Monday, February 20, 2012

All the MEN in my life...

Haha Ok I know what you're thinking... all the men in your life? What are you talking about? Well it's not how it sounds. The Lord has been really gracious to me and and has put strong, godly, caring, affirming, and intentional men in my life through friendships. He has given me the opportunity to build these friendships and see what a man seeking the Lord's heart looks like. These guys care about my well being and seek to build me up as their sister in Christ. They care for and look after me. We have good gospel filled conversations and laugh... A LOT! I have many good friends but I am going to focus on a few that have meant so much to me during these past few months!

Grant: If I had to choose a word to describe this man it would be CA-RAZY! He is someone I know will laugh at my jokes and make me laugh if I need a good pick me up. He is the guy who I can act a fool with and know will never judge me (usually). haha Grant and I have known each other since high school-- remember when we went bowling? haha-- but our friendship didn't truly start until both of us graduated college and moved back to Midlo. The thing I appreciate about Grant and my friendship is that we can be silly but also have conversations with depth! We pour into each other and encourage each other! I am super thankful for this man and what he means to this season of my life!
Kevin: Oh Chazy boy... this guy has become such a great friend to me over the last 2 years. We met when he came and helped move Lauren and I into our apartment, and we have all been great friends since. He is funny, crazy talented, such an encouragement and wise beyond his years. His love for God's children is inspiring and challenges me to love hard and have Jesus seep out of my entire being! The way he leads our church to the foot of the cross means so much to me. And the cool thing about Kev is that more than anything he truly cares about my relationship with the Lord and sanctification. THAT is true friendship and THAT is something that I hold dear to my heart. So blessed by this crazy man "shore. and shore. and shore. and SHORE!"
Marky Mark: The first recollection I have of Mark is my roommate shoving me in the middle of church and whispering, "Who is THAT boy in the salmon shirt?" haha The rest was history... Mark, Lauren and I began hanging out nightly last year after he had returned from playing for the Met's farm team up in New York. We would cook dinner, watch movies, hang out.... just the three of us. Then, Lauren and Mark decided that they were interested in each other. They began to hang out more... without me. We had a rough start (I was being left out you know) but now Marky Mark is a wonderful friend of mine. I have seen such amazing growth as he has deepened in his faith and I have enjoyed watching him pursue my roommate. He is a good man and despite the times we argue (sometimes we just don't quite see eye to eye) he is someone who plays such a pivotal role in my life.
Brandon: Brandon and I met this time last year. He had just returned from Australia and was about to leave for Spring Training. He came to one homegroup before leaving and I met and talked to him for a good while. I remember thinking "this guy loves him some Jesus!" I didn't talk to or keep up with Brandon in season except for one or two Facebook messages (seeing that we had only talked once before). However, when he returned from season in October we began to hang out in groups, at church and through our co-ed softball team. The initial impression I got of Brandon was spot on... This man loves Jesus. Brandon has been pretty transparent with me and has allowed me to know him and walk through life with him. He has been an encourager and has quickly become a wonderful friend of mine. It makes me so sad to know that he is leaving in two weeks for Spring Training, but I know that the Lord has chose him to be a light in this dark world. He has put him on this team, with these people and in the situations he is/will be going through for "such a time as this" (Esther 4:14). Six months is a long time for him and Mark to be gone, but I just know that their return in September will be that much sweeter!

::Thank you Lord for the blessings you have given me. Thank you for each and every one of these men and what they mean to me. Thank you for entrusting me with these friendships and allowing me to be challenged, spurred on and poured into by these guys. You have appointed all of these relationships and I ask that while they encourage and affirm me that I can do the same. I pray that you allow me to show these guys what respect looks like. That I can learn to follow through friendship and watch their actions carefully and cautiously. I ask that you are in the center of these friendships and that they bring You all the glory, and honor, and praise! You are so good to us Lord and I thank you for being intentional and loving us well through the gift of friends. I am enthralled by your mercy!::

Monday, February 6, 2012

"Blessings Journey" Post #1

In my last post I wrote about how I was going through a season of difficulties. When reflecting on those difficulties I thought..."what about all the good in your life?" You see, it is easy for me to think and meditate on the bad things. The frustrating situations. The hard times that make me question "why?" However, I think it takes more effort to focus on the blessings in our lives. Which is completely ridiculous. We are all so incredibly blessed and need to bring light to the goodness the Lord showers us with. So I am challenging myself to do this. In the next couple of blog posts I will be focusing on the people and things that God has brought into my life that have blessed me immensely and have made me into thewoman I am today! So let this 'blessing journey' begin...

The first post I am going to dedicate is to a friend that has been such a sweet blessing in my life. Miss Fort Worth Teen 2004 herself... Mallory Elizabeth Chain Shows. This woman means more to me that I can express. She is the picture of a Proverbs 31 woman and is someone whose friendship means so much to me. Mallory and I met our freshman year at Hardin-Simmons University. HSU isn't big so I knew who she was but we didn't get to know each other until the Spring semester of our first year. I remember it like it was yesterday... I walked in the dorm late with some of my friends and Mallory and Ali were sitting down in the lobby eating Cracker Cuts cheese with Trisquits and watching Friends. We stopped and talked a while and soon were hanging out daily. Mallory had such a similar life story to me, which made it really easy to talk to her about things and be vulnerable (which ironically both of us hated doing and were not good at). We realized we both had been attending the same church and decided to get more involved at Beltway through the College class and homegroup. Also, another thing that brought both of us together closer than ever was pledging Sigma Alpha. We went through 5 weeks of ridiculousness and in those 5 weeks learned more about each other and ourselves. Mallory and my friendship has had rough times (cough cough Australia), and sweet times, but the thing that has made this entire relationship work out the way it has is that the Lord has always been in the center of it. God has been so good to us and has used this relationship, I feel, to mold both of us and grow us into the woman He desired us to be. Mallory is closer than a friend. She is my "soul friend" as we like to call it. My sister. We were connected for a purpose. To encourage. To edify. To bring joy to each other's lives. To make one another laugh. To pole vault (haha). To cry with. Stand next to on the most important days of our lives (I was there standing by Mal on her wedding day and with her the day her beautiful daughter came into this world-- and hopefully someday she will return those moments of mine). The important, funny, life changing, hard and exciting times in my life has all had Mallory in them. Whether she was there when I needed a shoulder to cry on, sending an affirming text or calling me just to check in. Mallory has been my biggest fan, encourager and prayer warrior these past 7 years (ok that makes me feel super old) and I believe she will be the same for many years to come. When I think of Mallory there are certain words that come to mind: beautiful, classy, intelligent, caring, selfless, wise, encouraging, loved, new anchor, bold, hilarious, intentional, set apart.
::Thank you Lord for putting Mallory in my life. You knew exactly what I needed all those years ago when I was a young 19 year old. She has spurred me on to You and has poured into me selflessly. She is a woman who truly fears You and is a beautiful picture of what I am called to be as a wife and mother. Continue to use our friendship to draw us closer to each other and You. You orchestrated this all those years ago and Father, if it is Your will, allow Mally Moo Moo to be in my life for many more years! You are good and everything that comes from You is good. We love and serve You humbly.... use us and our friendship for Your Kingdom Work!::