Monday, October 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
In all seriousness, the week FLEW by and I'm bummed that we're not still there (although I do feel cleaner and less sunscreen-ish here in my house). My hope for the trip was to grow to understand and relate to the kids in the youth group more (particularly the girls) and after 15 hours in a car...it's hard to NOT know them better. :)
I'm excited to continue working with them and to see them grow...not only in physical and emotional maturity, but in their love and desire for Christ.
Praise God for a safe, fun, and enjoyable trip!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!! I'm 23...eeek! It's already been one of the best birthdays, by far. At midnight, I was walking out of a hilarious comedy show with Scotty (who is seriously a CHAMP for putting up with so many birthday festivities...yikes) and this entire day has been exciting from the beginning. Definitely can't complain about a thing. Ever.
At the beginning of this walk down memory lane, I said they would be in no particular order. This one is the exception to that rule. This time last year, I was going to church because I knew I needed to but I was not spiritually fed as much as I was needing. To see the path that God took to get me to where I am now is incredible. I would've never guessed in 100 years that I'd leave the church I grew up in and take a leap of faith in this direction. I'm a huge fan of NEVER CHANGING ANYTHING EVER, so to uproot myself like this was definitely not in my plans. However, it ended up being the best thing that's happened. In August I began attending FOLF and the Lord has blessed me abundantly through the change. He has taught me that my plan is definitely not the way that's best...at least not ALL the time. ;) I feel so so so blessed everyday for the church, the members, the lovely ladies in my accountability group, the relationships made during Life Together Group, the God-fearing leadership, the opportunity to be a deacon, the truthful sermons, the youth, the young adult group, the women's ministry...pretty much EVERYTHING that it entails. Praise God for his guidance and his plan, despite our best efforts. :)
22 was definitely an amazing year and I look forward to what's in store for 23!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
As I'm writing this ON my actual birthday (cheating because I am a blog-slacker), I can't help but be overwhelmingly thankful for my job and my co-workers. I'm currently sitting in a heavily-decorated office (it's like the color pink exploded everywhere and I love it). I'm so thankful to have a job in this tumultuous time and even more thankful for the amazing people that I work with. We have SO much fun, SO many laughs, and we are a great team. As much as it can be stressful and overwhelming, it's just as equally fun and enjoyable.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
I'd never been wine tasting before and I was stoked when Genesee made plans to go for a bunch of people's birthdays! It was so much fun and I highly recommend it if you've never been. A party bus is also a great idea. ;) We went to four different wineries and it was a blast! We all definitely recommend "Hot Lips" at Faulkner!
Friday, June 5, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Another tough moment was hearing that my good friend, Roy Atkins, was diagnosed with a very rare blood disease. There is a light at the end of this tunnel as the disease has no spread to his marrow or his major organs, so he'll be undergoing chemo to kick this in the butt. Genesee and Roy are handling this hard situation with joy and hope in the Lord, which is always encouraging. Roy is one tough cookie and will pull through this! However, it's reminded me that we need to keep our faith and hope in Christ regardless of the circumstances. Roy's website is www.caringbridge.org/visit/royatkinsjr if you want to check out his status!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
My really good friend Cara was in Tokyo for 7 months of my 22nd year! She was working at Tokyo Disneyland as Jasmine, Belle, and Pochahontas. I'd post pictures of her doing it, but she would literally murder me and it's way too close to my birthday to be murdered.
Although we talked on iChat and all that fun stuff, it's not the same as having "car chats" (sitting outside of our houses in the car to vent) whenever necessary!!!
I'm so glad to have my friend back!
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
I remember when the mention of Life Together Groups (LTGs) occurred in our Friday night bible study. I was not a fan, mostly because I didn't go to the church where the rest of the ladies went. Basically, LTGs were going to be taking over our Friday night study. Well, long story short, I ended up joining an LTG and it was such an amazing experience. Being a newbie at the church, I signed up for one that had the most names I didn't recognize so that I could get to know people better (not typical for me). We just wrapped up our "trimester" and I'm so sad to know that our groups are going to be switched up in the fall, but excited to see what the Lord has in store!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Ok, I'm not going to lie--this wasn't one of my *favorite* memories, but it did have a big impact on my 22nd year (and on the tires of my car). For 7 weeks (so 13% of my year), Scott and I were basically BFF since we had to see each other first thing in the morning, intermittently all day at work, at lunch, and until about 9 pm. You'd think he would've been dead by now but I practiced self-control. ;) But in reality, we had some good times and we are even better friends now. I was kinda sad when he started driving again because I was so used to having someone to talk to while sitting in traffic! Bonus: now whenever I want/need anything, he owes me his life so it was totally worth it and will greatly impact my 23rd year (and 24th, 25th, and so on).
Sunday, May 24, 2009
A small group from our church went to Calvary Chapel's huge women's retreat in September. It was sooo much fun. I can't even really explain it; it was just fun to get away and do something different. Plus, the venue was beautiful! We're all so excited to go back! (Sidenote: Heather's face when she won the raffle prize was hilarious--"SZILAGYI!!!")
Saturday, May 23, 2009
I went tent-camping for the first time (outside of church camps when I was younger, and I think that was only once). Ok, if you know me well, you know this is NOT my thing at all, but it was SO much fun. I am actually looking forward to going back. Miracles do happen. (Oh ya, minor detail: I slept in the car because I was LITERALLY freezing my butt off. I was not at all prepared for how cold the evenings would be. But come on, miracles happen... just not overnight.)
Friday, May 22, 2009
I made a website, ordered business cards, and even had a little party at my house. It's exciting to have people enjoy something you enjoy--so THANKS to everyone who's shown support and encouragement for my mini-business.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Technically I graduated exactly one month before I was 22, however...the benefits of being a graduate resonated well into my 22nd year! Seriously, not having to deal with homework, papers, tests, professors, and knowing that it was DONE was the best feeling ever.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I'm going to blog my Top 22 memories of this year (in pictures...and not *really* in any particular order).
#22: My 22nd Birthday
I say this every year, but seriously, my 22nd birthday was my favorite. Rosa and Natalie decorated my office in all pink (I still find pink heart confetti in some of my drawers), we had a fun time at Yard House, and went to the Improv. Such a fun day!
(Seriously, how cute is this office?! I wish it always looked like this!)
(I *might* have made everyone wear pink, or it could be a coincidence. ;) I can't remember.)
Friday, May 8, 2009
I am so grateful to be single right now because the man I would've thought to be perfect for me a year ago is a LOT different than who I think would be perfect for me now. I want the man I marry to love Jesus so much that it's overflowing. I want us to be able to lift each other up in our walks with Christ and have Him be the center of our relationship. I want God to be glorified by how we treat each other. I don't think I can honestly say that I felt this strongly about this a year ago.
I am so grateful to be single right now because I have learned so much about being a wife in the last year. I want my marriage, and particularly my role as a wife, to glorify God. I've come to understand and love the idea of marital submission. (Ephesians 5:22-24-"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.") The reasons I want to be married have become less selfish and more focused on growing the kingdom of Christ.
I am so grateful to be single right now because I have an extremely valuable resource: time. I want to serve others in ways that I might not be able to if I was in a relationship. Relationships take a lot of cultivating, and while I will be more than willing when the time is right, for now, I am enjoying molding and shaping other areas of my life.
I know the Lord has impeccable timing. It's evident in all areas of my life and it's also evident in scripture. I know the Lord has me at this stage of my life at this time in my life for a purpose. While I sometimes wish I could make my own path, I know and trust that our God is sovereign and has something much better in store for me than I could have for myself.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
For ANY young woman (or mama of a young woman or potential mama of a young woman), this is for you. We live in a sex-crazed, superficial world and, although we might think we are coping, we are constantly being inundated by the media, celebrities, and even our peers. It's everywhere! This book called Every Young Woman's Battle (link takes you to Amazon for reviews and summary) will show you how to take a sex-saturated world and overcome it with Gospel-mindedness. It hits on some major points that we women face all the time.
It also answers the question, "How far is too far?" when it comes to sustaining virginity and purity. I can't tell you how many times I've been asked that question...and the age of the asker keeps dropping! Whether you are struggling with body image, relationship temptation, past sexual sin, or just want some motivation to live a pure and glorifying life, I highly recommend this book.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Lately, I've seen (in my own life and in other's) the desire to place earthly things above heavenly things. It's so easy to get wrapped up in these earthly relationships that will fail us every time. Why is it so easy to want to cultivate a friendship or a relationship with a boyfriend/girlfriend, but require so much discipline to cultivate a relationship with the Father? I went through a phase where I had to seriously be strict on myself to spend time with the Lord. That's not the case anymore, by the grace of God, but I see others struggling and sometimes lack the words to encourage. So if you are reading this and you are discouraged and/or discontent with your relationship with God and your desire to study his word and spend time with him, I pray you will be awakened to your need and want for a close, personal relationship with your Savior. He loves you more than anyone on this earth can. Spending quality time with him is the only way to keep your feet firmly planted in what's right. It reminds me of the song lyrics: "On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand." Friends, be encouraged!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
In Galatians, we are called to be crucified with Christ and thus give up our past and our old life, take up our cross and follow him. It's definitely never expressed as an easy task. Dying to our old lives can seem impossible at times. Our old lives, our old friends, our old activities, our old traditions--those can be hard to give up. They bring us comfort and change can be difficult. Part of the resilience to even acknowledge a religion or a God (i.e. atheists) stems from not wanting to give that up or be accountable to our actions.
Let's take a look at what our "comfortable" old lives symbolize: selfishness, pride, an eternity of punishment and separation from the one true God who gave his life for us. Is that really a life worth hanging on to? Is that true comfort? Does hanging on to an old lifestyle really bring joy and satisfaction? Is being one person on Sundays and another person on Monday through Saturday really a fulfilling lifestyle?
Any change will take time, discipline, and patience. Anything that's worth it does. Seek first God's kingdom and a joy beyond comprehension will be shown to you! A real, honest, perfect joy from the only real, honest, and perfect person to have ever lived.
"For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."-Galatians 2:18-20 (ESV)
Don't rebuild what you've torn down!
(*By "old life", I'm referring to life before the realization that Christ is sovereign and our lives are for his glory, not our own. It is the life that some continue to lead after the realization, just with an underlying guilt due to consciousness.)
Monday, February 16, 2009
In our sinful state, all we deserve from God is his wrath. As we know, Jesus stood in our place and took the punishment for what we deserve. Not only do we now have eternal life, but we have access to the presence of God in our current lives.
God yearns to have a personal relationship with us. We are his children and he's passionate about our lives. So what does a personal relationship look like? It might seem odd to compare it to any relationship we have here on Earth. Usually we can pick up the phone and talk to someone we are in a personal relationship with. We can grab coffee, shoot them an e-mail, give them a hug, whatever it is. We can't really do any of those things with Christ, but it's still so important to maintain a personal relationship. In my opinion, the most powerful way to do that is to be in constant prayer.
Carolyn McCulley said, "[God] didn't just make us all and then stand back to have a good laugh. He is Lord over his creation, lovingly ruling over all things..."
Being in prayer and communication with him, even over things that we may feel are insignificant, is so important! He cares and wants to hear from us. This is something that I struggled with and continue to need to remind myself.
"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit."-James 5:13-18 (ESV)
Pray in all things!
(Mark Driscoll had an excellent sermon on prayer--click here to listen.)
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
I was talking with one of my "mentors", and I was talking about my week and he said, "Where are you finding your joy?"
Yikes! I had never thought in those terms before. I know what makes me happy and what makes me sad...but I never thought about those things being where I derive my joy. Joy that comes from the Lord is unwavering, because he is unwavering. If we find our joy in the Father who loves us, will never forsake us, created us fearfully and wonderfully, and has a zest for our lives that goes above and beyond our own, then we will be constantly joyful. Finding our joy in earthly things will lead to disappointment, frustration, and discontentment. Can you name even ONE earthly pleasure that is constant and never changes or becomes less pleasurable? I can't.
My friend posted a series on Biblical Joy on his blog and it's been really helpful to me (over and over and over and over and over). I definitely recommend it!
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
In his message, he said (amongst many other GREAT things):
The idea of us siding with God against ourselves is so awesome to me. With Christ, we can do anything- even battle our own demons that dwell inside of us and cause us to sin. The imagery is beautiful.
Monday, February 2, 2009
At first, I was really worried about being patronizing. I felt like the fact that we had to hand them everything and they couldn't touch anything was looking down on them or something. I snapped out of it and remembered why we were there. I was also reminded of Colossians 3:23: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."(NIV) We were there to show God's love and God's glory. How am I showing God's glory if I can barely look these guests in the eye? So I slapped on a smile and kept serving and it ended up being an amazing experience overall.
"If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered."-Proverbs 21:13 (NIV)