Monday, December 4, 2006


I sit here, at 1:30 in the morning, just finishing up some studying. I have finals next week and I'm already feeling exhausted and tired. That's a scary feeling, going into finals and knowing that I'm tired. I'm feeling unsure if I'll be able to give my final papers, projects and exams all I've got because I don't know if I'll be able to perform at my best. Don't get me wrong, I'm going to try my hardest but I know going into it that it's going to be difficult the next 2 weeks and I am so looking forward to a rest when it's over.

Today, I had a moment of rest and it was beautiful. A moment before our staff meeting that we rested in God. Nobody was talking or sharing or praying out loud yet but we were resting in God's presence and it was extremely refreshing. It got me through the rest of my day, evening, night and it got me here, now. One of my favorite passages in the Bible talks about rest.

Matthew 11:28-30
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Doesn't that sound nice? Resting with God. Not being lazy, not neglecting your work, but living right beside God, learning, working and resting all in Him. I forget this, it's one of my favorite passages and I forget this. I wake up and it's all go, go, go from there...typically because I wake up late and am rushing to get to class on time. Then I'm in a hurry to get to lunch, then a hurry to get to work, then a hurry to dinner or a research group meeting or this or that. But today, I got to spend a moment in rest and it was perfect. I think I may need to make resting a part of my regular devotional time. I usually pray, read, study, meditate on something...but rest will be an interesting new habit for my devotionals. I'm really looking forward to it and hopefully it will flood into the rest of my life and become an all the time habit of resting in God.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It's About Time

Ecclesiastes 13: 1-3
"There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to rebuild.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to lose.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak up.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
What do people really get for all their hard work? I have thought about this in connection with the various kinds of work God has given people to do. God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end. So I concluded that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to enjoy themselves as long as they can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God."

I read this a couple of days ago in my quiet time and I love it. I think I love it for different reasons. One is because it lets me know that whatever is happening in my life, it's about time for it. There's a time for me to study, there's a time for me to work, there's a time for me to be with friends, there's a time for me to be with family...for every activity that I want to be a part of, there's a time for it. Then there are activities that I don't want to be a part of, a time to grieve, a time to turn away, a time to cry.

So this passage can be somewhat convicting, even though I may not want to take part in these times, I need can be good for me. Something else convicting about this passage....a time to speak up! That's a tough one for me...but I know that God has called me into youth ministry and placed me in a position of leadership and authority and I should speak up...sometimes though I'm unsure and I question myself like, what if I say the wrong thing, what if it doesn't come out right, what if they think I'm talking about God just because I work at a church? But it is reassuring to read, "God has made everything beautiful for its own time", when I'm feeling like I can't do it, or I'm not good enough, or I don't know enough. Here He reminds me not to worry, that He'll make it beautiful. Yeah, I need to speak up for Jesus more and tell my stories and His stories.

And my favorite part of this passage are the last two sentences, which you should read over again. These words of encouragement leave me joyful and lighthearted.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

My List

Let me begin this entry letting you know about my Thanksgiving break, I was sick the whole time and basically slept the entire week. If I tried to do pretty much anything I would get exhausted really fast and have to sleep more so that's why a lot of my list of the things I'm thankful for has to do with health issues. So I start my list with being thankful for usually being healthy. I'm also recently thankful for Dayquill and Nyquill, they have been a huge help the past couple of days. Some other things I'm thankful for are my family, I think I grow more and more grateful for them everyday. There was a time when I didn't feel that way at all, I couldn't stand being around them and I felt like I didn't fit with them because we're all so different. My mindset has changed a lot about my family and I'm so glad that is has, God has really blessed me with a loving family. I'm thankful for my friends and what a positive influence they are on my life. I'm thankful for my church and all the experiences I've had at Forest Hills. From being a student in the youth ministry to now being one of its leaders has been almost unbelievable, it's hard to grasp how it all has happened. I feel so small and its hard to believe that I'm a part of something so big. I'm thankful for my experiences at Mercer, I really do believe that they are worth all the time, effort, studying, and money that I'm putting into it.

Those are the big ones but I'm also thankful for the small things like sunsets, the view from my apartment, text messages, space heaters, when class is cancelled, chapstick, road trips, when students ask me funny questions, lunch drawing, good and meaningful conversations, prayer, sleeping in late, my Taylor guitar, good food, hearing your favorite song, laughing so hard it hurts, compliments, getting back good grades, dancing, flag football, going to the beach, inspirational movies...I mean the list goes on and on of all the things I have to be thankful for. Oh yeah, I can't forget the whipped cream that I mentioned in my earlier post! If we really sit back and think about all the things that God has placed in our lives, it is astounding. And the absolute best part to me is that Jesus shares in these things with us. When I'm happy he's happy when I'm laughing he's laughing and even when we weep, Jesus weeps with us. We are never left to live this life alone, we are never abandoned. We always have someone to share with in our abundant lives. Just thinking about that makes me smile and adds more to my neverending list.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Whipped Cream

Have you ever noticed how whipped cream makes food taste better? Well, I did this weekend as I had the opportunity to eat the oh so delicious camp food at Epworth By the Sea. As we all know, camp food is not a delicacy, it'll get you by but you definitely don't crave it or even like it. Anyway, I went to Epworth to lead a workshop for middle schoolers. It was a pretty cool experience, I got to see and talk to a lot of people I don't get to hang around much. I got to meet a lot of middle schoolers from all over Georgia and really just have a fun and relaxing weekend in St. Simons. I definitely missed all of our middle school students though, it would have been even better with them there.
But one night at dinner I decided to try some banana pudding. I had just woken up from a nap and still in that half asleep mode so I was just kinda staring at my food and not eating too much. And then I remembered I had gotten that banana pudding, now I don't like bananas but I love banana pudding...don't really know why or how that works, but I like it. Well I dive into the beloved banana pudding that ends up with the texture of...glue with huge banana chunks in it, it was way too thick and sticky and just gross. But they gave you a little scoop of whipped cream on top of it so I mixed it all in together and it ended up being a decent banana pudding. Seriously, that banana pudding made my entire meal. Actually it wasn't even the banana pudding, it was the whipped cream on top. For some reason that whipped cream really made an impression on me, I've never really considered myself to be a massive food lover or anything but this whipped cream was a big deal. It made me think that whipped cream really does make everything taste better. Think about all the desserts that you've had, and how whipped cream is on top of pretty much all of them...and its amazing, it totally makes it better. Plus, desserts are the best part of the meal anyway. I gained 10 pounds my freshman year of college because of the desserts in Mercer's dining hall, it was awesome!
Anyway, so I got to thinking about this whipped cream and how thankful I was for it because it made my dinner better and all my desserts are better because of it. Then I started thinking that's how God can be. He makes everything better in my life. God brings love and joy and blessings into my life that make a huge difference in who I am. God makes my relationships better, he makes my work ethic stronger, he softens me and makes me a nicer person to be around, he takes care of me and my needs, and my attitude is a positive one because I can see God moving in my life and in the world around me. Really, everything in my life is better because of who God is. And I am so grateful for that. I think for my next entry I may make a list of the things in my life that I'm grateful for...and one of them will be whipped cream...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Since last night I've had an amazing feeling of fulfillment...and I like it! I think what brought it on was a visit to my sister, brother-in-law, neice and new nephew Ryan that I mentioned earlier. It started off a little rocky because my neice Riley hasn't slept in about 3 days because of all the commotion of being at the hospital with the new baby and not being in her normal routine. When Riley doesn't get enough sleep she starts to act a little crazy, like running in circles, screaming, rolling on the floor, random bursts of crying, and temper tantrums...which is totally normal for a 3 year old. Anyway, her craziness started up last night while I was there...and I never really know what to do when she starts acting up so I just sat there and kinda laughed at her. Riley was stressing out my sister and brother-in-law and they had to fuss at her and then spank her to get her to calm down and finally in the bed. As my sister was getting ready to go to bed too I was able to spend some time with my nephew Ryan, who is now 2 and a half days old. It was the first time I really got to hold him and look at him and just be with him.

While I was holding him and he was slowly falling asleep I could hear his breathing patterns change. Listening to him breathe was so cool because it became rhythmic when he finally fell asleep. Breath makes me think of life, I probably relate the two because of different instances in the Bible. So I started thinking about life, and how from 2 days ago my family's life will never be the same. I took a moment to kinda step outside of that place and imagine, I thought about how small Ryan was and how small I felt right then, how small our lives are but how big his impact has already been, I imagined him growing up and all the fun things we'll do together, I thought about my sister and her husband and how they will be changed, I thought about what it would be like one day if I ever have a baby and what it will be like to hold it, I felt consumed in my thoughts of how precious life is. It was a great moment spent with Ryan and with God. I love that I get to share my life with them both. I think these moments are part of what makes life precious and these moments are the ones I will remember and cherish. From that experience last night I have just had an overwhelming sense of satisfaction with my life. I am so blessed. This feeling is so big it's hard to explain, but I think the word that I've found to best describe it is fulfilled.

And today was a great day too, I've been catching up on a lot of sleep that I missed this weekend, classes went well, I got some good test grades back, I learned how to kayak, went to a good lecture for extra credit, and made it to Wesley Foundation. After Wesley Foundation I had an amazing conversation with a friend of mine that's on the Leadership Team. We were able to share a lot of things going on in our lives right now, the good things and the tough things, and then we prayed together. It was nice, I love getting to know people better and building relationships. Like I said, I am so very blessed. And I'm glad to have this feeling of fulfillment and it's all thanks to Jesus for making me whole.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Figuring It Out

Well I titled this "figuring it out" because thats me right now...just trying to figure things out. First, this blog...not really sure how it works, or what its going to end up looking like or being. But thanks for stopping in and checking it out! Right now, I'm thinking this blog will just be me sharing some things that have been on my mind and how I feel about a few things. I guess the biggest thing I'm trying to figure out is what I'm going to do after I graduate. I know I've got a year and a half to figure it out and there are more immediate things I've got to deal with, but this one issue has been an underlying question for quite some time. Luckily, I've got several options, it's not like I've got no where to go and nothing to do...its quite the opposite! I've got so much that I want to do, and experience and learn and to see. I just don't know when or how these things will fall into place.

And the tough part about whatever my decision will be, is that it will effect more people than just me. Particularly my family and my church family. My family has taken a few hard hits over the past couple of years and I want to be here for them and support them as much as possible. (by the way, as of yesterday I have a new nephew!! His name is Ryan and he's perfect!) Also, my church family has been such a blessing in my life that it would be hard to ever leave such amazing and loving people. SO, here I am with lots of questions. Even though I'm really unsure of what my future holds, I take so much comfort in knowing that God is in control and he knows his plans for me and they are for a prosperous and abundant life. And he's given me so much encouragement in his word, like don't worry about anything, pray always, rest in Him, rejoice! Basically, God lets me know everyday that he cares about me, he knows my needs better than I do. Knowing that God is my provider definitely helps me out when I'm on the brink of an anxiety attack thinking about all these things! Being in a relationship with Him is by far the thing I am most grateful for, I have NO idea who I would be, where I would be or what I would be doing otherwise, because God has shaped so much of my life. My prayer is that the decisions that I do make reflect and glorify God and that my desires are the same desires that God has for my life.

Well, this looks like a good stopping point until next time. Again, thanks for checking out this blog! Have a great week!