28 April 2011

big wind

Storms test the root systems of trees, the foundations of buildings, and the readiness of any living thing in its wake.
Do I have a plan of action.
Do I have an escape. 
A shelter.
Can I make it.
Can I withstand the storm.

For a tree:
Will my relationship with the ground and the trees and the buildings and the life around me survive?

Or will it be destroyed.

Similarly, storms and rocky times test the foundation of our friendships and relationships:
Can we handle it?
What are we built on?
Will the chaos around us destroy what holds us together? 
Will our relationships with the life around us survive or be destroyed?

The past two days at Berry College have been full of havoc. I'm sunburnt and also feel like I've spent no time in the sun at all. I've comforted. I've needed comforting. I've been so hot. I've been so cold. I've been emotionally and physically drained...and I went through the least of the storm - I lost nothing except parts of a pretty landscape. God is overly gracious to me. 

I compare friendships and storms in the usual way, but there's something that's gnawing at my brain and stomach. 
We're so often compared to trees, plants, animals, and so many other things "full of life" in scripture. I can't think of one time off the top of my head that we're compared to the storm, but goodness are we.

It's so natural to push and push and push a friendship - push in such a way that you test its limits - how close can we be? How far can I push you and still know that you'll be there? 
If I shove you while running far from you, will you still come and chase after me? 
What will it take to make you leave? Even though I'd prefer that you don't.

Like a tornado or hurricane, we wreak havoc on our friendships just to test their roots - to test their foundation.

I've found that it's easy to be shaken. It's easy to feel like you're about to fall...but only the rotten relationships fall. Only the ones not founded on the Truth - with Jesus Christ being the center of the joy and connection. Without that--without LIFE--a friendship, or any relationship for that matter-- WILL fall.
There is no exception.

I'm finding that some of my relationships need refocusing. They were once founded on Christ, but have strayed so far. It's not that we've turned from God or forgotten our love for Him, but in a sense we have, if only because we've become so distracted that we forget to love Him because our hearts and minds are so overtaken with other things.

I say I can't wait for summer for so many reasons - I can't wait to rest, but rest is at my fingertips. Rest is right here. Right now. Rest is in God. I don't need time or space to find rest. I don't need happy circumstances to have joy. That comes with the territory of full trust and hope in God, alone. 


19 April 2011

three years

Three years ago sometime around now or next week is shrouded in darkness in my mind, but the memories are still there.
Painfully there, though the pain is muted and only shows itself in a quick catch of my heart on occasion.
It's been worse.

Three years ago one of my dearest friends abruptly lost her grandfather - stroke, coma, no more life support, crying, funeral. I shared a lot of pudding in April and ate every lunch with her in Hoffa's.

Three years ago I went to the Sunday matinee showing of HSM at my school. The life dropped out of the cast during intermission. A girl I should have graduated died at the hospital from something that could have been prevented. Should have been prevented in the eyes of every senior. Every family member. God  said differently. Purposefully.

Three years ago my Thanksgivings and Christmases changed. Mom wouldn't let me skip school for the funeral. I regret not fighting that to this day, though I cannot stand funerals. She was my last great. She was incredible.

Three years ago I lost my best friend. Three years ago I realized my mom was right. "You'll regret not going to see her. You'll regret not writing more letters. You'll regret not calling." Part of me wants to believe those things could've made a difference..could have given her strength to make it to May, but I know my strength isn't even my own. Three years ago my reason to Relay became much more personal. Three years ago I faced decisions without my confidant.  I wonder how these three years would be different. Three years ago I stopped gardening, stopped breathing that relaxation. I didn't go to that funeral either, but I couldn't. Shes buried somewhere between here and home.

Three years ago..darkness. It's not pitch black in my mind, but it's dark. This time of April always makes me evaluate time since this same week in April - how has my life changed? The changes are drastic..incomprehensible. God is so good.
I still cry during the luminaria ceremony at Relay, but gosh..I am so thankful for the 18 years I spent with my best friend. I can't always remember what her voice sounded like or exactly what she looked like. I'm not sure I remember her hands the way I wish I did, but I remember some things. I remember the bookshelf, the flowers, the trees, the swing, the monkey grass and elephant ears, the mounds of cookies, the quilt..oh the quilt. I remember eating dinner with her - pb&j. Always. I remember spending the night for fun. I remember reading. I remember so much that I will never forget. I remember learning what it meant to be loyal, honest, and true. Faithful. Unconditional love. The first true picture of JESUS in my life. I remember.

I'm sorry for all the nostalgia, but it hit me today that it's legitimately been three years since I went through what is still "hell week" in my mind.

Three years later, hell week consists of presentations, research papers, essays, shopping, CFA dinner dates, Cups & Mugs, cuddling, laughing, Worship night, visits from Mom, church, and meeting new people. Three years later, I'm still breathing. I still have freckles and I still love to be barefoot. Three years later, God is more alive in me than ever.

Three years later, that darkness cannot stay dark because my God illuminates even the darkest weeks of my past.

He is still God and He is still good..oh so good.


I decided just now that I miss my birthday. It was a good one. I had lots of presents from the dollar store that were foamy and could be worn - either as a hat or a bra of sorts. It was exciting and fun. And I wore them because I was awesome.
Can we go back to my birthday? Or forward? Let's just add a few people..and not let Madi leave the country until AFTER my birthday.

Also, coffee late at night does make me productive, especially after not having coffee for quite some time - I think I stopped drinking it back in early March on accident. It definitely wasn't intended. I still drink coffee if I visit Cups and Mugs, but that's not on a regular basis.

Tonight's poison: caramel frappe. delish.



Survivor goal: exceeded (it was so beautiful to see Ingrid McConkey there. I am so thankful she was well enough to make the survivor lap and be honored and supported for her strength)
Participant goal: exceeded (and let me tell you, they all showed up to Relay!)
Team goal: exceeded (their fundraisers were SO good!!)
monetary goal: exceeded (not only did we go over our goal for money raised, we raised more $ per individual than UGA did...)

I can't begin to tell you how surreal that night was, how wonderful it was, and how I am absolutely bursting with pride - this year's exec committee was SO much more than I could have hoped for and each and every person who donated or was involved kicked major cancer butt this year by seriously taking this thing and running with it. They all legitimately ACTED instead of simply sympathizing.

I really can't begin to tell you how incredible my friends are as well - Susan and Cody stayed all night with me. I know I had my committee and so many others on so many teams, but it was good to have Suz there with me and Cody hanging around. Madi and Sarah both had huge things Saturday so they could only stay until midnight or one, but having them there was so good. We even got a caricature of the four of us. Having so many of my friends involved this year was definitely a highlight. I'm so thankful for the people in the past who decided to start and carry on Relay at BC - it's a huge part of my life and obviously some others on campus. Thankful for the opportunity to serve.


Now that I've given a brief overview of how incredible Relay was on Friday night along with my obvious inability to handle coffee late at night...I'm headed to finish my essay. There's only some analysis left.

p.s. Stoked for Madi who heard back from FUGE camps today - she officially has a job over the summer. What an incredible experience to watch her trust in God flourish into His faithfulness. So incredible. Our God is able and willing!

18 April 2011


"Unlike modern products that often break easily, and modern theories that are often quickly refuted, God's Word and His work endure forever. So do friendships centered around God."

Continually realizing how important communication, honesty, and transparency are in every relationship.

Friendships centered around God endure forever.

13 April 2011

The helpless entrusts himself to You; You are a helper of the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked and evil person; Call his wickedness into account until nothing remains of it.
-Psalm 10:15

My attention has been on the early Psalms for a good week. I've meditated on Psalm 16 and tried so hard to understand. I want to know what it means for God to be my portion and my cup of blessing. What does David mean when he says God holds his future? How have the boundary lines of my life fallen in pleasant places? How has this made my inheritance beautiful?

I can't help but think that these boundary lines are like Proverbs 22:8 says - don't move them. God has set them up purposefully. Gosh, we have free will to choose His eternal pleasures and abundant joy. We see boundaries as confining, but when you're hugging someone, do their arms feel confining to you? or comforting?

This verse in Psalm 10 caught my eye last night - I was legitimately 3/4 asleep, but I saw this. I had a comment beside it in my Bible that I'm pretty sure is a quote from Beth Moore - "Bend your knees, Beth, or I'll break them."

I don't want my sins to be exposed - any of them - because it's embarrassing when I mess up. It's embarrassing to just fall apart and not have it together and not be good at what I've grown up knowing. Pride? At its finest. But this verse kind of throws that out the window. I don't think I'm a horrible person, but "wicked and evil" apply at times. I was born in sin. God has redeemed me, but I still mess up .. A LOT. I remember praying over this verse one time a few months ago to ask God to call my wickedness into account until it's just GONE - until it's not there. God, call me out!

It seems kind of insane, but think about it. What a relief.

But I have trusted in Your Faithful Love; my heart will rejoice in Your deliverance. - Psalm 13:5

10 April 2011

option #2

I have an entire blog post in my head that's wonderful and centered on two specific verses (or is it four?), but I also have an essay-test to finish before tomorrow so I can finish my t-shirt design by Monday morning.

Now for something completely different...

I've spent the last forty-five minutes writing emails for Relay, checking up on things that need to be checked up on, and mentally prepping for Friday. Game day. Championship. The big kicker. THE day. D-Day. V-Day. Whatever you want to call it. Friday = IT.

I'm terribly excited about the entire thing, but if I think about specific parts, I get that 'deer-in-headlights,' wide-eyed look of anxiety and fear.
I would really prefer NOT to talk in front of hundreds of people at 6pm. I have no idea what I want to say and I'm always so awkward with a microphone in my hand. Pretty sure I will say that - you might want to be there for that show.

The logistics of everything, however, are GREAT. It's coming together. It's wonderful. It will happen. There will be glitches, but we've got an organized, full-proof plan for handling any crisis. Kyley and I will probably sit down and go through every possible scenario. What if the lights go out? What if there's a tornado? Okay, let's not get carried away. There will be a lot of people there to impress. I'm not impressive, but I'll try to be.

I'm worried that I will collapse before the night even starts from exhaustion and brain-overload. I have so much due MONDAY of this week that I'm still working on (see the intro to this poor post) not to mention reading, etc. this week and projects due NEXT week. I have to wrap up my research and legitimately make headway on my paper for art history. I will probably have another essay assignment for my Western Lit class in the next week for our final. I have to creatively decide what to do for TWO final projects - in design and renaissance lit. I have to get ready for Easter festivities at Connect Rome (or decide to go home). I need to talk to Financial Aid AND Residence Life about different things. Susan AND Abigail have birthdays coming up and I have no idea what to get them. Mother's Day is coming up and I probably won't make it home. I need to take my phone to Verizon to get the battery fixed. I need to relax. I have so many questions to ask my bestie about her life.

I seriously don't see how I managed to go to 2 or 3 concerts in APRIL of my freshman year and home every weekend of my sophomore year. What was I thinking? How did I manage that??!

Gosh, but my God is good. This is not a cop-out statement at the end of this post after venting my thoughts about my life right now. I'm being completely real - He has gifted me with so much. I know that time doesn't stop. Sometimes I wish it would slow down or speed up, but I am reassured by God's control in everything and time's continuation. It won't stop and continually repeat a mistake or glitch the night of Relay. It will move on. The valleys happen, the uphill climbs happen, but there is Light. God is good. Darkness may come, but my GOD illuminates my darkness! (Psalm 18:28) <-- this verse has been SUCH a comfort to me in the past week. It's incredible how His light shines even in the darkest of my darkness. David Crowder sang a song called "Shadows" at Passion this year. "When shadows fall on us, we will not fear." What a comfort.

When I'm dark..consumed by darkness and shadow, I will not fear. I'll remember how my God illuminates my darkness and purifies my sin with His Light.

Also, can you help me get this video to any and everyone you know??

07 April 2011

Use it

Read this today - what an incredible picture of all God is and how He moves. Be encouraged today. Fight strong. You've got this, big dog.

Use it: "In my high school wrestling days, my coaches taught me a technique that seems to work well in every area of life. Whatever your opponent gives you to work with, use it. For instance, if your opponent gives you only one vulnerable arm to work with, use it to your advantage. If your opponent aggressively attacks you, use his own momentum to bring him down.
I think you see this same kind of technique in the lives of people like the apostle Paul. And it’s the reason why he was so effective. He used whatever was given to him. He saw the potential in every situation and this allowed him to be adaptable and useful in every situation.
If he was put in jail, he converted the guards.
If he was executed, he saw it as gain.
If they let him live, he’d preach the gospel.
If he was given a thorn in his flesh, he’d use it as an opportunity to let God’s power shine in his weakness.

This made Paul the freest and most powerful man on the planet. And there’s no coincidence that he walked in a level of joy and intimacy with God that most of us fall cosmically short of.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. The same technique that worked for him can work for us too.
The circumstances, struggles, and attacks you face are not the ultimate determining factor of the kind of life you live. How you use them is. And there isn’t a single situation in your life that can’t be used for your good and God’s glory.

If you’re facing adversity, use it to develop patience and endurance.
If you’re in a place of financial scarcity, use it to display God’s sufficiency.
If you’ve failed, use it to learn.
If Satan is exploiting one of your past failures, use it to display God’s past faithfulness on the cross.

Whatever you do, refuse to be a victim of what’s thrown at you.
Whatever you’re given in life, use it. And God will use you.

Resource of the Day: I think one of the hardest realities to accept is the fact that there is absolutely nothing in your life that isn’t good or beyond God’s ability to work for your good. Yet it is absolutely essential if your faith is going to remain intact in the midst of the difficulties in life. For encouragement and reassurance that God is working everything in your life for your good, check out this post: Everything is for your good."

04 April 2011

Five Weeks

Until summer officially begins.
However, here's an overview of the main events in my life until then:

1. 20 Century Art History research paper 2nd draft due last Thursday (aka today)
2. Romantic Lit. essay test 2 due Friday April 8
3. 2D Mountain day Tshirt design due Wednesday April 11
4. 20 Century Art History Presentation (on said research paper) due April 19-28
5. Renaissance Lit. epic essay due Thursday April 26
6. Western Lit essay 3 due Friday April 29
7. Romantic essay test 3 due Tuesday May 3
8. 20 Century Art History research paper due Wednesday May 4
9. Renaissance Final Project due Finals week (May 2-6)
10. 2D Final Project due Friday May 6

I'm still in the research phase of my paper for art history.
I haven't started my test for Romantic that's due Friday.
I have sketch ideas for my t-shirt design - by sketch I mean not very worthwhile.
I obviously don't know what to present for art history.
We haven't received our Renaissance epic essay assignment...yet.
Ditto for Western Lit essay 3.
Ditto for Romantic test 3.
Again, research paper.
I have no idea what I'm doing for the final project in Renaissance. Another sonnet?
I wish I had ideas for my 2D final, but I don't.

Extracurricular: Relay for Life Friday April 15. (That's next week..)

AH! This semester is almost finished. I'm excited about what's to come. I can't make it to summer without some serious anointing from the Holy Spirit.

03 April 2011

Relay For Life Berry College 2011

Whelp..nothin' like a little bit of me being awkward in front of the camera. Yesss.
Seriously - support Relay..even though I'm terribly socially awkward.