Sunday, October 28, 2012

moving my feet

Recently, I have been struggling with letting go. Just letting go of all my fears and anxieties. Letting go of my hopes and dreams and saying to the Lord "show me your hopes and dreams for me instead of my own." It's kinda hard...not gonna lie. It's like I know that it's what I need to do, but I can't make myself 100% just give up everyyyy little thing to the Lord. I always want my way. It's a problem.

I've been praying about these things. I pray that the Lord will guide me in every way. What friends and relationships do you want me to have? What should I do this summer? What should my major be? What am I going to do when I leave college? I pray about it all the time, and I honestly haven't been feeling like I am getting any answers and it's frustrating.

so I was on Pinterest today.
what day am I not on Pinterest? I don't know..
But today I was just doing my daily Pinterest run-through and I stumbled across this:

Just a simple little quote. Don't know who said it. But it really made me think. I pray about everything I am worried about allllllll zee timmeeeee but am I willing to "move my feet"? Am I willing to do what the Lord wants me to do rather than what I want to do? 

This goes back to my struggle with always wanting things to go my way. And I thought, maybe the Lord is answering my prayers when I ask him what He wants for me, but maybe they aren't what I want, so I'm ignoring Him? 

So as I start a new week tomorrow. My goal, and maybe if you're reading this it can be your goal too, is to seriously listen for the Lord's voice in everything I do- not just ignore Him if it's something I don't think is for me. I need to be willing to move my feet and trust that the Lord knows exactly what He's doing in my life. I need to depend on Him and follow His guiding presence by staying in constant communication with Him: not just asking Him for things I want, but for things that He wants of me. 

In Christ Alone,

Friday, October 12, 2012

here in this waiting room

If anyone knows me at all, they know that I have a big passion for music. Ever since I could talk, I'm pretty sure I was singing. Once I was able to walk, I put on my own shows on the fire place-like many little girls. When we lived at our previous house, we had a huge back porch that had stairs leading down to our back yard. Almost everyday after school, around 1st and 2nd grades, I would stand on the porch by the stairs and imagine my back yard was full of screaming people. I would turn on our outdoor stereo to Martina McBride (her Independence Day album to be precise) and I would lip-sync to her whole CD and like seriously get into it. My neighbor's mom would always be outside gardening or something (wasn't really paying attention cause my eyes where closed getting into the this song) and she would comment on how beautiful my voice was. I was always so proud of myself when she would say that. I would just laugh to myself..."I FOOLED HER." Yeah, I was like 6... I was a sweet child I promise, I guess I could just be a diva in my own mind. POINT BEING I have always loved music.

my sister Kendall (left) and me (right) putting on a show for the rents way back when

Going into my eighth grade year, I learned how to play guitar at a summer camp (Camp Desoto). I saw that the guitar class was offered before I went to camp there and decided to give it a try, so I took my dad's old guitar that he used in high school. I was really discouraged in that class because I was literally the worst one. I became very frustrated because everyone else seemed to catch on so easily. By the end of camp though, I was a little better. 

When I got back, I decided I wanted to take guitar lessons and learn a little more. I started taking from a sweet family friend of ours and actually the same person that my dad took from in high school! I only took for about 5 months and then stopped because I had just learned the basics. 

Eighth grade was the first time I performed singing and playing guitar. I played Alison Krauss' "When You Say Nothing At All" at the talent show at my school (the only year they opened up the talent show to middle schoolers- and of course I was all over that one). It didn't go smoothly at all, but I loved it.

Middle of ninth grade year is when I started writing my own songs. First "heart breaks" are the pits. But HEY I wouldn't be where I am now without them! My songs have always been my "diary out loud": things I wish I could actually say to someone's face or just thoughts or feelings. They're not always about boys, I promise. I have written a few songs about people in my life that have passed away and have left a great mark on me. My songs are just a mix of good and not so good things that have happened to me! Just thoughts and feelings! It's a great therapy.  (If you want to listen to my music, click here.)

Over the years, the Lord has just put things into place when it comes to my music. When people talk about the Lord's timing, I know first hand that He has His perfect timing, it can just feel draining when His timing isn't matching up with ours (selfish, right?).  The song "Waiting Room" by Jonny Diaz has been a good reminder that He has a bigger plan with his timing! Some of the lyrics are as follows:

Here in this waiting room yearning for You to say go
And though I’m convinced that a yes would be best
This time You’re telling me no
It’s not that I don’t have an answer
It’s just not the one that I’d like
But through this time Lord I must keep in mind
You’re always wiser than I
You have a much better purpose
And You have a far greater plan
And You have a bigger perspective
Cause You hold this world in your hands
The things that I seek are from You
Like the strong healing touch of your hand
But when You say no help me trust even though
There’s a reason I can’t understand

When it comes to my music, I've learned to be patient with the Lord's timing. When I was in 10th grade, I tried meeting with several people in Nashville in the music business and they gave me their input on my music and gave my demo CDs to their friends in the music business. They gave me a glimpse of hope when they asked me if they could possibly sell one of my songs to Miranda Lambert or Kellie Pickler. They obviously didn't buy my song, but the fact that they tried was AWESOME.

I went up to Nashville a couple more times after that, and tried to get my music started and also looked at Belmont University, where I would have gone if I had decided I wanted to major in song-writing. After a little while, I kind of gave up on going to Nashville and just focused on school and graduating. 

me and my sister singing at the BlueBird Cafe in Nashville (2009)

singing in Nashville at the Belmont Cafe (2010)

Over the years, opportunities to sing have been put in my lap. I have not gone out there looking for them, honestly. Even though it's my favorite thing to do, I just don't think about going out and finding places to play at in my spare time. And when places and opportunities to sing arise, I've learned this is a part of God's timing and perfect pace.

Today is one of those days where I honestly just want to quit school and move to Nashville and try to make a living. But today is also one of those days where I need to remember that God has a perfect plan and with His perfect plan, He has His perfect timing. If it is God's will for me to quit school and move to Nashville, then He will make that obvious to me. I'm not saying that is going to happen, but I mean if that's what the Lord is calling me to do, then I will answer that call. Until then, I'm in the waiting room yearning for Him to say "go" with whatever he wants me to do with my life, music or not.

In Christ Alone,

Thursday, September 27, 2012

first post- learning to be still.

There have been so many changes in my life recently, one being my move to Auburn. Living on your own is so crazy different. I have to remember to get meals and wash my clothes. On top of all of that, so much school work and fun things to go to butt heads. There is ALWAYS something going on. Honestly, I probably shouldn't be writing this post right now cause I have a paper to write, studio project to work on, a major quiz and a midterm to study for. Plus it's ADPi initiation weekend, so yeah. A lot going on.

These first 2 months here at Auburn, I am starting to learn a lot about myself. I feel like this is the first time in my life I have had so much going on at once. So many emotions about different things going on plus school work and different meetings to attend make my head spin in circles. Normally, I keep everything inside and try not to let it show to others because I don't want them to worry about me, but there comes a point where I just break down. That happened to me this passed Sunday.

I woke up Sunday morning feeling terrible, my throat hurt and I felt like a just ran into a brick wall-my head hurt so bad. I had been so stressed out the few days before that so I decided to skip church. I slept in and made myself some microwave grits (yum..). It looked like a pretty day outside so I decided that since I didn't go to church, I should find a spot somewhere on campus and have some time with the Lord. Best decision I had made in a while.

view from my box (aka, my dorm room)

The air was so crisp and it was about 70ish degrees, it was perfect weather. I found a shady spot under a tree and parked myself. I had my iPod in and I put on my "Christian Music" playlist. The first song that came on was "One Thing Remains" by Bethel. The lyrics are as follows:

Higher than the mountains that I face
                                                      Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing remains
One thing remains
Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me[
Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me
Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me
Your love
On and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never ever have to be afraid
One thing remains
In death, in life, I'm confident and covered by the power of your great love
My debt is paid there's nothing that can separate my heart from your great love 

I sat there under the tree and just listened. I thought about the line "constant through the trial and the change." I lost my cousin, who was my best friend, a couple years ago in a car accident and the Lord's love never ran out on me. I have been going through SO MANY changes recently, and the love of the Lord has been the only constant. Another line that stuck out was "it overwhelms and satisfies my soul" and I thought, do I really believe that His love satisfies my soul? So many things I have been going through and I feel like I am so dissatisfied. I've realized I've only felt this way because I'm looking for satisfaction in earthly things that will fade away and never make me happy.

The verse came to my mind, "delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart" so I decided to look it up. I went to Psalm 37 where in verse 4 it says this. I read the verses around it and noticed how much I have been in need of reading them. 

I started to dissect these verses and apply them to my life. Verse 3: "Trust in the Lord and do good.." TRUST in the Lord. Because so many changes are going on, it has been hard to just trust that everything is going the way the Lord intended it to go. He has a perfect plan, and I am so often the little pestering gnat trying to interfere with everything.
Next verse: "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of the heart." DELIGHT yourself in the Lord. Do I really delight myself in Him? And what does it look like to delight myself in the Lord? If I lost everything in this world, I would still have Him- would I be delighted?
verse 5: "COMMIT your way to the Lord, TRUST in Him and he will act." So many times I sit in my quiet times and I'm like: Lord, I commit my ways to you- let everything I do be for your glory. And I believe it that day, for about 2 hours after my quiet time, and I forget because of all the hectic-ness going around. So I'm still striving to commit my way to him and not wander off another path getting distracted. TRUST comes up again in this verse too- trust is harrrrddddd when you only see the tip of the iceberg. I'm struggling with that daily.
The last verse I looked at was verse 7 which reads: "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him." BE STILL. After reading that, I took it literally. I just sat there, listening to what was on my iPod at the time- "How He Loves Us". I was being still before the Lord. I was then overwhelmed with the Lord. I broke down in tears, the tears that had been being built up over the course of almost 2 months. Then I just relaxed in His Presence. It was the best feeling to finally let out this stress that had been building up and just be still.

The most awesome thing to me about my experience on Sunday was that I went to this spot under a tree with no intentions of reading something specific. I brought my "Jesus Calling" devotional book, but I didn't end up opening it. The Lord laid EXACTLY what I needed on my heart and I felt Him sitting right there, next to me by that tree with His arm around me, reminding me that He has always been there. Being in a new place with new surroundings, you feel like no one is ever constantly there with you. But the Lord is ALWAYS with you, holding your hand, looking into your eyes saying "you've got this, babe." If I could pass anything along to whoever is reading this scatterbrained blog of mine, hear this: The Lord is constantly trying to get your attention and is always there for you to come to Him, all you have to do is BE STILL and listen for His voice.

In Christ Alone,