Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mary Todd Lincoln

If anyone were to ask me before if I was a reader I was very very almost too quick to say "you're joking right?" I may have even thrown out a "heck no techno!" ... I know, it's bad but basically I hate reading!
Funny thing is I've always wanted to LIKE reading. I'm just not very good at it an to be honest it's embarrassing. At least to me. You see school has never, and I mean NEVER been any less than extremely painfully difficult for me. All through jr high and high school I was so socially and athletically involved that no one really thought twice that I would be struggling academically. I can talk my way out of any situation but ask me to take a test, read out loud or do anything with numbers and game over. And it's embarrassing! I was in a situation not too long ago where I was the only one who didn't know what NaCl meant and it took everything inside me not to burst into tears... So I burst into laughter instead (that's kind of become a thing) but I know that nothing in life comes free, even intelligence. You have to work on it.
Right now I am reading a book (for a summer class I'm finishing up) called "Mrs.Lincoln & Mrs.Keckly." It's the story of the former first lady and her friend and former slave who also served as a seem stress in the white house. Now I'm only just at the part where Miss Mary fist meets old Honest Abe but she is pretty stinking cool! She dreams big (almost too big for her own good) and nothing can stand in her way once she knows what she wants. Even at 14 she was saying that her husband would be president someday. She wasn't always the perfect lady but it was said that even among her suiters that it was her boldness and spontiunity was what attracted them. She never settled for anything or anyone even though so many people told she should be married by now (she was 22-23 when her and Abe met and back then she was quite the "old maid.") Mr. Lincoln wasn't the most attractive or already successful type, he was rather quite awkward, a little shorter but he was a gentlemen and had the biggest potential in the world, ad that's what she saw. That's what I love about her. She was smart and she knew it. But it didn't come easy to her either. When her mother died and here Todd's faster remarried an awful woman Mary clung to her father and learned. When the sent her to boarding school she focused and soaked every last thing in and made that place her home.
We my friends had one heck of a fist lady. And imagine, all that from a book.... Huh...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

For Claire B! :

     So I am suppose to be finishing a paper that's due tomorrow, and I'm almost done I promise!! But I decided to take a quick "break." While on said "break" what else am I going to do but do a little Facebook creapin'  ;) ... There is a girl that I remember meeting sometime last winter/fall. I was without car at the time and one of my dear friends was picking both of us up for Young Life College Oregon State's girls group one cold Tuesday Corvallis night. I didn't know much, or anything about her really other than our ride was a mutual friend. I remember being a little thrown off guard at first. She has an awesome loud personality, not afraid to speak her mind, and I remember her and Kelley having a conversation about a boy she may or may not should be talking to at the moment on the way to the Khulman's house. She was a wild one. Or at least that's what I got out of her. We had a couple more of those car rides and got to know each other a little but never super great friends before I left for Arkansas a couple months later. I remember Kelley being worried about her at times and I loved hearing her share a "snapshot" (click- click ;) ) of her life at girls group and wondering really where on earth Kelley found this girl (granted this was before I really knew anything about YLC or what it even meant to what Kelley was doing that year). Well like I said this girl and I never became super close but close enough to be friends on facebook.... this is where the fun starts (for me anyway!)

     Over the last year (with the help of modern day technology) I have been able to keep up on what my friends are doing and how their lives in Corvallis are moving on without me. One of my favorite things of all time is watching people grow. But getting to watch this girl grow has been one of the most beautiful things of my entire year. Again I didn't really know her that well but knowing the house, the friends, the community that is surrounding her now is so much evidence of where and how God is working in her life. The transformation from the girl we were starting to get to know to now is incredible! You can tell in her smile through pictures that this year in Corvallis is one she will never forget and how prevalent the Holy Spirit is in her and affecting everyone and everything around her. Heck I was 3,000 miles away and I felt it!! Having the privilege of knowing the community in Corvallis that she has emersed herself in makes me that much happier for her. The group of college students in that town is unlike anything I have ever seen. The friends she has now, living in the Courtyard, weekends at WFR, being a part of Young Life, going to family dinners, just living in Corvallis, is a group that will always be there for her no matter what. When I found out that she was going to be a summer intern at WFR- Creekside, I'm not sure why but I was almost brought to tears! Good tears I assure your! Her heart and her passion for living life the way God intended it to be in unreal and I could not be more excited for you Claire! :) Have a great summer!

Til the next new day ;)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

the only CITY i'd live in

     Anyone who knows me knows I love country music. But I don't just love country music... I LOVE country music. Some of my friends have told me I just AM country music (still not really sure what that means). Now anyone who really knows me knows that I hate the city. Now anyone who really REALLY knows me knows that there is one "city" I'd live in and it's right in the heart of dixie known as Music City USA. Although on a map you're gonna find it under Nashville, Tennessee.
     I don't know what it is about that city, lots of people go there. After all it is a "crazy town full of neon dreams" where "everybody plays and everybody sings."  It's "Hollywood with a touch of twang" but I wouldn't go there with hopes of making it big in the music industry. I would go there to dance, to explore, to watch... and maybe lead Young Life college at Vanderbilt or something. I feel like I talk about this a lot but there is just something about that city that has pulled me in for years. My roommate even found a sweatshirt at Goodwill that says "Nashville Scrappers" on it, so we got it. We realized a couple months later however that it's from Nashville High School in Nashville, Arkansas.... oh well!
     I've been there a few times since I became a "southern belle" and it is my favorite spot for what I like to call Vacations with Me. It's a big enough city to kind of get lost in but not big enough that it swallows you up. The CMT awards were on tonight which sparked this idea again. I realize that Nashville is WAY way more than just country music but it is music city after all. Often I find myself I daydream sometimes about living in a studio apt downtown and working in a coffee shop below, going up on the hill for a run in Centennial, seeing who's coming to the Ryman that week and exploring all sorts of thrift shops, painting by the river and ofc course the little bit of twang i've developed in my voice has become permanent. But for now I am ok with it just being a vacation spot... and no matter where I am, it always will be.

Monday, June 4, 2012

3,000 miles and a Wedding later...

... I made it! Once again I am back in the Pacific Northwest. It's a great place to be really. The trees, the mountains, the ocean, the air (existing without humidity), my friends and my family.
You all know this is where I grew up and while yes there is a part of me that already misses the South and my beloved Arkansas, I am so excited to be home, even if just for a little while.

     The drive up was nothing but long although I do love being able to see the country and how it changes from state to state. If you are following me on Instagram you can see pictures of each state I went through, this time being Oklahoma, Kansas, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. I drove for 2 1/2 days, raced the clock, changed clothes in Ellensburg and drove straight to my cousins wedding rehearsal just in time for the last run through. You see after eight years, my amazing cousin FINALLY married the man she loves. Josh and Katia Tyson are now official... At Last!!! (ironically enough that was the song she picked to walk down the aisle to)
     The wedding was amazing and I was honored enough to be able to stand next to her as one of her bridesmaids. Katia and I are the only girl grandchildren on that side of the family and we are also the two oldest of eight. We are the little girls of the family, even if we aren't so little anymore. Yesterday was a blast! I may have grown up a tomboy and still prefer jeans and boots to a dress and heals but every now and again I love getting dressed up and pampered on. I did my hair in the morning, and went with Kat to go get our make up done at the counters at Nordstroms. Hanging out and taking pictures in the hotel and venue with the rest of the bridal party was so fun. I've always looked up to my older cousin and getting to watch her get married was so fun.
    Through out the night I couldn't help but thinking that even though there is no one in the picture right now, that this time of my life might be coming closer and closer and although they are crazy beyond belief, how lucky we are to have a huge family that loves each other and loves us. Everyone was there to help out and it meant a lot to them to be able to be a part of Katia's day in one way or another.
     I often forget how much I miss being closer to my family. I forget how far away I am. I love the South and right now there is no opportunity that would make me move and I have no idea how long I'll be there but I've always thought that when the days come for me to be planning a wedding and starting a new life, having a family, that I would be no farther away than maybe greater Portland. I was talking to my aunt and uncle about that today and I know that all of them wishes that I move back, even if they won't tell me to my face. I'm not sure what I want yet and in reality it doesn't really matter. What matters is that I am listening and following to where God wants me today. Including Him in my life and letting Him put whatever and whoever in no matter what I might say. If that means the South it means the South. If that means one day I get to move back to the PNW then you can bet I'll be here. But for now I know that this is going to be a great summer back home.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Late Night Early Morning SUAH

So it's currently 330 in the morning and I am laying in a fort built by Josh and Evan in our living room as Evan and Jordan are asleep on either side of me. Josh is attempting to study at the table for his final at eight in the morning.
Words can not describe how much I love these three friends of mine. Don't get me wrong, I am so blessed to have the entire community I have in Arkansas and every one of them is a reason why I have thought of the possibility of planting roots down here but there is something that happened with the four of us that will hold us together for quite some time.
We call it SUAH. It stands for Super Ultimate Adventure Hoodrats. We don't really know how it happened but it did. We like to go on adventures and for some reason it always ends up being the 4 of us. So we made a club. 'Cause we're cool. We're not trying to leave anyone out, if you ever want to come on an adventure with us, you are more than welcome to. It just happens. Usually spontaneously.
These adventures have bonded us though. Bonded us in conversation, bonded us in adventure and bonded us in friendship. We are sisters and brothers in Christ and I believe that is a huge component to us being such great friends. It's completely normal to find one of the boys asleep on our living room floor at 3 in the morning.
I know the rest of this is going to sound super sappy but right now I would consider these three my best friends. Friends who shoot guns together stay together right?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Our Last YL Club of the Year

Our friend put together this video of our last club Monday night. It's a window into the world that we as Young Life leaders step into every day. We choose to because we believe in this ministry, we believe in these kids and most of all we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.  John Evans, our ArkLaMiss Young Life Regional Director said it in no better way at our Arkansas/NE Texas leadership weekend this year ...


Monday, April 16, 2012

The Spirit Fills in the Blanks

"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. 
For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us 
with groanings too deep for words. 
And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, 
because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God
 And we know that for those who love God 
all things work together for good, 
for those who are called according to his purpose."  
 [Romans 8: 26-28]

     The last part of this section of verses has always been a verse that I carried around with me since even before I really became a believer and follower of Christ. Lately I have been focusing on the first part. 
     Even when we are broken to our core and don't know what to pray for past our last breath, the Spirit takes our prayer and helplessness and fills in the blanks. Most people think the "Christian life" gets easier when you decide to "follow Christ" but if you are REALLY following Him in everything you have you will soon learn that this is not the case... pretty much ever. Things get harder and it is crucial in every thing to lean hard on Him, the Spirit, and the Community he surrounds you with. Trust me when I say I am learning this the hard way right now. I hope this was just a little bit of encouragement and reminder to some of us that I think forget frequently. But always know that if you are truly trying to follow... it will be worked out for your GOOD. 
God wants us to succeed, but we can't always see the right race to run. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Walking Day

     Due to some interesting circumstances the last couple days I was forced to use my feet as my primary mode of transportation rather than driving. Being from the NW this isn't something that is uncommon to me at all. I use to walk everywhere, all the time. I would take me about 45 minutes to get from one end of Corvallis to the other. I loved walking to and from campus at Oregon State and we lived right by a park where I use to go run. Even in growing up in Washington I walked to school from 7th grade on and it wasn't uncommon for me to walk "downtown" (or at least what they liked to call "downtown Covington" which I have learned has grown quite a bit since I left 4 or 5 years ago. I didn't even have my license til I was almost 18 years old. Regardless, I like walking, I use to do it a lot more, and the other day I got to enjoy it a little.
     It's funny what you see when you are walking that you don't see when you're driving. Or when someone else is driving, or you're riding public transportation (which Conway doesn't have btw). Conway however is a lot bigger than Corvallis, and lacking sidewalks in a lot of places and it took me a lot longer to get from one side of the town to another and I may have had my roommate come pick me up later but I did enjoy it.
     Walking gives me time to think. Time to process what's going on. Time to talk to God and rest in the beauty He made around me. Yesterday made me a little homesick though. It brought back memories of walking around Corvallis to and from campus, going to meet Hannah or walking by my friends houses and stopping in to see what they were up to. I did get to see two of them on Skype which made my whole day, and a voice mail from another brought so much happy to my heart. I do miss them on a daily basis and look forward to seeing all of them again so so soon!! But I am grateful for the community I am surrounded with in Conway. They have and are helping me through a lot and a lot of just being away from home. I say all the time that I don't know how long I'll be here but for now I'm right where I need to be.

Til the next new day ♥ ,

Saturday, March 31, 2012


     Freak of the Week fact about myself... I really like the sound a keyboard makes when you type on it. I remember in elementary school learning how to type and from then on every time I would walk by a computer I would type something, just to hear the sound it made. It was usually my name or a sentence like "i think the brown cow jumped over the fox and landed on the street." I know... I can be real creative sometimes. But I think that might be what I am doing now. Typing just to hear the sound of the keyboard.
     I just got back from a date night with the girls. We went to the new Buffalo Wild Wings in Conway (aka Buffalo aka BWW aka Bdubs aka The Place) and our original plan was to go see the Hunger Games (although I have already seen it) however the next three shows were all sold out! So we saw Mirror Mirror instead which is surprisingly really funny and pretty cute. We meet up with the guys afterwards at Zaza's.
     The last couple nights have been full of amazing community and fellowship and honestly just what the doctor ordered. I am a part of a new Missional Community through Fellowship Bible Church and our first night was so fun! I love conversations when we are ready to just be messy with everyone and share REAL life. We went from hilarious loud laughter to some of the most serious real talks I've had in a while. The last couple nights consisted of Family Dinner and a date to dinner and a movie with the Kaitlin and Bethany and then meeting up with the guys. Food. Friends. Fellowship. awesome.
     Community is so much more important than we think. We are meant to live life together and share life together. In Genesis God decided that it wasn't ok for Adam to be by himself. They went through every animal He had already created but none of them were right. That's when God made Eve. To be his friend, his helper, his lover. So neither one of them ever had to live life on their own. Now it's good to have personal time and refresh and recharge and have quiet time with you and the Lord but we are more tempted and easy to fall if we are our own accountability.
     For a good portion of my life it felt like the world was telling me that I had to do what we called "life" all by myself because no one else cared. Such a lie.
     I've been pretty homesick lately and missing Thursday nights dancing, cooking dinner for the "Bubs", hanging out at Katie, Shan and Adriana's, Sunday adventures with Hannah, Grace City Church, and just the people back home who were my community and know me really really well. And even though I might only be in Conway for a little while getting involved in community here and now is so important to my well being. No matter where you are, even if it's only for a short time, get involved. Get plugged in. Get in a Church where you are and not just waiting to go home for the weekend. Seek friends and community where you are in the here and now. Til the next new day ♥ ,

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

She gets me

     Last year as my internship at SharpTop Cove was coming to an end, I needed to find a place to live when I got back to Conway. With one of our leaders deciding at camp last year that she was going to move to Fayetteville, that left two people without roommates... myself and Jordan. So we decided to live together. Honestly we didn't know each other that well.. if at all when we made this decision but God brought us under the same roof for a reason. We clicked immediatley and get stressed out about when we haven't seen each other for more than 12 hours! She is like a sister that I never had and I am so thankful that she is in my life.
     There are a few people in this world that I can say really know me and who I am, who I was and the path that I have taken and sadly, most of them live 3,000 miles away. Most but one. Jordan understands where I am coming from, we have had to deal with a lot of the same issues growing up and even in the last year weather it be family, boys, school or who knows. Finding a friend who understands you, like really understands you is few and far between and I am so thankful to be roommates with this one :)

     We understand each other. We get our hurt and pain, and we understand what makes us laugh and smile, which helps in the fact that we are both just a little strange, but we're strange together! I can always count on Saturday morning adventures, usually to a flea market or a picnic at the park and conversations somewhere along the lines of...
         ME: Hey whatever happened to Aaron Carter?
         JORDAN: I don't know, I haven't heard from him since his parents left and he had that party.

  and constantly asking each other... "someone will love us one day right?"

     The other day she came to little rock to visit me at work and said she found a present for me. I thought it was from the Zoo since I was unable to go with her and Keirstin that day but oh no... even better!

I told you... she knows me! 

     Last night I came home from work to find her lying on our living room floor under the stars. yep we have an indoor star machine. We call it the Astrostar. I laughed, grabbed two popsicles out of the fridge and joined her. The rest of the night included us listening to the backstreet boys under the stars, building a fort out of blankets in our living room, watching Airplane, having real talk and a sleepover in our amazing fort that will probably last for the rest of Spring Break. 

     Some times I swear we are like an old married couple, especially when I get texts saying "let me know when you are on your way home so I can put dinner in the oven." 

I'm telling ya, I wouldn't trade her for the world!

Love you Jordan!!!

Til the next new day ♥ ,

Saturday, March 10, 2012


     Congrats to all my friends who are ready move to the next chapter of their lives! Right now the count is at 31 but the rate they are going, I am sure it will continue to grow soon.  So congratulations everyone on your ENGAGEMENTS!!!! (I guess it's just that time!)

Katia Jainga-Longergan & Josh Tyson
Kari Foss & Chris Williams 
Bryan Janzing & Geneva
Rachel Nisbet & Stephen Stenberg
Adriana Jasso & Ryan Derrah
Laura Ford & Brett Sauer
Brett Eckler & Autum
Kelsey Martin & Darrick Stiff
Annalise Nickelberry & Thanh
Bucca & Lindsay
Kelsey Silver & Carter
Nicky Gowen & Mary 
Brittany Ivey & Jonathan Goins
Robyn Walsh & Tex Piper 
David Keniston & Jenni Olsen
Hannah Beth Dixon & Josh
Jeff Gratreak & Kelsey
Jacob VanBemmel & Lauren Bell
Morgan Loux & Sam
Beebo Russell & Hannah
Missy Austin & Jess
Sam Heilig & Rachel 
Jordan Gerding & Rachel 
Kevin Petermeyer & Karen
Amy Schafer & DJ 
Mark Hoffman & Lindsey
Kenneth Ernst & Anna Edmonds
Jessie Denning & Tim
Shelby Douglass & Collin
Thea Lynn & Matt
Jenna Logan & Kyle
Melissa Randich & Ali 
Til the next new day ♥ ,

Learning to Love Different

     The last couple days I've been in an interesting mood. I love what I'm doing but to be honest I am getting worn out. But the strange thing is, I find my self getting worn out from being myself. I had a talk with my roommate last night about just feeling different and I am so encouraged to have her in my life to keep my head above water. But in all of it I am learning that each of us were made exactly the way we are for a reason even if people say other wise. I know who I am but it's about being fully ok with that. I was reading my friend Katie's blog today (as you all should) and the encouragement I get from her is unreal. When I go home she is one that I make sure to connect with and in more ways than she probably even knows I wouldn't be where I am today with out her and our other friends that took me in and built me up last year.
     But regardless this is who I and no matter the looks I get, the assumptions made, the jokes I am the butt of... I am trying, in the midst of a world completely different from my own yet wonderful in it's own way... to love what I really am.

     { I love country music. I am really good at laser tag. Painting calms me and I like giving them away more than ever trying to sell them. I am a Young Life leader. I am in love with Jesus and grateful for what He did for me. I have 3 brothers, 20, 20 & 10, two are twins, one is autistic. My name is JILLIAN and I tolerate but isn't really a fan of Jill. I hate it when people call me Julian. I will laugh at just about everything. Dancing is an outlet for me. I am a really hard worker. I am naturally loud. If you won't lead, I will, but sometimes you can't let me. I want to share how much Jesus is in love with them to just about every high school and college girl I meet. As much as I want a boyfriend... I don't. I love cuddling. My love languages are words of affirmation and physical touch. I usually always late, no matter how hard I try. I love musicals. I will dance in my house, in my car, and on the big stage. If I could teach everyone how to line dance, I would. I don't like Dave Matthews, the Avett Brothers or Adele and yes I still have a soul. I get defensive when people make fun of me. Most think I'm playing along but it really hurts. My interests are not the same of a lot of people. I love everything having to do with Disney. I think I'm pretty. I hate getting hit on at work or whistled at on the street. I love memorizing songs. I will rewrite something 20 times if I don't like my handwriting. I wish I could sing. I need words of encouragement. I love giving words of encouragement. When I say I love you, I mean it. My all time favorite song is "Jesse's Girl" by Rick Springfield. I have seen almost every season of Survivor. I love watching the Bachelor. I want to run the Amazing Race. I wish I had the nerve to go audition for Disney. I love doing contact work on a college campus. I hate school. I don't understand big words. If I tell a lie long enough, I begin to believe it. I over book myself. Belle is my favorite princess. My favorite date would include a hot dog stand, swings and going out dancing that night. I miss Oregon. I love the South. I am scared that I am too restless. I don't like how loud I am sometimes. A strong lead on the dance floor will tell me a lot about who you are off the floor. I think dirty jokes are really funny but will shut down when you make fun of women. As much as I like to go my own way, I am a people pleaser. Sometimes I wish I could breakout into song. Sometimes I do. I wish I was a runner. I like being the center of attention but I don't always want to be, and sometimes I feel obligated to be. I love exploring Nashville. If no one wants to go with me, that's not going to stop me from going. I like other things besides country music. I like good beer. I miss happy hour at McMennamins. I love road trips. I like watching stuff blow up. There is no time better than football season. Go Cougs. Go Beavs. My heart lies in the Pac-12. I have the Sportcenter and pintrest app on my phone. I want to see the Blazers in April in memphis. I hate baseball but I love the sound of a crack of the bat. My birthday is July 6, 1989. I love being in love. I have had something taken from me that I will never get back. My testimony is victorious and still being written by my heavenly Father. I am loud. I will never stop dancing. I like to be silent. .... } 

And that is just the start of what I am learning to love.

Til the next new day ♥ ,

Friday, February 24, 2012


Never underestimate the power God has to surprise you.
Just a simple word of wisdom for y'all today. I was recently blown out of the water on so many things that I don't even know where to begin. Pray for Him to surprise you today, because I guarantee He will ;) Til the next new day ♥ ,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Simple Inspiration from a Friend

     Lately it's been a lot of realizations of becoming a real adult. A real grown up where life is getting ahead of me and I am going to have to really buckle down and deal with some hard crap that I've hidden for so long. There are things that I want that I know I am not ready for and there are things that I feel ready for that I know won't be for a long while.
     With all that said I am deciding to just not focus on those things.... at least not right now. Right now I want to focus on the simple things that bring us inspiration as the day goes on and as life goes on. So these are some things that I love, that I have always loved and I will always love that make my jaw drop and heart sink and eyes sparkle.... one of my really good friends this a couple posts ago which in turned inspired me to think about this list. She's awesome and y'all should all check her out at

Star Gazing
Dancing with someone
Mountain Views
Road Trips
Disney Magic
Christmas Lights
Camp sites 
Fireside crackle
a Lake Dock
Sound the water makes
Open Fields to take off running
Laughter that hurts
Little Giggles
Embarrassing moments
Human Touch
Roller Coasters
Silence from Snow
Cooking and Singing in the kitchen

That's just some, there are always more things that I find through out the day that I thank God He has made these little things that make me smile and remember that life may be moving fast and I may be becoming an adult but I might not have to grow up... at least not quite yet :) 
Til the next new day ♥ ,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Good Night Prayer

 And as I lay my head to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. And if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take....

     Lord I thank you for unanswered prayers and friends who love me. I thank you for people in my life who have the courage only through you to tell me out of love when I am screwing up and where I need help and that they love You enough to take action and help me when they know I won't seek it myself. 
     Lord I thank you for the kids we are serving and loving and the opportunity to speak into their lives. Lord we know that each kid was not a mistake and that there is a reason each leader holds validation with a different group of kids. Lord I thank you for differences and love. Lord I thank you for the unknown reason why I call the girls that I do. 
     Lord I pray for peace and settling with the things that I have done and the things that have been done to me. I pray that I am able to place them in the boxes they deserve to be put in as part of my past and things, people and events that made me who you are bringing me to today. Lord I pray that as I put these things there that You help me to keep them there. Using only when prompted by You in a way to share Your victory and love to a child of yours who may be coming to know you. 
     Lord I thank you for endless strong conversation and the reassurance a hug can do. Lord I thank you for your love and the love you show through others in my life. 
     Lord I thank you dancing and country music. It seems silly but that is who you made me to be and I wouldn't have it any other way and I know someday, someone will love it as much as me. 
     Lord I pray for college girls and high school girls in Conway that you have yet to have me meet. I pray that you are softening their hearts to you as we speak. 
     Lord as we sleep I pray that you protect the people I love. My family, my friends here in Conway and my friends back home. Let all of them know how much I respect having them in my life. Protect them tonight. 
     Lord I thank you for your love and your salvation.
Til the next new day ♥ ,

This is what I do

   To everyone who is wondering what it is that I do. To all my friends that want to see another YL Club. To all the people that I've been trying to share what Young Life is.... here is a tiny window to what I am doing in Conway. I am a Young Life leader who shows up in the lives of high school and college girls. Every week with the high schoolers we have something called "Club." It's a chance for the kids to laugh and do things that they would have never expected and listen to a great message with their leader sitting right beside them.
     We kicked off our spring semester last night and I think I can speak for all the leaders when I say this semester is going to look a little different and we are all SO FREAKIN' EXCITED!!!!!
     So here is the start to what is going to be an awesome semester of Young Life in Conway, Arkansas!

Til the next new day ♥ ,

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Faith and Action

     I was painting this morning and thinking about everything and everything I want to do and I got a sudden urge to stop and go read a passage out of this new devotional book I got recently called "Come Away My Beloved" by Francis J Roberts... it hit everything that has been running through my head the last couple days and all I could do was just laugh at myself.
I figured, I'm not the only one so I decided to share it with y'all!

Faith and Action
     My promises are of no avail to thee except as ye apply and appropriate them by faith. In thy daily walk, ye shall be victorious only to the degree that ye trust Me. I can help thee only as ye ask. I shall meet you at every point where ye put action alongside thy prayers. Only as ye WALK shall the waters of adversity be parted before thee. Overburdened as the world is with trouble and sickness, I need those who have proved My sufficiency in everyday, personal experience to lead the suffering to the fountains of life. I need those who what found Me as burden-bearer to help bring deliverance to the oppressed. 
     Never begrudge time given to chronic complainers, but recognize in each encounter the opportunity to speak a word that may lead to their liberation. No case is too hard for Me. Never be taken by surprise when I use you to change a pattern. Do not judge a man by what he appears to be, but see him as what he CAN be if he give himself unreservedly to Me. 

No matter who you are dealing with, what you are going through, how big your dreams are, He will walk us through it if we trust Him. And He wants us to dream. Like a child He wants us to come to Him with no restraint and no holding back with bright eyes, big smiles and even bigger dreams. When you're a kid it doesn't matter because you think you can do anything. Who says that has to stop? In Mark it is written

"Truly I say to you, 
whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child
 does not enter it at all"
 (Mark 10:15)

Speaking of dreams... I love this song and it has the same "no matter how big, keep going, even if it kills you." It's the new single from the Eli Young Band  Even if it breaks your heart

"Way back on the radio dial 
A fire got lit inside a bright eyes child
Every note just wrapped around his soul
From steal guitars to Memphis all the way to rock and roll...

Oh, I can hear 'em playing
I can hear the ringing of a beat up old guitar
Oh, I can hear them singing
Keep on dreamin' even if it breaks your heart"

Til the next new day ♥ ,

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What happened to TN?

If you were to ask me when I was 10 what I was going to do after high school, I would have told you I was going to Tennessee (oh and driving a lime green VW bug. the new one, not the vintage one).

If you were to ask me when I was in junior high what my favorite songs were (you know the "i'll sit in my car and wait for you to end before I turn the engine off" songs) I would have told you "Walking in Memphis" by Marc Cohen (the acoustic piano version) and "Maybe it was Memphis" by Pam Tillis. I guess I wanted to know what a Tennessee lullaby was.

If you were to ask me in high school what schools I was looking at, it was Washington State, Arizona State, the University of Arkansas (randomly enough they have an ok journalism program), Southern Oregon University, California State University in Chico, the University of Oregon (which is where I ended up for my freshman year before transferring to OSU) and the University of Tennessee. Then I was told I didn't need to move across the country. but we all know how that turned out.

If you were to ask me last year what I was going to do when I graduated, I was going to buy a truck, pack it up and straight up move to Franklin (outside Nashville). I even contacted the area director there at one point.

So what happened to TN? Nothing really, but I do think it's interesting how God uses things in our lives to bring us where he wants us in that particular moment. If you look at a map I'm only 2.5 hours away from Memphis. And about 6 from Nashville. 7 from Chattanooga. and like 8 or 9 from Knoxville. It's a very long state. Some have told me before "you're so close, why don't you just keep going?" Others think the only reason why I have a Vols shirt is cause of this guy I met at work. I will have you know that I have had that for quite some time now.

I went to Nashville this summer for the day while I was at Sharp Top and it was one of the best days of my life. I wore my favorite skirt, my favorite boots and went to the Country Music Hall of Fame, StudioB, Wildhorse Saloon, Broadway, and a bunch of other stuff (granted I was there for like 12 hours) but I have never had that much fun by myself! I use to drive back and forth from Conway, AR to Jasper, GA through TN and would always stop in Chattanooga. The river front is really awesome and really pretty. It was a great place for me to relax before finishing my drive.

No I'm not there yet but I think I will be. Someday. Somehow. When or why I couldn't tell you but He buts dreams in you for a reason. He knows what is music to your ears and makes your heart sing and weak at the knees. Some say I need to be an adult now but I say 22 is still growing up. And with growing up comes exploration and adventure.
Well friends, I say I got a lot of adventures to explore.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Amabala Emoh Teews

That's Sweet Home Alabama backwards

It's one of my favorite movies, and recently in a lot of ways I've realized that my life is somewhat similar to the story of Melony Smooter... only backwards... and without the whole marriage/divorce drama. I can honestly say that I don't have that much boy drama in my life.

You see Melanie "Carmichael" Smooter has a past. A past that she tries to run from and does everything to hide. She grew up in Pigeon Creek, Alabama and after things go south (no pun intended) she runs to New York City to start a new life, with a new name, trying to forget what she left. Which was her husband of course. Jake Perry, played by Josh Lucas (who randomly enough was born in Little Rock, AR yet graduated high school in Gig Harbor, WA... and isn't bad to look at either) is a deep south man who is trying to make something of him self somewhere in Alabama while still holding onto a dream he's had since he was ten years old. Mel. She comes back from NY to settle their divorce and long story short well... stays with her roots, doesn't marry the Yankee and Felony Melanie and Mr. Perry stay in Sweet Home Alabama. I don't really feel bad about ruining the ending since the movie is now 10 years old.

But the part that I have always related to Melanie more about would be when she is back in her home town and part remembering why she left and a lot of her character is just trying to find out who she is. I love that she came home back down south and the love story between Melanie and Jake is classic and heart breaking every time but one of my favorites to watch over and over. The reason I call my life backwards from hers well for one, I went backwards. I moved South, and sometimes come home and while I don't re-fall in love with my husband, I do relate how she feels a lot of time. Sometimes I wonder if I am running away from something. I remember on the drive down here thinking, "no body knows me here. I could be a completely different person and no one would know. I could start over. Change my identity and never look back." That's what Melanie did. That is what I have thought about doing before and there are somedays where I just wish I grew up down here. Then I go home and wish I never left.
There is a scene with Jake and Melanie sitting in the "Coon Dog Grave yard" after a night with their friends two stepping when they are talking and Melanie says "I'm happy in New York Jake, but then I come down here and this fits too" then Jake says "who says you can't have both." That's how I feel half the time. Why can't I have both?
What am I looking for?
Why do I want to keep exploring? Keep going places? Where am I even going?
Why am I so restless? What is it that I'm looking for?
You know I use Young Life as the reason I moved but am I actually running from something? Someone? Can I do that? Does it just go away?
You know sometimes I pretend to actually have a southern accent so strangers think I grew up somewhere in TN. Couldn't tell y'all why but I do.
I like being free and being able to just jump in my car on my day off and go somewhere right then and there. But then sometimes I wish I had my best friend I've known since the 10th grade right there with me. Just someone to make more memories with.
When I figure out what I'm doing, I'll call ya. Til the next new day ♥ ,

Sunday, January 1, 2012

One More Year?

What would you do if you knew there was only one more year?

Happy New Year everyone!!!

Now well I most definitely do not believe that the world is going to end with 2012 the theory's have got me thinking. What would I do if I knew I only had one more year? Honestly I don't think I know. Make the most of it I guess. I'd laugh everyday. Pray more than that. Tell him I love him. Kiss someone. Dance without caring again. Put it all on the line. Have more dates with myself. Have a date with someone else. Fly home again. Tell my brothers about Jesus. Go visit Jackson in California. Go to Disneyland.... twice! Run a race. Cheer again. Perform again. Visit every YL camp. Keep my room clean. Pay for someones drink behind me in line. Eat some good food. Just not care. Explore TN. Go to another Bowl game. Watch the Beavs one more time.

When thinking this list the one thing I keep thinking is "why can't I do this now?"
I can. I should. I think I'm going to. Maybe. Hopefully.
Most people think I am so strong and courageous and will do almost anything and I will, exept when it comes to myself. If it means doing anything for me then it's a slim chance I won't. I don't even like giving myself breaks at work. I love planning things for other people though. I just don't have anyone to plan for anymore.
I think that was my favorite part about being in a relationship. Planning surprises for them when they are not expecting it. I love getting people things when it's not their bday or christmas, and I love taking someone somewhere I know will put a smile on their face. I guess I'm just a people person. I loved being able to take care of someone. Cook dinner. Give them a shoulder massage. Surprises in the city. Secret notes. I miss it.
Who says 2012 doesn't have to be like that? Til the next new day ♥ ,