Thursday, November 28, 2013

be kind this year.

I love giving gifts. As much as I love getting them, I'd much rather GIVE gifts than get them. When I was a senior, we read the 5 Love Language book in Bible class and gifts was by FAR my number one love language. Whether you're my boyfriend or my sister or my cousin or dad, I tend to show my love through gifts. :)
 
For as long as I can remember, my parents are the most giving people I've ever met. My dad is a builder and he has built houses for Habitat for Humanity and other organizations like that. He will stop for ANYONE on the side of the road. He will always go without before anyone in my family does. He's literally the closest example to Jesus I've ever met. My mom has raised five kids and watches my niece now while my sister works. She's on every committee at church, she subs at school and she is just a giver. They both are. Time, money, and talents- they give.
 
I love that I've grown up with their example because it's instilled a love of giving to others in my own life now. I don't want to buy you a 60 inch TV because it's flashy, I would want to do it because I love you that much. Ha.
 
So, anyways, moving along... Last year, my sister, brother, bestie and myself dubbed one night "random acts of kindness" night. We made a list of 20 acts of kindness to do and did them all in one night. It was literally one of the best nights I've ever had. I've gained some momentum on social media since last December and a few weeks ago when I posted about the soldier I "adopted," I got an overwhelming amount of emails asking how people could get involved.
 
If you missed that convo on FB, let me catch you up. There is an organization called "Adopt a Soldier" where you sign up and are assigned a soldier. Then, you write to them and send them care packages. For security reasons, I can't say who or where he is stationed but his letters have far out blessed me compared to what I've written him. It's such a good feeling to send letters and cards and simple stuff like toothpaste to someone who is keeping our country free. So, again, it's FREE to sign up, you just have to spend on care packages BUT I promise it's worth every penny.
 
Adopting a soldier was number one on my acts of kindness list last year. I won't list all 20 unless someone needs ideas and wants me too but I'll list a few here. If you want, share on twitter or facebook or instagram some of your ideas and maybe we can rock this world with random acts of kindness.
 
Some of the acts on our list were:
-make cookies and take them to local fire departments (we took cookies to 5 local stations)
-make cookies and take them to local police station (we just went to 1) :)
-leave dollars taped to coke machines so people could enjoy a free drink on us
-went through several drive thru's to pay for the people behind us
-went to our childhood pastor's house and brought him and his wife thank you letters for all they did for us
-went to walmart and brought it all the random buggies
-took bags of donations to the thrift store
-bought gifts for a local charity and dropped them off
-wrote thank you notes to our parents for everything they've done for us
-collected can goods for a local homeless shelter
 
These are just ten small things we did. Some cost money but most did not. It doesn't take long to write someone important to you a thank you card. For all you know, it may be the only one they've ever received.
I like nice people. I like doing nice things. This world is SO busy and always in such a hurry that it's simple to overlook each other. I'm doing a Bible study right now that is teaching me to manage my time. My relationship with Jesus has to be in a good place for me to be able to witness to other people. It's important to be nice to people and for people to see Jesus in you. It's my honest prayer that my life ultimately points people to Jesus. There is SO many more things you could do for others that these may seem silly to you. And, that's okay. If I was a millionaire, I'd definitely donate money. But, I'm not, so, you know, I can donate cookies to local heroes. It's important for people to know that you're thankful for them. Big or small-every act of kindness makes a difference.
 
So, our 2nd annual acts of kindness night is December 14. I hope you and your friends will join in with us!! :) 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

good enough.

I would like to say that I am in love with 98% of my life. I honestly live a dream. I don't say that to sound full of it but I say that because I really do realize how blessed I am. I didn't love my life for a while because I let other people tell me my dreams and passions. I just gave into who others wanted me to be-and not in a bad way. I was the class president, my sorority vice president, etc. etc. etc. because it was FUN and it made me feel VALUED. I led Bible studies at my Christian college, I never ever miss church and I don't drink or smoke. I am the "good girl" mold to a T. BUT, that also means that I can't say no and I end up taking on 500 different tasks and getting burned out. I felt like the more I did, the more valued I would be.
NEWS FLASH ----> no matter HOW much you try, your worth will never be defined by a position or a person or a place. Your worth is defined by Christ. And, in Him, you're enough.
 
"You are my treasured possession."
Exodus 19:5
 
I became a Christian when I was 5. My dad got to lead me to alter and pray with me with my pastor and family right beside me. I've been taught and raised that God's view is the only view of myself that matters. In high school, I was the dorky virgin who ate alone after everyone got drunk at prom. I still am that dorky virgin who gets mean and hurtful twitter messages and emails at least three times a week.
 
"you're ugly"
"you're dumb"
"you're a virgin?? how retarded."
"no one will ever date you."
"just let me live my life and party if I want."
 
Is getting hateful messages something that anyone would willingly sign up for? No. And, like I mentioned earlier, I was raised to not believe it. Do I? Not 99% of the time. But, you know what sucks? That 1% of the time that I do.
 
I try to be a happy go lucky, positive, upbeat girl all the time. And I succeed at that most of the time. BUT, I also get messages like this: "Omg, your life is so perfect and everyone loves you and you are so cool and you have the best tweets and IG's and have a big house and etc. etc. etc." This is such a sweet message- don't get me wrong. BUT, I'm not perfect, lots of people don't like me, I'm a nerd, I'm social media illiterate and it's my parent's house so yeah. :) The heart behind this blog was for me to share my faith and try to be an example to young girls. An example to be pure, to be kind and to be nice. That's still the heart of Southern Samplings. Now, there's just some country hunks scattered throughout, also.
 
I think to be a real "role model" or example to girls, I need to be real. I'm not perfect or cool. I'm Katelyn. And, that's enough. I'm exactly who God made me and for the first time, I'm owning it because I'm following my dreams. I know what I want in life, I'm seeking God in the decisions I'm making and I genuinely believe that God is blessing me.
 
I just want to hug every girl who thinks they aren't good enough. You are. There is not another person in this world that can do what God put YOU on this earth to do. When you seek God with your entire heart and do what GOD wants you to do-not what your parents or teachers want you to do-you'll be happy. I'm not saying your parents or teachers are wrong but just make sure that you are listening to God.

There's a quote that says "you have to fall in love with who God created you to be before He will let you fall in love with who He created you to be with." I don't mention this quote to hope that you're living to be in a relationship with a man but to say you have to love yourself before someone else can.
 
This is a short post because there's only so many ways to say that it's my honest prayer that every girl will learn to love themselves and see themselves the way God sees us. Of course, there are a million things that I can improve on BUT what citygurl1992 has to say about you or me on Twitter should not be what we dwell on anymore. What Exodus 19:5 says about us is what we should dwell on.

Shine on ladies.

:) 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

dylan scott: bastrop, la

Since dethroning Luke Bryan this afternoon on Twitter from "entertainer of country music," according to Katelyn, I've gotten exactly 26 messages from people on Twitter.
"say it isn't so"
"no wayyyy"
"I've never seen Dylan Scott but now I have to"
"omg, you traitor"
...I mean, I could literally post all 26 but I'll save you the drama for your momma.
let's get to the nitty gritty.
my friend hannah and I went to see Dylan Scott in Birmingham the first week of October. we loved his set and got to meet him and his super awesome drummer, jacob, after. he told us he was coming back in two weeks with a full band show, so, naturally, we went.
It was one of the best show I've ever seen in my life. keep in mind that's literally my side job these days-going to shows and reporting. I've been to 25 shows since June of this year alone. Dylan's full band was amazing. every single person smiled the whole time and you could just tell that they were living that dream. I feel like the crowd can sense that kind of passion and it just makes for a fun set.
Fast forward to the next week in Nashville and guess who this girl gets to run into? whoop whoop. Dylan. and Jacob. and Josh Kerr (aka guitar player, amazing song writer). cool, right? I mean, I'm at a Luke Bryan concert and there's more celebrities I get to see. it was a win win situation.
fast forward to two weeks ago. we see that Dylan's last full band show is in his hometown of Bastrop, LA on Friday, November 22.
SCORE. WE ARE GOING. Louisiana really isn't that far away. And, it's a great show guaranteed. There's one problem. Super star little brother is in the state playoffs. The only way we were going to be able to go was if my brother lost the play offs. And, as cruel as it sounds, I've never been more excited about an L for a team. That's so mean but he's only a sophomore, so there's still time to win that championship, bro.
So, since I've been assigned to some newer country acts lately, I BEG my boss to let me go for "work" to see Dylan. He agrees. My life is made!! So, Friday morning, Hannah and I are heading out to Louisiana. We pick up Kayla and Trish on the way. We met them on twitter through our mutual appreciation of Dylan. Shout out to Dylan because now I have two new cool friends.

Bastrop, Louisiana was exactly 375 miles away. We are booking it to get there by the time doors open because anything less than front row is not acceptable. I mean, right? Once you've been front row, you can't go back. The ride there was hilarious. Mississippi has some jacked up roads. And, even though I live in the country in the middle of no where, Bastrop is the smallest town I've ever seen. Especially in the pitch black dark and the rain. Whatevs.
We get there, get our tickets, and secure our front row spots. Whoop whoop.
Chancie Neal opened for Dylan. I've seen Chancie three times before so she was no stranger to me. She is also from the same area and she is an amazing singer. But, more so than that, the girl can writeeeee. Her lyrics were amazing. So, you should go meet Chancie here.
Moving on to the main event.
Like I mentioned earlier, I'm no stranger to sets and shows and seeing artists perform. Luke Bryan is an amazing artist at connecting with his audience but Dylan totally blew him away in that aspect.


Besides the 7 year old that was sitting on the speaker in front of me kicking me 75% of the concert, Dylan's concert last night was the best concert I've ever been to.


I LOVE when artists look like they're in their element and that was Dylan last night. He sang most of his songs, including my faves, "Passenger Seat," "Turn Rows," and "Lay it on Me." He also sang several covers of Luke Bryan and some rap songs. I've seen him twice with a full band and the second time topped the first performance by far. His band members are all so incredibly gifted and they're just as nice as they are talented. I wish I could link my Instagram videos to this post, too, because he did a "campfire set" for several songs that was incredible.
It was all of 45 degrees (if that) and half of the venue was opened to the outside so it was chilly. No fear, though. I mean, no worries for front row because when they started that bonfire, we all got a little cozy. Dylan sang "Grandaddy's Gun" as well as part of Keith Urban's "Cop Car." This is my favorite cover he's ever done. It's kind of neat when a cover is better than the original. Move over, Keith. :)
He sang other songs during the campfire set as well, but make sure you check out my IG for videos.

Dylan wasn't feeling 100% but if he hadn't said anything- I doubt anyone would have noticed. From his dancing to his singing to pouring bottles of water on his band and the crowd (think cold and wet...good one, Dylan), to the way he interacted with the audience and the band are the reasons Dylan has taken number one entertainer spot in my heart.
I've met lots of artists this year alone and I can say from experience, no one has seemed as grateful as Dylan. I mean, country singers are the nicest and most grateful people ever, but beyond nice and grateful, Dylan makes you feel like he's known you forever. It's so funny to me that someone who is a literal superstar (blue check on twitter and all) STILL takes so much time after his shows to talk and meet with everyone.

saying hey to our bestie
Jacob!! He's the best drummer ever. and he really likes bears.
Josh Kerr. he's writes the BEST songs!

He's so young (at 23) compared to most of the current guys in country music that I can't wait to see how big he gets in the next couple of years. I've literally never heard another voice that is as smooth as his and he could sing the ABC's and it would be my new favorite song.

His songs are packed with lyrics of back roads, shot gun seats and hunting. His band is full of energy. He connects with his audience and his fans like no other artist I've ever seen.

I can't wait for 2014 for more roadtrips to see him and the guys! If you don't know who he is, shame on you. :) Go check him out here for more information. Follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook! He has an EP at Walmart that you can get here.  Whatever way you connect, just make sure that you do. He's definitely an artist that you'll love and want to see succeed! :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

collab with THE payton sumrall: answering your questions

well, it's friday.
 we made it. :)
 
Today is probably my most favorite post I'll ever post (I mean, besides Luke Bryan posts, of course). This is where you all need to say hey to Payton Sumrall, if you haven't already.

Payton is the author behind "Yeah, I'm a Writer." He is currently writing an extremely awesome novel so make sure you read it after you read our post. Payton's brothers and my brother play football together at Kingwood. Payton and I are the loud ones who like to yell at the games. Besides that, Payton is an AMAZING writer and one of the best guys I know. When I was approached about doing a guys/girls perspective to some relationship questions, Payton was the first person that came to mind. After you read his answers, you'll see why.
 
Payton and I don't agree 100% on every question. And, I think that this is going to help twice as many people because of it. Payton is a good thinker and an incredible communicator. He can articulate his answers in a way that few others can. Make sure you check out his post, too! :)
 
 I posted on Twitter and over 30 of y'all sent in questions. We wrote them all down and picked ten to answer. Payton and I are answering the same questions with different perspectives and with slightly different beliefs.
 
Here we go!
 
"1. How should I handle jealously in my relationship? I get extremely jealous around his ex when I see her out in public."
 
First off, look beside you. He's with you right now and not her. That's a good start. Beyond that, my dad use to explain jealously with a clever definition. He said it was a mixture of anger and fear. Why are you jealous? Probably a little bit because you're angry that he was with her and that it still bothers you even though you're with him now. And, probably a little bit of fear that he still has feelings for her. STOP THAT. You're enough. You have to be able to communicate effectively with your partner. You shouldn't hide your feelings from them, good or bad, because it harbors jealously.
 
"2. All of my friends are in relationships and I get so bummed out because I'm always doing stuff alone. How can you be satisfied and single?"

 I write a lot about being satisfied and single so I won't hammer this one in the ground too hard BUT you have to be okay with being single. Being single is the time in your life that you can work on being the best you that you can be. It's also the best time to just have fun. There are a lot of things that you can do and experience while you're single that you can't when you're in a relationship. Being single isn't a curse, it's a blessing sometimes. It's natural to want to be in a relationship but being in the wrong relationship can be more lonely than being single. You have to fall in love with yourself, essentially. You can't look for your validation in a man so if you're miserable single, you're probably not going to be 100% satisfied in a relationship.
 
"3. What are your thoughts on moving in before you're married?"

I don't plan on moving in before I'm married. I don't think you're "evil" if you do but I don't see any reason in it, either. This goes into the next question but what other reason besides sex are you really wanting to move in? I think that a lot of times, the girl or guy is tired of living at home or some other excuse so they move in together. Moving in is a HUGE step and if you're doing it just to get out of momma's house, that's the wrong reason. Several of y'all have told me that you support it because you want to know how clean, etc. he is. But, honestly, if you're dating someone, you should know if they're messy or not. Moving in together to make sure he does his laundry isn't a legitimate excuse to, in my opinion.
 
"4. What is your opinion on sex before marriage?"

 Well, if this question isn't just my favorite. Ha. There's no other answer that is as basic as no. No, no, no. Never. Not in my opinion. I'm 23 and I'm a virgin. I know, I'm not a Victoria Secret model and no, boys aren't banging on my door to have sex so this one is probably not as hard for me to stand behind. And, I'm probably the most outspoken person about 'no sex before marriage' that honestly, only one guy has even proposed that idea, so there's that. I could link you to almost every blog post because that's what I harp about. But, I'll explain. Sex is by far the most intimate thing that you could ever participate in. And, when done appropriately, it'll be amazing when the day comes. I mean, how cool will it be to be able to give your husband your purity and not have to have flashbacks or thoughts of other guys I've been with? Being a virgin is the number one thing I get ridiculed about but it's also my biggest platform and something that I'll never be ashamed of. I feel like the man I'll marry will respect me enough (regardless of hormones or emotions) to respect my purity until we're married. I feel like so many people can't control their emotions how enough to keep their clothes on. If you're ready for sex, you're ready for the consequences. You can't just JUST have sex. There's a lot behind it. There are a lot of emotions involved. There are a lot of things that could happen. You could end up pregnant or you can get a disease that changes the course of your life. If you're aren't ready to be a parent, don't have sex.
 
"5. I really like this girl that my friend dated for about a year. Is there really rules associated with friends dating exes? Opinions?

I personally don't think that there are "rules" for this one. I think that, obviously, this is a situational question. If you're 14 and 15, that's different than if y'all were living together and 25. Basically, though, you should talk to your friend. Make sure that there are no feelings left there. Even if they do still have feelings and you REALLY want to date this person, you'll have to decide for yourself what to choose-relationship or friendship. But, like Payton said, if it's true love, they won't be mad at you.

"6. What are your thoughts about kissing on the first date?"

I don't personally ever kiss on a first date. I think that there should be SO much more than happens on a first date than a kiss. If I can't get a second date based on our conversation and connection-mentally and emotionally- I don't want to earn a second date by a physical connection. I am the type to take things slow in a relationship so I'd probably be too guarded on a first date anyways.

"7. Do you think that you can only have one soul mate?"
This is the question Payton and I discussed for the longest amount of time. I automatically said no in the beginning to this question but I feel like if I just said "no," it may be a little misleading. So, let me explain. I don't know if I even believe in the term "soul mate." I've used my analogy of how you're a complete heart and your partner has a complete heart. You compliment each other. You don't complete each other. The first person you date may not be who you marry, and that's okay. They'll be a part of the story that leads you to the person you do marry and that person will be who you are suppose to be with. I'm a big believer of "everything happens for a reason." So, if you have to go through some bad relationship(s) to get to your "soulmate," then that's just part of your story.

"8. I'm having a hard time balancing time with my friends and my boyfriend. Do you have any advice on how to balance?"

 I have four siblings that are my best friends so I have to balance my time with friends and a boyfriend. I feel like if you're so stressed about splitting your time that it may be because your friends and boyfriend don't get along? That's a whole other question BUT if you need to, just plan better. You could spend Friday with your friends and Saturday with your boyfriend. Ideally, everyone will get along and y'all should all hang out together. Include your friends and boyfriend in as much as possible together.

"9. I met this guy on twitter a few months ago. We've exchanged numbers but never met. He's super sweet to me in text messages and such but on twitter he is really vulgar. I don't know why or if he's putting up a front? Why is he acting so different on twitter vs texting me?"

 When we were talking about these questions, Payton hit this one out of the park so I totally agree with what he says. In addition, maybe he's showing off a little. He might feel like he's got something to prove so he's vulgar around the people don't matter as much. But, he obviously is being sweet to you for a reason. I wouldn't like it if a guy was doing that with me so I'd probably just straight ask him what the deal was. Remember, communicate? How serious is it? If this is a guy that lives in your hometown and you've "heard of" him is different than someone who lives 8 states away sitting behind a computer screen cat-fishing you. Be careful. I tend to be overly cautious of online relationships of any type anyways. If at any point you feel uncomfortable with anything, stop it before it goes too far.

"10. Do guys really like girls that are intelligent? I'm extremely smart but I feel like all the idiots are the ones in boyfriends."

 Again, I feel like Payton answers this one extremely well because he's, well, a guy. Ha. But, look at the "idiots" with boyfriends. What kind of men are these guys? If you are extremely smart, start looking for those type of guys. It's hard to get connected with a "super intelligent" guy that you see at a bar while he's drunk out of his mind. On one hand, I'll congratulate anyone who doesn't settle for a man just to be in a relationship. It may be a little intimidating for a guy to approach someone who everyone knows is extremely intelligent. But, own it. Don't dumb yourself down just to be in a relationship. This question relates back to number 4. Don't settle.

_____________________________________

Okay, so like I mentioned earlier, you HAVE to go read Payton's answers because they're brilliant. If y'all have any more questions, we are no experts, but send them our way. My contact info is under the "contact" tab here on my blog. Payton's email address is psumrall22@hotmail.com.

It was a pleasure to write with Payton! I'm sure y'all will be seeing more of him on here but make SURE you follow his blog and follow him on twitter here. Happy Friday! :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

count it joy.

have you ever had a word or phrase that sticks in your mind for while and you have no explanation as to why?
 
enter the words -> trials, pressure, joy
 
I will never understand or question God's timing. If there is something I've learned since I became a Christian, it's that sometimes your only option is to choose joy. It's to choose to trust God through the pressures and through the trials.
 
I made a life altering decision this year when I decided I didn't want to finish nursing school. I'm a finisher. That's what I do. So, when I graduated from undergrad in May and decided to go to nursing school, I had to finish it.
 
enter the word -> trial
 
I literally hated every single minute of nursing school. It wasn't for me. I was trying to choose a career where I could help people but, with all respect, my mail man can be just as helpful as a nurse can be. It was a trial every single day to go to nursing school. I knew the day I started that it wasn't for me. But, I don't "quit." I don't really even consider "not finishing" nursing school "quitting." I went to nursing school to chase a dream. I'm still chasing my dream, it's just a different one.
 
There are so many different types of trials that I faced. One was temptation. The temptation of just finishing because "it was the right thing to do." It was an overwhelming temptation to me even though looking at the situation on paper, it doesn't look like one. The temptation of becoming angry because I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do started to sink in, too.
 
Another trial that has slowed me down before is persecution. I never want to claim that I was "bullied" by anyone because the hurtful words never made me want to kill myself or hurt myself. The hurtful things people say about me or to me always has made me run after Jesus because I just learned from an early age that he is the one who comforts.
 
The thing that's going to always make me "different" or "weird" is that I'm a Christian. My eyes have his perspective so I will never understand a "worldly" perspective on things. People message me every.single.week and tell me that I'm stupid for being a virgin, too ugly to ever get married or dumb for thinking that you can have fun without alcohol or drugs.
 
enter the word -> pressure
 
My take on pressure is different, too. I never struggled a lot with peer pressure. I was always too cool doing my own thing to be influenced by others. But, God will allow us to go to "pressure" filled trials to produce joy. The pressure is created by God for you to HAVE to fully rely on him. It's not a trick or scam to get to you fail. It's designed by God to produce endurance and perseverance. I'm sure y'all have heard the pressure/diamond analogy. Right? The diamond has to endure extreme pressure to shine. That's what God is trying to do with you through your trials. He's trying to let you shine.
 
enter the word -> joy 
 
I am a happy person. I try to never cry in front of anyone because honestly, I don't really have a lot of reasons to cry. I DO have lots of reasons to be joyful and happy, so that's what I try to focus on. The trial of nursing school and people who don't understand my morals/values have lead me to a path to an AMAZING life waiting on me in Nashville and this blog. The pressure is continually making me a stronger person. And, well, the joy just makes life fun.
 
You can have victory over whatever your "trial" is, too. You don't have to struggle. The cool thing about God is that he is ALWAYS there and he's not going anywhere. Joy may not be the first reaction but it SHOULD be your end attitude. The trials in your life always has a result. God isn't like Ashton and he isn't going to "punk" you. Whatever you're going through, there's a purpose. People are looking at you to see how you handle it, too. The desire from God is for us to be so steadfast in our faith that nothing (boyfriends, mean words, rude people, etc) can take our joy.
 
Count is all as joy. (see james 1)
 
Happy Wednesday!! :)
 
 


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Chase Rice

I hope y'all have had a great weekend! Sundays are hands down my favorite day. And, since today is so gloomy out, it's easy to sit down and blog about my week.

I was invited to a private show and meet and greet with Chase Rice on Thursday. 102.5 The Bull in Birmingham hosts tons of new singers in their "Bull Lounge" and Chase was the featured artist on Thursday. Chase has an EP out titled "Ready Set Roll" that was released just a few months ago. It is amazing. He has a single out right now titled "Ready Set Roll."





He also wrote Florida Georgia Line's massive hit, "Cruise." He told me on Thursday that his intention was to move to Nashville to write and not to sing. Funny how life deals you cards sometimes, right?



I'm a sucker for a good guy. Clean cut, southern, polite guy. That's my weakness. And, while Chase Rice is all of those things, he is by far the "edgiest" singer I've had the pleasure of meeting and talking with. He's sweet but a little tough, too. His lyrics are more in your face than "let me open the door for you" type of lyrics. He also said the F word 18 times during his show Thursday night, but hey, that's what Fireball does to ya, right? (I honestly wouldn't know the answer to this because I don't drink, ha!)

Even with the harsh-ness that could be associated with Chase Rice, he's still an amazing singer. He was so sweet and interacted with the 15 people that were at the Bull Lounge on Thursday. He took special requests and sang mine-of course. :) He met and talked with all of us for longer than the usual "hey, I'm katelyn, you're hot, cheese, bye" type of meet and greet I've grown accustomed to. He's a star, for sure, but he's still new enough that he has the special gratitude factor about him. Every artist I've met-country wise-has had the same quality. I could do a whole post on why I love country music but it's safe to say that Chase was grateful.



His show was at Zydeco in Birmingham on Thursday night. Chris Lane opened for him and Chase took the stage close to 10:45. He sang all the songs off of his EP and several others. He also sang Nelly's rap part in Cruise and let me tell you, Chase can rap. Ha. He was full of energy the entire show. It's fun to go to shows where the artists are so interactive with their band and the crowd.









If you don't have his EP, I strongly suggest you go to ITunes and buy it. If you want to see videos of Thursday, you can find lots of them on my Instagram! My name is @katelync so come follow along!

Happy Sunday!!

PS- Brett Eldredge's post is tomorrow! Woo!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

find your "Nashville"

there's been so much that has happened in my life lately that lots of y'all have been asking about so I figured I'd d0 a generic "lately" post just to fill y'all in.
 
when I blogged about wanting to quit nursing school-I got so much support from y'all. I am SO thankful that I already have a bachelor's degree. and, since I finished early, my year is nursing school technically means I'm at the same spot-age wise- that I would've been if it would've taken me the average time to finish my bachelor's degree.
 
the more I look back and reflect on nursing school, it was totally what I was suppose to do at the time. I've always been taught to pray for "God's will" for my life and not to pray for just my "wants." I want to follow God's plan for my life, not my plan. I did earnestly pray and seek God (as well as parents, grandparents, pastor, etc) before going to nursing school. the prayer was always for God to lead me to a career where I could "help" others. I think the part where I took matters into my own hands was my belief that the only profession I could have and help people was a nurse. I don't know why I was so set on it but I was. I didn't do well in first semester and I still wanted to be a nurse. It just felt right-all the way up until September. Have you ever known something that you kept from someone and it ate away at your spirit or heart until you finally told someone? Ha. Well, that was nursing school. I hated every second of it. And, I was even doing exceptionally well this semester. The passion to help people has never left. The passion to help people in a hospital bed has. It takes a certain discipline and determination to become a nurse. I was salutatorian in high school and undergrad and I just sucked at nursing school. It's a whole thinking process that I never grasped. The whole time I was in nursing school this semester, my spirit and spark would die a little every day because it wasn't where I was suppose to be.
 
I have a big family and we all live within 10 miles of each other. Both sets of grandparents, my parents and all my siblings. no one else in my family has ever really had a strong passion to live Alabama or leave, but I ALWAYS have. I've said so many times that I could live in a tour bus and just drive because I love traveling so much. I mean, I still love my family more than anything, but I've always just wanted to "go." then, when my sister and I went to Nashville a few weeks ago, it just felt right.
 
I've blogged about this before, but, honestly, I felt like every single person in Nashville was there to pursue their dreams. whatever they may be, they were there and they were chasing them. I want to chase my dreams. I want  a super awesome pr/marketing/advertising/all in one media type of career. I love people. I love social media and I LOVE talking. Ha. And, for me, Nashville is where I honestly believe all this will happen.
 
Maybe your "Nashville" is New York or Tampa or Hollywood or Birmingham or right where you live right now. I think, for whatever reason, so many of us are afraid to dream. Why? That's why so many people are miserable. Fight for your dreams. Chase them.
 
It's easier for me because I have no husband or kids or school to attend. I'm just a free little bird who is trying to make it to Nashville. I'm SO excited about the next year! My one year plan is to save every penny I can and move to Nashville one year from December. I've had a job interview here in Birmingham with an amazing company, and I'm in the waiting process. If this doesn't work out, I still have a job in Birmingham that has supported my dreams and passions since the day I started working there. I firmly believe to make your dreams happen WILL take work. I know that I just can't wake up one day and move to my "Nashville." Neither can you. But, you can work and have a plan.
 
This is all so vulnerable and exposed and out there for anyone who reads this. But, for the first time, I'm SO happy in every single aspect of my life. There is no baggage, no conflict and no strife. I understand that the road to my "Nashville" WILL have many downs. But, it will have many ups. And, you know, it will be SO worth every second.
 
I've decided a while ago that telling my story, whatever aspect of it, helps people. Your story helps people, too. At the end of the day, I'm just a girl that has the best family in the entire world with big dreams of moving to Nashville and living my life. My story of waiting until marriage for sex is a part of this story. My story of not finishing nursing school is a part of the bigger story. My story of clinging to and trusting God is the biggest part of the story. I guess my whole purpose of writing this is for everyone to find their "Nashville" wherever it may be. Don't let people talk you out of your dreams. Pray about them and then work for your dreams. Your life won't be perfect, but you will find so much JOY!! :)
Happy Sunday!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

stand your ground.

I feel like I won the blogging reader jackpot, if there is such a thing, after my last post. The amount of people that are SO kind far outweigh the negative things people send me. So, thank you for reading these posts and thank you for SUPPORTING and BELIEVING in me even if you don't agree with me all the time. It's refreshing and fun to be able to just vent and write stuff and stick it out on the inter webz but a bonus when people read it.
 
So, anyways, as I've said before in posts, I teach on Sunday mornings, Sunday nights and Wednesday nights at my church. It's small but it's familiar and it's fun. On Wednesdays, I have the teenage girls. I always have a lesson planned but 99.8 percent of the time we end up talking about whatever we are going through.
 
The name of the lesson was "stand your ground" and as I was studying it, an AMAZING song came to mind. It's called "stand in the rain" by superchic. Don't judge. Christian bands have rockinnnggg names. Moving on.
 
I challenge you to go listen to it because I can't post a Youtube video from my mobile device. (thanks apple. and while we are thanking people, thanks for deciding to completely crash Monday night deleted every single piece of information I've acquired. anyways.)
 
Okay, so we started talking about how hard it can be to stand up for your beliefs. High school is hard. High school is harder when your friends abandon you because you didn't go drinking after prom. (true story. guess who sat at the lunch table alone for 8 weeks. this girl. ha!)
 
 Any ways, it is hard to stand up for your beliefs. But, for me, NOT standing up for my beliefs just really has never been an option. I've wrote about my dad before but for those who don't read often here's a little spill: My dad is the most incredible man I've ever met. I adore him more than any other human on earth. He works hard, he loves softly, he believes firmly, he leads with passion, he's just the best. My dad is NOT affectionate. He doesn't tell you he's proud of you, he shows you. He's very stern and firm and very black/white. There is no middle ground with my father. There is no option to give up with him. And, I think that is why I believe so strongly. I think we (as a family) love and work so hard because of the bar he has set.
 
Anyways, since standing up for what I think is right isn't a battle for me, it is for a lot of people. That's why I posted all those pictures of mean things people have said last week. I mean, I'm no one special or famous or cool and I get hate mail at LEAST 4 times a week. I wouldn't ever dare post the meanest messages of all because it breaks my spirit a little bit and I don't want to subject people to that kind of rudeness.
 
So, I've talked about what I believe in and why I believe it and some people don't get it.
 
Well, here's my disclaimer: if you don't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you will never understand why I believe what I do. I try to kill people with kindness. I try to be a good example. I try to love regardless of the person. But, I'm not perfect. And, it's hard.
 
People have messaged me on twitter and told me to just ignore the haters but at the same time, I'm not standing up for myself AND my beliefs if I don't.
 
I feel super confident writing these posts and messaging people and praying for them but it's when you're all alone reading those messages that it gets me. And, it's super hard to stop crying once you start. Ha. Crying is okay sometimes. Just don't dwell on it.
 
You know why? I use to let all the negativity eat at me and I would do everything in my power for everyone to like me. But, you know what, lots of people didn't like Jesus so a lot of people aren't going to like me. That's cool. I get it. There's a lot of people I don't like but instead of sending them hate mail, I at least explain myself.

Stand up for what you believe in. I don't think you should have sex before marriage. That's what I believe. I think that abortion is a coward move. I think that marriage is between a man and a woman. I think that Jesus put us on this earth to have a fun life but we aren't here for eternity. I believe in Heaven and the Bible and Jesus. I believe. The key word is this whole paragraph is "I."
I really liked this guy in college. He loved God and he was sweet. As far as how he looked on paper went, he passed all my "requirements." But, as we started talking, everything was about compromise with him. He had the same belief in God as I did but he didn't think that getting drunk was wrong. He was SO good about being "protective" and "sweet" but always questioned my belief in waiting until marriage for sex. If he was this questionable as a potential boyfriend, I can't imagine what a marriage with him would've been like. So, I walked away. People said I was crazy but I was standing up for my morals.
 
In the past two weeks, three people have messaged me with faith questions. People who want to know about God or faith or forgiveness or my morals. That's cool. I'll stay awake until 3 oclock every day to answer questions people may have. I'll debate my point of view until I'm dead, but I'm going to stand up for what I believe in.
 
You're not alone. Ever. Even if you don't agree with me but you need someone to talk you, email me. Message me. Call me. Whatever you need, I'm here. There are so many girls who message me every week because they are being bullied or pressured or burdened. It's okay to talk to someone. You need to talk to someone. Just remember to keep standing. When you look around and everything else is falling down, just keep standing. :) Whatever life gives you, you can handle it.
 
I had a super crappy Thursday in the past 3 hours so I guess this post is a "get up and move on with it" type of post for me. But, I also kind of feel like other people are stuck for various reasons. Don't ever change your beliefs just for another person. Change them for yourself. Be a good person. Have beliefs and be able to back up why you believe it. Life is hard but it's temporary. And, it's a lot more fun with Jesus.
 
I've been saved for 18 years, since I was 4, and life has been hard but never too much too handle. Jesus loves you and he wants you to believe in him and to stand up for him. He stood up for you by dying on the cross. He didn't halfway die for you, so don't halfway live for him.
 
My point is, if you are struggling with your beliefs or morals or life, just keep standing. You are your own worst enemy or your best cheerleader. Stand up for yourself. Stand up for your family and friends and for people you don't know. Just don't stop standing up for something.
 
:)