Grace On Top Of Grace

I’m only three weeks into my sophomore year of college and it has already tested me and stretched me and pulled me in a million different directions. From full days of classes to involved projects to pre-recruitment stress and practices. I’ve already had late nights, hearty laughs, and even times of sadness and despair. But the best news is that Jesus has already been working in me and He has me excited for this next year because I am refreshed and renewed thanks to his grace and mercy!

Last year I found the switch from home to school damaged my quiet time pattern because I wasn’t surrounded by the same people encouraging me to press into the Lord consistently. The change in environment caused a change in my habits. When my boyfriend and I broke up a month into my freshman year, I truly turned to Christ for comfort for the first time in my life. Not to say that I only read my Bible in church, but I was never unhappy enough to feel like I was missing what can only be found at the feet of Jesus. But as I pulled through it I found myself feeling less and less like I needed to be filled up. I found myself getting busy with life and college, so I would tell myself, “It’s okay that I didn’t read my Bible today, I’ll just read two chapters tomorrow.” Did I really read two the next day? No, I probably told myself I’d read three the day after that. Long story short, bad cycle.

So here I am, starting my sophomore year fully aware that I need to begin with good habits to keep them. The third week of school in, and I find less and less time to just sit and be quiet and not have anything on my mind. But somehow this week, I just decided to find a sermon to watch online because I needed some encouragement. I’m a Louie Giglio kind of girl, and so I found this sermon called “Eyes Up, Knees Down” and it just owned me. I honestly think I took around eight pages of notes, it was that good. Anyways, I watched that and then just randomly decided that I needed to stop being so random when I choose where to read in the Bible because I skip around so much. I decided to read through the gospels, and so I’ve just been reading in Matthew.

I’ve really been struggling with feeling like my whole life is out of control. I try to deny that fact that I like to be in control, but when it comes to my own life and things that involve me, I really like to be in charge. So I’m at this point in my life where I don’t know where I’m going and I feel like I’m not moving in a specific direction, and the things I want are not being given to me. So just in the course of three weeks, God has already taught me so much about his plans for me. He hasn’t exactly let me know what those plans are for me, and to be painfully honest I’m extremely cynical towards Jeremiah 29:11 because I feel like it’s every girl’s bio on Instagram, but it seriously is such a simple truth.

Louie said in that sermon, God allows storms in our lives because he knows they will force us to fall on our knees. I have definitely learned that and I can’t even begin to describe how good it feels to legitimately hunger after his word and presence in your life. If you think about that show you’re really into, and how you can’t wait to watch the next one in the season, that’s literally how I feel about reading the Bible and spending time at Jesus’ feet. I feel refreshed when I close my Bible and I can’t wait to open it up and read more.

I’m sitting here asking for God for so many things and blessings in my life, and Louie Giglio basically rips the carpet out from underneath me by asking, “When was the last time you were on your knees worshipping the Lord?” That question had me majorly convicted and then he tops it off with, “If that question is causing tension in your heart right now, it’s probably been a while.” How on earth am I expecting God to move mountains and I can’t even set aside a little time during the day to get on my face before him and praise who he is. That is embarrassing.

Now I’m at this point where I know God says, “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” But rather than my asking, seeking or knocking on my own accord because I feel like I want something on my watch, I want everything in God’s timing because I know that if he gives me the desires of my heart when he sees fit, it will be so much sweeter. I’m learning to walk through the narrow gate and be one of the few who find it because I want His will done in my life.

In Matthew 8, a man with leprosy (the most disgusting disease that caused infected people to be shunned from towns) came to Jesus and asked Him to make him clean. If that had been me, I probably would have just asked him to heal me, but this man came and knelt before Jesus and began his question with, “If you’re willing…” I think that is so humbling. This man who was probably shunned and away from his home and family, yet didn’t even want what he wanted unless it was what Jesus wanted. I feel so convicted by that but now I want what I want if that is God’s will for my life. Because without Him and His plan, I am absolutely nothing and I have absolutely no purpose. And while that makes me feel small, I am reminded that God is bigger than everything and He is unstoppable.

Regardless of my situation my joy in the Lord should rise to the surface because my situation is because of him and there is always something to be thankful for. I am broken and only made whole through Christ and that in itself brings me so much joy. I have a God that loves me so much, he puts me back together and fills the cracks and empty spaces. It is powerful to be helpless except by the name of Jesus. Every single day the Lord is shaping me and softening my heart and breaking me, because that is the only way for Him to be glorified. If I am trying constantly to compensate for everything without God, I’m living a joke. His power and glory is literally exemplified through His ability to use me despite my weakness.

A Historic Day For All The Wrong Reasons

If you’ve been on any form of social media today I’m sure you’ve seen the Supreme Court ruling mandating acceptance of same-sex marriage across the nation. Yes, all 50 states are now legally unopposed to it.

Social media has been inundated with articles, photos, and anything else you can think of to celebrate this new universal tolerance. The majority of what I have seen is people posting caustic statuses about how Christians should educate themselves on the Bible’s true meaning (love), or Christians who are posting about the way we should be reacting. The bashing is flooding in from both sides of the spectrum.

Today should not be equality versus inequality. It shouldn’t be gay versus straight. It shouldn’t be democrat versus republican. It shouldn’t be Christian versus non-Christian. Obviously, today will be one for the history books, but not for the reason you may originally think. Today should be the American citizens versus the Supreme Court.

If same-sex marriage were legalized in all 50 states as a result of state legislation it would be a completely different story. Obviously, as a Christian I don’t believe in same-sex marriage, but this entire issue has nothing to do with whether or not I believe homosexuality is right or wrong. It has everything to do with the fact that the Supreme Court has overstepped its limits by federally mandating same-sex marriage.

The ruling completely disregarded the Constitution – the document our country is founded on. Our founding fathers worked tirelessly to set a firm foundation for what, they hoped, would become a great nation and a beacon of hope and freedom to the rest of the world. I can say, in 2015, that I believe the United States of America became what they hoped it would be, but I am also afraid that it is falling quickly away. June 26, 2015, the day that the Supreme Court mandated that all states accept and allow same-sex marriage, and also the day the door to tyrannical future opened in America. The document that is the heart of our nation, the very bones of our society was blatantly disregarded today. The document that holds the pieces of our country together was disregarded today. If anything, today should also be remembered in history as the day the Supreme Court of the United States ignored the Constitution, our 227 year old founding document.

You might be thinking, “what on earth does same-sex marriage have to do with tyranny, this is supposed to be a day to celebrate love.” Well, it doesn’t really have to do with same-sex marriage. The fact is, if an issue isn’t a federal issue, it’s a state issue. State issues should be handled by the state government and federal issues should be handled by the federal government. The Supreme Court has no legal right to write up a new law, which is basically what happened today. They have no right to redefine the institution of marriage when they didn’t create the original definition in the first place. We have checks and balances in America for a reason. Today was a glimpse of what it is like to have one entity of power in a nation.

In all honesty, same-sex marriage was legal in 36 states yesterday. There were only 14 states that had a ban on same-sex marriage. America was already headed in the direction is universal legalization. Homosexuals have always been around, and I can pretty much guarantee they always will. Regardless of whether it’s legal or not to be married, there are homosexuals in every state, in every city, and in every county. Those people are an integral part of our society whether or not you even know their sexual orientation. In 10 years, we probably would have already universally legalized same-sex marriage, and that isn’t the problem. If our nation was going to end up there anyway, I wish we had done it the right way, because now we’ve opened up access to potentially dangerous territory. In the first ever inaugural speech, George Washington warned the country against turning against its founding principles, but we are now living in the America he warned about.

a quarter of the way through.

I am about to be quarter of the way through college. That is the weirdest thing to think about ever. I’m freaking out a little bit. I feel like just yesterday I was saying goodbye to my siblings at home, moving in, saying goodbye to my parents, and placing bets with my brothers over whether or not my parents would cry (I bet they wouldn’t) when they left me (he won). It also feels like just yesterday that I was gong through recruitment, going to the beach for fall break, going home for Christmas and practicing for step sing. It’s all so weird to think about.

I have learned so much from being 12 hours/3 states away from home, from going to a school where I knew nobody, from dealing with a breakup without my family or closest friends around, from finding a church home, and the countless other hurdles I’ve had to jump. But I was well-prepared for this and I am so thankful that, while this has been a learning experience for me, it hasn’t been an overwhelming experience.

But this whole freshman year of college thing has gotten me thinking about the things I wish I knew as a high school senior about to make the huge jump. So here are ten pieces of advice I believe everyone should really take to heart.

#1. Seriously enjoy the moment you’re in because it’s gone in a second and I can promise you – you will miss the simplicity of your life in that moment.

#2. You enjoy that dishwasher in your house. Washing dishes in a bathroom sink is disgusting and inconvenient. That is one amenity I took for granted.

#3. Call your family. Just do it. They love it and it makes you feel good about how thoughtful of a kid you are.

#4. Enjoy those barefoot showers because they’re about to be gone. And even though it’s a shower and you THINK you’re clean, you’re never really clean because shower shoes.

#5. When you go home for breaks, do chores without your parents asking you. Your parents will praise you for being so mature, and I guarantee you that your siblings aren’t unloading the dishwasher voluntarily which will make you the favorite child.

#6. Eat as much real meat as you can. College will try to tell you that whatever they’re serving is real meat but I can promise you that it isn’t.

#7. You might think that you can do 8AM classes because hey, you were in class earlier than that in high school. But you’re fooling yourself. Something happens in college and 8AM’s are actual hell, stay away at all costs.

#8. Invest in a good water bottle. College dehydrates you.

#9. Sit in the middle of the cafeteria. You’ll see and meet so many more new people.

#10. Do adventurous things. Don’t just sit in your room and the library all the time. Go places, explore, and do new things.

i’m still alive.

I am just finishing up the first week of my second semester here at Samford. My first semester was absolutely crazy! I meant to write during that time or at least keep a diary but neither of those things happened. Honestly, I don’t remember a time where time has flown by as quickly as it has over the past 4-5 months. It’s insane to look back on, because it feels like it was ages ago that I was moving in. For anyone who is interested in a quick update on what happened over the past four and a half months in my life, you’re in the right spot.

I’m currently attending school at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. It’s awesome. My mom is from here and my parents met here and my Nana taught nursing here, co-wrote the graduate program, and also sued the school for unequal payrolls between men and women. I’m majoring in Interior Design and minoring in Fine Arts. I’m absolutely loving it.

Obviously, I’m 12 hours away from home so I can’t just go home for breaks! I had fall break about two months into school and went to Gulf Shores with my best friend. It was the best weekend and I’m so grateful to have found such a sweet friend who I can laugh at and with, but also cry with and she was definitely there through it all last semester!


I also rushed (which was a great experience) after a month here and pledged Phi Mu, just like my momma! I am so honored to be part of the Alpha Gamma chapter of Phi Mu and have so many amazing sisters! I also have the most wonderful little Phi Mu family (pictured below), I really couldn’t be more blessed!


Just a few days later, my family (finally) came to visit for Homecoming Weekend! It was so great to see them! I really was enjoying college and school and I would’t say I didn’t miss home or family, but I wasn’t moping around ever. I really have had the perfect college transition! But seeing my family when I did was perfect! I did miss them a lot and I was so happy my siblings could finally come see my school and my parents could see how I fit in to the place they used to go.

IMG_2273My roommate is from Nashville and so right at the time we were all ready to go home for Christmas and suffering from a mixture of exam anxiety and home-sickness, Emma (my super cool roommate), Savannah (my best friend) and myself took a quick weekend trip to Nashville! We went to the Parthenon, the Country Music Hall of Fame, a high school football game (it was freezing), and we went to a music bar. Everything was so fun and I can’t wait to go back!


I did so many fun things throughout the semester. Here’s a little glimpse of the rest!

IMG_2326Phi Mu Semi-Sweet Formal with these cool cats!


Phi Mu 5k for CMNH in the twenty degree morning.


Almost died (aka broke my knees) trying to play frisbee golf (a no-contact sport. Just as a point of reference, this was not 10 minutes after I fell down a hill..

All in all, last semester was amazing and this semester is going to be even better! I’ve grown up so much since moving here and even though last semester did bring hardships I never thought would come, even though I had to swim hard just to keep my head above water a few times, even though I struggled to understand God’s control and sovereignty in situations where my entire world was flipped upside down and I was struggling to get out of bed some days, Christ has been by my side every single step of the way. He is my rock and foundation and without Him, I would be so utterly lost.

I’m starting out this semester with high hopes, high spirits, and high expectations. There are things I had last semester that I didn’t know I could live without and honestly thought I’d never lose, but there are things I have this semester that I honestly thought I’d never get and it just blows me away. All I can say, is that, Jesus Christ is profound, and the things he does in our lived is profound. And every single day I just look around and am stunned by the blessings that are so prevalent. If you give your belongings, your desires, your worries, your everything to Christ, He transforms it all into this beautiful masterpiece that is so incredible and so mind-blowing.

I’m currently starting up a new round of classes, starting my first full semester as an initiated member of a sorority. It’s already crazy but I’m so excited for this semester! The nest amazing thing on my agenda is Step Sing. If you haven’t heard of it, you should check it out here. If you have, you should come or watch online (link here) and cheer on Phi Mu! It’s going to be a great show overall and it’s a huge and fun tradition here at Samford!

I promise I’ll try to update more! Thanks for reading!

Relentless Grace



“You can’t save people. You can only love them.” – Anais Nin

I’ve been trouble recently by the way Christians treat, not only non-believers, but other Christians as well. Out of the mouth comes a constant stream of judgement, hate, slander, and prideful language. We’ve all grown up in some way or another believing that because we’ve got the key to salvation, we have this upper hand on the world. Nobody is immune to it. 

Recently, I’ve really been learning about how wrong it is to be that way. We all know about those stereotypical “WWJD” bracelets that everyone used to have. I’ve been constantly thinking about how Jesus would react to different situations I’ve been a witness to. So many Christians have this mindset that because of their Christianity, they suddenly feel entitled to cast judgement on believers and non-believers alike. 

My mom recently was talking about how she was struggling with the story of Jonah. We talked about why he didn’t want to go to Nineveh to spread the Word, and it wasn’t because he was scared of the people there, it was because, in his mind, they had sinned far too much to deserve salvation. Even though God had told him to go and present his message, Jonah decided with his own worldly mind and heart that they no longer deserved a second chance. This isn’t to say that all Christians run to do the opposite of what God says, it’s more to show how often we think like Jonah and decide that certain people are not fit or deserving of Jesus’ sacrificial gift to mankind. 

Every single person on this earth who has lived, is living, and will live has been offered a gift of glorious salvation and grace. We, as Christians, know that better than anyone. We understand that our sins have been erased. If we grasp that incredibly beautiful concept – the one of undeserving grace – why are we so hesitant to show it to others? Why are Christians so haughty, that they decide who is and isn’t deserving of the grace Jesus so badly wanted everyone to receive?

Why do we see homosexuals, prostitutes, women who get abortions, etc, and, rather than being the hands and feet of Christ and loving them relentlessly, treat them like lesser humans and label them as sinners? Yes, those people are sinners, but so is everyone else in this world. That is why Jesus gave his life on the cross. Why do some Christians tell other Christians that they aren’t Christian enough? Why do Christians only surround themselves with other Christians?

Why are we so scared of getting dirty? Why are we so scared of getting involved with people who we think are more sinful than us? News Flash: All sin is equal in God’s eyes. You are sinning just as much as the man who just came out as gay. That is the modern Christian’s problem. We all need to take a minute and get off our high horses and realize that out of all the people in the world, we are the one who should be getting our hands dirty and helping others find the gift of grace. We are so focused on ourselves and determining what is wrong and right, that we are leaving out the people who need salvation the most. We have been given the greatest gift in the world by our Jesus, and knowing that, why aren’t we all racing to the dirtiest and darkest of places to share the good news? Why are we so determined to stay in our beautiful houses and pristine lives and not touch our skewed version of “worse sin.” Yes, sin is contagious, but you already caught it. You were born with that disease, but you also have the remedy. We have to stop keeping it to ourselves. We are in desperate times, and we need to get our hands dirty like Jesus did. We could make such a big dent if we all put on our big girl underwear and stopped being afraid of other people’s sin long enough to lead them to Jesus.

If Jesus did what so many Christians are doing, we would all be on the straight path to hell. But our Savior, perfect and sinless, came to a sinful world and surrounded himself with the sinful people, the outcasts, the sick, the homeless, the prostitutes, the thieves, and murderers. He surrounded himself with what we see as the worst of the worst in terms of sin. But Jesus saw them all as his children. He saw them with love and grace, the same love and grace he looks at us with. We desperately need to begin looking at the world with relentless love and grace, just like Jesus. 

Dads Are Not The Problem

I completed high school this week, and throughout my home school journey one of the most prominent and important things I learned was to always stand up for truth, no matter what it costs you in the long run. This past weekend I attended the Richmond Homeschool Prom along with over 500 other home schooled students across Central Virginia. Recently, there has been a massive frenzy about a girl being kicked out over suggestive dancing and inappropriate attire, so much so that even national media sources like Cosmopolitan Magazine have picked up on the story. I am writing this not to stir up further arguments but to share truth on what actually happened at prom.

I happen to know the girl who was kicked out. She joined my volleyball team last fall, she ended up being in my American History class this semester, and she also happens to be graduating with me in just a few short weeks. In history, our class covered material from the Civil War to World War II. During the section on the Gilded Age, we learned about something called yellow journalism. Let me define it.

 Yellow Journalism is the type of journalism that relies on sensationalism and lurid exaggeration to attract readers. There is a word in that definition that I would also like to define. Sensationalism is the use of sensational language to arouse an intense emotional response.

 Everything that has been said about Clare and the Richmond Homeschool Prom has been yellow journalism and nothing short of sensationalizing. Her entire story is full of lies and slander. I have been to many homeschool proms and the Richmond Homeschool Prom is most definitely the least conservative one I have attended. The dress code for ladies merely required that dresses be fingertip length. I personally don’t recall seeing girls with dresses violating the requirements (which are the exact same as the local high schools). Clare even approached me and showed me that her dress adhered – yes, it was edgy and as close as she could get to breaking it, but yes it was fingertip length. She writes in her blog post,

“I assumed that she (a prom coordinator) probably just didn’t understand that when you’re 5’9″ and leggy, everything looks shorter on you then it would on anyone else, even if it’s still inside the dress code.”

I can whole-heartedly agree with that statement, as I have long legs myself and have had to refrain from wearing certain things because they appear more immodest than they would on a girl with shorter legs. It is an honest struggle. In the end, her dress was close enough to breaking the dress code that it was checked. Clare talks about how she isn’t responsible for other people’s thought or drives, but she admits in her blog post that she looked hot and would turn heads when walking through a door. Emily Collins, a lady chaperoning, states that Clare’s dress only met dress code when it was pulled down, but as she walked, the dress rose. Clare was seen by multiple sources (students) to be dancing provacatively and as she moved her dress rose. When she was approached and asked to pull it down by female chaperones, Clare responded with extreme disrespect towards the authorities, at which point she was asked to leave. Not one person ever mentioned anything about impure thoughts, she was removed from the dance because her behavior was not in line with the set rules.

I find the most disturbing part of this situation to be the accusations against the dads. The Richmond Homeschool Prom is held in a large church gym. In that gym, there is a balcony that runs the length of the room. When I walked in, I did notice that there were parents standing up there. But they were chaperoning, just the same as the parents on the floor. Yes, there were dads up there, all of whom were on rotation manning the lights and ensuring that prom ran smoothly. Clare writes,

“We were also a little grossed out by all the dads on the balcony above the dance floor, ogling and talking amongst themselves,” Headlines are saying things like, “Teen Girl Ejected From Prom Because Horny Dads Can’t Stop Staring,” or “Girl Kicked Out Of Prom Because Dads Found Her Too Sexy.”

Honestly, if I had not been at prom and Clare’s description were all I had to go on, my interpretation would be that there were fathers lined up around the balcony just to observe and eye the girls. It makes it sound totally inappropriate and disgusting! But I was there, and the dads were not talking amongst themselves about the girls dancing and they were certainly not ogling. They were only doing the jobs they had selflessly volunteered for so that the homeschool community could enjoy prom. They were up there to work the lights and fix strand of lights that had gone out. Homeschool dads are incredibly protective over their daughters and go to great lengths to ensure they are treated well and typically very loving towards children that are not their own. Homeschool dads may be just about the least creepy men there are. I would also like to briefly address the misconception that, as homeschool parents, they are required to put on prom. Prom is not a right owed to us, it is a privilege. As homeschoolers we often lose chances to participate in activities that students at public a private school enjoy, such as prom and sports teams. Our opportunity to attend prom comes directly from the parents that choose to invest their time and money so we can enjoy a special event. 

But when did this become about perverted dads? The news reports manipulate the story to make it seem like sex-minded men singled Clare out and couldn’t control their thoughts when in reality, not one man made mention about Clare’s attire or behavior, only women in authority. Women use clothing and actions to attract men all the time, but as Christians and really just as moral people, ladies have a duty to dress in a way that earns respect and doesn’t tempt men. Everyone (not just men) have a duty to guard our thoughts from things that aren’t healthy, but men shouldn’t make it harder for women and women shouldn’t make it harder for men. The Richmond Homeschool Prom was meant to be a wholesome night and when Clare was approached (by women) for what they deemed inappropriate, she got mad and acted in a childish and disrespectful manner towards the adults in authority. It was only then that she was asked to leave.

Everyone can safely assume that a homeschool prom is going to be more conservative than a public school prom. Most people who homeschool do so because they want a more conservative environment for their children. Of course there are going to be more rules and regulations, yet many of the rules are identical to the rules enforced at public school proms. If a student is found in violation of any rule, he or she is removed without refund. More than one person (including myself) saw her dancing suggestively, which were grounds for removal. There has also been a lot of controversy about her being the only one to get kicked out, when in reality there were eight others who asked to leave as well. I find it sad that all of the stories about Clare’s experience are one sided and selectively choose which facts to report to gain more attention. I look forward to a day when yellow journalism and sensationalism isn’t an issue, but as I’m learning in history class – this isn’t the first time and it will not be the last.


The End of an Era & Tribute to My Mom

Well, today I finish my last high school class and a week from today I take my last exam and finish high school forever. It’s very exciting but also a little daunting. People say all the time, “Wow time feels like it went so fast.” I’m not feeling like that. I’m feeling like my time was well spent. Everybody has regrets or things they wish they’d done differently, and I have my days where I wish I had gotten along with my family better, hadn’t procrastinated with homework or put in extra effort where it was sometimes needed, but looking at the big picture I’ve had a good time in school.

In 25 DAYS I will walking down an isle to pomp and circumstance to receive my diploma and formally close out high school. To say that I can’t wait is an understatement – I’m beyond excited for it all. It will be one of the most important days of my life so far. It’s weird that it’s already here, I was just telling John (my wonderful boyfriend) that I didn’t feel old enough last year (even though I was) to graduate and go off to college, and I still don’t feel like I’m old enough. I’m ready, I just feel too young to move away. It’s all very weird and new.

It’s been weird to buy things for my dorm room. You start accumulating boxes of stuff and you just stack them in your room. My future is in boxes in my room while my time in my room is winding down very fast. In fact, I’m moving out of my room in July (also very weird). We moved into this house right after I turned 10 and my room has definitely changed since I hit double digits. When we first painted the walls I was demanding a lime green color, literally named “atomic vomit.” Gross. As of now, my room is a light grey and everything is super chill and white. My mom says I can’t move out and keep the largest room for myself, so Kate and I will be swapping rooms mid-summer. It’s very weird to me. She’s 11 moving into the room I moved into when I was 10. But that’s okay, I just wanted to come home to a room with all my stuff in it and that was the only option my mom gave me.

Speaking of my mom, this whole graduation thing wouldn’t have happened without her. She’s amazing. Disclaimer about myself: I am probably the most difficult, strong-willed, independent, argumentative child she has. No, I’m actually sure about that. She wasn’t calm all the time (who is?) – she did ground my to my room at least once, spank me, wash my mouth out with soap, and make me drink spoonfuls of hot sauce (by far the worst punishment because I hate spicy things) but she was literally the most patient person (or at least way more patient then I could ever be with a child like me). With all my talking back, throwing pencils, hiding schoolbooks so I wouldn’t have to do work, and incessant crying, home schooling has been no walk in the park, but it has been the biggest blessing ever.


Thanks to my mom pushing me to excel, I was accepted to every college I applied to (eleven schools including UVA, Bridgewater, University of Alabama, Samford, Baylor, Belmont, and obviously 5 more haha). But all of that is literally a tribute to her patience and consistency with me and my education. So – thank you momma, I haven’t said it enough but I am so grateful you followed where God was leading and home schooled us kids. You’re the bee’s knees!