Saturday, July 27, 2013

Comforts and prayers.

I will never understand why God chooses to bless me time and time again. I rely on my own plans and don't trust Him nearly as much as I should. So often I will pray with all my might that something will work out the way I want it to, but I'm so thankful that God's timing is perfect and He knows what is best for me.

Tonight we had the Haiti group reunion. It was great to see the videos/pictures and recounts of what God did there. Each year I find that I miss my friends in Haiti a little more than I did last time. I think it is so neat that I can go a full year without seeing someone, even in pictures sometimes, but I remember their face and what they were wearing last time I saw them. I recognized one girl at Mariani because I remembered the velvet dress she wore the year before. It's even more amazing when they remember me. I'm there on a mission trip intentionally seeking out people to connect with, but Haiti is their everyday life, and they still remember my face. God smiles.

No less amazing is the work that God does right here in Tennessee. He's moving things along to get the building process started for our church. He's given me the opportunity to go to a great school this fall. He is doing a wonderful thing in my heart and has shown me someone I truly care about. I don't deserve any of these blessings, but I am so, so grateful that the Lord loves me and is creative in the way He's making the pieces fit. Here are a couple ways I've felt His love recently....

  • He's put me in a lot of situations recently where I've had to look back on the past. What would my life be like if I had done this instead of that? Where would I be now if that relationship had worked out? Honesty hour; looking back on some of these things has made me really uncomfortable. Not because I don't like where I am, but because I absolutely love where I am, and it's embarrassing to think that I thought my plans were better. It's almost like I've been mad at myself, as well. Why did you linger in that place so long? What made you think that was going to work? It's definitely something I struggle with. But since I can't change any of those things, I can pray that God will help me focus on today. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" -Matthew 6:34

  • Grahm. Oh, Grahm. God smiled at me biiiiiig time. I am thankful for the way that he and I can have such deep and meaningful conversations. We know that this relationship is more than just ourselves, and we constantly work to keep God in the middle. Just one of the reasons it's so great to be with Grahm is that I know he strives to protect my heart and let me know how much he cares for me. I am grateful and blessed. It definitely is grace lookin' my way.
The Lord is working in me, without a doubt. My prayer is that He will help me leave my past thoughts and decisions where they belong. This is such a joyful time in my life, and I refuse to waste a moment of it worrying. God sees me. He loves me, He is in control, and He is good.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Some melodious sonnet

God has been speaking to me a lot recently through music. Songs that I've heard my entire life have resonated differently in my ears. Let me tell you about some of them and what they mean to me.  : Wow! I have always thought this song was absolutely beautiful. Please take a couple minutes and just listen to it with your eyes closed. Really listen to it. I hope that when I talk about the Lord, people will hear it the way I hear this song. My favorite lines are "O that day when freed from sinning I shall see Thy lovely face. Clothed there in blood-washed linen, how I'll sing Thy sovereign grace." I love thinking about the day that I will finally meet the One who has loved me with an everlasting love. : He is jealous... for me? I will never know why. How could someone so infinite love someone so small? Whenever I hear this song it makes me step back and think about how truly awesome that is; that the Author of eternity loves and knows me personally. How He loves us! : Something was different, I knew it the instant you put the light in me. This song makes me imagine who I would be without God. I would be someone whose flame had flickered out; existing, but not shining. Because I know God, I am new! He gives me reasons to be thankful.This song is like a grown up version of "This Little Light of Mine," and I  love it! YOU are the hope that leads me out of the dark!

Time and time again I am humbled by God and the way He smiles at me. He knows exactly what I need to hear and when I need to hear it. I was driving home from the store and heard this last song, and I almost had to pull over because of how it overwhelmed me! There was a specific message in it that spoke to me and what I was thinking.

 Every tribe and tongue and nation will join in the song of the Lamb!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I've never heard silence quite this loud.

Where to begin? It was such a great day! Grahm and I went to Uncle Dave Macon Days, ate pizza, watched a movie, rock climbed, and just got to sit and talk to each other. That last one's always one of my favorite parts. Even when there's not much to say, just being in his company is enough.

On that note, I wanted to share something the Lord has been teaching me, slowly but surely, over the past few years; silence is not a bad thing. It's quite the opposite! Most people don't agree with me on this. They think silence is awkward, and even scary. I used to be the same way: I always had to be talking to someone, or if I was by myself I constantly kept music on as background noise. The gap doesn't always have to be filled. I've found in my life that God is the loudest in the silence.

We've all heard it a million times, right? The American lifestyle is so busy and hectic, we're always go go going. It's true, and unfortunately it is easy to forget about God in the noisiness of life. Here's what I find always helps me regain control in this crazy fast life... quietness. Whether it's not listening to music when I get ready, not listening to music in the car, or just being silent for a while after a prayer, God reveals Himself to me. Here's a story that I actually think about quite a lot....

It was the first semester of my senior year, and I was feeling defeated. I felt like I wasn't smart enough, wasn't good enough, and wasn't doing enough. There wasn't as much security as I'd known before. I also had not been hearing or seeing God as often as I had in the past. I felt ashamed of this because I was supposed to be this good Christian girl that went on mission trips and was always at church, so I didn't want to admit the distance I was feeling. I reached a breaking point where I was on my knees crying in my room late at night, because I was sick of God "hiding Himself from me." I prayed "God, I can't and am not meant to do this on my own. I'm not good at saying fancy prayers, but please, tell me that you're listening." I sat in silence for about ten seconds, eyes still closed. The moment that I opened my eyes, I saw the largest lightning bolt I ever remember seeing flash across the sky. It wasn't raining, there were no dark clouds, and no thunder. Just one single bolt of lightning.

I felt God in the silence that followed that lightning bolt. I sat for a long time in this quiet place, just feeling His love all around me. It's not something I can describe, you have to experience it. But from then on, I didn't view silence as a bad thing. God made the universe, the Heavens and the Earth and everything in them, every last creature. It is enough to sit in His presence and be in awed silence. It is hard for me to believe sometimes, but He absolutely adores me, and He is content with me wanting to be in His company. What an awesome God!

"In the secret, in the quiet place, in the stillness You are there. In the secret, in the quiet hour I wait, only for You, 'cause I want to know You more"

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Author chose to love me.

So, so thankful that Grahm Smith asked me to be his girlfriend! I am blessed! Stick with me as I shuffle through all this mush... ;) 

  • Grahm is very solid in his faith. The way that he talks about the Lord with such awe in his voice makes my heart happy.
  • I know without a doubt that Grahm is genuinely concerned with protecting my body and my heart. It is a great feeling to be with someone that makes you feel safe!
  • Grahm is a very powerful speaker, whether he's in front of big groups or just one on one. You can always take something away from a conversation with him!
  • Okay, I have to put this one.... he is VERY handsome :)
  • I have seen firsthand the way that Grahm loves little kids. Watching him have a blast with the children at the orphanages in Haiti has been a huge blessing these past three years!

I am so thrilled for this new journey in my life. I love thinking about how this wasn't a surprise to God. He planned it, and that is beautiful! I can't wait to see the ways He blesses me through Grahm. I also love the ways that our friends and family have responded! They are excited for us, and we've also had people tell us they will be praying for our relationship! How awesome.

I'd also like to revisit how completely humbling it is to think that God planned this out for us. A verse that I found last night was "You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed" -Psalm 139:16.  I can't imagine the love He has for me, but this verse helped me think of it a little more deeply. I am a visual person, so I immediately picture something in my head when I read it or it is described to me. For this verse, I imagined the Lord holding a blank book, beautiful in its binding and put together with the utmost care. It has my name on the front! He smiled while He was writing in its pages, knowing the person I would become and the people I would meet. He's smiling at me now as I'm getting to the page where He wrote Grahm's name. The Author of all stories wrote mine with care and chooses to love me. He is so good.

Monday, July 8, 2013

He smiles.

I'm at a very happy time in my life, and I just gotta blog about it! :)  God has been so good to me. I've been more active in my pursuit of Him lately, and I can feel the effects on my life daily. I can't really say with my words how great it makes me feel to be almost constantly thinking about how beautiful and awesome God is. It's a good place to be.

SO. The happiness. Have you ever felt blessed just to know someone? They're so grounded, driven, and Godly that they make you want to be a better person? And then you don't know how or why, but they decided to get to know and actively pursue your heart? I'm feelin' those feelings right now, and I'm feelin' em hard. God is smiling at me big time.

Tonight we're watching a movie, tomorrow going for ice cream, and Saturday... ROCK CLIMBING. I am excited and nervous about that one. I just love this "giddy before a date ahhhhhh!!" feeling. It has been a while since I've genuinely felt it. But in the end, my thoughts all go back to God and how thankful I am that He has shown me favor.

 I like to imagine that God smiles at his people before he blesses them in unexpected ways.....  He is looking down on this girl living in Murfreesboro, and He sees her struggling, trying to make her way through life and make the pieces of her own story fit together. It frustrates Him when she tries to do things on her own, trying to write her story by herself, but He could never love her any less. In fact, He cherishes her so deeply that He showed her someone she could not have expected she'd be with, but that she cares for all the same. At the same time, God showed her how to love Him again and rediscover the piece of her she had missed the most; Him. How deep the Father's love for her!

I like to imagine that He smiles.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Happy Independence Day! I am so blessed to live in a free nation under God. The history of this day overwhelms me sometimes! (nerd alert.) Anywho....

God works in strange (but awesome!) ways sometimes. I apologize in advance, but I have to leave most of this story to your imagination. What would be the fun in just spilling all the details? :)  So... I was recently in a relationship that I had no intentions of being a summer fling. I am certainly not that kind of girl. I believe that the purpose of dating is to find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Now don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean that you enter every relationship strapped down, determined that you're going to marry this person; but I don't think you should "date for fun." Anyway, that relationship did not work out.

I am not currently dating someone else, but (to be cheesy, sorry!!) I think that God smiled at me and showed me someone that has been right in front of me for a long time. The Lord is very, very apparent in his speech, his actions, and his whole life. He is a blessing to so many people in so many ways. What my prayer is is that God will be the light unto my path. If something is supposed to start, I will trust in Him to lead me there. I also ask that if you've taken the time to read this, will you pray for me, as well? I have really begun to see the ways in which God is shaping me lately, and here's what I'm requesting prayer for....

  • Wisdom in knowing where to go from here
  • To hear clearly where God is leading me and make wise decisions accordingly
  • That I will have understanding and patience
  • That my actions, in and out of relationship, will reflect the Lord
Thank you to everyone who has walked with me, encouraged me, and given me advice. And just for the people who have been happy and excited for me. I'm excited to see where God is leading me!