What I Love About Christmas and a Great Holiday Gift Guide

What I Love About Christmas and a Great Holiday Gift Guide

“Deep in the night The voices of the waves on the shore Announced to us: Christ is born! Son of the King of kings From the land of salvation, The mountains glowed to Him, The plains glowed to Him, Then shone the sun on the mountains high to Him. All hail, let there be joy. In me, Lord Christ, let there be joy.” Taken from Celtic Daily Prayer: Prayers and Readings from the Northumbria Community…

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Holly Austin Smith Shares Story of Falling Prey to Sex Trafficking

Holly Austin Smith Shares Story of Falling Prey to Sex Trafficking

“Nobody said anything about prostitution. It just hung in the air like a slab of meat.”-Holly Austin Smith, survivor of DMST and Washington Times columnist At the opening of Araminta’s Unchained Conference on Saturday, September 14, 2013, Holly Austin Smith shared the beginning of her story. It’s the story of a young girl in 8th grade, trying to fit in with friends, wishing to be “cooler”, hoping for someone to see her as “special”. “When…

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A Call to Abolish Modern Day Sex Trafficking

A Call to Abolish Modern Day Sex Trafficking

When I was 13, I was settling into middle school, making new friends, crushing on boys and enjoying sleepovers. I was still at that ripe age of innocence before high school drama, relationship hangups and rebellion kicked in. I see now that I was fortunate to have all of these experiences, the good and the bad. Sadly, for some girls, 13 is the average age of entry into “prostitution” in the US.  Only these girls…

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Fallingwater and Secluded Sacredness

Fallingwater and Secluded Sacredness

The rolling roads twisted, wove and dunked over and around the hills leading up to Mill Run, Pennsylvania. It was the 4th of July, a day ripe for adventure. Upon arrival at Fallingwater, I noticed there was something enchanting about this place. An artistic retreat created by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Kaufmann family, Fallingwater is neatly nested atop a waterfall, a monument merged between sandstone and the streams of Bear Run. The one-hour guided…

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A Summer Challenge To Stay Motivated

A Summer Challenge To Stay Motivated

I’ve let the last month slip by. June was a crazy month. I worked my first conference for the company I now work for. Celebrated two years of marriage, Father’s Day, my husband’s 25th birthday. We started painting the inside of our house (Blazen Orange was our first project and I’m super happy with it!). Lastly, we were invited to a new neighbors housewarming party, which was a great opportunity for us to meet our…

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Faith in Small Things: Our Warrior Walk at Relay for Life

Faith in Small Things: Our Warrior Walk at Relay for Life

I don’t know about you, but I often feel like there is way too much noise in my life. It is in these moments that I decide it’s time to de-clutter or I ask myself questions like “Do you feel fulfilled?” or “What’s your mission” and “Are you taking action to pursue it?” It’s definitely a cycle I go through quite often, but I think it can be healthy if I use it to make…

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Newfound Joy

Newfound Joy

I’ve never known a joy like this. Little fingers grip my own and wrap themselves around my heart. Sleepy smiles bring sisterly giggles, moments to be cherished. I’ve never known a joy like this. Even when those ocean eyes shed a tear or two, An auntie’s loving voice can soothe away the blues. That’s right, I’m an auntie now, and was inspired to write some poetry! What an amazing experience to welcome my niece to…

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Good Friday: Sacrifice is Not Selective

Good Friday: Sacrifice is Not Selective

It’s been a rough week. Stress, lack of sleep, worry and uncertainty have all played their part this week…but then I read this: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.”-Psalm 28:7 Though I may not have the strength to wake up every morning, He does. Though I may lose confidence in myself and…

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Harriet Tubman: Her Legacy and How It Affects Modern-Day Slavery

Harriet Tubman: Her Legacy and How It Affects Modern-Day Slavery

I remember reading about her in middle school. About the risks she took to lead nearly 70 slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad. Thinking about the strength and courage it must have required. Yes, even at age 11, I admired her. Harriet Tubman was not just a survivor. She was an activist and a defender of freedom. This month marks the 100th anniversary of her death. Two proposed national parks, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad…

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This Is Where A Seed Was Planted

This Is Where A Seed Was Planted

I’m hungry. Not for a sandwich or chocolate creme puff. This is a hunger I’ve never felt before, a hunger for life, for change, risk, wisdom, courage, excitement, FREEDOM. I’ve always been one to try my hand at something new. Last year it was jewelry making and the ukulele (still working on this one). The year before that, zip lining over treetops in Costamaya and planning my wedding! And the year before that, interviewing the homeless in Baltimore…

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