Monday, December 7, 2009

Ch ch ch changes...

1. My little sister was at TN Tech on a college visit Monday.
2. My littlest sister is getting her permit over Christmas break.
3. I just signed up for my "big girl" e-mail address. The only other ones I have are my 6th grade original and my college e-mail. Until now!
4. I got my final hour of convocation credit Friday night at Allison's dance recital. If you don't go to Belmont, you will never understand how big of a deal this is.
5. Sunday night, I was inducted in the Alpha Sigma Tau Alumnae Organization. The biggest changes here are that I now have Sunday nights free, and annual dues are around 650-700 dollars cheaper. :)
6. I'm finished with one class. 5 to go.
7. A teacher who has been telling us all semester not to say we're graduating, but instead we're PLANNING on graduating because they could still fail us...told me today that she'll be the one yelling "hooty hoo! hooty hoo!" when I walk on Friday night. Guess that means she's not failing me!
8. Stuff is starting to come off the walls and be packed up in the apartment. LJ leaves in 6 days. I leave in 9.
9. My body is proving consistent this year in that my allergies just kicked in this week. Yep. I have allergies as fall changes to winter and everything dies. I'm a season ahead of everyone else.
10. I'm mailing my Christmas cards/Newsletters/Graduation announcements today. That kind of makes it real.

On an unrelated note: My future husband (assuming he exists) better know how to iron things for himself, because working at J. Alexander's has brought me to a place where I detest ironing.

Friday, November 13, 2009

13 November 2009

Things that I like:
1. Evanescence
2. Vegetables
3. Carrot Cake
4. Britney Knoeck
5. Some of my co-workers
6. The prospect of living through the next week
7. Options
8. Looking on the bright side
9. John Mayer [specifically because of "In Your Atmostphere"]
10. My sisters
11. Allison Hill
12. Reading my friends' blogs...whether they are near friends, far away friends, or in between
13. Lists
14. Full tanks of gas
15. Chocolate
16. Knowing how to write an annotated bibliography
17. Acoustic Guitar
18. Harmony
19. Disonance
20. Sweatpants
21. Being clean
22. Water
23. Sleep
24. Sleep.
25. goodnight.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Top 3 favorite albums??" "That's SOOO belmont..."

This weekend, in congruence with my unintentional plan to be gone every stinkin weekend...I went to a monastery with my Church History class. Yep. You read that right.

Saturday morning at 7:45am, we met outside the religion building to set off on our jouney. We split up into 2 vans: Dr. Bell's van and the Party Van(<<--my obvious choice). Our group was comprised of 15 students, Dr. Bell, Jacquie (our teaching assistant) and David (Dr. Bell's 18yearold son). It was quite an adventure!
Dr. Bell's van passed the 3+ hours by playing Theologian Bingo and holding a Fantasy Theology Draft. The Party Van [me, Will, Stephanie, Bennett, Michelle, Mark, David, Jessica, and Juli] passed the time by getting to know one another through listing all of our favorite things. :) I learned A LOT about my classmates. Mostly stuff about my accountabilibuddy, Will, but some about my other van-mates too.
When we arrived in Bardstown, Kentucky (ironically the bourbon capital of the world...), we parked and split up for lunch. Rest assured that Mexican food is pretty much the same everywhere you go. Our server, Victor, made our experience though.
We were supposed to be at the monastery by 2:15 for "None", the 5th prayer time of the day. We got there a little early, so we spent some time in the gift shop. [yes they have a gift shop. they also make fudge and cheese. visit for more info. no lie.] I recently went to "Night Prayers" at a local convent with my friend Nathan, and I am so glad that I did! I at least knew a little of what to expect when we got to the monastery.
After "None", we watched an informational video about The Abbey at Gethsemani, and then an 80+ year old monk named Brother Renee who had been at the abbey for 60 years told us a little about his experience. He was the most precious little man! He also had some valuable information to share with us. He told us the story of when he first came to the abbey. He went in to visit with his abbot one day, and the abbot said: "There are only two people here: You and Jesus." Brother Renee said he had found this to be true no matter where he was! He asked us what Jesus would say if he hit any of us with his cane. [hahaha] After answers of "stop." "don't do that." and "please don't do that again.", he told us Jesus would say "Ouch." Think about that for a second...
Brother Renee was making the point that Jesus told us whatever we do, we should do it unto Him. So he sees everyone as Jesus, especially since Christians are all part of one body of Christ. He treats everyone like he would treat Jesus. I love this. So so wise. He read us some of the things he had written about their beliefs and his personal experience, and we enjoyed our time with him very much!
After that, we still had about an hour before "Vespers" at 5:30, so we went on a hike...when I say "hike" I mean "run" because Dr. Bell is over a foot taller than me and moves briskly through the woods. haha. He took us to see these statues on the property that were donated to the abbey. They were statues of Jesus and His 3 besties: Peter, James and John in the Garden of Gethsemani. The disciples were depicted as being asleep about 50 yards from where Jesus was praying in anguish. It was a beautiful depiction and well worth the out of breath-ness it took me to get there.
We went to Vespers, and it seemed significantly longer than None...mostly because all of us were quite hungry and praying our stomachs wouldn't growl loudly during the periods of silence. :)
Luckily, our next move was back into town to check into the hotel and then onward to dinner. A group of us ate at the Old Talbott Tavern which apparently has tons of history. Just ask their informative pamphlet. haha. The food was amazing, and Tyler and I made friends with our server, "Biz". [it's short for Elizabeth. cute, right?] Then we went back to the hotel where about 15 of us gathered in my room for "BEYOND BALDERDASH". I'll be purchasing this game soon. It's stinkin' fun! Mark and Jessica won but only because it's a "Dusing Family Tradition" and Mark has played tons and tons of times. Andrew Hill and I made up quite a team, and were most excited about our team name: AlAn. :) Get it??
After some much needed rest, we checked out of the hotel around 10am and headed for Mass at the monastery. We went in after everyone else because Dr. Bell likes to sit in the monks' stalls when he's there. ;) Those wooden seats are pretty hard, but they encourage good posture. Mass was a wonderful experience and the homily [which is the sermon portion] was really great!
After Mass, Dr. Bell has arranged for us to have lunch at a place called the Kurtz Restaurant. It was a home-cookin' place right across the street from Stephen Foster's "Old Kentucky Home". [google it.] My grandmother would be disappointed to know that I was so close and didn't get to go visit. :( I'll have to go back. Lunch was delicious and overly filling. We definitely enjoyed the conversation and even sang Happy Birthday to my friends Nathan who turned 23 today, and Aaron whose birthday was yesterday.
Then we headed home. Most of us tried to sleep to no avail. Sometimes there's just no good way to sleep in a van unless you cuddle with your seat neighbors. We got to know each other better, but not that good!
Overall, it was an unexpectedly wonderful experience! I am so glad to know the people who went with me. We're all looking forward to the class more now. We said we wished the trip had happened sooner since we all enjoy each other's company so much! Class will be more fun now...not that church history isn't buckets of fun already... ;)

At this particular moment, I'm fighting my tiredness by heading to Bongo to eat/drink caffiene with Heather. Then it's on to AST's weekly meeting. In the morning I get to see Katherine Jones Wallace when we have breakfast at Crema!!!! So excited about her being in town and getting to see her!!!!

In the words of the monks: "Thanks be to God."
"May the peace of the Lord be with you..."

Friday, November 6, 2009

Alicia and Jesus

So this summer, I went to see "Julie and Julia" with my amazing friends in Atlanta [Hunter, Anna, Hutch, Noelle, and one of Noelle's friends]. It was wonderful! We all loved it and decided it made us hungry. haha. One of the things I loved about that movie was the main character. She was FAR from perfect or Hollywood's definition of "hott", but she was easy to love and relate to which (combined with her enchanted made her beautiful. She was unhappy with the way her life was going, so she decided to give herself a challenge. She wanted to cook all of the recipes in Julia Childs' cookbook within a year. I won't tell you how it goes in case you haven't seen it, but it's quite an adventure!
Recently, I've been pretty stressed out and busy and crazy and running around like a chicken with no head [or a lizard with no tail...does that one work? probs not. oh well]. I've been in a funk. I can't tell you when it started, what prompted it, or what the general cause is. I just know I don't like it. So in an effort to get out of this funk...I'm giving myself a challenge. A few years ago, I was given a Bible that gives you something to read for everyday of the year. It's divided into days, not books and chapters, and there's an Old Testament and a New Testament selection for each day. They go in order...kind of, but by the end of the year, you'll have read the entire Bible. It starts [obviously] on January 1, but since this isn't January and I don't want to wait that long...I started today on November 6. I like it.
My challenge to myself is to keep it up. I NEED. to read the Bible every day. This not only gives me yet another reason to do so, but also takes out anything that could be considered work. The days are layed out for me. All I have to do is read. Sounds easy, right?? I hope it will be. Today it was: Jeremiah 50:24-51:32; Psalm 119:113-120; Proverbs 26:24-26; and Hebrews 2:10-3:11. Carrying this Bible around with me adds a little extra weight to my backpack, but hey. Jesus carried a cross. I can carry another Bible.

In other news:
  • I'm taking a class called "Spirituality in World Religions" this semester. There are some people in my class that are seriously harboring bitterness and resentment towards God and anything that could be of Him. If you would, join me in praying for them. And pray for me to not have angry thoughts towards them or say anything I don't actually mean that could contribute to the bitterness.
  • My friend Rob Adams [we work together at J. Alexander's] is dealing with the death of his mother this weekend. She has been sick for some time, and passed away yesterday morning. I'm going to visitation at the funeral home this afternoon. Rob is in his 20's and spent a significant amount of time caring for his mother before her death, so this will not only be an adjustment in his heart, but also in his daily life as well. So be praying for him too please.
  • I'm working on making plans/ideas for post December. The plan so far is: Graduation, December 18. That's pretty much all I've got.
  • I have an overnight field trip for my Church History class tomorrow and Sunday. We're going to a monastery in Kentucky, so it should be a good time! haha.

Love to all who read. May your lives be filled with the goodness of the Lord.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Atlanta makes my heart happy.

I was there this weekend--this MORNING even! I haven't much time to tell you all about it just now...but here's a snippet. These people made my day yesterday. Love that Haines fam. :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Oh Heavenly Day...All the clouds rolled away...

...Got no trouble today. :) What a good song! I don't know who sings it, but I know it was the theme song of my weekend. My sister got MARRIED on Saturday! Wow. That's weird. Amanda has a husband. Everything about Saturday was absolutely perfect! ...her dress, our dresses, the church, the fresh lavender, the reception, the music, the company, the adorable photographer... It was a Heavenly Day! I'm so thankful that the Lord has blessed Amanda with someone who compliments her so well. I know that Chris loves her so much, and I trust him completely to take care of and love her. So I cried all day Saturday, but they were definitely tears of joy and tears that reflected the change in my life. I'm used to Chris being a part of our family. I'm not used to having a brother. Or a different last name than Amanda. That is so odd. I jokingly said my parents were actually smart when they gave us all the same middle name. Even though she changed one, she didn't change them both! So, until I get married, we still share one name. That is comforting. :)
I feel like/know that my life has all but revolved around this wedding since the day I got back from Atlanta. No joke. My mom, aunt, and I were talking on Sunday about how we sort of had this "after Christmas" feeling that day. We were exhausted, of course, but also depressed. What do we do now?? There's nothing fun to look forward to! Only things to catch up on, and the mundane routine of everyday life to fall back into. Today was Autumn's 15th birthday though, so that was exciting. She got great gifts! She's a smart girl, and knows what to ask for. I remember being 15 and still wanting finger nail polish and silly movies for my birthday. Autumn asked for a promise ring. haha. I love how different all 4 of us are, but we still share the occasional similarity. It keeps life interesting, that's for sure!
Next week is AST's recruitment, so there's at least one more exciting thing to look forward to and do before I go back to work at J. Alexander's.
Thoughts about post-grad: flight attendant? cruiseline employee? grad school? this is all post-living in Atlanta for at least a season ideas. :) more to come...

Monday, August 10, 2009

where have i even stood but the shores along Your ocean

There's been a recurring theme in my summer. How fun is that?! haha. Other than exhaustion, my recurring thoughts have been about holiness--what it is, what it looks like, what it isn't, etc. It's a big concept! One that I'm sure I'll be learning about for all of eternity. There's a song I want to share with you. If you want to put it on your itunes, it's called "What Do I Know of Holy?" and it's by Addison Road. The lyrics are as follows:

I've made You promises a thousand times
I tried to hear from heaven, but I talked the whole time
I think I made You too small
I never feared You at all, No
If You touched my face, would I know You?
Looked into my eyes, could I behold You?
What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood,
but the shores along your ocean?
Are You fire?
Are You fury?
Are You sacred?
Are You beautiful?
What do I know?
What do I know of holy?
I guess I thought that I had figured You out.
I knew all the stories, and I learned to talk about
How You were mighty to save
But those were only empty words on a page.
Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be.
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees.
What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood,
but the shores along your ocean?
Are You fire?
Are You fury?
Are You sacred?
Are You beautiful?
What do I know?
What do I know of holy?
What do I know of holy?
What do I know of wounds that would heal my shame?
And a God who gave life its name?
What do I know of holy?
Of the one who the angels praise?
All creation knows Your name.
On earth and heaven above,
What do I know of this love?
What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood,
but the shores along your ocean?
Are You fire?
Are You fury?
Are You sacred?
Are You beautiful?
What do I know?
What do I know of holy?
I love that song. It's quite the convictor... I'm not sure if that's a word or not, but whatevs. I'm excited about what else I can learn about holiness. I know it's something I'll never be able to grasp, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try. It's one of those things that could be completely overwhelming and completely reassuring all at the same time. Crazy. Speaking of crazy...I'm reading "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan right now. Parker read it, loved it, and suggested I read it too. So far so good. I have to finish it by Friday because it belongs to Amanda, and I'm leaving Atlanta on Saturday morning (I have crazy mixed emotions about's a topic for another blog completely). So I've gotta read! And buy yellow leggings for "Superhero night" tomorrow. I'm going to be Mighty Mouse, and I'm excited about it! :) AND I have to find/buy something for my sister's wedding shower which is on Satuday as soon as I get back into town. Fun times. Geez Louise!
PS: If you go to FBA, and don't know the Haines family...shame on you. They are fantastic. Another fantastic thing?? "Julie and Julia".

Friday, June 19, 2009

for eternity. all my heart will give. all the glory to Your name.

I love visitors. And I love Atlanta. good combo.

Last weekend, my little sisters came and stayed with me. I picked them up outside of Chattanooga on Friday night. We got to Atlanta around midnight. On Saturday, we went to H&M, The Varsity, IKEA, Fellini's Pizza, and hung out with some friends. Sunday we went to church, Chili's, took naps, went to Buckhead Church, and to Parker's host home for dinner. Monday was the first day of VBS, so they went with me and I took them back to Chattanooga on Monday evening. We had a great time, and I'm so glad they came to visit me!

This week was VBS. When I got there Monday morning, I thought I'd be helping with recreation. Soon after that, I found myself teaching a 4-year-old class. It actually turned out to be pretty fun, but it was also completely exhausting. It's now Friday afternoon. I'm laying on Amanda's couch watching Law & Order SVU and blogging. Maclane, Amanda, Parker, Kerrie, Samuel, Anna, and I met the SLU 101 group from Two Rivers at The Varsity today. It was good to see everyone! Tonight is Family Night which is basically a mini carnival in the church parking lot. I'm looking forward to it, and hope I have enough energy to buy a funnel cake and ride the swings. :)

And later tonight, the lovely Heather Pierce will be driving to Atlanta to visit me! I think the plan is for us to relax. I am so looking forward to it! I need some good Heather time.

For's nap time. :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Beach Camp Ooo Ah Ah

I couldn't help it. We watched Finding Nemo on the way down to Destin... :)

So beach camp is over. Weird. My whole internship up to this point has all but revolved around this event, and it has now come and gone. In spite of some drama and unfortunate situations that always accompany student events, we had a wonderful week of worship and beach time. I made some new friends, strengthened old friendships, and learned a lot about FBA, myself, and my God. All circumstances aside, I love the students at FBA. My heart breaks for some of them because they don't yet realize how much God loves them. My heart rejoices as I watch others live lives that show the love of our God.

Sometimes when I'm away from a ministerial setting, I wonder if I have to do it...but after a week like this I have to think "how could I not??" Ministry is such an exhausting blessing. It makes my life. Literally. I don't know what I would be without it. I'm afraid of what I would be without it. God is so so so good. How can I not try to show and teach that?

My life was blessed by the other leaders, my fellow staff members, the band (EXODUS), the speaker (Brent Crowe), and the illusionist (Drew Worsham). All of these people have such gloriously huge hearts. It was an incredible privilege to get to serve alongside them for a little while. I'm anxious to worship with all of them again--whether it's on this life or the life yet to come.

Am I tired? Duh. Would I go back tomorrow? Absolutely.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

bright lights, big city

Some people don't consider Atlanta "big", but when you've lived 20 minutes outside of Nashville, TN in an itty bitty town called Pleasant View your entire life like I have...Atlanta is big. I've been here for just over a week, and I love it. Everyone I encounter on a daily basis is wonderful. I have already (in 7 days) learned so much about ministry. I'm overwhelmed by what the rest of the summer could hold.

[Important characters in this story include.... Kristen (girls ministry director), Amanda (student ministry assistant), Parker (co-intern), Maclane (student minister), Andrew (full time intern), Tony (student worship pastor)]

Last Wednesday was my first day in the office. Wednesdays are 12 hour days here at FBA, so I started off with a bang. :) I got into town at 10 on Tuesday night because I kept thinking of things to do in Nashville before I left. I met a little over half of my host family (there are 8 of them. yep. eight.), and unpacked. Then Wednesday was spent doing mostly administrative "welcome to the staff" stuff like getting our badges and filling out paper work. It was glorious. haha. I also discovered on Wednesday that Kristen and I would be taking a trip to Anderson, South Carolina on Thursday. (Surprise!)

Thursday:6:45am:Kristen and I leave for Anderson University--the site of our Girls Retreat this summer. We arrived around 9, after stopping at Starbucks, of course, and had a wonderful morning with Becky Walker--who is potentially the most adorable and loving woman in existence. We fell in love with the campus and feel like God is orchestrating everything perfectly for our little trip in July. There's still so much to do, but we wish it was tomorrow instead of over a month away.

One of the wonderful things about working at FBA is that we have Fridays off. We make up for it by working 12 hours on Wednesdays and 4 hours on Sundays. So Friday and Saturday were wonderful, sleepy days for me. Friday night I had dinner with Parker's host fam and Saturday night their son[Grant] took us to a great pizza place called "Fellini's" and drove us around downtown. It was so relaxing and great. I'm very thankful for the fast friends I've been blessed with here! We finished our Saturday night off at Amanda's apartment eating brownies and watching Saturday Night Live (hosted by Will Ferrell = hilarious).

My first Sunday was a little unusual because it was Senior Recognition day. We have 2 Sunday School hours/services on Sundays, so Andrew and I did a few songs in the first service. Then we had brunch for the seniors and their families, and the second hour was devoted to the Student Choir and the recognition of our seniors. There are lots of them. :) It was a great, celebratory day and we viewed it as a complete success!

Sunday afternoon was spent with my host family. We played Rook and had family movie night. I've been so blessed with a place to stay and such a fun family to spend time with this summer! There are 8 of them, so life is a little like a sitcom most of the time. It's a blast!

Monday was my first real office day. I don't remember much about it... probably because it was Monday. haha. Maclane took us to the pastor/director meeting, so we got to meet some of the pastors and ministry directors on staff. There are so many people here! And they're all wonderful! Monday night was spent at Parker's host home again. This time it was to meet and celebrate a girl named Jackie who is an on campus missionary at the University of Florida.

Tuesday was spent deep inside a bag full of medical supplies that were either covered in cough syrup or outdated... so Amanda and I made a list of things we needed to purchase. It was fun. haha. Also on Tuesday afternoon, a paralyzed man and his wife came to FBA from Raleigh, North Carolina to be baptized. They watch Dr. Stanley on TV, and contacted the church to ask about accomodations for baptism. The staff here was so great and helpful and this man and his wife were able to be baptized together even though it was seemingly impossible. It was a blessing to be a part of something so meaningful to this couple!

And now today... I've been here again for 12 hours. :) I like Wednesdays. Today Amanda and I went to Wal-Mart to get new supplies for the med bag. When we got back, Tony informed me that I would be leading worship tonight since he's been sick for A WHILE now and just went to the doctor today... (Tonight went really well and was very fun!) Then we went on a work lunch thing to celebrate Kristen's 5 year anniversary at FBA and Andrew's 4 year anniversary. We took a church van. Amanda drove. We were headed to the Mall of Georgia where Stephen [the soon to be new associate student pastor] was meeting us for lunch. We were about a mile away when we ran over a drive shaft.

******it's now Sunday...see how much free time I have?? haha.******
so anyway. We ran over a drive shaft. And we got a flat tire. So we spent 90 minutes on the side of the road changing the tire. The van didn't have a complete jack; a Suwanee police officer didn't have a jack; lots of "gentlemen" in large trucks honked at us as they drove by, but didn't stop; Stephen had to bring us the jack in his truck. So we eventually made it to PF Chang's at the Mall of Georgia--where 8 warm and tired people ate lunch. It was an adventure, to say the least!

Thursday was rather uneventful in comparison. We spent a significant amount of time cleaning and moving things in our offices to prepare for Stephen's arrival on Tuesday and the construction that will be done while we're at camp. We also spent some time at Goodwill in the afternoon getting some wonderful clothes for camp. :)

I'm going to try to post again tonight about my crazy weekend. But there's the update so far!! Loves.

Monday, April 27, 2009

i have too much to say...

Oh man. It is a little after 11am on Monday...
in news unrelated to anything else:
  • I just watched a girl walk confidently into the men's restroom in the library. She promptly turned around and sheepishly walked out. :)
  • I need a camera because this blog would benefit greatly from some pictures.
  • The "word verification" step you have to take to post a comment baffles me. They aren't even real words! What am I verifying?!
  • I'm thankful that my friends are more consistent bloggers than I have turned out to be. Hopefully this summer I will be better.
  • I love shoes from GAP. I also love buying shoes. It's a good combo.

Real news--in order of importance--from least to greatest: (I'll use bullets for this too. Why not?)

  • I am ready for school to be over, but I am not ready for summer. I would like a nap first. I'm really excited about interning at First Baptist Atlanta with Maclane, Parker, and the rest of the wonderful staff this summer, but I do wish I had a small break. As things are, my last final is May 12th at 8am...and my first day in the office in Atlanta is May 13th. This means I have to pack in the midst of finals, and move to Atlanta on Tuesday afternoon(hopefully during a period of less traffic...).
  • Speaking of school, I have so much going on in the next two weeks. Tomorrow: Abnormal Psychology presentation, Review of "Contemplative Thought and Practice" articles due, Lifespan Development "Mini-Exam #3" due... Thursday: field trip to a Labyrinth, Belmont Undergraduate Research Symposium (BURS) presentation at 8:45pm... Friday: YELLOW ROSE BALL! YAY!... Saturday: work, Sycamore's Band Banquet, Kevin's "Summer's Here" party... Sunday: church, AST Alum Inductions, AST Business Meeting... Monday: Life of Christ Presentation, last Monday at J's... May 5: last day of classes... May 6: Dead Day aka pack up my life day... May 7: Lifespan Development Final, Life of Christ Final Paper Due, last real day of work at J's... May 8: History and Systems of Psychology Final, Abnormal Psychology Final, BGM Fundraiser... May 9: Nick's Graduation Party, Alayna's Prom... May 10: Mother's Day, Last Sunday at Two Rivers, last day at J's... May 11th: finish packing up my life day... May 12th: Contemplative Thought and Practice Final, drive to Atlanta... GEEZ LOUISE!! In the midst of all of this, I should probably study...

This part is too important for a bullet...

Here I am. Convicted, yet again. This time by a sticker. haha. Yesterday, my mom had these Bible verse stickers for her 5 year old Sunday School class. Autumn and I, of course, put them on. The ones we chose said "I cannot stop talking about Jesus. Acts 4:20". My friend, Brian, made the comment that we shouldn't have to wear stickers for people to know that. How true! The actual verse says (starting in verse 13...) is:

"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, saying, "What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But in order that it may be spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name." So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard."

Why? Why? Why? are we so ignorant? We don't need stickers. We have voices and lives. What is wrong with us? What is wrong with me? I'm sorry, Lord, that I have somehow found a way to keep silent. Let it last no longer!

Love to all who read. :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

God knows what I need... You know what I need.

I have recently been highly convicted about the time that I spend on facebook. So, with it being Palm Sunday--the beginning of a week where My Savior literally gave up His life for me-- I'm giving up facebook for Him. For now, it's only for the week...kind of a nice cap on lent...but we will see where we are next Sunday night. I'm hoping, and have full faith, that this will be the beginning of a less time consuming friendship between me and facebook. I have actually been called the T-Rex of facebook before. No lie. I think it was because I showed up on this person's newsfeed all the time even though we weren't friends. Don't worry. We are now. haha. Instead of facebook, I'll be carrying my pocket sized Bible in my purse, and anytime I have the urge to check someone's profile or confirm my friend requests... I'm going to read David's power ballads and Paul's cool missionary stories instead. I still have facebook mobile, so it isn't gone completely, and I can get important messages. But that also means I'll only be practicing defensive facebooking this week. If you need me, call me. It's so much more personal than blue and white websites. (ps i like texting too) I'll still be on a computer because I have a paper due on Tuesday, and my teachers like to communicate through e-mail. I'll probably blog a bit too.

In other news, I have wonderful friends. They have literally come out of the woodworks since all this break-up crap happened. I am an extremely blessed girl (almost) from coast to coast. How exciting!

In still more news... I'm facing a potentially awkward situation. My sorority formal is coming up, and I have to decide if I'm taking a date by the 13th. That's a week from tomorrow for my dense readers... when I had a boyfriend who lived out of town, I was totally not concerned about going alone. Now that thought makes me want to throw up. Now that I am, once again, not dating anyone, I don't want to go alone. But who do I ask??? Can I take a good girl friend of mine?? Is that allowed? haha. Should I ask a good guy friend? I feel like it would be awkward, but I don't know. Should I just go alone?? Arggg. Dilemmas.

Oh well. It's Passion Week. There are more important things to think about between now and next Monday.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

first of all, i cannot take credit for these words. they came from the lovely Kim Thomas at The Village Chapel's Tuesday night women's Bible Study... but, oh boy, did they ever speak to my soul!
this was the 3rd of a 4 week series leading up to Easter...the topic? Deserts: what it means, how we get there, what's the point, etc...Here is what my notes say:


What keeps us in the desert? What are we missing? We're underfed...underthriving.
We have to get over ourselves and wade through the storms and sit in the deserts.
Some form of desert is mentioned over 300 times in Scripture...mostly referring to a Spiritual drought.
Deserts can be an incubator for growth. (David...Jesus...You and Me)
The Metaphor:
  • uncultivated wilderness--lack of productivity; barren; no fruit; no growth
  • waterless place--dry; nothing flowing; land of no resource
  • solitary place--loneliness; no distractions; rest; quiet; boring
Deserts can be good, or they can be bad.

Does God always bring you out of the desert?
yes, but maybe not in this lifetime...
How do we get there?
  1. carelessly wander (sometimes intentional due to rebellion or disobedience...needs repentance)
  2. led by the enemy (Spiritual Warfare)
  3. led by God (time of refinement)


  1. Heat--we are tempted, tested, and tried
  2. Dehydration--we are not Spiritual camels; it doesn't take much to become dehydrated; dehydration effects your mind too
  3. falls, sprains, breaks due to rough terrain--making bad decisions or choices

Be hypervigilent...there's no safe place to step, just less dangerous places.


  • Hope is renewed. Isaiah 35:1-4
  • Newness. Isaiah 43:18-19 -- God is making us holy; drawing us closer to Him.
  • Thirsty for the Lord. Psalm 42:1-4
  • Resets us. Psalm 42:5-8 -- Things you don't need are lost. Things you do need are saved.
  • Reminds us. Psalm 107:1-9

We only recognize these as blessings after we've been in the desert.

Deserts remind us of our want and need for God.

The story of the Bible begins in a garden, runs through the desert, and ends with a new heaven and a new earth -- the opposite of the desert.

One other thing Kim said that really resonated with me is that we are always asking God for something or waiting on Him. When we are in the desert, we ask for rain and water. When the floods come, we ask when the rain is going to stop... we are such whiners! I want to embrace the seasons of my life no matter what they look like. Hope you will too.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

waking up is hard to do; sleep is impossible too...

I need to recharge. I need a break after my spring break because my break was filled with tears and difficult conversations and the ending of an almost year long relationship. I'm broken...

...but I won't be forever. I know the Lord can and will restore my heart. He is teaching me that through His word and His children. I have been reminded of how wonderful my friends are, and that there are still people who love me.
There are Psalms that I think of as the "power ballads" of the Bible, and that's where I've been recently...specifically Psalm 34. David wrote it when he was thanking the Lord for protecting him from Abimelech when he was running from Saul. David chose to take matters into his own hands and pretend to be insane so they wouldn't kill him, but God protected him anyway. This psalm is David's power ballad of thanksgiving:
I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry;
the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and
saves those who are crushed in spirit.
A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;
he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.
Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord redeems his servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.

So I'm recharging through the strength and redemption of my Father. I hope to be back on a normal sleeping schedule very soon and thrown fully into the swing of school things sooner than that. I'm not okay. But I know I will be because I know the Lord is not one to just leave me hanging...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

RHS--Restless Heart Syndrome...

I've been convicted lately about a lot of things. The most prevolent in my mind is the fact that I don't talk nearly as much as I used to. For those of you who know me, that may have caused a laugh... I still talk just as much--maybe more--but what I'm saying is worth less. I used to put stock in my words. I used to give advice that didn't come from a textbook. It came from my heart. I miss those words and the deep friendships that blossomed from them. I'm in the process of attempting to reconnect with that part of myself and that conversational part of God. I get so busy that I talk at God instead of to God--so what then do I glean from the experience?? A tired mind and a restless heart. I want a renewed mind and a full, contented heart so that I can pour into those around me. Pray for me.

Monday, February 23, 2009

No vacancy. My brain is full.

I have 5 billion thoughts floating in my head right now. No lie. The past couple of days have been hard for multiple reasons that I'll spare you from. Today was better though.
  • I went to my first class, and it only lasted for about 15 minutes. I love when that happens.
  • I spent my surprise free time in the library. There I sent an email that was a little bit freeing. Don't worry. I sent it to a person that can handle it. I think. I hope.
  • At 10, I had a wonderful conversation about life and boys and girl stuff and grad school and moms and all sorts of other things with my friend Heather. She's great, and we share a lot of common viewpoints. I think ours is a friendship that will last after Belmont. I wish we had hung out sooner, but God's timing is perfect. I've needed a good friend here for some time since my best friends live in different cities. So I'm very thankful for Heather.
  • I went to my 11 o'clock class and I participated. What makes it better is that what I said made sense!
  • Then I went to lunch with great people.
  • I hadn't gotten my training schedule yet for this week, so I wasn't sure if I had to work tonight or not. Good news though. My next training day is Wednesday, so I have time to get my shirt clean (whoo-hoo!) and study for my day 4 test!
  • I took clothes to the dry cleaners for the very first time today. I was a little unsure of how it all worked, but I'll probably be frequenting the cleaners pretty often. I'm already going back tomorrow to get my shirts. :)
  • I've spent the rest of this evening looking at grad schools and an apartment I won't need for about another year. It's a little overwhelming to think about moving away from home. So I'm glad I have a little time.
  • I also had some great, hilarious conversation with my little sister, Autumn, tonight. She's ridiculously funny. For example, she sent me a piece of flair on facebook tonight that said "JK, JK, L, M, N, O, P". That's the kind of humor she has. She's very clever.

Today has been a good day. I hope it ends well.

My boyfriend is a little bit sassy. Don't get confused. He's not the least bit feminine, but he has an attitude of his own. It keeps life interesting. It's almost been a full 6 months since he moved to Michigan. (Did I mention we have a long distance relationship??) He'll be finished with school in 6 months too. I miss him all the time. We've had some hard times lately. Both of us are at fault. Long distance is so hard, but I know if we can make it through this...we can make it through anything. I'll probably be moving to wherever he is after I graduate from Belmont in December. That seems far away, but it's also closer than I ever thought it would be. And it just keeps getting closer... It will be so great for us to live in the same city again though. So I have some time to prepare, and that is a blessing!

God is so good! I'll leave you with a verse tonight.

"But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day." Proverbs 4:18

I feel like my path is getting a little brighter...


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

i miss the sound of your voice...the loudest thing in my head

So there's this boy. And I wish so much that God's plan included us living in the same city right now. I know that God's timing and plans are perfect, but this is really hard. Due to a combination of the aforementioned crazy-busy week that I am drowning in, and his crazy film school life...we haven't gotten to really talk much lately. I mean there's the small talk, the text messages, and the mundane details of our lives, but I want some quality conversation. What I want more than that though is to be able to just sit close to him and not say anything. You girls who get tons of time (or any face time) with your boyfriends don't realize just how lucky you are. The boy says I should move to wherever he is when I graduate in December, get a job, and support him. He's funny like that. :) I miss him all the time. I'm a bit sappy. My apologies.

In other news, I'm sleepy and every part of my body (including my hair) hurts. And it's off to work again tomorrow. I like my new job. It's really very fun, and the people there are interesting. haha. I'm nervous, of course, because I'm new. But I think I'll be okay.

For now I must leave you and write 5 pages about Martin Luther's contribution to the contemplative life. Glorious, isn't it?

My first day as a blogger

I've been wanting to start a blog for some time now, and thanks to the constant urging from my b. friend, Katarina, today is the day. It just happens to be the middle of the busiest week of my life to date. I'm training for my new job every night except tonight, and going to school every day. On top of just going to class, I had a test Monday, an outline due this morning, and a research paper due tomorrow morning. Plus I drove to Atlanta on Saturday, and drove home Sunday. Needless to say, I'm a little tired. I'm learning a lot though, and I'm excited about my new job AND my new blog!

Anyway, I'm Alicia. I'm a senior at Belmont University, and I'm graduating in December (i'm taking a victory lap). I love Jesus a whole lot, but He loves me more. I sing more than most people. My favorite foods are cheese and bread. I have a crazy family, a wonderful boyfriend, and the very best friends. I'm a blessed girl.