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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

typical tuesday

I didn't do much social media in high school. Now that I'm in college, I have a Facebook that I use as an excuse to not do anything. It would seem that it's time to take a break.
Missing the mountains. 
In other news, I'm going to be at school four days after the University shuts down- eating Raman noodles and cereal. I work Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday and I'm hoping it's slightly less eventful than my first shift. 
Are there people in your life who you see and you want to say a million things to, but nothing comes out? When they walk away, you can't decide if you would've changed anything, or if you would've just sat there and said nothing again. I have people like that. It's true that "some things are better left unsaid." ...even if it may relieve you to say them in the moment. Then again, we should be sure it isn't our stubborn and prideful selves being afraid of vulnerability, because vulnerability inevitably leads to either acceptance or rejection, and many would claim rejection is a tragic fate. 

I hope you had a happy Tuesday! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

real talk

I spent some time with my best friend today and we officially decided that doing the right thing sucks sometimes. I guess no one promised it would be easy. Some days the path just seems a little rockier and  narrower than usual.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

not sleeping

I don't sleep much these days.
My mind is preoccupied with unwanted thoughts. Why is it that I often want the things I can't have, and I  don't want the things I should?
"don't you think that daisies are the friendliest flower?"
Absolutely, Meg Ryan. 
I've decided that the suburbs of Atlanta are clouding my mind. I started work on Friday. I almost ate a deep fried rubber band (not my fault), I did the wobble with some drunk people, I dropped a napkin on a man's dessert, and I walked out at 2 a.m. Still, I'm thankful to have a job.
I wish I had some inspirational thought tonight, but I don't. Life is hard sometimes and occasionally I wish I had someone to bring me daisies and Hershey's chocolate bars when it all becomes overwhelming.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

listen to this as you read... just because.




meandering

I'm a people watcher. Big time.
Right now...
A boy wipes his face with tired hands as he stares despairingly down at his papers.
Someone scrolls through social media while their notes sit unstudied on their lap.
The pizza maker flirts with an unsuspecting girl who fills her plate with garlic rolls and smiles distractedly.

They're all headed in a direction.  They're headed to finals, and then eventually to graduation, and then eventually to a job, and probably, down the road, to a mini-van with four kids.
We often have plans, but we don't always have dreams. Sometimes we let society choose our plans, sometimes we let our parents, expectations, or logic, but I think that the future should belong to our dreams (as Disney Channel as it sounds...)
For the moment, I'm feeling a little aimless and thinking maybe it's okay to wonder. Maybe it's okay to explore until I figure it out. Maybe a little wandering is good for the soul.
Dreaming often involves failure, always involves faith, and sometimes involves pain, but it leaves no room for regret-and for that reason, I think it's worth it.

May we be brave enough to do what it takes to discover what we want.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

stupidity

Do you ever say things you shouldn't? I do...all the time. They can be the truest statements in the world, but they're also completely unnecessary. Why do I say them anyway? Recently I've realized that I'd rather say unnecessary (maybe hurtful) things, than feel like I'm left humiliated and unloved. It would seem that I'm perfectly willing to be unkind if it means preserving my pride and satisfying my desire for vindication. Tears dry, pain dulls, but apparently my ego is too fragile to heal. The ironic part is that the Lord of the universe allowed himself to be humiliated to the point of going to a cross, and I can't seem to get over a little indifference.

Monday, December 2, 2013

time

It's finals week! I literally haven't picked up a book to study. I just can't believe it's already here. It seems like yesterday I arrived at Kennesaw State with an incredible amount of expectation. First semester is drawing to a close, despite my doubt, and I'm hoping that a sense of urgency will overtake my current state of apathy. Time is flying by faster and faster (the old people are right)--the days often seem slow, but months pass like a breath.
May we learn to cherish every moment, knowing that there is something to learn or appreciate in every menial task...every rainy cold Monday.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

mistakes

A few days ago I went home, and I made a
mistake. It was a busy weekend, but the few free hours I had, I spent sitting in an old barn with my horse sleeping on one side and my dog sleeping on the other. In that moment I was content. There was a sense of peace that cannot be described with the written (typed?) word.
The peace didn't last, and next thing I knew I was swept into a nasty whirlwind of discontent. It came like a wave, and I felt like I was sinking--like I was being left behind while the world was experiencing  new and exciting things. I became weary of doing good. My faith faltered, and I lost all belief in what I had previously known to be true. Within a day or two, I was pursuing something I didn't want, because I simply wanted to feel something. I craved excitement, the thrill of the unknown and the unexplored.
The excitement was real for a moment, but it was fleeting. I'm left feeling empty.
I'm sickened by how often I run towards things (people, Netflix, food, morality) for comfort, satisfaction, and distraction when I know the source of everything good.
May our relationship with Jesus become so personal that we are unwilling to compromise it.

"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."
-Galations 6:9

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." -2 Cor. 12:9

Thursday, November 28, 2013

thankful for the random.

Today I'm thankful for:
1. The new-found ability to plow through awkward conversation until it becomes comfortable
2. The beauty of a simplistically designed house
3. Little girls with bows in their hair who remind me that life isn't as serious as I make it out to be
4. Security separate from people's affirmation, appreciation, or affection
5. Pumpkin cheesecake, corn casserole, and mashed potatoes
6. A warm fire, a cheesy movie, four dogs, and family
7. Unfailing love
8. Possibilities
9. The arrival of Christmas decorations
10. Southern accents, sweet tea, and hospitality

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

forever changed

There's a question I've never been able to answer...
"What's your favorite movie?"
Mission accomplished. I have an answer.
It's Elizabethtown. Watch it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

homeward bound

Because I begin every blog by telling you where I am and what I'm doing, I won't stop now. I'm on my way home for Thanksgiving break, but I couldn't resist the urge to find a spot to read with a Chai latte. Consequently, I'm sitting in a cozy coffee shop/book store on a leather couch, staring out at the wet coldness outside. Have you ever wanted something so bad it almost physically hurts? When it finally happens there is a strange mixture of euphoria and dread all at the same time? Part of you knows it's all wrong, but another side of you doesn't care. If you're still tracking with me, then I just thought I'd share some invaluable information about this condition.
Pray.
That's all you can do. Pray like hell that somehow God changes your mind and your heart. If not, that He would simply take the wheel--rip all control from your hands before you lose all faith that His best is your best.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

a coffee kind of christianity

Two exams down, a headache from staying up too late, and I'm sitting under a tree. My tree. Yes, I have a tree. It's a beautiful magnolia located right at the center of campus. There's a man in a janitor's uniform trying to hacky sack, but I think he's new at the game. It's almost as if he's desperate to find something he enjoys after a long day at work. I understand. The sun is streaming through a tree with orange leaves and it's casting colorful shadows over my boots causing me to wonder at God's creativity. I had a deep conversation with a dear friend today, and it resounded in my soul and thrust me into thought. Therefore, I naturally wandered to my thinking tree with a cup of coffee and my computer to tell you about these probably not-so-interesting thoughts.
There is a disturbing sect within Christianity today. It's a flannel-wearing, C.S. Lewis reading, coffee shop inhabiting, tattoo acquiring, lets-be-different, outdoor equipment collecting type of Christianity (why you need outdoor equipment to sit in a coffee shop I'll never understand). Dim the lights, light the candles (we must set the mood), sway back and forth as someone leads us in a chorus that repeats itself a million times. Where have we gone wrong? When did the focus shift from daily picking up our cross and following Jesus to comfort and coffee at all costs? When did we begin chasing a feeling rather than the Savior? When did we exchange the doctrine of a holy God and an urgent gospel for the study of complex doctrines and the reading of popular preachers? When did the strangest statements become the "deeper" and more profound? 
None of these things are bad in and of themselves, but combined into a lifestyle they beg a question. Is this attractive? Is this what the world is searching for? Is this what the world needs? The answer is no. No, there is nothing intriguing about this new religion. In fact, it's practically stereotypical. This is a faith that creates a self-centered, self-absorbed, self-help, reflective, introspective type of walk. Wear certain clothes, buy unhealthy amounts of coffee, read the right authors, and have a defense for your position on predestination. If you can check all of this off your list, then congratulations, you made the club. The truth is, this is just another way to live for yourself--it only looks better from the outside. I think Paul would laugh from his prison cell. Jesus is experienced best when we follow his commandments, not when we talk about them. Hardship is guaranteed, but therein true joy is found as we know we do not labor in vain. We don't have to be poor, we don't have to deny our "normal" lives, but we redeem the simple things, we give our all when we don't feel like it, we follow and obey Jesus in the littlest areas of our lives. That is what the world needs--not a faith that causes us to withdraw from our reality, but a faith that practically applies to any and every part of reality. May we begin to live out this faith and show the world the hope we have in Christ. I love C.S. Lewis, coffee shops, flannel, outdoor equipment, new ideas, and, yes, tattoos. So lets enjoy it all, but may the world be struck by our outpouring of love, service, and dedication in all the mundane of the day-to-day. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

friday night

I just finished my classes for the day, and the weekend has officially arrived. I'm not feeling particularly social, but contemplating taking myself out on a date tonight. I bet you're thinking that's really pathetic. Here's the pathetic part: I'm really excited about it...a $7 dinner somewhere old, a good book, and a steaming cup of coffee. That's my kind of Friday night.


I'm thankful for:
1. beautiful fall trees
2. smiles from strangers, 
3. soy milk when you're trying vegan
4. laughter
5. girls who inspire me to dress better
6. clothes 
7. friendly commons employees
8. possibilities
9. friends who care deeply
10. God's sovereignty
11. legs that work
12. diversity and the beauty in every face

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Gratitude

A wise person once said, "gratitude makes everything enough." I feel like this must be true. As Paul sat in prison he said, "in all circumstances, I've learned to be content." How? It can only be the result of perspective. He saw his circumstances in light of eternity. In light of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. In light of who he was in Christ.
Forgiven.
Loved.
Accepted.
Chosen.
Treasured.
A saint.
Guaranteed a future without pain or sorrow.
Beloved.
Yes, in light of this, I can't find much to be negative about. Can you?


Friday, October 18, 2013

college.

The air is crisp and the leaves are changing. Pumpkin spice lattes are back. Girls are breaking out the boots. Fall is now officially here, and I'm missing home more than ever.
 I'm sitting in the only Australian Bakery I've ever heard of. Country music is playing softly in the background, and it feels good to be away from campus and school. Although I could easily use three or four hours of studying, instead I'm choosing to sit here. I'm just going to sit, sip my coffee, eat my meat pie and soup, and watch the latest episode of Grey's Anatomy. As much as I love that show, I'm wishing I had a good book...maybe a romance. I'm convinced they're good for the soul. Maybe I'll try to find a used book store.
If I could be anywhere at this moment, I'd be on my horse, wandering through the woods with no destination in mind. That's the problem, I think. There's always a destination. Always something we're working towards, but the destinations never seem to end. It's just one after the other. Some days I feel like everyone else is moving on and I'm falling behind, desperate to slow down and enjoy simple pleasures.

Fun fact about college for your day: it steals your water bottles. I can't find two of mine. I don't know what KSU is doing with them. Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

part of my heart in africa

Sometimes it can be hard to describe life's experiences...
The trip was wonderful.
God is revealing how fallen I am apart from His grace.




Tuesday, July 16, 2013

love.

This year I have been on a quest.

I've been searching for thoughts about love.

Jesus said that it was the most important aspect of a Christian's life.

The greatest commandment: love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

The second greatest: love your neighbor as yourself.

As yourself.

Wow.

That's a lot sometimes, isn't it?

Heard a good quote about it today: "It is the very nature of love to forget itself for the sake of others. It takes their needs and makes them its own. It finds real joy in living and dying for others as Christ did."

Sometimes true love requires total denial of what we really want.

That's true in our relationship with Jesus. Because we love him, we have to deny the desires of our flesh.

The beauty of it all is that we can do this, with full confidence that our heavenly reward is waiting and the Father is watching.

May we all have the courage to live out His desires....and begin living what He's already working in us.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

fyi

Dear Blog Reader,

If you were with me right now we'd be sitting on my roof watching the stars. I saw a shooting star tonight, but I forgot to make a wish because I was too deep in thought. What was I thinking about? I'm glad you asked...

It didn't look quite this awesome
There are two types of people in this world (there are really a lot more, but for the sake of making this statement more dramatic we'll go with it) -the kind that wear their emotions on their sleeves and the kind that don't.

I don't...it's probably unhealthy the amount I don't.

I feel like the Lord is showing me that I need to be more vulnerable.

...even typing the word "vulnerable" makes me anxious. This could take some serious work.

In other news:
-I'm now officially excited about South Africa.
-time moves too fast
-I need to start thinking about college and buying kitchen supplies...ahhhh


Monday, July 8, 2013

quote for your day

"If we really believed that God meant what He said, just imagine what we would be like! Do I really dare to let God be to me all that He says He will be?"

Sunday, July 7, 2013

a new hobby, jesus thoughts, and time

I haven't blogged in almost two weeks. Therefore, I'm taking this opportunity to go a little crazy and post twice in one day.

I have officially gathered all the necessary equipment to become a hard core climber. My oldest brother is teaching me the ropes (pun intended). I'm excited to see what becomes of this endeavor. Ever since sports have ended, I've been searching for a new way to stay active. I'll let you know how it goes!

So I leave for South Africa in two weeks, and after that I'll be off to college. I'm trying to be excited, but I don't feel anything. I don't know why...

I heard a good devotional thought today.

The more time we spend with Jesus, the larger he becomes in our lives. We begin to sense His presence and sufficiency deeper than before. However, when we allow busyness, distractions, and "life" to take us away from being intentional in prayer and reading the Scripture, He becomes a seemingly small and unimportant part of our lives. Our perception of people begins to seep into our perception of Jesus.

So true.

I've been very distracted lately, and I could hardly tell you why. It feels like a random combination of people, task lists, and agendas.

May the depth of His love, His goodness, and His common grace propel us to set aside some time to listen as He speaks.

Trying to learn to surrender time.

sisters

They're the ones you talk to about everything. They're great listeners, and great talkers. They're easy to laugh with, and easy to cry to. They're okay in silence, and join with you in loud obnoxious outbursts.
They're late night coffee runs. They're a movie night with a year's supply of chocolate. They're workout partners and fellow diet procrastinators. They're the listeners of a million things you probably shouldn't have said...your greatest secret holders. They're one of your dearest friends and inevitably your maid of honor. They're your personal cosmetologist, fashion advisor, and dating coach.

I'm thankful for mine!




Thursday, June 27, 2013

wishing

114 dollars to be in paradise. Mumford and Sons are going to be in Atlanta. I'm so tempted to buy a ticket...but they're so expensive.

Save.

I have to remember to save for college.

Don't worry, Mumford. We'll meet someday.




Saturday, June 22, 2013

boys, dating, and the like

Had a date with Jesus today. Life has been a crazy mix of work, friends, and family. It was so nice to escape to a field and let my thoughts go. I sat in a field, leaning against Daisy (my '98 lexus) with a cup of coffee in my hand and watched the sunset.

It's amazing how often I've said that He's enough, but how rarely I rest in that truth. 

Today, I rested. 

I've felt so joyful and content lately...not always happy, but I've definitely been joyful. For instance today I dug through a dumpster looking for the phone I lost, sprained my ankle, and screwed up several orders at work. Needless to say, I've had easier days. Somehow though, it was marked with a sense of peace.

I'm being reminded that, as Christians, our satisfaction is entirely separate from our circumstances. What a spectacular truth!

I feel so free to pursue whatever God wants for my life. I've dated different boys, but I'm okay if a relationship isn't in His plans for me. He is enough to satisfy. Every time. 

There is so much freedom in that realization. There's freedom to love people without worrying about what they think. There's freedom to be yourself. I think girls panic that they'll be alone, and so they pursue boys relentlessly, but Solomon urges us to, "not awaken love until it pleases." May we learn to rest in the single life!
Today I was reading in Romans where Paul says to "love one another with brotherly affection." That's our call, and so that's what I'm trying to do...with every single person my path crosses.

 It's silly to think that I care more about who I spend the rest of my life with than my Creator does! He holds every detail in His hand. I will go full steam ahead with life:  college, nursing school, some big city for a while, and missions in a 3rd world country...and if I can fit a few dates in, so be it. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

the art of simply being

Learning that I'm not good at resting. From the moment I wake up I have a list of things I need to get done. If I take a moment to relax, guilt inevitably follows. 

The List. 
I should ride my horse. I should work out. I should read my Bible. I should meet with that girl. I should invest in that friend. I should clean. I should serve more. 

I think that so often Jesus is trying to speak to us, but he can't get through all the chaos in our minds. We're too busy to hear what he has to say. Often times we're too busy, because we're "serving" or we're doing "church things." Or we're trying to be "faithful" at work, by getting there early and staying late. 

I think the Lord is saying: "I want you. I don't want your sacrifice, and I don't care about what you can do for me. I just want you. I want to spend some quality time with you...I want to listen to your heart, to your hurts and your joys."

May we set aside some time for Jesus everyday this week. May we allow him to minister to our tired, striving selves. May we learn to rest and allow him to "lead us beside quiet waters and restore our souls."




some good tunes if you're feeling dramatic


solid.

The Avett Brothers. Love.

Classic.

One of my favorite bands...


only Miley Cyrus song I will ever like.


Monday, June 17, 2013

good times

I sat on the front porch today and listened to my parents and grandmother talk from their rocking chairs. Later I went on a long walk around the ranch and watched the fireflies...loving home.


Friday, June 14, 2013

black, white, and grey?


The line between right and wrong seemed blurry this past week. After I spent some time with close friends, and took time to rest, things became much clearer.

I'm realizing that I am easily caught up in the world and often lose sight of truth. I'm thankful that I chose to surround myself with people I want to be more like.

May you take some time to rest this weekend and may your closest friends be the ones that encourage you to live wholly surrendered to Jesus. If they aren't, maybe read my last blog post...

P.S. I ran up on a curb pulling out of a parking spot today. Again. It's like a recurring theme. I also park diagonal 90% of the time. I guess I'll always be a terrible parker.

Thankful for: fireflies, wake-boarding, chill friends, car rides, pine trees, silence, books, the countryside, and family time


"as iron sharpens iron, so a friend
sharpens a friend." -Proverbs 27:17

Sunday, June 9, 2013

the ultimate pursuit

" The roots of our hearts have grown down into things, and we dare not pull up one rootlet lest we die. Things have become necessary to us, a development never originally intended. God's gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by the monstrous substitution. "-A.W. Tozer

Wow. How convicting. There is often such a drastic gap between where I am and where I want to be. I want to be close with Jesus, but I refuse to let go of the things in life that are distracting me from him. For me, those things are people. I'm afraid to surrender them, because I don't really believe that He's enough to satisfy. I've convinced myself that I need someone to feel good about myself, or to fill whatever void I'm feeling at the time. The truth is, until we come to the Lord to be filled, He'll let us keep feeling empty. There are times when God is asking us to surrender a relationship, because, though it will be painful, the end result will be something more beautiful than we could ever imagine.
"For all things work together for the good of those who love Him." Learning to be obedient. 

" I only wanted to remove him from the temple of your heart that I might reign unchallenged there. I wanted to correct the perversion that existed in your love. "

I am so thankful for all the gifts He gives. I'm thankful for family, friends, wildflowers, trucks, coffee, horses, rain, sunny days, music, I Love Lucy, and chocolate. I know He's delighted to bless us with those gifts...but I think He's saddened when we pursue the gifts instead of the Giver, convinced that they'll satisfy us. That they'll make us content. I believe they are great things, designed to point us to Himself. I'm also learning that the Lord is a jealous God, who won't stop pursuing us until He has all of our affections.

Read the A.W. Tozer quotes in Dunkin' today... as it was pouring rain. Again. My coffee was already made when I got to the counter. That's how you know you go somewhere too much. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

things that make my heart happy.

It's 12 a.m. and I'm waking up at 5 to have my quiet time, do some yoga, eat breakfast, and go to work.
But instead of sleeping I've decided to listen to John Mayer and post pictures....






Wednesday, June 5, 2013

rain, car rides, and coffee

Okay so I'm supposed to only write one blog a day, but today is different. It's raining. When it rains I feel way more artistic than I am, and I have an enormous desire to write. So here I am: sitting on my front porch in a rocking chair armed with a cup of Dunkin' Donuts coffee and a lot of good books. I don't plan on reading, but if you're going to sit on your front porch listening to rain, you must at least have a book in the vicinity. Glad I covered that. Now on to the real subject. Believe it or not, there is a deep connection between rain, car rides, and coffee.  As soon as the rain begins, jump in your car. Now at this point there is a decision to make. I chose to turn on the country music... so naturally, I was pondering boys, backroads, fried chicken, sweet tea, and blue jeans. It is acceptable to choose other genres, but I may judge you. Jack Johnson is also ideal. Car rides are always a great way to think, but add in some rain and bring a notebook, because you're going to come up with something genius (or not so genius, but you'll at least feel like it is...).
Coffee is absolutely necessary.
Why? I'm glad you asked. Coffee is like alcohol for the underaged. It brings us together. We have deep conversations over it. We say more than we wish we did as we drink it (that may be all the time, but for the sake of making my point I'll continue). We can customize it using words like "skinny" and "dry." Most importantly, it keeps us awake and sparks the imagination. If you are over 21, I wouldn't suggest writing down your thoughts as you drink an alcoholic beverage...you'll probably regret it later. Stick with coffee. And so there it is. The reasons why you should drive in the rain with a cup of coffee in your hand.




new faces

There is something incredible about meeting someone for the first time. Two lives filled with different backgrounds, experiences, thoughts, and interests intersect in one moment of time. A moment where either of them could've been anywhere. There is so much to discover and learn from those people, whether you realize they're not someone to be like, or their story inspires you to live in a better way. I used to contentedly remain close to home with the friends I already had, unwilling to venture into the unknown. My old friends are priceless. They're there in the good times, but remain present in the hard seasons. They help me wrestle to find truth amidst chaos. I'm beginning to find that new friends offer something just as valuable. They give me the opportunity to discover where I am in that moment. There's no pressure. There are no presuppositions. I can be whoever I want. At times, I'm sorely disappointed in the way I act, but, at times, I'm excited to find that Jesus is living through me in a deeper way than the year, month, or week before. As a result of this new thought process, I have now begun to seek new faces; expectant to see what the Lord teaches me through them. Who knows? They could become an old friend.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

music for the soul.

It's rare that I like a cover more than the original. This would be one of those times.

Dear Tom Petty,
John had you beat with "Free Fallin'," but you come through nicely on this one. Wildflowers are better than roses any day.

This song makes me smile.


seasons

It's another day in my home state of Georgia and I'm sitting here marveling at how time flies. It seems like yesterday my Dad was taking me to Daylight Donuts for breakfast; but that was ten years ago, and now I'm eighteen and about to head off to college. Sometimes I don't feel quite ready, but then I remember the words of Jesus. "I haven't given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind." What does it mean to have a sound mind? I'm still not sure, but I know what it feels like to fear. Changing seasons can be the cause of a lot of anxiety; whether it's entering the crazy world of high school at fourteen, or transitioning into retirement at sixty. The truth is, they all require a level of trust. A leap into the unknown. A true act of faith. We jump in, trusting and relying on Jesus to catch us, and He always does.