meet paul tripp. how could you not trust this mustache? then again, i’ve been known to be biased towards some facial hair. this man sees life through a gospel-lens. i seek to do the same.

i’m thankful for the people in my life who are like paul here. speaking to me what sometime i cannot see: how the gospel is lived out in ordinary daily actions (i.e. being a good steward of what christ has given you, viewing work/school as a divine place to love and serve others, how god gives us bread not stones, giving grace in the smallest moments of the day)

once upon a time, i found some “survival skills” on paul tripp’s website. survival skill number 13 was on repeat, sometimes two times a week, in the spring. in my car, in my earbuds while i ran, in my thoughts, in my conversations.

then, i stumbled upon this article ( god’s will for your wait ) on the gospel coalition site earlier this week.

i could re-read this article every hour of every day for the rest of forever.

maybe i will.


borrowed thoughts

Again I take the brilliantly simple thoughts of paul tripp and let my heart be stirred.

“With Paul, we absolutely deny the possibility of self merit. God never yet gave to any person grace and everlasting life as a reward for merit…the true way of salvation is this: First, a person must realize that he’s a sinner, the kind of sinner who’s congenitally unable to do any good thing. “Whatsoever is not of faith, is sin.” Those who seek to earn the grace of God by their own efforts are trying to please God with sins. They mock God, and provoke His anger. The first step on the way to salvation is to repent.” Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Confession, there are many days that my thinking is as distorted as what Luther describes here. I acknowledge that some are from expectations I’ve felt my whole life, but I must choose to live with the God of all grace (2 Peter 5:10)  or I am missing it (the gospel), all of it. All is grace.

I want believe
that there is another way.
I want to think
that I am the exception to the rule.
I grasp at the thought
that my righteousness is enough.
I hold to the hope
that my behavior satisfies you.
I want to think
that you judge me worthy.
It is my evaluation
that I am capable of your standard.
I want to hold onto my assessment
that I am not like others,
I can plainly see
that they offend your law.
I get the fact
that they fall short of your glory.
I know very well
that they can’t stand before you.
But I still want to think
that I am not like them.
I want to hold your Word
and my righteousness at the same time.
I want to celebrate the Gospel
and my worthiness together.
But it is
a self-sufficient delusion.
It aggrandizes me and diminishes You.
It minimizes sin and devalues grace.
It asks the law to do
what only grace can accomplish.
It denies the daily evidence
of my sin.
It ignores the true condition
of my heart.
It turns away
from the sacrifice that you have made.
It omits the sovereign plan
of your grace.
It forgets the desperate condition
of my need.
And so I turn
to what I know is true.
I am nothing
without you.
I accept the invitation
of your grace.
I run to the sacrifice
of the cross.
I cry for the help
of your spirit.
I accept the diagnosis
of your Word.
I trust the faithfulness
of your love.
I seek the forgiveness
you alone can give.
And I reject
the righteousness that is my own.


there is no competition – fall ranks #1 among my favorite seasons. above the icey roads of winter, sweat-dripping summers, and hail storms of spring reign…

hot apple cider, football season, leaves changing colors, casserole season, cuffed blue jeans, pumpkin foods, flannels, warm days with cool nights, and sweatshirts with shorts.

this year i celebrated the coming season with vol oreos.

demolished the pack in 4 days. can’t wait to bring in the season with more fall-ish things.

next on the to-do list : whole wheat pumpkin scones – – my mouth is already watering thinking of how heavenly they will taste.


i finally started my cash budget. big dave (ramsey and brooks) would be proud – he’s only been encouraging me to this since i was 12. i’m not kidding. it got my parents out of debt.

i used scrapbook paper to make my cash-only envelope system.

day 4 and i still haven’t used my debt card. V FOR VICTORY.

the cross is always bigger, the pilot edition

inspiration flows from john wood’s mouth and heart every single sunday.

a few weeks ago, he explained the gospel and our understanding of it like when you first come to know the gospel and the cross and his abundant love for you – grace is always bigger than our sin, but they still seem not too far away, but then… as time goes on. you realize how big that gap between how great his grace is and how lowly our sin is. the gap between sin and grace is always growing as we learn more about our sinfulness and his holiness and we must remember that the gap between grace and sin can be filled with nothing – not our performance, our insecurities, our job, our finances, our families, our friends – nothing, but the cross. we can’t meet any amount to receive that grace; it’s all ready been done, on the cross.

i hope to remember this daily.. that the cross is always bigger. i want to find moments where the cross is intertwined all throughout my days.. so i will document these moments of remembrance with pictures. it is mainly a project for me to continually remember that the cross is most important and can be found all over and in my days.

my hope is that when i see the cross out and about during my day it will recenter me in my thinking, in my busyness of what i believe, who i am living for, and what was sacrificed so that i might have life to the full (and to share it with you! duh, let’s be “mutually encouraged by each other’s faith” romans 1:12). you might have to look for the cross, but they will be there. like a hidden prize. i already want a new zoom lens for my new camera, so we’ll have to deal unti then. could be fun right? i know that i want to live out of grace and the cross, so here starts my journey..

p.s. i think i’ll dub this series CAB (for the Cross is Always Bigger) – – look out for more to come! already got some stored away.

friday afternoons

when the week has all but slowed down.. i wait for friday afternoons. my solitude. when i’m free from going to class. when i’m free from any regular plans. when i’m free to spend my time as i desire in the freedom that tomorrow i have no pressing deadlines or agendas. this is especially true today as i will be alone all weekend as my roommates travel to sharptop for tennessee leader weekend. it becomes a time for me to do things that are live-giving  and renewing. do we all do those things enough or at all? have those moments that breathe life, joy into our souls.

for me, my renewal is… spending ample time with the lord. cleaning my living spaces. crafting letters. cooking a homemade meal or baking sweet yummies. going on a walk. strolling through the aisles of the grocery store. causally working on school assignments. lounging around my house. reading for pleasure. accomplishing loads of laundry. lighting some candles. reminding myself that life is only full when we rest in Him and his cross more and more.

today i fulfilled a craving 2 months later – and made my own adjustments in hopes to be healthy(er)!

wheat tortillas instead of white // ground turkey over ground beef

oh the joy of cooking!  it allows me to stop and escape into my creative mode and just do. especially when i get to cook for others.

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”

— Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright

 { find what breathes life into you and don’t forget to do it frequently }