What Are You Waiting For?

IMG_9918.JPG

I saw this picture on Pinterest and it immediately spoke to me. The things that we value the most we are willing to wait for. It’s such a simple, beautiful and true statement.
I know a common theme in my life seems to be waiting. But, I am okay with that because I do value those things. I value the Lord’s plan and His omniscience. I am thankful I value certain things that align with what the Lord values and I know this to be true from His Word.
I’ve gotten better at this as I’ve aged. I used to (still do often) want things done right now or to buy something right now. I have learned that if I really want something, it’s worth it to hold out for exactly what I have in mind. The best I can get.
I love the simple truth to this statement and I hope it speaks to you like it did me.
So, what are you waiting for?

For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him! ‭Isaiah‬ ‭64‬:‭4‬ NLT

Advertisements

We Were Made For Better Things

I know my audience is college kids. Sex, drugs, cussing.

Last week there was a guest lecturer in my writing for mass media class and he said a variation of the statement above when talking about knowing the audience you write for. This really bothered me…So bad that the only notes I wrote were about this phrase.
My heart broke because this is how 99 percent of the population views college kids. We party, we drink, we hook up with strangers, we curse like we breathe, we go on wild spring break trips, we are crazy. But, none of that is what I associate myself with. I think in a messed up way I’m the exception, not the rule. That is alarming. We get told enough by our peers to do whatever we want and to live our lives in a way pleasing to us, but to have a grown man to say it was shocking. Like he gives us the seal of approval to do whatever for four years.
I wish my classmates and other college students knew that there’s so much more than sex, drugs and cussing. We were made for better and more purposeful things. None of these things fulfill like Jesus does. Nothing fulfills like Jesus!
These college years are not a “get out of jail free” card. There are consequences to hooking up, doing drugs and cussing. I think people see God as the fun-killer, when in fact He tells us to stay away from these things to protect us. I would confidently say that you couldn’t find anyone who has not suffered emotionally or physically from doing these things. Even if just a fraction. Nobody walks away unscathed.
Of course, college is fun! It’s social and spontaneous, but it’s not real life. College will end and reality will hit when you’re paying bills and getting up early for work. Don’t let what you do today, negatively affect tomorrow. Look towards Jesus and a relationship with Him if you want a positive affect. There are no guarantees that it’ll be easy, but there is a promise of someone being there to walk with you. No cold bed, used up drug or sour language on the tongue can match the fellowship of the Creator of the universe. That I promise you.

It’s never too late in this life to follow Jesus and surrender to the death He died on the cross. You are not too sinful or too far gone. He makes ALL things new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”
Ecclesiastes 12:1

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17

It’s My Job To Trust

How lucky am I that my God commands me not to fear. Not to worry. What a blessing. How much of our lives are spent thinking about the what if’s? Yet, we are merely wasting our time. Can any of us add time to our lives by worrying? Nope. The Word tells us this is impossible.
I’m extra thankful this week that I don’t have to waste my time worrying and being anxious over silly things. God really has us. He really has me and YOU engraved on his hands. He loves us too much to not want the best for us. He’s our Father, God.
So when you don’t understand life, remember that it’s not your job to. That’s been my life mantra the last few years. It’s NOT up to me to understand, but to trust.

“They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” ‭Psalm‬ ‭112‬:‭7‬

For Jason

Seven years is a long time to know someone, but it still doesn’t feel long enough. Nobody understands, nobody has answers, but everyone is certain of one thing: we will meet again.
Words on a blog aren’t enough to show anyone who didn’t know him the amazing man he was. I could never do him justice. He was that great.
I knew him for seven years before he was called home. Many knew him much better than I did and much longer… for 20 or 16 or 13 years… far more than seven. But no matter the length, we are lucky to have known him at all.
To my friend, classmate and brother in Christ…
I love you, all who knew you do, and I look forward to an eternity where you are.

God bless the Goff family.

Catch Me

If I could change things about my life, I would. Wouldn’t you? If you had the opportunity to look at yourself and your life on a spread sheet wouldn’t you want to tweak it a bit? I would give myself more passion for service and healthy eating and put myself in different positions to lead and take away fear of what I will do with my life and the sins I struggle with. It even gets more specific. Like wanting to plan for a husband, two kids at OCS and two dogs with a comfortable income and house in the beautiful town of Edmond, OK. I often find myself picturing my life if I was in charge. If I could plan out everything just the way I desire I would be so much happier. Or so I think.

But, I can’t plan out my life and that is scary. SCARY. Not having control over my future is one of my worst fears, along with flying and crashing (the thought alone makes my skin crawl) and being in the midst of a shooting. That’s pretty serious, don’t you think? I am terrified that I will never get to check certain things off of my “To Do” list for life. Marriage. Kids. Success. World Traveling (considering I hate flying…?). The thought is enough to make my heart beat fast and my hands get clammy. Typical Type A response to uncertainty, right?

As much as my flesh wants to attempt to control my life, my soul knows that I can trust my God with my life. And that is what I spend every day trying to do. Trust Him. I was humming a song the other day and one of the lyrics clicked in my head… “It feels like I’m falling and that’s what it’s like to believe.” The perfect line to describe how I feel about my future. I don’t know my future and the thought of it scares me, but I do know the One who holds my future. As difficult as it is to believe sometimes, His plans are better for me than my plans for myself. Maybe they’ll line up and maybe they won’t. I think that’s why this song lyric made so much sense to me. If I knew everything that is going to happen then there would be no sense of falling. No whole-hearted trust. I would be certain and walking on solid ground. I feel like I’m falling because I am believing. One day His hands will reach out and catch me. That is the day that I will know all of this falling was worth it. The catch is worth the fall. The catch is worth the fall.

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:22-34

Five

I just realized that I have had this blog for five years. The anniversary was September 21 and my first post was about my braces… I was a freshman in high school, ok?
I can’t believe how far I have come from that young girl so many years ago. I started this blog because I liked to write and some older girls at OCS blogged. I loved their blogs and I thought I could do it too. I looked up to them and had hopes that I could achieve a closer relationship to God like them. I can’t believe I had the courage to open my heart like this online. But, I’m happy I did.
Some of my posts were small and silly, but they have progressed to be deeper, more thought provoking (for me) and vulnerable. But, I think that maturity comes with experience and growing up.
Whether you have read my blog before or not, I hope that the Lord speaks to you through me. That’s one of the reasons I started this five years ago. I didn’t know how God was going to use me so I hoped this blog would be a vessel. Never would I have thought to do this for five, consistent years and post 132 works from my heart.
Here’s to five more.

In the last five years…
OKC Thunder played in the NBA Finals
2014 Winter Olympics in Russia
Osama bin Laden killed
EF5 Tornado hit Joplin, MO
Tiger Woods left golf after his infidelity scandal
4/5 Twilight movies released
9.0 Magnitude earthquake struck Japan
The Oprah Winfrey Show aired its last show
Prince William and Kate Middleton got engaged, married, had a baby and are expecting another
Beyonce’s halftime Super Bowl performance
Swine Flu outbreak
2012 End of the World scare
Hurricane Sandy
Kim Kardashian got married, divorced, married and had a baby
2012 Summer Olympics in London
Sandy Hook shooting
One Direction was formed
Lance Armstrong stripped of all seven Tour de France titles
President Obama re-elected
Gangnam Style became most viewed video on YouTube
Brad and Angie finally got married
Boston Marathon bombing
Ebola virus outbreak
EF5 Tornado devastates Moore, OK

I think God laughs at me.

That is a true statement. Tonight after I did some quiet Bible studying, I found myself in a very minuscule predicament. What I was studying a mere 10 minutes ago was all of a sudden very applicable to my current situation. I’ve noticed a pattern in the New Testament; false gods are important to avoid and (what relates to my situation tonight) prayer is always appropriate.
Thinking back to my study, I did what God tells us to do. I prayed. He commands us to talk with Him in all situations–good or bad, big or small. I prayed and prayed telling Him that I have faith in Him! I believe He can help my insignificant and forgetful mind and I told Him that. Lo and behold, EXACTLY when I needed this tiny miracle, He provided a solution. He worked through a friend who doesn’t even know that she’s part of God’s little gift to me: answering my prayer about microscopic problem. And I’m not kidding when I say exactly when I needed it.
So, all of this to say that I think He laughs at me. The absolute joy and connection I felt to Him after He answered my prayer was almost too much. You would have though He just told me the most exciting news or gave me the most perfect gift. Which in a way He did. He heard me and answered my small prayer. I think He delights in showing off His power to us like this. Then He receives glory back. I think our wide eyes, gaping mouths and jumps for joy over what He can do just make Him so happy and He probably does chuckle at our finite and limited minds. He’s so cool and I’m so thankful that He found reason to send the perfect man go die for me.

What was this small predicament, you may ask? This is embarrassing……

I was in the shower and I forget to grab my new face wash from my drawer in my room. I asked Him to send a friend into the bathroom so I could ask her to retrieve it for me. AND HE DID. Hahahaha

He Who Is In Me…

…Is GREATER than the one who is in the world.

This is a phrase I have been repeating to myself a lot lately. I heard it on K-Love a few weeks ago and it just stuck with me. I have been plagued with all kinds of thoughts and questions about this world. The Enemy’s grip on earth is probably stronger than ever– especially in America. Our country has taken a nose dive in the last few weeks, I feel like. But, it has been a long time coming. I could dive into all of that political mumbo jumbo, but honestly I don’t understand it. I have no idea how to fix healthcare or illegal immigration (does anyone?).
Instead I worry about the integrity of our country above anything. At the end of the day, isn’t that a lot of what makes you up at a person? Not your political party or your social class. A lot of problems stem from a lack of integrity. Politicians want to further their own agendas, people want to meet their own needs, “credible” news stations present one sided and false/biased reports… the list goes on. A country founded on freedom is lacking just that. People don’t have the freedom to decide for themselves anymore. I can turn on one news station and be told that our President is a lying, irresponsible man and then on the other hand a different news station will say he is expanding freedom and equality for all and improving the nation. Somewhere in the middle is the truth, right? I don’t know anymore. I just see Satan’s hand on the earth and although I know the result of this great war that he is waging with the Lord, it is still a scary sight. But, something so comforting is that Jesus is a man of integrity. Mark 12:14 reminds me of our world today as some Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus when they asked him about paying taxes. I inserted part of Mark 12 below…

Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.
“He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’

“But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.
“What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. Haven’t you read this passage of Scripture:
“ ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’ ?”

Then the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.

Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”
But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”
And they were amazed at him.

Mark 12:1-17

It is hard to be a Christian today. Well, by American standards of “hard”. We are constantly attacked about being close minded, judgmental (don’t even get me started on how much I hate the abuse of this word…), and supremacists. Which, honestly, I can see why. The church has become a confusing place, even for me. We are so afraid of this term, politically correct, that many churches don’t even uphold the doctrine that is the Bible– the Holy Word breathed by God Himself. I have been really frustrated lately because the division of High Church and Low Church, Liberal and Conservative, Southern and Northern, etc. If we are supposedly following ONE God, why are there a million different choices? It is like as Christians and churches we can keep all the things we like in the Bible and ignore the things we don’t. “Yes I like justice, but no I don’t like giving up lust” … It’s like a buffet or something. I think first and foremost the Church needs to step up and remember the One that deserves all of the praise. Forget political correctness! Not everyone will be happy, but it is our job to speak truth and let the Holy Spirit touch and change the heart. (Remember Saul on the road to Damascus? Anything can happen with God.) I am sick of Christianity having to literally put out PR statements about abortion, homosexuality, pre-marital sex, adultery, etc. and people getting destroyed for their different beliefs. All of the sudden, there is a right and wrong opinion. The Bible is very clear cut about things that are right and wrong, which is something that the world doesn’t like today. We are very focused on what makes us happy and what you want, no matter what the consequences. There are things that are stated as WRONG in scripture and that is something that cannot be debated or changed no matter if it is 1782 or 2014. And I know we can debate it all you want, but there is truth from God. Christians, it is time to decide if you are all in or all out for believing the Word of God. After all, Jesus did say it was better to be one or the other instead of lukewarm. I hope and pray that if you choose to be all in, that you would aim to look more like Christ and love on everyone, which is hard. I know that for sure and I am working on that every day. Christ was a man of integrity, compassion, love, and yet softly stern as He spoke truth. That is who I want to look like. Gandhi said it best, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

With all of the lies and slander being spoken about the Green family, I think I snapped. Having met members of that family, even if just as acquaintances through school, I was so furious about the false things I was hearing about the integrity of the family. I would not have a bad word to say about them and even after going to school with members of their family, I did not know that they were part of the family that owned Hobby Lobby. They are sone of the nicest and most sincerely down to earth people I have ever met. I applaud their response of silence to this media storm and their desire to keep Jesus at the middle of it all. HE is truly the one in them. I hate this whole Christians vs. the World mentality that has been going on for a while, because we are not to exclude anyone from salvation. Unfortunately, if you are Christian you are immediately excluded from the world. But, fellow brothers and sisters please remember Mark 2:17, “On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” We are just as sinful as a non-believer, but thankfully the One in us is GREATER than the one who is in the world. Now let’s go be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ and expand the eternal kingdom for HIS glory and not our own.

20

Tomorrow I turn 20 years old. Woohoo! One decade to say goodbye to and one to say hello to. I’m really excited to turn 20. Unlike a lot of my birthdays where I’m sad to get older (forever young) I’m really looking forward to this year. I have a sense of peace about it and a very optimistic outlook on the next 365 days. I just feel in my gut that The Lord is about to do amazing things with my life. That makes me really happy. I’m filled with a lovely sense of hope tonight.
Looking back on TEN WHOLE YEARS is crazy. I’ve learned a lot, messed up, succeeded and changed drastically. I met my best friends in this decade through church and school. I changed schools thinking my life was falling apart. I made my relationship with Jesus mine– not my parents. I got baptized. I won a state championship and class elections. I started this blog. I cried over stupid and not so stupid things. Lost loved ones and saw birth. I joined a sorority and went to my dream school. I’ve seen my favorite artists in concert numerous times. I raised thousands with my best friends from church for orphans in Africa and sponsored Charlotte through World Vision. I graduated high school. I had braces. I went white water rafting, cave exploring, zip lining, hiking, biking, and to numerous different countries and states. I stood up to middle school meanies and was always more stubborn than the previous day. I learned to drive and can legally gamble and even buy a lottery ticket. Things have happened that I have forgotten, but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t shape me into the person I am today. All these things happened to me, but not because of me. Without Him I wouldn’t be here or have any of these experiences. He has molded me just like He promised– a potter and the clay. I’m so thankful that I know Him and that I can start off this next decade of life hand in hand with Him. Through the mountains and valleys of my 20s, I hope I am able to look back on my teens with a fondness that allows me to see how His perfect plan will always be revealed. He makes all things work together for our good!!!

Here’s to 20.

Run In Such A Way As To Get The Prize

I’ve heard someone say that you learn more about yourself in one year of college than 4 years in high school. As I have had both experiences, I can definitely agree with that statement. My first year of college flew by faster than I imagined even possible. And I thought my Senior year of high school went by fast. Ha! I had such an amazing year at OU– it was pretty much everything I hoped and dreamt it would be. I like to look back at my Freshman year of college and the more I do the more I realize how I don’t know anything. Like, as humans, we literally know nothing. It’s God’s job to know and our job to trust Him.

I didn’t know that the sweet girl from Houston in my recruitment walking group would be one of my best and first friends in Pi Phi. Erica and I skipped from Pi Phi to Gould Hall where we signed a card saying we wanted to be part of that sisterhood and the next day we found each other on the same lawn. I didn’t know that this would be the year that I lost my grandma. But, I am thankful that my God gives us a hope for those we have lost– the promise that we will be reunited one day in the presence of His love for eternity.

I learned things this year and if you are an incoming Freshman, I can give you tips and tricks for surviving the first year. But, you truly will never be prepared until you have been in and through it. You have to make yourself get up for class, church, and to go work out. You are responsible for your grades and getting yourself home on a Thursday night after a little bit of partying (should you chose to go out). College makes you learn a lot about YOU. The weird thing about college is that people just don’t care. Like in high school you could find some people who would gossip and judge people’s actions, but in college people don’t care what you do. Again, YOU have to care about what you do and seek those friends who will care about you and your grades and your health and your safety. College is a strange bubble of the world where you have few responsibilities yet limitless opportunities.

With barely 3 weeks to go, I am so happy that I didn’t know a lot coming into this. Luckily I had the mindset that was that of a child, completely trusting in my guardian, my Father. That is probably my #1 piece of advice for Freshmen. Recruitment was hard, class is challenging, partying can be tempting, getting up for church can be impossible, and following Him can be testing BUT if you put all your eggs in God’s basket He will bring you through to the best result for you. Whether you realize it is the best right away or not. We all have vulnerable moments where the Enemy tries to sneak into your mind, I had those this year, but I encourage you to press on in your faith. I am so thankful for the learning experiences that my Freshman year brought me and I will always remember this year with a loving fondness. No matter what new experience you are about to go through, I encourage you to trust Him.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24