Archive for July, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Posted: July 31, 2009 in General

Its my birthday! When people ask how it feels to be one year older I will reply with, “One year wiser!”

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I will post pics later from home and my bday adventures! :) Thanks for all of the wishes through Facebook, Texts and Tweets!

Thoughtful Tuesday

Posted: July 28, 2009 in General

You know today is Thoughtful Tuesday. This week holds my date of birth and I will be turning 28! (I’m getting old!) So I decided to reflect on some areas in my life that I value the most. I don’t speak out much, but I am a deep thinker! There are many times I fail to speak up to let the ones I love know that I love them. I don’t want to miss that opportunity this week since many of them have helped me to reach this place in my life.

1. Family

Who could exist without acknowledging the family from which you hale? I am very blessed to have been adopted by a family who have given, sacrificed and unconditionally loved me for 28 years. I always loved to hear my Grandma Odom tell me about the first day they picked me up from MUSC in Charleston and she got to feed me my first bottle because my Granny passed it up saying  I was “too small.” Or remembering crawling on the floor from my bedroom to my Granny’s room when I was younger so she could scratch my back. Definitely thought this morning as I was showing Savvy how to make my bed (I know – I’m weird!) that my DAD taught me that. I also remember that my dad said, “If someone is in front of you on the road then you’re losing.” My mom has shown me true sacrifice to serve people. She will give more than I could fathom giving to people. Then I’ll never forget Aunt Polly and Ron who led me to the Lord in August 1994. Not only do I think about the people who have impacted me, but I think about those in my family who I want to impact! Justin has been a huge encouragement to see follow in my footsteps to go through college and get his Bachelor’s degree and now a Master’s degree! I pray that Ruben, Cephas and Emmet will follow us!

Being adopted has not been an obstacle to me, but it has opened my heart to making my family bigger as I meet people who I connect with on a deeper level. I think about Kristy and Jody and how they asked me after only a couple of weeks knowing me to be their two son’s Godmother. I don’t know what that means whole-heartedly, but I agreed. They have been a joy to watch grow up. I don’t know why they love me so much because that season in my life when I met them was when I was off to college and never moved back home so distance can some times take a toll on relationships.  I always enjoy hearing Jody preach for the glory of the Lord. Kristy tries to keep me grounded, but I give her a fit some times…thank God for unconditional love!

I would have to say that Jon and Lynette’s family has had the greatest impact on my life as I transitioned from college to life. I ended up staying in Charleston and working at CSU as most of you know. I started going to Summit Church after being in Jon’s Evangelism class during Maymester before I graduated. It wasn’t too long after attending that I connected with his children and then it was all over! They began to call me Aunt Tam before no time and before I knew it I was a member of the Davis family. (Not complaining!) :) I can’t really put in to words the godly relationship and transparency that Jon and Lynette have shown to me over the past 6 years. Jon and I struggled to work together at first but now we are a dynamic duo team working with the CSU Athletes. Words can never express the appreciation, respect and love I have for Lynette. She is now my mentor and I learn so many valuable lessons on how to serve the Lord.

2. Friends

This could go on all day! I’ve had my share of “friends!” I do have some people in my life who have been there through thick or thin and through ups and downs. I think back on people like Melissa who I met over 10 years ago and lost touch with, but we never missed a beat. We can be “jerks” to each other and yet love each other at the same time (right, Mel?). Or what about Kaye who has been my best friend since Junior year in high school and youth group. We both went in to college ministry on the campus we graduated from and now share the joys and pain of influencing college students. Of course, I couldn’t forget my girls Leslie and O-bi-don-dike from CSU. They always left everyone laughing and having a good time. Then I have even befriended some of the students I have been mentoring over the years like Savvy, Clair and Kelsey. I have learned so much about boundaries among friends, family and intimate relationships. Lastly, my brother Corey has been such a godly man for me to watch and learn that God’s best has not come along yet. I mean I could just begin now and mention names and some kind of story for how they impacted my life.

3. Love

I won’t lie – there are many days when I feel like I don’t know what love really is. I am still learning about God’s love. Some days I feel like I run out of love to give. I believe it runs out because I am not bathing myself in God’s love enough to have an overflow to give from. I have been shown so much love in my life yet I still feel like I don’t know how to receive it. Is this weird? Thank goodness for love though because I have a family who loves me, I have friends who serve me out of love, and I am growing closer to the Lord because of His love. Broken-hearts hinder your understanding of love. I recently came to the conclusion that I loved this guy and he was the only one I have “loved” in that way. The wounds can be healed with love, but love is a two way street. Which side of the street are you driving down?

4. God’s grace

This is one thing I have talked about before because I am still trying to grasp why we would ever be given an undeserved gift. I know it is a gift and I know that God chose to give it to us, but what kind of gift is it? How should you embrace it? When do you know who and when to give it to someone else? I keep praying that God’s grace will consume me so that I can be in love with Him and not just love him.

5. Talents/Gifts

Just like tonight as I was talking to Briston on the phone about PLACE results. I get excited when I get to talk to people about how God wired them and the gifting that He has given to HIS children! This is one thing that I believe is helpful for people who are putting together a team for work or service or communicating. The beauty of it all is that you discover that some of your natural responses or tendancies are not necessarily “pleasant” in your eyes, but its true life. The body of Christ is made up of many body ‘parts’ for a reason.

6. Influence

I have heard Jon talk about how he wishes someone would have told him some of the things about walking with the Lord and going to where the Lord is already at work. And one of the things have studied about millenials is that they trust and respect authority. So I try to assess my role on-campus and the passion that God has put in my heart to come to the conclusion that I am in a powerful place to impact people for God’s Kingdom directly and indirectly. I think about the people who have influenced my walk…Laura (she never gave up on me coming to youth group), Mrs. Sherry (always willing to pray me through), my granny (teaching me invaluable lessons), Mrs. Joyce (never let me give up). One of our “goals” in Student Life division is to ‘Love them all, Teach the many, Mentor the few!’ Who do you influence? How? Who has been important influences in your life?

So I am not sure this is something you care to read, but I had to get it off my chest. I don’t want people to feel like their words, deeds and service are overlooked. As I reflect on some key people who impacted my life and then some who I am still walking through life together with.

On the Rollercoaster…

Posted: July 23, 2009 in General

*Side note: I am off on blogging daily! I am on a routine of blogging as my heart speaks. Keep checking back regularly.*

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So the past three weeks have been one of those rollercoaster rides we some times get on and we enjoy it just a little bit, but we know we need to hop off the next time we come near that exit! That is where I am right now – waiting on the next stop to exit this rollercoaster ride. I’m not going to lie though, because I have passed up stepping off of the ride a couple of times when I had this stupid thought that I had control and I was just fine without getting off.

Everyone has their season when they feel out in the desert, or in the valley, and don’t know how to crawl out of the relaxed state-of-mind. You become comfortable with compromising  your thoughts and actions. I blogged a couple of weeks ago about Matters of the Mind with similar heart issues. Yet isn’t it crazy how we find ourselves convinced that we are strong enough to handle things on our own if we could just get back on our two feet. So we struggle to allow God to stand us back up. And THEN complain when he tries to carry us the rest of the way. We are determined that we have supernatural powers to overcome!

Its true about what they say, ‘what you surround yourself with is what you tend to become.’ Its the same thing as Garbage in, Garbage out! I have to keep my blinders on some times because for me I struggle with self-image and self-worth.

Let’s take self-image for a moment… Physically, I am not your typical 27 year old in shape and size. To become the ‘average’ would take a lot of dedication and work. I am not against that, but I get frustrated that people have been taught and persuaded to this that you only date or befriend or serve people who are average or better. Who set this standard? It keeps someone like me who struggles with low self-esteem from thinking they are beautiful. Before you go off commenting me to combat that statement you must know that I know that God has made me beautiful. I know on the inside I am beautiful and a treasure for some lucky guy. I know these things.

Now that brings me to the self-worth issues. I know that I am beautiful through Christ Jesus and that He has great plans for me. Here is the catch…do I BELIEVE it and TRUST that God is going to take care of me. It was tough to hear the other day, but I was talking to Coach Kelly (aka DAD) the other day about the heartbreak I had been enduring since I found about about Matt. Of course, being ‘dad’ he said I just want someone who is God’s best for you and I want him to treat you with utmost respect. I responded to him saying, “I desire those things and I don’t want to compromise those.” He quickly sat straight up to tell me, “Throw desires out the window right now, you DESERVE those things and NOTHING less.” My worth to Christ is what allows me to DESERVE that kind of treatment.

How do you begin to trust in this promise? Well, it is kind of like I said before about what you put in is typically what begins to come out. Its like Lynette use to say to me all of the time, “We’re GOOD!” I would look at her and say, “YOU’RE CRAZY! You are NOT good – this place is CRAZY.” She just continued to tell herself that they we’re good to the point she believed it. Lately, I have been telling people when they ask what’s going on…”LIVING THE DREAM!” Eventually, you begin to believe that you’re enjoying life and you’re living a dream to reality. So next step, telling myself that I am WORTH God’s best and that I am beautiful because I have been made in His image and He is GOOD!

This isn’t all that I have to do. I have to make sure my friends, bosses, and mentors are reinforcing this same thing in my life. I have to stop being selfish and trying to do this all alone and step off the rollercoaster of emotions to allow others to embrace this walk I am walking!

Thank you to all of you who pray for me and who speak truth in to my life. I am in great debt to you.

Here  are some pictures that I recently took at CSU at night. Thanks to the help of my assistant umbrella holder, Savvy. :)

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Mission Monday

Posted: July 20, 2009 in General
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So – my doubts turned out to be okay. Joshua asked me to draw out what I want to see happen at CSU this year. So here is what came out of that drawing!

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I want the girls I am ministering to will discover who God is and His beauty, but then discover who they are in Christ. Through this we will find ourselves to bond together and overstepping cultural boundaries. It would also drive us into community.

I hope to live rooted in the Word of God so that I can be renewed and bold!

We long to see the power of Jesus Christ come upon the people of God!

I hope this year does turn out to be “God glorified! Jesus magnified! Holy Spirit inspired!”

Top Ten Thursday

Posted: July 16, 2009 in General

Since it seems to be the story of many lives lately… Break-ups! We want to share the best COMFORT foods to eat following a break-up with someone. Be sure you put on your comfy sweatpants with the elastic waist on before you begin!

10. Large McDonald’s French Fries with Extra Salt

9. Your favorite cake frosting straight out of the container

8. Lays Potato Chips

7. Five Guys Double Patty Bacon Cheesburger w/ Large Coke

6. A roll of Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

5. Large Peach Milkshake from Chickfila

4. A pitcher of Margaritas with your girlfriends!

3. Bag of miniature Reese cups

2. 1/2 bag of Oreos and Peanut Butter

1. Pint of Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream!

Now let the eatin’ begin!

**Most items can be found at your local grocery store!

Here are some new pictures of Baby Michaiah from the most recent babysitting extravaganza! :o)

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I am not sure if I want to continue on writing about the heartache of the recent circumstances. Who was the person who declared that being in the wilderness was not a good thing? I know that God sent Jesus into the wilderness to retreat from all of the things going on so that he could focus on the Heavenly Father. He wanted the GLORY! That is no different today. I believe we are some times called into the wilderness so that we can remain focused or rather regain focus on bringing God the most glory in our lives. One thing is for sure…He never left Jesus or Moses or Paul in the wilderness. He sent them there for the time each of them needed to regroup.

I believe I am at a place where its necessary for me to be in the wilderness right now. I need to regroup on what God is doing in and through me. One thing that was most freeing for me through all of this was the other night when I was talking to my mentor she said, “its not about him. it is not even about you. It is about whether or not we are giving God the glory!” I could repeat my statement here from last night when I quoted the line from the song How He Loves… He is jealous for me.

Have you ever read this: The 1964 Wilderness Act states that wilderness, “…in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think the wilderness is a place we can create for ourselves nor do I think its a place we dictate the functionality. We are simply a visitor and will not remain there. Like I said earlier – He did not leave them in the wilderness. Kinda cool, huh? Typically, I would think of the wilderness as a dark deep place in the middle of NOWHERE – sounds kind of depressing and boring. But then I saw this picture and I’m not sure this image will disappear when I mention the wilderness I am in.

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I have thought all day what I would write about on this THOUGHTFUL Tuesday. A few of the girls are very anxious to read what I am going to write today because they know what I have been going through these past few days. If you know me at all then you know I am a pretty private person with the heart issues. Over the past four days I have been having to face the heart issues head on. When I mean head on…I’m talking hurt, bitterness, anger, sad, thankful, tears, heartache….

If it were Simply Said Saturday, this blog might would say FREEDOM…or HEARTBROKEN….or FINALLY!

On the phone I hear…”Its going to be okay… it just wasn’t God’s best for you!” Or how about “God’s going to use this to minister to so many girls…you are just starting this Women’s Ministry!” Then there was “this is the first guy you opened your heart up to and its going to take GOD to heal you, but HE WILL!” These are the words that came from my mentor/big sister’s mouth on Monday night as I filled her in on what was going on. Don’t get me wrong – she is someone that I trust to provide comfort, understanding and TRUTH IN LOVE!  These words were not what I WANTED to hear, yet completely what I NEEDED to hear.

I feel a little crazy that it took me so long to see the answer to a question I asked a long time ago. No, I never got an answer from him. Some one once said, “No answer quite possibly could be THE answer!” Wow – Stupid me! I wish I could express more about what is really going on, but it just seems unnecessary if I can just express the lessons learned even more clearly!

Today as I started off a meeting with my boss, he said, “where should we begin?” I boldly replied, “With PRAYER! Prayer for me!” Being the wise and compassionate person that he is he began praying for me and our meeting. He followed it up with the fact that it is okay to hurt and be disappointed some times because that is a part of LIFE. Many times we think that it has to go great all of the time to be considered LIFE. But life actually incorporates the bad and even the ugly. Many people laugh when they ask me how I am doing and I respond with, “Living the DREAM!” I am living a dream, but the past few days seemed more like a nightmare. Does that every happen to you?

Lessons Learned:

1. I don’t want to be with a man who does not know how to communicate!

2. I want God to use this – HE will and already has been! Maybe I should write a WHAT NOT TO DO column on Relationships!

3. Just when you feel like you’re tough enough to face the battle alone, God provides people to bring you comfort, peace, encouragement, and LOVE.

4. It’s not about him! It’s not about ME! It is about GOD getting the glory.

Now – Don’t think that these lessons are fully learned or embraced! I just know this to be the truth so I have to cling to it. I know I will have good and bad days…but even those are numbered and known by GOD. One line of this song. HOW HE LOVES, comes to mind… “He is jealous for me…” Why the heck have I been running from HIM!

I have been reading The Blue Parakeet by Scot McKnight about Rethinking How You Read the Bible. Just in the beginning pages it talks about how we ‘retrieve and receive’ the truths of the Bible. McKnight says that the real question we must ask ourselves is “How, then, are we to live out the Bible today?”

One thing I have enjoyed so far about the book is that it says that God spoke to Paul during his time in Paul’s ways or Joseph in Joseph’s ways or Noah in Noah’s ways. Rest assured that He is going to speak to you and I right now in the present in OUR way! Does that mean that it changes the truth that God originally intended? Not if we look at it as the Great Tradition.  How can we live out the truth of the Bible right now through our anger and tears and joys?

It keep flipping back to the cover of the book…Rethinking! I just want to ask myself, What WAS my perspective of this situation? What is my perspective now that I am facing it? HOW am I going to live out the BIBLE through these circumstances. What are the good, the bad and the ugly in your LIFE? What do you view the world through?

The scientist views the world through a microscope.

The astrologist views the world through a telescope

My granny reads the world through a magnifying glass.

I prefer to view the world through my Canon 50D.

Thank you for all of your prayers and love and listening ears that all of you have been for me. I am excited to see where God is taking me. I know its going to be hard to just snap out of this…I will need some hands pushing and pulling me along the way…I am ready!

Matters of the Mind…

Posted: July 11, 2009 in General

As the days go by this summer, I find myself becoming more and more relaxed away from the computer. I have not made it too far from a screen or entertainment, because I have been hooked on the Wii Fit and The Bachelorette (I’m pulling for ED, by the way).

I was talking to my best friend the other day and was telling her how I was just not motivated to write anything on the blog this week. I skipped the Thoughtful Tuesday and my favorite, Top Ten Thursday! She told me I needed to get over myself and blog something. To be honest with you, I feel like I have been on such a rollercoaster of thoughts and feelings in the past week. And some of the things I have battled, I am just not sure if I want many people to know about. Yes – I know this blog has been a way to be transparent before people, but this stuff just seemed to be conquering the purity of my mind and heart.

Some times it is hard to be completely transparent with everyone because it shows that I am weak and insecure. It is easy to talk about the fear of not being the right person for Women’s ministry at CSU. Some moments I get so excited because of the possibilities and how it is about time for them to focus on the majority. On the other hand, I believe my thoughts become captive to the deception of Satan telling me that its going to be overwhelming and I will not make anything worthwhile happen. I know that is not truth because I know things like, “my God will not give me more than I can bear..” Or “For every thing there is a season.” (Eccles. 3) And I know the Lord has given me the spiritual gifts needed to accomplish this mission, but it is some times so much easier to listen to the negativity. How about when you go home and people all want to know why you don’t have a boyfriend to show-n-tell! This gets touch after a while because as a female you just want to know you’re needed and wanted and loved! So with all of my other friends being married and looking to have kids, I stand out like a sore thumb. This is part of the struggles of mind though.

How do you keep the matters of the mind from infesting and conquering?

I am not sure how to keep the matters of the mind from taking over your very being when it begins to touch in with the matters that cause me to desire things that are not holy and pure. I know I keep saying that, but it is true. Its like they saw about the snowball effect – the more you are surrounded by negative influence of people or things, then you see it start with one and then no turning back. You will stand up with your head spinning…

Why is it important to talk about the temptations and struggles that you are facing?

The main reason you should speak up is for future accountability. If you never tell any one then you will never feel out of your comfort zone and will continue. I must admit that this is many times the hardest thing to do. I have a mentor who shows me unconditional love every time I talk to her. So why is it so hard to tell her some things? I believe we are all very much human and fear how people will think of us, what they will say or even what will they do.

On another note:

One thing that has been heart warming this week… the other day I was signed into Facebook and I got a message from Melissa’s name. Turns out that it was Hannah (7 yrs old) wanted to talk to me. After talking with her for a while, Melissa got on and told me that Hannah had to go outside and play and she would be able to talk to me later. I thought Melissa was with her the whole time, but that was not the case at all. So several times throughout the day she would sign on to Mel’s facebook and talk to me. How funny that she figured out how to log in and facebook chat with me. And then on top of that – She thinks I am super cool! :) I mean we almost share the same birthday so we have to be like BFFs, right? ;-)