Keeping it Real: The Desires of Your Heart

by KAYLYN LANIER XIONG photo by AMANDA SUTTON PHOTOGRAPHY Hey, y’all! It’s me! (It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I hope you’re doing great!) Here’s a question for you: What do you dream about? What do you think about when you’re sleeplessly staring at the ceiling? What hits you in your gut at random times? […]

Keeping It Real: So You’re Ready to Quit

So you’re ready to quit? Been there a time or two. This life is not for wimps.   I watched my mama do hard things all my life. Nothing came easy, but she stayed in the fight! She refused to sit it out on the sidelines of life. She had every reason to quit, but she […]

Keeping It Real: Where Is The Love?

PHOTO BY JODIE BRIM CREATIVE It’s February . . . with celebrations of love, right? So why is it that so many folks struggle to feel loved? How is it that we stand in crowded rooms, yet seem so alone? I’ve discovered that people fighting to feel cherished come from every walk of life. I’ve […]

Keep it Real: I Like “New!”

I like “new!”  It feels fresh and clean.  “New” has no baggage, no memories to beat me around.  It’s untainted by yesterday’s failures and life’s regrets.  “New” offers me a blank slate to start again.  I like “new!” Given the astonishing opportunities afforded by “new,” why is it that we often use it so feebly?  […]

Keeping It Real: A Humbling Invitation

Laugh if you want, but I STILL bake Christmas cookies with my grown children. We’ve laughed and loved through this tradition since before they were old enough to remember the memory! My heart smiles to remember those little flour-smudged faces and sprinkle-filled floors. Oh, the mess! But oh, the delight! The sweetness of those moments […]

Keeping It Real: When all Hell Breaks Loose

When all hell breaks loose in your life, what is your initial reaction? I’m not asking what you want it to be. Truly, what is your “go to” reaction? Do you ever pray because you know you’re supposed to, but you don’t actually expect God to answer? (I’ve done that!) This thinking causes us to […]

Keeping It Real: The Tipping Point

PHOTO BY JODIE BRIM CREATIVE Is it just me, or are you feeling the weight of the hour, too? So many significant things seem to be hanging in the balance. Governments and economies hang by a thread. Significant situations in our own lives feel increasingly fragile, too. Our inability to squash the things that seek […]

Keeping It Real: Eyes Forward

Have you driven anywhere lately? How often did you use your rearview mirror? How much of your focus remained glued to the windshield? To be sure, your forward focus got you to the intended spot! It’s completely nonsensical to imagine reaching our destination while focused on that tiny mirror that reveals only what is behind […]

Keeping it Real: “TO COME IN BETWEEN”

Ever read Scripture that sounds completely out of character for God? Here goes: “…the Lord said to Moses, ‘Let Me alone now….’” (Exodus 32:9) Did God really just say that?! Have you ever in your life fathomed such a thing?! But it’s what God said, and I believe He meant it! You see, no matter […]

Keeping It Real: Savoring the Familiar

In 2020, predictability packed its bags and took a one-way ticket to one epic emergency after another. We barely catch our breath from one scandalizing reality before the tremors of the next tsunami commence!     February 24, 2022 . . . rumors of war in Ukraine accelerated into live images before our very eyes. […]