I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be now.

John F. Kennedy said: “Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.” I definitely learned that in college. Being a member of different organizations taught me to leave things better than I found them.

During my first Student Organization Leadership Day (SOLD) conference, Hannah Brencher spoke. (btw I loveeeee her! She is phenomenal and the things she has accomplished have just blown me away!) I saw her again at Alpha Gam’s International Convention last summer. She has this talk on how to “get relentless.” Every time I heard those two words, I took away something new.

South held two SOLD conferences and I had the opportunity to attend both years. It’s only one day, but you get sooo much of it. Both years they chose really great key speakers. At my second SOLD conference, James T. Robilotta shared a quote from Mumford and Sons about “where you invest your love, you invest your life.” I definitely tried to do that. I learned a lot from those conferences. Especially when planning, which I did a lot of, in the organizations that I was a part of.

  1. Plan early. (Things happen. Back up plans are essential, sometimes the back up plan turns out better than the original.)
  2. Create a realistic budget.
  3. Publicize. (From making flyers or hand-outs to emails to social media and chalking the campus to sheet signs…Ohhh the sheet signs! I didn’t even know that was a thing until college, but I learned real fast how to paint one of those.)
  4. Evaluate then say thank you. Make sure to credit where it’s due. Nothing happens alone.
  5. Build positive brand image. (This is my favorite part of public relations. I love that everything is connected and works together. I love when things match the values and heart of an organization.)

I’ve definitely learned a lot that I know helped me in those organizations. I know they will help me in my career life too. I am so thankful to South Alabama for the opportunities I have and for all I’m learning here, inside the classroom and outside. Now that I know this is where You wanted me to be, here’s my Camp Rock jam!

So, that is my prayer today. Thank you for leading me to this university. Thank you for the opportunities I have here. Thank you for giving me the courage to speak. Thank you for helping me find a home here. Thank you for giving me the confidence I needed. Thank you for showing me the light. Thank you for guiding my path. Thank you for being the voice in my head and showing me the words to the song I was meant to sing. Thank you for creating a purpose in me. I pray that I continue to follow 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.

Tell her we love her and tell her she’s wanted.

There is an article going around Facebook called: “8 Reasons Why America Needs More Sadie And Less Miley.” I’m all for good role models and trying to live in a way that pleases You, Lord. I think Sadie is doing a great job sticking to her values, but doesn’t anyone remember just a few years ago when Miley was the “good girl?” I think that Sadie should be rewarded for efforts and I think she is a smart young woman. America totally deserves more good role models, but I don’t think that holding Sadie to an impossible standard or condemning Miley is the way to do it. That’s not fair to her or to Miley. Yes, she is doing great so far, but what happens if she messes up once or twice? Are we going to send her to the wolves too?

That is way too much pressure. That’s the kind of pressure that we put Miley under and Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, and The Jonas Brothers. We’re human. We make mistakes and we try to make up for those mistakes and learn from them. It makes it even harder to do that when everyone in your small town is watching you, much less the entire world watching.

I am very proud of Sadie and the level of grace she is carrying. I hope and pray for her only the best. I think she is starting a beautiful legacy about modesty and staying true to your family and faith. I have been watching her on Dancing with the Stars and I watched her on Duck Dynasty. She is certainly using the talents and gifts You gave her to make a positive difference and I admire that so much! I hope she continues to thrive and bring glory to You. I think she really shines a wonderful light for You, Lord.

I think Miley is a lost young woman that wants attention and that’s exactly what they are giving her. She is still a human being. Doesn’t anyone remember the story of the prodigal son? Aren’t we called as Christians to love like Jesus does; like You do? Yes, I know we are also called to hold each other accountable, but I think we confuse and blur the lines a little. We think holding them accountable means condemning and shaming. I remembered this song.

When I was in middle school, a friend of mine, at the time, literally rooted for Miley for fail. She couldn’t believe someone was that much of a “good girl.” I never understood why people did that. When someone does something good, they want them to fail. When someone does something bad, they shame them out of existence. There is no winning. Barlow Girl has another song called Pedestal about role models that I think fits.

“Add you to my fallen list
One more has hit the ground
The fault was mine
Held you too high
Your only what was down”

Instead of more Sadie or less Miley, I think America needs more of You. Billy Graham said: “It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict. God’s job to judge, and my job to love.”

So, that is my prayer today. I pray for Sadie. I pray that she continues to shine for you. I pray for her family too. I pray for Miley. I pray for her and her family. I pray that she finds her way home. I pray for Selena, Demi, Joe, Nick, and Kevin. I pray they all know they are loved and wanted by you. I pray you put a hand on their lives and guide them. I pray that you protect them. Lord, I pray for more of you. Lord, I want to be consumed by 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.

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.

Let it go.

Part 5 of the How to be Awesome series is “Avoid the Comparison Trap.” She simply says “comparison ruins everything.” I probably need this message a little more than I would like to admit. (When I say a little, I really mean a lot.) She asks which part we fall into and fun fact, I fall into all three. (No matter how many times I say I’m perfect and put my cute little hand under my chin with a smile, the truth is I am far from it.) Comparison is something I struggle with.

1. “Comparing destroys confidence.”

Well that hit the nail on the head. I find myself looking for approval from others and making sure that I’m in line with what others are doing way too often. I need to learn to get approval from You, rather than others. I need to learn to seek permission and affirmation from You instead.

2. “Comparing zaps your happy.”

This one again was right on point. She talked about how comparing just sucked the happiness out of her in like 30 seconds or less and it wasn’t because she wasn’t happy for the other person or because she wanted what the other person had. It was simply because she was comparing the two. It’s not necessarily a jealously thing. I don’t want to be you or have what you have. I just see others doing amazing things and or being amazing and I want that too but I take that wanting feeling too far sometimes. She even realized how simply silly the whole thing was, that there was no point in making yourself unhappy by comparing. I realize this too, but sometimes I just get in a mood and no matter what I’m doing, someone is doing it better.

3. “Comparing ignores your unique talents and gifts.”

She talks about how she compares their strengths to her weaknesses and I totally do the same thing. I need to remember that You made me unique and for a purpose. I am the way I am for a reason. I do not have the skills and abilities that other people have, I have my own special talents. I need to remember that they are, in fact, gifts and given to me by You.

So, as usual my life is a soundtrack and here is today’s song:

“Let it go, let it go
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone!

Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway!”

So, this is my prayer. I pray that I learn to leave the comparison trap(s). I pray that I learn to focus on you instead of comparing my life to others. I pray that I learn to let it go. I pray that I learn to stop letting comparison steal my happiness and confidence. I pray that I stop letting comparison take control over my life and stop me from sharing my gifts and talents. I pray that I become so focused on you that I don’t worry about comparing. I pray that I give the control to you instead of comparison. 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.