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Let me tell you about The Rising

If you looked at my Instagram, you might think I drink coffee and pick veggies in my garden and read books all day long, or that I just go on road trips and don't have a real job. I do all of those things quite a bit, but I actually do have a real job. I get to spend my days working for an incredible group called Rethink.

I realized recently that I don't know if I've ever really talked a lot about Rethink in this space, and it's about dang time that I did! Our team is small, but we are mighty. The men I call coworkers, I also call friends, but they feel more like big brothers. We all live in different cities, but we work together really well over the Internet and lots of video chats.

We do awesome, hard, challenging, rewarding work for a wide variety of clients-- a brewery, an author, a personal trainer, an outdoor adventure company, churches, nonprofits, a roofing company, and more. We create websites, design logos, write blogs, build and implement social media strategies, shoot video, take photos, publish ebooks, and the list goes on and on. Anything related to marketing or anything creative, we can and will do for you.

So that's the business side of Rethink...but that's not all that we do. We also created a totally different space on the Internet to house our words. We called it The Rising, and it was born in August 2014.

The Rising is my baby. It's been my passion project since we first had the idea to move Rethink's blog to its own platform. We had a small team of writers who poured out their hearts through their words and helped bring the whole thing to life.

This summer, after a lot of looking back and a lot of dreaming about the future, we decided The Rising needed a makeover. We had been in a hurry to launch the site originally, and now it was time to really take it to the next level. The website went down, and it's still down as we work to build something beautiful and engaging and truly great.

We've been talking to new writers and recruiting more people to join our team, and we have been AMAZED at how many people have come on board. We don't even have a live website to show them, but they're excited about what we're doing and they want to be part of it. That blows my mind.

Now, we're just a few days away from launching our new site full of new words from new writers. IT GOES LIVE ON SEPTEMBER 8. I cannot wait.

We share about faith, culture, and stories. We talk about the church and what we love about her and where we feel she needs to grow. We talk about the music we're listening to and loving. We share videos that are inspiring, stunning, and incredible works of art. We debate controversial topics. We share about the deep places in our own lives, our weaknesses, our struggles, our sin, our hope, our joys. It's a space where nothing is off limit and challenging the status quo is encouraged. We want to push things to their highest and best place-- elevating everything around us and leaving no stone unturned. 

I love The Rising and every person who has ever been or who is currently a part of our team. I love Rethink and the men I get to work with who relentlessly encourage and support me and The Rising so well. I love that this is my job, but that it so often doesn't feel like work at all.

Shameless plug: If you are interested in writing, sharing music, photographs, or videos, or contributing to The Rising in any way at all, I would LOVE to talk to you! You can click on the "Write for Us" button HERE and shoot me a message, or just comment on this post and I'll be in touch.

The Rising will be live September 8. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook so you don't miss anything! There will be some fun things happening when we launch that we are excited for you to be in on.

We can't wait for you to see it all.

A Words Roundup

This last week, so many things I read just resonated with me SO MUCH. And I want you all to read them all now. Here's a roundup of the best things I've read online recently! Enjoy.


"Don’t be the next anybody. Be deeply, weirdly, completely, totally you." // Shauna Niequist drops an awesome bomb with this post

"I think my generation is venturing into some seriously uncharted waters, because while we’re hesitant to label relationships, we do participate in some deviation of them." // Jordana Narin won this year's Modern Love College Essay Contest from The New York Times, and it's a strikingly true look at what our generation has turned love and relationships into.

"If we were on a coffee date, I'd encourage you to write yourself letters. Buy yourself a journal and just write to you. Dear you and Love, me are powerful things." // Amber Thomas writes these posts as if you were on a coffee date with her, and every single time, I so deeply wish I was.

"For introverts who generate ideas best without the looming presence of others, knowing the topic in advance is key." // This post on the TED Blog is GREAT. Every brainstorm meeting I've been a part of has been stressful for me as an introvert, and this post has fantastic tips for making that NOT the case.

"We desperately need someone to tell us we are going to make it. To simple say, "I'll be there when you make it", and "I'll still be here while you make your way"." // Katherine Henson could have pulled these words from my very core, they struck me so deeply. They're the words I've been feeling and wrestling with but not really knowing how to say. These are the kinds of people I want.

"So here is my suggestion: Read a bit of poetry today." // Sarah Bessey reminded me of what my heart knows to be true: I need to surround myself with beautiful words that slow me down and open my eyes to lovely things. I need to read poetry today and every day.

This Week's Gems: A Friday Freewrite

It's Friday. Can I get a big, loud HALLELUJAH? What a week it's been. I've been all over the place this week, getting home just when it's time to fall into bed, working long hours, spending time with awesome people every evening. My thoughts are all over the place too, but here are some things that have been meaningful to me this week. Happy Friday, friends! 

You can feel bad about yourself and the fact that you've been slacking on the gym lately, or you can suck it up and go back and get to work. I tweeted this on Monday as I was cranking out 6 miles on the bike with a very angry knee. I'm not sure why I think there will be a huge flashing sign on my forehead announcing to all other gym-goers that "I HAVEN'T BEEN HERE IN A WHILE"...but that's really what I think. Monday, I mustered up every ounce of discipline I could find and made myself go. And it was so worth it. My muscles have been reminding me all week how worth it it was. So stop feeling bad, stop beating yourself up, stop thinking everyone will judge you for skipping a few days, and just go back. Get to it. (This is me trying to motivate myself, but hey, if it helps you too, awesome.)

Gather with old friends and new ones and soak up the goodness of being together. My small group had a cookout on Tuesday after weeks of not seeing each other, and it was so good. I love being with those people, and I loved having new faces around the circle, too. It was simple and sweet and quintessentially summer-- burgers on the grill, games of cornhole, cold ciders and beers and great conversations on the patio. There doesn't need to be an elaborate plan or menu or anything, just being together and letting the night roll on is enough. Those things fill you up.

Creativity comes best in community. Several meetings at work this week were about creative projects, and the ideas that came out of those brainstorm sessions were awesome, bold, innovative. I was reminded that sometimes the best ideas come out of teamwork. One mind is great, but a group of minds is powerful. Each voice and perspective pushed our idea to a better place, a stronger place. It reminded me that the best art isn't created in isolation. We need each other.

Encouragement comes in all kinds. Texts from friends who have believed in you for years, encouraging you to do the hard things and letting you know it's worth it and sharing with you how excited they are for what's ahead. Emails from strangers around the world, filling your heart with the assurance that God is at work in the midst of all the words and the blog posts. Conversations outside of Dairy Queen as part of HOPE's young adult gathering, people asking simply "how's the blogging?" I'm so deeply grateful for every bit of it all.

"Humility births courage and is brother to the brave." -Ann Voskamp // This woman's words constantly seep deep into my heart and wake up good and hard things in me. This post was one like that.

This medleyJust listen. I've gushed about JOHNNYSWIM before, and I'll gush again-- they're that good. I'm a sucker for a killer mash-up. I love when unique things blend together in a new way to make something better than any part had been alone. This song is the epitome of that, and it's been on repeat all week. 

I hope your weekend holds new adventures, times to rest, fun with people you love, and bits of the best parts of summer. What's been meaningful to you this week? I would love to hear!

The newest news!

Friends, family, followers--

God is really, really cool. Seriously. I have been absolutely blown away by His goodness and awesomeness lately. I knew God provided, but I've seen provisions in abundance lately. I knew God has more for me, but I've really seen the immeasurably more I was believing would come.

If you're reading this, you know I love to blog. You know that I share my heart best through words, and you know that I'm passionate about my faith and sharing it. I absolutely love it. And now, because God is just incredibly awesome and the greatest Provider, I get to share my words with even more people.

The awesome men of Rethink Creative Group sought me out and invited me to join the group as a collaborator. (MAJOR shoutout to my best friend and small group leader Vianne for giving them my name and just being so awesome and selfless to do so!) You may have seen me announce this on Facebook and Twitter last week, but I wanted you all to hear it here as well.

I am so honored to be a part of this group. These guys (I'm the first female collaborator! Woo! Girl power.) are on fire for the Lord, using all of their creativity and their passions for his glory in their different ways. It has been so cool to come on board with them and be a part of their mission to constantly innovate as we seek to change the world for the Gospel.

I would wholeheartedly encourage you to follow the Rethink blog. You'll get to read posts from me, other collaborators, and guest bloggers as well. The words that fill that blog are fire. They are truth, they are powerful, they are innovative and creative, they are encouraging and challenging and moving. They will change your heart and your life. 

I could go on and on about how incredible it is to be a small part of Rethink-- but go check out the site and the blog and see for yourself.

Please give me any feedback you have! Have a topic you would love to see written about? Let me know. Have someone you think should guest blog with us? Pass their name and info along! We would love that. I (and the rest of the guys) want to hear from you about anything and everything.

While you're at it, like Rethink on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and plug in to all that we're doing. God is moving in mighty ways, and we can't wait for what 2014 is going to bring.

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