Lord, you rescued me.

There was a season of my life when I felt like nothing made sense and life was just utter chaos. I’m sure we have all been here before and can state that it’s scary feeling like you can’t seem to catch a breath. One thing happens after the next. Next thing you know you feel like you are drowning in a million things. Once I finally put my own pride aside and allowed God to steer me back to safety, my soul became calm. “Be still and know that I am God” The moment we began to take our eyes off of God, we begin to sink just like Peter did. Once he began looking around, he became fearful more like terrified. I just wanted to share that on this journey with God we will have seasons in our lives that don’t make sense, but just know that God has in all figured out. In all that was said, I wrote this poem (not really a poem) to tell how God rescued me from the lack of trust that had me drowning, and brought me back to life.

When storms came and went, you Lord remained the same.
Struggling to see the light, hopeless.
Winds pulling me in every direction, interrupting the journey set before me.
Head buried deep within the waves, yet you risked your life to pull me out alive.
You gave all you had to see that I survived.
You rescued me out of darkness, saving me from my own mess.
Time after time, I tried my best to keep my eyes focused on you,
but somehow distractions around me caused me to drown, getting lost at sea.
You reached out your hand and I held on, trusting that you would place me along the sand.
Once I realized I was no longer drowning & the sea around me was silent, my soul began to rest in your presence,
allowing every worry to be washed away.
Peace filled within me, allowing me to breathe, giving me a sense of security. Lord you rescued me.
Your gentleness made me run to you, wanting more of you.
Drawing me closer, listening to your voice call out to me, “Do not be afraid,
allow Me to be your refuge.”
Fears no longer held me captive, anxieties had no hold on me. I was forever breaking free.
All because You rescued me.

Abba Father, my Daddy.

So yesterday, my brother in Christ Howard posted a status about calling this number for a prayer conference to hear the Word from the Lord at 6 am. Half of me  was like, “Yes I would love too, but that means I have to wake up too early.” And the other half of me was like, “ I need this more than anything.” So the first thing I did before I went to bed was turn my alarm on with this note telling me, “ You better get your butt up to listen to what the Lord has to say to you gurrrrl.” Yes I had to threaten myself to get up and call in. Buuuut let me tell you, God spoke to me this morning through Howard indeed! It was worth sacrificing that hour of sleep to learn about God’s love for us.  So since it was that gooood, let me tell you about it.

Today’s discussion was on how Jesus came to reveal the Father, reveal the heart of the Father, and reveal God as the Father. The Old Testament shows a God of holiness. God being sooo Holy, no one  could stand in His presence. His holiness was so evident, but rarely discussed about the Fatherhood of God until the New Testament. One story that our brother Howard shared with us was from John 8, the story of the town whore. I couldn’t even imagine how humiliating that would have been. Anyways, she was brought out before the men and women of the town to be stoned, but Jesus said whoever has not sinned may cast the first stone. I know they were all salty when they held onto their rocks and walked away.

As everyone leaves, it’s just Jesus and this woman. Right at this very instance, we see a father/ daughter moment between the two. Grace that was present here was allowing us to see the heart of God. God loved her without a doubt despite her brokenness. He used her brokenness to teach others a lesson about grace and how we too have been broken once. When she walked away, Jesus replied, “Go and sin no more.” Grace isn’t just for those who have it all together, or they think they do, but it for those who repent and ask God for forgiveness, allowing it to change the way you think. Because once you accept Jesus into your heart, let me tell you, you will never be the same.

“ For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “”Abba,” Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:15-17

God having the moon, stars, and sun on His resume, should reassure you that your problems are smaller than you think when we have a God who is ultimately BIGGER. Brother Howard put this way, “Gotta stop stressing over things you can’t control.” What a reminder I needed to hear! I pray that God uses this to speak to you and through you! Be encouraged. We are in this together

Ya’ll must join us for the next phone conference! It will change your life and morning I promise you that. You can call this number (605) 475-4000 Access code: 447344 It’s every thursday at 6 am and 6 pm central time 7 am and 7 pm eastern time and ya’ll can figure out the rest. haha

 

Running after Righteousness.

        While I was on a run today, I decided I wanted to just run through the neighborhood, knowing good and well I had no idea where all the streets led. I thought well since I normally take this road to work how could I possibly get lost? So as I begin this run,  things began to look familiar. I’m like oh okay I can do this. As I got further down the road, I was so distracted by the scenery and music I was listening to that I took the wrong turn and ended up no where near my house. I was so confused and lost. I was like of course this would happen to me as I just laugh at myself. I was like Sopha you are something else, you gotta learn how to be more observant or stop getting so distracted. I finally found someone I could ask where I was going. He directed me in the right direction. Sure enough I was going in the right direction and headed on the right path back home. Man did it feel good to reach my destination safe and sound with a large glass of ice water was calling my name.  I wasn’t taking any breaths, drinking like I’ve haven’t seen water in years.
          The reason I shared this story was because it just reminded me of my adventurous journey with God. There comes a time in my walk,  well run in this case, where I’ve been distracted by the things around me, losing sight of my mission, my final destination. The devil has a way of putting things in our path that seems good at that time, not realizing we ended up off course, unto a street. The crazy thing about it also is Satan wouldn’t put something in your path that wouldn’t tempt you, but will put things on your path that you do like. He is smarter than we think, but he isn’t stronger. To be transparent though, I bought some of his lies and traps, believing what he had to offer was anything special.
To be completely honest, I needed a resurrection of the heart. I got on my knees and asked Him to transform my mind, body, and soul. I will no longer give the devil a foothold to enter into my heart and mind. Just like an athlete or soldier trains for battle, so must we as followers of Christ. We are to prepare ourselves daily with the right equipment to overcome Satan and escape his traps, no longer allowing him to use us to run his dirty, filthy errands. Not trying to be naive though, I know there will be difficult times ahead on this journey when running after righteousness, but I know it’s worth every minute of it. I know when I finally cross that finish line, I will have a crown of righteousness waiting for me with God saying, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” What a victory that day will be! Wanted to encourage y’all to keep your eyes fixed on Him and focused ahead, not allowing distractions to lead you astray. We are all in this together. Be encouraged.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

 

Sometimes people are afraid to let go because they are afraid of change. Change is not always a bad thing. When you allow God to work through you, making you whole, it becomes easier. I’ve been down this road where I was afraid of the outcome, but when I finally let go and let God, big things started happening. I was blessed with so much more. When we get blinded by the bad things in our past, it’s hard to see the good in the future. You have to ask God to deliver you from all the hurt, pain, and resentment building up inside, and watch your heart become healed. Oh, it’s a process I tell you, but its a process that allows for growth and inner peace. So as Elsa puts it, LET IT GO! LET IT GO! THE PAST IS IN THE PAST! TRUST GOD! #HappyMonday #Beblessed

Let Go. Let God.

In the midst of it all.

 

As I quietly sit in the library trying to tackle this assignment, I catch myself daydreaming out the window, observing new life ready to transform. While we go on with our lives, not realizing that creation is taking its course and the beginning of a new season is taking place, forming beauty we don’t even recognize.

Though the trees have no leaves, empty flowerbeds take over, and the skies are grey, I take a minute to observe the beauty in it all. Though this has been one really long, cold, and dreary winter, I am thankful.

Beauty in the midst of what seemed like torture to many,  it allowed me to see the beauty in everything.

Without spring, there wouldn’t be an appreciation for long summer nights, family barbecues, and laying under the  stars.Without summer, there wouldn’t be an appreciation for cool crisp Autumn air, pumpkin patches, and harvest time.Without fall, there wouldn’t be an appreciation for cozy, warm homes, Jesus’ birthday, and hot chocolate by the fireplace.Without winter, there wouldn’t be an appreciation for warm air, spring showers and beautiful flowers.

Seasons. Take a minute to enjoy it. Embrace each season and its uniqueness. As we know, there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1

Every season contains within it the potential for beauty, and we draw more of that beauty into our lives by our response to whichever season we’re in.  — Jamie C. Martin

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit.” -Henry David Thoreau

 

 

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

G.O.S.P.E.L.

Give Thanks.

It is crazy how the summer seems to have come and gone. This summer has been one of those summers that will never be forgotten. It has left a HUGE imprint on my heart and I am so thankful that I have had the opportunity to spend my summer here in Africa with my best friend. I want to do a shout out to everyone who prayed for both Brie and I daily and have supported our journey to come serve. I have learned so much about myself and God’s love for us. For He has been too good to us! He has provided, protected, and guided our every step and has given us a new set of eyes on how we  view His people in Uganda and has given us a little glimpse of what heaven will be like—from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.

Making profiles for the unsponsored children has been a humbling experience. It has been an honor getting to be a part of Vision of Destiny and see all their work that they are doing to further God’s kingdom. Whether that be providing for ten kids or two hundred. They are still making a difference in the lives of many children living in the slums. To see these children succeed in their education and listen to them talk about what they want to be when they want to be when they grow up melts my heart. I remember when I was little and wanted to be a teacher/pediatrician/basketball player. I had big dreams and it is amazing to hear their dreams as well. Most of the children want to be doctors, teachers, nurses, pilots, and preachers. We have been blessed tremendously by this organization and I recommend for my family and friends to check out the website (http://vodafrica.org/ ) and see the amazing work that is happening in Kampala, Uganda.  They also have a Facebook page (Vision of Destiny) you can follow and get updates from, so you should make that happen and push that like button.

As our days are slowly coming to an end in Uganda, I pray that we learn to take time each day to thank our God for blessing us with another day and for giving us all that we have. For each day is not promised to us. My prayer for each one of you is to learn to slow down and take time to enjoy the beauty of His creation. Reflect on how God is using you where you are and how you will continue to find ways to serve Him and others. We are called to be a light in this dark world so don’t let this world make you bitter and dim that light of yours. For we were created to shine like stars in the universe. Give God all the glory and praise for He is the one that has given us life that is full of grace and hope. My daily reminder for everyone is to love hard. Love with all you have and never stop loving even if this world tells you otherwise. Wait on God’s timing and do not try to do it on your own. Trust Him with your life and He will shower you with many blessings. Continue to pray without ceasing. Remain humble and fear no one but the One who knitted you together in your mother’s womb. Love all of you who have taken the time to follow our journey here in Africa. Much love.

Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the World.

Africa has forever found a special place in my heart, beyond the capacity it contains. To dream of a place so beautiful and extravagant, has been my everyday thought since living here in Africa—the place where my ancestors came from, a place that feels like home, a place where I call home. To experience God’s undeniable presence among the people here has been one of the best moments I have had here. Getting to see the beauty of God even in the midst of poverty has transformed my mind and softened my heart to love hard and never take things for granted, even the little things such as fresh water, clean clothes, and a toilet.

If I had all the money in the world, I would adopt every child, well as much as my home would allow. I would love them as much as I possibly could and show them the love I have been shown by my Heavenly Father. To see these kids be educated and get out of the slums would be a sight to see. To watch them succeed and have a brighter future would be answered prayers.  These children are such brave and strong children real talk. Some of the children that Brie and I have met are HIV positive and orphaned which breaks my heart. Here are a few statistics that describes the lives of some of the families:

  • Worldwide, there are approximately 33.2 million (and growing) people living with HIV/AIDS.  
  • More than 90% of children living with the disease live in sub-Saharan Africa.  Only 1 in 20 of these children receive the treatment necessary to fight the disease. 
  • In 2006, 2.9 million people died of AIDS.  Of these, 2.1 million lived in sub-Saharan African.
  • Over 11 million children die each year from starvation.    
  • Each day, approximately 43,000 children become orphans.
  • Millions of children are forced to work for their survival, cutting shortly opportunity of education.

Does this make you just sick to your stomach? To think most of the kids have to grow up without a father and a mother. I couldn’t even imagine what it does to the mind, heart, and soul of a child. To feel abandoned, lonely, and unwanted. Brie and I have been busy making profiles for all the children who have not been sponsored through Vision of Destiny where these children are given an education and a brighter tomorrow. It has been awesome to experience the children at the school. Every time they see us, they run to us, more like attack us. It brings so much joy to my heart.

Brie and I have been visiting each one of the children’s homes and getting to know more about their family. It has been such a humbling experience to get to see where these children are raised and how they live life day to day. It amazes me how they are surrounded by poverty, yet they still have the BIGGEST smiles on their faces. We for sure have been blessed by the people we have been able to meet and interact with. May we be reminded daily to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience like Christ has shown us and continue serving not for man, but for the glory and honor of our God.

Poverty is not what defines the hearts of the families here. To see them have nothing, yet contain more than we have—true joy. They understood Paul when he challenged us, “Be joyful always; pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Thess. 5:16-18

A little taste of Africa.

Once Brie and I stepped foot on the airplane, we knew our lives would forever be changed & transformed. We have been preparing and praying for our stay in Africa all semester and finally the time has arrived.  We have been blessed with the opportunity to serve overseas and continue to have the Lord’s light shine through us as we meet everyone. We are extremely thankful and excited that we get to spend our summer in Africa!!!!

So after two hours of checking in, let’s just say never eat Chinese right before your flight, it makes for a not so easy time in the air. On a good note, I got to talk to the captain on the flight to Amsterdam. I asked the flight attendant where we were because I saw the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen. Pretty sure I couldn’t stop staring out the window it was so breathtaking. We also got to see a beautiful sunset flying into Africa.

We have been in Africa for two weeks and we have learned so much about the differences in the cultures. After apartment hunting, Brie and I finally found the place that soon became our home away from home even if we don’t have hot water and neighbors who stare at us foreigners. So a few things we have gotten to experience so far:

  • We have a rooster that decides that he wants to be the neighborhoods personal alarm clock. We have decided that we are going to have him for dinner one night. Still plotting a way to capture him ha.
  • Sometimes the Ugandans call me white and there are a select few who think that I am one of their own haha. I told them by the end of the summer, they won’t be able to tell the difference.
  • Sleeping with a padlock on our door couldn’t be more scary than the Indians that stare at us like it’s their day job. Ha.
  • Brie and I got matching Ugandan futbol shirts. We got swag. I think.
  • Having to take cold showers everyday for two months. Never again will I take a hot shower for granted.
  • Walking the streets of the slums has been such an eye opening experience. To know that these single room homes house about 10-16 people. You have to see these rooms to believe the unbelievable.
  • This sun has been attracted to me. I have worn sunscreen every day here and I am as black as dirt.
  • I have tried fried grasshoppers which weren’t that bad. Felt like I was on fear factor.
  • Insanity has been kicking our butts in Africa considering we have been walking 7 miles to and from the slums.
  • Our Ugandan friend Kenny taught us how to do our laundry. It was quite the sight to see us wash our clothes by hand.
  • Water has become Brie’s and I’s best friend.
  • Got to talk to my family and best friends. They are just too funny.
  • A wise man once told me, “Wake up every morning with your heart full of God’s Love ready to pass out to all you encounter.”

There of course are many more blogs to come so we can keep you updated on our adventures in Africa. Love you all and hope everyone summer is going well! Sending love all the way from Africa! xoxo

Captivated by Your beauty.

In awe by Your Creation.

Your fingerprints are evident.

Your Presence is constantly moving.

My heart has forever been changed.

Sopha Hughes

Crazy Love. Francis Chan

So over break I challenged myself to finally read Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I mean I knew I was going to love this book, but I didn’t realize it would impact my life as much as it did. I guess it shaped my mindset on how I viewed a lot of things such as my faith. Talk about a mind blowing piece of work Chan laid out. For he goes to address that when we worry, we are implying that we don’t really trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives. When I read this I had to take a step back and evaluate my own life. I mean I can say I trust God but am I constantly worrying and stressing about things I cannot control. The answer of course is yes. Definitely something I am not proud of.

So often we as Christians try to live a lukewarm life. We want to claim that we love the Lord, but do we go about trying to actually change the way we are living? If someone was to walk up to us could they see the love of Jesus pouring out of us? Chan goes to say, “A relationship with God simply cannot grow when money, sins, activities, favorite sport teams, addictions, or commitment are pile on top of it.” He goes to challenge whether our relationship with God actually has changed the way we live? This was a tough question for me. I sincerely desire to have a heart like Jesus had for people but is my life reflecting that? Am I satisfied with being so called “godly” enough to get to heaven or to look good in comparison to others? Jesus simply wants all of us yet we just tend to give him our leftovers. How is that even okay? I mean he went to the cross blood shed and all yet he gave all that he had for us.

“Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. The thought of a person calling himself a “Christian” without being a devoted follower of Christ is absurd.” Isn’t this such a powerful statement that makes you feel convicted? Well if not you, it did me. It crazy how we are so willing to make changes in our lives only if we think it affects our salvation. Reality check: people who are obsessed with Jesus aren’t consumed with their personal safety and comfort above all else. Obsessed people care more about God’s kingdom coming to the earth than their own lives being shielded form pain or distress. For the Bible teaches that true joy is formed in the midst of the difficult seasons of life. Chan was right on point when he shared these words in this book, for he goes to say, “Stop worrying about what “counts” in this world and strive for what matters most.” It is so easy to fill ourselves with things that wont matter, later to give God whatever is left. God only wants our best, deserves our best, and demands our best.

Be careful not to turn others lives into the mold for your own lives.” -Francis Chan

Words.

So it seems that we live in a world that is constantly trying to fight for what they believe they have earned or deserve. In reality, everything placed on this earth is a gift from God. We have been given this life to show others what it means to truly love others. Of course this is so hard to do kind of easier said than done. How can one love others when others constantly are hurting them? Trust me something I struggle with daily. I have been down this road where I find myself giving people the authority to walk all over me and not speak up like I wasn’t given a voice or anything. The way that I was raised was if you don’t have something nice to say then don’t say nothing at all. My thing is where is the line drawn? When is it okay to say what you are actually feeling on your heart? Too many times I hold back what I am actually feeling because I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or try to not make someone mad at me. There is a constant battle between trying to make peace and trying to not step on any toes.

A wise woman once told me that people will often try to mistake my kindness for a weakness. In a way it can be viewed that way, but in my heart I know that saying things that are hurtful can remain a poison in someone’s mind. I have learned this through experience. Words can be sharp as a double-edged sword or sweet as honey. Sometimes we say things that we realize may hurt someone and joke about things that some might take offense. Who are we to try to tear others down? How does that make us look? We are doing nothing but making ourselves look foolish and childish. It has come to realize that I am not the type of person to stand up for myself. I know this is hard for me to even type but in real honesty, its so true. I tend to pretend like everything is okay in reality, I want to say things I know I shouldn’t say.

I know one day, I will have to be face to face with my Heavenly Father and give account to every word, thought, and action that I have said or done. I am for sure not a perfect person but I know that God has given me grace and mercy for those times where I thought bad about someone, made fun of someone, or did something I know I shouldn’t have done. In reality, I know I cannot please everyone and try to make everyone happy. It is just impossible. I wish there was a way that I could make everyone happy, but that is not my role only God’s. What I do know is that I have to take care of myself before I can try to take care of others. How am I to help others if my cup is not full. Our lives are like wells. When you are constantly helping others, that well soon begins to become lower and lower until you are dry. I find it so important to take care of yourself whether that is spending time in the Word or going off to be alone with God. Sometimes you just have to say you know what I cannot do this on my own. You know how much I can handle and how much I can’t. On my own I am nothing, but with your help I make it through anything. This world is for sure one harsh place, but there is so much beauty that far outweighs it. It’s a choice how you choose to see the world.

Mr. Right indeed.

I know some may think this was either weird or awesome, but two years ago, I decided to start a journal to my future husband just sharing quotes, everyday struggles, and where I am in my daily walk with God. Some of you ladies out there are thinking this girl is crazy, and yes I know that, but it has helped me a lot to not pursue after man but to let them do the pursuing. Journaling to my future husband, reminds me to be patient and that God is preparing someone just right for me.

Being in love is a wonderful feeling, but being single is not the end of the world. Being single has given me a chance to grow to be the best I can be and learn who I am  as an individual. It is easier said then done, but man has it been a blessing to take a step back and evaluate things. Relationships are not an easy task. It takes time, commitment, and unconditional love. I know I have been guilty of this, trying to find the right one instead of trying to be the one, but it is important to be patient. You don’t want to end up with someone that is not wanting the same things in life as you are striving for. You want someone that will encourage you to grow in every aspect of the relationship. Sometimes when you least expect it, God places someone in your life that is the one. But who am I to be giving advice on relationships. #definitelynotexperienced

So the question becomes how do I know who my future husband will be? I don’t, but I can answer what qualities  I want my future husband to have. The list is pretty long so bear with me. I just cannot settle for less than what I deserve. My desire is for my future husband to love God with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength and consistently trying to become more Christ like in his everyday walk. To see a man so captivated by God’s presence makes me strive to become a better person and that is what I want in a marriage. I want my husband and I to grow so close to God that we have no room for fears, worries, and junk the world may feed us. A man that is not afraid to stand up to whats right and knows exactly what he wants in life when it comes to his dreams and ambitions. I want someone that I can laugh uncontrollably with and crack jokes that aren’t even funny yet he still tends to laugh. Cannot get enough of laffy taffy jokes. They get me every time. A man who knows my worth and treasures me like he would his own mother.

To be a family man is something that makes me just scream with joy. Family is so important to me that I would rather have a husband with no teeth than for him not to get along with family. He would have to become accepted and approved by every single one of my siblings, relatives, and parents. That shows so much respect and tells me a lot because that’s a lot of questioning and drilling from them. I want someone who can sit around the dinner table with his family and mine and share old stories and family traditions. I want a husband that I can trust to tell anything and everything too, no secrets to hide, a husband who will love me even if I was to gain 5 or 10lbs, wear sweats, hoodies, ponytails, and no make-up. #teamallnatural or #teamdontcare For him to tell me I am beautiful and loved daily, speaks so much volume. I want a husband who is not afraid to hurt my feelings and tell me when he thinks I am acting like a brat. To have a husband to share life with and never stop learning from is what is desired.

I know that marriage is hard work and if we are both in it and committed, I know we could conquer any of the obstacles that come our way. I want my husband to be willing to grab my hand and walk me through life cherishing and reflecting on the good and the bad that life has to offer. Life is for sure not easy, but when God is present and known in a marriage, life becomes a little more easier. I pray that whoever my husband is, that he just is willing to trust God in everything and work through struggles rather than giving up. The idea of divorce is scary to me and I hope that day will never come where I would be faced with this choice. For better or worse. Rich or poor. Sickness and health. Till death do us part.

One day when we start a family, I would want my husband to be the best dad he can be. I want a man who is willing to do all the dad things: teaching our kids how to ride a bike, to hoop, and talk to them about girls. Teach them how to become a man, have the sex talks, and fill him with knowledge only a father can teach. My future husband should probably learn how to become a little sensitive when it comes to my baby girls. I want our girls to know that they are beautiful and valued. That they are their daddy’s little princesses. I pray that my children can trust to tell or ask their father about anything. I hope they can all look back and say one day that they had the best role model and dad anyone could ask for. The tenderness of a father brings tears to my eyes just talking about it because I know that our children will grow up knowing the love and passion that my husband and I had for each other. I pray that he will love his children with all his heart and cherish every moment with them.

I hope to grow old with my best friend if it is God’s will. I want to experience what true love actually means. Too many times the word love itself, is overused. I want a love that is so genuine and authentic, one that is shown not just by words but through everyday actions. As we read in 1 Corinthians: love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Now this right here is unconditional love!

When I love I love hard. I want someone who is willing to love me for my weirdness and how big of a dork I am. Can we please be weird together no joke? Or have days where we have lazy days and just watch movies and order in pizza or Chinese. I am just a big girl who loves to eat ALL THE TIME. I wanna travel the world and try new things. Can you hold me when I am struggling to hold it all together, and kiss me goodnight? I wanna love so strong that when people look at us they see the love of God shining through us. I pray that God continues to transform me to be that godly woman that I have the potential to be during this season in my life. Being single isn’t bad, it’s what you make of it. I have been using this time for sure to grow closer with God and one day he will bless me with that special person that will make me the happiest girl alive.

I know I am weird, just embrace it with me. Here is a passage from my journal that I wrote to my future husband dated December 29, 2011.

Dear future husband,

Wouldn’t it be weird if God had us both meet sometime and we not even know we were going to marry each other? What if we were going to the same school now. That would be crazy, but you know the man upstairs does some pretty wonderful things! What if I married by best friend or one of my close friends? I always wonder what God has planned for me and that future He wants for me. I cannot wait for the day I actually get to call you my husband. You are in for one crazy wild ride and you will have the best times of your life. I made a vow and a promise to you and God that I will wait and stay pure until I was married to you. I am so glad that I can share this gift of love with you. Marriage is meant to last forever and I want our marriage to last forever and ever. I want to make you happy and I just want to be loved, hugged and kissed. I will try my best to be the best wife, friend, and companion to you. I want you to be able to trust me and feel like you can tell me anything. I will try to listen and share my thoughts and opinions with you. I will love you even when you are being a jerk. When we decide to have children I will try to be the best mom I can be. I know I will mess up and fail sometimes, but I know you will be standing beside me encouraging me. Praying for you daily.

                                                                                                                                                           Love always and forever, your future wife.

Love is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners ask and receive from God.

Just an ordinary girl.

So there is really nothing that is special or unique about me. I am just a simple kind of girl who knows what she wants and is not afraid to reach for the stars. My dreams aren’t just dreams but a reality. I have goals, ambitions, and passions. Going through life trying to plan my own  without God, has been proven as a failure. Everything that I do, God has shown me one way or another that He is in control. He has been 100% real with me and has given me so many chances to give my life over and over to Him. (That’s true grace right there) He has shown me love, compassion, mercy, and His sense of humor.

Life really hasn’t been easy for me growing up, but it has definitely made me appreciate the life that I have been given. Growing up in a single parent home wasn’t the easiest thing to witness, especially when my momma was working two to three jobs trying support us. As you can see, I have a pretty BIG family, which means lots of love, laughter, and fights. I would not change it for the world. I love my siblings so much, I don’t know what I would do without them. Life sure would be boring. My family has been through a lot together, yet I believe that God only gives us what he knows we can handle. These struggles and trials have made us astronger and closer family. Family is super important to me!

Growing up with barely anything has made me more open minded and more understanding when it comes to helping others that are in need. It has been a passion of mine since I was little to start an organization to help kids get off the street. I want them know that there is so much for to life than running the streets and joining gangs. These kids have a special place in my heart because I can relate to them. I know how it feels to not have a father present or to not feel like they aren’t smart enough to do something with their lives. It happens, but that doesn’t mean we can change the outcome. We have the option to pick up the pieces we were handed and start from there.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said,If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

I made a promise to myself and God that I will do everything that I can to raise my family to love Him wholeheartedly. I want my family to know what it means to truly know the love of God and to show it in their everyday actions. I want my husband to passionately love God more than he loves me. I made a vow that I will remain pure till the day I say I do, and I am not ashamed to admit it. I want my husband to know that he was that valued enough. I believe that marriage is a sacred thing so there will not be a such thing as divorce. My great grandparents has been a great example of true authentic love. They have been married for 65 years and counting and it just shows that marriage is meant for forever through thick and thin. I want a love that will bring glory to God and be a wonderful example for many. This has been me just pouring out my heart to you and sharing what has been on my heart. I know its pretty random, but I am just an ordinary girl trying to make a difference in this big world.

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”Maya Angelou

New Beginnings #2013

 

It’s so scary how time just seems to fly as 2012 has definitely been a memorable year for sure. A lot has changed and I am so thankful that I have been given another day to reflect on the blessings, friendships, and accomplishments. I have laughed a lot, shed a few tears, been challenged, and learned new things and I hope to do the same in 2013.

A little recap to my year: my niece Addysin Myra turned one, my nephew Shawn Carter was born, I got accepted to attend a class in New York in the spring, finished my first semester of my junior year, my sister Beverly got accepted to U of I, had the opportunity to serve in England, had my summer internship in Tampa FL at Common Ground with Pastor Danny Schaffner, my volleyball team made it to the final four in the Nation, and I voted for the first time! This has been one of the most crazy, yet exciting year by far.

I think people enjoy the new year because it gives them the ability reflect on the past, live in the present, and continue on with the future. For me personally, I love starting a new year because it marks a new beginning to something whether that consists of setting goals, making changes, and or starting over. I’m pretty sure during the new year, I will make mistakes, but as we all know, no one is perfect. I can say that I will strive to achieve all that I can with greatness. God for sure has a sense of humor and a compassionate heart. Its so crazy to see how God has been working in my life by opening doors to wonderful opportunities such as spending my summer serving in the slums of Africa. I can honestly say that I loved 2012, yet am excited about 2013! Here is a list (thanks to pinterest) to create a healthier you in 2013:

  • Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
  • Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
  • Live with the 3 E’s – Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy Play more games.
  • Read more books than you did in 2012.
  • Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
  • Sleep for 7 hours.
  • Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.
  • Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  • Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment. Don’t over do.
  • Keep your limits.
  • Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  • Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
  • Dream more while you are awake.
  • Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  • Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
  • Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
  • Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  • Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.
  • Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime. Smile and laugh more.
  • You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  • Call your family often. Each day give something good to others.
  • Forgive everyone for everything even when its really hard.
  • Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
  • Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  • Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
  • Do the right thing! Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
  • However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  • No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  • The best is yet to come. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.
  • Spend time in the word and learn to live by it.
  • Love life and never be afraid to take the first step toward change.
  • Do not let your fear hold you back from discovering something new.

Giving Back: Community.

December: the time of year when we students are either full of the Christmas spirit or so stressed out by final week. Sometimes we get so consumed in writing last minute papers, presentations, essays, exams, that we sometimes forget just to breath and enjoy the little things. Yesterday, I had the privilege of ringing the bell for Salvation Army outside of our local Walmart with my good friend Gabe. We didn’t realize how much joy and laughter it brought as we got to see all kinds of people enter and leave the store. Let me tell you, some people were more friendlier than others,but to see the children give all they had, made standing in the cold so worth it. I wasn’t sure if we were allowed to say Merry Christmas due to the whole ordeal of trying not to offend anyone. Well, we did it anyways and no one seemed to take offense (that was a plus). I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to serve others during finals week and actually try to spread some holiday cheer. Gabe and I did try to rap some carols but lets just say, it wasn’t very pretty. I definitely respect Helen Keller more due to this experience.

I went again to ring the bell with my best friend Brie. Talk about a hoot! She dropped the bell only once she claimed, but other than that, she was a pro. It was awesome that all three of us had our first time as bell ringers. Definitely taught us how to be more compassionate and loving to others. It was a joy to give back to the community. I did learn today that Salvation army is a Christian organization. Learn something new everyday. There mission statement goes to say, “The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.” I thought this was pretty awesome what they do for families all over giving them hope in a better tomorrow. So blessed to serve along side my friends. 

Accomplishment: got to cross this off my bucketlist.

The other half of December: Relaxation. I know this break will be so refreshing and rewarding to finally be able to sleep in my own bed, have fresh home cooked meals, and spend quality time with family. I have a wonderful list of things I want to accomplish:

  • Laugh a lot.
  • Build a snowman if there is snow this year.
  • Work on homework for my intensive.
  • Catch up on my blog.
  • Bake some cookies for sure.
  • Sleep in past nine am
  • Exercise everyday.
  • Go coon hunting with my pappy.
  • Babysit my favorite boys on the planet with an addition to their new baby sister.
  • Bake a pie from scratch using my nanny”s recipe.
  • Take my sister’s senior pictures.
  • Finish my year old journal.
  • One day where I do absolutely nothing but watch movies curled up on the couch and a blanket.
  • Go to Chicago to visit my family. Taking our first family photo together. ALL six of us kids in one house!
  • Hang out with some old friends from high school.
  • Watch Parenthood season one hopefully I get two and three for Christmas?
  • RELAX.
  • Love on my niece and nephew!!
  • Chilling next to the fire with a cup of hot chocolate and my favorite book for sure.

One final separating me from my Christmas break! Wishing everyone an early Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by ‘I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was naked and you clothed me, I was homeless and you took me in.’ Hungry not only for bread — but hungry for love. Naked not only for clothing — but naked for human dignity and respect. Homeless not only for want of a room of bricks — but homeless because of rejection.” ~ Mother Teresa

A Day of Thankfulness.

So today is the day where most Americans are giving thanks for family, friends, and lots to eat. I was originally going to be just 25 things I was thankful for, but I just got carried away as always. I wanted to remind myself that I can be thankful more than just one day of the year. Sometimes I feel as though we get wrapped up in our everyday lives that we don’t take the time to reflect on the blessings we have received. Yet the month of November is the month that we take the time to give thanks. I am definitely guilty of doing the same thing. So this year in my SFG, my leader Chantell Mills challenged us to come up with 1000 blessings or things we are thankful for in a year. It doesn’t seem very hard, but trust me its pretty challenging. Anyways here is a few things that I am so thankful for.

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving –W. T. Purkiser

60 things I’m thankful for:

  1. For my Heavenly Father who sacrificed his son for all of humanity! Super blessed.
  2. My family in my life who have shown me compassion, encouragement, and patience. A LOT of it.
  3. Cookies and cream ice cream-by far the best of the best.
  4. All Chicago sport teams. Gonna Marry Noah one day!
  5. Reruns of my favorite show Criminal Minds. Pjs+couch=best friends.
  6. Sermon podcasts. Not gonna lie, I’m a little obsessed.
  7. Toilets. The world would be a different place without them.
  8. Lincoln Christian University. Love learning here. Of course my friends as well.
  9. Hoodies and sweatpants. Great for days when I want to be lazy.
  10. Water. Might die without it.
  11. Thanksgiving leftovers. Yummm.
  12. My beautiful dogs-muffin, jasper, frankie, and cash.
  13. Long showers. Time where no one bothers me.
  14. Fruit and vegetables.
  15. SWEET POTATO & PUMPKIN PIE!
  16. Fireplaces. Toasty. Might as well add smores.
  17. Music. My ipod.
  18. My legs. Couldn’t run without them.
  19. Facebook.
  20. Taylor Swift. Helped me through a lot. Breakups<
  21. Garage sales. Great finds. Always.
  22. Preachers around the world. Gifted.
  23. Popcorn and salsa. Favorite snacks hands down.
  24. Sweet Brown. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
  25. Laughter. Belly aching laughter.
  26. Disney movies. Lion king is where its at.
  27. Books. Challenging books. Books that blows my mind.
  28. Warm cozy blankets.
  29. Reese peanut butter puffs cereal. LOVE.
  30. The news. Really thankful to know what is happening around the world.
  31. Headbands. My hair wouldn’t know what to do without them.
  32. My camera. A little addicted with photography.
  33. Adoption.
  34. Missionaries. Brave and courageous for what they do.
  35. Libraries. Could spend all day there.
  36. Colors purple, blue, and green.
  37. Pinterest. Where I reside when procrastination kicks in.
  38. Big cities. Culture. Different stories and paths.
  39. Boston tea party.
  40. Gerber daisies. Prettiest flowers around.
  41. Video games. Really bad at them.
  42. Different opportunities to travel the world.
  43. The Church. Community. Fellowship.
  44. Mcdonald’s oatmeal.
  45. kids. Always can make me smile and melt my heart all at the same time.
  46. MLKJ. He had a dream. His dream came true.
  47. Soldiers fighting for our country. Saving lives.
  48. COFFEE>>>
  49. stars.moon.sun.galaxy.milkyway.all the above.
  50. Best friends who know my weaknesses and strengths.
  51. Rainy days. Thunderstorms.
  52. Hot chocolate from thortons.
  53. Oxygen. Definitely would be dead without it.
  54. Dove dark chocolate. Besties.
  55. Skype. Amazing how it works all around the world.
  56. Grandmas and grandpas. Full of love and good cookin.
  57. Socks.
  58. home cooked meals.
  59. Parenthood. t.v. show and real life.
  60. Bible. Couldn’t function without it Spoken truth. 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

God’s love for the fatherless.

This month of November I had the opportunity to attend Orphan Sunday put on by the surrounding churches in Lincoln, IL. I was blown away by God’s love for the broken, the lonely, the fatherless displayed by the children who has been given a family whether through adoption, foster care, or people to love on them. Don’t get me wrong, I have always known this, but hearing children talk about their love for their Heavenly Father and His love for them, just fills me with so much joy and happiness. Being a part of this event convicted my heart and made me realize how blessed I have been when it comes to all the families in my life who have loved and cared for me. Just becoming more aware of the orphans and the fatherless, whether here in the states or overseas is just overwhelming all in all. It just makes my heart heavy to know that there are children going to bed without a goodnight kiss or someone to tuck them to bed after a bedtime story. There are around 147 million orphans in this world and this doesn’t even include those who are abandon. Does this number trouble you or what? Of course, if I could, I would adopt every child that did not have someone to love on them. I wouldn’t care if we didn’t have much, as long as I had the chance to teach them about God and let them know how much they were treasured by their Heavenly Father (just rambling on about future dreams). Here are a few more statistics to make aware the need for adoption and foster care. Every day,5,760 children in the world become orphans and every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out, with no family and no home. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, the light to the world, and the defenders of the orphans and widows. God wanted us to get our hands dirty and help his precious children who need someone to call their own. Someone who will love on them and encourage them to go after their dreams.

      Growing up fatherless was probably one of the hardest things that I didn’t understand as a child. It was hard to look around at my friends and their families and wonder why I didn’t have a dad. My father committed suicide when I was about four. It was really hard on my mom for sure having five little ones all under the age of seven, yet she still managed to stay strong for us. Trust me the feeling of not having a dad is not the same as having a mom. I have always dreamed of having my dad call me his little princess, protect me from the world, and tell me I am beautiful even when I know for a fact I look like a mess. Deep down in my heart I always longed to know how different my life would have been for me and my siblings if my dad was still alive and present in our lives. I think it is just hard on any kid to not grow up with a male figure present in their life. Someone to teach them how to be a gentleman or lady, someone to get advice from, and just someone who can show them the ropes on being a godly man or woman. As a girl, it was definitely something I struggled with. I did not know my value and worth as a lady and how I should respect myself. I was constantly believing that I wasn’t good for anyone. I now know for a fact that this is not the case due to my Heavenly Father who has shown me otherwise.

I have been blessed with wonderful people in my life that have adopted me as one of their own and have given me the sense of belonging. The love that I have been shown has been a reflection of Christ among these people who love me dearly. I have people who I call family who have filled the roles as my family. I know for a fact that God had a reason for everything. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t change my story for anything because it shows me how far God has provided, loved, and cared for me as one of His own. God has been showing me how to love others how he has loved me and has been shaping and molding my heart to be more like His. I am so thankful for his hand that is constantly working in my life. I want to challenge you and your family during the month of thankfulness to look up facts on orphans, the fatherless, and adoption to make your family more aware of those who want to be loved and cared for. I hope that one day, we can all come together and set a good example for our children and younger generation to have a heart that breaks for the widows and orphans and love on the fatherless. I pray that when I have children, they would know  God’s love for them.

Psalm 68:5 “A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation. God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in dry land.” He is concerned for those in need. Let us set our minds on Him and try to be more like him so that we can be used of Him to meet needs we can’t even see.

Perfect Love.

This subject has been heavy on my heart after hearing the women on our campus talk about men. It has been one of those nights were I have just wanted to shout out to all the women in the world and tell them to wait. Wait and be patient for God’s planning. I am the type of person that gets ahead of myself when it comes to planning out everything. Sometimes it is really hard to be patient. For girls, I know some of us are at that point in our lives where we want that special person to share our lives with, someone to walk along side us, and have that person to grow old with. I have those desires as well and sometimes I lose sight of God’s planning and become a distracted mess. Trust me it is so easy to lose sight of what is most important, which is being a someone after God’s own heart. It is so challenging to remain focus when we are consisting looking for someone to pursue us (learning from experience of course). Being on a Christian campus does not help this at all. It is so hard to remain content in a community where we are known for “Ring by Spring” and lots of invites for weddings. Trust me I have been down this road of wanting, when I know I should have been waiting. I have struggled with this I get it, but girls let me tell you, God wants you more than anything. He wants your heart to be so buried in His words, that a man has to find Him before he can even get close to you.

As I was just reading past entries in my journal, I came across this letter that I received addressed to me from God whenever I had my heart broken. No joke. This letter has been such a blessing and encouragement to me. Trust me it is so hard to have these desires and wants to be loved. I totally get it. I still struggle with it for sure. But after reading this letter, I am reminded the most important love:

Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone, to have a deep soul relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively. But God says: “No not until you are satisfied  and fulfilled and content with living, loved by me alone, with giving yourselves totally and unreservedly to me alone. I love you, my child, and until you discover that only in me is your satisfaction to be found,you will not be capable of the perfect human relationship that I have planned for you. You will never be united with me, exclusive of any other desires or longings.” “I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow me to give you that most thrilling plan existing, one that you can’t imagine. I want you to have the BEST!

Please allow me to bring it to you. YOU JUST KEEP WATCHING ME, EXPECTING THAT SATISFACTION, EXPECTING THE GREATEST THINGS, AND KNOW THAT I AM.

Keep learning and listening to the things I tell you. You must wait! “Don’t be anxious. Don’t worry. Don’t look around at the things others have received. Don’t look at the things you think you want. You just keep looking off and way UP to me, or you will miss what I want to show you. “And then, when you’re ready, I’ll surprise you with a love far more wonderful than you would ever imagine. You see, until you are ready and until the the one I have for you is ready ( I am working this very minute to have both of your ready at the same time), until you are both satisfied with me exclusively with me and the life I have planned and prepared for you, you won’t be able to experience the love that exemplifies your relationship with me…and this is perfect love.

Dear One I want you to have this most wonderful love. I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with me and to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty and perfection and love that I offer you with myself. Know that I love you utterly, I am God Almighty. Believe and be Satisfied.”

I encourage you to wait and learn to let God be the anchor in your life. Let him work in mysterious ways and turn your past into hidden blessings. You are loved and beautifully and wonderfully made by God. I hope this letter encourages you, as it has done for me. Also, I read a book called Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot and just fell in love  so I thought I would share. I believe every girl should read this book before they begin a relationship with a guy. I wrote down a few quotes that I just truly love. Remember that you are more valuable and precious than any ruby or jewel. You are God’s children and he wants the best for you. WAIT and be prepared for God to rock your world!

  • Let not our longing stay the appetite of our living. -Jim Elliot
  • Love must be patient when it is tempted ( by the delays of other people) to be impatient. Love must not be selfish, even if other people are. Love does not take offense, though people are offensive sometimes. There are wrongs, but love won’t keep score. There are things to be faced, but nothing love can’t face, things to try loves faith, discourage its hope, and call for its endurance, but I it keeps right on trusting, hoping and enduring . Love never ends.
  • Love is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners ask and receive from God.
  • A man’s love for a woman ought to hold her to the highest. Her love for him ought to do the same. Love means following the commands of God.

Above all else, Guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

BIG 21st.Seeking Wisdom.

So this year for the BIG you know 21st birthday, I thought it would be a cool idea instead of getting presents, money, etc., that I could receive letters from all the women who have influenced,impacted, and changed my life in any way, shape, or form. It was amazing to receive all the letters that I had did. Getting snail mail is on my top ten things that I absolutely love! It was a wonderful success. I received letters from all over the United States such as Florida, South Carolina, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, etc. with a total of over fifty letters!

Thought I would share some of the wisdom I received from these awesome ladies in my life (embrace yourself, a lot of knowledge being poured out):

  1. 1. Surrender to God control of your life, your children (when you have them) and your time. (proverbs 3:5-6) -Chris T.
  2. 2. God is more concerned with your character than comfort. You character is what matters eternally not how good/bad you feel in the present moment. -Alison D.
  3. You are designed for greatness. The Lord crafted you into an intelligent, bold, charismatic, and beautiful leader. -Brooklyn M.
  4. Live your days knowing/truly believing God is the star of your story and you are the supporting character. When you truly embrace that, God will be glorified through you more than you ever know possible. -Audrey S.
  5. Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. Don’t allow yourself to be infatuated with someone, don’t settle, and save yourself for marriage. -Tiffany A.
  6. Be genuine and authentic. Be true to yourself and don’t change who you are for anyone. -Kathryn K.
  7. Find two to three women who can hold you accountable and who you can be completely transparent with. Debbie B.
  8. Don’t be afraid to love. Kelly S.
  9. Do not forget your principles and morals. I know you want Mr. Right to come along. Just make sure he is Mr. Right and not Mr. Almost right -Bonnie B.
  10. Always hold onto that love that you get form others as a reminder that God has something special stored up for you. Emily S.
  11. Please remember that not only do you have several people (including me)who deeply love and care for you, but you have God who has unconditional love for you! Brie H.
  12. Trust in God with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in everything you do, acknowledge him and he shall make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6 -Momma Delong
  1. I encourage you to forget the former, worldly things that you have ran after for so long, and continue to run hard after the LORD. Kristen H.
  2. Be flexible and willing to let Him lead you to the very corners and edges of the earth. Be willing and ready for whatever call he gives you. You won’t regret it. Not if you are listening, obeying and drawing near to Him. Kiersten D.
  3. Wait for someone who pursues you and who knows your worth. Pray for your future husband daily. Serve God as your waiting. -Chelsie J.
  4. Be yourself. God called YOU into ministry; he did not call a copy of someone else, he called YOU with all of your uniqueness. Be joyful;have fun;love life; take risks; trust God; keep your feet moving (because God will order your steps). -Karen D.
  5. Always remember to forgive yourself as God forgives you and you forgive others. Dream Big little pig! All things are possible with God! -Caryn W.
  6. I believe that we must love ourselves just the way we are and be content being single in order to be a good mate. Use your time of singleness to work on yourself, your weaknesses, your relationship with God and others. Laura C.
  7. Keep your smile and positive attitude. Life is a bumpy ride as I know you already have ridden along those roads, but hang on through the whole trip. -Momma Bunting
  8. MLK once said, “He was so busy, that he did not have the time to not spend three hours a day praying.” Don’t give up on your quiet time with God. -Suzanne G.

The letters that I received, will forever be cherished and treasured in my heart. What I learn from you wise women, I pray that I could use as guidance to be transformed into the Proverbs 31 woman who we are all called to be and hopefully one day I can be that example for my little girls. These letters mean the world to me and I am so thankful for all wisdom and advice on life. So thankful for the women that God has placed in my life to help me grow, learn, and be challenged to be the godly woman that He wants me to be. This was such a special birthday and couldn’t have asked for anything better! Love you all! May God continue to strengthen us and cloth us with dignity so that we may be able to face anything in life with Him!

She is clothed with strength and dignity;she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom,and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Proverbs 31: 25-26

Drifting through the clouds.

Looking out the window and capturing the view of the sunrise reminds me of a new day filled with joy and happiness. Due to the wonderful Balloon Festival taking place among Logan County, I had the privilege to seeing multiple hot air balloons fill the sky. Talk about a breath taking sight.

I have always dreamed of riding in a hot air balloon, where  I want to be taken up up and away. I want to be up where the sky is blue and where I can daydream about what is to come. Drifting through the clouds and not having a care in the world seems like pretty legit to me. Because all though the world seems to be hostile, being up in the air, seems to make all the world seem like a beautiful place the way it was ought to be.

I definitely see God’s beauty and hand prints all over when I get to wake up to sunrises and view sunsets. It gives glimpses of how awesome our Creator is. He paints this picture of peace, beauty, calmness, and stillness when admiring the magnificent colors painted in the skies.

God has definitely showered us with many blessings. I am so excited to see what God has in store for me this semester as I begin a new chapter in my life. I have so much ahead of me and I am so happy to see what God has planned for me. #ayearofsurprises

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”— C.S. Lewis

Just a thought.

I wonder what it is about Judas that made him betray Jesus in all manner of speaking, he should have known better. Judas walked with Jesus our Saviour whose light shines so bright for him to be a flickering bulb of wavering loyalty is what concerns me. 

Lets move past the betrayal for a second and recognize this was a crime prompted from within and needed no external temptation.  What nature of weakness is this that manifests without temptation? What is it about him that made his kiss so vile and calculative ?

That very thing could be the cancer that is sucking the cancer out of Christianity What decorated demons lurk within us that will prompt us to approach the chief priests.

Put aside the fact that Judas approached Judas and continue to indulge me. What baffles me about the sin, for with that I can relate.

What gets me is how he was more remorseful than repentful, too hung up in his guilt to see, to think harlots, lepers and the possessed knew our Saviour better than he that walked with him How could the man who served under the Saviour not know he could be saved? I said how could the man who SERVED under the SAVIOUR not know he could be saved?

This spoken word was done by my friend named Storm who is studying abroad in China. Thank you for sharing. It had me thinking.