Wednesday, February 29, 2012


So, last night I got to have dinner with one of my leaders on campus which basically turned into (or was designed to be really) us just chatting about life for.....meh, an hour. Hour and 1/2. Anyhoo! Towards the end of it, after I gushed about problems and questions and insecurities and fears and all those lovely things that everyone just gets excited thinking about, she basically preached truth to me. And one of the verses she read (actually...the MAIN verse she read) was Psalms 84: 11 & 12.

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield. The Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of Hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in You!" 

Well, suffice to say this verse pretty much blew my MIND. And got me running around in lil' excited circles for about half an hour. Pretty sure my roommates thought I'd finally gone of the deep end :D

This verse just throws life into a completely new perspective for me. NO GOOD THING will God keep away from those He LOVES. Which basically in a nutshell (but who really stops at the nutshell) means that if it's not in your life? It's not good for you. A little bit deeper.

This verse is so unbelievably encouraging. God loves me and is looking out for me in ways that I probably, honestly am STILL not aware of. So many times I grumble and complain because I feel like God's cheating me out of something that SEEMS so wholly and completely good. "God," I say "This could be SO beneficial to me! Why aren't we on the same page here?" This especially comes into play in my relationships. Or, thank the Lord, lack thereof at the moment.

But if a situation is good for me? If it furthers God's plan and my growth as a child of His? Then He's going to bring it into my life. This applies for colleges, jobs, life decisions, EVERYTHING. And it ESPECIALLY applies to relationships and my oh-so-far-off-it-seems future husband. If it is in His plan for me, then one day God is going to bring me a man so unbelievably tailored to myself that He has qualities I didn't even know I was looking for. And if He doesn't, or the manly man comes out of left field, or if he's just someone COMPLETELY unexpected.....then THAT'S what's good for me. (I feel like I'm using a lot of caps in this blog. But this is very exciting for me :D) And if things don't work out like I want them to....if the college I want to go to doesn't accept me, or that really cute boy from the locker across the hall doesn't like me's because God knows what He's doing. And they're not GOOD for me. And thank the LORD (literally) that God doesn't let me get my own way and PROVE just how bad for me these people or opportunities are before I finally come to realize that He was right all along.

So yeah :) That's what's been on my mind lately. Super encouraged. Super hopeful. Slightly anxious to see what God has planned :P But incredibly, INCREDIBLY thankful that I have a divine, all knowing God looking out for me that isn't swayed by my pitiful little whining complaints :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Star Shooter!!!

Okay, so the title really doesn't make much sense, but it will probably make sense by the end of the entry :D

So this past weekend was I.E. break, which basically means they kick us off of campus for the weekend after we get back from Brazil. Instead of going all the way home to Texas, my amazing family flew up to see me. And not ONLY did I get to see both of my parents and all 3 of my beautiful siblings, but Melissa my best friend drove up (down? over?) from Savannah to spend the weekend with us too!
Anyhoo. All of this to say.
We stayed at a cabin in Callaway Gardens. It was peaceful, and quiet, and for the most part (okay, like one day) we had most of the complex to ourselves. For the most part we just relaxed.....but one day we drove down to Atlanta and went to the GEORGIA AQUARIUM.
So incredibly much fun.

We saw a LOT of different things at the aquarium. Lots of different fishes (or fushes if you're from Impact) and just generally really cool sights to see. First of all, everything just looks cooler if it's in the water. Or under water. Either way you prefer really. Secondly, some of these animals that God created to function under water are just incredibly.....well, INCREDIBLE. 
Daniel had an unfortunate run-in with a Spider Crab.

Now, normally I'm not one of those people that takes an everyday, rather boring situation (or something that is seen a fish...) and finds this incredibly glory of God in it. But walking around the just got super hard to ignore the fact that God CREATED all these incredible, weird, freaky looking animals to swim around under the water!! 

Look at that! It's like an underwater butterfly! I realize that this blog post is not coming out as eloquently as I would like it to, but since I'm just trying to get the thoughts OUT of my head I'm not really worried about it right now :D I also had a really good picture (it was super scary looking too) of this jellyfish that pretty much looked like it was on fire. And the fact that God created these incredible, complex, beautiful, graceful, peaceful, mysterious, amazing, AWE-INSPIRING creatures absolutely blows my mind.

My mind was further blown (oh yes, it's NOT done) at the Dolphin Show later that afternoon. And this is where the title SOMEWHAT comes into play. At the Georgia Aquarium they do this dolphin show that's about this man called the Star Shooter who is essentially responsible for the hanging all of the constellations in the sky. And these evil sea monsters are after him to stop him forever!! So the star shooter and the dolphins MUST defeat the sea monsters!!! 

Yes...the plot line is incredibly cheesy. But may I just say, that this actor/singer/whatever he was, had one of the most INCREDIBLE glowing, star capes that I have ever seen in my entire life. It twinkled. It was AWESOME :) 

But anyhoo. The dolphin show led to the most mindblowing moment of the entire night because these creatures are SMART. They are unbelievably intelligent. They did flips, and they did synchronized swimming with the other dolphins, and they did ALL of this from a few whistles or hand motions from the human trainers. Who formed a relationship with each of these dolphins. And it sent chills down me, my sister and Melissa's spines. All of our spines. That phrase sounds weird and slightly makes me chuckle to myself :P 

One of dem' super cute dolphins! I wish there was some way I could own one :) 

So yes. That was my day at the aquarium :) IF re-incarnation was real, I think I would most definitely want to be some sort of fish. Probably a dolphin. Because they seem like they have a lot of fun! And all in all, it was just an unbelievable day where God appeared in the small, unexpected places and absolutely blew my mind with how incredibly complex and beautiful these creations of His are. And how absolutely....magnificent that must make their Creator. 
His creations are great.....but He is SO much greater. As Hunter so often are without excuse!! 

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities -- His eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that MEN ARE WITHOUT. EXCUSE."
Romans 1:20 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Garbage and Jesus.

She sits alone in a vacant hallway, back pressed up against the wall behind her and both arms wrapped around bent knees.

Behind her, a door is thrown wide open. Familiar voices and faces beckon, a warmth from within spilling out to curl around her trembling limbs. Without even knowing it, she turns her face ever so slightly to meet the oncoming love and affection. But underneath all of it, is an unsettling layer of familiarity. An imbalancing knowledge that if she turns back now, and lets the door close behind her, she will never have the chance to emerge again into this hallway of indecision she now finds herself in.

This hallway of choice.

Ahead, a door is barely cracked ajar. No sound is heard, nor are any faces seen. Every so often she catches a draft of wind that scoots under the door quickly, before being whisked down the hallway. The wind carries smells, feelings, never before reached for promises of bright days and possibilities. But first. First she must reach for the doorknob.

The doorknob of chance.

A chance to be loved. A chance to be cherished. A chance to find her place and her purpose. A chance to move on, and grab all the possibilities that have been promised. But also, a chance to be hurt. A chance to trip and fall. A chance to stumble under the weight of all these new acquaintances and adventures that she is sure to encounter.
Unable to move forward on her own, but not yet discouraged enough to move backwards, she continues to sit. And sit. Onward and endlessly, with no change in either of the doors or her position.


I was writing this kind of short story, but realized I didn't really have an ending for it. In fact, I still don't. Because I'm that girl in the hallway. In fact, I think we kind of all are. We all have something we're struggling with, something we're hanging onto because we're too afraid to let go of it and open the door to the life without it that Christ is promising. Because we're comfortable, because it's familiar, and because even though we might not admit it we're not quite sure we trust God enough to believe that He'll follow through on His promises to work everything out in the end.

So we sit. And we wait.  And nothing ever changes. EVER.

See, the motivation to move? That's got to come from God. Because if it's left up to us, chances are we'll never talk ourselves into moving forward through a door if there's absolutely no way to see what's on the other side. That's scary, and uncomfortable, and not all that smart!

Here's where God comes in. And here's where the motivation to get on our feet and START. MOVING. FORWARD comes from. It comes from a heart so overflowing with the desire to seek God that everything else gradually becomes so important. It's a spirit that is longs so deeply for it's eternal home in heaven that the things of earth that so captivate us start to fade away.

It comes from a soul so desperate for the perfect, loving, all-encompassing arms of the Creator, it is willing to throw anything and EVERYTHING to the side in order to achieve an eternal goal of Christ like holiness.

"I consider EVERYTHING a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them GARBAGE that I may gain Christ and be FOUND. IN. HIM." Philippians 8&9.

Giving up everything and anything we've ever held dear because they pale in comparison to the light of God's glory. It's hard to imagine right now, but with Christ it is DEFINITELY possible.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

As of
(for the most part)

  1. Hold a baby penguin
  2. Watch the Shining....and then be able to stay alive AFTERWARDS.
  3. See baby turtles hatch on a beach
  4. Use a fake name at Starbucks (Yes. I have never done this. Shocking, isn't it?) 
  5. To visit King's Cross Station and take a picture at platform 9&3/4s. (HarryPotter Buff.)
  6. To have a German Shephard and Husky puppies.
  7. To visit New York at Christmastime! 
  8. To visit Horsetail Falls in Yosemite Park, in February. This one requires a picture. That's what the waterfall picture at the beginning is.
  9. To read every book written by C.S.Lewis and Ted Dekker.
  10. To write a song! 
  11. And to finish writing a book.
  12. Go to an authentic, drive-in movie theater
  13. To visit the Harry Potter theme park
  14. Go to a masquerade 
  15. To take a picture on top of one of those cool sidewalk paintings! See picture on the side.
  16. To hand decorate my own pair of Toms.
  17. To dance to no music.
  18. Get kissed on New Year's Eve at midnight! 
  19. Climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
  20. Own all (read: most) of the Barnes & Noble classic leather collection.
  21. Visit Disneyland! or world. either really.
  22. To see a baby tiger cub in person! 
  23. Go skydiving.
  24. Learn how to drive a stick shift truck.
  25. Visit Cancun! 
  26. Learn how to water ski & snowboard! 
  27. Learn how to surf too. for that matter.
  28. Go parasailing.
  29. Make a bed to watch the stars in the back of a pick-up truck.
  30. Visit Charleston, South Carolina! 
  31. Go Scubadiving.
  32. Go on a cruise.
  33. Write letters to a soldier.
  34. Memorize 2 Corinthians 4, and Proverbs 31. And maybe Isaiah 40. 
  35. Learn how to play at least one song on the guitar! 
  36. Learn how to play POKER.
  37. Visit Gettysburg.
YEP! That's it for right now :D 

Across the Finish Line and into the Winners Circle.

Well. We got back from Brazil at roughly.....5:30-ish this morning?? It's so weird to think that a huge massive chunk of what we've prepared for all of 1st semester is now DONE. I also wish that this blog post was going to be super duper profound, but it really isn't. Because my brain is shot :P SO! This is most likely going to turn into quick (or maybe slightly long winded) reminiscing about the awesomeness that was our wonderfully lovely month in Brazil.

Let's see. Fun memories.

Walking around with David inviting children to VBS. Our translator was a 9 year old boy, who got to the first house and decided he didn't feel like speaking Portuguese. Therefore, David Blanchard had to translate most of our invitations :P

Painting, painting, PAINTING. LOTS of painting.

Paint fights that were a result of so much painting. (Which, by the way Kartwright, I WON).

Watching our team acclimate to pop culture ;)

Getting to see people share and grow in Christ, as well as being filled with the strength of CHRIST as they got up to share their testimonies.

A beautiful daughter of Christ achieving a huge personal victory with the help of Jesus in her own battle against the devil and his darkness.

Finding out by second hand observation, that lime juice DOES NOT in fact help clean your eyes out or make them "sparkly". It just BURNS :D

Memorizing Scripture, and seeing just how much everyone was in the Word of God.

Getting to meet some absolutely incredible translators, forming relationships with them, and knowing we'll be able to stay in touch because FACEBOOK AND THE INTERNET IS A BEAUTIFUL THING.

Brazilian pizza. Omnomnomnomnom.

The beach. Even though the sunburns afterwards were awful (and a learning experience) but some of us got tan!! (I was not one of the "some of us"). Also, just the fact that you looked down the beach and it was a beautiful ocean, and then you turned to the right and it was the gorgeous mountain in the distance.

Count off. And the fact that some of us forgot our numbers every. single. time. :D

Boca's. Nomnom.

Being driven to my knees by my insane need for God AND how empty my life feels when HE is not present.

Insane memory and lesson that I will remember for a VERY long time: when situations get to great or overwhelming for me to handle, God takes them back. And He hangs onto them until I am ready for them again.

Let's see. I'm sure there's like....50 more that I'm forgetting.

Jordan experiencing more monstrous bugs than one girl should ever have to deal with :P and then Kenny and David basically ninja-ing to her rescue.

Those evil attacking birds that apparently thought us walking up to the house for breakfast made for some pretty awesome moving targets to practice their nosedives on.

Watching Kartwright and Tyler play pool. While listening to their iPods. And singing. Very loudly. Very funny. Hilarious actually.

The NSYNC skit...both the original AND the one featuring Brandon, Kartwright, Colt, Kenny and occasionally Tyler.

All of our skits actually. They were hilarious.

Watching the kids grow in VBS. Being able to share the Gospel with them (both weeks) and just being able to see their smiling faces!!


Getting Pam 1/2 through the trip!!

Reuniting and seeing everyone's faces after 2 and 1/2 ish weeks apart. Obviously an awesome memory. WOW. :)

God is so good. And like I said, I'm sure I'm forgetting a TON. But God did such incredible things with our teams, that it would take forever to write it all down :)