Monday, July 26, 2010

Zimbabwe bound

I am sitting in the Cincinnati airport with two hours to spare. Jamie and Chelc surprised me at the airport this morning to say goodbye. How did I get so lucky to have such great friends? I have lots of letters to read and keep me entertained on the plane. I will miss you guys and your prayers are greatly appreciated! I can't believe that I won't have my phone or computer for 17 days! It hasn't quite hit me yet that I'm going to AFRICA!

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Be still, my soul.

In just 66 hours (give or take a lot because my math is probably way off), I will be getting on the plane to head to New York! I've never been there before- unfortunately, I probably won't see much besides the airport and hotel so the shopping and sight-seeing will have to wait for another trip.

Anyway, my first real entry was titled "Comfortable," and I was just thinking that it's a little bit ironic (for lack of a better word) that I am getting ready to put myself in a position that will be very UNcomfortable for me. I will be way out of my comfort zone, but that's something that God constantly asks of us because if we're always comfortable we're likely living selfishly and not with the goal of glorifying God and spreading His love.

Normally by this time I would be FREAKING OUT about the fact that I am going to AFRICA in a few short days... However, God has filled my heart with unexplainable peace. Honestly, it is so weird! Obviously it's all God... but it's still strange that I'm not worried and I'm hardly nervous at all. The only thing I'm worried about is forgetting my passport or something ridiculous like that! I'm slightly nervous simply because my parents are the ones freaking out! and since they are, I feel like I should be! They're worried that I'm going to get sick, something that affects my already weak heart... I know it's probably unlikely, but it could happen. I'm not concerned about it though because I know that God will protect me- if it's His will, I will stay safe and remain healthy... and if it is His will for me to get sick, or even die, then that's HIS WILL. I trust Him 100% with my life because He's the One who created me! And hey, if I die in Zimbabwe, that's a pretty cool way to go.

I'm not the least bit afraid of dying. I hate to say I look forward to it, but I long for the day that I get to meet my Jesus face to face and spend eternity in His presence. The only thing that worries me about dying is that my family would be sad... I don't want that for them at all. I don't mean to say I'm super or important or anything like that, I just think they'd be upset. Hopefully God would overwhelm them with comfort in the fact that I would be completely filled with joy, forever worshiping my God.

This was a weird, random post. Hope it wasn't too morbid...

All of that just to say that I am really looking forward to this trip to Zimbabwe. I can't believe how fast it's approaching. And I am the one that is currently overwhelmed by a sense of comfort and peace from my sweet, sweet Jesus.

Monday, July 19, 2010

one week.

One week from today I will fly to New York to start my journey to Africa. I can't believe this is actually happening and how quickly it's approaching. I have so much I need to do this week, but I have no idea where to start! Honestly, I feel like I'm going into this with no idea how to go about it! Apparently I'm going to sort of have the head leader role of camp at the first ever national YL camp in Zimbabwe. Ahhh. That stresses me out a little bit because I have no idea how to do that! It's awesome though because I can already tell that I will have to be completely reliant on God this whole trip. I couldn't do any of it alone. I will be so out of my comfort zone- culture shock, none of my close friends, foreign country, no communication with family, in a leader position... the list goes on and on. It's really scary! But as nervous as I am, I'm also so excited because I know the Lord is calling me here for a reason, and I know He is going to do incredible things in this place. Somehow He is giving me a sense of peace and comfort that He is going to take care of me, but even if something happens, it's His will. Seriously blows my mind that He can use me for things like this. He has called me to do these things to glorify His kingdom... but there is nothing significant about me at all. With Him in me though, I am capable.

To anyone who may be reading this... your prayers for my team and the people we are going to encounter would mean so much to us all.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

my room (so far)

Last night my dad stayed and put my bed together for a few hours while I went out to dinner and to a movie with friends. He's wonderful. Today my mom helped me move the majority of my stuff out of my apartment and into my house. She's wonderful too. My room is still pretty bare because I don't have all my pictures and such up, but I like it a lot so far!

I am using the same comforter from last year that got a huge ink stain on it,
but my grandmother (wonderful as well) covered the stains and hemmed it into a twin size. My closet is a wreck right now, but I am really excited to see what this room looks like when I'm done decorating and everything. It's really small, but it make it feel kind of homey for some reason.
Here's what I have so far:

My camera is dead so I just used my phone... As you can tell, the side opposite the bed (2nd picture) really needs some work. I stole Olivia's dresser and nightstand because Holly bought them for me originally, and I guess my dad got them out of the divorce. I got to choose if I wanted to take this furniture or let him buy me new, but I liked the white so Olivia is getting new stuff!
To see pictures of the outside of the house, check out Melissa's post here.
Note to self: Never share a movie theater seat with someone. May seem like a good idea at the time, but in the end... everyone is very uncomfortable.

For some reason I have been very antisocial lately. I've just come home from babysitting and wanted to sleep! So I went over a week without seeing any friends- just babysat and hung out with family. Crazy, I know, but I actually really enjoyed it. That time has ended though. I was back at my apartment for just a few short days. I'm so sad about no longer living with Lauren! And now I am all moved into my house! I LOVE it so far! It's just Melissa and me here right now, but my room is much more spacious than I had anticipated. Hopefully I can post pictures soon! Please come visit and see for yourself too!

Saturday we had a small group day at Paulette's where we ate breakfast, prayed for mine and Melissa's upcoming mission trips, went out on the boat, ate lunch, and just talked for a long time. It was a really sweet time of fellowship, and it was great to see friends from out of town! That night I went to pick up Carl because he was in town without a car and we went to dinner and just drove around when he accidentally drove over a ditch which later caused this plastic thing to fall off the bottom of my car. It's not a big deal and it's really cheap to fix so it was all just pretty comical because we were late to a movie with some people we had just seen, and I enjoyed exaggerating the whole story a little! :) So... we went to see Inception but our friends were already there. Scott and Matt had joined Carl and me so there were not enough seats which led to me sitting in between Scott and Carl where the arm rest should go. I was actually not too terribly uncomfortable but could tell Carl was so I tried to take up as little space as possible. For some reason this would bother him (he was just trying to be nice, but I really was fine!), and he would pull me back onto the seat. It was ridiculous, and he didn't understand the movie because he had been too preoccupied at the beginning. This made him really upset which was sadly kind of amusing.

This has to be really, really boring to anyone else... so I'm sorry for rambling. Pictures of the new house soon, I hope!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Things I love//am obsessed with//am addicted to:

One Tree Hill, NorthStar Church, Knoxville (wouldn't want to raise my kids anywhere else), Young Life, Vitamin Water (I'm trying to make it my replacement for Diet Coke for the time being), Love and Theft, Ellen, Friends (the show too, but more importantly my own friends), Sonic (esp. Route 44s- when I'm not fasting from DC), Waffle Cone Wednesday at TCBY (white chocolate mouse is my favorite thing to get in the cone), Tennessee (the state, the school, the sporting events), Blogging (mostly just reading other people's- I regularly read an unhealthy amount of blogs some of which I don't even know the person, but my own seems to be turning into an addiction as well), Vacation (particularly the beach), Goodwill, Weddings//Wedding photography//Wedding blogs, Sonic receipts with FREE Route 44 coupons, Pictures//Photography, Country Music (I put CMT because I didn't know what other kind of picture I could find to depict country music, but I don't really watch CMT very often), Lady Antebellum (I know country music covers them and Love and Theft but they're my favs right now), and last but not least... DIET COKE. I legitimately am addicted but have not had a (caffeinated) diet coke in almost two whole weeks! I'm trying to give it up since I won't be able to have much caffeine in Africa, and I want to go ahead and get the withdrawals out of the way before I get there!

I just realized I had a picture of my Bible that was supposed to make it onto here... Not sure what happened there. But pretend it's there! And that's because it's my guidebook to life! And something tangible to represent my relationship with Jesus which is the most important thing about me!

Updated 25

Thought I'd update the 25 things from two posts back... Can you tell I get bored when all my friends are in class//at work?

1. Jesus is still my number one priority. I pray that this will always be true. As you can probably tell from the last post… I’m still completely blown away by His grace. Don’t think that will ever change.
2. My sister is now 7 so I guess the first time I did this was more than a year ago… She’s awesome. She can beat me up, but she’s awesome. She is constantly making me laugh. I'm a little concerned for her teenage years... that will be interesting.
3. Same.
4. Still absolutely cannot tell people no. It’s becoming a serious problem. I end up doing things I don’t want to all the time (like babysitting, going to midnight premieres of movies I don’t care about, etc… if it were something more serious, I would make myself say no. Don’t worry.).
5. I am still a little bit OCD about some things, which you would never know by the way my room looks currently.
6. Sadly, I no longer take a nap every Sunday afternoon.
7. Yes, I love love love listening to people’s life stories. It fascinates me to see how people have gone through life and what has made them who they are today.
8. Unfortunately, I find myself talking about me wayyy too much sometimes. I don’t even realize I’m doing it until I’ve already said more than anyone ever wanted to know. (Ironic that this entire post is about me?)
9. Well… My headaches went away for a while. I hardly ever get migraines anymore… but I recently gave up diet coke so I’ve been having withdrawals like crazy because I was (am) super addicted.
10. It makes me laugh a little bit that I said this because… duh! I think that applies to pretty much everyone!
11. This has gotten a little bit better, I think. I hope. I still am scared to get too close to people though. Sorry to everyone that has to deal with that!
12. This also has gotten a little bit better. Not a lot, but a little bit.
13. That’s funny. I think I made that up? I can’t have caffeine at night, but after lunchtime is definitely okay. Still think it’s all mental though.
14. Yuck. Still don’t like milk.
15. Pretty much still true. I just listen to country like 97% of the time though.
16. Funny that I said I was really scared of divorce but fully trusting God. Seems to contradict itself a little... but honestly, I still kind of feel that way! I am terrified of it happening to me because I don’t think I could handle that… but God knows me better than I know myself and knows what’s best for me. I do completely trust Him with that because I believe that if I go about the whole situation the way it was meant to happen that it will work out. Marriages aren’t meant to end in divorce. Sadly they do. Way too often. But I want my relationship with my (future) spouse to be completely God-centered, and I know that if we give our marriage to Him 100% that He will take care of us, and that He will get us through the trials.
17. Definitely still like to do things my way, but I’m learning more and more that it works out a whole lot better if I just surrender everything to my Creator who knows the plan for my life.
18. I am still really close to both of my parents. They’re wonderful. Drive me crazy sometimes, but they really are great, and I am so thankful for them. They love me so well, and I need be better about showing them and telling them how much I love them.
19. Don’t like to lead… because I usually don’t know where I’m going.
20. Very true. Don’t exercise nearly enough, still eat way more than I should.
21. I adore the upcoming sophomores (AHH that is so weird that they’re not freshmen anymore!) girls that I hang out with at CAK. They are such sweet girls, and I am so blessed to get to walk through life with them. This experience humbles me so much because it is amazing that God can use someone so inadequate to minister to these wonderful girls. It is ALL Him because there is NO way I could do any of it!
22. Majoring in Psychology, minoring in Elementary Education. Plan on getting my Master’s in Education and becoming an elementary school teacher. Still debating what grade because I always thought 3rd, but I worked in a Kindergarten classroom this year and became slightly obsessed with the precious students.
23. Stopped watching OTH for a while but recently caught up, and it’s still just as addicting as ever!
24. How can I not forgive people after I have been forgiven so many times by friends, family, and especially God?
25. Very indecisive.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Way too often I become comfortable. I think it typically happens during the summer because I don't have a set schedule and life seems to be pretty "worry-free." I get so caught up in unimportant things that I am not yearning for growth in my relationship with the Lord. Life is good- I babysit, hang out with friends, eat (a lot), spend time with family, sleep... but it's nothing like having a schedule of classes. The only structure is that I babysit every Monday and almost every Tuesday and go to church on Sundays. For some reason this makes it more difficult for me to have a structured daily time with the Lord... seems like it'd be easier since I don't have many things that I have to do. I get so caught up in reading books or reading blogs that I nearly forget that I need to read my Bible and end up doing it right before I go to bed when I'm too tired to even comprehend. Occasionally I'll even just "put it off" til the next day which usually means I'll end up skipping that days completely. The worst part is that I'm entirely aware of it all and still let it happen.

Thank goodness my God is so merciful. Obviously I am so unworthy of His grace and His love, but He continues to remind me so frequently just how much he loves and desires me for some reason that I will never completely understand. It is amazing that I continually run back to Him apologizing, and He accepts me each time with open arms. It makes me feel that much more guilty! But the beauty is that I don't have to because He has taken that guilt upon Himself. It's an ongoing cycle of me daily messing up and Him constantly forgiving me and loving me. Amazing.


I'm starting this new blog because so many of the posts on the old one I don't want other people to read... so this one's going to be more for the public eye :) Just to start it out I thought I'd put the "25 things about me" that was a huge facebook trend about a year ago. Some have changed, but I think for the most part they still apply!

1. Jesus is my first priority. I try to live my life for Him, but fail constantly. His grace is amazing, and I don’t understand how He can forgive me time after time… but I am so thankful that He does.
2. My five-year-old sister is my best friend, and I miss her terribly when I’m at school.
3. I try to live my life without regrets, and I do learn from my mistakes.
4. It’s very difficult for me to tell people “no”. This leads to me babysitting pretty much every time someone asks me to even though I usually really don’t want to.
5. I am OCD about my handwriting. When I’m taking notes, I erase them and rewrite them over and over if I have time. If I’m writing them down in a hurry though, I just let it be messy and then type them up when I get back to my room.
6. If I don’t have my Sunday afternoon nap, the whole week is thrown off.
7. I love listening to people and hearing about their lives.
8. I don’t really like talking about myself… Probably why it’s taken me so long to do this. But I knew I would follow the trend eventually, so why not now? Sometimes I just don’t talk much in general. Especially around people I don’t know very well. I’m really afraid that sometimes it seems like I’m stuck up, but sometimes I just can’t think of anything to say.
9. I get headaches daily. They vary in intensity.
10. When I do/say something that upsets someone else, I immediately wish I could take it back.
11. I always push away the people I care about most. I really wish I didn’t do this, but probably always will. I’ve been hurt by people walking out of my life so many times before that I’m scared to let people in. It’s selfish, I know… but I really can’t help it. It’s not intentional.
12. I am an extremely light sleeper. My text alert is a tiny, quiet little beep, and even that wakes me up. I would love to be a heavier sleeper! I wake up many times during the night, and it drives me crazy!
13. I can’t have caffeine after lunchtime or I won’t be able to sleep that night. I think it’s mental.
14. I hate milk. I put skim milk on my cereal, but that is the only time I can stand the taste.
15. I would much rather listen to country or Christian music than any other kind.
16. I will have a very long engagement, and I want to be married for a long time before I start having kids. Divorce has been very common in my family, and I am terrified of that happening to me. I am fully trusting God with that, but I still worry sometimes.
17. I am a little bit of a control freak so it is hard for me to give everything to God, and not try to do things my way.
18. I am extremely close to my parents and tell them pretty much everything. My friends think it’s really weird.
19. I hate walking in the front when I’m with people.
20. I never exercise, and I eat way too much. I’ve been to the gym one time since college started. I’m really going to have to start working out, but I hate the thought of it.
21. I’m going to be a Young Life leader, and I am so so excited to live out God’s plan!
22. I have wanted to be a teacher since the 3rd grade. And that’s what grade I want to teach.
23. I am slightly obsessed with One Tree Hill.
24. I am usually quick to forgive, and I don’t hold grudges… with one exception.
25. I’m very indecisive.