Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Peace in God's Plan.

This semester I realized just how rough my junior year of college was.  I was in a dark place where I struggled to understand what God was doing, when I thought I knew what was best.  Obviously when I sit back and reflect, I know that God's plan is always better than mine and he is always working in my best interest in order to bring himself glory.

In the last few months it has become abundantly clear that everything I believe was meant to happen, according to God's plan, has fallen into place without me worrying or stressing. Let's run through some examples shall we?
  • In high school, I didn't have a lot of friends and consistently found myself at home on the weekends, on MySpace/Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr.  I came across a bulletin from Katelyn Tarver on Myspace requesting volunteers to represent their states on her Street Team.  Prior to that bulletin I had heard of street teams, but the commitment scared me. For whatever reason, though, when I saw Katelyn's post I didn't even think before volunteering. Long story short, I went on to represent several up-and-coming bands and realized my passion for promotion. This lead me to have full confidence in my major as I entered college: Public Relations/Advertising. 
  • During college orientation, my leader was discussing the importance of campus involvement and went into detail about the programming organization at the university.  This particular organization was famous for putting on large concerts.  I signed up that day to be a committee member and applied for a position (without hesitation) for the second semester of my freshmen year.  This organization brought me incredible opportunities, experiences (resume builders), connections and amazing, lasting friendships.  Admittedly, my third year was a huge struggle as major changes occurred. It lead me to walk through a valley in my life and collegiate career, but that, too, was meant to happen.  I came out of that stronger, wiser and ready to embrace new opportunities. 
  • My freshmen year was also when I started applying for my second job, after a short, miserable stint at Chuck E. Cheese's.  I accepted my interview and then job at a telemarketing firm, meanwhile getting offered an interview at a local company with a great reputation.  Thinking back, I had already accepted the telemarketing job when this other company called me, but again, without hesitation, I took the interview and the job. This is the same company I celebrated three years with this fall. It has been absolutely ideal for all of my scheduling and financial needs during college.  I can confidently say that the Holy Spirit led me to take that interview even though I had already accepted a new job.
  • When I finally decided to go through sorority recruitment in the summer before my junior year, I struggled with knowing with complete certainty if I should do it and which chapter I was to join. But, once I realized the connection I had with this particular chapter and the lovely Christian background/biblical references in the creed, I knew this was the chapter God wanted me in. Then when the Director of Social Events position opened up, I just wrote out the application from the heart and chose to not worry about the outcome (when I normally have major anxiety over applications).  I prayed that God's will would be done, "If it's your will, I pray that I will get the position, if it's not your will, I pray I won't get the position." Turns out, I got the position, and absolutely loved it (stresses of event planning included).
  • In January I attended a new church, a few weeks before its public launch and after church hopping for months.  I casually tweeted after that first service I went to that, "I think I found my new home church." Again, no stress in the decision, but that tweet was absolutely right. 
  • Lastly, when I heard about the opportunity to go to London with my school, God really gave me constant signs that it was His plan for me to go.  I even tried backing out at one point, at fear that I wouldn't have enough money, but with the unexpected generosity of my family, I was able to pay the deposit and the trip on time without any problems. Then, with the cooperation of my job (and understanding of my sorority, friends and family), I was able to work extra to have a comfortable amount of spending money-resulting in the trip of a lifetime. To put it more bluntly, I worked my butt off to be able to spend without any sort of stress in the city that I had dreamed of going to since the fourth grade. 
Woo! That was a lot, I know. But, they are all very important moments that have shaped my relationship with God and given me the peace and proof to know He has got it all in control. God is faithful. God is in control. God will always provide. God will always be worthy of my trust.

Now, more specifically to life right now.  As my college graduation approaches in May, I am constantly asked what I am going to do after school.  In general, I just respond with, "I don't know yet/Stay in town for sure/Don't ask me that."  In reality, my safe choice and easy answer would be to move up in the ranks at my current job.  It's a respectable company and I already "have my foot in the door," as I am reminded.  However, I have been convinced this semester that while I still love promotion, communication, PR and advertising, I don't want to use those skills for just anything.  It's hard for me to admit that I have "talent" in the areas of writing, editing, graphic design, etc.  As I grow more confident in my abilities, I realize that these talents are spiritual gifts from the Lord.  As if I wasn't already receiving confirmation from God that this was a revelation from the Holy Spirit, I volunteered to be a part of the creative team and wedding coordinator's team at my church... and then on New Year's Eve as I read 1 Corinthians 14, there was one verse that stuck out more than the rest.

Verse 12 (NIV):  So it is with you. Since your are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.

This simply confirmed that I want to use my talents to bring glory to God and promote Jesus in our city, and beyond.  Life without Jesus is wasted and worthless. Life with Jesus is the fulfillment of God's love and grace.  We can live with a purpose beyond ourselves, which gives life meaning. Right now, there isn't even a paid position in existence at my church for communications.  There is a position at my current job that is exactly what I thought I wanted in a job; it's the safe, obvious option. But after praying about the position and the future,  I feel confident that I am not supposed to apply for the safe option, but hold on to God's promise that he has a purpose for me and will use the skills he's given me to bring him glory.  Working in ministry won't be easy.  In fact, I can already foresee challenges in my faith and character.  All that being said, I know that,"if it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you."  And I believe 2014 will be a year of beautiful, amazing changes in my life.

Here's to a year of serving Christ: in my faith, in my relationships, in my physical health, in my time, in my conversations, and in my graduation and career. Here's to 2014.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Highlights of 2013.

Just a few a my favorite memories of 2013.
  • I found my new home church after going to the same church all of my life and then church hopping for months.  I knew the first service I attended. 
  • I attended ZTA Mother/Daughter day with my mom.
  • I saw Maroon 5 in concert.
  • I met one of my favorite bands Parachute and saw them in concert.
  • I was inducted into two honor societies: Lambda Pi Eta and Kappa Tau Alpha.
  • I got a Little sister in my sorority.
  • I went to Kansas City for a regional gathering of my sorority. 
  • I finished three years in an organization that challenged me and allowed me many wonderful opportunities and lasting friendships.
  • I was interviewed on the local news station after sitting in on a Warren Buffet live interview.
  • I took the trip of a lifetime to London, England.  I visited Oxford, Cambridge, Windsor, Warwick Castle and Stratford upon Avon as well.  Seven months later, and I still can't believe that really happened. 
  • I watched every single episode of The Office from start to finish, all nine seasons. 
  • I saw Justin Bieber in concert.
  • I became Director of Social Events for my sorority.
  • I saw Martina McBride in concert, for free.
  • I represented my sorority during formal recruitment, my first and last year on chapter side. I designed the Facebook graphics and the name tags for each night. I also pref'd my rush crush, who joined my chapter. (Crossed this off my senior year bucket list).
  • I went "back to school" for the last time, as I started my last year of college.
  • I saw Florida Georgia Line in concert.
  • I got a weekly show on the campus radio station, dream fulfilled from my freshman year of college. (Another item crossed off my senior year bucket list).
  • I turned 21 years old and only had Shirley Temples to drink in celebration. I also learned the taste of alcohol is disgusting, and I am grateful I have no desire to drink.
  • I fulfilled my dream of designing a published CD cover.
  • I planned a very successful Date Party and Formal for my position in my sor ority.  90s-themed Date Party and Royal Affair themed Formal.
  • I joined an awesome bible study with mostly girls I barely knew, and loved every minute.
  • I went to a stereotypical fraternity sponsored Toga party. 
  • I got a grand-little in my sorority.
  • I saw Brett Eldridge in concert and met him before the concert. He threw what he knew for ZTA.
  • I celebrated my three year anniversary at my job.
  • I handed out roses to the survivors at the finish line at Susan G. Komen's Race for the Cure.
  • I got pied in the face for a $20 donation to breast cancer awareness and education.
  • I received the Emerging Violet award at my sorority's formal.
  • I ran a mile without stopping for the first time in my life.
  • I saw Hunter Hayes in concert.
  • I attended ZTA Father/Daughter Day with my dad.
  • I met Tyler Oakley.
  • The Jonas Brothers broke up officially.  Yes, this deserves a place on this list.
  • I volunteered as an assistant wedding coordinator and member of the creative team at my church.
  • I got "#1 Fan" award for my sorority's intramurals. Can't play, but I can cheer.
  • I laughed, I cried, I learned a lot, grew a lot in my relationship with God, gained so many amazing friends and made amazing memories.  Oh, and did I mention I went to London?
  • London, England
A Royal Affair: ZTA Formal 2013
Race for the Cure 2013
ZTA Father Daughter Day 2013
After getting pied for Think Pink Week

The CD cover I designed
Interviewed on local news about Warren Buffet

Sorority Recruitment 2013

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. Romans 1:16

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
Hebrews 6:19

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
Isaiah 40:31

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Spiritual & Physical Discipline

This isn't the ordinary kind of blog post I usually write on here, but hey, it's my blog and I'll write what I want to (in the tune of "It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To"). 

This week God has used other people and situations to make me realize why weight loss and spiritual maturity goals haven't lasted, faltered or quite bluntly, failed.  Here are the two things I have come to terms with that I really believe are confirmation that this year, 2013, is my year to conquer this physical weight issue and spiritual slump. Now, I am fully aware that everyone goes through seasons of suffering and struggles.  I am also aware that there will be days where I don't feel like reading the Bible or going to the gym, but I hope that reading this blog post in those moments will bring me back to terms with my mission. 

1.  Yes, working out, eating well, reading the Bible, not giving into worldly desires, all these things are sacrifices.  You know what else was a sacrifice?  God sent his one and only son, Jesus Christ, to DIE for you to live this life; and not just live a mundane life, but one knowing and living for God in close relationship.  Yeah, I think I can manage to get off my butt and walk the track for 30 minutes or choose grilled instead of crispy... at least nine times out of ten.  And yes, it's a sacrifice to read a chapter in the Bible while YouTube and Netflix await.  It's a sacrifice to not drink, to not swear (working on this one), to not dress provocatively or remain abstinent until marriage.  BUT, it's a sacrifice you will NEVER regret.  It's a form of discipline that can only benefit you and bring glory to God.  And after all, isn't that what our lives are all about?

2.  Spiritual and physical discipline go hand in hand.  When you are taking care of your body, your mind is sharper and more apt to focusing on the Word.  You can analyze it wiser, focus longer and take the inspiration of what God's teaching you to be on fire during your workout.  When you are reading about Jesus and get excited about what he's teaching you through the Bible, you are just that more excited to tune his temple, also known as your body.  And of course, exercise give your endorphins, and endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don't kill their husbands (a possible place of temptation for some people, similar to other previously state struggles).

Read the Word daily.  Just one chapter.  Just 5 minutes.  Whatever you can do, do it with a highlight in hand.  STUDY the Word.  Take notes of things that God reveals to you.  PRAY before and after your read.  PRAY in the car, while you're walking to class/work, when you see someone who looks like they could use it, and when you see someone who doesn't look like they could use it. When you sing songs about God, mean it. 

Work out 4 days a week, and add in a fun exercise a 5th day of the week.  Hey, that's two days free.  You're welcome. 

You CAN do this.  But, you CAN'T do it alone. Seek God daily.  And you will SUCCEED. <3


Monday, July 22, 2013

OOTD/FOTD: Summer Wedding!


As a young lady fairly obsessed with all things girly, I couldn't get all dolled up for a summer wedding and not take a few photos to post an Outfit of the Day and Face of the Day!

Target (on clearance for about $18!)

PayLess Shoe Source

San Diego Old Towne jewelry cart

Rimmel London Wake Me Up foundation and concealer, MAC Mineralized Skin Finish

Urban Decay Naked Palette: Virgin, Sidecar, Half Baked, Buck
Rimmel London Scandal Eyes liner in Brown (top only)
Maybelline The Falsies mascara (top only)
Too Faced Velvet Revolver to fill in the brows

Revlon Lip Butter in Creme Brulee 
Stila Lip Gloss in Lights

 Hair: Curled with the ConAir Clipless Curling Wand

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

OOTD: Fourth of July!

-Shirt & Shorts: Wal-Mart
-Shoes: Converse
-Headband: Unknown bandana
-Sunglasses: Primark (London purchase)

-MAC Bare Study Paint Pot
-Covergirl Liquiline Eyeliner in Blue (top lashes only)
-Maybelline One By One Mascara (top lashes only)
-Revlon Lip Butter in Wild Watermelon

Sorry this post is super delayed!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

On My Nails: Fourth of July!

Simple, but festive.  
I didn't want to go too over the top this year, but you can't have 
America's Independence Day without some gaudy red, white, and blue.  

  • Red: Ulta Eye Popping Poppy under OPI I'm Not Really A Waitress
  • Blue:  Ulta Bluestreak under Sally Hansen HD Blu
  • White: Orly Instant Artist Striper
It's was a special feeling last week at a concert I attended, a celebration of America.  When the MC called for a moment of silence for veterans and during a solo rendition of the country's national anthem, suddenly 70 to 80,000 people were silent in a tribute to our great nation.  It was a surreal moment.  To all me fellow Americans, happy 4th of July! To any international readers, happy fourth day of July! :)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Top 10: June Favorites!

    Welp, two months of summer vacation have passed, and while I'm not entirely stoked to start classes in a little over a month, I am thoroughly embracing all things summer. Check out my top ten favorite things for June after the jump!