She Said Yes

The engaged life is crazy...

My life right now is full of photographers, venues, dresses, rings, flowers, decorations, announcements, invitations, showers, and so many other things that go into having a wedding. Thankfully, the person sitting right beside me through all of this is the same person who will be waiting at the end of an aisle for me in 128 days!

128 days! On March 24, 2012, I will put on a white dress and walk down an aisle. There will be a incredibly attractive guy in a gray suit waiting for me and in front of our friends and our family we will enter in a covenant with each other and with our Creator. We will vow our lives to one another and we will vow to live a life that is centered around the very story that has changed both of our lives. Thank you Jesus for allowing Greg and I to meet and for us to eventually get married, but more than that thank you for saving us.

Cape Town Here We Come

We are now on our way to becoming world travelers. As I'm writing this I am sitting in D.C. anxiously awaiting 5:00 when we can board our plane to South Africa. I think the reality of it is finally sinking in. I am so excited.

The Lord has already been so incredibly faithful on this trip. Our trip cost each of us $3200 and I reached my goal yesterday at about 9pm. I'm so thankful for how the Lord uses areas like that in our life to stretch our faith and to continue to show us just how sovereign He is. I know that this trip will be exhausting and at times physically challenging, but I know that every single one of us will be used in more ways than we ever could have imagined.

I love all of you very much and am so thankful for all of the support that I have received already. Please continue to be in prayer for our team. I know several of us will be updating Twitter, Facebook and our blogs.

And We're Off

Tomorrow we leave for Cape Town! Hooray.

Team Cape Town is using our last day state side to pack, pray, and just get ready to leave. We have roughly 36 hours of traveling ahead of us. Please join us in prayer as we depart. I ask that you pray specifically for unity, safety, and for the Lord to use us in a mighty way.

I also ask that you pray for each of us individually. Our team is made up of Alvin Reid, Hannah Reid, Jon Bell, Jeremy and Pam Hyatt, Jonathan and Tessa Going, Jesse Gordon, Shelly Jeffcoat, Ashleigh Grant, Gia Gandolfo, Travis Smith, Marlana Branning, Blake Everett, and myself.

I will be updating my blog and Facebook as much as possible. We are also going to be sending blogs and hopefully videos to SEBTS for
them to update as well.

Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support. I am still $160 short of my financial goal and there are a few other members on my team who are a little short as well. If you would like to donate please follow this link and then click the "click to give" button on the right.

Cheesecake, Cheesecake, and even more Cheesecake

So, about a month ago my wonderful roommate and I made the best cheesecake that I have ever put in my mouth. We made a Reese's Peanut Butter Brownie Bottom cheesecake.

It looked just like this...

Now, I want to continue making cheesecakes and all kinds of other things. Hannah and I have talked about making cakes, cheesecakes, etc. and then selling them to people to make a little extra money. I told Greg that my next cheesecake that I want to attempt will be a Red Velvet Cheesecake. I found a recipe and hopefully it will look a little like this...

Let me know what you think and especially let me know if you would like Hannah and I to make something for you!

Summer, Boys, and Flowers

It has been an interesting summer to say the least. For most of the summer Greg has been gone. It has made for an interesting relationship. I think we are both very thankful for Skype, cell phones, and just technology in general. I can say that I don't think either one of us had any idea what this would be like. Thankfully they have only been gone for the most part a week at a time and then home on the weekends. However, last week they left for a camp in Missouri and will be gone for about 2 1/2 weeks. I of course leave for Cape Town before they get back. It has been really cool to listen each night as Greg tells me about what they are doing at the camps. I love hearing about how he is meeting students and sharing with them. His love for students, music, and ministry is so incredibly evident. I love listening to him tell me stories when he is back in North Carolina because his face lights up.

This summer has been so thought provoking for me. I've contemplated a lot about what my future holds and what I want my ministry to look like here and now. I recently started a new job and although there are a few believers in our office it is predominantly an office full of unbelievers. I have to admit that I love it. I love that my ministry is not confined to a church building or a class at Southeastern, but rather it is in the workplace. I love that through simple conversations I can share about the greatest love I've ever known simply by talking to people and trying to keep a smile on my face even when everything inside of me is fighting against that.
I hope all of you continue to have a wonderful summer!

Greg and I at the beach before he began traveling for the summer.

The beautiful flowers that Greg sent today! That boy knows how much I love lilies!

One Year...A Lot Has Changed

Today I realized just how long it has been since my last post. I'm coming up on my one year anniversary of living in Wake Forest. It is hard for me to believe what all has happened since then. I would not change this past year for anything. I will be the first one to admit that this has been far from one of the easiest years of my life. Last July, I had no idea what I was about to embark on when I was making the 20 hour drive from Northwest Arkansas to beautiful Wake Forest, NC. I'm so thankful for what the Lord has taught me in this year and what He has blessed me with.

Most of you know that within my first three days here I tore
up my knee. To be specific, I dislocated my patella (kneecap) and was on crutches from July 19th til early October. I had to have surgery and be in physical therapy for the majority of that time. It was one of the scariest and most frustrating times of my entire life. I had moved out to Wake Forest early to find a job and get settled before starting school. Of course, my plans and God's plans never seem to be exactly the same. I was blessed with amazing friends and a wonderful church family who made that time in
my life one that I cherish.

In the midst of all of that I began my first year of seminary. I never thought about continuing school after college and honestly I had no desire to do so. Once again, my plans did not match what the Lord had for me. I love Southeastern and I love being a part of a school that wants to equip students to serve in the local church and at the same time be a part of the Great Commission all over the world.

This past semester a few new opportunities came up. One, I began praying about going to Cape Town, South Africa. I have never been that far out of the country, but I fell in love with this city last summer. That's right, I fell in love with Cape Town and South Africa while watching the World Cup last summer. Now, in less than two weeks I have the privilege of going with some great friends to serve in this great city that is so rich in history and in culture.

I also recently moved in with some pretty great roommates! I'm so thankful for Crescen, Hannah, and Sabrina. They are great and living with them has
been such a fun experience and continues to force me to learn and grow.

This year has also brought about a major change to my life. For the first time in my life I'm dating! It is still so weird for me to say that and at times I'm not really even sure if I'm in the middle of a dream or not, but I would not change a single thing. Back in March, I began dating my best friend and my time with him has been nothing short of a pretty great journey so far. I was able to fall in love with my best friend and for that I am so grateful. I love watching how both of our ministries exist together and how even at times right now they look really different. I'm so thankful for how the Lord has brought Greg into my life and I am so excited to see where the Lord leads us in the future.

The Call to Go

For starters, I realized today that I have not posted a blog in forever! Shame on me. So much has happened since my last blog and I for one am quite excited about all of the changes that are currently happening in my life. For anyone that knows me, they know that I am someone who very much likes to have control over my life and I can see with absolute certainty that for the past month there have been numerous times when that control has quickly vanished. I think a part of me really believed that losing control of my life in many different areas would be one of the worst things to happen. Then it hit me that I have not had control over my life in a really long time. In fact, I gave up that control about 16 years ago. Apparently, I have just believed that a part of me still had that control.

It was this thought a few weeks ago, that led me to think more about my trip to Cape Town this summer. I keep thinking that I have to make sure that everything is perfect. I so desperately have this desire to make lists and to make sure that everyone on my team has everything taken care of, when in reality all I need to be worrying about is the fact that I have been called to go. The Lord is telling me that He has everything taken care of and that all that I need to do is to simply obey and trust that His plan is far greater than mine. I mean it is kind of crazy for me to think that my 23 years of life experience compare to what He has been doing from the very beginning.

Yesterday, I found myself looking back at pictures from my first mission trip to Nicaragua. I remember how absolutely terrified I was and really unsure of what would happen. Thankfully, I was able to share the experience with my dad and my brother. I am so excited to see what the Lord does with our team in Cape Town, in the mean time I will share some pictures of my trip to Nicaragua. Sadly, the best ones are all of Wes.



Roniel and I


Wes under attack!

Leaving a Legacy of Faith

I must admit that I've been working on this particular blog for the past two months. I'm not sure if that was a product of my need for perfection, my interest in conveying all of the details, or if it was the fact that I had no idea how to express my love and appreciation for my grandparents.

Thanksgiving was my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary. My Mom and her siblings had spent the last year debating what to do fo
r them in order to celebrate. Seeing as how my Grandma might have disowned them if they would have thrown a party, the only other option was a trip. My Mom was raised on a dairy farm and her family never once took a family vacation because of their responsibilities at home. Not to mention, my grandparents are not big on traveling. So, the decision was to go to Rock City, Tennessee. Rock City is where my grandparents went on their honeymoon 50 years ago. We recreated all of the pictures that they had taken at Rock City and at Lookout Mountain from their original pictures. It was such a great afternoon spending time with my family.

That Friday night, we all had dinner together and were able to share some of our favorite memories and hear stories from my grandparents about their 50 years together. I heard how they started dating, how my grandpa propos
ed, the fact that the preacher was two hours late to the ceremony, and lots of other funny stories.

I sat there for those few hours that evening thinking how incredibly blessed I am to have grandparents who have set forth an example of love and a marriage that is defined by trust, compassion, love, and a willingness to work at the relationship every day. No, my grandparents are not perfect and would never say that they were. However, my Grandpa said it best when he said that
there is only one reason why they had made it 50 years. He said that is because from day one their relationship was centered around the Gospel and the fact that life is first and foremost about a relationship with Jesus Christ. It was at that point that tears began streaming down my face, because I realized that my grandparents and even my own parents have lived in such a way that I can see their love and dedication to the Lord. I love that my Grandpa then preceded to say how proud he his of his children and grandchildren. I did not know until that moment that their had been a pastor in my family for the past 5 or 6 generations. We then laughed because who knows what will happen within my generation, but my Grandpa told me that even though I will not be a pastor he could not be prouder of me for following the Lord in some type of ministry.

I thank the Lord continually for the fact that I'm a product of my grandparent's legacy. My Grandpa was the first person I told after professing faith in Jesus Christ and I hope that in the years to come that I too can live to pass on this legacy of faith within my own family.

My entire family on my Mom's side.

My Aunt Karen, Uncle Joey, Mema, Pa, Aunt Kathryn, and my cute Mom.

My Grandparents celebrating on their honeymoon at Rock City.

My Grandparents on New Years Eve for my Aunt Kathryn's wedding.

Lots to Learn...Women's Ministry 101

It is hard to believe that it has been almost seven years since I first heard the call to seek the Lord in full-time ministry. I remember that day quite vividly and I still am humbled that the Lord chose me and that He wants to use me. It took me a while to realize what this call meant. I remember having several talks with my pastor and his wife. I immediately decided that I wanted to be obedient to that call simply by learning. I know it may sound lame, but I am still on that journey and honestly I hope to be on that journey for a long time. I never want to reach a point where I quit learning and quit having the heart of a student.

Something that I learned very quickly about this entire process was the importance of making contacts and networking. Thankfully, I love this part. I love meeting new people and hearing about their individual ministries. It is that eagerness and that willingness to meet new people and learn from them that led to me being able to intern for Kelly King, Debbie Stuart, and Beth McClain. I can not even begin to explain how much I have learned from each of them and how much I treasure all three of them to this day. I firmly believe that each one of them have taught me things about myself and about ministry that I will take with me for many years to come.

Part of being a good student is about passing along good information. I want to make sure that as I share that I leave pieces of information that can be valuable to anyone interested in Women's or Girl's Ministry.

People who are much smarter than I...

I will try to do another post in the next few days with a list of books and other blogs to help aid in the Women's Ministry/Girl's Ministry learning process.

Hello 2011

Hello 2011! I can't believe that it is already 2011. So much has happened this past year and I am so excited to see what happens in 2011.

Here is a quick recap of 2010
I graduated from college...I moved to Wake Forest, North Carolina...I had knee surgery...I started my Master's program at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary...I joined Richland Creek Community Church...and I became a nanny!

Goals for 2011
I plan to read through the Bible in a year...I want to be able to play tennis again...I would love to read more and not just books for school...and I hope to be a much better blogger this year

Exciting Things Coming Up in 2011
I'm going to Cape Town, South Africa in July and I am so excited to become more involved with the student ministry at RCCC