and p.s.

my dearest friend, Zoe, posted this blurb from Wendell Berry recently and it is stunning.

(also, check our her blog. she's in Italy for the year and her pictures/thoughts are beautiful)

book suggestions?

Dear fellow book nerds,

Being home for Thanksgiving break made me REALLY SUPER EXCITED for the extra time I'll have to do fun reading over Winter break...but I need suggestions.
Any great things I need to read that you would recommend? For serious. Get at me.

literature love,

these bring me loads of J-O-Y

alright, I know I do this too songs I adore.
but these really do make me want to dance around the kitchen or turn up my car stereo, and they certainly make me smile. and they'll make you smile.
promise promise.


Some of us are born to be Makers. We love to dream up new things, love to imagine, love to glue things together, love to paint pictures, love to shape words into stories and poems, love to pull sounds into music, love to twirl around in dance, love to explore emotions on stage, love to take moments and force them into the stillness of a photo. There are different types and ways to do it, but it is a beautiful thing - when you have a heart that desires to Create.

I think this is the first year that I've ever really thought about my creativity as a spiritual thing. Even simply to a prayer I prayed once and then wrote down because it sounded strangely profound to me, like something I should keep praying over and over again without cease. Father, take my heart to make meaningful things from the written word and do something meaningful with that.

And I think He will. I think He is.

Every desire I've ever had to make something beautiful or new has been a gift, and a big one at that. God never had to give us His ability to create brand new things. He could have held the title as the sole Creative entity in the universe if He wanted. But He didn't. He gave away his spirit and joy for making things. When I see something beautiful or awful or silly or lovely and am inspired to write about it, I am touching the heart of God. And I hope (desperately at times) that in some bizarre way, the Lord draws me closer to Himself through my creativity, that He shapes the purpose of my life through it. I hope when I'm frustrated, I look to Him. I hope that when I'm excited, I thank Him for the joy.

I create because He did first. I create because He passed that trait down to me - from Father to daughter.

this is a poem I wrote. it's kind of weird. but I kind of like it, too.

I’ve been to the top of the world,

and I’ll tell you – it’s not what

you’d imagine it to be.

I climbed up piles of dirt and ash,

got the soot of that high place

all over my eyelids,

in the crevices of my elbows

and under the bend of my tongue,

up to the point of tasting it,

up to the point of sticking my finger

in my ear and discovering all sorts

of debris there, inside my skull.

You might not believe it,

but there was fog up there.

I thought I’d see everything

ever made, you know?

Like there would be lights

twinkling and other small romantic

details I’d want to write you about

on a postcard, and I’d describe them

like I was writing a poem, and you’d

stand in your driveway reading it and

think, “gosh, I wish I was there with you,

seeing these beautiful things.”

but when I was up there, there was this fog.

The higher I hiked the more it touched

my skin, like went into it touched,

like suffocated my pores,

like I couldn’t see even my own hand waving

in front of my eyes, and it was all dark

up there. These little droplets of water

that came from God-knows-where settled

on my eyelashes, and my blue raincoat

pressed against my arm, kind of sticky feeling.

when I was up there, I thought for awhile

that maybe all the black molten waste

was something more just a tragic death

everyone calls lovely like Juliet,

but it was just black molten waste.

I couldn’t love it, that high place

because it was lonely up there.

It was steep up there,

when my foot touched the sides of the rocks

and small bits fell over the edge, I thought

of falling and I think that if I fell from up there,

I’d fall in slow-motion like movies,

and the background would fade into these

strange colors or clouds or something.

I thought about writing you

that postcard, thought about

throwing it down from the

height to see if it’d glide

straight into your mailbox,

and you’d put it on the fridge

where you’d notice it only as you

were getting out a slice of cheese

or storing away the left-over pesto pasta

you like so much.

it’d sit there underneath a magnet

they gave you for free at the grocery store,

and you’d pretend I was having the time of my life,

pretend with a little smile and picture me

dancing in a luau up on the heights of creation

when really the words I wrote you

on the postcard said

“the view isn’t so great from up here.”

hallelujahs and Harry Potter

God totally just had my Friday morning class canceled so that I would have zero reason to regret seeing the new HP movie at 3:05 am....score.

ahhh so pumped!! :)

also, has anyone ever had this thought - Everyone says the wizarding world of Harry Potter is fake, just a figment of Rowling's imagination - BUT WHAT IF WE ARE ALL MUGGLES??? We wouldn't know if it was real anyway. Maybe Rowling wrote this and is like a Squib and so she's kind of a part of the wizarding world and the muggle world, so she had could act like a normal person and publish it. and then everyone was all pissed in the wizarding world when she wrote it because she gave away all the secrets and stuff.

I mean, that's probably the real story.

ANYWAY. To all muggles and wizard/witches - happy almost-friday! Hope you don't run across any trolls or Crucio curses! and to all fellow HP dorks - see you at the theaters at the absurdly early hour of 3am.


I love craft time. There is something so soothing about it - pursuing ridiculous little projects, making colorful gifts or cards, collaging, knitting, gluing random things together, putting your heart behind a home-made present, etc. I wish I did it more often.

If I was extra-super crafty, I'd definitely make the following things:

these tissue-paper wall/ceiling pom-poms:

this incredibly adorable flower-scarf:

a purse made from a book (actually, I already have one started, just haven't gotten around to finishing it):

rings out of Legos:

envelopes made out of maps to send letters in:

these teeny-tiny books:

lovely notes to snail-mail to people I like:

a precious way to keep apples from bruising:

they just make my heart sing

here are three of my favorites, acoustic-style

Kevin Loeffler is awesome

for lots of reasons, but mostly for introducing me to the cutest video I've seen all week.

If you've ever heard this song, your reaction was probably "whhhaaaaat the whaaaaaat?", but if you watch seven-year-old MattyB's remix of it, your reaction will probably be something along the lines of "aww I want this kid to be my child."

It's that good. I'm now planning on forcing my future son into the rap business just because it would be adorable.

Two things I love best

are 1) blogging and 2) Nicaragua.

therefore, it is with extreme jumping-up-and-down excitement and joy that I introduce to you our brand-new UVA Nicaraguan Orphan Fund Blog! Such fun.
Check it out. It has info about the NOF and will be updated as frequently as possible with stories/testimonials from trip participants, updates about the country, news about how the NOF is staying engaged with Nica, etc. It's still in the young stages of infancy, but I think it'll be a sweet site as it grows up :)

so click right here and go check it out!

how vast beyond all measure

O that you would tear open the heavens and come down...
(Isaiah 64:1)

In Ulysses, James Joyce writes "Love loves to love Love." And it's true - there is something cyclical about love, isn't there? It always wants more, it loves even the thought of itself, desires more of that feeling of not getting enough, or of needing to deeply know what it loves in every possible way.

When you love someone, you want to spend time with them and discover everything about them. It's like there is no end to it, either - everything is fascinating. It's been striking me lately, how absurdly wonderful love for the Lord is...because it can never be fully satisfied. There is always more to know. He is endless and incredible, and to love Him is to never get enough and to get more than enough all at once. He satisfies me fully, and yet I can never fill up on everything there is to know about Him or how He loves me, because there is just too much of all of that.

I've decided that it's that whole Joyce-thing, the Love loving Love, that creates something beautiful out of poverty. In those places of emptiness is an urgency for redemption, an urgency to know the Lord more, to love Him more, and to be loved by Him more. Love becomes a necessity, because it's the only hope when everything else is gone. When you reach the end of yourself and say "I have nothing else to give", there is every opportunity to say "Lord, give me everything you are. I want it and I need it, desperately".

The glory of that possibility really is beautiful to me: living solely on a thirsty love for God.

I spent a weekend leading some remarkable high school girls at a Young Life camp and was convinced even further that being in love is necessity, not luxury. We crave it, innately - crave being taken care of, crave someone knowing every little detail about us, crave a hiding place, crave a sheltering embrace, crave someone to pick up our pieces and show us how to be who we are. We were not meant to survive without it. It's a joyful thing, watching someone taste love like that, watch them take sips of something that is constantly falling for itself. It can't get enough.

That's the gorgeous thing about it, when you are in love, and your prayer again and again is Lord, tear open the heavens and come down, be close to's gorgeous because you won't ever have to stop praying it, because He always has something more to give.

He loves to love.


There are ones made from sticks,
stuck precariously
on tree-tops with circular foyers,
open roofs, no furniture
and only enough room to squeeze
in close together, which is
quietly stunning.

I’ve seen them in places that smell
like fire and piss, little shanties
covered in soda-advertisements, torn
consumerism broken-bottles dust
rugs, absence of windows, holes wire gates
needles dirty cups and everything.

There are those that sit along the East Battery
where they sip sugar and mint juleps, watch
the tourists in Charleston and
someone else is always looking
inside, envious strolls along the water.

I’ve seen borrowed ones on the corner bit of
walkway where the train-tracks run overhead
and fourteenth street starts,
with foundations of stray quarters, a dog companion
and a slab of cardboard bearing a mailing address
no one ever writes to.

Some are built in hospital rooms where
pictures from a mantel
somewhere else are brought in
and flowers spew their smell all over the place,
the background noise is television sounds, cozy
with the door always open, strangers walking by,
so close.

But often I find them in unexpected places
when I walk alone and think
of something you said once,
or of the way you laugh silently,
shrugging your shoulders
and then I find inside my resulting smile
that walls build up,
and in the slight movement of my mouth
there is some sort of
residence being constructed
right there on the sidewalk.

I'm a bad parent

no, not just because I "murdered" my hermit crabs (I mean, technically, they starved to death....because I forgot to feed them), but because I FORGOT MY BLOG'S BIRTHDAY!
geez. sorry, blog.
you're just growing up so quickly...

so YAY - this site is officially a year and two weeks old. crazy-town. way to survive this long, blog. I got you two picture of balloons and one picture of a pretty tight cake. Hope you enjoy it.