Sunday, November 21, 2010

November Musings (and other fluff)

With the end of fall coming and going, Thanksgiving coming up good and fast, and the promise of another one of the chilly winters that are my absolute favorite, I find thankfulness a lot on my mind lately. Being grateful is possibly one of the easiest and one of the hardest things to do- it's so easy to overlook all of the wonderful blessings that God places in your life, but when you do sit back and reflect in the quiet for a bit, it's even easier to soak in all of the astoundingly great things you can find there :).

Of all the many things in my life that I have to be immensely thankful for, I think the thing that stands out the most (at least in this season of my life) are all of the people that I'm surrounded by right now. They lift me up, help me up when I fall, fill otherwise boring Friday and Saturday nights with fun and memories, teach me things that I don't have the wisdom to see yet myself, and keep me laughing even when I think organic chemistry has sucked all the life out of me that it possibly can. Here's a peek.

My bestie... she's like a part of me. She's the other half of my best/friends necklace - she taught me the meaning of the word friendship. We're tied together inexorably and inexplicably, something I will never understand and will always be thankful for :). We're almost exact opposites in every way, and we fit together like puzzle pieces. My puzzle wouldn't be complete without her! Seven years of friendship and counting... what an adventure :)

She's the big sister that I always asked for when I was little. She makes sure I get to work on time, tsk's me when I skip class, and shares her coffee and her closet with me. She's got the big comfie bed that's perfect for late-night giggling and storytelling and the shoulder that's always there to lean on, and she's a better best friend than I could have defined for myself to find here in this zoo of a place called college :).

Mommy and best friend

Grandparents/Parents/Amazing People

Big brother... big sister... and Jonny. :)

An amazing friend and mentor who's helped me realize more about myself than I ever thought I'd uncover alone... she's like my in-college mommy :)

Best. Roomies. Ever. 

My Family :)

There are so many more pictures that I could include in this entry, but to list every blessing in my life would mean that this blog would NEVER end. God is so so good :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

His yoke is easy, and His burden is light

This past weekend, I had the immense privilege of going up to Prescott on fall retreat with about 30 of my fellow Wildcat Chi-Alphans, as well as our extended XA family from ASU and NAU! There are so many details of the weekend that I wish I could share, but as that would probably take forever I must satisfy my desire to share the joy by saying simply that it was a weekend I will never forget. God really moved up on that mountain in our camp and in our hearts, challenging us and speaking to us, and I heard things and learned things in such profound ways that I'm still rather in shock at the whole experience. It felt surreal and palpable all at the same time, the truths that we faced together as undeniable as they come.

Even as I sit here writing this I'm in awe of how much God spoke into my life in such a short time- less than two full days, and my world was rocked. We  prayed intensely, worshiped with abandon,and laughed with fervor all weekend, and I am just so humbled by the fact that it was all to bring glory to the One that we serve. I was expecting to go to retreat and be seriously challenged, but I absolutely was not expecting those challenges to be so intense or even so specific. Scott and Crystal Martin, the speakers, are such anointed people and they spoke so powerfully. On Friday night at our bonfire, Scott asked us this question: "Are you committed to God 100%?" I meditated on that all weekend, because that's an intense question. It's a difficult thing to say yes, I am willing to lay down all of my desires and all of my passions and all of my me-ness to serve God and His will 100%. That's tough- really tough. And then God called me into a situation that challenged me to the same question. God gave me a task, put a specific calling on my life at this point in time- and I had to answer. The beautiful thing is that I have the choice to say yes or no, the choice to be obedient or to do what I want. To be obedient, to answer this commission in my life, is honestly and sincerely something I don't want to do. It's hard, and it's a little scary, and I would like nothing more for myself than to just walk away.

But I've realized that that's not what it's about. This life, my life here on Earth, is not about me. It's not about how I feel or how much I think I'm learning. It's about bringing glory to God- it's about serving Him, because just like Jesus Himself said, 'I did not come here to be served, but to serve." I've learned that there is no greater honor in this life than to serve the Lord, because even as we have to lay down our own worldly (and human) desires to do so, God replaces those things with a reward far greater than any pleasure we could find for ourselves. So even though it took a lot of prayer- and I do mean a lot, when God asked me, "Daughter, are you committed enough to Me to lay down the keys to your own happiness here at My feet, do what I'm asking of you, and serve MY kingdom?," I REJOICE that the answer that filled my heart was yes.

More to come.

UA Chi Alpha at Fall Retreat 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I don't think it's any secret that I am a huge fan of StumbleUpon... I've got links that I've found on Stumble all over my twitter and Facebook- I just find so many cool things :)

Anyways, I found a new one tonight and I couldn't help but be amazed by it. You'll have to look and see for yourself, but I just wanted to share it here, because I just can't see things like the photos on this website and not just be completely overwhelmed by how real and how beautiful God is :). Enjoy!