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.

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.

Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord.

Well Nashville’s Gunnar Scott won my heart again tonight. Deacon was struggling and said he felt like Charlie Brown. He said Charlie Brown kept trying to kick that football and somebody kept taking it out from under him. Then the oh sooo fabulous Gunnar Scott responds with isn’t that why everyone loves him, because no matter how many times it happens he never loses hope. Woah now. I’m gonna need a minute to go cry.

Ok I’m back. It’s all good. The bible references that we only have to have faith as small as a mustard seed. To be honest, I had to look up what mustard seeds look like because I didn’t even know how small they were. Matthew 13:31-32 says: He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” Matthew 17:20 says: He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” All we need is just a little bit of faith in You. There is this Mexican proverb on Pinterest that says: “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” I want to be like that. I want to be that little mustard seed. Renee Swope said: “I want to be a woman who overcomes obstacles by tackling them in faith instead of tiptoeing around them in fear.” I want to be that kind of woman. I want to be like Charlie Brown and never give up faith, no matter how many times I fall and miss that football. I want to give it all to You, Lord. We used to sing this song in youth group allllllllll the time and I was reminded of it today.

Mark 11:22 says: And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God.” It doesn’t get simpler than that.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that I learn from Charlie Brown. I pray that I learn to overcome obstacles by tackling them in faith. I pray that I am a seed for you. I pray that I grow for you. I pray that I lay down my sorrows, my shame, my sickness, my pain, and everything else I have. I pray that I lay down every single thing I have. Thank you for showing me things in different ways. Thank you for allowing me to lay it all down. I pray that I continue to grow closer to you. Thank you for all the joy that comes from laying everything down. 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’m standing strong, but I’m still on my knees praying.

I found this article today. I didn’t realize how much it would apply to me. All of them hit home, but there were a few that just completely explain my life.

17 Things Former Bullied Kids Do A Little Bit Differently As Adults by: Kovie Biakolo

3. “Being vulnerable with people will always be a slightly terrifying experience for you. Probably because you realized early on just how awful people can be.”

Sometimes, I literally have nightmares. I’m scared to let them in. What if they judge me or think I deserved it or that it was my fault? Sometimes, I just wanna hide it all away. I’m not comfortable being vulnerable and showing weakness. I have a problem with trusting people with so much. What if I give you that little part of me and you leave me or decide I’m not worth the trouble?

10. “It’s easy for you to get very defensive about personal issues that you struggle with.”

I know what my issues are. I’m working on them. I do not need to be reminded of my issues. I am painfully aware of them.

11. “Humor is almost always your defense mechanism to deal with the issues that have the potential to personally hurt you.”

I should probably apologize to my person for this one. I tend to make things real awkward. Sometimes, I would rather have the power and be the one making fun of myself than everyone else doing it. The truth is, just because I’m laughing and try to make a joke out of it, doesn’t make it funny. It just makes people really uncomfortable.

“13. You can spot adult bullies from a mile away and you either avoid them like the plague or are not afraid to confront them at every turn.”

15. “Having to “take crap” from anyone or anything is like re-living bad memories from your childhood. And you will almost always refuse to do it, no matter the consequences.”

I have a slight problem with authority now. I tend to get real defensive. I tend to think everyone is out to get me. I don’t like constructive criticism of any sort. I will avoid it like the plague.

16. “You find it difficult to admit to anyone including yourself, that there are certain words or actions that will always remind you of the scars you obtained from childhood.”

There are some things that I still can’t get over even though it was a long time ago. There are some scars that just don’t fade as quickly.

17. “Some days you feel like the little child who can still get hurt easily when you remember the past; other days because of that past, you feel like there’s not a single thing in the world that can ever really hurt you again.”

Sometimes, I’m so fragile that it feels like anything could break me. I have to remind myself that nothing in this world could ever break me. Lord, You saved me.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that on the bad days, I remember how blessed I am. I pray I remember that you love me. That you gave it all for me. That you would have done it for just me. I pray I remember that while scars don’t ever fully leave, they do hurt less. I pray that I remember that I am not broken. I pray I remember that not everyone will hurt me. That it’s ok to show my vulnerability and let people in. That it’s also ok to be strong and careful. I pray that I work on my defense mechanisms. I pray that I lean on you when I need it. I pray that I always come to you when I feel weak or lost. I pray that I remember that I am yours. 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.