Monday, December 13, 2010

Yay Finals Week!

Tomorrow, or today really, I have a Poli Sci final at 10am, then on Tuesday a Developing a Christian Mind exam, which will be extremely difficult. Then I have to check out sometime after that and figure out when I can move into my new room! :) Somewhere in between all this I have to take a Sociology final. I've moved out most everything I have on campus to my car, but I still have some stuff up here, so I'll have to see how all that works out.

Anyway...I am not too stressed but it is gonna be a crazy next 48 hours. This weekend was really busy but I loved it! :) Fun times with friends and two Christmas parties, which ended with me getting stick-on wall art with black lettering of Faith, Hope, and Love which will look super cute in my new dorm room, a Christmas tree candle, a soap dish (i think), and a body wash set :) Yay for white elephant gift exchanges!

I can't wait to be home for a month and see my precious brother for the first time in exactly four months and go to Salado and hang out with my cousins and catch up with my parents and not worry about school for a whole month and delight in the fact that I no longer have to live on this dorm hallway which I don't like at all! Life is good.

I just found this picture from Thanksgiving '08 and it is now the background to my laptop:

















These are some of my favorite people in the world. Please pray for my whole family as we mourn Christmas #2 without my aunt and uncle-it's hard on everybody, and Christmas seems to get everybody down the most. Wish yall were here.


I'm gonna keep studying now...oh college.

But it is SO worth it :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

First Semester

I have tomorrow, a week that is sort of constituted as "dead week," and then FINALS WEEK! And then I am done with my first semester of college. No more being a first-semester freshman. No more SWAT, Freshman Orientation/Registration, having no idea what the HECK I'm doing...none of that! Obviously I am still a freshman-I still have to go to Freshman Chapel (YUCK) and park in freshman parking down the hill, and I still don't know a TON about DBU life and college in general...but I'm excited about it not being first semester anymore. I made it...I survived!

There were a lot of times in this semester when I felt like there was NO WAY I was going to make it through. Seriously. I told myself, there's no way you're going to make it through tonight, or this week, or next week, or when this test is, even while taking a test I didn't honestly believe I would make it through. HOWEVER, I serve a HUGE God, and He has sustained me, stretched my sleep, and been my Constant, my Strength, my Hope, and my Trust. I can rely on Him alone, and I am so very glad.

I wanted to simply reflect over this semester. It has been filled with extremely loud laughter, awesome people, late nights, good times, fun, new friendships, old friendships, drama, tears, meltdowns, stress, overwhelming feelings, and so many lessons learned inside the classroom and out. The good has outweighed the bad, but it was still pretty tough.

My brother has been in China since August 20th, and we are extremely close. He is one of my most very favorite people, and it has been harder than I ever would have expected. I expected to miss him at first, then grow so busy at school that I would forget that he was several THOUSAND miles away...but that's not how it worked out. Yes, I'm busy...yes, I have my own life...but it didn't stop me missing my Phillip. He gets home soon, and I survived-but it sure wasn't easy. So many times I had the urge to call him and get his advice, his perspective on my relationship issues as a male, help on homework, ideas to get me started on a paper, check in and see how HE was doing...but I couldn't. I've talked to him on the phone twice, which is such a blessing. I'm so glad he went and he's pursuing the things he's wanted to do all his life. In fact, him being away probably is preparing me for when he goes gallivanting around the world and when he gets married and all of that good stuff in his future.

I had a very strong support system at home. I only live thirty minutes away from DBU, but it was still a really difficult transition. I was in choir for six years and was very involved-all of the people in choir called me "Mama," because I was always the one with the band-aids, the extra pieces for our choir uniforms, the hugs, advice, whatever anybody needed. I would walk in the choir room and be greeted with loud choruses of "JOCEYYYY!!!" and "I love you sooooo much!!!" and "You're so pretty!" and "I love it when you sing. Sing me a song!" And all sorts of other wonderful and sweet bits of encouragement. I knew it would be hard to leave my choir family, but I sure wasn't prepared for it to be so drastically different. I then moved to a school where I knew one person-my cousin Shelby, who isn't even in my "grade," and then there was suddenly nobody knowing my heart, my passions, my dreams, my personality, my talents...anything. No more walking in a room and knowing at least one other person. No more loud exclamations of "You're pretty!" and "You're so good at singing!" That was one of the hardest parts about moving to college. I wasn't given so much affirmation.

It also was a hard transition because if you know me at all, you know I am a MAMA. I want to take care of everyone, be everything to everybody, do whatever I can to help people. I am studying sociology in hopes of becoming a family counselor, so that I can get paid to HELP PEOPLE, because it my most very favorite thing to do. It not only was hard to come to DBU because I didn't know anyone and didn't have anyone to help and nobody knew me...it was hard because I had to leave behind all my "babies" at home. I did my best to keep up with them-that's pretty much all I did for the first four or five weeks. Check up on everyone, text them constantly, keep up with them...and right after I left seemed to be the time when everyone was having drama, which hurt me like someone was taking a cheese grater to my heart-that they were hurting and I couldn't help them. I prayed for a long time that God would give me people in Dallas to minister to, and let me tell you-He has answered that prayer a million times over! I've had four or five people tell me I'm a mom-figure. I have friends...I see people I know on campus now! It sounds so dumb, but it wasn't easy to make friends, not as easy as it was in high school.

Needless to say, one of the things I have learned is that people are people. I can't help every single person who needs it. I am not responsible for the well-being of everyone who lives at home. I help if they talk to me, come to me with struggles. But beyond that, it is not up to me to make sure they're alright. I do my best to keep up with them, but it is a two-way street...which is a hard lesson to learn, especially when I miss those people very much.

This has been a wonderful four months of my life. DBU is a godsend, a wonderful, amazing, perfect godsend. I am so thankful!!! I am looking forward to the next three and a half years (and years in the Master's program hopefully!). I can't wait to see what other people God puts in my path here and what other lessons I'm going to learn, the hard way or the easy way.

I love college :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving To All!

The month of thanks is coming to an end and I can't help but say I AM SO BLESSED! :)

I am thankful for my family. My mom is an amazing, strong, and beautiful woman whom I admire greatly. She has put up with so much and is dealing so well. My dad is smart, funny, and is a great balance for my mom. My brother is one of my most favorite people ever-that's another post in itself. All four of my grandparents are awesome, healthy for the most part, and love me! I have beautiful, amazing, godly cousins. I have two great sets of aunts and uncles who make me laugh all over myself.

I am thankful for my friends at "home." Shawn, Whitney, Becca, Bethany, Zack...(i feel like i should have a lot more friends...) anyway, they are so good to me and I know they are there.

I am thankful for my DBU family...Kelsie, Ashton, Colton, Anna, Matt, Chris, Shelby, Hannah, Syeldy...they all have blessed my life so much.

I am thankful for the people who invest in me. Kimberly, Kathy, Brad... I am so loved and I appreciate them checking up on me, especially at such a hectic time in my life.

I am thankful for a roof over my head, wonderful food on the table, a comfy duplex to always feel safe at, a cell phone, ipod, computer, laptop, two beds to choose from while my brother's out of the house, and the most amazing car I could have asked for at sixteen! I'm spoiled!

I am thankful that my parents support my desire to go to a private, expensive institution and that they want me to adjust before making me get a job. I am thankful that my brother is not in the military this year. I am thankful that I have so many people who love me.

God is good. Even through the storms, He showers blessings on His children. Soak up His great, great love for you!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

twentythree!

today i am thankful for my friends. it seems like such a cliche, stupid answer...but the people who love me are amazing and beautiful people! today was filled with good times, fun yet deep conversations, and laughs with some people who greatly enrich my life. i know everyone thinks their friends are the best, but mine win :) they love me when i get crazy and point me in the right direction.

whether it's singing to my heart's content with shawn, laughing my head off with shelby, being sassy with andre, playing loud, obnoxious games of catchphrase at ihop with my dbu friends, talking youth group with brad and zack, friends make the ride worthwhile. love y'all :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

22nd.

Today I am thankful for the small things in life. Things like when the pastor at the church you're working at tells the youth pastor that you're awesome. Or like when someone you've been investing in for so long finally "gets it." Or like when you meet someone new who is so awesome that you can't believe you've lived for so long without knowing them. Finding money, having your meals payed for by a sweet friend, helping someone get through a struggle, even my current awesome blessing...HAVING ALL WEDNESDAY CLASSES CANCELED SO I CAN GET THE HECK OUT OF HERE WHEN I WANT. :)

God is good. He gives us massively wonderful things like nature, renewal, beauty, talents, hope, life, relationships...but he also gives us amazing small things, like a kind word, a beautiful sunshiney day, or sweet affirmation. I just love Him :)

21.

I cannot believe that Thanksgiving in on THURSDAY! So much to do before going home on Wednesday, so much to do before Christmas, so much to do DURING the break...yay.

Today, I am thankful for change, as much as I hate to say that. I dislike change with a deep, burning passion deep in my soul. I worry and worry and WORRY myself TO DEATH over it until it happens, and every time, I realize that change is not really that bad. Yet...I never quit worrying about it.

However, the old is gone, the new has come! I am THANKFUL that I have changed, I am thankful for the person I am today-even though it means I've had to learn things the hard way, go through some things...it's made me who I am, and now I use it to help other people, which is my most very favorite thing to do!!!

Though I complain about it and hate it deep down inside, change really is good, even when it hurts.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

DAY TWENTY

Today.

I am thankful for the passion I have for working with kids. They make me laugh. I love babysitting, I love talking to them and listening to them and watching them interact and learn. I hope I always have opportunities to work with them.

Friday, November 19, 2010

DIECINUEVE

Day 19.
I am thankful for Kimberly Ann Wirt, my FORMER (not old!) youth pastor. I am very thankful that after she left youth ministry, she 1) did not leave my church, and 2) did not leave me hangin'! She still disciples me. She's the first person we call when my family is going through something, and it really helps to have someone who knows what's going on.

KWirt, you are awesome and I love you very much! You truly are a servant leader.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 18 As I Break From This Terrible Paper Writing...

Huge math test tomorrow + math being my worst subject + huge Developing a Christian Mind paper due tomorrow + me not doing so hot in that class as it is + lack of sleep from this whole week = trying to keep myself awake and finish strong.

Today...
I am thankful for my mom. Mama. We are very close. I love her, all my friends love her, all the adults at church love her, you name it, she's loved. She's funny, beautiful, wise, a jokester, and fun. We have a great time together, and I love going home for the day just to hang out with her. She supports me and loves me unconditionally even through my OCD tendencies and meltdowns and silliness. I love you Mama! :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Favorite Number Day!

Today is the seventeenth. Seventeen is my favorite number. Yay for today.

Alright so today I am thankful for my dad. He is so stinkin' funny! He's really quiet but when he gets to talkin', you learn a crapload of stuff you've never even thought about before and you laugh a lot. He's really smart and I wish he could be at DBU with me because he always has the best ideas for papers. He read to my brother and me before we went to bed when we were little, things like Pinnochio and Ramona and The Chronicles of Narnia and he was the one who woke us up for school in the morning. "No lollygaggin'!" Yes...I haven't forgotten :) I love you Daddy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sixteen!

I am thankful that my parents are alive. It sounds kind of strange to say, but I am. My friend Colton lost his dad yesterday. My precious cousins lost both of her parents fifteen months ago. My friend Ahseante lost his dad around a year ago, right after senior year started. My friend Matt lost his dad a few years ago. Anna, Brooke, Aaron, Jordyn, Labri, and so many more... it's not fair. It breaks my heart. I feel heavily burdened for these people. They say nothing is worse than having to bury your child. But then how terrible is it compared to being a high school or college student when you need your parents the most and having to bury them?

If you're in this list, I'm sorry. I hate it when people say that...but I truly am. I wish I could somehow erase time and tell them to take better care of themselves and not get heart attacks...to go to the doctor to catch the cancer early...to not get in the car and drive today... I feel heartbroken, heart-shattered for you. I am praying for you and I love you. I don't know how it feels but I'm here.

Thank you Lord for keeping Mama and Daddy safe.

Monday, November 15, 2010

13, 14, 15.

I am thankful for MUSIC! Music is so much a part of me. Growing up, we belted out no matter where we were. My mom stands at the dryer and sings at the top of her lungs. Awesome songs-oldies, worship, "classic" country (if Conway Twitty could be classified as classic.. :) ). My dad harmonizes with her and my brother and I chime in almost always. When my parents don't start it, my brother and I do. When we go driving together, Phillip and I can not say a word-only sing. And it is just as companionable as having a fulfilling conversation. I love that God created music and made it to where we could have it always. Music encourages, inspires, uplifts, bridges gaps, binds people together, is a constant. Music has helped my cousin heal tremendously. It's helped me heal tremendously. It is powerful! I have a passion for singing and I lovelovelove jamming out.

I am also thankful for the COLD WEATHER! I freaking LOVE winter. It is my absolute favorite! It's not even that cold yet, but I am thankful that it's cooling down at least. I love everything about winter. I have most of my Christmas gifts planned out-which was difficult because I have around 15 dollars to last me through Christmas, BUT-I got some cheap, homemade ideas and i am PUMPED! I can't wait for coffee shop hang outs, movie nights with my friends, jackets, warm clothes, the holidays, you name it!

Today, I am thankful for my friend Whitney Wheeler. She is my "forever friend." I don't get to see her often, but we always seem to pick up where we left off. She is one of the few people that "get" me, which isn't always easy :) I love her! She shares my passion for singing at the top of our lungs, loves the Lord, and is so beautiful. I love getting to spend time with her! I wish we could do it more. I love you, WhitneyDrew! God has blessed me beyond measure by your friendship.

Friday, November 12, 2010

DAY ELEVEN AND TWELVE!

Since yesterday was Veteran's Day and all, it sounds really cliche of me to say I'MTHANKFULFORTHOSEWHOSERVEOURCOUNTRY but seriously, I am. Both of my grandfathers served, my best friend is seriously considering the military and my brother got so stinkin' close to joining the Marines, so it does hold a special place in my heart. I am really glad there's not a draft anymore because my brother being in China in four months is one thing...I cannot imagine letting him go without communication with the constant fear of him dying. I understand obviously that he could end up doing that, but for right now I'm glad it's not that way.

Today I am thankful for technology. My brother called me from China last night and it pretty much made my entire LIFE! Then I got to thinking about how not even that long ago I wouldn't be able to facebook chat with him, read his blog, e-mail him, much less get a phone call! Technology is not my favorite thing and sometimes I wish I could just get away from all of it, but in the long run I would much rather have it for a time such as this!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day...I don't remember.

I'm stinkin' exhausted and I'm going to sleep very soon! So...today...

I am thankful for worship. I just went to Christ for the Nations and attended their Tuesday Night worship service. It was awesome and it made me realize how amazing it is to be able to worship. Isn't it awesome to have been CREATED to worship? Everyone-not just people who are "saved." I love belting out, sometimes not so beautifully, to my Jesus. I love watching other people worship and the different ways they praise God. I love the feeling of sweet, overwhelming peace after worship and the way He speaks in so many ways. I love making my Father smile. I love being able to pray over others and lay everything down at my Savior's feet. I love it. Thank You Jesus for the opportunity to praise You freely!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 8

Today I'm thankful for my cousin Shelby. She is beautiful, strong, sweethearted, and super fun. We have the best time together and I wouldn't trade our memories for anything. I hope it is always like this, and I have faith that it will. We've been inseperable since we were in diapers. We went to preschool and college together...I think that's pretty much awesome :) She has been through so much and continues to struggle; however, through EVERY struggle she looks for the reason, the answers. She clings to her Jesus in every storm and is very mindful of what HE wants, not what she wants.

Shelby Ann, I love you with my whole heart. I pray for you daily and am so incredibly blessed to be at DBU with you. Know that I am always here...ALWAYS. Through thick and thin, whatever trials and tribulations and happy times and good memories...the nightmares and the dreams that come true...I am your biggest fan, and I love you.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 7

Today, after being at church all day, I am thankful for the church I am "interning" for. I help out Sunday nights and the occasional Sunday morning with the youth group and help plan for different events. I am really thankful for the opportunity given to me. I feel insecure, overwhelmed, incompetent, and useless...but I am learning so much. I never thought I would be even serving with youth ministry, but here I am!

I am thankful that I get to see my friend Zack at least once a week, and to have met awesome people in the church. It's a smaller congregation and I've stepped foot in a Methodist church once before all this started, but I really am loving every minute of it. Though it's different, chaotic, and so different...I am thankful for this opportunity.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

More

I suck at this daily thing. After this week, it's a miracle I even know what day it is.

ALRIGHT

So, yesterday I was and am definitely STILL thankful for my future roommate Kelsie Kirby! She is so fun and sweet and I love her. I can NOT WAIT to live with someone who I can talk to and sing at the top of my lungs with and pull all nighters with and have freaking fun...because I don't get to do any of that right now! I am thankful that I met her in Old Testament and that we could get to know each other and ultimately be there for each other as things have gotten increasingly difficult this semester with school, family, relationships, and everything else under the sun. I CAN'T WAIT TIL NEXT SEMESTER!! :)

Today I am thankful for the fact that my parents support me. They not only are paying for my education, but they shower me with wonderful things like gas for my car, oil changes, 5 dollar bills, groceries, and hugs every time I come home. I thought every family was like mine, but the more people I meet here, the more I realize that not everybody has it as good as I do. There are people who have to work like crazy to just make the next payment and people who have no idea how they are going to make it to the end of the semester. Obviously after this year I am going to have to work, but they don't want me to work freshman year while I'm adjusting, and they've never put financial stress of me. I am blessed!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 4

Today I am thankful for my best friend Shawn and his family! They are really good to me and I love just talking and hanging out with them at their house. I am blessed to be a girl with a boy best friend, though it is way frustrating at times. I hate girls and I am thankful to have an awesome guy to be friend with.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's NOVEMBER!

Which means that this is the month that everybody decides that they need to be thankful. And then here in about 25 days, they will get into the hustle and bustle of Christmas and move on to giving and getting and decorating and being busy. But that's another story!

So, in the spirit of THANKSGIVING, there is a Facebook challenge: every day in November, write one thing you're thankful for. Because my dad really likes it when I update my blog and I don't want to annoy people with status updates on Facebook every day, I'm gonna do it on here.

For November 1, 2, and 3:

I am very thankful that I live in a country that lets me worship my Jesus without stoning me, executing me, and doing all sorts of terrible things to me. I am thankful that we have the freedom to vote for our leaders, even if we don't like the decisions they make all the time. I am thankful that I have running water at my disposal, a big diversity of different people, awesome yummy food of all kinds accessible at all hours of the day, and other great stuff like that.

I am thankful for my brother, Phillip. We're two years apart and pretty much BFF. He is a wonderful, wonderful guy and I am very thankful to have had a big brother who protects me, encourages me, and loves me even when I'm being a brat. I love you, Phillip Stewart!

I am thankful for DBU. It is a great place and I have known that since I visited in 2008. It is full of wonderful, beautiful, amazing, Godly people whom I love! Everyone is so helpful and encouraging and I know in my heart that if anything were to happen I would be in good hands here in my new home on the Hill! The DBU student, with exceptions of course, is beautiful, genuine, godly, and musical. I love it :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Spiced Life

I know people who have a one-track life. They do just school, or just work. Teenagers and adults alike. I know adults, like my boss, whose whole life is her job. Her family has to come to her job to see her. It's not like she planned it that way-owning your own restaurant is hard, a struggle for survival, time-consuming, insane. It takes a really strong person to do that-I am not saying I am better than she is AT ALL. I couldn't be in her place-I would give up.

I know a lot of people my age who aren't going to school-they're just working until a later time. I'm by no means saying I'm better than them either. But I'm pretty sure that if I just worked (and hung out with friends and family, obviously) I would not be content.

Then you have people like my brother who desire so much more out of life. When he's at college, he plays rugby, works out sometimes multiple times a day, is in a fraternity, holds leadership positions, is in a singing group, pulls fantastic grades in class, and runs around with friends all the time-goes on road trips and hikes and runs and goes fountain-hopping downtown. He is in China and can't wait to go visit other countries, too. He loves to travel and wants to do a variety of things in life.

Although I definitely don't have as high hopes as my brother does, I do not do well with a one-track life. I get sad. My life gets crazy sometimes, and I do tend to over commit-though I'm working on that-but I love being busy. I like to have sleep and a little time for myself, but I feel so lethargic if I only have one set thing to do, like school. I see people even at DBU who do only school-no social life, no job, nothing else.

I like to travel, but I'll be okay if I don't see the world. I want to be a family counselor, but I'll be alright if I get to do ten things before that, or maybe do something completely different. I'm a planner, but I love the spontaneity also. I signed up for a wild ride with Jesus on December 16th, 2001, and I'm loving going on this crazy adventure with Him.

In high school, I ran myself ragged. School, work, church, youth leadership council, teaching GA's, choir, and anything else I could get myself into. College is not too different, except I'm not as involved. I'm trying to be, but school is currently kicking my butt. But I've already landed myself an unpaid internship thing at a church in Fort Worth, which has been AMAZING-I have missed serving so much.

All this is brought up because I'm reading The Idea of a Christian College and writing a paper about it tonight...and one of the points the author makes is that people who attend a liberal arts college as opposed to trade school aren't just trained for one job, they get to dapple in all sorts of different things, as opposed to just learning how to be a plumber or an electrician or a mechanic. I LOVE that. I lovelovelove dappling in lots of different things.

All this to say-life is short. If you're not content, talk to Jesus about it. He can and WILL fill you with His JOY-which is 213948309284932089320840932 million times better than being happy. Happy is a mood; joy is a choice, a state of mind, an awesome deal, unaffected by adverse circumstances.

I understand that some people are just not okay with doing a lot of different things, and that's cool. But I am. And I hope that when I'm an adult I don't lose this love for life and this zeal to learn new things.

Live a spicy life!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Blessed!

Lately, things have been taking a turn for the better! Friends have less drama, school has calmed down (sort of), and I am FINALLY starting to make more friends and actually pursue relationships with them. I am extremely busy as always but am loving every minute of it. I really do love college and DBU-it is so hard sometimes, but it also is where I'm supposed to be, and I know that with all of my heart.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

In A Rut.

I'm in a rut. I've been in a rut since I've come to college five weeks ago. I just feel...lost. Lost is the word I think describes it best. I have some good friendships starting. I've met some great people. I have my beautiful cousin here, and my sweet best friend right down the road. But, spiritually...I am lost. Deep down inside...I'm not okay.

Do I miss high school? Not really. Some teachers and some aspects of it-but all in all, not really at all. I love college. I love being able to skip chapel if I want without getting a ticket. I love being able to sit in my car in the parking lot without a cranky security guard come to my window and tell me to get out. I love having professors that are on fire for Jesus. I love prayer before, during, and/or after class, and I love that my faith and my education are integrated. They're not separate entities anymore.

I love college. I do. But it's still so hard. It's hard to not have my best friends around. It's hard being so independent, but also realizing that I need so much help. I hate asking for help. I would rather do things the hard way nine and three fourths times out of ten than asking for help. DBU has helped me with that, but it's still hard. I was not expecting such a huge adjustment. I knew it would be different and hard, but I did not think it would be like this.

I really needed a friend the first few days here...but that was the time that all my friends were needing a friend too. I am the "mama"/counselor for most of my friends, so of course I listened to them, prayed for them, checked up on them. That's what I do, that's what I'm here for, that's what I love doing. Being needed, being the "meltdown police" satisfies a passion deep in my soul.

Anyway, as awesome as it was to be needed, I definitely put myself on the back burner (as usual). I didn't realize I was doing it until now, when friends are getting better. Mostly. Now I reflect on myself, my personality, my issues. And I just feel overwhelmed. I would really like a self-vacation where I could just leave and think about things, spend some time with Jesus. I need it. I miss Him so much.

I know He's there-oh, how I know He's there and waiting for me. I'm not sure what I did to drift away. I hate being in this place...not knowing what to do, not knowing how to fix it. I miss my Savior, my Best Friend, my Love.

Lord, bring me back!!! I need You so stinkin' much!!!!!! Give me assurance that You're here. I know You're still there, but I just-I can't get there somehow. Please show Yourself, reveal Yourself to me. I need You so badly.

My brother is in China. I haven't heard his voice since August 20th. I miss him so much. We have been through a lot together, and he gets me. He gets me and comforts me and encourages me and tells me how it is. He helps me with my homework. He reassures me. He loves me. I miss him so much. I need him right now. I'm glad he's traveling and doing life...but oh...it is so hard!!!!!!!!!!!! I keep thinking, if only I had a phone call with him...but it wouldn't be enough. I would want one more, and one more. Hopefully I'll get to talk to him sometime-but it's not guaranteed, and that's okay.

I am upside down right now, and I need a friend. My best friend is going through a lot and doesn't really know what to say when I pour my heart out. I need my Jesus. My Best Friend. My Love. I miss Him.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lost In A Sea Of Faces

There are five thousand people on this campus, five hundred of which are from a different country. 18 year old freshman, 21 year old freshmen, 30 year old students. Boys, girls. Blondes, brunettes, fiery redheads. Tall, short. Funny, quiet. Loud, spastic. Shy, introverted. Writers, artists, singers, dancers, pastors, teachers, counselors, lawyers, scientists, linguists.


There are so many stinkin' people here, and I want to get to know every single one of them. I want to sit down with the people I see every day and listen. I want to know what they've been through. I want to know where they were when Jesus redeemed them from the pit. I want to know where they're going, what their questions are, who they know.


I want to listen to the boy who has never known love. I want to listen to the girl who has been heartbroken time and time again. I want to learn about the background of the adult student. I want to hear about why that person acts they way they do.

I want to get to know people. I want to stand amazed at what people have been through and what God is doing through their struggles and their good times...their storms and their sunshine.

Lord, give me opportunity.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Old Is Gone, The New Has Come

I am thankful that in Christ, I am a new creation.
I don't even like thinking about the person I would be without His hand constantly holding me up.

I did my best to act happy when my parents divorced, but I cried myself to sleep more nights than most...
I was the bubbliest, happiest person on the planet in junior high...unless you knew the real me. I was so insecure I cried when I looked in the mirror...I turned around and slapped the doors and the walls because I was so angry about the way I looked...
I allowed myself to wallow in self pity when my family started going through a lot of things. I let go of my friendships, my happiness, myself...
I couldn't help but ask God why He wanted my aunt and uncle in Heaven so early...over and over again I questioned...

God has pulled me out of quicksand time and time again. And for that I am grateful.

Without His hand constantly on my life, where would I be? What would I be like if He hadn't have pulled me out? What would my personality be like when I had to face such struggles without Him holding my hand?

In Sunday School two years ago, the teacher asked, "What if God wasn't there? What if you woke up in the morning without the assurance that God is alive and active in your life?"
An amazing lady by the name of Karen West answered: "I don't even want to get out of bed."

No truer words have ever been spoken!!! I am humbled that the Lord CHOSE to have a love relationship with me. After his first two children lied to him, after the wickedness of Noah's time, through all the things that have happened that aren't even recorded in the Bible...up to all the times I've lied, cheated, been selfish, let my flesh get the best of me. He still wants me.

Do you view God as the love of your life? We don't often refer to Him as "Lover." Perhaps "Lover of my Soul," but that's the closest I've ever heard to it. He LOVES us. He pursues us. He's held my hand, put His arms around me in my weakest moments. I KNOW that my Redeemer lives.

It is such a beautiful thing.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Beautiful.

You're beautiful but you don't know...can't see what's there inside your soul
Always feeling like you're not good enough...
You wish you could be someone else.
Sometimes you just can't see yourself.

You never think you measure up-never smart or cool or pretty enough
Always feeling different from all the rest.

-Exceptional by JoJo


I love songs like these that talk about being beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful like Eden...the peaceful garden...the original "Shalom." Beautiful...God created us to love beauty. He created us in His image, and He IS beauty.

I have struggled with insecurity for a long time. The first time I remember being really sad about the way I looked was when I was ten, because people at school made fun of the way I looked. I remember in junior high I would look in the mirror and bust into tears. In early high school years I would sometimes slap the bathroom door or the mirror when I looked at myself. Was this the way my God intended it to be? To be so angry, so hateful, so sad towards myself? I don't believe, nor have I EVER believed that.

Regardless...
it is a DAILY battle. Some days, it's easy. I look in the mirror and tell myself that I don't look half bad today. Some days, it takes all the strength I have in my five-foot-one body to fight against my flesh, fight against what the world says. And some days, I don't even try to fight. I just give up.

When people ask me if I think I'm pretty, I always reply that I KNOW that I'm not. Not by the world's standards. I am not the type of girl that people look at and say, "Dang." And that's okay...not everybody is like that. I agree with the statement that everyone is beautiful in their own way, but I don't think the world is on that boat yet. Does the world's opinion matter? No. Honestly, it has no merit whatsoever. My JESUS bled and died for MY sins, and He knew my faults and the ugly attributes I have. Those words give me hope, and I believe them with my whole heart. However, the world is still...the world...and people are still people.

It's hard being at a place where virtually everyone is outwardly pretty. Daily, I look at these people who are picture-perfect, talented, godly, real...and I almost feel embarrassed..shamed. I KNOW this isn't how God wanted it, either.

I have been struggling with this for a long time,and have tried to give it to the Lord multiple times...but it always comes back. I have this nagging, terrible desire to be perfect, measure up, make others proud. At the end of the day, I am not perfect. Not today, tomorrow, or yesterday. I realize that...He can have my bag of worries. But I sure can't ever seem to just shake all of it off.

God is my Strength, my Constant, my Life.
"The only Thing worth holding onto is holding onto me."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

College Life

So..classes have started, I'm all moved in...

This thing I waited for so long is not exactly what I pictured, but I am so glad I am here. I am thankful, SO extremely thankful that my sweet cousin Shelby is here with me. She's been through freshman year...she checks up on me, calls me, asks me what I'm doing, helps me meet people...pushes me to get out of my box. I am also SO VERY thankful that my best friend Shawn is only fifteen minutes away. It has been WONDERFUL that both of them are so close to me. I haven't made friends...not close ones yet. It's never been this hard for me to make friends. I think it's so hard right now because I don't see the same people every day. Classes make it better...at least I see mostly the same people every other day.

My precious brother moved to China last Monday...and the reality of him being gone is sinking in. I want to call him and tell him about college so badly! I have called and or talked to him face-to-face every first day of school I've ever had. It's so hard. It makes it worth it that he's in a place he's wanted to go for a long time. I've heard it's beautiful...I've heard he's going to love it. I know God's holding him every step of the way...and for that...I can never give enough thanks.

It's hard right now, but life is hard. I've made it through storms before...storms a lot harder than this one. I WILL make friends...I WILL find things to get involved in..I WILL find a church...it's just a matter of time, of working on it, of waiting on the Lord. He WILL show me what I'm going to do with my life...He WILL guide, protect, love, lead, and talk to me. The journey...oh the journey is where all the growing happens.

Things are so different...so completely, utterly, totally different. But this is where I am in life. This is where I'm supposed to be, it's where God wants me. He CREATED me to be who I am...not matter how much my hang ups and insecurites irritate me...He made me this way.

Father God,
I ask that You hold my heart and send me friends...beautiful friends filled with Your Love and Your Spirit and Your awesomeness. God, thank You for my blessings, thank You for Shawn and Shelby. Thank You that I'm not far from home...and thank You for all the people who have been encouraging me from home. Help me manage my time well and to be able to say no to things that I don't have time for, especially social things. Help me to be better...to be a more beautiful person. Help me to be a light even when I don't "feel" like it. Help me to encourage others and love others just as You've loved me...with an awesome, overwhelming, real kind of love. Thank You for bringing me to this amazing place. Please show me what to do! You are all I need...You're my constant, my everything, my breath, my life. Do with me as You want, Lord! I glorify Your name alone.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Off To School!

Today is my last day "at home." I will always have a home here, live here on breaks and holidays and summer..but it will be different. I am excited about the change...though it took me a long time to get to this place! I am ready to tackle the six classes i'm taking and to meet everyone!!

Thank you Father for leading me to this place!! I am so stinkin' excited! :) I am so glad that God brought me to DBU..it is such a wonderful place. I get happy just passing by the campus. I can't wait to see how He uses me, what people He puts in my path, and I look forward to becoming a more beautiful, better child of His!

To everyone who helped me, loved me, sheltered me, took care of me, watched me grow...thank you! It is because of you and the things God has done and said through you that I am where I am. I love all of you!

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh, no You never let go
Through every high and every low
Oh no...You never let go of me!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Israelites' Complaint

Something God gave me a little bit earlier this month:

Numbers 14

Verses 1-4:
That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, "If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?" And they said to each other, "We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt."

All the Israelites complained because they couldn't fathom how God could possibly be working in the midst of what seemed to be very adverse circumstances. How often do we ask ourselves the same question they did? "Why is the Lord bringing us here only to let me fall?!"

Temporary defeat gets the best of us because our human nature can't imagine there being something greater in the future, beyond what we see now. We don't get out of the puddle when there is a beautiful pond right beyond it, in the words of Beth Moore.

Haven't we realized by now, hasn't the Lord done enough for us and in us by now that we know unwaveringly that God absolutely LOVES it when we give ourselves fully to Him, without fear and anxiety about where on earth He might be leading us?

[Hebrews 11:8- By FAITH Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, OBEYED and WENT, EVEN THOUGH he did NOT know where he was going!]


Verses 11-12:
The Lord said to Moses, "How long will these people treat Me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in Me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them? I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they."

God DESIRES to understand why His people are so whiny; why, no matter what He does, they continunally wander from His plan that He has so blatantly set before them? "in spite of all the miraculous signs I have perfomed for them?"

Even when God winks at us and sets blessings over and over again right in our laps, we continue to wish that He would do more for us.

When I got a sufficient SAT score, I feared DBU wouldn't accept me. When I got accepted to the college that I had so DESPERATELY wanted to attend, I feared I wouldn't get any scholarships. Now that I got the scholarship, I fear about remaining money and making friends.

Is this how God designed it to be? When He saw all that He had made and said that it was very good, do you think He wanted His children from every generation til He comes again to be in a constant state of fear, worry, doubt, and anxiety? Not a chance! :)


Anxiety is one of my biggest battles. These are the verses I've been clinging to:

Psalm 30:11-12
You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever!

Isaiah 12:2
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My right hand.

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives our fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Psalm 94:18-19
When I said, "My foot is slipping," Your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, Your love, O Lord, brought joy to my soul.

Psalm 55:22
Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you, He will never let the righteous fall.



And of course, my life verse:

Exodus 14:14
The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March?!

I canNOT believe it's March.



Today begins the final trimester of my high school career.
I will be eighteen in nine days.
I'm going to college in five months.
My brother's going to boot camp in two months, and spending August-December in China.

Dear Life,
Stop right now please!

I was accepted to Dallas Baptist University, my number one dream and heart's deepest desire, last Thursday. I think I'm still in shock! People keep asking about dorms and roommates and scholarships and moving in, and I'm still in this beautiful state of realization that I'M GOING TO DBU! :) I am so excited! I am so glad God led me here, and wants me to spend the next four years at such a beautiful, Christ-centered place.

I'm nervous, and anxious, but I sure am ready.


Drama, trials, struggles will still be there. Life isn't suddenly magical, even if I think the place is. But I'm gonna be surrounded by such beautiful, genuine people...not to mention my cousin Shelby, who is one of my most very favorite people on earth. I am so excited to start fresh!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I'm Going to College!

Well, it's official- Dallas Baptist University called me around 3pm today to tell me that I'VE BEEN ACCEPTED! I am so excited! This college is the place of my dreams...I can't WAIT to be there :) God is so good to have lead me there and to has been holding me every step of the way! :)

I thank my Father for His continual amazing blessings poured out on my life. I pray that He will keep holding my hand and guide me down the path He wants me to take. I ask that He goes before me in the dorm room, the lecture hall, the beautiful gazebos decorating the campus, that famous hill, that Starbucks, that CareNow, that apartment that my sweet cousin Shelby will soon be living in...that in everything I do, He is glorified, because I don't want to live any other way.

All Glory to My God! :)