// one chapter ends, a new one begins //

Well, it happened. Quite unexpectedly, I might add.

Sure, I knew that I was getting close to the end, but I hadn’t realized until I grabbed my pens and journal this afternoon that there was only one page left.

A once-blank notebook was about to be filled to the brim with the chaotic beauty that is life. For some people, this isn’t really a big deal, but you see, this is the first journal that I’ll genuinely enjoy going back and reading through. It’s the first journal that I’ve actually persisted and filled every page with musings. And it’s the first journal with personality I’ve ever kept.

Part of this is because I actually named it, way back when I first started writing in it last March:

her name was elsa

Now, before you say anything, this was not because of Frozen. There were three reasons I named it Elsa: one, because “pledged to God” is such a delicious name-meaning and perfect for my journal; two, because at the time I was very into German culture (*cough cough* The Book Thief) and Elsa has German origins; and three, well, because I wanted to. Plain and simple.

And then, after I decided on a name, I wrote the first entry with much excitement:

the first entry

And now, over a year later, there’s finally a last entry:

the last entry

Yay for calligraphy pens and the color purple! And also for my eucharisteo list.

That once snowy-white, possibility-filled book isn’t blank anymore, and for that I am so glad! The beautiful thing about journaling is that you never just run out of room– fill up one book? Simply move on to the next. A fresh start, a new story just waiting to be written. And you are the only one who can write it! It’s completely and wholly yours– by you and for you– to do whatever you want with it. Lovely thought!

Here are a few things I’ve done with mine…

by His wounds

a pome

sketch every hour

dare to ask questions

(Go ahead. Answer one {or more} of these. I dare you. :))

So… there you have it. A little celebration of chapters ending and beginning, and a glimpse at some of the breathings of my heart. (And this is the most anyone shall ever see of this book. Ahem.)

Goodbye, Elsa… I’ll miss you, dear friend, but it’s time to start a new chapter of aliveness, don’tcha think?

{love, Em}

**Sorry for the poor quality of some of these photos… I don’t even know.

// The Stereotype Busters: Biblical Creationists //

(Thank you, Melody, for suggesting this blog series— I quite enjoyed climbing up on my soapbox for this. It’s something I don’t get to write about very often. ^-^ And if you’re new here— welcome! Thanks for visiting my corner of the internet! :))


In which I rant about something I’m quite passionate about that has many, MANY misunderstandings anchored to it…

(Me, when I’m told that my faith is a “fairytale” and that I’m “brainwashed” :P)

(“Allow me to tell you a thing…” *grins*)

But first, I should probably explain briefly what it is. That might help. Ahem.

Biblical creationism is exactly what it sounds like: The belief that our world was created as the Bible clearly states— by God, in six 24-hour days, roughly 6,000 years ago. In other words, it’s the literal interpretation of the book of Genesis. Why is it so important? Because your interpretation of Genesis (and therefore the rest of Scripture) will shape your entire worldview.

As some people like to make very clear, this belief in the authority of the Bible butts heads with evolution, the most widely accepted theory of origins. And whenever something clashes with the mainstream, it becomes the catalyst for a lot of controversy. (But remember— just because it’s widely accepted, doesn’t mean it’s truth. Can I get an amen?)

And with that controversy comes quite a few stereotypes against Biblical creationists that I would really love to bring to light…


i. We are not too stubborn/ignorant to accept scientific fact. Quite the contrary— Christians and non-believers look at the exact same evidence; it’s a matter of interpretation that depends on the seeker’s worldview. For example, the Grand Canyon. And also– I know this is a long article, sorry ‘bout that, but it’s quite informative about both viewpoints on when and how the Grand Canyon was formed, which is an integral argument in the Bible’s favor.

ii. We do not believe that evolution is completely nonexistent; animals evolve within their kinds, but that’s it. For example— different breeds of dogs are running about all over the world. But all those breeds originally came from one canine. Not a different animal, like a fish or a gorilla. We didn’t come from apes or wheat or bacteria or whatever it is scientists are claiming currently. (I don’t even think the scientists themselves know. Heh.)

iii. Speaking of scientists: Not all scientists are anti-creation— just look at Ken Ham (the founder of Answers in Genesis) and this list of creationists, to name a few. Also— see these profiles of creation scientists and other epic Christians. John Ray (founder of biology), George Washington Carver, Leonardo da Vinci, and many more. So fascinating!

iv. We don’t think we know everything. We know all too well that we as humans don’t know everything— that’s where our faith comes in. Me? I don’t pretend to fully understand God’s motivations for creating us in the first place— but I know that He is good. I don’t know much about heaven at all— but I know that He is there and that’s more than enough. Besides, why would I believe in and follow a God I could completely comprehend? That would take away His godliness.

v. Our faith isn’t fairytales and mythical fluff; it’s actually quite reasonable, and if you’re willing to give an open-minded look at history and science you’ll see that. Science does not disprove the Bible. I can’t emphasize that enough.

vi. “You can’t use Christianity to explain origins and the natural world; that’s religion, not science.” Sorry, but that’s wrong. You can indeed be both a Christian and knowledgeable in science— again, see all the creationist scientists listed above ^^.

vii. Not all Creationists even claim to be Christians. I mean, it’s rather hard to have one without the other, but it does happen. (That’s mainly the old-earth creationists, intelligent design-ers, and theistic evolutionists though. Those are the people who believe in a Creator/divine Power, but not necessarily God or the Bible. They’re still choosing to believe man’s word over God’s— that’s what it all boils down to, when you think about it.)

viii. We don’t go around thumping our Bibles and refusing to listen to others’ opinions. Not all of us, anyway. I personally really enjoy having calm, intelligent discussions about this— but since I respect your stance, please extend the same courtesy to me. Or else I will begin to grow aggravated. And who wants that?


So… yes. I think that’s it for today. *jumps down from soapbox* 🙂

All this science-y stuff might be kind of confusing (trust me, it’s not my subject of preference either), so I’d love to talk about this further if you’d like! Just… no starting heated debates please. I’m not interested in those. If you believe differently, hey, that’s totally cool. But no amount of arguments will get either of us to change our minds, I reckon, so… shall we agree to disagree? 🙂 I would very much like to hear your thoughts though!

If you actually got through all this (and perhaps even clicked on a link or two?): you, sir or madam, are lovely. Thanks for reading, and I hope I’ve managed to successfully bust a few stereotypes!

(Wait, I just realized– P&P. Busting stereotypes. HAHAHA. Unintentional puns are the greatest puns!)

{love always, Em}

**note: All GIFS used are not mine. I am not talented in the art of GIF-ing. Credit goes to whomever took the time to make these!

In All Honesty…


{photo mine– taken on our condo’s balcony yesterday morning}


(From a journal entry I just scribbled in the car on the way home from Florida. Yes, we are in fact still in the car as I type this. ‘Tis a day-long drive for us Tennesseans.)


I’m feeling the sharp pangs of conviction right now– my own complacency suffocates me. I feel that I can’t breathe– or do anything to stop the tears from leaking down my cheeks, for that matter.

Last night, while walking through Pier Park, we came across an older man standing with a giant wooden cross and proclaiming the Gospel to anyone who would (or wouldn’t) listen.

My stomach twisted when the cops came riding up on their motor scooters, clearly to shoo the man away because standing there and proselytizing probably wasn’t legal. The thought flashed through my mind– go stand with him— but what did I do?

Nothing. I kept on walking with that uncomfortable prickly feeling that something was wrong. (Maybe with me.)

What’s more, when my family started talking about it in the car just now, I said something about how his method could’ve been “more effective”; perhaps a one-on-one conversation would be more influential than standing and talking to a huge group of people who aren’t really listening.

My dad’s reproof was mild, but hit home nevertheless: at least he’s doing something. He’s broken enough about the thousands of lost people in Panama City, and passionate enough to try and point them towards the Way Home.

“We say that we’re unashamed of Jesus, but are we really? We have the cure for cancer– are we really so selfish as to hide it away for ourselves?”

And it was then that it hit me in full force– what exactly am I doing with the opportunities that God has given me to share Jesus?

Not much. I pray for God to use me– but when do I ever take action?

It’s the same prayer I prayed going into high school– Lord, use me!— but here I am on the brink of my senior year, and I have the sinking feeling that I’ve done nothing of kingdom-value with my time.

I feel as if I’m wasting my youth– and that terrifies me.

Father, I know I’ve prayed this so many times, but today I’m completely serious: please use me.

I want to be bold, I want to serve You– but I have no idea where to begin. Will You show me where to go? I’ll follow You, even to places where my feet may fail– especially to those places of faith. Will You break my heart and make it more attuned to Yours– more open to loving others with Your love? Will You help me act so that my faith isn’t just one of words, but of my everything?

Dear God, please– help me live boldly for You and only You.


{love always, Em}

// in which I remind myself of where I stand //

// a greater Love than this //

at twelve years old

she’s at the age when most girls

begin really seeking the interest of boys

and even though that’s the norm

she prefers to go about this elusive “love” thing

a different way


one night she whispers a prayer

for her Father to guard her heart and

keep him safe and happy

(if he even exists at all)


it’s not too hard to stay away from the dating scene

in middle school

but as she grows older

her longing for love grows too


the stories she reads

the movies she watches

the people she sees

all build her dreams

of what love really is

what it’ll be like for her someday

(maybe, hopefully)


and perhaps it’s strange that

at seventeen years old

she’s already wondering if

she’ll ever find him

or live out her life as a single maiden

in a kingdom full of kings and their queens


but then she remembers—

her purpose is not to “find him”

nor to resign herself to a life of loneliness and longing

but something far, far greater


her heart, you see

is in the Lord’s keeping

which means that ultimately

she is not living for love

no— she’s living for a greater Love

than all the world can offer


if her future husband is out there somewhere

wonderful— God will bring him in His perfect timing

but if he isn’t

if she is meant to stay single

then so be it— she will serve the Lord with all her heart

and show others His love, that greater Love

 with everything she’s got


she isn’t exactly “waiting” for this mysterious him

because that would imply that

meeting him is when her life begins

which is simply not the truth


her life will be abundant and blessed

so long as she fixes her eyes on the Cross

(no husband necessary)

and it would be a shame to waste

those productive years of singleness

by longing for something different

than what He has given her


so she prays

she watches

she reminds herself that she’s already Loved,

loved more than she can even fathom

by One who has all her days already written out

and waiting for her to live


her story may include a love interest

or maybe not—

but no matter how her tale plays out

she will seek Him above all else

and that will make her content

the way she is.