Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"For I Know the Plans I Have For You..."

Okay, I have to be honest, this verse tends to cause an eye roll in me when someone starts to read it. I thought that since it has been read SO many times in church that it had lost its meaning. But God has recently given me a new appreciation for its truth.

'For I know the plans that I have for you', declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.' In my NAS version, that's 28 words. 28 words that I believe can be summed up into two. 'Trust Me'.

I fail at that all the time. In the back of my head, I know that God knows best and that I ultimately want His will for my life more than I want my will. But in the moment, in the circumstance, I constantly battle with God over who is right and who is wrong. I'll completely ignore Him when He tries to lead me. I'll blow it off like it's no big deal. That for right now, I'm going to take control and He can be in control later. Pretty much the dumbest thinking ever. And even though I have learned that lesson over and over and over again, I still fail.

But in this past week, situations have happened that just caused me to break down and declare "I trust You". I was driving home one night last week, just crying and praying. I needed forgiveness for disobedience and for trying to live my life according to my will. I prayed that God would once again forgive me and be merciful on me and give me chance # 2,346,721 to do it right this time. I told Him that I trust Him and I know that what He wants for me is bigger and greater than what I can even imagine for myself. And that I am tired of standing in my own way. I told Him, "All I want is You. Whatever that may look like."

All of that is easy to say and feel when you're in the moment. I've prayed that way before. But this time, I'm trying my hardest to not let go of it. To pray that same thing every morning so that I don't lose focus. "All I want is You. Whatever that may look like."

Another verse we hear all the time is, 'Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart'.

God smacked me in the face with the truth of this one this week. Something I have been praying for and desiring for over a year now, has finally happened. And it happened because I finally stopped stressing about it, gave it completely over to God, and then He gave it back to me. But now that I have it, I'm terrified that I'll lose it for the same reasons God held out on me for so long. I don't want to lose my focus. I don't want to let something get in the way of my relationship with God.

This fast could not have come at a better time. I've given up Facebook, Myspace, and AIM for the three weeks leading up to February 1st. (Which, by the way, I get more and more excited for as the days go by). I'm thinking about continuing to restrict myself on the amount of time I spend on my computer after the fast because I have LOVED the God times I've been having. I've done fasts like this before and as soon as it's over I'm back in the old routine. I don't want to do that again. I want to keep this focus and connection with God that I feel. There is nothing like it.

God is SO good! And He is SO faithful! I try my hardest to forgive myself for not trusting Him sooner, because I know He already has. His will and timing are perfect and He deserves everything I have.

"High five, God!" :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Change: to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone

I hate change. I believe I mentioned in a previous blog that like my neat little box and I want things to stay that way. When things start shifting, I start to get antsy.

Last night, PB and the rest of the GC.TV staff made a huge announcement about merging the two campuses. I will admit that I was not among those saying "Amen" or clapping my hands in agreement. At first.
My first thought went to my Diverge kids. We have so many from all over the city that I'm not sure will be able to convince their parents to drive them the extra few miles out to the (former) West campus. That will break my heart. I know that myself and the other sponsors will do whatever we have to to make sure those kids can find some way to get there but even still, some will stop coming and that will totally suck.
And losing the Annex will hurt as well. Over the past two years I have fallen in love with that building. It's my favorite place. Amazing things have happened there and I will be sad to see us let it go.
But I didn't start crying until the announcement of Pastor Phil and Evie moving to start a church with Pastor Phil's brother. I admire and love them so much and will miss them terribly. But I know awesome things are in store for them.

So needless to say, I was kind of a mess after the meeting. But after debriefing with a few close friends and digesting it all... I'm getting super excited about it! I know that PB, the staff, and the DLT are men and women wholeheartedly on a pursuit of God and if they believe this is where God is taking Genesis, I'm on board. This church and seeing it grow and reach people and become the place God intended is all I want. And I know that requires change, and I'm just gunna have to put on my big girl panties and suck it up and adjust. As changes come it may take me awhile to get used to it, but I'll get there. Just bear with me.
More positives:
No more set up and tear down! Though I have never been able to force myself to get up at the crack of dawn and help set up, I stay after and tear down as much as I am able to. And it really did suck not being able to talk and meet new people after service and everything. Being in a permanent location will allow that and will allow for the staff and worship team to take it much easier in the mornings. Awesome.
Also, we'll be able to do so many cool things for the Diverge kids with five acres of land! There are a couple of crazy outdoorsy sponsors who I know are already planning what they are going to do with the large open spaces and near by woods. Those who stick around and the new Divergers should probably be a little scared, ha.
And with Second Chance being right behind our new church building, we'll hopefully be able to reach out to those kids. They deserve to feel loved, respected, and accepted and if they don't have that now, hopefully they will find it in God and at Diverge. I pray that God will open up opportunities for us to talk to them.

I can't wait to see what God's going to do. It's gunna be insane (as a binsane). I'm excited :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My God is Mighty To Save

There's pretty much nothing I love more than to see Diverge kids sincerely worshiping God. It makes me cry every time.
This morning was awesome as always, but the worship set was particularly amazing. God was extremely present. Not in a heavy way like last week but in a very peaceful, joyful, uplifting way. Especially when we were singing "Mighty to Save". I took a look back behind me during one of the choruses and every Diverge kid in the back row had their eyes closed and some had their arms in air just worshiping the amazing God that we love and loves us. It was awesome. It made me sing even louder than I already was (sorry to everyone around me ha). I just love seeing their true hearts. They're teenagers and every single one of them has their issues and they make mistakes just like the rest of us. And sometimes I get so frustrated when they make decisions that they know are wrong, but when I see them truly worshiping, it reminds me that deep down they know God and one day they'll get it. I guess all of us are like that to a certain extent though.
I love my kids. They are the best. It's tough sometimes, but I'm extremely grateful God called me to youth ministry. I wouldn't trade it for anything :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I've been trying to figure out a lot of things recently. I have no clue where my life is heading and I feel like my attachments have shifted. I used to think that I couldn't imagine leaving Tallahassee or Genesis or Diverge or my friends here before I absolutely had to. But now, I feel like I've become okay with the possibility of moving. I used to be terrified of the unknown. The idea of living in a city where I knew no one and nothing about freaked me out. And the idea of leaving the people and the church that I love so much broke my heart. But honestly, I think I could use the change. And I'm starting to think that maybe God is shaping my heart to be okay with it. means the world to me. I want nothing more to see it grow to be the church God created it to be. And I want to be a part of it. I want to see Diverge explode and become a place where broken teenagers come and find hope, peace, and love in God like crazy. I want to see Fuse become a ministry that equips young men and women to become passionate, on fire followers of Jesus. It will happen.
I have no idea what will happen in the next year and a half. Or where God will have me or what He has in store for me. All I know is how my heart feels right now. And how it feels is that it's gradually becoming more and more okay with the idea of change. (Which is a huge deal for me). I absolutely love my friends. They are my family. But I feel my heart pulling away a little bit so that it won't be the end of the world to be away from them. It's a weird feeling.
All this started when I was thinking about grad school yesterday. When I decided I was going to get my master's I just automatically figured I'd stay here in Tally and stay at FSU. But then I began thinking of other states that I could see myself living in. Possibly Texas or North or South Carolina. I have family there. As well as Tennessee. I have no idea which schools in these states have a Guidance Counseling program but I'm going to look into it. I need to start getting an idea of possibilities.
I never thought I would catch myself thinking positively of making a drastic change. It's not like me at all. I've always been someone who liked her little box and didn't like when things began to shift around and throw everything off. But I've got the sudden urge to shake things up a bit.
New people, new places, a fresh start... that sounds really good.
Anyone know of any great schools with Counseling programs?

Friday, September 26, 2008

So I may have gotten a little behind...

Well, I obviously failed at the whole blogging throughout my Italy trip thing. Ha. It was just too difficult. There was so much going on that I couldn't keep up with blogging about it. It was the trip of a lifetime though. I absolutely loved it. There are no words.
I'm not even going to attempt to fully catch up on everything that has happened in the last year. So much stuff has gone on that it would take me hours to write it all down. I'll try to state just brief lessons I learned.
- The main one is that I give my heart away way to easily. I've had my heart broken twice in the past seven months. The first was the worst thing I've ever had to go through. But through it, I learned how much strength I have inside of me and how much I have with God. I really don't know how people get through times like that without God. I know I couldn't have without Him. The second I'm still semi-dealing with. It's nothing like the first, but I'm still slowly gaining my heart back and giving it back to God. (Which is where it should have stayed.) There was a minor heart ache between the two but I think I knew that that was not where my heart needed to be the whole time so it wasn't as bad.
I really need to learn how to not give away my heart so easily. I need to learn how to find full satisfaction in God and not in relationships. That goes for my friendships too. I put so much of my heart into my relationships. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing unless they cause me to care more about securing those friendships than building my relationship with God. That seems to happen way too often.
- The second is that I am now more than ever 100% certain that I'm called to work with teenagers. I have such a passion for Diverge and to see these teens become on-fire young men and women of God. There is so much potential in each and every one of them and I am just so thankful to be a part of it.
I'm still not sure how God is going to have me work with teens as a profession. Before about a month ago, if you had brought up the idea of me going to grad school I probably would have laughed at you. But recently I've been thinking about going for my master's in counseling and possibly being a high school counselor. This is all still up in the air. I just want to make a difference in the lives of teenagers and I'll do whatever God calls me to. If I'm going to do the whole grad school thing, I really need to step up my game in my classes. I'm a big time slacker. :[
- Third, it is so important to have people in your life that will give you a good kick in the rear when you need it. I am so blessed to have the women of God in my life that I do. They keep me in check. They hold me accountable. And they speak into my life when I need it the most. They're incredible.
- Fourth, is the strongest body of believers I have ever seen. Especially the staff. They are amazing. I really don't know how they do it. I love this church so much and I am so thankful to be on this journey with everyone at Genesis. God is going to do something completely out of this world with this church. I can't wait to see what it is.
- Fifth, I miss the Florida State football team from the 90s. Losing sucks :(

So I think that's pretty much it. Either that or it's almost 2:30 am and I'm tired. Ha. I'm really going to try to get into the blog scene once again. I'll try to keep the others to a bit shorter ;p

Saturday, June 23, 2007


I have no idea where to begin and it has only been three days. I guess I'll start from the flight...

So, the three flights went relatively well. Our first plane was late so we had to run to our Paris flight. I watched the Lion King on the plane and slept. I took some AMAZING pictures of clouds (that's for you jenny!) and the sunset and when we first crossed over France. It was beautiful.
Four hour layover in Paris. Ate a french baguette and had a coffee. Delicious. Our flight to Italy took us over the Alps. Sooo amazing. Words are not enough. I took 116 pictures from the air. I'll try to get as many of them up as soon as possible. The internet is down in our apartment so I guess monday I'll take my laptop and use the internet there.

So we finally got to Florence and everything has gone great until.... our baggage doesn't show up on the carosel. It got lost in Paris. I just got my stuff today, so all is good now.

My apartment is awesome. There are 11 girls total. There's a room of four, and two rooms of three. I'm in a room of three. All of the girls are so great. They are so nice, everyone has gotten along really well so far. We go most places together and they were all willing to let me borrow stuff when i didnt have my luggage. They're awesome.

Our apartment is about a 25 minute walk to the study center. It's not too bad. I'm sure we will hate it by the end but I'm trying really hard to take any of it for granted. I caught myself walking and staring at my feet so I looked up and there is this random, gorgeous fresco on the side of a building. It's unreal. It still hasn't hit me that I'm in Florence.

All of the other students seem really nice. A lot of them are not from FSU. Some are from other colleges in Florida and there are even a couple from out of the state. We all have gotten along really well so far.

We took a walking tour of Florence yesterday. I've never been to a place more gorgeous than Florence. It's unbelievable. Our tour was led by Frank Nero who is also my art history teacher. He is so enthusiastic. You can tell he really loves Italy. He was actually a student at FSU and went on the Florence program in 1999 i think and he says it changed his life. He switched his major, became an art history teacher, and moved to Florence. I'm starting to think that might not be such a bad idea, ha!

We went to a town up on a hill next to Florence called Fiesole. We saw ancient Etruscan and Roman ruins. It's weird to think that we are walking on the same streets as the Romans and great Medieval and Renaissance rulers, thinkers, and artists.
After the ruins, we climbed a rediculously steep pathway to get to the top of the hill/mountain where a monastery was. The view from there was.... there are no words. You look down on Florence and you can see for miles. (pictures will be up asap I promise!)

Tonight is the first night of the festival that is this weekend. I can't remember what it is called but it's to honor the patron saint of the city. So we are going to dinner tonight then on the other side of the river are all kinds of activities. It should be really fun!

Oh! I forgot to talk about the food. I don't think I'm going to ever be able to eat american sandwiches, pizza, pasta, or basically anything ever again. I got the "pizza margharita" the other night. SOOOOO good! And there is this little sandwich shop in this sketchy alley way near the school (the school recommended it so i'm safe ha) and they are delicious. Everything I have had so far has been delicious.

So that's about it for now. I'll update this as often as possible.
I miss everyone a lot!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Year In Review

The past few days (plus not wanting to study for finals) has caused me to think about how blessed I was this year.
I love all the people I met in Bryan Hall this year. And I know that I had to go throw what I did at the beginning of fall semester to get to where I am now. They really are good-hearted people and I adore them, but they helped show me the person I don't want to be and God used that situation to bring me back to Him.
And I can't even begin to express how thankful I am to God that He randomly got me connected with Tyler. I truly have no idea where I would be or how my life would be right now if it wasn't for His amazing grace.
It's so awesome when you can look back and see how God worked in your life during a certain period of time. If He didn't get me in touch with Tyler I wouldn't be in Chi Alpha, I wouldn't have met Jenny or anyone else in Chi Alpha, I wouldn't have the Brat Pack, I wouldn't have Genesis, I wouldn't be a sponsor, and I probably wouldn't be a Christian anymore. It's crazy how one decision, one event, can change your whole life.
I really am so blessed. I'm so grateful. God is so good.
My first year of college turned out to be nothing like I had expected. I have learned more and grown more and closer to God these past 8 months than ever before. I am so blessed to have met the people I did. The people in Chi Alpha and at Genesis have shown me what it truly means to be a Christ follower. I've never met people more devoted to His cause. It's so encouraging.
And my dear Brat Pack, I don't know what I would do without the four of you. Words cannot express how thankful I am for our random friendships. Each of you are so amazing and I love you all more than I can say.
So all-in-all, this year gets an A++!