Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas 2011.

This was yet another wonderful Christmas! Christmas Eve we went to church for service. It was great to sing carols and listen to Andy speak. We started Christmas morning with Christmas at our house. Lance got the Kinnect for XBOX, and I got a new camera! It is so great, and I'm just glad I have my own camera again. Around eleven we went over to my aunt and uncle's house to do Christmas with them and my grandma. We exchanged gifts, ate brunch, and then sat and talked for a while. From there we went to my dad's aunt's house. Dylan, my two year old cousin, was the star of the show. He had a blast riding around on this car/bike thing that my aunt's got him. It was pretty cute.

New Year's is coming up, quite quickly I might add, so I've been thinking about the ever popular resolutions. Every year the same thing happens: I start out doing really well with my resolutions, and then by February I've failed. And like every other year, this year I'm determined to stick with them.

So, here's my list so far...

1. Be healthy. Obviously this is always at the top of everyones list. Sad, but true.

2. Be more organized. Ugh.

3. Say "no" more.

4. Say "yes" more.

5. Be swept off of my feet.

6. Have a more regular quiet time.

7. Be more spontaneous.

8. Be open to trying new things.

9. Speak kind words more often.

10. Use less sarcasm.

What are your NY's resolutions?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Confessions.

Ok, so all of my confessions really aren't about Christmas, but I like alliterations, so Christmas Confessions it was. Now that you've finished reading that pointless sentence, we can get to the confessions.

1. I am in love with anything Apple Cinnamon scented. It's amazing. I've never been one to enjoy "spicy" smelling things, but a lot of things have changed this year, so I guess my scent preference isn't exempt.

2. I may or may not (definitely may) use men's body wash. Now, obviously whenever I shower before going somewhere I use a pretty, girly body wash. But the stuff I use is called Irish Spring, and it literally leaves your skin tingling, not to mention is leaves my bathroom smelling like a hot guy. Definitely an added bonus.

3. It's two days until Christmas!! I just bought my last gift last night. Hallelujah! I'm so excited for the Christmas Eve service at church tomorrow night. This is seriously my favorite time of the year.

4. I'm super stoked about the NYE party I'm co-hosting! Ashlyn and I are meeting Tuesday to do a little post-Christmas shopping, and we're going to put our creative heads together to plan an awesome party. I'm sure it will include a few sparkles.

5. I am slowly putting off the fact that I have to go to Walmart for the second time today. I need to get stuff for my mom's stocking, and some ingredients to make sausage balls and spinach artichoke dip for Sunday. Yum? Maybe.

6. This year I bought two out of three Christmas presents with my own money. I feel like an adult. Correction, I feel like a broke adult.

7. I am in desperate need of a haircut. Honestly, my bangs are so long, I don't think they even qualify as bangs anymore. Sad.

8. If Adele ever came to Springfield, I would pay a ridiculous amount of money to go see her. Because, let's be honest, the woman has a voice that sounds a little bit like heaven. And I'm insanely jealous of her hair.

That's all I've got, folks! Merry Christmas Eve, Eve!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Every time I update my blog after a long time, I always say "I promise I didn't forget about blogging". Well, this time, I did. Sad, right?

I've been forgetting a heck of a lot of things this month. I don't have amnesia or Alzheimer's, I'm just super busy. For instance, last night Ashlyn texted me and told me about what a great night I had missed. I was really, really confused, and then I remembered: she had invited me to a Christmas party at her house, and I forgot. Duh. So today I bought myself a weekly planner to keep track of all of my social outings ;)

It's officially four days and counting until Christmas. What?!?! I still two gifts to buy. Don't tell me I've procrastinated, because I have only heard that about twenty times this week. It's a horrible habit that I'm going to day.

On Saturday we went had a Christmas Carolling Progressive Dinnering Mix Event with the youth group. It was freezing, but an absolute blast. We started off with appetizers at the Woodalls, then ate our main course at the Holmes, and finished with dessert at the Stones. There was one house that we went carolling at, and the teenage girl at the house just stood on the front porch and stared at us as we tried to spread Christmas cheer. Awkward.

I'm really excited to go shopping after Christmas. After all, every girl should buy a new New Year's Eve outfit! I discovered Forever 21's $10.50 jeans this week. Never again will I buy jeans from any place else. Ever. I love the wash, and they are long enough for my dang legs! If you've never tried them before, check them out.

I hope your Christmas is filled with joy, and you are abundantly blessed!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tori: Awakened

I promise I haven't forgotten about my blog, I've just been (as usual) extrememly busy!

Tori: Tori is so near and dear to my heart. She's a senior and she is one of the most honest, caring people that I know. She has such a heart for loving others. Girlfriend has also got some beautiful red hair going on. Seriously, I'm so envious. There was major change in Tori around sophomore year, and it has forever changed her outlook on life. She is a beautiful child of God, and she glows with His love.

First, let me say that Tori practically had me in tears within the first ten minutes of her session. And if you know me, you that isn't easy to do. But the way that she was so open and honest about her relationship with her grandma, and about the anger she felt from her grandmas passing was absolutely touching. Tori and her grandma were really close. When she felt like nothing was going right, she could always go to her grandma and have the comfort of knowing that her grandma was there for here. I think it was around the beginning of freshman year (correct me if I'm wrong) that her grandma was diagnosed with cancer. After she passed, Tori was devastated. She starting looking to other things to fill that hole in her heart. By dating this guy, she felt like she was important and beautiful. Little did she know that there was only one man who would fill the void in her life.

Last summer, I got an inbox from Tori asking Ashlyn and I if we wanted to spend the night with her one evening after church. I was so. dang. excited. To me, it was a pretty big deal to be invited over to "the" Tori Vaughan's house. It was such a fun night, and I will always think of it when I think of Tori. By stepping out of her comfort zone, she unconsciously made me feel accepted. We have been good friends ever since, and I know that no matter what, I can always go to Tori and she will love me and pray for me and give me words of wisdom. Her heart for others is such a reflection of Christ, and her love for Him is wildly passionate. When I think of Tori, I remember how she was awakened and how her heart changed. She felt the Lord calling her, and she went running to Him. She surrendered her life and He is using her for the kingdom!

Have you been awakened like Tori? Is God calling you? If He is, run.

Be blessed!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Daniel: Worship

Saturday morning we had our first student session. The student sessions were incredible, and God really spoke through them. I've seen God working in the lives of these students for months now, and I'm so excited that they got to share about what God is doing.

I thought it would be a good idea to give you guys a little background info on the students I'll be talking about for the next few days. That way maybe you can relate to them a little better.

Daniel: Daniel is a senior at a private school in Springfield. I've known him for about three or four years now, and he's one of the smartest kids I know. Seriously, the guy's a genius. He also has a wicked sense of humor. I don't even bother arguing with him, because I know it's pointless. He plays the guitar, sings, and music is his thing. Daniel loves to worship, and it shows.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but instead be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to attest and prove what God's will is: His good, pleasing, and perfect will." -Romans 12:2

This verse sounds great right? It sounds like your typical, inspirational Bible verse. It starts off telling you what to do, and ends by telling you what will happen as a result. Well, get ready for a shock. When this refers to "His good, pleasing, and perfect will", it's not talking about the good being for us. What? If you're like me, you're really confused right now. When Daniel said this, I was thrown for a loop. If it's not going to be good for us, then how can it be good at all? The adjectives in this verse are describing GOD'S will, not ours. If we are not walking with Him, His will is going to seem like it sucks. Big time. But, if we are walking with Him, and our hearts are aligned with His, His will is going to be great for us, because it's great for Him. Get it?

Now let's talk about worship a little bit. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the word 'worship'? It probably has something to do with music, so let's talk about that part first.

"Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!" -Psalm 95:1-2

Worshipping through music is one of my favorite things to do, if not my absolute favorite. When it's just me and my Savior, and I'm pouring my heart out through song, that's when I feel closest to Him.

I used to be so embarrassed to lift my hands in worship. The thought of doing that rarely crossed my mind, and when it did, I shut it down immediately. What if people stared at me? What if they thought I was weird? Now, I don't think you could tear me out of a worship session if the building was on fire. I'm not ashamed to lift my hands to the heavens and proclaim that He has won. I've never felt the spirit of God like I did this weekend when we were worshipping.

Now, believe it or not, there is more to worship than just singing or making music. You can worship Him in anything and everything you do. Prayer, especially, is a huge form of worship. If singing isn't your thing, pray. If praying isn't your thing (it should be), worship God with a grateful heart and attitude.

Worship is a vital part of faith. Don't be ashamed to lift your hands or pray out loud. Whatever you do, do for the Lord, and you will be worshipping Him.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hosea: Awake

"Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have
sent." -John 17:3

So many people try and fill their life with things. Because they think things will awaken them to life. So many people believe if they just have that thing, they will awaken, and live life to the fullest. What we don't realize, is that the only way to be awake, is to walk with God.

"You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." -Psalm 16:11

No fairytale is complete without the handsome prince coming to the rescue of the beautiful princess. The earth is like Sleeping Beauty, she looks beautiful and inviting on the outside, but on the inside, she's asleep. There is nothing there to offer. God is the handsome Prince Charming who comes and awakens the sleeping woman. Without the Lord, we would lay dormant in our lives forever.

His presence is the essence of life.

Without Gods presence, life is nothing. The Church is full of sleepwalkers. We look and act alive, but on the inside, we're asleep, just like the earth. In order for us to wake up, we must have God present in us. We can't be awakened by Him, if He is not in us.

If sin is present, fellowship is broken. When we sin, our relation to God does not change. If we are a Christian, and we sin, that doesn't make us not a Christian anymore. However, when there is sin present in our life, our fellowship with God is broken. Until we release that sin to Him, we won't have fellowship with Him.

Awakening doesn't have anything to do with our physical behavior, it has to do with our hearts. Is your heart ready to be awakened by the King? Mine is.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Awake: WR 2011

1. to wake up; rouse from sleep.
2. to rouse to action; become active. 
3. to come or bring to an awareness; become cognizant (often followed by to ).
This past weekend was Winter Retreat 2011. Twenty-four hours away from everything; a time for just you and God. Sean Lea led worship, and was amazing as usual. The worship sessions were my favorite, because there's nothing I love more than singing to my King.
Instead of bringing in a speaker this year, we had three different students that spoke, and our pastor led a session. They spoke about what it means to be awake, what awakens them, and how they were awakened. Hosea talked about the meaning of being "awake" in our relationship with God. Daniel spoke about how worship awakens him. Tori shared how she was awakened. Quinn talked about how sharing the Gospel verbally awakens him.

God did a lot of things in me this week. But instead of one, big, long brain-dump of a post, I'm going to spread it out over four days. Each day corresponding with a session. Stay tuned tomorrow to learn from Pastor Hosea what it means to wake up.

Be blessed! 

Friday, December 2, 2011


Guess who's back? Not Elvis or Jesus.


I've taken a brief blogging vacation because this week I didn't hardly have time to breathe, let alone blog. But now I'm back in action, and ready to confess a few things that have been on my mind lately.

1. Oh my word, y'all. I just discovered the Gingerbread Spice Chai Latte at Starbucks this week. So much better than the pumpkin.

2. Winter Retreat starts today! 24 hours away from, well, everything. <--- I'm seriously. Baptist Hill is in the boonies. Even if I did take my phone, I don't think I'd get reception. Anyways, I'm stoked to see what God is going to do.

3. I'm also in a bit of a crazy time crunch this next week. Tomorrow we get back from WR at 5:30, I have a Christmas Open House that starts at 6, after I'm done there I have to go home and sleep because we have church the next morning. Then after church on Sunday I'm working a going away party for one of the church staff members. On Monday I'm babysitting, and then Tuesday is co-op. And sometime between now and then, I have homework to do...yep.

4. All the Christmas stuff is making me seriously excited for the 25. Who doesn't love twinkly lights and baby Jesus?

5. Let's talk about how much I hate those little "FWD" messages. Honestly people, I would bet you a large amount of money that if I hold my breath while thinking about my crush and doing the hula, nothing is going to change. Geesh.

6. The Hunger Games. March 23, 2012. Enough said.

7. Kourtney Kardashian is pregnant. Again. The father is a guy to whom she isn't married, and doesn't even speak to half of the time. That family is a train wreck, but they provide great entertainment on Sunday evenings.

8. I think eight is a nice number to stop at, so have a fantastic Friday, and be blessed!