Unexpected Turns


The best things in life are unexpected.  Also known as the next 5 or so years of my life. 

Today marks exactly one month since I have returned back to the good ol' U.S. of A from India.  Not to be a downer, but after starting my summer with an experience like that, things back in VA have been a tad bland.  But through this very uneventful, short, time in my life, I know that the Lord is still working and speaking just as clearly as ever.  I never thought I would be watching tennis all day with an elderly lady to keep her company, but alas, here I am.  For all the moments sitting and listening to tennis grunts, the sweet conversations I get to have with Ms. M about our Savior and everything He has done are in our lives make it beyond worth the inactivity of it all.

Our theme for our hall next year is "Run the Race."  While my RA partner and I both enjoy running, we are not simply talking about a race that you physically run.  We are running the "race of life" that the Lord has set before us. We don't run to receive a "perishable" wreath such as the world does, whether that be in money, sex, or "success."  We run to receive an imperishable prize, the eternal glory and inheritance that our waiting for us in our eternal, heavenly home.  As fast-paced as my "race" usually is, I am thankful that I have this short time to focus on the Lord, seek his will, and even glean some truth and advice from a sweet lady that has been walking with the Lord for quite some time now.

The next few months I plan to:
be a giver
connect with a new friend
eat healthy
treat myself
spend more time with my brother
continue my morning quiet time
get an awesome Chaco tan
go hiking
get stronger
have fun
limit myself to one cup of coffee a day
be open-hearted
be open-minded (not philosophically, mind you.  both in things the Lord may or may not do)
do what I love and love what I do
eat more apples
have more adventures
keep running
be myself
love others
challenge myself
and sing more

Don't let the picture fool you.  I have not been to the beach yet this summer.  I really want to go, but it's not looking like it will work out.  But who knows, maybe a miracle will happen!

With my full-time job now, I don't have much free time.  With working almost forty hours a week, on top of my two online classes, it's safe to say I will probably be swamped during the next few weeks.  AH!

Also, I have been really wanting a pen pal.  If that sounds at all enticing to you, please comment or send me an email :) 

Instagram Update


What I've been up to...

-Went to a few of high school grad parties for dear friends.  This one in particular was Korean/Mexican fusion.  Yum!
- Been dissecting 1 Peter.
-Went to the drive-in for the first time!  It was a double feature for Man of Steel and Great Gatsby.  Oh, Gatsby...
-Was reunited with my love, Wawa coffee.
-Made myself dinner while the fam was out of town, and it was pretty delicious if I do say so myself.
-Celebrated Father's Day and found that beat of a picture.
-Went to the pool for the first time this summer!
-Went grocery shopping with Mom and her new pet elephant. 


Perfectly Aligned


"In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory."  Ephesians 1:13-14

Friend, you are God's beloved child!  He knew you before the creation of the World and had a unique plan for your life.  Recently, I've been trying to concentrate on keeping in step with the Lord RIGHT NOW, rather then anticipating what He has for my future.  His plans for my life are only to prosper me.  

As followers of Jesus, our hope and future are not found in things of this earth, but they are found in eternal things, heavenly things.  Nothing can rob of us of the glorious inheritance that the Father has prepared for us.  We cannot imagine the glory that is waiting for us.  Let our main focus be staying close to God.  He is the one that knows how to perfectly align just what we need with his perfect plans and purposes.  

Abiding in the Spirit


"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness..."  Galatians 5:22

The Lord has put his Spirit within us, the Spirit of joy!  This joy does not come from outward circumstances, whether that be material things or acheivements.  This joy comes from knowing and being in relationship with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  As we learn to abide in the Spirit, he blesses us with these "fruits."  

Seek to live close to the Lord and be open to what He is doing in your life and heart today.  Ask for the Spirit to direct your thoughts and actions.  Focus on the Lord, for he goes before and He is beside us.  You will find these things, love, joy, and peace, only in His presence. 

iPhone Issues


I've realized lately that I have become somewhat connected to my iPhone....

Going from a dumb phone that wouldn't even text some of the time, it's quite amazing to me what this thing can do.  Remember when we didn't have cell phones?  Those were the days.

Yeah, not really.

I've been thinking about going on a sabbatical from this device of mine for a day or two.  Now when to do it will be the question...

Travels Tuesdays - Chennai, India


Hi friends!

I am FINALLY getting around to a post about my recent trip to Chennai!  I had such a great time there and I thought I would share a few pictures with you all.  I have also written as briefly as I could (which turned out to be almost four pages) about what I learned and my experiences, but I will save that for a later post.  Hope you enjoy!

 On the way there, at our connecting flight in Quatar! 

  I always tried to sit by the window when we were on the bus.  So much to look at and soak in!

 One of the churches that we partnered with while we were there.
 There were goats everywhere!  Man, I really want goats one day. 
Beautiful sunset on our second night in Chennai, as we played soccer and interacted with people on the beach.

 My pastor (such a goofball!) and our precious bus driver, Sam.  Sam didn't get much rest or sleep either all week, but every morning he would be bright and cheery, singing one of his favorite hymns. 
 Our translator, and now dear friend, Daniel.  And that adorable little girl is his niece, Abijah.

Walking through the streets, seeing the different temples before we headed to the beach.

 The girls praying together before we started our day. 

 My sweet friend Cassie and I trying to cool down in a bakery after prayer walking the streets of Chennai.

 We had the wonderful opportunity to go to a village a few hours out of Chennai.  Many of the people there had never seen white people.  Even more astonishing, they had never heard the name of Jesus.  This precious woman came to know the Lord that night and I was so blessed to be able to pray with her. 

Some of the sweet ladies that we met at the village.

Praying over a precious teenage girl.  And this is when I started weeping...

 LOVED chatting with these young ladies for an hour or so when we visited the day care center. 
 A bunch of the kiddos from the day care.
 More sweet little friends.  I was holding that little girl forever cause she didn't want me to put her down and man, did my arms hurt the next day!  So worth it though. 
We sang and did a Jonah skit for the kids.

 At one of the community centers we visited. 
 Praying with two beautiful eighteen year old girls who go to community college together.  And they also were dancers.  Instant connection. 
 Sweet welcome sign from one of the community centers we visited. 
This sweet energetic little lady took a piece of all of our hearts.

She was quite spunky, but a sweet spirit all the same.  She couldn't tell me enough how much she loved her family and wanted them to all be healthy and happy.

 Our whole team at the ruins we visited on our "tourist" day. 
 The ancient ruins. 
 I life-size elephant! 
 If I lived in India, I would probably live in these ruins.  This one was like a maze.  Pretty cool if you ask me. 
First coconut water of the trip!  Right from the side of the road too.  He chopped the top off for me with his machete.  Nifty.
 Last meal in Chennai! 

Shopping at the Indian mall.  For the record, shopping is NOT my thing.  Thrift shops, bookstores, and Kroger are the exceptions. 

Thanks to everybody once again who supported me through prayer!  I can't wait to continue to tell you about the awesome things that the Lord is doing in India!

Try This Psalm on for Size


If I haven't already made it clear on here, I like writing.  But, I don't like writing as much as other things.  Things being, eating, reading, talking, etc.

A lot of times I write as a way to express what I feel I have been learning and feel led to share with somebody.  If I find that through writing then I write, but a lot of times I can find that outlet elsewhere.  Hence, my lack of posting as often as I would like.  It's not laziness, it's lack of motivation.

When I got to college I started this blog as a way to share and sort out the things that the Lord was teaching me and the experiences I was having.  It was a good way to adjust for me.

After two years at college, I now have godly, encouraging friends who I can talk to when I need perspective or to sort my thoughts out.  I have a job with my college in student leadership, my studies, friendships, and my church family to help me keep things in perspective, which is why I haven't really become "regular" in my blogging.

Of course there is a reason why I am writing this post then, when I have countless other things to be doing (just kidding, I am not busy in the least this weekend).

In a couple months I will be taking on a new adventure as an RA, and then a year from now I will be graduating.  I've been in prayer, read my assigned books, and emailed back and forth with my RD, and it's all becoming very real.  Not only will this be my last year at school, but I will be responsible for the safety of forty girls.  This is why I need to write.  This is when I need to sort my thoughts into order and watch paragraphs from.  And, thankfully end.

College girls say and do some crazy things.  They still cry about MANY things.  New challenges, obstacles, hardships, and trials arise on a daily basis.  As an SLD on my hall last year, these are things that I have come to understand are a part of life on a girl's hall.  I try to take them in stride.  I want to be more sensitive to them going into the new school year.  I want to build trust with the girls on my hall.  I want to know where they are spiritually.

Even more so, I'm excited/sad that next year will be my Senior year.  Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed by the bittersweet of it.  So many good things will be left behind, but even better things to anticipate.  But, I know that some of the things that were good during those four years, will continue to be good then.  But what will my life look like after graduation?

I don't know.

There is a great temptation to try and figure out what the future will look like, to analyze every possible outcome, to spend more time planning my life then living it.  Giving more energy towards avoid undesired outcomes then pursuing the only outcome that really matters.

Thankfully, I have another option...

"Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act."

There is so much about the future that I don't know, and sometimes the weight of that can seem too heavy.  But I don't have to carry that burden anymore.  As I follow Christ, he will direct me where I need to go in due time.  

If you feel like this sometimes, take a look at Psalm 37:3-7.  I think you'll like what you see.  

Seek My Face



Sitting on the docks at the park, I read this verse over and over.

"When you said, "Seek my face," My heart said to You, "Your face, LORD, I will seek."  Psalm 27:8

Tears started welling up in my eyes.  My hand shook as I wrote in my journal, pouring out my heart to the Lord.

"Seek my face."

This verse was in my devotional book that morning.  Every morning I read from this book, striving to start my day in His presence.

I remember reading this verse quite some time ago, back when I was a sophomore in high school.  Having for the first time realized what it meant to have a relationship with the Lord, I started searching through my new "adult" Bible.  I came across this verse and thought to myself, "Yeah, I do that.  I seek the Lord's face.  Not something I have to try for very much."  Boy, I thought I had it all together by myself.

A little over five years later and I see this verse in a much different light.  After six mission trips, leading students in my youth group for two years, discipling college girls at my school for two years, studying Religion and Inter-Cultural Studies, and having the opportunity to be taught by some of the wisest and godliest men and women on earth, I now know that I am not seeking the Lord's face everyday or in every area of my life.

Through all of the transitions of the past several years, the ups and downs, I have seen the Lord's faithfulness more then ever.  Not only is He the solid rock that I can stand on, but He is faithfully working in me.  For the past few months I've wondered, how can I REALLY seek his face?  And finally, I can say, I'm starting to understand what that means.

Seeking His face involves rest.  At the same time it involves action.  It means being with Jesus - not just doing.  Doing flows out of being.  If comes from fulling resting in Jesus - after we know who we are in Him and who He is.

In the past several months, God has showed me that I constantly put my value in the things that I do instead of who He says I am.  I struggled with "performance identity."  Raise my hands in worship, pray eloquently, always offer to pray in groups, volunteer in every area possible, etc.  I didn't realize it until I sat at home over Christmas break with no one to "impress" with my spirituality.  Quickly, the Lord revealed to me that I had put my identity in my "job" and ministry.  A part of me crumbled.  I didn't have any labeled ministry while I was at home for that whole month.  I wasn't plugged in to my church to serve or disciple either.

I started to realize that perfection or striving for identity in my performance is not God's plan for me.  That is not what He wants for his children.  Yes, He wants us to work hard.  Yes, we are to use the gifts He has given us.  However, our value and identity are not found in the things that we do.  Our identity is found in Jesus, who says we are loved, cherished, valued, redeemed, set apart, and His inheritance.  He doesn't love us because of what we do, He simply loves us because we are His.  Yes we are to serve him, but out of love, not out of fear.

I don't have an intense ministry job right now.  I can rest.  I can seek His face.  I can simply be with Him - in the present, with whatever I'm doing.  To give thanks.  To trust. To pray.  I'm learning to be content with not having a being surrounded with a bunch of girls pouring their hearts out to me, seeking for advice and encouragement.

There are different seasons for everything.  This one is a season of seeking for me.  This is a season to go back to the basics - to remember why I fell in love with Jesus in the first place.  To not think of him as my employer, but as my King and Savior.  To just seek Him and know that I can't do anything apart from Him.  I just get to be with Him and let his love and light shine forth.  For His name's sake alone.  He's been showing me this through the past months.  Whatever season you are in today, know that the Lord is calling you to seek Him.  To rest in Him.  To find your identity in Him and then go wherever He leads you, continually seeking him all the while.  You don't have to prove yourself.  He already loves you completely, forever.