Monday, September 19, 2011

Life in general...

So my mom informed me that I don't update this nearly enough...honestly, I don't feel like it is interesting at all or that I have anything worthy of updating...but to make her happy I guess I am updating!

I have been in Charlotte for a month now and it feels really weird, kind of like I'm on vacation or something but I still haven't figured out where I am going when my vacation is over. I love my apartment and my roommate, we are finally almost done decorating and it feels very "homey." We watch A LOT of disney channel, like to the point where I have pretty much seen every episode of Good Luck Charlie, Shake it Up, and A.N.T. I really look forward to the new episodes on Sunday! Also we have watched a lot of movies and our collection is expanding quite nicely! I slept pretty awful for the first few weeks and I think i'm finally getting to where I actually sleep through the night...but I have been having the craziest dreams and my bed squeaks so bad it's super annoying!

Campus is beautiful and it is a nice workout from the parking lot to my classes...too bad I only go twice a week for like 2 hours. I am pretty disappointed in the lack of work grad school is giving me. I was expecting it to be so hard and overwhelming but it has been the complete opposite! I know that it will get more difficult but for now I really enjoy the content and get excited to do my homework!

I started volunteering in a kindergarten classroom in a Title I school for my clinical observation! I will only go about once a week but I am so excited, it is an incredible opportunity and I can't wait to get more involved! I have never worked with kindergarten so that will be interesting! I also got a job but I am only part time and pretty much on call so hoping I will get a good amount of hours but it will vary each week. So for now things are pretty slow and I am taking it one day at a time! I have had a lot of time to work out so if I end up gaining weight there will be a huge problem!

Charlotte is beautiful! I love being so close to the city and seeing uptown at night is so exciting but I can't really explain why! There is seriously everything you could ever want within 10 minutes from my apartment. I mean outlets, restaurants, fast food, movies, stores...anything! I think there are like 3 malls no farther than 20 minutes away! I have been going to Elevation Church and am trying to get involved in some small groups so that is exciting!! My grandma has visited, my friend Kristy...and hopefully more will come soon!

This past weekend I got to take my roommate to Blacksburg! It was sooo much fun and I had really missed it but I definitely left feeling funny. It's weird to not be there anymore, it's weird the emotions I felt being there and leaving again. It was kind of hard experiencing some of the memories I had there and realizing what certain things in Blacksburg meant to me. Overall it was a great experience and I can't wait to visit again. I didn't really know what to expect and am realizing that I am in such a new phase and the Lord is teaching me a lot I just don't always realize it at the moment. I have to move on now and deal with the past at the same is crazy and I don't always understand it! I have a lot of time to think here and it's kind of annoying, I over think things WAY too much sometimes and I am really working on that! Trying to let life happen in accordance with God's will as I seek Him and obedience! I have no idea what is in store for me this year and that is kind of scary...I've never felt so clueless...I have always had some indication of what would happen or comfort in where I was. But I can't complain and overall I am excited to see what God has in store because I know it will be better than I can ever imagine!

On that note...I have been really meditating on this verse and feel like it pretty much sums up my feelings here in Charlotte...

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go, 
for to you I lift up my soul."
Psalm 143:8

Sorry that this isn't very interesting even though it's so long!!
I have lots of new recipes to use this week so maybe I will actually post something about that...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Patient Endurance

My dad reminded me that patience is not my strongest trait today, after a minute or so I agreed but then began to reflect on how much I have grown in this area over the years and how huge it is for me this summer! There are so many things that I have been going through and I keep asking the Lord to just take them for me and solve my problems. However, I am constantly reminded that it's hard work for a reason. God doesn't fix our "problems" as soon as we get them because if he did we wouldn't learn anything and our faith would not grow stronger in him. I personally would probably think that it all happened with my own strength and I would not become more relient on Jesus and how vital he is in every aspect of my life! 
This verse speaks so clearly to this topic; 2 Corinthians 1:6, "If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer." Even though in this scenario Paul is addressing the Corinthians I don't think this could be any more perfect for the way I have been feeling. It is so reassuring to know that everything I go through is not meaningless but it is powerful in some way whether in my life or someone else's and God uses it ALL for good! It is so hard to have joy at all times but like my pastor said this morning, "If you do not have a daily quiet time you are robbing yourself of joy." Joy is so easily attainable when we are seeking it in the right place! Every "problem" and comfort we have is for Christ and the work that he is so continually doing in our lives, to bring him the true glory that he deserves!

By the way this summer has been incredible and God has shown me yet again how amazing and in control he is! I was a little scared to come home but I have been so busy and I love it and all of the people I get to spend time with :)

"Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me. Redeem me from human oppression, that I may obey your precepts." Psalm 119:133-134

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I'm broken inside, I give you my life

As I was laying in my bed last night trying to fall asleep I started thinking about the past three years of my life; the fun that I have had, the hard times I have experienced, the friends I have made, classes I have struggled in and those I enjoyed, and most importantly the transformation that Jesus has done within me. When I thought about who I was as I entered Virginia Tech freshman year I am in awe of how different I am now. My mindset, interests, attitude and outlook on life have all changed and I LOVE it. It is so cool to reflect on the changes that have happened within me and to be able to praise the Lord for the mighty work He has done. I never would have expected to be so different or for my life to currently be where it is, I am constantly reminded that it is not my plan and I know nothing!

The title of this post comes from one my favorite songs, Give Me Faith, it is also a phrase I could use to describe the theme of my last three years. I have finally begun to see how broken I am and how little control I have over my life. Just tonight I was at a worship and prayer time, my last CRU event at Virginia Tech, and just repeating to the Lord that I cannot handle my life AT ALL and I don't want to because it does not go well when I try. I am reminded of a verse, Psalm 16:2 which says, "I say to the Lord, 'You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.'" I have seen that so clearly during my years in college and I am so thankful that I have a God who can sympathize with me and who cares so much for me that He will take all of my burdens and all of my cares and that He will carry them for me and provide and love me every single second of every single day.

Tonight I spent time with two of my friends just talking about life; frustrations, joys, and just sharing experiences and advice. I was able to use parts of the story that God has given me through struggles I have had to help another girl and use my testimony for His glory. We were reading random passages to each other and I thought of one of my favorites; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." How cool that I am able to use stories from my life to help other people, I never would have expected that as I faced the trials I did, but I am so thankful for those trials and seeing God's faithfulness bringing me through them, refining me and making me stronger through His power. 

I can confidently say that I did not waste my time at Virginia Tech and I am so thankful for the person I have become and that the Lord is continually making me into. I could go on and on about the blessings I have seen through friends and experiences at Tech, specifically through CRU, and I am so incredibly thankful for the impact that has had on my life. I am especially thankful for those that took the time to invest in me even when I was stubborn and frustrating, specifically my discipler Janelle, I know you probably wanted to slap me so many times when I just didn't get it! Thank you for your perseverance, love, mercy and encouragement!!! Also the girls in my bible study and my co-leader Kristy, you have all had such a huge impact on my life this year and have helped me grow tremendously!! I am excited about my future and know that these last three years have changed me for the better and I am not only more appreciative of my relationship with Jesus but also so much  more aware of the reality of Christ and His death and resurrection!

"You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light."
Psalm 18:28

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Joy Is Made Full When It's Shared

 I have the most amazing friends! This year has been filled with a whirlwind of emotions and changes in my life and God has blessed me so abundantly with incredible friends and family that have encouraged and pushed me every step of the way! This post is going to be dedicated to Kristy Wilson but I want every other person in my life to know that I love you very much and am so incredibly thankful for you!!

I have truly been seeing the power of the Holy Spirit and just grazing the surface of being able to appreciate how glorious it really is! I have been going through Psalm 119 and seeing how powerful God's word is and just developing more of a passion and yearning for it! One of the coolest things I noticed was that in multiple verses it mentions following God's commands = no shame! So many times our first instinct when realizing our sin is to feel shame and guilt but as we seek the Lord and do what He calls us to there is no shame and that is a beautiful feeling! His word keeps us from sin and the more we meditate on it and fall in love with it the closer we get to Him and farther away from sin! Obviously we are not perfect but what an amazing picture that God gives us His word so that we may see Him more clearly and become more like Him every time we become engrossed in Him! "God not only provides the rules and guidelines but comes with us personally each day to strengthen us so we can live accordingly." I am just constantly realizing that I can't do anything on my own absolutely nothing and that is the beauty of the cross and the fact that I have a Savior who chose to give up his life in the most agonizing way so that I could have life abundantly; and with His strength and love I can persevere through the twists and turns of life attempting to glorify Him each step of the way!

In approximately four weeks this phase of my life will be ending, Virginia Tech! I will have the summer to prepare and in August the next phase of life begins, graduate school at UNC Charlotte! Some days I'm excited, some sad, and some just nervous. Overall I have a peace and a confidence that the Lord has amazing things in store for me and I can't wait to see what the next two years entail. I am sad to leave my friends and bible study girls and am nervous to start at a school where I know NO ONE! But I am excited to grow up and go on my own and continue to seek God's will for my life and grow into the woman he created me to be!

This is where Kristy comes in, I could not have survived this year without her and her friendship means so much more to me than she may ever realize. There have been moments of joy, sadness, weakness and strength and she has always been listen, cry, yell, laugh, sing, dance, and just be crazy with me! I am going to miss her and am so thankful for God putting her in my life. I have grown so much even just this semester and know a lot of that is due to her wisdom and input in my life! It has been such a tremendous blessing leading bible study with her and the Holy Spirit has rocked us so many more times than we can count! Those girls have taught us so much and given us so many laughs and smiles :)

I can't wait for them all to visit me and I pray Kristy and I will stay connected for a very long time! People probably think we are insane as we stand on the steps of the dorm where we lead singing as loud as we can Your Love Never Fails! Or when we dance at stop lights and make music videos of us singing in the Wendy's drive thru! Driving my grandma's convertible with scarves around our heads! Dancing in the kitchen with santa hats at 2 am! Or even when one of us falls down and the other gets on the ground with them and just laughs! I could probably write a whole post on the fun things we have done together! Thank you for being such an incredible friend and witness in my life!

So moving on, I do have a recipe this time and Kristy helped!! We bake for our bible study every Wednesday and it is one of the favorite parts of my week! I had been dying to make these cupcakes and it finally worked out for us to do it! Fortunately she is an awesome photographer and even though we only had my camera she was able to get some good pictures :)

I guess you could call these 
cookie dough cupcakes
We went real simple semi-homemade style!
Box of Devils Food cake mix
Cookie dough *frozen*
White frosting
Mini chocolate chips
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
                                       1 1/3 cup water                                      

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the cake mix, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup oil, and 1 1/3 cup water
3. Fill your cupcake liners about 1/4 of the way full
4. Drop a small spoonful of frozen cookie dough in the middle of your liner
5. Fill the rest with cupcake batter until it's about 3/4 of the way full
6. Place in the oven for 20 minutes
7. Let them cool then frost and drop a few chocolate chips on top for decoration

These came out really cute and we had a fun time modeling the cupcakes and of course eating them :)

 These last pictures are from my phone but I wanted to show off our bstud girls :)

As they make music they will sing, "All my fountains are in you." Psalm 87:7