// when you’re ready to fly… //

…and the other birds are just partying in the nest.


summer beginning - 2015 012.JPG

{because springtime calls for pictures of the flowers on my trees}


If I could tell my freshman-self that I’m not attending my senior prom this year, not due to extenuating circumstances but simply because I don’t want to go, she’d probably be dismayed and rather confused.

I mean, it’s prom. Everyone goes to prom. It’s just a Thing You Do. You get to wear sparkly princess-y dresses (this was back when I liked overly sparkly things), hang out with your friends, look beautiful for once (I was a tad insecure), and check the experience off your ‘life to-do list’ and Emily are you okay? Have you lost your sense of fun? Or your mind, maybe?

But see, the thing I remember about my freshman-self is that she was a bit lost. Not lost in the sense of salvation– she knew Jesus and loved Him very much (still does)– but sort of drifting through life, having not really figured out who she is yet. This was before she discovered kindred spirits, people whose brains worked the same odd way hers did– before she was introduced to the beautiful thing known as Meyers-Briggs personality typing and discovered that she wasn’t crazy, just one of the rare, elusive INFJ’s.

This was before she really learned that sometimes, when you’re doing your own thing, you’ll be flying solo– and to be confident in that.

Because, dear heart, there will be times where you’ll want nothing more to fly, only your fellow birds are quite content to chill in the nest together (where it’s comfortable, where it’s safe), and you’re going to have to make a choice.

There will be times where the nest, while fun and exciting and friend-filled, just isn’t your cuppa tea (I’m mixing my metaphors, sorry, bear with me please)– and you know what? That’s totally okay. Because flying may not be their cuppa tea. You do you, little bird. You’ll be much happier that way.

I don’t ever want my reason for sticking with the nest to be “well, everyone else is there, and it’s just a Thing You Do”. We were given wings to fly– the ability to see the bigger picture of life– for a reason.

Is prom fun? I’m sure it is! Will I look back and regret not going? Nope, and I’m perfectly happy with that. I’m not going just because I’m socially expected to go– and by the way, isn’t it strange that, with our society that puts such a heavy emphasis on individuality, we’re still questioned and misunderstood when we actually do go against what’s considered fun by everyone else? And I’m not going because prom, while fun, has no real impact on my story, on the legacy I leave behind me. People aren’t going to care about the color of my dress or how I wore my hair or if I even showed up– I just want them to see the Jesus in me. I want to be light and love to my school.  The rest is just detail, and of those details, prom is a very miniscule part of that (and those who only remember that sort of thing after we graduate might want to rethink their priorities).

I’ve found that, the person that I am today? Prom just isn’t her cuppa tea. And senior-Em is totally at peace with that. She’s flying off to find her own teacups, her own brand of adventures and fun. And it’s going to be beautiful, because when she’s living in this world but not of it, being completely and confidently herself, that’s when her heart’s happy.

So, have a wonderful time at prom, everyone– or wherever you end up adventuring this weekend– and don’t mind me, I’m just over here spreading my wings while cheering you on. You do you, little birds. ❤


Stars call me closer
The earth is dragging me down
I want to be more than hungry
I want to live somewhere other than this old gray town

I want to fly away far beyond my cage
Where I hear freedom singing
You are telling me again there’s no door to keep me in
I hear freedom singing

Beauty all around me
Drawing me to the sky
This is life I can feel it
Bid my lonely days goodbye


Fly away home, fly away home, fly away home to You…

// Fly Away / JJ Heller //

{love always, Em}

// things I learned at Liberty //

So, um, not many people spend their spring break {read: time away from school} at another school.But I did. Or rather, I spent this past weekend at school. The first two-thirds of my Last-Ever Spring Break Living At Home was spent watching The Office with Matt, falling into the Hamilton fandom, going to eat with friends, exploring Gatlinburg with my family, and writing a shamefully minuscule amount of words (which I intend on making up for this week, if I can).

And then, on Thursday, my family drove up to Lynchburg for an event called CFAW (College For A Weekend) at Liberty. We had already visited a couple times before, but this time, I was in on everything that the “actual” students were doing. This time, with the thought in mind that this will be my life in a few short months, that I really am going to this school, it became inexplicably more real.

I was stretched beyond my comfort zone, which I was fully expecting. And though I’m still tired (we drove home all day yesterday), I’m also excited. Because yes, this will be my life in a few months. And I’ve learned a few things about Liberty (and life in general) that I want to share with you lovely people who are actually taking the time to read this little blog of mine.
i. Beginning college = LOTS of introductions and awkward small talk and all that. It’s exhausting, honestly. (At one point I got excited about taking a shower because then I would finally have a chance to breathe and think.) But that’s okay, because eventually I’ll find my place. I’ll find my people. The awkwardness doesn’t last. This weekend wasn’t exactly conducive to making deep kindred friendships. But once I’m really, officially there, I will make friends. And in the meantime, I did meet a couple of lovely people who could eventually be kindreds. I’m looking forward to that.

ii. It really hit me this weekend that I am literally leaving behind everything I know this fall. I won’t be in Tennessee, I won’t be able to just drive home whenever I want, I won’t be able to connect with people about home because there are so few people there who actually know my home (but I do already have a lovely could-be-kindred friend who already goes there and graduated from my high school, and I’m grateful). I won’t be with any of the people and places I know well. But… That overwhelming newness will only be for a short season. I’ll become friends with my hall/dorm-mates, I’ll get familiar with the campus (it’s huge, y’all), I’ll have a dorm room I can decorate and make my little home, and of course– the Lord will be with me wherever I go. And when I fix my eyes on Him rather than my own anxiety over the unknown, I remember that He IS my home, even more so than my current house with my family (much as I love them). And He will see me through every new season.

iii. I was reminded of just how wonderful psychology is. That’s one thing I haven’t shared on the blog yet– as of right now, I’m thinking that I want to major in psychology. I still love English and will definitely continue to write, but psychology is just… I don’t know. I’m more excited about it. It’s absolutely fascinating; I love studying people and how we work, and I’ve always been the advice-giver and encourager to others, and it just fits me. This weekend I was blessed to meet quite a few people who are psychology majors– and guess what? The friend from home is going to major in psych as well. As Mom said the other day, that was definitely a divine appointment, us hanging out Saturday evening and going on a mini adventure. (I went with her and a couple other girls to a cute little vegan place that had lavender lemonade– it was so good, and the food was delicious too.) Don’t you just love the little ways God confirms that you’re walking in the right direction? 🙂 {Note: You’ll only see them if you’re open and willing to look for them. Other people would call it coincidence, but we know better.}

On that same subject– I got to attend two psychology classes. And I learned that even at a Christian school that teaches a Biblical worldview in all subjects, psychology covers a wide array of topics, some of which you will be grateful that your parents and twelve-year-old brother were not present to listen to. 😉 (It was actually a very good class. Just, um, that day’s topic was definitely not a family thing. xD)

iv. I learned that I am very, VERY grateful for my bedroom, for having a space all to myself, for the joy of coming home. Because Liberty is amazing and I’m so excited for the future (that’s on the near horizon, all bright and vivid and promising), but as of today… Today, I’m so grateful for home. For driving the familiar route to school and for eating breakfast in my kitchen and for talking to friends who have known me for years. There will be a day when Liberty is my home, but that day is not quite today. 🙂
So yes. Those are a few lessons I learned, in the few days that I spent at my future home. And may I just say– I’ve missed writing this week. My heart is bursting with all the words I haven’t penned. So thank you for indulging my need to write a blog post this morning. 🙂 Have a blessed week!
{love always, Em}