Honest thoughts on birthdays….

Fun Fact: I love birthdays!e3e0302326dcf3c5f5edc0c3fded8a15

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.

df27762a15ad8506247bb700ef429160

As much as I adore birthdays – the party, the gifts, the cake, the balloons, the excitement, etc. a part of my heart dreads them.

Continue reading

The time a homeless man showed me Jesus!

The title of this post might seem paradoxical.

Shouldn’t I be the one showing Jesus to a homeless man? Isn’t that what I’m called to do?

 

Allow me to explain the exchange that happened last night. My heart was blessed and I want to share it with you, in hopes that it might encourage your walk with the Lord.

 

I was leaving the crisis pregnancy center where I have been training to be a counselor. (That is another story for another time, but let me just tell you, I don’t think I’ll ever leave that building with dry eyes.) My friend and I were taking the metro home, and as we were walking down, a homeless man asked us for some money in order to get a metro card.

26f48f220f2e381468507be68a51c270

We stopped and chatted with him for a few minutes. He told us that he wanted to get to the local homeless shelter to get a bath and spend the night in a warm building instead of sleeping on the sidewalk in the freezing cold weather. I happily put some money on a metro card for him, and started to walk away. The man started talking about how he hoped the shelter still had some food left, because he was hungry. (At this point, it was about 10:00 pm, and highly unlikely that they would still be serving dinner.)

 

Let me pause in my story….

Ever since arriving in D.C., I have been struggling with how I should properly respond to the homeless. They are literally everywhere. I probably pass at least 8-10 between my office building and the metro station. It is literally impossible for me to help them all. I am a single woman supporting herself in a large city. I’ve gotten so overwhelmed, because I know that I can’t help them all. As a result, I haven’t done anything. A famous quote from the beloved Mother Teresa has been swirling around in my mind recently…..

086d87dd64fb8d5e8e84f0dff899ab9a

 

Resume story…

 

The Holy Spirit urged me to offer to buy him dinner. I asked if we could provide dinner for him, and he immediately answered a resounding, “yes”. My friend, and I headed up the escalator with our new friend. He told us that his name was Charles. On our way to get food, the conversation centered around him currently looking for a job. The conversation seemed to take a natural turn towards spiritual matters. I asked him very bluntly if he knew Christ as his personal savior. He immediately got a huge grin on his face and said, “Yes, yes I sure do”.

 

We stopped in a local pizza joint and he ordered himself a pizza. While we were waiting, he shared about his relationship with the Lord. The restaurant was empty except for the staff, and while we were talking, I noticed that the staff was intensely listening to our discussion.

Wow, this man knew his Bible inside out. He shared one spiritual truth after another. One thing that he spoke about was how we as Christians have a duty to show Christ to the world by our actions. Obviously, we are saved by faith alone, but how will the world know that we belong to God if we never show them HIS love.

 

One thing that Charles said that will stick with me for a long time is this:

 

“We can’t out give God!”

 

I’ve heard this cliche saying before, but coming from a homeless man, who told me how he has sought to give out of the little he has and how God has continued to bless him. Now that is powerful! You would expect a homeless man who literally has hardly any earthly possessions to hold onto what he has with clinched fists. Instead, this man has chosen to give thanks and see how God multiplies. He has chosen to trust God.

 

I don’t understand the circumstances that lead to homelessness. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t even know why Charles was homeless. All I know is the Lord asked me to buy him dinner and have a conversation with him.

 

What resulted was Charles, my brother in the Lord encouraging my faith. He showed me Jesus. He reminded me that I can trust God with everything – my finances, my relationships, my job, my love life, my past, my future, my time, my resources, etc.

 

Don’t get me wrong, just because I give, doesn’t mean that God is going to immediately bless me with material resources. I am not an advocate of the prosperity gospel, in fact, I think that is heresy! What I am advocating for is the truth in these verses:

 

 

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,you did it to me.’” – Matthew 25:40

 

“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” – 2 Corinthians 9:6

 

My Jesus paid for my salvation in full on the cross of Calvary. He shed his innocent blood for the satisfaction of the wrath that I was deserving. Because I have been given everything, I want to seek to give everything. Who am I to be stingy with my time, talent or treasure.

 

Beloved, I urge you, slow down, take a few moments to notice those around you who might need someone to talk to, a hot meal, a word of encouragement, or most importantly, who need Jesus!

 

The fact is, you might be the only representation of Jesus that someone ever sees! How do we represent God if we brush people off, act like we are more important or can’t be bothered! No one is perfect, and we have grace to fail, however I desperately want to show Christ to a dying and hurting world!

Will you join me?

 

 

“A man there was, and they called him mad; the more he

gave, the more he had.”

– John Bunyan

2c8f432d1bdec4df6553c9a8908546b8

October Joy Project

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!

October…

1

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!

1375028_737009836314686_835354387_n

2

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.

3

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.

white house

4

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

5

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!

Field

cake

1379998_739150009434002_217877168_nme and lauren

6

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!

deck

7

I received a random encouraging facebook message from an acquaintance. It was so sweet and my heart welcomed the words of kindness!

8

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!

9

This song by Shane & Shane –

 

10

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!

ERLC

11

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!

12

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!

13

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!

14

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

me and cathy

group trip to WV

 

15

While I was grocery shopping, I had the best hour long conversation with my little brother! So thankful for this handsome guy…

1233414_157105777831044_1776070983_n

 

16

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!)

17

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.

18

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!

libertyU

19

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!

bethany

muse

20

On the drive back to Liberty, we put on hymns and as the miles passed, we praised God at the top of our lungs!

moonoct

21

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!

22

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 :)

23

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!

24

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!

Libertygodparenthome

25

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!

pam

Some dear sisters and friends in Christ….

girls

26

Ben Rector Concert.

My friend Lauren and I had the best evening. 

me&lauren

Tyrone Wells and Ben Rector performed an EXCELLENT show! Here are some snapshots from the show!

Tyrone Wells….

tyrone1

Ben Rector…

ben

ben3

ben4

27

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.

28

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!

 

29

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.

7e25c2ef015eb99a2a996143c9f17810

30

The fall leaves.

2488c200662d365ed45961c351486175

31

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!!

union

I hope ya’ll enjoyed this post! I had a blast putting it together! Stay tuned for November’s joys! 

My dreams…

Sometimes I wonder if life is long enough, because there are so many dreams in my heart and I desire to see them all come to fruition.

2f50064db698d43d526812a6f22522d4

Right now I’m living one of my dreams!

2 months ago, I picked up my life and moved to a city where I knew almost no one and began building a life in Washington D.C. The journey hasn’t been what I expected it to be, it’s been harder than I ever imaged, yet better than I could have asked for!

ed68624156a9e655f1669b9d87b85b0f

I literally accepted a job and moved to DC within 3 weeks! It was a whirlwind, but the Lord worked out so many details, and I know that the nation’s capital is where He has called me for the time being!!

 

Here is a snapshot of some of my dreams!

 

1) Grow old with my best friend!

 

3e94efdc4daab36ff01ed2c4e5a13161

Yes, I do want a beautiful wedding day, but I am more excited about marrying my best friend and the love of my life. What a privilege the Lord gives us to grow old with one person and honor Him through a marriage!

 

My heart does long to have a man that will choose to love me, cherish me, care about me, and represent Christ to me…

 

46fa23002a3e6cbae2ff518c0526ee50

 

The Lord hasn’t placed that person in my life yet, but I am genuinely content with where I am. I know that the Lord’s timing is far better than I can imagine. I  am not sitting around “waiting” to be married, I am living my life as a single woman and if the Lord sees fit, I shall be married! Until then, here’s to single hood!

 

2) Adopt a child!

 

820c292b60d6106c13d0962d78bd8b8c

I take that back…I want to adopt a whole village of children!!

 

2a945521bce73f260549d1aefd17f65d

 

Being adopted myself, I am constantly aware of what an incredible gift adoption is! My life would not be the same if I hadn’t been adopted, and one of my biggest desires is to give the gift of adoption to children in the future!

 

3) Write a book!

 

e0127f4a4cef4c0c349c6520bc7f9437

 

The Lord has specifically called me to write a book for women. The topic that He has asked me to write about is the most intimate part about myself and I am not sure when the right time to share it is. A few years ago, I found out some things that radically changed my life, and were an intense time of suffering in my life. As a result of the things I found out, my life and future changed.

 

4) Travel the world

 

fa66b043dbb48aafa70a0ea3aa07173a

 

I have been blessed to visit some pretty cool places!

 

  • Bucharest, Romania

 

3077ff82154bcad5c8620c9f3348f7d2

  • Paris, France

 

55c9a5c369711fd7d77febf34ee6f20d

 

It stole my heart…

 

f3d48e6e4283a02377d31ef2440bcb18

 

  • Athens and a few islands in Greece

 

IMG_0855

IMG_1285

IMG_1042

IMG_1333

  • Rome, Italy

4e5509c354d834c0018e17ae439af5cd

5879a488ee27888564520f77e5987915

53e897c7fa087c1df92493e16edff5b5

Even though I’ve been to some of the world’s most incredible locations, there is a hunger in me to see even more of the world! A few of the other places I’d like to see include:

 

  • London, England – I need to visit Princess Kate

  • Germany

  • Spain

  • Revisit Paris – A piece of my heart was left there

  • Prague

  • Swiss Alps – Maybe try some skiing?

  • Amalfi Coast –

  • Croatia

  • Ireland

  • …basically anywhere in Europe

  • Fiji – I hear the beaches are pretty!

  • Colorado Mountains

  • The Grand Canyon

  • Alaska

  • Hawaii

  • Niagara Falls

  • Prince Edward Island, Canada – Anne of Green Gables

  • Charleston, South Carolina

  • New York City

 

b07e912f4c6bdd022f756cac4f1ef7f2

I am already planning my next trip…

5) Live in a house with a red door!

 

879d3db8c652c74ad3412fa4c9e8ae63

This might seem like a silly dream, but I have always wanted to live in a house with a red door. There is something so welcoming about a red door, and I intend to have a house with an inviting red door!

 

6) Perfect my French

 

Je parle un peu de français – I speak a little French

 

I have taken a few years of French, but I am far from fluent! I would love to be able to speak it well one day!

 

d902ac9779179c709a83e1f03bd796e1

7) Have lunch with John Piper

 

9fc8a39230c9bdf680b8a3569629b6b0

Of all the people on this planet I could sit down with for an hour or two, John Piper tops the list! He is one of the men who’s writing and speaking leads me closer to Christ. I have read almost every one of his books, listened to countless sermons and watched videos of him. It would be an honor to meet such a man of God!

 

 

Etc…

 

Those are just a few of my dreams! While I have many others, some great and some small, I close in sharing my biggest goal and dream in life!

 

My greatest passion and desire is that my life accurately represents Christ to the world!

 

2185311de17b0d0d864683ee59aaeade

If I accomplish every one of my other dreams, but fail in this area, I have wasted my life! Oh may this never be!

 

Beloved, as I’ve shared some of my heart with you, my charge and encouragement to you is this – whatever your dreams are, may you always glorify our Father in heaven first and foremost. I constantly submit my dreams before His throne, because He is my great guide and knows what is best for me and for His glory!

Monday Musings – Adventures

Be prepared for picture overload! I think it’s high time I share some of my latest adventures!

b40faf0ae912a87bd4f0a7034c851ce7

My adjustment to the city has been improving as I’ve gotten into a routine, made a few more friends, found a church that I really like, and time helps all!

I crossed something off my bucket list this recently!!

 

Saw John Mayer in concert!

281b4887eba6662409c4f3309f647694

John Mayer is one of my favorite (secular) artists. One of my dear friends (and college roommates), Lauren found lawn tickets for fairly cheap, so we purchased them and eagerly awaited the concert! Lauren lives about an hour from me, so I metroed out as far as the line would take me, she picked me up and our adventure began!

photo25

We arrived with plenty of time to get settled in with our blanket on the lawn!

photo7

Phillip Phillips opened up the evening with American Idol winning voice! While I enjoy his music, he is still developing a stage presence! After Phillip Phillips was finished, there was an intermission, and then it was time for John Mayer!! He took the stage as the sun was just beginning to slip away, and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset while he serenaded us!

photo12

John’s concert was hands down the best one I’ve ever been to! Not only is his voice gorgeous, he is such a talented musician! Half of the time he was playing with his eyes closed, and you could tell that he was feeling the music and that it was his passion! He sang all of my favorite songs, but my all-time favorite of his is “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room”.

While I enjoyed every moment of his concert, my heart did break for John. At one point during the concert, he started just rambling and he is so lost! I pray for him, that the Lord will open his eyes to Himself, and that life with God is so much better than the life he is currently living!

Here is a small taste of his music for you to enjoy!

These are two of my current favorites!

** I’m currently looking for a Christian version of John Mayer, so if anyone knows of one, send him my way! **

This past weekend, Lauren and I had another adventure! In between sleeping in late, a little shopping and girl talk, we escaped to visit the great outdoors!

Virginia is home to some of the prettiest places, and I got to visit one!

My dear friends, I introduce you to Great Falls…

photo6photo3

photo2

photo5

This stunningly beautiful park is right outside DC!

I feel like I could live in the area for years and never run out of things to do.

During the summer, the National Harbor shows outdoor movies. Recently they wrapped up the summer by showing my all-time favorite movie, “Remember the Titans”. A group of friends and I arrived early, set up our things and took a stroll around the area!

photo15

Oh, did I mention that I leave my boat there! (Obviously kidding!)

photo10photo17

We were in for a treat! The original Titan football team was on location doing a meet and greet! I was giddy as I stood in line waiting to meet them!

photo16

Some of the players…

1990_10200991094952830_455509899_n

But my favorite moment of the evening was getting to meet the original coaches!!! It was an honor to get to meet men who faced opposition and still stood strong for the convictions they held that all men are created equal!

Pardon the horrible picture quality!

photo111111

Such a fun evening!!

photo18

Please understand that these are just the highlights of the past few weeks! My life is by no means this glamorous every day! I thought it would just be fun to share some of the fun things that have been happening!!

Happy Monday!

“I Have a Dream”

This week marked the 50th anniversary of March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where an estimated quarter of a million people gathered in the nation’s capital to raise their voices for in support of a strong Civil Rights legislation that would greatly reduce segregation and mistreatment for African Americans.

Martin+Luther+King+Jr+PNG.png

When one thinks of this impactful event, the first thing that comes to mind is Martin Luther King Jr, the fearless leader for Civil Rights. Standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, a monument commemorating one of America’s influential presidents who helped eliminate slavery in America, King delivered the historic speech, “I Have a Dream”. He noted in the opening statements that what was taking place on that August day was the “greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation”.

Deep passion permeated every word spoken by King as he described his vision of a nation where one was not judged based off the color of their skin. “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” Pursuing the goal of Godly equality characterized the life of King and many others as they fought for a better future for their children and grandchildren. The Civil Rights leaders understood that a person should not be treated differently by their appearance, by their skin color, or by their economic status. Instead, King advocated for the day when his children would one day live in nation where they would not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.

index

King was renowned for his efforts to ensure that men and women were regarded as equal. He understood that God calls for mankind to treat one another with respect and love, because all are created in His image. Although the African American community was met with animosity, King gently reminded the nation that, “darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Retaliation with bitterness to such hardship would have been expected and was the reaction of some. However King understood that the only thing he could change was himself and his reaction. He once stated that he had decided to stick with love, because hate was too great a burden to bear.

images

Even though our nation isn’t currently fighting for legalized racial equality, there are still many issues that a Christian’s heart should be broken over.  The fact that 40 years ago, America legalized the killing of more than 55 million babies under Roe v. Wade. The fact that gay couples can freely be with whomever they choose. The fact that immorality is rampant and celebrated in the media.

The list could go on and on. Even though American Christians find themselves in the middle of a nation that does not honor the Lord, there is still hope. In Matthew 5:43-44 Christ gives this charge, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” The Lord understood that our flesh’s first reaction is to hate our enemies. However, He calls us to something higher – to love and pray for one another. It is not always easy to love like Christ loves, but as Christians we have the Holy Spirit living in us to sanctify us.

In light of the anniversary and celebration of the achievements of Martin Luther King Jr and others, be thankful to the Lord that much has been accomplished in America to honor Him in the nation’s past, be prayerful over the nation’s current leaders, be mindful that there is still work to be done, be active in making your voice heard and be loving towards others.

3555713a4efd5c5ea2caecf2e74751d0

Things that are making me smile!

First of all, I want to say a huge “thank you” to all of the incredible support and encouragement I received from my recent post on loneliness. My heart was built up so much. I was reminded that even thought I don’t have a strong community here in DC, there are people that love and care about me! To all of my friends and family – ya’ll mean more to me than I can ever put into words! Thank you for your constant texts/phone calls/encouragement!

Since my last post was on the heavier side, I figured I’d just share some things that are currently making me smile!

 

It’s the small things…

 

1) Operation “domestic Chelsea”…

 

My fairly limited bank account, and my abundance of time has lead me to start learning how to cook  perfect my cooking/baking skills!!

cooking

Okay, so spinach isn’t exactly Rachel Ray, but it’s a start!!

Also, I can make a mean banana bread! Seriously, I’m pretty proud of it!

baking

I figured that if I wanna get a man one day – I should learn how to woo him with my cooking skills! They always say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach right?!

 

#Wifeyintraining

 

2) The gorgeous farmers market near my office…

 

Some co-workers and I headed out to take a stroll through a farmers market that is a block away from our office and a block away from the White House! Michelle Obama is known to have shopped there! I would have bought all the flowers if I could! They were practically screaming to be taken home and enjoyed!!

flowers

The veggies weren’t too shabby either!!

veggies

3) A little bit of home (via pictures from my family!)…

 

I miss this furry little beast!

abby

These girls are my world! It’s a fact, I have the most gorgeous, sweetest, and basically most awesome sisters ever!

sisters

4) This mug…

 

anthro

I’d never been to Anthropology before, and my first “DC” friend, Rachel made me promise that I’d wait and go with her. Well the other night, Rachel and I were grabbing dinner and she showed up with a gift bag and this incredibly cute mug in it. I swear it makes coffee taste better, if that was even possible!!

 

5) Morning Texts from my brother…

 

When I left home, Nicholas told me that he was going to text me every morning, and he has kept that promise! I look forward to keeping in touch with him, even if it’s just a short text or two in the morning because we’re both so busy! My current life goal is to find my brother a great woman. (Applications currently being accepted!

brother

 

6) The road trip I’m currently planning…

 

3c492ee392a1988f7846b2936c357751

Maybe I’m dreaming a little bit, but how gorgeous are those mountains?! One day I plan on buying a jeep wrangler, loading up and driving across the country. Yes, I know gas prices are outrageous, but I wanna see this great country I call home!

 

7) This video…

 

Somehow I stumbled upon this video at work the other day and decided to watch it. I didn’t know what to expect, and ended up sitting at my desk with tears pouring down my cheeks! Maybe it was the fact that I was worn out and a tad more emotional than usual, but if you have a few minutes, watch this video! Such a precious love story!

 

Raw thoughts on loneliness !

I’ve avoided writing this post for a while, because I was scared that if I did write it, I would pack my bags and be on the next plane home within an hour.

23fe59253b2dcccf099cb86da919c016

The first week in DC was the honeymoon phase – I was learning a new job, I went out on a date, I explored the city….then it hit me

“WOW, I just moved my entire life to this strange city. What on earth was I thinking?!”

As much as I love DC and my job, I have been more lonely than I have ever been in my entire life! That sounds a bit dramatic, but for 4 years, I was at Liberty University, where I was surrounded by thousands of people, and I had a whole community that I could call on at anytime. Whenever I wanted to, I could call up a friend and have someone to go to dinner with me, jog around campus together, come up to my room and watch a movie, or walk with me while I poured out my heart. Even when I was back home, there are 8 people in my family, so I always had someone right there for me! Whether I needed a shoulder to cry on, or someone to go get coffee with me, there has always been someone in close proximity for me!

In my new beautiful city of DC, I have yet to make a lot really solid friends. My roommates are super sweet, but they have all been here for awhile and have established community here. There have been many nights when I’ve come home, gone for a run, made dinner for myself and found things to entertain myself.

6a8c84a8c5ef5bb6ec51159497211199

To be honest, I think I need this season of loneliness. As much as I hate to admit it, and as much as I’ve cried to the Lord to give me friends immediately, I’m learning things that I know I could not learn any other way.

So, I’ve complied a few thoughts on things I’m currently learning through my loneliness. This is by no means extensive, but I hope that it encourages you in whatever stage of life you are in!

1) I’m learning how dependent I have been on people, and not the Lord.

As hard as it is to swallow, I’ve never realized just how much I’ve puffed myself up with pride in the past, based off of how “popular” I thought I was! It’s so easy when I’m surrounded by people to run to a person to satisfy my desire for companionship. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for the body of believers, and I believe that we are designed to live in community with one another. However, I had unknowingly put people in the place of my Lord in my life. 

In the past…

  • When I’ve been sad or upset about something, I’ve gone to a friend’s shoulder to cry on and receive a hug and their sympathy instead of going to the Lord to comfort my heart!

  • When I’ve been lonely, I’ll call someone up (usually a guy friend) to come and fulfill that need in my heart to feel loved and desired instead of seeking my Great Lover to satisfy my heart and deepest desires.

  • When I’ve been excited about something, I’ve gone to friends to cheer for me and to celebrate instead of going to my Father in thankfulness and seeking to rejoice in Him and with Him!

  • When I’ve been angry, I’ve vented to any available person who would lend an ear to me for more than 5 minutes instead of working out my problems before the throne!

This season of loneliness is making me aware how dependent i was on others in the past. I had tried to place an impossible burden on them of meeting my needs and desires that only my Savior can meet.

2) I’m meditating on Scripture more than I ever have in my life!

While I could sulk and throw myself a grand old pity party (obviously I would be the only one in attendance!) and dwell on how I have no friends, I’ve chosen to fill my head with God’s truth!

3a9ccc8e80c8599e2e6c63142c52bbf3

Psalm 25 has been capturing my heart’s attention, and I’ve been dwelling on the first verse. The Lord has been revealing to me how many things other than Him that I lift up my soul to, and I’m learning to lift up my soul to Him and Him only!

Beloved, I don’t know where life finds you right now. Whether you find yourself in the exact same boat, and just needed a breath of encouragement, or whether you’re surrounded by a million friends and this serves as a caution to you. Always, always, always make sure that Christ is first in your heart! It’s easier said than done.

I challenge you to seek out some alone time with the Lord to really search out your heart. There are always things that we need to hand over to our Father! Lay those down before His throne and rest in the fact that He loves you!