Sunday, August 14, 2011

{dig a ditch.}

Have you ever tried the mints and gum they sell at Christian book stores? I believe they have the ever-creative title of "Testi-mints." One day I was in need of some gum while shopping at Lifeway and decided to purchase these so-called breath fresheners. I popped one in my mouth and discovered that this gum was the worst tasting gum of all time. I don't even think Jesus would enjoy this gum. (If you or a loved one work for Tesi-mints....I apologize.) One would think that gum that represents Jesus would taste better than any other kind of gum--right? Are we not called to excellence?
 I watched Steven Furtick (pastor of Elevation Church in NC) speak this week at the Global Leadership Summit. His church has grown from four people to well over five thousand people in a few years. When he first planted his church he said that he just kept "digging ditches." He never gave up or lost sight of the vision that He knew God planted in his heart. He dug a ditch at every obstacle and after every let down. We may not all be pastors of thousands. But are we students trying to graduate from college? DIG A DITCH. Are we Moms and Dads trying to be the best parents we can be? DIG A DITCH. Are we missionaries in Uganda? DIG A DITCH. Are we a generation in pursuit of God? DIG A DITCH. And as we dig our ditches--may we also pursue excellence along the way. For I do not believe that we were created to settle for bad tasting gum. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

goodbye comfort.

November 2008: I left with more than a dozen people I barely knew (from my home church) for Africa. We were going to help build housing for AIDS orphans in a community called ADZIWA in the country of Malawi. The moment I heard about this two week journey--I knew I would go.

What I didn't know before leaving? 
My heart would never beat the same again. 
I would never look at a child the same way again. 
I would never be able to fully explain how it felt to have a little child put his hand in mine while I was walking. 
My heart would break every day for the rest of my life after what I experienced there. 

Things that made me uncomfortable in Africa:
Fainting in the airplane hallway and then proceeding to vomit in the bathroom.
Waking up under mosquito nets. 
Having awful bugs and lizards find homes in my shoes.
Eating the worst food I've ever tasted.
Being so covered in dirt that even a shower couldn't wash it away.
Cleaning an open gash on a little girl's leg.

It was when I sitting in the dirt covered by a group of children on my lap and with their hands in my hair that I realized: I had never felt more at home in my life.  Paul David Tripp said this: "God isn't working on our comfort--he is working on our character." Ever looked around at our Lexus and latte filled land and wondered--"Is there more to life?" Then you are on the right track. Join me in saying. . .

goodbye comfort. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

{to dream or not to dream?}

Biltmore Estate in NC. {my future home}

      It's been said that I am a dreamer. And? That statement could not be more true. I have been a dreamer since the moment I laid eyes on my first Disney musical. I have been a dreamer ever since I can remember. It was my dream in kindergarten to be a missionary. It was my dream in 2nd grade to be Sandi Patty. My dream in 6th grade? To meet and marry Justin Timberlake. As you can see...the Justin Timberlake dream did not come true (thankfully). My biggest dream of all is to serve God in whatever capacity He chooses. My biggest dream of all is to serve Him through music. 

       I can't imagine a life without dreams. Some paint dreamers in a negative light. Some would rather live life in a day-to-day world then spend a second on dreaming of what could be. I believe God gave me a heart to dream. I was not created to live life without any hopes or dreams. I was created for a purpose. We are all created for a purpose. Now don't get me wrong...I don't live in a fantasy world where Prince Charming picks me up on a white horse or where a herd of ducks follow me into the grocery store (but...actually that did happen.) I know life isn't fanciful and magical all the time. Life is full of hardships and hurt. Instead of drowning in the reality this world offers us; let's chase after the life that God has always prepared for us. Let's live life to it's fullest.  If God has put a dream in your heart I say GO FOR IT. We were not created to settle. We were created to dream. To hope. To love. TO LIVE

Monday, June 20, 2011

{this not that.}

I love the "Eat This--Not That" segment on the TODAY show (and book of the same title); so I've decided to do one of my own. 

It kills me to see girl friends settle for anything less than what God has for them--especially when it comes to relationships. We are all daughters of a King and should be treated as such. Don't ever let anyone make you feel like you aren't worth it. God values you. God chose you. God loves you...and His love is much more grand than anything found in "The Notebook." {although I do adore that movie.} So. . .

...this one goes out to all my single ladies.



Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Photo by Anna Crane Photography
Has anybody been watching "The Bachelorette" this season? {Come on--you know you have.} ;) One of the possible suitors this year arrived to the show wearing a mask. He wanted "the bachelorette" to see him for what's on the inside. So he walks around looking like The Phantom of the Opera and it is awesome. This past Monday he decided to strip himself of this mask and reveal his face! {side note: he was not given a rose that night.} The mask was so distracting that she couldn't get passed. It seems that all his mask did was hide both his face AND his heart. 

This makes me wonder: how many of us walk around wearing a mask? Sure--we may have good intentions. We want people to see the very best of us. We walk around with our neatly ironed shirts and perfectly combed hair. We use fancy words and order fancy lattes without ever showing anyone the REAL us. God created us each uniquely. We are HIS CREATION. If our Maker is proud of us....why aren't we? It's okay that not every day is perfect. It's okay to cry. It's okay to be human! Sure--we all have our flaws. Who doesn't? There is no such thing as a perfect person.  Let's take me for example: I have crazy curly big hair. I have the hand-writing of a ten year old boy. I can't ride a bike. Sometimes I lack courage. Close to perfect? Nope. Not even close. But? I am becoming the lady God wants me to be. Life is a journey and I'm glad to be on it with Him. Let's face it-- Life is too short to wear a mask. I believe we could reach more people for Christ if we were just REAL. So I ask you this question: Will the real "you" please stand up?

Monday, May 23, 2011

wah [wah] wah.

I took Mr. Darcy (my dog) to the groomer's the other day. When I picked him up they said he had a "bad attitude" while they groomed him.I wanted to say: "Well. If someone were to groom'd probably have a bad attitude too." But I didn't. Side note: Mr. Darcy is a lovely English gentleman [who has a bit of a swagger.]

This had me thinking about our [human] attitudes. I am the kind of person that does not hide emotions at all. If you think I am sad--I probably am. If you think I am happy--I probably am. My face says it all. (I really wish it didn't.) I find myself several times a week complaining about non-important matters: "I'm hungry. /I'm cold./I wish I lived in a castle and had ladies-in-waiting serve me tea." (well the last one might be exaggerated.) 
A few years back a church started a 30 day initiative where they vowed not to complain for 30 days straight. There were wristbands involved and the whole nine yards. I'm pretty sure they made it on Oprah too. Which is like HUGE. (said in a Donald Trump voice.) So. I've decided to not UTTER a complaint for ONE WEEK. I think I can do it. Join me? I mean really--what do we have to complain about? We are loved by AN AMAZING God. Who PAID IT ALL on the cross for us [even though we are big ol' complainers] and never uttered a complaint.