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”

JESUS & A NEVER-RUNS-OUT, CONTROVERSIAL KIND OF LOVE

there are certain portions of scripture that never fail to take my breath away.
moments I read about that leave me shivering and goose-bumped at the beauty.
they’re the ones that stick with me and start to shape the rebuilding of my heart.

I love peeling open the pages of my Bible and finding Life and Love and Truth in there. the gospel of John calls Jesus Himself the Word, and I understand that with greater depth of feeling when it’s as though the words of Scripture absorb His presence. there’s a holiness in there, in that sacred space of sweet community with the Divine, that beckons off our shoes & calls us closer to a fuller and sweeter understanding.

one of those breathless moments of Divine presence happens in particular for me in John 8… and I really really want to share that moment with you because I think it’s crucial in our understanding of who this Jesus is.
what this Way is that we walk.
where our lives are meant to intersect and mesh.

because Jesus is never a neutral party. Jesus never compromises. Jesus is all-encompassing fullness and a great & holy force of grace. Jesus is always acting, always moving, always guiding.

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Jesus-love is a messy, holy, and yeah… controversial… kind of love.
and the breadth of it is wild & bold.
there’s enough for all of us & there will keep on being enough-
there is no shortage.
there is no scarcity. Continue reading “JESUS & A NEVER-RUNS-OUT, CONTROVERSIAL KIND OF LOVE”

THIS BLOG PROBABLY ISN’T FOR YOU.

sometimes I get just the most wonderful responses.

seriously.

sometimes these emails appear in my inbox (or the messages pop in my facebook page), and I just cry as I read your stories of how you get it.

how you needed to hear this, needed to find that place of belonging, needed to know someone else understood, needed to see those feelings in writing, needed that push to be brave, needed to hear a different perspective, needed to hear someone to call out your chains for what they were.

this is what I live for, you guys. it’s why I keep writing, even on the days when I feel like it’s to an empty void.

I treasure your encouragement- I save those emails and print off those messages, and I clutch them close when the liar says my voice is irrelevant and my efforts are useless and my story is a disqualifier. yep- your voice is how Divine Love speaks and how Jesus pours out grace over me. and it’s THE. FRIGGIN. BEST.

you are my community. you are my crazy, wild tribe, and I LOVE you for it because you embrace the messiness that is our humanity and reconcile it with grace upon grace without feeling the need to measure it or compare it or cast it off.

it’s honestly just so beautiful. keep on with that, peeps. ❤

…and then I get just the worst responses.

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because of this blog, I’ve found community and encouragement and life-giving freedom that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

I’ve also found angry people, those who don’t care about actually discussing differences, but are more interested in tearing down me and the beautiful souls who have found a home in this blog.  Continue reading “THIS BLOG PROBABLY ISN’T FOR YOU.”

THERE’S ROOM AT THE TABLE, AND YOU ARE INVITED

It was a hard decision… choosing what my very first post of 2017 would be. and then, rather suddenly, it wasn’t actually difficult at all. allow me to explain…

if you are familiar with the Untidy Grace Manifesto, which I posted here last fall, or if you’ve read the meet moriah page, you’ll know the way my heart beats. the very vibration of my bones is for you, for my people, to know that you belong here, that your journey is invaluable, and that your becoming is the most important thing you could ever invest in, because your becoming is all about redemption and reconciliation and healing- for you and for the whole world.
and so this post, born of that heartache-y vibration, is my love letter to you, dear soul. let these words be the ones that ring in your ears and echo until 2017 has come and gone and you have lived wild and holy and brave…

there is always room at the table. and if there isn’t more room at your table, you’re at the wrong table.

friend, here’s a shock for you: you are invited. 

in a space throbbing with the ever-changing “you’re in“, and “you’re out” rhetoric, and the chaotic drumbeat of a song you never quite learned how to dance to (but somehow everyone else did), there is a table to which you are- to which you’ve always been– invited.

there is a table where the under-valued and the stumbling misfits and the mentally ill and the cast-offs and the theologically inept and the trying-but-failing and the battered and broken sit together and healing happens.
belonging happens.
Jesus happens.

there is a table without a dress code and with no prerequisite except for coming, fully human, ferociously hungry, as you are.

there is a table where your story is heard, your journey is honored, and your small piece of humanity is woven proudly into the unfolding, scandalous drama of grace.

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some pretend they own the table (and the invitations, too), but if they’re honest, they felt uncomfortable there and made their own. their table is not The Table. and if you have been excluded from their table, you can rest assured you don’t want to be there anyway. Continue reading “THERE’S ROOM AT THE TABLE, AND YOU ARE INVITED”

CHANGELING // FINDING YOURSELF IN THE UPROOTING

come sit for a minute.

I’ve got the fire going so it’s all aflame and crackling, spitting sparks up into the chimney.
the little cast iron kettle is hot and bubbling, and I’ve got a mug here ready to be filled with tea meant for cradling in chilly hands.
there are candles burning, and the tree lights are all soft and twinkly.

it’s a space made just for long chats and secrets spilled and hands clasped.

and I want to chat with you about something.
something big & deep & intimate & loud.
something I’ve been feeling my way into and out of and around as I grow and become and discover.
something I’ve been tasting on my tongue, breathing out in every shaky exhale.

this is something that changes everything.

you, my love, are a peculiar creature.
shifting & resplendent as the tide.
ebbing & flowing to newness and delight and sorrow.
restless & vagrant as the wind.
whispering and screaming through the world with unbroken tumblings.
tidal. rolling. unsettled. transformable.

you, my love, are a changeling.
this fluidity is your gift, your offering, your dynamism.
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do not forget, dear friend, that you are never stuck.
you are never without the freedom of choice in your own heart… of the still small voice that calls you to choose a new way, a different way, a better way. Continue reading “CHANGELING // FINDING YOURSELF IN THE UPROOTING”

LET THE WEAK SAY “I AM A WARRIOR”

I never really thought of myself as a strong woman.

I realize that goes against so much of what I try to live and say and evoke in others here on the blog, but that’s just how it is. for years, I carried the word “fragile” like a brand- a word that had been jammed into my heart by careless conversation and accidental judgement from those close to me. “yup. fragile. it’s all I am, all I could ever hope to be… just fragile.” my inner dialogue was so abusive!

to this day, being called fragile is a trigger which, while I rarely run into, I continuously have to work through and release because I now recognize it does not belong to me or in me.

I stumbled across the most beautiful portion of scripture yesterday as I was doing some Pinterest research (it is too totally a thing) for something completely unrelated, and I was so enamored that I immediately had to go pull out my Bible and read the full passage to soak in all its goodness. it struck me because it spoke to the fragility we’re afraid lives in us, to the fear of our own perceived weakness, to the bold voice and unapproachable courage we are convinced will never be ours…

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you’ve got to hear this, friend.

“beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, “I am a warrior.” …bring down your warriors, O Lord.”
// Joel 3:10&11 //
Continue reading “LET THE WEAK SAY “I AM A WARRIOR””

NO EXIT STRATEGY

I’ll be honest with you.

tonight is one of those nights where I’m coming to my keyboard for my own healing. where I’m just hitting the keys and letting all the things stopping up my heart flow free because I can’t choke them back anymore. where I’m coming unfiltered, simply as I am, shaking under mercy. where I’m working out the kinks and tangles of a tossed-up heart.

I’ve been kind of a wreck today. it seems that in almost every area of my life there is strain. there is a push-back. there is tension. there is woundedness uncared for and an insensitive rubbing of the deepest parts of me. again and again over these past few weeks I’ve been forced to lean into the pain, lean into the theatrics, lean into the very real instances where I have come with hands open and left still empty.

so are the times.

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my body is breaking down, getting ill yet again from the exhaustion of both physical and emotional stamina that’s been strained and drawn out. and tonight all I’ve wanted, all I’ve been capable of, has been sitting on the sofa with a blank stare. it’s a theme, you know… getting to the end of myself.

and so here I am, just as I am- seeking truth in the spilled-out thoughts, flipping slowly and painfully through my dearest copy of Scripture, opening up the journal I kept this spring when newness and freedom seemed so possible.

but it doesn’t anymore, and I feel empty and angry and sad. and no matter where I go, coast to coast my heart feels like an outcast under steeples and in good company. and I don’t understand why Divine Love keeps leading me here, sick-to-my-stomach disturbed and lonely.

and this is what I find written in my own handwriting… Continue reading “NO EXIT STRATEGY”

JESUS DOESN’T WANT TO USE YOU

hi love ❤

yeah, we have something big to chat about today. real big. and I really, really don’t want you to miss it, sweet girl.

so come, curl up cozy on my sofa; I’ll pour you a cup of this hot french-pressed coffee, and you can nurse it, cradle it in your hands and watch the steam rising toward the low ceilings in this little apartment.

you can tell me about what’s in your heart and all the yuck that’s been going down in your world, and we’ll just sit and be because that’s what you need. and maybe we’ll talk about how exhausting it is to live in the world, and how it feels like everyone- the media, the church, the social circles- all want something of you, all just want you for what they’ve labelled you as worthy of, all want to use what you have for their own purposes and then set you aside.

and then perhaps we’ll talk about purpose and weariness and how the two of them are all too often so mixed up together like a too-heavily-spiked punch that gets you in trouble. and we’ll say we wish that finding our places in the world wasn’t so exhausting and brutal, wasn’t so horribly demanding. we’ll dream of a future where our voices are heard and our insights are honored and our gifts are utilized in just the right way.

maybe we’ll start talking about Jesus and the things we talk to Him about, too, and how we often wonder if the way He loves us is actually the way we’ve been taught we should be loved… if the deep desires of His heart for us might possibly be different than the things we’ve been told. and I’ll tell you about last night when I was frustrated and started praying, “Jesus, could you just use me?” because that’s what I thought I wanted- what I’d been told I wanted.

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have you ever prayed that little prayer? yeah. me too. like, so many times. and woah, I had no idea what I was saying, asking for… no idea how unintentionally ugly the words were… no idea that the thing my ferociously pounding heart yearned for was as far from the words I was saying as it could possibly be.

until last night.

until I prayed that prayer for what I hope to God will be the last time. Continue reading “JESUS DOESN’T WANT TO USE YOU”

BABY NAME REVEAL

YOU GUYS.

IT’S TIME!

though this post is short, it’s one I’ve been waiting impatiently to write for several weeks now!


after a long long while of desperately trying not to let it slip, J and I are so so very excited and happy to announce the name of our baby girl (“little fox”) Avrick. 

her name holds a very special place in our hearts, and has the same meaning of my middle name- Dawn

we’d like to oh so proudly announce the naming of our little girl: Iola Grace Avrick. ❤


the name Iola is pronounced “ee-OH-lah“, and means “dawn“. together, her first and middle name insinuate a dawn of grace, which is what I pray she will be to each soul she meets and every life she touches. we will probably call her “Io” for short 😉 (yes, like the moon of Jupiter…)


we’re so excited to see who she is and discover everything that makes her herself. I can’t wait to meet this little creature who is already as spicy as they come (HELLO feisty kicks when dad stops talking to her!) and who I’m convinced is an introvert after her stubbornness at escaping away from the nurse and hiding during the ultrasound 😉 

and I hope & pray, that as she arrives at the dawn of 2017, she will be the dawn of new spaces in our hearts, new beauty in our lives, new grace for the world. 

we love you, little Io! ❤

“YOU’RE GOOD” // A WORD ON WEDNESDAY

if you’ve grown up in church your whole life like I have, then this title probably sounds like sacrilege.

if you’ve struggled with any type of body-shaming or negative self-talk, then this title probably sounds like a too-good-to-be-true dream.

if you’ve battled anxiety or depression or another mental illness, then this title probably sounds like a downright lie.

the point is- no matter who we are or where we come from, if we’re used to the depth of our brokenness, the belief that we’re good is not one that we can swallow easily. it’s not something we’re used to accepting. it’s not an easy thing to wrap our arms and our hearts around.

and this simple statement doesn’t feel so simple.

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but regardless of our difficulty to accept or believe it… it’s true.

you were made good. I was made good. it’s in the way your spirit and body were knit together. it’s in the very basics of the blueprint of your image-bearing, namaste-breathing self (more on what image-bearing is all about here). it’s woven into every piece of your soul and spoken over the very beginning of you true self.

you’re good. Continue reading ““YOU’RE GOOD” // A WORD ON WEDNESDAY”