Sunday, January 27, 2013

Eight Years


My life radically changed eight years ago.

I'm one of those type-A, structured people who makes plans. I love to put things on a list and check them off. In January of 2005, I was a Junior in college. I was planning on graduating early and moving to Nashville to pursue a career in the music industry. Before I go into the story, let me back up a little bit...

In the fall of 2004, I started teaching a small group of 8th grade girls, and little did I know how much that role would change my life. I was terrified of teaching... of being inadequate, of not knowing enough, and basically terrified of a group of 8th grade girls. Looking back on that year, I learned way more from them than I actually taught them.

Now back to January 2005... I was sitting in a student ministry leader meeting on a Sunday night, and the Lord spoke so clearly to me that night that he was calling me into full-time ministry. There haven't been many occasions in my life that the Lord has spoken so clearly like he did that night. The Lord used a variety of ways to confirm this call, but no one was more surprised than me. Over the next few weeks, I sat down with as many people as I could to ask about their call to ministry. It was incredible to see how the Lord worked in such different ways in each of our lives. I'm so grateful that I was surrounded by friends and family who helped me walk through this process.

with Christie, Courtney, Melody and Jackie
The last eight years have been such an incredible journey. I can't think of any part of it that I would change. It hasn't always been easy (in fact, there's a lot of it that has been downright hard), but the Lord's faithfulness is woven throughout every single day. I moved from Colleyville to Austin to New Orleans to Birmingham -- then back to New Orleans and now to Nashville. Most of my experience has been serving students, but I'm loving this new chapter serving women in ministry.


March 1, 2006 - my baptism
I'm so thankful for the people that I've served alongside, for the students and adults that I've had the opportunity to know, and for the open and closed doors that the Lord has placed before me. I'm incredibly thankful for the men and women who have invested in me, discipled me, and encouraged me in my walk with Christ. There are still so many moments when I feel inadequate or unprepared for what I'm doing. All I know to do is to put one foot in front of the other and walk out my calling in obedience.

with Rob and the Smith family (Michael, Kim & Hannah)
Looking back on the last eight years, they are full of spiritual markers. This morning, my pastor talked about the memorial stones that the Israelites set up in Joshua 4. As I look back, I'm so thankful for the memorial stones that are in place in my life. I've been challenged, learned lessons I'll never forget, and these are all markers of the Lord's faithfulness. I'm so glad that my plans didn't work out. He is so much better than he has to be. I'm excited to see what the next eight years have in store. 

This is one of my favorite passages...
"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified."
(Isaiah 61:1-3)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Follow-Through


I'm not a big fan of making resolutions or setting goals, mainly because I have terrible follow-through. Ha!

I've decided that I've got to get over the fact that I haven't been great at follow-through in the past and make some changes. It takes a lot of self-discipline (which I am often lacking) and more than just saying it's something I want to do. Back in December, I went to the 5 Club that Jon Acuff hosted here in Franklin. We talked about goals and named some of the things that hold us back. I came up with a laundry list of things that have kept me from reaching my goals and decided to make some changes. I spent a lot of time last year realizing the lies that I've been believing for so long and found truths to put up against them. I finally feel like I'm starting to recognize those lies more easily and hang on to the truth without abandon. In the middle of that process, I lost 35 pounds that I've been hanging onto, and made some other really good changes.

After starting my new job, I got caught up in the busyness of moving, finding a new church, making friends, establishing myself, learning my job, and everything else that goes along with that. I'm back on track and have set some goals that feel reachable. Here are a few of the things I'm working on:

Read at least 2 books a month (These are my January books)
  • Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian
  • Undaunted by Christine Caine
  • The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas
Run a 5K
  • Registered for the Color Run in Nashville on March 30 (with my small group from church)
  • Registered for the WillPower 5K to support our friends the NeSmiths in Franklin on April 6 (with my sweet friend Amanda!)
Memorize 2 passages of Scripture a month
  • Luke 1:45 (done!)
  • 1 Peter 3:4-5 (working on it)
Those are just a few ways, but I'm thankful for the friends that are holding me accountable and reminding me of the truth. I just keep having to tell myself that it's one day at a time. I can't get to my goal of losing 100 pounds by the end of this week, but the effort that I make today is going to make a long-term impact. I'm praying that this is a year of following through. I'm excited about how I can see God at work in the midst of all of this, and I'm thankful that you're along for the journey.

I tweeted out a question today and would love your input! What are some of your favorite workout/running songs? I'm working on a new playlist to get ready for my 5K runs!