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.