love: my family

A post about the people, places, and inspiration I love.

Have I ever mentioned that I love my family? Seriously, they’re the best. Being away at college has reminded me how much I love them and miss them. So, to honor the fact that I have too much homework tonight to write a long post, and the fact that I am missing my family immensely, here’s a little slideshow of the members of my family. Maybe you’ll see why I miss them so much!

My beautiful sister Whitney and her boyfriend Tyler.

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Oh, and their dog Duke.

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My artistic sister, Jordan.

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My athletic sister Landry.

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My sweet sister Brooklyn (this is actually an older picture, but I couldn’t find one from recently).

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My daredevil brother Shane.

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My fabulous parents who raised us all…

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And then there’s me.

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And my devilishly handsome boyfriend…

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Isn’t my family wonderful??? I can’t get enough of them!

PS: I also just upgraded to Lion on my MacBook Pro, which allows me to post pictures now. Prepare yourselves for many many more!

walk: prayers from a life group leader

A post about God’s love and continual grace throughout my walk with him.

This is an entry from my prayer journal this morning that I wrote after discovering that I will be leading 5-10 middle school girls in a small group this coming school year. I was planning on just writing a post about it, but after some much needed time with God, I realized that this sums up my thoughts pretty well.

Lord,

I’m tired of running away from you. I’m tired of trying to handle things on my own. I’m tired of feeling so alone. You are perfect, you are wise, and you are loving. You know that I am nowhere near ready to lead these middle school girls. I’ve fallen from you in a way that makes me ashamed to even ask for forgiveness. But the time for pride has come and gone.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry for ignoring you. I’m sorry for treating your Word like an insignificant story book. I’m sorry for giving my life to the things of this world instead of you. I’m so so sorry.

I believe that this year is going to be a good one for us. And by “good,” I mean really really rough and difficult, but worth it. Teach me your ways, God. Give me wisdom. In James, you said that if anybody asks for wisdom, it will be given to him. Well, I’m asking, Lord. It scares me to death that these middle school girls will be looking to me for advice and direction. Give me wisdom, but also give me peace.

I get so easily anxious about little things. Teach me to rest fully in you, to confide in you. I try to lean on myself and others instead of you, but I’m left disappointed every time. I know that you want my faith to “not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power” (I Corinthians 2:5).

God, let me live like you’re real. Let my life reflect that you’re alive. How can I read the Bible, say that I believe it, and then continue to live the way I do as if that doesn’t change everything? “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power” (I Corinthians 4:20). Let me feel that power. Let my life exude that power.

But most importantly, God, draw me close to you. I know John said to draw near to you, and you will draw near to me, but I am a fallible human being. There will be times that I do not draw near to you. So this is me, asking you–no, begging you–to draw me close to you no matter what that has to look like. I trust you. But I also know that our relationship is so much more important than my happiness. So if you must first break me, then break me. I’ve gone too long without the reality of your presence in my life.

Of these things that I ask from you–your wisdom, your peace, your power, and your presence–do not let me try to achieve them on my own. Let your love and discipline change me from the inside out.

I love you. I need you. Please stay here with me.

walk: hope in the helpless

A post about God’s love and continual grace throughout my walk with him.

I plan on one day becoming a physical therapist. To become a physical therapist, however, you must first spend at least 150 hours of your life observing other physical therapists at work. So instead of working at the movie theater, traveling abroad, or sunbathing beside the pool everyday, I spent my summer waking up at the crack of dawn to go to a “work” where I didn’t get paid, and nobody cared whether I came or not. Talk about delayed gratification. While I at first resented this and dreaded going every morning, I came to realize that even in this, God was at work. Looking back at the last few months now, I can’t imagine spending my summer any other way.

Because of all the confidentiality papers I signed, I unfortunately cannot go into detail about the amazing people I’ve met, or tell you the inspiring stories I’ve heard from nearly every patient who walked in the door. If you’ll allow me though, I’d like to give you an idea of what my days were like:

I’ve watched technicians turn all of the wall art upside down in the rehab center to keep the elderly patients in a lighthearted mood. I’ve witnessed physical therapists getting on the mat alongside their patients, matching all of their exercises move for move. I’ve seen a frail old woman who could barely lift her own head cling to the words of her therapist: “You did good today.” I’ve watched a gentle giant of a man become frustrated with himself, not realizing that the stumble in his step and the tremor in his hands were sure signs of Parkinson’s. I’ve joined in on group singalongs with elderly patients who insist on remembering the good ole days. I’ve talked politics, Olympics, and statistics with patients who desperately need someone to listen to them. I’ve watched people lie about the amount of exercise they’ve done, and I’ve seen people fake an injury to get special treatment. I’ve comforted a grandmother who wasn’t released from the hospital in time to attend what could very well be her last family reunion during her lifetime.

These last few months have simultaneously disheartened me and encouraged me. They have filled me with despair about the frailty of life, but also filled me with hope for the human race. More than ever, God has made me realize how much I want to do this for the rest of my life. There are so many hurting people in this world, people who crave not only physical healing, but the abundant life that only God can give.

The pastor of the church I attend while I’m at school has a favorite verse that he cites almost every Sunday: “The only thing that matters is faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6). Observing physical therapists at work these past few months has awakened my God-given desire to live out these words, one patient at a time.