Sunday, December 26, 2010

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas, oh wait, I got one.

So I hate to sound like scrooge, but there are very few things that I dislike more than playing in snow. I like snow, it's pretty, from inside. Today I did brave it for about 45 minutes with some of my family, but with me being allergic to the cold and all (haha), I decided to call it a day and go inside. I did get some great pictures and will post them!

I have really been feeling the Holy Spirit moving in my life over this Christmas break, more so than I have in the last few weeks. I believe one of the things that He was trying to teach me today was the beauty of simplicity. I am a very simple person, but sometimes I take advantage of the extremely simple things. I am one of those people that likes to be on the run constantly. Sitting on the couch doing nothing is an extreme rarity in my life. All day today I sat on the couch with my daddy and brother and watched football all day long. There was not a minute that I wanted to get up and do something else. I just wanted to be there...with them. I was amazed at how blessed I felt sitting on my couch, not saying a word to anyone, but just being there with them, watching the game. I believe sometimes I get so caught up in the things that really do not matter in life and I miss the small important things that I will remember and cherish forever. Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with a family that I do not deserve!!
Christmas was wonderful! Now that everyone is getting older in my house hold, it was nice to sleep in a little on Christmas morning. I woke up about 7 and started to get a little concerned because my little sister, who is 8, had not barged into my room waking me up to open gifts. Finally she came in about 8. She was so excited, so my brother and I got up and went downstairs to meet our parents and memom. We opened gifts and just enjoyed the beautiful Christmas morning! I opened up a BEAUTIFUL ring that my parents bought me instead of a traditional class ring, which I will also post a picture of! This is the last holiday of things being "normal." Emily will be a Bullock next year and I am very excited about that! It was also our first Christmas with the newest grandchild, baby Stella. She is absolutely precious and we are blessed to have her as a beautiful addition to our family!!
I love my mommy :)

the more kids, the better! I am blessed with a big family!

Now that Christmas has passed there are some other important things to look forward too. I'm sure you're thinking, of course...New Years, but my friend, you are WRONG. Thursday, December 29 2010. 2:30 PM ESPN. ECU vs Maryland. That's right...we're going BOWLING. (No, not that kind of bowling). Military Bowl in Washington, DC!! I would love to be at the game, but am unable to attend this year, so I will be throwing a party and rooting for my boys at home. I would love to ECU return to Greenville with a win! They've fought hard and had a crazy season and I am looking forward to watching the big game on Thursday. :) GO PIRATES!!!!
This is right before we beat NC State earlier this season!
Me and my favorite Pirate! I'll be rooting for my brother in Christ, Daniel, on the field Thursday!!

New Years is the next big thing! I am looking forward to seeing what God has in store for me in 2011. It is an extremely big year for me. I'm very nervous but excited to see how much growth God has in store for me. I plan to graduate in December of 2011. Crazy to think that this time next year I could be a college graduate, then it's hopefully continuing my education then I have to be an official big girl in the real world time. Scary stuff! All I have ever known is being a student. Thankfully, I serve an awesome God who has EVERYTHING under control. He is already in my future and knows exactly what's going to happen!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Voice of Reason

By special request of my wonderful roommate, Brittany, ( I am updating my blog! I really did mean to do this sooner, but with exams and all college hectic-ness, it just gets a bit difficult!
There are a few good things that have happened over the last week or so. First off, exams went great and my GPA is now up higher than it has ever been in college! I'm looking forward to the coming semester and am really crossing my fingers to graduate in December. I am overwhelmed at the blessings and favor that God has shown me through my college career. There are many days where I look back and cannot explain to you how half of the things that have happened to me over the last year or so have happened. All I can say is that God's hand has been through every single thing. He has walked with me, dragged me and carried me- thank You, Lord, for NEVER leaving me. I am not the same person today that I was at the beginning of the semester, just 4 short months ago. The Lord is constantly changing and teaching me. A lot of the time, it's not easy, but my goodness it is worth it!
The second awesome thing that has happened: I went lifting with my cousin two days ago and got calibrated again. Calibers are body fat measuring tools. My body fat percentage went down over two percent! I was jumping up and down with the nurse in her office (the gym I was visiting has a nurse on site at all times). She started jumping up and down with me and laughing. I think I may have been a tad bit excited, but was happy to see the nurse joining in with me on the jumping!

Lately I haven't necessarily "felt" God moving in my life, but I have been thinking more and more about something that He taught me this last year. He basically started moving on my heart and teaching me to not manipulate Him into what I wanted Him to do. A very difficult lesson to be learned. I think sometimes my over-planning and controlling nature ties His hands with what He truly wants to do in my life. I've probably blogged about this before, but it's been a big lesson I've learned and I think a lot of other people need to learn it as well. I love having a plan and sticking to it. God and I have gotten in many wrestling matches over this and He has won every time, either the easy way or the hard way. God will have His way no matter what. I look back and think about the plans I had coming right out of high school. My plan was:
-start my college career off the a 4.0 (that was with math and chemistry in the same semester)
-get into nursing school
-become a nurse practitioner
-find the love of my life in the first year of college
I would like you to know that NONE of those things happened. This is what happened:
-I got on academic probation my first semester in college due to math and chemistry in the same semester
-I ended up giving up on nursing school before I even got there
-I changed my major...twice.
-no love of my life yet, but I"ve stopped looking. He will come when the time is right, but I did find some awesome roommates!

The plans that I had originally were great plans. I always strive for the very best, but sometimes what I think my very best SHOULD be, is not what God's very best is FOR me. I look at how my "plans" actually turned out. Yes, a lot of not so good things happened. I had to spend 5 hours every single day in the library for an entire semester to get myself off academic probation, I changed my major twice and felt like giving up. God was with me through it all. Now He has brought me into a field that I am passionate about. My GPA is high enough to get into grad school and continue my education. He has blessed with my roommates who challenge me and support me. I could not have come up with any other better plan than the one God had for me all along. My prayer today is now that God would continue to change my heart to submit to His will and stop trying to follow my own. It is a daily battle between me and God. I constantly am having to die to myself so that He can live in and through me. Thank You, Lord, for being a God of grace. He understands my heart. He gave me my heart and the desire for greatness, but it can only be "greatness" if it is the greatness that God has picked out just for me!
I read a devotional called "Breaking Free: Day by Day," written by Beth Moore (in my opinion, the best of the best). She wrote:

"To the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power and authority before all time, now and forever" -Jude 25

"My motivation for Bible study and prayer could be all about me, if I let it:
'Fix my circumstances, Lord.'
'Use my powerfully, Lord.'
'Direct me today'
'Make a way for me'
'Make me successful, Lord'
If my motivation for relating to God is what He can do for me, then a lust for His power may grow, but a yearning for His presence will not. God deeply desires to hear our petitions, but His greatest joy is to hear them flow from the mouths of those who want Him more than anything else He could give."

That short little devotional really spoke to me. "Lord, I just want to be in Your presence and know You better. Forgive me of constantly trying to manipulate You with my plans. Your will, not mine!"

In other happenings:
It's finally Christmas break! Exams were survived and no one in my apartment went crazy! Two of my wonderful roommates came and visited me for a few days! We did a lot of shopping and visited the Billy Graham Library. If you live in the Charlotte area, I recommend going! It's completely free! The house where Billy Graham grew up in is on site and it can be toured. Then there's a HUGE library where his entire book collections are. The tour is, I would say, close to two hours and it is about his life and ministry. I learned a lot of things that I did not know about him. I'll post a few pictures from the outing!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Farley and Me

Yes, Farley and Me. As I have mentioned before, my roommates have a cat named Stella. For those of you who don't know, I'm allergic to cats. I can't stand cats. I think they're horrible. I'd rather bite my own hand off than pet one. Thankfully, a cute little chocolate lab named Farley came to save the day. Lauren and Brittany visited a local animal shelter yesterday and met the cute little guy, so Lauren decided to adopt him. Meaning....THE CAT IS GONE!! PRAISE THE LORD THE CAT IS MOVING OUT!!!! I will gladly take the dog over the cat any day! I'll post a picture of the cute little guy.

This semester has absolutely flown by. I received news that I will be graduating next December and I couldn't be more excited! God is certainly teaching me a lot on this journey. Lately He has really been teaching me to be content. I think that it's been quite a while since I have felt "true contentment." I experienced it for the first time this weekend. This last week I had a birthday and turned 20. I don't feel any older, but I feel contentment. I'm extremely content with my life right now. I have an amazing school that I truly love, a supporting family and God-sent friends. I've never felt so blessed. God is teaching me that instead of reaching for the next best thing, to truly sit in His presence and be content with all that He has for me right now. :)

I am very happy to announce that my beautiful cousin and dear friend is getting MARRIED!! Her wonderful new fiance' Tim proposed to her at the Biltmore Estate on Monday. They are a precious couple and cannot wait to witness their beautiful marriage! I am honored to be in her wedding as a bridesmaid. It's getting weird growing up with everyone getting married. I remember when Emily and I were little (we were inseparable), we would always talk about our weddings and what our husbands would be like. Now those fantasies are becoming a reality. She found a wonderful prince charming! She deserves the very best and I am very happy to be able to watch them grow as a couple for the rest of their lives! Congratulations to Tim and Emily!

It's finals week here at ECU and I am looking forward to Christmas break to begin! I want so badly to be home with my family and enjoy their company for a few weeks! I'm looking forward to being at home with the greatest friends that God has given me. There's nothing better than celebrating my sweet Savior with a family who is falling more in love with Him every single day!