On purpose, with purpose.

It’s been so long since I’ve visited this little corner of the internet that I feel about 100 different forms of angst as I’m writing this. I’m not completely sure why that is. Or why I let it keep me from hitting that Publish button for over a year now. Thankfully, I am reminded of great words like these..

“Self doubt. Instead of letting it silence you, force it to work for you.” – Emily Freeman.

Back when I use to write this thing rather regularly I often found myself feeling all sorts of vulnerable as I wrote. Often times, those posts meant the most to me. So I’ll take the nerves in my keystrokes as a sign that I’m on the verge of something good over here.

A few weeks back Clint and I had the honor of standing beside our friend, Chrissy, as she stepped out in obedience and stepped up in a big way. She did something big. She did something bold. She did something that others couldn’t even imagine. And she did it on purpose, with purpose. Chrissy shaved her head.

If you’re like me, those words immediately make you reach up and make sure your own pony tail is still in tact. And now you’re probably wondering how a shaved head and a calling from God end up in the same story. So, let’s bridge the gap.

About a month back Chrissy shared her idea to shave her head with us. With the weight of a worldwide problem on her heart Chrissy felt called to create awareness about the horrifying reality of modern-day slavery.

Did you know that there are more slaves TODAY than any other point in human history?
Did you know that over 27 MILLION people are enslaved across the world?
Did you know that human trafficking affects EVERY country in the world?
Did you know that the average age of someone being enslaved is 12 YEARS OLD?
Did you know that human trafficking is the fastest GROWING criminal industry across the world?
Did you know? Because now you do.

Now you know that human trafficking is a HERE and NOW issue. It’s in our country. It’s in our state. It’s in the heart of our city and the soul of our suburbs.

This is not the kind of problem you want to wait to start caring about until it affects someone you know. This is an issue that demands prevention and is all too often only met with reaction.

When Chrissy shaved her head she did it on purpose.

A shaved head is common in slavery. An action done to break a person down to the core. To make an individual feel exposed. A practice performed to inflict shame. But on Chrissy – a shaved head is a symbol of strength – a shaved head is a platform for a purpose – a shaved head is a beacon to let the beauty of God’s Holy Spirit shine bright.

So, what’s it all for?

Chrissy shaved her head for a purpose.

First of all, to raise awareness. To get people talking… or typing. To help kickstart a conversation that needs to be happening. Between families. Between friends. Between total internet strangers! This is an issue that gets swept under the rug, but you know what.. it’s time for some Spring cleaning. It’s time for some people’s hearts to be set ablaze with a passion for awareness, a passion to end human trafficking.

Secondly, it’s to assist in the effort of the A21 campaign. A21 is an incredible foundation that is actively working to abolish injustice in the 21st century. They do this through what they call the 4 P’s. Prevention (Education + Awareness). Protection (Rescue + Restoration). Prosecution (Enforcement + Legislation). Partnership (Supporters + Partners).  A21 has been an outreach partner of our church for several years now and I’ve been blessed to hear their founder, Christine Cain, preach several times. The work they are doing is nothing short of incredible. Rescuing people ALL OVER the world. (Yes, that means right here in the “land of the free”.) I strongly encourage you to check out their website. Read their blog. Follow their Facebook page. Their updates about rescues and prosecutions will serve as a harrowing reality check I can guarantee it.

So here’s what I’m asking you to do.

Donate. So far Chrissy has raised enough money to send a rescued individual on a flight back home. She’s raised enough to hire a lawyer to prosecute someone responsible for these heinous acts. So far.. she’s raised enough to change a life.. and the best part is.. she’s just getting started.

Go visit her donation page right HERE!

Her goal is to raise $21,000. That’s a lot of money and that’s a LOT of lives changed.  So let’s start small. $21. Donate $21. I promise you won’t miss it. I promise the world will keep spinning if your wallet gets a little lighter. And I know that God can take a small amount, multiply it, and deliver on BIG promises.

A promise to overcome…
“And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.”
– Psalms 50:15

A promise of salvation..
‘And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked,
and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible. “
– Jeremiah 15:21

Let’s stop pretending this issue doesn’t exist and let’s start working intentionally towards ending it. Let’s start doing great things on purpose, with purpose.  



ECP_Kelly&Clint-37Photo by Emily Chidester Photography

“Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people.”

Happy Valentines Day, people!

Stirred not shaken.

I’m writing this from a plane. Seat 18B to be exact. Right in the middle. Of my plane. Of my row. Of my flight even. And of course, to be posted later, whenever it just feels right.

From NYC to NC.

To say I don’t enjoy flying would be a touch of an understatement. I fear it. I fear the take off. I fear the flight. I fear the landing. I fear the waves of anxiety that crash over me, holding me down a bit longer each time. I fear that the phone I’m typing this on will run out of power leaving me without the worship music that is currently keeping me from being taken over by the fear of hearing every change in noise that occurs in the cabin.  I’ve sat here, eyes clenched shut tightly for the past 45 minutes with the words of this post circling around in my head, wishing I will be able to recall them when I am home and cuddled up with my laptop. But I’m not letting fear take this one away. Because I know it is not God who places this fear on me. Rather it is He who fills my lungs with air after my fear has pulled it out of me.

You see, I struggle. Horribly. And quite honestly, shamefully. I serve the King of Kings, The Lord of Lords. The creator of all that is and was and ever shall be. And yet I, am filled with fear.

I recently found myself realizing how great victory is often preceded by great struggle. When I am brought down with fear, I have no choice but to look up. I look up to a God that is able. Able to take my fear and turn it into a reminder that I am in His presence. Because while it is always so terribly easy for me to feel shaken with fear, I am finding that my fear can stir me instead; stir my nerves into passion, stir my shaking and sweaty hands into the tools I use to write a message like this, stir my spirit from one of fear to one of praise. They say you can’t control what happens in life, only your reaction to it. And I’m deciding that I want to live a life where fear stirs my spirit alive. I want to quit a life of being shaken. While I’m not quite optimistic that I’ll ever enjoy flying, I am more than optimistic that if I ask God to take my two-hour flight and stir my soul so that I may spend that time in His presence, He will prove to me that I can even find myself being thankful for this time in flight, for this time where my heart is filled with His spirit, and His faithfulness.  Because as only He can do, He can take my troubles and turn them into triumph. He can use every air pocket that we hit as a reminder that even when we fall even just a little (though it may feel like a lot) He is there to catch us, to steady the wings, to calm the fear and to stir my soul with praise and thanks.

I will be stirred, not shaken.

Farewell 2013.


Psssst. You can check out last years farewell here.

When I initially thought of writing my little 2013 farewell I thought I might do a highs and lows recap of sorts – a highlight of the peaks and pits of the year. What I realized as I began listing my moments was that 2013 was the year where each low met its match with an unfailing high. 2013 was a year filled with great optimism, and even greater moments in between the milestones. 

In 2013…

In 2013 we moved… twice. (I, in fact moved three times, if we’re getting real technical and including that month I moved back home with my family to start my job while Clint wrapped up life in Raleigh). And it was unbelievably stressful and hectic and overwhelming, and on one particular weekend there in late February we had a mere seven days left on our lease and no idea where we were packing up our life to go . I cried… a lot. But after packing up all our stuff, unpacking it, then packing it back up 2 months later and unpacking it again, we’ve been blessed to finally have found ourselves in the place we had been yearning for, for so long… home.

In 2013 I finally stopped looking for jobs… because I found one. I started the year exactly how I ended the later half of 2012, searching and applying, searching and applying, searching and applying, and beginning to get awfully good at throwing over the top pity-parties for myself. After many, many months, I found the one, and it found me, and we’ve been pretty darn happy together ever since. It’s kind of like a match made in CareerBuilder heaven. I’ve been blessed to find a job I love.

In 2013 Clint celebrated his two-year work-anniversary in November… and subsequently quit his job. But only because he had an even greater opportunity awaiting him. An opportunity that doesn’t involve being out-of-town 20 out of 30 days of the month, or working until well after-hours the nights he is home, and it even means I can take back that little nook in my family room that’s only ever been the “home office”. He’s been blessed to be able to walk away from one experience and seamlessly into a new one that holds great promise.

In 2013 we celebrated a year of marriage… and I was attacked by yellow jackets to mark the occasion. On our anniversary we truly put “in sickness and in health” to the test (which actually, was not even in our vows) but “I hope others see His heart and love in the way I care for you” is, and boy did I realize on our anniversary, the day after I got stung, and the day Clint was supposed to head out-of-town for work but chose to stay with me instead, that my husband loves me with a love so strong it could only be a love that was gifted from God.

In 2013 we also celebrated eight years of being together… and had ourselves a little photo fun. I had actually wanted to do first anniversary pictures but as fate, and the yellow jackets, would have it, it was a pretty good thing I didn’t schedule to have those pictures taken. Instead we opted for an eight year anniversary shoot. You can (and SHOULD) go check some of those pictures out HERE. Because these photos show exactly how we spent the greater part of 2013. Together, and in love. I’m so grateful for this time of marriage with Clint – the time in between newlywed bliss and parenthood, the time of just the two of us.

2013 was a year filled with blessings and with that,
2014 will be my year of greatest praise. 

Christmas in NYC.

GHere they are, the pictures from our Christmas vacation, the ones that I told myself I would post before the year ends, and even if I’m really pushing it, I’m getting it done. Clint and I were able to go up to New York City with a bunch of family for a long weekend right before Christmas and oh what a treat it was to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year in the most wonderful city in the world.


The last time I was in NYC was five years ago when Clint was away at Basic Training. That whole Summer I took photos everywhere holding my “Wish you were here” sign for pictures that I would eventually pull together and gift to Clint. I was pretty excited to be able to recreate a picture with my man by my side this time :]