Oh How Blessed

Even in the middle of my circumstances that I am experiencing right now, I am so blessed. I have a God whom I love, and who loves me and puts up with all my doubt. I just have that safety, that comfort, the type of love that not everyone gets. I mean, He must love me, giving me amazing people in my life. He must! He really must. He does.

I am surely one of the most blessed people in the world, because even my troubles are blessings anymore. Or maybe they always were. I am just now realizing what they mean for me and what God's using them for.

I just want to say thank you to Him, my Morning Star. Isn't it just great that He takes us back when we are the way we are? How broken, just plain mean, and unyielding we are. Yet He is our refuge how many times? Our hope, our reason, so many times over and over. All the time. How thankful are we!

"O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. O give thanks to the God of Gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. O give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever." Psalms 136:1-3

My 100th post. Oh wow. I never thought I'd be doing something so much, so awesome, so BIG as this. What a movement! (can I get an Amen?) I'm SO excited. :DDDD This whole things is just a God thing. The whole thing. All of it. I never thought I'd be doing something like this. Not me. Not in a million years. Wow. I just can't get over that. It's a testament to the fact that God moves in unexpected ways. Why me anyway? What do I have to give? I'm so glad that I realized that this blog isn't even about me, it's about God's story in my life. It's proof that God can use anyone at anytime and for anything. This blog is all His.


Praying for You

Are you familiar with the comfort and security you feel when you know other people are praying for you?

I never really realized this until someone specifically prayed for my prayer request out loud at youth group one night a few years ago, and then prayed for me. I gotta tell you, it's one of the most encouraging things. And when someone says that they will be praying for you throughout the week, man, it just makes me so happy and gives me a feeling of relief--I'm not alone in this. They don't even have to pray for everything to be okay. They just pray for God's will, and for you to know that He is in the midst of it all. That's when you know they really care.

This is our responsibility as brothers and sisters in Christ--just praying for each other, watching out for each other. Anymore, society is so concerned with boys and girls and what they do together we seem to forget that there's a close bond that's supposed to be there, like a brother sister thing.

So I encourage you all to pray for that someone (especially if you told them that you would) who you need to pray for. Really, it is one of those things where you can see God working and moving as they work through certain aspects of their life, even if they're far away.





Quiet time.
Sometimes it just feels like we can't do this, that there is too much human in us to even be able to sit down and stay still and listen. I feel like so many people feel this too. If you let the feeling catch you, it can be pretty overwhelming.

The more I learn though, the more it's about the attitude of your heart and your priorities. Do you want to learn more? Do you want to draw closer to God? s that your goal? Is He your favorite thing? You see, I am excited now to spend time with Him, just the two of us. It takes that aloneness with Him to be able to relax into His presence and let His heavy hand lay peace on our tired and troubled hearts.


Drag Me Deeper

When we are feeling down, wallowing in self-pity a bit, looking forward to the future instead of living in the present (I don’t think that applies to when you’re doing homework), and wondering why everyone else has something you don’t, I have to remind myself that God’s the only thing that matters. He’s the air I breathe. The only thing I need, my one thing to depend on. He holds me together. There’s nothing else in the whole world that even matters. This dependency is so necessary for every day life...I never realized how necessary.

He’s dragging me deeper, further and further away from everything and everyone else. Pulling me under, so that I am fully submersed in His presence. When I try to struggle and resist this relentless pursuit, I feel like I’m drowning, caught in the struggle of trying to breath, when all I have to do is look to Him and my fears will calm.

He's literally dragging me deeper. How can we find our way on our own? Already I'm further in than I could ever go alone. I wouldn't really be here if it wasn't from Him. All the countless second chances...oh why do we still struggle against the pull? The way He romances us? His caring heart just wants us, wants us to run to Him, wants to care for us. Why do we not let Him?

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever you would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith would be made stronger in the presence of my Savior

Where Feet May Fail
Hillsong UNITED

Lord I need you,
Every hour I need you
My one defense,
My righteousness,
Oh God how I need you

Lord I Need You
Christ Tomlin


Our Strength

Well. I would say that sometimes we confuse our strength (which is little and small) with God's strength (which is big and tall). I never really thought of the fact that we confuse them, but we really just have to remember that God's not going to o everything for us. Like a good parent, He waits for us to turn to Him and ask for help, hiding a smile while we try to do it ourselves. 
Sometimes it just takes taking a deep breath, summoning your courage and going to do it. Walking over there. Saying those honest words. Putting things at risk. Putting you at risk. And this is what God asks us to do, but all the while leaning on Him. He is our strength, our salvation and everything beautiful. You see, He is our strength, not anyone else. Not you. Not me. No one.
"He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress, I shall not be shaken."
Psalm 62:6 

Square One

I want to be ready to live. Live as myself. The more life experience I have the more I realize a lot of it just comes down to being comfortable in your own skin. Despite your circumstances. As hard as that is sometimes. With all these new and changing things and still adapting to parts of the transition, I feel like the outer situations, still being new, inhibits me from being as me as I want. I guess this is understandable, but I just want my confidence back. You know how hard it was to get where I am? Now I kinda feel like I'm back to square one. Not as bad as I used to be because at least I realize that God can bear this burden for me, it's not me on my own. And again, the bigger picture looks a lot different. And if it's for Jesus, it's all worth it. Every single thing that I've gone through is worth just living for Jesus. He's my light and favorite thing in my life. He's slowly turning my hurt into fruit...it just takes a long time I guess. Really, I am my worst enemy. I'm the reason for the delay. All my sins, the things that trip me up...guys, you have no idea. Sometimes there is so much hurt, so much pain that chokes like weeds. I can't seem to get away. He's so beautiful though, I can't even begin to touch Him.

I'm Tired

I'm tired. Tired of all this new stuff, all these changes. It's hard. And every time something seems like it's going good, everything just gets more confusing. There's so much to think about, too many things to do, I feel like I can't keep it all straight. My days are getting better, but sometimes they are just hard. I'm starting to realize how daily some of the obstacles I face are, and how challenging it is to overcome them.

I thought that I was getting used to all these different things, but then something happens and BAM it's the whole freshman experience rising up again. My bones are weary and I just feel so worn.

To back up my point and have a song that better articulate my feelings, I was just going to  look up the lyrics to Tenth Avenue North's song Worn and post them. Well, with Google and the internet being a bit finicky, what song the auto-correct whatever typed in was Never Once by Matt Redman. I was looking for this song the other day because I loved the truth in it's words. Compare the lyrics and see for yourself.

Never Once
Matt Redman


Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Tenth Avenue North


I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

 Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause all that’s dead inside will be reborn



Noise, noise, noise. Distractions, distraction, distractions. All around me. All vying for my attention. Sometimes the noise is just deafening. It hurts. How I am supposed to focus? Conversation. Music. Doors shutting, slamming. Talking. Water running. iPods.

Where is my peace and quiet? Where is my place of rest and refuge in the middle of all this noise? Sometimes I just feel like my ears are on overload. I’m tired of it all. I can only take so much. 

Then at other times, it's a comfort. People, people, people, noise, laughter, chatting, noise, people. Just the noise of so many people is so different from anything else.

In the midst of it all with all these mixed and confusing messages, you have to remember that the voices you listen to shape you. You can not afford to lose yourself. So I encourage you all to look to God in the middle of the noise and place your identity in Him, so that He's the only voice you hear.

Sorry the picture sticks out a bit...it kinda drives me nuts but it really needed to be this big because it's banner sized.

My Brothers

"The more I get to know you, the more you act like Rachel."

This is what my brothers friend said to him the other day. Wow. My brother has dealt with many comments like these and the feelings that go along with them since I've left. I'm not sure how he's still sane.

The older I get and the more I look at relationships, the more unique each one is. This is especially true for the relationship between brother and sister. It's a blessing really. There's the teasing, sharing secrets about your parents, a bit of mischief, what's said in the car stays in the car, the harmful truth, things you would never tell your parents, hurtful words thrown in anger and a deadly retaliation, annoying the heck out of each other, a few laughs here and there all with a little side of hate. Honestly. You know it's true.

Anyway, the people who I call my brothers I choose very carefully. They just brighten my day. There are also guys who don't call my little brothers, but are simply brothers in Christ, which are the best kind to have.

For those of you who know my brother, he's a hot mess. For real. And as weird as he is and as different as we are, there's a level of understanding between us now that cannot be compared to anything else.

I really feel like his older sister. I know he's got a lot of sisters, but really, that's the kind of relationship we have. And I usually end up getting him ice cream for some reason. I love it.

Sometimes I feel like Will is a mini version of me. Ever find someone that you really just click with? That's him. The thing is, he is like my little brother because he's actually that young. And since he's a higher rank than me, he can totally beat me up.

When people need to be direct and get to the point and just say it. Reminding me of my own brother, Michael is someone I can count on to give me a different perspective of my day.

As important as these people are to me, and as the older sister (whether biological or not) I really do feel the bit of protective nature that comes with being the older sibling. For those of you older siblings, you can relate. The thing is, I know these people have my back. Sometimes I think I miss them more than just about anyone else.




Human Relations

I love my human relations class. It's SO much fun. Every third time we meet, we have a group activity day, where we split up in the same group and basically answer questions about us and our personality. The group of girls I'm with are really cool and after a bit of getting to know them, I have decided that it's a safe place to be. This has to happen before I can even dream of answering the questions we ask truthfully.

The thing is, I know God meant for me to be to be in this class, even if I didn't even like it--at all--in the beginning. He is so good to me, because He's given me a great group of girls who I can look up to as role models and an opportunity to practice self-discloser in a safe environment (which is completely a God thing, I never thought that I could share this kind of stuff about myself with people, let alone write it in a blog). And it's really neat to see the stuff we are learning about in class and with our text book is unfolding right before my eyes. Communication, personality types, self-disclosure and building relationships just seems to be the stuff I need to know or am working through at this part of my life. It's a crazy thing to see, and I'm going to miss it when it's gone, but I really just appreciate the opportunity I have to grow and learn to love people again.

True Love

True Love. Something we all long for.

Now days it seems that doctrines, laws, social media, opinions and "I think this or that" are the things that we easily hide behind.

The thing is, nothings authentic anymore. All this superficialness (no, that's not a word, but just hang with me here) just encourages us to build up our walls and let our fake smiles and "fines" do the talking for us. All we have to do is make sure we do or say the right things so people will get whatever impression you're trying to give them. These walls hurt our relationships by stunting their growth and delaying the healing that Christ centered relationships can bring.

This is why our community has an overwhelming need for true love. The love that cherishes, the love that holds, the love that accepts unconditionally, the love that makes you smile and cry at the same time, the love that protects, the love that pours into, the love that sometimes hurts, the love that heals, and ultimately the love that is God. This is true love. The word "true" just overrides everything, honestly. It's authentic, has no barriers and is so much of a raw, real feeling it hurts to experience it sometimes. That kind of love is so valuable. That's one of the reasons why it takes so much time to  build...lots of shared looks, maybe some inside jokes, all kinds of different types of conversations, frustrating  moments and more than a few awkward ones. Sometimes tears of sadness or joy or both.

As we are called to make disciples, this is our focus--the heart. The emotions and experiences that come with living life together are like the cookie dough when making cookies--you can't do it without it. The application of this is not only living it out in your daily life but serving together. It's a time to truly teach and build the bond and relationship between mentor and disciple while showing and spreading God's love throughout your community and other nations.

Overall, just think about the love you show your friends, kids, neighbors, spouse, walmart cashier and even the bank teller. Is it real? Can people tell it's authentic? No fake smiles? Be deliberate with showing it because our community needs it badly.


Q & A #1

So about two weeks ago in "Up-close and Personal" I asked you all to send me your questions not only so I could get feedback for me, but just to answer any questions, specifically about my blog, that you all had.

An a fair warning, this post is all over the place. I didn't bother blending my paragraphs. Usually they do it on their own.

So I understand that blogs are different. They just don't get the same type of attention or feedback as other types of media. This is okay. I think I just got so excited about blogging, that I wanted to tell people about how it happens and didn't really think about how weird it is for people (not so much for as for others) to be sending me questions on my blog because it's so personal. I'm actually glad I didn't get that many questions now. It's easier if I just keep posting and you keep reading.

This whole blog thing is just a God thing. The whole thing. All of it. I never EVER thought I'd be doing something like this. Not in a million years. Not me. Why me anyway? What do I have to give? I'm so glad that I realized that this blog isn't even about me, it's about God's story, His involvement (now that's an understated word) in  my life. So no, I'm not worried about the amount of questions I got. That's not what it's about. The numbers and stats, no. The bigger picture has to do with God and His beautiful plan for my life.

In all reality, I think I just wanted to tell you all how SUPER excited I am to be blogging...it's my new hobby, where a lot of my free time is spent. Really, ideas and realizations just pop in my head and I can't get them out--they just start writing themselves! Usually, it's not even the beginning of the post, it's the middle of it. But anyway. You all have NO IDEA how hard it is to not post everything at once! To patiently post one thing a day....man, it's like a kid before Christmas. I'm just SO excited and have had these posts as drafts for awhile.

The other day, with all of the talking, reading, writing and blogging and communicating I ran out of words. That's why there's nothing to say sometimes. I just can't use them anymore. So I am quiet for a few hours, say nothing and read a lot. That's how you get your words back. Am I the only one this has happened too? We are talking about communication in human relations class and I am starting to understand and appreciate words more. What you say to people (verbally or non-verbally) and how you say them. And listening. Just listen to what was said. Just listen.

I say this as I write my list of question/answers. Oh my.

1. If you could go to any country in the world to spend a week, where would you go? 
Ireland because it's awesome.

2.What's your least favorite thing to eat? 

3. Favorite book besides the Bible? 
Harry Potter I guess. Can't really go wrong with that. But I am not sure how I can even really choose a favorite book...I like them all.
4.Where do you see yourself in ten years? 
An environmental education center maybe? I don't know.
5. If you could be an expert at playing one musical instrument, what would be the instrument? 
My voice. But sadly that will never happen. I really don't even think it could be possible for me to play an instrument because I have negative musical ability. All I can do is appreciate it.

6. How much time do you spend blogging and how much time do you spend studying?
No comment. :) I do blog before I study or else I wont be able to study because I'll be thinking about it though.
7. What year in your life have you changed the most spiritually?
Last few months. Seriously, just read back a about a month of posts.


Facilitate vs Participate

Facilitate vs. Participate
(now how awesome is this rhyme?)

Something that I have been recognizing in my current situation is that God is preparing me. I don't know exactly what for (I have some ideas, but we all know how that goes), but I can feel it. He's working on me, fixing the things I believed that were off target, I didn't know or needed to be reminded of. He's showing me how to disciple. He's revealing more of Himself to me in a more personal way, so I can show the joy that I have because of Him to others.

Part of my preparation is the fact that He's giving me a break. From all the things that I had to do, all the roles I was in, that I identified myself with, and the leadership positions.  I kind of wore myself out a bit, not all with the leadership stuff necessarily but just the stress of last year. So now I just need to participate. To learn. Learn, learn, learn, learn so that I can lead, so I can help guide and grow others (it's God who gives the growth...1 Corinthians 3:6) and grow in Christ myself.  I may not be called to  lead exactly right now, but I just need to be involved (leading can be done in small ways in your daily life even if you're not in a leadership position anyway, it's kinda like a type of lifestyle). This semester is a time for me to just focus on adjusting. Which is actually a lot of work. Nobody told me how hard this could be.

In the middle of it all, part of me wants to throw my hands up and say “Okay, cool. I'm tired of it all. I can stop. And I will.” The other part of me is still a bit confused. What do you mean I can’t take these steps, this initiative and be involved in this way? Why can’t I do this confrontation or whatever? Why?

Because it's all apart of His plan.
Apparently, God is doing all of this for a reason. Not sure why, but He knows. And that's enough.





Sometimes I am just overwhelmed by the support I have form people. Sometimes I feel like I can never be good enough, make the best grades or do all the right things to earn what I have.

 But that’s the thing about grace. You don’t have to.

The thing is though, when you're saved, that's where our identity is. The grace that we've been saved by. We no longer have to feel like we look to others for our affirmation. What can they give us anyway? When we have eternal love from the One above, what more do we need? He gives us life, a life worth living.



Not Where I Belong

With all the blessings I have and everything that I've been given, I'm still not home. Yes, this is exactly where I'm supposed to be, but  there's a bigger place that a part of me misses even though I haven't even been there. Because really, where Jesus is, that's where I am supposed to be and that's just where my home is.

All I know is that I'm not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give my Jesus
This is not where I belong

I really don't want anything else.

The colors of now, and then the colors of our home, soon

Our God We Cannot Forget

How beautiful is it that we have a God who loves us and we can’t do a thing about it? Isn’t he just great? He’s so very unexpected. Even on the days when you are most frustrated and worn down He appears. Of course, He was always there the whole time but we just fail to really see with our human narrow-mindedness.

At the end of each day, I just step back and look at the bigger picture. Oh how many times do we forget this aspect? Our troubles are temporary. Our pain will not last. These worries are so fleeting, why should I even worry? He knows what I need. Really they're just molding tools God uses to shape us to fit into His bigger picture. He makes me whole and rearranges my broken piece into the shape He wants me to be. And with this, it’s kinda funny how everyday your life looks different.  Different as in what's happening and your perspective and outlook and daily challenges. Mine looks so different…it’s these things that fall into their places. I don’t know if they are exactly in the right places, but they are moving around, and like my life since I got here, always changing.

In the midst of it all though, how many reasons do I have to say thank you? Like a million! It's all amazing, I see God working right before my eyes. It's so beautiful and how can we not have energy and excitement over this?


Break Away the Walls

I'm not sure how this all happened, blog and college and all, but God's using it for something big in His plan, and is helping me to help me figure out how to follow grace. As He's changing me, for some reason it's so much easier to talk about it. And blog about it. I don't know if it's just because I'm excited about it or what. I've always admired those people who could just tell people things about themselves and about their faith. Until recently I felt that it was too private or too close to me to talk about it. Now I see that telling our story is apart of our mission as making disciples, and something we should be excited to tell people about--how God's moving in our lives and what we are struggling through. God just seems to be telling people my story.
Oh your cross it changes everything
There my world it begins again with you
Oh your cross its where my hope restarts
A second chance is Heaven's heart
Countless second chances we've been given at the cross
Countless second chance we've been given at the cross


Trusting Again

Sometimes trusting is a conscious decision, sometimes it’s not.

Other times it’s just hard. Really hard. You are putting so much of yourself out there...you could get hurt. It's risky. Self-discloser is only done when there is an atmosphere of goodwill and trust present.

But how beautifully fragile is the bond that forms? I never realized how fragile it was. Even if it  grows stronger through time, whether big events, good or bad, are happening or not. It just grows.

Trusting is something you do when you're ready. But when you are, you can just relax and let go, like leaning into an embrace. A comfort that covers you and lets you know that you are safe, taken care of. You can just shut your eyes and take a breath. I feel like I'm getting closer to this point, but it's just a slow process because of what I've had to deal with recently and the quality of things that are taking shape (I hope that's why anyway *shrug*).

You can see in your life the strength of the bonds of trust that you do have with people, and I guess I never realized how strong they were until it's harder to forge something like that again.

I said earlier that trusting happens when you are ready (that sentence just wrote it's self to be honest, it wasn't really me...like this whole entire blog...), and I just get so frustrated about how long it takes to be able to do that. It's not like I've forgotten what it feels like to be safe, you know? Maybe that makes sense?

It doesn't help that what holds me back I can't always easily identify (isn't that our story?). It just makes me sigh with frustration. Am I expecting too much of me out of my situation or is the push a second catalyst for change? It's like I'm in the in-between stage of there and almost there. I don't even know where that is. Still so fragile, but making progress. I am still looking forward to the future (knowing and seeing what He's already done in three months) with hope and excitement, but right now I am also just so tired of being confused.

"For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever with me. I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin."
Psalm 38:17-18
Why am I ready to fall again? Because I know grace will catch me.

"Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will act."
Psalm 37:5
I see it with my own eyes everyday.

"Blessed be the Lord who daily bears us up; God is our salvation."
Psalms 68:19
Oh, don't we need it daily.


The Death of My Tree

You all know that I love my bonsai tree, as he has been featured in a few of my posts. It is with deepest regret that I inform you he has died. I am so sad. I think when I was pruning him I cut too many of his branches off at once (the more I am in plant science, the more I realize how bad that is because it's so much of a shock to the plant....) and he wasn't even in a doormat enough stage to do this anyway.

I know this tree has kind of taught me life lessons, as caring for any plant, animal or person/child does, but the only lesson I can glean from this is that all good things must come to an end. That is so depressing. I am so sad.

My tree when I used to take him home on the weekends...:(


Who I Am

Today (not exactly when this post was written, but...I think it was yesterday) is one of those perfect fall days...the kind where the sky is grey and the wind moves the leaves against the sidewalk to make that scratchy swoosh sound. The light patter of rain has long since disappeared, but I can still hear the splatter of a fountain in the background of where I sit.

It's days like these when I wonder if I'm worn out. How much more is in me? God's the only reason I'm still standing, but how is He going to give me the energy to just get through the week? With all this transition, I realize that if you are really truly comfortable in your own skin, you can be yourself in every situation. Days like these, I wonder who I am, who I'm becoming and who I'm going to be and I praise God that I am not who I was.

And on another note, it's SO nice outside, I really don't want to go to class. I will, because if I didn't I wouldn't understand anything about Acts, but maybe I'll come out here afterwards.

After class...

Class was good. Really good. Of course.
As I’m sitting here in my spot, I’m watching people fence. The guy has too much of his weight on his front foot. The girl's stance is better. Not that I know anything about fencing, but karate is kinda the same thing. Only better. Anyway, I also saw a guy ride down the colonnade steps on his mountain bike and get some air. It was cool. I probably could do that.



I love songs with unique lyrics, lyrics that really mean something and say it exactly how it is. The band Rend Collective Experiment is my new favorite group because of the sound of their music and their down to earth lyrics. Check out some of the songs that are now my everyday soundtrack to my life. Seriously, I had a dream where one of their songs was playing like background music.

(Hint: Check the video bar on the right side of the screen...)

I wanna stand true
No matter what's new or comes through
I cant stand still
Whatever hits I'll keep making movements to You

I'm running fast and free to you because you are the movement and fight in me,
I'm running fast and free to you because you are my home where I want to be, you've moving me


You are my vision
Oh King of my heart
Nothing else satisfies only you Lord
You are my best thought by day or by night
Waking or sleeping

My Vision

Oh, your cross it changes everything
There my world begins again with you
Oh, my cross it changes everything
Where my hope restarts
A second chance is heaven heart

Second Chances

I'll walk the narrow road because it leads me to you,
I'll fall but grace will pick me up again,
I've counted up the cost,
I've counted up the cost,
Yes, and you are worth it

I do not need safety as much as I need you
You are dangerous but oh your beautiful
I'll chase you through the pain
I'll carry my cross
Because real love is not afraid to bled

My favorite:
The Cost


These People

I have so many people in my life that I look up to. They are the people that are honest, knowing, aware (you have no idea how long it took me to figure out how to spell that), relevant, confident, serious, leaders, alive (they don't forget to live life), always learning, certainly not perfect and have very funny senses of humors (not sure how to word that right....). They have bright smiles and often we share mischievous looks because they know that I am always planning something.

These are the people that I watch very carefully and strive to emulate. I deliberately seek  out (and sometimes stumble upon) these positive role models. And I know that God is so deliberate in placing these people in my life...they are exactly what I need and when I need it. I love to see this play out, and I just love being around these people.

With their investment in me, I am becoming better equipped to do what they themselves are doing--making disciples. I have a feeling that this coming year will begin to show even more fruits of their labor through my life.

You know if you are one of these people. You can tell. And if you doubt you are, well, you probably are anyway. I just want to say thank you to those people who love me when I find it hard to love myself. Thank you for being there to guide me, always be there to support me (I never really realized how much support I needed and how valuable it is) and just pouring yourselves into the awkward freshman that is me.


The Persistence of Prayer

This post has been under construction for a long time, because it seems God is continuing to teach me more and more about it so I have to keep adding on and on and on...anyway,

One of the many things that God is teaching me is the significance of prayer.

Prayer a time to express your concerns and joys for other people (a time to be selfless) as well as a time when you can be real with God and evaluate your relationship with Him. A time where you can re-center your focus in the midst of the daily chaos.

Prayer is also something that never stops and is long and can be done any time. "Amen" only meaning "make it so" or "so be it", not goodbye. It's is not something that you need to be scared of either. There is no fear in perfect love, and God's love is perfect (1 John 4:18-19).

Prayer is a time for your soul to be still--how many times a day does that happen for you all? Really? Please don't forget how to stop and rest. People who give on empty soon can't give anymore.

Prayer is something that will be uncomfortable at times. Whether in public or private, prayer can hurt because it's so intimate, so strong and so convicting.

Prayer is peace. This one I feel is sometimes forgotten a lot. Peace is described as freedom from conflict/war and disturbance, having tranquility and quiet. God's peace however, is the peace that transcends all understanding...you really can't even begin to explain it...you can have this peace, you just have to pray (Philippians 4:7).

Prayer is a time to ask God for strength, wisdom and clarity. A time to focus directly on Him and let everything else become what they really are: so small and so insignificant.

Most of all, prayer is persistent. A time when you seek God with your soul, your heart, your you. (Psalm 63:1-4) A time where you surrender a part of yourself and wait for His voice. Your soul waiting for Him in silence... (Psalm 62:5-6).

Now, how to do this. Write down your prayer requests and write down your praises. Start your morning and pray over the things on the list (and yes, it might be very long) and thank God for the praises. Soon, you will see that some of your prayer requests will turn into praises...also, don't forget to talk to God about you and Him. It's so easy to get wrapped up in all the things on our lists that we forget to sit and talk and let our souls commune with the peace of His presence.

Prayer doesn't have to be superficial anymore. It can be real, whether said out loud or silently or all at once in a group, its a continuous conversation. Because of all these reasons, prayer is now one of my favorite things.

I also encourage you all to look up these passages I cited...I purposely didn't type them all out for you so you would do that. Don't ever let your Bible get dusty.


The Pattern of Rain

I was going to write a blog post, but decided before I did I would get out and run in the rain for a minute. The rain here comes somewhat unexpectedly and just drops wet bullets like Heaven's shower. After the crashing thunder and roaring wind (if it's thunder storming), then the sun starts shining and the pour just relaxes into a soothing pattern. As soothing as it can be when you are sitting the in laundry room listening to a washer that may or may not be working right...we are waiting for it to explode honestly. But anyway, I have a feeling that this week is going to be a big week. I have two tests, my new roommate is moving in and I start a bi-term whatever they call it class. And THEN something else is going to happen...I don't know what yet, but something probably will that will throw me off a little more. Hopefully it will be a good something though.

after the rain

other pic of campus on Friday morning

Living Together

 The one things that I do love about living on campus is living with a bunch of girls. Yes, I know I sound crazy, but there's just a bond that forms when girls live together. The little comments, the way news spreads and sharing all that we have along with all our daily struggles. There is always someone to vent to, help you organize your room and borrow soap from.
However, there are times when girls are just too loud, steal soap, and slam there doors. And there are giant hairball monsters in the bathrooms. But whatever. It's the pattern of living the details of life together reminds you that you aren't alone in life, and it satisfys some deep human need for social interaction. It's also lonely when you're in a room alone, if only for a few nights. Not that I'm complaining that much.
It's things like staying out in the hall talking even when you know you should be in bed. 
Oh, and by the way, thats all we do is just talk. Talk in our rooms. Talk in the hallway (while trying to do out homework). Talk in the kitchen (which is one of my favorite spots). Talk in the study room (we really shouldn't be talking there, but it was about school...).
Despite all the annoying habits of people and seeing some people just a little too much, it's so much fun somtime. I am SO thankful for God allowing me to be in this spot in a safe place with a bunch of great people. I love Him so much for taking care of me.
 "Wow...that looks like a bunch of fruit roll ups!"
 Made my day...I pass her door a lot....
 Coloring while watching a movie!
When you find this note card in your shower stall after your shower...

Oh the little reminders.....

Or notes like these....



Mercy and Forgivness

In all reality, I am not very good at forgiving. I have too much stubborn pride that comes up at all the wrong times. But as Jesus calls us, we are to show the mercy to others that he has shown to us. Which is a lot of mercy.

I don't know if I can do it.

Well, that's kind of the point--I can't. The only way I will be able to do it is if I do it with God. This takes a lot of prayer and working through your many layers of conflicting emotions. It kinda feels like being stuck in one of those foam pits or mud puddles. You think you're making progress, then you realize you're actually sinking (aka story of my life).

The thing is, I really have to look to God this time to see what my next step is because I haven't done this before on such a large scale. The whole ordeal I'm referring to has to do with my first roommate, if you didn't catch that. All the things she said, didn't say or just did really just hurt. I've never been hurt like that before.

It was just he other day that it hit me, "Wow, I actually have to forgive her." I never thought about it until then because when you are out of the situation and it's become something of the past (since you are now moving forward) you're like, "Well, it's over. I don't have to do anything now." Yes, actually you do. I can't just shove things in my "Skeleton's Closet" or whatever they call it. I can't hide it. It has to be addressed. Too many of my friends are afraid of confrontation and leave things to fester and sore. All because of pride.

As hard as this is going to be, and how I can't do this by myself, I almost really want to thank her. For putting me into that situation and even being mean to me. How weird is that? So maybe it's not that weird, but without that whole situation I am not sure how my faith would look right now. The situation I was in was really just a catalyst for what I have now--a passion, not just a possession.

This is ultimately what we need to spread to others--the love, mercy, grace, healing and passion for Jesus.



Ever feel like life just hits you out of the blue? You are just walking somewhere and BAM! it plows into you like a monsoon. That's kinda the way my life feels right now. Stuff was normal for awhile...then BAM! life happens.

It seems like monsoons are happening to me more and more often. They have to do with change. Changing people in my room, changing schedules, changing life. As soon as I get a grasp on things, they slip away. Is this somewhat normal? I know that God is working through this, and the result will be beautiful, but when you are caught in the rain, you're wet. I guess that is to make my hands slippery...so I can finally let go.

We come with so many expectations of things (how human of us!), and so many, many, many times we look somewhere else rather than where we should. "Just surrender," He tells me, "let me take it from you. For I am infinitely better at handling it than you."

I am just SO thankful for what He's given me. It's really hard sometimes, being molded, chiseled and torn apart and broken down and I swear He's basically prying my hands off of things. But anymore my soul feels sick with out my Lord. He is the light of my life, and the only things I really want in my life. Too, I still need Him more than I know. But the Cross just changes everything, doesn't it?

And again, I'm reminded of how wonderful, how boundless is His love. How wonderful, sacrificial. How He shows His love for me through other people, such beautiful people. How He has a plan for me. How can I be scared when He's on my side?
"But by the graces of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain."
1 Corinthians 15:10

And in the end, hopefully God's clarity.


Audience of One

It happened again the other day. I took my eyes off Him and I fell. Fell into worry and all these unnecessary concerns. The little, temporary and insignificant things. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I even care?

We are supposed to be living with an audience of one. Not two. Not ten. One. Not including you. God is the one person whom you are living for. Every action should be directed at working for and glorifying Him.


Up-close and Personal

So today has been one of those days. I was sitting at starbucks because I figured I needed a jump start to my morning and realized I had drank my whole cup of coffee and still felt like I needed another one. And knowing me I so could have downed another one. Even an hour later I still feel like the caffine didn't work. Anyway, I have been dying to post this post ever since I came up with the idea, and now I just need to get it out there and make it stop being a draft! Seriously, this is what got me through my math class this morning. Here it is:

Okay. I just decided that this blog needs to get more interactive and honestly I need a bit of feed back. So this is what's going to happen.  By commenting on this blog, messaging me on Facebook (which is probably the best way), texting me, emailing me, calling me or just asking me in person, I want you all to ask me questions about my blog, how I go about blogging, or my life in general. Also, include your favorite post (catch up on your reading!!!) you've read or any other comments you want to say. Please give me feedback, suggestions or post requests too!

Please keep the questions appropriate, real, serious and even funny and weird (well, not too weird...), and I'll do my best to answer all of them. I'll give everyone a week and a half from two days after I post this to get the questions in to me--send them anytime! So catch up on all your reading so you'll know what I'm talking about on my blog (like I ever really know what I'm talking about, but whatever). To tie it all in, I'll do a Q & A post, including most of your questions once they're all in. I will continue to post throughout this time...I don't know about what, but I'm sure I'll find something...

Can't wait to hear them! (See why I'm so excited?)

Favorite Post

Deadline for this round of questions: October 21st


Worth It

So as I was in my spot I go to in the morning (which was very cold today) I realized that I wasn't worried about today. It hit me when I was looking over my prayer list...I just wasn't worried. This is saying something, because a lot happens in my Mondays, so it's a pretty intense day. Of course when I do stop and think about everything I do get kinda worried, but I also know that I have a safety net:
"For God alone my soul waits in silence,
for my hope is in Him,
for He is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress, I will not be shaken."
Psalm 62:5-6
How great is it to not have to worry? (When was the last time you went through your day with little or no worry?) God has proved himself over and over to me again and again and here I am finally beginning to trust Him in the fact that He is completely in control of my day. It takes a lot of perseverance, but man is it worth it.

This is an easy post to write when it's after math class and you are pretty happy with the grade you got on your last test. But as my day goes on...I swear I am being put through the ringer. My roommate is moving out (not because of issues, though, her BFF moved in downstairs). I do have another roommate I will be getting, and she's really nice, but will be rooming with someone else after the semester. So. These verses and these posts just help remind me that yeah, the struggle is real and yeah it kinda sucks, and even though I feel like I'm on change/adaptation overload God's still worth it. He still loves me. I will never walk alone. Even if I feel ridiculously beat up.

Am I slightly worried and a bit stressed? Yes, very much so. It doesn't really matter when your God is bigger than the whole entire world. We will see what He has planned...right now I'm smack dab in the middle of it and more than slightly confused.
"I consider the sufferings of this present day are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us."
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,  looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:1-2
"...to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace"
Romans 8:6
"Do not lag in zeal, but be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient is suffering, preserver in prayer."
Romans 12:11-12


He is Lord

Sometimes my best thoughts come out when I am confused, or worried or tired. Other times, I'm just confused, worried and tired and have no thoughts. Do you ever feel like that?

I think we all reach that place in our week where taking a deep breath just doesn't always fix the problem, or help you focus anymore than you're already trying. And despite how productive your day is, sometimes...sometimes it just doesn't work.

Really, for me I'm getting to the point where I just want to let God have it all. I don't want anything else to do with my burdens, my past...His burden is light so I give it to Him.

My relief comes in prayer, and more than ever I am learning to ask and pray with a heart that's in the right place, one centered in faith (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMrck6jgm8M Check out this Francis Chan video...it's pretty awesome).

Every hour I need Him. I realize this more everyday when I begin to see how BIG He is, how small I am, and how I basiclly drown in my circumstances. I'm becoming more and more okay with this need, this insatiable desire to just commune with God, my Lord. Even if it is a bit frustrating to not be able to do things on my own and not know exactly what's coming next. But again, how many times better do things work out if God takes care of it rather than us humans doing something, whatever it is we do? How many times does He prove to us His Sovereignty and we still have trouble believing?

"For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:30

"During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission."
Hebrews 5:7

"O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!"
Psalm 8:9


Convicting Conversations

Have you ever had a conversation with someone, and while you are having that conversation you realize that you are just so wrong? That you know nothing of what you should? You are just completely humbled because you realized that your standards, priorities, expectations and ideas about something are just about you. And that's it. Here it is: You, you, you, you = bad, bad, bad, bad.

And that's the truth.

This conversation that I had centered around church. Trying to find a new church home (when you've had six) and stepped inside more churches than you can count and are away from home is hard. Just putting that out there. Not like these are excuses though. What I should be asking myself is "Where does God want me?" and "God, where can I serve best?" not anything like "Is this a good fit for me?" It's not about you. It's all about where God is going to use you. With this new mentality and realization, I add this request to my daily prayer list, along with having a heart to serve a church and community more than just on Sunday mornings.

So my call to action is not only remembering to actually write this request down, but letting God pick the church to visit this Sunday. Again, this is one of those times where he is prying my hands off of everything I hold dear and familiar to my human heart. He knows my hands should have let go of those things long ago and instead they should be clinging to Him.

A few days later.....

So last Sunday we ended up going to a small church plant that met in a convention center. It was really neat and I liked it a lot (don't you love the uniquesnees of churches?). Now the question: what next? Is this one it? Is this where He wants me?

A few moments later...

The more I think about it (which is really the only way I seem to start my sentences) the more I see that going to Rock Hills (www.rockhillschurch.com) was a step that I had to take to relinquish control. Just because Rock Hills is the 'different' that I was looking for (whatever that is), I don't think the question "Where can I serve best?" is answered through that....


I also just want to say thank you to everyone @ CCC for being so supportive, being faithful readers and checking up on me. I really appreciate your all's investment and prayers. Especially when you chew gum :) (inside joke guys, don't worry if you don't get it). You all are an inspiration for many things. I'm starting to realize how much my church gave me a healthy understanding of what God designed for churches, how He loves the church and how special it is to Him. Just like you are to Him.


Good Works Alive and Well

Do you know how I know God’s alive and moving? Because He is doing a good work in my friends. As I’ve gotten to know them, and now live with them, I now know their tendencies, sense of humor, their annoying habits and beautiful strengths. I am an incredibly lucky person to have friends that when we go get dinner together, wait for each other to all get there and then rotate who says the blessing. Whether they all "believe and receive" or not, we understand the importance of community and building our friendship in faith. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to be a catalyst that God uses to point these girls towards Him. Lately I have seen them realizing their need for their need and love for God more, whether it be a comment said during a prayer, a brighter smile than usual, or the look on their face during worship, or the laugh I just heard from the next room over (I can tell you exactly whose it is too). It's so good, so, so good to see the need for God learned, realized, displayed and growing.

"And we know that God works for the good of those who love them, those called according to him purpose."
Romans 8:23


 "For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
Ephesians 2:10
"For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose."
Philippians 2:13  
Explanations: All 5 of us came from the same town/church/school area, and we are going through this journey together!



Sometimes I just feel so overwhelmed, so undeserving of all the blessings that I have. It’s incredible to see the quality and quantity of what I have. I know this is only one way in which God expresses his love for me, but it’s just so abundant. The whole things is really humbling. The creator of the UNIVERSE chooses to bless ME!

How great is the God we serve?

Really, I wish I could re-post this every single day because it's so true.


How Many Times

Do you know.

How many times.

I have to eat my words.

With my blog, I get to tell everyone all these truths you're learning, and the new experiences you're having. But then....as I post things, I have to remember that I still have to apply it to my life, or restructure my thoughts and embrace a change. I see what I write and I know it's true, but sometimes I still can't get it through my head. I just want to be like the father in the Bible and cry out "Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!" Because that's the only way it's going anywhere--if I do it with Him.


Having a Vibrant Life

My posts should not be different because of the people who read them.

Too many times in this world today we are pressured to conform to the passiveness of society. This is the one thing that will kill us, our church and our faith. Whatever happened to living so vibrantly? So unforgiving? Enjoying the details of the day, without everything having to be the same monotonous "fun" (aka what society says you should be doing every part of every day) all the time? What about jumping up and down when you're excited? Where's the life in life? Everyone's so depressed, and they don't even know it. Today, God has shown me that life is good. So many times I think people are seriously afraid to love living life. They are stuck in what they know--how to handle stress and make excuses when people ask if they are okay. Stop hiding and feel the emotion of just living!

Here are some pictures to remind you of how good life is:


If you get the point of this post, you'll understand why the colors are the way they are :)