don’t want– waiting seems to me like a far better option.

And yeah, sometimes I get distracted and impatient and wonder when is he ever gonna show up?

But God is always faithful to remind me why I’m choosing this unusual path– like He did yesterday through my sweet friend Aijalon’s valentine:

i will wait for you deux

Sure, waiting is rare– but purity is like a bright light that shines out on everyone you meet.

And if you choose this path, this journey of waiting, please know that you’re not alone. You’ve got the support of your Heavenly Father, of me, of a bunch of other like-minded people. And, of course, the encouragement of these lovely songs:

“Love’s far away, far away
But we’re movin’ closer
Love’s kinda crazy it’s strange
Suddenly it finds you, oh, oh
So love wait for me
I’ll wait for you, love.”

// Moriah Peters //

{love always, Em}

// treasures found in jars of clay //




the art or skill of a workman; also :  the quality imparted to a thing in the process of making. (emphasis mine)

potter clay 2


Sometimes when I’m reading a verse of Scripture, I pay close attention to the word choice, wondering why God wanted that specific word, what He’s trying to tell us through it.

While reading Ephesians 2:10 the other day, the word “workmanship” immediately caught my eye, and now that I’ve got time I’m going on a full-on word hunt for this one.

The above definition, from Merriam-Webster, is just beautiful.

The Workman’s art.

The quality He imparts to it during the process of reshaping.

And isn’t it amazing to think that this verse tells us– we’re His workmanship?

Being a valuable piece of art is certainly uplifting.

The Greek word for “workmanship” is poiema, pronounced POI-eh-ma, the noun form of the verb poieo which means  “to do”.

Sound familiar? That’s because the English word “poem” is derived from it.

And aren’t poems some of the most beautiful things in the world? The way a writer strings words together to make music. The power it holds to stir the emotions of anyone brave enough to hear it.

So– we’re His art. His poetry. His beautiful creation.

But like every Artist, He had a purpose in mind when creating us.

Artists create to touch and inspire the world.

And really, we were made to touch the lives of others as well.

“…Created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

He has a plan, a story written out for each of us.

Like a Potter and His clay.

“But now, O Lord, you are our Father;
    we are the clay, and you are our potter;
    we are all the work of your hand.

–Isaiah 64:8, ESV (emphasis mine)

Every day, He’s reshaping us into His beautiful creation, His workmanship.

And even when we feel like our paint’s chipping– or that we don’t quite fit into any mold– or the fire He’s putting us through is far too hot– we can rest in assurance that we are still His workmanship, His poiema, born to do great things for His kingdom.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”

–2 Corinthians 4:7-9, ESV (emphasis mine)

You are His workmanship, created in Christ to go out and share His love and light and beauty with the world. Never, ever lose sight of that.

{love, Em}