I think I’ll call it “The Cute Card Campaign.”


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Here’s the thing: life is hard. We each have our bags packed full and we’re carrying our maps as we’re walking winding paths. We are each so different, but yet, so in need of encouragement along the way. Even though we’re created with so much wonder and value, it can be so easy to become overwhelmed and forget what we’re doing.

One of the most important things you can do for someone today is tell them they’re important. And one of the easiest ways you can do that is by writing a note of encouragement.

I learned this when others began writing me kinds words on cute cards. I think it started when I was at summer camp in high school, and continued even as I worked my way into the dorm room, college lifestyle. Since then, I have been deeply moved by the words others have shared with me, to the point of hanging, framing, and saving those cards of encouragement. Even more so, I have wanted to share that same joy with others and wanted to craft my own words of kindness.

Because I love this cause so much, I want to combine it with a project in order to help me get to Hong Kong at the end of the month. So, I will be crafting and selling super fun and quirky cards during the following weeks. Not only will this project help me get to a place where I can teach conversational English this summer, but it will also give us a chance to encourage others as they fight the good fight.


The Details

Each design will be on a white, heavyweight card with a blank inside, and will come with an envelope. Although the pictures and shapes are fairly simple, every card will be made unique by using different fabrics, prints, and color schemes. Meaning, there will never be another one like it. Super fun, right?

Not only that, but I want to make them personal for you. I’m open to altering words, using your favorite colors, and adding a short phrase on the inside in order to best suit your preference.

All you have to do is check out the pictures on this post, and then reach out to me to tell me which cards you want: Facebook message, text me on that cell phone, comment on this post, send me a paper airplane, whatever.

You can get 3 cards for $10, or 10 for $25. The entire cost of the cards will go directly to my ELIC online giving account. Feel free to drop your donation here.

Then, I’ll send them to you in a pretty little package. Once your empty cards make it to your hands, all you have to do is write a sweet note on the super cute cards and give it to someone who needs it. And that’s it. That’s all it takes to make a difference in so many life lives — the receiver of your card, my own personal encouragement for the preparation of this trip, the kids I’ll meet in Hong Kong this summer — it’s never-ending.

Selfishly, I would so appreciate your giving to my trip in this way. But on a bigger scale, your encouragement on that card could completely change someone’s day and your giving could completely change someone’s life on the other side of the world.

Let’s do it. One of my greatest, wildest, most worthwhile dreams is envisioning a world of encouragement and kindness. It starts with us, and I absolutely believe we can advocate a cause like this together. Because here’s the thing: people are important and stationery is cute.

Let’s do it. Let’s run with the cute card campaign and brighten some days.


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Inspiration: encourage (verb) — give support, confidence, or hope to (someone).


Speaking thanks.

I’ve come face to face with the magnitude of my brokenness this semester.


One of the first times it happened I was sitting with my sister on the concrete steps greeting Richland Avenue. The white, historic building loomed behind us and turning trees dropped leaves around us as we laughed at the goofy faces we made at the screen in front of us, capturing each and every one. My glances jumped from her and then to my mom because they both looked so happy. And it hurt me to know that they could have been anywhere else in the world that day, but they chose to be with me. That was mid-September, when autumn was just beginning to settle.


In the following weeks leading into October, it rained. A lot. We wore the hoods on our coats as we trekked through the drizzles, and at some point, my heart fell too even as the clouds filled the skies above and I swooned over the perfect temperature. My heart broke on a Friday night. I don’t think I’ll ever forget wanting to leave my shift at work, just to veg out on chips and salsa and watch the sappy “Serendipity” as rain plummeted on the window. Gray days are my love language.


–but I’m getting off track. This isn’t a post about sappy movies and selfies and the weather and the way I see God in His creation and long to find my place in it. What I mean is that whether it was cold and rainy or warm and sunny, or whatever I was doing in a day, things began to happen–

Little things. Sometimes it was a conversation with a stranger at work, and other times it happened as I scribbled Bible study notes while tucked away in bed with a huge cup of coffee. It happened when dad walked me to my car, just to open my door and give me a kiss on the cheek before I drove away. It happened late at night when I fell asleep looking at the smiling face taped beside my bed. And of course, it happened when the sun shone at the right angle and I had a long minute to just stand in awe at the goodness around me.

Honestly, I think that’s it: I had a long enough minute to just stand in awe at the goodness around me. As I lived and breathed and moved in each of these moments, the common thread was an opportunity to be thankful. So much joy and thankfulness moved me to the point that it broke my heart. It broke my heart to realize I live a story that is beautifully written– and I didn’t even choose it, and I don’t admire it or live it the way I know I ought.
I break more and more every day.


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I don’t remember how long this lingering feeling of sadness stayed within me, but when I read the words of Psalm 145, the pieces of my broken heart shattered into even smaller, smaller pieces. It didn’t mesh with me. How could I be sad after reading such heavenly words?


And then it hit me: I am so full that I am broken.


It resonated. My mind raced as I thought about all the good, good things I am given even before the dawn breaks in the mornings. I have been given more than I deserve and more than I know what to do with on most days. And the fullness of so many good things has broken me. I live in the knowledge of a God who is loving toward me, and who displays His splendor through the gifts of my life. I live in a story that is painted by constant joy and peace.


How could so many good things not fill me to the point of brokenness?
There is so much humility in admitting that to you. There is so much of myself that I have to give away in order to believe that every good thing in my life are not things I have worked for or even deserve. Every conversation with my roommate, every drive to Joelton with Travis, every hug from my momma, every hand drawn picture from Lilly, every sermon that leaves me squirming, every good cup of coffee– all these good and perfect things are gifts from above.
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That’s where I am: a season of thanks. I realize there is so much hurt in the world– I can’t make myself unaware of that. But in my immediate circles and at this period of life, there is much joy. Joy. It doesn’t stop at happiness, or a fleeting emotion conditional on circumstances. It is the foundation of my faith and the reason I can get out of bed, even on the days I wonder if I’m ready for the steps ahead.  There are so many things worth celebrating in this day, and I’m brought to my knees at the mention of that lengthy, lengthy list. It is the best example of feeling overwhelmed because I am caught on everything He has said and promised to me.


That’s what the Psalm talks about. It talks about God’s name being worthy of praise because of His excellent, absolutely perfect love. It talks about the good things He does and is. It tells me of His grace and compassion, and His rich, rich love toward me. It tells me that He alone is the one who holds me and hears me, and is therefore my every reason for breath and living.


Words of praise break me because it’s in those lines that I am brought to my knees at the weight of His goodness. Every fragment of my heart is absolutely shattered at the fullness of the innumerable good things I claim every day.


The thing is, it’s not even the gifts that are so wonderful. It’s knowing that a God marked by love and power looks at a little speck like me and gives abundantly. Brim-full. Overflowing. It’s not the gifts that bring me to my knees. It’s His acts of grace toward me. Whether I’m in a valley or on a mountaintop, whether I sleep in a mansion or on a rock, or whether it’s raining or shining, the “things” don’t matter because everything– even the breath I take as I wrestle with these written words– are a gift of His grace. I couldn’t even muster up the energy to bat my eyelashes were it not for His giving abundantly to me.

I’m still here and I hope I am for some time. This season of thanks has been growing for few months, which is also where this piece of work has been sitting: a place of quiet hiding. And it’s interesting that it would come to fruition in a week when I felt most distant and far away. It’s also interesting the pastor would point at my pew and challenge the church to speak thanks on a day I was tempted to not feel like doing it.


So, that’s my prayer today: that I would be like the healed leper who came back to thank Jesus. Oh, God, let me be like the man whose rotting body and internal fears were banned on that day so, so long ago, and whose raspy voice was made able to boldly proclaim, “You are good. My God, You are good.”


I think God likes hearing the sound of thanks come off our lips, and fill all the cracks and nooks of our life. I think he relishes in letting me live fully in this season, giving thanks and praise, day in and day out. And, I like to think that He enjoys filling us better than any other thing or person can in the world, in order that I might come face to face with my brokenness and sweet, sweet love for Him.

And if living in the truth that I am completely full and completely broken is what it takes to know Him better right now, I’ll take it.

Signed with thanks for you,


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Post inspired by a small group study on Psalm 145 NIV, a sermon on Luke 17, the good people who give me life color and love me to the point of humility, a church that cares enough to tell me the truth, a semester of feeling completely full and totally broken, and a God who is always patient with me.

Thinking of you today.

thankful: conscious of benefit received; expressive of thanks; well pleased

thanks: kindly or grateful thoughts; gratitude; an expression of gratitude; often used in an utterance containing no verb and serving as a courteous and somewhat informal expression of gratitude

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This morning has been spent wrestling with words. My lip is bleeding, my cheeks are purple, and the sweat is stinging my eyes. The second hardest thing I’ve ever attempted is to weave beautiful words out of my scattered thoughts; the first hardest is walking a fine line of a truth guided life. But, I rejoice in the opportunity to be in the ring because this is the thing that makes me tick and teaches me about strength.

I’ve already watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and when I finally choose to leave my fortress of blankets and pillows, I’ll go to a classic American holiday lunch at my great aunt’s and then head over for dinner at my grandmother’s. When I get home tonight, I’ll return to my warm fortress and set my alarm for 6 am tomorrow morning. I’ll leave for work 2 hours early in order to make sure I’ll make it to the store to put on my sales associate name tag just in time for my 9 hour shift. It’ll be a classic American Thanksgiving/Black Friday celebration that I’ll be living in, which by all means is fine.

But, as I’m living all these things today, what I really want to do is listen. And reflect. And speak a word or two of wisdom. And ponder on these crazy beautiful things in my life so much, that I have no choice but to run to pen and paper to capture it all. Above all, I want to revamp and encourage my little soul to seek these things even beyond the moments that fill this day. I want to remind myself what it means to be glad and joyful and why I close every journal entry with a simple phrase, “Thank you.” I want to do those things today, and every day. I do.

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I can’t name every little thing that has composed your morning.

I don’t know if you’re scrambling to finish preparations on a Thanksgiving feast, or if you’re reheating last night’s take out and settling in for a day off at home.

I don’t know if these are the days that make your heart heavy with the fullness of good moments to live in, and leave you breathless, “There is not enough time in this day to laugh all the laughs and hug all the hugs I want to.” Or maybe these are the hollow days that remind you of those misused words and sad smiles so many years ago, “All I want is you.”

I don’t know if you’ve already danced around the Christmas tree, or if you’re just trying to rest up for an intense weekend of folding piles of sweaters and helping customers find that perfect gift to wrap.

Maybe you hate today, or maybe you’re that person who will send a mass text message, “Happy <insert 5 turkey leg emojis>” to everyone in your phone. Not me, guys. Not me.

Wherever you are today, I want you to know there is so much in this world to be thankful for. And I don’t mean the statuses that will flood our newsfeed today and be forgotten tomorrow. I don’t mean this idea of merely saying, “I’m thankful for <insert thing here>.” I don’t mean using this day as an open invitation to recognize the good things that make up our world, and setting them on the dusty, bottom row of the bookshelf until next November. I don’t mean anything less than seeking a life that hungers to sing beautiful songs of praises beginning with the joyous look in our eyes at every peak, and even the valleys too. You deserve that, you really do.

There are great things in this world that are vying for our attention, guys. And the noble thing is these things don’t ask for the last Thursday of November or come in shiny bags overflowing with tissue paper. Every little detail, every little word, and every little moment that leaves you searching for anything at all—these are the things that are so much bigger than one day; these are the things that give us a reason at all.

Things like remembering that string of words from last week, “I can’t live in such a pure moment and not believe in you.”

And planning on catching up on half a semester’s worth of sleep, but instead waking up to an 8:56 am clouded sky beside a wall of scribbled index cards that cover your bedroom at home.

Maybe it’s a thing like hearing the tear stained voice of your grandmother through a recorded message, and hurting with her even through weird wireless connection. Maybe it’s thinking, “It’s a blessing to share in this hurt with you, because I love you and can still feel things. I hate hurting, but I love being with you.” And maybe that’s it: a thankfulness to feel things so vividly every day. To hurt and love and laugh and cry in this crazy, weird, wireless connection we have with these people who choose to be near us.

And still, maybe it is something like this morning. Things like hearing your 6 year old sister sing a song you don’t know at the top of her lungs, and feeling your tummy grumble under the heavy weighted scent of cooking in the kitchen. Maybe these are the things that make you happy and inspire you to keep going in all the best and worst kind of ways. Maybe that’s it.

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I am thinking of you today. I really am. I’m thinking of the way you’ve said hey to me, or your name in my phone, or that rainy drive we shared together last night. And, I’m stoked to see you later today when we’re eating, and tomorrow when I’m wearing that Gap shirt, and Sunday after service, and Monday when I unload my laundry basket at the dorm again.

I can’t really claim a point to this mini novella, or why I felt the need to author a redundant Thanksgiving Day post. I guess I just needed you to know that this is something worth celebrating– In so many more ways than mere turkey or traditions, but the entire gift of life and existence and boundless opportunities. And I hope that today as you stuff your life with all these things, you overflow into the following days with a presence captivating others with a glimmer of pure joy and thankfulness to even breathe and blink and have a fighting chance at this thing called life.

I’m reminded today is an example of expressing the inexpressible. This life constantly leaves me without words, and all I can do is tie yet another knot in this string of words that desires to learn this art of a living an abundant life. As C.S. Lewis once modeled the art of thank you notes, this is my thank you note to you: “How am I to thank you for your constant kindness? The answer appears to be it is not possible, and that you must just take my word for it I am still most gratefully yours, C. S. Lewis.”


:: bm