Saturday, August 21, 2010

What I Am Learning

Summer is officially over for CSM LA. It went by so fast and I can't believe its actually over. Of course, posting pictures took a back seat! I don't know what I was thinking trying to start something like that in the middle of the busiest summer of my life!

I have been learning so much this summer about God, His character, and His plan for my life. As much as I have fallen in love with L.A., it is very much outside of my comfort zone. I have had to really trust God in this whole plan because honestly, I don't know if I would have picked L.A. Thank goodness He sees the bigger picture because it has been the best decision for me right now. I could not ask for a better team of people around me.

I am excited for the plans that we have for our city. I am excited to see this ministry grow and teach kids more and more about God's love for the city and His people. I am excited to continue the relationships with our ministry sites this fall and be able to serve along side of them. I mean, I seriously have the best job ever. I get to work full time with people in the city living out the gospel. How amazing is that? It's so much more than giving money or handing out food. I have the opportunity to build deep, meaningful, relationships with people who teach me every day what real faith and trust in God looks like. I don't know why God has chosen me. I am thankful every day that He did.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Speaking love

"We are sensitive about the words that come into our lives but sometimes careless about the words that come out of our mouths." Pete Wilson

I was going back through some notes today while I was planning for our Sunday devotions. This was one of the first things I read. It was from a message Pete preached about pursuing wisdom in words. How true is this statement? If someone says something to hurt my feelings, I could carry it around with me forever. Yet, sometimes I don't give my words a second thought before they come spewing out of my mouth.

The notes I have for this message are incredibly convicting and rightly so! This is hard for me so many times. I am sarcastic and find humor in it. Sometimes the things that come out of my mouth make me even cringe. Somewhere we started believing that we could say the meanest things we could think of and by adding "just kidding" or "I'm sorry" to the end of it, it makes it okay. It doesn't take those words away. I never want my friends to ever think they can't come to me with real life problems b/c of my words. I want my words to be life giving.

He goes on to say..."God has designed the human soul where your words will either destroy or build up one another." How differently would I chose my words if I lived this out on a daily basis?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Project 365

June 11th
This is how you shop for 80 something people. Its mad chaos!

One of the cats in our house. She is such a creeper.

First week of groups!

Robin surprised me with this in the mail. I have the best friends. I can't wait to start reading it.

Two of our hosts, Billy and Allie, had birthdays today! Jonathan and I made the cakes. Jonathan made an ice cream cake and I made a red velvet. We are pretty awesome.

oops..forgot to take a picture

Can you tell who was playing in the world cup today? South LA was crazy and it was so fun to experience. People were just driving around and waving flags, blowing horns, and dancing in the streets.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Project 365

June 4th
This is the van they let me drive around for staff training. It has been an adventure!

June 5th
Dodgers game with the hosts. Stupid Dodgers lost!

June 6th
My new bedding. I love it and its a nice change for my room.

June 7th
My new friend, Cy. He is way cooler than I will ever be.

June 8th
Debriefing at Echo Park

June 9th
Darin bought himself a Roscoe's shirt. This guy was one of a kind.

June 10th
Enjoying some beach/fire pit time with the hosts.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Project 365

I have decided that I take pictures way more than I blog. So, I am hoping that I will be able to combine the two and blog way more consistently.

Basically, I will be taking pictures every day for the next year. I am going to share these with yall. I want to start really capturing all the things that happening in my life especially now that I am so far away from family and friends. I hope that yall will enjoy this as much as I do. Thank you so much for the support and prayers I have felt since moving to LA. I love each and every one of you so much. Thanks for being a part of my life. Without further first week of Project 365:

May 27th:
The view from my desk. Love that picture of Peyton getting ready for his first Ole Miss baseball game

May 28th:
Our first day of staff training. We hosted a group from Torrence, CA and had Indian Food brought in before going on the prayer tour.

May 29th:
CSM group working with Faith in Christ kids club

May 30th:
Jordan and I hanging out while our group goes on Dinner Search

May 31st
My new obsession is Yogurtland. The best part is my group from Grand Junction, CO got me a $100 gift card there! So, now I have every reason to go on a daily basis.

June 1st:
Staff Training!!

June 2nd:
JP and Deric were here! So glad I got to hang out with them for a few hours. It was really nice to see familiar faces.

June 3rd:
Cooking at a ministry site. You really don't even want to know what is that pot!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Summer is coming!

Summer is almost here! Actually, our host have started showing up this week. Please be praying for them throughout this week and the summer. Their names are Daniel, Anna, Stasi, Allie, Courntey, Emily, Billy, and Ashley.

I am so excited for them all to arrive and we can get going this summer. Staff training starts tomorrow. Please pray for any fears, concerns, or anxieties that they may have this summer. Also, please pray for their parents. I am sure it is hard on the parents to leave their babies in the inner city. Things are about to get so crazy busy. Please pray for Jordan, Jonathan, and me as we train our host and teach them as much as we know about CSM before they start hosting.

I love yall!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How does this still happen?

I read a story today that completely broke my heart. How have we become so desensitized as a culture that we could allow this to happen? People want to blame it on New Yorkers but I know this could happen any place. Our culture has become so self-absorbed that we can't step out of our worlds for one second to see the bigger picture. We don't like to be uncomfortable. It's a hard concept to grasp that this life is not about our jobs, how much money we make, how much stuff we have..etc. It's about caring for and loving people. We have lost sight of that some where. We have become a society where we will walk over anyone to get what we want.

I want this to be a reminder to me to look beyond myself. If my life was truly eternally different would I be?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Home Sweet L.A.

After the longest road trip, we have made it to L.A. and I started working on Monday. Britney and Beth came with me and we had such a great time. We got to see so much driving to the west coast.

We started at 6 am Wednesday morning. Our first detour was in Prague, OK. Not sure why but they have a National Shrine of Infant Jesus. It was so weird. We stopped in Amarillo to see the Cadillac Ranch. I do not know what the big deal is but now I can say that I have seen it. After 18 long hours, we spent the night in Flagstaff, AZ. Thursday morning, we made our way up to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. It was simply amazing. I have heard so many times that pictures do not do it justice and it's so true. From the Grand Canyon, we decided to take a detour to Vegas. I mean..why not? We have already driven about 20 hours at this point. We saw the Hoover Dam on our way to Vegas. We didn't spend much time at all there. We were there long enough to drive down the strip and see the famous Welcome to Vegas sign. It was good enough for this trip.

We rolled into L.A. around 10 Thursday night. It was so great to finally be in the city. I am pretty sure we packed in more site seeing in 3 days than most people do in a week! I have already been to Hollywood Blvd, Sunset, Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, and that was just Friday! Saturday, we went back to the pier to eat lunch and ride the ferris wheel. We went to see the Dodgers play Sunday afternoon and it was crazy hot so we didn't stay the whole game. They left Monday afternoon. It was so much fun to have them here for those few days.

I started working Monday. It was a lot of driving around the city and learning where some of our ministry sites are located. We stumbled onto a taping of NCIS L.A. so that was fun to watch for a little while. Chris O'Donnell was within arms reach of us so that was fun! Jonathan and Jordan took me on the prayer tour Monday evening which is really my favorite part of CSM. It is such a great way to learn and fall in love with the city where God has called me. I am so excited about what God is doing here and that I get to be a small part of it. I will be updating more often (hopefully) so this is a great place to see what is going here in the city. Thanks so much for reading and praying for me as I begin this huge, life changing journey. I will be collecting home addresses and email addresses to send out prayer cards and newsletters. Please let me know if you would like to receive either one. You can email me at or send me a message on facebook. I love y'all so much. Thanks for being apart of my life!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 I come...

Just writing that blog title is still kinda surreal to me! I am officially moving to L.A. to work with CSM. I will be the Associate Director of CSM L.A. I can't even begin to express how I am feeling right now. I am excited/nervous/every other feeling I could possibly have at this moment. This is probably one of the biggest decisions I have made in my life but I couldn't be happier. This opportunity is going to be life changing and will be one of the best experiences for me. It will be a nice push outside of my comfort zone and a challenge for my faith which is something I don't feel like I have experienced a lot of in my life.

I am going to miss Nashville and the friends I have made here so much. I feel like I have finally found myself and the people I have met here have been a huge part in that process. I know being so far away from everyone will be hard but now my family and friends have a new place to come visit/vacation!

I only have a month left so there is a lot to do and people to see. I get to start with going to see Bailee, Josh, and Lucas for the next five days. I can't wait to spend time with them. Please pray for me as I make this transition. Pray that my family will have the peace that I have about my decision. I am so excited for this next stage in my life and I want them to be just as excited for me even though the unknown is a scary for them. I can't wait to start working and share all of my experiences with y'all.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Breelyn! Gifts71-80

My neice turns 4 today. She is the most precious little girl and I love being her aunt. I love everything about her. I love that she is a princess and a girly girl but can definitely hold her own. I love that she calls me BreeBree and the way she lights up when I come home. She is one of my favorite people in the world. My gifts for this week will be pictures of Breelyn.

I love you so much! Thank you for showing me what loving unconditionally looks like. I am so proud of you and love being your aunt! You bring so much joy into my life and I can't wait to see how God uses you.

love, BreeBree

*love her spongebob sunglasses!
*She loves her Pops!
*She loves her baby brother most days...
*HUGE Kris Allen fan and loves the autographed picture
*always posing
*She would live outside if she could
*Even her "freak out" moments are cute
*First day of school
*Jumpzone birthday party
*Always be my little princess

Monday, February 22, 2010

Gifts 61-70

61. Driving with the windows down
62. video chats with Rachel
63. New life choices
64. Spring weekends in Febuary
65. Going away for the weekend and not having cell phone service
66. Building lasting friendships
67. Letting go
68. Coffee
69. taking pictures
70. The excitement of the unknown

holy experience

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Big Brother

Today is Billy's 32nd birthday! Wow..he is getting up there! :) Even though we have our ups and downs as all siblings do, he has always been an incredible big brother! I have been truly blessed with my family. So, in honor of his birthday, I thought I would share some pictures of us from over the years. Since it is his birthday, I left out the awkward middle school pictures and only put up the cute ones! (Billy, you know the ones I am talking about!)

*Pretty sure he probably loved this outfit! I found several pictures of him in it.
*Christmas has always brought great memories for us! And apparently this year was no exception because this is the year Kid Sister and My Buddy came into our lives! Notice the 80's wood paneling!
*Ahh..Easter Sunday! This one makes me laugh so hard. I feel like even at that moment, he felt sorry for me!
*Never more in his element than when he was playing sports!
*This one is just sweet. My bright red headed big brother and big sister!

Billy, I love you and hope you have a great day!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

One Year

One year ago today I moved to Nashville. It's kind of crazy how fast time flies! It has been sort of a whirlwind. I feel like I have grown lot. There are so many experiences that I am thankful for this year. Here are some of the highlights of the past year....

*I found a church home in Cross Point. It's not just a place I attend. I began to serve and find my place there.
*My two dear best friends, Bailee and Josh, had the most incredible baby boy. Lucas James Bettencourt was born March 19th and changed their lives forever. I mean..seriously..look how cute this boy is..(even if he is wearing a Cowboys jersey!:))

*I had the priviledge of interning at Center for Student Missions. It was an incredible experience and really is a huge reason for my growth this year.
*I have met some pretty fantastic people that I now call friends and that has made the transition so much easier!
*JP got married and I had the priviledge of being a bridesmaid.
*I watched a friend's dreams come true on national television.
*Met two great girls that became my roommmates.
*Celebrated Wilbur's 100th birthday.
*Elijah was born! This has been a fun year of new babies!!
*Celebrating Christmas in Wheelwright, KY with Cross Point

All in all, I feel like it has been a pretty incredible year. Excited to see what the next year holds!

holy experience

Monday, February 1, 2010

Gifts 41-50

41. Snow days
42. Remembering what its like to be a kid again
43. Birthdays
44. Starting a new small group
45. Lazy saturdays
46. Unexpected phone calls from my 3 yr old neice
47. Friends that love me despite myself
48. Weekend getaways
49. Good conversation
50. Listening to someone tell their story

holy experience

Monday, January 25, 2010

One Thousand Gifts 31-40

31. Movie nights
32. Education
33. sending a gift just because
34. receiving a gift just because
35. Having a best friend like Bailee that can totally turn your day around!
36. a new puppy in the house
37. Grace
38. Watching best friends be incredible parents
39. Being daddy's little girl
40. Music

holy experience