the chase

The God of the universe looks at us with so much love — He never stops chasing after us. His love is radical and beautiful. And sometimes that’s really tough for us to understand. It honestly doesn’t make any sense. It’s backwards if you think about it — we give Jesus every single reason to stop chasing after us, but He never stops.

God called Jonah to go and be a servant for His kingdom in Nineveh. The people in Nineveh were deep in sin and they needed someone to share the love of the Lord with them. Jonah completely disobeyed and ran the opposite direction to jump on a boat that would take him across the sea. The Lord then sent a great wind and storm on the sea, and a violent storm arose that threatened to break up the boat. The story goes on to tell us that Jonah ended up off the boat and into the raging sea and instead of dying, he ended up in the belly of a giant fish (because God was going to use Jonah in a big way). God uses the fish to bring Jonah back to dry land in order to fulfill God’s purpose for him. Jonah’s rebellion could not overturn the sovereign grace of God; the Lord used Jonah to accomplish His saving purposes in spite of Jonah’s efforts to do otherwise.

The story of Jonah is a perfect example of the truth that our God is a sovereign creator. We are shown that God’s will and plan are perfect and He is ultimately over all.

I imagine that every time we try to run from God, He patiently asks, “Daughter, stop running. You are chosen. You are loved. And you have been created for a specific purpose for me and the Kingdom. Stop running!”

The God of the universe chases after us fervently, even when we are running in the other direction. We need to be running after Him, and sometimes we forget that. When we resist the responsibility to Him, whether out of fear, worry, or pride, we fall into the same trap that Jonah did. Maybe it won’t be a giant fish for us, but we can fall into life-changing calamity nonetheless. But when we are faithful to obey the Lord in this way and not run away from His radical plan for our lives, we experience the wonderful blessing of being used by Him to further His kingdom.

We serve the most incredible God — a beautiful, powerful, mighty, compassionate, forgiving, empowering God. And He desires relationship with us. We are never far from Him. How comforting is that?

Our Worries, His Love

On a rainy Tuesday morning, some of my very best friends and I were discussing the highs and lows of 2015. Chatting over sweet lattes and bagels, we talked about the good times and the not-so good times of the year. We laughed about the silly things we did and laughed harder at the super dumb things we did. We talked about our successes and our struggles. We bonded over the fact that we all struggle with worry.

For some of us, worry is not just one thing – it’s a lot of different things. Worry about the future, grades, family, friends, boys, money, classes, time, health, etc. The list could go on and on. I worry about all of those things plus really dumb things like losing my keys, getting stuck in traffic when I’m late, the printer not working, and even not being able to find parking.

Sometimes, the worrying possibilities seem endless. But we serve a God who is BIGGER than our endless worry.

The God we serve loves us too much for us to stress over unimportant things– He does not want us to spend any of our time worrying! He wants to carry that for us. 1 Peter 5:7 says,

Cast all your burdens on Him, because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

Another version says, You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon Him, for YOU are HIS personal concern. (I love the wording of that. We are God’s personal concern.)

Another Version says, Live carefree before our God; He is more careful with you.

He wants to take our worries, our cares, our burdens, and our anxieties. He want us to give them to Him so He can hold them for us – it is not our load to bear. And it’s not just that our burdens will be carried by another human being – it is that He, the creator of the universe, will carry these loads. Loads that may feel so heavy to us, but feel ever so light to Him.

He who is before all things.

He who is above all things.

He who created all things.

He who is our Savior.

He who knows and loves us.

He who came for us.

He who died for us.

He who rose for us.

He who intercedes for us.

He who will one day come again for us.

He will personally carry all our worries. 

Why do we carry the heavy weight of worry when Jesus will do it for us? Why would we cling to our problems when our savior, the Lord of heaven and earth will do it for us? In 2015, I spent too much time worrying; I don’t want 2016 to look the same.

I am going to try and not worry about tomorrow because God is already there. He goes before us. I am going to try and remember that God promises to be with us no matter what happens tomorrow. I am going to try and live without fear because God has me on His heart at this moment. And he will not forget me – and he will not forget you either. I know that it won’t always be easy, but remembering all of this helps to make the decision everyday to trust in Jesus and His plan.

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you.
Psalm 55:22

Christ will sustain us – all we have to do is trust Him.

2016, I’m ready for you! I’m ready to fill your days with wonderful moments filled with peace, knowing that my Father in heaven will carry my burdens and holds my future.

spring rain

Happy Happy Happy Spring day!! It’s spring break!! WOOOOOOOO! In Edmond, OK it is currently 57 degrees and raining. This qualifies as my all time favorite weather. Spring rain goes on my list of my most favorite things. I think it’s because it’s so peaceful, calming, and sweet. And I can still wear my Chaco’s, so that rocks too!! I think (JUST) spring rain is my favorite because it’s followed by sunshine and flowers. Sunshine and Flowers are also two of my favorite things too. Spring is my favorite season if you haven’t gathered yet.

There is one part about spring that makes it something that is not my favorite things, Tornadoes. I’d like to pretend that I’m a normal Oklahoman who could sit outside and watch tornadoes go by. But, I can’t. They freak me out. They always have, and I’m pretty sure they always will. I can remember the very first time I had an encounter with a tornado or a “super scary scary storm.” I was in first grade, and it was close to the end of April. I was sitting in Señora Hite’s Spanish class. Shortly after class started, the principal came in and told my teacher we needed to go into our “spots” for tornado that was headed towards Edmond. Luckily, we were in a classroom that was used as a tornado shelter so, my class did not have to move. A couple of other classes walked in a we all sat around and waited for more news. Most of my classmates sat and colored. I was not. I was freaking out. I remember getting in trouble for pacing the room. Little 6-year-old me, literally freaking out. I don’t remember why someone in the hallway decided to use the vacuum cleaner but, someone did and you can probably guess what happened next. I flipped out. I was convinced that the vacuum going off in the hallway was the tornado. (who vacuums during a tornado anyway….. it wasn’t funny to me. it’s kinda funny now..) That may have sparked my fear of tornadoes. LOL. But whatever did, I’m always going to be uneasy when it comes to tornadoes. I’ve gotten to now appreciate a good thunderstorm, I just haven’t crossed the bridge into loving tornadoes yet but maybe one day!!!

There are times in life that we are going to walk through storms, and it comes down to a choice. Are we going to have a Zoe 6-year-old freak out? Or are we going to trust that Jesus has a plan to see us through our tough time? I’m gonna go with the later of the two. Just because we are followers of Christ doesn’t mean we aren’t going to walk through storms, We just don’t have to walk through the storms of life by ourselves!!!! How cool is that?? That the Creator of the universe wants to walk through our trials WITH us!!!! God uses trials and storms to teach us!! Most of the time, we don’t understand why the Lord is letting us walk through such tough times. We just have to trust that there is a reason for these situations!!!! I can’t describe a better feelings than having pure uncertainty about a situation and then seeing the Lord’s divine hand in it. I couldn’t tell at the time, but SEEING His work and His love in my situation gave me indescribable peace. God is SO good!!! It’s so funny to look back and see things that I thought I wanted, and now knowing that God had something so much more incredible than anything I could imagine. We don’t always know what He’s doing and why He let’s scary storms happen in our lives, BUT we know who HE is!!!! Ephesians 3:20 talks about how God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think!!!  When God fills our hearts and our minds, we are unstoppable. In Romans 8:28-29, Paul talks to the Romans about how we know that for those who LOVE God, that all things work together for good!!!! It doesn’t mean we get a, “Super scary Storm” pass!!! We just get an understanding of knowing that God’s plan is going to work out because we TRUST Him!!!

When it storms, don’t forget what’s to come!!! The super super pretty flowers of spring!!! My memory verse for the week is Lamentations 3:22-23 which says, “The steadfast Love of the Lord NEVER ceases!! His mercies NEVER come to an end!! They are new EVERY morning!! GREAT is your faithfulness!!!” God’s mercies and His love NEVER end!!! They are NEW every morning!! How precious is that!!! E V E R Y morning they are new!! That reminds me a lot of spring rain, it brings newness with it!! No matter the storm, I’m thankful I don’t have to walk in it alone!!! I’m also thankful for flowers, flowers rock.

strive to have faith like Jacob

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, this whole college thing is weird. It’s this time when you move to a new place, go to a new school, meet new friends, and basically live for the next 4 years of your life. It’s a time where everyone is on their own level and traveling their own paths. There are people who know exactly what they are going to do, who they are going to do it with, and where they are going to do it. If you are one of those people, you are B L E S S E D. Because there are the rest of us who don’t know what in the world the future has in store. At some point in all of our lives, we will face uncertainty. That’s exactly where I feel like I’m at, a place of total uncertainty. We also will face times in our life when we are discouraged because our future seems so uncertain and unclear. Life may be falling apart as a result of our own wrong decisions or through no fault of our own, just as a result of living in a fallen world. Doubt, discouragement, and uncertainty can really affect us. BUT, it doesn’t end there.

When I think about uncertainty I think about the story of Jacob. In Genesis, Jacob was facing a very uncertain future. He was far from home and could not be sure of ever coming back.😦 He had no assurance of finding a wife, a job, a home to stay in, or even having his basic needs met.😦 He was seemingly all alone in a scary world with no guarantee that he would not be hunted down and killed by his brother Esau or that he would end up dying in the wilderness. HE DIDN’T KNOW WHAT HIS FUTURE HELD. During this time of uncertainty for Jacob, he had a dream from God. In this dream, long story short, he knew he was not alone in this journey. He found comfort in knowing he was not going to walk through his uncertainty alone. Jacob could have freaked out and not had faith in God but, Jacob trusted Him! The Lord and the angels were present and with him, they never left his side. WOO JUST LIKE GOD IS FOR US. Now, God might not come to us in a super cool dream with a staircase and angles, but He show us His promises through His word. When we are facing hard or uncertain times we can just read God’s word and let the Holy Spirit remind us of what God has promised. We can pace back and forth, worry, and focus on the problem or we could be strengthened by focusing on the promises of God!!! How cool is that?? That even though we walk through super hard times and times where we don’t know what is going to happen, we know that the Lord will never leave our side and all we have to do is just look and see a whole book of faithful promises.

We can have peace in the midst of uncertainties because we have the assurance that our heavenly Father loves us and cares for our needs, Matthew 6:25-26 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” God cares for us. We can also bring all our concerns to Him, trusting Him to meet our needs and give us peace.  Philippians 4:6-7 says, “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,” writes the apostle Paul, “will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” To say the peace of God surpasses all understanding basically says that we can’t explain it, but we can experience it as He guards our hearts and minds. Our peace comes from the confidence that the Lord loves us and He is in control. He alone provides the comfort that settles our nerves, fills our minds with hope, and allows us to relax even in the midst of changes and challenges (a.k.a right now).

In life, we are going to walk through some major challenges. When Jacob walked through His uncertainty, he was reminded that he’s not alone in His journey. God never left Jacob’s side and He will never leave ours. God shows us that He won’t leave us through the promises of His word. Those promises give us the peace that our soul craves during those hard times. And even though there are times in life where I am going to walk through uncertainty, I know for certain I am not alone. God’s plans are always way better than mine, and trusting in that is key to making it through this whole, “Uncertainty” point. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” It’s really comforting to know that The Lord has our back and all we have to do is have faith like Jacob did.


Today has me thinking. It’s January 15, 2015 and it’s 61 degrees outside. WOW does Jesus know exactly what we need? This sunshine and warmer weather is exactly what I needed today. Today also has me thinking about my word for the year. Every year for the past couple of years I have chosen a word to help me throughout the year and it’s been truly a blessing. Last year’s word was Rest. Last year was the year of so much change; and I knew I needed to REST in the arms of my Savior. 2014 was such a big year, graduating High school and closing out my time at OCS and then beginning my adventure at OSU. Resting was exactly what I needed to do. I usually pick a verse but, last year I had to pick two verses because I couldn’t pick just one. I chose Matthew 11:28 and Exodus 14:14. Matthew 11:28 is “Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you Rest.” Exodus 14:14 is “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” These verses and the word “rest” gave me so much needed encouragement last year. Thankful that the Lord always knows exactly what we need before we even knew it.

This year I chose the word growth. I chose growth for a few reasons. Learning to grow exactly where I’m planted is something that is hard sometimes to grasp. It’s so easy in the world we live in, to compare our stories to other people’s stories. Everyone’s walks are different, everyone has a different plan and learning how to grow exactly where I’m planted is so important. Growth also sometimes means change and change sometimes involves risks, but the most beautiful part about that it that we don’t have to do it alone. The Bible is so comforting and clear about this topic. In Joshua 1:5, God is talking to Joshua. God tells him, “I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you.” How comforting is it that we serve a God who isn’t going to leave our side, no matter what. We serve a God who wants to walk with us through all of our trials. That’s amazing. I know that every year is filled with highs and filled with lows but I’m excited. I heard a quote this past week and it said, “Let your roots GROW down into Him and let your lives be built on Him.” Growing deeper roots in the Lord is also something I’m striving for this year. Spending more time with Him and making it valuable time. That quote goes right along with Colossians 2:7, which says, “Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” YAY for growth.

(I love quotes incase you didn’t previously know this) Here’s a super long quote that I absolutely adore: “Some periods of our growth are so confusing that we don’t even recognize that growth is happening. We may feel hostile or angry or weepy and hysterical, or we may feel depressed. It would never occur to us, unless we stumbled on a book or a person who explained to us that we were in fact in the process of change, of actually becoming larger, spiritually, than we were before. Whenever we grow, we tend to feel it, as a young seed must feel the weight and inertia of the earth as it seeks to break out of its shell on its way to becoming a plant. Often the feeling is anything but pleasant. But what is most unpleasant is the not knowing what is happening. Those long periods when something inside ourselves seems to be waiting, holding its breath, unsure about what the next step should be, eventually become the periods we wait for, for it is in those periods that we realize that we are being prepared for the next phase of our life and that, in all probability, a new level of the personality is about to be revealed.” WOW, I know that growth is never going to be easy, but it’s comforting that every time there is growth its for a specific reason only to GROW us.

2015, I’m pumped for everything you are going to throw my way because we serve a God who isn’t going to leave our side, and a God who helps us and wants us to grow in Him. I’m thankful for a day like today filled with beautiful weather, wonderful friends, and coffee.

15 things I learned my first semester of college

Cue the Christmas movie marathons, endless cups of coffee, sweaters, snuggling, and maybe some snow because it’s CHRISTMAS BREAK. WOO. I absolutely can’t believe I am one semester in to my college career. I remember move in day like it was yesterday. This semester has FLOWN by. I have learned so much not only just in class, but about life too. Some people say, “you do a whole lot more growing up in the first 4 months of college than you do in 4 years of high school…” and I couldn’t agree more with that. This entire semester of college has been filled with sweet sweet memories that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I am truly blessed to be attending Oklahoma State University. If you asked me to make a list of everything I’ve learned this semester it’d take a really really really long time. But, I’ll share 15. So, here’s a list of 15 things I’ve learned my first semester of college:

  1. I’ve learned that random-potluck roommates can become your very best friends. I met my roomie through a potluck type of way, and I couldn’t be more grateful. From our mutual obsession with sour-gummy worms, Frozen, Christmas, Ed Sherran, fish (rip flippy), Chili’s, and Aspen. I am thankful for super late night delusional conversations, random trips to the store to play in the arcade, and all the pep talks. The Lord really had such a hand in this friendship, and I’m so grateful. Brooke B. rocks.
  1. I’ve also learned that the professors in college are not as scary as I thought they would end up being. I had this idea about college professors, that they were super big and scary. But, I have absolutely LOVED getting to know my professors. Some of my classes have had close to 150+ students but the professors still seem to really want to get to know the students. Something that I’ve loved doing is going to the professor’s office hours just to meet them in person and to get to know them better.
  1. Something that I’ve also learned no matter how much I try to convince myself that food on campus is good, it’s just not. I’ve tried. I’ve really really tried, but it’s just not as good as home cooked food. Which, I guess is college right? NOT that I’m complaining! It’s just NOT as good as home cooked food. Rancher’s club is really good though. I do love RC.
  1. In college, you really learn how to study and study the right way. Which is great, because all of a sudden you have more time and it’s weird time. I’m not saying I’m not busy, because sometimes I’m busier than I want to be. BUT, there’s more time and different times to study and do work. The Library also rocks, at least at OSU is does. It sounds super cheesy, but it really is cool. (and now I sound like a total nerd but, it’s okay. I’m fine with it.)
  1. In College, I’ve met people from ALL walks of life. I’ve met people unlike anyone I have ever met before. From places I’ve never been before and some of those complete strangers became my super close friends. Like, for example: I met one of my sweetest friends, Rachel by literally running into her. We were walking out of an assembly one of the first days of welcome week and I wasn’t paying attention to where I was walking and I literally bumped into her. I apologized and then we started talking. She asked me the kind of things I was wanting to get involved in on campus, and I told her finding a church was a top priority for me. She said that was one of the things she was looking for too, and that’s how I met one of my best friends. I also met one of my super close friends at a campus event and ever since the 3 of us have done pretty much everything together. And when college is stressful and all you want to do is cry, having friends you can laugh with really help. I’ve also met so many friends in my classes! In one of my classes we actually took a selfie with all of us and promised to all meet up next semester. I’ve also been blessed by the friends I had coming into college, and still being close wit them. It’s a true blessing to know people who know you so well. I’ve learned just how important friendships really are to surviving College.
  1. I’m thankful for my “Jesus Jams” in my car when I’m stressed or bored. I’ve loved getting to explore Stillwater and it’s nice to just throw in my worship CD and drive until I realize I’m lost. I’ve learned it’s absolutely wonderful to get lost in a place that feels like home. Stillwater rocks.
  1. Every Wednesday night I get to teach a sweet little 2-year-old class at church. I’ve learned a whole lot of patience from those little kids, but I’ve also received so much love from them. There’s honestly nothing more rewarding than getting to watch these kids grow up and knowing that I had a super small part in helping them grow up with Jesus. Little Life Kids has taught me so much, and I’m so grateful to get to hangout with those kiddos every week.

8.  Moving away from home and going to college really makes me miss my parents. They have taught me so much, and I’m so grateful for them. I genuinely miss them a bunch up in Stillwater. If anything happens, they are usually my first call. My car died? Call Dad. Can I take this medicine with this medicine? Call Mom. Flat tire? Call Dad. It’s nice to know they are always on the other side of the phone with tons of advice.

  1. I’ve learned that eating pizza, qudoba, and dough pokes really late at night are NOT dumb decisions. They also bring along great memories. PLUS: this is college right?
  1. Dorms are gross. That’s all I’m going to say.
  1. Stress in college is 100% inevitable. It’s going to happen and you just have to make it through. It took a whole lot of prayer, coffee, and sleepless nights to start to understand this. And for a little while, I felt like I was the only one experiencing stress. LOL pretty much no one understands what he or she is doing either. So, it’s all-okay. During finals week, I saw quite a few people stressed out. I watched a guy break a clipboard and 6 pencils in the library and the next day I watched a girl cry about not studying enough for a test. We’re all in this together, right? (Cue HSM)
  1. I’ve learned that the future might be scary, but that I can’t run back to the past just because it’s what’s familiar to me. I’ve got to move forward. College is all about growth and learning WHO you are going to be. The world can and will define you if you let it.
  1. The Lord has shown me this semester that HIS plan is truly better than anything I could possibly come up with on my own. I never once thought growing up that I’d be attending Oklahoma State University. But, the Lord is so incredibly faithful. He totally rocked my world by leading me to OSU and I can’t wait to see what else He has in store!
  1. I am learning this semester how important and precious the time I get to spend with my sisters is. BOY, am I thankful for them!! I called them last week, totally stressing out about finals week, and they were so encouraging. I have loved getting to spend time with them over Christmas break! They really do rock.
  1. I’ve learned that I’m still learning. I am NO where near having everything figured out. Which could be scary, but I know who holds my future. I find it comforting to know that I don’t know everything. Because, I still have 3 ½ years at OSU and a whole lot more life to live and I’m sure those are going to be filled with even more memories.

I’ve said it hundreds of times, but I am super thankful for the opportunity to learn so much and meet so many people this semester. And in the spirit of Christmas, I’m going to go watch Home Alone and bake cookies now.

thankful thankful thankful

I am so grateful for the all the people that the Lord has placed in my life during this new season of growth, change, challenges, and learning. I’m pretty blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people. I’m so thankful to have met so many great friends here at OSU and for my sweet family. People rock. Especially people the Lord put in my life to help me grow.

You always hear people say, “You make some of your best friends in college.” I did not believe that until I got here. Every single person who said that to me was completely right. I have met some of the best people in college. People who have changed my life, and people who continue to help me grow and walk in the Lord. These are the kind of people who will listen to you rant about something dumb for 2+ hours. The kind of people who run with me to print something off at the library at 2:00 in the morning just because they don’t want me to walk by myself. The people who will consistently pray for me and lift me up. The friends who stay at the library until it closes to make sure I am  prepared for a test and then text me the next day with a long pep-talk of encouragement. The people who buy you ice cream and listen to worship music for hours at a time. The friends who understand the weird things about me. The friends who make me me laugh when all I want to do is cry. The friends that throw pillows at me when they think I’m wrong. The kind of friends that will tell me the truth even when it hurts. Friends who get lost with me driving in Stillwater.  Friends who voluntarily offer to break into fields with me. Friends who understand just how great coffee is and enjoy drinking it with me. The friends who make fun of me, because they love me. The friends who wake up super early to go to parades with me because parades rock. The friends who can tell how I’m feeling just by how I talk on the phone. The people who I can share anything with. The people who listen to Christmas music with me 3 months early. The friends who know what I order from Dough Pokes. The people who keep me grounded in my walk with the Lord. Friends who love and serve Jesus. I’ve met so many new friends, I’ve reconnected with friends I’ve known for years, and I’ve stayed in touch with so many. Friends rock.

My parents are also people who I am incredibly thankful for. I also miss my parents so so much. I miss my Dad’s random jokes and my Mom’s cooking. Without the inspiration, drive, and support my parents have given me; I would not be the person I am today. I am thankful that they encourage me, support me, lift me up, trust me, and lead me to Jesus. I am so thankful for all the times I spent perfecting the icing to cinnamon roll ratio with my Dad on the weekends growing up. I am thankful for all the times I went on rounds with him at the hospital learning about what he did and how he helped so many people. I am also so thankful for his advice about everything under the sun, whether it is about school, work, boys, or friends he always knows exactly what to say. I am thankful for all the sweet memories in Disney World running around and having a blast. I am so thankful for a Dad like him. I am also so thankful for my Mom too. I’m thankful for all the cooking lessons and our trip to Italy. I am thankful for the hours spent at the park talking about life. I am thankful for long conversations and how just talking to her makes me feel 20x better. Also, I am thankful for all the countless movies and trips to get take-out. I am so thankful for them. In college, there has been so many times that I have called my Mom and asked her to come and hangout with me or the times I’ve called my Dad and asked him to come up and have dinner or just come and visit. It was so easy to take it all for granted. I am so blessed to be their daughter and I miss them more than they know. I am beyond thankful for the sacrifices they have made to get me here. And for all the things that they do to on a daily basis to help my sisters and I succeed. I could say, “Thank you” for the rest of my life and it wouldn’t be enough. They rock. I can’t wait to hangout with them longer than 12 hours at a time.

I can’t help but feel so grateful for the people who I have met in college, the people who I’ve known for years, and the people who are in my life forever. If college has showed me anything, it’s showed me just how blessed I am by the people in my life.