Tuesday, November 23, 2010


This is one of my all-time favorite songs; it's one that gives me chills every time I hear/sing it. I love how it was sung spontaneously by a flash mob in the middle of a shopping mall food court :) Enjoy!


Monday, November 22, 2010

The Coveted 4-Letter Word: PASS

Praise Jesus for His faithfulness and provision of a passing grade! I have been in study mode for the past few weeks in an effort to prepare for another CPCU exam. It has really been difficult for me to stay focused...which is somewhat of an oddity if you knew me in college. It seemed as though "focused" was my middle name- it was a bit obsessive, I have to admit. In college, anything lower than an A was unacceptable to me...and now, I just look for that coveted 4-letter word: PASS. Haha- funny how the Lord rearranges our priorities and helps us focus on things that actually matter :) Anyway, the Lord helped me plow through my prep materials and graciously helped me pass my exam this morning! I am so thankful to have the exam behind me and am looking forward to taking a break from studying for awhile...at least for the rest of 2010!

Of course, every passed exam should be celebrated with a victory cupcake. It's like an unwritten rule :)


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

That Good Old Baylor Line

This weekend I headed down to Waco with a group of sweet friends to visit my alma mater. It has been awhile since I have been back to Baylor, and it was fun to go to a football game. While the 2nd half is not something I like to talk about, it was still fun to be at the game and support our bears!

Every time I am back on the Baylor campus, I can't help but reminisce the time I had there. I am always overwhelmed by what an incredible blessing it was for me to attend such an amazing university. I am so grateful for the time the Lord gave me at Baylor, and I can't help but just smile as I think back on that sweet time. I was given such an amazing opportunity to study there, and I praise God for the experiences He allowed me to have. We may not win many football games, but I will always be proud of my bears!

Sic 'em Bears!

Sweet friends- Courtney, Laura, Dara

Go Bears!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Prayers for Nica

Many of you know that this past June, I went on a mission trip to Nicaragua. I think about that trip often and find myself missing Nica- I feel so blessed to have been able to partner with One by One and House of Hope. I was there for only a week, but the trip changed me in so many ways; Nica will forever be on my heart. I keep pictures from the trip around my apartment and at work, so that I am constantly reminded of the things God taught me while I was there and to keep Nica in my prayers. I do my best to keep up with the ongoing ministries- through newsletters, blogs, and emails, and even through my friend Laura who went back to Nicaragua with the women's ministry this past October and will be going back again in December.

I wanted to share some of the current things that are going on with the varying ministries, and I would like to ask that you join me in prayer over the work that God is doing in Nica and over the urgent needs that have come up:

Chase and Julie
They are moving into a new apartment soon, so please pray that the process is enjoyable and not too complicated or draining. Also, please pray that God would give them wisdom in some difficult situations they have faced recently. They experience both great encouragements and discouragements in ministry, so pray that God is their refuge and strength, their joy and peace.

The Refuge Project
The newest ministry for One by One is the Refuge Project, a ministry to rescue children from abuse and slavery. The Lord has provided an incredible opportunity for them to buy the house directly next door to their current church building to use as the home for the Refuge Project. In order to do so, they need to raise $30,000 by January. Please pray that God provides in abundance for this project and that they would be able to have the home ready for children to move in this February. If you are interested you can make a donation here.


Alma is an 11-year old girl who lived at House of Hope, and one of the girls I was able to meet when we were in Nicaragua. She was the girl who was found chained up because she had refused to comply with customers. House of Hope found her and rescued her, and the Lord had begun the long process of healing in this precious little girl. We just learned from one of the staff interns that she was taken from House of Hope by her father and grandmother, supposedly to be brought to the U.S. for a better life. The scary reality is that she was probably only told that so that she would go with them willingly. Please pray that either she is actually safe with her family or that House of Hope hears of her whereabouts quickly so that they can rescue her again. Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done at this point, except to wait and pray. My heart breaks for this little girl, and I cry out to God for His protection and mercy on her life. I know He is in control and can wrap His loving arms around her, wherever she is.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans Day!

I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all of the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much to serve in the armed forces to protect our freedoms. Thank you for your service to our country! Special personal thank yous to the following family and friends:

Walter Mazur
Vidal Carvajal
Vidal Garza
Christian Ortiz
Ryan Ott
Brandon Elms
Jon Newton 

I praise my Heavenly Father for the blessing of living in a country where I have the freedoms that I do...the freedom from oppression and war, the freedom to worship freely without fear of persecution or censorship. I pray for the soldiers who are currently fighting to protect our freedoms and the freedoms of others- that they are blessed for the sacrifices they make on behalf of others and that they would ulitmately find their true victory and freedom in Christ.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Study Mode

So I have officially gone into lockdown study mode. Ok- so maybe not quite lockdown yet (I am blogging right now and therefore not studying), but the pressure is definitely on. I do in fact intend to hibernate next weekend before the big day- lame, I know. But I have exactly 11 days left (eek!) until my next CPCU exam. My thought several weeks ago when I registered for the exam was that I would want to have it done before Thanksgiving. The shorter my study time gets, the more I wish I had opted for some more time...but I know that when I sit down for turkey dinner, I will be thankful the exam is behind me :)

This is the 2nd of 8 exams (yes, count them: 8) that I have to take to earn the CPCU designation for my job. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this particular insurance industry designation...it's kind of like receiving a masters in insurance. Are you impressed? LOL- don't be! I only say that to highlight how intense these exams are. They are certainly no walk in the park; it's like I am back in college. They give you 3 hours to take the exam for a reason. And I have to take 8 of them. Doesn't that sound super fun? ;)

With work being so crazy the last couple of months, my studying has been virtually non-existent. So now the countdown begins...I would appreciate any and all prayers as I prepare for this exam. The last thing I want to be doing when I come home from work is studying, but in 11 short days I can enjoy my free evenings again. Until then, please pray for focus and good retention, fruitful study time and good memory recall, and perseverance throughout the process.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

In the Words of Satan

My friend Lindsey shared this song with me tonight and I thought the words were so powerful. Scary, convicting, and powerful. It's really heavy on the heart, but there is so much truth in the lyrics- definitely a song that makes you think. We have a real enemy who "prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8)

Just a warning that some of the images are intense and graphic. The lyrics are below if you just want to listen to the song instead of watching the video.

In the Words of Satan (by The Arrows)
I've been here since the beginning
Know exactly how you work
I know all of your cravings
Know what makes you go berserk
Been lying from the start just to make you play a part
In my infinite rebellion against the Father God

Hate everything He is
And I make you hate Him too
Make you hate Him with your actions it's so easy for me to do
'Cause you like it...Sin feels good for the ego...
You love it...Oh, come on baby let your hair go

And all the time, I'm winding you up
Like my perfect little puppet
You're my favorite robot, welcome to the show
But I'm watching you and all of hell is with me too
Helping me make my lies look true

Oh and there is a lie that works for everyone, everyone
A lie that opens your hearts so I can get me some
More of your free will
I'm winding you, winding you
Give me the control that's why I'm telling you
Selling you- Anything- Everything
Appealing to your human way of being
And I use it all against you to just keep your eyes
From seeing past the life you're living
Past the moment you're in, past the pleasure of your sin

Or the cigarette you're smoking
Choking on your lust
I'll make you drunk with pride
So deeply spun into my system that you won't see the light
Never mind that I'm drowning you
I keep deceiving you...
'Cuz I don't tell you bout the God in heaven
Who loves you, who yearns for you
I don't tell you bout the freedom of forgiveness and truth
Why would I tell you? Why would I tell you the truth?

Or I'll say that millions of years ago an accident exploded
And you're the result of this cosmic unknown
With no real purpose, created for no real intent
The reason for your living is just coincidence
So all the remains is what you can gain
Whatever meaning you attach to your days you decide
Mmm, but I help you recognize important things in life
Introducing money, it's the root of all, evil they say so
I attach your self worth to the salary you're paid,
Be a slave to your property
Your jewelry, your cars and things
Advertise that lie up on the TV so you'll want that bling
Selling bit by bit the little pieces of your soul
Climbing up the ladder of economic control
Oh, the greed of man makes it so easy to pervert the Father's plan

Or I'll tell you...
There is a heaven but there's many ways to get in
Keep you so confused that you stay bound to your sin
Tell you there are many ways to the same God
Keep you distracted with your methods so your heart stays hard,
I'll make you think you've got spirituality,
But it's really just emotional alchemy
Oh, the vanity of self-idoltary I never let you see that it breeds
Hedonism! Whoo!
And it's the anthem of this generation
Come on, drink it, snort it, smoke it, swallow it
Chew on my illusion of freedom til you vomit it

And still I don't tell you
Bout the God in heaven
Who loves you
Who yearns for you
No I don't tell you
Bout the freedom of forgiveness and truth
Why would I tell you?
Why would I tell you the truth?


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Don't Forget...

It's Daylight Saving Time again! It's time to "fall back" so don't forget to turn your clock back one hour before you go to sleep tonight. You can bet I will enjoy every minute of my extra hour of sleep ;)


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Confessions of a Tunnel Vision Recoveree

One thing I really struggle with is taking my eyes off a seemingly difficult situation long enough to focus on God's provision and faithfulness. I tend to have "tunnel vision." I am extremely blessed and have tons of things to be thankful for, and yet I tend to have a short-term memory on the blessings the Lord has provided. Praise God for His Spirit and the conviction He brings with love and grace. Growing up, I remember countless times when I would be rattling off a list of complaints to my mom and she would patiently listen then oh-so-sweetly answer, "And I bet you can't find your socks either, right?" Of course at the time, I was just irritated with her response, but I am so grateful for her gentle reminder that God is good and my list of complaints was really just that: complaints. I aspire to be more like my mom- one of those "half-full" people. You know the kind. You may even be that kind. You tend to be irritating to those of us self-proclaimed realists who tend to be labeled "half-empty" people ;)

I am daily learning to focus more on my blessings and God's faithfulness, because He is so good to me- despite my selfishness and short-term memory. Part of the process is writing down how the Lord has been faithful...it's a discipline I have been working on in an attempt to improve my "tunnel vision." It's amazing how your perspective changes when you take your eyes off yourself :) For those of you "half-full" people who are already good at this...be patient with the rest of us and patiently encourage us to the light...

One thing I struggled with last year was the 4 months of unemployment and letting go of my own dreams/plans for event planning. And yet, God was faithful to provide during that time without a job, and then to provide a good job with an amazing boss and wonderful co-workers. And He has taught me so much in the last year about contentment, surrender, and trust. While the surrender process was difficult, and at times painful, I praise God for it and wouldn't change it- even if I was offered my (previous) dream event planning job today.

While 2009 was the year of unemployment, 2010 has been the year of unexpected expenses. From medical bills to car repair expenses (like today, I have to replace my windshield because a rock kicked up on the highway and cracked it to the point of replacement = awesome). Instead of complaining or getting frustrated, I want to take my seemingly difficult circumstances and re-focus my attention on God's goodness and faithfulness. [Side note: I say "seemingly" difficult because I recognize that I don't have real struggles in light of all the suffering around me. Hence, the need to escape my "tunnel vision"] I have been reminded in the last few weeks how truly blessed I am to even have a job in this down economy. And I am thankful that I have a car that is paid off and that is a reliable source of transportation. I am part of a very small percentage of people in the world that has access to healthcare, and I praise God for His constant provision for my bills.

And as if that wasn't enough, I was reminded this morning how absolutely merciful the Lord has been to me- to separate unemployment and unexpected expenses by a year and not allow them to occur at the same time. That seems like such a simple thought, and yet how quickly I could take these things for granted...how great is my God!

Does anyone else struggle with "tunnel vision"? Perhaps it's just me :) Regardless, I encourage you to reflect on God's goodness and faithfulness to you. He alone deserves all glory, honor, and praise!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Sic 'em Bears!!

Ok- I just have to take a second to brag on my bears...have you heard about the ruckus they're causing?!? :) After winning the Homecoming game against Kansas State (which made them bowl eligible for the first time since 1995), bears across the nation were celebrating the longed-for victory. Beating Texas this past weekend was just fun icing on the cake! I just love the headlines:

"You gotta 'bowl'ieve it"
"K-State can't slow Baylor"
"Bears outduel K-State to gain bowl eligibility"
"Baylor shows it's for real by turning tables on UT"
"Bears beat Horns, stay atop Big 12 South"
"With upset of Texas, BU still baffling non-believers"
"Baylor stuns Texas, as Horns fall to .500"

We are now ranked 5th in the Big 12 and 21st in the BCS. I am so proud of my bears, and I am really looking forward to cheering them on as they take on the Aggies in a couple of weeks.

Sic 'em Bears!!!