Monday, August 30, 2010

lackadaisical.

inspiration: my lackadaisical walk with Christ.

I guess it's normal to get into a "funk" in our walk with Christ. We slowly get consumed with the day-to-day tasks and to-do lists and our quiet time alone with God slowly gets pushed further and further down the list of priorities.

I'm very guilty of this and I have definitely been here lately. I notice it in my attitude and in my overall physicality. I'm tired, bored, a little more short-tempered than normal. And I can't help but think it's because I'm not healthy spiritually.

I've loosened the grip on my moral rope, I think. I find myself saying things that don't reflect the heart of Christ; listening to music that doesn't praise Creation or the Creator; making inappropriate jokes and not treating people with the love of Christ.


For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
--Ephesians 5:8-11


I need a definite attitude and perspective change. I need to go from being focused so much on myself and things that are not important to shifting my nature and heart to that of Christ.


Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
--Philippians 2:3-11


I pray for blessings and peace. I pray I can focus on my relationship with Christ and all the daily blessings I take for granted.


Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
--Philippians 4:8-9

Saturday, August 28, 2010

another beginning.

inspiration: senior year!

monday, i will be experiencing my last "first day of school". i'm kind of sad, but also excited. it's a new beginning. and the next new beginning i have will be at a job (hopefully). whatever God has planned post-graduation, i will be open and ready for the new journeys.

i welcome new experiences.
i welcome new adventures.
because i know that in whatever i embark on, i embark on with the strength and love of Christ :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

praise you in this storm.

inspiration: "Praise You In This Storm" by Casting Crowns



so i've heard this song countless times on the radio.
i've sang the words countless times in my car.
but something was different when i heard it this morning after eating breakfast alone at cracker barrel.


I was sure by now, God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away, stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen, and it's still raining


those lyrics jumped out at me and really grabbed my heartstrings. lately, i've been struggling with accepting my circumstance of singleness and being at peace with the fact that im not in a relationship. i keep fighting for peace. i keep wrestling with my heart and emotions. i keep trying and trying and trying to convince myself that "i'm better off single" and "God has someone planned for me". yet, i keep wondering what i'm doing wrong and why i haven't been blessed yet...but what it comes down to is that it's not the right time, yet.

i've been caught in this "storm" before. many, many times. i'm often tossed back and forth between waves of contentment and waves of complete turmoil (which is where i am now).

it's such a hard battle, but one that i know i shouldn't necessarily be fighting in: God tells us he works for the good of those who love Him according to His purposes. i know that all the struggles i'm facing will only make me stronger in Him and benefit me for the future works He has planned for me. He will bless me and provide me with everything i need. i just need to continue to praise Him and to stay focused on His glory and His plans for me, rather than wallowing in my self pity and focusing on myself.


And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm


I will remain faithful and true to the promises You have for me, Lord. Help me to stay focused and centered on You and the works You have prepared for me. Amen.

Monday, August 23, 2010

joshua 1:9

inspiration: volunteering in Grace Acres

So, for the last two sundays, i've volunteered in the 3&4 year old room in Grace Acres, the area for infants to pre-school aged kids. The verse and message for this month for the kids to learn and hear about has been Joshua 1:9 and "God is always with us". Stories have been about Moses and how God never left him throughout all his trials with Pharoah.

It's such a simple concept: "God is always with us."
But for me, sometimes, it's easy to forget that. It's so easy for me to get angry because i feel forsaken. it's easy for me to get so caught up in "me, me, me", that i forget that my life is for God's glory!

And it was so humbling to hear the 3&4 year-olds praise with their whole hearts and really knowing that God is always with them. One of the little boys, whenever the teacher would ask "Who is always with us?", never failed in saying "GOD AND JESUS IS ALWAYS WITH US!"

Serving them has definitely been a humbling experience, and I hope that I get to serve them more and more in the weeks and months to come :)


Last week, singing "God loves you and me"



Yesterday, sitting for storytime about Moses

Saturday, August 21, 2010

medals. penguins. monte cristos.

inspiration August 21, 2010: a day for the books! best day ever!

it started off with my second 5K (this month. and ever). it started off on a good leg because i got a shirt my size this time! (this is a huge deal because most of the time, the conversation goes "What size?" "Small" "We're out of smalls, here's a medium" -- and smalls are big on me, so mediums usually SWALLOW me) :)

but today, i just went out and ran, didn't wear my watch so that i wouldn't be tempted to try and "do better", i just wanted to go out and run by the strength of Christ and to run for His name :) and i did! i ran the entire time again (after not running a full 3 mile workout in two weeks) and i feel like i did better than my first race. after i finished and cooled down, i stuck around the finish line to try and get my time, but they said they didn't have them. so after being an awkward turtle for a while, i went up to where the food/drinks were.

i grabbed a banana and Gatorade and realized they were giving out door prizes. within about a minute of being there, they called my name/number and i got a door prize! a lunch bag and water bottle! i still stuck around for them to announce the results and hand out trophies/medals, mostly anticipating find out my time, but they still didn't have them ready...but i stayed to support those who won an award.

they started with the women's overall winner, then gave out the 12 and under, and 13-17 medals. i, honestly, wasn't expecting to receive anything, but when the man announced the third place winner for the 18-21 age group, i realized "I passed her!!!" and I got excited. he called my name for second place, and i was ECSTATIC! One of my proudest moments! I got a medal and everything! I absolutely love race days!

Then, I came home, chatted with Katie over coffee, told her about my race.
Then, Kelsey and I headed over to Indian Lake to catch a movie (we BARELY caught Dinner for Schmucks. Hilarious!), then to browse some of the shops (including a candy store where we posed with a Jelly Belly mascot and i posed with a penguin), went to Cheddars (Monte Cristo sandwich = ♥), and had dessert at Marble Slab.

It was an amaaaazing day!
I am so thankful not only for Kelsey, but also for my other friends who love and support me and who are so encouraging (even when they call me crazy for getting up at the crack of dawn to run). I truly am blessed to have amazing people in my life!
God truly has blessed me beyond belief.


My goodies from the 5K


Kelsey and I after Dinner For Schmucks


Me, posing with a penguin


Monte Cristo!

Friday, August 20, 2010

artistic.

inspiration: creativity.

i've had a "creative bug" for the past 24 hours.


"Geometric Chaos".
August 19, 2010.


"Warhol and Crayola".
August 20, 2010.



Also!
My friend, Sharon, is starting her own business. She creates paintings (her version of Jackson Pollock's). I am the "self-appointed" business manager/motivator (although, officially, I am only her student worker) and I'm trying to use my skills to encourage and help her get her feet on the ground in the marketing/web realm.

She is an amazing woman of God and I pray that God would bless her with many opportunities to create more beautiful art. :)

We're currently only on Facebook, but you can check out some of her work there.
Sha-Casso Studio on Facebook

I hope you will continue to pray for the success of Sharon's business :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

another faithful preparation

inspiration: another "last pre-race" run.

i'm running another 5K on Saturday.
this week has been a better week mentally for me. i'm no longer consumed with time or pace or being "better". i'm choosing to run for Christ. He has given me the strength throughout this entire week and is continuing to bless me with the ability to run.

i'm looking forward to runnin another race :)
who knows what will be in store for me after this one...

"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." --Acts 20:24

This life and this race are not for me. They are for the glory of Christ and all He represents and is :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"i do my little turn on the catwalk"

inspiration: NOT Right Said Fred =P

So I had an amazing opportunity presented to me this afternoon. But, first, the back story:

WAY-FM is hosting their Girls Day Out Fashion Show on Sept. 25th and I heard the radio ad about needing models. There was an open audition three weeks ago, where representatives from two major modeling companies, as well as reps from WAY-FM, were there 1) to choose models for the fashion show and 2) for the modeling agencies to find new talent to represent.

I thought, "What the heck" and decided to go and try out.
I did. I had a blast walking across the stage. I was told I would be notified within two weeks from one of the modeling agencies. And I was. I was told Advantage Models and Talent was interested in working with me and asked to come to an Open Call to meet with the directors. That was today.

The whole process was fairly simple, but incredibly nerve-racking! We were broken up into groups; we watched an intro video to introduce us to the agency and to the founder (who has tons of experience modeling and decided to open an agency to help up-and-coming models, actors, singers, etc). We walked across a small catwalk (I strutted my stuff ;)) and once everyone in all the groups had done that, we waited.
And waited. And waited.

My whole thought process throughout this whole "modeling" spurt was (and still is) "whatever is meant to be, will be." i, honestly, figured this would be a definitive God "YES" or "NO". But what happened today was a complete curve ball in what I hoped would happen.

I was told I have potential and that they (the directors) liked my look and feel like I would be a good fit for them. But since I have no experience, they feel like it would be advantageous to do a course combining acting and modeling (which threw me for a loop because i considered the "acting" portion only for a brief second during the open call, but passed up the opportunity to do a cold read). the price tag is hefty (not as bad as i was expecting though...) and it will be a huge risk. i will have to work even harder to balance my priorities (school, work, church, etc.) and i may not ever even work for a client.

but after weighing the pros and cons and after talking with several friends and my parents, i feel like this is something i am going to pursue. i've been reading "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day", about chasing lions and overcoming fear in order to become the followers God wants us to be, and I re-read something I underlined last night:


"But lion chasers are more afraid of lifelong regrets than temporary uncertainty. They don't want to get to the end of their lives and have a million what-if regrets. So they chase lions." (p. 81)


Replaying things I've mentioned about the book and quotes that I've underlined in the book sealed the deal for me. This is truly an opportunity that I feel like God has placed before me. For better or worse, I am going to pursue it. If I fail, then I fail; at least I tried. But no matter what, I know I need to keep Christ at the forefront of my decision: all my faith is in Him. For better or for worse. I have a lot of friends who support me and will keep me accountable in my actions and in my relationship with Christ. I am absolutely certain of that.

I'm excited (and scared to death) about the future. I am so nervous about getting the ball rolling that I think I'm about to wet myself. But for better or for worse, I've been given the opportunity to chase a lion. And I'm doing it!

(BTW, still not sure if I was selected for the fashion show. I never heard back from WAY-FM, so I'm thinking that was a negative).

Friday, August 13, 2010

no more scaredy cat.

inspiration: i want to chase my lions and conquer my fears.

"But the goal of life is not the elimination of fear. The goal is to muster the moral courage to chase lions." (In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day)

So far, this is one of my favorite quotes I've come across (and I've come across a lot! There are underlines all in my book, and I haven't even finished it yet!)

I'm such a scaredy cat. Really. I try and come across as bold and confident about my circumstances and the things I want to accomplish. And don't get me wrong, I am bold and I am confident. I know that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". But that doesn't mean fear is absent from me. The uncertainty of the future and of life terrifies me!

Over the last year, I've become more and more confident in my walk with Christ. No longer am I consumed by the "What if"s and worries of life. Granted, hard times happen and adversity always sucks, but when I am truly locked in on Christ, nothing can faze me! All the obstacles I face are only making me stronger. Reading this book is empowering me to become a "lion chaser", not to back down to the fear of rejection, failure, adversity, etc. When I am following God's paths for me, I may be taking a legitimate risk, but He will come through for me! It may or may not happen in the way or time I am expecting, but He always comes through...

I am about to graduate and I have NO clue what the future holds for me. This is a truly terrifying step. I mean, graduating high school and moving away was frightening in a sense, but I knew what I was doing next: going to college. Now, I have an idea of what I want to do (get a job), but the "What", "Where", "When", and "How"s of God's plans for me are still to be revealed. But no matter what IS in God's will for me, I am confident that He will strengthen me and provide for the needs I may have.

No longer am I a scaredy cat in the midst of uncertainty.
Rather, I am preparing my heart to become a lion chaser who is ready to lock eyes with my biggest fears and to overcome them with the strength of Christ!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

lion chaser.

inspiration: In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

so i started reading this with my friend Brooke the other day. so far, it's rocking my socks! it's just a constant reminder not to let my fears (lions) get in the way of becoming all that God wants me to be.

i'm sure i'll have many quotes to share from it :) i'd write more now, but i have to go to work soon -_-

but it's a great book (and a small one, too ;)) and i recommend it to all :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

wounds.

inspiration: a situation that arose yesterday.

It's frustrating when you feel like "I'm finally in control of something...I've finally overcome this frustration, this fear, this pain..." and then something happens to disrupt that sense of accomplishment. It happened to me yesterday and I still have a sense of frustration and confusion and hurt.

I just can't seem to shake it. It's like Satan knows how to pierce my soul and not let me go. And no matter what, Christ is on my side to protect me from Satan's evil schemes. But even for the second Satan was in control, it was just enough time to cut me open and make me feel vulnerable once again.

So I need prayer to help bind those wounds and that disappointment up again. I need the strength to know Jesus is in control and His love, grace, mercy, and peace are surrounding me now.

Monday, August 9, 2010

shields up.

inspiration: Proverbs 4:23

after receiving a random text message, i realize just how much i need to guard my heart and keep my eyes and heart focused completely on Jesus Christ and the plans and promises HE has for me.

in the past, it's been very easy for me to slip up and fall back into a pattern of sin when things like this happen. i've come so far in my walk with Christ that i can't ever imagine walking down a different path, but i definitely need to put up barriers NOW to prevent me from stumbling down the road.

for any who are reading, just pray for me to have strength that is fully reliant on the promises of God, not on the pleasures and temptations of the world. Jesus is the only man who will never ever ever let me down and i need to trust in the plans HE has for me!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I DID IT!

inspiration: i ran my 5K!

i ran the entire thing like i hoped i would be ready and able to do! i finished in 31:08 which puts me right-smack-dab at a 10 minute mile. i was going to start training for a 10K, but i'm going to hold off on that and get comfortable with doing 5Ks first :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

great news!

inspiration: a lot has happened since i last blogged.

1. i survived Summer Bridge program.

basically, i stayed 3 days at APSU to help over 350 students register for fall classes. i LOVE my registration/orientation assistant job, but the past 3 days were intense and overwhelming/stressful at times.

but i absolutely LOVE meeting new students and sharing my enthusiasm about my campus and such. so, despite the high tensions and stresses, it was a good time! some great ROA bonding happened monday night over some cake and dancing. (i learned how to "Dougie"! now THAT'S funny. i have ZERO rhythm. but i try. :P)

Teach Me How To Dougie

2. i got an e-mail from Advantage Modeling saying they're interested in working with me! :)

i have to meet with the directors and agents on the 15th...hopefully it will go well. not a lot of details have been released about what will happen or what to expect, so i'm going in sans rose-colored glasses because i realize it could potentially not work out for me.

i'm not willing to forsake my school/jobs in order to pursue this. i feel like it will be an amazing opportunity if it works out in my favor, but i also know that it's a very volatile and unpredictable career. but in all honesty, i will do what i can to pursue this :)

3. my 5K is literally days away!!

i'm so stinkin' excited! it's been really difficult to keep my motivation up and especially after the long, intense Bridge Program, i'm exhausted and i know i need to rest as much as i can, but still prepare physically for this race.

4. i'm about to start my LAST semester of college!

...enough said! i'm so pumped!! i don't know where or what lies ahead. all i know is that i have to keep my heart and eyes focused on Christ and the plans He has for me! i definitely need to keep my heart and mind in check, especially with the potential for modeling jobs...but i want so badly to continue to pursue Christ with reckless abandon.

5. i got my replacement certificate of citizenship

so when i get the money for my passport (which i, theoretically, will get when i apply this time!), i will get that taken care of and i'll be saving money for Costa Rica in January for a missions trip!! :)



life is going so well right now for me.
granted, it's easy to feel good about everything when nothing is going wrong. but i continually pray for a humble heart and strength in any and every situation. i know that inevitably, life will throw rocks at me, but as long as i am shielded with Christ, i can handle anything! :)