Of more value than many Sparrows

December 8, 2016


The last few weeks have been gut wrenching. That is, I have been holding onto my stomach for fear that it will get carried away by thousands of little butterflies (or, maybe dragons?) that have been causing me to lose sleep and hate the sight of food.

College classes, those that I enjoy, have never caused me problems. I have always excelled, and go above and beyond the professors expectations. I know that sounds like bragging. And it is in some ways. (I need an ego boost after this semester, okay?!) I am not trying to discourage anyone or make them feel like their semester was a total fail because someone had it "easier." In fact, this semester was the worst I have ever had. And I hope that it is the only one that I will ever have to face.

With all that said, the point of this post is not to brag about passing classes or how easy it is to rattle on and on about history facts. No, what I wanted to share with you all today is that no matter how your semester is (or has) turned out, in the grand scheme of life, your grade(s) don't define you.
If our weight isn't supposed to define us, then why should a grade letter? Getting a good grade, or having a 4.0 GPA does not indicate the success you will have in life. Sure, some of you will be lucky ones who've been gifted with wonderful opportunities. For those of us, however, who are on a different path, understand that even Bill Gates failed at first, but eventually surpassed his engineering friends to go on to be CEO of Microsoft.

Success is not instantaneous for a lot of us. Remember that. Also, remember what God says about success. I'm pretty sure that He doesn't use a grading system to measure your worth and intelligence.
Here are some verses I find to be helpful reminders when I am feeling overwhelmed by the pressure to succeed beyond what I have been designed and wired to do:


Matthew 10:31
"Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Philippians 3:13-14
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

1 Timothy 6:12
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

Matthew 6:33-34
"Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself."

Romans 8:28
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

Matthew 6:25-34
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. ..."

1 Samuel 16:7
"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.'"

5 Reasons Why Being Single is Awesome

November 18, 2016

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The world places this expectation on women that predicates a woman's worth by her relationship status. Don't get me wrong, I dislike being single as much as the next girl; however, how you handle being single says a lot about your spiritual and mental maturity. If you're adamant about being in a relationship and do not have a clue about what you're intentions are behind this need to be in a relationship, then how can you ever expect to find someone who is serious about HIS intentions? If you're wishy-washy about what you're looking for in a man (a GODLY man), then why are you even looking at all? The purpose of dating I have come to realize (after many failed dates) is that if you don't know what you want you're either going to go on countless crappy dates and get burned out in the process, or you're going to fall into the "play boy love trap" and become consumed in a loveless romance that is stagnant, and often comes with long-term repercussions if you are not solid in your values and morals and faith.

Seriously though, why do we place so much emphasis on being in a relationship? My biggest question is why are we afraid of being "alone" and being the black sheep in society? Being single is nothing to fret about! There is never a moment where it should ever be something you should worry about. I say this because I know what it's like to get sick over the idea that you'll be forever alone. Well, who cares?! Quite honestly, I find that being single is a much better option than being tied to a man than is less than God's best.

Singleness is a season of life that we need to take advantage of (I am talking to myself here, too!) and appreciate it for what it is: freedom to serve God with reckless abandon. I have thought a lot about being single. A LOT. Sometimes it's because I am wallowing in self-pity.

There, I said it!

However, there are other times when I am perfectly and incandescently happy with my current relationship status. And when that occurs (now more often than naught), I find that it is amazingly easy to find a plethora of things to appreciate about the single life. There is a huge list of pros and cons about dating, but if you think about it....there's really nothing to lose by being single!

NOTHING.

So, since I am sitting her going on and on about singleness and how there are actually good things about this season of life, I've jotted down my top five reasons why being single is awesome-sauce. 

ONE: You have time to grow the most as an individual. There is nothing more attractive than knowing who you are and being in touch with your dreams and passions! Take time to discover them, and fall in love with yourself in the process.

TWO: You can RELAX. Trust me, God has something BETTER in store for you than this One Direction fantasy you have on repeat in your cute little noggin. It's OKAY to be picky.

THREE: Focus on Christ and build your relationship with Him. Building a relationship with Christ will not only teach you a thing or two about true love, but what it really means to serve and protect and, of course genuinely and intentionally LOVE. You need to rely on God before you can count on anyone else.
FOUR: Explore and create and serve. You have a lot of time to devote to doing things you enjoy, and whether it be volunteering for a good cause, creating a masterpiece, or traveling the globe do it wholeheartedly and do it in a way that brings Glory to God! Whatever you do make it count!

FIVE: You are owned and operated by the Holy Spirit...not the world. Who said you have to follow the status quo? Break the mold and embrace what you know is truth! If a guy passes you up because you're a virgin, or are done playing games and want to get serious about your intentions, DO NOT SWEAT IT. Be thankful that God sent that dude packing and move on. There's nothing wrong with being a good girl who values herself, and is confident and independent. Allowing God to teach you about patience and contentment is not a curse, but a blessing. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Pray. Wait. Trust.

November 17, 2016


I do not always get the chance to write out my thoughts. I should like to be able to decompress and allow the swarm tossing and turning in my head to flutter away like words to when being written on paper. But, that never seems to be the case now that I am older and in college, and trying to make it through each day one second at a time. 

Ah! College. It does something to you. Maybe not in the first couple of semesters, but things change. You change. You're mind-set changes. You're body changes - Good 'ole Freshman 15! (Or in my case, you lose weight)! Either way, college is one huge obstacle that leaves you befuddled at the end of each semester. 

Honestly, I should be writing my fifteen-page paper for my History of the Middle East class, but I felt God place some pretty deep stuff on my heart lately that I just cannot ignore. I mean, it's personal. It's not something everyone is dealing with, I guess. But, then again, maybe there numerous people dealing with this similar issue than I think. College and being an adult can be so exciting, especially when you begin feeling those sweet moments of independence as your parents slowly, but surely, start to release their fervent grip on your life and your heart. As they allow you to make your own decisions, that's when college really changes you. For better or for worse, or both. 

I am 23 - almost 24 within a matter of weeks - and I have been single for four years running. I am not complaining; however, I am restless. I find myself praying that God will lead me to my future husband, that He will lead him to me. On and on and on the prayer goes until I just get so angry with myself and with God for the way I feel. I am in college, for goodness sake! I should be having the time of my life like I assume everyone else is, and yet, I am on my last semester and have never felt completely happy with my life or the direction I am headed. Maybe I am overthinking things, and maybe I am just being a selfish brat. (It could be a culmination of both, to be honest)! 

Praying never seems to work. But, for some reason I have faith that it will. At least one of these days. I guess that's why I keep praying, because I know there is something good in store for me around the corner if I just continue to wait it out and pray.

And that got me to thinking.... 

I might not ever find the love of my life before I graduate, but you know, that's okay. I shouldn't be in a rush to find my "dream guy" anyhow. After all, what do I know about love? I am only a quarter of a century old and I have still so much to learn about loving my Lord and serving others. I am far from ready to be someone's wife, let alone a mother to a gaggle of babies! 

In realizing this, I have began changing the way that I think and pray about my future relationships. I don't want to pray merely to satisfy my longings and desires. What good is that going to do to pray for the willingness to receive love if I have not begun to prepare my heart to love them in return? I want to prepare myself to be my future husband's Help Meet. And by doing so I need to take the focus off of me and how I can please myself, and restructure my prayers to honor the desires and needs of my future spouse and children. 

My prayers now consist of seeking God's will for what He wants from me as a single woman, and that He give me the patience and contentment to fully understand His plan for this valley that I am in. In the same breath, I desire to know what He requires of me as a future wife for the man He has planned. And now I find myself praying NOT for a husband (although that would be a bonus), but praying that God will prepare me for my husband. That He will tune my heart to sing my heaven;t Father's praise, and place it on my heart a willingness to serve, defend, obey and love my husband. 

If I pray ONLY for what I want, then I am missing the point of what God wants to fulfill in my life. Marriage is something He has laid on my heart, and I do not doubt for one moment He would ever deny me that pure, heartfelt dream. However, I don't want to sit around idly and lust after the idea of affection and "togetherness". I want to prepare myself as a woman of God to meet the needs of my future spouse and children, which cannot be done if I am focused solely on what I WANT. 

Praying for Godly attributes has helped me to be patient and more content, for sure!

Pray for wisdom. (Proverbs 14:1)
Pray for an obedient heart. (Ephesians 5:22) 
Pray for sensibility and a spirit of encouragement. (Titus 2:4-5)
Pray for a spirit of Love. (1 Corinthians 13:4-13)

tid bits + graduation

May 25, 2016

I was up late last night. Thinking. I know what you're thinking: you're not the least bit surprised. After all, I am a teeny-weensy bit of a chatter box. And my mind is always busy.

Sometimes you just don't know where you're headed in life. You feel all loosey goosey--like a bowl of lime jello--and can't seem to pin point who you are, what you feel or even what you want out of life. For me, this often feels like the Millennium Falcon going into hyper-drive (at times it doesn't work and, well, other times it works a little too well.)

OK. I am rambling. I know! I know! I can't help myself. 

Over the course of this past Spring semester, I have been busy trying to get everything ready and situated for an internship at a museum, making sure all of my classes are in order (meaning, that I have all the credit hours I need to graduate!), and applying for the actual graduation scheduled for the following Spring semester!

Realizing I have come this far since starting back in 2009, I have overcome so many things and have made strides in bettering myself, growing in the grace and love of Christ, learning to be open with others, while also learning that singleness is a virtue and not a curse. 

Whoa! 

Here I am, about to submit my application for graduation. Things are getting real. I am definitely "growing up". I don't want to, but the reality of life is that there's no stopping it. Darn. 

At least I can be proud of myself for the success I have garnered. And hopefully I have made my family and friends proud in the process. 

After graduation, I will be heading into my Masters program. I'll be that much closer to unearthing interesting treasures about the past and it's dead. I am excited! 

*Insert nerdy History major here*

With only eight classes standing in my way, I am hopeful that I will finish the race more energized and zealous for the future than the day that I started on this journey. Thank God for unanswered prayers and open windows! 

what's your plan, Lord?

May 19, 2016

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

― Mark Twain

I often wonder if God watches me and shakes his head at my many moments. Hopefully he's laughing. I know my mom and dad laugh. I know my brother and sister laugh. And I know everyone else stares.
Being a clumsy girl who quite often says what's she's thinking (I lack a filter) can be off-putting I suppose. Then again, my philosophy is to throw caution to the wind and toss political correctness out the door. 

My awkwardness and big mouth often make people laugh, sure. However, they might also offend others. Not that I mean to, it's just hard to keep quiet sometimes--to hold my tongue on a matter that deals with bad-mouthing our county and her history, the Declaration and Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc. 

Maybe that's how God made me. He made me to be outspoken, overly dramatic, and a natural born lawyer. Even with that being said--even though it sounds like I have myself all figured out--finding out where I fit in in the scheme of life and the church sometimes makes me question my identity, and makes me wonder if I am not "broken" or, perhaps, too obnoxious for some to handle. 

This past Sunday, my Pastor spoke on finding God's plan for your life. I'll be honest, finding God's plan is scary. You have to give everything up to get every blessing and more. You know what I mean? While that sounds amazing in theory, I'm reluctant to give it all up. What if it doesn't work out? 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

―Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

God has a plan. A plan with many layers. God has a provincial will. God has a practical will. God has a personal will. These three fit together seamlessly to show us God's ultimate plan for our lives. If--if we are willing to understand his investment in our lives.

His Provincial Will

God's provincial will is important. In fact, it's essential. The foundation for the other two to build on, yet retain their separate identities--I see it almost as if each will corresponds with each of the Trinity.(Don't hold me to that theology, though. It just a guideline that helps me to visualize each as separate components in a singular body). Provincial will resonates with me as His sovereign will. It is unchanging and powerful enough to override all my bad decisions. Take a look at Acts 2:22-23 for instance. Paul writes that God had a "deliberate plan" and foreknowledge about the death of His son. That plan never changed--proof of an unwavering, never changing God! And it is in Him I find stability. 

His Practical Will

Without understanding and following God's practical will, we will never know his personal will. Think of practical will as rules to live by, so to speak. 1Thess 4:3 talks about being in the world, not of the world. That truly does resonate with God's practical will because if we are busy breaking the rules and living a worldly life, we are blind to God's practical will. I see it this way: we're to be set apart, right? Rules won't get us into heaven, but these rules...morals...separate us from the rest. You cannot know God's will or influence a non-Christian if you're acting like a jerk on Sunday afternoon. The question is: how can God reveal his personal will to someone who does not acknowledge or follow His practical will?

His Personal Will

I love Proverbs 16:9 because it shows the difference between how God plans v. how we as humans plan. Humans chart out their path, while God already knows where your footsteps will fall and how many it will take to reach the intended destination. Even Jeremiah 10:23 mentions that our lives are not our own; thus, it is not for us to make decisions about where we will go and what we will do. In order to discover God's personal will, we must submit to Him. When we submit, we're acknowledging his sovereignty, and with that we are then able to focus and follow God's will. 

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

Romans 8:14

Being mindful of these three specific wills of God have encouraged me to dig deeper into the word. There I am certain I will learn more about my God, but also find his will for my life. Sometimes, when you don't know, it's smart to turn to the one who does. So--maybe being an awkward, out spoken, Lawyer-like girl isn't necessarily a bad thing. I think what's missing is not knowing who I am, but understanding why I am this way. Who knows...I may be destined to be a stand up comedian, a Historian, or even a Lawyer! The hard part will be letting go, surely good will come out of the fear. Everything can be used to glorify God. I am so grateful my life counts.