Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I'll Fly Away



Last week we got a call telling us that the daughter of the missionaries we work with in Nicaragua died in a freak accident. Taellor Stearns, a beautiful young lady totally devoted to serving the Lord and loving others for His name, died at 19-years-old. I got to know her some in October when we were in Nicaragua and got to see her relaxed, joyful spirit that always made everyone feel included; she made you feel like you were the most important person in the world. 

I sat at the kitchen table in shock when we found out. I suddenly felt sick. It couldn't be real. Sweet Taellor, who was so alive in every way, couldn't be dead. My dad said she had died in a hammock, a branch had broken and she had hit her head on pavement. I can just imagine her, softly swinging back and forth, probably humming, in total contentment. 

It's in moments like these that cause us to think about things such as God's sovereignty, what faith looks like, how to fully trust God in every moment, with everything, how short life really is, and about the kind of legacy you want to leave behind you. These questions and thoughts have filled my head in the days since her home-going. For a Christian, dying is just going home, stepping from this world of uncertainty into the presence of our loving Creator. 

I tend to over-think things and worry about things that may never happen. I like to plan everything, to know every detail ahead of time. All of that has caused me to struggle with anxiety. God has been bringing me verses of encouragement about resting in the fact that, I'm not in control, leading up to Taellor's death. Her death has brought all of these thoughts to a point. 

I was reminded that no matter how much I plan and try to feel "in control", I really am not. I am not even in control of my own heartbeat. My heart, which is so deeply a part of me, could stop beating without my consent or choice, and there would be nothing I could do about it. God can take me home whenever and wherever He wants, in His perfect will. Is God's will really perfect? Yes. I know that. But is it really?  "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."~ Jeremiah 29:11. His plans are perfect. 

Taylor's death is already bringing people closer to God. Not only is her family able to share that with Christ, we have victory over death, to the Nicaraguans; but Taylor's death can encourage us as believers to live each day as if it were our last and always trust in God's plan. 

So, note to self: stop worrying. God's got this. Through His redeeming love, we don't have to fear death. Through God's strength alone, we can overcome worry. We will overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. I can now die to my fears and doubts and live in Christ. Sure, we all struggle sometimes but God gives us hope in trusting Him. 

Thank you Jesus for Taellor's love and encouragement in life, and her victory in death. We love You God, and praise you for giving Taellor 19 wonderful years. 






Thursday, May 29, 2014

Help Meriam Ibrahim

There is a young mother, named Meriam, in a prison in Sudan right now awaiting a sentence of flogging and then execution by hanging. What is her crime? Marrying a American man and more importantly, being a Christian. She is in prison in Sudan with her two children. One of which was born in prison. As a act of "mercy" the Sudanese government decided to let her have her baby before they execute her. The sudanese government wants to take custody of her children after she is executed to put them in radical muslim homes. They have given her three days to renounce her faith in Christ. She has refused. Please pray for her release, and for her American children to be released. This is a fight for human rights as well as freedom to choose Christ no matter where you were born. Please pray for her strength and peace as she faces this. Please pray for the United States Government to do their duty and step in to protect a woman and her children who have committed no crime. To sign a petition for her release go to http://beheardproject.com/meriam .

Christ followers, spread awareness for our sister in Christ and please pray for her and her family.

God Bless!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sweet 16


Today I turned 16, which is surreal to me. Life is so wonderful and fast.
I had a great birthday. Between hanging out with one of my closest friends for most of the weekend, going to a graduation party, seeing friends at a track meet, having dinner with my wonderful family, and then getting completely surprised with a ticket for the Capital Kings concert when they come to town from one of my friends, today has been blessed in many ways. I am so thankful for a God who cares for me enough to not only give me grace daily, but a God who delights in blessing me with the little moments as well. In conclusion, it has been a good start of a new year in my life. 

#Sweet16 



Friday, April 4, 2014

Peru

Tomorrow I will be getting on a plane and flying to South America for 12 days of missions. From a young age international missions have been something I've been interested in. Nervous excitement fills me tonight as I do the last bits of packing, for my second international missions trip. I have two books, a journal and a good set of headphones and music for the 12 hour flight. While in Peru, we will be doing school assemblies as well as working in a large orphanage with 800 children. Although, in countries like Peru, schedules can change at any time but as of right now I know we will at least be doing that. It's exciting to see how God will use us there, in whatever we are doing. I am the kind of girl who likes to know all the details, to have everything planned out; It is trips like these that help remind me and help me trust that God is always in control. I am learning to take encouragement through that thought.

Please keep the Real Encounter team in your prayers this week as we head to Peru. :) I may try to update this blog some throughout the trip, if not, I will try to post pictures later.

Have a wonderful two weeks, lovelies!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Maxi Dress Time

In this post I am going to talk about some ideas for how to wear long maxi dresses. 
Long dresses are so cute, and modest. I really like the maxi dress trend going on right now. The only thing I am not a fan of with this trend is the long, see-through, skirts with shorter skirts underneath. It gives the same effect as a short skirt and draws the wrong kind of attention. I like the dresses above because they flow well which helps them stay cooler. I also like that each of these have jacket, which adds an extra texture, adds layers, and most importantly, adds modesty. 

Sometimes it is hard to find dress that provide enough coverage on both the top and bottom; leggings, jackets and high-rise undershirts really help with this.

I hope these tips help and inspire you as you become the beautiful, unique, woman God has created you to be! 


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Product Review

In this post I am reviewing a new pair of headphones I got yesterday at Best Buy. I had searched on the web for a while for a good pair of over the head, stereo style headphones that have good sound but are in the $15-$25 range. I found the Sony- ZX Series Stereo Headphones on Best Buy's website but continued to look around for a while. A short time later a good friend of mine bought a pair of these headphones and said that they really liked the sound. I ended up buying a pair because they were in my price range. I got them in white, they are pictured below.


I am really pleased with them. They have several features that I really like. 

  The first thing that I like is that the cord is very sturdy. My other earbuds would get caught on something while I was working and would get a short because they were so thin. That's why I like the thicker chord so I can work in the kitchen and such without having to worry about getting a short when it gets caught on something.

The jack is also very sturdy and fits perfectly into my iPhone 4s, without having to take my case off. 


The ear pieces turn in which prevents it from digging into your ears. Some headphones like these can give you a headache but I like that it has this feature to help with that. The earpieces also turn so you can lay the headphones around your neck.


Over all I am very pleased with the sound and quality of the headphones. You can get them at best Buy or online for $19.99.

Here are some other details about this product:

Cable Length: 3.94 ft

Sound Mode: Stereo
Impedance: 24 Ohm
Minimum Frequency Response: 12 Hz
Maximum Frequency Response: 22 kHz
Features: Noise Cancelling, Tangle-free Cable
Earpiece Design: Over-the-head
Earpiece Type: Binaural
Driver Size: 1.18"
Material: Copper-clad Aluminum Wire (CCAW)
I hope this review helped you if you are looking to purchase a pair of headphones. 
Have a wonderful day, and never doubt that you were created for a purpose!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

New Favorite Hairstyle


I have been seeing lots of 1920's inspired hairstyles on the internet and on girls around town that I really love.
I wanted to be able to duplicate these hairstyles on myself but had thought my hair was to heavy to keep up because it is so thick. I have found one way to do it, that seemed fairly simple and worked with almost any hair type. I gave it a whirl and was really pleased with the outcome.You start by wrapping hair around your favorite headband and securing it with bobby pins. You continue tucking/rolling the hair around the headband until it makes a sort of crown all the way around. My hair is naturally curly which fit the style but you can curl your hair before hand to get the same full look. If you have thinner hair you can loosen it some to make it look more full and then finish it off with a good amount of hairspray. I hope you enjoy this hairstyle as much as I did! 
 Have a wonderful day, and never doubt that you were created for a purpose! <3





Monday, January 27, 2014

One of My Favorite Things

I'll let you in on a little secret… I really like hugs… a lot. Whew. I said it. I'm glad we got that out there. ;)
From what my mom says, I wasn't a cuddly baby but when I could walk and talk, hugs and being held became my thing. I would walk up to one of my family members and say, "I'm down here" just to let them know that I was available to be held. As I have grown, I have realized just how much I like hugs. I can still remember what hugging my grandpa felt like, his thin white T-shirt on, his soft but strong arms and callused hands wrapped around me. I remember where my head came up to him, I have grown in the past five years. I'd probably be up to his shoulders now. It's amazing how I can remember all of those feelings; the love, the sheer happiness, the comfort. Just writing that brings a flood of emotions, very happy, bittersweet emotions. I suppose that's part of the reason I love hugs so much, the memories, the unspoken words in a hug. Even when I hug a friend, its nice to feel like they care, that they'll be there, the friendship. I have a couple friends in particular who didn't used to really like hugs, but they know they'll always get one when they are around me. One of them (who is probably going to read this) over the years I have told on multiple occasions, "I am sorry you don't like hugs, you're going to get one anyway", but she has warmed up to it over the years and now hugs me every time I see her. The other I have been friends with for about three years now. She will now run across a room practically screaming my name and then collide in a kind of hug that I sometimes think could very well break my neck. Apparently there are many kinds of hugs these days- side hugs, bear hugs, bro hugs (what is that anyways?), and the oh so awkward "do we hug or high five" hug. While the "hugging etiquette" rules for guys, girls, older people, younger people, friends, neighbors and etc. are confusing, I think the initial awkwardness or confusion can be avoided by just hugging someone with an attitude of Christ-like love and you can't go wrong. You never know when someone is just needing a hug. I remember crying one night and praying, "God, why can't I just feel you hug me? Why can't I just feel Your arms around me?", when I realized that He does hug us. He hugs us through His actions and through His word. He gives us words of love and affirmation through the Bible. Here are a couple verses that express His love for us and have encouraged me in the past:

1 Peter 2:9

"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;"

"I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well."

Jeremiah 29:11

 "For I know the plans that I [a]have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."


So now you know just how much I love hugs. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Nerves

My first Speech and Debate tournament of the year is coming up, just saying that makes my stomach get all jittery. I am excited but, oh so nervous. I will be glad when my first round is over and I can just take a deep breath. I think I am going to go hide until it's over. ;) #ahhhh #hashtag #insidejokes

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Instagram

Hello Lovlies!

I don't know if any of you have Instagram, but if you do I would love to connect with you there.
Instagram is a social media app for sharing pictures. I have had the app for a couple years and have really enjoyed it.



About a year ago a friend contacted me with the idea that we could use it as a ministry for other girls and women. We started an account called Beauty in God's Eyes, because we are truly beautiful, unique creations in His eyes. Meanwhile my friend has become to busy to maintain the account and the account has been switched over to me. I really enjoy it and would love to meet some of you through that!

Follow me at @beauty_in_Gods_eyes or you can also keep up with my posts  at instagram.com/beauty_in_Gods_eyes if you do not have a smart phone or tablet device.

Thank you and have a blessed day!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

L.I.F.E




l.i.f.e 




 Life. What is this thing we call life on earth?
It is moments.
It is memories.
It is this short period of time God has given us to do something.
To do something of importance.
To glorify Him.
To tell others about Him.

Today I am telling you that life is short, no one knows how short it is. Eternity is big.
Only Jesus, God in flesh, can give us true life.
His love,
His redemption,
His forgiveness,
Him paying for our wrongdoings,
that is 
l.i.f.e
Life; it's God's gift. 
It is eternity with Him.
That. Is. Life.