the pictures in my head

at this very moment, I am PRAISING Jesus for getting me through this week. I am officially through my very first week of my college career, and what a whirlwind. I am sitting here in awe of the goodness of my Savior because I actually made it. This week has been crazy but by far one of the best weeks of my life.

this week definitely has been filled with highs and lows and LOTS of change. I have always been the type of person to despise change. I dislike everything about it. But, sometimes the only way to make sense of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance because the change is inevitable. It’s unavoidable and progress is impossible without change.

Something that I have learned is to get rid of the picture of how I “think things are supposed to be” in my head because that is what messes me up. I have to learn to let go of what I think things will be like because that would be my plan and not God’s plan. Any plan without fully seeking the will of the Lord is unfruitful. This is the journey the Lord has placed in front of me and I want Him to lead my every step. The Bible talks a lot about change, and how the Lord is constant through it all. In Matthew 24:35, it talks about how Heaven and Earth will pass away but the words of the Lord will not pass away. That’s comforting to know even with all this change there is a constant found in The Lord. In Psalms 102:27, it talks about how the Lord is the SAME forever and how His years never end. God is always there even when everything around me changes.

But, through all of the crazy change the Lord has been incredibly faithful. I’ve already made life long friendships and I have learned so much. I’ve been so blessed to be at OSU. It is a journey I am so thankful to be on. I can’t wait to see what this week and the next 1000000 weeks are going to be like.

YAY for college and blogs to get my thoughts out.

the strange and wonderful place they call “college”

I can’t help but sit here and laugh at everything that college has thrown at me and it has not even been a week since I have been here. I am incredibly blessed with the start of wonderful friendships and an experience that is going to change my life.

I’ve been attending Oklahoma State University for a total of 5 days and here are the funny things that have already happened:

1. I’ve fallen in front of about 45 people casually walking into the student union.
2. I’ve lost my student ID for a total of 30 minutes and it was horrible.
3. I’ve walked onto the wrong floor of my building countless times. Sincere apologies to room 617. (oops)
4. I’ve sat through an entire meeting for the WRONG thing and it took me about 20 minutes to realize it. (and I totally did the, “oh my word. I think I’m in the wrong meeting.” and I did the quiet shuffle out the door) ((p.s. always make sure you have the right times for meetings, because what I felt was awkwardness and that just, yeah))
5. I’ve gotten lost in Stillwater close to 15-20 times (on and off campus and I’m not even sure how that is even possible.) At one point I was so lost, I’m pretty sure I was out of Stillwater and Siri didn’t even know where I was.
6. I’ve almost died getting on the sketchy elevators that like to close a milli second after they open and it’s like a marathon to get off those things. And I really wish I was exaggerating but, I’m not.
7. I’ve also met close to 100 people in the past 5 days and I always thought I was great at knowing names, but I guess only having a handle full of people in my graduating class meant that I really only had to know about 73 names and I had 14 years compared to 5 days. LOL I stink at knowing people’s names. I have also received so many new cell phone numbers from new friends that I have no clue who is who and it’s real odd.

And through every awkward moment I am reminded I am exactly where I need to be. I am incredibly blessed to be able to attend Oklahoma State University. I know this is exactly where God has placed me and I couldn’t be more excited to see what the future holds. I am constantly reminded of the verse in Jeremiah, “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.” and that’s found in Jeremiah 29:11

God knows the plans and I know he holds my story. And I’m so excited that His plans led me to Oklahoma State University. Here’s to many more awkward moments, exciting times, and lifetime full of memories.

3

3 more days in the place I grew up.
3 more days in my home.
3 more days with my family.
3 more days with my Momma.
3 more days with my friends who are not attending OSU.
3 more days with pretty much everything I’ve ever known.

And that is absolutely terrifying and incredibly exciting all at the same time. And all of this emotion is something I have never felt before. I’ve never been so sad and so excited at the same time. People always talk about how great the summer before your freshman year of college is, but no one talks about how hard it is! It’s honestly really sad saying “see you later”. It’s tough! So so so tough. I know that I will still be a part of everything that I’ll miss, it’s still hard to think of what that will look like from a different angle. But, as they say: “when one journey ends, another one begins.”

The journey I am about to begin is just the start of what the plan that the Lord has for me. To think that I get to just now START my life is terrifying and comforting all at once. It’s terrifying because everything is changing. BUT, It’s incredibly comforting because I know who holds my future. I know who knows what tomorrow looks like. I know who walks with me though every moment of everyday. And that is my sweet sweet Savior. And as crazy and chaotic as everything is, I know that my future is in the hands of the one who created it all. And with 3 days left in my hometown, knowing my future is in the hands of Jesus is extremely comforting.

things I am learning

There are a lot of things that I am currently learning, about the world, about college, about my friends and family, and especially about myself. I am learning how to make a KILLER grilled cheese sandwich. I am learning how to grasp the whole college thing (sorta, kinda, not really, but a little bit). I’m learning about how people can honestly and sincerely change, sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad. And I’m learning how to accept and be okay with that. I’m learning how to close chapters and prepare to open new ones.

I’m learning how my Savior is incredibly forgiving and that He loves me with love deeper than the ocean. I’m also learning that I don’t know what the future holds, but my creator does know. Psalms 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will GUIDE you with My eye.” God knows the future because he WROTE it. He will guide us through ALL of it because that’s how much He loves us. So, worrying is just plain dumb.

So, here’s to always learning new things and short blog posts. And forgetting what’s gone. Appreciate what still remains and to always look forward to what’s coming next, because with God on our team, ANYTHING is possible.

Running into Whales

What some people don’t realize is that running away from God is a fruitless venture. Running away from Him is running down a path with no direction, no purpose, and no plan.  God is forgiving in every aspect but in the end HIS purposes will be realized. We will soon come to the realization of how and what His plan is. You can choose to live outside of His plans for you or you can participate and be a part of His beautiful, wonderful, never ending plan for your life. When we run from God we miss out on the joy of obedience. We miss out on how sweet the journey of HIS will is. A perfect example of a man who ran away but then found his way through Christ was Jonah. Jonah ran away from God. God asked him to do just one thing to extend His kingdom. To go and share God with the city of Nineveh. 

I’ve always found the character of Jonah quite comical. Just the way he thinks, makes me laugh and the whole story is kind of funny. The older I’ve gotten the more complex I realize this character really is. He could’ve just listened to God but instead he decided to run. And with that run in no eternal direction, it ran him straight into the belly of a whale. Quite literally, into the belly of a whale. Sometimes We are a lot like Jonah.   We are complex and sometimes funny in how we respond to God.  Now, I haven’t been in the belly of a whale.  But, sometimes we run from God’s plan because we are scared. We are really good about making excuses for not listening to God. We think we’re right all the time, when in all actuality we couldn’t be more wrong. God’s plan is something we can’t understand. Jonah didn’t understand why he was being called to Nineveh but, in the end he knew that was the plan for his life.

Running from God doesn’t get anyone anywhere ever. Trust in HIS plan, Listen to HIS heart, and Love watching HIS plan unfold in your life. 

 

the sweetness of stress

The Lord has such a sweet way of letting us know things will work out. He gives us reminders that give us hope and peace. I’ve been super super stressed lately. There is just so much to do and get done before everything closes. The closer we get to the end of school, the more and more stress I am finding myself having. There’s so much to do, and my to-do list is super super long. Sometimes stress can literally take over. But, God teaches us things through it all and that is sweet. Even in storms God is holding our hands. After a period of stress, We can look back and see God’s hand working through our lives. Now, it’s just about getting through it.   I am stumbling upon some of the best verses. Here’s just a few that I’ve found that are making my whole week a little less stressful. 

“God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose.”
  -Romans 8:28

“When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end– because I am God, your personal God.”
-Isaiah 43: 3-4 

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of Wild flowers-most of which are never seen- don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What  trying to do err is to get you to relax to not be so preoccupied with getting, do you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God reality, God-initiative, God-Provisions. DON’T worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
-Matthew 6:30-33 

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” 
-Matthew 6:34 

All of those verses let me know that it will all work out. That everything will be okay. That the Lord’s plans are sovereign. These verses are just a reminder of how God’s plans really do work out. His plans are just so great and big.
And even though it doesn’t always feel like that things are going to work out, they will! God has a BEAUTIFUL plan and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds. Stress can sometimes be sweet. Even if we don’t see it. 

 

orthodontists, airplanes, and sand

I’m honestly kind of a controlling person. I’ll admit it. I like to know what is going to happen before it happens. I feel like sometimes I HAVE to know.  For example, when I would go to the orthodontist they would have to tell me exactly what they did before they did it, no matter how gross or how much it could hurt.  Or this one time on an Airplane, when I was about 8 or 9, I left my seat on the plane to try and talk to the pilot just to see if he could tell me what was going to happen incase of certain situations. (I never got to talk to the pilot, the Stewardess stopped me very quickly…) It sounds silly but, I guess it’s just something I’m trying to work through. I would LOVE just a pretty little book or maybe a map of God’s plan. but God gives us situations in life to TEACH us something, things that He wants us to learn. Like I’ve said in previous posts, God isn’t going to just GIVE you what you want all the time! Especially if it is something HE gets to teach you. The GREAT teacher just wants to teach. And we have to be receptive and ready to learn. We can’t give up when it gets hard, we have to STAND back up every time we fall down. Just like little babies who are learning how to walk. They are going to fall but, they get back up because that’s the ONLY way they will be able to learn. And being on the ground is NO fun. So, they get up and try again until they get it. That goes hand and hand with Control. Control is something we sometimes have to learn to give to God, because sometimes the only way for us to learn that is to fall FLAT ON OUR FACES. Not like those pretty, little trip falls. The “OH MY GOSH IS SHE OKAY” kind of falls. The ones that leave a mark not only physically but more so emotionally. The kind of falls that hurt, REALLY hurt. But, God heals that and takes that pain and turns it into an opportunity and a plan! God never teaches us all at once, just step by step because He wants to teach us to walk by FAITH not by SIGHT. One of my favorite quotes right now is, “One of the most arduous spiritual tasks is that of Giving up CONTROL and allowing the Sprit of God to lead our lives” that’s by Henri Nouwen. It’s completely true. Giving that up is NOT easy especially when you are the kind of person who likes to have everything planned out. It can be scary. It can not make sense. It can drive you crazy. It can feel uneasy. But, it can also bring you peace. It can make things clearer. It can drive you in the most PERFECT direction. And it can make you feel incredible. It’s like a weight being lifted off your shoulders. Trusting in HIS perfect, BEAUTIFUL plan. That can be one of the most FREEING things in the entire world. To know that we don’t have to fight our battles alone. “The LORD will fight for you; You just need to only be still” Exodus 14:14. To know that He will FIGHT. He will take our pain and our suffering is so incredibly powerful. We cannot fulfill God’s plans for our lives while we are focusing on our own feelings. All God asks of us to to ask for Him. He’s there with wonderful, strong, open arms ready to hold us. Not only hold us but hold our problems. God replaces our fears with incredible FAITH, our pain with a specific PURPOSE, and our obstacles with open opportunities. God holds us in his MIGHTY, and beautiful hands. HOW AMAZING AND AWESOME is that? God will never let doors close without opening another one. He cares for the birds, don’t you think He is going to take care of you? He knows every intricate part of you. He knows how many hairs you have on your head, and how many you loose in your hair brush. He knows how many pieces of sand are on the beaches, and how many stick to your shoes as you leave. He knows what you’re thinking all the time, even when you are driving and some one cuts you off. He knows every little detail about you. That’s comforting.To know that He knows everything about us and He fights for us. He takes away our pain and our burdens. He’s powerful, and He can handle EVERYTHING. Yes, even control issues. 

So, PRAY for that direction to follow his plan,

PATIENCE to wait for it and to be receptive of it,

and for the KNOWLEDGE to know when it comes. 🙂 

 

power of prayer

“Do you pray about it as much as you talk about it?”
What a thought? Sit and try to think about that for a second. Is there a situation that is coming to your mind? It could be small, big, insignificant or completely life changing. I know for me personally, that makes me stop and think BIG time. Because we’re humans and sometimes we don’t think about giving our problems to God, we just try and work them out on our own. Worrying is sometimes just part of our nature. But, worrying will NEVER change the outcome.

The Bible talks A LOT about worrying. “Cast all your anxieties on HIM because He cares about you..” -1 Peter 5:7. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, PRAY about everything. Tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank him for his answers…”
-Philippians 4:6. Reading verses like that just remind me that I can’t do it alone and that we don’t have too!!!

God takes care of that for us!! It also made me realize that I can’t fight any of these battles or problems without Him. If we are being completely honest just need to realize that we are screwed up and we can’t do life or anything without God’s help. That is something that is extremely hard to grasp. Because we sometimes think we are super humans who can do everything. We don’t have any super powers but, we do have prayer. But, the power of prayer is STRONG. The power of prayer is incredibly incredibly strong. I’ve seen prayer CHANGE people’s lives. I’ve seen it work in so many different situations. I’ve seen is definitely work in my life. Prayer takes away worry, pain, confusion, concern, anger. Pray about it more than you talk about it. God can handle it.

Rain

Rain is one of my favorite things in the entire world. I love it. I could listen to it and watch it for hours. There’s something about the way the streets look when it’s raining. I love the calmness it brings. I love the smell of rain. You know, that distinct smell that only rain has. I love the rain when it’s cold and rainy and I love the rain when it’s warm and rainy. I just really love the rain.

Tonight it was raining pretty hard here in E-Town, and my friends and I decided to dance in the rain. That was one of the most fun things ever. There’s a lot on everyone’s mind and for a good 10 minutes, everything was forgotten. We didn’t think about college, we didn’t think about moving, we didn’t think about relationships or friendships, we didn’t think about leaving each other in a few short months. We just let the rain, rain.

One of my all time favorite worship songs is, Let it Rain. It’s a super simple song we sing at church and overflow all the time. But, it is SO significant. The lyrics are, “let it rain, let it rain, open the flood gates of heaven. I feel The rains of your Love, I feel The winds of your Spirit .And now the heartbeat of heaven, let us hear.” Isn’t that strong? God’s love is so amazing, and He pours it out in so many different ways!! His love is shown to us in the sunshine, in the rainbows, in the wind, in the flowers, in the trees, in relationships, in the storms and in the rain. God doesn’t just save His love for only the pretty days, (ex. 72* with no wind and Partly Cloudy Skies). God’s love and kindness is shown every single day. Through a variety of different ways. I heard a little story once about a guy who’s car wouldn’t start, so he was late to work, and got stuck in a long meeting. He was mad at God and he asked God why He let him have such a bad day. God told him, “Your car wouldn’t start because I was protecting you from a wreck that you could’ve been involved in, you were late to work so you could meet someone who will help you in life, you got stuck in a long meeting because they are going to promote you tomorrow and they wanted to see how you’d do.” That’s obviously not a true story, but God does show His love in ways similar to that.

So, 2 things:
1. Know that God’s love comes in different ways, begin love that.
2. Don’t ever be too old to play in the rain.

lots of lasts

Senior Year is full of MANY different things. Lots of NEW things but, there are a TON more LASTS. Today is my last HEROES Week Assembly. I’ve been a part of HEROES week for as long as I can remember. HEROES stands for Hands Extended Reaching Our Exalted Savior. I have absolutely LOVED getting to be a part of this week. I love the different organizations and the different charities we have been able to help. One of my favorite memories from HEROES Week is when my Mom taught at OCS and she was a part of the Teacher Auction. She auctioned off an Italian Dinner, it went for 300$ per plate in the end. And just with that Italian Dinner it raised 4500 dollars!! Another one of my favorite memories was from this year getting to see all the little kids selling their little crafts and seeing how excited they are to give money for HEROES Week. One other favorite thing that happened this week was helping my friends make Royalty food. I don’t think I will be able to eat any spicy pretzels for a while. This year we are raising money for Mission Generation. Mission Generation provides Christian based textbooks in Latin American countries. It’s currently benefitting almost 17 countries and over a million kids! It’s one of the COOLEST organizations I’ve ever heard of. This week we have raised 76,824.72. AND that is just a minimum!!! We have SO much still coming in!!! That means over 13,000 kids will receive a Christian based education! That’s SO exciting!!! The Elementary raised over 7,000 just by themselves! And the middle school raised over 15,000! Mission Generation is going to do big things for South America! And more kids than ever are going to be able to hear about Jesus!! I’m SO excited to know that our little OCS made such a big impact on the world! To think just because of us, 13,000 kids are going to be able to hear about Jesus.

It’s definitely VERY bitter sweet. Now, that’s it’s Spring the year is coming to a close. Everything kind of feels like it’s ending, when really things are about to begin in our lives. It’s incredibly exciting and totally frightening at the same time. But, When one door closes, another door opens.