Sunday, January 30, 2011

refreshed.

this has been another great weekend. recently i have been feeling so dry. it was pathetic- today i got to church and when i opened my journal to take notes, the last time i had opened it was 2 weeks before when i took notes on the sermon. come on now... really?! and i wonder why i was feeling dry.

but, once again, the Lord is so faithful. today has been nothing but uplifting conversations and challenging things. there is so much going on in my mind/heart right now just over what all has been brought up today that i dont really know where to start. i think i will be processing it all week, so blogging all week! (this is going to be a long post...)

lately i have been really frustrated with how selfish i am. that speech that Ann Hathaway gives in the princess diaries has been playing over and over again in my head recently. the one where she is accepting her role as princess of ginovia and goes on this rant saying, "...and then I realized how many stupid times a day I used the word "I". In fact, probably all I ever do is think about myself. And how lame is that when there's, like, 7 billion other people out there on the planet..."

thats so true! and i was on stumbleupon the other day (highly recommend it!) and came across this quote that said,
"no one thinks about you as much as you do."

and then the sermon today in church was on Matthew 5:38 when then Lord commands us to love others AS OURSELVES... think about that. thats a whoooole lot of love for someone! seriously.

and then the verse goes on to ask what reward there is in loving only those that love us back and commands that we love our enemies. thats a pretty major paradox. who wants to love someone thats difficult? who wants to love someone that never listens to you? who wants to love someone that, in every way, opposes you?

AND the verse continues and at the end commands us "to be perfect as our Father is" ... really? now im supposed to be prefect? well, good thing thats IMPOSSIBLE.

but, thats why i love the gospel. so much. who loved me, in all my imperfections, so much that only his sons blood was enough to purchase my salvation? and who, no matter how hard and fast i run, continues to cover me with grace and mercy? and who, in all my sin, laid down his life for me?

and when i surrendered my life to Christ, it was then that his grace covered me and i AM seen as perfect! because when God sees me, he sees his son!

what a love i have been called to. i have no excuse. not only have i seen that love perfectly demonstrated, but i have experienced. on a daily basis.

so on days, for me weeks, when i dont set aside time to meet with my heavenly Father, and when i grow so numb, and when i become so apathetic... my Father still loves me.

i want to be that. i want to get over myself and see the needs that others have and love them! i mean REALLY love them. i want to go out of my way to show them that i believe in them, care for them, and will do anything to help them. why? because thats the love i have experienced and am called to.
____________________________

after really being hit with that, i get a text from a sweet friend asking to hang out 'just because i really want to get to know you'. that hang out turned into a 4 hour hang out. and when she left, i felt so refreshed. because as she sat there and told me her story and all the Lord has done in her life, she spoke so much truth into mine. as she talked about good times, hard times... she seemed to always end in preaching the gospel to herself, and in turn to me.

and i walked away feeling so encouraged. so uplifted. so refreshed. why? because she took time out of her day to be selfless. i want to be that to others. i want to refresh, not burden. i want to encourage, not cause to stumble. i want to uplift, not discourage.

and, i know that only comes from meeting with my Father and allowing him to continually work in my heart.
_______________________

and as if that wasnt enough. the Lord went above and beyond to encourage me even more. i dont deserve a love like this.

support raising has been a test for me. most of the people on my team have already raised their money, or are really close. and its been hard, but neat to see how God has different timing planned for each of us. i have definitely had to really trust the Lord to provide.

and tonight, a close friend from wofford texts me about one of my tweets... the next text i get? "send me a letter" followed by her address and her telling me she wants to support me...

it brought tears to my eyes.

i have not been faithful in my time with the Lord recently and i have just been kind of selfish with my time. and how does the Lord react? he shows me his love and sovereignty. what a God i serve! i am so inadequate.

my goal for this week is to meet with the Lord on a daily basis, to continually surrender my anxiety about support raising to him, and to look beyond myself and love others as he has loved me.

thats all i can process now... im sure there will be more to come! but, until then...

abc.

peaceful.

one of my favorite things this summer
was being able to wake up and watch the sunrise.
its such a peaceful way to start off the day.
listening to the water,
in the word,
and watching this....

i need a good sunrise.

abc.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

they're grrrrrreat.

last night we had a pot-luck dinner at my house with some ZTA's. so. much. fun. sweet little alex cooked us some really good spaghetti and meatballs... mmmmm it was so good!


while she was busy doing that, hyper little ana was busy being artsy and taking lots of pictures while keep the tunes blaring and entertaining us all! (aren't they cute sisters?!)


this is alex showing off her cooking skills...


and jessica being all domestic...


annnd katie and i.. well... eating.


the food was so good! i'm definitely going to have to get her recipe!


once it was all cooked and mixed together, we just put it over spaghetti and had a blast...


also, the other night at girls night, i was introduced to a new game. so i introduced it to the group of girls last night and i have not laughed that hard in a while! its this fun game where you write questions and then answers and then everything gets all mixed up and its just hilarious. (great explination, i know)



so. later that night....
___________________________________________

bailey, leigh, and i were sitting on leighs bed, talking about life. you know, the usual... and while we were talking, we began reminicing about freshman year and how care free we were. and it hit us, we are old. old juniors in college. who sit around and worry about life after college and grades. we are no longer care-free, spontaneous, nothing-matters-but-fun, freshman! so. we decided to change that... even if it was just for one night.


we drove to a very sketchy mexican restaurant simply to get chips and salsa, guacamole, and some sweet tea. we're crazy!! we know. (that is leigh and baileys 'we are going to die' faces)


and bailey and i's 'we are starving' faces... gorgeous.


this was the yummy chicken quesadilla that our wonderful waiter said was the best thing on the whole menu.

(side note: if that is the best thing on their WHOLE menu... tells ya how sketchy the place was!)


leigh with her favorite restaurant....


annnd bailey with her favorite...

we will definitely be going back for more. the men there loved my singing and told me i had very nice vibrato. because, yes, i did sing opera.

i am so thankful for all these friends. they're, like tony the tiger would say, grrrrrreat!

abc.

wide open spaces.

"...she needs wide open spaces
room to make her big mistakes
she needs new faces
she knows the high stakes..."
-dixie chicks


thats where i want to be right now. arms wide, spinning around, with no care in the world.

abc.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

rainy.


there is just something about rainy days. it makes me want to snuggle up under my covers all warm, light my favorite smelling candles, be in a slightly artsy mood, drink my favorite hazelnut coffee, and journal all while listening to my rainy day playlist. because, yes, i do have one of those. and yes, it is currently playing.

now playing: fire - augustauna and before that, rainin' you - Brad Paisley.

abc.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

nom nom.

this weekend was full of fun!! kanon came to visit me in auburn and i decided it'd be fun to cook for him. i used the cookbook my sister gave my for christmas and got a yummy pizza recipe! (and, linds, you'd be so proud of me! instead of using white flour, i used organic whole wheat flour!)

it was so much fun to make this. i made the dough, kneaded it out, let it rise, chopped all the veggies... i had an absolute blast doing it!


the colors were so pretty! i wish i had gotten my camera earlier so i could have taken pictures of the dough being made and rising. i felt like freakin' betty crocker.


i will admit though, i made a couple mistakes. im not the perfect cook yet. in the cook book it said 1 Lb 2oz of flour. well, i didnt know how to convert Lbs to cups so that i could measure it. so instead of logically realizing that my bag of flour was 2 Lbs so i should just put a little over half the bag, i tried to mathematically solve it. this didn't work at all because i ended up deciding the 1 lb 2 oz of flour is equivalent to 1 cup. AM I DUMB!? well, it still didnt dawn on me that what i was doing was COMPLETELY wrong... so i kept going. the 'dough' looked like soup. the cookbook said "stir till texture changes to a dough like consistency" so i just stirred my little heart out...

it wasn't until about 10 min later that my stupidity dawned on me, and i saw that the soup was just getting soupier. so i fiiiinally realized i needed to add more flour and then we were good to go. amateur mistake #1.

the second mistake i made was that i didnt read where it said the dough recipie was enough for 2, 12 in. pizza's. so i used all that dough to make 1, 10 in. pizza. needless to say it was a REALLY crusty pizza!


however, it was so good!! there were sautéed mushrooms, chopped red and green peppers, green and purple onion, black and green olives, and mozzarella cheese! i am so proud:)

pizza wasn't the only fun thing that happened this weekend either. the next night a group of girls had a bunch of us over for a mexican fiesta! they cooked tacos, homemade guacamole, and more... the food was delish and the fellowship was great too. we also saw No Strings Attached... im not recommending anyone go see it, but i was laughing SO hard. not the best family film though! I also got to have a super fun girls night with some great friends and just enjoy their company and laugh a whole lot. and to top off this great weekend, i got to hear a great sermon at my church and be so challenged by it. and lastly i ate a $30 lunch (just mine was $30. when i say nom nom, i mean noooom nooooom!!) at my most favorite restaurant in all of auburn with kanon, katie, and iz.

i have had such a fun weekend full of great food, friends, and a whole lot of laughter. now back to the reality of school...

abc.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

seasons.

the lord never ceases to amaze me. over christmas break one of the things i was praying for is that God would not only give me direction, but give me something at auburn that i feel i can really pour my heart into. and just since i have been back God has been so faithful to constantly turn my fears into faith, my restlessness to peace, and my my disposition to pure joy.

just in these past 2 weeks, i have listened/talked to girl after girl about how they feel so broken, and that they do not understand what the Lord is doing with their lives, or why he is doing the things he is... and it has been so amazing because in 2 weeks i have gotten to share my testimony with 3 to 4 different girls about my past two years of unbelievable brokenness. and this is not bragging on myself at all, but giving glory to my heavenly Father for bringing me to a new season of life and blessing me with the struggles that i did so that i can know him in the way i do now- and more, that i can encourage my friends going through similar things to just hang on... because there is grace unimaginable, joy indescribable, and peace unfathomable all along the rocky road.

i was talking to a dear friend tonight, and as i sat here and listened to her just cry about how broken she is before the Lord i couldn't help but get so excited for her. because the best is yet to come. the joy that comes from being beautifully broken by Jesus is like no other.

i remember journaling, about this time last year (right when i transferred to auburn), and i had read my go to verse, Lamentations 3. in it he says,

"...my soul is bereft of peace; i have forgotten what happiness is..."

and thats exactly how i felt. i thought there was nothing else the Lord could break me of, there was no more pride or selfishness he could reveal... i was done. and looking back- i could not be MORE thankful for that season of brokenness. because it has brought me to this indescribable joy in the Lord and peace within his will- because i know my God is for me.

"weeping may last for the night,
but joy comes in the morning!
...you have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent..."
- Psalm 30:5, 11-12

"you are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance.
i will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
i will counsel you with my eye upon you
...steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord..."
- Psalm 32:7, 10

"i sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears. those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be shamed...
the angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and delivers them.
Oh taste and see that the Lord is good!
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
...but those who seek the Lord lack NO GOOD THING...
the Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit..."
-Psalm 34: 4-8, 10,18

thats only 3 Psalms- there are hundreds of verses reminding us to cling to the Father.

"Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
A great high Priest who’s name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me

My name is graven on His hand
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart

When satan tempts me to despair
and tells me of the guilt within
upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin

Because a sinless Savior died
my sinful soul is counted free
For God the just is satisfied
to look on Him and pardon me

Hallelujah
Praise the One Risen Son of God.

Behold Him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect spotless righteousness
The great unchangeable I AM
The King of Glory and of grace

One in Himself, I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God"

the Lord has so much in store for us, more than we could ever imagine. so to my sweet friend who is broken, or to my other who is hurting beyond my imagination, or to the one who feels like your world is in shambles, or to the one that is so discontent.... take heart. because this is the God we serve.

abc.

makin' my day.

i wish this poem had picked a more poetic or meaningful word than success... maybe joy...
"Success is speaking words of praise In cheering other peoples ways In doing just the best you can With every task and every plan. It's silence when your speech would hurt. Politeness when your neighbor's curt. It's deafness when the scandal flows  and sympathy with other's woes It's loyalty when duty calls It's courage when disaster falls It's politeness when the hours are long It's found in laughter and in song. It's in the silent time of prayer  In happiness and in despair in all of life and nothing less  
We find the thing we call success"- unknown
although it is kind of cheesy, i think its a great little poem with alot of truth to it.. 
I got to experience this on numerous accounts this week, but one being very special and dear to my heart. my sweet little brother Luke wrote a poem about me. it brought tears to my eyes when i read it. 
(im posting it, not to brag on myself at all, but to show what kind of heart Luke has. Sweet, innocent, caring, and genuine.)
"She's loud and funny, my only true girl.
yet peacfull and caring, my favorite person in the world.
the only one who stood by me through my ups and downs,
my sister abby turns my frowns upside down.
shes a flower in a sidewalk,
shes one of a kind.
seeing her is stunning, it blows your mind.
she never backs down from a challenge,
like a phoenix rising from the fire.
knocked down, she gets back up, and always flys higher.
she'll never let me go and will always love me,
shes the person i want to be, and always will be..."
bud, you're amazing. 
i think wether willing to admit it or not, man or woman, everyone wants to know how deeply they are loved. i know i do. everyone wants to know that they mean something to someone, that they are treasured by someone, or that someone would give anything in the world to just be with them.  
"I want it to be inconvenient; I want to sacrifice my life for it. 
I want the kind of love that wakes me up at 3am. 
I want love that hurts, love that I have to work for.
 I want love that tests me.
 I want the kind of love that's hard to find, and hard to keep and never easy.
 I want the kind of love where you get hurt. 
I want love that makes me cry.
 I want to hold on even if it takes me through my worst nightmare.
 But most of all I want the kind of love that's worth it. 
I want love."
 

this is on one of my friends favorite quotes. just this. i've blogged about it before... love. everyone wants to feel it. to experience it. to be affected by it. just like my little brother did, i think we should take more time out of our day to show the people that we really love just how much they mean to us. when Luke did, it brought me to tears and made me feel so special, so happy, so fulfilled. everyone needs that in their life. he made my day.. thanks for that, bud. i love you so much.
abc. 

(sorry the spacing is screwed up... i dont know whats wrong with it.) 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

a bitter sweet hello.

man. i havn't blogged in over a month! maybe thats why my mind feels so cluttered. (everyone should have seen how i just tried to spell cluttered. thank goodness for spell check.) well. i honestly dont even know where to start. happy abby, sad abby, morbid/depressed abby, or so happy with life i cant contain myself abby. because, honestly, all of those emotions are going on in me right now. at the same stinking time. sometimes i feel like the most bipolar person in the world. its ridiculous.

my school is a national champ!! so much fun! cant believe it! watching the game here was awesome. ive never seen so many people emotionally invested in one tv screen in my life. it was actually kind of funny.

christmas break was so much fun! i absolutely loved getting to spend so much time with my family. it was great just sitting around and being home. really, nothing i would have rather been doing. it was also so much fun to get to see all my friends that are in birmingham. all my friends at samford and all the others that were home from other schools... i just genuinely love being home. to me, theres really not much better.

i also loved getting to see the babies anytime i wanted! i love having linds and colby so close! im still not used to it i dont think. i love that ellie jane knows my name! and i love that i get to see her and john both growing bigger. it is so much fun.

i was not ready to leave. i want to love auburn as much as my friends do. i want to love this place and never ever ever ever leave it like pretty much every other student here... but, i dont. i am so ready to graduate. i came back simply so i could do what i feel the Lord has called me to and get done. fast.

i feel like i have to battle so much selfishness every single day. the selfishness of my heart. not letting the things my heart wants so badly to overcome the joy that i should have in doing what is SO evident to me that the Lord has called me to.

and its hard. because honestly, theres no one to really talk to about this except the Lord. because, at the end of the day, who wants to listen to someone talk about what they wish they could do or talk about where they wish they could be? no one. so its this internal battle that is pretty exhausting. spiritually and emotionally. but, i guess the positive of it, is it is so sweet when i do see the Lord do small things, things that are almost like he speaks straight to me.

so thats where i am at. the break was absolutely fantastic. so needed and so good! and no, i wasnt ready to come back. but, life moves on and i am back! its a very bittersweet hello.

i know i put this hymn on here alot, but these words are so ture. i feel my heart just cling to them as i read the promising words...

"O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine's blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life's glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be"


on an unbelievably more exciting note, i have the best. news. ever! i have been given the most incredible opportunity to spend this whole summer in Thailand! i am beyond excited! i have been wanting to go overseas for a while now and the Lord has been so faithful in answering that specific prayer of mine. i am so excited about the team i am going with, the staff that is leading it, and all the opportunities to grow along the way. one of which being support raising! i am beginning that processes as i type. i am in the middle of working on my support letters which are to be sen out by the end of this week. i am so anxious to see how this whole process goes and excited to see my trust in the Lord deepen! oh my gosh i cant wait to get there!!!

until next time....

abc.