Free to fly {& some fashion too}

I was about 13 when I met her. She always wore long, flowing skirts and she sang with the voice of an angel. Growing up at the Ranch Ministry School my dad directed was a wonderful experience, a unique and special way to be raised - among small groups of students who gave up jobs and time, putting forth effort and money to set aside a season of life to lay aside their homes, their jobs, their lives, their computers - and spend 3 months learning more about the Lord, the Bible, and living in a community of people who would stop at nothing to grow and to desperately seek God, on a beautiful 350 acre horse ranch. I met and encountered many amazing people who loved the Lord with all their hearts (and someday, I'll share more stories with you all), but a few people stand out in my memory as ones who made the most poignant impact on my little girl heart. She was one of them. She had traveled all the way from snowy Sweden that winter to be at the school. She was a beauty, newly married, and a lover of life. She graciously took the time to get to know me and my little sister throughout the time she stayed at the Ranch. She made a lasting impression on me, as a role model and an older friend - yet one particular moment stands out in my mind. We were riding in the school van to town for a little shopping day out, and I got to sit next to her on the worn seat. It was late spring, and she rolled the window down, letting the warm country air blowing our hair in our faces. We talked about life, and how different the culture in California was from Stockholm. She asked me about my dreams.

  And, I remember how she looked at me with her sparkling eyes and told me how she prayed for her future husband as a little girl and how the Lord answered those prayers to a "t". She told me to look to Jesus no matter what. And to have big dreams. And in her beautiful Swedish accent she said, "You don't have to be like everyone else, be yourself. Be who God made you to be. Be strong and brave."

  Since that warm day riding in an old van that was falling apart, I've kept her wisdom close to my heart, letting it shape who I am and how I think.

As the years have worn on and I've grown up, I've tried and failed to dream big, to not be "like the rest of them". There were times in college when I went along with what everyone else was doing, and I wasn't strong. There have been times when I've thrown my dreams out the window and been caught living in a comfortable, easy manner...rather than a brave one. And at times, I've listened to the negative voices - the ones that say "you can't do that, your life will never change, your dreams will never come true, your ideas are silly." And instead of taking the risk of painting with colorful, vibrant brushtrokes, I opted for muted, beige ones...just in case I made a mistake, just so no one would criticize me.

But, as I'm growing and getting older, I'm realizing more and more how precious and beautiful dreams are, and how special and wonderful it is to step out, be strong, be brave - and not be like the rest of them. To be myself. To be free.

 Free from the thief of joy which is comparison. Free from fear of failing...fear of being made fun of, fear of being unique and different. Free to dance. Free to sing. Free to twirl around and be myself. Free to be creative. Free to love and laugh and to pursue big, crazy dreams.

So, my friend - let the haters hate. Let the naysayers criticize. Ignore the negative words. Don't listen to the dream-killers. And always remember, people throw rocks and things that shine, as the song says.

  And I'm not just saying this is a nice thought, a happy feeling, or a mantra I want you to chant until you feel it's true. It is truth. It is real, life-changing truth that you and I can boldly walk in....all because Jesus died on the cross and rose again, which we celebrate this weekend, we are free.

"So if the Son sets you free,
you will be free indeed."

-John 8:36 


to love like crazy.

to live to the fullest.

to dream as big as the sky.

and to know... to really know that you are free, indeed.

Today, as I was thinking about this truth...I took my light orange pen (appropriately Easter colored) and wrote this in my sketch book of inspiration:

Through Jesus, we are free!


"Hold fast to your dreams, for without them, life is a winged bird that cannot fly."

-Langston Hughes

Outfit stats:

Dress: Target  Vest: vintage thrifted (Gift from a friend, score huh?!)
Boots: Steve Madden  Watch: Michael Kors Nail polish: "Minted" -Revlon
 Necklace: A gift, made by my sweet friend
 Kerri from Buttercups & Blue Scrubs - go check out her beautiful blog and shop :)

You might be hiding from the world with a broken wing,
but as Mr. Keith Urban would tell ya,
you better believe're gonna fly.

Spread those wings, sistah!



{i'll be back this weekend for an Easter/4 fav's post!}