A theif 

A theif 

A read a blog post recently about women and why we are ultimately afraid of building relationships with other women and one of the main reasons being

comparison.

And I feel like we live in a constant state of comparison, or at least I know I sure do. Whether it’s trying to make our lives seem more interesting with the edited pictures we post on Instagram or the constant refreshing of Twitter to see if someone posted something or are they doing something that we aren’t. We are continually comparing our lives to others and this is doing nothing but tearing each other down. Not building each other up like we are called to do(1 Thessalonians 5:11).

I do believe social media can be used to build others up and encourage them and while I try not to post things that will lead to others comparing themselves I know it happens. And I know that the photo that my friend posted showing what cool things she did for the day wasn’t meant to make me feel like less because I didn’t do a single thing today, but it did.

So my challenge for you is what is social media doing in your life? Is it building you up and encouraging you or do you use it as a comparison? Comparing your life with others? As Theodore Roosevelt once said,

“Comparison is a thief of joy”

So don’t let comparison steal your joy.

For now, the bads of social media are far out weighing the goods so I’m going to be taking a break. This past summer not having a phone and disconnecting from social media was one of the best things and so I’m going to disconnect for awhile. See ya later social media apps!

This summer I built relationships with the ladies I worked with because of who they are and because of a genuine desire to know them and not because of what they posted on Facebook or Instagram. I want to know more about people than just what they twitter or post. And not compare my life to theirs but to encourage and build one another up and talk about life and current stuggles

My prayer during this time is that instead of constantly refreshing my social media and looking for joys and fulfillment in how many likes or favorites I got, that I would spend that time focusing on building relationships with those around me and strengthening my relationship with out Heavenly Father. So here’s to more journaling, finishing all those books I started and never completed, spending time with friends, and digging into The Word. I want to live with the joy that I experienced this summer. The joy that truly comes from Christ and freedom in Him and not live in constant comparison of my life to others.

// Would you come and tear down the boxes that I have tried to put You in. Let love come teach me who You are again. Take me back to the place where my heart was only about You and all I wanted was just to be with You. Come and do whatever You want to // Bethel Music 


**I wrote this about 2 weeks ago but because of some prior commitments that needed social media it has been delayed. I may on occasion pop back in because of the need to post for for church or work but the apps are being deleted for now.

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It’s Something Beautiful

It’s Something Beautiful
Community // a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
Community is a beautiful thing. 
Community is living along side people and doing life with them. They encourage you, pray for you, worship the Lord together, challenge you, do life with you, build you up, point out your wrongs in love, make fun of you while you jam out to your favorite songs(you know who you are!) and you flat-out just have fun with each other!
One thing that was missing in my life for the two years I stayed at home was true community. Not that I didn’t have friends but there was no true community. Mostly because there weren’t many like-minded people who were my age still living at home.
One thing I was most excited about moving to Florence was The Well, a well-known college ministry of Highland Baptist Church. I can remember walking in for my first service and being greeted by so many smiling faces that were so glad to be there and happy to be serving. We had tribes that took place after the service were we would discuss life and also deeper discuss what Allen spoke about that evening.
I can remember after one service Allen was making announcements and said that if you were wanting to get involved and serve to come find him after the service. I had been wanting to get more involved and I knew this was my next step.
This was now my community. Through the leadership team I’ve gained some of my greatest friends here. They live life with me and encourage me in my walk with the Lord. They pray for me and sharpen me. These are my people.¬†They are my community.¬†
Another place where I’ve experienced true community was this summer. It’s one of the many reasons that Mount Berry will forever hold a special place in my heart.
The amazing ladies in my tribe(Chips for life), my roommates(all 8 of them), my staff training roomies, the program staff, my camp famjam, and all the other amazing ladies I was able to get to know this summer showed me true community. When you live and work beside each other for 10 weeks during the summer with little technology you are able to be fully present in conversations and to get to truly know them because you are all each other has.
They greet you in Chow Hall with a warm good morning, or they introduce you to all the new campers when you come in to take pictures at the skill they are teaching, they encourage you in your work, they pray for you, they sit down with you and want to know how your day is going, they pick you up when the days are longs and rough and they still love you when you get snappy because of little sleep. I don’t know any other place that you can come to on the first day of staff training and not know a single soul and end up living with life-long friends.
There hasn’t been a day since I’ve left that I haven’t talked to at least one person from camp. They text you to let you know they are praying for you, they had you on their mind, they remembered some crazy story from camp, or just to let you know they miss you! These are my people.¬†They are my community. ¬†
Community is a beautiful thing and it a blessing to be able to come to your community and to share your struggles and passions with them and for them to encourage and pray for you.
Thank you to those who do life with me. Whether it’s here in at college or maybe 300 miles away, you all mean the world to me and I’m forever thankful for you.

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“Church is not something you go to. It’s a family you belong to.”

The Extraordinary

Post camp blues is a real thing and somehow I think I’m still suffering from it. Or maybe it just came back after this weekend.

While this weekend was filled with awesome training to prep us for recruiting others to work camp and catching up and having real life and life giving conversations with those you missed, going back home can be sad and not as fun. But as much as I want to just be sad and throw myself a pity party when the day is rough or until it‚Äôs time to see camp friends again I was reminded of this…

Obedience in the ordinary unlocks the extraordinary.

Kelly Chadwick, also known by Mount Berry girls as K.Chad(haha not sure if this has caught on yet), shared those words with us on Sunday morning.

She talked about in Luke 5 when Jesus called His first disciples. Jesus came to Simon Peter early in the morning when they had been out all night fishing and in verse 4 He said, ‚ÄúPut out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch‚ÄĚ. I don‚Äôt know about you but if I had been out all night fishing and had caught nothing and already cleaned my nets, I would not be happy about going back out. But Simon Peter answered in verse 5 and said ‚ÄúBut because you say so, I will let down the nets‚ÄĚ. Because God says so. Wow. In verse 6, the nets were overflowing with fish. Because Peter changed his answer to one of obedience, God unlocked the extraordinary. This set the stage for Peter to leave and follow the Lord.

How often do I miss out on the extraordinary because of disobedience?

God calls us to be obedient in the everyday life which will unlock the extraordinary.

While camp is so fun and we have a blast and get to learn more about God and His promises through the Word and life giving relationships we also have to establish those relationships in our everyday life. We also have to be obedient to the Lord and say yes in the ordinary life. Because when we do the ordinary becomes extraordinary.

Late Night Thoughts

Wow. This just hit me like a ton of bricks. While I should be studying for my test(sorry mom and dad!) I‚Äôm so excited for this weekend and I‚Äôm filling out my Summer Staff 2016 application. One of the questions is “What was the most rewarding aspect of serving with WinShape Camps?‚ÄĚ. I‚Äôm not sure if I have fully processed that question till now as I was typing out my response.

The most rewarding aspect of serving with WinShape Camps this summer was being able to not only photograph the girls but to also get to know them and build relationships with them and to know that the photos I took where not only for the parents to view during the two weeks the girls where there but that those girls would go home and look back through those pictures and tell their friends about their experiences and maybe share about how they accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior during that week. I know that I will probably never know half the effect that the pictures had but I know that they are telling so many more stories than I could ever tell.

I can specifically remember the picture(below) I took when sweet SG, was praying with Mary Frank and she asked Jesus into her heart. What a moment y’all. And to know that she was able to share with her parents and friends that at that moment she asked God to come in to heart and that she wants to live all her days serving Him and telling other about Him.

 

My prayer for the summer was that the pictures I took would not just be pictures but that they continue to touch the lives of others because people shared their camp experiences and what God in their lives through the those pictures.

And that still is my prayer.  

I sometimes forget that I took pictures of like every moment of camp. And sometimes I think that my jobs wasn’t that big of a deal but God keeps reminding me that He is doing a great work through my work this summer and that He is going to ultimately receive all the glory for is. And because of that I am grateful for a piece of equipment that we call a camera and for the gifts He has blessed me with and that I got to spend a whole summer doing what I love, photographing people.

So to finish all this up. If photography is your things, or horse are your things, or being a camp counselor is your things, and God has blessed you with the ability to do those things. Pray about using your gifts to glorify Him and further His Kingdom and apply for WinShape Camps to. Whereisthere.org.

 

A Summer Of A Lifetime

A Summer Of A Lifetime

God has been so faithful in this sweet season of life and as KT told us at our final staff worship, “there is something that is so powerful when we remember all that God has done”, so I thought I would share and remember a little bit of what God did this summer.

As I entered into the summer I knew absolutely no one that I would be spending the summer with…

But I think that was the point. 

He wanted to stretch me and grow me and to do that He moved me to a place of unknowns but it was all known by Him.

Let’s be honest as I drove down stretch road while crazy people waved noodles and cheered at me, I was scared out of mind and wasn’t quite sure about what I was getting myself into. But as I drove those 3 miles I prayed that the Lord would calm my nerves and uses the next few months to grow me. I was ready for the summer of a lifetime!

This summer I was welcomed in to the mighty Chippewa tribe, lived with 5 wonderful women that loved me, my hangers, and my loud mouth more than I could’ve ever expected, worked alongside some of the most amazing, Christ like women on program staff, made some lifelong friends, and got to love on some precious campers.

I didn’t really have any expectations of what this summer was going to look like because all I honestly knew was that I was the junior camp photographer and that I would be working at Mount Berry and our theme was Hope and that was about it. And I think that was one of the best things about this whole thing. I didn’t have any expectations of what camp was about, but I knew and was praying that the Lord would work in great ways. And that He did!!

Our theme verse for the summer was 2 Corinthians 4:18,

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”. 

The Lord used this summer to show me what it’s like to fully put my trust in Him. There was so so much that was unseen to me about what all this summer held in store, but it was all seen and known by Him.

HOPE SEES. 

The Lord also used this summer to teach me that He didn’t bring me this far to just leave me. He knows my future and He has so much more in store for me then I could ever dream of imagine. Philippians 1:6 says, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”. Christ has started a good work in each and everyone of us and He is going to carry it on until He returns to bring us home with Him. We are not complete, we are not finished. But may we strive everyday to live more and more like Him.

I’m beyond thankful that I was placed at Mount Berry this summer working for Winshape Camps. Thank you to those of you who prayed for me and for those who wrote me letters. Thank you Chickfila Corporate for the opportunity to work camp this summer and to be able to continually pour into the campers because we were continually poured into as staff. This truly was a Summer of a Lifetime.

Defined By Christ…#SheSharesTruth

My favorite Bible Study is from She Reads Truth. This is such an awesome¬†community of women who have¬†the desire to¬†study God’s word and learn and grow. I used to hop around to¬†different devotionals but I’ve been using this one for¬†about a year and I can¬†honestly say I have learned so¬†much! So thankful for this community of ladies! ūüôā¬†

 
Every Friday they have something call #SheSharesTruth and I have never¬†participated in way of a blog but there’s always time to start something new. They give us like a¬†challenge and we just share what is¬†on our heart and then get to link up with others that are¬†studying the same thing. So awesome!!¬†
 
We are currently studying Ruth and this little book is packed with so much goodness!! I am loving it. 
“Naomi could not see past her circumstances. The hand was dealt, the credits were rolling. Naomi believed with her head that her God was sovereign, but she was too soul-weary to believe with her heart. And so she calls it. Game over. Name changed‚Ķ ¬†She couldn‚Äôt imagine the bitterness becoming beauty, but her sovereign God could‚Ķ.”¬†Hallelujah.¬†
 

Naomi changes her name to Mara, which means “bitter”, because she let her circumstances¬†define her instead of God.¬†

 

Naomi named herself Bitter, but God names her‚ÄĒand us!‚ÄĒBlessed.

 

He names us Forgiven.

He names us Beloved.

He names us Redeemed.

 
Today we too often let ourselves be named by our¬†circumstance or by those titles we are given(student, sister, daughter, co-worker, friend), but those¬†shouldn’t define us. We are defined by Christ.¬†
 

“We are not named by our circumstances. We are named by our good God.”….and that’s all that matters!¬†
So today, don’t let your circumstances define you. Find your purpose in Christ! Because even when our circumstances may change, our God does not!¬†
 
Those names He has defined us¬†by; blessed, beloved, forgiven, redeemed,…those never change because He doesn’t¬†change.¬†
 

I Left My Heart In Haiti…

I’m pretty sure that Saturday afternoon that we packed up at New Life and hopped on a plane to ATL that I left part of my heart in Haiti…

 

¬†I have been on an overseas mission trip before to Jamaica but it was right after my grandfather passed away and I ended up getting an eye infection that week…and it was mostly a blur. And it wasn’t like this. This trip God was working in me and through me.¬†
 
I let myself fall in love with the country and the people of Haiti…
And I left a piece of my heart there that day. 
Even though I might not have been able to speak but few Haitian-Creole words, it was like it didn’t even matter. They loved me them same and I them.¬†
 
Like Christ may our love know no bounds. 
 
My prayer is to be able to return one day and to be able to hug those precious Haitian children again. To love on them with the love that Christ has so graciously been shown to me. That ultimately they would come to know His love and to know that it is enough.
 
“Your strength in my weakness, Your word lights my darkness,¬†Your peace everlasting.¬†Singing holy, holy is our God…Oh the love of Jesus¬†is enough for me” Elevation Worship.