Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good Morning 2012 :)

Well. It's KIND OF weird hitting midnight and realizing that instead of going from one day to the next your shifting into an entire new YEAR :D also slightly exciting. As indicated by that wonderful little excited smiley.
I drove home at 11:00 from my beautiful best friends house. Annddd pretty much listened to Long Live by Taylor Swift on repeat because it felt like that was a super fitting New Years song!! Anyways. I guess I'm going to be doing the "classic" New Year's looking back list. But here goes. This MIGHT be super long.

1. Senior Year Sadie. Mary Joe Peckham. New and old friends :) Possibly dents in Cooper, daddy's truck ;)
2. Snow and ice days in Katy Texas!!! Sleepovers with best friends and sisters.
3. San Antonio State swimming meet with adventures in the hotel.
4. Rodeo Houston 2011!!! Tim McGraw in concert. 
5. Senior Prom!!! With my lovely date ;) hahaha. Just kidding. She's just my beautiful friend!! 

6. Kemah boardwalk the morning afternoon. Scary wooden rollercoasters. Late night snack food (actually stuff food but whats the difference?) Hotels. 
7. NATIONALS!!! Lots of basketball. Lots of Landry's. Lots of sister. Lots of family. Lots of #1 ;) Lots of varsity ball games. Lots of empty basketball courts. Lots of leafy walks. Lots of antique tractors ;D Lots of biscuits and gravy!!! MASSIVE BASS PRO SHOP.
8. Texas A&M visit with Rach.
9. Oreo cake baking at 3:00 in the morning! 
10. Let's try my ENTIRE Senior Track season? Such amazing memories. Regionals in the 800. And an absolutely amazing team of friends <3
11. Pretty much every Astros game attended by me and my family:D HUNTER PENCE FTW. Even though he's a Philly now....
12. The last week of Senior year. SO much fun. No real class time at ALL ;)
13. Watching Chris do 1,200 pushups (for REALS) because he said "shut up" in Mrs. Martin's class.
14. Galveston with the Fontenots for Abi's birthday.
15. WORLDVIEW ACADEMY '11!! and my amazing small group. And reoccuring friends :) And a pretty awesome cousin we somehow didn't know we had... 

16. FIESTA, TEXAS. Arlington Piano competitions. Theme parks with the Stokleys. 
17. Picking the Gibbs up from the a GREEN LANTERN CAPE!!!! 
18. Scary Movie nights. Shutter Island. The Sixth Sense. Some other weird, freaky movie. 
19. Sleep. In cars. Big theme for us. 
20. Savannah with my best friends. For the summer. Cabins and lake side beach talks. 
21. The tale of the Jennithor ;D 
22. Painting Melissa's new house!!! 
23. Storms on the dock <3
24. Watching Rachel trying to fish :P 
25. Downtown Savannah and Mellow Mushroom. This is never NOT a plus. 
26. Senior year powderpuff!!! 

27. THE HUGH MORRIS 80'S VARIETY SHOW. And setting up before with Kelee Mendoza ;)
28. Um....let's try....GRADUATING HIGH SCHOOL?!? 

29. Photo shoots at Mamaw's. 
30. LONG family cartrips to College!!!! (a.k.a. Impact 360)
31. My amazing C-group. And musical keyboard geniuses ;) 
32. Late night talks on the tailgates of trucks.
33. Feaky. 
34. Weird accents!!! And inside jacket hugs :D
35. Motorcycle rides!!! and ohmygoodnessgraciousIdidn'tdie...
36. Adventure Module. 
37. Best friend's 18th birthday!!! Oh. And Amy Smith. she gawgeous ;)
38. Truefaced. Honesty. 
39. Facebook children!!! 
40. Days in the rain!!! Heck, for that matter, late nights in our dorm room. Good lanta ;)
41. Mississippi College Visits!!! oh yes.
42. Buying our couch for our room :D
43. Tacky Christmas sweaters nad Fantasy in Lights. 
44. Thinking faces.....
46. Best friends that can PRETTY much read your mind. It's weird.
47. David the dolphin...
48. Biology class. hahahahahaha. 
49. Movie quoteoffs. Even though I have SO many left to see. 
annnnnnnnnnnd #50!!!! 

50. My best friends. All of them. The beautiful people God has blessed me with to walk alongside...and to frying pan me in the face when I get too far ahead of myself :) Wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ. 

THIS HAS BEEN SUCH A GOOD YEAR. But maybe this next will be even better. Who knows. We'll just see!!! 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Janae Janna.

So I'm pretty sure this makes LUCKY number 13.


I am unbelievably thankful for this lovely sister in Christ. I'm thankful that we're on the same Brazil team. I'm thankful that God has given her such incredible talent with a pen. I'm thankful she can take simple words and turn it into something absolutely amazing. I'm thankful that she's got pretty legit and unique music taste :D I'm thankful that she absolutely rocks short hair, with much amazingness. I'm thankful that of all the Janaes, she's the Janae-y-est ;) I'm thankful that she's got an absolutely beautiful heart. I'm thankful that she trusts us with it.

I'm thankful that she can do ALOT with a sharpie and a blank piece of skin. I'm thankful that she's a redeemed daughter of God. I'm thankful that she's got a style completely her own. I'm thankful that I miss her with great muchness ;) I'm thankful for late nights filled with truth in a simple kitchen. I'm thankful for Harry Potter marathons that are soon to come! 

I'm thankful for a sister in Christ who understands. Who is absolutely beautiful. Who is stronger than she thinks she is. And who is  going  to do great things for God, in Brazil and for the rest of her life. 

And who I get to see in 3. DAYS!!! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Loneliness is an interesting emotion.
Usually when someone thinks of someone who is lonely they picture someone....well, alone. Isolated. Physically set apart from those surrounding her. But so often, lonely isn't a physical concept at all.

The scariest type of loneliness is that which makes us feel not that we are physically alone, but that we are on an island. Surrounded by people on all sides, but completely and totally alone in our struggles, our insecurities and our fears. Convinced wholeheartedly that no one could possibly be tempted or be shaken by the sins that we are, and wholeheartedly terrified that if we open up to those around us they will reject us in every way shape and form because they are so completely disgusted with the twisted human being we have let ourselves become.

Loneliness is a lie from the Devil. It is one of the sharpest tools in his arsenal. Not only does it almost ensure that we isolate ourselves to some degree from those that love us, so many times it almost means that we shrink away from the very Savior that can shake the Devil's hold on us once and for all.

But even more tricky, is the lie that we can run to those around us to fulfill the gaping hole in our hearts reserved for Christ alone. So many times when we feel lonely, we run to those we know best. Those we know will comfort us. Those we are comfortable WITH. When in fact, we should be running into the open and waiting arms of Jesus Christ. Easier said than done? Oh yes. Most definitely. There are days when it seems like nothing can beat a hug from my best friend. But when it comes right down to it, the only way to beat the lie that we are alone, is to trust the people around us with who we truly are and allow them to love us. And to effectively do that safely, we must first trust GOD with who we are.

Nobody is perfect, and sometimes people will let you down. But God never, NEVER will.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jesse Clifford Gerkey

I'm pretty sure this makes number 12 :)

#12. Jesse Gerkey.

I'm thankful that he's my brother in Christ. I'm thankful I also get to call him my friend :) I'm thankful that he's got a super funny, SUPER sarcastic sense of humor. I'm thankful that he has a intense love and yearning to have a legitimate relationship with the Lord. I'm thankful that he takes seriously every responsibility he's given, and tries to complete it to the best of his ability.

I'm thankful that he didn't ACTUALLY hate me ;D I'm thankful he's such a huge, essential part of our class. I'm thankful the Lord's given him such incredible organizational ability, and also an absolutely amazing servants heart. I'm thankful he's willing to sacrifice his time and effort when he knows people need him. I'm thankful he's always willing to speak truth, whether it's what the other person wants to hear or not :P I'm thankful that he doesn't let what people think about him run his life. 

I'm thankful that he's someone I will always look up to. And I'm thankful he's gonna be an absolutely amazing dad one day :) 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hmm...Megan Elizabeth :)

I have no idea what classmate number this will make :D we're gonna go with #11 because I think that's right. SO!

#11: Megan Elizabeth Hudson.
(funny fact: I almost typed Megan Elizabeth Husband. That would have been QUITE hilarious :D)

SO! I am so unbelievably thankful for this girl. I'm thankful that I get to room with her this year. I'm thankful that she's me and Pay's unofficial "mom" and that she keeps us out of trouble. Sometimes ;) I'm thankful for milk "borrowing" escapades early in the morning. I'm thankful for testimony sharing and openness.

I'm thankful that God is turning her into a new and active prayer warrior. I'm thankful that she is filled with an incredible love and passion for Christ. I'm thankful that she's able to be open with her friends who love her now :D I'm thankful that she's such a hard worker, and organized, and that she can get absolutely anything and everything done!! I'm thankful that she keeps me and Payton on track ;) I'm thankful for the plans that God has already in store for her in Brazil.

Oh yeah. And she's crazy gorgeous :) I'm thankful that she doesn't mind sharing food that she keeps in the pantry with the rest of her roommates ;) I'm thankful for her growing relationship with Christ. And the rest of the growth that will happen this year.

Friday, December 16, 2011

No Greater Love

It is almost shameful to admit that after a good 3 months of pounding into my head that it's NOT about me, that I am still stuck in this proud, arrogant, stifling little square of thinking that people expect something of me. And that without delivery I cease to be in essence, me.
Me, me, me. Why is this such a key part of my thinking?
It is also very embarrassing to admit that I'm still struggling with the exact same problems that I entered Impact with. That I still long for an earthly, superficial definition of love. That I am clinging with every, single, desperate part of my human being to the lies and deception that I believe about myself, because I am at a loss  for how to embrace the beauty, acceptance and unconditional love that Christ offers.
For I know the good I ought to do, but do not do it. Oh how true this is.
It is overwhelming to realize that part of the reason I feel trapped is due to the suffocating enclosure that I constructed myself! I am unwilling to admit that it hurts because I am unwilling to admit that he has the power over me to make it hurt. I am unwilling to admit that I am jealous because I am unwilling to admit that I yearn for approval. For encouragement. I refuse to admit that I am not okay, because I am scared. That's it. I am scared that by opening the door just a crack, the emotional baggage and utter BLAH-ness will pour out and completely suffocate whoever is reaching out.


For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

No amount of emotional baggage can shake Christ. No overwhelming avalanche of insecurities and doubts will ever suffocate Him. He will not be scared away, because He has seen into the depths of my deprived, fallen human heart and said, "She is someone that I want to die for. She is someone that is worth it."

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

How humbling. There is NO GREATER LOVE. Here on earth, or anywhere in the universe. Nowhere. There is no greater comfort. And yet, when Christ died for me I was NOT His friend. My very essence despised Him. Not only did He die for me....He REACHED for me. Drew me out of my emotional crud, out of my inadequacies, fears, insecurities, faults, pride, arrogance, false encouragement. And while I looked at Him through hate filled eyes, He drew me to Himself and whispered "I love you." He fought. For ME.
There IS no greater love....


To be honest, I'm surprised I HAVEN'T done this guy yet. So! Here's number 10 :)


I'm super thankful that I get to call this guy not only my brother in Christ, but one of my super good friends :) I'm thankful that he's fun to talk to. I'm thankful that he's responsible for pretty much 1/2 of my Spotify library now. I'm thankful that he doesn't mind when I take(possibly steal) his Atlanta Braves snapback for short periods of time. I'm thankful that me, him and Payton make watching musicals AWESOME!!

I'm thankful that God has given him a heart for those he cares about. I'm thankful that I get to experience Brazil with him and the rest of our awesome teammates. I'm thankful that he's super trustworthy, and very easy to talk to regardless of who you are or what your problem is. I'm thankful that he's super talented at basketball. And can shoot 3 pointers pretty darn well ;)

I'm thankful that he's always able to find the fun, lighthearted side of the situation. I'm thankful that he showed me who Mayday Parade is!! Which is super exciting. And I'm thankful that he's a super awesome part of the Impact 360 class of 2012.

Lynz Buchanan!!

Well this will make #9 :) Maybe I'll actually get most of us done before Christmas break is over!!

So. 9. Lynz Erin Buchanan.

Well. I'm just so thankful for this girl. I'm thankful for her awesome singing voice, and for the talents that God has given her to praise Him. I'm thankful for her super gentle spirit. I'm thankful for the fact that she takes life as it comes, and it never seems to get her down. I'm thankful that even though she's quiet, she's one of the most supportive and encouraging people I have ever been around :)

I'm thankful that she's an absolutely amazing friend, and that she puts up with me and all my craziness :D I'm thankful that she's got super good rhythm. I'm thankful that she can play the box drum like no other! I'm thankful for tag-along coffee dates. I'm thankful for her love for people. I'm thankful for her ability to accept and love anyone and everyone. I'm thankful for the standards she holds, and that she holds others to those standards as well. I'm thankful I got to spend SIFAT with her, ESPECIALLY the night at the global village when the boys were gettin' crazy ;) I'm thankful that we got to watch David and Kenny sing Do, a Deer together :D

I'm thankful that she's CRAZY photogenic. And that she's so good at all her crazy band group organizational things :) <-- I'm pretty sure there's a word for that, BUT I don't know it. 

1 week down, 2 to go. Hopefully this break will KEEP going fast!! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Well, it's been almost a week. And I'm starting to miss people....kind of like crazy. It's quite ridiculous really. All that being's classmate numero eight-o :) (Yes. I do know the word for eight in Spanish. It's ocho. Thank you and goodnight.)

#8!!! --> David Michael Teston :)

Alright. Where to even start.

I am SO thankful that I got to spend this year with him. I'm thankful that he pretty much gives the best hugs in the world. And how he always seems  to know just when I need them. Which tends to be...well....always. I'm thankful that God gave him the spiritual gift of PUNS. I'm thankful that he's absolutely incredible at dubstepping. And yes I did just turn that into a verb.

I'm thankful for the incredible heart for God that he has. I'm thankful that he's always willing to listen. I'm thankful that he'll do almost anything for the people he loves and cares about. I'm thankful that he has a crazy AWESOME motorcycle (thatigottorideohmygosh). I'm thankful that he can do pretty much any accent in the world...and then people get confused about what his voice actually sounds like :P I'm thankful that he's a crazy hard worker, and does his best on whatever task he's given. I'm thankful that he's someone I can look up to, as a brother and as a leader.

OH YEAH. And I'm thankful he can headbang harder than pretty much any person I've ever met EVER :) And I'm thankful that I MISS HIM.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


She is quiet. A brown haired, green eyed beauty standing off on her own in the corner of the room, anxious to branch out but not quite brave enough to be the life of the party just yet. In her eagerness to be loved she steps out and stumbles, stubbing her toe. Now skittish, she shuffles back into her corner. 

A few hours later she is ready again. She carefully steps out, bravely stepping over the errant piece of carpet that caused her such discomfort earlier. While focusing on the carpet, she backs into a dusty chair, bumping her knee against the leg. With a quiet gasp of pain, she lurches back to the corner, completely disregarding other obstacles in her way in her effort to get back to what's comfortable. Now as she stands, watching the brightly lit room across the way she nurses a throbbing toe, an aching knee, and several small scratches. Scars of her past attempts to find her way to the revelry. And failed. 

She looks up as a young man enters the room. A few inches taller than she, he has olive tinted skin and midnight black hair. His eyes, hazel with tints of gray, hold promises of adventure, mystery and wonder. There is an colder, crueler current running under the shallow promises, but at the moment she doesn't see them. She watches with bated breath as he slowly stretches out his hand, arm reaching across chairs, broken lamps, torn rugs. All obstacles keeping her from the warmth of the people across the hall. Overflowing with happiness, she reaches, grasps his fingers, and he pulls.

Grabbing her he wraps an arm around her waist and pulls her close. With the other arm he traces her face. Lowering his head, he whispers quietly into her ears. Breath caught deep within her throat, she waits eagerly for the words of love, comfort, and acceptance that she has waited oh so long to hear.

"You are not good enough. You will never be good enough. How can you expect anyone to love you if you can't even walk yourself across the room in one piece? You will never have it together. It is to late to even try." The grey in his eyes begins to gleam as he watches her face fall, tears gathering in the depths of her sea green eyes. Releasing her quickly, he is gone before she even has time to blink.

Looking frantically back and forth she searches for her corner, her safe haven. But she has ventured too far into the center of the room to turn around and find it now. Looking down at the floor she is surrounded by darkness the likes of which she has never seen. Alone, exposed, and completely defenseless she falls to the floor, sobbing as she hugs her knees to her chest. A few feet away she sees a fallen, broken table, and she drags herself too it. Curling beneath it, she puts her head between her knees and cries. 

What seems like hours later, a small footstep approaches. Looking up, she stares into the deep pacific blue eyes of a blonde haired, bare footed child. She wipes her nose, smearing snot and dust across her entire right cheek. Ashamed she hiccups and tries to slide away, but stops as a look of delight sweeps across the little boys face. Giggling, he reaches out a bare hand and wipes a streak of mud off her cheek. Grabbing her ankle, he proceeds to drag her out from under the table. He guides her to the door, and she marvels as obstacles fall away out of his path.
As they walk out into the party she again tries to detract into her shell. She feels the weight of people's eyes, judging her appearance. Her dress, once white, is muddy now dirtied by her tears and the dust from her table. Across the room, Devon smirks, his now completely grey eyes glinting at her evilly. Looking down, she sees an innocent scowl mar the face of the little boy before he walks her out the door and shuts it firmly behind her, shutting in all her problems, anxieties, fears, and disappointments. 

Looking back, she sees the door slowly creek open, and tan fingers curl menacingly around the edge. Amongst the now somewhat dimmer party lights, she sees too quick, steely flashes of gray. Fearfully catching her breath, she trembles. Turning her head back round, she drowns once again in the deep blue eyes of the blonde haired manifestation of grace that has so buried her fears and insecurities.She faces the new day, her hand held tightly in his own, the love of a child shining through non-judgemental eyes

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hannah :)

Funny story. Everytime I START one of these blog posts I have to go through my entire blog and count how many people I've done so far. Even though I specifically tell myself "Okay. This is number SEVEN."

That being said. Number #7 :)

I am so, so, SO thankful for this girl. I am thankful for her quiet spirit. I am thankful for the huge, immense depths of love she has for absolutely everyone around her. I am thankful that you can literally see her love for Christ and the Bible simply through the way she lives her everyday life. and the fact that she generally always has her bible with her. Mary Michael would be so proud!!!

I am thankful that she is my sister in Christ. I'm thankful that God blessed us with her in our 360 class this year. I'm thankful that she somehow ALWAYS knows exactly when I need a hug. And the fact that she gives SUPER good hugs is just an awesome plus :) 

I'm thankful that she somehow has this gift for knowing when people are hurting. I'm thankful for the unbelievable GROWTH that she's shown, even in just the first semester. I'm thankful for the quiet strength that she brings to the room when she walks in :) I'm thankful that we can skype, even though we had a massive paper due in the morning that I hadn't finished yet. 

In short, I am unbelievably thankful for Hannah Devries :) 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Jonathon Alan Cason.

So (I'm realizing that I start 99.9999999999% of my blog posts off with the word SO. That should probably change...) this guy will make classmate #6! And I guess I'm doing him because if I'm being completely honest, I really do miss him a whole lot :)

SO. #6. Mr. Cason!

I'm thankful that he's part of my community group. I'm thankful that he's a super hard worker. I'm thankful that he's able to bring joy to almost ANY conversation or circumstance that he walks into. I'm thankful that after I had my car wreck he told the story for me, and by the end of the story the devil was not only in my car, but he had added sound effects, random names, and lots of other things to it. I'm thankful that he has a super caring heart that hurts not only for himself but for all the people around him.

I'm thankful that he's a picky eater, because it's made for some really funny dinner conversations. :P I'm thankful that he's my brother in Christ and that I really couldn't ask for a better friend. I'm thankful that he's from Alabama, even though we sometimes make fun of him for it. Just a tinge bit :D And I'm thankful for his crazy AWESOME accent! 

I'm thankful he's a hard worker. I'm thankful that he seeks the Lord with all his heart. I'm thankful he's willing to go outside of his comfort zone to learn new things. I'm thankful he's turning into (and really already is) an awesome public speaker. AND (random memory) I'm thankful that we had to learn how to make sweet tea together for lunch crew. Even though I'm pretty sure we ruined it the first time :) 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Payton Pierce!!!!!

Payton Lauren Freakin' Pierce!!!! Oh goodness. Where do I even start?!

I am so thankful this girl is my roommate :D. I am thankful that she's from Texas. I'm thankful that she's full of energy. All the time. I'm thankful that we can go from being completely stupid to having super meaningful conversations in 5 seconds flat. I'm thankful that her country accent gets better and better as the night gets later! I'm thankful that we are 2 of the 3 Muskateers.....and that we get to have super awesome (slightly dumb) Skype conversations with various other classmates ;D
I'm thankful for our awesome, slightly random dancing videos. I'm thankful that we can take on the WORLD with popcorn and Diet MountainDew. I'm thankful that we sprint everywhere that we go. I'm thankful that we take laps in the cold to warm up. I'm thankful that HER room looks like a tornado went through it too! I'm thankful that we can laugh hysterically at the stupidest things. I'm thankful that she's a fellow Harry Potter fan. I'm thankful that she's on my Brazil team. SUPER thankful!!!!!! I'm thankful that she sits in laundry baskets. 
I'm  thankful that she listens to me. I'm thankful that she deals with my freakouts and my breakdowns. I'm thankful that this girl NEVER lets life get her down. I'm thankful that she finds her rest in the Lord, and not in the dumb, superficial things of this world. I'm thankful that she chose Impact instead of ACU. And I'm thankful that she's pretty much one of the best roommates a girl could ever ask for :D LOVE YOU ROOMIE! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

London Alexander George.

So. This will make classmate #4! Onward and forward in an upward direction!!

I am super, duper thankful for this awesome brother in Christ! I'm thankful that we're friends. I am thankful that he's got a stinkin' awesome name. That just sounds super cool. I'm thankful that he's got a bunch of really cool opinions, and that he's not afraid to share them. I'm thankful that he's got a crazy amount of energy that never seems to stop. I'm thankful that he throws himself completely into the things he does, and won't give up until he's finished with them. I'm thankful that God's given him some crazy awesome talents that he's gonna use for the rest of his life :)

I'm thankful that he asks hard questions in every day conversation. I'm thankful for hugs, although they are few and far between :D I'm thankful he's being called to Hillsong in AUSTRALIA....although if I'm being honest I wish it wasn't so far away :D I'm thankful for his awesome sense of humor, and for his really cool laugh. I'm thankful that he's a part of my bible study group and I got that chance to know him better!

I'm thankful that he's another Texan! And that Dallas reallly isn't THAT far from Houston :) And I'm thankful I get to watch the Lord grow him in his relationship with God over the next 6 months....and  the rest of his life! Oh. And I'm thankful that he understands my prison break obsession :D

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The small things

This week has given me a new appreciation for the concept of "constant-ness." I'm not entirely sure that's a word, but it fits my point really well so we're going to go with it.

So. This concept of constant-ness. It's not something I've ever really appreciated until I stopped to think about it, because I think it's one of those character traits that I've always taken for granted. Which is not the best thing in the world, because I think this concept ties into a whole lot of other ones that are also really REALLY important.

You can't depend on someone unless you know they're constant. That they're steady. That they'll be there for you. You can't trust someone unless you know that they are of constant character. That way you know that they're not going to turn around and be your friend one minute and give you the cold shoulder the next!

I'm not sure this blog post made the most sense of anything that I've ever posted. But it was just something that's been on my mind a lot recently. Because recently, the thought of what characteristics we look for in a husband has come up a lot. And I've realized that that's definitely something I'll be looking for :) Someone that's going to be a rock. Someone to depend on.

I think we're going in circles. So I'm just gonna stop for right now :P

Katie Masters!

Two days left home. Goodness how did Christmas break get here so crazy fast?!? Not okay. Not okay at all :) <-- and yet i put a smily face after it. I have smiley face addiction issues...
Moving on!

#3: Kathryn Michelle Masters!!! Yup.

Well. I am super thankful for my awesome sister in Christ. I'm thankful for her servant's heart. I'm thankful that she made the majority (like 99.9999999%) of those delicious peppermint Christmas cookies on our last preview day. I'm thankful that she's an absolutely incredible hostess and a great tour guide. I'm thankful that she loves to worship the Lord, and that God has given her the voice to do it!

I'm thankful for her incredible heart for people. I'm thankful that she survived the Adventure Module. I'm thankful that we're eventually GOING to have a lunch/dinner date and talk (because somehow that hasn't happened yet...). 

Oh yeah. And I'm SUPER thankful that she's gonna be on my Brazil team. Cuz that's just gonna be awesome :) 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Josiah Brown!!

So after this one, I think I'm gonna save the rest of my amazing class for over Christmas break....considering I'm gonna be missing ya'll pretty super bad :) So. Without further ado!

Student #2: Josiah (Duff) Brown.

I am thankful for this guy's AWESOME middle name! I'm thankful for his awesome photography skills. I'm thankful for his willingness to drive to Bible study ALMOST every week :) I'm thankful for the fact that he's able to go with the flow...and is up for almost anything all the time.

I'm thankful for his witty sense of humor. And his ability to say almost anything with a straight face, no matter how funny it is. Definitely a character trait I'm jealous of :P I'm thankful for his leadership abilities. I'm thankful for the fact that he works hard to do his best at any task that he's given. I'm thankful for the fact that he gives pretty awesome hugs :) 

See. There's that straight face I'm talking about :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Miriam Christine :)

In the spirit of the holiday season fast approaching, and the spirit of our being apart for 3 weeks (also fast approaching) I've decided to start a "thanksgiving list" so to speak. "Why didn't she do this in November?" You might be asking....well that would have been QUITE cliche. So! Here we go.
Classmate #1: Miriam Christine Beard.

I am thankful for her because she is my sister in Christ. I'm thankful because we understand each other, and because we have the same insane, frustrating problems. I'm thankful that God has given me someone else that's quirky to have fun with :D

I'm thankful that she's absolutely beautiful. I'm thankful that she wants to grow in her relationship with the Lord. I'm thankful for her sarcasm, and for the way she shows affection through her witty little comebacks. I'm thankful for the way she brightens the rooms when she walks in! I'm thankful for the encouragement she is to everyone around her. I'm thankful for her leadership in all areas of showcasing David the Dolphin!

I'm thankful that she's my big sister. I'm thankful that God put her in my life. I'm thankful for our late night talks with Mary Michael and Pam about things like Josiah's desert menu ;) I'm thankful for future weddings and children's play dates. And I'm  thankful for best sister friends that you just sense a connection with before even meeting them :) 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ignorant Wonder

Tonight, I sit in wonder of the vast amount of things I do not know. The mountains of concepts I do not understand. The beautiful complexity of concepts that I had previously believed to be simple. 
I do not understand the gospel. I  do not even begin to comprehend my overwhelming need for a savior. I can write, type, and repeat over and over to myself the depths of my sin. I KNOW my need for salvation. But I don't believe it. I don't feel it. I have never been brought to my knees and broken by the sheer intensity of Christ's love and redemption. 
Oh Lord, break me. 
Bring me to tears at the depths of your love. 
May I be so overwhelmed with your unending grace that I overflow, so bursting with your mercies that my earthly, human vessel shatters in the wake of your glory. 
Lord, may I understand your longing. 
Lead me to believe that you long for me. That you cherish me. That you so value me that you sent your only son to take my punishment, because you would rather that than spend all of eternity separated from me. 
You have bought me. You own me, and I am yours. Yours alone. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Oh Christmas Trees!!

Well, just like predicted Thanksgiving has come. And happened. And gone :D I'm pretty sure I ate my WEIGHT in cajun turkey (weird concept, but DELICIOUS) and red velvet cake. And looking back on it now, I think my family's thanksgiving food menu is a liiiiiitle bit untraditional. oh well! It's more exciting that way!
Now, while waving goodbye to Mamaw for the next 2 or 3 weeks and looking forward, it's hard to believe that it's already almost Christmas time. With that comes several very serious realizations....
1. 2012 is almost here. Weirdly enough I remember looking back last year and  thinking that it was almost 2011 and that was my graduating year :D It's weird how much time flies!! Also, it's really strange to think about just how many of the friends I thought were going to be "life long" have moved on.....and how many truly life long friends God has now blessed me with :)

2. With the coming of Christmas, also means that we are about 1/2 through the year at Impact 360. This is weird. Kind of scary. How is it possible that I've met, bonded with, and come to love and cherish these 32 people so quickly? It's hard to imagine "college" without waking up to all of them every day. At the same time,  I know God is going to do CRAZY things with our class....but that means He might have to spread us out to do it :) 

Anyhoo!! Now that it actually IS technically allowed to celebrate Christmas (even though apparently half my class missed the after Thanksgiving memo :P) I'm not gonna lie, I'm excited. So! Goodbye pilgrims, turkey, and leaf burning piles.....hello Christmas trees, lights, and cold winter mornings!!!! God is so good!!! 

Also. On to finding the perfect gifts for everyone. this should be awesomely interesting :) 

Monday, November 21, 2011


Oh my what a long and hard week it has been :) In just a few days I'll be on a plane going home to my family, my best friends, and a huge overstuffed turkey with cranberry sauce on the side. It's so exciting! At the same time, I'm not sure whether or not I'm ready to leave Impact 360 friends. And memories. And moments....
So! In light of the upcoming holiday....I am thankful for:
1. Brazil projects, presentations, and teams
2. Car wrecks and Auto Body shops
3. Pamela Sue. Today IS her birthday :)
4. Kindred spirits, even then they're frustrating
5. Boys with eyes that wander, because God must be teaching me something.
6. Feelings that won't go away
7. Lost dates
8. Frustrations of working closely with people I care about
9. Bike rides with Jesus
10. Lessons in indeciseviness
11. Not knowing where the heck God is taking me next

Thursday, November 17, 2011


A concept that's been coming up a lot for me recently has been the idea of freedom within limits. Freedom within limits? Isn't that a contradiction?

I like to push boundaries. A lot. Sometimes, probably a little too much. So the idea of having limits on anything is something that kind of offends me, to a certain extent. And the idea of being FREE when your LIMITED seems like a complete contradiction in my mind. How can you be free to do what you want when your being told what you can and cannot do?

Here's the thing. I think there's a difference between being free to do what you WANT to do, and true freedom. In fact, I know there is. Because maybe being able to do whatever we want isn't really being free at all. And if that's the case, then the idea of having freedom within limits starts to make sense. Because if true freedom is having the ability to do what we know is right, then limits are there to provide us with a couple of extra boundaries just to make sure we don't stray into what isn't supposed to happen.

This whole thing came to mind because I had someone that I respect a lot sit down and tell me that I had to put limits on a friendship that was quickly getting out of hand. And yeah, I didn't like the idea. He said, "but then you'll be able to do anything within those limits. You'll be free to pursue a fulfilling, successful, thriving friendship within your limits. And then maybe as circumstances change the limits move."

Again, the idea of limits. Not a big fan. But I guess it's starting to make a little bit more sense :) Especially in relationships, isn't the whole point of BEING in a relationship that the limits of friendship come off?

YES. and then a very resolute NO.

Cuz then that leads to a whole new set of problems. And then where do the lines get drawn? If the lines just keep getting pushed farther and farther back than there's no point of having lines in the first place at all. Here's where the limits come in. And the freedom to enjoy something to the full extent within the limits that will keep it from turning into something it was never intended to be :)

But the thing is, he was RIGHT. There's a huge overwhelming sense of freedom in just realizing that your friends! And that God has given you these people, not to provide you with a sense of value or to prove to yourself that your "worth" something, but because they're awesome Christians that are walking a walk right alongside you and constantly encouraging. Which is funny, because I've never realized before how encouraging someone could be through their STRUGGLES. Another blog post for another day!!

Anyhoo. This limits idea. Maybe there's something to it after all. Even though part of me still thinks my "rights" or something is being tromped on. New word. Trompage.
And with ends this blog post :D

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I am GOD'S creation!

Our Bible Study is studying the book of James for the next 5 weeks, and every week we get to rotate teachers. Well, this week it was my turn! I got to teach on James 3, which has to do with the taming of the tongue. And at first I was like, this is just gonna be the typical gossip passage about not ripping people apart with your tongue and respecting them because they're created in the image of God and blah blah blah....
I was reading through the passage and stumbled across James 3:9-10.
"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praising and cursing, my brothers and sisters this should not be."
I've always taken this passage to mean, respect others because they're made in the image of God and therefore you should treat them like you wanted to be treated. But when I was reading through it this afternoon all of a sudden it was reflected back on me. For the first time.

All these lies that we believe about ourselves. "I'm not good enough." "I'm not beautiful enough." "No one will ever love me for me." Those aren't just lies about US. They're lies about who GOD created us to be!! We're not just having insecurities and issues with ourselves. We're having issues with a being created in the image of the MOST. HIGH. GOD.

It reminds me of that verse in 1 Samuel 8:7 where God tells Samuel, "it is not you they have rejected....they have rejected me." Of course, it's in a different context, but I feel like the concept still applies. When we look at people and pick them apart, and when we look at OURSELVES and believe SATAN'S. LIES. we're saying that God didn't do a good enough job when He created us. And how DARE we question the God of the universe?

This was just kind of a WHOA moment for me because it's never hit me like that before. We're created in the image of GOD. GOD. God who created the UNIVERSE God. God sovereign and omnipotent and ALL powerful and completely beyond our grasp! Created us! In HIS image!
Such a cool concept. and so beyond what we deserve.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I don't know what God is doing. And to a certain extent I guess no one really does. But I REALLY. DON'T. I feel lost and like I've lost my direction. Like I'm no longer on the path that I originally was. I keep looking for someone to tell what to do and how this ends but no one else knows either. I'm sick of waiting for the world to change. Cleverly placed John Mayer reference. I don't want to be patient anymore. I don't want to wait on the side. And if I'm being completely honest, I'm tired of people telling me to trust God when I'm not even sure I know what that means anymore.
"When I said 'God, I trust you with my future' I meant 'God I trust you to give me the future I have planned for myself.'" Yup, that's basically me. And I know that God has a future picked out for me that is INSANELY better than anything I could ever pick out for myself. But that doesn't make much sense when I look at the things I've picked out for myself and they don't seem BAD. In fact, they seem really great!
In all of this, I still have 10,000 reasons to bless the Lord. And yes, that song did just in fact come on. I guess this is what being thankful and trusting really is. It's when it gets hard. I don't know what to expect tomorrow. Maybe that's a good thing. I don't know if I'll like what I do find. Why did I ruin this? Why?
Lord I don't know what your doing. And I don't know how to just stand back and let you do it. even though it stinks, knocking the legs out from underneath me so I CAN'T push back anymore would be just awesome:)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

jumbled pieces of puzzles

So I'm pretty confused right now.  But I know there's a whole lot of random thoughts jumbling around in my head right now, so maybe blogging will help. it typically does ;)
So this week is incredibly overwhelming. Between HUGE amounts of schoolwork (that somehow appeared out of absolutely nowhere) and the huge amount of effort that goes into keeping relationships going through huge amounts of stress (could I say huge any more times in one paragraph?) it's absolutely incredible that God has kept my head from exploding.
It's funny because about an hour ago I couldn't get the thoughts in my head to stop racing, and now there's this really eerie stillness. And it's not even like a "Oh, God is supernaturally calming my thoughts" stillness, it's this shut down, emotionless, numbness. Which is slightly scary. I mean, it's working really well for me right now because thinking too hard about everything that I have to do just leads to this overwhelming sense of things are NEVER going to get done. Which just makes me shut down more. so this is good :)
Then we have the unknown elements of my life that are just icing on an otherwise already sufficatingly heavy cake. I don't know what God's doing in the relationships I have with people in my life. I don't know what role I fill. I don't know how to guard my heart. I don't know how to truly love people. I'm learning how to take my thoughts captive to Christ. I don't know how to shut my mind down enough to calmly think. I don't know how to stop this racing of doubts and insecurities. I don't know how to be enough. I don't know how to accept the answer "no". I don't know how to let go.
And I don't know where I go from here. So.
On the upside, I've never realized how much more amazing worship is when your holding a little boy in your lap. Tonight we had a spontaneous worship night at the Wilbanks' house, and I got to hold their little son Caleb while we were singing. He's probably about 3. And that just made the whole experience that much more incredible.
I love worshiping. And singing.
So I guess I'm thankful for that <3

Friday, November 11, 2011


So, courage is doing the hard things even when your scared about the outcome. Courage is being truthful when it would be easier to bury your feelings. Courage is standing up and respecting yourself when it would be easier to be quiet and fade into the background. Courage is changing into a chocolate caramel cheesecake instead of a vanilla pudding girl ;). 

Courage obviously comes from God, because I'm scared. I'm scared that I'll be honest about this and it will go EXACTLY the way I think it will. I'm scared that it won't make a difference. I'm scared because I don't want to leave when he needs me. I'm scared because I think he'll just find another girl that will fill my role for him.

Courage is standing in the face of fear, standing for the image of God ingrained in me. For the patience that God has called us to in waiting for the man He has planned for us. In waiting for something worth waiting for. In weeding through the fails in order to find the victory. 

To quote (ish) David Blanchard, "In a sense, your putting yourself out there and saying, 'I don't want to just be your vanilla pudding girl.' It's torture and it's cruel to your heart. And when he finally does meet the woman he wants to marry...that's just not a good place to be. Some girls say 'oh, I can't get his love so I'll cozy into his friendship for as long as I can and that will have to be enough.' No. That's not a good idea. Because essentially that's you settling. And you have to have enough respect for yourself to say 'I really value your friendship, but I can't be in this position anymore, and if your feelings ever change and you want to pursue something, then you know how to get in touch with me." 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Brick Wall Realizations

It's amazing when you suddenly sit back and realize God's been working in you. Where did that come from?
Tonight has been an absolutely beautiful, amazing night of undeserved and unexplained joy. Like skipping through the parking lots retardedly (not knowing people were actually sitting at the picnic table) joy.

My friends around me are hurting and I hurt for them too. There are so many problems and so much on campus. So many walls that God is tearing down and so many lives that He is fighting for. It's so exciting to think about how much He's going to DO with the beautiful people overflowing with potential around me. Cuz even though it hurts right now, joy comes with the morning.

JOY. I really love this word.

Part of me realizes this is probably just a mood swing on the beautifully emotional roller coaster that is a relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ. But I've never really been EXCITED about Christ before like I have been about the boys around me, or the stupid moments with friends.

So yeah. I'm thankful for joy filled nights of normality. For hurting that is going to turn into healing. For lives that are about to be changed and ROCKED in a major way :)

OH Lord Jesus, YES <3

Monday, November 7, 2011


Soooo this idea actually came from another friend whose blog I follow.....which means its not THAT original :P But! Since it's November and Thanksgiving is coming's a pretty random list of things I'm thankful for.

1. Just Dance parties and Late night movie nights
2. Unofficial big brothers that God has given me <3
3. Little sisters that are growing up way to fast
4. Tailgating with "family"
5. Spontaneous (not really) 80's GNO's.
6. Friends that make me laugh no matter how retarded their jokes are :D
7. A God that loves me, regardless of how well I understand Him
8. The ability to use words
9. Spontaneous nights of TRUTH at very early hours of the morning with sister friends that love:) 
10. FAMILY<3 
11. Ridiculous roommate nights