What We Learned From Hiking a Mountain

Someone had the great idea to celebrate being together for a year and a half by doing a strenuous hike. The perpetrator rhymes with rah royfriend.

No, no, it was actually a great time. 11.72 miles, 26,000+ steps, 6,000+ calories burned, and way too little water, we are still happily together and super sore (stats brought to you by my Fitbit Blaze. Not an ad. I just love this lil gadget).

The view, though.  Continue reading “What We Learned From Hiking a Mountain”

A Difficult Focus: Better Thoughts

The other day, I slipped from beneath my covers to greet my Lord on my knees. Other thoughts intruded the sacred space, and I couldn’t focus. I said “Dear Heavenly Father” approximately 15 times until I started getting frustrated. Other scenes, words, and troubles crowded my mind. But they weren’t mine. What’s going on, Jesus? Continue reading “A Difficult Focus: Better Thoughts”

Childlike Faith (Feat. My Favorite Little One)

I caught up with a friend over our favorite meal, and we shared the last few months of our lives. Both of us are working, one starting a degree while another finishing, and our families are doing fine. In passing, she mentioned a deep shadow in her experience that was beginning to lift. I asked her the cause of the shadow. She paused. “I think I just don’t have enough faith.” Continue reading “Childlike Faith (Feat. My Favorite Little One)”

Lately: Running Thoughts

I feel the need to just write. This used to be easy to do on my unintentionally hidden, free, WordPress blog. But now, I feel the need to write a certain way on here: to come to prescribed solutions through templated means. I know who my subscribers are, and what will they think of this? Shouldn’t I wait until everything is tripled-edited and I have the best (free) photos generous internet people can provide?  Continue reading “Lately: Running Thoughts”

Do Not Take to Heart

Teaching is hard. One difficulty is balancing likability and professionalism. True, they are both very possible. But possibility does not equate ease.

My school has a no electronics rule. As a teacher, I enforce this rule. One afternoon, I saw a student using a phone and I asked him for it. He said I was being unfair, that I should give him a chance, that I was mean. He refused for eight minutes. We took a trip to the principal’s office, and he was allowed to keep his phone. On our walk back upstairs, he turned to me, “Ms. Callie, can I ask you something?”

“Of course.”

“Why are you so cruel?” Continue reading “Do Not Take to Heart”

Sometimes It Gets Worse

While I was leading a very long mission trip, the Lord seemed to be teaching me about conflict resolution. Everyone was miffed, irritated, or spreading their hurts through passive aggression. As the mission leader, I encouraged everyone to take advantage of Matthew 18 and deal with it squarely.

One volunteer had no idea that passage of Scripture existed, so I walked her through it to the practical conclusion. Once it dawned on her what I was asking her to do, her eyes widened in fear. “You want me to…talk to her?!” Yes, I nodded. After prayer and encouragement, I walked her to the person and stood with her to provide moral support. I was confident it would go well.

I was completely wrong. Continue reading “Sometimes It Gets Worse”

Cherished Plans: But God, I Want This

By my junior year of high school, I had my life planned. By age 25, I would be a nurse. I would have 2-3 children, homeschool them, and be an amazing pastor’s wife.

Years have passed. I’m now neck-deep in graduate school, striving to be an English teacher, and in a serious relationship with a businessman.  Continue reading “Cherished Plans: But God, I Want This”

3 Things I Wish I’d Known as a Younger Christian

Dear 17-and-a-half-year-old Callie,

I hope this finds you well (this is how you start all of your letters nowadays). I’m proud of you for making hard decisions to follow Jesus when it’s weird to do so genuinely. Yes, the irony of Christian schooling is mind-boggling. Praise God He has reached through so many positive influences to bring you to this point! You’re enjoying Matthew, aren’t you? Yea, I’m studying John now. You’ve studied a lot over the years, but you still love the gospels.

You have a lot ahead of you, but I want you to know three things. I won’t ruin all of the surprises, but here are three to better shape your mental framework.  Continue reading “3 Things I Wish I’d Known as a Younger Christian”

God Can’t Forgive Me (Yet): When You Just Sinned

It was a very cold night in A2, which is common for Michigan. I was walking in long strides past Angel Hall, trying to get to the van before I was assigned push-ups (it’s a long story…). I was about to pass two college students when one spoke:

“Are you celebrating [religious holiday] this year?” the girl asked, as I focused my attention on their next words.

“Nah,” said her companion, his discomfort apparent. “I can’t this time around…” Continue reading “God Can’t Forgive Me (Yet): When You Just Sinned”

Interview | The Boyfriend

Many of you have asked, and I was planning on saving this for later…but…

I met this man when I wasn’t interested in anything more than traveling the world, running service projects, and teaching English. Our deep friendship blindsided me–but no more than our deepening friendship did. He has shown me oceans of God’s love–gently, consistently, and fiercely.

Meet David: the boyfriend.  Continue reading “Interview | The Boyfriend”