Christianity, Teen, Teenage Girls

Caroline Z.

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Caroline (bottom row, second from right) and me with our cabin at Sharptop Cove Young Life Camp in 2016.

James 5: 13-20

Against the grain. Pensive. Adventurous.

You are in for a real treat with my girl, Caroline. She is one of the coolest girls I know and she is always so much fun to hang out with. She has been through a lot in her short life and has grown up into an educated, thoughtful, and inspiring young lady. In our conversation, we chatted about prayer, how it changes things, and how it is so complicated sometimes! You will LOVE her!

Fun Fact: Caroline and I have clocked in many hours of conversation about life and Jesus and life with Jesus and what life would look like without Jesus. I have loved every one of them and have walked out of each one with even more hope in her generation of young people. We even got to chat right before she decided to start walking with Jesus at Sharptop Cove–what a gift!!!

Christianity, Teen, Teenage Girls

Jillian (Bean)

Bean on the left with Sidney (from Episode 2) dressed up as me and my husband for a skit at school–and they totally nailed it!

James 5: 7-12.

Trustworthy. Leader. Loyal.

Jillian (Bean) is one of my favorite people on the planet. She is a state-champion swimmer and will be swimming for the University of Georgia, but that’s not where her gifts end. She is a natural-born leader. She leads by example and is the definition of a servant-leader. Jillian loves people well and will always go the extra mile to care for those in need. Her entire family ranks up there with some of our favorite families and every time I’m around them I feel like I leave as a better person than when I came.

Fun Fact: Bean (and her sister) taught all of my kids how to swim–and they are now little fish! She and her sister would pick them up from school and take them to their house to do private swim lessons and wouldn’t even let me pay them–I had to shove cash in their bags or buy them gifts because they just wanted to do it because they love them! I couldn’t be more grateful for her and her influence on my own children’s lives!

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IMG_9760James 5:1-6

Wild (in the best way). Passionate. Contagious.

Addie is one of my most favorite people to be around. Her attitude and passion and energy is contagious and she can make you feel like a million bucks with just one statement. She is bold and loves her people fiercely and is a STUD athlete (hello college volleyball)! I adore this young lady and truly want to be her when I grow up!

Fun Fact: Addie and I had one of the best one-on-one conversations at Young Life camp a few years ago. Before our one-on-one a lot of the girls were hiding from me because they didn’t want to have our convo, which I thought was so funny (and had never happened to me before). At the end of our conversation, Addie frankly says, “This is why people don’t want to have one-on-ones with you–because you say it just like it is and it kind of hurts!” I love this girl and her honesty and courage as she is bravely walking this life with Jesus.

Her conversation is honest, refreshing, and has an amazing perspective. You won’t want to miss it!

Christianity, Teen, Teenage Girls, Uncategorized


IMG_5309James 4:13-17

Expectant. Honest. Thoughtful.

You don’t want to miss this conversation with Isabel. We talked about the future (insert biting nails and freaking out) and with James has to say about it. She is thoughtful in her answers and has obviously walked through a time where the future was unknown (haven’t we all) and clung to Jesus along the way. She challenges me and encourages me, and I know that she will do the same for you.

Fun Fact: Last year I made a random comment to her and a couple of other students about how I wish that my husband had gotten my name engraved on my Bible that he had bought me a few years prior. Isabel immediately went to Joey’s office (he works at the same school) and told him what he had to do. She smuggled my Bible out of my classroom and gave it to him to get engraved. This girl is a doll!

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James 4: 11-12

Hysterical. Passionate. Talented.

Emma is truly one of the greatest surprises of my teaching career. She plopped into my “Navigating Relationships” class (one that I invented) second semester of last year and was just the greatest delight. She was homeschooled most of her life and decided to come back to traditional school and I got the pleasure of having her in my class. It was a small class and she was the only underclassman, but she was the greatest joy. All of us–myself and the upperclassmen–quickly fell in love with her and her humor and wisdom. Below you’ll see her starring as Peter Pan in CYT’s spring production of, you guessed it, PETER PAN!


Fun Fact: Emma gave a chapel talk on the Friday of her first week at a brand new school and did a skit in a pep rally during the first week–as a sophomore! Yes, you heard me right. This gal is fearless and brave and wise beyond her years. She is the master of improv and loves Jesus and people fiercely.

You are truly going to LOVE her!

Christianity, Teen, Teenage Girls, Uncategorized


James 4: 1-14


Resilient. Consistent. Thoughtful.

This lady right here is my girl. I literally met her on the bus on the way to Young Life camp and I couldn’t even remember her name for the entire first day! Little did I know that it was just the beginning of a (hopefully) lifelong friendship. She even said that I could read scripture in her wedding–and I’m planning on holding her to it! Caroline is so honest in this conversation and really brings it all to the table. I am so proud of her and so grateful for her vulnerability.

Fun Fact: I took Caroline to Young Life camp twice. She was in my cabin twice. And we had at least 6 one-on-one conversations during those two weeks. And in between the camp weeks, we had a bazillion conversations about life and Jesus and relationships. After our (what seemed like) millionth conversation, Caroline decided to start a real relationship with Jesus on the chairs outside of the dining hall at Sharptop Cove. It was epic! I love that she took her time. I love that she didn’t jump the gun just because she was in the right place at the right time. She waited until she knew what she was getting into and was very thoughtful about her decision. It was such a gift to get to walk through that season (and continue to walk through more) with her!


Christianity, Teen, Teenage Girls, Uncategorized



James 3:13-18

I have many thoughts about this gal right here. She is smart, kind, and considerate. She is passionate about life and learning and efficiency. For the last few years she has been my sidekick in all things student activities. She and I planned an amazing Academic Pep Rally a couple of years ago and I literally need her in my life forever to keep me together. She is thoughtful in everything that she says and does and truly cares about people. I honestly cannot get over her organization and ability to do so many things with such intentionality. Jillian is going to change the world–mark my words!

Fun Fact: In addition to being super smart, Jillian is mad-talented. She is in theater and ballet and has been in the Nutcracker countless times as well as many other ballets put on by the Lafayette Ballet Theater. Last season she was the Evil Queen in Snow White, and at the end of one of her big parts my daughter looked at me and saw me sobbing. I literally couldn’t control my emotions. Jillian was stunning and I thought, I KNOW HER! I felt like Buddy the Elf when he talks about Santa–I was proud to know her and watch her doing her thing and I couldn’t get over it. My daughter didn’t understand, but I felt like the proudest teacher, mentor, friend, etc. when she was up there. It was everything!


Christianity, Teen, Teenage Girls


John 3:16

We are taking a mid-season break to spend some time talking about why it’s important to spend time with the Lord and how to have a active date with the Lord. This is by no means a recipe for success or a 10-step plan to better your quiet times. This is just my notes from doing this for a while. So many times I have walked with young ladies through how to have a “quiet time” and I decided to share some of my thoughts about it with you.

If you have been listening to this podcast and you are loving what you are hearing, stop right now and go open your bible. Open up to the section of James that we are discussing and dig deeper into what it means in your life to day–into what new character of himself that God is trying to show you. You absolutely won’t regret it!

IMG_6911At the end of the episode, there’s even a little bonus time with my 6-year-old, Lucy. She shares her favorite bible verse with you and I asked her questions similar to the ones I guide y’all through in this episode. Below you will also find some of the thoughts and questions to guide you through literally any piece of scripture.

I am beyond grateful that you are still following along and I truly do hope and pray that it brings a nugget of truth to your day!

Some of my thoughts on having an active time with the Lord:

  • Go through a book in the bible–starting in the New Testament (Gospels–John)
  • One section at a time (not even the whole chapter)
  • Read it. Read it again. Read it one more time.–get your Bible app to read it to you
  • Meditate–think about what is going on.
    • Read the passage before to remind yourself what just happened. Try to imagine the smells and then sounds and the people in the story.
    • Ask Jesus to show you what he wants you to hear
    • How does this story affect my life? What does it remind me of?
  • Pray–engage in conversation with God
    • How can I see God’s love through the passage?
    • What new characteristic of God do I see in the passage?
    • How does this truth play out in my life? In my relationships?
  • Act–make the text come to life
    • What am I supposed to do/change?
    • How am I going to do it?
    • Share this with a friend.

Christianity, Teen, Teenage Girls


sageJames 3:1-12

Calming. Sincere. Gracious.

These are some of the words that come to mind when I think of Sage. And honestly, there are many, many more. She is a lady of little words and with the hugest heart. She is the opposite of me (and many of my other gals) in so many ways, and is the biggest breath of fresh air that all of us need. Sage is patient and thoughtful and can read a room better than anyone I know. She dreams of a world filled with kindness and is that very spark of kindness in pretty much any relationship or situation.

Fun Fact: Sage said YES to Jesus with me on a busted up lab table in my classroom during 7th period one day! You heard that right! She thought that she needed to have this awesome “experience” in order to say yes to Jesus. Any of her friends who are following Jesus had a “moment” on a mission trip or at Young Life camp or on top of a mountain or in a perfect conversation at their favorite Christian summer camp. (And all of those things are GREAT–I said yes to Jesus at Young Life camp myself!) She felt like she was just waiting for her moment. And then, wrapped up in one of my most favorite conversations of all time (and one that I will cherish forever), she realized that this was her moment. Right there on that graffitied  lab table, Sage gave her life to Jesus! And that picture up there, that’s right after she said yes–just look at that SMILE!!!


Christianity, Teen, Teenage Girls


James 2: 14-26

The Walkers absolutely ADORE Hannah! She is probably the #1 most requested babysitter by my children and is loved by all. Hannah exudes kindness and I don’t think I’ve met a single person who has anything negative to say about her. She loves Jesus with all of her heart and it is evident in the way that she lives her life. Hannah and I have had countless hours of conversations about Jesus and life and faith and this episode is just a small window into this fabulous child’s heart!


Fun Fact: About a month before summer started, my best friend Jess who works at a Christian camp in New Braunfels, TX called me asking if I had an awesome high school girl who was free for 7 weeks that summer and would be willing to be on work crew. I immediately thought of Hannah, called her, she talked to her parents, she filled out the application, she was hired, and she committed–all in about a 5-day period! It was a whirlwind but I am so glad that she said YES! She had the best summer AND we got to visit her on our “tour-de-Texas” before we moved to California!!!

This girl is the real deal and you’re gonna want to listen to her practical thoughts on following Jesus in high school!