Carols comin’ through the radio.

Ok, let’s go ahead and address it. I am still listening to Christmas music. Yes, I am. I even ordered more music after Christmas. Jennifer Nettles has been on repeat for a while now and it’s Chris Young’s turn. I decided I was taking those tidings of comfort and joy into the new year with me and I haven’t let them go.

Ok, now that we got that out of the way, let’s recap the last few days on the 30-Day Challenge for Single Christian Women. Day 4 was taking a selfie-done. Day 5 was joining a bible study-done. Day 6 was dreaming big. This is where I get into trouble. My 10-year plan consisted of:

  1. Graduating college in May 2015-nope.
  2. Getting married on August 20, 2016-nope.
  3. Starting a family two years later-well there’s still time, but it’s not looking likely.
  4. Running a community service organization (preferably for the military, foster kids, or adoptions.)-keeping my fingers crossed on this one!

This is where Day 7 comes into play, which is writing a letter to You, Lord about my hurts, what I’ve learned, and what I like about being single. What I’ve learned is easy: to trust You when my plan fails. What I like is growing in my walk with You and growing as a person. The hurts, I thought was going to be hard to name, because through this challenge, I have felt so blessed. I could handle the never been kissed jokes in middle school, the virgin ones in high school, and the cat/dog lady jokes in college. I am still all of those things, and I can handle the jokes. I can handle my plan not working out or not meeting my timelines. What I can’t handle is the lonely feeling. I moved out of my family home for six years. I have lived alone and with roommates. Now, I’m back with my family and as much as I would loveeeeee my own space, my own kitchen, my own bathroom, a walk-in closet, and maybe some built-in bookcases one day in a house of my own. I cannot live alone again.

I was listening to Chris Young sing Under the Weather tonight and realized that’s what I want. I want someone to bear the weather with. When it’s cold out, I want us to cuddle under blankets watching Christmas movies and drinking hot chocolate. When it’s hot out, I want to roll the windows down and sing country music with him all the way to the lake. When it’s raining, I want him to remind me of Your promises. I want him to teach the kids the same thing my mama taught me about the rain. That it rains when somebody goes to Heaven, and storms are You throwing a party because one more came home. There is a reason for every season. I just want someone to go through the storms and sunshine with.

Day 8 was making time for family. With the “Alabama snow storm” keeping my entire family home all weekend, there was plenty of time for that. All we had was ice, but it was totally worth the six hour game of monopoly we played. I won, of course. Dad made lots of soup too. Day 9 was trying something new. I’m still working on that one, but Day 10 is girl’s night out. My sister, Mom, and I are all going to get dinner and a movie. We’re all pretty excited!

So, here is my prayer. I pray that I remember my life verse from Day 1. I pray that whether I’m standing alone in the rain, I’m driving on ice, or I’m sitting in the sunshine that I think of your unfailing love and rejoice in your salvation. Lord, I pray that I never forget how blessed I am. This challenge has helped me count all my blessings and they are in abundance. And Lord, I have learned how to be content in any situation and any circumstance, no matter how badly my plans fail. Lord, what I’m asking for now is to thrive. I want to do more than just survive. I pray that I find a love so deep that it’s clear to everyone that you were in control. I pray that I succeed and work hard in all I do so that your name is shining bright for all to see. I pray that every breath I take I breathe in and out in your name. I pray that no matter the weather, I praise you. I pray that your love keeps surrounding me. I pray that I sink into your unfailing love. 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 keep a close watch on this heart of mine.

Day 3 in the 30-Day Challenge for Single Christian Women is deal breakers.

  1. Anger
  2. Playing Games
  3. Family

Anger. Let’s just go ahead and start with the big one. I can’t deal with it. I’ve worked my whole life to not let anger control me, to practice grace and patience. And Lord, you know better than anyone, sometimes I let it get the best of me. But I cannot and will not spend the rest of my life scared or controlled by anger. I need what Suzanne Collins wrote in The Hunger Games: “what I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.” I need someone to love me like You love me. I need someone willing to put in the work to communicate in healthy ways without getting all riled up and throwing a hissy fit. Lord, I need someone strong.

Playing Games. I am all for nerf gun wars and playing monopoly until 2 o’clock in the morning. I am all for acting silly and playing around like a bunch of kids. But I cannot have my heart toyed with. My heart is not a play thing. My emotions cannot be pulled like a game of tug-of-war. Lord, I need someone gentle.

Family. Lord, I do not want to spend the rest of my life fighting with family that don’t like me. I do not have the energy to fight with anyone. It is just not in me. I will fight for someone until my last breath, but I ain’t fighting with someone. There is a huge difference. And Lord, I want a house full of kids. I want to foster, adopt, the whole shebang. I want a house full of love, laughter, and all the gray hairs and wrinkles that come with it. Lord, I need someone with a big heart.

Lord, as much as I say these are my deal breakers, I know that where You guide, You provide. So, if I am blessed with a man who has all three of these things, I will love him and learn to have some more patience. I will still praise You.

So, here is my prayer. I pray that he walks the line. I pray that I walk the line. I pray that we walk the line together. I pray that we walk with you. I pray that I find the dandelion in the spring. I pray that he is strong, patient, and slow to anger. I pray that he is gentle, intentional, and kind. I pray that he has a big heart, that he is loving and generous. I pray that he knows that he loved. I pray that he is willing to work and grow. I pray that I am willing to work and grow. I pray that no matter what, we praise you, together and apart. I pray that I put my trust in you, Lord. I pray that for him I’d even try to turn the tide. I pray that I do everything in my power to protect him and honor him and give glory to you. I pray that you guide me. I pray that I follow. I pray that I am prepared for where you are leading. 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 us forever just isn’t that far.

Ok. Diving right into Day 2 of this 30-Day Challenge for Single Christian Women which is the most important things to me in a future husband. I’m just gonna be real honest. This list is hard. I have a million things I could want in him, but all I need is him to love You and the rest can be worked out. I like simple and I have learned in my short 25 years that I can adapt to just about everything with help from You, Lord. Whatever is given to me, I can bring to You, because You are the one that sent it in the first place. In the spirit of the challenge, I’m gonna try to dig a little more into that.

  1. Communication
  2. Give and Take
  3. Intentional

Communication. My friend sent me this picture today that says: “Imagine a man that talks to God about you.” Lord, have mercy. That got me in the feels. I think that is a brilliant place to start. I have been praying for this man as long as I can remember, so I hope that he is praying for me too. Anthem Lights has a song that personified this feeling for me and made me realize I could hope for more than I ever dreamed possible.

“Every day you’re prayed for
And I’m dreaming of you every night
Where ever you are right now
You’re already the love of my life”

Give and Take. I watched this Hallmark movie called: All Things Valentine. One of the characters asked: “how do you know when someone is the one?” The response was: “when they meet you halfway.” When I’m volunteering at Church or Alpha Gam or one of the 1500 fun runs I like, I want him to bring me chicken salad for lunch because he knows it’s my favorite and I probs didn’t stop to eat all day. I want him to take out the trash because he knows I hate it. I want him to offer to dry the dishes when I’m washing them. I want to be home for him. I want to give him more than I’ve ever given anyone. I want to hand him tools when he is fixing the car or something around the house so he never has to reach for them alone again. I want to make him breakfast in the mornings and pack lunches for him with post-it notes to remind him just how loved he is. I want him to come home to a clean house. I know these things may not happen every day, but I want to meet him halfway.

Intentional. Ever since I watched Old Fashioned. I have been obsessed with that word. I went to see the movie with a friend of mine and when it was over she said that stuff doesn’t happen in real life. I told her then that I wanted her to be wrong. I don’t need a mansion filled with all the pretty things life has to offer. My love language is words, I need him to tell me I am loved, and often. I just want kind words that lead to kind actions. I want intentional kindness and love. I want someone who cares about my heart and knows how precious I’ve been guarding it and protecting it. I put my heart in Your hands, Lord. I don’t wanna just give it away.

Ok, so, maybe this list was easier to put together than I thought for and maybe I do have high standards. People might think that I have my head in the clouds and no one can live up to the idea in my head. I am not a child anymore. I do not have unrealistic expectations. It is not unrealistic to pray he communicates with You, Lord. It is not unrealistic to pray that we both learn to give and take and learn to compromise. It is not unrealistic to pray that he is intentional with my heart. I want the kind of love, I’ve read about in books my whole life. I want like Denise Hunter writes, I want to fit together like puzzle pieces. Like we were created by You just to fit one another. I don’t want perfection, but I do believe this kind of love exists. I’ve been a bridesmaid in the weddings that proved this kind of love is real. The reason I believe their relationship is different and they will last is because they invited You into their relationships.

So, this is my prayer. I pray that he communicates with you. I pray that we learn to give and take. I pray that he is intentional with me. I pray for all these things. I pray that he pursues me in your timing and in your way and in your design. Thank you for being the author of my story. Thank you for protecting my heart. I pray that I am a Proverbs 31 woman waiting for an Ephesians 5 man with a 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love. I pray that he loves me like you do and I pray I love him like you do. I pray that we spend our whole lives worshiping you together. I pray that your love shines through us. I pray that you are the foundation of our relationship and we grow closer 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.

I’m amazed by how You care cause You hear my little prayer.

I stumbled upon this 30-Day Challenge for Single Christian Women on Pinterest from The BarnPrincess a few weeks ago. The original article was posted in April but said it could be started any time. I figured I would start it at the beginning of the year since January was so close and that’s typically the month for New Year’s resolutions and what not.

I am determined to make 2017 a good year. I started my day with soup made with collard greens and black eyed peas. I wasn’t taking any chances this year so I participated in all the southern traditions. For someone who gets picked on for being a terrible cook all the time, my entire family sure ate my soup with no complaints. A little birdy said they went back for seconds too. (Little stinkers better quit telling me I can’t cook!)

Anyways, now that I’m done being distracted, back to the challenge! Day 1 is about finding a Life Verse. The instructions are: “Find a Bible verse that speaks to you and make it your life verse. Focus on having it memorized by the end of the 30 days. Post it where you can see it every day. Journal about it. Be creative with it. Why did you choose that verse? What does it mean to you? How does it give you strength? Or how does it give you direction?”

Ok, homegirl has trust issues I am working on and that seems to be the theme in some of the books I’ve been reading lately. So, taking the hint, I seem to have been given, that is the direction I’m heading this month. I went looking for verses on trust and Proverbs 3:5-6 says: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. That was a prominent couple of verses I read and studied this past summer so I already had those memorized so I figured that was cheating so I continued my search. I found Psalm 13:5 which says: But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. That right there is the one. That right there is what I need. Heavenly Father, those were the words.

I went to read the rest. There are only 6 verses that David wrote in the chapter. Psalm 13 says: How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me. 

First off, You weren’t scared of the tough questions. Second, the other thing that got my attention from these verses is even when David wasn’t getting a response or the answers he wanted in his time, he still praised You. Lord, David was going through so much and he didn’t understand Your plan, but he still praised You. He still trusted You. His heart still rejoiced in You. He still sang for You. Lord, You were listening to David’s little prayer and You are listening to mine.

So, here in my prayer today. I pray for this new year, this new start, this new day. I pray this challenge brings me closer to you. I pray that I think about both David’s little prayer this month. I pray that I listen to David’s psalm and David Archuleta’s song. I pray that I learn to trust in you more. I pray that I trust in your unfailing love. Unfailing love. Lord, I don’t even know if such a thing exists. Unfailing love. Father in Heaven, please open my heart to your unfailing love. Lord, open the floodgates and let your unfailing love cover me. Let is wash over me. I pray my heart rejoices in your salvation. I pray that I see all the good around me. I pray that my heart sings and dances praises for you. I pray that I focus on all the good. 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.

There’s an answer to an unprayed prayer.

Yesterday, I needed something and I couldn’t quite figure out the words. Yesterday, I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn, much less hit the nail on the head. I went to get ready to leave and right there in the shower is a bottle of Philosophy soap. Amazing Grace. That is the name of the soap and exactly what I needed. The bottle says: “Life is a classroom. We are both student and teacher, each day is a test, and each day we receive a passing or failing grade in one particular subject: grace. Grace is compassion, gratitude, surrender, faith, happiness, good manners, reverence and the list goes on. Being the smartest, the prettiest, the most talented, the richest or even the poorest can’t help. Being a humble person can, and being a helpful person can guide you through your days with grace and gratitude.” Lord have mercy. I needed grace.

Life ain’t fair. Sometimes we get overlooked. Sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes we get the short end of the stick. Sometimes no one hears our voices. Sometimes we get passed over. Sometimes we’re practically invisible. Other times every single thing we do is criticized and scrutinized. Sometimes everything feels like it’s falling apart. We hit rock bottom, more than once in our lives. Sometimes everything we want gets handed to someone else.

Still, thank You. Lord, we do not understand Your plan. We ask why these things happen. We beg on our hands and knees for that answer. Still, thank You. For plans I don’t understand. For sending what I needed instead of what I wanted. For saving me for something different. For revealing Your light when the darkness seems to overtake me. For forgiving me when I surely didn’t deserve it.

In a sermon, a while back, titled: God is a faithful God, the preacher said: “God’s not fair. I’ll take His mercy. I’ll take His goodness. If He was fair, we couldn’t survive. We don’t know better than God. God is still in charge. We don’t belong to ourselves, we belong to Him.” Later in the sermon he said: “He cares more about us than we care about ourselves.” If life were fair, I would get exactly what I deserve. There would be no salvation, no cross, no Savior. If life were fair, Your Son would not have been sent. He would’ve never been on that cross. I would have been. I have made more mistakes than I care to count. I would get life without parole. There would be no second chances and no saving grace. There would be no growth and learning and experience.

Still, thank You. Lord, life ain’t fair. I have far more than I deserve. I have a roof over my head and more than I need under that roof. I have a purpose and people who love me. I have family to keep me sane and make me crazy at the same time. I have friends to share my life with. I have ways to give back to the community I love. I have a church to attend and serve at. Taylor Swift said: “No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.” I am beyond blessed with people who are good to me and I need to start looking for ways to be better to them.

So, here is my prayer. I shouldn’t get to have such a blessed life, like the one I do. I don’t know what it is you see in me. It’s a real good thing that life ain’t fair. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for thinking I was worth saving. Thank you for the cross. Thank you sending your son. Thank you for grace. Lord, I can be sooo selfish. Help me to show grace to those around me. Help me to offer help to those around me instead of causing more of a burden. I pray that I lift weight on other’s shoulders, instead of piling on. Lord, I pray that I share your grace. Lord help me to show compassion, gratitude, surrender, faith, happiness, good manners, and reverence. Thank you for being faithful. Thank you for mercy. Thank you for goodness. Thank you for always being in control, for always being in charge. I don’t thank you for that nearly enough. Lord, I don’t know better than you. Thank you for that too. Thank you for allowing me to belong to you. Thank you for naming me of your chosen. Thank you for naming me your child. Thank you for calling me yours. Thank you for allowing me to serve 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.

I bow down to pray, I try to make the worst seem better.

I was thinking the other day about prayer. I wondered how prayer changes things if You’re all knowing and You already planned it all out. Then today I was hit with some wisdom. Knowledge I already had but shown to me in a different way. You’re all knowing so You knew I was going to pray for help long before I even knew there was a problem. You showed up before the storm ever hit. You showed up before the wreckage, before the rain, before the wind, before the sun rolled away and the dark clouds came out. You showed up before James Spann told us to take shelter.

Now this particular storm might be a metaphor for my life but You showed up before the metaphorical storm or the physical one. You knew my heart before I had one. You knew my prayers before I had a voice. You knew my thoughts before I had a brain. You knew the path I would take before I could walk. Ohhhhh Lord I could sing of Your love forever. You knew exactly what I was going to do with my life. You were just waiting on me to catch up. You knew I was going to stay before I even knew there was a choice to stay or go. Just when I think I know everything You show me something I hadn’t seen before. I heard once: “where ever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.” Lord, when I pray it gives me hope, it brings the rainbow after the rain, and the sun during the storm. You give me one good reason to stay when I try to give you a hundred million reasons to walk away.

Christian Cuevas might not have made it to the finals on The Voice but Lord you had a plan for him long before he even thought to audition. You gave him a million reasons to sing and he chose to sing for You because You are soo good. He was perfectly placed to bring glory to You, just like I am perfectly placed to bring glory to You. Lord nothing is without You. Nothing is without Your plan or knowledge or divine intervention. Every single thing is connected to You. Nothing is random. Every single thing is planned by You in ways that defy words.

Here is my prayer. Lord, today I’m not asking for anything. Today I am in complete worship of you. I am in complete awe of you. Lord, I give you my life. I give it all to you. Thank you for listening to my prayers. Thank for you hearing my heart. Thank you for guiding my path. Thank you for showing me the way. Thank you for finding one good reason to love me when I give you a million reasons not to. Thank you for giving me a purpose. Thank you for free will and for your crafted plan. Thank you for connecting the dots. Thank you for believing in me when I can’t find my faith. Thank you for showing up long before the storm. Thank you for intentional planning. Thank you for eternity designs and decisions. You placed me in the right place at the right time with the right people. Lord, every move was perfectly crafted to bring glory to you. Thank you for perfect placement at perfect timing. Thank you for showing me the light in the dark. Thank you for peace. Thank you for rainbows after rain. Thank you for sunshine during storms. Thank you for hope. Thank you for changing my heart. Thank you for giving me one good reason to stay. Thank you for making the worst seem better. 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.

When I have no words left to say, just lift it up and sing it out.

When I was a kid, everyone ran around the playground saying: “I’m rubber, you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.” That was the automatic response of a bunch of first graders when something mean was said. If someone had only told me how much truth was in that, despite hollering on a playground not being the best way to handle things. But sometimes when people say mean things to you, it reflects more on their character than it does yours.

Other times, we can do 100 things right and then one comment made without thinking can hurt real deep. Sometimes, the very people we hold closest can hurt us, even if that wasn’t their intention at all. Sometimes, we have to learn to let things go. We have to be strainers, keeping all the good stuff and letting the messy stuff slip through. Holding onto the messy stuff, is just gonna make us messy too. Drowning in the messy stuff is not going to help anything. It is our job to love and sometimes that means forgiving even when we really don’t want to. We are real quick to forgive ourselves for saying something off the cuff, without thinking. When others do it to us, it is a little harder. Orrrr there’s me and its hard to forgive myself or anyone else. I’m working on both. Lord, You taught us to love because You are love. You loved us first. Before we were even a thought in this world. Long before those playground days.

I’ve heard people say that we take Your teachings through a strainer too. We retain the stuff we like and pay no attention to what we don’t wanna keep. I believe and have been taught time after time that if we do what Luke 10:27 says then the rest will fall into place. Luke 10:27 says He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” I heard in a sermon once: “the Bible was right when it was written and it’s still right today. It doesn’t ever need to be revised.” That preacher also said: “the word is living and breathing in us.” Lorddddd. It’s so crazy to me that I can remember one verse I heard as a kid or something I heard one time in a sermon, but I can’t even remember what I had for dinner two days ago. Then again, DC Talk taught me how to be one of those crazy Christians back in those playground days. Lord, You are living in us. If we would only stop and listen for Your voice.

So, here is my prayer today. I pray that I listen to your words. I pray that I listen to your teaching. I pray that I love you with all my heart and all my soul and all my strength and all my mind. I pray that I love my neighbor as myself. I pray that I sing for you, Lord. I pray that I forgive myself and those around me. I pray that I get away from all the noise. I pray that I listen to you above all else. I pray that I hear your voice. I pray that I live for you and you alone. Lord, I pray that I worship you because nothing else matters. I pray that I let your truth soak down deep into my bones. I pray that your voice is louder than my own thoughts and louder than my own heartbeat. I pray that all the noise fades away. I pray that I find peace in the quiet. I pray that I find you in the quiet. I pray that my one desire is to worship 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.

Hold on, I am loved.

My entire life, when the good guys come around, I automatically shut down. Words don’t come out. Sentences don’t form. My eyes practically hit the floor. My first thought is there’s no way I deserve his attention or anything more. So, I just tell all my friends how much I like the guy and then never actually have a conversation with them. Then I’m just some crazy girl liking a guy I don’t even know. When the mean ones come around, I’m all ears. Because that’s the kind of attention I think I deserve. And because that is the kind of attention I think I deserve, I accept the crude, rude, controlling, hot mess as my normal. Because I watched so many of my friends date this type of guy, I don’t actually date him. So, I just continue this cycle of only talking to guys I know I will never date because they treat me like dirt. At least they’re safe because I will never let them get close enough to actually hurt me. It’s this really backwards cycle of protecting myself.

What I’m realizing in my walk with You, Lord, is that I don’t deserve Your love either, but You give it anyway. Lord, You forgive me when I mess up. You hold my hand in the storms. You guide me through the darkness. You teach me when I can’t do it on my own. You are the rock beneath me when my world is shaking. You refill my canteen when no one else remembered to fill it. You bring the well to me when I can’t even make it to the well.

Last week, I was watching Penguins of Madagascar: The Movie at my best friend’s house with her son while they were putting up their Christmas tree. Btdubbs, watching them put the tree up was the most adorable thing I’ve ever witnessed. I am so beyond filled with joy for her and the family You gave her. I can’t even begin to explain how much her friendship has impacted my life and how much she deserves this happiness. When her son was explaining the movie to me and said: “there are some bad guys, but the good guys are better.” That five year old just dropped a lot of wisdom on me. The good guys are better. We have to be better. I don’t think that there are strictly bad guys and good guys in the world like there is in the movies. It’s more complicated than that and there is a whole bunch of gray areas involved. We’ve all got darkness and light in us and it’s a battle everyday of which will win. What I realized sitting there on that couch is that we have to better. I am one of the good ones and it’s time I started acting like it. It wouldn’t kill me to walk with a little more confidence here lately. Making myself smaller isn’t making anyone else shine brighter. I have to be better because You gave me a light to shine for You. I have to shine brighter, love deeper, live more fully, show more kindness, be more intentional, give more generously, share more compassion, forgive quicker, and bring glory to Your name.

So, here is my prayer. I’m praying for this Little Miss, one big mess. Thank you for always showing me how to clean up my mess. Thank you for always taking care of me and showing me the way. Thank you for being my lighthouse in the storm. I pray that I try to be better. I pray that do more because you gave me so much more. I pray I live with purpose. I pray I hold on and remember just how loved I am. I pray that this Little Miss, big old heart beats wide open and I pray this Little Miss is ready now for love. I pray I learn to accept love and not run away from it. I pray that I stop trying to make myself smaller. I pray I stop trying to fit myself into this little box. I pray the light wins. I pray I don’t forget that light always wins, you always win. I pray that I let your truth sink so seep into my heart that it radiates outward. I pray your truth shines right out of every fiber of my being. Thank you for showing me real love. 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.

The sky’s getting dark but light shines through.

I’ve been acting like Chad Michael Murray in A Cinderella Story. I’ve been waiting for rain in this drought before I realized what I’ve known all along. So Lord, “Sorry I waited for the rain.” 

In Bible study, we watched Unwrap the Bible with Beth Moore. In the video, she talks about Hagar. She was Sarai’s servant and they were going through a rough patch to say the least. There was bitterness and resentment and a whole lot of pride. She ran away to this well where You told Hagar to go back to Sarai and submit to her. Beth Moore pointed out that “she is going back to the same place but not the same person.” That one statement resonated in me. I might have been sent back to the same place, but I am not the same person.

Beth Moore talked about Sarai and how she forgot when she was lashing out that it was all her idea to begin with. She asked for it. And boyyyy have I asked for things that were completely different when I actually got them. I could definitely relate to that. I’m learning that sometimes You don’t give us what we want and ask for, sometimes You give us what we need.

She continued the video talking about “Miss Mess” and how Miss Mess has been in enough messes to be a mess herself and sometimes she helps make the mess. Ever since I saw He’s Just Not That Into You, I have tried to cut the unneeded drama from my life. Justin Long tells Ginnifer Goodwin’s character that she lives for it. I related to her character the most and all her shenanigans. So, I cut the unneeded stress and anxiety out. I stopped letting the car get anywhere close to empty. I learned to pay bills wayyyy before deadlines. I’ve always been responsible and made lists, but I took it to a whole new level after relating to Miss Mess Ginnifer Goodwin.

Towards the end of the video, Beth Moore says: “Hopefully we’ll meet Him where He is. In case we don’t, He’ll show up right where we are. Sometimes we got to the well, sometimes the well comes to us.” Lately, I’ve been waiting for rain in this drought. I was listening to what You were saying, I just didn’t want to. I was being stubborn and hard headed. I knew You were trying to talk to me, I just wanted things my way, in my time. I was in a self pity rut. I am real good at making myself invisible, that’s part of why I relate to Anne Hathaway in Princess Diaries sooo much. Except her invisibility wasn’t intentional, mine is. When I want attention, I do the exact opposite of getting it. I draw in real close and hide. Beth Moore told us to bring our canteens to You that no one else remembered to fill for us. For a girl who likes to make herself invisible knowing You always see me and hear me is quite a security blanket, one I don’t always appreciate and tend to take for granted. When I need my canteen filled, I put on my Harry Potter cloak of invisibility and wait for someone to find me and refill my canteen. The truth is, waiting for someone else to refill my canteen is like waiting for rain in this drought, “useless and disappointing.” It’s job only You can do. And all I have to do is ask. That’s the trouble, sometimes I wait for rain to ask.

So, this is my prayer. I pray I am gonna let that song that I’ve been holding in and I’m gonna let it all go. I pray that I let it ride. I pray that I listen to your voice. I pray that I trust you. I pray that I give you back the steering wheel. I pray that I let you lead me. I pray that I lean on you. I pray that stop waiting for rain. I pray that I learn to come to you before the storm. I pray that I learn to come to the well before my canteen is empty. I pray that I stop waiting on someone else refill my canteen. Thank you for bringing the well to me when I run away. I pray that I stop acting like Miss Mess and remember to carry that spirit of a wife with me. Thank you for sending me back a changed person. Thank you for continuing to knock on my door even when I’m peeking out the window and not answering the door. Thank you for being patient with me. I pray that I learn to open the door with confidence when you come knocking. I pray that I stop letting fear control 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.

Only You can calm a storm.

My Heavenly Father, four years ago, November 6th, I was voting for my very first presidential election with my Alpha Gam sister and Christopher. God, I need You. There were three of us voting that day. This Tuesday, there are only two of us and we’re in separate states this time. And we’re not voting in Mobile in college this time, we’re graduated. I’m gonna need a little hand-holding. Lord, I’m gonna be a little extra fragile, a little bit shaky. But that’s ok because You are the solid rock on which we stand. You have us.

And You have him. He’s standing with You and worshiping You. They told me that I wouldn’t want to celebrate our birthday, but after a year or two, I would want to celebrate for both of us. Our birthday is coming up so I’m thinking about him even more than normal. Time heals, that’s what the experts say. Well, I’m not wearing my heart on my sleeve, ready to fall apart anymore. I’ve put the pieces back together. The truth is, some of the pieces didn’t fit back the same. I am not the same person I was. I am changed because of what I’ve learned and experienced. I hug tighter. I apologize and forgive quicker. I remember to take time to do the small stuff. I make every minute count because they are precious. If he taught me nothing else it was to love You and love politics. I learned to come to You a lot more and a lot sooner.

Which is why I’m here today. I’m praying for this election as it winds down. Deuteronomy 1:13 says: Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.’ Daniel 2:21 says: He controls the course of world events; He removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.

So, here is my prayer. I’m praying for rain in this drought. I pray you keep me calm. I pray that I’m trusting all in you. I pray I’m serving you until the death of me. I pray I just need to step out and step into your flow. I’m praying for my Alpha Gam sister as she votes too. I’m praying for those running in this election. I’m especially praying for Mike Pence for VP. I’ve been praying for that man and I’m rooting for him. I pray you have your hand all over him and everything he does. I’m praying for Mike Pence for the presiding officer of the Senate. I’m praying for his wisdom. I’m praying for his understanding. I’m praying for his experience. I’m praying for all the people volunteering for the elections and voting places. I’m praying for all the people working for the campaigns. Lord, I’m putting everything in your hands. You alone control the course of world events. You alone remove kings. You alone set up kings. You alone give wisdom to the wise. You alone give knowledge to the scholars. Lord, I’m just praying for your work to be done. I pray your will be 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.