I’m in awe of You.

Klove’s radio station was on point today. Their verse of the day was Ephesians 1:23 which says: And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with Himself. They also played this song:

Trent Shelton posted this picture a few months ago and it stuck with me. It said: “Protect your peace today. Rise above any ignorance. Don’t allow someone’s misery to steal your joy.” I’m so glad I was reminded of that today. I was also reminded of what I read in Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl and how Lysa Terkeurst wrote about her daily struggles. While her days are filled with children and marriage and other things I don’t have yet. (Probs because I’m not ready. I mean Your plan is wayyy bigger than my own.) I related to her and how she learned to deal with the little random things that come up in a day. It’s not that the past couple of days were bad or anything. All in all they were pretty uneventful. It was just tiny little things trying to add up and trying to steal my peace. It was just normal everyday mess-ups. I was given the choice to let those things add up and consume me and overwhelm me or I could let it go and not let it steal my peace. I remembered Lysa’s story and I chose the latter. (Usuallyyyy I chose the first option. See? I’m learning!) She said that the more time she spends with You, the easier that lesson becomes and I am learning that in my own walk with You.

(Plus my little stopped by with ice cream which totes made my day better too!)

So, this is my prayer today. Thank you for Lysa’s stories and Trent’s words. Thank you for Klove verse of the day. Thank you for Chris Tomlin’s song. Thank you for my little and her kindness. Thank you for all the beautiful reminders today to not let anything steal my peace and my joy. Thank you for giving me that peace and joy. For as many things I had today trying to steal my joy and peace, you were there with reminders to hold on. Thank you for that. I pray that I continue to see your work in me. I pray that I continue to surrender my life to you. I pray that I keep bringing everything to you and laying everything at the cross. I pray that you keep surrounding me with your love. I pray that your love consumes my every thought and action. I pray that you fill my life. I pray that you keep making me whole. I pray that you keep guiding me and leading me. I pray that you keep making my life full and complete. I pray that I keep studying your word. I pray that I continue my walk with you more and more. 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 nothing worth more that could ever come close.

I was kinda at a loss for words today. I have a lot on my mind. I wanted to like sit down and talk it all out because I wanted a clear mind. I didn’t need advice or anything. I simply needed to talk through the options so, that I could process the information. I didn’t know where to begin though.

Then I realized that I needed to begin with You. I needed You today. I needed to be filled by You. I was trying so hard to fill that void with other people and all I had to do was call Your name. Lysa Terkeurst wrote: “As long as I daily make the choice to be guided by His truth, He replaces my hollowness with a wholeness of love that has no gaps.” This week, I felt like I was running ragged. I couldn’t work enough or study enough. By Saturday, I felt empty. The good news is that tomorrow is Sunday so, that means I can go to the early service and Sunday school before work and get my cup filled again. And hopefully get off work in time for bible study.

I found out that I kinda live for my Sundays. I feel so rejuvenated and refreshed on Sundays, like I’m ready to take on the world. I’m completely filled by You and ready to take on the week. Then throughout the week, my cups starts to empty and I can’t seem to refill it fast enough before I’m drained. I’ve been trying to set aside time to spend with You each day, but I want more. Lysa also wrote: “When God’s word gets inside of us, it becomes the new way we process life. It rearranges our thoughts, our motives, our needs, and our choices.”

“Holy Spirit, You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord”

Just as I’m realizing how much I need You, Gary Allen’s song comes on the radio.

“I’m still learning how to pray
Trying hard not to stray
Try to see things your way
I’m still learning how to pray
I’m still learning how to trust
It’s so hard to open up

I’m still learning how to bend
How to let you in

I’m just trying to understand
It’s all in someone else’s hands
There’s always been a bigger plan
But I don’t need to understand”

So, here is my prayer today. Lord, I’m still learning. I’m still learning how to pray. I’m still learning how to trust. I’m still learning how to open up. I’m still learning how to bend. I’m still learning to let you in. I’m still learning to have faith in your plan. Lord, I pray that I take Francesca’s and Gary’s songs with me this week. I pray that I learn to live for you. I pray that I learn to refill my cup more between Sundays. Lord, fill my hollowness. Lord, fill the atmosphere. Lord, fill my heart. Lord, rearrange my life. I pray that you guide me. I pray that you move me. I pray that you lead me. I pray that I have willing feet to follow you. I pray that I have willing ears to listen. I pray that every piece of me and my every move is willing. Lord, you are welcome here. 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.

Let all proclaim You reign victorious.

I remembered something today that we talked about in bible study last week. The question was “What distractions pull you or block you from the Lord?” One of the ladies answered simply, “I am. I am the distraction.” I knew it was true when she said it, but thinking about it more today reminded me exactly how true it was. About a month ago, I decided to give up social media and my Netflix and Hulu and all the extra stuff. Well, I wasn’t very successful. I failed actually. Yes, those things are distractions sometimes, but they weren’t the main issue. I was. I was the distraction.

I wanted to find time in my day to spend with You. I wanted to spend more time with You. I wanted to find time to really study Your word. While I failed at giving up Facebook and Hulu, I did do that. I like that I end my day with a prayer. I think about that prayer and continue to pray that prayer the whole next day. It helps me live more intentionally and on purpose. In walking with You, I found out how truly victorious You are. It was never about Facebook or Twitter. It was about me. I was the broken one and You were always the victorious one. In the bible study, we talked about how our lives had to be an active pursuit towards You. I started this journey last year and You keep showing me that no matter how broken I am, You remain victorious.

Third Day posted: “I heard a sermon one time about God being victorious in battle. Whether it’s battles on a battlefield in old testament kind of times or whether it’s battles with our inner selves, and feelings and emotions and sin… That God is always victorious. He can help us to be victorious through those struggles that we have. – Mac”

Mercy Me has a song too that says: “There’ll be days I lose the battle. Grace says that it doesn’t matter. Cause the cross already won the war.”

So, that is my prayer today. Lord, you keep reminding me that you already won the war. I pray that you are victorious. I pray that you are victorious in me. I pray that I take all that Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl taught me. I pray that you are victorious in my heart. I pray that you are victorious in my walk with you. I pray that you are victorious in my relationships. I pray that you are victorious in my struggles. I pray that you are victorious in my thoughts. I pray that you are victorious in my calling. I pray that you continue to teach me. I pray that I remember Third Day’s lyrics today. I pray that you are victorious over sin. I pray that you are victorious over death. I pray that you are victorious over all. I pray that you are victorious over us. Lord, I know you are victorious over all these things and so much more. I pray that I put my trust in you and give it all to you. I pray that I keep reaching for you. I pray that I keep following you. I pray that you keep leading me. Thank you for putting those women in my life. I pray for them today. Lord, I lift them up to you. I pray that you lay your hands on them this week. I pray that I share what you’ve taught me. I pray that I share your light. I pray that you use me. I pray that others can see your work in me. I pray that I learn to reflect your light. I pray that you keep working on me. I pray that you keep preparing me 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.

So take this heart, Lord.

I’ve been told my whole life that I need to be more assertive. Assertive is defined as: “having or showing a confident and forceful personality.” It means: “confident, bold, decisive, assured, self-possessed, forthright, firm, emphatic, authoritative, strong-willed, insistent, determined, commanding.” It can also mean feisty and pushy. I never liked the sound of that. I do like emphatic though which is another word for wholehearted and forthright is another word for sincere, I like that. Friday, while talking with a couple of sisters, one of them said that wasn’t the problem. She said I was timid. I thought about it for a minute and knew she was right. When I’m in my element and I feel comfortable, I am bold and confident and emphatic and forthright, all the good parts of being assertive. But, when something is new, I am timid. I am the exact definition of timid: showing a lack of courage; easily frightened. I am apprehensive, fearful, afraid, timorous, nervous, and shrinking. This is why people mistake me for shy or lacking self-confidence.

Maybe I’m timid and apprehensive because of my childhood. Maybe I’m timid and fearful because I’ve been hurt. Maybe I’m timid and afraid because of how I grew up. Maybe I’m timid and timorous because I might get hurt again. Maybe I’m timid and nervous because I’m not ready. Maybe I’m timid and shrinking because of words said to me. Or maybe it’s all of those things. Or maybe it’s none of those things. Maybe I simply just need time to warm up. I have never been one to act or think quickly. Maybe I just need to take things slower than most. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is something I have to be aware of.

Maybe this year was about becoming aware of it, so that I could grow. Maybe now I’m ready. Maybe now I’m prepared. Maybe I’m like Jonah and I just needed to run in the opposite direction first to see where You needed me to be all along. Maybe You used me despite my being timid. Or maybe You used me because I’m timid.

In bible study tonight, we finished Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa Terkeurst. In the video, she said she prayed for You to interrupt her, to move her, to inconvenience her, to shake things up.

So, this is my prayer today. I pray that you interrupt me. I pray that you move me. I pray that you inconvenience me. I pray that you shake things up. I pray that you use me. I pray that others see your light through me. I pray that I remember you made me. I pray that I remember you know my strengths and my weaknesses and you use them all. I pray that I remember that you created a purpose in me. I pray that you guide me and lead me. I pray that I give it all to you. I pray that you take all of me and use it for your glory. I pray that you keep preparing my heart. I pray that I hand over my life for your will. I pray that I put my faith and trust into your plan. I pray that put my fears aside. I pray that I learn to jump all in. I pray that instead of running from your plan, that I run to it.  Lord, I pray that you grab me right by the heart and move me where you need me to go. 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.

Make me who I’m meant to be.

The ladies in my Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl bible study were talking about insecurities. One of the questions in our workbook was “Is it Christian to say you like yourself?” One of the girls answered with “I like Christ in myself. I like who I am with Christ.” I was pretty much blown away with that answer. It was perfect. Another lady started talking and said she wanted to be a woman people said “She’s been with Jesus. She spends time with Jesus.” I’ve been thinking and praying about that a lot. I want to be that kind of woman.

I’ve been praying a lot for the kind of relationship I want and for the man I want to marry one day. So, today I wanna pray for the woman I want to be. In the book I’m reading, The Single Woman by Mandy Hale, there is quote that stuck out to me that said: “But sometimes what we learn and who we become in the process of waiting is even more important that what we are waiting on.” That seemed pretty powerful to me. Maybe that’s what this year was all about. To become the right woman. “A woman who walks in purpose doesn’t have to chase people or opportunities. Her light causes people and opportunities to pursue her.” So, here’s a list of some of the ways I’m fabulous because ya know, I like lists:

1. On a personality test I was told that because I have a blue personality, I bring unity to society. (Just saying, that’s pretty cool.)

2. I believe in prayer.

3. I try to look at things positively and focus on the good. I mean, Alyssa means “of good cheer.”

4. I’m loyal. When I commit and feel invested, I’m not going anywhere.

5. I like giving and serving. I like making plans and building dreams.

6. I can act like a kid with the best of them. Bring on the pillow fights, camping, nerf guns, bowling, trampolines, game nights, water balloons, dancing around the house, or whatever.

7. I like safety and security so, I’ll do my best to provide the same feelings.

8. I like encouraging. I can cheer during a game with a painted poster or simply a post-it note on the mirror giving my love. I can get real creative with notes. I like words. (I used to carry a dictionary everywhere I went in my purse!)

9. I want a life surrounded by love grown in Your love.

10. I’ve been trying to the woman You made me to be, Lord. I’m not perfect, but I’m trying to live more intentionally.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that I am consumed with you. I pray you fill every part of me. I pray that you are working on my heart. I pray that I work to become who you need me to be. I pray that I continue to grow closer to you. I pray that you guide me and mold me and move me. I pray that I keep following you. I pray that I continue to try to be a better woman. I pray that I keep striving to share your love. Lord, let your will be done. I trust your plan. I am listening to your words. Lord, show me the way. Lord, keep making me. I pray I remember Colton Dixon’s song today. I pray that you take it all, I surrender. Be my king. God I choose more of you. I need more of 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’ve made my decision to run to You.

Sunday morning at church the Voices of Mobile sang for most of the service. To be completely honest, I cried practically the whole time. They sounded so beautiful. This lady in front of me turned to her friend and said “that’s what Heaven’s gonna be like.” Well I hope she’s right.

I may have been crying, but I broke out in huge smile when they ended the service singing:

“After all man is a God, they say
God is no longer alive

But I still believe in the old rugged cross
And I still believe there is hope for the lost
And I know the rock of all ages will stand
Through changes of time”

Then Sunday night, I went to a women’s bible study and they are using the Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl workbook set. They were on session 2 this week which is “In My Walk With God.” The video talked about how we settle for canned versions of pineapple instead of cutting the pineapple ourselves because pineapples look intimidating. I can totally relate. I won’t even eat pineapples because they look scary. Today, You took that lesson and ran with it. I was reading these articles to help form my opinion for an assignment. I realized that if I had just read one article I would have only gotten one thing from it and just reiterated that as my opinion. Since I am an analytical person, that wasn’t good enough for me. So, I continued to read three more articles and then read some more. I couldn’t just take the face value for what I was reading I had to go in there and learn something new from each article and then understand it fully in order to come up with a solution of my own.

Lord, You took that lesson and showed it to me in a different light and helped me see it again today. I called my dad immediately to tell him about it and how I was making the connection from Sunday night to Monday afternoon. You amaze me how you can take one thing and teach us so much. We were learning to apply to apply that lesson with our faith and our walk with You. I mean I have 7 devotion books on my night stand right now. I’m all about devotion books, but sometimes we need to delve into Your word ourselves and do the research ourselves because maybe You want to show us something we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. You want us to make informed, educated opinions. You gave us freedom and You want us to chose You. That’s why You made us the way we are. You give us the information and chance after chance, but at the end of the day it’s our decision to follow You.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray for the Voices of Mobile. I pray they raise the money needed to travel and I pray they travel safely. I pray they reach the people they sing to. I pray that they touch lives and bring glory to you. I know they touched mine today. I pray they keep singing for you. I pray for the ladies in that bible study. I pray they keep running to you too. I pray they have a good week. I pray for their families. Thank you for showing me that door, but giving me the freedom to chose to open it and the courage to walk through. Thank you for putting those ladies in my life to run to you with. Thank you for always having open arms for us. 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.