*Yawn* Departing from the States!

Hola! (I better start practicing my Espanol, right...?)

So, originally a group of us was going to meet in the hotel lobby at 7am for our flight, but last night it was suddenly changed to meeting in the lobby at 3:45am... wooooo! I DON'T CARE THAT IT'S EARLY. I am sooo excited! I think some of my teammates think it's-too-early-for-you-to-be-this-excited-sit-down-Rachel.

I cannot wait! We should get into Quito between 2-4pm. So if you read this before then.. please pray for all of our teams travels, since there are probably four or five different planes that groups are taking. Either way, continue to pray, please!

The only thing I am kind of sad about is that we are getting different roommates. Instead of 6 people in a room, we will have four, and only one of us in my group is my original roommate. I'm kind of disappointed since we all finally were really getting close and decent friends and now we have to start all over again! But it's okay! We'll survive. :)

Okay! I gotta go!
Hasta Luego! :D


Ecuador Update!

Hey guys, it's me! :D

WOW, the past two days have been INTENSE. Yesterday we had a total of eight hours of drama training. I was up from 6am until at least 12am. WOOO. BUT IT HAS BEEN SOOOO AMAZING.

On my team there is a total of nine 'Cats', which as I said in my previous post is a gang (of demons) who beat up Jesus, bring Him to the cross, and nail Him there. However, the 'King Cat' does repent and comes to know Jesus in the end, unfortunately the rest of us stay evil. :(
Anyway, the costumes, training and everything else have been really tiring. Sometimes I can see and feel the impatience. Nevertheless, we have nearly perfected (or I'd like to think so) the whole drama. The drama is approx. 20ish minutes, at first it seemed really long, but once we begin now, it goes so fast!

A funny part from yesterday:
There was a session about modesty for girls, so there was a fashion show of bad outfits/good outfits. For the bad outfits, guys came out dressed in girls clothing and it was absolutely hilarious... One guy was wearing this super super short dress and bent over.... that's when I let out a shriek and nearly went blind. Pics will come later! :D

I really am beginning to truly enjoy all my team mates and the fun we're having! We have had some really, really great worship time! I cannot wait until we get to Ecuador!

On a slightly more serious note, pride is something I struggle with. I think we all do to some extent, some worse than others of course. In the past month or so though, I've really felt God tugging at that spot in my heart, and consistently reminding me that He is above all things, the most important, and my King, not me. I think it's kind of ironic since my whole blog thing is "Beautifully selfless" and being humble and meek in spirit. I have really felt that tug even more now, being on this trip. There have been some things that have bothered me, some attitudes, motives, and actions from other people. It's really easy for me to look at them and judge them for it, and be upset that they aren't acting the "proper" way. I think technically, we're probably both at fault. Nevertheless, when I feel that way, I seem to feel that God instantly reminds me that I am nothing too, and it's only by HIS continual grace that I am where I am, physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. And when I feel I have 'the right' to make assumptions about another, I try to think of myself inside, and what I could do to be more loving to those.
I think (and hope) that God will teach me more of this especially when we get to Ecuador. One of my goals is to truly be selfless, as much as can be in my human state, and glorify Christ through it. It's hard, really, really hard, since it goes against all that sin represents and is. Yet, I know and try to remember that I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. :)

Anyway, my dinner is waiting for me... KFC... yay? Who cares. It's food. And after today, having another 8 hours of drama training.. I AM READY TO EAT!!

Last note: Tomorrow I am leaving for Ecuador! My flight is at 11:15am and I will arrive at 6:50pm (we have a three hour layover, bleh!) central standard time, woooo!

Hopefully I'll update you guys soon on how it goes!
Until then, keep praying!

Oh P.S. I forgot to mention but on my flight from Altanta to Miami, I sat next to this really cool lady. We talked for nearly the whole flight about all sorts of stuff, and when we landed, I asked if I could pray for her and she said yes, so I did! It was so great and it was such a great way to start off my trip. :)

And lastly, remember: http://www.neverthesameec.com/
Check it out for daily updates on what we're doing per team. I am team 2, for the millionth time. :D



Ecuador Update - Miami

Hey guys! :)

So after traveling from my hometown in PA, I arrived in Atlanta, GA, where I was so excited to meet some people also going on the trip. (Thanks to our super bright and cool green shirts, it was easy to notice people)! Then I took a two hour flight to Miami, FL, where I was united with approx. 50 other students.
We drove 40 minutes to our hotel in Ft. Lauderdale, where we are staying.. OUR HOTEL IS ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!

Last night we all were united together in a room, between 350-400 of us all singing praises to Jesus and worshipping together. It was absolutely beautiful and wonderful... God is so good! We had time to meet all of our team, and get our room keys! Awesome room-mates I have! I love how everyone brings something unique to the table through their own personality and love for Jesus.

Last night we had drama casting and we tried out for all the parts in the skit, which took several hours. I ended up getting the part of a Cat, which essentially consists of a gang of 5-6 people who are evil and beat up Jesus. :( How sad! BUT, I'm excited and can't wait to learn! The moves are really fun! The next two days should be filled with some pretty intense practicing before we head off to Ecuador.

That's about all I got for now.... Miami is absolutely beautiful though. I'd have to save one of my favorite parts of this whole thing is being able to travel and see so many amazing places... Which could certainly be considered a once in a lifetime opportunity!

ANYWAY. Before I ramble on any longer! I just want to thank you all for the support, encouragement and prayer! Keep praying, please! God is going to do amazing things and I can't wait to see what happens when we finally get to Ecuador.

That's all I got for now! I'm not sure when I'll post next, but I'll be around here and there. :)
Once again, if you wanna see more updates, then please check out the link below:

I am on Team 2!<3



So if you're newer to my blog, you may not have heard that I am going to Ecuador. If you haven't, check out the cool God story of how it all worked out by clicking HERE!

If you'd like to know a little more about my getting accepted and some other cool info, then click HERE!
That link will take you to all my posts labeled with "Ecuador" - that way you can get the whole scoop. :)

Scoop.. that reminds me of ice cream. I could really go for some mint chocolate chip right now.. anybody?!?! Represent all you lovers of the delicious flavor! :D

Anyway, where was I!

So I am leaving tomorrow for Miami to take part in the training (learning the skit, culture sensitivity, spanish phrases, etc), and then on the 30th I will be headed to Ecuador along with 300+ students and leaders. I'M SO EXCITED!!

I won't be returning back home until the 11th of July, so it'll be a little while that I'm gone. HOWEVER, I do believe I will have internet access and there is a possibility I may blog here, but I may not. The creators of this mission trip, along with Susie Shellenberger, have created a website + blog where we'll be able to post. If you're interested, you can keep up to date with what's going on with the crew by visiting the website/blog, which you can do so by clicking HERE!
Just so you know, I am on Team 2. :)

I think that's about it. Please please, PLEASE, pray for me, the trip, the others going, and the people of Ecuador. May the see the truth, light and joy of Jesus and be blessed!

Enjoy the following pictures. :D

P.S. I wanted to briefly say that my blog has exceeded 5,000 views and I'm so glad that so many people, whether intentionally or not, have been able to view my page and (hopefully) see and read the truth of God! Thanks to all my followers... May you be blessed. :)

Certainly not perfect and certainly a little messy..
but I think whoever ends up getting my costume
(we trade them) will hopefully enjoy it. :D
Team symbol... pretty good one, right? ;)
I'm so excited!!


My Desk and your heart - Something they may have in common!

A few days ago, I decided to stop being lazy and finally clean my desk. Let me just tell you, it was a disaster. Papers everywhere, my own junk everywhere. Completely disorganized clutter! And somehow I just know that there are some of you out there who know exactly what I'm talking about!

As I cleared off my desk, I made two piles. One pile was papers thrown all over the floor, papers which I no longer needed, and other papers that I wanted to save, which I put into a smaller, neater pile.

And in my boredom of cleaning, I made a comparison, perhaps it's a little far off, but perhaps it's not far off at all.

I think sometimes we treat our hearts and minds the same way as my cluttered desk. We come to know Jesus yet we continue to live our lives with hearts more clutter-y than my desk!

So what do we do about it anyway?

Well, we need to take our cluttered hearts to Jesus. We need to dive into that mess called our heart and our mind. We need to let Him help us sort through it, and see what needs to go. Our heart is the wellspring of life according to Proverbs 4:23. It is where all things, whether good or evil, flow from.

With that in mind, we need to take care of our hearts! Maybe you have some things in your heart that need to be cleaned up and organized by Jesus. I, personally, could think of a few for myself.

And just like my now clean desk is much easier to use and enjoy, so is a 'decluttered' heart! And then instead of a heart that is so consumed and lost in its own mess, rather you may have a heart that is focused on Jesus and ultimately serving Him! But please remember, you can't do it without Jesus. Take all things to Him, and He will see them through. :)

Matthew 5:8
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

P.S. To all my faithful followers, (especially you Kevin!!), I am so sorry for my lack in posts the past couple weeks. I have no idea what happened there! I'll try my best to get back on it though. :) Thanks a bunch for hanging in there with me! :D


This is so cool!

As some of you know, I reallyreally like the blog Lies Young Women Believe (by Dannah Gresh + Nancy Lee Demoss). Last fall, they opened the opportunity for people to send in their own little pieces that they have written. So I sent them a note that I had written on Facebook nearly three years ago. Along with a few dozen other people, I won and my note was said to be published in the future! I was ecstatic! :) Eight months later, they have posted my note. Woooo!

Originally I posted this note to my blog back in November, so I'm sure there are many of you girls who have yet to read it. It's about beauty and what real beauty is. You can check it out here:


What Does It Mean to be Different

Brave-hearted Christian, are you out there?

Day in and day out I see the same results over and over again.
I see people caught up in the world.
I see people caught up in false hope, false joy.
Why do we always go back to what we know is not the answer to what our heart so desperately is desiring?

Judgmental, it's what I am. Hypocritical, that's me too.
The only reason I cannot reprimand, or call out, is because it's me too. I make the same mistake that pains my heart when other people do.

Sometimes I really really want to find people who are different. I want to find people who are spiritually different than the norm. I want to see people devoted, and clinging to Christ with all the pathetic strength they have, and loving Him, and pouring out His love to others.

I find myself unhappy when this person, I cannot find.
All the while, am I even that person?

Am I making any sense? Don't blame me, it's late. (It's never too late to be philosophical though, right?)

Sometimes we focus so often on changing other people, on what we want other people to do, or what we want other people to act like... yet all the while, we forget all the work that we need ourselves.

So while I'm looking for some crazy-in-love with Jesus people, I miss out on the opportunities to be that person myself.

Perhaps if I took advantage of those opportunities... those crazy-in-love with Jesus people would arise?
What if I just worked on my own walk with Christ, rather than focusing too much on the walks of others... what would happen then?

I need to be the difference that I want to see.


Commitment? What's that?

As fast as school dwindled down and I found myself weeks away from graduating, my motivation and dedication to work hard and earnestly dwindled even faster. I wasn't as committed to my school-work anymore, it seemed more and more uninteresting and less and less important. Because of my lack of commitment and focus, I didn't do as well as I could have. 
Now, I will say that I maintained all A's and B's still, but my heart was not truly in my work, and in certain assignments and projects, that was clearly evident.

We all know that by how committed we are to something, is how prosperous the results will be.

Last night I was reading in 1 Kings 8 when I came across this verse:

v. 61 - "But your hearts must be fully committed to the LORD our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time."

This verse really stuck out to me.

'I must be fully committed in order to live and obey God's commands?' was my thought. And I realized it was completely right! 

But then I began to think of how many people live their lives half-devoted to Christ, one foot in the world, and one foot in the church. We try to have the "best of both worlds" by having a little bit of Jesus over here and a little bit of the world over there. But it just doesn't work that way. We cannot truly be serving and following Jesus if we are not FULLY committed to Him.

It reminds me of a song by the (amazing) band Philmont, called 'The Difference'. Part of the lyrics say:

"And I tried so hard to mix the old life with the new,
But there's no in-between if I'm gonna follow you.

There's gotta be a difference
It's gotta be significant
If you're really inside changing my life
You would shine, you would be evident
If there's a difference."

I think these lyrics are SO true. I mean, how often do us "Christians" look just like everyone else? How often do we hold the same lifestyles, or make the same poor choices as pagans? Sure, we aren't perfect, we are bound to fail. And no, we aren't better by any means. But we are called to be different, we are called to not be conformed by the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).

We cannot expect to have extravagant spiritual maturity and growth if we are still trying to take part in the world. If we are not truly and fully committed to Christ, then we are setting ourselves up for failure.

If you want Christ to do a work in your life, if you want to know Him in the deepest and most fulfilling sense, then that requires sacrifice. That requires giving up what your sinful nature so greatly desires to have. God did not send His son Jesus to suffer, to be beaten and to die for our sins, simply for us to live half-hearted lives, lives that are not truly glorifying to God.

I think a problem I have personally is that so often I depend on myself to be fully committed, rather than realizing the weak human I am, so weak that I truly can not fulfill the commitment. By doing this we are doing the exact opposite of the Gospel. The Gospel tells us we need Jesus, that we cannot do anything without Him, that are are only really capable of sinning. If you don't depend and rely on Jesus then you will fail, and fail, and fail again.

It's a struggle I deal with daily in my life, in my heart and in my mind. It's tough. The world surrounds us everywhere, but with Christ, we can do all things. Because of His great and profound strength, we are able to be fully committed to Him.

So tell me Christian, how committed are you? Do you try to have it both ways? Or are you so in love with Jesus, that you are willing to give up everything in order to genuinely follow Him?
I dare you to take up that statement with all sincerity and give it ALL up to Jesus, and with that, who knows where He may lead you!


I GRADUATED! (Image Heavy)

Today I was fortunate enough to have my graduatation ceremony at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel (a couple miles from the actual Penn State University State College). I was SO excited and overjoyed to meet some people that I have known virtually (I was cyber-schooled) since 6th grade.... They were all such hilarious and wonderful people. Why do all the cool people live far away?!?!

Enjoy the pics. :)

AND Congratulations Class of 2011! We made it! :D

Wait.. I'm graduating?!? Since when?!!?
Haha, they actually gave me someone else's diploma. But no worries, I eventually got mine. :D
My whole class :)
Livy! The hilarious Salutatorian. ;)
Emmma! The kind-hearted Valedictorian. :)
One of the greatest teachers EVER! And her name is Rachel too! :D
I decided to be mischievous and bring a beach ball to blow up (Thank you for doing that Matt!) and hit around during the ceremony... it was officially the greatest success ever! And my Dad picked up all the stickers of our names from the floor (they were to help us to remember where to stand) and he stuck them to it. AND, I got everyone to sign it as well. :D
Wow! This is crazy!! But so exciting. :)

My parents.. I love them very much. :)
My signed ball :)


Preparing for Prince Charming - "Once Upon a Mistake"

My "What was I thinking?!?!" face
Once upon a mistake, there was a girl named Rachel (AKA me) and a boy who we'll call Nate. Some time ago I discovered that this 'Nate' had a certain liking for me. Being a girl, my normal reaction was a complete spaz attack at that thought that someone actually had interest in someone like me. Without involving the entire story, by the time I discovered this and knew for sure, Nate had seemingly let his feelings die and there was entirely NOTHING between us.

So me, being a person of initiative (which sometimes I regret...), decided to try to pursue a friendship with him (Why do I do things like this...?). Intially, my mindset was that, oh hey you know, I'll just get the ball rolling and if it's meant to be anything, he'll do the rest. Needless to say, after continuing attempts of real life conversation, Facebook conversation, (this is where I hang my head in shame) and me even getting his number , it didn't really work out.

It was a complete fail. (Which I am now glad.. but I'll get to that later!) He was so unresponsive. Nate did not initiate anything himself. It frustrated me. Why did he not even want a friendship? What was the problem anyway? It wasn't even necessarily that I wanted anything beyond a simple friendship, I just wanted to get to know the guy. Yet for some reason, no matter what I did, it just wasn't working.

After a couple weeks, I decided that I was foolish, really dumb and questioned why I ever tried to do anything like it! It was basically a facepalm moment (refer to the picture at the beginning of the post).

Time passed by and slowly I learned more about his character. More and more I realized that it wasn't something I was pleased with, and occasionally found myself highly appalled.

More recently, I discovered an entire new side of this person's character. I was in complete shock. "How could I have ever found any interest in a guy who is like this?"
I was really disappointed; nevertheless, I found reason for thankfulness and praise.

There are times when we really want something. We think it's good, or so it seems. So we pray about it, and pray about it, and pray some more. Yet it just isn't working out, there's something about it just not clicking right. And due to my lacking in ability to see the whole picture which only God can see, I felt confused and kind of disappointed that my original plan of friendship had failed.

Looking back on it all, I am SO thankful that God didn't respond the way I wanted him to. If we knew how many times God saves us from pain or at the very least, the effects of poor decision making, I think we'd be all the more thankful to Him.

So what's the point of this post anyway? Don't pursue a guy. Please, just don't. Do you want to end up like me? Trust me, no. Pursuing is a problem I have as a girl, due to my constant reaction of wanting to take initiative, but let me just tell you! Initiative is NOT good in this area! And for so many reasons.

1. By pursuing a guy, you are stripping away his ability to be the man, be the leader and do what he is supposed to as the male.
2. If you start out being the leader, then chances are, you're going to end up always being the leader, rather than fulfilling the Godly female role of being the pursued! And what girl likes that anyway? Bleh!

Think of it this way: Christ is the bridegroom and we, the church, are His bride. Are we, as the church, the one who first pursued Him? No. Is it us preparing a place for Christ? Far from it! Just as Christ takes care of us, pursues us, leads us, so should the man in relationships.

And one other thing I noticed in my poor decision making. I stopped depending on God and honestly stopped trusting Him that HE would take care of it, that in His own perfect will and timing, would orchestrate all that should happen in order for me to meet my Prince (if God's will is marriage for me).

Now tell me, would you rather settle for your own, most likely, messy and human-like love story... Or would you rather have God, the creator of ALL things, the maker of Heaven and Earth, unravel His own love story for you? If you go with the latter of the two, I promise you won't be disappointed.

You decide.

In the meantime, check out this post by Mary A. Kassian, author of "Girls Gone Wise in a World gone Wild." It talks a little bit more about this issue and if you struggle with it like me.. then it might be helpful! Either way you can check it out by clicking HERE!

This blog post is part of my "Preparing for Prince Charming" series. If you would like to check out some other posts, then I encourage you to look to the right of your screen where you can locate a small section which lists other posts in the series.


Worthy of His Name

Yesterday I wrote a blog post about some cool guys (AKA Peter and John) and what they in the book of Acts. Today I was reading again in Acts and it got even better! You know, I'm really beginning to like this book. :)

Peter and some other apostles were again preaching the good news of Jesus. They were arrested and put into jail, but in the middle of the night, through the Lord's incredible power, they walked out of the jail completely unharmed and without being noticed. The next day the Pharisees and high priests came to check on them in the jail, and noticed they were gone yet all the doors were still locked and the guards were on duty.

Let's pause a second. OKAY, I just think that's awesome. I can't help but smile at the incredible power of our King!

Back to the story, so Peter and the apostles were out preaching ONCE again. Look at that dedication! I love these guys!

Some officers went and arrested the men once again. This time the apostles stood before them and the high priest of the Sanhedrin said: "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s [Jesus] blood.” 

In response to this Peter says:
"We must obey God rather than human beings! 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

To conclude the story, the high priest REALLY wanted to put them all to death out of anger and frustration. But one of the Pharisees said no and... "Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

Afterward, they flogged the apostles, told them not to speak about Jesus and then let them go.

And what I love most about this story is what they did next:

"The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah. "

Okay, let's think about this. Here you have some ordinary men, preaching the gospel day after day, risking their life, facing death or severe punishments, and even after being put in jail and being beaten, they GO OUT REJOICING! And they CONTINUE to preach the Gospel!

After reading that I sat there and asked myself, "Could I do that? Could I go out rejoicing and despite the potential consequences, continue sharing the Gospel?"

Quite honestly, in our day to day lives, we really aren't risking all that much in regards to sharing the Gospel. In fact, what we think we're risking is honestly selfish. Popularity. Reputation. Amount of friends. It's all about us when it comes to whether or not we're willing to live boldly for Christ.

But look at these men, they counted themselves as worthy for suffering for Christ! I think very few would say that today.

So you say Christ is your King, you say you love Him with all your heart, but could you give everything up in this world for Him? Everything? And could you do it with rejoicing?
Could you count everything as loss in order to serve Jesus, the One who you say you've 'dedicated' your life to?

No doubt, it's a struggle. No doubt, we can't do it on our own. But if we are filled up with God and His word constantly--more and more--then our lives and actions will reflect that.

Philippians 4:13
"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." 

P.S. The verses from the story in Acts came from chapter 5.


Ordinary? They were.

Peter and John, after witnessing the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus were filled with the Holy Spirit and began preaching to the people. In the next few days they healed a lame man, and began preaching to multitudes.

The Sadducees were greatly distressed at this and decided to arrest the men.
They were brought in front of the Sanhedrin, including the high priest and others of high-priestly descent as well.
They began to question the men and said something like this:

'By what name or with what power have you done this?'

And I love Peter's bold and courageous response:
Acts 4:8-12
"Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!
9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is
“‘the stone you builders rejected,
   which has become the cornerstone.’

12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”


But do you know what part really caught my eye?

The next line says:

v. 13
"When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus."

I, personally, found reading that really encouraging spiritually. It was simply because Peter and John knew Jesus that they could speak so boldly, so courageously, and so confidently.

We can look at the Bible and read about incredible lives and stories of past men and women who knew and lived for Jesus. I mean, there are some pretty amazing stories. (Samson, anyone?)
But when we do this, I think we assume that that was only in the past, and that we could never do anything like those people did. There is some truth to that, in regards to certain events, but overall, I realize it's not really true.

We forget that they were just ordinary people like you and me. The difference is that God began a work in their heart, and they followed His calling, they submitted to Him and obeyed Him. I've struggled with this before, sometimes I wish and long for God to do crazy and amazing things in my life yet I'm not willing to truly let go of my own, weak knowledge of God and let Him reign.

Knowing Jesus and allowing Him to drastically change your life doesn't take being a know-it-all or a highly intellectual person. No, he takes the ordinary, and through His power, He makes something extraordinary. Call that cheesy, or even cliche, but it's so true.

That's what is so amazing about the Gospel and the sovereignty of God.
It's not about us. We are not called to better ourselves and then submit to Jesus.
No, we come just as we are. We come filthy, wretched, broken, weak and hopeless. We come ordinary.
But God is so mighty and glorious, and in His unfathomable goodness decides out of grace to take us as His own and through that, we are used by Him for incredible things!

So, if you're feeling a little useless.
Or a little too ordinary, then consider yourself the perfect (pun not intended) candidate for God.
Give it all up to Him, and see what happens.

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. :)


I'm gonna miss him

Today we dropped my brother, Gabe, off at the military recruiters office.
Tomorrow he will be flying to Georgia for training for about 5-6 months in the OSC (basically an officer) program.
Then for all we know, chances are he'll be deployed to Afghanistan.

With a three year commitment, he'll be able to visit for a total of 30 days each year.

Let's just say I miss him. A LOT!
He's one cool guy, and a best friend to me.
It's crazy what an impact one person can make.

Please pray for him. :)

College graduation, May 2010
My 16th birthday :)


Can't we just be real?!

You know what makes me frustrated and, honestly, really sad?
People who pretend to be one way and then in another setting, they act like a whole different person.

Typically, I think to myself that I'm just about the same with everyone, and I assume that everyone is too... boy was I wrong.

It's disappointing and a little scary too, that you honestly sometimes can never really know who a person is. 
And sometimes, when I really do find out what a person is truly like, I can't help but lose all my respect for them.

Okay so perhaps my opinion really doesn't count for much in the end anyway, and you know what, that's fine. Because in the end, what I think isn't going to matter or do anything, but God, well what He thinks certainly does and will matter in the end.

It reminds me of Moses, when he is watching a fellow Hebrew being beaten, and out of anger he kills the Egyptian guard beating him. But do you know what Moses did before he decided to kill the man?

Exodus 2:12
"Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he [Moses] killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand."

Did you catch that? Moses looked "this way" and "that way" and because he saw no one, he killed the man. What's interesting is that he didn't look 'up' - in other words, he didn't consider that God was watching.
We do this all the time. We make sure no ones around to do something, or we make sure certain people aren't around to do things.

But we forget that God is always watching.
Like I said, what I think may not matter much, but God, well I hope you care about his opinion.

Proverbs 21:2
"Every man's way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts."

My 100th post :)

Today has been an absolute gorgeous day, so I decided to nab my Mom's amazing Canon camera and practice my photographic skills. :)

OH P.S. This is my 100th post as well! What a fun ride blogging has been! Thanks for sticking around and supporting through comments and continual feedback. I love you all! :)

Some remnants of a fire

Basically.. I love my Vans. Only $10 at a thrift store.. *makes cha-ching noise*

Ah, gorgeous!

Like I said... I LOVE MY VANS


Hope for the Broken

A good friend of mine recently shared about a circumstance, regarding a relationship, that they are going through and how it has created a great burden in their heart. Hearing this caused pain in my own heart, simply because how I care for that person and because I am familiar with the pain they are dealing with.

Being sad is something I have felt several times before, as with most people.

But true heartache? Real pain?
That's a feeling that seriously affects a person.
There have been a few times when I've felt true heart-brokenness and depression.
...And it really hurts.

I've realized that the majority of people have gone through some form of true heart-brokenness.
Whether it's a relationship with another guy/girl that fails,
Or a person's parents are divorced,
Or someone you had a deep friendship with dies,
Or maybe you've been abused or bullied.

The possibilities are endless,
much like the pain, or at least it feels that way.

And honestly, I can't explain why certain things happen. I don't know all the answers; in fact, I know very little. But I do know what the truth of God is. And I know there are so many people, SO many who need to hear it.

Check out these verses, straight from God:

Psalm 34:18
"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

Romans 8:28
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Matthew 5:4
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."

Whatever you may be going through today, I promise that God is with you.
I promise that God has a purpose and a plan.
Trust Him with all you are and He will pull you through.
 How do I know this? Because that's what He did for me, and that's what He does for every child of His. :)