Adventuring Across Detroit Metro


In my quest to make Detroit feel more like home, I’ve done a few things I’d recommend (Tiger’s game, explore Detroit famous restaurants, and just drive through downtown with no agenda or a map) and a few things I wouldn’t recommend (driving around downtown with no agenda alone… at night). One of the things I would recommend checking out is the local farmer’s markets. I’m currently living in Royal Oak, so I checked out the Royal Oak Farmer’s Market with a staff friend, Madi this morning.

Ignore the no make-up, messy hair look. That wasn't a purposeful crop, but just... bless it.
Ignore the no make-up, messy hair look. That wasn’t a purposeful crop, but just… bless it.

If you’re into farmer’s markets, but can be overwhelmed by the crowds and time restraints of the Eastern Market, I would suggest swinging by the RO Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings all year from 7am-1pm. Madi got an amazing spread of veggies including giant sized zucchini and sweet potatoes. Since our kitchen won’t be finished for another two weeks, I passed on the most of the “need to cook veggies” and instead indulged in a $12 bottle of Pure Michigan, Pure Maple Syrup. When in Michigan, right?


While I didn’t necessarily go to shop (really just went for quality time with Madi and a fun adventure), I need to RAVE about this chocolate croissant I got. I have pretty high expectations from living overseas and eating croissants from a french colonized country, you know? I mean… Let’s be real. You can’t sell this girl just any croissant. But, dang was this good! It was from a patisserie called Golden Wheat, and it was de-licious! It had a crunchy enough top layer, but not enough to be burnt and a perfect center. The patisserie is based out of Hamtramck too. Looks like I’ll be visiting my Chattanooga friends more often. ;)

Overall it was a great morning walking around seeing so many veggies, jams, soaps, flowers, Christmas decor, and my new “people.” It was a great start to the day. Thanks Madi for the invite :)



One Man’s Trash, One Woman’s $16 Make Over

Anna and I were driving home from running a few errands post staff breakfast about a month ago, and we passed this cute little gem on the side of the road.

Joey and Chandler too :)
Joey and Chandler too :)

I’ve never “dumpster dove” or picked up furniture off the side of the road (although I was super tempted two weekends ago with an old door that would have made a GREAT headboard…). I told Anna, “Oh, that’s kind of cute.” She asked, “Do you wanna grab it?” I paused thinking, “Ew, what if it smells like cat or smoke. No, but… man. It’s so cute.” So Anna pulls an illegal Michigan left (a U turn), and we go investigate. It’s in decent condition. A few water marks. Edges need to be sanded and filled, but other than that it’s perfect!

We load this little gem into my trunk where I totally forget about it until I almost ran a red on 8 Mile and nearly T-boned some guy (8 Mile really isn’t scary… it’s the traffic lights that are horrible… and maybe drivers with Tennessee license plates). No big. But the loud thud in my trunk reminded me, “Oh yeah! I need to take that out and figure out what I’m gonna do with it!

This week work kept me super busy, so all I wanted to do on Saturday was consume ungodly amounts of coffee, indulge in mindless activities and read through another chapter of my book of Jonathan Edwards Sermons (gotta use my brain at some point). Yesterday was the perfect day to work on this gem.   I went with Anna to Home Depot and got a paint + primer in a matte Behr color that was white and tinted with blue (I wish I could remember which shade). A few coats of that bad boy and what a transformation!

In all her glory
In all her glory


Paired with a few new finds I got from a thrift store this past week, this bedside table looks great!  I think I’m starting to get closer to “settling in” to Michigan. Yay for making a house a home. :) Next is to find another antique door or window frame for a headboard!

All my decor. Sidenote, if anyone knows what the brass handle thing is, let me know.
All my decor. Sidenote, if anyone knows what the brass handle thing is, let me know.
Pen holder: Target, $15 Juice Jar: $0.50, Goodwill Tea Candle holder: $0.50, Goodwill Idk what this is brass thing: $4, Goodwill
Cute Candy dish that is actually holding my headphones: $4, Goodwill
Cute Candy dish that is actually holding my headphones: $4, Goodwill

Sanitized Music and A Big Hook

Part of my role on the Detroit Cru Staff team is being in charge of our Social Media and PR. Sometimes this job is SUPER stressful (ie: beginning of the year when we’re making flyers, posters, etc for 5 campuses and 4 events in like 5 days). Other times, it’s HILARIOUS and so life giving. Like today…

So, I detest Christian Radio (not Christian music, just the songs that are played on the radio). Sorry. I know, I used to work at a Christian Radio station (and I LOVED my co-workers), but I can’t handle the “sanitized” feel of mainstream CCM. Call me a pagan or whatever, but it’s just true of my heart. There was one version of “Good, Good Father” on the radio the other day and I thought (in the tone of “Bro, do you even lift?”) “Bro, do you even love Jesus? You sound like it’s a dread for you to sing this song…” There’s something passionless about some Christian songs that are played on the radio. Listen to Sam Smith and hear the ache in his voice and the passion and drive and… okay sorry. Forgot this blog isn’t about that.

Anyways, I lost my adapter that connects my iPhone to my radio, so I’ve been listening to a lot of mainstream music. And that includes little Justin Bieber.

The Beebs, as I like to call him, has a new song out called, “What Do You Mean.” It’s a song you can picture yourself shopping in Express too. You know? One of those techno-ish songs that’s not too overwhelming but is SO catchy? It’s like that. I decided today that it’d be hilarious to design a new promo about our Thursday Community Groups with Justin’s face on it and him saying, “What do you mean… There’s three options for community groups on Thursday?” Y’all. I think I’m so funny.

All I have to say is, mass media (culture + pop music in this) attracts the masses. And I want the masses to know Jesus. So, we’re gonna use it. We’re gonna use the big hook for the glory of Jesus!

Here’s a few designs I’ve come up with that for some reason are so fun to me. Hope you enjoy them!





Some Things I’m Learning


  1. Michigan lefts are kind of dumb.
  2. Dutch Girl Donuts are my second favorite donuts in all of the world.
  3. Detroit is the best city on the earth… okay. Maybe the best city North of Chattanooga, East of the Mississippi and West of DC. :)
  4. God has the CRAZIEST things planned.
  5. College students are hilarious. Freshmen are sometimes awkward, but mostly fun.
  6. You’re only as Spirit-filled as you want to be.
  7. Coneys are not my jam.
  8. There’s something sweet about the brokenness of Detroit and the hope in Christ for renewal of all people in the D.
  9. Always drop a pin where you park your car otherwise you’ll lose it for a while…
  10. Apparently, no one knows who Ben Rector is.
  11. How to walk out of (and hold onto) the deep conviction that there is no evil intention in God’s heart and He is totally good
  12. Apparently, the blinking red in a turn lane is like a stop sign? Still not sure about that one…
  13. Budgeting.
  14. Fall actually starts feeling like fall on the first day of fall. Who’duh thunk it?
  15. Bless their hearts and their Michigander attempts at BBQ.

Detroit: Week One

712 miles later, here I am! Snuggled in a corner in my temporary bedroom writing back to all you lovely readers!  It feels like such a blur, and I’ve been on quite the emotional roller coaster, but here’s a few updates about the D and what all God has done since being here!



Well, funny story. It wasn’t really working out budget wise with the girls I had hoped to live with (Royal Oak houses are all bungalows which make splitting rent so bizarre). While I did want to live with them because they were super sweet and fun, financially it just wasn’t possible. Anna and Andy Dwyer (a staff couple on my team who are SO close to finishing their initial support) offered for me to live with them until I found housing, or for the year, whatever. I kept saying the “thank you for the offer” thing until I realized they were serious and I was running out of options. So, here I am! I’m living with the Dwyers + pups until God opens up another door. There’s a door wide open in February, but I have to decide if I want to live in the burbs or the city. :) I’m thinking city. #wheninrome



Can I just say I have the best team in the whole wide universe? Not only is one staff couple all “live with us and share our space” but every single person (or couple) on my staff team has called or texted me to invite me to something or has come over to visit. Every one of them. Shoot dog. Talk about feeling pursued and cared for on a team. It’s so needed right now, and I love it.


This week we are going (oh, y’all bless it. I don’t know where we’re going…) somewhere to have a staff retreat and next week we start staff planning for the semester! Wahoo! I’m glad there’s been a little time to adjust without jumping in head first. That would not have been good for me.

While campus ministry hasn’t started, I have been encouraged to see God open up doors to spiritual conversation in the normal things. About a week ago I went to get my oil changed and a man walked in asking for directions then kept talking, and talking, and talking. Somehow he pulled me into the conversation and then brought up something about church and God. So, I began asking a few questions and then the guy at the counter jumps in with his thoughts too. Before we know it, we’re in a conversation about what really makes a person “good” before the Lord. He begins to explain how he’s always been told he isn’t good enough for God and that he’s going to hell. I shared with him the truth of that-that we’re all not good enough and because of our sin we deserve separation from God BUT. God makes us righteous when we put our trust in Him. It’s not us centered. It’s Christ alone who gives us access to the father and who makes us “good enough”. So that was cool! A spiritual conversation and clear proclamation of the gospel in an oil change shop. Haha. I feel so rugged. So Detroit.

Other random things:

My heart was and is still so full from getting to hang with the CalChatt. team while they were in Detroit. It was fun getting to see people I knew, but incredibly sad knowing when they left they went back to a city that I love with a love that overflows from God and community that I so desperately miss. My best friend Elaina said, “It’s okay to grieve the loss of Chatt., but we as believers grieve with hope.” <— that’s why she’s my bestie.

I talked to a good friend Maggie the night they left and we both realized this is the first time I’ve done life without an end point in a long time (close to 15 years). When we moved to Chicago, I knew I would only be there until my high school graduation. College=4 years, but you know five years was fine too. STINT in Senegal=2 year time commitment. Joining staff=however long it took to raise that initial support and then go to my first assignment. This is the first year I don’t have a time cap on life. And that’s very overwhelming. Will God provide sweet community with a church? Will I have that fun friend group of people my age that love Jesus? In faith I say “YES He will,” and He has with my team!

And… I think that’s about it for this update! Prayer points would be: wisdom on housing, for our staff retreat and staff planning week, for community and a church home and…. I think that’s it! :)

Thanks for reading ALL of this.

In Which I Was A Nomad

Wow! Y’all, this season of life is hot, hectic and even when I’m sitting still it feels as though I’m on a moving walk way. 3097 miles, 10 states, 5 time zones, 3 countries and 8 flights in three and a half months will do that to you.


Sometimes, okay oftentimes, I wish I was a princess and could just snap my fingers to make this move and transition easier. I would have all my belongings that majorly outweigh the space allotted inside my 2001 Honda Accord arrive safely to Detroit. I’d make finding a place to rent less of a complicated matter (really, you need my credit score? Invasive.). But hashtag ADULT LIFE, if Kate Middleton can’t even get a princess title and she’s married to a real life prince, then I suppose the commoner road is the one I must travel. [Sidenote: it is unjust, Kate. I support you.]

So, that’s enough real talk of my exhaustion and subtle frustration over the fact that I have many things when I need little and have little when I need many… Let’s talk about MY EXCITEMENT.

MemphisRenting: PROS: I get to stay somewhere for one year. Not one, 10 month STINT year that goes between countries, one full 12 month year. Praise Jesus! And, if me and my roommates like the living situation we can live there longer. Ministry partner development is amazingly good for my heart and my growth in the Lord, but a year of travel from location to location pursuing people constantly (without being deeply rooted somewhere) is exhausting. I am excited to have roommates, find a church community, get to know my team, and start adult life in America.


Detroit: PROS: I LOVE DETROIT. I don’t know why. I can’t wait to start exploring and trying new foods, winter sports, and living in a big city with not as much traffic. I am excited for metro living. Call me big city. Just kidding, don’t do that.

Ministry: Our staff conference was good for my heart. It was good for my prayer life. It was good to be around people who are on the same mission and feel the freedom to dream with one another about what God could do in us, through us and among the nations. I love those people that you can talk about the realities of where things are, celebrate what God has done, and talk about improvements/faith steps that can be taken. It gives no room for complacency and ignites a fire that community gets to fan. It almost feels like a locker room rally. I don’t sport, so I am not positive that it’s like that, but thats how I feel so we’ll go with it.

I’m excited to walk with Jesus and see Him grow me, stretch me, and use me. I’m excited to be on a team of people who are so wonderful. I’m excited to serve them and learn from them as we co-labor alongside of each other for Detroit and for the nations.

Here’s to a safe 712 miles to Detroit that begin tomorrow. And to new beginnings letting my roots grow deep in a city that God loves immensely.

Thanks for riding this ride with me.

Sincerely, your American turned African turned Detroit-ian Princess


My Declaration of Love for Dirt Cheap

Dear Dirt Cheap,

Your name made me think, “Probably not interested.” Even as I stepped through your doors, I thought, “Chaos. This is total chaos.” I pressed on in spite of my initial overwhelmed heart in search of something I have a definite immediate need for: towels. As I strolled through your aisles I became more and more impressed. All brand new items at 60% off or more? What is this place?

Are those Target office supplies for 60% off?  A Target shower curtain for $5? Wait, oh those winter tights are .25 a piece? Is that a new down comforter sold normally at $299+ for $50?!

I cannot express to you enough how deeply wrong I was about you. I was proud. And prejudice. You have made my transition into adulthood so much less stressful, and for that I am ever thankful. I believe I can now. And it’s all thanks to you.

Even though I didn’t walk out with what I was looking for (towels), I am so incandescently happy.

Yours only when I’m in Memphis,



Memphis and Mississippi friends: check out Dirt Cheap. It’s all brand new home goods, clothes, tools, etc that stores like Target, Bed, Bath + Beyond, Kohls, and other stores couldn’t sell. And it’s marked down something ridiculous. $98 total bought me a wall decal/chalkboard from Target, 4 pairs of winter tights, a down comforter, a rug, one shower curtain, two bars of all natural soap, a desk divider/organizer, a window curtain panel, and one large bed pillow. How does that even happen?

Here’s some pictures of a few of the items I purchased that I’m in love with:

Isn't it rustic dreamy?  $4.
Isn’t it rustic dreamy? $4. Ignore the chaos around it. Everything I own is in boxes and bags all over the place.
The Threshold desk organizer. I have a brass wire 2 drawer organizer that sits on a desk, BUT I can't put anything small on it because the wire's so big it falls through. Problem solved! $2.70 for this.
The Threshold desk organizer. I have a brass wire 2 drawer organizer that sits on a desk, BUT I can’t put anything small on it because the wire’s so big it falls through. Problem solved! $2.70 for this.
It's a sheer window panel. This one's gonna take a little work. There wasn't a second match to this, so I'm going to cut it in half and cut the previously mentioned shower curtain in half and have 1/4 sheer pattern and 3/4 white curtains on my window. :) This panel was $5.
It’s a sheer window panel. This one’s gonna take a little work. There wasn’t a second match to this, so I’m going to cut it in half and cut the previously mentioned shower curtain in half and have 1/4 sheer pattern and 3/4 white curtains on my window. :) This panel was $5.
So, this is my 2nd favorite purchase. It’s a stand up (or hang up) wooden chalk board with a ceramic vase attached for pens, which I’ll be using for fake flowers. ;) I want to write a monthly word of encouragement, verse, quote or prayer and use that to help me refocus. I love the possibilities with this one. $15