a girl on a mission…

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor;1 he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and uthe opening of the prison to those who are bound." Isaiah 61:1

Radnor Lake Park!

On Sunday I went into work but was only there for a couple of hours due to winning a contest where I got to go home early! Micah and I were planning on spending some time at our favorite Cheekwood but they closed a little too early and so we drove over to Radnor Lake Park instead.  IMG_3507

Neither of us had been there and neither of us were dressed for such a long trail but had such a fun time just taking our time and enjoying the view. Just wanted to share some pictures from our day! This week we’re celebrating Micah’s 25th birthday! I’m so so very grateful that the Lord created him in such a perfectly unique way! I love him more every day and this weekend was such a reminder of how lucky I am for him and for having him in my corner!
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Lessons Learned…

I knew that taking a job in a secular environment would bring forth it’s own set of challenges but what I was not prepared for were the immeasurable blessings. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned over the past few months.

People are completely unpredictable. You never know what people are going to say and you never know what people are going through. I’ve definitely had my share of angry customers, which I was prepared for. I was not, however, prepared for the dozens of ways I’d be given the opportunity to hear people’s stories and to encourage them in how God is working in their lives.

 

People are broken. Working in a location like Cool Springs,  the majority of my customers have deep pockets. I even had someone to look me in the eye and tell me that money was not a factor as I tried to pitch a product by showing how it could save him money. It’s so very different from the way I grew up and so it has definitely taken some getting used to. But what they don’t realize is that even with all the money in the world, it can’t mend the brokenness and can’t fill the void that’s keeps them up at night. And if we overlook these people because they’re white, drive nice cars, have big families and look like the kind of people that go to church and have it all together, we’re over looking a huge percentage of our population, a huge percentage of God’s children who he loves and who he wants to redeem as much as those in unreached parts of the earth. 

People just need a little extra attention. Whether they just need to vent about losing unlimited data or upgrade fees, or maybe tell you their life long story, people just need a little extra attention. But no matter what they say, there’s something deeper that’s driving that need for attention and it’s our job as Christians and just as humans to lend that ear they’re seeking so that they can get down to the deeper issue at hand and find healing. We all get easily wrapped up in our own world and are not fully engaged with those we come in contact with and we miss so many opportunities to truly be there for people in need.  

I could write blog after blog about the wonderful experiences I’ve had in my few short months here in Franklin but we just don’t have time for that. 🙂 Here are a few high points for me in the first few months I’ve been on the sales floor:

  • I’ve rocked a baby to sleep (shocker, I know!) which gave a struggling mom a much needed break while she learned how to work her new phone.
  • I sat with, cried with and held a widow’s hand as she told me stories about her husband’s passing, how much everyone loved her husband and how much she misses him. 
  • The Lord prompted me to share my parent’s story with a lady on the brink of divorce, completely unknowing that her husband’s violent alcoholism was the main reason why she was leaving him, and the main reason her phone had been smashed. She opened up and she now has my personal number and has someone that she can call when she needs an ear to listen.
  • I helped the late George Jones’ wife Nancy fix a glitch on her phone and ipad which lead to a wonderful conversation about addictions and the grip that addictions have had on the lives of people we love. She has so sweet, so understanding and so very thoughtful. She even sent me a picture from her ipad of she and George a few months before he passed. 
  • I made friends with a lady who has been back to see me multiple times, always remembers Micah’s name and asks how he’s doing and how he’s liking his job, reminds me how lucky I am to have a good man like him and who asks me ways that she can be praying for me.

God is up to something big! I can feel it in my interaction with customers and co-workers every day. Please keep me in your prayers as I continue on this journey of just loving people I encounter with the love of Christ and sharing this hope I’ve found, the same hope that redeems the broken and sets the captives free! 

A Boy Named Stump…

IMG_2802This was an exciting week for us at City Church of Woodbine.  We had the blessing of having a team through P2Missions (formerly known as PowerPlant) come and work with our church this week.  The group was from The Basileia Church in Mooreville, MS and consisted of 15 youth and 4 leaders.  The main mission of this group this week was prayer walking in various communities and engaging conversation with people walking around the community.

The first day of ministry (Tuesday), we came together and had a little orientation with David, the pastor of City Church, prepped them on how to share their testimony. They broke up into small groups and were instructed to practice sharing their testimonies with one another but the room fell silent.  We paired up the groups with one leader to help them along but still, very few of them could share their testimony.  In my group, I found myself curious if they had even made a decision for Christ and had a testimony. They were also very adamant on not praying out loud within our small groups.

We went out to an apartment complex where there are mostly Hispanic families, paired our teams with a few translators, and wentout prayer walking.  A couple from City Church is planting a Hispanic church and so our team handed out invitations for the church service this week as well.  We dispersed among this huge apartment community and spent this really hot summer day praying over this community but I felt a little discouraged because it just didn’t seem like the kids were really getting into it. At the end of the day, we came together and talked about the conversations we had with people we met.  That brings us to a boy named Stump. Stump is a 19 year old guy from a small town in Mississippi. Just a good ol’ boy but he boldly shared his testimony with a Hispanic lady with his translator and through the power of the Holy Spirit, she prayed and gave her life over to the Lordship of Christ.

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On Wednesday, we practiced our testimonies again but again, the students were silent.  This day we were going into a community with a large Kurdish population.  We went to a park in that community and two of the groups stayed at the park where the other three groups went out walking.  One of the groups that stayed was a group of guys that spent the afternoon playing basketball with some guys that were already at the park. Another group that stayed at the park spent their afternoon playing with kids at the park.  My group and two others went out on the streets and prayer walked.  Half way through the afternoon, one of my girls needed a restroom and so we got in the car and went to find one.  Afterwards we went to some international markets in the area and walked around the Mosque in the area.  For the last 20 min or so of our ministry time, I told them we’d do some “prayer driving”.

At this point, Stump was the only one who had even prayed out loud. So I decided to challenge them and really push them to pray out loud in the safety of my car with just the 4 of us.  I told them that I would start praying and I would pray until we came to an intersection and then it would be the next person’s turn.  So I prayed and  stopped when I came to an intersection but it was silent. So I stopped the car.  I told them we would be there until someone prayed and the should probably get started since there’s a big pickup truck driving up behind us.  Finally they started and it was really beautiful to hear them pray out loud and to hear their heart even as we took turns praying short prayers as we drove around this Kurdish community. We may not have lead anyone to Christ but those 3 were so proud to share with the rest of the team that they had prayed out loud and that was a victory in my eyes.

Wednesday night after all of the teams had come together for worship, the teams broke up for a devotional time with their youthgroups and on this night, I felt lead to sit in with them. The youth leader, B.J., had the same fear when hearing the silence among our group while they should be sharing their testimonies and felt lead to share the Gospel with them and give them an opportunity to respond if they had never made a decision themselves to whole heartedly give their life to Christ.  After B.J. finished sharing with them, I felt lead to share my testimony. I didn’t feel like I had this heart wrenching story that would lead them to give their life to Christ but I felt like someone in that group probably made a decision at a young age that they might not have really understood. I felt like someone in that room probably struggled with having a judgmental attitude to those in school making less than holydecisions and ya know, there may even be a kid in the group who has an alcoholic parent. I can’t say that God moved through my story specifically but I can say with 100% certainty that God moved. We had 3 girls give their life to Christ Wednesday night! Two of those three girls were my girls! One girl from Tuesday’s group and one from Wednesday’s group!

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The rest of the week was completely different! The students grew more and morebold as thedays went on.  They prayed out loud for people, they initiated conversations with people, they shared their testimonies with people and they played and loved on kids. It was beautiful! We even had a 4th student give his life to Christ on Thursday night during a “Concert of Prayer” lead by the P2Missions Staff. The Lord was moving mightily during this time of prayer. A 4th student in our group made a decision to follow Christ in the middle of the prayer time!  I was blown away by how He was moving in my heart, just as much as the students.  We were standing there singing “God of this City” and the Nashville statistics are flashing on the screen and I could hear the Lord’s still small voice saying, “Here you go.  The entire time you were in Jackson, you longed to live in the heart of unreached people groups and I told you to wait. Here you go. You’re here. Don’t waste it.” 1.6 M people live in the Greater Nashville Area. 80% are lost and it is expected that the population will double in the next 10 years. Here ya go.

 

I’m not a youth ministry person.  I don’t have patience with kids with attitudes. I don’t deal well with entitlement and I see a lot ofchurches around the U.S. pouring a lot of resources into entertaining students and then when they get to college, the students don’t have a clue how to flesh out their faith on their own. But I loved these students. I saw them grow more in the past week than I’ve seen some students grow in years.  It was beautiful to see students who didn’t really have a testimony share theirs boldly and talk about how amazing they feel and how they’ve never felt so refreshed in their whole life! It was so great exposing these teens to cultures they’ve never heard of! For me and one of my girls to sit under a tree with twoNepali ladies, praying over them and establishing new relationships was such a refreshing experience!

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I’m grateful to have been able to lead our P2Missions team here among unreached people groups in Nashville. I’m grateful to have met those students and to have had the blessing of challenging them, praying over them and encouraging them in their walk with Christ. My cup overflows! Join me in praying for these students! Join me in praying for these leaders that will be pouring into themand discipling them. Join me in praying for those in the communities we visited who made a decision to follow Christ and also for those precious students that have given their life to Christ as well. They developed such a special bond this week, one that they’ve never felt before and my prayer is that they will continue to encourage one another and lift one another up in prayer.  The unity within ateam is such a beautiful bond that I’ve shared with so many mission teams in the past and I pray that they will cherish that as well.

I pray that you read this and that you are encouraged! If a good ol’ boy named Stump from a small town in Mississippi can share his testimony and if the Lord can use His story to invite a Hispanic lady in southeast Nashville to come into a relationship with a Holy God, what is your excuse? If you have the Holy Spirit inside of you, you have the power to do God’s work. You are called to missions and just as we learned this week, it all starts at home, exactly where you are and then to the ends of the earth.

To my friends from The Basileia Church, know that you are loved and are being lifted up in prayer! I’m the blessed one! And the song that I requested that you guys listen to is here for you. I love you all!

❤ C

View other pics from the week here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.847827959448.1073741826.63701437&type=1&l=6da2518426

A New Journey…

I write today with a heart so full of praise! I write today from my couch in my new apartment gazing out my window in amazement of all the mountains that the Lord has moved to provide my every need to be here to do His work.  I write today completely undeserving and completely humbled that the Lord would choose to place me here to do His work.

Two years ago, I had the privilege to be a part of the training of summer missionaries serving around the world with a missions sending organization, Nehemiah Teams.  During that training, I learned of a new team, P52, assembled that year that would spend their summer serving among unreached people groups living in Nashville, TN.  The team worked with churches in Nashville targeting internationals.  Hearing stories from the P52 team throughout and after the summer, I was truly astounded to hear the statistics and the stories of the many different countries represented in my home state; one of which that is truly near and dear to my heart – Nepal! The most recent statistics show that there are 180,000 Internationals, not including Hispanics with an additional 280,000 Hispanics, living in the Greater Nashville area.

Just to recap how I’ve gotten here, I’ll give an overview. After I graduated last May, I had prayed about what was next for me. I felt like seminary might be next for me and that New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary was the place for me and so I applied for countless jobs in New Orleans.  During that summer, after I continued to be turned down for job after job in New Orleans, I began to question if New Orleans really was the place for me and if seminary was really the next step.  Then the Lord provided me with my job at UML.  I signed a six month contract and knew that investing in students and in my co-workers was exactly where I was supposed to be for the next six months but after that, I hadn’t a clue where I’d go from there.

Six months went by very quickly and as my time there drew to a close, I began praying about where I should go from there but at that point, I had found peace that maybe NOBTS is not where I’m supposed to study and New Orleans is not the city for me at this season of my life.  Around that time, Micah had secured a great job at LifeWay Corporate Office in downtown Nashville and I felt like this was the time for me to maybe live in the same city as my boyfriend of over a year?  Maybe ?  Hearing stories of how Micah was connected with a church plant in Nashville targeting Internationals and how he was pouring into refugee families from Ethiopia and Sudan made my decision to begin applying for jobs in the Nashville area an easy one.

As I applied for jobs, I continued to get turned down yet the more I prayed about where I was to move next, the more sure I was that I was to move to Nashville, work whatever job the Lord provided for me, and spend my time there sharing my story and the redemption I have found in Christ with Internationals. I had been talking with my friend Becca and she was ready for us to live together once I found a job. My friend Erin was finishing up her internship with UTM BCM and we told her to just come on and join us!  May came along and I knew that I needed to go ahead and put in my two weeks notice at UML and start the moving process.  I didn’t have a job but I knew that it was time for me to move. Two days after putting in my notice, I got a call from Verizon and had two phone interviews for a sales rep job at the Franklin store.  The next week, they called me in for an interview in person. I felt really great about my interview and they mentioned that the next orientation date would be May 27th. Becca and I then began searching harder for an apartment and found the perfect place that is close to her job and close to the jobs where Erin and I had interviewed and they had a 3 bedroom available to move in on May 24th.

It all happened very quickly and while I still didn’t have the job yet, I knew that the Lord would provide me with the job He wanted for me, Verizon or not.  So I packed it up all.  Rented a U-Haul, packed up my things and made the move to Franklin. Once I got moved in, they called me in for yet another interview at Verizon.  (Yes, my 4th interview!!) It lasted all of 8 minutes with the District Manager.  3 days later, I got the call that I’d gotten the job but they waited too late making their decision and I would have to wait until the next orientation date-June 19th.  While at first I was like,”Hey! That gives me plenty of time to get settled in and to work on my tan!”, I started getting nervous! While I had enough money in savings to pay June’s rent, waiting til the 19th to start work was pushing it and I began getting worried.  Alas, I was reminded that the Lord has provided for me every step of the way and He is not going to stop now.

This week I met with the pastor of the church plant where Micah has been connected and listened to needs that the church has for some administrative help.  And just like that, the Lord provided me a way to make some money this month and then to work 10 hours a week for the church once I start working for some extra money. I’ll also be working alongside the Executive pastor of City Church of Woodbine in making strides at starting a campus ministry called “Friends of the Nations” on college campuses that targets Internationals. He is so faithful!! So very faithful!

So here I am. Two years after hearing of the need for workers to share the Gospel with Internationals and Refugee families in Nashville and here I am! The Lord has done miraculous things in my life and in bringing me here to invest in the lives of refugee families and internationals living in the Nashville area.  The faithfulness and sovereignty of the Lord was shown as my lease at my house and my contract at my job neared the end at the same time as my new roommates were ready to make the move. The Lord has provided me with two wonderful roommates who share in my heart for missions (specifically in Mexico and Maine). He has provided me with a full time job with wonderful benefits and a salary that will be beneficial in paying off student loans just days after making the move.  He has provided me with ministry opportunities to serve with a church plant as well as a campus ministry that targets families from unreached people groups. And just yesterday He directed my path and the paths of a Nepali family where I learned that they’re believers and I hope join them in sharing the Gospel with other Nepalis in their apartment complex.

He is faithful, He has prepared this place for me and I’m always astounded as I look out and see how I have been held in the palm of His hand every step of this scary journey. I’m loving my life here in Franklin and I look forward to all that the Lord has in store for this season of my life! 🙂

– C

A burdened heart…

There was a time in my life when I was completely ignorant to any needs around the world other than my own.  A time when I was much more consumed by the best ways I could better myself than ever thinking about how God wanted me to serve the world.  It was while I was in college that I met God head-on and he took a hold of my life and showed me exactly how selfish I’d been.  It was there that He began putting an emphasis on my heart to look beyond my dreams to see what it is that He wanted for me; I’d never before realized that the God of the Universe had a special plan for little ol’ me.

It’s funny because my life is so completely upside down and around different from back then that I don’t even recognize that girl nor do I remember what it felt like to not have this aching in my chest each time I find pictures of African women treking hours upon hours to get water for their family or any time my mind wanders back to that slum in Costa Rica where a precious little girl held my hand and pointed to the river telling me that it’s very dirty even though I knew and was sadly aware that that river is her only source of water.

Scipture tells us in Ezekiel 36:26&27 “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.  And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” Thats the only way I know how to explain what happened to me and how God changed my heart from one only concerned with myself to one completely broken and burdened for the needs around me.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t have days, weeks and months where my focus is on myself rather than how I can be moving towards meeting the needs of God’s people but there is definitely a change in me.  I’m happily hurting for people around the world so much that there are days like today when I’m unable to sit still and composed at my desk because I long so deeply to be somewhere else; somewhere among people that have never heard the name of Jesus Christ.

I’m not sure where my next step will be but I feel God moving and working preparing that for me.  A burdened heart lies deep within my chest and I know that God doesn’t give us a burden like this for no reason. It will be new and fun and challenging and I know that it will meet my heart’s desire to serve Him and by His Spirit, touch lives in the name of Christ.  And I can’t wait!  Your prayers are coveted and appreciated!

-C

Words from the Lord…

I absolutely love nothing more than reading God’s word or reading a Devotion that really pierces my heart.  This year, I’ve decided to read one book a month for 2013.  I’ve always struggled with finishing a book even though I love to read so this is a way that I can discipline myself to finish a book.  I always work better under a deadline.  My book for January is one that I’ve read half way about 3 times and I’m finally going to read it from cover to cover: “Breaking Free” by Beth Moore.  Knowing that would be the book I read first while seeking a new devotional book for 2013, I ran across Beth Moore’s “Breaking Free Day by Day”.  I decided to download a sample of it on my ipad.  Today’s devotion spot so perfectly to me and where I am right now.

“My body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water.”

Psalm 63:1

What do you usually do when you’re hungry or thirsty? You seek what will meet your need. If you ignore your physical needs long enough, not only will you be miserable; you will be ill.

You can easily recognize the signals your body gives for food and nourishment, but great wisdom lies in learning how to discern the signals your spiritual nature gives.  The most obvious symptom of a soul in need of God’s satisfaction is a sense of inner emptiness – the awareness of a “hollow place” somewhere deep inside – the inability to be satisfied. Let this longing drive you to your Savior.

In 2013, I have pledged my allegiance to the Lord in taking care of my body.  I’m learning a lot about why my body reacts in certain ways to the stress that I put on my body and how I can elliminate that stress. I’m also pushing myself to be in the best physical condition I can be to be a steward of my body and available to do any and all things that He calls me to do in the future.  While all of this focus on my physical preparedness for God’s service, “great wisdom lies in learning how to discern the signals your spiritual nature gives.”  I can’t just focus on preparing myself physical but I have to develop discernment to sense what I need spiritually even moreso.

I’m naturally an independent person.  While this has been beneficial for me in life in general, it is often a hindrance in my spirital life.  Whenever I have a problem, I first turn to myself and try to fix the problem on my own before turning to God. I so need discernment in how to feed my body the right spiritual foods in all occassions rather than just taking care of things on my own, which never works out!

More than anything, this devotion was such a reminder than while my body needs to be in better physical shape, my heart and soul needs satisfaction in Christ alone.  I can try and try to fill up my life with physical health, financial security, relationships and even ministry but nothing will bring me peace and satisfaction like being filled with the joy and peace that only comes from a intentional relationship with Jesus Christ.

I pray that while we all have New Years Resolutions of losing weight, eating better, reading more, being on time and countless others, all of those things are nothing with out Jesus.  He can empower you to do and be all of those things and more, but you have to step out of the way and let Him work.

For those that are interested, I am keeping a fitness blog tracking my progress over the year and it can be found at www.losingforhim.wordpress.com.

College Ministry: You don’t want no drama. No no no no drama…

While I haven’t posted a blog pertaining to sharing wisdom and encouragement during your college journey in quite some time, I have had a burden on my heart that I felt I should share.  As the front desk receptionist on a college campus, I hear everything about everybody!  This is a fairly small campus and so it seems that everybody knows everything about everybody and everybody feels the need to share everybody else’s business yet they find themselves upset when it’s their business that’s on display.  It’s really similar to a scene from a high school themed movie like “Mean Girls” or “10 Things I Hate about You”.

Anyone that knows me knows that I don’t do petty drama.  That’s why I have never felt an urgency to work with middle or high school ministries in church.  However, I love college students and I love working with and ministering to college students.  I feel like this is the most important time of your life and will be the most memorable time of your life as well.  With that being said, if you allow your time in college to be wrapped up in social situations that reflect much too closely to high school, your experience is going to memorable in the wrong way.  I’ve come up with a few tips for those students that want to avoid the drama but find themselves caught up in the middle of it.

1. I’ma do me, and you do you.

It’s as simple as this little phrase that people use who are usually the ones right in the middle of the drama.  If you can sleep at night knowing that you’re living your life with integrity, that’s all you need to worry about.  The only thing we can control in this life are our actions and reactions to life’s circumstances.  If you focus on living a life that you can be proud of, making choices that are a reflection of whatever belief system you value, that’s all you need to worry about.  Don’t worry about how others are living their lives and the choices that they’re making.  If you want out of the drama, take yourself out. You’re in college to get a good education and while friends and fun are all wrapped up in college life, keep your eyes on what you’re there for. Take yourself out of those social situations that are giving you a headache.

2. Stop running your mouth.

Gossip is the nastiest thing that can come out of your mouth.  It’s gross and it’s mean.  If it’s not your story to tell, keep it to yourself.  You can’t control what other people are saying but you can control what hearsay you’re spreading yourself and it can stop with you.  Think about it, if everyone would let the stories stop with them, you’d hear a lot less gossip.

3. Everyone has a story.

Everyone has a story, a reason for how they got here and how they have turned out to be the person that they are.  Sometimes it’s no excuse for how they’re acting but having compassion on people can go a long way.  You have no clue the life that someone has lived and why they make the choices that they’re making.  You have a story too and I’m sure your journey hasn’t always been a breeze so rather than harboring negative feelings towards someone that you really don’t even know, take a second and have a little compassion.

4. Take a deep breath…

It’s so easy when you’re frustrated to post a status/tweet/photo as a way of expressing that frustration but in reality, you’re just stirring up more drama.  Take a deep breath, examine the situation and evaluate your thoughts before you post anything that the world can see.  This can go as a golden rule of being an adult that even most adults haven’t learned.  It’s not worth the extra drama just because you feel like you have something to get off your chest.  If it’s that important, be a man/woman about it and confront that person privately.

5. Rules of Confrontation…

  •  I’m all about some healthy confrontation when there’s an issue.  Open and honest communication is a beautiful thing.  However, think about the person you’re confronting.  Think about the situation causing the conflict. Is it really worth it? Is it really going to accomplish anything? Is it just going to stir up more trouble?
  • If it is worth it to you then do it respectfully.  Have a respectful adult conversation about the situation and when it’s over, move on.
  • By moving on, that means truly forgiving that person and not talking about it anymore and never bringing it up again.

6. Forgiveness vs. the burden of holding a grudge…

This is probably one of the biggest causes of drama.  The inability to let things go and move on creates a grudge.  A grudge is like baggage.  Life’s journey has enough burdens on it’s own and harboring grudges is just excess baggage that you’re having to carry around.  Your back is going to get tired unless you learn how to forgive people, let go of that grudge and move onward on this journey.   This world is full of imperfect people and things are going to happen, people are going to make bad choices, and they are going to disappoint you.  That’s just life and you’ll live a fuller, happier life if you learn to let go of those things and not hold a grudge.

7. Look for the good.

This may sound cliche but think about it.  We’re all imperfect people and we’ve all done things we’re not proud of.  At the same time, we’ve all got some good in us, too. Instead of criticizing someone for their imperfections, look for the good in them and focus on that.  If you can’t find it then you probably don’t know them well enough to be criticizing them anyway so maybe start there.  Get to know people for who they really are, let go of your preconceived notions that stemmed from nasty gossip and focus on the good in people. You want people to see the good in you too but they won’t if they never see you practicing this in your own life.

8. Own up to your mistakes.

If you take a second and are honest with yourself, you’re most likely involved in the drama you’re in because you have put yourself in this position.  Sometimes no but usually, yes.  You said something about someone that you overheard from someone else but it got back to them that you started the rumor.  You didn’t say anything at all but you were hanging out with people while they were gossiping and so you’re associated with them and are now involved.  Maybe you really didn’t do anything at all but whether you think that you did anything wrong or not, humbling yourself and making an apology can go a long way. Own up to your mistakes, make it right with that person, and do your best to not get yourself in those situations again.

9. You know who is starting the drama…

Look around.  Who is the one person that is constantly in the middle of the drama?  There’s always those people that say they hate drama or they’re tired of it when, in reality, they’re the ones that are causing it and love to keep it going.  It’s not that hard to just not associate with them. Do your homework instead of hanging out in their dorm. Turn off your phone. Maybe get some extra sleep; college students get less rest than any other demographic with the exception of parents of a newborn. If enough people stop hanging out with those people, they’re going to get the hint and if they just won’t leave you alone, tell them the truth, with love.

10. Surround yourself with good friends…

I firmly believe that college is a time of your life where you have a choice between hanging out with people that are going to bring you down and investing in quality, encouraging friendships that will last your entire life.  Seek out those friends.  They’re out there, you just have to find them.  Maybe you’re getting wrapped up with the wrong people because you’re participating in less than wholesome activities.

I hope that you don’t need this blog but in the event that you do find yourself caught up in drama, my prayer is that you’ll be honest with yourself and reevaluate your life and the way you relate to people in terms of avoiding drama.  College is not supposed to be like this.  Take control of your college experience and make it the best of your life!

-C

One Year…

I completely forgot to post a One Year Anniversary post!! Since our Anniversary, September 16th, was on a Thursday and since I lead a bible study on campus on Thursday evenings and their BCM has worship, we decided to celebrate the Sunday before.  Micah surprised me by coming by my house before church when we usually just meet there.  We exchanged one gift and saved the rest for after church.  Incase you don’t know this about me, I’m a gift giver! Gifts is my love language and I hate that and really struggle with that because I feel like that’s a really superficial love language. Alas, that’s just who I am and I never really knew this about myself until I started dating Micah and noticed how much gifts really mean to me.

We exchanged gifts and went for sushi for lunch after church.  It was a wonderful day!!

I thought that was all the celebrating and I loved my gifts from Micah so much! And then Thursday rolled around.  He’d told me the night before to call him on Thursday morning and so I’d planned to call him on my way to work.  I figured he just wanted to tell me Happy Anniversary first thing that morning.  However, my phone being on vibrate I didn’t hear his several text messages that morning.  Right before I left when I grabbed my phone, I saw that he’d texted me and so I went ahead and called him.  He gave me instructions to walk to the living room.  My innitial thought was, “Micah Grooms if you are in my living room, I’m gonna cry!” He then instructed me to open the drawer to the sofa table in my living room.  Inside the drawer was a jewelry box.  Now ladies, you all know the thoughts that were racing through my mind!! 🙂 I opened the box and there was the most beautiful white gold and sapphire necklace! Gorgeous!! He didn’t even have to tell me why he chose sapphire! I knew it was September’s birthstone! I love it so much and I wear it almost every day!

Enjoy these pictures of our day!

Micah’s Graduation…

This week I had the best time taking pictures for Micah as he wraps up his final semester at Austin Peay! He graduates on December 14th and we can’t wait for him to be done! We still find it very interesting that the Lord would have the beginning of my Undergraduate College career be at the same place that Micah will finish his and yet some where in the middle, our paths crossed!

We used the pictures that we took for his graduation invitations! Here’s just a few of my favorites!

What a Journey!

I apologize for not keeping my personal blog as up to date over the course of my time working at U of M Lambuth!  It’s been great being here on campus and connecting with students.  They encourage me and the Lord reaffirms His leading me here every day.  Ministry has already had some highs and lows as any ministry starting from the ground up but I continue to remind myself and my students that the Lord never tells us this journey is going to be easy, He only says that He will remain faithful and therefore, we are going to remain faithful and serve Him no matter how bumpy the road gets.

I have a good group of solid students that understand why we’re here and have grasped my vision for this campus. Along with that, I have a large group of students that are interested in BCM but since they’ve never experienced a fully functioning BCM, they don’t quite understand how to manage their time in a way to commit to being at BCM functions.  Going out to dinner with friends seems a lot more interesting at the time than going to bible study even if you originally had intentions of being there.  It’s discouraging, yes, but I think it hits my students a little harder than it does me and so I just try my best to encourage them.

I’ve definitely seen my personal gifts being used on this campus.  Anyone that knows me already knows that I love to give encouraging cards to people.  I spend way too much time and money in the card section at Lifeway and Hobby Lobby picking out the perfect encouraging cards for these students but it has given me a way to connect with them.  When I tell them that I’m praying for them and then follow that a few days later with a card that fits their circumstances perfectly, they know that I truly mean it when I say I’m praying for them.  I want my students to know that I’m sincere and to know that I truly care about them and their growth in their relationship with Jesus Christ. I have this one student we’ll call J.  I haven’t had the chance to really get to know her like I have other students but she’s just been on my heart in a big way since I met her.  The way we met was a total God thing and such a testiment of His provision in my job here.  J stopped by my desk to get information about volunteering for this event on campus for her community service hours.  We just started talking about what all qualifies for their scholarship hours and she said,”Like if there was a campus ministry here on campus and we participated in their events, that counts towards campus involvement.”  Well that just opened a door for me to fill her in on our campus ministry here and invite her to our BCM ladies bible study! She wasn’t able to come the first week but on week two, she was there! And she brought her roommate!! I just happened to have an extra copy of the book in my bag for her roommate and I was so pumped to just have her there!  The thing that took me by surprise was how openly she discussed the book with us.  She was so vocal during bible study and it was great to get to know her better and to hear a little more of her story. She and her roommate had to leave a little early and I wasn’t able to really connect with her after and so I called her as I was leaving campus and just thanked her for bringing her roommate.  She told me how much they both loved it and that they would definitely be back!  I wrote her a card the next day just encouraging her in a few areas that she mentioned struggling in during our time together.  I gave it to her as she passed by my desk on her way to class.  When she came back down from class, she stood at my desk and said,”I just wanted to ask if I could give you a hug?”  She thanked me for the card and said that it meant so much to her to know that someone is praying for her and that she has someone here on campus that she could come talk to.  I don’t know exactly why she’s been on my heart but I look forward to getting to know her better and learning more ways that I can encourage her and invest in her life.

Like I said before, this journey is not always easy.  Actually, it’s hardly ever easy.  However, I’ve seen a direct dorreclation between my personal walk with Christ and my walk throughout my ministry here on this campus.  When I’m spending time growing on a personal level more and more in love with my Savior as He calls me to do, my eyes are opened to how He is moving in and all around me here on this campus.  Yet when I’m not spending that time with Him and I allow my selfishness to get in the way, I lose focus of why He has me here and how He is using me to spread His fame and to share His love on this campus.  It’s not that He stops moving or that my mission has changed, it’s that my selfishness and my sin blinds me from seeing Him at work.

Pray that I don’t lose sight of why I’m here.  It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking about the next step of my life that I forget to look around and appreciate that He has me right where I am for a specific reason and if I blink, I’ll miss it! Pray that my eyes remain focused on Christ and if so, my heart will continue to be broken for these students and this entire campus.  If you’d like to keep up more closely with the BCM here at U of M Lambuth, follow our blog at www.umlbcm.wordpress.com or our facebook page listed as University of Memphis Lambuth Campus BCM.  Thanks so much for your constant love and support for God’s working in my life!

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