Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Brothers

I feel the need to give my "brothers" a shout out.  What I mean when I say "brothers" are some awesome guy friends that I have been blessed with.  These guys have been great to get to know over the past few years and I just feel so lucky to be able to call them friends!!

Now ladies....we all know that not many things can top a girl's night...I'm not trying to argue that!  But there is just something also very special about hanging out with some of your guy friends as well.

Tonight I went out to a little social gathering, party, what have you with a big group of friends from my church.  We had an awesome time playing games and just laughing with each other!
On our drive home, I was actually "stuck" with 4 of my guy friends.  By the time the ride was over, my stomach hurt from laughing so hard.  It's so cool to feel as though I can just be myself around these guys.  

Why do I feel that way?

Because I know they respect me, and in turn I respect them.  I know that they would be there for me if I needed them to.  I also know that they care about me as their sister.  Those things mean a lot to me.  It makes me feel safe, cared for, and valued.  

I understand that there are boundaries that need to be put in place in any guy/girl friendship, and I enjoy those healthy relationships.  I see Jesus in the guys I hang out with.

So brothers, whether you be my "little brothers" or my "older brothers"...just are AWESOME!

My little friend Ashee

2 year olds love Photobooth :) (not to say I didn't have my fair share of fun!)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dream Big

 I have had some far-out big dreams for my life since I became a Christian.


Because for the first time I felt as though I could dream big.  Because I came to understand that if I was doing something for God, he could give me whatever I needed to get there.

Some of them include...
-working at an orphanage in Morocco
-dropping everything to do missionary work wherever God calls me
-working in Children's Ministry
-working in Youth Ministry
-working in Adult Ministry
-teaching elementary school
-joining the Peace Corps

Some of them can be eliminated from the list because of having experiences in that area and just realizing it wasn't for me...and others I think I have mentally erased because I felt like I was dreaming too big....

Am I?!?

It's so easy to get comfortable where you are in life.  Being a college student, I go to class, do my homework, hang out with friends, lead a small group, go to cru, etc etc.  and all the while I am realizing that it has been MONTHS since I have REALLY challenged myself.

Being a senior in college is exciting/difficult/nerve wracking.  I am excited to move onto the next chapter of my life buuuuut....what if you don't know what's going to be in that chapter?  Like not even the TITLE of the chapter?  It freaks me out.

All I know is, I need to begin to challenge myself again.  I need to feel uncomfortable.  I need to start taking leaps of faith.  


Because God can do great things through me.  He can do great things through you.  Heck, look at what he did with Paul.  This guy was a murder/persecutor of Christians.  He had complete hatred for them.  Then God turns his life upside down and he finds himself preaching to these people, encouraging their faith, and bringing people to Jesus.  Or my man Moses.  Moses apparently did not have any skills in the public speaking arena.  He was a simple guy, with a simple job, and a simple life.  Then all of a sudden God asks him to lead this huge group of people out of captivity and to PART THE RED SEA.  I bet he never imagined that God would use him to such a great capacity.   

What do they both have in common?  They both stepped out in faith AND they both must have been scared to do so.

The way God got Paul's attention was to make him temporarily BLIND.  Scary.  Also, God called Paul to speak to both Jews and Gentiles.   Hmm that's a bit scary considering the fact that the guy had just converted from Judaism to Christianity annnnd he had been killing the Gentiles.  I'm sure he thought that maybe both of these groups were a LITTLE annoyed with him.

And as I said about Moses.  He was a simple guy.  It says when he was having a conversation with God that he kept trying to tell God that he was not a very eloquent speaker, so imagine his surprise when God asks him to speak to the PHARAOH among other important people.

You never know what God is going to ask you to do.  

I think I stopped listening.  I stopped listening because usually when God asks me to do something, it involves that step of faith.  It involves me trusting that he isn't going to make me look stupid or that my efforts will not amount to anything.  

So I've posted a few verses on my wall.  One of them being....

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.

What is your BIG dream?  What are you passionate about?  Don't let fear get in the way of pursuing it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I am reading a book, "Who Calls Me Beautiful?  Finding Our True Image in the Mirror of God" and I had to share this part with you...

Finally, we must hear what God has to say about us.

Before the beginning of time, I knew you.  I knew what color your eyes would be, and I could hear the sound of your laughter.  Like a proud father who carries a picture of his daughter, I carried the image of you in My eyes, for you were created in My image. Before the beginning of time, I chose you.  I spoke your name into the heavens, and I smiled as its melody resounded off the walls of My heart.
You are Mine.  My love for you extends farther than the stars in the sky and deeper than any ocean.  You are My pearl of great price, the one for whom I gave everything.  I cradle you in the palm of My hand.  I love you even in the face of your failure.  Nothing you say or do can cause Me to stop loving you.  I am relentless in My pursuit of you.  Run from Me--I will love you.  Spurn Me--I will love you.  Reject yourself--I will love you.  You see, My love for you was slain before the foundations of the world and I have never regretted the sacrifice I made for you at Calvary.
When I see every part of who you are, I marvel at the work of My hands, for I whispered words of longing and desire and you came into existence.  You are beautiful, and I take pleasure in you--heart, mind, and body.  You are My desire.  When you turn your head in shame and despise at what I have made, still I reach for you with gentle passion.  You are My beloved and I am yours. 
(Author's adaptation from 1 John 3:2; Isaiah 43:1; Matthew 13:46; Ephesians 1:4; Revelation 13:8; Psalm 194:4; Song of Solomon 7:10; 6:3)


I had an awesome time at Providence (a church in West Chester) tonight. I had never been, and didn't know what to expect, but when I got there the place was packed! We started with worship, an awesome sermon, and then finished it up with worship. One of my favorite things to do is be in a room where people are singing to God and to just be still and quiet and listen to it all. Hearing other people lift their voices as a way to show love to God is such a beautiful thing to me.

They played one of my faaaaavorite hymns "Come Thou Fount." I am normally not a hymn girl (except for a few), but this song is just so beautiful and powerful to me! Here is my favorite part of the song...

Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God

He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,

Seal it for Thy courts above.

You can listen to David Crowder Band sing it on this video on youtube

...are any of those words true for you?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Important Question: Answered

Coming back from grabbing a delicious dinner from "South Side" (south campus cafe) I noticed two things:
1. It was extremely cold
2. My nose was running (gross, I know)

So then I got to thinking....why is it that when it's cold outside does your nose seem to run excessively?

Well, for those of you out there dying to know the answer, I was able to find it on (I figured I would get a pretty simple and straightforward answer on a website for kids)

Here's what they said...

Baby, it's cold outside- When you're outside on a cold day, your nose tries its best to warm up the cold air you breathe before sending it to the lungs.  Tiny blood vessels inside your nostrils open wider (dilate), helping to warm up that air.  But that extra blood flow leads to more mucus production.  You know what happens next. Drip, drip, drip.

I hope that you can now sleep well, knowing you have the answer to one of life's more important questions. :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Seriously God, Where Are You?

Although I may be an introvert, I love hanging out with people.  Yes, I do need my alone time or the 'tude starts to come out, but for the most part being with friends and family is something that lifts me up.

Let's bring God into this.  Yes, from my blog it's pretty clear that I am a Christian and believe in God.  Great.  Wonderful.  Along with that comes many being that I get to spend my afterlife (eternity-ish) being joyful beyond my wildest dreams.

So when I get to heaven I'll get to meet God.  Hang out with him.  

But what about now?  Yes everyone tells me I need to...
"Talk to Him"
"Tell Him everything"
"Spend time with Him"

And this can happen by doing the following...
reading the Bible
singing worship songs
serving other people

I get it.  I understand what I need to do to hang out with God.  But you can't tell me that it is not REALLY difficult to chill with someone you can't see, can't audibly hear (unless you are Moses), or can't even hug.  

It's got to be possible to "hang out" with God.  Two years ago, closer to when I first became a Christian, I had no problem with this.  I could literally spend an hour or two reading and praying and felt as though I had really spent time with God, that He was completely present.

Maybe it's that whole feelings piece.  No I can't feel God, but that doesn't mean He isn't there.  He's always there.  He's everywhere.  I do believe that, but when I am hurting or need comfort and I know it can only come from would be great just to get a hug from Him.  

I'd like to bring this blog to a close with a nice "lesson learned" paragraph or a scripture that made it all better for me...but I can't.  I really do not have an answer to my struggle.  I am trusting that if I continue to bring this issue to God, he will eventually help me to understand.  I am thankful for the fact that God wants me to be open and honest about stuff like this.  

All I know is...once I start to resolve this issue with God, there is always going to be another question or doubt that I am struggling with...and that's okay.  I think it's even okay that I may be a bit angry with Him because I just want Him to be PHYSICALLY present.  

I am glad that God is real and wants me to be genuine with Him in our relationship.  

Hmmm....that makes me want to give Him a high five.  Darn it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

C'mon Get Happy

Like any other normal human being, I experience many highs and lows when it comes to emotions. A lot of the time, these high and lows are based on external situations such hitting a deer with my car while driving on 422 (causing anger and annoyance) or being able to spend time with family and friends (causing happiness!). I sometimes forget that there is much more to life than trying to set up or control my external world to make sure that situations foster positive emotions. I try to control my life so much, making sure that nothing negative happens, that I get really frustrated when things don't go my way.

This morning I read an article on the Boundless website...

It talks about how happiness can't be related to external events because no matter how hard you try, bad things are going to happen. And most of the time they are completely out of your control.

What are we to do then? If we can be 100% sure that at least one bad thing will happen to us during our lifetime, what is it that will keep us joyful during those situations? What if our dreams of being successful in a certain area aren't accomplished? What if we lose someone we love or what if we ourselves become sick? What if we never find that person to spend the rest of our lives with? If we continue to try to base our happiness on external situations, what happens when those situations arise that are out of our control?

Being a Christian, I am supposed to find my joy in a completely different place. My joy is supposed to be found in something that will never be affected by external situations. My joy should be eternal because of the fact that I am loved by God.

Easier said than done.

It's hard because I find myself focusing on the things I DON'T have instead of the one thing I DO have and will ALWAYS have and that is my relationship with God and his promises to me, like...
1. I will spend eternity with Him in Heaven
2. He will never ever give me more than I can handle
3. I can become more and more like Him each day (a.k.a - experiencing peace despite difficult situations)

I think that the ultimate goal here is to focus on what I do have instead of what I don't have. To be grateful for every breath I take. To realize that because I chose to believe in what Jesus did for humanity that I am now both privileged and responsible to be used by God to affect eternity in other people's lives.

Yep, big sentence there. CHOSEN by GOD to affect ETERNITY .

Last night I spent some time with God and was able to remember how much I let what I see and hear in this world affect me. Because God isn't someone I can physically see or be with it's sometimes hard to keep my focus on Him. When I lose that focus I let things like hitting that flippin' deer on 422 or being let down by someone I care about, make me depressed and extremely anxious.

God is so much bigger than I can imagine....but having regular reminders of the fact that I am being cared for and watched over by the creator of the world helps me to put the things that get me down, or even devastate me, in perspective.

Side note: I realize I referred to the victim of my minor accident as a "flippin' deer"...possibly causing some of you to think that I do not feel remorse for impailing (maybe even killing...yikes) the poor thing. While I do feel some anger toward the deer for messing up my car, I do feel bad for the little guy/girl (didn't really get a good look at it). Just wanted to make this fact known. ;)

Some Rest...

Do you need some rest?  A sigh of relief?  Do you feel as though you are constantly trying to live up to extravagant expectations?

Yes, it is wonderful to have goals.  God wants us to grow and aspire to be more like Him.  


When is it too much?

Read this excerpt from Captivating by Jon and Stasi Eldridge:

The wounds we received as young girls did not come alone.  They brought messages with them, messages that struck at the core of our hearts...
Debbie's father had an affair.  What made it confusing was that in many ways, he was a good man.  The message that settled in her heart as a teenage girl was, You'd better do more than she did or you won't keep your man.  After this came a young man who pursued Debbie, and then left for no apparent reason.  We've known this beautiful young woman for several years now, and one thing has puzzled us-- why is she always working on her life?  Why is she always trying to "improve" herself?  Debbie is always looking for something to work on.  Prayer, exercise, financial responsibility, a new hair color, more discipline.  Why is she trying so hard?  Doesn't she know how amazing she is?  What makes her search so frustrating is that she doesn't know what is wrong with her.  She simply fears that somehow she is not enough.

Sound familiar?

Take a deep breath, relax, and take a few minutes (or hours if you want to! this is important stuff) to soak in the facts.....

1. God loves you more than anything in this world, yes you.  He sacrificed the most precious thing He had just for you
2. He loves you right now, AS IS, exactly the way you are
3. You were made in the image of Him, you are unique and beautiful and deserving of love


You Are Enough.