Sunday, July 31, 2011

1 week til Redeemed Girl Institute!

I cannot contain my excitement for Destin & the Redeemed Girl Institute! But it's also my last week in Houston, which I have mixed feelings about. On one hand I'm SO excited to be back in Columbia with my family & best friends, but on the other, I'm definitely going to miss the friends I've made here. Everyone has been beyond welcoming. Getting to know these women has been absolutely wonderful. They all love Jesus so much and have so much wisdom and compassion. They have each been a blessing to me. 

I haven't really been able to post a lot, because I've had so many thoughts that I can't seem to put them into a coherent blog. I think I'm going to have a lot of processing to do when I get home, so I can really think about everything that I've learned. I don't know when I'm going to have time to process though. I literally have one day to spend with family, one day to move into AXO and then rush starts & school starts. It's going to be hectic but I can't wait to get back into the swing of things. I'm looking forward to starting Bible study with my sisters again. I can't wait to see how the Lord moves and changes hearts. B-stud is always the highlight of my week, I love love love those girls! 

Speaking of girls, please be praying for the 28 girls that will be joining us at the Institute on August 7th. We're going to have 2 morning sessions where Marian and other women will teach, then a lunch break with a small group time to discuss questions. After lunch we're going to have beach time! And then we'll get together for dinner, another session, and worship! We also have activities planned for the nights so hopefully we'll have enough energy for it all. It's going to be so much fun! Please pray that the girls' hearts would catch fire for Jesus and that they would go back to campus radiant Christ's love. 

Isaiah 61
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
   because the Lord has anointed me
   to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
   to proclaim freedom for the captives
   and release from darkness for the prisoners,
 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor
   and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
  and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
   instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
   instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
   instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
   a planting of the LORD
   for the display of his splendor. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Houston update!

I only have three weeks left in Houston?! How did that happen? And then one week in Destin at the Redeemed Girl Institute! Summer always goes by way too quickly... but I absolutely cannot contain my excitement for Destin. It's going to be so much fun and I know that God is going to move in a powerful way. Please join us in praying for the young women who will be attending the RG Institute... that they would have teachable hearts, that they would fall deeply in love with Jesus, and that they would grow into oaks of righteousness for the display of His splendor! Isaiah 61 is our vision!

On another note, this weekend was a ton of fun! The interns, myself, and some Underground friends went to watch the Houston Astros' play ball and then we saw the David Crowder Band afterwards! In the words of my dear friend Mallory, "I'm not that interested in baseball, but I'm definitely interested in baseball players" haha. I second her on that! The Astros won and David Crowder was awesome, so we had a lot of fun. I also went to the outlets today and found some major steals... 2 shorts, 2 tanks, 1 shirt, 1 headband, & a scarf for only $50 (Thanks for the check, Mimi!)... bargain shopping at its finest! 

Tomorrow night is our first Zumba workout & Bible study combo, hosted by the lovely ladies of Underground...  I'm extremely uncoordinated, so it should be interesting. I'm also spending the night at Kelsey Thomas' house for a few days while Marian & Rebecca are out of town. The Thomas family is adorable so I'm looking forward to spending time with them. 

Well... I guess that's all for now. Let me know how I can be praying for you!

PS.... I just want to say how incredibly grateful I am to the Lord for healing my back! And my shoulder! If you didn't know I tore my labrum falling off my dock, but God is so faithful and my shoulder is almost back to normal. My back continues to feel better and I'm getting stronger and more flexible. I absolutely can't wait to get back to working out and feeling good. I'm so thankful for being able to sit without being in pain. It's amazing what being pain free feels like. It literally brings tears to my eyes. Thank You, Jesus.  :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Faith is Not a Feeling...

My apologies for neglecting this blog. I can't believe my last entry was "Hello Houston" and now I've already been here for over three weeks! Crazy!  I definitely underestimated how busy I would be. I’ve been really homesick this past week. I guess three weeks is my maximum to go without seeing my family and friends. Plus winning a back-to-back National Championship title in baseball had my heart aching to be in Columbia! Don’t get me wrong, my internship is great. I sincerely look forward to going to the office each day and working with the other interns. Let me see if I can give you a quick update.... I'm almost finished putting together & editing the resources for "A Sorority Girl's Guide to Living for Jesus" book (the title is still up in the air, suggestions are welcome!) Next week I'll begin to focus on compiling the database of addresses of sorority chapter's nationwide. Not the most fun task in the world, but someones gotta do it. 

This past weekend I took a road trip to College Station, home of Texas A&M, which is where my mom went for 3 years of college. I went to visit my cousin KT who I haven't seen in over 3 years! She's only a year younger than me, so we get a long great. I'm basically a completely different person (thanks to Jesus) than I was when she last came to visit my Senior year of high school. It was great sharing with her what God has been doing in my life and hearing about what's going on in hers. It was a relaxing weekend... finally got to work on my tan! Monday, I went to Mallory's (another intern) house for 4th of July festivities. I seriously love the 4th, its so much fun! Country music, good food, great friends, enjoying the summer sunshine, celebrating AMERICA! yay! It's the best. I was homesick though... I can't remember a 4th of July when I wasn't on Lake Murray with my friends and fam, but I still had a great time with new friends.

I'm learning a lot. I'm learning that ministry is hard. I knew that already, but now I'm learning the daily reality of making a choice to give Jesus 100% even when you don't feel like doing something. That is the main thing I'm learning: that faith is not a feeling. Funny how God works...the bible study I taught all last semester was called "Faith is Not a Feeling", a book by Ney Bailey. I guess He was teaching it to me all last semester in order to prepare me for this summer. I've said it to other people a million times, but I can't seem to get it through my own head... "Faith is not a feeling!". Faith is taking God at His word.  We can't depend on our feelings. 

 I know that I love Jesus deeply, and that my heart's desire is to serve Him with my life... but I don't feel like that every day. The "butterflies" of a new love are much less common recently. I'm a very emotionally based person... I cry when I'm happy, mad, sad, or whatever. When I hear about someone else's struggles, I feel for them deeply. You get the picture. However, I've come to realize that feelings do not dictate my love for God. To be honest, I want the butterflies back. I want the first love feelings forever because they're warm and fuzzy, and who doesn't like warm and fuzzy? But that's not how it works in any relationship. Relationships built on feelings are shallow and fade fast. I'm learning a new kind of love for Jesus. A love that requires a lot of trust. Trusting that He is growing my faith and deepening our relationship even though I don't have butterflies. It's good, this new level of faith. 

If you'd like to pray for me, I would really appreciate prayers against homesickness. I don't want to miss out on everything that God has for me here because I'm too preoccupied with missing home. It's been distracting me a lot in the last few days. I really want to enjoy my time here and the opportunities that God has blessed me with! Thanks! Let me know how I can be praying for you :)