Monday, November 28, 2011


      Over this past semester at school, after coming back from project and reaching new perspectives on life, the latest thing that I feel the Lord has been teaching me is to just wait. Wait and trust in His plan and His timing for my life. There is a lot that I really don’t want to wait for right now: my summer project application, the building and renewing of friendships, to move out of the box that I call my dorm room, the day where I finally get to see my dad again, and the list goes on. But through all of this I continuously hear a whisper from the Lord saying, “My child, trust me and wait.” I hear people telling me to, “Just live where you are in the moment” or, “You are where you are for a reason.” and I believe that what they are saying is true, but I also think that you need to rejoice in where you are, instead of just merely live and get by. You are where you are because that is where the Lord has you in this time of your life. I find comfort in that. I find comfort in knowing that I am not done here. There is still life to be shared within my dorm, there is A LOT more to learn in the friendships that I have and the friendships that I long to have, there is more reliance on the Lord to trust him and where he puts me this summer and in my future.  So, I must wait.

       WAIT. What does it mean to wait? To just sit idly by and see what comes of it? I don’t think so. I believe that waiting includes active trust in the Lord, and glorifying him with where you are right now. Take Abraham in Romans 4:18-21 for example.
18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
       God promised Abraham that he would become a father of many nations. Now, Abraham was really old, and Sarah was at the point in her life where she could no longer reproduce so you would think that Abraham would be defeated and not believe that he would be a father of many. But the Lord promised that he would, so Abraham believed it, he just had to wait for it. And as these verses say, Abraham did NOT waver through unbelief, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God because of God’s promise and power. You see, Abraham did not dwell on his own weakness, but instead focused on, and gained strength from, the promise that the Lord had given him, and continued to give God glory amidst his waiting. That is what we are called to do.
        This story of Abraham has been a reminder to me that even though I am waiting for the Lord in certain areas of my life, God is still there and his promises are still true. Promises of a perfect plan, of perfect timing, and all for my good. His promises are true, and I will give glory to the Lord and my faith will be strengthened through my waiting. It isn’t going to be easy, but with the power of the Lord I can overcome any obstacle. Continuously I am reminded to not dwell on what I am waiting for, but give thanks and glory to the One I am waiting for, and trusting that he will provide and fulfill his promises when I have learned everything I can about his character and my own as a result, and because he knows what is best for me. Some things I will have to wait for longer than others, and that is okay. Through them I will continue to learn about the character of the Lord and learn to rely on him more and more as a result.
        Where are you finding it hard to wait right now, and how could you give glory to the Lord instead of dwell on what you are waiting for?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

How Deep a Father's Love for Us

All throughout project, I definitely had my highs and lows. But to be honest I feel like I felt the Lord’s love the most through my lowest points on project. I felt His love through dear friends of mine, through nights spent on the beach just soaking in His beauty, through His Word, through learning patience, and through prayer. The Lord is so good and so powerful. He shows Himself in the most unexpected ways at the most unexpected times. Through the lows during project, I realized that the God of this universe, the One who created every star in the sky and everything on Earth, wants to have an intimate relationship with me. He is pursuing a specific, loving and caring relationship with His daughter. He wants to show me how much He loves me in any way He can. It is such an incredible feeling, I felt known, cared for, safe, loved.
I know that this is common scripture used at weddings and other events, but this is the love of Our Father, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a.
He also have so much love for us, that He gave His one and only son, to die on a cross, so that we may have an intimate relationship with Him. Let that sink in for a second.
This is the love that Our Heavenly Father wants to show us. He wants to give us protection, hope, perseverance, patience, and kindness. His love is a love that never fails. Can you fathom that? Our Father’s love is a love that I cannot comprehend. But I know that I have felt it, and friends, it is so sweet. Let Our Creator love you, and let Him delight in you.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I would like to share a story with you all about how awesome God is. Are you ready?
So to give you a little bit of background: All summer I was pretty apathetic to the idea of sharing the gospel, or the good news of Christ with complete strangers. I had done it before and had not seen any fruit come from the conversations, or had been rejected and my thoughts manipulated during my conversations with others about God and spiritual things. I had never had the experience of the Lord using me to lead someone to Christ or getting into a really good conversation with someone about what they may believe, or why I believe what I do. So needless to say, by the end of the summer I was pretty checked out in the area of outreach and evangelism. During the last week I was thinking that the Lord has already done all that He is going to do in my life and in others during the summer, and was just ready to go and get back on campus to see what He will do there. But the Lord totally proved me wrong (I love when He does: )). So as I am feeling this the last week, we had a couple more worship on the boardwalk outreaches planned and so, once again apathetically, I figured well why not, this will probably be the last outreach I will do here so I’ll go, and I did. As we were sitting on a couple of benches on the boardwalk worshipping, I saw my friend in a conversation with a girl, about our age, and decided to jump in on the conversation. The girl had told us that she had just lost her dad a few weeks ago and was dealing with a lot of questioning and stuff, but it was cool that she and I got to relate even in the unfortunate circumstance of losing a father. So we talked for a bit and got to a point where she asked what we were doing there and so we got to share with her that we were there with a campus ministry to share our faith and get to know people in the community. This then led to my friend and me sharing these four simple truths with her: First, God created us and loves us and has a perfect plan for our lives. Second, since we are human and are not perfect and holy, as God is, we are separated from Him and cannot have a relationship with Him on our own power. But this is where the good news comes in: thirdly, since God loves us and desires to have a relationship with us, He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins and our imperfections so that through Christ, we may have a relationship with Our Creator (how cool is that!?) As Ephesians 2:8-9 sates, “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the GIFT of God; NOT as a result of works that no one should boast.” We are able to have a relationship with our Heavenly Father not by works, but by faith in Christ. Lastly, we must accept Jesus into our lives as our Lord and Savior, so that we may know God personally and experience His love. After sharing these four truths with her she looked at me and told me that that is exactly what she wanted for her own life. So we prayed together and now we have a new sister in Christ!
I was so humbled and overjoyed that the Lord used a broken vessel such as myself to show Himself to the girl that I shared this with. He humbled my heart and showed me that He was not done with my summer and there were still things that I needed to learn and trust Him with. God shows up when you least expect Him to, and that just shows me that He is ALWAYS there, even in my hesitation, my brokenness, my doubt, He shows up and with His power, His glory, and His strength. Rejoice in that, friends. Our God is so good and so faithful.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Shipps Corner Pet Spa and Resort, GIRL.

      As stated in a previous post, I had been searching and searching for a job and trusting that the Lord had a job already set aside for me and He was just waiting for me to walk into it. Well, after working at Shipps Corner Pet Spa and Resort, I can look back on that and say with full confidence that that is exactly what happened.
      Shipps Corner is a dog kennel that boards dogs while their owners go on vacation. Shipps also offers grooming, therapy swims, and yes, doggie daycare, where the owners can drop the dogs off in the morning when they go to work and pick the dogs up on their way back home from work. I LOVED working here. The work itself was a bit physically demanding and not very pleasant as you can imagine, but the people that I worked with were so awesome! My coworkers were one of the sole reasons I got up at 6 a.m. every morning to go pick up dog poop and get peed on. These people were so fun to work with and were pretty vulnerable with me with their lives, whenever we did get a chance to talk. At the end of the summer they weren’t just coworkers, they were friends, cheesy, I know, but true. The times I got to spend working with them and hanging out with them were just so genuine and real and SO much fun! I got to share life with them, and they shared life with me. It was so cool to get to know them and see where they are at on their journey through life.
       With being in a community that is constantly rooted in Christ, it was hard to realize what was going on outside of the “fortress”. There was a speaker who came and spoke at one of our meetings one night and he taught on fortress theology. Fortress theology, in a nutshell, is when Christians sometimes get into this comfortable mindset and way of life where they are okay with just hanging out with others Christians and not delving into the brokenness and realness of this world. They put themselves in this “holy huddle”, and don’t reach out to other non-believers and go where they go. But that is not what the Lord calls us to do. Those places are exactly where you would see Jesus hanging out. He went to the parties, and those dark places. He wasn’t just hanging around and content in his community of followers. He reached out to the lowest of the society. That is what we are called to do. We are called to go out of our fortress to go where we are not comfortable and love on people. It is when we are out of our comfort zone that we see the Lord do the most work in us. Yes, it is important to be in community and grow in the body of Christ, but we are also called to reach out to others and share the good news of the gospel with them, so that they may know the grace and love of our Heavenly Father.
        I am so thankful for the relationships that I was able to build with my coworkers and I pray that they will continue to grow and that the Lord will continue to use me as a light in their lives, even though I am home and no longer working there.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

VBSP Update #1

Hey Friends : )
            Okay so I know there are no excuses for not writing any blog posts for the last month and a half, but I have been SUPER busy and have had literally NO time to write and post any. So over the next few days I am going to describe the amazingness of my summer to the best of my ability : )
So I left off with the Battle which was pretty great, but that is only the beginning. A week after the battle is when the staff left project to leave the students in charge of the rest of project. Each of the students on project got a specific job, to keep things running smoothly. The specific job that I received was an Action Group Leader. What the heck is that? Well, I’ll tell ya ; ) An AG leader leads a Tuesday night bible study with about 3 or 4 others girls in the study. AG leaders prepare the study, and teach it to the rest of their group on Tuesday nights. AG leaders are also responsible for having discipleship times with two other students that are set up throughout the week. During this discipleship time, we just share how life is going, and challenge each other to live a Christ centered life in whatever we may be struggling with. (Kind of like accountability partners.) Also, during this time we go out onto the beach or the boardwalk to share the gospel with the beach-goers or boardwalkers : ) I was truly blessed with the job that I was given, because it taught me a lot about what it means to lead others in the Word of God and what it means to be a good mentor and friend to those that I lead. It was a good role to be challenged in as well because I will be leading a bible study when I get back onto campus, and it was a good taste of what is to come.
Friends, I am so excited to share the rest of project with you over the next few days and in the conversations to come! Thanks for being patient : )

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Battle

Sorry it has been forever since I have updated, but life here in VA Beach has been SUPER busy. My days have been filled with working during the day, various meetings at night and little things in between. So needless to say I haven’t even touched a computer for the past week, which in some ways has been very refreshing.
To give you a little update on some of the bigger things of project, I’ll start with The Battle. The Battle is a somewhat choreographed fight between “Good” and “Evil”. So the men dressed up and made their armor and weapons out of cardboard, and the women dressed up in their assigned colors (Red=Good, Blue=Evil), and then we marched to the beach and this is where the battle began. There were hundreds of people surrounding us to watch this battle, and so after the battle ended, the last man standing gave an inspiring speech about what it takes to live forever and be on the side left standing. After this we surveyed people on what they thought about the battle and got to share the gospel with some of the people watching, and some people even made a decision that night to ask Jesus into their lives. The Battle was also very community building for us as we joined together to spread God’s Word in and effective way.
Over the last three and a half weeks here the Lord has taught me a lot about Himself as well as taught me a lot about myself. I am excited to see what else the Lord wants to do in my life this summer and can’t wait to share with you guys as he does : )

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Prayers have been answered

I GOT A JOB!! I got an offer at a dog/cat spa and resort as a kennel attendant! Now, I know it is not the most glamorous of jobs, but after submitting countless applications and receiving many, “no’s”, it’ll do : ). I have worked at a dog kennel before so I should be able to fit in right away. I am also working with another student from project named D.J., so it should be a lot of fun working with someone I already know as well.

Now that the hunt is over, I am relaxing and praising the Lord for this sweet opportunity :)
Thank you for your prayers J

Saturday, June 11, 2011

On the Hunt...

Job hunt that is ;)

No, I did not get the job at the field house, which was a TOTAL bummer, but I have realized that it’s not where the Lord would like to place me this summer. He has other plans for me, and I am trusting in His plan. However, I have been up and down the board walk and everywhere in between, and no one seems to be hiring. The economy is suffering, which does not help my hunt. I have submitted about a dozen applications thus far, in store and online, and now all I can do is call back about my application status and wait. Wait for that call that offers me a job. I may go a little further inland to see who is hiring, but I hear there is not much luck there either. No worries though, this is just one bump in the road of many, on this amazing adventure.
            Through this, seemingly never ending, job hunt though, the Lord has taught me a few things. He has definitely humbled me, teaching me that finding a job won’t always be easy, as it has been for me in the past. He has also taught me to trust in Him and in His plan for my life more. Lately, this has been tough for me. I know that the Lord has a good and faithful plan for my life, but I often find myself thinking, “Well what if it doesn’t end up like I want it to?” or I ask the Lord “Can I just have control of this part of my life, and you can have this other part instead?”. But in this job hunt the Lord has led me to lean on Him and to trust His plan for my life, instead of my own.
            As I continue this search, I find myself reflecting over and over again on this verse:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose for them” Romans 8:28
I ask for prayer as I continue this search, and that I will continue to lean on the Lord and follow the plan that He has for me this summer.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Emotional Rollercoaster

In my last post it was brought to my attention that not everyone reading my blog knows what I am doing in Virginia Beach. So for those of you who don’t know what I am doing this summer in Virginia Beach, I will be staying down here for 10 weeks (June5-August10) this summer with an organization called Campus Crusade for Christ, on a Summer Project with 70+ student and staff from Crusades all around the region. What this summer project consists of is, obtaining a job, where I will work full time and get to know my co workers and share the gospel in any way I can with them. We will also be going out into the community to build relationships with the people here and spread God’s Word within the community. It is a time for growing closer in my walk with the Lord as well as sharing the love of Christ with others : ) We also have small group Bible studies and weekly worship meeting to strengthen our relationship with the Lord.
 I have been in VA Beach for a couple of days now and am feeling SO many mixed emotions. A lot of emotions that I can't explain, but emotions none the less. I am so very excited to be here and to find out what the Lord has in store for me this summer, but at the same time I am very overwhelmed and anxious. My anxiety mostly comes from being away from home for 10 weeks, but I keep reminding myself of the amazing things that the Lord will be teaching me this summer, and I am SO grateful to be here. We have been pretty busy the first couple of days, and as you can imagine, being very busy and being awake for 48 hours straight doesn't really mix well, so to say the least I was overwhelmed by the busyness and the newness o fit all the first couple of days. Most of all though, I am feeling excitement as I embark on this new adventure and grow closer to the Lord. I am excited to make lifelong friends and learn invaluable lifelong lessons from Our Creator.
As I asked in my previous post, would you, if you would like, pray for me on this journey. Right now, I would specifically ask for prayer with feeling anxious and overwhelmed in this new environment, as well as praying that I would dive head first into this adventure and soak in every little bit of it. Pray that my heart and mind would stay focused on Jesus and what the Lord is teaching me in my time here, and I would be able to continue to grow from it when I am gone. One more prayer that I would ask you to lift, is for job opportunities for me. I have applied to quite a few places, and specifically, I will be getting a call from the VA Beach Field House tomorrow (Wednesday) about a camp counselor position that would be an incredible opportunity to have.
Thank you once again for journeying alongside of me in this crazy thing called life : )
God Bless!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Here goes nothin'...

Welp, never thought I'd have one of these things, but I figured it would be nice to keep you all updated while I am in Virginia Beach for the next 10 weeks!

Now, I am not the best writer ever, (hence the "Simple" in Gracefully Simple ; )) so forgive me if this blog starts off boring and plain : )

As stated before, I will be spending the next 10 weeks in beautiful Virginia Beach, VA and could not be more excited!! I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for me, and I know He will help me grow immensely throughout the summer. I will meet new people and make new friends, which is also a scary experience, but I am excited for the friendships that I am going to make that will last a lifetime and challenge me to be a better person : )

I leave late Sunday, so I would ask (if you are the prayin' kind) to please lift up prayer for a safe trip, and a summer of epic proportions : ) Pray that the Lord will work in me and through me as I spread His Word, and learn more about it myself : )

Thanks for journeying alongside of me : )