This goes to you, wherever you are.

It is Sunday morning. So that means I’m doing a lot of running around. I’m helping my sister finish the lesson. I’m getting the grabber activity ready, snacks poured, snacks cleaned up, craft and/or game set up, cleaning up again, etc. I’m not trying to toot my own horn because good golly miss molly, I could be doing a wholeeeeeee lot more. Today, I’m thinking back to my childhood and thinking about all those people who played a hand in raising me. The people that vacuumed up glitter and cleaned up food messes. The people who counted to make sure I was on the bus for the 6th time. And especially the people that forgot to count me that one time and I got left at the butterfly museum for a few hours. The people who put stickers on charts when I learned a verse. The people who sang youth group songs for us 56345 times. The people who decorated churches and camps for three days and couldn’t sleep the night before in anticipation. The people who came over to talk to me when I was too shy to function. The people who sent me a card in the mail when I missed even one Sunday morning. The people who prayed for me and with me. The people who organized volunteers and put sign up sheets together and gathered supplies. The people who read stories of the Bible to us and answered our 3048 questions. The people who led AWANA groups and choir rehearsals and directed plays. The people who designed tshirts and tried to make events cool for us. The people who led First Priority and See You At The Pole Rallies. The people who taught Mother’s Day Out and preschool and day care. The manyyyy people involved with summer camps, concerts, conferences, lock-ins, and so much more. And the people that created that scavenger hunt for us, we still talk about how much fun that was to this day.

All that work those people put into my life created stepping stones, building blocks, and a foundation. Those people put little nuggets of wisdom in my pretty little head back when I was wearing way too much eye liner and was struggling to understand the world. I am so thankful for all that my parents did for me and taught me, but they aren’t the only voices in my head. There are so many verses and songs and Bible stories that fill my every thought because of those people and I am so thankful for that. When I’m stuck between a rock and hard place, I have an intangible compass guiding me because of little seeds that people planted when I was growing up. They say it takes a village to raise a child and I couldn’t have had a better village.

So, this is my prayer today. Thank you for the people in my life that are worth far more than gold. Thank you Lord, for surrounding me with more love than I could even understand. Thank you for the teachings, lessons, and values that were instilled into me. Thank you for sending a village. Thank you for sending planters. Thank you for sending builders. Thank you for sending architects and construction workers. Thank you for landscapers and painters. Thank you for all of the people that helped me make this world my home and taught me to build homes for others. Thank you for people that gave to me and taught me to give to others. Thank you for sending people to share your love with me. Thank you for creating a safe environment for me to grow up in. Thank you for calling the unqualified. Thank you for allowing me to work with these kids. Thank you for allowing me to better appreciate all that you’ve given me. Thank you for busy schedules and no sleep. Thank you for letting me vacuum glitter and clean up spilled gold fish. Thank you for letting me share my favorite worship songs with them and learn which ones are now their favorites. Thank you for allowing me to play games, decorate crafts, and teach those kids. I pray that everything I do, only points them closer to you. I pray they remember verses and songs and Bible stories too. 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 still that girl.

I wrote this list of things about myself a few years ago. On the list, I wrote things I liked about myself like I jump and scream when I’m really excited. (I used to do this reallyyy embarrassing dance where I clapped. I looked like a seal.) I wrote things I didn’t like that I am hard headed. I wrote funny things like how I cry at the values.com commercials. I wrote things I wanted like a simple life and my nose pierced. (Kinda glad I never got my nose pierced now. I was never a big fan of pain, even if it’s only for a second.) The one that stuck out to me was: “wish I prayed more.” I could have cried. It was literally in the middle of the list, just stuck in there. I felt so proud reading it because this year I did just that. I prayed more.

I’ve heard that if you put positive energy out there and keep moving forward, it will grow. I realized that is what I did by writing that list. A list that just sat there in a box on my desk for years until today. I always believed that if you wanted your dreams to come true, you had to make a plan. A plan that takes you from where you are to where you want to be. The first part in that plan is knowing who you are. In high school, we did these journals in my English classes. One of the prompts was this I am… poem. So, I thought I would do one again.

I am still that girl.

I feel blessed.

I understand my walk with You more.

I will continue to pray more.

I am still that girl.

I see Your love more.

I touch my pen to the paper.

I hear my daddy’s voice in my head.

I say things my mama did.

I pretend to have it all together.

I am still that girl.

I worry I’m not enough.

I dream of walking down the isle to the man you created for me.

I try to bring glory to Your name.

I want to make a difference.

I wonder if I do make a difference.

I hope I make You proud.

I am still that girl.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that I am still that girl. I pray that I keep wanting more of you. I pray that I keep praying. I pray that I keep walking towards you. I pray that I keep listening to you. I pray that while I continue to grow, I hold onto some of the girl that I used to be. I pray that I make her proud. I pray that I make my parents proud. Most importantly, I pray that I make you proud. I pray that you forgive me when I stumble. I pray that when I do, I learn from it and move forward. I pray that I stay positive and growing in your 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.

And loves me like Jesus does.

Part 7 of the How to be Awesome series is “If you want to see different results, do things differently.”

In the video, she asks us what is something we would like to see improve about ourselves. (I know these people aren’t perfect. No human being is, but these people have qualities I admire.) So, since I love lists so much, here is mine:

1. I want a confidence like Blair Waldorf and still have that vulnerability and feminism. I wanna fight for love as hard as she does. (Plus she rocks some really pretty hair and she’s totally why I started wearing headbands and bows in my hair. Having her wardrobe wouldn’t hurt either!)

2. I want a heart like Miranda Lambert. I wanna stand up for myself and for others like she does too. (I totally wouldn’t mind that new bed and breakfast she just opened too! That place is gorgeous! Her wedding looked pretty stinkin perfect too. Plus Blake Shelton is pretty adorable.)

3. I want to have class, sophistication, and grace like Kate Middleton.

4. I want to inspire others and praise You the way that Britt Nicole does.

5. I want to live my values like Jamie Grace. (I could totally rock her cowboy boot collection too!)

6. I want to be fearless and a pioneer like Kimberly Perry. (I would love to whip my hair around like she does too!)

7. I want to feel completely content being exactly who I am like Taylor Swift.

8. I want to have Reba’s family values. (Plus her hair always has that perfect southern volume.)

9. I want to basically want be Eric Church’s wife. The songs he sings about her: Like Jesus Does, You Make it Look Easy, and A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young. (My heart just swoons with every lyric!)

“I’m a long-gone Waylon song on vinyl,
I’m a back row sinner at a tent revival,
But she believes in me like she believes her Bible,
And loves me like Jesus does.”

10. I want to have strength like in She Don’t Tell Me to by Montgomery Gentry.

11. I want to be the girl in Me and God Love Her by Toby Keith.

12. I want a voice and charm like RaeLynn. (Clearly I am never going to be able to sing like her, but she’s just absolutely adorable and completely southern.)

So, this is my prayer today. I pray that I always strive to be better. I pray that I realize perfection is not going to happen but that I keep growing. I pray that I keep learning from others. I pray that I keep pushing myself. I pray that I get closer to you. I pray that you keep guiding me and challenging me. I pray that I become the woman that you created me to be. 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.