Finding Voice


I kept real quiet on here for a few months while friends and family would kindly ask, "where did you go?"

I’d smile and fidget awkwardly; my posture whenever someone says kind words. I felt so grateful they'd noticed I left but also so guilty for not coming back.

I’m sure you’ve felt this way before too - there’s something you used to do but stopped doing it because maybe life got too busy or hard. Maybe the thing you really loved started to feel like a silly hobby, taking you away from being a “real adult". Maybe it felt luxurious or selfish. Maybe it didn’t come easy anymore, it felt a heck of a lot like work.

And you believed the lie that if it’s hard, you should stop. Maybe you’re not meant to do it.

The juice isn’t really worth the squeeze.

Perhaps you desperately wanted it to become something and it stayed small.

My main reason for stopping was because I couldn't find my voice. Which seems like a silly thing to misplace. But it didn’t sound familiar anymore. Suddenly the voice I knew, the way I was writing, felt like talking to a friend I hadn’t seen in quite a while.

The friend you used to be really close with as a child but after high school, both went your separate ways. Her down one path, you down the another. And suddenly, all the things that seemed so similar before don’t really match up.

So you sit down for coffee, unsure of the best place to start other than at the very beginning, because you have to get to know each other all over again.


So I stopped sharing because I figured voice was essential to this space. I had to find it.

Along the way, I learned the places you don’t find it.

You don’t find your voice by sitting on it.

You don’t find it by keeping quiet and aiming to please.

You don’t find it by changing who you are depending on who you are with.

You don’t find it by scrolling through instagram or checking facebook.

You don’t find it by choosing isolation in the midst of pain. Or saying, “I’m fine” when really you’re falling apart.

You don’t find it without crawling back into your past. You don’t have to stay there, you just need to visit and dig your feet in a little.

I can say these things with confidence because I’ve done all of them. Many of them I still wrestle with because I’m human. We get buckets of grace for being human. So voice has been the thing I keep coming back to and truthfully it’s been one of the hardest parts as a writer.

Because if it means not silencing it, it means we have to speak. It means we have to walk through the fear - even when we feel like someone else could write this piece way better or we believe the lie that it’s all been said before.

It also means we listen. We have to listen to find our voice. We have to be willing to be quiet and still and put our phones away or any other distracting device that pulls us from living in the present moment.

We have to be willing to go do things alone. Which used to be way easier for me before getting married.


If I am learning anything, it’s that voice isn’t stagnant, it moves and changes and adapts. Because we change and grow. So if this space doesn’t change, I think I am doing an injustice.

And I’m certainly not being honest with you because the woman I was two years ago is different than the woman I am now. And those changes aren't always clear and visible. They're rarely flashy and instagram worthy. Often the change is grueling inner work, slow and steady.

Two steps forward, one step back sort of thing.

And the only folks who really notice are the ones we are doing life with day in and day out.

So I’ll probably be introducing you to a few more chapters of my story in the weeks to come. I’ll have you meet the person I was in order to truly understand the woman I am now - the woman I am slowly becoming. Because I can’t silence those stories or abandon my past.

And truthfully, I don't want to choose. I don't want to pick a voice and silence all the others. I am still growing in and through them. And I suppose I want to give you the push and encouragement to do the same - to be all the many parts of you. No matter how conflicting they might seem.

Because I think in that place, the tug of war, the walking through our past and touching the walls of where we've been, we just might find it. We just might find the quiet whispers of a girl we used to know and haven’t spoken to in quite a while.

We just mind find our most honest voice.

Photography: Amelia Schmid :: Website // Instagram

more than an ashtray

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The summer before I got married I took a pottery class in an old dairy barn.

It was something I had always wanted to do and felt a season before great change was ideal to press into creativity and art.

Truthfully, I needed something to ground me before such a huge transition.

So I took this class because I love the way coffee and tea feel in a handmade mug and because like you - gardeners, painters, bread makers, writers - I crave to use my hands to make something beautiful.

The class was small. I was the youngest by about twenty years. They were a tight knit group and often wondered how I even found this little dairy barn.

There is technique to wheel throwing but I discovered so much of it is in how you feel. It's a delicate balance and movement, a dance of sort, of keeping your feet firmly planted, elbows by your side, and arms relaxed as your hands and body apply pressure to a piece of clay in hopes of turning it into something durable and lovely.

And there's a whole other dance to pull up the sides so a mug or vase or bowl can actually function.

Often I'd be strong and focused with setting the clay and softening it on the wheel. I'd carefully maneuver my fingers and thumb to make the piece come to life. Until suddenly, I'd push too hard or not enough. One side would collapse and I'd have to start all over again or grab a small knife to cut the top.

My mug would become an ashtray.

It became our running joke.

Let's not make any more ashtrays, yeah? How about we go for something different today. 

In so many ways, this season feels a lot like that piece of clay on a wheel.

Maybe life always will?

We're constantly being molded and shaped and cut to form something durable. I can feel my God applying pressure to one side, an area of weakness, and sometimes it's so tender and fragile that it collapses.

And it feels like we're starting at the very beginning.

A new bud growing on a branch.

Though His work is very different than mine. You see, He doesn't strip things away, start anew and leave me there to dry and crack.

A piece to place on a windowsill, that while beautiful, has no real extra purpose or ability than holding small coins or rings. 

No, I think He's much more creative. I don't think He keeps us there - even when the journey is long and we're stuck in the waiting room.

Slowly, with time, an empty vessel becomes something that carries weight and isn't so afraid to take up space.

He turns what was once broken into something useful and plentiful.

I've met women in my work who wonder if they are too far gone. Women who have seen and experienced too much to believe that redemption is possible. I have friends who feel stuck in negative patterns and are covered in fog; who feel the weight of anxiety and discontent and not enough.

I've been there and am there. I think maybe we always waver in the in-between.

They'll be those days we think the potter is done.

So you're just going to make another ashtray, are you? 

And the human element might think: well, would it really be so bad? I mean, an ashtray can be used for beautiful things too. It's okay if you stop right there and keep me where I'm comfortable.

Please don't push or pull any further.

I don't know about you friend, but I get antsy in that place. Like a child sitting inside at school on a really beautiful, sunny day.

I really want to swim out further. I want to enter the place where I have to cry out for something bigger than just me. Because in that place of discomfort and fear, what I trust is actually happening is the potters finest work.

Something that was once sitting on a windowsill collecting dust is reborn and used for more. 

And in this space, we're able to hear a soft whisper, close enough that it tickles our ear: Don't be so afraid to take up more space dear one. I designed you to be filled up, poured out and deeply loved.