Monday, September 6, 2010

PUT DOWN THE PEN.

I know I do not stand alone when I say that I usually try to control every aspect of my life. Of course, I genuinely want God to guide all of my decisions, but the truth is I also want Him to bless all of my decisions. When something doesn't work out for me, whether it is a relationship, or school-related, I often criticize myself or blame my actions as the cause. I contemplate and question what I did wrong this time.

Tonight I was reminded to look at the bigger picture. God has a plan for me. For each and every one of us. He wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives. Not just at school, at work, in our relationships, but in everything we do.We must stop worrying and waiting for the next step to come along, and put all faith in the Lord. I haven't been able to completely comprehend this until I came across a title in a book I started (When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric & Leslie Ludy). It says, "Giving God the Pen". These four simple words sent me in to a reality check.

This past year I have grown tremendously in my faith, but have I really handed over my pen to God? Have I trusted Him with my whole heart, and let Him be the center of my focus? We must lean on God alone and allow Him to guide and direct every part of our existence.

 Psalm 32:8 says, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go."

If our focus is not entirely on Him, we will miss His directions completely, and follow our heart's selfish desires.

...This was heavy on my heart tonight and I just wanted to share these thoughts with you. I highly recommend any and every single lady or man out there to get this book! Every page is full of advice, encouragement, and TRUTH - straight from God's words. I'm sure I'll be referencing a lot to this book for a while, I hope you don't mind.
Summer is over and I'm finally getting back in to the swing of things. Classes have started, my Christian college group is finally meeting again, and my ladies' bible study begins next week! So I'm looking forward to sharing my thoughts and inspirations with you once again.

Hayley

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

broken ashes.

Hi friends. I've just got to get this off my chest. Please don't mind if I spill for a bit... If you've been following me for a while then you may have read about my testimony and are familiar that it begins with emptiness and heartbrake from a past relationship. So I'll start from the beginning and try to make this brief and not go off on a total whim. I dated a guy for a little over 4 years starting in highschool through college. He was a few years older than me, and fit the "dangerous boy" characteristics to a tee. (WHAT is it with young girls falling for the bad boys!?) A year into the relationship it turned cold. It was not a pure, Godly relationship. I grew into a different person with him. I neglected my friends and family. I grew up in a Christian home with Godly parents. They did not approve of him right off the bat. He began lying, sneaking around, and partying all the time. I was young and naive so I just continued to put up with it and give him my heart...to make a long story short - after 4 years, he cheated on me numerous times - we ended things. He moved to Miami and I eventually moved off to college.

A couple of years passed and he ended up moving back to our hometown, and we started to keep in touch from time to time. It was strictly a "civil" basis just to see how one another was doing and such. I have moved on from him. I am healed. I forgave him in my heart and I had forgiven him for all the pain he caused me long ago.

This past year at college I got involved in a christian organization and turned my life around completely. I really started to become close to the Lord once again, and my faith has been stronger now than in my entire life. Well, this year my ex-boyfriend keeps popping in my life again, more than I would like. He got a job working where my BEST friend works. And let me tell ya, this has caused so much drama, it's unreal. Because he still lives the same lifestyle he always has - now I just get to hear about it from my best girlfriend. Him and I have developed some sort of friendship these past few months, although I would not say we're buddies. (I know, I know- you're all thinking "WHYY?!!" I can't tell you why, maybe because I'm bored, or maybe because it's just a 'comfortable' friendship??) But it is difficult when he tells me one thing, then she tells me another... We live in a small town so everybody knows everybody = drama. Several of my friends here recently have run into him. Ofcourse I hear about it as soon as it happens. So when he buys my girlfriends drinks at the bar ofcourse it's going to strike a nerve.

To be clear, I have NO intentions to get back with my ex-boyfriend. I have ZERO feelings for him, and I'm not even the least bit attracted to him anymore. I know that it has been a huge mistake keeping in contact with him recently. If I talk to him or see him, I am not myself. It's like we're still in that awful relationship and I'm trapped. I thank God everyday that my mistakes with him did not cause LIFETIME consequences. His negative actions rub off on me when I'm around him. Even when we argue it's just like old times. The hatred and awful things we say just comes out so easily. I think part of it is because we just DO NOT click, and it's just what we're used to doing together - arguing. I recently decided that enough was enough! He is not good for me, I do not need him in my life. He will only continue to bring me down. So I told him that I was done with the so-called "friendship" we have. He's been nothing but hateful ever since. Texting me awful things just to hurt me, etc.

I keep asking God "WHY? Why does he have to keep appearing in my life after all these years?" Just when I finally have my life on track - I'm trying to become the Christian woman God wants me to be... I wonder if it is a test. Having him pop up in my life when my faith is strong - to see how I'll handle it. Will I fall into temptation? Will I let his actions influence my words, my behavior? So far, I have. I have failed. The WORST part about it is he knows that I've been strong in my Faith. So when I make a mistake or let him influence me - he calls me hypocritical...sadly it is true. I have failed my God, my Heavanly Father, my King. I have let my ex get the best of me. It is clear that him and I should not be friends. I need to cut off all communication to him whatsoever. He is only bringing me down, and I just can't seem to be a good Christian example to him. I need not to be involved in any of the drama that revolves around him.

Whew! Thanks for letting me ramble. You're an angel if you actually read this through. I know we all have a first love, or a past relationship that can haunt us from time to time. All I can do is pray for him and I to go our separate ways forever, and pray for strength to be a Christian example shall I run into him again. Any words of advice would be helpful! Please tell me I'm not alone in the battle to part ways with my ex once and for all. IS it possible to have a civil friendship with an old love?? From my experiences - absolutely not.

Young girls, be careful and gaurd your heart.

 I came across this powerful song today and it just reached out and grabbed my heart. I want to "trade my ashes in for beauty". My ashes represent my broken relationship. I want to give my past to the Lord. I want Him to take it and do away with it. Here is my heart, Lord. Take it and seal it, seal it for thy courts above. I want nothing more than to lay every burden down at the foot of the cross.


Kathryn Scott - At The Foot of The Cross

"At the foot of the cross
Where grace and suffering meet
You have shown me Your love
Through the judgment You received
And You've won my heart
Yes You've won my heart
Now I can
Trade these ashes in for beauty
And wear forgiveness like a crown
Coming to kiss the feet of mercy
I lay every burden down
At the foot of the cross
At the foot of the cross
Where I am made complete
You have given me life
Through the death You bore for me
I'm laying every burden down
I'm laying every burden down

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

never alone.

 Walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
 Live with the security that there is better to come.
 Believe with the faith that you are loved.
       -unkown

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

shuffle.

I was visiting over at Short Southern Momma's blog- and decided to steal her idea of a very random post. I only have over 2,000 songs on my ipod. The songs vary anywhere from classical, to christian, alternative, jazz, rap,  and all the way to a little Southern rock. You'll mostly find country on my playlists, but I like just about everything. Isn't it funny how we can be in a different "music mood" every day? I know my mood changes all the time!

Here's the first 10 songs on my ipod shuffle.

1. How Should I know {Eli Young Band}

2. Collide {Howie Day}

3. Pretty Eyes {Jason Reeves}

4. Only You Can Love Me This Way {Keith Urban}

5. The Little Things {Colbie Caillat}

6. I Still Believe {Jeremy Camp}

7. A Storm Blew In {Brandon Rhyder}

8. We Are Broken {Paramore}

9. Please Don't Stop the Music {Rihanna}

10. Whatcha Say {Jason Derulo}

Pretty random list of songs! Haha. Gotta love the random posts! So what's on your shuffle playlist??

Sunday, May 23, 2010

summer projects.

Hi friends! Sorry I've been out of the loop lately. I've missed you all dearly. Summer is HERE!! FINALLY. I tried to stay off my laptop during the week of final exams. Once they were all done I celebrated with friends. Relaxed. And just enjoyed myself. I packed up and headed home to stay with my parents for a few weeks.
It has been just lovely. It has been nice at home just doing things around the house. I always have to have projects. I like to keep myself busy. Who would've thought? After a CRAZY long semester of classes you'd think I'd like to take it easy. Well, I did take a couple days to be a couch potato, but that didn't last long! I'm not working right now, and I don't start summer classes until the first of July. Since my parents are working I always try to do my part when I've got free time - and get some things done that they don't have the time to do. So these next few weeks I'm looking forward to being one busy girl! Here are a few things I've gotten started on...
1. Excercise 5 days a week
2. Clean OUT closets
3. Have a garage sale
4. Paint guest bedroom
5. Backyard flowerbeds

I do love projects! Especially if it involves organizing, or getting rid of junk. The excercising- not so much. Blehh. But hey, I'm doing good so far. Since I don't have my gym here I take Bella to the local park where we have a real nice 3.5 mile trail. I've gone every morning this week. I really look forward to the trail. It leads through woods that run smack in the middle of town. Over a few small streams, and by several children's parks. For that hour and 15 minute walk- no cell phone, no internet, simply just my ipod playlists and the whistling of nature that surrounds me. I really enjoy it a lot more than the treadmill. I get so bored with that machine... My parents are putting our house on the market later this year so we're doing our best to clean out as much as we can. I've always been a major packrat so now it's time to throw out old junk! There's a few rooms in the house that I'd like to repaint. Some good neutral colors will do... I absolutely LOVE working in the flowerbeds! I like to get my hands dirty. Isn't it strange that I'd much rather pull weeds, trim hedges, and plant rather than paying somebody else to do it?! I don't think it's strictly a man's job! Planting beautiful flowers. Landscaping. I love it all!
I'll keep you posted on my projects. We're having the garage sale next weekend. What ever we can't get rid of will be going to GoodWill...I've missed you, bloggy friends! I've been searching for some inspiration lately for a good post. I guess this will have to do! Lots more going on around here, but I thought I'd share a few things with you. What summer projects do you have going on?!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

fiesta de mayo.

When I think of Cinco de Mayo I think of

bright colors.
fiesta.
mexico.
independence.
pinatas.
sombreros.
fajitas.
chilis.
margaritas.
fruit.

 

[photos from here and here]

Have a fun, festive day!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

unfortunate pattern.

It seems as I've been in a spiritual rut. I've been getting overwhelmed with classes, exams, studying, and daydreaming of summer time approaching. I have not been putting God first. When I get this way- I tend to withdrawl. I don't want to hang out with friends or go to functions- I just want to have "me" time and do what I want. No, I don't like to sit at home and sulk. I just stay focused on my studies, working out, shopping, or other little things I enjoy doing by myself.

When I get this way I tend to pick a part myself. Not just physically, but mentally as well. I question if I'm doing the right thing, or if I'm heading in the right direction with my life. I wonder if I'm ever going to "get there". Will I ever accomplish my goals? Will I ever meet the love of my life? I continue to pick apart myself as I look around me. All my friends are graduating college. I on the other hand, still have a couple years to go. (If I had known exactly what I wanted to do a few years ago- I would be graduating too)...Most of them are either engaged, married, or married with atleast one kid. I just feel so behind. To me, it seems as though I'll never get there. I don't want to wish my life away- I want to stay young forever. But I do want to get on with this stage in my life. All I can do is pray that God guides each step of mine.

I have not been in my Word lately. So therefore, I know exactly why I'm in this rut. When I'm reading God's word every single day I feel more at peace. I'm comforted. Guided. Fulfilled. Reassured...and when I fall away I begin to feel like THIS all over again. It is a pattern. At times I'll get on a spiritual high- and I'm feeling on FIRE for the Lord every single day. I'll see Him speak to me. I see Him in my life EVERY DAY. Then I continue with that satisfied feeling and try to carry it with me for as long as it lasts, and I'll get out of my faithful habits. I'll skip reading for a day...or two....then it becomes three. Before I know it I haven't read my Bible or prayed to the Lord and thanked Him for all he's done in an entire week! Then, this leads to the return of old habits, sinful ways. I'll feel so guilty and convicted that I don't even feel worthy enough to pray to the Lord. So I don't. I mean why should I ask for His help and forgiveness when I fail Him over and over again? When I do things I promised Him I'd never do again. So you see, it's so easy for the devil to attack me when I'm in this rut. It's like I'll take one step forward, and two steps back.

Praise the Lord that He continues to be there for us even when we neglect Him. I know He is here for me. No matter what I do. Sometimes it is just hard to swallow my pride and ask for forgiveness, even when we know we don't deserve it. It's hard to even grasp the concept of His forgiveness.


"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgivenss of sins, accordance with the riches of God's grace." -Ephesians 1:7

"Cast your burdens on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteouss to be moved." -Psalm 55:22

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." -1 John 1:9

Saturday, May 1, 2010

i'm dreaming of a place...

Two weeks! Just two weeks left of the semester for me. Next week I don't have class, but I'll be stuck in the library or at my laptop studying my time away. Many of you dealing with the same stress right now...it's ALMOST over! Today I've been dreaming of a heavanly place...I can't seem to think of anything but having my toes in the sand.

Akumal, Mexico. In just 2 months I'll be headed there for a week full of relaxation! My parents' best friends have a 3 story rental house down there. It's amazing. My parents have stayed there, but this will be my first time. I've only seen pictures. We are taking a family trip- my parents, the brothers, me and our friends' family. My mom is afraid that this may be the last year that one of us isn't engaged or married. So she's all about the "family time" right now. This will be our first family trip in about 4 years. And even then, my oldest brother didn't get to join us. So we're pretty excited to say the least!

The house is a bit secluded in a cove. Walking out on to the back porch is the inground pool. Then you'll come to the  beautiful, crisp white sand. You'll walk under the shade of many palm trees until you reach the ocean's surface! Yep, the beach is their backyard. Although there are plenty of bedrooms in the house, you can sleep on the roof- on one of the couches, and count the stars until you fall asleep. Or how about a hammock under the palm trees??


I'm so looking forward to it. The last time I've been to the beach was Playa del Carmen, Mexico. My parents took me and a friend for my senior vacation. It was very luxurious and fun-filled. This trip, however will be very low-key. Relaxing. We will spend most of our days at the house. I'm sure we will have cookouts in the evenings. Perhaps we will go in to town a few days. My family and their family are big scuba divers- so I'm sure we will be taking a few dive trips. I've never done it- I'm still not quite sure if I want to. I'll probably stick to snorkeling...


Also, the Mayan Ruins of Tulum are close by- We will be spending a day checking those out as well.

I'm especially excited to see a few sunsets like this one!


Beautiful, huh? These pictures are not of the actual house. You'll have to wait until I return from the trip! :) Are you taking a vacation trip this summer?? Where to!?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

windy poplars 'kindred connection'.

Windy Poplars

Check out Windy Poplars "Kindred Connection Party" over at her blog. Just a few fun questions for this lovely Wednesday. Check out her blog here. I'm a new follower- her blog is very inspirational!

1. What is your cultural heritage, and is it a part of your life (eg. do you celebrate your cultural holidays, or have special traditions or food that comes from your heritage)?
When asked about my heritage growing up I'd smile and say "I'm Texan!!" haha because I never really knew (such a Texan thing to say, huh??). My family is English and Scottish. I wish I could say we were something a bit more interesting such as Italian or Irish- but I guess our original "heritage" isn't a big part of our family. We do love to celebrate the holidays together with the traditional menu of turkey and dressing. We have quite a few good cooks in our family. My grandmothers and my mom can make the best homemade pies you've ever tasted! I finally learned how to bake one this past Christmas! I have a very close knit family, I'm so blessed to have their love and support.

2. Give a short description of your vision for your blog.
I started this blog to journal my walk of faith with the Lord. I've done a lot of growing up this past year and I have seen Christ work in my life more than ever. Some incredible things have happened around me and I'm thrilled to share them with you! I'm sure than many of you can relate to the happenings in my life- and I pray it will comfort you, or touch you in a positive way. I hope to inspire and encourage. Growing up is tough! Being a woman is even tougher! I enjoy reaching out to others and reading your posts has blessed me in many ways.


3. What is one thing you are really enjoying about spring?
I love love love Spring colors!! My favorite time of the year. I love Spring clothes- dresses, cardigans, espadrilles, wedges, sandals... It's fun to mix and match bright colors with florals and stripes.

ann taylor dress.
 
4. Do you have an idea to share about something we could do today to bless our husbands/boyfriends to let them know they're special?
Well, since I'm currently single- with no man in my life I don't have a good answer for this one. But I think it is important to TELL your special guy just how important he is to you. Tell him how much you care about him, and how you appreciate the things he does for you.

5. Are you involved in any social club (garden club, dinner club, book club, etc.) - or would you like to be?
I'm involved in a college ladies' bible study on Sunday night. It's been an incredible group of about 10 girls this year. We've shared a lot with each other, supported one another through hard times- and I've made some wonderful, Christian friendships. We are currently studying the book of Ruth. It's been amazing. I would love to join an excercise class!

Monday, April 26, 2010

do not worry.

 This is where I'm at right now. I'm in that awkward stage of life. Where I have figured myself out (for the most part) I know what I want, but I'm just waiting on God's perfect timing. For everything. I'm finishing up my fourth year of college and now I'm working on getting into Nursing School. I've worked really hard to get to where I'm at and I can't lose my focus. However, that does not mean I should neglect time with the Lord. He comes first!

Each day I try to look around and count my blessings. I know that they can be taken away in an instant. I'm trying not to worry. And I'm more importantly trying to lean on God and let Him guide, gaurd, and direct me. I lose too much sleep over these things. I shouldn't. I'm in college! This should be THE MOST exciting, fun time of my life...Confession: I haven't been in my Word lately. I need to set aside more time to read His word. All of His ANSWERS- His DIRECTIONS are right infront of me!! And I'm not even paying attention to them! So here are a few that I found encouraging today.


"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavanly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" -Matthew 6:25-27

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." -Proverbs 3:6

"Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." -Matthew 6:34


farm spring flowers.

This weekend was just what I'd hoped for! Very low-key and relaxing. With all the stress of school it was nice to just be home for a few days. Friday I spent the evening with Mom and Dad. We went to my favorite mexican food place then rented a movie. We watched "Couples Retreat" with Vince Vaugn- I knew it would be halarious and a bit suggestive. I don't recommend this one for family night..haha! It was funny though, and the scenery was BEAUTIFUL.

Saturday Mom and I spend some time pulling weeds and planting flowers around the house. We planted lantana, summer snapdragons, petunias, and a few bushes. I've always enjoyed yardwork. I like getting my hands dirty, and I love getting a tan. The weather was absolutely PERFECT! It was about 75 degrees, really strong winds and big blue skies! It was just gorgeous.

 Sunday after church we all went to lunch then stopped by the farm house to water the flowers. Ohhhh man, are they beautiful! I took a few pictures to share with you! If you haven't read my previous post, this is our little "get-away" cottage house.



Aren't they lovely? Yayy for SPRING! :) This is a small flowerbed on the side of the house. There are quite a few others in the back that I didn't photograph. Here is a another picture of my mother's crafty touch! This is what she did to the side of an old shed close by...



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

dear weekend- please hurry.

I don't know about you, but I am glad the week is halfway over. The end of the semester presentations, speeches, and exams are all starting to pile up. As soon as I catch my breath it's time to do it all over again for another class. I'm looking forward to this weekend. I said I wasn't going to make another trip home until after finals- but with all the stress on my mind I think a few days with the family would be just lovely.
We have a farm house about 30 minutes north of our home. It's 80 acres of pasture surrounded by woods and a small pond. There's a little old cottage house on the front corner that we completely gutted- we redid everything from the walls to the bathroom and even the porches. Basically the only thing we didn't touch was the frame of the house, the small doorways with glass knobs, and a few other antique features. Somehow, my sweet 'ole dad let my mother and I decorate the 2 bedroom cottage in "shabby chic" style. It's precious! I'll have to post pictures. It's just a really special place to us now. My mom started a small garden this past year, and I swear she plants more flowers every single week! And my dad has several projects going on out there. His most recent being the new barn that he is quickly filling with his "toys", you know the kind- tools, yard supplies, tractors, etc.
The farm house has been a perfect get-away to us all. We have friends and family out for a cook-out just about every weekend. Momma will whip up some of her homecooked mexican food, or Dad will cook ribs or hamburgers out on the grill...They plan to build a house on the back of the land, and eventually get a few horses. But I'm sure we will keep the cottage as a guest house. There is nothing I like more than sittin' on the back porch, listening to an acoustic guitar, star-gazing, with the ones I love most. It's perfect.
So on Friday, I'm hoping for a nice dinner with the parents. And I'm sure Saturday we will all escape out to the farm at sunrise. I want to visit a few of my best girlfriends and see how they're doing. Sunday morning we'll go to church as a family, and eat lunch with my grandmother followed by a good Sunday nap! I'm looking forward to seeing my mom. She is my best friend. We talk atleast 3 times a day and sadly, I'm the one doing the calling! I do miss her. I know she's only 4 hours away, but it hasn't been easy making new friends at a new University this year. Other than my family and best friends back home, nobody down here really knows what all I'm going through- or what my story is. I've made some wonderful Christian friends, but I haven't exactly developed a sturdy, trusting friendship yet. So when I need to vent, or complain or just cry to someone- my mom is right there to listen. So I'm looking forward to a nice, restful weekend out here.



Hope you all have a wonderful week. I guess you noticed that I survived my speech on Monday. Whew! I am so glad that's over. :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

greatest freak out EVER.

So this post has absolutely nothing to do with anything. But for WEEKS I have been dreading giving my 6 minute speech this morning. Today is the day. For 4 years I have avoided this freshman class. I HATE speech. HATE it. I don't like public speaking! I cannot even tell you how much sleep I have lost over this gosh-darn awful class.
This morning my big brother sent me this link. He has an odd talent of finding the most random, halarious youtube videos. He always finds a way to make me laugh! He said "just imagine all the kids in your class going home and doing THIS..."

caution: if you are at work- turn the volume down a bit. :)


Hope you had a good laugh for this gosh awful Mon
day! :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

get rid of it. set yourself FREE.

Today I was cleaning out my email. I have over 700 emails that I need to empty, and quite a few folders I need to delete. One of the folders I had was designated for my ex-boyfriend. We dated for about 4 years and through that time we wrote a lot of emails. I guess those were the days before texting got really big. For 1 1/2 of those years he was living in a different state - so we wrote each other a lot. When we got in big fights - wow, we wrote some really long letters. 
I don't know why I had saved them all these years. Some of them even went back to the year 2004...we must had just started dating then. I kept almost every email from our relationship. Many of them were short and sweet, sappy love letters. While most of them were hateful, and filled with drama. The things we said to each other were rediculous. If someone were to ever read those emails I would be so ashamed and embarassed! I'm NOT the same girl I was back then, but it crushes me to see how young and naive I was. After a year in that relationship, I had absolutely no backbone. I didn't stand up for myself and I put up with so much crap. My life revolved around that boy and I did absolutely anything to keep him. How sad...but hey, we live and we learn. I probably would not take back a second of that relationship because it taught me so much. I am a much stronger person today because of it. I know exactly what I deserve and I will NOT settle for less.
Back to the emails. I deleted them. EVERY single one. After reading a few, I just got rid of them all. There is no point in reminiscing or reliving what the boy and I were going through at that time. All the pain and suffering is in the past. There is something about deleting those emails that FREED me. It felt good. We have been broken up for a couple years now, and we do communicate on a civilized basis from time to time, but it just felt really nice to be able to get rid of those letters forever. They are gone. And all the drama, the hateful words we said to each other are just a memory. Nobody will ever know the sinful, unhealthy, painful words that were said or the depth of our relationship.


I encourage you- if you are holding on to "letters" of your past, please GET RID OF THEM! You don't need the reminder or the pain. I'm not saying go burn all of your old love letters, but I'm suggesting that you throw out anything that is preventing you from moving on completely from a sinful, or hurtful past. We all do it. Most of us have something hiding in our closet, under our bed, in a box, or even on the internet that we're holding on to. You must LET GO of it so you can MOVE ON.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

dating boundaries.

Every three weeks there is a group of approximately 30 college girls that meet together for a ladies' bible study. The sessions are geared toward leading a "pure life". Last night we got together to hear a young woman's testimony. I really love hearing other people's testimonies because I like to know that I'm not the only one with a past. I like to see how I can relate to others and exchange advice. She spoke about her high school/college years and the unhealthy relationship she was involved in. Growing up, she never had a loving, relationship with her father. So she always looked to a guy, a relationsip, or sexual behavior to fulfill that insecurity. She continued to sleep around hoping to find happiness and comfort. Finally, she was introduced to God and the church by a friend of hers years later. A lot of prayer, and a softened heart- she decided that she would take 6 months with no guys in her life. No dating guys, no calling, no guy friends- nothing. She had never developed good relationships with girls or with herself so this would be a time of healing.
During those months she become closer to God than ever before. She prayed to Him, talked to Him, and journaled every day developing a relationship with Him. She was baptized into Christ and accepted Jesus as her Savior. At the end of 6 months with no male contact whatsoever she was prepared, guarded, and ready to find her husband.  One day she was introduced to her best friend's older brother. (Lots of sweet, funny, romantic details here)...they started dating. She told us that they had both come from a "sexual past", therefore they were each now living their life for the Lord and were no longer looking to make the same mistakes.

What caught my attention was the BOUNDARIES they set for themselves-- I haven't really put a whole lot of thought into this until now. I'm really glad she brought this up. If you have an unclean past and are longing for a Christian relationship but maybe you think that you cannot remain PURE- you can! With God's help and setting a few boundaries in your relationship- I listed a few below, pay close attention!


*Do not go on dates alone ALL the time. Try going out with friends and other couples.
*Hold off on kissing Make him work for it. Make him WAIT for it. Whether it's weeks or months. (I have my own standards for this one which will be another post- however I did not take it so seriously until she brought this up) This sooner you kiss the sooner you will have that desire to go a little further. Also, the longer you kiss only makes it harder to stop. I know it sounds a little juvenille, but it's the truth.
*Don't spend all hours of the night together. For some reason these mistakes tend to happen at night, and you have no business staying at his place until 3:00am.
*Don't lay down together. Not on the couch, and especially not on the bed. Eventually, this only leads to unpure desires. (Since you/and or him have crossed the line with someone before it will be real easy to do it again) An innocent kiss, laying on the couch can trigger unpure desires and lead to a mistake veryyy quickly.
*Don't spend every single day together. We've all done it. I know I have. When you're in a serious relationship you feel like putting your life on hold to be with him every single day. It's not good because you get too comfortable with each other. Save this for marriage!
*Invest quality time with other GIRLS. Your friendships are one of THE most important treasures in life. Besides, when things go wrong in your relationship you will need friends! We are all guilty of putting our girls on the backburner when we're falling head-over-heels for a new guy. Don't do it! You need them!

Those are just a few thoughtful BOUNDARIES you should consider when dating. I know that I am looking for a husband and I do NOT want to make the same mistakes I have made in the past. So in order to do this I discuss boundaries when I date. I have a list of all the qualities I look for in a man- and I will not bend on these. I suggest every single young woman to do this- writing it down makes it concrete. Keep it in your Bible or in a journal.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

30 loves. just because.

30 loves. Just because! Get to know me a little better. Maybe we have more in common than you think! :)

1. I love the Lord, Jesus Christ
2. I love being the baby sister
3. I love live music
4. I love being crafty
5. I love being from Texas
6. I love all things Southern
7. I love lazy days in my pajamas
8. I love a good scary movie
9. I love wearing dresses
10. I love photography
11. I love people-watching
12. I love the smell of Christmas
13. I love sweet tea
14. I love driving down backroads
15. I love homemade icecream
16. I love asking for advice from a stranger
17. I love fishing
18. I love road-trips
19. I love Reeses pieces
20. I love garage sales
21. I love wild flowers
22. I love baking homemade pies
23. I love sunsets
24. I love dressing up
25. I love sushi
26. I love campfires
27. I love laying on the beach all day
28. I love manicures
29. I love discovering new music artists
30. I love taking care of people




matthew 6:25-27.

So I've had a case of writer's block the past few days. I've tried to think of something inspirational to post. Some Bible verses that have spoke to me recently, or a good lesson. But all I can think of right now is me. I have a lot going on and some big decisions coming up soon. Finishing up the semester, looking for a new apartment, as well as a new roommate, possibly giving up my dog, and waiting to hear if I got in my University's nursing school. I know I'm being selfish- all I can think about lately is ME, ME, ME. And what's going on in MY life. Poor, pitiful, ME, right?? I know. I'm sorry. However, in stressing out with all of this- I am trying to keep the Lord as the center of my focus. I know He will lead me in the right direction.

 It's the end of my fourth year in college and I'm still a couple of years away from graduating. Although I am not in a hurry, it is hard to see all of my friends starting their lives with a job, a fiance or husband, and some even beginning to start a family! In my college career, I took a few detours- most of us do. Rarely, does anyone stick to the 4 year plan these days. I changed my major several times, and I switched community colleges. I'm finishing my first year at the University of my choice. The exams, the projects, and presentations are starting to build up- and the semester is coming to an end. It's exciting, yet frightening. If my grades don't meet Nursing requirements then I'll be in a huge mess! 

I'm also looking for a new place to live. I wanted to get a house, but starting Nursing clinicals (hopefully) this Fall, I just won't have the time to keep up with it. I will rarely even be there. So I decided to just go with an apartment. A few close friends of mine are moving into a different complex and I think I'd love to be neighbors with them! A girl who is in my bible study, as well as several classes with me- we're thinking about rooming together. She has also applied to the program for the Fall, we think it would be very beneficial to both of us to live together. She's a sweetheart. A little younger than me, we have different tastes, but it seems like a good deal. I just pray to God that it will work out for the best.

So about my dog, Bella. She is a 2 year old pomeranian. I got her at 8 weeks old, and she has been the love of my life ever since. Problem: when she was a puppy I did not establish who was boss. She has a very dominant personality, and now she does not respect me. My mom told me over and over that I had to be her master, and not her playmate. Well, I didn't listen and now I'm having problems with her. She adds so much stress to my life. She prevents me from going, and doing so much. I can't just leave her with a friend to babysit- she does not mind! She barks...a lot. So everywhere I go, she goes. My mother has agreed to keep her for a few weeks at a time when I travel, or have final exams, but she will not take her... I've been asked to live with several of my good friends, but they don't allow pets. So scratch that. I've just been thinking lately that maybe I should find her another home. She is not making me happy. She puts so much stress and extra responsibility on my life- that I don't need. Not to mention when I start Nursing clinicals, I won't even be around. I just don't know what to do. I never would've thought I'd even consider the idea, but maybe it would be best now rather than later.

Some time in May I will find out if I got in to my school's Nursing program. Hundreds apply each semester, and only 40 students make the cut! Each of my classes, over 75% of the students are Nursing majors. Our University is recognized for our program. They are even building a new 23 million dollar facility for the Nursing students- it will be finished this Fall. I'm hoping that means they will accept more students! ...I'm not expecting to get in this first time around. I will reapply for the Spring if I need to. I'm not giving up! The only downside is I have ZERO courses to take this Fall. All of my prereqs are complete, so basically I will be wasting an entire semester if I don't get in... There's just a lot riding on my shoulders for this. I want it so bad. I've worked really hard, but if it's not in God's will- then I will wait.

Okay, enough whining. Thanks for letting me vent! I usually shut down when I get like this. I don't like to talk about my problems. My family knows what I'm going through- but I don't usually spill my worries to my friends. Although I need support, I don't like to sound weak or needy. Because I'm not. I like to listen to others' problems, I like to help people, to comfort and support. I'm so stressed and exhausted with all of this and more- that it's all I can keep my mind on. I lose sleep, and worry too much. I know it's a sin. I need to let GOD handle everything, just like He has done for me. A LOT of prayer will get me through each day. All I can do is take it one day at a time, like my sweet mother tells me... I know that my worries probably don't even compare to some of yours. I should be thankful, and counting my blessings. My family loves and a supports everything I do. My family and I are healthy. We are blessed beyond compare. Thank you to all of you- some of you incredible ladies post some pretty amazing and inspirational words of God. I love keeping up with your posts! Your encouragement is appreciated more than you know! I pray that I can sleep in peace tonight and give all of my stresses to God.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" - Matthew 6:25-27

Thursday, April 8, 2010

all things are possible.

Philippians 4:13 --- "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."


The road to success is not straight. There is a curve called Failure, a loop called Confusion, speed bumps called Friends, red lights called Enemies, caution lights called Family. You will have flats called Jobs. But, if you have a spare called Determination, an engine called Perseverance, insurance called Faith, a driver called Jesus, you will make it to a place called Success. "All things are possible, if you only believe."
 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

hear my cry, o god.

"Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the foe.
I long to dwell in your tent forever
and take refuge in the shelter of your wings."
- Psalm 61:1-4

{photo: flickr}



I just love this picture. It shows SURRENDER.  This is what I feel like when life brings me to my knees. HERE I AM, LORD. I'M YOURS. LEAD ME where you want me to go! I'm LISTENING! SHOW me the way. I can't do this alone. I NEED you! Hold my hand and comfort me. I SURRENDER ALL.



Tuesday, April 6, 2010

how a bowl should be licked.

Here is your "awwww" for the day! :) I got this in an email...I have no idea where it originated from.

How a bowl should be licked:

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3.
Step 4

Have a Blessed day!

his glory will appear.

This weekend I stopped in a music store looking for a new CD. I do purchase songs on iTunes but when I buy an album I like to have the actual disk...I've recently become a big fan of contemporary Christian artists. I picked up Hillsong's "Faith+Hope+Love" CD. I hadn't heard of any of the songs on it, so I figured I'd give it a try. I love the few songs I had heard by them...

On my way back to college Sunday I fell in LOVE with this song. It's absolutely beautiful. So personal. The words are so sweet. I shared it with my mom and told her that if anything were to ever happen to me- THIS is the song that I'd want played at my funeral. She swatted me on my shoulder like any mother would do, and told me not to even talk like that. But you never know...we aren't promised another day. I hope you enjoy it as well!



Verse:

You gave me hope

You made me whole

At the cross

You took my place

You showed me grace

At the cross where You died for me



Chorus:

And His glory appears

Like the light from the sun

Age to age He shines

Look to the skies

Hear the angels cry

Singing Holy is the Lord
 
 
I'm always looking for new music. What is your favorite Christian song??
 
{purchase album here}

Sunday, April 4, 2010

a not-so-happy easter.

Good evening. So I made the four hour trip home this weekend to visit family for the Easter weekend. It was a lovely time. I enjoyed going to dinner with my parents. I did a lot of shopping, but mostly it was nice to be home. It's the little things I miss the most- cooking with Momma, doing the dishes, tidying up around the house, and listening to Dad's goofy remarks.
Easter Sunday morning came- I was so excited to slip into my new dress and white espidrilles. Mom and Dad left early to go pick up my grandma from her assisted living residence. As I was getting ready I got a call from Mom saying that my Mema had fallen and was in a lot of pain. The ambulance rushed her to the hospital and sure enough she had broken her hip... My grandma has real bad dimentia- most likely Alzheimer's disease, so she had to be reminded where she was every few minutes. She was scheduled for hip-replacement surgery this evening. I was told to go on to church with  my brother, there was nothing I could do to help.
Dilemma #2- I walked outside and my car had a flat! Flackk! What was I going to do? Dad is occupied for the day and it's Easter which means all tire shops are closed and I have to head back tonight! I figured I could worry about it after church, so I hopped in his Chevy. Church service was good. We were ofcourse reminded of the ressurrection- He is Risen!
My grandmother's surgery went well. She will have to go to rehab and hopefully she will heal quickly. I know it can be difficult for someone of her age to regain all strength... In two weeks it will have been 1 year since her husband, my Bepa, passed away. It's strangely odd that she is put in the hospital the SAME weekend he was a year ago. She keeps telling my dad that she's "ready to go on to heavan". I don't blame her. She basically is just living day to day. She's lost all short-term memory. She really doesn't even agknowledge the fact that her husband of over 55 years has passed..The whole situation is extremely hard on my dad. He was always very close to his parents, and he's done a wonderful job at taking care of them. I just pray that the Lord will rid her of all pain and His will be done. Please pray for my family at this time!
After leaving town this afternoon with a fixed tire I saw a beautiful sunset. It was like the clouds were opening up to reveal God speaking to someone. Maybe He was speaking to me? He was reminding me that He's here for me and my family. As I kept driving the sky just kept getting more beautiful...I meant to only take a few pictures, but I ended up with over 20! NOT safe- I don't recommend it! :)

Then I drove a few more miles...



"In him we have redemption through his
blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance
with the riches of God's grace."
 Ephesians 1:7