My birthday is two weeks from yesterday! Yes, I am already counting – 13 days! I personally think birthday’s should be a national celebration.
The day you entered the world.
The day you gasped your first breath on planet earth.
The day you cried as little ones do.
Birthdays are important because we celebrate someone’s life, we pause and acknowledge their innate value because they are a part of the human race that God sovereignty ordained.
As much as I adore birthdays – the party, the gifts, the cake, the balloons, the excitement, etc. a part of my heart dreads them.
Boy do I have a treat for you! I have been so excited to share a project that I’ve been doing this month with you. First, let me say that this idea is not original, several of my friends have done this, and I borrowed the idea!
I struggled a little bit in September with loneliness, fear and a host of other emotions that weren’t completely honoring to the Lord. God gently showed me that I was griping and complaining. Oh, how often He has to correct me.
For the month of October, I decided to focus on the “small joys” in life. Every day, I wrote down something that brought me joy. I want to avoid using the word, “happy”, because happiness is circumstantial. However, I believe that you can find joy and be thankful in any situation!
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
It has been such a delight to being my day with eager expectation to see what kind of joys the day will bring. Sure, there have been days when tears have fallen, but I have chosen to find joy. This is also a good way to keep track of my days; I do journal, but not every day. I definitely plan on continuing this “project” every month, and sharing it with you. If you would like to participate, I would love to know the things that are bringing you joy!
I attended a reception in DC for Liberty students and alum. While I was there, I had the privilege of meeting Shannon Bream, an anchor on Fox News, but more important to me, Shannon was my commencement speaker. I didn’t get to met her at graduation, because things were crazy backstage. When I spoke with her at the reception, I mentioned to her that we shared a stage – her as the keynote speaker, and me presenting the Senior Class Gift. She said that she thought I looked familiar! It was great getting to chat for about half an hour!
An acquaintance from Liberty is spending a few months working in DC. While I didn’t know her very well at Liberty, we reconnected in DC and have had dinner together several times. We had an incredible, raw and honest conversation over dinner. It was refreshing to sit down with a sister in Christ, admit our shortcomings and failures, and spur one another on to the Cross.
On this day, a lady tried to ram her car into the barricades outside the White House, and then there was a car chase that ended at the Capitol and the lady was eventually killed. For whatever reason, this event scared me senseless. As I watched the news all afternoon (probably not the best idea!), my heart was overcome with fear. The White House is a block from my office in DC, and the fact that it happened so close scared me. After everything died down, I walked over to the White House and sat on a park bench and sobbed. The joy that I found on that day was the people who called me to make sure that I was okay. Knowing that people cared about me, and wanted to check on me, literally meant the world to me.
Since I was still physically shaken up from the events of the day before, and some other personal life events, I decided to take the morning off from work in order to get some extra sleep. It was such a delight to sleep in and have a slow morning before heading into work. It’s the small things
I spent the night with my friend Lauren. She was invited to a wedding last minute, and asked if I would like to join her! Not knowing a single person at the wedding besides her, I tagged along to “wedding crash”. The wedding took place outside, and we were able to get some gorgeous pictures! Even though I didn’t know anyone, I still managed to have a blast!
Our porch has to be my favorite thing about my home. We have twinkle lights around the top, a futon and a space heater to keep my toes toasty warm. I spent the evening outside with my Bible and journal, sipping coffee by candlelight. Literally the perfect evening!
I received a random encouraging facebook message from an acquaintance. It was so sweet and my heart welcomed the words of kindness!
I was asked out on a date by a guy on the metro. Obviously, I choose not to go, because I didn’t know if he was a Christian, and I’m typically not the type of girl to go out with people that I don’t know at all. Nevertheless, it was flattering!
This song by Shane & Shane –
I went to a discussion on Religious Liberties put on by the ERLC and the Manhattan Declaration. The discussion was fantastic and I would love to see more discussions such as this one held. I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Russel Moore. He wrote the book, Adopted for Life and has two adopted Russian boys!
Cleaning my home! This might sound silly, but I love having a clean home, and today, I was in the mood to clean! I rolled up my sleeves, put on some fun tunes and got to work!
…the results were a spotless house!
Spending the day at home!
Sometimes you just need a day at home with absolutely nothing on the agenda! That was today, and it was good!
My heart got overwhelmed at a discussion at church. I cried and texted my roommates saying that my heart hurt. My sweet roommate came to pick me up from the metro (it’s about a 10-15 minute walk home), listened while I poured out my heart. It was good to have a friend take care of my heart!
Columbus Day! I had the privilege of going on a day trip to West Virginia with a group of people from my church. The group was smaller – just me and three others. We had the most edifying conversations, and it was so encouraging to my heart. To be honest, I’m not used to people going as deep as we did, and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed them asking thought-provoking questions and actually caring about the answers
While I was grocery shopping, I had the best hour long conversation with my little brother! So thankful for this handsome guy…
I had the privilege of having dinner with a girl who’s about 5 years younger than me from my church. This girl intentionally reached out to me, so we met up at my favorite restaurant in DC – District Taco (If you ever visit me in DC, don’t worry, I’ll take you there! They might know me by name!)
On my way to work, I was sitting next to a guy on the metro who was reading the book of Revelation in his Bible. I tapped him on the shoulder and commented to him that it was encouraging to see someone else reading their Bible. We ended up having the best conversation and he encouraged me in my walk.
After work, I headed down to Liberty (my Alma-mater!) with a few friends! I spent the evening with one of my old roommates who is currently serving as an RD. It was SO good and refreshing to see friends from school!
My friend Bethany and I spent the day together. It was so relaxing. We visited one of my favorite coffee shops, read books, and enjoyed one another’s company!
On the drive back to Liberty, we put on hymns and as the miles passed, we praised God at the top of our lungs!
I am getting involved with the local crisis pregnancy center, and after training, one of my roommates who’s doing the training with me and I stayed and talked with a lady for over two and a half hours! The Lord gave us a new friend and a wonderful sister in Christ!
Finished up a project that I was asked to write and submitted it – Can’t tell you about it yet! You’ll have to wait until later in November :)
Unfortunately, some idiot named Chelsea dropped her phone today and it was unresponsive :( After briefly mourning the fact that my phone died, I headed to the nearest Verizon and purchased a new phone. Thankfully, I was able to get a good deal on a phone!
Today has two things that made me smile! :)
1) The Charlotte Observer ran a letter to the editor that I submitted on the effects of ObamaCare to young adults in North Carolina!
Check it out!
2) While I was at Liberty, I had the privilege of serving as the Senior Class President. For the Senior Class Gift, I planned and put together a Pro-Life Emphasis Week in order to inform and inspire students on how to be pro-life, not only in word but also in deed. The Senior Class at Liberty raised over $25,000 to donate to the Liberty Godparent Home, whose purpose is to provide girls a place to stay while they are pregnant. I received an update that they had purchased a much needed van with the money. Tears were brought to my eyes when I saw this picture and realized how BIG our God is. I am just an instrument in God’s hands, and my life goal is to bring Him glory!
I met my future mother-in-law! Hee hee! Just kidding! But I did have the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Pam Tebow – Tim Tebow’s mom. I have started volunteering at the local crisis pregnancy center, and attended a benefit dinner for the center. Mrs. Tebow was the keynote speaker. I wasn’t aware, but when she was pregnant with Tim, the doctors recommended that she abort him. Obviously she chose life and now has an incredible platform to speak on the issues of life. She was such a gem of a lady!
Some dear sisters and friends in Christ….
Ben Rector Concert.
My friend Lauren and I had the best evening.
Tyrone Wells and Ben Rector performed an EXCELLENT show! Here are some snapshots from the show!
I went to dinner after Sunday evening church with a group of people that attend the church. The conversation turned to unsaved friends/family members that I have, and the group ended up surrounding me and praying over those in my life who aren’t saved.
Today was a really rough day, and I cried on more than one occasion This song helped me to keep my eyes focused on the Lord. I’m on a Shane and Shane kick right now if you haven’t noticed!
Leaning into the promises of God.
Once again, the past few days were hard, and I had to meditate much on the promises of God.
The fall leaves.
Happy Reformation Day!
I left work early and headed to Union Station to catch a train. Winston-Salem, North Carolina – aka HOME was my final destination! My plan was to go surprise my Mom for her birthday!!
I hope ya’ll enjoyed this post! I had a blast putting it together! Stay tuned for November’s joys!
“I’m against gay marriage”
“I’m a republican”
“I’m a southern baptist”
Do any of these things sound familiar? There are all phrases I’ve uttered at some point over the past year. While they are all true, I’ve been challenged to begin changing my philosophy! Anyone that knows me knows that I love politics! I can hold my weight in a discussion on why I think Obamacare is bad, why I believe abortion is wrong, the proper role of government, etc.
It’s crucial to be able to know what you believe and why, but I believe something is missing! While Christians must stand up for things such as the sanctity of human life and the sanctity of marriage, if standing up for those “issues” is all we do –
we have failed!
You see, if we as Christians merely run around trying to change the social and political culture of our world, we are missing the call of God! The Lord never called us to governmental reform! That sounds like a bold statement doesn’t it! And you might initially disagree with me! Allow me to flesh out that thesis and hopefully you’ll see what I mean when I say that I don’t believe that we are “called” to that kind of reform!
What America needs isn’t a different president, a more conservative media, or a new set of laws…
….what America needs is Jesus!
We can make all the laws and changes that we want to, but ultimately that isn’t where the hope for America lies!
Dear one, as Christians, we have the greatest gift imaginable and we should be pointing others to Christ! I’ve fallen into the trap of allowing myself to be defined for the things I stand for and against, instead of being solely definitely by the fact that without Christ I am headed straight for hell, but with Him, all of my sins are forgiven and Christ has lavished me with grace upon grace!
Instead of running around trying to reform government or society, we should be meeting people where they are! If a young girl is pregnant and is considering an abortion, that is the perfect time for us to step into her life, show her Christ’s love and offer her real hope! Until we begin to care about people as more than a project or statistic, our nation will never change! We must realize that people’s hearts are dead without Christ, and they are going to act in a sinful way because it’s their nature
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16
Here is the question I pose to you:
How are you being the light those around you?
Dear Christian, we are called to offer people hope in Christ! We are the light! When people begin to see and savor Christ as the most glorious treasure, social and government reform will happen as a natural result!
I have some exciting news….
I recently accepted a position in Washington DC and I will be moving next week!!
Okay, how about a few details?!
While I was at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” conference a few weeks ago (Read about about it here ), I ran into one of my friends who works at an organization called Concerned Women for America. We were chatting and she mentioned that they were hiring, and that I would be perfect for the job! My friend called her boss, and we ended up dropping by the office while I was there. I chatted with my friends boss for about 45 minutes and then we headed back to the conference. I sent CWA my resume and then didn’t think too much more about it. Several weeks later, I was contacted for a formal interview!
My dad and I made a day trip up to DC for the interview (I do not recommend driving 6 hours there and back in the same day!)
Once in the city, we grabbed a cup of coffee while I gathered my thoughts! Daddy prayed with me and then I headed up for the interview!
I was offered the position while in the interview!!
We discussed job details, but I was on cloud 9 the entire time and took mental notes while grinning from ear to ear! After I left the interview, I rush down to tell Daddy the good news and to call home!
So, where will I be working?!
Concerned Women for America is a US coalition of conservative women which promotes Biblical values and family traditions.
I’m incredibly excited to be working for an organization that holds Biblical values dear! My official job title is “Field Development Coordinator”. CWA has states chapters, and I’m responsible for building relationships with the leaders and raising up new state directors!
I’ll be moving next Friday!
Even as I type those words, I can hardly believe it! It still hasn’t hit me yet!
I am thrilled to be moving to a city that I love so much, and this job is going to be amazing…
If I’m completely honest, I’m terrified!
I mean, I’m about to leave…
– My family
– My state
– My friends
– My church
….my comfort zone
and I’ll be transiting to…
– Starting new job
– Moving to a completely new city
– Living in a new home
– Building new relationships
– Creating a new routine
– Finding a new church
This transition is bittersweet, but I have been meditating on one of my favorite Psalms and the Lord has filled my mind with truth!
The Lord will be with me, so I’ll be okay! Yes, there will be tears because it’s going to be an adjustment, but my Heavenly Father has promised never to leave or forsake me!
So here’s to the next journey in life!
I ran to the bathroom as fast as I could before the tears started pouring down my cheeks. Once inside the bathroom, I sat down and wept. A few moments earlier, some words had been spoken that had cut into my heart like a knife. Someone had been explaining what an orphanage was to some children and said some extremely hurtful and insensitive things concerning adoption. Not only did the words sting my heart, there were also a few other adopted children within earshot of the discussion.
As I cried in the bathroom, it hit me like a ton of bricks….
….views adoption in the same way that I do!
….views it as precious or mandated by God!
….views adopted children as equal to biological children
….views orphans as people deserving our love
To me, being adopted is the greatest gift I could ever imagine receiving apart from my salvation. Being adopted is a part of my identity, because not only have I been adopted physically, I have also been adopted spiritually by my Heavenly Father! Because I am adopted, I feel as if I can understand the Lord’s adoption in a more unique way than most people!
While I was trying to compose myself in the bathroom this afternoon, my heart filled with anger,
Familiar feelings flooded my heart…
– I am unwanted
– I am worthless
– I am a mistake
– Even though I’m adopted, I’m still different than everyone else
I wanted so much to march out and let the lady know how inappropriate her comments were and to set her straight! Instead, I quickly prayed that the Lord would calm my heart down until I could spend some time laying my emotions before Him.
Later this afternoon, I was able to get some time alone and sort out my feelings before the throne. I told the Lord how much that woman’s words affected me, and the lies that Satan told me. My heart had foolishly allowed a few careless words to cut me to the core and hurt me. The Lord sweetly began to remind me of truth!
This is what the Lord says, and this is what I choose to believe…
– I am chosen!
– My life has purpose!
– The circumstances surrounding my birth do not define me!
– I am who the Lord says I am!
– The Lord chose to use adoption to display His glory!
Dear reader, I encourage you to promote adoption and to talk about it in light of the Gospel. One of my favorite quotes about adoption is
“The Gospel is not a picture of adoption, adoption is a picture of the Gospel.” – John Piper
Each life matters. Each orphan matters. Each adoption matters.
It all matters, because God values each life, each orphan, each adoption.
Love knows no borders. Love knows no colors.
I’ll be honest, my heart is still stinging a little bit tonight. But I am making the conscious decision to trust in the Lord. I am trusting that what He says about me is truth.
Watch this video on adoption, it is one of my all-time favorites!
About a month ago, I was invited to speak at the “Road to Majority” conference put on by the Faith and Freedom Coalition which was started by Ralph Reed as a conservative organization promoting conservative values and morals.
This past weekend, I packed my bags and headed up to Washington DC!
Thankfully, my hotel was covered, so I brought along my mom and 2 of my sisters so they could explore the city while I was attending the conference! 3:00 am on Thursday came way too quickly, but I pulled myself out of bed, made a pot of coffee, and finished getting ready. We left home around 5:00 am and enjoyed a beautiful drive!
We arrived to the stunning JW Marriott…
After checking in, I quickly headed over to the Ronald Reagan building to attend a luncheon!
Several senators addressed us at lunch!
Rand Paul sat at my table for about 5 minutes while waiting to speak…
Marco Rubio spoke as well…
After lunch, we all hopped on a bus and headed over to Capital Hill to speak with our respective congressmen and senators. When I was riding the elevator up to lunch, I heard a lady beside me talking about North Carolina, so I asked her what part of NC she was from, and we hit it off. We ended up sitting together at lunch and then we pranced around Capital Hill together! She knew several of the congressmen personally, unfortunately, they weren’t in the office, but we dropped by and left messages!
After vising several offices, we headed down to a reception with several more congressmen and senators!
I couldn’t help snapping a few more pictures of this beautiful building!
Oh, I also ran into the back of John McCain…
At the reception, Senator Ted Cruz spoke
I also had the incredible privilege of meeting and chatting with Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona. He is championing pro-life bills and writing pro-life legislation. While chatting with him, I told him about some of the pro-life work I had done at Liberty while I was there. He gave me his business card and said to contact him!! One of the highlights of my weekend!
After the reception, I ate dinner with a few friends and then we headed to an after hours social with some more incredible speakers!! While there, I got to meet Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and others!
The next day, I was up early to grab some coffee and gather my thoughts before the day began! Then I settled in for the morning to hear from an all-star line up of speakers including…
I managed to snag a picture with Paul Ryan!
After lunch, it was time to meet up with Johnnie Moore (from Liberty University) and the other panelists. Our topic was “Winning the next generation”. We briefly discussed the flow of the panel. There were four of us on the panel, and once we got situated in the room, Johnnie began the discussion. He lead the panel in such a way that I felt like I was having a conversation with friends, instead of addressing strangers. I was very pleased with how the panel turned out and am honored to have been a part of it.
Then, I quickly headed up to my room to change for a gala where Donald Trump was our guest speaker!
It was Donald’s birthday, so he addressed the dinner guests, and then headed out, but Sandi Patti was there and serenaded us with the voice of an angel. Pat Robertson was there and received a lifetime achievement award!
Some of my new friends
We headed out to explore DC by the glow of the lights
I don’t think the architecture could be any more lovely!
A great time was had by all!
The next morning was yet another all-star line up of speakers!
Governor Rick Perry
Wow! What an absolutely fabulous weekend!
I want to make one quick point! Even though I had the opportunity to meet and interact with some political leaders of the world, they are just people. One of the things I always tell myself is – “How do they put their pants on in the morning? One leg at a time – just like me!” The point being, even though they have big titles, big bank accounts, and big jobs, at the end of the day, they are just people. The ground is level at the foot of the cross!!
It’s been a while since I’ve done a “Monday Musing” post, and I find that these are the easiest ways to give updates on my life. So, here we go!
June has turned out to be a pretty crazy!
This past Friday, one of my friends called me up and said that she was going to be in Charlotte, and would I like to get together and chat for a little bit. A few weeks ago, I had emailed this friend, asking for some career advice, and she was in town, so instead of talking on the phone, she suggested that we just meet up. The reason she was in town was because she works for the Faith & Freedom Coalition, and they were a part of the North Carolina GOP convention. When she called, she mentioned that she could get me in to the State Dinner and the prayer breakfast the next morning. Immediately, I said that I would love to attend!
Saturday afternoon, I made a pit stop to grab a Venti iced coffee. (Ask for an iced coffee with a shot of vanilla and a little bit of cream! So tasty!)
With my coffee in hand, I put on some tunes, and headed off to Charlotte. I love road trips and throughly enjoyed the drive! When I arrived in Charlotte, I parked, made my way inside and headed straight for the bathroom to fix myself up a little bit – my car’s air condition isn’t working very well, and it was about 80 outside.
This was my outfit of choice for the evening, nothing too crazy, but I much prefer to look classy!
After making sure that I looked presentable, I headed to the lobby to wait for my friend. There was a comic book hero conference going on (don’t ask, I have no idea what they do!), but I was provided with plenty of entertainment while waiting. Once my friend showed up, we chatted for about half an hour, then she looked at her phone and declared that it was time to go to a reception. I followed her to a small room where there were about 10 people mulling around. There was a man with a camera, and it was obvious that we were all waiting on someone to show up. Low and behold, we were waiting on Karl Rove, the keynote speaker for dinner to arrive.
Karl Rove was Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to George W. Bush. Being heavily interested in politics, I was thrilled to have the privilege of being a part of this small reception for him. When he walked in, he immediately began shaking people’s hands, asking for their names, and carrying on a brief conversation.
We chatted for a few moments before he turned his attention to the next person. But then it was time for pictures, and he graciously took as many pictures as everyone wanted. His autobiography was passed around, and I had my copy signed for my dad, because he’s a huge admirer.
Mr. Rove could not have been more gracious or kind. He made me feel like I was catching up with an old friend instead of meeting a celebrity! After chatting with everyone for a little while, it was time for all of us to head to dinner.
Mr. Rove gave the keynote speech, and discussed a wide span of issues, from conservative morals to taxes. I was engrossed in his talk, and throughly enjoyed every minute of the evening.
I was back at the hotel bright and early the next morning for the prayer breakfast. When I arrived, I was informed that I would be sitting at the same table as Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar – the keynote speakers for the prayer breakfast. I was lead to my seat and able to snag a picture with Mr. and Mrs. Duggar before the breakfast began!
For most of the breakfast, I had the pleasure of chatting with Mr. and Mrs. Duggar! They were two of the sweetest and most authentic people I’ve ever met. I felt like I was just chatting with my parents because they asked me questions, and had a genuine interest. I told Mrs. Duggar that there are 6 children in my family, and that we were all homeschooled growing up. I ended up sharing a lot of my story with them (being born in Romania, adopted siblings, etc.) Then, it was their turn to address everyone at the breakfast! They shared part of their story and encouraged everyone to trust the Lord, even when life circumstances aren’t easy!
After the breakfast, I chatted with them for a little while longer about our shared passion of being pro-life. Mr. Duggar asked for my business card and said that he would contact me with more information about the Heartbeat Bill he’s crafted.
The entire weekend was absolutely incredible! I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to meet some of the people that I did. I am very grateful and humbled to have attended the events and had the conversations I did with people!
Next up on my agenda is putting the finishing touches on VBS at my church, and then I’m headed to speak at a conference in DC this weekend!!
P.S. Sorry for the poor quality of the pictures, all I had with me was my iphone!
This past weekend, I was blessed beyond measure to participate in the March For Life in Washington DC. My mind is still trying to process all of the experiences and things that happened, but there is one word that I keep coming back to, and that word is…awesome!
The definition of the word “awesome” is: Extremely impressive; inspiring great admiration; causing awe.
I hope that better words will come in time, but for now, the word “awesome” is all I can seem to come up with. I would like to offer up my humble recap of the March For Life, and I hope it encourages you that there are still countless others in America fighting for the lives of the unborn.
3:45 am…*Beep Beep Beep* Off goes my alarm clock!! I quickly turned it off so that my roommate wouldn’t wake up, and dragged myself to the coffee maker, before showering and getting ready. The weather forecast was below freezing all day in DC, so I put on a pair of leggings, pants, boots, two tank tops, a regular shirt, a cardigan, a coat, a scarf, gloves and a hat!! My body was going to be warm! After getting ready, I made my way to our rendezvous for the bus. There were about 60 students from Liberty University that attended the March For Life. My heart was so happy that there were so many students up at 5:00 am, eager to go walk for the lives of the unborn.
The drive to DC was uneventful. When we arrived, we regrouped and headed to the National Mall, where we were able to get right up to the stage.
Sounds of Liberty, a singing group from LU started off by performing the Star Spangled Banner. Then speaker after speaker came and addressed the crowd! There were speakers ranging from senators and representatives, to a guy who had been born out of rape! Rick Santorum and his family were there and told a story of how a doctor had recommended that they abort their youngest daughter, but they chose life for her! What an inspiration!
My heart was deeply encouraged that the Gospel was proclaimed and preached from the stage by countless speakers!
After about an hour worth of speakers, the crowd began the official “March” to the Supreme Court Building! While we were walking, it began to snow. I’m not gonna lie, my little tail was about to freeze off, but I tried not to think about how cold my body was, because I was surrounded by so many others, who were freezing as well, but we all had one common purpose. The actual walk to the Supreme Court Building took about 2 hours! Many people were carrying signs saying “Defend Life”, “Defund Planned Parenthood”, “Life is Scared” and others! One of the coolest things was walking by the Senate office, and seeing the line of people out the door of people going to talk to their respected representatives to declare to them that Americans hold life as precious!
When we got to the Supreme Court Building, everyone dispersed.
My heart was beyond encouraged when I heard the estimated number of attendees at the March For Life. 500,000! Half a million people showed up in Washington DC to declare to the government, our President, America, and the world that we support LIFE! It was so surreal to be with that many people who all shared the same goal!
I am resolved to work as hard as I possibly can to end legalized abortion. Not on my watch will I simply sit around while babies are being murdered at the hands of the American people!