October 6, 2012

The Weekly Review

What a crazy week it has been! Here are the top moments:
  • So, as soon as we got home from South Carolina, we had scheduled an appointment to get new flooring. Basically all week, my mom and I were stuck in either my room or my parents' room, trying to avoid all of the chaos, as they dug up the floor. It gave me a chance to catch up on some shows (like The Vampire Diaries) and get a teeny bit of homework done. Not much, though. 
  • I also started car pooling with my friend, Michele, to school. That has been great getting to know her better, and talk about our faith and what God is doing in our lives, as well as talking about possibly starting a prayer group on our college campus. 
  • My creative writing class has been doing critiques, so that always leads to some interesting discussions. Let's just say there are a lot of DEEP writers in our class. Mine is probably way too fluffy for them. 
  • I was accepted into the Phi Theta Kappa honor society at my school. I'm not totally sure I'm going to join yet, but just knowing that I was accepted into it was pretty awesome. I never thought I'd get into high ranks like that. 
  • I have to say one of the biggest surprises that came to me was an e-mail saying that I had been selected for a meet and greet with Carrie Underwood when she comes to town in a couple weeks, and I could not be more thrilled. She is one of my favorite people on the entire planet. I love that she uses her platform of fame to proclaim Christ's name, and sings about Him in her songs. She just continues to blow me away, and I am SO excited to see the show...(and hopefully she remembers me again ;)).
  • Obviously, the Women's conference was a HUGE highlight of my week. So much, in fact, that I decided I'd do separate posts for that. 
  • I also really enjoy Fridays for the fact that I can spend time with my mom, even if it is to usually run errands that I don't want to. It usually means a good lunch is in store, and this time it was Panera. YUM!
  • I also decided to break out my guitar a little more. With all the empty space, it sounded great acoustically and I wanted to take advantage of it. I tried to learn Carrie Underwood's song "Blown Away" and Taylor's "Begin Again", but some were tricky since I can't find my capo. Sad day! 

I found this picture of Carrie Underwood from CMA Fest week that my parents and I are in. Can you spot us?

It has been a busy week, but I feel like a lot of growth and turning points have been happening in my life. I'm beginning to get excited about life again, rather than feeling like it's all just the same routine every day. Life should be an adventure. Sure, there is a lot of garbage that we are going to face on a daily basis, and annoying things that we're going to have to do. But, if we tackle them head on, nothing can hold us back. 

Hope you have a great weekend!

October 5, 2012

Women's Conference: Freedom In Fear

Last night, was the first session of our very first women's conference at church! This year's theme is Freedom in Fear, which is something I know that not only can I relate to, but plenty of other girls and women can as well. It has been so cool hearing about all the ladies that were involved in putting this thing together, talking about all the plans, and seeing it all come together for the final production. It has been a long time coming for it, and it's proof that you dream outside of the box and think crazy, wild ideas. We have a radical God, and if it is in His plans, then it will happen, and we don't need to worry about "how" to get there.

I got to church around 6:15 and was in shock to see how they had transformed our church foyer into a gathering room, that almost looked like a swanky loft in New York City. Ladies were everywhere, mingling and registering, and I knew we were in for an exciting night. I caught up with a friend at the door, registered, then went in search for my friend, Febe. We caught up for quite awhile; I told her all about my trip to South Carolina, and she told me about some of the changes she's been making in her life, which is really exciting! We caught up with a few other friends, and were about to head into the sanctuary, when she ended up having to help out at a booth during the speaker, so we didn't get to sit together. I hung out with a couple other girls that I knew from Young Adults, and we went in to find seats.

The conference kicked off with our worship leader, Jim, and an all women's choir (assembled of wonderful ladies from our church) singing "Everything" by Lifehouse. It doesn't matter how many times I've heard that song, it brings tears to my eyes. It's such a powerful statement and testament to who God truly is. It gave me chills. Then, we went into a time of worship. It was such an incredible time. I never feel closer to God, than when we're singing our praises to Him. I think that's one of the reasons why music has always been such a big deal to me as well. Anyway, we had a guest speaker by the name of Amberly Neese, who is a comedian. But, through her comedy, she also spoke on some pretty heavy things, like the fact that we all have fears and worries inside. One of hers early on was that her husband would leave her when they first got married, like many people in her family had done to their spouses. She had that fear of being left behind. But, God will never leave us, and she emphasized the verse Joshua 1:9 multiple times. This became one of my favorite/theme verses this year.

As I've seen people walk out of my life, or drift away, I know that God always remains, and no matter how far away I go, He'll always be right there. I always have that in my heart and in the back of my mind. Like Amberly, and a lot of other women in the world, I have a ton of fears, and that holds me back. Hearing that reminder of no matter where I go or what circumstance I face, God is always going to be there, gives me rest. I don't always have to be two steps ahead of the game, trying to figure everything out. He's already there, and knows how to help me through. I just have to trust Him. That's all. It really isn't as hard as we make it out to be. It is our choice whether we want to worry about our fear, or let God take care of it. We put God in this box; limiting Him to what we think He can do, and He is so much more than our brains can comprehend.

Amberly went on to say how some of us are carrying yesterday's problems with us, and I know I have that problem. I have been a lot better with it, but I tend to carry regret with me or feel ashamed of things I've done, even if it is the tiniest thing. God is going in a new direction, one where there is a beautiful future waiting for us, and we need to follow Him to it. God wants us to be free...That's what His grace and mercy are all about. God is "MI-TAY" as she put it. And I couldn't have put it into better words myself.

When the conference ended, I talked with my friend, Makenzie for awhile. She told me about some of the changes getting ready to be made in the young adult department, and the Bible study they're into right now. It sounds like I need to get plugged back into a lot of things. I'm excited to see what is up ahead for all of us.

I choose to be present for the rest of this conference, so I can hear God loud and clear, and start making some changes. What I heard last night, and what I have been the past few months is, "let it go..." I encourage you to do the same. If it's something from the past or someone that you're holding on to, just let it go. Allow God to work in you through that situation and turn it around for the better. I'm going to be working on that as well.

I'm excited to see what happens the rest of this weekend.

That's all for now,

October 3, 2012

Pictures From South Carolina & Wilmington

Obviously, I can't post every single picture I took, because there are close to 600...But, here are some of my favorite moments or pictures I snapped in general while back there. The Carolinas are absolutely breathtaking, and I can't wait to have another adventure there...Hopefully someday soon.