Thursday, October 20, 2016

i'm not political.

i am not political. i use to be, i use to be that annoying alabama republican that would post annoying long three paragraph statuses about how wrong every liberal or democrat in the world was. yep. not my shining moment. but i've learned a lot about life lately and i've grown more in the past six months than i have in my entire life. and with all the political posts and videos and statuses, i realized, i am not political. 

(don't worry dad, still a forever registered republican)

all i am saying is there's more to it than being 'political.' america has gotten so caught up with who is the bigger 'bad guy.' i mean, obviously, look at our candidates. the presidential election has turned into a popularity contest. who has the most money? who has the most friends on the inside? who can get the most likes on facebook? i was thinking about the election more than usual after the debate last night when all the talk about late term abortion came up. and that whole topic, i mean WOW, that's a whole other post. but, like, Jesus wasn't famous. he wasn't popular. he wouldn't have been the most liked guy on facebook. but oh goodness did he know how to lead. and you know what he did? he led by example.

i'm reminded of my sweet leaders while living in Egypt. i have a whole series of living in Egypt that will be posted on another blog really soon and i'm SO excited to share more about what we did and what i learned. but, back to my leaders--matt and christina. i have met few people in my life that pushed and inspired and led me as well as they did. they set boundaries to keep us safe. they prayed for our team every day. they sacrificed more than anyone of the team members ever really knew. who else led like that? 

Jesus did.

i'm not political. i don't even want to say i'm religious. i'm in a relationship following the perfect example of what a leader is.

i'm not going to vote on a politician based on what they say. i want a leader to LEAD. by EXAMPLE. i want a leader of America who isn't afraid to go out on a limb and fight for our country and keep our military safe. i want a leader who goes hard after the refugee crisis we are facing. i want a leader who is forgiving and accepting and brave and a leader who uses discernment and by all means i want a leader that loves Jesus.

and the more i think about it, why aren't more of us being leaders in our everyday lives? we have the capacity to be better leaders everyday. you are a leader to SOMEONE in your life. it could be your younger siblings, your co workers, your children, etc. Someone is looking up to you as a leader. 

we've gotten so lazy in america. we want to post a status about how we are voting for the right option. we take part in tearing down other citizens on social media because we are 'right.' right? but how many of us are sincerely fighting and advocating for what we want to see change?

a big part of our ministry in Egypt was working with Syrian and Sudanese refugees. before i left for Egypt i will admit i had a negative outlook on refugees. i assumed that each of them were muslim extremists who wanted to kill all the christians and they were staged as refugees to look helpless. that was SO wrong of me to have that preconceived idea of what a people group were. 

the first night we visited Sudanese center and met with the leader he showed us a video of the war going on in Sudan that is driving millions of natives to surrounding countries. i had tears pouring down my face the entire time the video was playing. i had never felt more compelled to act on the injustice. it is unjust what is happening in Sudan. and you know why? it's a political battle and struggle. what if they stopped being so political and started loving people the way God created us to? there would be no war. there would be no politics.

i've been praying a lot about what the next season in life will be for me. i have so many amazing opportunities in front of me and i want to make the right choice. i want the world to be a better place. i want to be a part of the change. 

i felt like i was a part of the change when i lived in Egypt. like mentioned above, the Sudanese and Syrian people taught me so much about life. they taught me about fighting for justice. they taught me how to love better. they taught me how to be a better person. because, to them, the war was political. the war was personal. they were fighting for their country to be like it was at one time. they had more hope and faith in humanity than i have ever have. 

they made me not want to get so caught up on being political or being a fan of someone. i want to be a fan of humanity in general. 

so, i want to stop being political and i want to be part of the change. i want to fight to give the people of Syria and Sudan a voice. i want to fight for the girls being sold into sex slavery that they will not have to go through that. i want to fight for our country to see the love of God in every day life. i want people to be fair--because every soul is equal.

we had the perfect example. Jesus. he fought for the needy. he prayed for the sick. he shared with the poor. he sat with the hated. he talked with the quiet. he wasn't political and he saved human kind. :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


dear girl.

yes ma'am, that means you. oh, and you, too. and your sister and her friend and her brother's wife, too. this is just some thoughts i've been gathering lately in my mind and i felt like it was time to get those darn things on paper. errr. on the internet?

anyways. being a girl is hard. i'm not one to ever play the poor, pitiful girl card because being a girl is awesome. it's fun. it's exciting. 


i've never been filtered while writing on this blog space. and that has always been my heart--to be unfiltered. whether you think i'm messy or brave or shy or dumb, i've wanted to be unfiltered. you know why? because it's hard to be vulnerable. and being vulnerable means talking about the messy parts of life that you probably never want to talk about with anyone but your own mind or best friend or mama. i get that, too. i try to keep as much as possible to myself because i honestly don't think that many souls are that interested in what i had for dinner. let's be real, you know it was tacos. 

but, back to the subject of this blog. girls. it's hard to be one. it's hard to go through life comparing every single aspect of who you are to every other girl on planet earth. (disclaimer: not saying dudes don't go through this, but i'm not a dude, so...) I wake up every single day and scroll through social media and my time lines are filled with gorgeous women. i walk past tons of girls in person who are beautiful every day. and i instantly compare. 

"her hair is longer" "she is skinnier" "she has better teeth" "she's just BETTER"

i mean, rightful so, yeah? i can always lose more weight, have better clothes, have better hair, etc. 

but these are all worldly standards. these are physical things that cause me to stumble every day. i was having a rough day just today with some things someone i've never met said about me. i was in tears asking God why i couldn't be more like this girl or that girl. and as clear as i've ever heard God, i heard him say 'well, i made you just the way i wanted to. you're enough. you're brave. you're beautiful. you're kind. you're worthy. i didn't put any of those standards on you. you put them on you. the world did, the devil did but i didn't. so please, stop fighting me and listen to what i think of you."

and then i cried some more because, you know, i'm a girl.

i've written posts about mean spirited girls before. since this blog, i regularly receive hate mail. i have people who take the time to sit at a computer and type me messages that i pray no one ever receives. they tell me how ugly i am, how this man will never love me, how i'll never make it in Nashville, how much of a disappointment i am, etc. those messages had stopped for a while--and obviously i was happy about that. but then, in the past few months since moving back from Egypt it's like the negative emails have returned with a vengeance. it's worn me down. it's not ok to do that to a girl. it's not fair to put any more pressure on a soul than they already have. it's not ok to tell a girl to kill herself. it's NOT OK. 

so, maybe i can be a voice of hope and reason for others going through that. i am not playing the victim card. there will always be people who are not fans of me as a person--and that is ok. but i can honestly say that i have never, NEVER intentionally sought someone out to cut them down and be mean. that has never been my intentional or my purpose in life. so, if you've ever felt that way by me--i apologize.

i build this image or personality or whatever of never being broken or hurt or sad. and i mean, 100% of the time, i am happy. i know my identity in Christ. i know he loves me. i know that everything is part of a bigger plan. but girls, i am so worn out of fighting back to prove to people that i'm good enough. that i'm simply enough. it's like i sit up and wait for a comment or a text or a message from people that says i love you, good job, you did it. in reality, a man died on a cross for me (and you, and everyone in the whole whole world) over 2000 years ago. His arms were stretched out as far as they could possibly reach. he was screaming he loved me. why isn't that enough? why isn't it?

it is. it so is. please, if you don't know that, figure it out. pray. ask Jesus to show you. he will. he craves your attention. and he's screaming that he loves you. 

i'm given too much time and miles and feelings to people who will simply never give that much back. and it made me resentful for a while. this person isn't giving as much as me. this person isn't putting in as much time as me, etc. you know what though? how many times do we think that and Jesus is thinking the same thing? 'i died for her and she still questions her purpose.' 'i answer her prayers and i never hear thank you.' 'i showed her true love and all she does is return to empty lust'

stop running back to the same man that broke your heart and just left. stop trying to fix him. stop giving yourself to someone who isn't who God has for you. stop crying over someone who didn't realize you are full of purpose and beauty.

stop caring about what car you drive. stop caring about what sorority you're in or what lunch table you're at. stop caring if you're eyebrows are on fleek or if your highlighter is just right. stop trying to be the regina george of life.

be kind. be humble and polite and gracious and understanding and listening and comforting.

you have something in you that other girls need. your story is a part of your testimony and God gave you that story to change other peoples stories--for the better. 

thank ya Jesus for not leaving me where you find me. and thank you for meeting me every time.

ladies, it's my mission to be the nice girl on another level. girls rock. you do. you rock. if you are going through a tough time, please message me, text me, email me, something--i would LOVE to pray for you. i would be honored too. i'm not good at a lot of things but by golly i can pray.

ps- Jesus is obsessed with you