Saturday, December 15, 2012

He is making all things new!

I've been 22 for a crazy 13 days. In the last 13 days I've grown much closer to the Lord. I really felt like year 22 was going to be a time where I would draw much closer to Him...and being the awesome God that He is, He is proving Himself faithful again.

I was driving to work yesterday (which is where I feel like I hear God the most) and He reiterated something that He told me when I woke up that morning. "I love you, my daughter, my princess. I'm making all things new!" I don't think I could ask for any better reassurance than when it comes straight from Jesus Himself! I am able to walk around confidently, knowing that He is constantly working in me. He is making me into the woman He has destined me to be. I am excited to see the things that are in store for this year. I believe this is a year of favor. I know I said that last year and the year before, but I believe it for this year too!

My birthday weekend was filled with a lot of excitement. I was able to compete in a Crossfit competition hosted by the Charlotte Checkers. I competed in Time Warner Cable Arena, which was really cool. The competition benefitted the Wounded Warriors Project, which means a lot to me. I've always had a big heart and pride for our military (let's say this... you ever bash the military in front of me, it'll take everything in me not to punch you in the mouth).... (not that I would ever punch anyone in the mouth, it's very unlady like, but you better believe I'd want too).

Anyway, it was my gym's first appearance at a CrossFit competition (we had already done a powerlifting competition 2 months prior) and we all did much better than expected! We had a great time!

There were push presses... lots and lots of them.

There were slam balls...lots and lots of them.

There were kettlebell swings...LOTS and lots of them.

There was also rowing...but not lots and lots.

I love training with these people! I couldn't imagine training anywhere else! 

Over the next few days I was able to spend time with family, friends and co-workers. God continued to remind me that I have all of these amazing people around me. He showed me that His favor is always with me, because I have people that love me and support me. I'm so grateful! I don't deserve all of this. 

Then Saturday rolls around and I get to compete all over again. This competition was called "Sandy Sucks." It benefitted hurricane Sandy Relief. The best part was that it was a partner WOD (partner WODs are my favorite) If I had the option of choosing any partner in the entire world, I would choose this guy:

Have you ever found one of those people that you just work so well with that you wouldn't want to mess up the flow by working with someone else? Yeah, that's how I see this WOD partnership. We met by doing WODs at ECU and reunited last weekend after 9 months of no WODing together (he drove 4 hours for this)! I thought we did great! 
Oh, and just so you know, that's not a puke bucket (it definitely could have been). That bucket was full of water and we had to run with it 400 meters...twice.

100 candlestick rolls. While one partner works, the other holds a gallon of water out straight. I can't decide what I hated more. 

100 plyo lunges. While one partner works, the other holds the gallon of water in a v-sit.

100 burpees. While one does work, the other holds the gallon of water in the bottom of a squat.

Lastly we did a 400 meter bucket run. 

We survived Sandy Sucks.

23:19. A great time if I do say so myself.

Needless to say after all of that, I tweaked my knee a little and my body was going "oh hey, Sarah, let's rest for a while." So I took a week off. I'm definitely ready to go back Monday. I miss my people! 


This week has been one of those intense weeks. Work was very busy and it was easy to get distracted and focus on doing nothing when I got home. I kind of pushed Jesus to the side and didn't spend as much time with Him as I normally would. I felt drained, exhausted and heavy. Which is expected when I fail to spend time with the One who fills me up. I know Jesus has some awesome things in store for me. Things that I may not even see coming. I know He's dealing with me on a few things now: the fear of not being able to be in control, the fear of getting hurt, the fear of failure. There are some days where I hear God almost desperately saying, "Sarah, you're strong, but you're not that strong. Stop trying to figure it all out and give it to Me." Handing things over to God is way easier said than done. I truly want to give Him everything and I think He is beginning to show me how. Okay, maybe I should re-word that. God has ALWAYS been teaching me how to give everything over to Him, but I'm finally listening to what He has to say. 

In college, my favorite verse was Psalm 27:13-14:

"I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!" 

I kind of stopped dwelling on that verse because I thought it was really meant for me right around graduation, but God spoke to me about this verse the other day. "My daughter, this verse wasn't just for then. It is for now. It is for what's to come. My goodness never stops. You never get to one point and not see My goodness again. Always wait for Me. You are seeing goodness now, but I also have good things to come!" It doesn't get much more encouraging than that. 

I'm ready to see more of His goodness! Yes, this year is a year of favor. I'm God's daughter, His princess and He is making ALL things new :) 

Friday, November 23, 2012

My Favorite Things :)

A blog post two days in a row?! I'm surprising myself. I really don't know what to do with myself having 2 1/2 days off this week! 

I survived the Black Friday shopping spree and now wish to write, but have nothing to write about. SO... this post has no significance and most likely contains no inspiration at all, but that's okay- I can write about what I want's my blog :) 

I've decided to write about some of my favorite things. If you are bored and wish to stop reading because you care nothing about what my favorite things are, I will not be offended :) 


Family is definitely one of my favorite things! See picture below and you'll pretty much know why:

These are my first cousins on my dad's side. They are absolutely hysterical. Sadly, this picture pretty much explains us all perfectly. Have you ever tried getting 11 people, mostly young children, to all look at the same camera while smiling at the same time? It goes down as one of the funniest situations of the year! We are all extremely different, but we love each other and love being together. I wouldn't trade my family for the world :) 


I am a die-hard Carolina Panthers fan. Yes, I'm aware that we are a terrible football team. There's just something about being inside Bank of America Stadium that excites me. I've always been a Panthers fan and will always be one :)

But nothing compares to being inside Dowdy-Ficklen at ECU on game day. I love my Pirates and plan to be going to games until I literally can no longer climb up stadium stairs. Then I'll probably have someone carry me... WOD anyone? ;)


A little over a year ago I discovered this addicting exercise practice. I used to be 100% against it and now I hate training any other way. This picture was from a Saturday WOD we did last week, that I'm pretty sure I'm still sore from. Next Saturday my box will be making its first competition appearance (it has only been opened for about 2 1/2 months) and I'm pumped! I love training with these people! 


I swear I probably use more chalk than all of the people in my gym combined. Why? Cause my hands are pretty much the only things that sweat (gross, I know...get over it) and two: Lebron uses it, why wouldn't I? (Just kidding, not a Lebron all). 

Gerbera Daisies

Once you make a crazy "masculine" post, you have to follow it up with an extremely girly one, right?

I love pink and I love daisies...put both together and I'm a happy girl (plus, the pink will most likely be matching my outfit...duh). 


Why? Well, you should probably see my closet...


These are some friends and why I love them :)

I met these two during a fire drill my freshman year of college. They have stuck with me through thick and thin and I am so grateful for them! Most of my favorite college memories involve them in some way, shape or form. We have more inside jokes than I can count. It's sad not living with them anymore, but I am so excited to see all of the awesome things that they are going to do with their lives! 

My siblings :) I honestly don't think I've ever had a fight with either of my siblings...ever. They are my family, but more importantly, they are my friends. My sister is a ball of energy who loves to perform. She's good at whatever she does! My brother is talented in many areas, running, speaking, writing and his latest activity...Crossfit :)

Emma and I went to the same high school, but were never really friends.We have now reconnected through our church and I am so thankful for her! We think the same way and are both working towards loving Jesus more and more each day! She is such a blessing to me!

Speaking of church, I'm thankful for my egroup. We have so much fun discussing topics and growing closer to Jesus! They have really helped me in my transition between college and moving back home. I'm so thankful for them!

I wish this girl would hurry up and move back home! She keeps it real with me, which I need and am thankful for. Merrin and I also went to high school together, but were two very different people back then. We reconnected in college and she has always been there to encourage me and keep me accountable! I don't know what I would do without her!

Speaking of accountability...

These 2 meatheads keep me accountable without even knowing it. They're responsible for my Crossfit discovery and even though they're 4 hours away, I always hear them in my head telling me to go workout when I'm trying desperately just to lay on the couch and be lazy. Way to go guys, way to go. But seriously, they are two of the most strong and inspiring guys I know.

I'm grateful for this chica. She keeps me sane. I don't exactly remember how we met, but I remember one night I was chatting with her on facebook, decided I wanted frozen yogurt, so I drove to her dorm and picked her up. The rest is history! I couldn't ask for a better, more loyal friend than her. I know that she will be in my life forever. This picture is actually a surprise picture...literally. I was in the middle of my internship this summer and she drove 4 hours to my house to surprise me...only to find out that I had to be up at 4 AM the next morning to work at a triathlon. She was a trooper and went with me. She rang a cowbell and cheered on triathletes for 4 HOURS!! Now that, my friends, is the definition of true friendship! 

Last, but certainly not least, my best friend, Kendall. She's been my best friend since high school. She will probably always be my best friend. Why? Because she's awesome...that's why. She went to App State, I went to ECU, we only saw each other on breaks. But we both worked extremely hard during school and wound up both graduating a year early. I'm so proud of her and all of her accomplishments. She is one of the most genuine, loving, loyal, compassionate people you will ever meet. I am so grateful that God has given me this friendship and has allowed it to survive the distance of school and the business of life. It doesn't matter how long it's been since we've seen each other, we can always pick up right where we left off. I truly would not be who I am today without her!

If you did not receive a picture on this's nothing personal. These are the pictures I had, so these are the pictures I used.

Our Annual Bonfire

Every year we have a huge (and I mean HUGE) bonfire on the empty lot in our neighborhood. We spend the entire year building it up. We invite friends and family to join us in this epic event. It's something I look forward to every year. I love bonfires (the bigger the better) and as you can see, so does my dad. Like father like daughter :) Only a few weeks until this year's bonfire! I'm getting pretty darn excited :) 

Ballroom Dancing

I was a ballroom dancer back in the day, ya know, cause I'm so old and all. Seriously, though, I miss it like crazy. If my future husband doesn't know how to ballroom dance, he will quickly learn! :) 

Did I mention...Shoes?

I have a shoe problem. No seriously, it's bad. I have tennis shoes galore in my closet. Why? Because my tennis shoes must match my workout attire, that's why! In the fall I have an obnoxious amount of boots and in the summer I have an obnoxious amount of sandals. But one thing is for sure...all year round, it's tennis shoes. Is that weird? Probably. But I'm okay with that.

Karen Kingsbury

Karen Kingsbury is by far my favorite author! I started reading his "Life Changing Fiction" my senior year of high school. I've ever taken longer than a few days to read her books. Last summer, I read 18 of her books in 3 months. I love sappy, Jesus filled love stories and she writes them well! She is a talented writer who loves the Lord! 

Jesus Culture & Hillsong

Some of the best worship music ever written has been written by one of these two bands. I listen to them every morning on the way to work. It helps get my mind calm and focused on the day ahead and it always helps me keep my eyes on Jesus. If you haven't listened to must check them out :)


I have just recently started attending Elevation Church and I love it! These people love Jesus, plain and simple. If you haven't heard of them or if you have and haven't checked it out, I encourage you to at least check out the podcast. 


Need I explain more? I think not...

BUT.... I did make an awesome healthier deep dish cookie pie this weekend and I'm going to share it with you, because it would be wrong of me not too. All I ask is that you read these ingredients with an open mind (and don't knock it til you try it)! I stole this recipe from the Chocolate Covered Katie Blog.

  • 2 cans white beans or garbanzos (drained and rinsed) (500g total, once drained)
  • 1 cup quick oats (or certified-gf quick oats)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tbsp oil (canola, veg, or coconut)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar 
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Blend everything (except the chips) very well in a good food processor (not a blender). Mix in chips, and pour into an oiled pan (I used a 10-inch springform pan, but you can use a smaller pan if you want areally deep-dish pie.) Cook at 350F for around 35-40 minutes. Let stand at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan. (Some commenters have had success with a blender, but I did not. Try that at your own risk, and know the results will be better in a high-quality food processor such as a Cuisinart.)

It's delicious...I promise :)

Last, but certainly not least...


He has changed my life. He's the reason I live and breathe. I truly want every single little thing (whether it be working, shopping, serving, crossfitting or just breathing) to bring Him honor and praise. You can call me crazy or weird, but my desire is for my passion for Him to grow more and more each day! He found me at my worst and gave me His best. He died for me, so I will live for Him.

I could go on and on about things I love. I'm quite the rambler *gasp*! This post was really more so for my entertainment than yours. I need to try this whole relaxing thing more often! If you've read all the way to this sentence, you are a saint. You now know a lot of random things about me. Good for you! 

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Thanksgiving is always a really neat time of year for me. One of the top reasons may or may not be because I have 5 great aunts and a grandmother who can cook better than all of the iron chefs combined! (You think I'm kidding...I'm not)!

Every year at Thanksgiving I enjoy being around my entire family (when I say my entire family, I mean my ENTIRE family). This year was no different. I was sitting at one of the many tables around, beside my mom, and just looking around at everyone. I remember when it was just me, Emily and Anna (my cousins), and now there's more kids than I can count on my fingers and toes. It's crazy how quickly life goes by. I catch myself thinking, "Slow down! But wait, Hurry Up!" It's so easy to focus on things we don't have or wanting to be in a different phase of life. I am truly content with where I am, but I can't help but wonder at what's to come. For example: I was thinking earlier today, "what phase of life will I be in this time next year?" Clearly that is something I do not need to worry about at the moment. If it were, I'd be in that phase already. Jesus and I have this conversation quite often. Actually, we have it more often than I'd like to admit.

I'm a go-getter. A hard-headed, determined go-getter. I'm constantly thinking about how I can improve something or create something better (did I mention one of my top strengths in Strength Finders is Futuristic)? In many ways, that's a good thing, but when it comes to God and His timing, it's a definite struggle. I'm one of those people that can see something and make things happen. Unfortunately, that's not how it works with God. There isn't much I can do to "make things happen." Fact: you cannot manipulate God. Plain and simple, folks. Lately I've been allowing myself to get too far ahead of where God wants me to be. Today I clearly heard Him say, "Sarah, you're doing it again. Let it go. My timing. Look around at all you have to be thankful for! Everyday is Thanksgiving with me. Enjoy my presence and all that I've given you... it's all you truly need."

Jesus, forgive me of all the times I try to rush out of your covering and try to make things happen for myself. Thank you, Lord, for second chances, for a chance to continually come back to You. Thank you that I can trust You. Thank you that no matter what, You make ALL things work together for the good of those who love You. I do love you, therefore everything in my life is working together for good.

Friends, look around at all that you have to be thankful for. Even the tiniest things that you take advantage of every day. Slow down, take a breath, God has not forgotten about you. Whatever you are believing Him for, talk to Him about it and trust Him in all things!

Happy Thanksgiving!

"The Lord has done great things for us and we are glad!"-Psalm 126:3

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Who knew a little dog could teach me so much about Jesus?!

This past week has been challenging. It's been full of tears, laughter, sorrow and joy.

When I was in high school, my family got a dog for Christmas. We named him Bandit. He was a tiny papitese who was three pounds fully grown. He brought a lot of joy to our family.

Tuesday night Bandit was struck by a car and passed away. It was very unexpected and a terrible accident. Amongst all of the sadness, I encountered God in a way that I never had before.

Wednesday morning I came into work and was talking to my supervisor about the terrible accident that happened the night before. She comforted me as I was crying and let me take my time telling the story. She then went out to run errands and I was in the office alone. Another wave of tears came, but this time it was for a completely different reason. These tears had nothing to do with losing my dog- it had everything to do with the realization of how much Jesus loved me.

I grew up in church. I've walked with Jesus for 11 years, but it wasn't until Wednesday mid-morning that I began to realize how much Jesus really loves me. I know that I'll never completely understand how much- but I certainly got an idea this time.

I was thinking about Bandit. He was an inside dog. I belong to a family that it constantly on the run, which means Bandit was left at home alone a lot, chained to a chair in our kitchen. He also tended to bark... A LOT. Every time he heard a noise, knock at the door, door bell or see an animal outside- he would go absolutely ballistic. My family found it to be extremely annoying. There were other times where he would sit at your feet, look up at you and beg to come sit on your lap. This was usually because you had food that he wanted. Many times I would just ignore him because I didn't want to deal with having to keep him from getting into food he wasn't supposed to have.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks...

How I treated Bandit is a lot like how I treat Jesus. How many times do I try to chain God to a chair and tell Him I'll be back later- when it's more convenient for me to spend time with Him? It's a lot more than I'd like to admit. I can see Bandit in the back of my mind, stretching his leash as far as it will let him go, just to be near me. Many times he would come lay on the couch, but always having some part of his body touching me, just so he could touch me. I didn't have to talk to him,  it didn't matter, he was just excited to be with me. I would come home from a long day at work, after leaving him by himself for hours, but when I'd walk through that door- he would be so excited to see me.

What a beautiful picture of unconditional love.

Jesus is the exact same way. I can ignore Him, reluctantly spend time with Him because I feel guilty or not spend any time with Him at all- but He's still there. He is so excited when I want to spend time with Him and longs for me to acknowledge Him when I'm "too busy" doing something else. He even loves it when I come into His presence, not saying a word and just sit there. He just wants to be with me all of the time, no matter what I'm doing. He longs to be my best friend!

All I could hear was Jesus saying, "Sarah, don't you see? This is how I love you. You can push me under a rug, ignore me or spend time with me out of guilt, but I still love you. I still want to be with you all of the time. Yes, it hurts when you ignore Me, but it doesn't change my love for you. I still want to be your best friend." 

"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

The next verse goes on to tell us that we are friends of God. He calls us His friend...He showed us the greatest love by laying His life down for us.

Since that encounter on Wednesday morning, I've even begun to view people differently...

Thursday afternoon I had my first encounter with a trans-gender. She walked through the door and clearly she was not a natural woman. I began to talk to her and after she left, I was shocked that not one judgmental thought came to mind. All I could think about was how nice she was. She was so sincere with all of her words and she even asked if her clothes were appropriate because she didn't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.

Then I realized that if this situation would have happened just 24 hours before, I would have been so quick to jump to conclusions about this person. That's when I heard Christ say, "I love you no more or no less than I love her... when I was on the cross, you both were on my mind." I'm so tired of seeing sins being "categorized." She struggles with her identity... well, I struggle with pride. I'm pretty sure those are both sins. No sin is greater than the other. Jesus came for the sinners... He hung out with the sinners. I hope that I can show His love to whoever I come in contact with.

"For we ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." -Romans 3:23

I challenge you, before you go and make assumptions about other people, look at yourself. We all struggle with something. Jesus died so that we could be free (free doesn't mean perfect or that you won't stumble... but it does mean that we can have life in Christ, knowing that we are forgiven)!

I truly believe once we realize the love of God and what unconditional love truly looks like, we wouldn't struggle in loving other people. I have a jacked up life. Quite frankly, if I were God, I would have given up on me a long time ago. Why? Because I'm a human who has conditional love, whether I like to admit it or not. The flesh lives with conditional love, but the Spirit has unconditional love. It's a constant battle, learning to love as Christ loves. I'm so glad that He is full of grace, to take me as I am, dust me off and call me His.

Who knew that a little three pound puppy dog could teach me more about Jesus than I've experienced in 21 years.

Goodbye, Bandit. You were a great dog and I will always remember the excitement you showed every time I walked through that door. I will miss you! 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I'm changing the definition of "True Love Waits"

So I've discovered that I don't believe in "True Love Waits" like most people believe in it. In fact, I may not believe in it at all.

Now before you continue to read, there is something that you need to understand: I want you to hear my heart in this. To some, this post could sound angry and resentful, but that's not the way it's intended to sound. I want this to be encouraging. I'm in a season of life where I am not looking for a relationship- but I have many friends that are... so I wanted to share my heart and things that God has taught me over the years with them. :)

Yesterday, a friend of mine posted an article on facebook about True Love Waits rings and it really got me thinking.

I received a True Love Waits ring when I was 13. I signed the little contact and hid it away in my jewelry box so I could give it to my husband someday. Just like the lady who wrote the article I mentioned earlier.

I wore that ring faithfully for years, knowing that if I waited long enough, God would send me my prince. Why would I think otherwise- it's what I (and most girls) are taught. It's almost as if love is a fairytale... we wait for a man to sweep us off of our feet and then life magically becomes easier.

I was attending a christian conference in college and, ironically enough, my ring breaks...during a session on purity. Nice. After contemplating whether I was going to get it fixed or replace it, I decided not too.

The article got me thinking about the decision I made to not replace my ring 3 years ago...

It saddens me how many girls today go into crisis mode when there are no male prospects in site. Especially older girls. I feel like society expects every woman to grow up, go to college, meet the love of their life, graduate, get married and have kids. Then society does an awesome job at making some women feel like failures if they are over the age of 25 with no husband in site. Think about it... how many books are out about waiting for "the one," there are tons of step by step books in preparing yourself for marriage some day... it's almost as bad as the number of dieting books on the shelves.

Please understand this: I have no problem with books on relationships, or Bible studies on relationships, or singles groups (heck, I'm in one). It's important to fellowship with people who are in the same season of life with you. But when a season of singleness is something that defines you... it's unhealthy.

We are taught from such a young age that we should "wait" (mostly referring to having sex before marriage) and someday God will bless you with Mr. Right and then you can move on with all of the awesome plans God has for you.

And for the record...I'm not "waiting" because I signed some contract and told my parents that I would wait (that's religious, I don't do religion)... I'm waiting because I love Jesus and want to honor Him with my life by obeying His Word. (That's relationship...the good stuff).

Then we see some single ladies continue to wait as they continue to get older, see many of their friends marry, wondering why it's not happening for them. Some are waiting a lot longer than they thought they would have too, then become tired of waiting, some become resentful of others relationships and some even become resentful of God.

I've heard countless married women say that their biggest realization after getting married was that their husbands aren't God- they are not able to fulfill them the way Jesus can. Life continues to go on after the wedding, hardships are still present. Life doesn't all of a sudden turn into a perfect fairytale. Why? Fairytales don't exist. And that's okay! What a blessing to have a partner, your best friend, do life with you, help you and support you through every season of life. It's meant to be a blessing, but I've learned from so many people that it is by no means easy. Which is also okay!  If it's easy, it's probably not worth working for :)

I mean just think about it, how many times have we told ourselves, "if I just had this, then I would be happy," then we get whatever that thing is and are left unfulfilled and unsatisfied. What makes you think that marriage would be any different? Love and marriage is something that I see idolized almost everywhere I go- I remember my sophmore year of college calling my mom with tears running down my face, explaining to her how I would give everything up just to be loved by a man. (Thankfully, I've grown up quite a bit since then). I was so blind. Yes, I still desire relationship, love and marriage, but it is not on top of my list of things to do. It is not going to dictate my joy...because if it does, it will leave me unsatisfied and unfulfilled.

I want Jesus to be the greatest reality in my life... in my singleness and someday, in my marriage. I want Him to be my ultimate source of fulfillment- because He is the one who can fulfill.

I decided a long time ago that I'm not going to continue to wait for life to happen the way so many people think it should happen. I'm almost 22 years old, graduated from college, in a career... with no man in site.

Am I freaking out and going into panic mode? Absolutely not.

Please do not get me wrong- I greatly desire a husband and a family someday. I strongly believe marriage is a beautiful thing and that God delights in it. But I refuse to wait around letting life pass me by because it's not happening the way others say it should.

I LOVE Jesus. I want Him to have my whole heart. He knows what's best for me and all things happen in His perfect timing.

Friends, please, I beg you, do not ignore what's going on in your life right now because you're afraid of missing your Mr. Right. God is so much bigger than that!

Enjoy what He has for you right now, in this season of your life. Stop playing the waiting game. Jesus gives us a reason to be joyful in every season of life!

My prayer is that you would be fully satisfied in Christ, knowing that He knows what's best for you. I promise you that the Lord will not keep you from a good thing. He loves blessing you. He loves to see you smile and see you full of joy! But don't let your circumstances dictate your joy- there is always a reason to rejoice!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I will not forget His promises!

As I was driving down the road on my way to school yesterday, "All Things New" by Elevation Worship was playing when I felt the presence of God enter my car. I had been struggling with what to think about the sudden change that was coming at the end of this semester. I heard the Lord say to me, "My daughter, I am working on your behalf." I immediately felt peace, knowing that He would hold true to this promise!

Over the last few weeks I have been having "mini anxiety attacks." I've only had one major bout of anxiety that was quickly dealt with. Anxiety is something that I have never struggled with, so it was a little difficult to pinpoint at first. I thought it was the Holy Spirit strongly convicting me of something, but I couldn't figure out what I was doing that was wrong. After speaking to a few of my wonderful friends, I discovered the anxiety.
My lovely friend, Victoria, gave me such an encouraging Word from God! She was basically explaining to me that I was entering a new season in life. That is exciting to know, but at the same time it's tough. Transition and change is hard!
In just a few weeks, I will be experiencing change like never before. For the first time I will not have to attend class everyday, complete assignments or present projects. I will be working 40 hours a week for the first time in my entire life. It's exciting, because I will be doing what I love and what I am passionate about, but at the same time I'm leaving a life that I have gotten comfortable with over the last 3 years. I will be living back at home with my family (which I am so excited about), but will be leaving 3 great roommates... 2 of which have been with me since my freshman year of college.
It's almost like I'll be learning to live again. I believe the anxiety was coming from the unknown. Not knowing what friendships I will develop, where I will make my gym home or what I will do after my internship. I believe the scariest part is not knowing where I will go or what I will do once my internship is completed in the summer.
A lot of things are happening in my life right now. Some joyful, some not so joyful, some confusing and some fun. It's a bitter sweet feeling as I enter into the last part of this semester.

All I know and hold onto is the promise that was made to me yesterday morning driving down the road. The Lord is working on my behalf! All I have to do is trust Him and He will provide the way for me. A way that is far more perfect than I could ever imagine!

My dear friends, I challenge you to trust in the Lord! He is working on your behalf!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ten Days Miami Part 1

A little over a month ago, I was presented with the opportunity to go on a missions trip with Ten Days Missions in Miami, Florida. I was hesitant to go at first, but am so glad that I did. I am sitting here in Miami writing this blog and have plenty of fun stories and pictures to share. I actually have so many that I will have to make this into a two or three part blog, but I will try my best to keep it at two.

My roommate, Brittany, also raised support to go on the trip. We were both so excited about our first plane ride ever! The first phase was packing, and packing we did. I've always been a bad over-packer and the fact that I was getting on an airplane didn't stop this horrible habit. I got two free checked backs, a carry on and a personal bag and you better believe I got my money's worth haha! Here is a picture of mine and Brittany's bags (believe it or not, we were only packing for 6 days).

Also notice the lovely bows we made just for our suit cases :)

Evangelism is not necessarily my strength. I am more of a relational, being Jesus to people every day type person. Walking up to some random person and starting a conversation about God is extremely difficult for me. I know that sounds funny, because I have an outgoing personality, but it is true. I struggle with this area.

The team was here to help with a church plant that is going on in Miami near Florida International University. Miami is one of the most unchurched places in America. The pastors here are heavily burdened for the people of Miami. While we were on campus, we handed out fliers and got student's information to plug them into a church.

This week a team of 27 students and leaders from UNC, ECU and Texas State is doing outreach on the campuses of Florida International University and The University of Miami. We were using "The God Test" as our evangelism tool. This test is designed as a conversation piece about God, asking challenging questions and making the person think about what exactly it is that they believe. The first question simply asks, "Do you believe in God?" Their answer dictates what the questions will be after that. I have done The God Test before, and had never encountered an unbeliever until yesterday. I went up to this guy and asked him if he had a few minutes to talk (mind you, I was with another guy... so it wasn't weird haha) he put his notebook down and said yes. I explained to him about the God Test and then asked the first question, "Do you believe in God?" He looked at me and replied, "No." My heart sunk and then a little bit of panic came in because I was scared I would mess up. I continued on asking the questions and he gave good answers, but they still didn't make much sense, to me at least. We had a good conversation and he was very open about what he thought. He was not interested in becoming a christian, but thanked me for the way I presented the gospel because I was the first person that he had ever talked to that did not preach at him. It was good to know that he saw me as a person that was genuinely interested in what he believed instead of preaching at him. I want people to see my differently, I'm not here to condemn you or make you feel like the scum of the earth. I know that because of our conversation, he is processing all that he thinks he believes and I hope and pray that he will come to know Christ one day.

I had the chance to talk to other believers and listen to their views on God. I heard some great answers that lined up with the Bible and I heard some questionable answers that didn't necessarily line up with the Bible 100%. It was neat to be able to discuss the Gospel with them and really encourage each other to stand strong in faith and believe God to impact the campus.

In the afternoons, we brought out cornhole boards and a football and hung out in popular areas of campus. We invited students to come and hang out with us. It was a great time hanging out, getting to know people and to relax from our busy day.

Hanging out at Florida International University

Having fun relaxing with the team!
There was a lot of art work that made for fun pictures!

Both campuses were beautiful! If I didn't have to consider out of state tuition and I didn't love ECU so much, I would definitely have considered going to The University of Miami! 
This is outside on the patio beside the food court at the University of Miami
The campus was breath taking and the weather was amazing!
This was a nice, peaceful patio directly outside of the law school
There was a pretty fountain right beside tables and covered swings so that students could study outside
I saw these plants outside of the Theatre Arts building and thought that they were really cool! I'm wanting some in my yard one day!
We had a great time hanging out with students and playing cornhole at Florida International University of Monday and Wednesday
FIU also had a beautiful campus with lots of places to talk with students

As you can see, Miami is a beautiful place! What would make it better is to have the campus sold out to Christ. My desire is that the people of Miami would encounter God like never before and that it would grow to be one of the fastest growing Christian cities in the world! I believe that God wants and will do awesome things in the city of Miami, especially on the college campus.

I will update more soon on other people that I had the chance to talk to and share more pictures of the team! 

Continue to pray as we wrap up our trip here. Tomorrow is our last full day and then we all fly back to our homes on Friday morning. I will miss Miami, but am certainly looking forward to getting back to Greenville for the completion of my senior year. I can't believe that there are only a few weeks left until all of this is over! God has taught me so much over these last 3 years and I am looking forward to Him putting His finishing touches on me for this season of my life! 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Let's see... last semester, cap and gown, missions trip, lots of pictures and Crossfit. I think that covers everything...

This is seriously the first time I have had to sit down, breathe and write a blog! I don't even know where to start.

I am in the final process of getting my internship secured. I want so badly to tell you where it's going to be, but I just can't yet. Bummer. I am not saying a word until my contract is officially signed (which will hopefully happen in the next week or two). I can tell you, though, that this internship will allow me to move back home! This year I have been fighting a lot of homesickness, which is funny because I didn't really have much of that my freshman year. Here I am a senior about to go crazy because I want to go home so bad! I guess that says a lot about your family if you're dying to move back home with them, right? I'm one blessed lady, that's for sure!

I wanted to do something a little different this semester since it's my final semester here at ECU. I'm not the greatest at taking pictures, so I decided to take a picture every single day until graduation. I think this is a great way to look back and remember all of the fun times once this whole college thing is finished. Here's a few pictures that I've taken since the semester has started:
When I first got back from Christmas break, Beauty in the Beast was re-released into theatres since 1991 (I was one years old) but this time it was in 3D! So of course I had to see it! My friends Megan and Meredith joined me because they were Disney junkies too! 
These two fellas entertain me during personal finance class. I have known Zack and Bryan for a while now, we both attend the same church and campus ministry. They make learning about money fun. 
Polar Bear Plunge 2012! I love Bianca to death! I'm so glad that she decided to jump with me. The water was a little colder than last year, but hey, if you jump you get a free t-shirt! I'll do just about anything for a free t-shirt. Why? I have no idea. Oh well, one more thing checked off the bucket list!
Dr. Jen from TLC's The Little Couple came and spoke at ECU. She was a very inspiring speaker who really proves that if you dream big, you can accomplish anything! 
I was able to go home a few weeks ago to get some things for my internship worked out and was able to have not one, but two handsome dates! This is my daddy and my little brother and I love them so much! Let's just say my Prince Charming has a whole lot to live up too!
This is one of mine and my roommates favorite things to do! Frozen yogurt makes the world go round in our apartment some weeks. Last night we were able to go out and catch up with our friend, Megan, who I hadn't seen in a while! We were also celebrating Brittany's first clinical working in the NICU. She absolutely loved it! I hope that a door opens for her to work in a NICU once she gets out of school! 
In just a few weeks, I am going on my first missions trip since I was 12 years old. I wanted to take a Ten Days missions trip before I graduated college and this is my chance! I will be traveling with a group of about 20 people to Miami, Florida so help with a church plant and to spread the Gospel on a few college campuses. I am looking forward to seeing all that the Lord is going to do there! Not to mention, this will be my first plane ride! I have been wanting to fly for sometime now, so I am excited that I am finally getting the chance! This will also be my roommate, Brittany's, first missions trip and her first time on a plane! I am excited about the experience she will have and am looking forward to seeing God move in her life in a powerful way!
Yesterday was a big day. I walked into the student store on ECU's campus, signed my name on the "Class of 2012" banner and picked up my cap and gown. It's funny all of the emotions that hit you when you finally have it in your hands. It was a bitter sweet moment and honestly, I was tearing up. As badly as I want to graduate and move on with life, there is a little part of me that wants to stay here forever. I go to the greatest school in the world. I will never forget the memories of my time here. My heart will always be purple and gold! :) 
Since I had success with my boot camp in my hometown, I decided to bring it to ECU! I have been running a lady's boot camp on Saturday mornings and we have been having a blast! These ladies come and work extremely hard and I am proud of them!

Speaking of being proud...
This is my beautiful mother standing outside of Crossfit Indian Trail. That's right, my mom started Crossfit. What does this mean? Well, it means my mom is tougher than your mom. Duh! No, but seriously, I'm extremely excited her for and hope that she continues to enjoy it!

Speaking of Crossfit....

I was in my first "Crossfit Gym Challenge" which is basically a local competition for any crossfitters in the area. I thought it would be a neat experience to go out and see what a competition is really like. 2 words: HARD CORE. It was that hardest yet most fun thing I have ever done! 

Oh, you better believe there are pictures...

(photo credit: Crossfit Tier 1)
This is my deadlifting more weight than I have ever deadlifted before. yay! 135 for 6 reps. I'll take it. Am I glad it's over? Yes. Am I ready to do it again? Yes!

Bar Facing Burpees. Such torturous fun!

Wall climbs? Sure, why not?!

(photo credit: Crossfit Tier 1)
This is everyone who was involved in the competition. They are some seriously strong people! Not only that, but they were all so welcoming. That's one thing that I love about Crossfit: I have yet to meet a jerk. Everyone is so nice and supportive. They will go out of their way to help you learn. It was awesome watching them compete and know that I will be able to get there one day! My goal is to do a gym challenge this time next year and be able to do prescribed weight! 
Garrett and I after the competition. He is the head of ECU Crossfit and possibly the toughest guy I know haha! I wish we could have had more people from ECU Crossfit there, but they weren't able to make it! Hopefully next year there will be a big group- I will certainly drive down to see it! 

I posted about my thoughts on Crossfit a few weeks ago. I believe I was talking about how I was checking it out and wasn't too sure about it yet. Well, let's just say I'm absolutely convinced that it is legit. Every training program has it's flaws and Crossfit certainly comes with them, but I'm not going to sit here and tell anyone not to do it. If there is any ounce of you that wants to try it- go do it! 

Although all of this fitness stuff is fun and can truly become addicting, there is one thing that I try to keep my mind focused on... this body is temporary. Yes, it is the temple of the Lord and needs to be honored and taken care of, but it is more important that my spiritual muscles are trained!
"Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come." 1 Timothy 4:8

Here's a challenge (for you and me both), make physical training an act of worship to God. He is the one that gave you your health and ability to train and you know what? He can take it away. I'm not saying that He is manipulative and will take it away if you do not honor Him. What I'm trying to say is we should show God that we are thankful by doing everything for His glory. This life is not about me. I have to remind myself of that every single day. I'm human, therefore I'm extremely selfish.

God, this life belongs to you. I want to honor you in every single way that I can. In the classroom, in the gym, at home and everywhere else I go throughout the day, let it be worship to You!