But Lord, I said I was thirsty?

A friend of mine posted this picture during her vacation last week. Isn’t it breathtaking?

As soon as I saw it it reminded me of a feeling I’ve been having for a while now. A feeling that though all things are well with my soul and my future is full of God’s promises, the dry places of my heart are being hunted by the redeemer and there is a desert approaching.

I have felt thirsty for a while now. Longing to know more of the Lord. Longing to feel closer to Him. Praying He would take my life and do what He wants with it. His answer to my prayers has been follow me there, to the desert. But Lord, I’m thirsty? There’s not water in the desert. How will I survive?

About a week ago I had the pleasure of sitting down with Allison Allen the author of the new book “Thirsty for more”. I asked her if she felt like this new book was less universal than her first book “Shine” (which sets the tone for stepping into the role God has for you). To my surprise she said, “I actually think Thirsty for more is more universal. You can have a desert season in many areas of your life. Relationships, the work place, your marriage, etc.” This statement has had me reeling all week. I hadn’t thought of having “patches” of desert seasons in your life before. Everything in your life doesn’t have to be falling apart to have places in your life that are dry and in need of healing. Then, of course, I’m like ok Lord, bring it on. Open my eyes to the desert places….. and he abligedūü§™.

With all of this being said, I am so looking forward to diving into Allison’s new book “Thirsty for more”. How lucky am I (are we) to have this tool to help navigate through my (our) desert places. I urge you to consider taking a journey into the desert.

I would love to hear from you!!! Are there desert places you are navigating through? How can I pray for you?

Order “Thirsty for more” HEREūüĎáūüŹĽūüĎáūüŹĽūüĎáūüŹĽ

Jesus hung for you..

IMG_9413Growing up Catholic, every cross I ever saw, Jesus was hanging on it. Even the crosses my grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles wore around their neck had Jesus on them. His arms stretched, nails in his hands, his legs very slightly crossed enough to see the nail going through both feet, his head down and a little to the right with a crown of thorns on his head, his rib cage slightly showing and a look on his face. I can’t even explain the look on his face. And of course the sign that hung above him INRI (the mocking words that read King of the Jews)

These days I don’t see Jesus on crosses often. Why? It could be because I no longer go to a Catholic church but why have other churches taken Jesus off the cross? It feels a little bit easier to see a cross without Jesus on it. The emotions and intimacy of seeing Him hanging there are heavy.

Are you allowing your heart to be heavy for Jesus? Are you allowing your heart to go to the rawness of the cross? Have you (theoretically) taken Jesus off the cross because its easier to look at?

“Jesus Saves” Jesus rocks” Jesus is my homeboy” These are fun sayings and true ones at that BUT let’s not forget the weight of His work on the cross for us. The clouds grew dark, the thunder rumbled, the blood soaked weight of the world lay on His body for you (and me, reminding myself of this too) as He HUNG FROM NAILS ON A CROSS…..

……. and then It is Finished.

I dare to say, if you have not soaked in the depth of Jesus literally hanging from the cross you will miss out on the rest of His words, It is Finished. We must go to the hard places. We must look inside ourselves to the places we allow the cross but forget that Jesus hung there. Jesus Hung on the cross for your addiction. Jesus hung from nails for your anxiety. Jesus hung for you, beloved…

Pride & Provision…and Poop


This time last year (and the six before that) I would have been knee deep in Recital prep. Cutting music, perfecting choreography, fitting costumes, emailing details and schedules. I would have been on “don’t even look at me” mode with my husband and “you have got to do this yourself” mode with the kids. Fast forward a few weeks later, I would be standing on the recital stage after the final dance apologizing to my family for being a total bear the past several weeks and Thanking everyone who helped make that day possible for our students. Most of all, I would be standing there with a proud heart. I would be proud of my students. I would be proud of my teachers, I would be proud to have a studio that loved the Lord and loved our Dancers. I would even be proud of myself for “my” accomplishments. Having something good that you’re doing that people can SEE, that is tangible, it feels good……. and then when you don’t there comes a lot of digging inside yourself to find out what should really make you feel proud.


Several years ago the Lord spoke to me about His plans for my life. Since then all that He had shown me has begun to slowly come together. Most recently His provision was put on fast forward with a whirlwind of change. 8 months ago I fasted about weather or not to keep The Dance Project open, the Lord made it very clear to shut the doors and focus on my children and husband. December 12th was our last recital, December 28th my husband’s boss asked him if he would be willing to move to Nashville. January we put our house on the market and March 3rd we moved. AND NOW ___________________. And now we’re here and all things went from fast forward to STOP.


“Mommy, mommy it’s poop! It’s the poop one! I love the poop one!”

So, a few days ago, I put my hand in poop, on accident of course. Why was it on the side of the toilet bowl though? in the shape of a finger print? Clearly one of my four children were having an issue that they felt they could take care of on their own, except for the clean up part of it. I also found poop on Millie’s chair in her bedroom and poop stains in a little persons underwear (that I will not name for the sake of embarrassment). For several weeks now I have been wondering what in the world God is doing. I mean, we moved to a new city because we felt this is what God was calling us to do. Quite frankly, in the feelings department, it stinks, big time. “My Pride” is gone, My God is silent and I’m hands deep in poop.

Yesterday, in the Target check out line, I allowed my two littles to get a treat. They picked out one of the mystery emoji packages. We get in the car, I open the treats and pass them to the back seat. Suddenly I hear, “Mommy, mommy it’s poop! It’s the poop one! I love the poop one!” She even said, “Jesus knew I would love the poop one.” I (being the strange person I am) began to cry. Instantly after hearing her the past several months played in my mind. The loss, the struggle, the unnoticed hard work, my selfishness, my “this isn’t what I thought was gonna be” and then a flood of the sweet faithfulness of the Lord.

Our pride comes from being a child of the most high king. Take notice of how the Lord is enriching the soil you are planted in (…. you are God’s field, God’s building….1 Cor. 3:9). Nothing goes unnoticed to Him. If poop is what it takes to get me where God wants me, so be it. After all, isn’t manure the best soil for a growing plant (‚Ķ‚Ķ., but it was God, not we, who made it grow. 1 Cor. 3:6).





Why Lord?

If you are waiting for the Lord to tell you WHY, you could be waiting a long time. After all, we are called to lean not on our own understanding.

Recently I had the privilege of listening to a woman named Faith Ecklund teach on “Reasoning the why with the Lord”. She has a powerful story of the Lord’s faithfulness in her why moments. In short, at the age of 16 she was in a terrible car accident where she was ejected from the car and is now paralyzed from the waist down. I would encourage (like seriously check it out. She is such a precious woman of God. You do not want to miss what she has to say!) you to read her entire story at faithecklund.com. You can also find her teaching at gracechapel.net under the woman’s ministry link.

The most striking truth I learned this past week from her is ” The opposite of faith is certainty”. Wow! Is she on to something or what? When I think of the opposite of faith it is typically doubt, or fear, or anxiety but certainty?

Months ago I was trying to make a decision about the future of my business. As I was wrestling through this decision the Holy Spirit shared this scripture with me. It gave me a glimpse of how and even why God “makes decisions”…..

By wisdom the Lord founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens. By his knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth and the clouds poured down rain. (proverbs 3:19-20)

*By wisdom the Lord founded the earth – Wisdom is the soundness of an action or decision with regards to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment. Our God is of a sound mind. He has experience that we can not fathom. I don’t know about you but from my “knowledge” and “experience” of this earth, I maybe would have taken a pass on the whole “creating it” thing, cause we are a hot mess. But God!

*by understanding he established the heavens – I love this definition of understanding… The Power of abstract thought.¬† YES! and abstract is to consider something separately from something else. Mmmm.. Our God has the power to see beyond what we can see, outside of our circumstance, into the future AND makes plans accordingly (hence Him establishing heaven). His power to understand, His abstract thinking fuels provision for our benefit.

*by His knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth and the clouds poured down rain – Knowledge , in other words consciousness. By God’s shear awareness of all things the earth burst¬† forth (unleashed before his eyes) and the clouds poured down rain. As if they had no other choice. They did as they were supposed to because their Lord’s will made it so.

Ok, so what does this have to do with why? Why me Lord? Why did you allow this to happen? Why cant I feel you close? Why is my loved one gone and I’m stuck here with all of this pain? Why is this recovery so hard?

Guys, Can I dare to say that when we decide to have FAITH in Jesus Christ we are actually forfeiting our right to be certain about anything (accept for His unfailing love for us) here on earth. During our hardest, most uncertain moments we must “go back to the beginning”, “cling to what we know is true” because we do not have the capacity to see what the Lord sees. In our uncertainty we can be completely certain that our God is for us. He is making all things new for us(rev. 21:5). He will never leave or forsake us(Deut. 4:31).

God created the earth, with a sound mind, with all understanding and knowledge of all things to come and He still said yes. GOD CREATED YOU, with a sound mind, with all understanding and knowledge of all things to come AND HE STILL SAID YES! WHY? Because unlike us He is not distracted from heart ache, or sin, or sickness, instead He sees our Victory, our Healing, and our Redemption.

Listen, I feel¬† very unqualified to talk about the big WHY question. I have not yet known great loss but the Holy Spirit would not leave me alone about this post. I pray that this will bring peace to someone. I pray that this finds its way to someone who needs to hear it this morning. I pray that the Lord will give you peace as you wait on his faithfulness. I pray that your healing process with burst forth new revelations about our saviors goodness. I pray peace and strength and endurance as you walk in this heartache. I pray the Holy Spirit’s comfort feels close to you this morning and always. I pray a supernatural amount of faith and trust in Jesus during your difficult time. I pray you will find happiness and contentment in whatever situation you are walking through. I pray that the Lord brings Godly men and women in your life to be your strength when your’s in gone. In Jesus precious name. Amen


The Sweet, uncomfortable wait.


11 Years ago Pryor and I¬† moved from Nashville to Knoxville, his home town. I was 8 months pregnant with our first child. We were the ripe age of 24 and madly in love. At the time,¬†I was not particularly happy about our relocation venture. I knew though that I would follow him anywhere. A decade later, Knoxville has become¬†our home. We have family, friends, church and roots here. It is truly our “place”.

Three days after Christmas Pryor’s boss asked him if he would be willing to move back to Nashville to¬†head up¬†sales department there. When Pryor asked me, I could hear the rush of the challenge in his voice. Pryor is an outstanding man. He’s an outstanding employee and an extraordinary problem solver. In fact, I can’t think of a time he hasn’t accomplished a goal he’s set, professionally. The most interesting thing about this proposal is that for the last year, I have felt called to close The Dance Project¬†doors and be¬†a helper to him in stewarding the gifts that God has given him. For months I have had a feeling that something big was about to happen. God was stirring something up. He was about to move big time in us.

Instantly I begin praying. Is this the thing, Lord? Is moving the thing? Is this the enemy trying to distract us? Where can we best serve you? Lord, guide our steps. Go before us. Close doors you wouldn’t have us pass through.

We¬†have been waiting for the official offer for a¬†week and a half now.¬†The waiting had been exhausting and then something changed. I begun to sense a sweetness in the waiting.¬†It feels as if¬†I’m sitting¬†right next to Jesus ( in the spring time, on a park bench with a beautiful field in front of us) and I¬†hear Him saying, “Please, stay with me a little longer. I’m so thankful for this time that I get to show you how I can give you rest in your uncertainty. All the prayers you have prayed in the past, for¬†endurance, for strength, to show you my righteousness, to teach you my truth,¬†I am¬†using this time for that. These are the moments¬†when the fruits of your faithfulness¬†are¬† being ripened. I love sitting here with you, my precious one.” Um, Yes Lord, I’m not going anywhere!

The thing is, once we get the offer and our decision is made, the waiting is over. The uncertainty passes and this particular conversation with Jesus is over. Though many more will follow, I want to soak in every sweet morsel of this waiting because I know that as uncomfortable as waiting can be, the richness of its wisdom is undeniable.

Are you in a waiting season? Are you waiting for a test result? A spouse to come home? A new season to arrive or one to end? A job opportunity? A miracle? A healing?

I hope that you can cherish this waiting. I hope you will allow Jesus to sit with you. I hope you find peace from Heaven. I hope that you can taste the sweetness of our Saviors love for you.





Shine- Part 2 (Shiny)

shine bookSo, I cant help but sing the “Shiny” song, that the crab in the Moana movie¬†sings, after reading this book. I am so ready to shine I cant hardly stand it!

Here are a few wow moments for me, from the book:

“Watch, and I’ll make far more use of your consecrated weaknesses than I will ever make of your “perfected” strengths”

“When you encounter God, the you that goes in is not the you that comes out”

“Shouldn’t there be some spiritual heft to the fact that when he chooses you, it is because he knows there is something about the uniqueness of you-and Christ in you, the hope of glory – that most uniquely suits the glow of the moment at hand?

Listen, these are just a few lines I read that I had to let soak in. It is packed full of truths like this. Shine is a book that DARES YOU TO MOVE. No matter who or where you are in life, there is a place the Lord wants to show you. A place where the gifts He has given you were meant to Shine. The Shine book gives you insight into ways you may have been deceived by the enemy and it gives you tools to move out of that deception and into the truth of Jesus Christ. Yes, Please!!

“Babe, I’m sorry if your eyes are hurting because of my shininess right now.” This is what I said to Pryor after I finished the last chapter of Shine. LOL! He laughed at me, like he always does. BUT then I opened up to him about all that I felt the Lord has been calling me to. I had to let it out. I had to bring it to light.¬†I hadn’t before because, even in my own head, it sounded outlandish and silly. “I have something for you to do. You will talk to women about Me. You will share your testimony and you will teach them about My truth. You will write a book and it will be about the truth of their identity in Me”. Pryor looked at me and said, “If anyone can do it, it would be you, hot momma”. And there it was, out of my secret place and into action. SHIIIINYYYYYY, like the treasure of a sunken pirate wreck.

Thank you Allison for once again giving me the courage to Shine.

Friends, Jesus is telling you something too. Dare to move. Even if its’ just taking the leap of faith to speak it. Dare to Shine. Your light is waiting.

Link to the Shine book: https://www.amazon.com/Shine-Stepping-into-Role-Were/dp/080072819X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1512059520&sr=8-1&keywords=Shine+book

Incase you want the Shiny song stuck in your head, here’s the link…..






There is a part in the Shine book where Allison talks about how there was a season in her life where she¬†felt she was ¬†“put on the shelf”. I find it so interesting that that in that time is when she was

“Babe, I’m sorry if your eyes hurt right now, because of my shininess.” lol. This is what I said, to my husband (Pryor), after I read that last word of Shine.

Shine- Part 1 (Before the Shine book)

It was¬†August of 2000 and there I was in an Acting class, attending a small community College, 10 hours from home¬†The same College that months before I auditioned for a Disney World Show, fresh out of High School. I was sure I’d get the job (bahaha silly girl) but by God’s Grace I did not. In walks the acting teacher, tall, red headed, red lipped, vibrant, commanding your attention (by the shear presence of her light) kind of a woman and her smile matched the glow of the heart on her sleeve. I had never acted (officially) a day in my life yet in every acting class from then on a piece of me found its match. Of course then I thought it was because of the acting classes but in truth it was the holy Spirit living in her that was stirring my heart and beginning to put the pieces together. The music she played, the words she used, the belief she had in us, her wisdom,¬†her¬†talent, her patience, her vision, I could go on for days. Needless to say, a reverence for her grew. Surely though, I was just another student of hers. Surely, she didn’t really have much to say about me…..(or so I settled with)

The Spring performance curtains had closed and my first semester of college had come to an end. After the show the parents, students and teachers gathered for pictures and congratulations in the lobby. Later that evening, to my surprise, my mom said, “I really like your acting teacher”. She said that she had walked up to her and my dad and asked, “Are you Jesie Shalawylo’s parent’s?”. They said yes and she proceeded to tell them what a talent I was and how much I had grown as a performer throughout the year. What?!¬† You know the Sally Fields movie when she says “They like me! They really like me!”? Well, that was my “she likes me, She really likes me!” moment. bahaha! In all seriousness though, that was a pivotal moment¬†of truth that¬†planted in my heart.

The transition of being an 18 year old girl from Northern Virginia to a college student in Franklin Tennessee proved to be very difficult for me. Learning how to be on my own and grasping for ideas of who I was, only to find I had no idea. Then here was this woman who I looked up to and she took the time to share the light she saw in me. When I thought there was no light to be found. Looking back on it now, isn’t that just like the Lord. To seek you out. To speak truth about you with the intention of bringing your light to the surface. Mmmm. I just love it. And I just love her!

Her name is Allison Allen. She was my college acting teacher and¬†is¬†now (among many¬†other things) the author of¬†“Shine”, a book about stepping into the role you were made for (that description pales in comparison to its actual fabulousness. We’ll talk about that later though). My point in all of this is¬†that¬†Allison has been in the Shine business way before #theshinebook. I have so many more God/Allison moments to share with you guys over the next few weeks. I wish it could be days but who knows the next time I’ll get a chance to sit down again. ūüôā

I just finished her book “Shine” a few days ago and I want to read it again to be sure I’ve soaked¬†up all it’s goodness. I also want to encourage you all to read it! It is full of awakening thoughts and tools to dive deeper into your trust in the Lord.

You can get “Shine” at the usual book stores and of course you can Amazon it right to your door step or your friend’s, or your daughter’s, or even¬†someone who drives you crazy’s. hehe

Link to the Shine book: https://www.amazon.com/Shine-Stepping-into-Role-Were/dp/080072819X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1512059520&sr=8-1&keywords=Shine+book

Merry Christmas time guys!!




When you’re a bad example…


I have recently been preparing for a family event and began to pray that I be a good example of Christ during this time.¬†In His faithfulness, He gave me this scripture, “Live wisely among those who are not Christians, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone.” (Colossians 4:5-6)¬†¬†Done. Thank you, Jesus. I’ll do that, just like you say…. and I set out on this personal mission to fulfil this scripture through my own capability. Because sure I can do that. I know the Lord. I feel close to Him. I’ve totally got this. bahaha! Yeah, until I slammed a very delicious alcoholic beverage. Aargh!

I know better than this. I know my¬†weakness¬†” just one shot” that throws all of my self control and¬†purpose to the wind.¬†Do you have a¬†weakness like that?¬†One of the things¬†that places the vail back over the alter? A thing that lets Satan slip in to feed you lies?

Anyway, the past few days have been full of disappointment in myself, not wanting to speak to Jesus because I’ve felt I’ve failed Him in some way. Finally, I cried out in Thankfulness and repentance to Him and this is what HE SAID via “Jesus is Calling”………

Bask in the luxury of being fully understood and unconditionally loved. Dare to see yourself as I see you: radiant in my righteousness (what? me?) , cleansed by my blood (Thank you, Jesus). I view you as the one I created you to be. ¬†It is my life within you that is changing you from glory to glory (Praise you, Jesus. You are so good) . Pause briefly from time to time so you can consult with the Holy One inside you (that’s where I lost it. Thank you, Jesus. Yes, I will do my best to remember to do this.) He will not force you to do His bidding, but He will guide you as you give Him space in your life ( yes, I give you that space Lord. Take all of it. Take everything.).

Isn’t the Lord’s discipline the sweetest thing?! Man, I love Him.

Listen, I just want to encourage you guys (and myself). A journey of perfection is unrealistic. We are constantly being changed. Find peace in your ‘bad examples” through Jesus’ relentless devotion to our purification. We can walk in Righteousness, In truth and in Holiness because of the redemption His sacrifice afforded us. It is finished and we are no longer slaves to sin.


Give it to me. (even if its gross)

Sohand, I started the week stressed out and wound up. I have a lot on my mind, girl part things are upon me, four kids, football, Dance project. Aargh. All the things!

Tuesday night I bribed the twins with the Zoo in the morning if they stayed in their bed’s and went to sleep. Good news is, it worked! Bad news is, it worked.

We wake up Wednesday morning and of course they remembered the Zoo bribe. I have to take them, but I have so many things! We go to the zoo. I am a total bummer of a mom. Just taking them form one thing to the next, checking¬† my phone, being grumpy. We pack up to go home about noon (¬†I still haven’t shakin the¬†grumpy)¬†and as I’m driving home and praying, I see this truck in front of me. It has a huge hand on it. The hand is held out like its waiting for someone to put something in it and¬†I feel the Lord say, Give it to me.

You know when your toddler puts a grape in their mouth, chews it up and decide they don’t like it? Then, they start to gag and make disturbing¬†noises. So, you quickly put your hand under their mouth and say, give it to me. Well, it was that kind of, Give it to me. All of your things, they can feel like chewed up, gross grape spit but God still wants it. Bahaha! So, gross but its so true! Give him your gross.

Love you friends!

P.S. I did give it to Him, right then and there. Okay, more like I puked it to Him but whatever.

A to go cup, just in case

latteAs I was driving to my favorite coffee shop this morning I thought to myself. I’m gonna get a to go cup even though I get to stay and sit today. I found it strange though that instead of¬†looking forward to the moment I was sitting¬†with a¬†nice cup of¬†coffee, I was preparing for¬†when the moment would¬†end. See, to go cups (at least I think) keep the¬†coffee hotter longer, not to mention if I have to leave without finishing it.

My husband¬†has this endearing¬†ability to unpack his suit case into the provided drawers of a hotel room.¬†We could be staying in a hotel for one night and he unpacks his suitcase? I mean what’s the point? You’re just gonna have to pack it back up the next day.

Well, truly it is a virtue to be able to sit down with a cup of coffee and enjoy the moment of it and to be fine with having to leave a little bit of it behind. And what a  virtue it is to be committed enough to where you are that you unpack your suit case, no matter how long you may stay.

Isn’t¬†it just like us ” I’m not sure I’ve committed” kind of people, to get a to go cup, just in case. To keep our suit case packed, just for the convenience ( or the protection)¬†of it.

Lord, I pray my friends and I can sit in moments with you ( and the ones we love) and truly enjoy them. I pray we will unpack our suitcases and be in the place you’ve sent us¬†with no thought of our expiring minutes.