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May 19, 2013


Palmettos to Palms is moving! All new posts will be on  Check out the website, subscribe to the blog, and enjoy!


Why I’m Going to Unfollow You (YES, YOU) on all Social Media

March 29, 2013

“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” -James 4:13-14


Today is the end of my 21 day fast of any and all media that is not Christ-centered.  Let me first brief you on my feelings towards this.  I would have been the first girl to hear someone talk about a fast like this and respond with, “That’s so dumb.”  Not the new me.  

I knew that I was watching Netflix too much, checking Instagram all the time, and browsing Facebook when I was bored.  Our church was calling us to start a fast, so I willingly gave up all of the media in my life (books, videos, music, magazines, social media) that did not lead me to a deeper relationship with Jesus.  Anything that wasn’t centered on Christ had to go.  

Some of you may think this is weird, and I would have too a few months ago.  But that’s the awesome part about God.  When He wants someone to actually do something for Him, it’s going to look weird.  Like an actual sacrifice.  Like something that isn’t convenient. 

I was talking to one of my Christian friends on the phone recently and he asked, “Are you going to go back to how you were before?”  It made me sick to my stomach to even begin to think about going back.  How could I? How could I tell my Creator that I was going to turn back to wasting time, precious time.  How could I some day stand before the King and say to him, “Well, I wanted to know what everyone else was doing.”  or “I just wanted to catch up on a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother.”  I can’t imagine how God looks at me when I just turn on Netflix and escape from fellowship with Him.

He is not filling my lungs with air in order for me to browse Facebook.

After immersing myself in a ton of information about Christ and truly spending time alone with Him, I have come to the conclusion that I don’t have long here.  Each day I wake up could be my very last day on earth.  Every day I am one step closer to leaving this earth.

Basically, I am not going to waste any time on this earth checking out what you ate for lunch on Instagram, finding out when your birthday is on Facebook, or retweeting you.  It’s a waste of time.  However, I do think that social media outlets can be used for good.  If I am prompted to put something on a social media site, then I will.  But I don’t even want the temptation of browsing through pictures of your new car or your new boyfriend in your new car.  So I’m getting rid of it.  Well, I’m getting rid of your feeble attempts at communication.

If you want to get in contact with me, do it personally.  If you want to update me on something big in your life, call me, text me, email me, write it on my Facebook wall, message me, imessage me.  If you’re feeling really bold, handwrite me a dang letter.  I’m not cutting you out of my life, I’m focusing on what needs to be done while I am on this earth.  Because my life is a mist.

“One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.”   -John Piper


Why I Do Not Want to Tell You About Jesus Christ

March 20, 2013

I have been extremely busy with family issues and a capstone project that concludes my master’s degree, therefore I have not felt inspired to write recently.  Having explained this to my newest follower, Scott Mistretta, his inspiring response was simply, “Rant about something.”  And rant I will.


I have something to confess.  I simply have no desire to tell you about Jesus Christ.  I do not want to ambush you in the supermarket with the story of how Jesus was born nor do I wish to reprimand you for your sins and tell you that Christ is the only answer.  I do not want to give you the intricately designed 3×5 flyer that my church printed up for me to hand to strangers in hopes of them attending an Easter service.  I simply do not want to tell you about Jesus.

You see, I abandoned my life of sin and hatred of Christ not because of someone knocking on my door and telling me about how toasty warm hell is.  In fact, if not for a few key relationships in 2009, I simply would not have given my life to Jesus.

But friends, that is reality.  It is relationships that convince us to do anything.  

If you know anything about me you know that I am terrified of heights.  If I’m not holding on to a railing when I’m walking down stairs, my knees are shaking (Apparently standing at 6’2″ on a daily basis is all the altitude I can handle).  However, two years ago I jumped off a bridge holding my best friend’s hand. If a stranger would have asked me to jump off that same exact bridge alone, I probably would have held back from punching him or her in the throat.  

But on this day, I did jump off that bridge. The reason is because the one who asked me was someone I trusted more than anyone else I knew at the time and she asked me to go with her.  She did not push me off the bridge, she did not say, “1…2…3…SYKE!” leaving me stranded mid-air without the slightest feeling of safety.  Instead, she jumped off that bridge with me, reassuring me that it would be fun, worth it, and that she wouldn’t let go of me.

Now, stay with me on this.  Jesus did the same thing:

“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew.  They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”  At once they left their nets and followed him.”  -Matthew 4:18-20

Jesus simply said to follow him.

I think we have perverted what was meant to be such a beautiful way to make disciples.  This is how we translate that story in order to fit our selfishness:

As Lisa was walking through Northwood on her way to the beach, she saw two sisters, Mary and her sister Beth.  They were putting cleaning supplies in the back of a van for they were housekeepers.  “Come, let me hand you this flier,” Lisa said, “and I will tell you about how bad your ways are.  I will tell you how much you have sinned.  Now, I won’t be able to actually spend time with you and help you get to know Jesus because I have to update Facebook, catch up on How I Met Your Mother on Netflix, and then I have to go to my accountability group tonight.  But I tell you, following Jesus will save your life.  They’ll give you information about him at church.”  At once they threw the cleaning supplies at Lisa and vowed never to believe in a God that allowed such hypocrisy.

We have got to stop believing the lies that keep us from building relationships with others in which we walk beside them and fail with them.  We cannot get away with ignoring the words of Christ that tell us how important it is to make disciples:

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”  -Matthew 28:19-20

We must be willing to stop telling people about Jesus and start sacrificing ourselves and our time in order to ask them to come with us as we give all we have to follow Him.

The Organization of Letters

February 27, 2013

They ache to leave.  They claw at my innards until the blood pools in what’s left of my heart.  With every step it sloshes and overflows into the hollows of my body.  It’s a sloppy mess in there.  Black paint thrown violently on a pure white wall. It’ll never be the same.  I’ll never be the same.  They feed off the shrapnel and eat away at the walls–begging for attention.  Pleading to be let out.  They fester and ferment in their wicked ways.  They hold memories for ransom.

Releasing them is far less painful than the condemnation of a silent death, so I oblige.  They spill out and pollute the air.  Carrying the shattered remnants of my soul.  Stale blood reeking of a heart that exploded years ago.  

I fall slave to the words, these parasitic words.

The Outlaw Attraction

February 21, 2013

Many of you are aware of my love for Fall Out Boy.  Many of you also know how freakin’ jacked I am that I have tickets to their sold out tour.  Why am I so jacked about this?!

I’ll tell you why.

Fall Out Boy is a emo-pop-punk band of four guys from Chicago who were outcast and made fun of.  They formed a band and became extremely successful during the 2005-2009 era.  They’ve got some great songs.

They really pulled my heart out of my chest when I was younger with the lyrics that told the stories of emotional misfits.  Obviously the girl who sported a blonde afro atop a lanky, clumsy body was drawn to such lyrics.  I let myself identify with the pain and hopelessness that seemed to pour out of the speakers.  It was comforting to know I wasn’t the only broken toy.

Flash forward to years later when I get the news that they’re coming back from their hiatus. It finally hit me why I fell so in love with these four kids–they’re modern day outlaws.  They have tattoos, spill their hearts on stages and radios, and they don’t really give a crap if you or your mom approve.  They intrigue us because they are everything we’re not.

I think deep down we all have a desire to go against the norm and push back against this horrid stream of conformity, yet we say it’s not good to have such desires because we’re Christians.  We set up rules and boundaries that keep us “good” and shiny with a perfect reputation.  But what if this spark for the wild life was purposely nestled deep inside? What if we were meant to fuel that desire for difference into a completely alternate lifestyle?

I can’t help but look at the life of Christ.  He was a carpenter who gave it up to minister to others.  He constantly traveled and had to rely on God in order to survive.  Take a look at John the Baptist–this guy was insane. 

“John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.”  Matthew 3:4

Personally, I think John the Baptist was the original Christian hipster, but that’s another story for another time.

Men and women of the Bible who were devoted to Christ gave up all they had and surrendered to living a wild life on the edge.  Their lives consisted of going against the norm and being outcasts.  Why do we then attempt to blend into this ridiculous culture of greed, materialism, and seclusion?  Is the root of the problem truly that we believe God would not allow us to survive if we gave up our sources of consistent income?

All I know is that I was never meant to be a follower of the norm.  I was never designed to fit into the ways of this world.  Since I can control my actions, I know that I will not simply fit in.  

I’m going to be an outlaw until the end.

The Average American is Not Awesome

February 8, 2013

Let’s take a look at the average American based on statistics:

  • Overweight, but still says he/she is in “very good to excellent” health.
  • In debt by approximately $47,000.
  • Will live to be 78.7 and most likely die of heart disease.
  • Drinks alcohol regularly.
  • Doesn’t know their neighbor.
  • Watches more than 34 hours of television each week.
  • Unsatisfied with their job.

This isn’t great.  This means that the average American is currently suffering from a deficiency of awesomeness.  The average American is spending their life being fat, unhappy at work, in debt, and drinking a Coors Light while watching SportsCenter.  Okay, that last sentence isn’t necessarily accurate, but let’s face it–it’s reality for a lot of people.

The average American is ultimately the opposite of what we are told while growing up.  In school we are told that we can be anything we want.  We are told that anything is possible! We wear clothes that we like, (This only applies to short people.  Taller kids like myself had to suffer through bermuda shorts. Yuck.) we are able to be imaginative and creative, and it is encouraged to have hobbies and be involved with activities outside of studies.  We are surrounded by friends, family, and plenty of activities to do that expose us to adventure and new surroundings.

Fast forward to adulthood.  Adulthood is the complete opposite.  No one writes in cursive, everyone has a calculator on their phone, (making all those times tables you learned obsolete) there is a dress code, creativity is squashed, and adventure is lost.  It’s easy to see how we end up so average and anti-awesome.

I challenge you with this simple thought:

What are you doing to not become average?

A Heavy Heart

January 24, 2013

The tears run down my cheeks tonight.

I let this broken heart out of its cage of bones and flesh.  I let myself fall into the memories of who you were.  Those nights you braided my hair and read me books until I melted into your arms.  I remember wishing that I wouldn’t outgrow your love.

It’s all in flashback now.

All I have left is this vacant heart.  This part of me that no one sees.  The truth of my soul that is concealed at any cost.  Tonight I embrace the pain.  I let this hurt wash over me like a cleansing rain of a heavy cloud.  The weight of it all is simply too much.  In this moment I let myself feel the depth of the wound.  I go to a place I’ve been denying for years.  My heart sinks deeper.

The pain is unbearable.  It consumes every part of me.  To know I lost you.  To know that I will never again know the unconditional love you had for me.  It’s slowly ripping away at who you spent years encouraging me to be.  This sorrow envelops me.

I wish I could have saved you.  I would have given my life.

I would give anything to still be your little girl.