Saturday, April 24, 2010

Are you a proud investor?

I have been able to invest myself in wonderful friendships and experiences; all of which I have learned so much from. I cannot remember a day that I have not spent with a friend. I cannot remember one Into Hymn rehearsal where I did not leave without my heart filled with the love of Christ. I cannot remember one day where I did not laugh! I cannot remember one day that I felt unloved.

Last night I had the chance to meet with a lovely friend of mine, Brett Baker. Being one of the finest bloggers I know (insert plug here: I realized how much I missed her: her voice, the way she talks, her silly idiosyncrasies. Evie, Brett, known lovingly as Butt, and I thoroughly enjoyed catching up over a nice home-brewed beer in Charlottesville and oodles of appetizers. It was wonderful to be able to catch up with two women I admire and care for (two among many!).

I feel like the past week and a half, it has finally hit me: I may never have these opportunities again. I am graduating in May: I may never take another JMU class. During the concert on April 17th, I kept praying for God to stretch the minutes just a little more so that I could savor each moment. I may never have the chance to sing with another group - but that's okay because I will remember that the ministry I have been involved in here at JMU, was one of the greatest things that could have ever happened to me. At dinner last night, I was hoping that time could just stand still and let me take everything in. Life goes by too fast, friends, and that kills me! But, I am so incredibly thankful for investing my time wisely in great people and great experiences.

If you haven't yet, you all need to invest yourselves. We are called to be a community of brothers and sisters and to love on each other. Why wait any longer? How can you invest yourselves, you ask? Oh... I will tell you:

First - Invest your time in seeking the Lord.
I do not know what your daily schedule is, but I am telling you right now - you have time to make with Him. If you are still shaking your head and saying, "No... Not really! You don't know me or my schedule!" Then I would respond to this effect... "Don't get sassy with me. :-) How much time a day do you spend on Facebook? Watching TV? Surfing the net?" There is time that can be made and spent wisely. When you find that time, enjoy it with the Lord. He has so much to say to you if you just shut up and listen.

Second - Invest your time in listening.
Not all the time are we supposed to be the ones talking. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to talk. It is one of my favorite things to do! But keep in mind, communication is a privilege and it works in this fashion: One sends information to another, and the other must receive it. Someone needs to be listening and it should be you. Did you know that 85% of what we know comes from JUST LISTENING? Or that 7 out of 10 minutes a day we are communicating with another human? Shocking stats, ya'll. Listening is not only vital to your life, but in the lives of yours family, friends, and peers.

Third - Invest yourself in friendships.
"Ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man's friend gives delight," (Proverbs 27:9). God desires that we build strong communities with each other. Friendships are not just about kids you eat lunch with - it is about sharing a part of yourself that only God knows. Open up to others, let them open up to you, and love on them with the love that God shows you. LOVE people unselfishly. This has become one of the greatest lessons I have learned this past semester.

Fourth - Invest yourself in new experiences.
Life is too short not to have fun and climb and mountain. Try to experience this world that God has created. Seek Him in all that you do because He wants you to experience Him in so many ways. Your relationship with the Lord comes from many things - not just prayer - but through people, experiences, and your personal time with Him.

If I never invested in these things, my college experience would how have turned out life this at all. My relationship with the Lord would not be where it is right now. My friendships would not be as strong as they are today. Invest today - whatever it takes. If that means that today is the day you dust off your Bible, then great. If that means that today is the day you call an old friend and catch up, do it. Do not wait around anymore - make this happen!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A basket can't hold all these thank you's!

Hello Friends,
Thank you to all of you who came to the Into Hymn concert this past weekend. What a phenomenal evening it was. I can easily say that April 17th, 2010 was the best evening of my college career. Pride, joy and love filled my heart as my sisters sung a surprise for the senior class and our love for each other and Christ illuminated the room. I cannot stop praising God for the awesome work He has done in HHS 2301 in the past 3 years.

One of the most amazing responses I have been able to see in the past 24 hours are those of people I have never met who decided to come to the concert. A handful of people have talked to me about how moved they were by the Lord and our worship. God is so good! Believers can pray all they want about helping to "save" and reach out to others, about proclaiming the Word of God at the top of their lungs - but at the end of the day, God does all the saving. We are just vessels - we roll with it because God wants us to be in a certain place at a certain time, right? He places hope in our hearts and again, we roll with it and share Him with others, and it is the Lord who does all the saving! He placed in each person's heart a message and a call to attend our concert and His message was shared through our songs, words, and visible love for each other.

I am SO proud to be a vessel.

This ministry, Into Hymn, has been one of the most amazing ministry experiences I have ever had the chance to participate in. My words cannot describe...

Alum, family and friends: thank you for being there! Thank you for wanting to come, hear and see all that we do for Christ. It is so cool to be able to share it all with you and I am so proud to call you all my friends! YOU ROCK. I am thankful that you all shared our tears and joy as we sang and worshiped. What an amazing feeling it was to worship with everyone in that room on Saturday night.

My mind is racing because I am so overjoyed I cannot even think straight. That might need to change soon considering I have an 8AM class in 20 minutes.

Until next time...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Psalm 63:3-5

Sometimes I just have to sit back, shut up, and enjoy the moment I am in right now. God is SO good to me and I just want to acknowledge Him right now and shout out - THANK YOU!

I have been so encouraged and inspired by so many wonderful people this past week. A few weeks ago I was faced with a huge challenge. Several difficult conversations and emotional waves later, I have found that God's embrace has been so much more than I could imagine: His love is so overwhelming. I have enjoyed tears rolling down my cheeks at the thought of how much His love is shown for me each day.

For all my friends out there who are facing challenges: welcome them. Welcome them with open arms because I tell you...

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let the patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. -James 1:2-4

I have been made so complete by God's comfort - and you all are included in that.

If there is one important last thing I could say to you all tonight it is this... Invest yourself. Invest yourself in the beautiful things that matter like loving your friends. I am not talking about just giving them a hug, telling them they look good; those things are great and sure, important... but love on them. Actively listen to them; embrace them when they need it, and stay in touch with their everyday lives. That's what friends do - they love without question. I have been so fortunate to witness that during the past two weeks among my friends.

- - Into Hymn... just you wait for the tenerd. This will probably be the main topic of my senior-last-words-moment-thing. NBD - -

My heart is so full and what a glorious feeling that is.

Your thankful friend,

"Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You..."

Sunday, April 11, 2010


This past year, 2010 that is, I have learned so much about what it means to give yourself completely as a living sacrifice. It is amazing to see how God uses us in our everyday lives and how He uses our weakness and transforms them into strengths.

If you knew me a few years back... you couldn't get me to run a mile without breaking down after 15 minutes in a heavy sweat, breathing heavily. Now, with a little help, encouragement, and motivation, I am running miles upon miles, biking like crazy, and swimming as if I have been swimming for years. Let's just say... Courtney Hixson, my beloved friend and triathalon coach, is a slave driver whom I am so thankful for!

Training for a triathalon is difficult for several reasons one major one being this: you cannot listen to any music. It is a safety hazard, as a matter of fact, to listen to your ipod during any segment of the race. So, Courtney has ordered me to train without music. My first thought is, "Are you kidding? How can I run without jamming to 'Let God Arise' by Chris Tomlin!?" (Call me a dork... I don't care!) But the point is, I had no idea what I would do without music. When you listen to your jams while working out, you can focus on the lyrics, or get into a certain rhythm and groove. But no... all of that had to change.

After several work out sessions of quiet, I decided to drop my "woe is me" attitude about my loss of music and invest that time wisely. As I started thumping me feet against the track floor on the upper level of UREC, I began to pray. I cannot tell you how many conversations I have a week about this, but I am always asked to pray for someone or something - and I am thankful for that. Being entrusted with prayer is a big deal and sometimes it is hard to keep them all in line. I decided that day that my time working out would be best spent in prayer. Soon, I realized that the track began to disappear. My own troubles took the back seat. My own worries and hesitations were figures of the past. I became solely focused on the Lord and acknowledging His presence beside me through the run, or swim, or bike ride.

I have never experienced such beautiful worship. When I sing, yes, that is indeed beautiful - I am able to share a part of myself that is unlike anything anyone else can share. My voice is mine and when shared sends a message to others. But when I push my body in worship, I recognized that God has created this body for so much more than I can imagine. At a point where I would usually give up - doesn't seem to matter anymore... I just keep going. The other day I ran for a solid hour. Don't know where the time went... but I thought I had only been gone for about 20 minutes. Just know, friends and family, that you are being prayed for all the time!

Find time and make time to worship the Lord in a different way. Let yourself be stretched; challenge yourself - push yourself. As my dear friend once told me, remind yourself that you were fearfully and wonderfully made for this. Offer your very best to God... isn't that was worship is about? Giving your best to the Lord?


"Over time I realized that when we love God, we naturally run to Him - frequently and zealously." -Francis Chan, Crazy Love

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Hello friends,
I guess this my first official cliché blog welcoming everyone to my new blog site!'s fine. The reason I wanted to call it Evergreen is, like the definition, in every season, we will each bear new fruit. Every season, whether it be every month, maybe every year, we see and learn new wonderful things; things that I would like to share with you all.

Thank you, first off, for being such wonderful supportive friends and family. I am truly looking forward to this new season of my life post-graduation. Until then, I am trying so hard to invest in each day that I have left here at JMU. It seems like only yesterday I was a psyched transfer student here - thanking God everyday for having the chance to be a student at the university of my dreams.

This past week has been a little sad, stressful and joyous all at the same time. Senioritus should really be considered a true illness; one composed of symptoms like stress, loss of sleep, slight depression, lack of investment in academic areas and more so in the study of "quadtastic sunny days." I want to soak up every minute here and enjoy each person and moment as much as possible.

I will be keeping you all posted on my soon-to-be endeavors like... my super awesome trip to Puerto Rico in May, my summer job (hopefully) at my home church, and the Fellows Program in falls church where I will be working full-time with their youth program! Dreams are coming true, kids... I cannot wait!

Love from me to you,