Wednesday, November 30, 2011



Home is where your family always cares and always loves.

Home is where your dog will run to the door to greet you even though you have only been gone for a few minutes.

Home is where you can find rest and comfort in your family and your friends.

Home is where your church will take care of you in a time of need.

Home is where people care enough to say, “How are you today?”

Home is where your friends write you spontaneously just to tell you they care.

Home is where you make new friends and keep the old.

Home is encouraging and comforting.

Home is where you belong.

Home is where your mother will hold you after a hard day.

Home is where your brother will tell you that you are beautiful, even if you only have on jeans and a sweatshirt.

Home is where friends ask you to go ice skating, even though you don’t really belong with their group.

Home is where your sister holds you while you cry over the trials of life.

Home is where your father congratulates you on a scholarship to the college of your choice.

Home is where you can dance at any time in any place.

Home is where you can curl up with a cup of tea and your Bible and seek God’s wisdom.

Home is forever.

Home is unconditional.

This is not my home.

My home is in heaven.

At home, I will not have tears.

At home, I won’t have to take medication for my uncontrollable pain.

At home, I won’t need my Bible…I can get it straight from the mouth of my Savior.

At home, I will have countless friends who love and care for me, but most of all worship the same Savior as I do.

At home, I will have my church around me; my church will worship at the feet of Jesus.

At home, I can dance for my Lord with sweet abandon, and not worry about what others think.

At home, I will be made a new creation, and won’t need to be told I’m beautiful.

At home, I will have a host of angels cheering me through the Gates of Heaven and showing me my name in the Book of Life.

At home, there is eternal peace and love.

At home, I am safe and secure.

At home, I can bow at the feet of my Jesus and praise his name forever.

This is home.

“But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:16

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Eyes of the Lonely

Oh my poor little blog! I did not mean to neglect you... This semester has been crazy, but full of experiences that I can't wait to share!

This semester I chose to take an intense 5 week CNA (Certified Nurse's Aide) course. By the grace of God, I am happy to announce that I passed my state board exam and am now certified!

This course allowed me four eight-hour shifts at a nursing home to do my clinicals. Those four days truly did change my life...I met so many beautiful people and felt like I was able to learn what being the hands and feet of Jesus truly is, no matter how hard or sad the job.

As a CNA, I basically took vital signs, assisted people to the bathroom, fed those who were unable, gave baths, cleaned up some very unpleasant messes, and sat with those who were at high risk for falls. Glamorous, right? The first day of clinicals, I was shocked at my response to several of the situations I was placed in. I felt completely comfortable after about an hour, and I began enjoying every moment I could spend with the couple of hundred people I met. The relationships I established were amazing, and I felt like I made a new friend every day.

And then I met Mr. E. this man couldn't use his arms or legs, couldn't speak, and would only eat ice cream. While this may seem funny, it was nothing compared to his eyes. As I sat at the table to feed him his ice cream for breakfast, I couldn't help noticing that he was always looking down at his hands. I started talking to him about nothing terribly important, and he finally raised his head and looked at me full on.

I gasped at what I saw in his eyes.


I have never seen someone look so sad before in my life. His eyes screamed at me, and I didn't know what to do. It was such a shock, I immediately started praying. I prayed for his health, that God would keep him safe. I prayed for his soul, that God would reach him through his pain. I prayed for his eyes that God would take his loneliness and turn it into hope.

I went home that night and collapsed in my mother's arms, completely broken by my experience. That night as I cried for Mr. E., I opened my Bible and searched for something, anything that would help me. I came across one of my all time favorite verses, and I let it become my theme for the week.

Isaiah 40:30-31"Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint."

Some of the people I took care of that week were over 100 years old, and of course they were tired! That does not mean, though, that they should be ignored or written off. Mr. E., for example was often ignored by the other CNA's because he couldn't communicate. It broke my heart to see all these lonely people milling about with no purpose,

Please look around you. There are so many who have no friends, no family, no purpose. Seek them out, and serve them as Jesus would. It is not always fun, and you may not only be appreciated, but it is what Jesus would do.

This post is for B. who, even with a severe birth deformity managed to be beautiful.

This post is for D. who cried when I told her that I would only be there for a few days.

This post is for M. who was blind, but still asked for nail polish to make her "presentable" for church.

This post is for B. who suffered from terrible pain, but still maintained a sweet, honest spirit.

This post is for Mr. E. who changed my heart.

This post is for the lonely, who need the love of Jesus.

Monday, June 13, 2011

For Miss Haley

(I am so proud of my friend Haley. Why? Because she is joining an amazing mission to Slovakia with her family, and is letting God direct every step she takes, whether it is in America or not. This post is dedicated to my sweet friend, who I may not see for many months, yet who will always be my friend and confidante.)

Well, Haley? It’s been over 10 years since I became your friend. Remember when we used to sit together in first grade and we would compare our math scores? Do you remember how we became friends? I remember both of us being absolutely terrified of dogs, and whenever someone brought their dog in for show-and-tell, we would run to the library and wait for show-and-tell to be over. I remember holding your hand at recess, playing dolls, and doing each other’s hair. I don’t think it took us very long to become close friends! I remember your dad taking us to church with him, and we would take our dolls and climb into the choir loft. I remember singing next to you in choir, and being absolutely thrilled when you were chosen as Becky and I as the teacher in Tom Sawyer. I remember growing up with you, and how excited I always was to tell you what was going on in my life, and learn what was going on in yours.

I know that we became so close so fast because of the common thread that runs between us – Jesus Christ. I have watched him work in your life and change you from a quiet young girl, to a beautiful young woman. I have watched God mold your heart for His purpose, and have laughed and cried with you through all of our experiences!

You are truly a young woman after God’s own heart. I watch you model the behaviors that God desires, and I see you worship him in everything you do. You have no idea how my heart swells with pride as I watch you take on new adventures. Sometimes I cry to God and beg him not to take you away from me, but He always reminds me that there are others who can be blessed through your sweet spirit and encouraging words.

I don’t want to share you with the world, Haley, but I know that God is using you for a great purpose. I will miss you more than words can say, but I am so excited to see what God is using you for. I don’t know where he will take you after you minister to Slovakia, but I know that we will always have Jesus in common, no matter what changes.

Thank you, Haley, for all you have taught me in the 10 years we have been together. Thank you for always reminding me to trust God and lean on Him as my strength. You have always been a great example to me, and I am so grateful that God has brought you into my life. I want to send you off with this note as a blessing, so that you may always know that I love you, and am so proud of you and your family.

“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” Psalm 20:4

“He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— he remains faithful forever.” Psalm 146:6

God is faithful forever, and he has great plans for you. I love you more than anything in this world, Haley, and I will miss you every day you are gone. Thank you for stepping out in faith and following God’s calling on your life. Although it hurts to let you go, I know we are both striving for the same beautiful ending: heaven and God’s open arms.

I love you, Haley.

Your sister in Christ forever and always,


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nine Years Ago...

I can’t believe that it has been nine years since I became a Christian. I was eight years old, and I remember everything about that day so clearly. For months, I had been taking long walks around the neighborhood with my parents discussing all the aspects of God that I wanted to understand. I remember how on May 18, 2002, there was an urgency in my spirit that was crying out. I went to my parents and asked them with big tears in my eyes if I could be baptized. We invited some of the most important people in my life (my grandparents, first-grade teacher, and my family) to share in the celebration of the biggest decision I ever made.
This year has been a tough one for me. Between learning how to handle college-level courses, growing up, and getting treated unjustly on several different counts, my relationship with Jesus has grown in three main areas: Faith, Prayer, and Compassion.


#1 – Faith.

I am not proud of the way I handled a lot of things this year, but I know that the tears that I cried late into the night were all for a reason. My college level classes stretched me not so much academically, but in learning how to deal with real-life situations. It was hard for me to go to class, hear all of the negative comments, foul language, and sad life-stories and not come home depressed or overwhelmed. Having a teacher that disagreed with me on almost every count did not help, either. However, I learned through this experience that, even in the hard times, it’s okay to let God take the lead.

There were about two weeks in April where I literally just lost it. I cried every day, and decided that I did not want to be a nurse. I screamed and shouted at God, demanding that he change the plan he has for me. I decided that college was not a Biblically sound choice for a woman and that if I went, I wouldn’t learn anything, and I would only be wasting time and money. And I decided this all in a two-week period where I was emotionally and physically exhausted. Yeah, that wasn’t a smart idea. Then one night, I listened to Britt Nicole’s song, “Have Your Way” at least eight times on the way home from work. I got home and just cried out to God, asking him to help me. I gave up my will, my wants, and my way and let him once more take the lead. Taking a leap of faith is not something I like to do, but I felt God call me so clearly, that I knew there was no other way. I had exhausted every other path, and come up with nothing but heartache and confusion. I do not know if God is still leading me to nursing, but I am confident that I can trust him, follow him, and let him lead me through every area of my life, whether I like it or not!

#2 – Prayer

I think prayer is the area of Christianity that I struggle with almost constantly. I get so distracted when I pray out loud, but I don’t go very deep if I only journal. I feel like I learned this year how to pray almost constantly; in the shower, in the car, at work, during school, and at dance. When I see someone who needs prayer, I have tried to just stop right there and pray for them. Maybe my prayers are not very long, but I try to make them meaningful. There have been countless opportunities for me to witness in the past few months, and I have been trying to take them all, making sure I reach the people who are in need. I know I will always struggle with prayer, but I am glad that I can always come to Jesus with the situations I am put in!

#3 – Compassion

I am not always a very compassionate person. Well, that’s not completely true…I can be very compassionate to young children, but I am not good at being compassionate with my siblings or adults. Inside my head, I often think, “Oh, brother…” or “Just get over it!” and I know these thoughts are not from God. I have tried to focus on being sweet and full of grace in every situation. Believe me, it’s NOT easy, and I am still working hard on it!

I saw a video clip this year entitled, “Every Life Has a Story.” It really enlightened me to the fact that those who treat me unfairly do it because of something else in their life. Perhaps they are only taking out their anger on me because they are truly angry at somebody else. I hate being treated with disrespect, and I have had too many instances this year in which I have gotten angry and lashed out at someone, only to find out that what they are going through is much worse than my situation. It hurts when people hurt you, but I promise, if you love them instead of retaliate, you will not feel awful later. This year, when I have been treated unfairly, I have asked God to rain down blessings upon that person. Somehow, asking God to bless, instead of curse, these people has helped me realize that their story may explain the reason why they are choosing to hate me. I may never know why, but if I choose to show compassion instead of hatred, I will be satisfied, and God will be pleased.


May 18, 2011. My ninth spiritual birthday. Wow. God has helped me through so much in these nine years, and I can’t imagine what I will be able to say I have learned by next year.

I want to make an apology to my family. Mom, Dad, I’m sorry I’ve been disrespectful and scared about college and what I think God has in store for me. You are more often than not right about life, and I really will try to listen to what you have to say. I love you both so much. To Noah and Lexi, I love you both, and will try to show compassion toward you when you need it. I would do ANYTHING for you, and I pray we get to spend some quality time together in my last year of high school! To my Grandma and Grandpa, thank you for the extra love and care, and for taking me out to lunch to give me some good straight talking! You have no idea what an impact it has made on me.

And last of all, though certainly not least, I’m sorry Jesus for not trusting you. You are my God and King, and I will serve you until the end of my days.

Amen, amen!

Monday, April 11, 2011


I don’t even know how to describe the last two months. It has been the hardest two months of my life, and I am not proud of the way I have handled it. I am not proud of the way that I have doubted God. I am not proud of the way that I finally landed at His feet. All I can say is how thankful I am for finally realizing something very important.

I really hate admitting my faults. I don’t think it is probably easy for anyone, but a lot of the time I don’t like to admit them to other people. What you probably don’t know, is that I internalize every mistake I make and then yell at myself inwardly for days, sometimes weeks, at a time. It doesn’t matter how big the mistake is, whether or not I’ve been forgiven, or even if it wasn’t my fault. I take everything personally and bottle everything up until I explode.

For the last two months, my schedule has looked like this:

Sunday: Church 8:00 AM (if on Worship Band, make that 7:00 AM). Homework. Rest.
Monday: Biology 105 9:00-11:30. Homeschool 12:00-2:00. Dance 5:00-7:00.
Tuesday: Homeschool 9:00-1:00. Study/Homework for Biology. Work until 9:00 or so.
Wednesday: Biology 105 9:00-11:30. Homeschool 12:00-2:00. Church 6:00. (Worship band until 9:30)
Thursday: Homeschool 9:00-1:00. Lab Report for Biology. Dance 4:00-6:00. Family time.
Friday: Homeschool 9:00-12:00. Lunch with Grandma/Grandpa. Work until about 10:00.
Saturday: Work most of day.

It is an understatement to say that I have been busy. I’ve told my parents that sometimes I feel like I have been so busy, I can’t do anything well. It bothers me to not have time to encourage my friends, play with my siblings, or even walk my dog. It bothers me that I often cut my quiet time short to sleep for five more minutes. None of these things are right, and I have let them slide because of everything else that I have to do.

I’ve made some pretty silly mistakes in the past couple of months, and I think I have blamed a lot of them on a lack of sleep. While something can be said for being a little stressed, it is not right for me to be taking out my stress level on my family. It’s not right that I cry myself to sleep just at the thought of everything that I have to do the next day.

Through all of this stress, I have also had to take the ACT and study for my upcoming SAT, prepare a 10 minute long presentation for Biology, and take three Biology tests, study for one more and a final. I came home bawling on Saturday because I was not happy with the way the ACT went. I don’t even have my scores yet, and I am already convinced that I have failed. Never before have I struggled with a standardized test, but now I feel like a stupid failure for running out of time during the math section, even though math happens to be my best subject.

Every comment from someone telling me that I need to do better, every mistake in something I do at work, every marked down lab report or exam from Biology translates into a failure in my mind. Why is it so hard for me to keep going? Why is it so hard for me to be able to let a past mistake go?

My mama figured it out. I have spent many nights lately crying and complaining to her. About a week ago, she said something that helped me find my way back to trusting God.

Honey, you don’t have to be perfect!” my mom said.

Oh, right.

I don’t have to be perfect – in fact I never will be! There is no way on earth that I will be able to be perfect, and all God asks is that I do my best and follow Him! He is not asking me to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, but to give my burden to Him, to trust HIM with my troubles.

Isn’t it interesting that Satan is attacking and wearing me down with perfection? Isn’t it interesting how my need to be perfect has only made me less than before?

My cry tonight as I once more turn over my burden to God is the following:

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint!” Isaiah 40:28-31.

When I am weary Lord, take my burden and keep me from falling. I will not grow weary, for you are with me.

“’Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalm 46:10-11

You are God, not me. Let me hear your whisper in the breeze, and not get caught up in the clamor of the world.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.

Here is my burden, Lord. Take it from me and give me the sweet rest that my soul is craving!

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, O Jacob, O little Israel for I myself will help you, declares the Lord, your Redeemer the holy one of Israel.” Isaiah 41:10.

I remember when my parents used to read this verse to me when I was afraid of the dark, Lord. I remember when that was all I ever had to fear. My troubles may be a little bigger now, but God you are still big enough to take care of them!

“O Lord God of heaven the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel.” Nehemiah 1:5-6.

My prayer reaches your ears, God, and I know you have heard my cry. Thank you for always being attentive to me.

“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11.

God, you are watering me and bringing me to life again. Thank you for reviving me with your loving kindness.

“If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people) why was there still need for another priest to come – one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?” Hebrews 7:11.

Jesus, I don’t need to be perfect because you are. I will strive to be all that I can be, but I will not take the weight of the world alone. I will bring it to you through prayer and allow you to carry me through this life.

I don’t need to be perfect. God has it covered. I will be okay, and will learn more than I ever imagined through this. God is with me, and all I have to do is my best – nothing more, nothing less.

I cannot be perfect by my own power. Only by His power will I be able to trust. Only by His love will I be able to continue.

I’m not perfect.

But God is.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Cry for Christian Modesty

This post is a cry from my heart. At the risk of offending you, I am going to speak the truth. Please know that the truth that I speak here is spoken out of love and a deep sadness of the direction that Christian modesty has taken.

Everywhere I go, I am bombarded by immodesty. At school (I am taking a dual-credit class at a Community College), at work, at dance, and even in my own church. It confuses me to think why there is so much immodesty in the church. Shouldn’t we protect our bodies and clothe them appropriately at church? Shouldn’t we dress modestly everywhere?

I recently read Jeff Pollard’s book, “Christian Modesty and the Public Undressing of America.” In my opinion, I think every woman, man, mother, father, daughter, and son should read this book. It really opened my eyes to some of the issues that I need to deal with in my personal life, and gave me a clear understanding of why we should dress modestly. In this book, Pollard says, “You are NOT your own, if you are a Christian. Your whole being – body and soul – is the purchased property of Jesus Christ; and the price paid for your body was the breaking of His…

As a Christian, you MUST understand that your body has been sanctified. Now, we must dress like we are sanctified! If we strut around in immodest skirts, dresses, pants, and shirts, we are defiling the body that Jesus has made holy. We are throwing mud on the temple of Jesus Christ. We are allowing the world to ruin the purity that God has given to us as a precious gift.

I cry out to Christian girls of all ages: Please protect your bodies. They are a precious gift from God, and meant to be holy and pure. Do not defile them with immodesty. Check your hearts! If you are wearing a short skirt to “showcase” your legs, then you have a heart issue. Dress as you would if you were to be taken directly to the throne of God. Would you wear a revealing dress in front of the God who created you to be pure? No! You have been sanctified, and are ordered by God to dress modestly. 1 Timothy 2:9 says, “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyle or expensive clothes…”

I cry out to Christian women: Just because you are older or married does not make these rules of modesty go away. Actually, they should be just as strict, because YOU are the ones who set the example for the younger women. Remember Titus 2:7, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching, show integrity and seriousness.” You, too, are created to be holy, and must dress accordingly. Cover up the body that God has given you so that you may be as modest as possible. I am not saying that you are to wear long, unflattering robes. Dress attractively without being seductive. And yes, I promise that it is possible.

I cry out to Christian fathers: Please protect the women entrusted to you. Whether it be your daughter or your wife, make sure that they are dressed in a way that is pleasing to God. Do not let your daughter leave the house without first making sure that their outfit is not one that will put them in danger. This may sound ridiculous, but the way a girl dresses has a huge effect on what the men around her think. Protect your daughter. Pollard says, “Although women are vulnerable to wearing lavish or sensual apparel, their fathers and husbands are ultimately responsible for what the women in their homes wear.” If you truly love your wife and daughters, protect them at all times.

This is my cry out for Christian modesty. Jesus has sanctified you, and you are called to dress in a manner that is an example of purity.

You are called to be holy.