What if I’m just a vessel.

Don’t ask me how many cups of coffee I have had today. Don’t ask me if I ate a real meal today. Don’t ask me if I had the preferred the amount of sleep last night. Don’t ask me if I wore sweat pants or actual pants today. Don’t ask me if I’m stressed.

But do ask me if I still have motivation because the answer is yes. I have the opposite of senioritis. The closer to graduation, the more excited I am to learn.

Do ask me if I prayed over this because the answer is yes. Not just today. I have been praying over this for as long as I can remember. Psalm 116:2 says: Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I breathe! 

Do ask me when I started studying because the answer to that is practically birth. I have been reading and researching since my parents used to ground me by taking away my books and fussing at me for reading in the dark after bedtime. More specifically, I started studying for finals over a month ago. I made a day-by-day list with things to accomplish from note-cards to PowerPoint’s and assignments.

Do ask me why I’m doing all of this because the answer is for You, Lord. My degree is not for me.

“But in actuality, your degree has nothing to do with you. In fact, it’s all about Him and what he can do through you.” 

After watching this spoken word, my entire viewpoint changed. I have never been one to brag about being stressed. Instead I pretend everything is fine, until I break down. Which is just as selfish, if not more. What this video reminded me of though, is that I don’t have to pretend. I am more than fine and this isn’t about me. I forget about the people that my degree is for. I forget the people that I am going to be helping one day. My degree is for You. My degree is to serve You. My degree is bring people closer to You. My degree is glorify You. My everything is for You. My degree is how I fulfill my part in Your plan.

Do ask me why I’m blessed. I am blessed because I am Yours. I am blessed because “I am in training to love people better.” I am blessed because I have the fortunate opportunity to be able to get an education and the freedom to study.

So, that is my prayer today. Lord, I want to take myself out of the equation. Empty me of me. Fill me with you. Show the world what you can do. Use me for your glory. Use me for your plan. Use my degree, my attitude, my heart, my knowledge, my talents, my attributes, my actions, my abilities. Use my everything for you. Make my degree, the door. Make my work ethic, the key. Lord, make a vessel. Don’t let me throw away what you gave me. Lord, help me to use what I have. Thank you for everything you have given me. Thank you for blessing me. Thank you for all the opportunities I have been given. Thank you for my degree. Thank you for my university. Thank you for my professors. Thank you for the other students and faculty. Thank you for group projects and real life experience. Thank you for student loans and expensive textbooks. Thank you for online classes and desks in classrooms. Thank you for podiums and clickers. Thank you for white boards and markers. Thank you for research and technology and case studies and real world scenarios. Thank you for the workers who keep my university always gorgeous and running smoothly. Thank you for the financial aid office and student accounting people. Thank you for the secretaries and student recruitment people who got me here. Thank you for everyone who works at my university so that I can have an education. Thank you for computer labs and printers. Thank you for libraries and Starbucks on campus. Thank you for pencils and pen and highlighters and note-cards and for parents that have supplied them since preschool. 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.

Lord, You fix me.

Ok so, Nashville is finallyyyy coming back to TeamScarlettandGunnar! I’ve been ready since Gunnar sang It Ain’t Yours To Throw Away to Scarlett. I’ve thought about that song all year and how we are just vessels for You. What I originally thought that meant was we were like cups that needed to be filled by You. I realized it’s sooo much more than that. Last month, I realized we’re like cars and You are the mechanic. So, this morning I came to the conclusion that maybe the church is the gas station and all of us need to be filled. Some of us just need to be topped off. Some of us are running on empty and in desperate need of You. I tried to figure out where I was in all of that and to be honest, I’m all over the place this year. This time last year, I thought I was running on empty and things just got worse. I was completely running on fumes. I’m learning to fill up my car daily now. I’m learning to come to You a lot sooner than before. I’m learning to take responsibility for my actions and my vessel. I’m learning to take care of my vessel and bring it to You before the breakdown.

Rascal Flatts has this new song that my little sings with me. It’s totes a love song, but maybe that’s the point. This year, I’ve been learning to give You my heart. I’ve been learning how to be found in You. I’ve been learning how to be filled by You. I mean, as much as I want a relationship and I want to meet the man You made for me, he can’t fix me, only You can. So, Lord, I’m singing this to You and we will just skip that line about the sexy clown because btdubbs clowns are not sexy anyways, they’re kinda scary.

This weekend, I watched Ragamuffin with my family. It was about Rich Mullins, who I grew up listening to. I mean, I jammed out to Awesome God and Sometimes By Step. Honestly, I had no idea how dark the movie was going to be, but then again, sometimes life has to be dark so, we can see Your light shining through all of it. In the movie, Rich Mullins was unhappy with the church because of the hypocrites and judging Christians and the fake perfection. He said: “I never knew why going to church made you a hypocrite. They’d say because you go to church and you’re all “Holy, Holy, Holy” for two or three hours, and then you go home and sin. I’d say “exactly!” For two or three hours you’re doing pretty good! Maybe the problem isn’t that you go to church, maybe the problem is that you go home! I never understood why going to church made you a hypocrite either, because nobody goes to church because they’re perfect. If you’ve got it all together, you don’t need to go. You can go jogging with all the other perfect people on Sunday morning. Every time you go to church, you’re confessing again to yourself, to your family, to the people you pass on the way there, to the people who will greet you there, that you don’t have it all together. And that you need their support. You need their direction. You need some accountability, you need some help.” To be honest, I heard that a lot as a kid. Maybe it was true. Maybe each generation needs a revolution of some sort. I think the next generation did a good job of repairing that reputation or at least trying to. While we still get the lines blurred sometimes from helping and judging, we are at least trying and getting better at it. I think we just needed to learn how to come to people with care in a confrontation. We needed to learn how to come to people out of love. I think we’ve also learned how to be honest with our own stumbles and see the beauty in asking for Your grace. I think we still have a long way to go as Christians. I think now we’re scared to go out into the world like You called us to because we’re so afraid of becoming that old perception of Christians. I think we got timid because we feel inadequate. The thing is, we weren’t called because we were enough or we were worthy. We were called because You are. I heard it explained once that if we had the cure to cancer would we share it? Well, of course we would. Ok, so, we have the answer to Hell and life after death. Now what are we gonna do with it? One of the first lines in the movie is what got me. Rich Mullins said: “I am a Christian, not because someone explained the nuts and bolts of Christianity, but because there were people willing to be nuts and bolts.” Woah now. That’s deep.

So, this is my prayer today. I pray for my vessel, my car. I pray that I am only filled with you. I pray that you fix me. I pray that I come to you more frequently. I pray that you guide me and lead me. I pray that I learn how to become the nuts and bolts. I pray that I learn how to go out into the world and share your glory. I pray that I use all the gifts and talents you gave me for your glory. Thank you for putting people in my life to hold me accountable, to direct me, to support me, and to help me. Thank you for like Gunnar sings that you gave me something special. I pray that I take all I’ve learned with me. I pray that I keep learning. Thank you for teaching me and guiding me. Thank you for being my mechanic. Thank you for like Rascal Flatts sings that when I’m lost, you’re the map’s missin’ page. And when I’m shakin’, you’re steady like stone. And when I’m flat, you’re air for the tire. Lord, you fix 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 surrender all.

How to be Awesome part 4: “Give, Give Give.” There are three parts to giving in this video.

1. “Give Thanks.”

I think it’s really great that when she’s upset she writes thank you notes. Like what a great way to literally turn your frown upside down. I think it’s such a wonderful idea to take that negative energy and turn it into something positive and realize that yes, today is kinda awful, but like I have so much to still be thankful for.

2. “Give your gift.”

She said “Nobody can say it how you say it. Nobody can give the gift how you give it.” That really spoke volumes to me. (It reminds me of that It Ain’t Yours to Throw Away song! That man’s voice just melts my heart!) Like You gave us each this specific gift to share with the world. She also talked about how you have to give it back to yourself too. I totally related to that and appreciated it like I totally forget to take care of myself sometimes.

3. “Give love.” 

She broke this one down even further: “Give praise, give encouragement and giving to yourself.” Then she goes on to add: “I made the conscious decision that if I have an inclination to do something good I am going to do it.” The message that sends is so bold and powerful. I like how she ties it back to the second part of How to be Awesome by saying basically who cares if you look stupid. Like if you love, go big, give it all you have. I like how she discussed giving for the right reasons and with a pure heart.

Lord, I want to give this and more to You. I want to come to You with a willing heart. I want to surrender it all to You.

“All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
And in His presence I will live
I surrender all, I surrender all

All to Jesus I surrender
Lord, I give myself to thee
Fill me with Your love and power
Let Your blessing fall on me
All to Jesus I surrender”

So this is my prayer today. I pray that I learn to give a little more. I pray that I give more of my myself, more of my thanks, more of my gift, and more of my love. I pray that I give more to you. I pray that I surrender it all you. I pray that I lay all I have at your feet. I pray that I give everything I have to you and I pray that I give with a willing and pure heart. I pray that I give to others. I pray that I share your love and all you have given with me with others. I pray that I keep my heart focused on 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.

It ain’t yours to throw away!

“What if you’re just a vessel
And God gave you something special

It ain’t yours to throw away
It ain’t yours to throw away”

I heard this song that Scarlett and Gunnar sang on Nashville today and my heart started making those little butterflies in my stomach start soaring. I love this song! Scarlett had been going through a lot and Gunnar wrote her this song to let her know he still cares. (btw they are my favorite characters on the show.) I think we all need someone in our lives to remind us of that. God gave us certain abilities and talents and He gave them to us to go out into the world to use them to shine for Him. Sometimes, the ground seems shaky and I feel like I am being buried by the world but I have to remember that I am just a vessel and it ain’t mine to throw away. Such simple lyrics that have a big impact.

So, that is my prayer. I thank you for making me a vessel. Thank you for giving me something special. I pray that I remember that it ain’t mine to throw away. You have a purpose for my life. You know every single hair on my head. You know every flaw, every talent, every weakness, every strength. You made me just the way you wanted. I am perfectly and wonderfully made. It is not about how the world is against me. It’s about how you are for me. I pray I remember that. I pray that I use what you gave me to show the world just how amazing you are. 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.