You’re making this life so beautiful.

Today, is gonna be a good day. I am so ready for today. Class got pushed back by half an hour so, I get to sleep a few more minutes. We have a busy day ending with Thanksgiving Dinner with my sisters and then we’re going to see the next Hunger Games movie, Mockingjay Part 1. (Which I’m totally not ready for! I’m gonna cry my eyes out when Peeta gets hurt!)

I’ve been thinking about this song today and all the beauty that today holds. (And I don’t just mean my face because we are taking hundreds of pictures today! Even though my outfit is pretty great today!)

Lord, there is a lot of uncertainty in my life right now. Like what direction my life is headed in after college, but I’m laying it all at Your feet. I want to be lost in You. I’m giving You my life. Lead me where You want me. I am getting closer and closer to the next stage and as scary as it is, I am so ready for it. I’m ready to get out there and do something. I’m ready to begin the next chapter. The more lost I became this year, the more I found You. I think I needed to let go of some of me, to find more of You. I still have things to work on. I am a work in progress. You are guiding me and giving my life new meaning. Lord, You are changing my heart this year. I am learning a lot. I am being put to the test this year. I am being pushed harder than ever. I am realizing things that I hadn’t before. I am leaning on You and trusting You in ways I haven’t done.

“I’m after Your heart. You’ve stolen mine”

So, that is my prayer today. Thank you for today. Thank you for letting me see the beauty in today. Thank you for leading me. Thank you for changing me. Thank you for opening my eyes. Thank you for the many blessings in my life. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for setting me free and taking away the chains. Thank you for being strong enough. Thank you for waking me up today with purpose. Thank you for showing me the good in the small things. I pray that I continue to see the beauty in what you gave us. I pray that I continue to grow in you. I pray I keep moving forward. I pray that while I’m scared that I don’t lose sight of you. I pray that I put my worry and stress at the feet of the cross. I pray that I focus on 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.

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He can handle it.

Yesterday, my heart was real heavy. For some reason, the devil was just working really hard yesterday. There was a lot of worry and stress and heartache. (So, since I’m already sad what do I do? Watch a Christmas movie where the mom dies.) As my birthday gets closer the more nervous I get. I’m so anxious about that day. What I realized yesterday was that I am not alone in my grief. My friends are missing him too. My best friend is missing her grandpa. A woman is missing her daughter.

My first thought was I can’t handle this. I’m not strong enough to deal with this much. Then I realized that’s the point. I am not built to handle this. I am not built to deal with this. I am not built to understand this. I am built to fall to my knees. I am built to bring my burdens and worry and heartache to You. I am built to come to You because You can handle it.

Psalm 55:22 says if we cast our burdens on You, You will sustain us. Even in the middle of my bad mood, I realize how big I’m blessed. Lord, You will sustain us. You will not only take care of us; You will strengthen us. You will support us and carry our burdens. We are Your children.

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” Psalm 68:19

So, that is my prayer today. Thank you for sustaining me. Thank you for strengthening me. Thank you carrying my burden. Thank you for doing the same for everyone around me. Thank you for supporting my friends and family. Thank you for loving them even more than I do. Thank you for taking care of them. Lord, thank you for being strong enough. Lord, thank you for being more than enough. 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 am redeemed.

I absolutely love fairy tales. I love that they teach that love always wins. So, of course when the show, Once Upon A Time, started I was all for it. I love that the lines between good and evil are not always black and white. That even the best people have their weaknesses and even the ones you think will always be the villain, have some good in them. I love that the villains and heroes are not born that way, but they chose to be that way. I love that they have a choice in their actions and a choice in how their stories are written. I think we are all given the freedom of choice. Everything we do is our choice, You just know what we are going to choose before it happens. You gave us life, but what we do with it is up to us.

On the last episode they said that forgiveness was earned.  I agree that when we do something wrong we should apologize and try to make up for it. I don’t think that forgiveness is earned. I don’t think that any amount of good deeds makes up for our mistakes. We are sinners. We are not perfect. I was always taught that Your love was pure; that there were no strings attached. We just have to believe in You. We simply call Your name and ask for forgiveness and confess that You are God. Lord, I believe that you forgave me even though I don’t deserve it. That You took away the darkness and made it light. You took away my sin. That doesn’t mean we should be complacent in our wrongdoings. I believe that because we are forgiven and loved that purely, that we should want to share that love and strive to be better. That doesn’t mean we won’t fall sometimes, but it does mean that we will try harder to be better next time. I believe we are called to live in a way that will honor you. I believe that you saved me for a reason. There is a purpose for my life. I believe that when we accept You into our lives that we are changed. We are redeemed.

When I was younger, in children’s church they always taught it to us by having us make these “salvation bracelets” that were made with different colored beads. Black is our sin which separates us from You. Red is because You died on the cross for our sins. White is our new lives in You because You cleansed all our sins. “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” Isaiah 1:18 Blue is for our baptism when we confess You are God. Green is for our growth in You and our faith. “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18 Gold is for the promise that one day we will meet You in Heaven.

So, that is my prayer today. Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for your grace and salvation. Thank you for loving me with a pure love. I pray that I show more of your love and unselfishness. I pray that I learn to forgive more easily. I pray that I give more to those around me. I pray that I strive to be better for you. I pray that I use the life you gave me. I pray that I grow in you. I pray that I use my life to serve you. I pray that I use my life to lift your name up. 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’m standing strong, but I’m still on my knees praying.

I found this article today. I didn’t realize how much it would apply to me. All of them hit home, but there were a few that just completely explain my life.

17 Things Former Bullied Kids Do A Little Bit Differently As Adults by: Kovie Biakolo

3. “Being vulnerable with people will always be a slightly terrifying experience for you. Probably because you realized early on just how awful people can be.”

Sometimes, I literally have nightmares. I’m scared to let them in. What if they judge me or think I deserved it or that it was my fault? Sometimes, I just wanna hide it all away. I’m not comfortable being vulnerable and showing weakness. I have a problem with trusting people with so much. What if I give you that little part of me and you leave me or decide I’m not worth the trouble?

10. “It’s easy for you to get very defensive about personal issues that you struggle with.”

I know what my issues are. I’m working on them. I do not need to be reminded of my issues. I am painfully aware of them.

11. “Humor is almost always your defense mechanism to deal with the issues that have the potential to personally hurt you.”

I should probably apologize to my person for this one. I tend to make things real awkward. Sometimes, I would rather have the power and be the one making fun of myself than everyone else doing it. The truth is, just because I’m laughing and try to make a joke out of it, doesn’t make it funny. It just makes people really uncomfortable.

“13. You can spot adult bullies from a mile away and you either avoid them like the plague or are not afraid to confront them at every turn.”

15. “Having to “take crap” from anyone or anything is like re-living bad memories from your childhood. And you will almost always refuse to do it, no matter the consequences.”

I have a slight problem with authority now. I tend to get real defensive. I tend to think everyone is out to get me. I don’t like constructive criticism of any sort. I will avoid it like the plague.

16. “You find it difficult to admit to anyone including yourself, that there are certain words or actions that will always remind you of the scars you obtained from childhood.”

There are some things that I still can’t get over even though it was a long time ago. There are some scars that just don’t fade as quickly.

17. “Some days you feel like the little child who can still get hurt easily when you remember the past; other days because of that past, you feel like there’s not a single thing in the world that can ever really hurt you again.”

Sometimes, I’m so fragile that it feels like anything could break me. I have to remind myself that nothing in this world could ever break me. Lord, You saved me.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that on the bad days, I remember how blessed I am. I pray I remember that you love me. That you gave it all for me. That you would have done it for just me. I pray I remember that while scars don’t ever fully leave, they do hurt less. I pray that I remember that I am not broken. I pray I remember that not everyone will hurt me. That it’s ok to show my vulnerability and let people in. That it’s also ok to be strong and careful. I pray that I work on my defense mechanisms. I pray that I lean on you when I need it. I pray that I always come to you when I feel weak or lost. I pray that I remember that I am yours. 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.

Go on and try to tear me down.

I’m realizing lately that I have a lot of quirks. Like I love buying high heels, but I hate wearing them. I’m pretty sure I just like looking at them in my closet. I laugh like a high pitched hyena. I’m either extremely quiet and reserved or extremely loud and obnoxious. There is no in-between. I always say the wrong thing. (And then I dwell on it for the rest of my life.) I fall a lot. I cannot sing, but when I’m in the car, I am totally Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood rolled up in one. I am a creature of habit. I like what I like. I am constantly writing things down. (Especially songs I like.) I like movies made during the 1990’s and early 2000’s the best. I have an accent that gets stronger when I’m mad or hyper. I don’t like driving on bridges. I bend my knees when I ride elevators because I heard one time that your knees are the first thing to break if an elevator crashes. Sometimes I want attention. Sometimes I cry for no reason at all. I started this January out with like 12 movies, maybe. I now have like 95. (It’s a problem.) I can listen to the same Taylor Swift songs over and over and over. (And over.) I’m real awkward sometimes. I’m also real adorable sometimes. (Especially when my princess hand goes under my chin.) I might be 22 years, but I still wear bows in my hair and I sleep with a teddy bear.

People don’t always understand me. They underestimate me. They think I’m not enough. They think awful things about me and just love telling me every single thing. They think I won’t make it in public relations.

By the way, the girl they thought had no friends or leadership abilities, is doing just fine.

“I could build a castle out of all the bricks they threw at me.”

So, this is my prayer today. I pray that that you keep building me. I pray that you keep working on me. I pray that I continue to grow. I pray that I concentrate more on you. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for my quirks. Thank you for making me the way I am. Thank you for sending people to teach me things. Thank you for making me strong. Thank you for making me resilient. Thank you for seeing in me what others don’t. Thank you for every single hair on my head. Thank you for creating me with a purpose. I pray for my enemies. I pray they have a better day tomorrow. I pray that they are loved. 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.

He is jealous for me.

I saw the new gospel version of Nick Jonas’ song “Jealous.” (I do love some Nick Jonas!) I love gospel music! It always sounds so heavenly. Like gospel singers are singing right to you. Like they know something we don’t. If I could sing like that I don’t think I would stop singing. (I am a terrible singer, but that sure doesn’t stop me from singing anyways.)

It got me thinking about what being jealous meant.  So, I googled the definition and this is what is said:

1 feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages.
synonyms: envious, covetous, desirous

2 feeling or showing suspicion of someone’s unfaithfulness in a relationship.
synonyms: suspicious, distrustful, mistrustful, doubting, insecure, anxious

3 fiercely protective or vigilant of one’s rights or possessions.
synonyms: protective, vigilant, watchful, heedful, mindful, careful, solicitous

Nick Jonas was clearly singing about the second definition and being jealous in a relationship when he sang the song originally. The gospel version made me think of the song in a different way. I started to rethink what jealous meant. I started thinking about the other two kinds of jealously.

I definitely have moments where I am the first kind of jealously. I look around and see the people in different stages in their lives. I know the grass isn’t always greener. I know that things aren’t always what they seem. I can rationalize the jealously away. I can accept where I am at in life. I can even be happy where I am, but I still get jealous. I get jealous of their accomplishments, their relationships, and mostly their homes. Lately, I’ve been jealous of their relationship with You. That is something I can work on. I have control over that. I want more of You. I want to worship You more. I want to see You more. I want to lift You up more.

I think You are the third kind of jealous. I think You want more of us. I think You want to be closer to us. You love us so much. You created us with a passion and love. You created us with a purpose and for a reason and all You want is more of us.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray for more of you. I pray that I learn to walk with you more. I pray that I talk to you more. I pray that I worship you more. I pray I bring honor and glory to you. I pray that I only get closer to you. I pray that I still get  jealous of you. I pray that I continuously seek more of you. I pray that you still get jealous of me. I pray that you still want more of me. I pray that you still want me of me. I pray that we seek more of each other. I pray that I continue to be in awe of you. I pray I continue to see just how beautiful you are. I pray that I continue to be humbled by your love for me and for everyone you created. 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.

For I am Yours and You are mine.

There was a picture on Facebook posted by the Proverbs 31 Ministries that had a quote from Lisa Whittle. It said: “I need God to consume me more than my life currently does.” I opened the picture and let it sit on my computer for a couple of days so I could think about it more. I want that kind of relationship with You, Lord. I want to be consumed by You.

As I was thinking about this, I saw an article. I was curious so, I clicked on it. In the post, she says “Godly Girls Want Jesus.” Lord, I want that. I want to be a Godly girl. I want to be closer to You. She goes on to say “All a Godly girl wants is one thing more than anything else: more of Jesus.” I want to be the type of person that is always striving for more of You. I want to be found in You. I want to be constantly moving towards You.

The article made me think of my favorite verse which is Isaiah 43:2. I went to read the verse again. This time I read a little more though.

1 But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. 3 For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. 4 Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you; Therefore I will give men for you, And people for your life. 5 Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west; 6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth— 7 Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” 8 Bring out the blind people who have eyes, And the deaf who have ears. 9 Let all the nations be gathered together, And let the people be assembled. Who among them can declare this, And show us former things? Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified; Or let them hear and say, “It is truth.” -Isaiah 43:1-9

Then as usual the soundtrack in my head started playing.

So, this is my prayer today. I pray that I become consumed by you. I pray that I seek more of you. I pray that I grow closer to you. I pray that I continue to build my relationship with you. I pray that I trust you more. I pray that I remember you are with me always. I pray that I keep my eyes focused on you. I pray that I look for you everywhere I go. I pray that you keep calling me. I pray that you keep reaching for me. I pray I learn to be your witness and servant. I pray that I learn to be a Godly girl. I pray that I keep striving to be more like you. I pray that I keep trying. I pray I remember that I am yours, that I am your child. 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’m gonna miss this.

Yesterday, I was so focused on the future and moving out that I realized “I’m gonna miss this.”

I’m gonna miss living in this sorority house. I’m gonna miss the movie nights. I’m gonna miss the sleepovers in the chapter room. I’m gonna sitting up all night talking. I’m gonna miss pulling all nighters in the study room upstairs. I’m gonna miss mattress surfing. I might even miss everyone telling me I’m too loud. (Which I am 99.9% of the time.) I’m gonna miss my little coming into my room everyday and sitting on my bed and telling me about her day. I’m gonna miss all the laughter, tears, screams, and all the noise made here. I’m gonna miss singing at the top of my lungs to recruitment songs, dance competitions, and door chants. I’m gonna miss all the flowers. (Somehow this house is always filled with flowers.)

I’m gonna miss all the memories I made here. Like the time that my best friend and I ran up the stairs screaming and crying and jumping up and down because we got our badges. Or the times that we played Just Dance on the Wii, over and over and over and over again. Or the times we built forts by tacking sheets to the ceiling. I’m gonna miss Christmas here. (It’s soooo pretty.) Or this year for recruitment when we danced to Shake It Off after recruitment parties. Or any one of the pref ceremonies. Or the many times we locked ourselves out of our rooms. Or the crafting sessions for our littles.

So, this is my prayer today. I pray that I say thank you for all the time I’ve spent in this house. Thank you for the friendships that were created here. Thank you for the lessons I’ve learned here. Thank you for the memories made here. I pray that I cherish the time I have left here and make the most of it. I pray that I enjoy the present. I pray for my sisters. I pray that they grow in this house as much as I did. I pray they they enjoy this house and appreciate it. I pray they make as many memories as I did here. I pray they continue some traditions and start some of their own. I pray they relive a few of their childhood memories because college is stressful and every now and then they need to have some fun. 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’m gonna get there someday.

I keep getting told that I’m in the “in between” stage. I have so many goals and dreams that I feel like are at the tip of my fingers, but they seem to be just out of reach. I am just not quite there yet. I haven’t graduated yet. I haven’t started my career. I don’t have a place of my own yet. I’m so focused on the next stage. (I literally have every room of my future house completely decorated on Pinterest!) As much as I love college, I am ready for some stability. I am ready to have an actual home. I want to live in one place for more than six months without moving. I want furniture that is not built into the room. I want to be able to take a bath with some candles burning. I want to be able to watch Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel, which we do not have here. I want a white house with blue shutters and a red front door. I want a porch to wrap all the way around. I want a big yard with trees. I want my dog!!! I totally wouldn’t mind if that house was on a lake either.

So, tonight when I was trying to fall asleep, my mind was running all over the place. I thought something touched my ear, pretty sure it was my blanket. I kinda jumped because I was half asleep. I leave Pandora on when I sleep and this was the song playing.

I can’t explain it. I just felt like I should pay attention to the song so I turned the music up a little louder and listened. I’m glad I did because it seemed to be just what I needed to hear.

So, that’s my prayer today. I pray that I continue to listen to you. I pray that I continue to receive your lessons. I pray that I lean on you. I pray that I remember that it’s your timing. I pray that I trust your plan. I pray that I remember “I’m gonna get there someday.” I pray that I try not to rush the future. Thank you for the many ways I’m blessed. Thank you giving me things to work for. I pray that I keep working as hard as I can to reach my goals and to bring others to you.  I pray that I make you proud. I pray that I learn to be content. I pray that I realize I am right where I am supposed to be, for now. I pray that I am more appreciative of what I have in this moment. 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.

That’s something to be proud of.

Today, in class, we are turning in our final resumes and cover letters. We picked a company that we wanted to work for eventually and wrote the cover letter specifically for them. As usual, I chose the USO as my company. (I’ve done like three assignments on the USO now.)

Alyssa Resume-Updated-11-10-14 CoverLetter-11-10-14

I thought it was kinda fitting that I am turning in my assignment about the USO on Veteran’s Day. I love this country and all that it stands for. I have such a respect for those fighting and who have fought for our freedom. I have wanted to find a way to use my talents and skills to give back for as long as I can remember. I don’t think I will ever be able to say thank you enough. I saw an interview years ago with Montgomery Gentry, Toby Keith, and a bunch of other country artists talking about their tours to play for the troops overseas. I think I knew right then when I was watching it that I wanted to be a part of something like that. (Singing was out of the question, but I could totally plan and organize!) I had no idea that a couple of years later I would change my major to communications and put those talents that You gave me to work. You knew all along though. You knew You were leading me to this path. You knew just how to best utilize me. You have been shaping me for a job in communications all along and I didn’t have a clue.

So, this is my prayer today. I pray for past service members. I pray for current service members. I pray for those still fighting. I pray for their safety. I pray that you guide them and protect them. I pray for our political leaders to make the right decisions. I pray for their families. I pray for lost loved ones. I pray for healing for their friends and families. I pray for those transitioning back home. I pray for future service men and women. I pray you watch over them. I pray that one day I will be able to give back. I pray that you use me. I pray that you keep preparing me. I pray for those working at the USO. I pray that they continue to do amazing work. Lord, thank you for all you have done. 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.