She Reads Truth ~ The Songs of Ascent

I’ve been working through the Songs of Ascent with the She Reads Truth community. This week, we read one of my favorites — Psalm 126. I love the hope present in this Psalm — both in the remembering and in the looking forward.


While reading The Message translation, I realized that the Songs of Ascent are also called Pilgrim Songs. I guess I never knew that. But I love it. A pilgrim is a traveler, someone on a journey to a holy place. How fitting, as we are all on our own journeys of faith — each journey sprinkled with seasons of time spent in the desert — just as this Psalm illustrates.

What a comfort to know that we can keep our eyes on Him during these desert wanderings, drawing our strength and peace from the knowledge of the faithfulness He has shown us in the past — and the faithfulness we can expect to keep seeing, as we continue to place our trust in Him.

Yes, the waiting is hard.

And our seasons of life in the desert can seem to stretch out so very long.

I know this.

I have prayers I have prayed for many years, prayers I keep praying, prayers that sometimes test my own trust and faithfulness.

But our patience finds faith in the desert.

My friend Carmen once wrote a great post on this Psalm, and I love her encouraging words about continuing to hope and plant seeds of faithfulness during our desert seasons.

She writes: “Even if we don’t see fruit or hope immediately, we don’t give up. We continue on: asking, praying, doing and ultimately trusting in Psalm 27:13-14: ‘I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.’ “

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How has your faith grown during your own seasons spent in the desert?

If you currently find yourself in such a season, how can I be praying for you, as you continue to plant your own seeds of patience and faithfulness?

Staying Creative // Cassidy Robinson

Hi, friends! This week, I’m happy to introduce you to a sweet, talented singer and songwriter/worship leader I met through The Influence Network (P.S. Have you joined yet?! Wow, is it blessing my socks off! I am just amazed and super blessed by the sweet friendships I’m forming through the Network.). ;)

So, without any further rambling from me, I’ll hand it over to Cassidy, so she can share how she’s staying inspired currently:


I just became a mom. I am also an artist. I have figured out in just a few short months that in order to be creative, I have to be more intentional about it. Because creativity can hit at any moment, and so can an explosive diaper, you have to be prepared. So, here are three tools (i.e. apps) that have helped this mama stay creative and keep creating!


Top 3:

Evernote. This has, by far, been one of my favorite apps lately! There are few days when I am able to sit down with my pen and journal and write anymore. Not with a baby who feeds (nearly) every 2 hours. Instead, I have one hand to hold baby and one hand to hold my iPhone, open the Evernote app, and jot down any ideas that are flooding my mind. The great thing about this app is that you can download it on every device you own — and when you write it one place, it syncs everywhere else (seriously great blogging tool!).

Instagram. Who doesn’t love this social network? And really, it has become a wonderful source for creativity. Follow photographers, they post the best stuff! I have had a blast with photo-editing apps that have spurred me to take better photos and create better pictures. Snapseed and Afterglow are my two favorites. If you love photography, or just want to become better at capturing the little moments, spend some time perusing Instagram. I never fail to be inspired.

YouVersion. And finally, my favorite app of all. This is quickly turning my devotional life upside down. Without time in the Word, for me, creativity is pointless. I am inspired when I fix my eyes on Jesus. And like I mentioned, finding time to sit down with my Bible in hand is harder these days — so this app has become SO helpful! I have joined the She Reads Truth community in a Bible study plan. And each day, I get to read God’s word (or even have it spoken aloud to me!) with this wonderful app. I am left more inspired than ever after making His truth a priority in my life.

 That’s it! Three little apps that have made it easy for me to stay creative. Hope it helps you to get inspired, as well!


Cassidy is a worship leader and singer-songwriter. She lives in the sunny state of Florida with her husband, new little boy and sweet golden/lab retriever.  She loves to write about her faith, marriage, being a mom, and music on her blog at

Thanks for sharing your inspirations with us, Cassidy!

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How are you staying creative these days? I’d love to hear about your current inspirations. (You can use this hashtag to share them on Twitter:  #BeInspiredStayCreative.)


Use Your Gifts & Spread The Courage

If you’ve been around here for a while, you know I write a lot about loving your story and living it with courage and confidence. I believe in that with my whole heart, and I’d venture to say I write about it so much, because it’s a reminder and a truth I need to hear often, too.


{image via Lionhart}

I’m honored and excited to be participating in a social media campaign called Overcome The Lie. Overcome The Lie is a week-long campaign focused on breaking free from the lies we as women have been told, maybe even believed, and celebrating our stories of how we have overcome any lie, big or small! It is being hosted by The Story Project in partnership with Lionhart. It runs from January 28-February 1.

My friends, there is so much power and protection in God’s truth, and I’m learning how important it is to live and rest in that truth each and every day. In my life, the Lord has really been setting me free from lies that prevent me from living fearlessly and fruitfully. He is teaching me that each and every season He places me in is important and beautiful and that He’s using me even in those seasons I call “seasons of waiting.”


The lie of comparison also is something He’s been setting me free from. My story does not/should not/will not look exactly like someone else’s. Sure, there may be similarities, which can be great sources of encouragement, but when we start comparing and feeling like our story doesn’t measure up — that’s when we allow the lie of comparison to steal our joy and hinder our ability to produce fruit.

As part of the most recent She Reads Truth plan (which I HIGHLY recommend), I read this scripture in Romans 12: We have different gifts, according to the grace given to us. It does not say some of us have gifts. It says we, meaning ALL OF US. We all have different gifts (also note it says different gifts), according to the grace given to each of us. Be encouraged to use your unique giftings in faith. You are beautifully unique and have so much to offer the world. Embrace those things. Share those things. Be brave in those things.

We can’t allow the lies we hear to keep us from living out our stories and sharing our gifts and our hearts. Because when we do share our gifts and our hearts and our stories, we spread the courage so others may do the same. A while ago, I read this quote from Katherine Center: “You have to be brave with your life, so that others can be brave with theirs.


{image via Lionhart}

Let’s do that together, shall we?

Let’s live out His truth, joining together through Overcome the Lie, and be brave with our lives, so others can be brave with theirs.

P.S. There’s going to be a Twitter party on January 30 in celebration of our stories and freedom in Him. I hope you’ll join me there. It’s going to be such a joyful, encouraging event. It starts at 8 p.m., using the hashtag #overcomethelie. You can RSVP here.

Together in 10 ~ Favorite Accessories

Sharing a few favorite accessories for today’s Together in 10 Post.

Lately, I’m loving:


*This vintage-inspired Peter Pan collar necklace


*Polka dots (always)

*And bright pops of color (especially this chartreuse-y/yellow shade)

Tomorrow, I’ll be back with the next Staying Creative post, and I can’t wait to share it with you all.

In the meantime, this afternoon marks the end of my holiday vacation, and while I do have a few projects to tackle, I’m also looking forward to a bit of quiet time, as well. The message at church this morning really inspired me to be more intentional about seeking this year. I want to be intentional about establishing a rhythm of prayer + scripture reading, and I want my time with Him to be the first thing I do each and every day. It has to be the foundation.

I’d love for you to join me in establishing a daily rhythm. I will be participating in #SheReadsTruth, as well as the #PurposefulProject, and you can connect with me about both of those plans and on creating a #DailyRhythm  on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I’d love to be able to spur each other on!

P.S. Speaking of spurring each other on, have you joined The Influence Network yet? I am loving being a part of that — it’s seriously blessing my socks off already! We’d love to have you. I’ll be writing a more detailed post about it soon.

Happy Sunday!


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,


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.

12 Dates of Christmas

Last year, I was inspired by Elsie’s 12 Dates of Christmas, and I was excited to file that idea away for the day I had someone special to plan and share my own 12 dates with.

But this year, as I was reflecting on the in-between season I find myself in, I thought, why should I wait to enjoy 12 special dates this Christmas season? I can still plan 12 festive outings/Christmas treats to enjoy that encourage me to celebrate the season and get in the holiday spirit.

So, here are my 12 Christmas Date ideas:

1. Have a Christmas classics movie night: those I’ve never seen (share your favorites in the comments!), old favorites (like Prancer), and those I haven’t seen in years (like Meet Me in St. Louis).

2. Take a trip to my favorite local vintage shop (it’s always all decked out for Christmas).

3. There’s a little square I recently discovered, and all of the storefronts are covered in twinkly lights during the holidays. It’s just magical. I want to spend an afternoon wandering around with a hot coffee and visiting all of the cute shops and boutiques. Holiday displays can be so inspiring.

4. Take a little trip to take in all of the beauty of Christmas light displays with friends. We’ll put on some Christmas tunes and drive around looking at the lights. (This shall be made even better by bringing thermoses of hot cider and cocoa.) ;)

5. Go to the library and bring home a stack of Christmas books (favorite childhood reads, if I can find them!).

6. Bake + decorate Christmas cookies.

7. Have an art journal day — a cozy winter afternoon or evening spent pasting images and thoughts into my current book. I also want to make a page that captures my hopes for the next year.

8. Host a She Reads Truth Advent brunch with a few friends who are going to work through the plan with me this December.

9. Take myself on a coffee shop date to enjoy some cozy winter reads and do a little eBook writing.

10. Have a Christmas-card writing afternoon. Listen to my favorite holiday tunes, and, of course, enjoy a mug of hot cocoa, coffee, or cider — and perhaps a Christmas cookie or two. ;)

11. Make cinnamon rolls or pumpkin pancakes to enjoy one slow, relaxed Saturday morning.

12. And last, but not least, go on a photography date! Get out and capture the beauty of wintertime — the stark tree branches, falling snow, and soft gray skyline.

I’m not sure if I’ll make it all the way through my list, but I’m excited to celebrate the season with friends and loved ones, doing things that inspire me and help me to slow down and appreciate life right now, in this season, as I’m living it.

What are your favorite holiday dates & traditions?

Faith to Create

I’ve been loving my She Reads Truth study on Colossians, and as I’ve reflected on the scripture this week, I’ve realized so much of it pertains to my current creative season. I love how God’s truth can speak to us no matter what’s going on in our lives! He always meets us where we are and makes it relevant to us. I think that’s pretty awesome.

One of the biggest questions that’s been on my heart lately is how am I inviting Him into my creative process? I’ve been asking myself these questions this week: How can I keep Him at the center of everything, so I don’t get swept up in ideas, dreams, and to-do lists? Am I listening for His voice in the midst of all of my brainstorming and planning? Am I working hard and cheerfully at everything I do, and am I doing everything for Him? 

I think prayer is one of the biggest ways I can make Him a BIGGER part of my creative process.

I want to spend more time praying through my ideas before jumping right in to execute them. I want to just talk with God about my dreams, my hopes, my inspirations, and what I might want to create next. I want His guidance, and I want the inspiration only He can provide.

I don’t want it to be all about me. If I’m honest, it so often can be, though. I get caught up in blog stats, and I play comparison games…

But He’s faithful to continue working on my heart, faithful to continue to take my efforts, however small and humble, and use them in beautifully unexpected ways. 

4 Simple Goals (Before 2013)

I have PLENTY of goals on my heart lately (just look at my 29 Things list for a pretty big sampling of them), but as 2012 winds to a close, I was inspired to create a more simplified list (that relates back to and supports some of my larger goals).

I saw the 4 Simple Goals idea on A Beautiful Mess and decided to participate by breaking down some of my bigger goals into smaller, more manageable steps. This way, I’m making progress toward some of those larger goals and finishing 2012 with a bang. ;)

(A new year always brings the opportunity to do more dreaming and goal-setting anyway, doesn’t it?) ;)

So, here are the goals I’m planning to accomplish by the end of this year:

1. Start taking all of my notes and outlines and write a draft of the first chapter of my book!
2. Submit my artwork for a special opportunity at work.
3. Be an active participant of all the She Reads Truth plans for the rest of 2012 (commenting, doing the link-ups, and actively participating in the community).
4. Meet up with a sweet friend in Columbus to explore, catch up, and be inspired.

I’d like to invite you to join me in setting 4 Simple Goals. If you decide to participate and blog about them, please share your link with me in the comments section. Or, tell me about them on my Facebook page or Twitter.

I’d love to be able to encourage each other to accomplish our goals! :)

{ Image via A Beautiful Mess }