heaven, home

this is for you. yes, you, reading this. because no matter who you are, I truly believe this is something so important for us to remind ourselves every day. it’s simple:

heaven is our home.

heaven is where we belong. with God is where we belong. and we shouldn’t wait another moment to live for Jesus in the here and the now . . . but we do.

this is not me preaching at you; these are things that I strive to remind myself every single day. my friend, this life is not the one that is eternal. this life is not the one without suffering. that’s all heaven. that’s all God.

so many of us are caught up in my own ambitions, and — keeping it real here — so am I. I’m easily distracted. I’m a professional overthinker haha. but if I were to just set my eyes on Jesus, I would realize that He is worth so much more than a test grade or a college admission. ETERNITY is worth SO much more than a business endeavor or what people think about me. because eternity will last forever, and this life is fleeting.

God never said that giving your all to him is easy. but it is simple. so much simpler than the ever-changing, ever-out-of-reach standards of this world and of other people. if we could just give all ourselves to him, imagine what an impact that would have — and that is what we are called to do! that is the least that we can do for our Savior who died for our sins! we are fishers of men, and if we knew that we could catch fish with every cast of the line, we would cast that line until we dropped! 😂😂 (I mean, am I wrong lol?)

this week, my thoughts and prayers are with all of you. no matter who you are or what your situation is, know that you are loved and the trials you might be going through or will go through will only refine you.




above | below


honestly, it’s so easy for us to forget just how small we are as humans, and just how great God is. but sometimes those magical reminders come your way, and I had the chance to experience a lot of them during my recent two weeks out of the country.

I’ve been on planes many, many times in my life — from moves across the country to flights to New Zealand — and it never ceases to amaze me how beautiful my Father’s creation is from a view above the clouds. one of the nights there, my sister and I stayed up until 2 AM talking about our faith, and we thought a lot about just how small we are. just how precious life is and how quickly it goes, and how our worlds can become so small in our comfort even though the world is so vast.

taking that step back and realizing how temporary everything is was so beneficial for us. because time and life is incredibly fleeting. if your worst enemy, let alone your close friends, and even anyone who you don’t know around the world, died suddenly — would you want them to step out into eternity without knowing Jesus? to step into an eternity of suffering?

“no one deserves that,” I said.

then, after a moment’s pause, I added, “actually, we all do.” but we don’t have to experience it because Jesus died the most painful death for us, and we need to share the gift of life that he has given us with others.

God’s creation is such a masterpiece, and these clouds were some of the most amazing that I’d ever seen in my life, so I’ll leave you with this smattering of sky.

sending you all my love,






it’s hard to trust.

sometimes. most of the time.

it’s necessary to trust.


recently, I’ve been constantly reminded of both of these things. how painfully hard it is to trust sometimes, and how painfully necessary it is. i’ve been forced to do a lot of trusting. clinging to the light at the end of the tunnel. trusting


because i really can’t trust myself.

the struggle,

because the only way out sometimes is through.


because His ways are higher than mine.

and let me tell you, it hasn’t been easy. there’s been a lot of tears and a lot of brokenness, and there’s going to be a lot more. it hasn’t been fun and it won’t be. it’s not easy when things like


keeping your head up

remembering what it’s like not to be hurting all the time inside

get so incredibly hard, and it feels like no one understands.

it’s not easy when existing hurts.

i don’t really have an aim with this post, other than the hope that if you’re reading this and you’re finding it hard to trust God right now — if you feel so painfully, painfully alone — i can share this with you: i’m there too, and we will make it through —

(hold on to that when you can’t hold on to anything else.)

— not by our own understanding, but by leaning on God’s.

not by solving our own problems, but pushing through the crushing pain and letting God carry them for us.

i love you all. trust your Father. and trust me when i say this: you are not alone.

gonna be real, guys, i don’t really know where this post went, but i hope it speaks to someone (without me going into too much personal detail about my own recovery) because chances are that someone out there is going through the same thing that i am. and it’s okay. it’s okay to feel lost. just hold on tight to the knowledge that even though it doesn’t feel like it, you’re not lost because God’s got you. ❤


p.s. ‘pologies for us missing the last few weekends of posts! we’re hoping to get right back on track next weekend.

p.p.s. thank you all so much for one hundred follows! we’re honored to have all you wonderful dreamers along with us. mwah!

celebrate | suzy and clara

There are so many things in life to celebrate. Holidays, events, people, changes — and somewhere in that mix is the gift granted to us of life. Today, not one but two of the amazing people who write for this blog are celebrating just that!

Clara and Suzy are two of the sweetest people I’ve met in the blogosphere. Both sweet, genuine, and funny, they’re always supportive and kind! (Not to mention talented. Have you seen Suzy’s blog? SHE CODED ALL OF IT HERSELF HOW DO I WORDS. And Clara’s photography! Hello what are you doing go look at some of it it’s amazingg)

Both of these wonderful girls are turning another year older today! Because of that, we threw together a mini virtual party to celebrate them and the amazing friends that they are. <33



Clara is one of the sweetest people I’ve met in the blogosphere! She’s incredibly kind and is encouraging on a level that makes you smile uncontrollably. She’s a seriously talented writer, graphic designer, and photographer — I’m pretty sure she can make any everyday object into a work of art with her camera — and she’s so genuine and original in every single thing she does, never imitating any other person and always making what she does completely her own! <33

Clara — I love you so much! You’re so talented and THANK YOU FOR FIELDING ALL OF MY CRINGY CAMERA QUESTIONS. Your humility sets such an example and I can’t even deal with how incredibly sweet you are!! Now you shoulders really start that Photos Raphael™ pls.

From Charis @ Charis Rae: Happiest of Birthdays, Clara! You have been with me since the very beginning of my blogging journey, and I’m so happy our friendship has continued over the years. You introduced me to WordPress and helped me with themes, design, and post ideas. You’ve looked at my graphics, provided feedback for stories, and are so supportive and kind. You’re such a successful blogger, and I’m so excited for the future of our blogs and our friendship! Happy Birthday!


Happy Birthday, Clara! Love, Madi


From Mads @ Madi Grace: Eeep, happiest of birthdays to you, Clara! You’re such a gifted, talented, incredible person, fellow blogger, and awesome friend! I hope today is your best birthday yet, only to be topped by every year after. ❤

+ virtual bday card from madi 🙂

From Danielle @ Near But Far: Happy Birthday, Clara! Thanks for being such a great blogging friend. You’re so sweet and kind to everyone. I always enjoy messaging you, and you’re just one of the greatest people ever! You’re such an amazing writer and photographer, and just super fun to talk to. I hope you have a wonderful birthday full of great things!

From Nicole @ Wild Pennings: Happy birthday, Clara!! Thanks for being such a sweet and amazing blogging friend. It really makes my day when you ask how I am and then have a short conversation with me. 🙂 Not only are you super friendly, but you’re a very talented photographer—you’re pictures are stunning!—and blogger. Thanks for being an amazing person, and I’m so glad to have met you. 🙂 Happy birthday! *celebration noises*

From Megan @ A Barefoot Gal: HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLARA! I hope you have an incredible birthday, and I’m so glad we ‘met’ through blogging and that we are pen pals! You are so amazing at photography (I’ll refrain from using that title you seem to dislike even though it’s true, since it is your birthday) and graphic design and being amazing (yes, amazing at being amazing XD). I hope you have a birthday as fabulous as donkeys are!

From May @ Forever and Everly: Clara! You’re such a sweet, amazing, supportive girl. You take some of the most beautiful photos I’ve seen (because you are the CAMERA MASTER), and I’m in love with all the cute designs you make on your blog! I hope you have a WONDERFUL birthday & a great rest of your year!!! ❤

From Suzy @ The Youngest Perks (the other birthday girl!): HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOU FABULOUS AND BEAUTIFUL BEING, CLARA  I’ve loved every bit of our crazy rants about our mutual love for books and fandoms and the fact we’re literally twins irl. You’re an awesome person, and its been awesome knowing ya. 🙂 Now go stuff yourself with cake and food and relish in all the presents. Like right now. Shoo, it’s your birthday, get off the internet and eNJOY IT.



If you don’t know Suzy, you should definitely go wish her a happy birthday over at her blog The Youngest Perks. She’s a super talented coder (made her entire design from scratch like hello wow give me a minute to recover from the amazingness!!) and designer, as well as one of the funniest people I know in the blogosphere. She’s absolutely hilarious and she’ll stop at nothing to encourage others! <33

Suzy — I hope you have one seriously amazing birthday! You’re such a sweetheart and everything you say makes me smile. Also honestly pls give me your coding skills???? (Pretty pleaseeee????) You’re so hilarious and you put your heart into everything you do — I hope this year is the best yet!

From Clara @ Clara and Co: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SUZY! I’m really glad we’ve been able to get to know each other thanks to this awesome invention called the internet. You’re an incredibly talented graphic designer, writer, and blogger. (I still can’t get over how gorgeous your blog is.) You’re also amazingly kind and hilarious – our conversations always have me laughing out loud. XD I hope you have an awesome day!! ❤

From Charis @ Charis Rae: Happy Birthday, Suzy! You’re hilarious and overall amazing. I’m so happy you’re a blogging friend! Your designs are bomb, your blog is amazing, and our convos are always full of lots of flailing and fangirling. I love you, and hope you have an amazing birthday!


Happy Birthday, Suzy! Love, Madi


From Madi @ Madi Grace: HEHE HI SUZY. I hope you have an amaaazing birthday today! It’s been awesome to meet you, and I absolutely love your blog. Here’s to an epic birthday!

+ virtual bday card from madi 🙂

From Danielle @ Near But Far: Hey Suzy! Happy Birthday! I don’t know you very well, but I do know you well enough to know you’re a great person with an awesome personality! You’re super fun to chat with because you’re super chill and funny! Have a great birthday!

From Nicole @ Wild Pennings: Suzy, I hope you have a marvelous birthday!! You’re one of the spunkiest, silliest people I’ve ever talked with and your comments make me laugh! XD Thanks for being one of the first people to ever comment on my blog; that encouraged me to keep at it. Your graphic design skills are just amazing, and I really look up to you as a person who always strives for her best. Again, I hope your birthday is a special one!! 😀

That wraps it up for this post! I know this is unusually placed and a bit unexpected, but we just had to have a special post to celebrate the birthdays of these two wonderful girls. Be sure to wish send birthday wishes to them both in the comments and stay dreaming!


on the horizon

dreams are always on the horizon.

they look like they’re a measurable distance away, and yet they’re not. they’re relative. they seem to get farther away with every step you take toward them. people tell you that with enough work, you’ll reach them, but it takes so long.

until you realize something.

you have your entire life ahead of you. you have your entire future ahead of you. God has plans for you, and although the horizon always seems to be shrinking and swelling and falling and rising, always out of reaching distance, just remember that there’s something magical in the getting there — something gratifying about fighting for every step.

life likes to throw the unexpected in our faces to throw us off track, but God is always there for us. He leads us, guides us, loves us. and He knows what’s best for us. even when things get tough on the way, He’ll always hold us up when we lean on him. we can rest on his faithfulness and unfailing love and trust Him to direct our paths.

so keep on going. keep watching that dream on the horizon, and keep building on it. and don’t ever lose hope of anything, because God is always supporting you. and if your Creator is behind you, you better believe that you’ll find your dream someday.

the journey is the best part, so treasure it.


hey guys! i hope you all enjoyed my mini reflection on pursuing your dreams and trusting that God will guide you along the way. as young people with big dreams, it’s important that we don’t give up on them and that we take time to experience the journey.

as you may or may not have noticed, there was an absence of a post last weekend. we had some issues with scheduling, and some of our contributors were having internet issues, but we’re hopefully back on track now. just know that if we have to miss a post or two, we’re still working hard to provide quality content and will return soon.

we love you all! see you next weekend and have a wonderful week.


a welcome to May 2017

april was an amazing month.

it was a month of new beginnings, of spring weather and blue skies, of smiles and celebrating God’s gift to us of life beyond this world. for many writers, it was a month of busy wordsmithing. for the dreamers, it was a month of imagination and goal-setting and daydreaming.

we gained almost thirty followers after posting for three weeks, designed a simplistic header and button, established a schedule among the contributors, and kept better equipping ourselves to provide you with inspiration and encouragement once a week. in May, we hope to continue improving and developing this up-and-coming collab blog.

the young and dreaming is a blog that has been in the works for months and months, and we finally were able to welcome you all here a few weeks ago! if you were able to take some time and look around, you’re probably aware that we currently have four wonderful contributors — Ashlynn, Bella, Josie, and Suzy. here are the two posts that they wrote for this month, not counting Suzy’s welcome post.

// A Blessed Day: Resurrection Sunday →  Bella’s wonderful reflection on the amazing sacrifice that Jesus made for us, and the fact that he is not dead but alive and loving us more than ever!

// {Never Ending} → Josie’s beautifully written post on how each and every one of us is fearfully and wonderfully made.

thank you to each and every one of our amazing followers and readers! we love you all so much regardless of who you are.

let’s look forward to a wonderful May and all of the memories that we’ll make. ❤

-with love from everyone at The Y&D-

p.s. help us reach fifty followers this month by displaying our button on your blog sidebar or button swap page! you can copy the code in the box and paste it into a page, post, or sidebar widget.