Tonight we had a great night at church with the youth.  Chad spoke just as he does every wednesday night - its really good so you should definitely come.  But that's really not the point because tonight Chad brought up something that completely astounded me.  We were talking about Jesus walking on water and Peter leaving the boat, walking on water, and "seeing the wind" at which time Peter began to sink.  I had never really thought about the fact that Jesus helped Peter up, and the two of them walked back to the boat side by side. (Thanks Chad)  Sometimes... okay most of the time, I get caught up in the constant reminder of just how imperfect I am.  I hate to fail, and yet failing is the one thing I never have to worry about being consistent at.  I do find hope in the fact that Peter, one of Jesus' disciples failed quite a bit in Scripture and still wrote part of what we consider Scripture and is still a major figure in Christian history.  Based on Peter's many examples, we can fail and get past it. Hello, rocking my little world right now.

The big deal to me was the getting back up and continuing side by side with Jesus.  Two reasons this rocked my world -
1. I tend to try to do everything without asking for help which is most often when I fail.  I have learned recently from experience that life is so much sweeter when you walk side by side with Jesus.  Accepting that I have fallen, I reach for His hand and ask that He lead me and "make my paths straight."(Psalm 3:5-6)
2. I love a good "phoenix" story - you know getting up after you have fallen and making something of yourself.  I also know that I have been there, there being flat on my face with nowhere to go but to God.  It was there that He met me with arms outstretched offering love and grace instead of hate and "I told you so."  It was also there that He picked me up and made something of me. In Isaiah 62, God calls His church Hepzhibah which means "my delight is in you."  I heard Him tell me that I am His (Is 43) and that He has me inscribed in the palm of His hand.(Is 49)

For most of my life, I heard people saying that God should be and can be your everything, that He loves you, wants you to love Him in return, desires relationship, and longs to woo you to Himself.  I also heard people say that to know Him you must know His character.  Which it sounds almost elementary to me now because "duh" you have to know someone to love them.  I began by simply saying that I wanted Him to be my everything.  I have believed in Jesus for a very long time, but never really understood what all of this really looked in my life.  I then asked Him to reveal Himself to me that I may know Him, and I began a Bible study designed specifically for that.  I wanted to fall in love with Jesus so I began to seek Him.  Can I tell you that I fell more in love everyday.  It was amazing to me that He really did pursue me and love me.  He is our Shepherd, our Lord, our El Shaddai - which is not just a slightly weird song.  El Shaddai literally means "motherly."  Nobody loves you like a mama except God because that is part of His character.  I get so excited when I think about this so I will stop now or I will write an even longer book.  (It's just awesome though!!!)  While we were at youth camp with the girls, I realized that I would rather have this life with Jesus than any amount of money or any job or any amount of security.  You can read more in depth about that discovery here.

All of this to say that how you live - your actions and reactions are choices.  You have the choice to be the victim type that never gets out of the water after sinking or you can reach for His hand, get up, and walk side by side with Him.  Also, you want to walk side by side with Him because He loves you unconditionally forever no matter what AMEN!  That peace that passes all understanding really does pass all understanding and comprehension.  It's difficult to explain - it's just something you know. 


something new

Not very long ago I graduated from college ready to be a licensed teacher - I thought I had everything figured out.  I wanted to come home(from Blue Mountain College to Laurel) and find a job around here where I could teach high school history.  I had this idea of what I wanted life to look like.  I would be a successful high school teacher that changed lives and then after a few years I would get a Master's and teach college history classes.  I would eventually get married, buy a house, a car and have 2.2 children.


God had a very different idea of what this life would look like.  The "Readers' Digest" version is that this process of Him molding me was is a very painful process on my end.  I am stubborn, I like plans and lists and security.  Instead, I found myself not knowing the plan, not marking things off my lists, and without security.  God had to bring me pretty low so that I would know what its like to HAVE TO depend on Him absolutely for everything.  But when I did, oh wow, was it the most amazing feeling and best foundation I could ever have.  I am a firm believer in experience being the best teacher as I am a tactile learner.  Basically, I have to make the mistake before I will believe it won't work.  But I would go through it all over again because through  it I have learned so much about God and myself which has led(slowly) to me loving both God and myself and others more than I ever have.  It is only when you have a correct understanding of who God is can you really have a correct understanding of who you are and how you relate to the other 6 billion people on this planet.  

So now I work at Laurel Christian Pre-School - I am the director of the After-School Program there.  To say that I love my job is a gross understatement.  Instead of teaching 100+ kids who have attitudes I now have 25+ kids who have attitudes.  :)  I have a great group of kids that I love - honestly love them.  Also I am working in an environment that sees everything through a lens that asks is what I am doing bringing glory to God.  I also have a little time to work on "A Daisy A Day" - the creative venture that might not have happened if not for my detour.  I am still not married, but I figure that will come when God is ready for it to.  

I felt I had to share this "daisy" with you because I am happy.  I realized that all the pain and all the trials were to bring me to this point of relinquishing monetary security and self-reliance for a life of adventure and a big story.  I want to live a great story and I want that story to bring glory to God.  ***Little tidbit of information for you - glory means giving a correct estimation of!!!  How awesome is that?  My life is meant to give others a correct estimation of who God really is - a daunting task but He is helping me with that.  I am not sure that you will really understand the power of this revelation in my life, but being happy and at peace with where I am and who I am is definitely something new in my life.



So I have this thing about making lists.  There is a wonderful sense of accomplishment when I mark through something on a list whether I remembered to pick up something at the grocery store I keep forgetting or doing something  on a "to-do" list.  I also find myself worrying about simple things more than I should - so a list helps me to organize my thoughts and arrange them in a manageable order.  So I have a list or two for you today!

Things I have learned about myself this week:
1. I love a challenge.
2. I am way more OCD than I originally thought.
3. I really love my job and where I work (Laurel Christian School)!
4. I hate money!  
5. I like to work hard - I would much rather come home exhausted from work rather than boredom.

Things I would like to do in the near future:
1. Take a road trip to one of the places on my list. 
*Yes another list consisting of places such as Charleston, Savannah, Wilmington, etc.
2. Use some of my Grandmother's crochet squares to make a quilt/afghan.
3. Exercise and eat right more consistently!
4. Be more consistent in general in my life.
5. Genuinely become a better person/sister/daughter/friend/follower of Christ.
*Which I am pretty sure if I can work of the last then the others will be a natural overflow.
6. Keep in touch more consistently with my friends!



So yesterday was in-service at school, and all of the faculty and staff from the three campuses(pre-school, elementary, and high school) were together for lunch.  It was at lunch that I had one of those "wow" kind of moments.  One of the teachers at the high school taught me when I was in high school, and she was one of my favorite teachers.  She was my teacher for 3 consecutive years for Algebra II, Trigonometry/Advanced Algebra, and AP Calculus.  Her classroom felt like a safehaven for me because it did not matter how many questions we asked - she answered every single one of them as if she were explaining the concept for the very first time.  This practice revolutionized my thinking - not only was it not dumb to ask questions but questions were welcomed in her class.  Her attitude and willingness to help us learn are a couple of things that inspired me to become a teacher.  I wanted to be that kind of teacher for generations to come.  So now that you know a little of the backstory, my moment occurred when I realized that I worked for the same school system as one of my inspirations.  It's one of those moments where you realize that all of the work, tears, screaming sessions, and blood that went into your education is all worth it.

Just thought I would share that with you - today is our official first day at school! I work with the After-School program at the Pre-School so no, I am not blogging at school!  I am looking forward to beginning this new chapter of my life!


worth fighting for

There are a few things that I really fervently fight for - family, my faith, education, children.  Those are probably the four things that are consistently on my radar.  To be honest, I believe we all should have those things that we are most passionate about and that we fight for.  **Insert little soapbox moment - if you choose to incorporate these things into what you choose to make your career, you will probably be a great deal more happy in life.** Okay soapbox moment over.  One of the things that I have almost stopped fighting for over the past several years is friendships.  It was not something that I meant to do, but as my friends and I (most of whom met in high school/college) grew up and went our separate ways somewhere along the lines we stopped communicating.  This is in no way a judgmental post or trying to make anyone feel guilty, but it is an awakening for me as I realized that I can be a horrible friend.  I am horrible at calling and staying in touch with people.  If I don't see you at church or work or home then chances are I don't see you and I don't talk to you.

The other day, Candace and I were talking about a friend of hers getting married, and she said that she didn't really want to go to the wedding.  She and the friend used to be really close but over the years they grew apart.  I made the statement that it was so sad that people you used to be really close to were no longer around for the special moments in your life.  The statement, though it came out of my own mouth, was kind of like a punch in my gut.  Throughout college, I had this group of friends that were more like family.  We did everything together - ministry, life, love, burning items after lost love, laughing (a lot), tragedy, drama, arguments.  Whatever the situation, we knew it would be okay because we faced it together.  Over the years, we did what every college student goes through - we grew up, some of us got married, some of us haven't yet, all of us went on our own path.  Suddenly, that group of friends that did everything together was doing everything apart.  Now these are not bad things, you need to grow up and have new experiences because if you don't you will become stagnant and that is not pretty!

So I began thinking that I don't want to lose these relationships with the people that I called family not very long ago.  I want these people at the big events in my life.  We  may not talk everyday, but when it comes down to it, I want to know that if they needed me I would be there and visa versa.  To those friends, I am simply saying that I believe those relationships are worth fighting for.  I also must apologize for not coming to this realization before. I want to do better in keeping in contact with all of you and being there for you especially for the big moments but also for the little ones.

Perhaps we should all ask ourselves what do we consider worth fighting for!  And once we know then go to bat for those things with all of our hearts!


Beauty is...

Emily Dickinson once said that "beauty is not caused, it is."  I read that in a book yesterday, and it has been stuck in my head since.  I am almost certain I believe  this with my whole heart.  I believe that true and lasting beauty comes from a place inside - it radiates from your soul.  Audrey Hepburn knew this as well as she "believed that happy girls are the prettiest girls."  Beauty is not something that must be achieved by slathering on tons of cosmetics or putting on a fabulous dress.  Those things may make you feel pretty on the outside, but beauty is something that simply is.

To me beauty is....

Wonderful parents who celebrate 31 years of marriage today and a beautiful sister who turns 25 today!

This little girl is probably my favorite person ever!

The second "beaty boy" after Poppy (my Daddy)! He is just the cutest thing ever!