AUGUST 21 // 3:45
Oh boy, it's been awhile. Today I just want to be plain and simple; God is incredible. Like, just when I feel like we're friends and I know Him, I get this moment with Him and He just amazes me all over again. Like when you're in a relationship and you think you have eachother all figured out and then your significant other says or does something out of the ordinary and you fall in love with them all over again... that happens all the time with God. He never changes, but sometimes we get so used to something that when He presents Himself another way, it just blows us out of the water. Does that make sense? Today for example, I was completely overtaken by His love and grace. I thought of where I would be if I hadn't met Him. I thought of how lost, confused, lonely and hopeless I felt before I knew God and then I looked at myself, still a bit confused at time, but full of hope, assured of His presence and His plan and completely joyous. He has given me a new life. I don't know if you know Him, but once you do, your life will truly never be the sam, promise. I'm happy that things never get dull with God, everyday is an adventure and knowing Him is one of the most exciting things I could possibly experience. I just love Him.

AUGUST 2 // 10:53
On the importance of being alone. I don't know where you stand on the idea of being alone, but I have come to not only appreciate it, but depend on moments where I can be away from the noise. I have had moments of loneliness, moments where I felt empty and utterly lonely, this is not the loneliness I am referring to. Rather, the moments where I am not truly alone, but with God, but am able to reflect, learn and grow. It's in these moments where I find myself alone in my room, or car, or working out that I get to talk to God. I look on my days or remember the tiniest thing that may have happened and spend time listening as God reveals what it truly meant. For those that may not have a relationship with God, this dynamic may not be easily understood, but I absolutely live for these moments, among others. I simply love to examine myself, my life and what God is doing in my life, good or bad. 

Somehow, I always leave these moments, however long they may be, feeling completely at peace, so silly for having been filled with worry or doubt or confusion, and utterly grateful that my Heavenly Father would take time to hear me, to talk to me, to help me become the me I'm supposed to be... Get alone. Tonight I listened to two songs and it put me in that place... They are "To Worship You I Live" by Israel and New Breed & "The Glory of it All" by The David Crowder Band.

JULY 27 // 12:58
So I'm still finding myself trying to figure out what this whole thing is going to be about. I find that it's slowly becoming like a journal of sorts for me to put my thought down. Is that weird? I feel like people won't want to read that, but I could be wrong. We'll just go with it and see where it takes us.

This past week I took our students to Youth Camp, along with Elisha of course. It was a blast; we went to the lake, ran around, had incredible services, but something pretty amazing & life changing happened. One of our students gave her heart to the Lord for the very first time. She explained in a video how her life had been changed in just four days; she later went home to share with her mom her incredible story and through her experience I found myself completely challenged. I remembered having those same exact feelings, like something was different on the inside of me, but I didn't quite know what. I was so excited to learn about God and have moments with Him; I was falling in love. I remember being so excited to read my Bible, to sit and journal for hours and share what He had done to me with others.

It's not as if I'm the complete opposite of that now, but more often then not I feel like I could and should be so much more passionate, because at one point I really was. I like to journal and I love looking through ones from years past. Sometimes it doesn't even seem like it's me who's writing in them, but it just amazes me to see how far God has brought me. If you don't already journal, I encourage you too. Even if you're not a Christian, you should journal. Having written proof that you have changed through time, is quite amazing. Back to my main point though, I feel challenged to run after God in a way that I haven't in a long time, in a way that may seem impossible, but I feel so refreshed and excited for this time in my life...

I feel like a lot of these posts also warrant responses, SO I think I may begin to make this a weekly post as opposed to a separate page. Does that sound good to you? There's no way for you to respond here, so I'm going to go ahead and assume you answered yes, so there you go. We just need to figure out a way to actually have a bit of a discussion, cause otherwise it's just a whole lot of my opinion and that's not terribly fun at all. We'll see^_^ Thanks for listening.

So, on my birthday I decided it would be fun to read through the entire bible in one year. Thing is, I'm not the best at reading my bible everyday. I know that's not a good thing; it's something I've tried to change, but it's hard for me. I love to read, I go to a bible university, I'm credentialed and yet I still find myself a little confused sometimes when reading through certain books of the Bible. I came to know about Jesus a little late in life so I never really went to kids Sunday School and all that jazz, so I kinda missed out on all the basic bible stories. There's also so much history and backstory that gives us better understanding, so I feel the need to do a full out scripture study when I read; like I can't just read for fun. It's a little bothersome.

Don't get me wrong, I love love reading the Bible; every time I do, I gain some new insight, find myself completely inspired and love Jesus even more. I pray daily, talk to Jesus daily, it's just hard to sit and read daily, but I'm going to change that!! I'm going to read through the complete bible in one year; my 24th birthday will be my last day to complete^_^ I've read the whole bible, but never consecutively; out of order.

I've also decided to change things up a bit and read through it chronologically. I think this'll be fun and hopefully provide a better understanding of what's going on. I'm excited. Have you read through the bible in a year? Do you read it daily? I know I'm not a terrible person for not, but it is something I would like to start doing on a daily basis. I always feel so much better once I do.

JULY 10 // 11:48
My birthday is in roughly 30 minutes and I can't help but feel pensive tonight. It seems to be the day when I sum up all of my accomplishments, my failures, the areas I still lack in and the mountains I've overcome... It's kind of a bittersweet feeling. To think, I'll never get this year back, not a single day can be undone. It's perfect that way though. I can't believe I'm where I'm at, not that I'm any exceptional type of human being, but I have just come so very far from where I started. I feel overwhelmed at the sight of God's guiding hand in my life. So many strings that attached this situation to that, that led to heartache only to prepare me for growth and overwhelming victories, loose ends tied up so pretty and others left in frays, but still God has seen me through every moment. I never did anything to deserve it. I think that's why I seem to get so melancholy around this time. I take a look at my year and wonder, "what did I really do?" What will I look back years and years from now and say, "I remember 22 because I did this..."? 

I guess it's easy to get wrapped up in what could've been, but I can't help but be grateful for the opportunities, missed or not, and be completely thankful that I had the chance to live them. I hope this year is good to me, but more than that I hope it's good for me. I want to grow, I want to make a difference, I want to be someone that 15 year old me would be proud to become... haha! I don't know why, but I always go back to 15 year old me... Like that was the year when I dreamt the most, the year I spent so many nights wondering what would become of my life, what God would do with little 'ol me... and I'd like to think she'd be happy with how things worked out. In fact, I'm pretty certain she'd feel like a pretty lucky girl to be right here, where I am tonight, doing exactly this.

Alright friends, this is my first conversation and lets just say, I'm pretty crazy excited. I don't know that I really have anything shockingly mind blowing and introspective to say, but I would like to say that my words are of some value. Here's the thing that's been messing with me lately and quite possibly one of the only thoughts on my mind the last few days... "Being a representation of Christ, is quite possibly the biggest responsibility I will ever have." But seriously, yes, I will do some pretty cool things in my life, I have and will be in charge of some pretty big situations, and I may at some point even hold the responsibility of bringing and raising life into this world; however, none can be so great as showing someone who Christ truly is by the way you live your life. That, my friends, is a whole lot to think about. 

As I struggled with this feature, whether or not I should do it, what I would say in it, what I would even call it, I found myself wondering why I was holding back so much and it led me to this conclusion: I would hate to be the reason why someone decided they didn't want to know Jesus, or step foot in a church, or have anything to do with God. Now what on earth could I possibly say that would lead someone to that conclusion? I haven't the slightest idea, but I think that's why I was so fearful. 

Fear, this has been an underlying theme in my life, one that I have had to break time and time again, but it seems so ever reoccurring. I used to watch a lot of scary movies when I was a kid with my older brother. I watched movies that no child should really see, but I thought it was cool cause my older brother did it and I grew to enjoy the rush and anticipation of waiting for someone to jump around the corner. But then when I would be alone in the dark and my mind would race with these thoughts and images of the movie I had just seen, it just became too much. Needless to say, I no longer watch scary movies. I say this all to say, that fear, in itself, is a quite terrible thing. What happens when you hear that scary intense music and your waiting for something awful to happen on screen? Your body tenses up, you feel nervous and anxious, you cover your eyes but then leave enough space open so you can peak through, you slide down in your chair or lean into the person you're with... you're scared. That's exactly what happens when you're scared in real life with important situations; it affects your body, those feelings of nervousness and insecurities come up, you live in a constant state of unknowing and anxiety. The thing is though, that God never intended for us to live in fear, the Bible even tells us. 

Fear disables us and makes what God can do, seem like it's not enough. When we focus on fear, we hinder ourselves and God from being able to do something great in and through our lives. I'm not saying I still don't struggle with fear, I do on a daily basis, but I can't help but wonder what I could accomplish if I wasn't afraid; afraid of failing, afraid of looking dumb, even afraid of  offending someone. I think we could all stand to be a little fearless.