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.

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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.