Thursday, November 25, 2010

thanksgiving.

inspiration: TURKEY DAY!

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I am thankful for...

  1. Jesus Christ - My Savior. My Redeemer. My love. He loves me unconditionally and is there for me, comforting me no matter what! He sees not my past, only my future.

  2. my family - i have the greatest family! so blessed to have parents that love me no matter what and who support me in all my endeavors. my parents have sacrificed and given me so much over the years to make sure that i had every opportunity possible :)

  3. my friends - i say it all the time, but it's so true: I have the best friends a girl could ever ask for! we laugh together, cry together, live life together and i'm so blessed to have a great community of people around me who love me and support me through the highs and lows of life.

  4. Grace Community Church - i am SOOO lucky to have a great church family! it's not about the building (which we don't have yet), but about the people with whom we worship and live life. i've grown so much over the last year and a half: as a follower of Christ, as a servant for others in Grace Acres, and now i'm about to embark on my first missions trip with them. God has moved so much in my life lately and I'm so thankful that I've been able to live life with such an amazing family of people :)

  5. living in America - i probably take this for granted too much. but i am proud to be an American. i get to experience freedoms that many people worldwide never get to. i have opportunities that many people won't ever have.

  6. indoor plumbing/electricity - i feel like this is pretty self-explanatory. pretty sure i would die if i had to go outside in the cold and rain to use the bathroom...so yeah. madly thankful for indoor plumbing!

  7. my apartment and my car - the slow progression into adulthood is happening. paying bills isn't always the most fun. but i'm thankful that i have a roof over my head and a car that gets me from point A to point B.

  8. my education - i'm thankful to have had all the opportunities i have had to learn new things!

  9. all the hard times i've been through - had it not been for the bad things and hard times, i would never, and i mean NEVER, be able to cherish all the great things that God is blessing me with now as much as i do now.


  10. other things...
  11. music

  12. turkey and dressing and macaroni

  13. SWEET TEA!

  14. sonic happy hour

  15. mandarin oranges

  16. o'charleys caramel pie

  17. football

  18. adventures

  19. boot camp

  20. running and all the races i've been able to do

  21. creation!!

  22. sunrises and sunsets

Sunday, November 21, 2010

just a quick reminder...

inspiration: just a quick reminder to myself...because i have a tendency to forget.

my life is not about...
...the things I've done.
...the adventures I will go on.
...how much money I make.
...what I have.
...how many friends I have.
my life is not about ME.


My life is about...
...what Christ gives me the strength to do. (Philippians 4:13)
...the plans Christ has for me. (Jeremiah 29:11)
...knowing I'm not perfect, but have been made perfect through the blood of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 12:9, 2 Corinthians 5:17)
...how I can serve the Kingdom with my money and things. (Matthew 6:24)
...keeping Christ first, above all else. (1 John 2:15-17)
...ensuring that my friendships are based on the foundation of Christ; that within these friendships, Christ's love is made known and that we grow and encourage each other in our faith (John 15:13, Ephesians 4:29,


My life is about shining my light for Christ (Matthew 5:16). That in any and every situation, I am in constant worship of God and all His blessings (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18); that, even though I am young, that I would not be discouraged because God has a glorious plan for me and that through my life, I would always reflect the heart of Christ (1 Timothy 4:12).


bottom line.
it's not about me.
it's about Christ.
period.

Friday, November 19, 2010

you think you know, but you have NO idea.

inspiration: proverbs 16:9

Proverbs 16:9: "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."

this last week has been absolutely craaaazy! but in the absolute best way possible: i've had a lot of "only-possible-through-God" moments.

1) a couple weeks ago, i shared with my small group (and im pretty sure i wrote a blog about it too) about how i was tired of pursuing the "wrong" guys. it was something that i truly tried to control and probably one of the biggest obstacles keeping me from trusting God wholeheartedly. outwardly, i said "i want to focus on my relationship with Christ first and foremost in my life. God is blessing me with a season of singleness for a purpose." but inwardly, i thought "i'm too independent and too complicated for anyone. maybe someday someone will come along. maybe, just maybe. but probably not." and i was content to be single. for however long it took to find someone.

2) i also had my heart dead set on the Southwest internship in Dallas. i was praying that i would get it; anything to get me out of here; anything to give me something "new" in life. i was sure i had all the potential, i was sure it was something that i truly wanted.

in my heart, i had planned my course. in my heart, i thought i knew what was "best for me" and what i wanted.
but the second part of Proverbs 16:9 got me!!

1) God has blessed me with the opportunity to get to know a really, super-cool, awesome guy who also just happens to be completely in love with Jesus! it's totally a perfectly-timed-God-thing, too. in the past week, i've pretty much had my slightly-jaded-"i'm-too-independent-for-a-guy" attitude flipped upside down. i'm still not quite sure why God is choosing to bless me when i feel like i don't deserve it, but i definitely won't complain! it's definitely a Christ-centric friendship and i feel like even if it never works out relationship-wise, we will still be friends since it's based on the foundation of Jesus rather than the earthly desire for a relationship (which has been a huge issue for me in the past). but regardless of what happens, i am certainly blessed to know Jason :)

2) i didn't get the Southwest internship. but despite my previous feelings about it, i wasn't that disappointed. as it turns out, im quite happy i didn't get it! (see above ;)) i wanted selfishly to get the internship; i selfishly wanted to leave and start over somewhere else (why? i truly have no clue), but as it turns out, i have far too much here to just leave. i have some of the best friends that i could ask for, a phenomenal church that i love serving at and living life with, family, and other opportunities!

in fact, i heard about an IT position opening at APSU the day before yesterday (which is another perfectly God-timed event because I found out yesterday that i didn't get the internship). i've talked to a couple people that i've worked with in the past about it and hopefully it will be posted within the next couple weeks. prior to the Southwest deal, APSU was at the top of where i wanted to work post-graduation and i had gotten my hopes seemingly crushed when two IT positions were filled earlier this year; but God has presented another opportunity to maybe work here! i definitely hope that it works out :) :)


God works in strange, but amazing ways. All His plans are perfectly timed, even if they're not on our earthly timetable. Everything works out for His glory. Even when we think we have everything planned out, God's plans will always come to fruition and they'll always be even greater than anything we can plan for ourselves! Nothing is too big for God, nothing is too small for God. Even when we think we know, we have NO idea of the greatness and majesty of the Almighty Creator God!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

dear sisters.

inspiration: this is for all my sisters in Christ

I had a brief conversation about relationship woes with Joyann, my younger sister-from-another-mister, last night that almost broke my heart. We have been friends for almost half my life (and 2/3 of hers -- 12 years, to be exact...and it’s crazy to put it into that perspective) and she was my biggest fan and strongest support this time last year when I was bordering depression over a breakup.

I never (until recently) admitted to anyone just how far away from Christ I was, how lonely I was, and how bad I felt about myself post-breakup. But at that time, Joyann really helped me battle my demons and overcome all the anxiety, guilt, frustration, anger, etc. that I had experienced regarding everything about life and relationships. She brought so much joy and grace (LOL seeing as her middle name is Grace – Joyann Grace ;)) and shed so much light into the darkness that had become my world. And despite the fact that I’m 3 years older than her, I look up to her so much for being a true spiritual leader in our relationship/adopted-sisterhood that it really, really broke my heart to see her wrestling so much. Well, it always does (no one likes to see their little sister upset), but even more so last night, because it was my turn to share my “been-there-done-that” scars...

Part of our conversation entailed questions like “Do you think fairytales exist? where it really is something beautiful?” (which I will address later) and the statement was made that really struck a chord in my heart and it made me cringe when I read it: “I feel I need to go around the block and figure things out...learn the hard way. it seems to be the only way I learn anyways.”

I had been lying in bed and literally jumped to sit up to reply, but my response was: “Don’t let Satan take hold of you like that. Guard your heart. Take it from someone who has let her guard down far too many times. I don’t want you to end up heart and broken like I’ve experienced. Innocence is something you can never get back…”

So this is for all my sisters in Christ struggling with keeping our hearts protected from the temptations of the world, for all of us who struggle walking in the light when the darkness lurks around us, heed my advice:

Guard your hearts; Protect your innocence; Walk in the light, not in the dark.

Proverbs 4:23: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (my NIV Bible)

The NLT version says: “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

The latest NIV version is closer to the NLT version and states it this way, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

But no matter which version you read, the principle is the same. Our hearts need to be protected; they are precious, they are valuable, and they need to remain as pure as possible. Think of it as a diamond or pearl. The more we freely give it out to the world or to guys, the more it becomes worn and fades. My heart lost a lot of its luster and beauty and it has definitely affected me in ways that are too personal for a blog.

But I will say this: God restores! It’s hard to see sometimes in the midst of the world and a media frenzy telling us we need to be in a relationship to be loved, but God loves us far more than any man will. We are a reflection of His image and we, as women, feel very strongly about relationships because God feels strongly about relationships. But we have to get it right: our relationship with HIM must be first in our life! Any and every other relationship must be built on the foundation of Christ, friendships, dating relationships, marriages, all of them!

Now to address the whole “fairy tale” thing, my response was my typical response: “Any God written romance is beautiful” and went on state how I’m here to glorify God and I want to make sure that I am fulfilling that purpose by keeping Him as my #1 relationship.

Something I have to constantly remind myself is that I am in a season of singleness for a purpose. I refuse to miss the opportunities and blessings God is pouring out for me because I’m “waiting”. It is up to me to “make the most of every opportunity” (Ephesians 5:15-16). It’s a constant battle against Satan and the world to stay focused on my relationship with Christ; I am often struck with bouts of doubt and worry about finding my future husband, but I have to always remember to walk in the light and not in the darkness.

God’s plans will always come to fruition and everything will work out on His timetable. When we are struck with adversity and doubt, we must combat them with Truth. We must surround ourselves with people who build us up in Christ, who accept us where we are, and who love us despite our brokenness and pour out mercy on us rather than condemnation when we make mistakes. I am lucky to have friends and sisters in Christ who do that for me. But most of all, I’m beyond blessed to have a relationship with God, who meets me where I am and strengthens me for His purposes and who sees beyond all my mistakes and failures! He loves us more than any friend, sister, boyfriend, or husband will. That is why we must put Him first and let His blessings fill us and let His plans for us take precedence over ours.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

let it go.

inspiration: my incessant need for control is keeping me from trusting in God's plans for me.



our sermon on Sunday was about relinquishing control to God. Chad challenged us to give up control of whatever it is that we feel like we have to control.

for me, it's relationships. if i'm being honest, i fear i'll "end up alone" if i wait for God. but the ultimate truth is that i have to trust that Christ will bring my future husband to me on His timetable!!!

i texted my friend Kelsey: "it is so much easier to relinquish the pen of our lives to God. He is a much better writer, anyway ;) He will script a beautiful story for us, in love and in life."

i wish i could say that those words came easy for me to write. but they didn't. i have to not only not worry about my future husband, but not worry about the future. my career. my house. my money. my car. my whatever...it's not mine anyways. it's all God's. He is in control. and everything we have is HIS!

i have to trust in Him to provide for me.
i have to trust in Him to strengthen me for HIS purposes rather than relying on myself.
i have to let it go.

Happy Veteran's Day

inspiration: i haven't written in a while. not that it's of great importance if i do, but i always hate leaving my blog unattended for more than a few days.

today is Veteran's Day. after living in a military town, i realize that it's more than just a day off from school and work. it's a day to honor fallen soldiers and their families and to thank those who have served and continue to serve our great country.

personally knowing a few soldiers/veterans/family members, after saying "Thank you for your service", all of them said "Thank you" back. it's important to remember those who have given their lives for the freedom of others; some paying the ultimate price.

Thanks you to all those who serve, have served, or have family members or know someone who serves our country. God Bless you all :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

blessed by friends.

inspiration: i am ridiculously blessed with some amazing friends who keep me rooted and build me up in Christ!

I have some of the best friends I could ever imagine and I am constantly reminded through my church family how blessed I am!

A few blogs that have inspired me over the last couple days in my faith and walk with Christ and especially in relationships and the future. I've struggled immensely with patience, worrying, and pride. Sometimes, I've been able to overcome this by the power of the Holy Spirit slowly humbling me (especially in the "pride" department). But I know that especially on "downer-days", reading and hearing an encouraging word of truth and encouragement makes all the difference in my daily walks with Christ. And with great friends like these, it's pretty obvious how blessed I am to be surrounded by brothers and sisters in Christ.


Brad Clower: Date To Find a Mate
Heather Kennedy: Dear Society
Jason Hart: Bart Millard is the Man/"Beautiful"
Brooke Denny: Dear Little Ones...

They all have touched me and inspired me in some capacity, especially Brad and Jason's blogs. I know in my heart that I need for my husband to be the true spiritual leader of the family. And being surrounded by advertisements, media, movies, television shows, etc. where men aren't leaders (or spiritual leaders, for that matter) of their families is quite disappointing. And even more discouraging when I often see men who aren't leaders/spiritual leaders in real life either, not just in the media. But it's very refreshing and encouraging to have brothers in Christ like Brad and Jason who truly do have it right: Christ first!! It brings joy to my heart that not only are they blessings in my life, but that they will be true spiritual leaders of their families in the future.

Heather and Brooke also inspire me so much as sisters and as best friends. We've all lived life together (HK and I have been friends for over a year now; Brooke and I have been friends for three-and-a-half) and we've experienced our respective ups-and-downs (my roller coaster of an emotional life, especially!). But it's great to know that despite my mistakes and my imperfections and my crazy emotions, that I have friends who encourage me to keep Christ first no matter what. And not just HK and Brooke, but Kelsey, Katie, and everyone else in my small groups and church family!

My prayer for my friends and whoever else chooses to read this is that you would encourage and be encouraged by one another. God places people in our lives to build us up in His glory and to glorify Him through our relationships with one another, not just marriages, but in friendships as well. I pray that each and every one of us is or will be blessed with a spouse that will build us up in Christ; that where we as humans falter, Christ will be glorified as the one who never fails.

Friendships and community are essential in our growth as Christ followers.
And I am beyond blessed to have a great community of friendships :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

restless and weary.

inspiration: i need a change of scenery. a change of pace. or a change of heart.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." -Matthew 6:34

i would do well to take the advice i share with others.
i need to heed the advice of Scripture.
i need to trust in God to comfort and provide for me.
i'm impatient and restless sometimes. and i don't really know what "triggers" it.

like now, i'm impatient and restless about this Southwest Internship.
i'm struggling to get over the fact that i still miss my ex. i feel like i should be over it by now, but something still tugs at my heartstrings...

if i'm being honest with myself and others, as much as i say that "i'm ready to date" or "i just want to meet my future husband", i know that i'm really truly not ready. i still have a lot to overcome and to let go of.

sure, i miss my ex and i guess it's natural to have a sense of attachment to your first love; but i can't help but worry about the extent of mine. will i ever overcome it? will i ever be able to fully let go of the past, let bygones be bygones (whatever the heck that means...)? i worry that i won't be able to. i know it's lame, i know i'm only 21. but the thought still worries me.


another worry of mine is the future.
i feel like i've always known what i wanted to do without ever knowing what i wanted to do.
i've always known that after graduation, i would work. it's just my inclination.
no grad school, no research. just practical application for what i've learned.
my "dream" was to get a job around here (clarksville, nashville, franklin, middle tn...somewhere close); but the more i think about it and the more i hear "live while your young and don't have attachments", the more i don't want to settle.

granted, getting a job in nashville is not settling by any means. i would still be blessed beyond measure to have that. but if given the opportunity to go somewhere else (like Dallas, for instance, for that Southwest Internship), i would take that over nashville in a heartbeat (ask me if i would've said the same thing about two months ago, and i would've said "no, nashville is the place for me").


i just need to surrender my worries and anxieties to God.
i need to trust in His path and His plans for me rather than create my own.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." -Matthew 11:28

"In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps." -Proverbs 16:9

Monday, November 1, 2010

anticipation.

inspiration: sitting. hoping. thinking. praying. planning. and dreaming.

So much going on! it's sometimes so easy to just get overwhelmed by everything that's on my plate and all the plans and dreams i have...but I am trying so hard to keep my head and heart focused on God's plans for me.

I am graduating in 46 days!!
Classes are still going.
Work is still work.

But something that I am anticipating is hearing from Southwest Airlines about an internship I applied for. I don't know how it will go. I don't know if I will be accepted. I pray that I get it, but I know that if I don't, it means God has something better.

I anticipate that getting the internship will bring another bout of stress and anxiety, but I AM blessed enough to know people in Dallas that will help me transition to life in the Lonestar state (Oh, did I mention the internship is from January to April in DALLAS, TEXAS!)

So we'll see what will happen.


Finally, brothers and sisters, 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