Tag Archives: life

teamwork makes the dream work

teamwork makes the dream work.png


Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers!


That’s all I have to contribute to the holiday.


I was at a conference this past weekend. Some of you may know about it. It’s called the if:Gathering. You can learn more about it here. I enjoyed the time I got to spend with some ladies from my church and came away with quite a bit to think about.

The structure of the conference was: listen to a teaching, talk about it at your table, eat some snacks, repeat. One of the questions that was asked at our table was, What is my dream for my people and my place?

The first thing that came to mind was: team.

Now, being the washed-up athlete that I am, that might not be surprising to most. But more importantly than what first came to mind was the images and feelings I got while I thought through it a little more.

My junior and senior year’s of high school basketball were some of the most fun I had as a player of the sports. It was so much fun to be on the court with my best friends, competing together and having the time of our lives.

One image that kept coming up over and over again this past weekend was our inbound plays – in particular, under-the-basket inbounds plays my senior year.

My friend Brandi and I had the best chemistry under the basket. As guard, I was responsible for getting the ball in play. If the play was busted, Brandi just knew where to cut and when to cut, and I knew she would always be there. I could no-look-bounce-pass Mr. Spaulding into the lane, Brandi would snatch that sucker up, and the LadyCats would have 2 more points added to their total. I never worried about a 5-second violation because I knew Brandi would be there.

We even played in a three-on-three tournament a few years later and did the same. dang. thang. My teammate was there for me.

Knowing each other that well didn’t just occur after one day of practice. We sweat together, bled together, went through hell week together. (side note: have you ever had 2 weeks of Christmas break practice with NO GAMES to play?! it’s the worst. you want to quit everything and just go home to eat Christmas candy.)

And that’s what I want from my people and my place.

I want my team.

I want us to be there for each other.
To anticipate one another’s moves.
To remind and ensure each other that, even if the play is busted, we’ve got each other’s backs. We don’t need to worry about hell week by ourselves because our teammates will be there in it with us.

A year ago I wrote about standing on holy ground with others. How there is something sacred about holding someone else’s story with them. And I’m so thankful that’s how my team has formed.

I know my team holds my story and I feel so thankful that they allow me to hold theirs.
I know we all stand on holy ground with and for one another.
I know that the sacredness we share in spiritual friendship is rare, and I hope I never take it for granted.

Whatever my dream is – or ends up being – I know it’ll be easier to chase because of the stellar team I’ve got on my sideline.

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seeking refuge

seeking refuge

This post is somewhat of a love letter to all people currently in my life.

I recently got to witness one of the most real, sweet, quick moments I’ve witnessed in a long time. I was around a couple of moms and one of them was just struggling. Struggling because her kid is a human. And humans are messy, sinful beings. Her kid was demonstrating sin and it was bumming her out. The other mom friend saw through the put-on smile and brush-it-off face, gave her a hug and said something to the effect of, “It’s hard. But you’re a good mom.”

She was able to look at her friend and let her know it was okay to be sad and hurt and feeling feels that were uncomfortable in a public place. She didn’t condemn, correct, or even laugh at the kid’s behavior. She comforted her friend.

I left that interaction (which, by the way, I was basically the creepy bystander eavesdropping on the whole thing…) thinking over and over again, “Man. That’s what we all want. Refuge from the mess. A safe, secure place to just be who we are.”

I think we are all in this space of seeking refuge. (Which is also appropriate in my life because that’s my church’s website, hhhaaaayyy)

We all want space where we can be – not condemned, corrected, or even joined in with the false cover of laughing away hurts and hard things.

In that moment, it was as if a hug from one friend to another let her be more human. It allowed her to feel broken, yet hopeful that she wasn’t alone.

I’m so thankful that I exist in a context of refuge seekers. Of people that allow for hard conversations, hurt hearts, and work with one another to see light pour into the darkness. I honestly don’t know how I did it for so long without them.

All I know is that we can’t seek refuge alone. Yes, our ultimate refuge is in Christ. And yes, He alone has the ability and right to satisfy.

But we still need each other. We need to lock arms and plummet head first into the heaviness of life, scratching and clawing for a bit of refuge in the pit together.

I’m tired of the mask of “Okay” and “Fine.” I’m tired of thinking that no one will ever understand, or, once they do understand they’ll want nothing to do with me.

Cause guess what, that’s exactly what the enemy wants. He wants us isolated. He wants us to believe the lie that we are incapable of love and goodness and redemption.

But once we bring people in – once we tell satan to suck it, and bring our fellow beautiful, messy, sinful, redeemed people in – the enemy has to leave. And we find refuge. We find it together.

So let’s get together a put a white-knuckle grip around one another, knowing that hard stuff is okay, unwilling to let go of each other. Let’s stop dealing with things alone. Let’s have tough conversations. Let’s listen well to those that are hurting. Let’s be just as good at grieving as we are at celebrating.

And then, let’s celebrate that the King and Mighty Refuge of our souls has indeed loved sinners such as us.

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revive me again


Chances are I’ve probably already written about the Psalm I’m going to write about tonight. But if I can’t remember it, I doubt you can. And if you do, then, dddaaannnnggg, thanks for supporting a sister!

A couple summers ago I heard a sermon on Psalm 85 that rocked me to my core. So much so, I still have my notes from that Sunday [although, that’s probably not much of a shocker to those that know me well…]. And turns out, it was the day before my birthday that year! #blessed

I’ve read and read and re-read that Psalm so many times since. In it, the psalmist does a few things:

  1. Reminds the Lord of what He has done
  2. Begs for revival
  3. Reminds himself of what the Lord has done & that He is capable & willing to do it again

I find this pattern necessary in my life. I need to remind God of what He has done in my life, and in doing so, I’m reminding myself of His past faithfulness – that God has showed up in my life on countless occasions. That He is a God that loves and is for His people.

It reminds me that I need to keep showing up. I need to beg for revival. I remember ever so clearly what the preacher said that Sunday morning. Verses 6 & 7 say, “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.”

The preacher then said, “Ask for that. Beg for that. Beg for God to revive you again so that you may rejoice in Him! And when the answer is no, for today, get up again tomorrow and ask again! Continue to show up with God; fight for the revival in your soul.”


But then I don’t.
I fight for a couple days, then I decide the fight isn’t worth it.
I beg for a while, but then I get tired of begging m.
I want instant, blatant satisfaction. I’m not willing to wait on the Lord and thirst for God the way the psalmists did.

But the good news is that God is still God, and God is still good. Even on the days when I don’t ask Him for His goodness.

He will revive His people again, so that we may rejoice in Him.

There’s so much to be said about the words penned in the 85th psalm, but the simplest thing to say is that it’s all for His glory. Revival of my soul is not for my temporary happiness or earthly satisfaction. It is for God and God alone. “Yes, the Lord will give what is good.” (v12) And the ultimate good is Himself.

So, I pray for that tonight, tomorrow, in the coming days – that He may revive me again, so that I may rejoice in Him.



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to showing up


I’m a huge Sophia Bush fan. I fell in love with her as Brooke Davis on One Tree Hill, I deeply admire her desire to change the world and people’s lives through her ‘activist’ efforts (she’s involved with Pencils of Promise, I Am That Girl, etc.), and I love her voice. Seriously. I’d just like to have her read a book on tape for me to listen to all the time.

I also follow her on instagram. Truthfully, I follow her on every platform of social media the two of us share. Follow may not be the word. If there were a word for “I wonder what Sophia’s doing today, I’m going to go check all the things,” then that would be the right word.

Recently she’s been posting pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #toshowingup. It’s typically in correlation with something she’s done with her close friends, or an adventure she’s been on recently. And it got me thinking.

Do I show up?
Am I present with people?
Am I available when it’s inconvenient to me?
Do I live life in such a way that makes it worth showing up to?

And as a Christian, what does this mean? Does showing up in Gospel rhythm matter in people’s lives?

I think it means that we rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep, bear one another’s burdens, call out sin in people’s lives, allow people to call out sin in our lives, go on big adventures to see God in the unknown places of the world and in our hearts. I think it means just that – we show up. We show up with one another, we show up with ourselves, and most importantly, we show up with God.

We go to God and say, “Here I am, Lord. Forgive me, change me, send me, use me.”

We open our selves up and say, “Today is not about me. Today is about loving God and loving others. Love Him and let Him love you, now go and do likewise.”

We be with others and say, “I’m with you, you aren’t alone, now let’s go have an adventure.”

We show up.

So here’s to that. Here’s to newness, and livelihood, and joy. To showing up.

*Sophia hasn’t been on SNL that I know of, so this hilarious throwback of Tina & Amy as the Bush twins (not related to Sophia) will have to suffice. ALSO, my ladies are hosting the Globes this Sunday so it’s appropriate. And ALSO again, Chicago P.D. makes it’s winter premier tonight so it’s timely that I write about Sophia 🙂 Okay. That’s all for now. I think.

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stuck in the suckiness


I’m a pretty good complainer. I can take a 72 degree, puffy cloud and blue sky day and make it seem like we’re knee deep in snow and ice. And there’s definitely been seasons (pun intended) in my life where I’ve lived in the complaints. I’ve planted my feet firmly in the suckiness of life and not moved.

Disclaimer: please don’t tell my momma that I used the word “suck” – or some variation of the word – in this blog post. She hates the word and will make me run laps for it. Seriously.

Back to life being sucky.

I think we can get really good at complaining about life and not moving out of it. We can sit over coffee for hours and talk about how horrible we have it because we aren’t dating anyone, aren’t married, don’t own a house, don’t have any leftover pizza, etc. and just feel sorry for ourselves. We can get stuck in the suckiness, and that’s a dangerous place to be.

This summer I heard a sermon over the following psalm:

Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? (85:6)

I think the writer was experiencing some suckiness. But I also think that the writer knew suckiness was not the place to stay in. They knew that they needed to go to the feet of the Lord and ask for revival, beg if needed.

As the pastor said during the sermon, revival may not come today. It may not even come tomorrow, or the next day/month/year. BUT we can’t sit in the crappy seasons of life complaining about how bad we have it and expect change. We can’t expect joy in our lives if we aren’t willing to go to Jesus and say, “Please. Revive my heart in ways only You can.”

It’s easy to stay stuck in the suckiness. It’s not always easy to pray for and wait on revival.

But staying stuck in the suckiness isn’t where Jesus wants us to stay. He wants us to stay with Him. So let’s agree to let each other be emotional people, to allow one another time to vent and express frustration, but to also remind each other that God is still God, God is still good, and we need to move out of the suckiness.

*get some travel advise from Judy Grimes here!!

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it gets better


When I think about heartbreak, two instances in my life stick out vividly. Once was a time when a “friend” pretty viciously attacked my character and motive and it made me question and evaluate every friendship I’d ever had in my life up to that point. No big deal.

The other time was by a boy.

The time the boy broke my heart was HARD. I look back at the night it happened and feel bad for my friends that had to deal with my weepy self. I say “weepy” as if I just cried a little bit and whined for a while. It was more like ugly-crying so hard my facial features were unrecognizable and I couldn’t form normal human sentences.

It. Was. Rough.

Looking back, I can honestly say the reason it was so rough was because I had placed all of my security, fulfillment, and approval in the relationship. I lived like this man could save me.

Then it came crashing down.

In reality, it was more like a quick trip on a sidewalk rather than a huge crash.

From both of these experiences I’ve learned a major lesson: life gets better.

It doesn’t get better because I now have amazing friendships (which I do). It doesn’t get better because I’m in an awesome relationship (which I’m not).

It gets better because I now see Jesus more clearly than I ever have in my life.
It gets better because I know within my bones that I am loved and approved by the God Most High.
It gets better because Christ has fought for me and won my heart.

I had a conversation last night with some very dear friends and told them that the one thing I wish young girls (and boys too) could understand is that life gets better.

Friendships are hard. Relationships are hard. Life is hard. But going through it with Jesus makes it so much better.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in princes.
-Psalm 118:8-9

Know that God is on your side. And know that it gets better.

*for a sweet pep talk from Bon Jovi, click here!

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what the Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor in Paradise taught me: part 3



The organization I work for hosts a number of camps every year and each one is basically my favorite.

Except for the one that’s only for boys. It’s not my favorite.

Any who. During camp and post-camp, I often find myself talking to students that have attended or even friends/co-workers that experienced it with me, and saying over and over again: camp life is not real life.

It’s easy to go to camp, surrounded by tons of like-minded people, and get into the groove of life. For 3 days. Then BOOM – back home to a pile of laundry on your bed.

And I’ve come to find the same thing to be true with the Bachelor franchise.

Bachelor life is not real life.

Yet, we somehow treat it like it is.

I talked last week about us idolizing love, and how we are obsessed with finding our “true love.” Which brings me back to real life.

We look at celebrities, at ‘reality’ tv shows, at magazines, Instagram/Twitter/Facebook/Vine/Pinterest/SnapChat/(have I missed anything?) accounts, and think, “YUP, this is it. THIS is what’s real. This is what I need to strive for. That 6 week relationship that ended with a tv engagement…that’s what I’m missing.”

One problem: IT ISN’T REAL!

Sure, the people are real, but the situations aren’t. The problems aren’t. The reality isn’t.

Just this week, on the season finale of Bachelor in Paradise, every couple still left on the show said some version of: “yeah, paradise has been nice, but it’ll be hard entering back into the real world.”

Yet we, as the viewers/consumers, only desire to take in the edited version of a short period of life that is designed for television.

And that’s why it’s so easy to put love, and tv relationships, on a pedestal. We only see the “good stuff” and, if we’re not careful, we come to believe that our lives aren’t truly full. They aren’t good enough. They aren’t exciting.

We come to believe that we’re the ones not living in real life.

Real life is hard. It’s full of heartbreak, disappointment, bad coffee, and stale chips.

BUT. It’s also beautiful because it’s redeemed by a loving God that calls us worthy and beloved.

May we focus on the realness of the Lord today. May we realize that He gives us the realest life imaginable.


*to see Sue get really excited about a friend’s engagement, click here!

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a thing or two I can learn from Job’s friends


I recently read through the book of Job and got smacked around a little bit. I’ve known the story of Job for a while, but I can’t remember a time where I read the whole story, start to finish.

You see, Job went through SOME STUFF. He lost his livestock (better known as his way to make some scrilla), he lost his servants (which was a big deal in that day), and he lost all of his children. He knew about loss better than I know about Saturday Night Live. Which is a lot.

So Job starts to wrestle with this and he has three guys speak into his life regarding why all of this calamity has fallen on him. The first one told him that the innocent prosper, so basically Job wasn’t innocent in some area of his life. The second tells Job he should repent. And the third, oh the third, tells Job that he deserves worse. If you’re interested in the rest of the story (Paul Harvey style), then go read it.

Here’s what I learned from Job’s friends: don’t be a big jerk face!!

Too many times in my life I’ve had a friend come to me, struggling with something hard in their life, and I’ve been the person that looks condescendingly upon said person and popped something off like, “Well, have you prayed about it?”, “I mean, maybe you have unconfessed sin in your life…”, or, at my worst, “You know, when you think about it, we actually have it really good. You should be grateful this is all you’re going through.”

Seriously, Smith?!

On the flip side, I’ve also been the one that’s had similar things said to her. One of my least favorite, yet most popular Job-friend-esque responses to me struggling through seasons of being bummed about singleness is: “There’s probably some personal stuff you need to work out with the Lord before you’re ready for marriage.” (or some version of that)

While I (sometimes) appreciate the sentiment, I don’t understand why we can’t just listen to each other and say, “I’m so sorry this is hard for you. I’m here for you. You’re not going through this alone.”

And I don’t understand why I have to be so pretentious and act like I have it all together.

So I guess what I’m saying is, let’s be better listeners with each other. Let’s do a better job of living life with one another. Let’s stop acting like we have all the answers whenever crappy things happen in life. Let’s give advise that is based in love and wisdom, not just a bunch of head knowledge that tears others down.

And if you’re sharing some hard stuff with me and I start to act like a hoity toity brat, pop me in the forehead and bring me back to life. Cause I want to be a good friend. I don’t want to be a jerk face.

(ps, click here for the full Garth & Kat skit!)

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i am not the point of my life

This past weekend I had the privilege of being on the camp staff for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes College Weekend of Champions. (To see a couple minutes of how awesome it was, click here!)

While at CWC I sat on a panel with 5 other women to field and answer questions from a room full of female college athletes. Any guesses as to what topic we discussed for the first 40 minutes?!

If you guessed hunting you are wrong. It was relationships!


Shocker, right?!

There were tons of really good, deep questions. For one of the questions, I can’t remember what it was exactly, but my mouth opened and I answered. My answer to whatever was asked was, “What’s the point of my life? Is the goal of my life to get married, or is it to live in obedience to the Lord?”

I really caught myself off guard with that one, but I realized that’s really what God has been teaching me over the past couple of years. He’s been gently asking me the question, over and over again, “Kayla, what is the point of your life?”

And He’s been so kind in reminding my heart that I am not the point of my life. My life is not to be self-serving and all about me. Even if I get married, my life will still not be about me! It will be about loving my husband and submitting to him as his wife. It won’t be about how he can complete me and fulfill my every need.

I think sometimes we can get caught up in the assumption that being a follower of Christ is all about us. That He owes us something. That we’re entitled to His love.

If His love were based on entitlement, I would be the farthest from receiving it. Apart from Jesus, I am nothing. My life does not belong to me. And the point of my life is not to seek after earthly pleasures that will leave me empty.

Now, am I anti-marriage? Absolutely not! If God has the gift of marriage planned for my life, then I will gladly accept. BUT the point of my life is not marriage. It’s Jesus.

And apart from Jesus, marriage isn’t even that great.*

*and I say this after many discussions with married people that really love Jesus. Stay tuned this summer for some legit guests posts from some of them!

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