Enough is Unattainable

One of the words that I hate most is enough.

Enough feels like a chain around my ankle that keeps me from coming up for air.

I will never be beautiful enough. I will never be smart enough. I will never be funny enough. I will never work hard enough. I will never be loved enough. I will never have enough energy, money, or time.

Sometimes, the weight of the pressure to be enough for myself – not even for others – is crushing. It is always present when I walk into a room of new people or even when I sit down around a table with my friends. When you factor in the expectations that I perceive that others have for me it will always be a losing battle and I will never be enough. If I have to be enough, then I can look forward to a lifetime of getting home and feeling sick as I analyze every part of my day to see where I didn’t measure up.

Because recently I realized that for me, enough isn’t even perfection. Enough is being better than the absolute best. It means comparing my worst parts of myself to the best of others. It is collecting all of the good things I hear people say about others and working day and night to make sure that I go above and beyond to make sure I can be more than that.

When I am not enough I am a failure.

This practice of measuring up is not only unhealthy, it goes against everything I am actually trying to be according to the gospel. When you have to be enough there is no room for humility. There is no grace or gratitude for your gifts or others. Instead of seeing the kingdom all I can see is my own perceived brokenness.

I believe lies in the “enough competition” like “Do unto others as you would have them do to you” actually means “If you are doing enough others will do unto you”. I believe God stops fighting for us when we don’t sit down for a Instagram worthy daily devotional. I believe that I have to be an invaluable member of the team in order to take part at all.

But all of these beliefs are lies. They are standards that can’t be reached and they prevent us from hope, joy, and love. They breed competition and insecurity. They make it impossible to be the person I really want to be, a person with faith and hope for the future.

I wish I could tell you that it is easy to just stop the “enough competition” with a simple prayer or just being aware. But it’s a fight that takes everything you’ve got. Prayer and awareness certainly help. Vulnerability is a key player. Gratitude can go a long way. The most important thing is that we keep fighting together. I still don’t have an easy fix for you but I promise to be vulnerable along the journey.

I hope that is enough for you.

A Guide to Your First Adult Summer

It sort of sneaks up on you, but someday you will find yourself unlocking the door to your apartment.

That’s right, your apartment.

One day I walked into my apartment after work and went to my room. This very first time, I took a minute in the threshold of my room and thought to myself, is this really happening? Am I really paying my own rent and living in this place? I knew for weeks this moment was coming but it still managed to sneak up on me. There is just something so unexpected about the first day you really feel like an adult. It is a pretty simple day, nothing extraordinary, but at the end you’ve worked and provided for yourself. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still not completely independent (Love you Mom and Dad) – but I am taking care of business this summer.

And I’ve absolutely loved it. It’s hard work, but it’s so worth while. I believe in what I’m doing. I feel fulfilled. It’s a dream come true.

So I thought I’d share this experience, some things you need to know about what it’s been like spending this summer in conference rooms and making cold calls. The summer you learn to stop thinking: I’m just a kid. 

Adult Diet

If you think “man cannot survive on apples and coffee alone” YOU ARE WRONG*!! My number one concern the first half of this summer was that I would be hungry or tired at work but this diet has proven to be excellent. I keep apples scattered through out my office, car, purse – I am basically the Easter Bunny of apples. The only exception to this diet is that every Monday I get a $5 burrito because


*Disclaimer: Don’t worry, I actually eat like a normal person but I do have apples and coffee for breakfast everyday and it is great. I probably wouldn’t survive if that was all I ate.

Adult Exercise

I have found the secret to finding that summer bod you’ve always dreamed of! Follow these simple steps and you too can be an adult office goddess like myself.

Step One: Spend as much time at your desk as you possibly can. Only move if you feel like your soul will leave your body should you spend one more moment at your desk.

Step Two: Take the stairs. ESPECIALLY if there is a threat of having to be in the elevator at the same time as another human being. It does not matter if it is your best friend or a complete stranger. There is something about workplace elevators. Small talk and silence are equally uncomfortable in that tiny box of social anxiety.

Step Three: Are you familiar with a dollie cart? Well let me tell you, that baby is going to be your new best friend. Try pulling that beauty all over campus with as much stuff as you can possibly squeeze on that bad boy in one trip. My top two dollie experiences were taking two corn hole boards across campus and when I used it to get 3,117 pieces of candy up to our office.

Step Four: Wear clothes that are appropriate for the workplace, but not appropriate for the 104 degree heat index. Don’t try to tell me not to wear corduroy pants in July because I won’t listen. The sweating will help you lose any water weight you might have. Also a piece of your sanity.

Step Five: At this point you should be pretty toned and fit, but just in case you aren’t, try keeping your supplies in a storage that is anywhere but your office. It could be another building, in a trailer, maybe another zip code. Bonus points if you have to climb stairs to get there. You’re going to be so fit.

Adult Free Time

When I come home from a long day of work, I really just want to clean. There is something so nice about being able to get in the kitchen and fix a problem so quickly without having to think about it. It’s like, oh, this dish is dirty. Well, now it’s not! Bam. Done. I never thought that I would long to clean a bathtub but here I am.

But cleaning is not all I do. I also watch movies because sometimes I will have two entire hours with nothing I have to work on. Or I will write. Or pray. Or paint. I am learning to play the Ukulele. I have nice candles that I burn while I plan for SLC. It’s incredibly relaxing to not have somewhere to be all the time. I spend all day doing something and then that is it. I get to go home.

But the sweetest of all of these is when I have company. I love hosting people in my home so much. I love making pancakes for breakfast. I love being able to catch up at night with friends over a cup of tea. People being here is still my favorite treat. It’s honestly a little nice being alone, but I still miss my friends and family terribly.


Adult Job

I honestly never thought I would enjoy working. Think about it, it’s work. But this summer has proven me wrong. I managed to find two jobs – well honestly they found me – that I really love. I have learned so much about the community, my school, the future, what it all is really like. Some times things feel a little slow or ridiculous (like when you have to call the city of Chattanooga about bamboo) but I am loving every second of this field and the people I work with.

If you ever get the chance, work on campus during the summer. It is so cool to be a part of the community when it is just you and staff. We all joke around and get to know each other with out the pressure of thousands of students. Plus, the parking is A+.

And if you ever get the chance, apply to be a VISTA in the AmeriCorps Program. It has completely changed my life and my aspirations. I love being able to help people in a way where I essentially try to work myself out of a job. Connecting with volunteers and clients is the coolest network of people. You will look back and see the difference you can make in such a short amount of time. I can’t wait to take my boss’s job someday (you heard me Mike, you better get ready to take this thing nationally because I am going to direct the Ocoee Region).


So get ready guys, it will be here before you know it. It will be glorious. You will love it. Congratulations son, you’re a man now.


Expectations are the Thief of Joy

Expect more from your expectations.

Here it is. The first day. You wake up excited to get started on your new adventure. You look extra nice. You take the time to do your hair. It is going to be different this time.

But when you get there, something goes wrong. He doesn’t open your door. The boss treats you like you just graduated from first grade. Your hall smells like ramen in the worst possible way. All of the sudden things aren’t as great as you expected and your excitement turns into dread.

When we set up expectations of how something is going to go, we set ourselves up for disappointment. By fantasizing about an ideal world where everything goes our way we allow our hopes to become the reality. Reality, however, can never be perfect. Just like I wrote in my last post, excellence is possible, but perfection is unachievable.

I don’t know about you, but I have a wild imagination and I love planning. That makes avoiding expectations almost impossible. I love new beginnings because of all the possibilities and new outcomes. How could I not think about how great things could be? I have to come up with some kind of replacement for expectations.

You can give up expectations when you give over your planning to God. This is one of those solutions that is simple, but not necessarily easy. We know that God has the best plan for our lives and that when we give him control he will always do what is best for us. That doesn’t mean that it won’t take a daily surrender to Him.

In Jeremiah 29 it says,”‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity.” 

We know that God has plans for our lives. That is the expectation that we should carry in our hearts. We should expect that God is in control and that by trusting in him, we are living the life he is calling us to. When there are bumps along the way we can call on God and he will show himself to us. By replacing our own expectations with the expectation that God is working in our lives we can find hope in any circumstance.

Dear Frontline Students,

Dear Frontline Students,
If you’re ready to fall in love with Lee we are ready to fall in love with you. Come experience @LeeU.

First and foremost, I would like thank you for taking the time to come visit Lee. Your presence brings joy to all of us here who are still on a meal plan because Deacon Jones Dining Hall really steps up their game when you come to visit us. But all joking aside, I am personally really glad that you are looking into this school that I love so much. I wanted to offer you all some advice as you look at prospective colleges and specifically at Lee. I was in your shoes only a few months ago and there are some things that I wish someone had told me when I was looking at Lee.

Here at Lee, you can go up to almost anyone and they would be more than happy to answer any questions you have. The great thing about talking to current students is they will be honest with you and answer your questions based on their own experiences. I feel that in order to get the true story of what life is like at any college you have to ask a student. When you see a college from a tour group, you don’t get to see what it is like to live there. The things that matter, like how people are adjusting to coursework or what organizations made a student feel like they were a part of something can’t be included in your admissions officer’s tour of the humanities building. However, if you go up to a student in line at Einstein’s and ask them what they love about college you will get a tour of a whole different side of college, the experience.


Your plan is going to change. Everyone changes their mind their first semester. Whether they head in a whole new direction with their major or they add a minor or they transfer schools all together. Your values, priorities, and motives all shift when you live on your own and start growing at the rate you grow your first semester. If the thing holding you back from Lee is you can’t declare a major or you don’t think they have a program you’d like do not let that stop you. My first tour at Lee I was a mechanical engineering student. Now I am a Public Relations major with hopes of working for politicians. God is bigger than a personality test. He has a real plan and calling for your life. If Lee is the place that you feel comfortable trust that He will place you on the right path.

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Come to Summer Honors. NO seriously. I think it was the best decision I ever made. You will meet so many incredible people and coming in the Fall (whichever fall you come) will be so much easier. Summer honors students are some of the most connected people on campus and that is a precious power. Plus it is just so stinkin’ fun. I went both years and it was the best part of my Junior and Senior years. Please go. It is the best way to experience Lee. You will love it.

You all, Seniors, Juniors, and even Freshmen, all have a lot of big choices coming your way. You are going to receive so much advice in these next few years and that can get overwhelming sometimes. Just remember to rely on God. He is going to get you where you are supposed to be. In the meantime, enjoy the last part of High School. Your life is about to change dramatically but it is also going to become completely and totally amazing. Welcome to college.


Halle, Lee University Freshman

Be That Freshman

Freshmen get a bad reputation sometimes. I think it is time that we empower first year students to be comfortable being themselves.

When I rolled on to campus move in day I was feeling pretty confident. I had two years of community college under my belt and two summers spent at Summer Honors, a high school camp here at Lee where you have the opportunity to earn college credit. This wasn’t my first rodeo. I had 48 command strips in my pocket and a free t-shirt on my back.

My confidence quickly turned into self awareness. I realized after a week on campus that I was a cliche. The lanyard around my neck grew heavy as I self consciously ate Sodexo for the 15th time that week. I started to see that all around me were hundreds of freshman just like me.

We were those struggling to find their IDs, already at the door of Conn Center chapel, with the judging eyes of the ushers and upperclassmen burning into our backs as we apologize and search our backpacks. We were those in line for ice cream in Deacon Jones making jokes about “the freshman 15” with uncomfortable uncertainty. We were those standing just outside the bookstore, asking the Lord to guide us, unaware of the joys of online book shopping.

Your first year at a four year university is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Yes it can feel like summer camp. Yes some of the classes are like the ones you took at community college. However, living on campus full time and adjusting to the culture of a university is something you can’t really plan or set expectations for. In this first year we are all growing and changing so much. Whether you are trying to fit in, you’re excited about the college experience you’ve heard so much about, or you just love free food and t-shirts you are going to act like “A Freshman” at some point during your first year at university.

But there is nothing wrong with being a freshman. 

Freshmen are excited. Freshmen are excited to learn. Freshmen get to meet new people everyday. Freshmen are always trying something new. Freshmen live in community and in the moment. Freshmen remind the upperclassmen what is great about college. College is a fresh start and no one appreciates that more than the freshmen do.

So I want to empower freshmen. Do not be afraid to make the mistakes every freshmen makes. Over pack. Eat Chick-Fil-A until you never want it again. Use all your flex in the first month. Wear your freshmen t-shirts with pride. All your mistakes and experiences this year help prepare you for everything that is to come. Don’t let other people bring you down. Love your school and be enthusiastic even if it isn’t cool.

Being a freshman is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You worked hard to get here and you’re going to have to work really hard to stay here. Might as well have fun and not take yourself too seriously. Just make sure you’re not that Freshman who fails all of their classes. Study hard and wear your ID card with pride. Freshman

Find Your Voice

Ready to start blogging? Learn how to find your voice as a writer.

One of the biggest road blocks I faced as I entered the world of communications was trying to find my voice as a writer. Blogging is essential as a communication student to be able to practice writing and find your voice as a writer. Blogging was a whole new world of writing for me. I had written formal essays, casual stories, and angsty poetry, but I had never written for anything like a blog. Brandi King shared her wisdom with us this week about three key things that have helped her be comfortable and successful as a professional.  Knowing your audience, connecting to humanity, and not taking yourself to seriously are also the first three steps you need to take in order to find your voice as a blogger.

Your blog should have an ideal audience, but most importantly, you should blog for yourself. Being able to reflect on my other blog, dollhousepursuit.wordress.com, has been critical in seeing my growth as a person and as a writer. One of the great things about keeping a blog is that you are able to write about what you are passionate about. Looking through old blog posts, I can see how God has been working in my life. The readers of my blog can share my experiences and passions by reading my posts. Blogging is a way to create a community of people with common interests through sharing your experiences.

Don’t be afraid to share on your blog. If there is something you are struggling with, you are passionate about, or you want to share, go for it. Your blog should be a place where you can be real with your audience. When your blog connects with the humanity around you, you are given the power to make a difference with your writing. Vulnerability in your writing can really set you apart as a blogger.

Finally, your blog should be a place where you can have a little fun. Tell your corny jokes and be yourself. A blog isn’t an academic journal, it’s a casual way to write and share your ideas. It will be much more enjoyable for you and your audience if you don’t take yourself too seriously. Your content matters, but so does the delivery. Making your blog enjoyable to read will help the content stick with the reader.

Blogging should be something that you enjoy doing! You have the opportunity to write and communicate to the world. Take the opportunity to gain experience and grow as a writer and a person. Once you know your audience, connect with humanity, and have a little fun, it will be easier to get started and turn that blank document into a blog post.