Friday, January 15, 2016

aloha ll week one.

Aloha friends :) 

It feels good to be able to say that word again. 

I arrived in Kona, Hawaii last Thursday at basically midnight and have just finished the first week of DTS (Discipleship Training School) here at University of the Nations. I kept going back and forth on whether I would post weekly updates or not but decided it would be fun to post updates and not be radio silent for the next six months.
Disclaimer: When we go on outreach for three months there is a strong possibility that I will not be able to post due to no internet or wifi BUT I am definitely going to update when possible. 

I have always tried to be vulnerable when writing--especially in this space. It's easy to put a front up when writing for Lucky Magazine or other websites because to an extent--I am trying to sell what I am saying. Here, though, in this little space on the internet, I've always felt incredibly safe to share the good days and the bad ones, too. 

I absolutely cried the entire first three days here. I am not even being dramatic. I was comfortable at home. I was finally in the groove of having an amazing job, awesome group of friends and just a sense of belonging. I've made notes about being comfortable in my journal several times over the past few months and I've been praying to never be comfortable because I don't want to be complacent, either. I do know we serve and love a BIG and a REAL God because He let me get real uncomfortable--and fast.

The first weekend we got to spend at one of my favorite beaches here on the Big Island-Hapuna Beach. It was such a fun time to get to know all of my classmates. I've been so blessed by their stories and testimonies and we are only one week in. Living with six other girls is an adjustment when you aren't use to sharing anything but they are all incredibly lovely girls and they all LOVE Jesus and I'm so happy to be doing life with them for the next season.

Each week we will be discussing a different topic and this week it was on communicating with God. Friends, I've been wrecked. I've loved Jesus and asked Him to live in my heart when I was a mere 5 year old girl asking my daddy to lead me in prayer. And, goodness, I have loved Him since. I've always known He was who He says He is and that He is enough. BUT, there is a whole other level of LOVING and COMMUNICATING with God that I have missed. I've terribly failed at communicating with God in the ways that are available to us. Yes, I did my devotion and I prayed to God and I've always done my best to obey Him. But, beyond that, there hasn't been a deep relationship. It has been very surface level with God. And that's not the way He wants my relationship to be. He never sleeps, He never rests. He is always, ALWAYS fighting for our hearts. He loves us so much and wants to communicate with us on a daily basis. I'm four days into this new way of learning to communicate with God and while it's extremely frustrating when I think I'm not hearing from Him, it's okay. It's not a process that I'll ace overnight. It's about a day by day decision to choose to be in relationship with Him. Our speaker, Mike Brown, said a statement earlier this week that stood out so much. He said "Jesus is worth throwing everything else away and running wholeheartedly towards Him."

That's it. I've been missing the communication with God because I'm not devoting the right amount of time to Him. Just like with any earthly relationship, we have to take time with it. We have to communicate and we also have to listen. I'm not content with where I am at anymore. I want God to use every second of my life until I die to bring Him glory. I don't want my name or my self to get in the way. It has to be all about Him. God has way better plans for my life than I have. And, it may not look like I thought it would and it may not BE where I thought it would, BUT, it is SO much better. 

This is the beginning of a long and painful yet beautiful process of learning to fall in love with the One who created my heart all over again. I am so excited to see what the next 11 weeks look life before we leave on outreach. We will know locations in the next few weeks and when/if I can, I will definitely keep everyone updated as well. I'm nervous about this part of it because it's all about having more faith and trust--and I honestly lack in said areas. But, I know that God's hand is in this and I know that it's going to be messy and painful and amazing all at once. And, I've never been more excited to pursue Jesus for a set aside season to learn how to love Him better, to learn how to communicate with Him better and then how to take that love and relationship to the Nations. Thank you everyone so much for all the prayers and sweet emails of encouragement. If there are any ways that I can be praying for you, please let me know. :)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

jan 2016 playlist.

Happy Sunday, friends. Isn't it crazy that it's already three whole days into 2016? Yes, I did have to delete 2015 four times before I finally got the 2016 part right.

I'm sorry that I've been so absent from the blogging world for a while. Holidays and family and friends and traveling (oh and did I mention having to pack for a 6 month relocation to Hawaii) have pushed blogging to the bottom of the list.

I have been getting so many fun emails from readers asking me what's been on my playlists lately because y'all are so interactive on social media and have seen me posting about some newer artists like Jacob Davis and Luke Combs.

So, I decided to make a playlist of who I'm really digging right now. And, since I am moving to Hawaii on Thursday, I figured I would name the playlist "traveling tunes." It doesn't mean that you can only listen to it while traveling, of course. I will attach the playlist from Spotify as well below so y'all can follow along there BUT I also encourage you to purchase these artist's music on ITunes--that helps everyone!

 I've been able to connect with an AMAZING female artist, Kelleigh Bannen. Y'all, she needs another post dedicated to her because she is the epitome of what a darling friend and sister in Christ is. I've been SO encouraged by her and cannot wait to see what this year brings for her. I'm sure if you follow Luke Bryan or Cole Swindell that you may already be introduced to her. But, if not, take some time to check her out. She's got a voice of an angel. She also has the most darling blog that you can check out here, too.

There are some newer guys included on this playlist that I've been able to connect with and see play in the past month or so that I really enjoy their music. Luke Combs, Sam Grayson and Blaire Hanks are three of those guys. As much as I enjoy their music, I can also say that they have good souls--and that is even more of a reason that I want you guys to listen to them!

Of course, there are some staple tunes from our main guy, Sam Hunt. He released a killer acoustic version of "Break Up in a Small Town" that makes you fall in love with the tune all over again. "Cop Car" was recorded by Urban but Sam's acoustic live version of the song is amazing.

And, of course, any good playlist has a ballad or two, so make sure you give Lacy Cavalier's "Put You Down" a spin or two (or 1200). And since I'm really 16 years old on the inside and listen to Radio Disney, I'm pumped that a great role model like Lacy is on there for the next generation of music lovers.

Lastly, one guy on the playlist that only makes one appearance (because that's all Spotify has!!) is Jacob Davis. Jacob is an incredible artist with an amazing band that I'm happy to be able to call friends. They are really hitting the ground running this year and they are giving away Jacob's CD for free. It's an incredible group of songs and his fan group, the Squad, would LOVE to send you one. If you want a FREE copy, simply email me at

and I will send the Squad your info and get your CD to you as soon as possible.

As big of a year that country had in 2015, I am so excited to see all these amazing artists included in the playlist below continue to be front runners for the genre in 2016. Hope this helps several of you who have been asking. Like I mentioned above, make sure to pick up the singles that you can on ITunes and support these artists. Also, make sure to email me if you would like me to send your info to Jacob's people ASAP. Happy Sunday!!