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Showing posts from 2016

About Me

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Follower of Jesus Christ. Lover of people. Lover of animals. High Point University graduate. Appalachian State graduate. High school English teacher. AXΩ.

* 2016's Bests *

2 0 1 6 !
#BestNine shows you your pictures that got the most likes during the year. These were mine! It makes sense, because some of the biggest highlights of my year were buying a house (THE LIGHTHOUSE), stalking and meeting Tim Tebow, growing closer with family, spending time at church, playing with my beloved Emery, and of course, starting a fresh and wonderful new relationship journey with Drew after three years of searching myself and growing in the Lord as an individual.
Some really wonderful things are not pictured, though!

- My second precious goddaughter was born on my sister's birthday. Elaina Loren is a bundle of pure joy!
- I got to stand beside two of my best friends as they committed their lives to their husbands. Such a sweet honor and so much fun!
- I attended my first Alpha Chi Omega convention in sunny Orlando and it was a dream. I met so many wonderful sisters and got closer to a couple in particular!
- I finally went to Texas! I had so much fun with two of my deares…

It's Not About Getting What You Deserve

Sundays are great. I have always loved the church / lunch routine and it doesn't feel like a Sunday unless that routine happens.  Then I end up driving home or wherever, from lunch, and thinking / counting my blessings. 
I was driving yesterday afternoon and thanking God for everything He's blessed me with this Christmas season and in my life, and something occurred to me:
I don't love the Lord because He's given me what I've asked for;  I love Him because I never deserved any of it.
It brought tears to my eyes. It started out with me thanking God for His faithfulness in answering my prayers for certain things, starting with the very first prayer I remember being answered - when I was little and prayed for a sister even though my mom said no more kids.  Why me, though? Why does God care so much about me that He would give me the little things I ask for? There's no reason. I'm a sinner like everyone else.  I can be hateful and judgmental and ungrateful and stagnant…

Holiday Wardrobe Staples

I really get into the Christmas spirit with my clothes. For a long, long time, all my outfits in the month of December have incorporated red and/or green, gold, sparkles, etc.
These are some of my favorite Christmas wardrobe staples:













Imagine All The People

Today is the day that John Lennon died, so I decided that my first period would listen to "Imagine," annotate the lyrics, and free write their thoughts about the song.
I was already thinking about it this morning when I was getting ready (USING MY AWESOME NEW URBAN DECAY EYE SHADOW BUT THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS POST - I JUST WANTED TO MENTION IT BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE A ROCKSTAR TODAY) ...I was listening to "Imagine" and thinking about the lyrics and how I disagree with most of them, but that somehow, the song still motivates me. 
Why?!
I think I came to a conclusion - As humans, we all want peace. Universally, I think most of us have that in common. Peace on Earth sounds great. Especially at Christmas time.  Last night at church, it was mentioned in the message that we were BORN with a need for a Savior - someone to bring peace. John Lennon's song is a cry for that, although he didn't exactly know how peace can be obtained.
My students all said that t…

Shame, Shame.

Shame has been on my mind lately. I wrote a post back in the summer about how it doesn't matter what you've done in the past as long as you've repented and are moving forward.
Our sermons at Oak View lately have been about Paul and how he killed Christians before he was saved, and how if God could use him, He can use literally ANYONE. 
I've just been thinking a lot recently, though, because I know so many people who struggle with shame from their past.
I heard a really good sermon at the Summit Church in Durham about shame a while back. The pastor said something like  "If God has forgiven you and forgotten about your sin, and you STILL harp on it because of shame, you are essentially saying (subconsciously) that you are more important than God. If HE can forget it, YOU definitely should!!"
SHAME IS NOT OF THE LORD!!!
Shame comes from Satan. 
I saw something happen yesterday... someone I know was really excited about a breakthrough she had, and was celebrating,…

That Time I Saw My Guardian Angel

So I've never posted about this, and not really even told many people, but the other day I felt compelled to share the story of how I saw an angel when I was little.
I grew up in church and a Christian school and Christian home and was always taught about spiritual warfare, even from a very young age. I remember my mom telling me that her aunts had told her that if you could peel away the atmosphere and what we see on earth, it would be scary and awesome to see the supernatural - angels and demons constantly fighting.
One night in December when I was in first or second grade, I was watching TV with my mom in the dark in the den. We turned the TV off and everything was completely dark. As we were walking down the hall to my room, I saw a bright figure about my same height walking towards our Christmas tree. She had shoulder-length hair that curled up at the ends and wings. She was wearing a long dress and had a halo. She was carrying a candle. I wasn't shocked or afraid becaus…

Happy December / JUST SAY NO

Happy December! Reminding myself not to get so busy that I don't take time to stop and enjoy the little things and make sweet memories this month ❤️️❤️️❤️️

Confession: I've always had trouble saying no. I've always been a people-pleaser, and I read a good chapter from a devotional the other day about resisting the urge to people-please.

"Whatever we focus most of our attention on will become the driving force in our lives. The more I focus on trying to please people, the more of a magnified force people pleasing will become in my life. The more I focus on trying to figure out how to please God, the more of a magnified force He will become in my life."

I get sometimes get so focused on all the things I have to do and don't stop to just take a breather and bask in the goodness of the Lord and spend time with Him. 
I NEED that time.
We all do.

It's easy to get caught up in all the stress of the holiday season and get so overwhelmed that we don't enjoy the spec…

He Rules the World With Truth and Grace

Truth and Grace.

When listening to Christmas music, it's easy to not pay attention to the words because we've heard the same songs so many times, year after year.

Today as I tried to do some work during my planning period, my mind kept wandering.
Lately, I've had trouble with worrying and letting my mind wander off into "what if?" land.
That's dangerous!

My mind was wandering, and I focused back on my work and the Pandora Christmas music station (Hillsong Holiday, to be exact) playing in the background.

"He rules the world with truth and grace." That part caught my attention. "Joy to the World" has always been one of my favorites
(I had a Christmas screenname in high school: JoyToTheWorld18. (#DontJudgeMe))

Truth and grace. Two important words.

HE rules the WORLD with Truth.

Focus on the truth. Focus on what's TRUE. What we know to be true.
What I know to be true is that God has always, always, always provided for me in the past and He …

Stop Putting it Off!!

I just wrote a post about prayer, but I have more to say. 
How blessed are we to have the absolute PRIVILEGE of being able to speak to the Creator of the universe, any time we want to?!
Thinking of prayer as a privilege really puts it in perspective. In the Old Testament, they had to go into temples and special places just to talk to God. They had to take a bath before, and all this crazy stuff (I hope I'm not making this up...seems accurate).
Now, we can literally talk to God anytime, anywhere.  SO WHY DON'T WE?!?!
We forget. We have pride and think we can handle everything by ourselves. We underestimate the power of prayer. We get busy. We don't know what to pray?
The Lord knows your heart. Talk to Him. Say anything. Tell Him how you feel, what's frustrating you, what makes you happy... Thank Him for what He's done. Ask for what you want. He can give you what you want if it's His will.
You don't need batteries or wifi or to take a bath first. You don't need to …

"That's All We Can Do"

So I absolutely HATE when people say, "Just pray. That's all we can do!"
I know they don't mean anything bad by it, but I guess unknowingly, they are undermining / underestimating the power of prayer.

If praying is all we can do, then that is essentially everything.

How blessed are we to have the absolute PRIVILEGE of being able to speak to the Creator of the universe, any time we want to?!

I was thinking about the power of prayer the other day because one of my New Year's resolutions for 2016 was to be more intentional with prayer and to remain in continuous prayer - constantly talking to God throughout the day.
Reflecting on this year, I think I have made strides towards that. No, I don't pray as fervently as I should, but I have really grown in my prayer life. Not saying this to toot my own horn; I just really want everyone to be able to experience the peace that comes with constant prayer like I have. When you have something really great, you want to share…

Saved From the Depths

Everyone knows I listen to Christmas music year round. Of course now I'm in full-Christmas music mode. (If you are judging me right now, click here to find out why I do what I do :))
"O Come O Come Emmanuel" is one of my favorites, hands-down. I like to break it down verse by verse because the lyrics are so powerful.  Tonight, after going through the McDonald's drive-through after midnight (so wrong but felt so right... definitely won't feel right in the morning though!), I was listening to the song and a certain part hit me:
"O come, O come, Rod of Jesse, And rescue us from Satan's tyranny. From depths of Hell, Your people save, And give them victory over the grave."
First I thought about my loved ones who have passed on. I'm not sad anymore because when they accepted Christ, they were given the promise of eternal life - victory over the grave. The long hours of holding their hands and humming "Jesus Loves Me" as they spent their final h…

I Will Bring Praise

Once again, Facebook's "On This Day" has caused me to notice something interesting. 
I was thinking earlier about appreciating all of life's seasons, and it's funny how I literally saw extremely different seasons of my life as I scrolled down through "On This Day."
Four years ago today, I was going through a season of extreme confusion, feelings of abandonment, etc. I was in grad school at Appalachian, but didn't live there, so I couldn't enjoy Boone. I remember being in downtown Boone after class one night and sitting in the middle of all the Christmas lights, just crying and reading my Bible in my car. I was wishing I had someone to enjoy the beautiful lights with. (Fun fact: I got a warning ticket in Boone that day and got another one just yesterday!) "This is my prayer in the desert, when all that's within me feels dry."
A year later, when they put the Christmas lights up, I was downtown eating at Jimmy John's with my brother an…