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.

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The house that built me.

Seventeen Magazine posted an article called “10 life lessons you learn from being in a sorority” by Alexandra Martell & Tess Koman. So it got me thinking about what I have learned being in Alpha Gamma Delta. (Plus as usual I love lists!)

1. “When you see a leadership opportunity, take it.”

Way to start off! I think that every single office is important and each office can make a difference. You can take any office and impact the entire function of the chapter. (Give them an inch and they can create miles.) Each office you take or committee you join or chair you lead will teach you something new.

2. “Time management is so important.”

With study hours, service hours, meetings, and so many events, you have to schedule and plan. If you want to go to that sisterhood event or that football game then you best get your homework done before you go. (My daddy taught me that!) I read one time that time should be seen as money. It was such a simple concept, that my time is worth something and I should use it sparingly and invest it.

3. “Being good at small talk is a difficult and underrated life skill.”

They talked about this at the SOLD conference on campus. The main speaker was James T. Robilotta and one of the sessions he did was about networking. In the session, he talked about how introverts don’t like small talk because they like in-depth conversations with a few people. I couldn’t agree more but being in Alpha Gamma Delta I learned how to reach out of my comfort zone and talk to people I don’t know. (Turns out there are some pretty great people out there if you just talk to them.)

4. “You are able to fake confidence like a champ.”

Let’s face it, I am pretty stinkin amazing, but there are days when I think the whole world is against me. Sometimes you just have to push through and fake it ’til you make it.

5. “Networking is invaluable.”

In the networking session they talked about the “why.” The “why” you do what you do is the most important. It is was connects us as human beings and sets us apart as individuals.

6. “You don’t have to be friends with everyone.”

Could someone have told me this in middle school? (It would have saved me a lot of trouble!)

7. “But you do have to know how to be nice—not fake—to people you don’t like.”

Isn’t that a concept? I’ve heard too many times that being nice to everyone is fake, but it’s not. It’s part of growing up.

8. “You can be charitable in ways you didn’t realize you could be.”

There are so many ways to get involved. Sometimes it just takes one person to step up and say “hey, I wanna do this.”

9. “You can be a role model, even when you don’t feel that special.”

I am reminded of this constantly! You never know when people are watching. You are leading people with every action, every word, every breath. Take the time to value the impact and legacy you are leaving.

10. “You are always capable of more than you think.”

I learned this big time. These women have pushed me harder and expected more out of me that I could ever imagine, but you know what? I thrived and even when I didn’t think I was going to, someone was there to help me.

So, this is my prayer today. Thank you for teaching me and leading me. Thank you for the opportunities that I have been given. Thank you for putting the right people in my life. Thank you for showing me your love and mercy through them. I pray that they continue to thrive and impact the world. I pray that they know just how wonderful they are. I pray they see just how blessed they are. Thank you for the past few years here. Thank you for letting me grow here. Thank you for everything I learned 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.

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.