When the words don’t come easily…


I’ve had writer’s block lately.

I have all of these ideas in my mind and on my heart that I carry around with me each day, but as soon as I sit down to type them out, I’m at a loss. Nothing happens. I stare at the screen and will the words to come, but as soon as I start typing, the direction feels itchy and not right and unnatural…


Maybe there are just too many things I want to share…Advent reflections, 2013 recaps, life with my One Little Word (Further), hopes and dreams, prayers and plans for 2014…

Rather than forcing the words, I’ve been a little quiet the last few weeks.

But I’m showing up today, writing this, because I think as a writer, sometimes, we have to sit down and tell whatever story is happening, even if it isn’t glittery or poetic or particularly that interesting. At least it’s real, and at least it’s true.

And at least we’re writing.

So, I suppose that’s where I am these days. Carrying around ideas and hopes, prayers and plans, fixing my eyes on Him and trying not to rush through these quiet Advent days.

I’d love to hear where you are, what you’re doing, and what you’re learning.

Have a beautiful Tuesday,


[FROM THE ARCHIVES] Faith While We’re Waiting

[EDITOR’S NOTE] : During the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, I won’t be blogging much. BUT I will be sharing some of my favorite posts from the past — posts that I hope will encourage you to embrace and celebrate your story, posts that I hope will get you inspired and excited for the year ahead! :) Whether you’re a new reader or a faithful regular, I hope you find some inspiration in this little From the Archives series.

Today’s post was written way back in May of 2009. As we’re anticipating Christ’s birth this advent season, I felt a post about waiting was just right.

* * *

This week, I keep going back to verse 5 of Psalm 25:

      Guide me in Your truth and teach me, 
       for You are God my Savior, 
       and my hope is in You all day long.

There’s a lot going on in my life right now—lots of uncertainties. But the Lord has placed some exciting things on my heart, and my hope is in Him to bring these things to fruition.

I’m on the verge of a new season. And despite fears of change and the unknown, I’m ready, eager and anticipating.I’m waiting for His guidance and for Him to unveil what’s next.

It’s a weird feeling to be in a place of waiting and uncertainty, but it’s comforting to know that He is quite familiar with each next step and each new day, even before those days come to be. 

So, in the meantime, I keep reminding myself to:

Wait for the LORD; 
       be strong and take heart 
       and wait for the LORD. (Psalm 27:14)


P.S. Whenever I see a sunrise or a sunset, it is such a powerful reminder of His faithfulness.



Songs of Joy & Praise


Last night, as I was reading my She Reads Truth plan before bed (about Mary’s visit to Elizabeth), I started thinking about friends and community and prayers. I started thinking about how often we share our struggles with each other. I do think it’s so important to be honest and vulnerable and to have friends we can share those struggles with. I value those people in my life SO MUCH. We need those prayer partners and those people we give access to our most vulnerable hopes, dreams, worries, and concerns…That’s how we grow together.

But, as I was reading what’s known as Mary’s Song, I was challenged to be more intentional about also sharing the joy and the praise. I would say I’m quicker to reach out for prayer than I am to just share something beautiful God has done or taught me.

I love the end of our She Reads Truth devotional from yesterday:

I’d love for each of us to get a little creative. Read through Mary’s Song in a few translations—even read it out loud or sing it if you’re feeling brave.

Now write your own song of praise. It doesn’t need to be fancy or technical—just write it from your heart.

You don’t need to share it with anyone, but if you do have an “Elizabeth” in your life, I encourage you to make yourself a little vulnerable and share your words with this person.

“Oh how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!” [v. 46-47, NLT]

I want my vulnerability with friends and community to also include the praise. And as we move closer to Christmas day, I want to write my own “song of praise” about the past year and all God has done in my life.

Perhaps, I’ll even share it here.

Blessings to you all on this snowy/windy Friday,


Preparing Him Room

This year, I’ve been giving more thought to the Advent candles and the meaning behind each one. We’ve been lighting one candle each week at church, and as I reflect on each candle’s meaning, I’m finding just how much I need to absorb and apply the truth of each one to my heart and life this season.


Two weeks ago, we lit the Candle of Hope, and because I’m in the midst of a season of prayer for some pretty big hopes and dreams, I can’t help but feel incredibly thankful that this candle is such a beautiful symbol of God’s faithfulness to keep the promises He’s made to us. Hope is a funny, delicate thing. But I know that when my hope is rooted in Him, I can rest assured that He will never let me down. That every promise will be fulfilled. And that His perfect plan stands firm.

Last Sunday, we lit the Candle of Preparation, and ever since, I’ve felt a gentle nudge to prepare more room in my heart for Him this season. To take more time for quiet + reflection + prayer. Full calendars at this time of year can be a blessing, because they mean we get to spend time with precious friends and loved ones, but lately, I’ve been rushing from here to there, making lists and making plans, and in all that preparation, very few minutes have been dedicated to preparing for Him. I don’t want to rush my way through this season. I want to prepare, and I want to be present.

This Sunday, we will light The Candle of Joy, and I’m looking forward to the joyful anticipation the light of that candle will bring. I can only imagine the joy of the angels rejoicing over Christ’s birth. I’m looking forward to bringing that joy into my own heart, praying prayers of thanksgiving and praise, reflecting on who He is, all He’s done, and all He’s yet to do.

And then…The Candle of Love. The candle that represents a love I just can’t fathom. A love that never fades or changes or gives up.

A love that’s beyond description.

The love He has for each one of us.

* * *

Do you light Advent candles? If so, how do they impact your heart during the Christmas season?

Big Hopes, Light Heart

What’s the biggest hope He has placed on your heart right now? Do you fully believe He can do immeasurably more than you could ever imagine?

These are questions that have been echoing through my heart for the last week or so, as we’ve headed into the Advent season.

I have so many hopes on my heart right now. So many. Hopes for creative goals and for creative dreams…

And then I have some of those more delicate hopes that we carry around a bit more carefully and quietly.

Do you know the kind I mean?


I was so blessed to see this YouVersion verse of the day last weekend. It came at a time when I needed a reminder from Him that He heard me…that He hears me. I needed to be reminded that He hears the prayers of my heart and that He is shaping those prayers and orchestrating their answers — even in the silence — as I wait and hope and pray.

I’ve been enjoying the She Reads Truth Advent plan, and one of the devotionals talked about our hearts reflecting His peace this season.


I know that sometimes my heart can get a bit weighed down by the hopes that mean the most to me, and I don’t want that.

I want a heart that’s light with the hope and joy and peace He provides.

What’s on your heart this season?

My prayer for you is that your heart would find lightness in His Word and in His promises to us, and that you would be blessed by the knowledge that He really does do more than we could ever ask or imagine — even with our most delicate and quietest of hopes.

{P.S. You can download the Let Your Heart Be Light desktop wallpaper, here.}

Preparing for Advent

With Advent’s arrival this Sunday, I’ve been doing some thinking about how I can be more intentional this Advent season.


I want to intentionally read the Word, pray, slow down, rest, and invest in quality time with my friends and family. I’m planning to spend some time reading in Isaiah (one of my favorite books of the Bible). I find so much beautiful hope woven into the verses found in Isaiah. I’ll also be participating in the #SheReadsTruth Advent plan, and I’m looking forward to the ways in which that will impact my heart and my hope this season.

A few notes about what’s coming up this Christmas season on A Place to Dwell:

*I’ll be kicking off a new creative series on Monday. I can’t wait to share some super inspiring writers, artists, bloggers, and designers with you all!

*And a bit of housekeeping: during the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, I won’t be blogging much, but I’ll still have lots of good content to share with you. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite posts from the past — posts that encourage you to embrace and celebrate your story and posts that get you inspired and excited for the year ahead!

I’m looking forward to sharing the Advent season with you all — getting inspired, hopeful, and excited for Christmas and the year to come.