The bike was a sort of portable sanctuary for her, as strange as that sounded. She could bike for miles without thinking a single thing, so focused she’d be on the allure of sunlight filtering through lacy leaves, the tentative beauty of petals raining down onto the well-worn paths, the rush of sound and wind and color on the tightrope of death and life. She liked to go fast, leaving her thoughts behind, leaving [the boy] behind before he could leave her looking at his backside, leaving her inadequacies and insecurities far behind and fixing her eyes on what lay ahead until she returned home, tired. She’d climb onto her mattress, nothing but red heat and sticky sweat before she washed up and waited at her desk for her thoughts to catch up with her so she could feel again that subtle persistence of being out of place.

A response to the daily prompt as well as an excerpt from a short novella-type-of-thing I had been working on.


Reminders for a weak heart

My eyes are dry
my faith is old
my heart is hard
my prayers are cold

And I know how
I ought to be
alive to You,
and dead to me.

Oh what can be done for an old heart like mine?
Soften it up with oil and wine.
The oil is You,
Your spirit of love… please wash me anew, in the wine of Your love.

–Keith Green, My eyes are dry


This has become the cry of my heart. I know He allows dry seasons in our lives, that seasons are necessary for bearing fruit. I am fearful sometimes, though, of my lack of zeal, my lack of knowledge. Am I in right-standing with God? Yet I am hopeful because I know the truth; it has been revealed to me by grace. I am eternally grateful to the one who has ransomed me. I wish to be faithful, trusting in His intentions for me so that I know He has not left me to dry up, but that in His time, I will find my ultimate satisfaction. Beyond the music, beyond the noise, beyond the hymns. Beyond words and human affirmation. Beyond myself… I wish to know Him for who He is because the more I find of Him, the deeper I fall in love.

In the midst of this spiritual desert, I wish to trust Him and be faithful. Faithful in seeking. In waiting. In giving.

I have doubts about myself. Do I have pure intentions? Am I hardened? Am I back-sliding? When I look to myself, I am filled with hopelessness because before God, even my own righteousness is far too filthy. When I look to myself, I grow arrogant if I feel I am doing well in the eyes of man. When I look to myself, I do not see Jesus.

But when I look to Christ, I am reminded… reminded of the truth. And the truth is this: God is faithful in every season.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Ps 27:14)

Time zones

Back in Utah my family noticed we’d lost an hour. As the distance between us and our old home grows, and the things we took for granted once during the lazy summer (like time, like 80 degree highs) change into greater indicators of distance, I can’t help but feel a muted sadness tug at my chest. The car’s dashboard clock blinks California’s time while my phone shows a three hour difference. You/he/she/they are eating dinner while my eyes are drowsy with sleep. When they begin stirring in their beds as the western sky awakes, I will be well into the day, stomach full and my mind also full of two different realities.

I am traveling through the middle ground, though now closer to the east than the west. The middle ground: where the past mixes with the present. Looking at license plates, I am amazed–Illinois, New Jersey, Canada… people from all different walks of life are gathered here. I remember the game that a friend would play with her sister, how they’d punch each other lightly whenever they spotted a different license plate, a rare sight in our quiet town in southern California. I pass Dairy Queen, a common chain store, and remember my last conversation with my friend Hannah, how we’d sat holding Oreo milkshakes, our hands cold as we teared up, throats swollen with goodbyes we both could not believe. Other stores in these new places bring old memories to mind: driving Sarah down the shiny aisles at Target, looking for birthday gifts for friends at Walmart, hiking in the mountains with familiar faces… 

How many states separate us now? California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio… In a matter of 7 days, I have become more of a stranger, a sojourner. I read once that it hurts to leave because people are connected to places. I forgot this to be true until today, when little reminders in the form of online messages and emails and unexpected texts brought my attention to my heart strings, how they have become so intertwined with the people back home. Home, for me, has never been a place, but a gathering of people I love.

It is all quite excruciating. My cheeks are wet, but there is still joy in knowing that we all carry inside ourselves a little home. Our arms, our hearts, our shoulders… they are all someone’s home if we will allow them to be. I have many homes, and so I keep traveling, going door to door in the hopes of finding some place I can stay for eternity. But I realize my heart strings are already bound to the courts above, that sojourn, (noun) means “a temporary stay.”


***Forgive me because it takes me a long while to say goodbye. I keep writing in the hopes of gaining closure, but what if I don’t need it? Perhaps this is not goodbye at all, perhaps this new chapter will only enrich the story that is being written instead of altering it completely. 


Wondering about the truckers

They are lone men traveling the countryside on a road that doesn’t seem to end. Some are frowning. Others have tattoos and toothy grins. Alone in a car that is bigger than the rest, they move alongside a tiny minivan crammed with our belongings. I look up and wonder who is their companion. Do they have wives? I wonder where they are coming from and where they are going. I wonder where their home is.




I dreamt about my dog in the car and woke up missing her with a strong ache in my chest. Missing her breathy pants and gentle eyes. Missing her happy tail that would wag when she caught sight of family. It’s funny how dreams take me to places I don’t want to be, how try as I might, I cannot get rid of my honest longings. I try to forget during the day and I drive out my wandering thoughts. I try to look out the window at the great plains and brilliant rocks and look ahead. I keep telling myself I am happy and nothing else. But where my mind is acquainted with night, I am taken back to where and what I want to–but am terribly afraid I’ll–forget. I am taken back into the arms of those I love, back to the joy I feel beside my dog… and I wake up feeling displaced, like I’m somewhere wrong, somewhere I shouldn’t be… my mind back home and my body elsewhere, two parts tugging and fighting until my eyes and cheeks feel wet and all joy has subsided even if only for the moment. And I remember who and what I miss and where I really want to be but I know I cannot. I try to forget… but my dreams won’t let me. Continue reading “Dreaming”


Reflections in the River


You think you know everything, have seen all you need to see, have enjoyed all things… and then you sit in the middle of a river, the white current spilling out from under and over and out between your two legs. You hold a tadpole in the palm of your hand and feel its slippery skin, you let the water carry you, you dig your travel-weary toes into the cold mud. You fight the current and jump into the deep end. You let the river quiet you… and you realize you know nothing except that God is alive, and the world is crowded with Him.


In Colorado


Within the past few days, I have:

  • (tried to) sleep inside a jam-packed car in the parking lot of a Kum & Go gas station
  • gone camping for the first time, assembled a tent, and shivered inside the cold shelter while random rains pelted the canvas at night
  • almost died while swimming in the Colorado river
  • gotten sunburned all across my neck and upper back
  • said a quick and pained goodbye to my dog of 7 years

My skin is darker, my hair lighter, and life is surely sweet, but there are definite ups and downs to this trip. Colorado is absolutely beautiful, though, and there is no doubt about that. Onward to Kansas.