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Big news! It’s here!

For a girl with words I’m actually not sure how to write this.  What it comes down to is that I’m so grateful and I’m still a bit in shock.  My book Spoken & Heard: 31 conversations with the Maker of stars is out in the world!  It’s been such an incredible and growing journey.  Last year I posted that it would launch in 2017.  October of this year that happened!

This book is my heart on paper.  Here’s a little peek into what it’s about:

Prayer doesn’t have to be boring or fake.  It doesn’t have to be a chore.  It can be gritty, beautiful, and real.  When you come to the Lord of the universe you can pour out your heart in truth, withholding nothing.  Here are 31 conversations, heart cries, and spoken word poetry pieces (one for each day of the month) to draw you closer in relationship with Jesus.  This is an invitation to see God afresh.  This is an invitation to get real with God.  This is an invitation to speak.  You will be heard.  Don’t you want to have a conversation with the Maker of stars?

Your responses to this part of my heart have been so amazing.  Your reviews, comments, pictures holding the book in your hands, have all been such grace to me and I’m incredibly grateful.  Thank you.  And if you don’t have a copy yet get one here! It’s perfect for starting a new month out as it’s set up in 31 day portions.  One to read every day to have a conversation with the Maker of stars.

Posted on December 29, 2017 by | Comments { 0 }

Exploit your challenges

Last week I listened to a podcast about a woman who was widowed at 25 and had two small children and a newborn.  She said something that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget.  She asked the Lord to not let her waste her pain.  That stopped me in my tracks.  It’s a completely amazing way of looking at grief, pain, and loss.

In the past I’ve dealt with intense health challenges. For so many reasons it’s not something I talk about often.  Recently I’ve been dealing with symptoms that I haven’t experienced this strongly for a while.  As I listened to this podcast I realized that I don’t want to waste my trials. I don’t want you to waste yours either.

The amazing thing is that even though we all have painful, challenging things happen in our lives we don’t have to let them win.

As I wrestle right now with my health I want to say this.  God is good in the pain.  He is faithful in the difficult times.  He doesn’t leave me.  He is just as beautiful and magnificent to me when I’m hurting as he is when life feels perfect. 

Exploit your challenges.  When I looked up the word exploit I was greatly encouraged by the meaning. It means to “make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource).”

In my weakness I’ve found that Jesus is stronger.  In my pain I’ve found comfort in the Lord.  In my struggle I’m reminded that heaven is going to be a place where I never have to experience this physical break down ever again.  In this challenge I’m reminded that I’ve walked through things so that I can turn around and really empathize with someone else.

Friends, are you facing hard things right now?  Ask yourself how you are going to use the painful things in your life.  Will you let them destroy you or will you get every last ounce of learning and benefit out of it as you look for the redemption?

If you liked this post and want more you can get some weekly encouragement by just signing up HERE! 🙂 Pull up a chair friend. I’m glad to have you as part of the crew!

Posted on July 26, 2017 by | Comments { 2 }

29 things to make your life richer

Recently I had a birthday so here are 29 things I’ve been learning the past twenty something years of my life. I say learning because I’m still growing. (Also if you’re not part of the Dear Wednesday crew that’s where I’m writing weekly these days and I’d love for you to be a part of it!  Just sign up HERE for the good stuff!)

1.  Enjoy right now.  If you’re not finding contentment where you are you probably wont ever find it.
2.  Give.  Generously. You won’t regret it. 
3.  Strike up conversations with strangers.  You never know what wonderful/surprising things will happen.
4.  Learn to ask good questions.
5.  Always put Jesus first in your day.
6.  You can revisit something you once tired to do and told yourself you couldn’t.  You can actually do more than you think you can. 
7.  Enter into the joy of others. You are blessed to be a blessing. 
8.  Hear people out.  It’s okay to just listen and not have all the answers.
9.  Listen to your gut.  Don’t be so worried about what other people think.  And remember that God does direct you.
10.  Commit to long-term projects that take faithfulness.  It builds character and endurance. 
11.  Just start.
12.  Accept compliments graciously.
13.  Always say, “I love you” when you leave the people you care about.
14.  Celebrate the little things.
15.  Learn to have a schedule and a morning routine.
16.  Exercise daily.
17.  Let people go who are one sided friendships
18.  Be a “clever fox” in how you rest.  Rest intentionally knowing that it is important.
19.  Say no.  And don’t feel guilty about it.
20.  Praising Jesus is always a good option no matter how you feel.
21.  Take time to be grateful and write it down every day.
22.  Don’t compare your timeline to other people’s.  There’s never been a you before.
23.  Make donuts! Eat the ice cream! Have the chocolate, maybe even a few.
24.  Hug often.
25.  Let yourself feel whatever it is and then move on.  But it’s okay to feel it and process it.  Don’t just stuff it.
26. Do things you never thought you would do.  Surprise yourself.  Crash the wedding.
27.  Be extravagant with love.  Fly halfway across the nation to be in a friends wedding.  Write a note for every day of the year your friend will be gone and surprise them with it.
28.  Be proactive about rewriting the lies in your head.
29.  Trust Jesus with everything in you and pray often.   
What would you add to your list?

If you liked this post you can get some weekly encouragement by just signing up HERE! 🙂 Pull up a chair friend. I’m glad to have you as part of the crew!

Posted on June 28, 2017 by | Comments { 8 }

Launching in 2017!

Leap Day 2016 | Misselainious blogPhew! So I said I was taking a month off from blogging to work on a project. Well, I have been working on said project but surprise, surprise it’s taking longer than a month. While I haven’t been blogging I have been writing weekly for the Dear Wednesday crew (a once a week email I send out).

What’s this big project I’m working on? I’m writing a book! Wow. Yep, I just said that out loud to you didn’t I? I’m launching a book in 2017 and I couldn’t be more excited! I can’t wait to share it with you. It’s truly going to be a piece of my heart and I don’t want you to miss out on this. If you want to be one of the first to know all about it I’m going to be launching it to the Dear Wednesday crew first. That means if you’re not a part of this awesome crew already then you should be!

How do you join the crew? Well you can sign up HERE or you can leave your email + first name in the comments below. (Make sure to check your email since you need to confirm you want to be on the list if you use the link I’ve provided.) Pull up a chair friend. I’m glad to have you as part of the crew! And stay tuned for more news because I’m going to keep you in the loop now.  Here’s to launching a book in 2017!


Posted on December 30, 2016 by | Comments { 12 }

Growing into this

butterfly-shirt-misselainious-blogWhen I was ten I had the privilege of going on a trip of a lifetime to Greece with my family and my Yia yia.  People had blatantly told me that it was a bit of a bummer that a ten year old was taking the trip since I wouldn’t remember it.  Well that was enough for my feisty little self to give a silent promise to my heart that I would soak it in and remember every last little thing I possibly could.  To this day it is still one of the most vivid trips of my life and the details I remember are incredible.

On that trip I had only one desire for a souvenir.  I wanted to find a white Grecian dress.  Alas it was insanely difficult to find one and in the end I settled for a little white dress.  I outgrew it far too quickly.  But while we were on one of the islands my brother wanted to find a t-shirt.  We went in this tacky touristy shop and while he made his selection I walked around.  I hadn’t gone in with the expectation of getting something but then I spotted a bright cobalt blue shirt with five artsy colorful butterflies on it.  I was hesitant to ask for it but something about that shirt made me bold.  “Daddy can I get that butterfly shirt.”  My sweet father happily obliged.  Since the shop didn’t carry children’s sizes I got a small but it still hung on me.  I didn’t care.  I loved it.

Through the years I wore it over and over and as time passed and my closet got cleaned out again and again that butterfly shirt stayed.  I’m 28 now and I still have that shirt.  And yes, I still wear it because I adore it.  Eighteen years later it fits a little differently now.  That’s because it actually fits.  I’ve grown into it.  It no longer hangs on me.

I think there are a lot of things in life like that.  We get them and we love (or we don’t…) them but they don’t quite fit us.  Yet.  Some things take time to grow into.  Sometimes it is friendship, sometimes it is knowledge, and sometimes it’s just life experience.  Thinking about this idea of growing into things reminded me of a quote I read forever ago in Corrie ten Boom’s book The Hiding Place.

“He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing.  At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case off the floor and set it on the floor.
‘Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?’ he said.
I stood up and tugged at it.  It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning.
‘It’s too heavy,’ I said.
‘Yes,’ he said, ‘and it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It’s the same way, Corrie, with knowledge.  Some knowledge is too heavy for children.  When you are older and stronger, you can bear it.  For now you must trust me to carry it for you.’”

It’s okay for things to take time.  Maybe there are things in your life right now that don’t make a lot of sense because you’re still growing into them.  You’re still putting on weight and substance that make you, you.  You’re forming still and eventually that thing that feels too big will fit you perfectly.


Friends, this month after much consideration I’ll be taking off the month of October from blogging to work on a project I just keep putting off.  I’m really excited about it and can’t wait to tell you all about it so stay tuned!  I will still be sharing though in the Dear Wednesday email (only one a week so you don’t have to worry about me spamming you 😉 ) so if you like what you find on the blog that’s more of the same but a little more personal.  Plus I’ll probably share there first what I’m working on so if you want to stay in the loop that’s the best way to do it. 🙂  Just leave your email address and first name below, email me at misselaini [ @ ] gmail.com (remove brackets + spaces), or sign up HERE! (Make sure you check your email to confirm and your promotions inbox for weekly emails.)  I look forward to being back on here in November!

Posted on September 26, 2016 by | Comments { 10 }


one-can-give-without-loving-but-one-cannot-love-without-giving-%e2%80%95-amy-carmichael“The fact that I’m a woman doesn’t make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I’m a Christian does make me a different kind of woman.” ~ Elizabeth Elliot

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” ~  J.K. Rowling

“Watch carefully, the magic that occurs, when you give a person just enough comfort to be themselves.” ~ Atticus

“We are all, in the private kingdom of our hearts, desperate for the company of a wise, true friend. Someone who isn’t embarrassed by our emotions, or her own, who recognizes that life is short and all that we have to offer, in the end, is love.” ~ Steve Almond

“Asking for help with shame says: You have the power over me.  Asking with condescension says: I have the power over you.  But asking for help with gratitude says: We have the power to help each other.” ~ Amanda Palmer

“Get real.  You can be free.  Look at him.  He’s God who died for you, but he’s also a man.  He understands.  He knows what it’s like.  He has been tempted in every way as you are.” ~ Tim Keller

“I have yet to see a house that lacked sufficient storage.  The real problem is that we have far more than we need or want.” ~ Marie Kondō

P.S.  Need more encouragement in your life?  I’ve started a Dear Wednesday encouragement crew and if you’d like to be a part of it (and not miss out on the Wednesday post!) make sure to leave your email below or sign up here!  I’m excited to send you mail on Wednesday!






Posted on September 23, 2016 by | Comments { 0 }

A door of hope

elaini-house-21We walk through life and experience so many ups and downs and twists and turns.  Sometimes we seem stuck in one place and the variance seems small.  I don’t know about you but I’ve definitely experienced different seasons of discouragement and challenge.  There have been times when I’ve felt stuck in a valley with no hope for any view from the mountaintops.

I was telling someone recently that over the years there have been times when I felt like every door was locked or shut in my face and I was stuck in a room with so many doors but no way to get out.

So recently as I was reading my Bible I came across a passage that stood out to me because it talked about a door and a valley.  The next day I saw a similar passage which surprised me since I wasn’t looking for it.  I knew that the Lord was speaking to me.

“And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.  And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.” (Hosea 2:15, ESV emphasis added)

“Sharon shall become a pasture for flocks, and the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down, for my people who have sought me.” (Isaiah 65:10, ESV emphasis added)

My eyes glanced down to the footnote.  The word Achor in the Bible means trouble.  Yes, the valley of trouble.  Have you been in a valley of trouble lately?  We’ve all been there at some point or will be in the future but that’s not what surprised me.  What is so beautiful is the next picture the verse in Hosea gives us.  The Lord will turn the Valley of Trouble into A Door Of Hope.  The Lord always gives us a door out of the valley of trouble with a door of hope.

The other passage says that the Valley of Achor will become a place for herds to lie down in.  It reminds me of the famous passage in Psalm 23.  “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:1-3 ESV)  The Shepherd brings the sheep into a place of rest.

In our trouble we need to find rest and the best place to find it is in the Lord.  We need to find a door of hope and when we pause we realize that Jesus is our door of hope because he’s the ultimate reason for hope.  When we put our hope in him and what he’s done he will never let us down.

Those who seek the Lord shall find him.  If you’re in the valley of trouble today remember there is always a door of Hope in Jesus.  May you walk in and through him.

P.S.  Need more encouragement in your life?  I’ve started a Dear Wednesday encouragement crew and if you’d like to be a part of it (and not miss out on the Wednesday post!) make sure to leave your email below or sign up here!  I’m excited to send you mail on Wednesday!

{Photo of me by: Christa Taylor}


Posted on September 19, 2016 by | Comments { 4 }



“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready.  I have this feeling that actually no one is ever ready to do anything.  There’s almost no such thing as ready.  There is only now.” ~ Huge Lauren

“Seeds must be sown everywhere.  Only some will bear fruit.  But there would not be the fruit from the few had the many not been sown.” ~ Chaim Potok

“May you find shelter beneath the shadow of God’s wing.  May you be wise enough to stay in His established space for you, trusting He’ll move you to your next place when the timing is right.  May His grace empower you to live abundantly, to stand strong, and to pray powerfully.  May your honor for Him compel you to trust Him when your trials seem truer than His Word.  He will not fail you, will not forget you.  He’s with you in battle, He’ll help you when your heart breaks, and He’ll deliver you and bless you before a watching world when the time is right.  Trust Him.  You’re so very dear to His heart.” ~ Susie Larson

“It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.” ~George Eliot

“We get so worried about being pretty.  Let’s be pretty kind.  Pretty funny.  Pretty smart.  Pretty strong.” ~ Britt Nicole

“But mark this: the nature of your calling does not indicate the level of God’s approval of you.  And the fact that others have gifts and opportunities you don’t have doesn’t diminish the intensity of God’s intentionality about the things He created you to do.” ~ Steven Furtick

“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” ~ Eeyore (Winnie the Pooh)

P.S.  Need more encouragement in your life?  I’ve started a Dear Wednesday encouragement crew and if you’d like to be a part of it (and not miss out on the Wednesday post!) make sure to leave your email below or sign up here!  I’m excited to send you mail on Wednesday!




Posted on September 16, 2016 by | Comments { 2 }


warped-misselainious-blogWhen we moved a few years back we inherited all sorts or quirks in this new house. Flowers sprung up that we had no idea existed, floor boards squeaked in odd places, the toilet was pink…but it took us a while to realize a few of them. For some reason the bathroom mirror is warped. The realization was long in coming that these mirrors reacted to an object like a funny mirror at an amusement park. You know those mirrors that are endlessly hilarious because they make you look too short or too long or too something-other-than-what-you-really are? Yeah, well that’s our bathroom mirror.

The thing is it’s subtle enough to not realize that it’s making you look terrible (our poor guests). You just stand there fidgeting with your hair or wondering if it’s the lighting in the bathroom that’s making you look a little off that day. Of course there was finally that moment when my mom and I were standing there looking at the refection and we had an “ah ha” moment. It took looking somewhere else to see the truth about how we looked that day.

I think we do this all the time as humans. We look to the wrong thing to tell us who we are. We often choose a jumbled look at reality. We choose the funny mirror. What is the solution though to a warped mirror?

You see, where we turn our gaze matters. If we’re looking into a warped mirror we will see the wrong view of ourselves. It might be amusing or scary at first but in reality it’s not telling us the truth. I believe that the only person that can give us an accurate picture of who we are is Jesus. Do you know what picture he sees of his children? He sees them as completely righteous, holy, loved. While we often see the worst version of ourselves he looks at us and says, “there is now no condemnation.” The truth is that we get his perfect record. Yes, at one time we were more flawed and sinful than we can even begin to dream but that mirror has been thrown out. It doesn’t get to tell us who we are any more.

Instead of looking into a messed up mirror we need to look through the lens of scripture. “The looked to him and were radiant and their faces will never be ashamed.” I know I’ve quoted that verse from Psalm 34:5 several times on here but it’s because it teaches me so many things. I’ve got to stop looking at myself and start looking at Jesus. When I see who he really is then I’m changed. He has said he sees me with the perfect record of his Son. From where I’m standing that view looks pretty beautiful.

P.S.  Need more encouragement in your life?  I’ve started a Dear Wednesday encouragement crew and if you’d like to be a part of it (and not miss out on the Wednesday post!) make sure to leave your email below or sign up here!  I’m excited to send you mail on Wednesday!


Posted on September 12, 2016 by | Comments { 2 }


Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbon. ~ Ruth Ann Schabacker“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” ~ Dale Carnegie

“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” ~  John 1:14

“The moment you put a deadline on your dream, it becomes a goal.” ~ Harsha Bhogle

“You don’t necessarily have to execute them right away- or ever for that matter- but it is important to think of your ideas as little gems.” ~ Marion Groot (On overcoming creative overwhelm.)

“In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude.  It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Love is the crowning grace of humanity, the holiest right of the soul, the golden link which binds us to duty and truth, the redeeming principle that chiefly reconciles the heart to life, and is prophetic of eternal good.” ~ Petrarch

“If I were your enemy, I’d magnify your fears, making them appear insurmountable, intimidating you with enough worries until avoiding them becomes your driving motivation. I would use anxiety to cripple you, to paralyze you, leaving you indecisive, clinging to safety and sameness, always on the defensive because of what might happen. When you hear the word faith, all I’d want you to hear is ‘unnecessary risk.'” ~ Priscilla Shirer

P.S.  Hey friend, want more encouragement in your life?  I’ve started a Dear Wednesday encouragement crew and if you’d like to be a part of it (and not miss out on the Wednesday post!) make sure to leave your email below or sign up here!  I’m excited to send you mail on Wednesday!


Posted on September 9, 2016 by | Comments { 2 }