Friday, February 12, 2016


Happy almost Valentine's Day friends !! Pink and red is among us with mushy-gushy cards, over-sized bears, and lots of chocolate. I ain't complaining, I love love. I love teddy bears. I love sweet cards. and I LOVE CHOCOLATE. ...but this Valentine's Day I really have had it laid on my heart that there are some men and women who feel unlovable this weekend. That it seems like Valentine's day really may never end. There are people who feel like they messed up too bad to be loved. There are girls who feel used and literally worthless. There are guys who feel like a girl will never love them because of their so called flaws. There are people who feel lonely and are sitting around in a constant mindset of unlovableness. We compare our lives to our friends and wonder why that love or relationship isn't your life. People have lost love in the midst of it all.  Last night, the college ministry I attend split up into guys and girls to talk about love, relationships, and all that good stuff. As we were talking, my pastor told the story of a conference and a rose ( might butcher it a bit, but hopefully the point will be clear.) At this conference, the speaker made the harsh judgement of men/women who had been sexually immoral or had a lot of relationships. He said here is a rose. It is perfect. No flaws, just beauty. He then proceeded to pass the rose around the arena of about 1,000 people and as the rose made its way back to the speaker, it was obvious the rose had changed. The rose was falling apart. It was no longer a vibrant red. The stem was no longer stiff. The rose had lost its life. The speaker then asked  " who would want the rose now?" In so many ways, I feel myself asking that question. I hear my friends asking that question. All over my campus, this county, this state, this country, and this world are men and women who feel like this rose. Used. Hurt. Broken. Unworthy. Unloveable. We way too often settle for less when we feel this way. My pastor then continued the story by responding to the speaker's question of who wanted the rose with two words, 
" Jesus Does." In that moment , I was like yes, yes someone wants me. Not just someone, but the actual creator of the sunset. The one who placed the stars in the sky knows my name. I am known. So many times I take Jesus' love for granted.. it gets thrown into my whirlwind of emotions. I forget that my hurts, insecurities, and trials are all out there, but they do not define me because I give them to my father in heaven who takes away that pain. This weekend I want you to know that. That there is immense grace. There is love that is unconditional. No, I don't know your story or why you feel the way you do, but I do know that you are beautiful or handsome. You are so worth it. I also know that you are never too far to come running into his arms. When we look at the woman who was about to get stoned for committing adultery, we see Jesus' grace.. he says whoever has committed no sin, throw the first stone. Jesus then continues by telling the woman to go and sin no more. I am not your judge, I am but a friend who wants to encourage you today, that you are so special and so so cherished. I know that there is a God up there who wants to hold your hand everyday. He wants to use you in amazing ways. You are here for a reason. You are so loved this Valentine's day and everyday after that. I love you all too. Have a lovely weekend full of love, you are amazing !
lots of love,

Monday, February 8, 2016

In the sunset

Concrete walls. Lectures that contradict every belief I have. Work and studying take up what seems every minute of my time plus desperately trying to have a social life. Being nineteen is busy. Life gets busy. Life gets hectic and things seem to fall in the cracks, even those really important things that hold my foundation. SO many times I feel like I get lost in the midst of institutions and trying to knock off my seemingly never-ending to-do list. Never slowing down makes it really hard to take in the beauty of life and opportunity and friends. A few weekends ago I was so eager to get off campus and go out "looking for God." I know that sounds silly, but in my quest to get everything done I felt so far from him and my faith. So me and some of my girlfriends went to a swamp up the road called Grand Bay. This place is beautiful. Something about a natural swamp with the trees, water, and the pure silence of the place made me step back. Step back from the lectures I am having shouted into my mind. Step back from the to-do list to somehow get me on top, get me to that next degree, get me to whatever is next. But in that moment, with the sun setting on top of an old fire tower, I felt peace. I looked at that sunset and thought, how can I see this and not know you are there? How can I race through life racing everyone and skipping over these things like this? How can it be that the maker of the sun created me? The other day my geology teacher told us that we were created from stardust. he proposed that a whole lotta stars were made and left some dust around and it built up to create us. When I sit around and I see the miracles of life transformation, love, grace, breath, air, flowers, and the amazing sunsets.. I have to step back and say there has to be a maker. There has to be some crazy reason that my heart is beating right now at the perfect pace. There is a reason why we cry. There is a reason we laugh. There is a reason that every single person on this planet is special and uniquely made. This life is no coincidence. As I was standing on that tower watching the sunset, one of my favorite songs came to mind. Great are you Lord by All sons and daughters :
 It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise to You only
As I sing that song, I am grateful. Even when I am flooded with uncertainty or stress, I have breath in my lungs. I am loved. I am living. The sun rises and sets each new day and that is enough for me.