There must be something in the water.

How to be Awesome part 3 is “Don’t Poison Your Well.” She says that we’re vessels trying to put forth this good, clean water and the 3 main ways that we poison our well and sabotage ourselves is through negative people, negative thoughts, and negative actions.

I fill my well by reading. Whether it’s christian fiction romance books or some article on new public relations tools on Pinterest. (I love music and movies but I typically pick the sappy, emotional ones so I don’t think that qualifies as filling my well.) When my well is getting really low then I pull out my favorite verse, which is, Isaiah 43:2 which says “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” It reminds me that I’m never alone, no matter what I’m going through or where I am. You are with me always.

My affirmation to replace the negative thoughts is famous quotes. I post them all over my room. I have canvas’ covering my wall. My newest one is “Darling, you’re adequate. While dancing. While speaking. While ugly crying. While spitting game. While struggling. While fighting. While laughing like a lunatic. While singing Taylor Swift at the top of your lungs. While slamming the door and walking away. In every crook of you stands some sort of adequacy that the world would do anything to keep you unconvinced of.” Hannah Brencher posted that on Instagram one time and it stuck with me. I really liked that word adequate. I looked up synonyms for it, which are: satisfactory, acceptable, sufficient, and enoughThat word hit home because I constantly feel like I’m not enough. I identify with the way we poison our own well. I am my own worst enemy. I let that one negative thing ruin my whole day way too often. I dwell on it and let it sit there for days in the back of my mind, reminding me that I am not enough.

“So I followed that preacher man down to the river and now I’m changed
And now I’m stronger

There must be been something in the water
Oh there must be something in the water
Oh there must be something in the water
Oh there must be something in the water”

So that is my prayer today. I pray that I let you fill my well. I pray that I stop poisoning my own well with my thoughts and actions. I pray that I remember Carrie Underwood’s song. I pray that I remember that you saved me. That I am enough for you. That I am adequate for you. That I am acceptable and sufficient for you. I pray that I keep trying to be better because we are all “works in progress” but that I also learn to be satisfied with the progress. I pray that I remember that you created every single hair on my head for a purpose. I pray that I remember to fall on my knees in worship for you. I pray that I lean on you. I pray that I keep coming back to you. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Shake it off.

Part 2 of How to be Awesome is “Put Your Goals Before Your Pride.” She said that our pride was keeping us from reaching our full potential. That is so true! If you like something then go after it full heartily.

We can’t be afraid to try, to fail, to succeed. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” There are always going to be people that don’t like you or like what you do. Negativity spreads like wildfire but so does positive energy. (I don’t know about you, but I like happy thoughts.) It is so easy to buy into the negative stuff and let our pride take the fall. We give up or change our minds and opinion based on what we think others will think of us. (Truth time: I am real bad at doing that sometimes.)

“But I keep cruising
Can’t stop, won’t stop moving
It’s like I got this music
In my mind
Saying, “It’s gonna be alright.”

‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heart-breakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off”

God, you have a plan for us that is so much bigger than we could ever imagine. Sometimes negativity sinks in but we just have to “shake it off.” We have to be resilient and bounce back. We have to grow and continue to move forward. Dr. Suess said “those who mind, don’t matter and those who matter, don’t mind.” We just have to concentrate on you, Lord, and the rest will take care of itself.

So, that is my prayer. I pray that I learn to keep dancing along with Taylor Swift and “shake it off.” I pray that I learn to shake off the negative. That I learn to shake off my pride. I pray that I learn a little from Taylor Swift and how she focuses on the positive. I pray that I don’t let my pride come before you or my goals. I pray that I keep my eyes on you. I pray that I go after you and what I want whole heartily. I pray that I share your love with others. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I want to sing a song for You, Lord.

I stumbled upon this How to be awesome video by Alison Faulkner. It was just there on Pinterest like it was waiting for me to watch. The first video says “Get Started.” She talks about how if you like something “just do it.” She even specifically talked about blogs. I have always wanted to write for as long as I can remember. I tried to start in like middle school but that’s a rough age, to be honest. I would always give up because it wasn’t good enough. But in this video she says that the best way to learn is through the school of hard knocks and experience. The messages in her video were so basic. I completely related and understood. I kept thinking, where has this been my whole life? So thank you Alison, for reminding of the importance to just try. Plus her positive energy was just absolutely contagious. I love that all of the things she tried led her to one thing that finally clicked. Like each thing she tried taught her something new that eventually led to the thing she was successful at. Like it’s totally ok to fail because it teaches you something.

The video totally had me thinking. Then once again music started playing in my head. (Because what is life without a soundtrack?) It’s like my brain has this master playlist and it just plays exactly what I am thinking.

I want to sing a song for You, Lord
Lord, for You I want to sing a song
And I want to lift my voice to Heaven
And listen to the angels sing along

A song of Your faithfulness
A song of Your grace
And of Your loving kindness
To the glory of Your name
With everything that’s in me, Lord
Listen to me say
I want to sing a song for You
I want to sing a song

I want to live my life for You, Lord
Lord, for You I want to live my life
And I want to praise the name of Jesus
And Pray above all things You’re glorified

So this is my prayer today. I pray that I continue to just do it. I pray that I continue to pour my heart out to you. I pray that while I can’t sing a song for you like Third Day, I can write. I pray that I use the gifts you gave me. I pray that everything I do points only to you. I pray that while I stumble and fall and make mistakes, I keep writing for you. I keep going for you. I thank you for the courage to get started. I thank you for listening to me when I was scared to try. Thank you for making sure I was ready. Thank you for creating me. I pray that you keep pulling on my heart. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Help pour out the rain.

Today was one of those days where I just felt miserable for no reason. I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed and everything was down hill from there. Then tonight after chapter I went to the Deli for dinner and on the way back it started raining and my best friend says “Ohh the irony.” I thought she just had some joke that she remembered or something. I just moved on with the conversation and kept going. Then she said something else about the rain and asked if I wanted her umbrella when I walked back across the street to the house. I said “No, thanks. I like the rain.” She responded with “I know.” Then I was all like “oh my goodness, you’re talking about me when you said ‘Ohh the irony.” She was all like duh! I love that she knows me better than I know myself. She knew I was having a bad day and knew the moment it began raining what the rain would mean to me. The rain is my reminder of Christopher and God partying in Heaven.

After I said goodbye to my best friend and continued walking back to the house. Help pour out the rain started playing in my head. Mama, Daddy, and I used to watch Buddy Jewell and vote for him every week on Nashville Star so when he sang this song we were sold. We were all crying on the couch. (Daddy was ugly crying! He could hardly breathe. He likes to act all tough so don’t tell him I told you but he’s a total softy.)

The moment was custom made to order
I was ridin’ with my daughter on our way back from Monroe
An’ like children do she started playin’ twenty questions’
But I never would’ve guessed one could touch me to my soul

Like, “Daddy, when we get to Heaven, can I taste the Milky Way?
Are we goin’ there to visit, or are we goin’ there to stay?
Am I gonna see my Grandpa? Can I have a pair of wings?
An’ do you think that God could use another Angel
To help pour out the rain?”

So that is my prayer today. I want to say thank you for giving such a beautiful, talented, brilliant, encouraging, perfect best friend to remind me of your love. Thank you for blessing my life with her presence. Thank you for giving her the strength to pick me up when I fall. (Sometimes literally! I’m clumsy.) Thank you for your reminder that you are always taking care of me even on my bad days. Thank you for letting even the bad days end and giving me a new start tomorrow. I pray that you keep watching out for us. I pray that you keep reminding us that even on the bad days we can find joy. Thank you for putting people in our lives to remind of that. I pray that you let Christopher help pour out the rain. He would like that. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I can feel the hope that’s rising in me.

“It’s a good morning!
Wake up to a brand new day
This morning,
I’m stepping, stepping on my way
Good morning,
You give me strength,
You give me just what I need
And I can feel the hope that’s rising in me.
It’s a good morning”

It’s labor day and I have so much to be thankful for today so I’m gonna make one of my lists.

1. I am thankful for my new dog. His name is Jackson. Bryce said he would teach him how to hunt. He is the most precious thing ever! He’s so sweet and smart and so well behaved! Jackson is a lab and terrier mix and he is about 9 weeks old. He is gonna live with my family until I move off campus and can get a place where I can keep him. On the way to get him we sang Johnny and June’s “Jackson.” (I get so excited for the “go comb your hair” part, I practically scream it.)

“Well, go on down to Jackson; go ahead and wreck your health.
Go play your hand you big-talkin’ man, make a big fool of yourself,
You’re goin’ to Jackson; go comb your hair!
Honey, I’m gonna snowball Jackson.
See if I care.”

2. I’m thankful to have some time at home and be surrounded by such a wonderful family. Mariah, Morgan, Bryce, Daddy, Mama, and Samantha are all here. We are about to eat lunch. Dad cooked bar-b-que and ribs all night long. This morning Dad got Jackson up and let him play outside while he smoked the food on the grill.

“God is great and God is Good,
And we thank God for our food;
By God’s hand we must be fed,
Give us Lord, our daily bread.
Amen.”

3. I’m thankful for my daddy who took care of me. He got me new tires and an oil change yesterday so that I can go home safely today.

4. I’m thankful for my mama who got Jackson a camo bed, leash, and everything camo.

5. I am thankful for such a wonderful day. It’s been such a perfect day.

So that is my prayer today. Thank you Lord for everything you have given me. Thank you for today and for my family. Please keep watching over my family and protecting them. Make sure they take care of Jackson while I’m gone too. Keep my eyes open so I can see the beauty in all your blessings around me. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Give us pure hearts.

This morning during the service we were asked to remember when we were first saved and think back to when we had the most zeal for you, Lord. I was in the 2nd grade and I was sitting with my family in the balcony of the church. I was at the front of the balcony looking down at everyone and we were singing and worshiping you. I remember feeling so much love and passion for you. All I wanted was to be closer to you, to reach out to you. I ran back to my mama in the middle of the song and told her I was ready. So, during the invitational Mama took me down to alter and we talked with the children’s director about getting baptized. I had already been saved but I wanted to be baptized. I don’t know what was so special about that day other than I just felt so on fire for you, Lord. I just felt called by you and I wasn’t afraid at all. I was excited and ready. I don’t know if it was the song we were singing or what, but I just felt you with me.

Too often we let the rest of the world leave us scared and hesitant; like if we are different, we aren’t good enough. I sometimes miss being a kid, when we were resilient and so ready and willing to be called. I think we all should try to hold onto some of that childhood innocence and zeal for you.  I can remember going to summer camps as a kid and we would have chapel everyday and devotions and small group stuff. Everything was tied back to you somehow. I just remember feeling so refreshed and ready to go out into the world after camp. I wish we still had now. Camp was like sacred, like nothing bad could happen there; it was a safe bubble separated from the rest of the world.

Life gets in the way sometimes. I get so busy running around that I forget to say thank you. I forget how to keep that childhood zeal I had for you. I need to work on that. I need to work on staying in your word and having that “camp attitude” all year long. I need to remember to come to you more frequently and more abundantly with an open heart.

“Give us clean hands, oh God and give us pure hearts
Let us not lift our souls to another

Oh God let us be a generation that seeks
Who seeks Your face, oh God of Jacob
Oh God let us be a generation that seeks
Who seeks Your face, oh God of Jacob”

This is my prayer today. I pray that I stay faithful to you. I pray that I come to you with open eyes, open arms, and an open heart. I pray that I come to you with the same zeal that I had when I first accepted you into my heart. I pray that I learn to be more seeking of you. I pray that I fall to my knees in search of you more often. I pray that I come humbly before you. I pray that I keep my eyes focused on you, Lord. I pray that you keep working on my heart. I pray that I keep running to you. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.