Tuesday, November 6, 2018

scared of

I don't know

I'm just scared to look in your eyes
Cause you're looking at me like I mean something
Like maybe I mean everything
And the pen in my hand is shaking
Cause I love those eyes
And I'm scared of them
Cause they're not afraid of love
They're not afraid to hurt for love

I don't know

Why I'm so scared
I'm scared to have lest I lose
I'm scared to jump lest I fall
I'm scared to hold you close lest you slip through my fingers


But mostly I'm scared that I'll leave you bruised
Cause I love those eyes
And I can't see them wounded

I don't know

Cause every time I look away and look back
Your eyes are still looking into mine
Like they'd be content to do the same forever
And I feel myself smiling in spite of myself
Cause I see the smile on the edge of your lips

And it's hard to be scared when you're right there
Unshaven and laughing and so familiar

And it's hard to imagine you gone
Cause you've always stayed

Friday, September 7, 2018

leaving home

I don't know if I'm ready to write this.

You never know how much you love home till you leave it. When they hug you too hard and you bite your tongue and try to remember to breathe and not let the heat behind your eyes fall yet cause you know it won't stop. When they shut the door behind them and the car pulls out and they're gone. And you can't stand that you won't be there for the clogging performances, basketball games, rainy Saturday afternoons, the family devotions, math lessons, the fights, the competitions for showers, watching Jeopardy at night, campfires, sleepovers, Dad's days off, and every other in between. And the end of a good thing hurts so bad, because it was a good thing. It was so good. And that's how it's supposed to be. It's supposed to be different now, but that doesn't make it any easier. 
Because your little sister is crying and insisting on one more hug and Mom's trying to keep it together and your brother keeps saying he'll see you soon and Dad's saying how much he loves you. And everything new is wonderful and good but it doesn't keep you from sitting on your bed in your room with the door closed blurring pages of your journal with tears.

every good and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. james 1:17.

behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. isaiah 43:19.

he has made everything beautiful in its time. ecclesiastes 3:11.

no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 corinthians 2:9.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

through my eyes: uganda

for those of you who don't know, I'VE BEEN IN UGANDA.
I went through a wonderful organization called Amani Baby Cottage, got to love on and be loved by 2-5 year old girls, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat if I could. lots of people have been asking me about it, though, and I've been gone so long I felt like I should have something to show for my absence. so here we go: some raw journal entries so maybe you can get a little glimpse of uganda through my eyes. sorry in advance for the run on sentences that never end lol.

6.15.18 It smells like an open fire and chicken over roasted and dark feet on red dirt baked dry by the sun. It smells like smoke and dust, hanging and choking like a cloud in the night. It sounds like motorcycles and horns and locals talking fast and music flying by the window too loud, passing bar after bar. It feels like bleak futures and broken dreams or none at all. It feels like it's too late. Romans 5:8. Ephesians 2:4-8. 1:49 am.

6.19.18. Mama Rosemary, Mama Betty, and Mama Dorothy came up with a Ugandan nickname for me. Balunje: good, beautiful, altogether.

6.21.18. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29. mE.

6.22.18. how the kids say "How are you?" like "Ow ah yoo?"

6.23.18. Sarah pointing at the moon, saying that it was America, and that she's going to go there on a plane one day.. "You going to Merica?"

6.24.18. Davide picking flowers on the walk to church and giving them to me to put in my hair. I SAW THE NILE RIVER.

6.25.18. "Auntie Olivia you no see me. Ah notta heeya." except a thousand times a day.

6.27.18. Rosie climbing on my back, hugging my neck, and singing I have decided to follow Jesus at the top of her lungs during bath time. Danny kissing me on the neck and laughing when I acted surprised.

6.29.18. Hearing "Myzungu!" aka white person and stares following you everywhere you go in town.

6.25.18. Sarah taking a picture with me and surprising me with a kiss on the cheek. HOW CAN I LEAVE HER.

6.27.18. Even in laughter the heart may ache. Proverbs 14:13.

6.30.18. Joram: "Auntie I love you."

7.1.18. Brianna holding my hand wanting me to come swing with her, but me telling her I can't because Auntie gave me a project to do but I love her. Her, looking at me considering, gives my hand a kiss and lets go. Help.

7.1.18. It's hard to describe orphan care in a third world country to someone who's never done it before. Because one minute it's bath and bed time and everyone's sweaty and tired except the kids who are way too excited after playtime and you're trying to dry off soaking wet babies but all the other kids are jumping all over your back butt naked and happy screaming after peeing. And then another minute you open the door and they're running at you with their arms open wide yelling, "Auntie! Auntie! Even me! Pick up me!" And you just love them so much it hurts and it breaks your heart in every way you never knew it would. And you learn sometimes you can't fix every broken thing or heal every hurting heart, but you can always love with everything you've got.

7.2.18 Holding brown faces in my hands and crying and smiling and trying to tell them I love them and I have to go now but it's too hard to speak and they're smiling confused at why my face is all funny and teary. Long hugs and knowing the words left unsaid and loving till it aches deep in your chest like it'll never go away.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


I want to write something
about the healing and
the hurting
but I'm too lost in between
and I'm starting to wonder
if they're not maybe
the same thing

Where does one stop
and another begin

I'm starting to think
both come at once
on the gentle waves
of an untamed Grace

Friday, February 16, 2018

journal excerpts + pics 2017

2. 12.17 "your momma must be so proud"
3.3.17. my car started lol
3.26.17 face-timing til one in the morning and eating bagels together a thousand miles away
4.1.17 corn hole at Granny's + banana pudding
4.9.17 planning to skip prom and eat waffles and play xbox instead
5.11.17 mom brought me breakfast in bed whAt
5.17.17 but I ran and ate bread and samoas and drove unfamiliar country roads with wet hair and late sun on my bare arms and now the sky is pink and purple fading to dark behind the trees and it's ok
5.21.17 everything is so good and I'm too scared to think about it or I'll cry cause beginnings mean endings and time slips by so fast and I don't know how to love people well enough yet. what if I've lived all this time and they haven't seen Jesus yet?
5.24.17 "it was probably nothing but it felt like the world"
6.3.17. me:smiling  him:shut up

6.5.17. dad "olivia can you come back in here real quick? i want you to hear a song"
6.11.17 ..i'm here to serve my Savior. i'm here to love, cherish worship, glorify, and enjoy Him above all else. i'm here to serve other people. & i'm so tired of all the other stuff occupying so much space in my finite brain.
6.24.17 everybody home. pizza.
7.4.17 "when we behave this way, when we refuse to love someone and deliberately withold our love from them.. instead of calling them higher, we are condemning them to stay where they are, in their faults and sins and shortcomings. we won't acknowledge the best in them because we want to make them pay for their bad behavior first. we are seeking to punish them, but in doing this we are feeding the very thing we wish to starve and condemning them to be their worst forever." - eric metaxas, "if you can keep it" 12:20am
7.21..17 [what i learned] that it's okay to open up. to listen when it hurts and when you wanna fight back and defend. how pretty the view from jefferson memorial is at sunset. what good thai food tastes like. that we don't always know what God's doing but He's always good and He never leaves us alone. to stop dismissing the psalms that are all about praise.
7.24.17 today i failed a lot. today Jesus said again come as you are
7.25.17 i feel so loved i might die
8.2.17 the ocean $1 tacos 50 cent frosties springsteen's greatest hits sunroof down
8.6.17 and sometimes "for the best" still feels like the worst
x.x.17 the held glance in the mirror of ur eyes, brow creased in concentration, messy hair 11:35am
9.19.17 will having mom in his contacts as mammy
10.2.17 "mY Favorite Things iS to Be With YOU" note from jules
10.21.17 i just can't believe there was a a last time they got to hear his voice and a last time they got to give him a hug and maybe they didn't do it like they meant it. i can't believe for him this life is over already, too soon
10.24.17 never on the day you leave / john mayer
11.10.17 "so also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice and no one will take your joy from you"
12.13.17 laying out in the field in the freezing cold under a blanket with the boys to watch the meteor shower "where the heck is the little dipper like what the freak"
1.1.18: "no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him" / 1 cor 2:9
and it was Good
how was ur 2017 ??? xo

ps within the next week or so I'm gonna have a "how to journal-ing" post going up on Odyssey. OH I guess I haven't told you guys yet, but I'm writing weekly for Odyssey now, and you can find my stuff all HERE. check back in a week or so and you can see my post on "5 ways to start a killer journal and actually stick with it"! WHOO! sorry this post took me so long I'm kind of the worst. ok thanks love u all bye.

Friday, January 26, 2018


why do the failures never end
why do I always think that it depends on me
why do I hide in my shame when You died that I might be free from it
why do I let myself think that it's in my power to reverse what You have called


because even in my lowest acknowledgement of my depravity
if it keeps me from running to You it's still pride
thinking I can do it on my own 
or that there's anything in me that could mend the brokenness that I've caused
that I'm the exception

"He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all-"

no, not me
He didn't know how bad I would be
do I really think I know better than You?
any holding back from You is an insult to the sacrifice You made in order to have intimacy with me

"come to Me"

You say it again and again
and I come
only after staying away
stubborn and reluctant and unworthy
but, Jesus, I come
"let me only be a servant"
but no, You say
no, again and again

You patiently, faithfully, mercifully, lovingly,
remind me of the gospel I am so quick to forget

yes, I'm undeserving, a million times yes
but it's not about me

Your Son died on a cross with nails through His hands and feet
hammered in by my own soft, un-scarred ones
with a crown of thorns shoved down upon His head
woven by the faithless hands of His creation
He chose this that His worth, holiness, deserving
might be mine

"I will remember your sins no more"

oh, God, how soon I forget
how dare I suggest that Your life, love, death, and resurrection
is insufficient, not enough for me

help me to cast off the burdens 
You have already borne for me
this guilt and shame has already been paid for
this weight is not mine to shoulder

"you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear,
but the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out 'abba! father!'"

Father, help me to embrace who I am in You
a daughter with a greater inheritance of joy than I can imagine
more deeply known and loved than I can know

help me fall down on my knees before You
and rise up again in worship

help me give my life and my all for You
it's all for You

Monday, January 8, 2018


and maybe the day will come when you have to say goodbye
to the memories that kept you up at 1 am smiling into your sheets
to the scrawled pages of your journal full of inadequate words
to the long list of music that he sent you over the years
to the laughter coming through the speaker on your phone
to the too long eye contact and the too long hugs and the too long looks from everyone around

and then he'll meet someone, and he'll be telling you about her like he always does
and suddenly you'll think "oh, wait. this is the one."
and you always knew it would happen, but not this soon
and it all happens so fast and you're too happy for words cause you see the way his eyes light up when he talks about her and how suddenly his words are the inadequate ones trying to describe her to you
but you're still so sad because you love the way he's smiling right now and how he says your name when he talks about something serious

and you'll be at his wedding and he'll give you a hug at the reception before they leave
and you'll be crying happy tears along with everyone else
they'll wave goodbye as they drive off and he'll be happy
but you'll say goodbye as they drive off barely moving your lips so that just a cloudy breath of air dissolves in the cold and it'll be over
and maybe you'll be just fine