blessed

Today I will walk across a stage to say I have officially finished graduate school with my very own a master's degree and honestly I'm not looking forward to my ceremony because it's of little importance to me. What is though are all the moments that preceded this very day.


It's the encouragement I received from my twin brother who told me life can be bigger than we dreamed.
The example my sister set before me of being a young woman wanting to make her unique impact on the world.
The way my older brothers constantly and consistently persevered through everything to get where they are.
The constant support and patience my aunts and uncles gave me during some of my most confusing and lowest times of my educational career (and life).
My friends who never forgot to check in and say a warm "hi" even when work and school took me away from keeping in contact.
The surprising moments during the day that my parents would call to tell me how much they love me no matter how weird they thought my goals were.


I'm not looking forward to graduation because I've been too consumed with relishing in these moments and those who make it that much better. It's all those things that eclipse graduating because without them there would be no today.


Yes, I'm excited to finally be done with school and I'm happy that there is a day specifically set aside to celebrate and commemorate that chapter but partaking in it is more so of a makeshift gift for everyone that has contributed to the bettering of my life is someway no matter  how small.


my-life


To you all I say thank you from the bottom of my heart and every other crevice it has. Thank you. I will not walk across that stage alone but rather with every moment, word, and prayer you've blessed me with in mind. I walk with those thoughts just as I will for the rest of my life.  I will always be aware that my life is mine to own but it is not mine to keep solely to myself. Just as it was built by all of us I will promise to help others grow and build theirs. No matter where I go or what I do I promise to give just as I have been given to.


So I guess a congrats is also in order too - we made it! Yes yes y'all, we made it!

From Portland, Oregon to Sydney, Australia

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This time last year I was a 21-year-old girl with two suitcases to her name and a head full of dreams. Today I’m still that same girl, only I’m 22, those suitcases are now unpacked with the belongings settled in my closet, and that head of mine now has bigger dreams.

These last 12 months have been such a whirlwind of emotions, thoughts, and actions. I’m finding it quite difficult to actually sum up everything I’ve been through to present to you guys in a cute little package. However, as I write this, the song Oceans by Hillsong comes to mind.

For all the countless times this song has been played and the  of hundreds of  others that it has been quoted on one blog or another, I am sure that with each one this song has held a different meaning.

_______________________________

"Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine”

_______________________________

My year has been nothing like I planned or hoped but with that said, it has actually been far better and greater than I imagined. Never would I have imagined myself leading a small campus youth group while en route to becoming a campus minister (Don’t let the title scare you There are no tight white collars and lack of colors around here). I surely would not have seen myself befriending the people I have today - not because of who they are but because of who I was. Lastly, amongst many other unmentioned things, everyday I seem to fall in love with God and His grace a bit more than I think to be possible.

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As easy as it was to list all those things that I have been blessed with, getting them was not. I’ve had my fair share of troubles and doubts, times where all I wanted to do was run back home, travel back in time and pretend that my problems were not my own. However, I couldn’t and the the realization that I couldn’t was painful and surprisingly tiring.

Australia is not some place where you go and the sun shines ever yday, life is  easy and full. It is not the place where your dreams come true… unless you will it to be. For a good portion of this last year, I relied solely on the fact that I had moved to AUSTRALIA! , and that living here would all of a sudden make my life cool and complete. But like any unstable foundation, that excuse started to crumble. God showed me that even the greenest of grasses can turn brown without Him. The most beautiful places on earth are mere smudges without His guiding hand to help you see.

That is one of the biggest lessons I have learned this year. I think God brought me to this exact place to help me realize that. It took a lot of hard work on my part and unreasonable amounts of patience, grace, love, and understanding on His to get me to this permanent mindset.

So whether this next year brings me back Oregon rain or keeps me under Sydney sun, I know I am going to be okay and even more grateful for any position I am put in.

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Lastly, to all who were with me from the beginning or even yesterday; if you read a blog post or all of them; encouraged me; missed sleep because of the crazy Australia-America time difference just to give me an ear to talk to; dished out advice or a mouthful of prayer; if you are family, friends, or just an acquittance; whatever hand you put in or fingerprint you left upon my life I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. This journey and my life would not be the same without you. The blessings you all have been to me, I pray the same for you 100 fold. I love you guys.

22 years. 264 months. 8,030 days. 192,720 hours. 11,563,200 minutes. 693, 792,000 seconds. Add all that up and you still couldn’t even come close to the number of ways my life has been blessed. I’m so extremely grateful for every moment that has led up to right here and now. Although this life is solely mine to live, it is not solely mine to own. The thing is, I have felt the enormity of an undeserving, gracious love given to me by Jesus - I have the family, friends, and a life full of memories to prove it. However, it would be a little too selfish if I kept all that goodness to myself. While I cannot physically relive them all with you I made a list (as one does when something grand like a birthday comes along) that was inspired by all the things I’ve learned, experienced, and been blessed with over the years. I hope it finds and/or leaves you well.

1) Work for it. The easy way will get you nowhere. My dad once said, between climbing a mountain and jumping on the spot, both will get you off the ground but only one way will actually keep you up.

2) Be present. There is no other way to live because anything else is not living.

3) Sleep is like a jealous partner, ignore it and your whole life will be affected in ways you never thought possible.

4) Keep your hands busy while you’re waiting on God. Don’t forget He’s waiting on you too.

5) GRACE ABOUNDS - Oh God, how grateful I am to have such a perfect thing and how blessed am I that it is not circumstantial but ever-lasting.

6) Don’t air your dirty laundry but don’t air all your good either. Not every moment needs to be a status, not every situation needs to be instagramed, keep a few for the treasure box of your mind. With that being said, pictures from other people’s social media are no indicator of the value of your social life - you are.

7) Your age should be no teller of the things you ought to be doing. Don’t let expectations cap your greatness or make you feel worthless.

8) Let God go. I mean literally let Him go… and work wonders. Trying to control everything around you will do nothing but consume your own life.

9) You will always have wealth as long as you always remember it’s not limited to dollar bills.

10) Live to the fullness of your years. Not just to 70+ years but to 70+ FULL years.

11) I am beautiful. Everyone is beautiful, and not just in “their own way”. Each person is just plain beautiful. We all need to see that on a daily basis.

12) Always take pride in Jesus.

13) Double check… everything. .

14) Don’t let what you see blind you from what has yet to be seen. Remember, it’s not at first glance but what can be done with at the first chance.

15) Love is not a a simple word or emotion but an action we must CHOOSE to show daily - yes, love to some extent love is a choice.

16) Invest in your future by taking the time to pray now.

17) There is always room for new friends

18) Be a missionary. You don’t have to travel to Guam or Mexico to be one. God can send you to your own university or place of work to go preach the gospel with not only your words but mostly with your actions.

19) Learn to accept gifts, love, compliments, and advice. It not only benefits your life but the giver as well.

20) Being fearless is not a pre-req for any action in life. Fear always likes to rear its unwanted ugly head no matter who you are so you might as well go ahead and do whatever it is you have your heart set on anyway.

21) We cannot change other people, the only thing we can do to them is accept them for who they are.

22) Your actions will outlive you.

22 years. 264 months. 8,030 days. 192,720 hours. 11,563,200 minutes. 693, 792,000 seconds. Add all that up and you still couldn’t even come close to the number of ways my life has been blessed. I’m so extremely grateful for every moment that has led up to right here and now. Although this life is solely mine to live, it is not solely mine to own. The thing is, I have felt the enormity of an undeserving, gracious love given to me by Jesus - I have the family, friends, and a life full of memories to prove it. However, it would be a little too selfish if I kept all that goodness to myself. While I cannot physically relive them all with you I made a list (as one does when something grand like a birthday comes along) that was inspired by all the things I’ve learned, experienced, and been blessed with over the years. I hope it finds and/or leaves you well.

1) Work for it. The easy way will get you nowhere. My dad once said, between climbing a mountain and jumping on the spot, both will get you off the ground but only one way will actually keep you up.

2) Be present. There is no other way to live because anything else is not living.

3) Sleep is like a jealous partner, ignore it and your whole life will be affected in ways you never thought possible.

4) Keep your hands busy while you’re waiting on God. Don’t forget He’s waiting on you too.

5) GRACE ABOUNDS - Oh God, how grateful I am to have such a perfect thing and how blessed am I that it is not circumstantial but ever-lasting.

6) Don’t air your dirty laundry but don’t air all your good either. Not every moment needs to be a status, not every situation needs to be instagramed, keep a few for the treasure box of your mind. With that being said, pictures from other people’s social media are no indicator of the value of your social life - you are.

7) Your age should be no teller of the things you ought to be doing. Don’t let expectations cap your greatness or make you feel worthless.

8) Let God go. I mean literally let Him go… and work wonders. Trying to control everything around you will do nothing but consume your own life.

9) You will always have wealth as long as you always remember it’s not limited to dollar bills.

10) Live to the fullness of your years. Not just to 70+ years but to 70+ FULL years.

11) I am beautiful. Everyone is beautiful, and not just in “their own way”. Each person is just plain beautiful. We all need to see that on a daily basis.

12) Always take pride in Jesus.

13) Double check… everything. .

14) Don’t let what you see blind you from what has yet to be seen. Remember, it’s not at first glance but what can be done with at the first chance.

15) Love is not a a simple word or emotion but an action we must CHOOSE to show daily - yes, love to some extent love is a choice.

16) Invest in your future by taking the time to pray now.

17) There is always room for new friends

18) Be a missionary. You don’t have to travel to Guam or Mexico to be one. God can send you to your own university or place of work to go preach the gospel with not only your words but mostly with your actions.

19) Learn to accept gifts, love, compliments, and advice. It not only benefits your life but the giver as well.

20) Being fearless is not a pre-req for any action in life. Fear always likes to rear its unwanted ugly head no matter who you are so you might as well go ahead and do whatever it is you have your heart set on anyway.

21) We cannot change other people, the only thing we can do to them is accept them for who they are.

22) Your actions will outlive you.

22 years. 264 months. 8,030 days. 192,720 hours. 11,563,200 minutes. 693, 792,000 seconds. Add all that up and you still couldn’t even come close to the number of ways my life has been blessed. I’m so extremely grateful for every moment that has led up to right here and now. Although this life is solely mine to live, it is not solely mine to own. The thing is, I have felt the enormity of an undeserving, gracious love given to me by Jesus - I have the family, friends, and a life full of memories to prove it. However, it would be a little too selfish if I kept all that goodness to myself. While I cannot physically relive them all with you I made a list (as one does when something grand like a birthday comes along) that was inspired by all the things I’ve learned, experienced, and been blessed with over the years. I hope it finds and/or leaves you well.

1) Work for it. The easy way will get you nowhere. My dad once said, between climbing a mountain and jumping on the spot, both will get you off the ground but only one way will actually keep you up.

2) Be present. There is no other way to live because anything else is not living.

3) Sleep is like a jealous partner, ignore it and your whole life will be affected in ways you never thought possible.

4) Keep your hands busy while you’re waiting on God. Don’t forget He’s waiting on you too.

5) GRACE ABOUNDS - Oh God, how grateful I am to have such a perfect thing and how blessed am I that it is not circumstantial but ever-lasting.

6) Don’t air your dirty laundry but don’t air all your good either. Not every moment needs to be a status, not every situation needs to be instagramed, keep a few for the treasure box of your mind. With that being said, pictures from other people’s social media are no indicator of the value of your social life - you are.

7) Your age should be no teller of the things you ought to be doing. Don’t let expectations cap your greatness or make you feel worthless.

8) Let God go. I mean literally let Him go… and work wonders. Trying to control everything around you will do nothing but consume your own life.

9) You will always have wealth as long as you always remember it’s not limited to dollar bills.

10) Live to the fullness of your years. Not just to 70+ years but to 70+ FULL years.

11) I am beautiful. Everyone is beautiful, and not just in “their own way”. Each person is just plain beautiful. We all need to see that on a daily basis.

12) Always take pride in Jesus.

13) Double check… everything. .

14) Don’t let what you see blind you from what has yet to be seen. Remember, it’s not at first glance but what can be done with at the first chance.

15) Love is not a a simple word or emotion but an action we must CHOOSE to show daily - yes, love to some extent love is a choice.

16) Invest in your future by taking the time to pray now.

17) There is always room for new friends

18) Be a missionary. You don’t have to travel to Guam or Mexico to be one. God can send you to your own university or place of work to go preach the gospel with not only your words but mostly with your actions.

19) Learn to accept gifts, love, compliments, and advice. It not only benefits your life but the giver as well.

20) Being fearless is not a pre-req for any action in life. Fear always likes to rear its unwanted ugly head no matter who you are so you might as well go ahead and do whatever it is you have your heart set on anyway.

21) We cannot change other people, the only thing we can do to them is accept them for who they are.

22) Your actions will outlive you.

22 years. 264 months. 8,030 days. 192,720 hours. 11,563,200 minutes. 693, 792,000 seconds. Add all that up and you still couldn’t even come close to the number of ways my life has been blessed. I’m so extremely grateful for every moment that has led up to right here and now. Although this life is solely mine to live, it is not solely mine to own. The thing is, I have felt the enormity of an undeserving, gracious love given to me by Jesus - I have the family, friends, and a life full of memories to prove it. However, it would be a little too selfish if I kept all that goodness to myself. While I cannot physically relive them all with you I made a list (as one does when something grand like a birthday comes along) that was inspired by all the things I’ve learned, experienced, and been blessed with over the years. I hope it finds and/or leaves you well.

1) Work for it. The easy way will get you nowhere. My dad once said, between climbing a mountain and jumping on the spot, both will get you off the ground but only one way will actually keep you up.

2) Be present. There is no other way to live because anything else is not living.

3) Sleep is like a jealous partner, ignore it and your whole life will be affected in ways you never thought possible.

4) Keep your hands busy while you’re waiting on God. Don’t forget He’s waiting on you too.

5) GRACE ABOUNDS - Oh God, how grateful I am to have such a perfect thing and how blessed am I that it is not circumstantial but ever-lasting.

6) Don’t air your dirty laundry but don’t air all your good either. Not every moment needs to be a status, not every situation needs to be instagramed, keep a few for the treasure box of your mind. With that being said, pictures from other people’s social media are no indicator of the value of your social life - you are.

7) Your age should be no teller of the things you ought to be doing. Don’t let expectations cap your greatness or make you feel worthless.

8) Let God go. I mean literally let Him go… and work wonders. Trying to control everything around you will do nothing but consume your own life.

9) You will always have wealth as long as you always remember it’s not limited to dollar bills.

10) Live to the fullness of your years. Not just to 70+ years but to 70+ FULL years.

11) I am beautiful. Everyone is beautiful, and not just in “their own way”. Each person is just plain beautiful. We all need to see that on a daily basis.

12) Always take pride in Jesus.

13) Double check… everything. .

14) Don’t let what you see blind you from what has yet to be seen. Remember, it’s not at first glance but what can be done with at the first chance.

15) Love is not a a simple word or emotion but an action we must CHOOSE to show daily - yes, love to some extent love is a choice.

16) Invest in your future by taking the time to pray now.

17) There is always room for new friends

18) Be a missionary. You don’t have to travel to Guam or Mexico to be one. God can send you to your own university or place of work to go preach the gospel with not only your words but mostly with your actions.

19) Learn to accept gifts, love, compliments, and advice. It not only benefits your life but the giver as well.

20) Being fearless is not a pre-req for any action in life. Fear always likes to rear its unwanted ugly head no matter who you are so you might as well go ahead and do whatever it is you have your heart set on anyway.

21) We cannot change other people, the only thing we can do to them is accept them for who they are.

22) Your actions will outlive you.

Certain words are like fireworks or grenades in your life. People will tell you something and they will either come back to set off something magnificent or they will be timed modes of destruction. Luckily I’ve hard a lot more of the former and less of the latter in my life.

Anchors n Oceans

    Funny how no one really reads the old testament but if they did they would notice how much the stories of Moses, Samson, Rebecca, or Ruth actually relate to our lives. I remember this time last year -well I think it was around this time last year- when I had finally realized who my core group of friends were. I remember that day because I cried during church service. That moment of realization had been a long time coming. However, it was not long after that moment did I then realize that I would soon be moving half way around the world without my friends for school - it hit me hard. Here I was, the end of a 4-year wait for great friends only to start another wait all over again. 
  

   Fast forward to a few Sundays later and Pastor Wes was preaching on Abram. 
Now for those of you who don’t know the story of the first Good Ole Abe, it goes a little something like this: 
                                    

  Abram was a wealthy and well-known man in his town. He had land, money, family and friends - all one could need and more. However a day came when God told him to leave all that behind and travel to a distant land called Canaan. At that point Abram was like ‘Okay, God. That’s really funny but you I don’t think that’s gonna happen.’ (Who could blame him, that’s 500 miles of nothing but walking). Despite Abram’s disapproval God told Abram to trust Him and know that He would never do Abe wrong. With that Abram took his family along with some belongings and set foot for Canaan. Like God always has done, He followed through on His promise and  safely delivered Abe to a new land - the land of many promises.
    I too have to thank God for doing the same. God uprooted me from Oregon to live here in Sydney. You’re probably reading this and thinking, big deal, it’s Australia not social exile. Nonetheless, it was not the destination that was the problem for me. I was apprehensive at first because He was taking me away from everything I had ever known- I would still feel the same about moving to Washington. Fortunately, I have a God who provides no matter where I go and that is what He did. So if you took away all the good things that people love about Sydney at the end of the day I would still I feel extremely and utterly blessed to call this place my new home. I left Oregon not to let go of old but to gain a new - friends, memories, experience, and to follow the calling He has put before me.

To any of you who read this, I want you all to know that our God will never take you out to leave you. Trust in Him when He calls you because He’s calling you for greater. No doubt the transition will be a little difficult but that does not make it any less worth it.

    Funny how no one really reads the old testament but if they did they would notice how much the stories of Moses, Samson, Rebecca, or Ruth actually relate to our lives. I remember this time last year -well I think it was around this time last year- when I had finally realized who my core group of friends were. I remember that day because I cried during church service. That moment of realization had been a long time coming. However, it was not long after that moment did I then realize that I would soon be moving half way around the world without my friends for school - it hit me hard. Here I was, the end of a 4-year wait for great friends only to start another wait all over again. 
  

   Fast forward to a few Sundays later and Pastor Wes was preaching on Abram. 
Now for those of you who don’t know the story of the first Good Ole Abe, it goes a little something like this: 
                                    

  Abram was a wealthy and well-known man in his town. He had land, money, family and friends - all one could need and more. However a day came when God told him to leave all that behind and travel to a distant land called Canaan. At that point Abram was like ‘Okay, God. That’s really funny but you I don’t think that’s gonna happen.’ (Who could blame him, that’s 500 miles of nothing but walking). Despite Abram’s disapproval God told Abram to trust Him and know that He would never do Abe wrong. With that Abram took his family along with some belongings and set foot for Canaan. Like God always has done, He followed through on His promise and  safely delivered Abe to a new land - the land of many promises.
    I too have to thank God for doing the same. God uprooted me from Oregon to live here in Sydney. You’re probably reading this and thinking, big deal, it’s Australia not social exile. Nonetheless, it was not the destination that was the problem for me. I was apprehensive at first because He was taking me away from everything I had ever known- I would still feel the same about moving to Washington. Fortunately, I have a God who provides no matter where I go and that is what He did. So if you took away all the good things that people love about Sydney at the end of the day I would still I feel extremely and utterly blessed to call this place my new home. I left Oregon not to let go of old but to gain a new - friends, memories, experience, and to follow the calling He has put before me.

To any of you who read this, I want you all to know that our God will never take you out to leave you. Trust in Him when He calls you because He’s calling you for greater. No doubt the transition will be a little difficult but that does not make it any less worth it.

    Funny how no one really reads the old testament but if they did they would notice how much the stories of Moses, Samson, Rebecca, or Ruth actually relate to our lives. I remember this time last year -well I think it was around this time last year- when I had finally realized who my core group of friends were. I remember that day because I cried during church service. That moment of realization had been a long time coming. However, it was not long after that moment did I then realize that I would soon be moving half way around the world without my friends for school - it hit me hard. Here I was, the end of a 4-year wait for great friends only to start another wait all over again. 
  

   Fast forward to a few Sundays later and Pastor Wes was preaching on Abram. 
Now for those of you who don’t know the story of the first Good Ole Abe, it goes a little something like this: 
                                    

  Abram was a wealthy and well-known man in his town. He had land, money, family and friends - all one could need and more. However a day came when God told him to leave all that behind and travel to a distant land called Canaan. At that point Abram was like ‘Okay, God. That’s really funny but you I don’t think that’s gonna happen.’ (Who could blame him, that’s 500 miles of nothing but walking). Despite Abram’s disapproval God told Abram to trust Him and know that He would never do Abe wrong. With that Abram took his family along with some belongings and set foot for Canaan. Like God always has done, He followed through on His promise and  safely delivered Abe to a new land - the land of many promises.
    I too have to thank God for doing the same. God uprooted me from Oregon to live here in Sydney. You’re probably reading this and thinking, big deal, it’s Australia not social exile. Nonetheless, it was not the destination that was the problem for me. I was apprehensive at first because He was taking me away from everything I had ever known- I would still feel the same about moving to Washington. Fortunately, I have a God who provides no matter where I go and that is what He did. So if you took away all the good things that people love about Sydney at the end of the day I would still I feel extremely and utterly blessed to call this place my new home. I left Oregon not to let go of old but to gain a new - friends, memories, experience, and to follow the calling He has put before me.

To any of you who read this, I want you all to know that our God will never take you out to leave you. Trust in Him when He calls you because He’s calling you for greater. No doubt the transition will be a little difficult but that does not make it any less worth it.

    Funny how no one really reads the old testament but if they did they would notice how much the stories of Moses, Samson, Rebecca, or Ruth actually relate to our lives. I remember this time last year -well I think it was around this time last year- when I had finally realized who my core group of friends were. I remember that day because I cried during church service. That moment of realization had been a long time coming. However, it was not long after that moment did I then realize that I would soon be moving half way around the world without my friends for school - it hit me hard. Here I was, the end of a 4-year wait for great friends only to start another wait all over again. 
  

   Fast forward to a few Sundays later and Pastor Wes was preaching on Abram. 
Now for those of you who don’t know the story of the first Good Ole Abe, it goes a little something like this: 
                                    

  Abram was a wealthy and well-known man in his town. He had land, money, family and friends - all one could need and more. However a day came when God told him to leave all that behind and travel to a distant land called Canaan. At that point Abram was like ‘Okay, God. That’s really funny but you I don’t think that’s gonna happen.’ (Who could blame him, that’s 500 miles of nothing but walking). Despite Abram’s disapproval God told Abram to trust Him and know that He would never do Abe wrong. With that Abram took his family along with some belongings and set foot for Canaan. Like God always has done, He followed through on His promise and  safely delivered Abe to a new land - the land of many promises.
    I too have to thank God for doing the same. God uprooted me from Oregon to live here in Sydney. You’re probably reading this and thinking, big deal, it’s Australia not social exile. Nonetheless, it was not the destination that was the problem for me. I was apprehensive at first because He was taking me away from everything I had ever known- I would still feel the same about moving to Washington. Fortunately, I have a God who provides no matter where I go and that is what He did. So if you took away all the good things that people love about Sydney at the end of the day I would still I feel extremely and utterly blessed to call this place my new home. I left Oregon not to let go of old but to gain a new - friends, memories, experience, and to follow the calling He has put before me.

To any of you who read this, I want you all to know that our God will never take you out to leave you. Trust in Him when He calls you because He’s calling you for greater. No doubt the transition will be a little difficult but that does not make it any less worth it.

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In everything, I give it back to you and say thank you. Thank you God for the opportunities to love what I do and to do what I love. 

Sometimes when God blesses you it’s in such a way that it may be hard to notice at first but other times, when He wants to go all out you can’t help but stand in awe and say, “Why me?” 

Just a few days ago I finished my first term of grad school. Finals have been presented, papers have been handed in and I am done. I don’t know if God did this for me or maybe He didn’t but the fact that my last day fell on the exact year mark of me graduating college is something else. It makes me all the more thankful. It has forced me to put my life in perspective. I am so blessed. I can honestly look back and see more good in my life than bad. I see more purpose in my life than random actions strung together by nothing. I see that God has proved His love to me over and over again. Although He does not need to, He does not have to, He does! My past has brought me here and my future is going beyond what I thought possible.  I saw something yesterday that really resonated with me. It said, “Renew your strength by finding hope in God. You’ll find that what should happen naturally (exhaustion and weariness) will be replaced by what happens supernaturally (energy and vitality). To that, I also want to add more hope, excitement, determination, and positivity  -that’s what I have. He is the best thing to happen to me, to my life.

So now, you are probably wondering what does all that have to do with the pictures above. I took those photos earlier today in my first paid studio shoot. In the grand scale of things they represent my faith in Him, that He is doing something way greater than I could have planned for. A couple weeks ago I saw a “help wanted” sign asking for a photographer to shoot a few art pieces. Thinking nothing of it,  I passed by the sign but God told me to go back and contact them. My first reaction: “Ha that’s funny God. I couldn’t possibly do that. I’m not good enough.”

To which He then replied:

What about you says you are not good enough? Isn’t it I in you that makes you qualified for any position I place you in? For years you have sought me in prayer and asked me to give you the opportunities to do what you love. I set a path for you (He provided me with the money to get camera equipment and helped me get accepted into art school so I could hone my skills and interest for photography) and walked along it with you, but now that I have answered you, you call yourself unqualified. Who are you to lay such a heavy burden on yourself when I have already lifted it off? Who are you to doubt the creation I made, which is you.

In my most recent post I talked about my journey with God. In that same journey I am continually reminded that growth happens everyday and that no area in your life is free from it. I never realized that God could show me how to trust Him more by forcing me to not settle. He did it in my life and He can do it in yours if you let Him. 

Long story short, despite the fact that I thought I didn’t have the right equipment, didn’t think I was good enough, and had an immense fear for the new and unknown, God came through. Before and during the shoot He reminded me to stay calm and helped me to remember all the lessons on photography I have learned over the years.

At the end of it all, I learned that new, old, repeated or not, it is not us who brings the ability, it’s God.

*To see this series in its entirety, check out my portfolio.

[gallery]

In everything, I give it back to you and say thank you. Thank you God for the opportunities to love what I do and to do what I love. 

Sometimes when God blesses you it’s in such a way that it may be hard to notice at first but other times, when He wants to go all out you can’t help but stand in awe and say, “Why me?” 

Just a few days ago I finished my first term of grad school. Finals have been presented, papers have been handed in and I am done. I don’t know if God did this for me or maybe He didn’t but the fact that my last day fell on the exact year mark of me graduating college is something else. It makes me all the more thankful. It has forced me to put my life in perspective. I am so blessed. I can honestly look back and see more good in my life than bad. I see more purpose in my life than random actions strung together by nothing. I see that God has proved His love to me over and over again. Although He does not need to, He does not have to, He does! My past has brought me here and my future is going beyond what I thought possible.  I saw something yesterday that really resonated with me. It said, “Renew your strength by finding hope in God. You’ll find that what should happen naturally (exhaustion and weariness) will be replaced by what happens supernaturally (energy and vitality). To that, I also want to add more hope, excitement, determination, and positivity  -that’s what I have. He is the best thing to happen to me, to my life.

So now, you are probably wondering what does all that have to do with the pictures above. I took those photos earlier today in my first paid studio shoot. In the grand scale of things they represent my faith in Him, that He is doing something way greater than I could have planned for. A couple weeks ago I saw a “help wanted” sign asking for a photographer to shoot a few art pieces. Thinking nothing of it,  I passed by the sign but God told me to go back and contact them. My first reaction: “Ha that’s funny God. I couldn’t possibly do that. I’m not good enough.”

To which He then replied:

What about you says you are not good enough? Isn’t it I in you that makes you qualified for any position I place you in? For years you have sought me in prayer and asked me to give you the opportunities to do what you love. I set a path for you (He provided me with the money to get camera equipment and helped me get accepted into art school so I could hone my skills and interest for photography) and walked along it with you, but now that I have answered you, you call yourself unqualified. Who are you to lay such a heavy burden on yourself when I have already lifted it off? Who are you to doubt the creation I made, which is you.

In my most recent post I talked about my journey with God. In that same journey I am continually reminded that growth happens everyday and that no area in your life is free from it. I never realized that God could show me how to trust Him more by forcing me to not settle. He did it in my life and He can do it in yours if you let Him. 

Long story short, despite the fact that I thought I didn’t have the right equipment, didn’t think I was good enough, and had an immense fear for the new and unknown, God came through. Before and during the shoot He reminded me to stay calm and helped me to remember all the lessons on photography I have learned over the years.

At the end of it all, I learned that new, old, repeated or not, it is not us who brings the ability, it’s God.

*To see this series in its entirety, check out my portfolio.

[gallery]

In everything, I give it back to you and say thank you. Thank you God for the opportunities to love what I do and to do what I love. 

Sometimes when God blesses you it’s in such a way that it may be hard to notice at first but other times, when He wants to go all out you can’t help but stand in awe and say, “Why me?” 

Just a few days ago I finished my first term of grad school. Finals have been presented, papers have been handed in and I am done. I don’t know if God did this for me or maybe He didn’t but the fact that my last day fell on the exact year mark of me graduating college is something else. It makes me all the more thankful. It has forced me to put my life in perspective. I am so blessed. I can honestly look back and see more good in my life than bad. I see more purpose in my life than random actions strung together by nothing. I see that God has proved His love to me over and over again. Although He does not need to, He does not have to, He does! My past has brought me here and my future is going beyond what I thought possible.  I saw something yesterday that really resonated with me. It said, “Renew your strength by finding hope in God. You’ll find that what should happen naturally (exhaustion and weariness) will be replaced by what happens supernaturally (energy and vitality). To that, I also want to add more hope, excitement, determination, and positivity  -that’s what I have. He is the best thing to happen to me, to my life.

So now, you are probably wondering what does all that have to do with the pictures above. I took those photos earlier today in my first paid studio shoot. In the grand scale of things they represent my faith in Him, that He is doing something way greater than I could have planned for. A couple weeks ago I saw a “help wanted” sign asking for a photographer to shoot a few art pieces. Thinking nothing of it,  I passed by the sign but God told me to go back and contact them. My first reaction: “Ha that’s funny God. I couldn’t possibly do that. I’m not good enough.”

To which He then replied:

What about you says you are not good enough? Isn’t it I in you that makes you qualified for any position I place you in? For years you have sought me in prayer and asked me to give you the opportunities to do what you love. I set a path for you (He provided me with the money to get camera equipment and helped me get accepted into art school so I could hone my skills and interest for photography) and walked along it with you, but now that I have answered you, you call yourself unqualified. Who are you to lay such a heavy burden on yourself when I have already lifted it off? Who are you to doubt the creation I made, which is you.

In my most recent post I talked about my journey with God. In that same journey I am continually reminded that growth happens everyday and that no area in your life is free from it. I never realized that God could show me how to trust Him more by forcing me to not settle. He did it in my life and He can do it in yours if you let Him. 

Long story short, despite the fact that I thought I didn’t have the right equipment, didn’t think I was good enough, and had an immense fear for the new and unknown, God came through. Before and during the shoot He reminded me to stay calm and helped me to remember all the lessons on photography I have learned over the years.

At the end of it all, I learned that new, old, repeated or not, it is not us who brings the ability, it’s God.

*To see this series in its entirety, check out my portfolio.

[gallery]

In everything, I give it back to you and say thank you. Thank you God for the opportunities to love what I do and to do what I love. 

Sometimes when God blesses you it’s in such a way that it may be hard to notice at first but other times, when He wants to go all out you can’t help but stand in awe and say, “Why me?” 

Just a few days ago I finished my first term of grad school. Finals have been presented, papers have been handed in and I am done. I don’t know if God did this for me or maybe He didn’t but the fact that my last day fell on the exact year mark of me graduating college is something else. It makes me all the more thankful. It has forced me to put my life in perspective. I am so blessed. I can honestly look back and see more good in my life than bad. I see more purpose in my life than random actions strung together by nothing. I see that God has proved His love to me over and over again. Although He does not need to, He does not have to, He does! My past has brought me here and my future is going beyond what I thought possible.  I saw something yesterday that really resonated with me. It said, “Renew your strength by finding hope in God. You’ll find that what should happen naturally (exhaustion and weariness) will be replaced by what happens supernaturally (energy and vitality). To that, I also want to add more hope, excitement, determination, and positivity  -that’s what I have. He is the best thing to happen to me, to my life.

So now, you are probably wondering what does all that have to do with the pictures above. I took those photos earlier today in my first paid studio shoot. In the grand scale of things they represent my faith in Him, that He is doing something way greater than I could have planned for. A couple weeks ago I saw a “help wanted” sign asking for a photographer to shoot a few art pieces. Thinking nothing of it,  I passed by the sign but God told me to go back and contact them. My first reaction: “Ha that’s funny God. I couldn’t possibly do that. I’m not good enough.”

To which He then replied:

What about you says you are not good enough? Isn’t it I in you that makes you qualified for any position I place you in? For years you have sought me in prayer and asked me to give you the opportunities to do what you love. I set a path for you (He provided me with the money to get camera equipment and helped me get accepted into art school so I could hone my skills and interest for photography) and walked along it with you, but now that I have answered you, you call yourself unqualified. Who are you to lay such a heavy burden on yourself when I have already lifted it off? Who are you to doubt the creation I made, which is you.

In my most recent post I talked about my journey with God. In that same journey I am continually reminded that growth happens everyday and that no area in your life is free from it. I never realized that God could show me how to trust Him more by forcing me to not settle. He did it in my life and He can do it in yours if you let Him. 

Long story short, despite the fact that I thought I didn’t have the right equipment, didn’t think I was good enough, and had an immense fear for the new and unknown, God came through. Before and during the shoot He reminded me to stay calm and helped me to remember all the lessons on photography I have learned over the years.

At the end of it all, I learned that new, old, repeated or not, it is not us who brings the ability, it’s God.

*To see this series in its entirety, check out my portfolio.

Single and not yet ready to mingle

Everyone has them. They are called relationship issues. They appear when you least expect them and turns out you don’t even need a boyfriend to have them either. So, whether or not I may regret what I am about to say I will say it anyway: I have never had a boyfriend. I’m 21 years old and I have never had a boyfriend (I feel like a huge weight should be lifted off my chest right now but the whole confessing of secrets to the online public kinda ruins that for me). There are times when I cannot seem to get the thought of having one out of my head and then there are times when I couldn’t care less - luckily it’s more of the latter. However, the question still remains, why haven’t I ever had a boyfriend?

Fortunately enough for me, I was able to gain a little clarity on the matter when I came across Generation Unleashed’s Pastor Poncho and his series on How Are Things Making Out: Dating, Relating, and Waiting.

Weird title, I know right. But it was strange enough to stir my interest.

Here’s what I got from it:

You don’t always have to jump into dating first to find that special person - you can just be friends. This is what Pastor Poncho referred to as the relating part. Hang out with them in a friendly group setting, get to know their common and uncommon interests, just be comfortable around each other. No need to rush or to worry about doing anything because’ y’all are just friends. Then, if after the relating stage you both happen to have a deeper interest in one another, by all means, start datin’. Now dating is not just to hang out more and be friends with benefits. No, you date to see if the feelings involved could possibly grow into a deeper connection that could draw you into marriage. You’re seeing if you could really spend the rest of your life with this other person. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, that’s okay. Do not feel pressured to marry the first person you date. Take the time to go to God and re-evaluate what it is you learned, changed, and now want. Don’t go searching for another to see if you can make it right. Just chill your roll for a moment.

   However, when you do find the right one, CONGRATS. This is not the time for you to get physical though. This is the time where you can in fact slow things down for a bit. Find out more about each other, talk about the relationship you both want, and what y’all don’t want. Don’t forget to set boundaries. Now that everything is new and fresh it’s the perfect time to do just that. Poncho talked about setting boundaries so nothing would be rushed and temptation wouldn’t rear any bit of its ugly head. While there is no sin about kissing, hugging, or holding hands it’s still a good thing to set boundaries. Just because y’all are now en route to the chapel does not mean you should go all the way to the line without actually crossing it.

   This is where he discussed 1 Corinthians 10:23. “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’”—but not everything is constructive.” Pastor Poncho put it this way: If you are dating and/or engaged why would you do all the things you possibly could before crossing that line of sin? It would make the rest of your time before marriage miserable. You both would be then so focused on what other new things could be done without sinning. What would give you that excitement without repeating the same things.

God isn’t saying all this to bore you; He’s doing all that to get you focused on more than the physical and to get you excited! When you’re not thinking about physical things you can look towards getting to know them a lot more, get into new activities/hobbies with them. Also, when you set clear boundaries you can have something to actually look forward to. Now it’s not like, oh on this day let’s hold hands for the first time then the month after we can kiss - well it can be  like that if you prefer. Whatever it is, just don’t rush into everything all at once.

There was so much more Pastor Poncho said and a lot more I gleaned from that but God laid it on my heart to just share with you guys a little bit of my story and a few bits of what I picked up. So you see, even while I’m in the “single department”, God is still readying my mind and heart for the future.