Friday, February 12, 2016


Happy almost Valentine's Day friends !! Pink and red is among us with mushy-gushy cards, over-sized bears, and lots of chocolate. I ain't complaining, I love love. I love teddy bears. I love sweet cards. and I LOVE CHOCOLATE. ...but this Valentine's Day I really have had it laid on my heart that there are some men and women who feel unlovable this weekend. That it seems like Valentine's day really may never end. There are people who feel like they messed up too bad to be loved. There are girls who feel used and literally worthless. There are guys who feel like a girl will never love them because of their so called flaws. There are people who feel lonely and are sitting around in a constant mindset of unlovableness. We compare our lives to our friends and wonder why that love or relationship isn't your life. People have lost love in the midst of it all.  Last night, the college ministry I attend split up into guys and girls to talk about love, relationships, and all that good stuff. As we were talking, my pastor told the story of a conference and a rose ( might butcher it a bit, but hopefully the point will be clear.) At this conference, the speaker made the harsh judgement of men/women who had been sexually immoral or had a lot of relationships. He said here is a rose. It is perfect. No flaws, just beauty. He then proceeded to pass the rose around the arena of about 1,000 people and as the rose made its way back to the speaker, it was obvious the rose had changed. The rose was falling apart. It was no longer a vibrant red. The stem was no longer stiff. The rose had lost its life. The speaker then asked  " who would want the rose now?" In so many ways, I feel myself asking that question. I hear my friends asking that question. All over my campus, this county, this state, this country, and this world are men and women who feel like this rose. Used. Hurt. Broken. Unworthy. Unloveable. We way too often settle for less when we feel this way. My pastor then continued the story by responding to the speaker's question of who wanted the rose with two words, 
" Jesus Does." In that moment , I was like yes, yes someone wants me. Not just someone, but the actual creator of the sunset. The one who placed the stars in the sky knows my name. I am known. So many times I take Jesus' love for granted.. it gets thrown into my whirlwind of emotions. I forget that my hurts, insecurities, and trials are all out there, but they do not define me because I give them to my father in heaven who takes away that pain. This weekend I want you to know that. That there is immense grace. There is love that is unconditional. No, I don't know your story or why you feel the way you do, but I do know that you are beautiful or handsome. You are so worth it. I also know that you are never too far to come running into his arms. When we look at the woman who was about to get stoned for committing adultery, we see Jesus' grace.. he says whoever has committed no sin, throw the first stone. Jesus then continues by telling the woman to go and sin no more. I am not your judge, I am but a friend who wants to encourage you today, that you are so special and so so cherished. I know that there is a God up there who wants to hold your hand everyday. He wants to use you in amazing ways. You are here for a reason. You are so loved this Valentine's day and everyday after that. I love you all too. Have a lovely weekend full of love, you are amazing !
lots of love,

Monday, February 8, 2016

In the sunset

Concrete walls. Lectures that contradict every belief I have. Work and studying take up what seems every minute of my time plus desperately trying to have a social life. Being nineteen is busy. Life gets busy. Life gets hectic and things seem to fall in the cracks, even those really important things that hold my foundation. SO many times I feel like I get lost in the midst of institutions and trying to knock off my seemingly never-ending to-do list. Never slowing down makes it really hard to take in the beauty of life and opportunity and friends. A few weekends ago I was so eager to get off campus and go out "looking for God." I know that sounds silly, but in my quest to get everything done I felt so far from him and my faith. So me and some of my girlfriends went to a swamp up the road called Grand Bay. This place is beautiful. Something about a natural swamp with the trees, water, and the pure silence of the place made me step back. Step back from the lectures I am having shouted into my mind. Step back from the to-do list to somehow get me on top, get me to that next degree, get me to whatever is next. But in that moment, with the sun setting on top of an old fire tower, I felt peace. I looked at that sunset and thought, how can I see this and not know you are there? How can I race through life racing everyone and skipping over these things like this? How can it be that the maker of the sun created me? The other day my geology teacher told us that we were created from stardust. he proposed that a whole lotta stars were made and left some dust around and it built up to create us. When I sit around and I see the miracles of life transformation, love, grace, breath, air, flowers, and the amazing sunsets.. I have to step back and say there has to be a maker. There has to be some crazy reason that my heart is beating right now at the perfect pace. There is a reason why we cry. There is a reason we laugh. There is a reason that every single person on this planet is special and uniquely made. This life is no coincidence. As I was standing on that tower watching the sunset, one of my favorite songs came to mind. Great are you Lord by All sons and daughters :
 It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise to You only
As I sing that song, I am grateful. Even when I am flooded with uncertainty or stress, I have breath in my lungs. I am loved. I am living. The sun rises and sets each new day and that is enough for me. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The seed of doubt

A seed of doubt is something that is inevitable in this life. Especially being in high school or college, I feel like seeds are planted of negativity or self-doubt constantly. The thing about a seed is that it can only grow if it is watered. Recently, I have had seeds of insecurity seemingly to be poured straight from a huge jar into my life. From classes, to jobs, to relationships, & friends, there are so many things said, even innocently, that can start as a just a seed. The choice we have is to water it or let it die? What I've learned recently is way too often I blindsidedly water these seeds. A friendship isn't the same.. Turns into I'm not good enough. Family doesn't always go as planned.. I'm not good enough. Classes are a bit hard.. I'm not good enough. A guy doesn't like you... I'm not good enough. Make a mistake at work.. I'm not good enough. It is a constant trend in the mindset of people.. Im not good enough. Whether it be in smarts, physical appearance, what I can handle, whatever it may be.. I watered that seed. When I sat back and looked at myself as the problem for everything, I completely degraded who I am. I let negativity literally take me captive & my joy was fleeting. When we do this, we shut down. We are talking down on who we are and our worst critic is ourselves. I love the quote, "you have to love yourself, before you can love others." When we are sitting there comparing ourselves to a girl on the magazine, we aren't loving ourselves. When we are constantly thinking you are so foolish for going after such a big dream, we aren't loving ourselves. When we think we are incapable, all of our possibilities disappear because we watered the small seed into a rooted tree in our hearts. Self-doubt takes the deepest roots in our lives, especially personally. When I self-doubt, my insecurities paralyze me. I feel sad, unhappy, & worthless. That isn't who I am though & that's what I have learned. Yes, whatever that person said hurt me. BUT that isn't what defines me. Yes, I am struggling in a class, BUT that doesn't mean I'm incapable. I feel overwhelmed, BUT that doesn't mean I can't get it all done or that my world is crashing down. And a big one is that yes, that girl may be pretty & seem to have it all, but you have a lot to offer to & it is so life-changing to realize your worth in this world. Don't water the the seeds of doubt anymore. You are enough.
Much love,

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Happy 2016 readers, so crazy that it is January 5th already! This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to Passion, which is a conference for young adults 18-25. Over three arenas, there were 40,000 college age students excited about worshipping Jesus together and hearing amazing speakers and being ushered into worship by some talented worship artists. A lot of amazing things happened this weekend in a lot of people. Together we funded a hospital in Syria to help children and mothers who need help in such a crisis. Together we raised awareness to end human trafficking of 27 million people around the world. Together we lifted our hands and said thank you Jesus for your love and your grace and for what you are doing among our generation. I could probably have a blog just designated to awakenings at Passion, but I will try to restrain. A really cool thing Passion does is break us down into community groups ,which are then broke down into family groups ( much like a small group) of about 6 strangers. In the groups, we discuss questions posed by our community group leader. One of the questions was, " what is one word that really stuck out to you from that day so far?" Of course, that would usually be a hard decision for my mind to pick one word from thousands and thousands of words given that day.. But immediately the word , wanderer came and took hold. As a college student and very young adult, I feel like a wanderer and as I evaluate my friends, I see they too remind me of wanderers. As we graduate high school, we wander from friends to friends. We wander from school to school and place to place. Jobs come and jobs go. We wander from relationship to relationship and teacher to teacher. We wander to home and from home. We wander from our high school selves to the adult we so desperately want to be. We are just naturally wanderers as we grow. Wandering can be stressful. Wandering is so exciting, but also crazy scary and overwhelming. I miss my friends. I miss home. I miss high school ( whatatt, I know, I know). Things were simple and I really didn't have to figure out anything for myself. It was awesome, but as I have grown up and moved , I have realized that I am a diehard wanderer. I love new things and new people and taking control of my life. My soul wants to travel and explore. But, with all my wandering, I have wandered into my own way of thinking. Negativity falls like a waterfall from my mouth. Music fills my ears that degrades myself and God. I care more about a guy or a friend then I do about doing what God wants for me. Honestly, in my wandering mind.. I question God. I question worship. I question church. I just question everything because I feel like I just am so desperate for new or the fear of messing up or being rejected or whatever. At Passion, I was like God, I really need you to show up. I really need to just know that you are here. As I was searching for some amazing in awe, lights from the sky and a big thundering voice saying hey Kalyn I am here.. I realized something. I realized that God isn't trying to confuse me. He isn't trying to make me feel bad for what I have done. My mind thinks I must know it all and if I don't then it must not be for me. I got to thinking about the stars. I got to thinking about the lives I have seen flipped upside down because of Jesus. I got to thinking about the sunset and the oceans and the 40,00 college students from hundreds of countries and thousands of universities that don't know it all either. Many people will say why follow Jesus.. And I was standing in that arena saying it too. And in a moment I just knew it was worth it. Jesus is worth it. Jesus doesn't wander. He is still the same as when I found him. At the end of the day, I don't want to be wandering from bar to bar. I don't want to be wandering from person to person. I want to be content in saying Jesus, I may not know it all and that is okay, but you are worth it. You are worth laying my life down and saying take it because I don't know what the heck I am doing. One thing that has always stuck with me is that we are all born to worship. Whether we worship Jesus or a type of music.. You are worshipping. As I was standing there, I compared what else I could worship. I could worship a guy. I could worship a bottle. I could worship money. I could worship my degree I am pursuing. I could worship a club or a party. BUT, what on earth am I living for doing any of that? That is a waste of my life. The gospel is truly simple, he is risen and so can I be now. I can move, I can travel, I can have friends, I can have a degree... But Jesus is more. Jesus is worth it . Of course the thought has come to my head & repeatedly is asked, What if you are wrong about Jesus? WHAT HAVE I LOST IF I FOLLOW JESUS? I have seen miracle after miracle happen in front of my face. I have personally been free from bondage and unforgiveness. But what if you're wrong Kalyn? .oh but what if I am right? He is worth it. I love the song that says " where else could I run, where else could I go? But to you Jesus." ( I butchered the words a bit, but that is the concept). I don't want to find contentment in anything this world has to offer me. If I get a job with good money, awesome. I f I don't, oh well. If I find the right guy, awesome. If I don't oh well. If I get my degree, awesome. If I don't, oh well. But if I lose Jesus, I lose myself. He is so intertwined into who I am because I am his. I have purpose for him, not me. I love people, not because of me, but because of him. I worship him, not for the approval of other, but for me. My wandering soul finds rest in him. My wandering soul finds safety in him because he doesn't wander and he knows all that I do not. If you are wandering in far off places in your heart, it isn't too late. Nothing you have done can separate you from him. You don't have to be perfect, I make mistakes daily. My wandering soul looking to fix the pieces of my broken heart are put together by the word of God. The song that brought this to light is David Crowder's song, " Lift your head weary sinner." The lyrics go " If you're lost and wandering, come stumbling in like a prodigal child. See the walls start crumbling. Let the gates of glory open wide. " I love that, that our lost and wandering souls are welcomed by a glorious Saviour. He is worth it. 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016 Intentional

As I wake up to realize that today is the last day of 2015 ( eeeppp, how in the world did this happen), I am flooded with such great moments. 2015 was the year I waited for 12 years to finally get here, the year I graduated from Ola High School. 2015 was the year I finished high school with 26 college credits when I thought I wasn't going to even graduate several times during spring semester due to grades. 2015 was the year I moved to Valdosta ,even when it seemed nearly impossible. I was blessed to have a job at home and receive another at my new home. 2015 was the year both my bestfriends got married and I got the honor of being in their weddings. 2015 was the year I went months without seeing my besties because we all are all out pursuing our dreams. 2015 brought on the distance of high school friends, but the blessing of new friends as I moved to VSU. I found an awesome church in Valdosta and joined an organization to mentor teens that I love. I was exceedingly blessed this year. But, 2015 also brought challeneges and heartbreaks from school to boys to my parent's divorce, and it was hard especially being three hours away from home. There were many tears in 2015.
 As I was taking a look back, I realized that 2015 was a year that went by too quick. I missed moments because I was racing the clock to get everything done to move on to the next thing on my to-do list. I missed opportunities because I was too busy focusing on myself and the challenges I was facing. I didn't pause quite enough. I'm bad about trying to fill up my time whether it be netflix or a job or school or sleep, I feel like I always have something to do. I get stressed out and end up with that famous hair in a bun , homeless, just rolled out of bed look pretty often because I feel like I just can't function anymore. The thing is that when I look back on 2015, I see that I wasn't thankful like I should of been. I took for granted that I got to be at Valdosta and that was a serious miracle considering I was told a few times it looked impossible. I took for granted that I had a car to get me there. I took for granted that when I was there, I didn't have to work my first semester because I was provided for. I took for granted my new church and organization that God had so obviously allowed me to stumble upon. But mostly, I took for granted people. God has really laid on my heart recently that I need to humble myself among my others. I need to be a light, not just a passing girl. I need to be open and caring. I need to love them intentionally. Now, if you know me, you would know that I am not miss outgoing or miss talkative or miss let's all take about feelings, ( funny considering my major of choice) , but God is breaking down those walls in me. It takes an intention for me to walk over and ask if I can help someone get through scomething. It takes intention to refrain from gossiping with my friends when you live with 80 girls. It takes an intention to lower my judgements on people and give them a chance. The thing I have realized is that everyone has something going on and everyone needs a friend ( even when we say we don't, we do). We need hugs. We need tears. and we just need someone to love us intentionally. In 2016, I want to pause more. I want to stop and thank God for every opportunity he has so willingly given me. I don't want to waste precious time on simply checking off a list. I want to use my time loving others and caring after his people. I want to be thankful for the things I take for granted like the stars and air to breathe. I want to be intentional about who I talk to and how I talk. I want to be intentional about showing Jesus in everything I do and doing everything to my very best ability. ( I also want to be intentional about getting on that treadmill if ya know what I mean, freshman 15 is no joke kids). This year I noticed that I took for granted my family and my friends at home before I moved ( I came home pretty often because my heart missed them so much) and I want to be intentionally thankful for each person that crosses my path next year. 2016 I am going to be intentional about making stuff happen, not just letting those moments go by. Life is so crazy short and being a young, college student is even shorter. Use where you are and who you are to the best of your ability and make 2016 intentional. Happy New Years, stay safe !
lots of love,

Thursday, December 24, 2015

oh what a wonderful world

Merry Christmas Eve ! It is finally here, Christmas. Mistletoes and Christmas trees and presents under the tree.. shopping is done ( well, hopefully) and many families and friends begin getting ready for a Christmas Eve celebration. We can finally take a deep breathe.. but
The reality is that today, all around the country, there is sorrow, grief, confusion, hurt, and loneliness. There are empty seats at tables that were once filled with grandparents, fathers, mothers, or dear friends. Many families are having their first split Christmas, such as mine. The emptiness in our hearts is real and it hurts. People feel forgotten and unloved. December has more suicides than all the other 11 months combined.. it is because of this emptiness in hearts during this time of year. We compare our lives to those who's lives seem complete. Circumstances overcome us. We cry, instead of laugh. We worry, instead of trusting.  We feel incomplete.. and most unfortunately, we are ungrateful instead of being thankful for all the good that is in our lives.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a Young Life camp in beautiful Jasper, Georgia . After club (service), YL camps do something very unique that I will always remember. It is quite simple, but so important. The teenagers and leaders are instructed to find a place outside and have a quiet time. All the lights from the camp are shut off and the only light is from the millions of stars above me. I layed down where I was and just gazed at the stars. I was in awe. I had so many complaints about life... divorce, unhappiness, loneliness, school, etc. But in that moment, I was grateful. I was thankful for the stars I had taken for granted. I was thankful for the favor to go to Valdosta State. I was thankful for the opportunity to be serving at a camp for teens. I was thamkful for the family God had given me, even if things weren't perfect by any means. I was thankful that I had breathe and could breath. I was thankful for a God who loves me and cherishes me and wraps me up in grace that fills the emptiness in my heart. I am thankful. This Christmas, let us take a step back. Let us look past the phones and social media.. let us look past the presents under the tree... let us look past the terrible circumstance that has its grip on you.. and look to Jesus. The one who was born for us. The one who takes away our pain and wounds. The one who loves you and cares for you enough to take on the form of a slave for you.. The one who wants to bring you joy in him. The one who we celebrate this Christmas.. Jesus. You, whoever you are reading this little blog, are special. You are so so loved by a Savior. I  know it hurts and I know it is hard to be positive during what seems like the end of the world, but Jesus came to fill that hole in your heart. Let us be people of thanks today & sing oh, what a wonderful world & celebrate thankfulness for Jesus' birth today .

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Taking care of you, too

" We must not confuse the command to love with the disease to please. And it’s not just because of the vicious cycles of people pleasing, although that’s part of it. I miss Best Yes opportunities sometimes because I simply don’t know they’re part of the equation. I get all twisted up in making the decision to check either the Yes or No box, not realizing there is a third box that reads Best Yes. "
- Lysa Terkeurst 

Good rainy afternoon ! I've been reading Lysa Terkeurst's book, The Best Yes, off & on for several weeks. I decided to do a leadership project based on the book, and revisited previous chapters. The above quote really stands out to me. Many of my friends refer to me as a "mom" . I like things strict, tidy, and definite. Those who know me , know how I hate to say "no." I hate feeling like I disappointed someone or like I'm missing out on something. I have people pleased a really large part of my life away. I want people to like me and want to hang around me. I want people to know I'm there for them, but way too often I forget about myself. I forget about what the command to love is and I get so wrapped up in trying to fix everyone and everything else that I feel drained and worthless. When you feel as if you're barely getting by, it is hard to move forward yourself, much less accelerate others. The problem I have realized is that I work myself up about all that is on my plate. The funny thing is that many things, I simply cannot do anything but pray about. I look at my planner and make to-do lists, but quickly get overwhelmed with it all. I victimize myself so much complaining about how tired I am and how life is unfair. I picked The Best Yes because of the subtitle, " Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands." That screamed my name! In college , I feel like I'm being pulled in a thousand different directions. From six classes to church services to family conflicts to friendships fading and coming to clubs and bible studies, plus simply being an eighteen year old on her own .. I feel like I could use all the wise decisions I could get. It has always been hard for me to take responsibility over myself instead of trying to fix everyone around me. I cover up what I know my soul needs with trying to please everyone then burn out. It is easy to focus on someone else's problems instead of my own. But, I've learned that if I'm not pouring into myself, I end up with nothing to pour. I'm not saying don't be with people, but there is a time when you must say no to the parties or another errand , and take a chill.  Yes, it is ok to have a desire for people to like you, but it isn't ok to constantly get by through granting every wish everyone asks of you. It is so important to rest. Not just sleep, but genuinely take time to repress & breathe. Praying is a fantastic first step . Expressing your rushing life to God and asking for wisdom and rest is so important. I've found blogging to be something I do to help my soul, but it also helps others. Journaling allows you to vent in a private way. Watch a movie. Read a book. Go sit outside and listen to music. Doodle and write poems. Do refreshing things. With a hectic schedule, it is such a vital investment to take a step back before you jump right in. God has shown us the importance of rest in Genesis .. After God finished creation, he rested. He took a step back and assessed the beauty in what he had created. God created you and me. He knows your schedule and he is not surprised you feel overwhelmed. He gave us a tool , the bible. His word is living and feeds your soul if you let it. My challenge for you and myself this week is to take a moment to pour into you. Talk to God and clear your head. It's that time in the semester that it is a downhill slope. Don't be overwhelmed by life, adjust it. Thanks for reading ! 
Love ,