Rogue Writing: Encouragement for Writers Who Take Themselves Too Seriously

Why do I write? What is my goal? Must I have a goal or is enjoyment sufficient? There are several reasons I write, but clearly, no reason is good enough to actually make me write on a regular basis: Enjoyment Mental health Sharing struggles, getting encouragement, encouraging others Entertaining people Building a platform for self-publishing... Continue Reading →

The Challenge of Seeking Advice When You Have Trust Issues

I like different. Non-conformity is good. I live for going against the grain. That's all great, but don't do it in a vacuum. A year ago, I began attending a very unique church. While they believe the basic Gospel message, they have a unique view of many other aspects of the Bible. They also have... Continue Reading →

Manifesto of the People Pleaser

We people please because we don’t trust people To love us the way we are. We can’t admit weakness lest they judge us. They seem nice but maybe not nice enough To handle our true selves. So we people please. And when we can no longer maintain the façade, We terminate relationships Because we can’t risk... Continue Reading →

Who Wants to Read a Blog Full of Unresolved Struggles?

“Look away, look away, look away. This {blog} will wreck your evening, your whole life and your day. Every single {blog post} is nothing but dismay so look away, look away, look away.” – {modified} Theme song from The Series of Unfortunate Events Wait! Don’t look away yet. Let me explain the actual purpose of... Continue Reading →

The Simple Gospel

Have you ever challenged your own beliefs? It may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes, it is the only way to test their strength and sincerity. During this season of faith, I’m discovering that many of my particular beliefs about the Bible aren’t very strong. Normally, I’d despair over this, but this time, I’m letting go –... Continue Reading →

Introvert Extremism

Have you ever misinterpreted something or taken it to an unhealthy extreme? It’s easy to do this with religion or politics, but what about less-controversial topics? What about the theory of introversion and extroversion? Can that be taken to an unhealthy extreme? At first glance, this topic seems harmless. In my life, however, it wasn’t.... Continue Reading →

I Need More Faith. But Why?

I feel like I’m always asking God for more faith – either because I need hope for my personal struggles or I feel like a “bad Christian.” I’m so focused on myself, my mood and my morality that I forget why faith is so important to begin with. The real reason I need faith is... Continue Reading →

A Journey From Faith to Agnosticism (yes, you read that correctly)

You've been a Christian since infancy (you were probably even reading scripture in the womb). Now that you're older and more intelligent, you have doubts. The Bible seems illogical, and your hope of Heaven is slowing disintegrating. Your friends, your family, no one knows how to help you as you slip into the abyss of... Continue Reading →

The Cars Beside You

In front of you is a Town Car. Behind you, a Jeep. On your left, a Mercedes. On your right, a Caravan. Wait . . . the Caravan is now in front of you. You slam your palm against the steering wheel to communicate your displeasure. In response, a hand with bright pink nails emerges... Continue Reading →

The Psychology of Faith (an Infographic)

What is your view of God? Faith doesn't have to be unpleasant. I make it unpleasant because I have gotten into some bad habits. No matter how much I focus on Jesus in the morning, my belief does not go with me in my everyday life because whenever the Holy Spirit reminds me of Jesus,... Continue Reading →

I’m Published

So, I've started freelance writing. Here's my debut: What Backpacks are Best for Cats? I even have an author profile! Thank you, Adventure Cats! I hope to write for you again.

When I Try Too Hard

How do you view yourself? I see so much selfishness in me, and no matter how hard I try to love God more than my desires, I never succeed. Eventually, I just stop trying. Persistence is good, but at some point, I have to accept that I am helpless without God. All I can “do”... Continue Reading →

When My Hope Disappears

Recently, my optimism has been evaporating. So many people are dying. I see it on the news, and I hear personal stories every day from friends, neighbors and coworkers. So the pessimism begins. You know how hearing encouraging stories gives you hope? Well the opposite is true as well. Instead of being hopeful about life,... Continue Reading →

When I Reject God

Why would I reject someone who looks more glorious than a mountain, sounds more glorious than a rushing stream, smells more glorious than fresh air, feels more glorious than soft white sand, and tastes more glorious than honey . . . someone who is the greatest good of all good and more good than I... Continue Reading →

When I Don’t Accept God’s Blessings

My refusal to accept blessings that are not given to everyone on earth does no one any good. Does it help the people in Africa who are starving right now? Does it help the people in Orlando who are grieving right now? Feeling guilty for my “good life,” and feeling pity for others’ “not-so-good lives,”... Continue Reading →

When I Forget About God

When it comes to the Gospel, I think I suffer from short-term memory loss. While that’s an exaggeration, it is a good metaphor. In this metaphor, the “memory videos” in 50 First Dates – the ones Lucy has to watch every morning – represent the Bible, and Lucy represents me. When I don’t watch my... Continue Reading →

When I Was Little

When I was little – I mean like elementary school – I used to enjoy thinking about difficult questions at night before falling asleep. I guess I liked thinking about things that hurt my brain, my favorite one being, “If there wasn’t this [as in the universe], what would there be?” I can’t quite explain... Continue Reading →

Week 6: Not My Own Strength

This week, I’m going to try something different. I’m still going to take intermittent breaks, but I’m also going to try to take one long, eight-hour “break.” Before you start freaking out, hear me out. Week 6: Bible verse – “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you... Continue Reading →

Week 5: Just Doin’ Their Thing

I’m still not taking lunch breaks, and nearly every time I get an hourly reminder for my one-minute break, I hit “skip.” I’m still going to blog, though, because that's my thing - it's what I do. Week 5: Bible verse – “'I tell you,'” he replied, “'If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.'” (Luke 19:40)... Continue Reading →

Is Joy the Solution to Unhappiness?

For some Christians - including me - unhappiness is seen as "morally wrong," and joy (satisfaction in God regardless of circumstances) is seen as the solution. It's easy to view joy as primarily an antidote to unhappiness, but instead, I think joy may actually be something we can experience in the midst of unhappiness – while still feeling... Continue Reading →

Week 5: What is Praiseworthy?

We’re halfway through! It hasn’t been easy, but I’m taking more breaks than I would be if I hadn’t created a plan. Here’s a recap: Week 1 Bible verse– “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 Meditation-ish concept– Commit to “being still” for one minute every hour. Commit to “being still” for... Continue Reading →

Week 4: Losing Steam

I’m losing steam. I’m losing energy for writing, and I’m losing the motivation for meditation. Nonetheless, it’s time for Week 4, and it’s time for me to breathe in God’s love. Apart from him, I cannot breathe. Apart from him, I can do nothing. The practice of deep breathing is often associated with the practice... Continue Reading →

Week 3: Slow to Anger

As it turns out, there are a variety of opinions on Christian meditation. A quick Google search revealed that Christianity Today is against it, and Relevant is for it (if it is focused on Christ and not on other powers). I’m siding more with Relevant on this one. One concept of meditation that I like... Continue Reading →

I’m Entering a Writing Competition

I recently had an idea for a literary short story, but instead of posting it on my blog, I’m going to enter the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition. I’m also going to be mean and not tell you what my story is about. All I can say is it involved research on cars, body language,... Continue Reading →

Apologetics and Roadside Beet Sales

I've been reading Rainn Wilson's memoir, The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy. He's definitely not shy about what he believes (and what he doesn't believe). It's a hilarious read but makes me a little uncomfortable at times - not necessarily a bad thing. At one point, Rainn takes a hit at some... Continue Reading →

The Secret Life of a Writer: 48 Hours of Solitude

The weekend is over. It wasn’t my typical weekend, full of hikes and parties. It was quite the opposite. In fact, it was 48 hours of straight solitude. Why, you may ask, would I do this to myself? I’ll explain. I have a dream to one day publish a book. Occasional periods of extended solitude... Continue Reading →

Pigs and Perfectionism

On June 22, I will graduate from re:generation, a 12-step recovery program. When I began recovery, all I knew was that I was depressed and anxious and didn’t want to be. I gradually came to discover why, and one root cause I uncovered was perfectionism. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a... Continue Reading →

Be Still Challenge: Reflections From Week 1

So did you survive the first week? I did, but just barely. You wouldn’t think it would be so difficult to be still, but somehow, it was challenging beyond reason. Before I tell you about it, I want to remind you that it’s never too late to join the #BeStillChallenge and tweet about your experiences.... Continue Reading →

Be Still: 8 Weeks of Christian Meditation

(Disclaimer: Thoughts contained in this blog post are not the equivalent of professional advice, and readers must agree not to hold the author liable for any damages caused as a result of engaging in meditation, prayer or any other form of peaceful stillness. Please consult a mental health professional for advice specific to you. That... Continue Reading →

Book and Smoothie Pairing: Warm Bodies and Blueberry Raisin Bread Apocalypse

Take a sip of some gray matter then immerse yourself in a comedic, heartwarming tale of zombies longing for brains and redemption.

My Book: Wide-eyed and Wild

Someday, I'm going to self-publish a memoir based on this blog. My book will include stories of frustration and elation on my search for truth (and healthy faith) during college and throughout my life as a young adult. Sample Title: Wide-eyed and Wild: Fumbling Through Faith as a New Christian Sample Chapters: A Dancing Animal-rights Activist Churchgoer The Clarinets Faith... Continue Reading →

With Our Words

I love stumbling across articles that provide scientific evidence that validates some of Jesus' teachings. Today, I ran across an article from Psychology Today that cited a study pointing to the possible cause-effect correlation between our words and our psychical health. Coincidentally (perhaps not), the sermon I heard last Sunday was about the power of... Continue Reading →

Making Money Off of Emotional Intimacy

It was my dream to become a published memoirist. However, I've come to realize that emotional intimacy is earned. It is not a commodity from which to make money. I'm a talented writer and I enjoy writing so it seems like the perfect way to make a living, but not if I'm later ashamed about... Continue Reading →

Loving (but Not Limiting) the Way God Made You

  This website is a good illustration of how my intelligence is narrowly focused on that which I’m passionate about (i.e., psychology and theology). In a mind like mine, there is less room for practical things as I spend so much time contemplating theoretical things. It's a phenomenon where my brain has so much "expertise" in one... Continue Reading →

An Imaginary Knife (Lessons Learned While Editing My Nightmares)

Last night, before falling asleep, I journaled about my struggle to let go of the illusion of control. I journal about this often, but last night, it must have been especially meaningful as it actually seeped into my dreams. The morning after, I didn’t immediately understand the meaning of my dream, but eventually, I came up... Continue Reading →

Anxiety: Chemical Imbalance, Cognitive Issue, or Both?

For a long time I’ve struggled with anxiety, and for just as long, I’ve struggled to understand its causes: primarily biological or primarily cognitive? Earlier this year, this indecision caused me forgo the antidepressant I had been on for the past nine years and start exploring other methods of treatment. After eight months of going... Continue Reading →

Shakespeare and Other Attempts at Popularity

Sometimes we go to great lengths to be loved. I think of the song by Ben Rector, Wanna Be Loved: “. . . that's why my heart beats when the telephone rings and why I try to say funny things, it's why I'm singing this song, cause we just wanna be loved . . .”... Continue Reading →

Cabin Writing Part III: Nowhere Else I’d Rather Be

It’s been ten years since anyone’s been here – by the looks of it. Several blades of grass tower a foot higher than the time-ravaged picnic table. What looks to be an attempt at building a fence is covered in lichen. The picnic table and fence are hidden down a steep hill below a hiking... Continue Reading →

Cabin Writing Part II: On the Right Path

“Crack!” The sound of a gunshot echoes through the valley . . . followed by silence. Lots of silence. Aside from the occasional gunshot and gust of wind, this place is ideal for relaxing, reading and writing. The gusts of wind are getting more frequent now. The tension in my shoulders and my quickening heart... Continue Reading →

Cabin Writing Part I: Running Away to the Mountains

I’m driving down the highway, and my cat, Flynn, is meowing like a baby. I read somewhere that cats have learned to imitate the pitch of human babies in order to get what they want, so when I say, “like a baby,” I mean literally. It’s almost eerie how human he sounds. This does nothing... Continue Reading →

Something More Harmful Than Anxiety

Anxiety certainly doesn't feel good, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is harming me. The means I use to fight anxiety, on the other hand, may be harming me more than the anxiety itself. The temporary relief I find through accomplishing tasks is a quick fix that just buries the anxiety deeper inside me giving... Continue Reading →

The Mental Battle Fought for the Sake of Truth

Sometimes, I operate under the assumption that I am uniquely plagued with tormenting thoughts of an evil God. I use this "mental disorder" as justification for not reading God's Word and complaining when I do. I want others to pity me and my mental handicap. I want to blame the Bible for being so confusing... Continue Reading →

Thoughts on Social Anxiety

I think there are two levels of social anxiety. There’s the average level that everyone has when they want to make a good impression, and then there’s the more extreme level caused by poor coping mechanisms when average levels of social anxiety are experienced. Those who report low social anxiety probably have effective coping mechanisms,... Continue Reading →

When the Eyes are Opened

When one experiences life as a lonely adolescent, one never considers the possibility that her peers are hurting as well. To her, they look content and confident; loved and admired. In high school, most of my classmates seemed pretty level-headed and likable. My strong emotions and insecurities were a handicap – I thought – suffered by a... Continue Reading →

Everything You Fear to Lose

I think my social anxiety comes from my fear of failing to maintain the image of a confident, happy and kind individual. I get anxious because I think my reputation balances on a razor’s edge with each social interaction. I don’t want people to know that inside, I’m insecure and shy. My face is “on-stage”... Continue Reading →

The Unlikely Disciple

So my very first blog post mentioned that this book is what my blog is based on. However,I never actually read more than the synopsis. I guess what I meant to say was that I was inspired by the premise. Very glad I'm reading it now, though. I originally found out about it because my... Continue Reading →

Newsletter from The Institute at Cherry Hills

The Institute is the evangelism and apologetics ministry at my church. I love what they do so I thought I would share their newsletters. Here is their most recent newsletter:

White Owl

"Like an owl you must fly by moonlight with an open eye, And use your instinct as your guide, to navigate the ways that lays before you, You were born to take the greatest flight" White Owl, by Josh Garrells, is now the theme song for my blog. Owls represent wisdom, and one of the... Continue Reading →

A Disturbing Dream

"Ten points," your friend says as a child walks in front of your car at a crosswalk. You shake your head and laugh. At least that's what I usually do. My morbid sense of humor, however, was recently challenged by a disturbing dream I had last night . . . I was driving through a... Continue Reading →

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