Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pondering, Processing, and Praying

Not much to write tonight, except that I could use really use your prayers right now. An incredible opportunity has presented itself, and I just need direction and clarity. I'll write more soon. It's exciting. And no, Dean, I'm not quitting my job. :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

10 years ago

I was talking to my former youth minister's wife the other day and she was asking what year did the youth group first go to camp with them. It was the summer of 1998. 10 years ago! yikes! After I hung up with her, I thought back to that summer of 1998. The summer that would forever change my life. 10 years ago, I surrendered to the ministry. I know that as Christians, we are all called to the ministry, but I think that God calls us all to different ministries in different forms. Enough said...i really don't feel like getting into a theological debate over this one. LOL

I remember it as if it were yesterday. We were at Student Life camp at La. Tech. I was student leader with my youth minister. We had a group of middle schoolers. Ugh! To a soon to be senior in high school, middle schoolers, are well, uncool! :) The week was okay. I just didn't really feel like God was speaking to me or doing anything in my life that week. Oh, He was. I hadn't gotten to the last day of camp yet. The last session, Rick Ousley was speaking about committment and being called to serve God. He gave an invitation for people to come forward if they felt called to full time ministry. Well, of course, I didn't go down because He wasn't calling me. I stood in my seat, eyes closed and just worshiping Him. Then I heard Him. "Serve Me." So clearly. Right to my heart. I just stood there, not moving, not saying anything tears rolling down my face. My youth minister's wife, Jodi, was standing by me and I just turned to her and she hugged me. I couldn't say anything. (she later told me that she knew what was going on!) The next few days, I was a wreck. Did I hear God? What did that mean? Did He really call me? I knew that if I said yes to Him, then that was it...I had to obey.

The next week, I went to another camp with a different church. I spent that time just praying, asking God to show me what to do. Satan was having a field day with me...doubt, confusion, fear, the works. One day,during the week, I turned to Romans 11:29, "for God's call and his gifts are irrevocable." There was my answer. When I got back, I talked with my pastor. I still had no idea what it was that God was calling me to do. Bro. Bill told me that I didn't have to know right now. I just had to be obedient. God would show me. I had always thought about being a missionary or doing ministry work, but never felt the call. But now, God called me. And oh the places I would go.

God has given me some incredible opportunities over the past ten years. He lead me to a great BCM where I was challenged in my faith and learned so much about servant leadership. He fed my heart for missions by allowing me to be a summer missionary for two summers and go on various mission trips. I was a GA camp counselor. I taught countless preschool classes for VBS. I thought for sure that seminary was in the plan. It wasn't. God shut that door (or should I say, slammed it shut!) I could go on and on about all that He has shown me, but I don't think there would ever be enough room!

Along the way, God has clarified that call to ministry a bit. I still don't know exactly what my ministry entails. I don't have to know. He does. I remember after my last summer missions experience, I felt Him whisper, "Serve Me with your whole life." I've often wondered does that mean marrying a minister? Traveling overseas? Seminary? A few months ago, I seriously considered being a Journeyman with the IMB in Kenya. I told my parents and my boss. (both flipped out!) But I felt God leading me to do this. The door eventually closed, but my faith was challenged. God wanted me to be obedient.

As I was traveling today, I thought about my ministry over the past ten years. I thought, "Have I made God proud of me? Is He proud of how I've lived my life? Have I used this time or just wasted it?" I thought back to my senior year of college. Graduation was looming and I was more confused than ever. I really wanted to go to seminary, which didn't look it was going to happen. I knew I had to go to grad school, so I was faced with the decision between two schools. I kind of had the mentality of that I would meet my husband at the BCM. Well that certainly didn't happen! My friend, Joe, was speaking at our chapel about priorities. He said something that has stuck with me. "God shouldn't be a priority. He should be the page that we write our priorities on." As I listened, I felt God whisper to me, "50 years from now, it isn't going to matter how many letters you have behind your name,or rather you were married or not. What matters is how you lived your life for Me."

So now I have my dream job in ministry, but that still doesn't matter. No matter what I do, I'm going to live for Him.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Growing Pains

What a week this has been! Although it has been much better than last week, Praise the Lord!!! I am finally able to see accomplishment from the past 9 months and can see the fruit of the often tedious labor. My "baby" will hopefully arrive sometime next week...I don't mean a real baby, but my big project that feels like my baby. I had plans for the weekend with a friend, but that got changed. I found out that I have to be in SW LA on Monday for an adoption meeting, so i was planning on leaving on sunday. Then I found out I have to head to Baton Rouge for something but i can tie in a trip home, so a lot of traveling the next few days...not a great time to be out of the office, but it works.

Lately, I've been feeling the effects of growing pains. I'm growing up. Yikes! Not that I haven't already realized this, but now it just seems more obvious. I've been out of high school for 9 years, out of college for 5, out of grad school for 4, and have been a social worker for 4 years. It's so hard to believe how far God has brought me. I feel the pain of the stretching and growing that God has been doing in my life. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes we don't realize the beauty of the pain, the growing pains, until afterwards. I talked to someone today who had struggled with infertility for several years and was told that there was no way that she would conceive without medical intervention. Surprise!!! She's pregnant!!! and without any medical intervention! She told me that now she can see the beauty in the pain of infertility, of how God ordained every part of the journey, how He told her to simply "Be still and know that I am God."

The past few months have been some of the most difficult in my life. But I have seen God move, I have seen Him grow me in ways that I never thought were possible...the growing pains haven't been so bad after all.

Monday, July 21, 2008

About me

I saw this on Lots of Scotts thought it might be fun for something different!

What were you doing 10 years ago?Getting ready to start my senior year of high school and dreading graduation ( for some reason, I was terrified!)

Favorite Snacks:chocolate chip cookies, fruit, yogurt

To Do List: not a huge fan of this, but my new job is forcing me to like it...what's on it: for work, too much to list!

Jobs I Have Had:Babysitter, file clerk, social worker, camp counselor, summer missionary

Places I Have Lived: Just Louisiana, if you don't count living in rural NW Arkansas for 10 weeks!

Bad Habits:eating out way too much, being a clutter bug, not listening very well

5 Random Things People May Not Know
1. I played basketball against Britney spears. No lie! 2. I have an autograph of Matthew McCaunaughey (signed to me!) 3. I sang at Hound Dog Hot Dog stand in Nashville, where Tim McGraw was discovered. 4. I love fitness magazines, but am not a huge fan of exercise,(although I did go work out tonight!) 5. I was a summer missionary for two summers.

.CDs I would want if stranded on an island:Chris Tomlin, Andy Davis, Josh Groban, Celine Dion

What I'd Do if I Were a Billionaire: buy a house, buy my parents a new house, adopt a child, go to seminary, travel, donate to missions, go overseas on a mission trip.

I tag: Sara, Leslie, Laura.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Without Schedules

I have had a great weekend, especially since it started on Friday! I didn't really do anything special or anything that I had to do, which made it even better. I slept in, had coffee with a friend, went window shopping at some stores that I will never shop at and now know why I don't shop there! (250.00 for a dress...not for me!) Spent some time at hobby lobby, ate a delicious chocolate with peanut butter icing cupcake from Curlz's Cupcakes (if you haven't been there yet, you're missing out!) painted, not a whole lot of anything that I absolutley had to do. Then today, I slept really late (10:30!!) and then decided to have some friends over for dinner, ran to Walmart, cleaned, and made peach cobbler. was so nice to just go at my own pace.

Tonight, I had my friends, Brooklyn and Foshe, over for dinner. They are getting ready to move to Nashville next week. I first met Foshe when he came to our life group last summer then met Brooklyn when they started dating. They got married in December and I had the honor of singing at their wedding. (What a day that was....due to major traffic issues, I got to the church right as the wedding was supposed to start!!) We just talked about life, their move, nothing in particular. As we sat there talking, I was kind of sad. Sad that this would probably be the last time that we were all living the same area, sad that I wouldn't get to see them at church anymore, but most of all, sad that we didn't get to know each other better. I mean, we're friends, and we hang out, but really get to know them.

Life gets in the way sometimes. We get busy. We put it off until later. Then later comes and it's too late. The moment has passed. Tonight, I brought some leftover cobbler to a friend who just moved into my apt.complex. I was thinking, "Why don't I do this more often for people?" I love doing things for others. It's just that sometimes, I get so precoccupied with me. I can barely keep up with my own schedule, barely make time to get the necessary things done. Doing for others kind of falls to the wayside.

I kind of liked living without a schedule for the past few days. It has birthed in me a desire to be more intentional, less rigid. It made me realize that life is so busy, that I need to slow down. I hope that you can experience one day without a's a challenge!

Friday, July 18, 2008


After a rough week, I'm off today. Not really sure what I'm going to do, but whatever it is, I'm going to enjoy it! Be sure to stop by the Pink Potpourri. It's Friday Giveaway! Happy Friday!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Breathe In, Breathe Out

The past few days have been crazy, and that's putting it mildly! My week started Sunday night when I spent 5 hours at work dealing with a situation. The situation carried over onto Monday, then the licensing people showed up unexpectedly, you name it happened. A lot of the duties regarding the licensing people fell to me, and I needed 5 of me yesterday. I was so cranky, if one more person told me how tired I looked or asked me if I felt bad..I wanted to just yell "Shut up!" and run away. Now, I know this not is exactly what Jesus would do, but in my humaness, that's what I felt like doing. Thankfully, I didn't.

Last week, I came across this great blog and the writer was talking about going to the Deeper Still conference with Beth Moore, Kay Arthur and Priscilla Shirer. I've never heard Kay Arthur, but Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer are incredible! Anyway, she talked about this song that Priscilla read. It's called "He Is" by Aaron Jeoffrey. (and yay, it's available on I tunes!!!) I was in high school when I first heard this song, and it blows me away as much now as it did 12 years ago. It's one of those that I can listen to over and over again and thanks to I tunes, I can. LOL But seriously, the words are incredible.

Several times over the past few days, I have listened to this song before I went to bed. In the dark, just listening. I desperately wanted Him to breathe into me the very being of who He is (if that makes any sense, it just came to me!) I wanted to know truly that He is the breath of Life, that He is my song, that He is the glorious treasure, my restorer, above all my Redeemer. I don't ever want to forget who He by day, moment by moment. So I'll take it one day at a time, breathing in and breathing out.

"He Is" by Aaron Jeoffrey

In Genesis, He's the breath of life
In Exodus, He is the Passover Lamb
In Leviticus, He's our high priest
In Numbers, the fire by night
Deuteronomy, He's Israel’s Guide
Joshua, He’s salvation's choice
Judges, He’s Law Giver
In Ruth, the kinsmen's redeeme
r1st and 2nd Samuel, our trusted prophet
In Kings and Chronicles He is Sovereign
In Ezra, He’s the true and faithful scribe
In Nehemiah, the re-builder of broken walls and lives
In Esther, He’s Mordecai's courage
In Job, the timeless redeemer
In Psalms He is our morning song
In Proverbs, He is our wisdom's cry
Ecclesiastes, He's the time and season
In Song of Solomon, He is the lover's dream
In Isaiah He is Prince of Peace
In Jeremiah, the weeping prophet
Lamentations, the cry for Israel
Ezekiel, the call from sin
Daniel, the stranger in the fire
Hosea, the forever faithful
Joel, the spirit’s power
Amos, the strong-arms that carry us
Obadiah, the Lord our Savior
Jonah, the great missionary
Micah, the promise of peace
Nahum, our strength and shield
In Habakkuk and Zephaniah, He's brings revival
In Haggai He restores that which was lost
IN Zachariah, He’s our fountain
And in Malachi, He's the son of righteousness rising with healing in His wings
In Matthew Mark Luke and John, He is God Man and Messiah
In the book of Acts, He is the fire from Heaven
In Romans, He is the grace of God
Corinthians, the power of love
Galatians, freedom from the curse of sin
Ephesians, our glorious treasure
Philippians, the servant's heart
Colossians, He’s God and the trinity
Thessalonians, our calling King
In Timothy, Titus and Philemon, He's our mediator and our faithful pastor
In Hebrews, the everlasting covenant
In James, the one who heals the sick
In 1st and 2nd Peter, our faithful shepherd
In John and Jude, He's the lover coming for His bride
AND in the Revelation, , He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords,
Prince of Peace,
son of Man,
Lamb of God,
The Great I am,
Alpha and Omega,
God and Savior
He is Jesus Christ the Lord
And when time is no more, He is!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Love Them Like Jesus

Tonight, we had our staff banquet at work. It was a lot of fun, good food, lots of laughter. It's kind of our last "hurrah" before things pick back up and get in gear. Every year we have a theme as a staff. This year it's more of a song, but still a theme. It's "Love them Like Jesus" by Casting Crowns. (I'm blog illiterate, so I have no idea how to add music or anyone?) My boss talked about how we need to love our kids like Jesus does, that this is evident in our actions. We also had a testimony by a friend of a former resident who talked about the impact that our agency had on her life.

I got an update on some of my kids (once Miss Ashley's kid, always Miss Ashley's kid) and my heart just broke. I wanted to run right to them and wrap them in my arms and love on them. Love the pain away. Love the lies away. Love the anger away. Love the disappointment away. Love the hate and hurt away. To love them like Jesus. These kids are so dear to me. It's one of the few times that I can say that it really got to me, that I "brought work home with me." I remember the sleepless nights, the feeling of total and utter helplessness, of my hands being tied, being unable to do anything, feeling sick at my stomach. I love these kids as if they were my own. I was in the trenches with them for nearly two years. Talk about seeing the good, the bad, and the really ugly. I cried with them, I laughed with them. (one of them even threw up in my that's devotion. LOL)

I watched as my worst fear came true. I was helpless. Nothing at all that I could do. At times like this, is when I question my calling. Did I hear God right? Social Worker??? I'm not a miracle worker. I have to remember that God is in control and is sovereign, even when it doesn't make sense to me. It doesn't have to make sense to me. My job is to simply love them, love them like Jesus. So I'll love them when my heart hurts, I'll love them when they hurt. I'll love them like Jesus. Who do you need to love like Jesus?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Crossed Paths

We are so connected in this world! It's amazing how many people that I've re-connected with and connected with via Facebook (I guess all this technology isn't so bad after all!) and blog world. Today, I had one of those re-connections. I got a message on Facebook from one of my childhood best friends, I'll call her D. It was a total shock and surprise. I haven't seen her or talked to her in probably 9 years. D and I played softball together when we were in middle school and part of high school. That's also how I met my BFF Jessica. During most of our middle school and high school years, we were the Three Muskateers. We were inseparable. We did everything together,softball, sleepovers, all of the usual girly stuff. D's family was very different from mine, and well, D was very different from me. It was crazy that we were even friends. I know that I tried to live my for Christ so that she would see Him in me, but I can't really remember if I ever talked to her about Jesus. If I did, she probably just rolled her eyes at me.

D's parents made some choices that affected her and then she made her own share of poor decisions. Our lives were totally different and we went down different paths. I kept up with her from time time through her sister, but that was sporadic. I knew that she was married and had a baby. So imagine my surprise when I heard from her. We messaged back and forth. I told her about my life now and she told me about hers. She said that she was happy, but she sounded utterly miserable. I got to thinking later: she is where I want to be. She's married and has a family. But I realize that those things are not going to bring me happiness and peace. Christ alone will. My heart broke for her. Of course she's miserable. She doesn't know the One who can bring her joy, fill her life and her heart. I don't think it's any coincidence that she just "happened" to email me. I pray that God will use me to witness to her. Even if it is with my life, because she may still roll her eyes at me. That' s okay. I'm going to love her anyway.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


I had a wonderful weekend..unplugged from the internet and most of the time, my cell phone. I made great time on Thursday and got in before dark. Friday, we got together at my aunt and uncle's house and grilled out and just visited. We got my Maw Maw from the nursing home, and for the first time in a while, all the grandkids and great grands were there. We bought some fireworks for the little ones to shoot and it was so funny...somehow the bag of fireworks caught on fire! I think one of the little ones had a sparkler and the sparks touched the bag..all of sudden, I was like, "My feet are hot!" and then I looked down to see the bag on fire. Breland was standing where the grass caught on fire..he couldn't figure out what was going on!

Friday night, me and the folks went to Barnes and Nobles for coffee. I picked up a travel book for NYC (which hopefully, I'll be visiting next year!!) and the new Andy Davis CD. (no relation!) Andy's dad used to be my former pastor and his mom taught me in Sunday School. I'm not a big fan of pop music, but oh my goodness, the CD is incredible!!! check him out at

Saturday, I went to my Maw Maw's to "clean." She moved into a nursing home last year and we're getting ready to rent out her house, so I went to see if there was anything that I wanted. I got some of her costume jewelry, two children's books, a plant stand, and my favorite...this little wooden chair that all of the grandkids used when we were little. I discovered something Saturday..I think I inherited some of my packrat tendecies from her! The woman has saved every card that was ever given to her (it was like 4 boxes!) and I found a chest that had dr bills from 1965!!! it had a four cent stamp on it, lab work was $3.00, dr visit was $17!!

I got to thinking as I was looking through her stuff...why do we hang on to things? Do we think we're going to use them again? That we may one day need them? Are we too afraid to let go? What happens when we stockpile...the pile just grows and grows and can be huge to tackle. I looked at this from a different angle....we often hold on to things in our life...jealousy, bitterness, pride, fear, the list continues. Eventually the piles grow and grow, they rot, they become difficult to get rid of. So just something to think about...what are you stockpiling?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Part of the Journey

Fourth of July is this weekend...I'm so excited for the chance to get away for a little while and just spend time with my family. This 4th July marks 4 years that I have been on my own in the real world. I moved 4th of July weekend. I remember how scared and excited I was. I was fresh out of grad school, ready to change the world. (Ha! social worker, remember?) I was moving away for the first time, but not just on my own, but 200 miles away! I knew no one, except for my old youth minister and his family, who live about 30 minutes away from me. I remember that weekend being so busy of trying to get everything unpacked, my pantry stocked, learning my way around town (thankfully, Walmart was right across the highway!). I remember when it came time for my parents to finally leave, my mom was fighting back the tears and we kept putting off saying goodbye. Finally, I was like, "Okay, just go. We're both a blubbery mess!" She cried and I cried. I had no idea what the next four years would teach me.

Moving away has been the best decision that I have ever made. I always said that I wanted to live on my own before I got married. I learned to be dependent on God for everything. I remember many nights, crying on the phone to my mom, because of how lonely I was. He sent me incredible friendships (including one random meeting at a Bible Study!- Sara!). He lead me to an incredible church family. I never realized how important your church family was until I moved. I remember when I joined the church I attend now, Pastor Bill said, "I know how hard this is for you. We want to be your family."

My job. I moved here to work at a hospital. What a learning experience that was!! I learned so much...i had to be careful not to let my eyes pop out of my head. "Now you're 21 and this is baby number...4??" There were some days where I absolutley loved that job, then there were days where I hated it..with a passion. I remember sitting in my dear friend and 2nd mom, Sheryl's living room for bible study. I just cried about how miserable I was in my job and that I knew that God had called me here, called me to be a social worker, but how I didn't know what to do. We prayed. We cried. We prayed some more. It was so neat to see over a period of time how God just guided my every move to where I am now. I'm in my dream job. (well, most of the time it is...)

I look back over the past four years. I'm amazed at the person that I've mom was telling me the other day that she couldn't believe some of the experiences that I've had and that I'm where I am today. Me neither. My God is so gracious, so merciful, so faithful. There were days when I wanted to throw my hands up and move back home. I remember one time actually thinking, "I want to move back home, at least I actually have friends there." I very quickly learned here who were my friends and who weren't, but I'm so thankful for the friends that I do have! Four years ago, I never would have thought that I would be where I am today. Now, granted part of that included that I thought that I would be married by now. but that' s okay.

This part of the journey has been long: winding roads, twists and turns, heartache, disappointment, uncertainity. The journey has also been beautiful: lessons of grace, hope, faithfulness, mercy, seeing God meet my every need, seeing Him break me down to mold me into who He wants me to be, learning to see that He is more than enough for me, that He truly satisfies.

I'm not sure what the next four years will look like, or even next week. But I know that wherever He leads me, I will go.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Another Lesson Learned...

Do you ever just feel like that God keeps trying to show the same lesson repeatedly, but for some reason, you just don't get it? I know that we've all been there. I think that mine has been lately is "Slow down." Some days I just feel like I'm on auto pilot, flitting from one thing to the next. Slowing down is an important thing. Think about why we have speed limits, why there are signs that say "Slow Down, children at play." When we move too fast, we don't pay attention, we get careless. Slowing down prevents major things from happening.

Yesterday, I had a prime lesson in this, but it was also a lesson in grace. I shared some information from a dear friend in the form of a prayer request. (I know, I know..typical Christian execuse for gossiping) but honestly, I didn't even think about the outcome. I got the email and hit forward. Only later when someone else asked me about it, I was like, "Oh, shoot. " I didn't even to stop to ask if this was okay. I felt horrible. So i called my friend and apologized. I was crying, I felt so bad, like sick to my stomach, "I can't believe that I just did that" bad. I was expecting anger and hurt, but instead I got compassion and grace. He told me that he understood and that it was made it easier for people to know how to pray for the situation. I was still crying by this point, but felt much better. It could have been so much worse. What was an honest oversight could have had major implications.

I was thinking about when we get so caught up in life, we forget to live wisely, to be careful, to slow down, we forget to think. God, teach me again to slow down.