VALLEY. DESERT. WILDERNESS.

there are spaces in the human journey that are stinging & solemn & sacred.

they are full of angst and anger and ache.

they are overflowing with suffering. undoing. just surviving.

these spaces are valley. desert. wilderness.

in the valley we feel trapped.
in the desert we feel exhausted.
in the wilderness we feel lost.

sometimes… you’re in all three.

if you haven’t had the terrifying privilege of journeying through these strange and foreign wild places, you will soon enough. these places are sacred because they are the part of the human experience where a veil is cut open & we so often most deeply and profoundly experience Divine encounters with shalom.

and yet… they are the places of doubt, and of wandering, and of feeling lost, and of the deep, deep starless night of the soul.

this is the mystery.

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I have a lot of questions lately. the valley & desert & wilderness are full of them, after all. and I’m beginning more and more to realize that this is simply the way of things. that questions are part of the fabric of life, and that by ignoring them or running from them is the way that we run from and ignore life.

and we don’t run from life. we can’t.

we chase after it.

I’ll be holding space & treading deeper into the wild country that is this discussion in the next few blog posts… but for now, hear this:

your questions are valid.
they are good.
they matter.
they are worthwhile to ask.

sit with your questions. look at them, be calm, and hold conference with them. allow them to be, to exist, to stare quietly back at you… until you find your answer. then, and only then, release them.

I can’t wait to chat about the valley… how to know if you’re in one, and how to flourish until you reach the mountaintop ❤

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FOR THE BRUISED & BUSTED UP

hey there family.

how’s your heart doing? how does life feel against your skin? how’s the weight on your shoulders?

heavy?

yeah… me, too.

because I’ve been struggling real fierce with the weight lately. with the heaviness of all that the world is. all that the Way is. all the healing and woundedness in the world.

I’ve been taking more pauses for deep breaths meant to cleanse and pause and bring shalom into my heart. more because there’s more to breathe against. more to fear. more wounds to bind up.

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the world is heavy, and the weight is fearsome, and the depth of the rawness of our humanity is leagues and leagues more so than the ocean. and we must find a way to breathe through it, to surrender to the healing, even as the arrows pierce our hearts.

and all the bitter hypocrisy, all the callous & graceless acts of others, all the hard work for more disappointment, all the exhaustion and survival, all the confusion and frustration of WHY IS THIS THE WAY IT IS… sometimes it just leaves me bruised & busted up in my soul. Continue reading “FOR THE BRUISED & BUSTED UP”

MENTAL ILLNESS & MOTHERHOOD

maybe you know that my husband & I were surprised by a beautiful, amazing, gorgeous, sweet-natured, PERFECT (of course) little baby girl who was born just over a month ago. her name is Iola, and we love her to bits and pieces. though not literally. cause that would be odd. and unfortunate. 😉

maybe you also know that I have generalized anxiety disorder & clinical depression. the first time I remember experiencing a very-not-normal type of anxiety, I was only five years old, although it really came at me like a punch in the gut the summer after I turned 16.

if you’ve been around the blog for very long, you probably know both of those things. but here’s something you might not know:

mental illnesses like these run in my family.
and my husband’s family.

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and for this reason, I was never really sure I wanted to have my own children.

so…
sweet, freshly-diagnosed girl looking out into her future with these fears, this is for you.
strong mama in the double trenches of mental illness & motherhood, this is for you.
tentative pregnant gal who never had to think about this until you had to go cold turkey off your meds, this is for you.
anyone who loves a mama with a mental illness, this is for you. Continue reading “MENTAL ILLNESS & MOTHERHOOD”

BIRTHDAY TRADITIONS TO REFRESH YOUR SOUL

I. love. birthdays.

I love them so much, you guys.

I love everything they symbolize, I love spending time with my family & friends, and (of course!) I love the cake. 😉 but more than that, I love getting to use my birthday as a time to really set aside for the refreshment of my soul & a celebration of all the heart work that has taken place in me. because, friends, no matter how hard or frustrating or exhausting this year of your life has been… that is so worth celebrating.

I like to take the time to reflect on the year, release any burdens, and refresh my spirit going into the next year of my life.

so, here are a few of my own personal birthday traditions that I do every year, or have decided to do from here on out, and I think you might want to start them, too!

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MY BIRTHDAY TRADITIONS Continue reading “BIRTHDAY TRADITIONS TO REFRESH YOUR SOUL”

23

I turn 23 in 23 days.

somehow, getting older both doesn’t feel quite real and also seems as though it should have happened a long time ago. I’ll quote nick miller of New Girl and say that it does indeed feel like I’m finally “aging into my personality”. proud twenty-something grandma at heart over here!

it comes to my attention though, that on birthdays what we really celebrate is not just the person themselves, but the path & journey that lead them to who they are. oh, what a path I’ve had, guys. what a frigging journey. these past 12 months have been one doozy of a year. and, as it usually goes, I never saw it coming.

so often that’s how it goes, right? we get so busy surviving that we forget to embrace each of the moments as teachers for our souls. we get so busy trying to get through things & get over things that we forget to get inside our own hearts and feel the things.

so I’m going to be doing two things before my birthday this year.

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1) I’m going to take a cue from my girl shelby over at a select arrow blog, and do 23 brave things- one each day- to decisively & pointedly finish off a year that had me running scared for so much of it. I’ll let you know how it all goes after my birthday 😉

2) I’m going to write a letter to myself a year ago. (Shhh… I know it’s cheesy) I do this every year in my personal journal, but I’ll chronicle it here, publicly, this time around. you might think this doesn’t take bravery anymore- I’ve made vulnerability a staple practice in my life. but it does. showing up always takes bravery. it’s always still a little scary, and it always makes my heart skip just a best to press that “publish” button and give out pieces of my heart to the world. 

but I’m going to keep it up.  Continue reading “23”

LITTLE GIRL, ARISE

there’s a beautiful portion of Scripture that never fails to leave me just a little bit breathless & a lotta bit refreshed. it never fails to ground my soul deeper into the sweetest Foundation and put my heart to flight. seriously you guys. this is one conversation I am PUMPED to have with you, fam!

check this out from Mark chapter 5…

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there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” …and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where
the child was. Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and began walking, and they were immediately overcome with amazement.
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okay. lots, lots, lots to unpack here. (major understatement, amiright?) 😉 let’s tackle this.

we’re walking into a family in crisis here. there’s a little girl who is dying, and her family is terrified.

panicked.

desperate.

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ever been there in the total chaos of the soul? ever been there in the dying or the deadness of your spirit? Continue reading “LITTLE GIRL, ARISE”

A SWEETER, DEEPER FAST FOR LENT

hey fam!

anyone else totally participate in lent half-heartedly or not at all because you don’t fully understand it, or (like your new years resolutions) can’t seem to stick with whatever it is you decide on? just me?

well, I stumbled across something on facebook today that completely blew those excuses out of the water and honestly just touched my heart.

I just have to say… I was so deeply inspired by the words of Pope Francis surrounding Lent this year. I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but these are his thoughts & they’re seriously worth some intense consideration:

fast from hurting words & say kind words
fast from sadness & be filled with gratitude
fast from anger & be filled with patience
fast from pessimism & be filled with hope
fast from worries & have trust in God
fast from complaints & contemplate simplicity
fast from pressures & be prayerful
fast from bitterness & fill your hearts with joy
fast from selfishness & be compassionate to others
fast from grudges & be reconciled
fast from words & be silent so you can listen

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woah. so good, right?
this is one of those times where I’m like… why didn’t I think of that?! 😉

but really. how often do we set aside time to fast from behaviors of the soul that are slowly wounding us? how often do we truly fast from things that matter instead of mediocre things that are really just for show?

so, which one hits you the most? I’m over here like “they all do”. 😉

I want to encourage you, sweet family, to break out of your comfort zone and fast from a wounding habit in your life. let the letting go hurt. swallow the ache and feel it go down. digest it and let the release do its good work in you. go deep and feel the sweetness of surrender.

I’m challenging myself to this, too! we can do it together.

IOLA GRACE // THE BIRTH STORY

hi there sweet souls!

I ducked out on a month-long hiatus from untidy grace (and most social media) for the month of february after our sweet Iola Grace was born… speaking of which…

yes! she is here! our darling girl is finally in our arms and it’s both easy and hard and beautiful and terrifying. we are completely overwhelmed in all the best ways, and we are equal parts out-of-our-minds exhausted & happy. ❤ she is the perfect addition to our family.

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((just after she was placed on my chest for the first time… be still my heart!))

it’s really important to me that I get to share the story of her birth. I think birth stories matter hugely because they are the stories of how we came to be, how we joined humanity in this wild flood of wild and holy chaos. they are the stories that contain the first moments of our lives, our first breaths, the first time we were touched and held and hands-on-loved.

birth stories come with waterfalls of emotion, too. there is always a bit of fear and panic entwined in the joy and expectation that surrounds the birth of a child. it isn’t all rainbows & butterflies, and sometimes that pain & panic can turn into trauma, deep physical ramifications, or postpartum anxiety & depression. I think ALL of it matters- the joy, the newness, the happy… and the fear and disappointment. all of it deserves a voice.

I will insert here a TRIGGER WARNING for those of you who had traumatic birth experiences. mine was, too, and I want to be sensitive to what you may have faced.

Continue reading “IOLA GRACE // THE BIRTH STORY”

FOR THE LOVE // A VALENTINES COUNTDOWN THAT DOESN’T CARE ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP STATUS

I know it isn’t quite february yet, but here’s your personal preparation 😉

self care goodness, intentional acts of kindness, valuing what’s really important, and eating discount chocolate… that’s what should really be happening on valentine’s, am I right?!

even as a married gal, I tend to get valentine’s overwhelm by the amount of romance I’m supposedly supposed to be generating for myself and my man. let’s keep it sweet & simple this year, with an epic countdown that doesn’t care if you’re married, blissfully engaged, new to a relationship, or cuddling with your ten kittens. 😀

so, for the love of all that’s sane & lovely… let’s rock this v-day with tons of generosity, kindness, and actions that make the world a better place.

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DAY 1 : buy coffee for the person behind you at starbucks.

DAY 2: treat yourself to some simple self-care (like painting your nails or taking a bubble bath).

DAY 3: don’t say anything negative on social media- only be encouraging.

DAY 4: take a friend out to lunch.

DAY 5: send your mom, sister, friend, or spouse a bouquet of flowers.

DAY 6: go out for your favorite dinner, and give the waitress or waiter a really awesome tip.

DAY 7: write small, encouraging or kind words on strips of pink & red paper, and leave them in public places for strangers to find ❤

DAY 8: make a mini poster of all your favorite verses & quotes about love on a piece of computer or construction paper.

DAY 9: buy your favorite valentine’s candy and share with a friend or SO… or keep it to yourself 😉

DAY 10: watch a cheesy chick flick & play this themed bingo game. add wine and cheese because yum.

DAY 11: meditate on the so not passive nature of Jesus-love. then go share the love!

DAY 12: throw a Galentine’s Day party for all your girls.

DAY 13: mail a hand-written letter to a friend or loved one.

DAY 14: treat yourself to your favorite coffee, wear your favorite outfit, and make a point to love each and every person you come into contact with today… including yourself. ❤

happy valentine’s, lovelies!!

much, much love
xoxo
moriah

10 (MORE) NOT SO TINY TRUTHS

a long time ago, I wrote a blog post called “10 not so tiny truths”, and it is still one of my favorites. it’s chalk-full of small, easy-to-remember truths for the days where you just can’t, you know?

well a lot of you really seemed to find a sense of solidarity and hope in that post, and today when I woke up totally askew & feeling all off, I realized it might be time to not just remind myself of those sweet old truths, but bring to light some new ones that I want to always remember. 

to read the previous list of ten not so tiny truths, all you have to do is click here.


here are TEN (MORE) NOT SO TINY TRUTHS:

1) there is enough grace (or forgiveness, or hope, or love, or _______) for all of us, and you don’t have to fear it running out.

2) it’s okay to stop watering the dead things.

3) you have been called “good & blessed”.

4) Jesus doesn’t regret saving you.

5) if you feel abandoned by churches or spirituality or religion or just love in general, remember… God seeks what has been driven away. 

6) you are allowed to change.

7) truth often divides before it binds.

8) nothing is ever wasted on Jesus.

9) just because you are soft does not mean you are not a force- honey and wildfire are both the color of gold. // Victoria Erickson

10) mercy triumphs over judgement.

tuck these small & powerful truths into your heart. save the link. share the post. copy them into your journal. write them in sharpie on your arms. you do you, sister. 

but remember them well, and recall them when you are floundering in doubt, in fear, in shame, in loneliness, in insecurity, in forgetfulness, in depression, in the in-between.

remember them always, and repeat them to your heart and to the hearts of your sisters and brothers. breathe fresh air into these truths as you turn them over and over and manifest them in your life. 

I’ll be here with you… repeating, ruminating, manifesting.

xoxo