I will fall if you come around.

This morning when I was getting ready, Dolly Parton stated singing Jolene on my playlist. I immediately turned it up and started jamming out.  But I’ve never really related to the lyrics. She’s asking this woman not to swoop in and steal her man. What I don’t understand is why you’re trying to keep a man that is so easily taken? Like if a man doesn’t want to be kept, he’s not going to stay. I’ve had a real hard time accepting that fact so maybe that’s how I relate to the song. Because I tend to fall for the ones who are never going to like and definitely not love me. I fight so hard for the ones who don’t want me or maybe they do, just not in the way I need them too.

I’m just gonna be honest. I don’t know if the problem is the guy for saying all these nice things and not meaning them or me for knowing they don’t mean it and for believing in every word anyways. “You’d make a good wife some day. You’re my heart. You’re the love of my life.” I don’t know if it’s because I got comfortable hearing those words so much that I actually started to believe them or if it’s because I prayed so hard for a man of intention, that this is just the devil coming after me with the complete opposite of intention. I mean, I knew when one of them said “We’d make pretty babies,” that it was a joke. But like I want kids and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to have them for several reasons. And I read once that 10% of women struggle getting pregnant. So like, it’s not really funny and my fears are completely valid, but he doesn’t know my fears or struggles, so is it even fair to get upset? I don’t even know how to stand up for myself, because it was just a joke and besides I’m waiting for marriage and apparently that is a joke, in and of itself. It’s not even just one guy. It’s every one I’ve ever liked. Like they say these things, but then ask another girl out. Or one minute they say these things, but then they try to set me up with someone else. It’s a never ending roller coaster, and to be frank, I just want off. It’s not fun anymore and maybe it never was.

I guess, Lord, the point I’m trying to make is the more I pray for intention, the less I get it. The more I let fear creep in. The more I trust less. The more confused and hurt and misled I become. The whole point of praying for intention was the opposite. I feel completely vulnerable. I’m pretty sure that if someone promised to buy me the moon, I would believe them right now. I feel weak.

So, here is my prayer today. I don’t know what to pray for. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to stand up for myself. I don’t know how to differentiate fact from fiction and the lies from the truth. I don’t know where to go or what to do from here. So, I’m helplessly, defenselessly, praying for strength. I’m praying for Proverbs 31:25-26 which says: Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. I pray that I am no longer susceptible to the lies and jokes. I pray I learn to handle these things with grace. I’m lifting my arms up to you and I’m making Lauren Daigle’s song my prayer today. I pray that I put my trust in you. I pray that I let go of my dreams and that I lay them down. My hands are weary. I need your rest. Lord, I need you. I’m in complete surrender. You are my strength and comfort. You are my steady hand. You are my firm foundation. The Rock on which I stand. Your ways are always higher. Your plans are always good. There’s not a place where I’ll go, you’ve not already stood. When you don’t move the mountains, I’m needing you to move. When you don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through, When you don’t give the answers. As I cry out to you I will trust, I will trust. I will trust in you. I will trust in you. I will trust in you. I will trust in you. Lord, this isn’t just about a few guys telling me things I want to believe, this is about my whole life. This is about everything. Lord, I trust in 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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Lord, You are my wings. You are my flight.

My daddy asked me a hundred and fifty two thousand times: “where does trouble live?” The answer is: “trouble street.” The one little question defined every choice I’ve ever made. In high school, I didn’t even have to ask that question, I just avoided trouble at all costs. But in college, it is different. You’re away from your parents. You have complete freedom. Part of that is extremely liberating and exciting and I couldn’t wait. I was going to fly.

The problem is there isn’t someone checking on you to make sure you’re doing your homework or to bring that homework to you if you forget it at home. There isn’t someone to remind you to get up in the morning or go to bed because you have school in the morning. I knew I wasn’t going to have that anymore. I never needed much of that. I was pretty self motivated, but it was nice to have that security blanket. I knew my parents were still there for me, but it was going to be different.

What I didn’t account for was those friends that grew up in church with you aren’t there. Those friends that would text you if you missed a service? “Hey girlie, are you sick? We missed you this morning.” Those texts are long gone. The good thing about having a best friend go to a different church is that you got to go to twice as many youth events and retreats. Those invites to every single church function aren’t there anymore. “Hey girlie, we’re having that retreat weekend coming up. We’re so going right?” “Of course!! I’m so excited.”

I chose to move away for college. I grew up in a small town and I loved it, but I was ready to leave. I only went five hours away, but that was all I needed. I talked to my roommate on Facebook the summer before we moved in, but that was it. I didn’t know anyone else. I decided to go through formal recruitment. I just did it. I didn’t ask my mom. I just told her I was doing it and I needed help picking out dresses. It was one of the first “adult” decisions I have ever made.

I had people there to challenge me, to lead me. I had people to steer me in the right direction. I also found myself on trouble street a couple of times. When I did, I had people there to bring me back and help me pick up the pieces. I had an entire team of officers and advisors looking after my success. Then it was time for me to be the leader. I may not always make the best decisions, but I always had the best of intentions. I did my best to make those women feel protected and know they had a voice. As president, I made a list of things I wanted to do and then I sat down with every single officer and we made a list for her too. I wanted to do as much as I could to empower those women.

Lynn Cowell said: “I want to slow down, and carefully choose the words I say, the attitudes I have, and the actions I take.” I love that and have tried to live that way. I am not perfect and I’m still learning every day, but I’m intentionally trying. I think that we have to pick our friends the same way we pick our words, attitudes, and actions. I have been extremely fortunate to pick people that build me up. I didn’t realize how important that choice was until college, because the people you surround yourself with help define who you are too.

So, here is my prayer today. I pray that I keep learning. I pray that I slow down. I pray that I choose my words, attitudes, and actions with purpose and intention. I pray that I choose those around me with purpose and intention. I pray that they bring me closer to you. Thank you for them. Thank you for the texts checking on me. Thank you for the motivation to keep going. Thank you for the challenges and lessons. Thank you for giving me freedom and choices, but thank you for also giving me consequences and rewards for those choices. Thank you for letting me come to you on my own and for sending people to guide me to you. Thank you for allowing me to fly and stay grounded. Thank you for sending your son. Thank you for gravity. Thank you for the people surrounding 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.

I want to live like that and give it all I have.

1 Corinthians 16:14 says: “Let all that you do be done in love.” I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately and what it means to love others. I’ve always been a lover, not a fighter. I believe in loving everyone no matter what. “Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.” I believe there is a story inside of everyone, we just have to look.

During winter break I watched the Madea Christmas movie, a comment was made that we all bleed red. I absolutely loved that line. A little while ago, Benjamin Watson addressed some of the issues going on as a sin problem. I was so encouraged by his words. I had never thought about it that way. I couldn’t understand why people could have so much hate in their heart for everyone around them. What he said made me realize that sin was the root of the problem.

I’ve been thinking about the kind of person I want to be. Audrey Hepburn said: “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” I want that! I want to be loving and giving. I want to be kind and gentle. I want to see the good around me. “Always pray to have eyes that see the best in people, a heart that forgives the worst, a mind that forgets the bad, and a soul that never loses faith in God.” I want to walk with You, Lord. I want to learn from what You’ve taught me. I want to be forgiving because You forgave me. I want to love because You loved me. Dolly Parton said: “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”

“Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.” I don’t think that loving everyone is a flaw, but some people do. I’ve been told a lot that love is weakness. They said it leaves you naive and open for hurt. I think love is strength and courage. I think love is vulnerable and brave. Ryan Adams said: “There is nothing wrong with loving the crap out of everything. Negative people find their walls. So, never apologize for your enthusiasm. Never. Ever. Never.”

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that I show more love. I pray that I show more kindness. I pray that fill my mind and heart with positive thoughts. I pray that my actions are a reflection of my heart. I pray that I give you all I have. I pray that show your grace and mercy to those around me. I pray that I let my walls down. I pray that I let go of my guard and keep my heart open. I pray that I see your love in everyone I meet. I pray that I keep growing and sharing 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.

We are one body.

When I was a kid, we used to sing this song in church. We would all hold hands across the pews and sing our hearts out. It’s one of my favorite memories. We did it practically every Sunday, which made me totally happy. I felt empowered after and ready to go out into the world. I have tried to find the song everywhere. All I can remember is “we are one body.” It made so much sense to me that we were one body. We were extensions of You. We were Your hands and feet. We were sent here to share Your love. What I like most is that we are one body. We are united through You. Philippians 4:13 says: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Casting Crowns has a similar song.

Colossians 3:15 says: “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” So, since it’s Thanksgiving. Here is what I’m thankful for:

1. My family, my friends, my sisters, my person, my soulmate, my littles, and all the lovely people in my life.

2. The University of South Alabama and all the wonderful people that work there.

3. My country, the great state of Alabama, and all the brave men and women in uniform.

4. Country music and southern accents.

5. Albert, my beautiful car.

6. The Alpha Gamma Delta Foundation and all the amazing people contributing to the world’s work.

7. Faith, Hope, and Love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 says: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

8. Taylor Swift for showing me it’s ok to dance everywhere you go and fall in love with everyone you meet.

9. Hannah Brencher for inspiring me to bring more love to the world.

10. Miranda Lambert for showing me how to be strong and kind at the same time.

11. Dolly Parton for showing me how to stay humble and have big hair.

12. My life. I’m thankful that I’m here and I get to continue to use my talents and gifts for You.

So, that is my prayer. I pray that you use me. I pray that we are one body. I pray that your arms are reaching. I pray that your hands are healing. I pray that your words are teaching. I pray that your feet are going. I pray that your love is showing them the way. I pray that I use Psalm 119:105, which is: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” I pray that I keep listening to you. I pray that I keep seeing you. Thank you for sending your son for us. Thank you for giving me life. Thank you for making me who I am. I pray that I use the talents and gifts you gave me to bring glory to you. I pray that I show more love. I pray that I show more kindness. I pray that I show more compassion. I pray that I show more generosity. I pray that I continue to be thankful for everything around 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.

Just wrap Your arms around me, let me know I’m safe.

“Grief can be a burden, but also an anchor. You get used to the weight, how it holds you in place.” Sarah Dessen wrote that in her book, The Truth About Forever. The more I thought about “how it holds you in place,” the more I remembered this song from Dolly Parton.

Today is my birthday, but it’s also Christopher’s. I don’t even know what to say. All my words just seem like they aren’t enough. I want to just sit in the bed and hide away from today, to be completely honest. Christopher taught me better than that though.

The other day I saw this article about the top 10 upcoming women in country music and one of the women was Mickey Guyton. I really liked her so I just kept listening to her songs. Safe is one of her songs and these are the lyrics:

“The storm is calling, rain’s falling down like tears
The water’s rising, bringing on my darkest fears
I need a lighthouse, someone to guide my way
Oh, just wrap your arms around me, let me know I’m safe

Sometimes it’s heavy, this life can be so cold
Sometimes I feel lost, can’t seem to get back home
I need a compass, someone to guide my way
Oh, just wrap your arms around me, let me know I’m safe

Come on love, show me love, take this crying from my eyes
Come on love, show me love, I could use some tonight
All the daylight’s fading, my hope is slippin’ away
Oh, baby wrap your arms around me, let me know I’m safe”

The more I listened to the song, the more I realized how blessed I am, because You are holding me.

So, that is my prayer today. Thank you Lord for being my lighthouse. Thank you for being my compass. Thank you for letting me know I’m safe. Thank you for holding me when the tears fall. Thank you for my friendship with Christopher. Thank you for all that he taught me. Thank you for the time I did have. Thank you for sending him. Thank you for your love. Thank you for holding me together. Lord, I’m running to you today. Thank you for catching 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.