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Sunday, January 31, 2010

always an Ashley

...never a Rhett.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvAG5RuMzfI&hl=en_US&fs=1&]
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passion 2010, recount for st. giles

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vA4Vq5XPrdA&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

Ironically, the video I made for my home church's share service today. Maybe I should listen to my own testimony.

Isaiah 26:8, despite the Willoughbys out there.
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passion 2010, recount for st. giles



Ironically, the video I made for my home church's share service today. Maybe I should listen to my own testimony.

Isaiah 26:8, despite the Willoughbys out there.
SHARE:

willoughbyed

"Perhaps Margaret is right. Piracy is our only option."
-Edward Ferrars, Sense and Sensibility

Willoughbyed - v. to be strung along by a person of a male persuasion for weeks (or, unfortunately, months in this particular case), only to discover that feelings by this particular male are not only unrequited, but that he, in fact, belongs to another.

Yes, girls, you've heard it here first. Exactly two weeks before Valentine's day, I got majorly Willoughbyed. Completely blind-sighted by a love interest's casual declaration of a girlfriend.

If you've ever read Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Marrianne, a sweet, poor girl, gets entangled with Sir John Willoughby. They have a chance meeting in a rain storm, and the rest is history. They spend nearly every waking moment together. She is absolutely head over heels for this guy, and he makes it very clear that he feels the same way about her. The moment Marianne is lead to believe that he is about to propose, he confesses, no, not his love for her, but that he has to leave town indefinitely for London. His reasons are vague.

Marianne then follows him to London, where she is not only completely ignored by him, she discovers that he is engaged to another woman.

Willoughbyed
.

Months of false hope and misinterpreted signs, with absolutely no mention of another female, then BAM, the "my girlfriend showed me this thing..." bomb dropped. I feel so deceived, so foolish. After a year and a half of struggling with single-dom, I thought, perhaps that someone was finally expressing interest in me romantically.

There I was, taking words he spoke out of context, overestimating our friendship, thinking that he really was that into me. And it's not even like I can really blame him at all. Because our budding romance was clearly all in my head. So, here I am, mourning the death of a relationship that never happened.

I can't even confront him about it, because that would mean confessing to him that I had feelings for him, that are obviously not going to be returned.

This is the third time in less than a year that this has happened to me. How many Willoughbys are out there? Girls, beware of the Willoughby.
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willoughbyed

"Perhaps Margaret is right. Piracy is our only option."
-Edward Ferrars, Sense and Sensibility

Willoughbyed - v. to be strung along by a person of a male persuasion for weeks (or, unfortunately, months in this particular case), only to discover that feelings by this particular male are not only unrequited, but that he, in fact, belongs to another.

Yes, girls, you've heard it here first. Exactly two weeks before Valentine's day, I got majorly Willoughbyed. Completely blind-sighted by a love interest's casual declaration of a girlfriend.

If you've ever read Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Marrianne, a sweet, poor girl, gets entangled with Sir John Willoughby. They have a chance meeting in a rain storm, and the rest is history. They spend nearly every waking moment together. She is absolutely head over heels for this guy, and he makes it very clear that he feels the same way about her. The moment Marianne is lead to believe that he is about to propose, he confesses, no, not his love for her, but that he has to leave town indefinitely for London. His reasons are vague.

Marianne then follows him to London, where she is not only completely ignored by him, she discovers that he is engaged to another woman.

Willoughbyed
.

Months of false hope and misinterpreted signs, with absolutely no mention of another female, then BAM, the "my girlfriend showed me this thing..." bomb dropped. I feel so deceived, so foolish. After a year and a half of struggling with single-dom, I thought, perhaps that someone was finally expressing interest in me romantically.

There I was, taking words he spoke out of context, overestimating our friendship, thinking that he really was that into me. And it's not even like I can really blame him at all. Because our budding romance was clearly all in my head. So, here I am, mourning the death of a relationship that never happened.

I can't even confront him about it, because that would mean confessing to him that I had feelings for him, that are obviously not going to be returned.

This is the third time in less than a year that this has happened to me. How many Willoughbys are out there? Girls, beware of the Willoughby.
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

world peace, please

"You think I'm gorgeous... You want to kiss me... You want to hug me... You want to love me... You want to smooch me... You want to hug me. "
-Gracie Hart, Miss Congeniality

There's nothing like a good Miss America pageant to make you feel absolutely horrible about yourself. I think I need to be doing "ups" of the push and pull variations for the next few days. Non-stop.

But seriously, props to Caressa Cameron, Miss America 2010 for taking the crown. Not only is she from Virginia, she's also a VCU broadcast journalism student.

See? We're one in the same.
She's just a sister, has the confidence to wear a two-piece swimsuit on national television, is good with words (like, talking and stuff) and is incredibly GORGEOUS.

Other than that, we're totally twins.

Also, my roommates and I, inspired by the competition, dragged blankets behind us on the floor for a solid five minutes pretending to be modeling our evening gowns.

I could've totally taken the crown in my red flannel evening gown.
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world peace, please

"You think I'm gorgeous... You want to kiss me... You want to hug me... You want to love me... You want to smooch me... You want to hug me. "
-Gracie Hart, Miss Congeniality

There's nothing like a good Miss America pageant to make you feel absolutely horrible about yourself. I think I need to be doing "ups" of the push and pull variations for the next few days. Non-stop.

But seriously, props to Caressa Cameron, Miss America 2010 for taking the crown. Not only is she from Virginia, she's also a VCU broadcast journalism student.

See? We're one in the same.
She's just a sister, has the confidence to wear a two-piece swimsuit on national television, is good with words (like, talking and stuff) and is incredibly GORGEOUS.

Other than that, we're totally twins.

Also, my roommates and I, inspired by the competition, dragged blankets behind us on the floor for a solid five minutes pretending to be modeling our evening gowns.

I could've totally taken the crown in my red flannel evening gown.
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Friday, January 29, 2010

it's like slang from England

"Oh, hi. Did you want to buy some drugs?"
-Mrs. Norberry, Mean Girls


Nerd.
Peacemaker.
Pusher.
Forgiver.
Undervalued.
Falsely accused.
Discouraged.
Unheard.

Welcome to girl world. The world I've been living in the past week. Louis Armstrong's philosophies about "what a wonderful world" we live in does not, unfortunately, apply to this world.

But, that, friends, is where forgiveness comes in. If Tina Fey can do it, so can we.
You won't even have to join the mathletes. Promise!
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it's like slang from England

"Oh, hi. Did you want to buy some drugs?"
-Mrs. Norberry, Mean Girls


Nerd.
Peacemaker.
Pusher.
Forgiver.
Undervalued.
Falsely accused.
Discouraged.
Unheard.

Welcome to girl world. The world I've been living in the past week. Louis Armstrong's philosophies about "what a wonderful world" we live in does not, unfortunately, apply to this world.

But, that, friends, is where forgiveness comes in. If Tina Fey can do it, so can we.
You won't even have to join the mathletes. Promise!
SHARE:

Monday, January 25, 2010

the everlasing God

"Do you not know? Have you not seen? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom."
-Isaiah 41:28

Harrisonburg, Virginia had the most beautiful sky today. The clouds were dark, but simultaneously vibrant. God's glory was undeniable. It was captivating. On days like today, I just have to wonder how people are blind to Him.

He's here, He's present, He loves us. Just look at this rainbow that was painted, just for us, in the sky today. Look at this splendor. It's just a small portion (a ridiculously, laughably small portion) of God's glory. Look at the sky. You cannot tell me that you deny Him. Impossible.

Just as I cannot fathom one who doesn't believe in the Lord and is blind to His creation, so can we not fathom His understanding. No one can. It's in scripture. If you think you can, you're numb.

Fathom, defined by "dictionary.com" means to "penetrate the truth of."

Friends, not one of us has come close to breaking and entering, to penetrating the truth of God's patience with us. He keeps His promises, even when we break our own.

I have been given so many blessings I do not deserve. After a long spell (longer than I would like to admit) of living in direct disobedience, and stubbornly holding on to something I knew I had to learn to live without, I finally came to acknowledge Christ and His renown as the sole purpose of my life.

I had some habits, some relationships, some things that were not of the Lord that I was desperately clinging on to. I was like a leech, trying to squelch out every inch of identification, purpose and affirmation from things that could never satisfy me. The more I sought, the harder it was to let go.

I was brought to my knees. Now that I have my life and my faith back on track (it's certainly not perfect, but it's so much farther then where it has been in the past 21 years), God has filled that void. He filled the needs, the wants, the desires abundantly. Greater than I could ever hope for. Greater than I could ever deserve. Greater than I could ever fathom.

Isaiah 41 continues, saying, "Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall."

Haven't we all experienced this? I've fallen. Literally. I fall all of the time. You'd think that thirteen years of Ballet dancing would have smoked that monster out, but no. I'm clumsy.

I've also stumbled in the figurative sense of the word as well. Duh. I get angry. I get upset. I get bitter. I take things to personally. I get jealous. In fact, if eyes are the window to the soul, the fact that they're green (in some lighting, I suppose), does not reflect well.

But, God keeps his promises. Further, "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." Isaiah 41:29)

I am weak and weary. Physically, certainly after training with Elisa for her triatholon. However, at times I feel myself spiritually weary. Spiritually down and out. Tired of forgiving, and hoping, and encouraging.

Thank goodness the Lord never tires of this, like we do. For it is through Him that we are made strong. It is through Him that we "Soar on wings like eagles," (Isaiah 41:31).
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the everlasing God

"Do you not know? Have you not seen? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom."
-Isaiah 41:28

Harrisonburg, Virginia had the most beautiful sky today. The clouds were dark, but simultaneously vibrant. God's glory was undeniable. It was captivating. On days like today, I just have to wonder how people are blind to Him.

He's here, He's present, He loves us. Just look at this rainbow that was painted, just for us, in the sky today. Look at this splendor. It's just a small portion (a ridiculously, laughably small portion) of God's glory. Look at the sky. You cannot tell me that you deny Him. Impossible.

Just as I cannot fathom one who doesn't believe in the Lord and is blind to His creation, so can we not fathom His understanding. No one can. It's in scripture. If you think you can, you're numb.

Fathom, defined by "dictionary.com" means to "penetrate the truth of."

Friends, not one of us has come close to breaking and entering, to penetrating the truth of God's patience with us. He keeps His promises, even when we break our own.

I have been given so many blessings I do not deserve. After a long spell (longer than I would like to admit) of living in direct disobedience, and stubbornly holding on to something I knew I had to learn to live without, I finally came to acknowledge Christ and His renown as the sole purpose of my life.

I had some habits, some relationships, some things that were not of the Lord that I was desperately clinging on to. I was like a leech, trying to squelch out every inch of identification, purpose and affirmation from things that could never satisfy me. The more I sought, the harder it was to let go.

I was brought to my knees. Now that I have my life and my faith back on track (it's certainly not perfect, but it's so much farther then where it has been in the past 21 years), God has filled that void. He filled the needs, the wants, the desires abundantly. Greater than I could ever hope for. Greater than I could ever deserve. Greater than I could ever fathom.

Isaiah 41 continues, saying, "Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall."

Haven't we all experienced this? I've fallen. Literally. I fall all of the time. You'd think that thirteen years of Ballet dancing would have smoked that monster out, but no. I'm clumsy.

I've also stumbled in the figurative sense of the word as well. Duh. I get angry. I get upset. I get bitter. I take things to personally. I get jealous. In fact, if eyes are the window to the soul, the fact that they're green (in some lighting, I suppose), does not reflect well.

But, God keeps his promises. Further, "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." Isaiah 41:29)

I am weak and weary. Physically, certainly after training with Elisa for her triatholon. However, at times I feel myself spiritually weary. Spiritually down and out. Tired of forgiving, and hoping, and encouraging.

Thank goodness the Lord never tires of this, like we do. For it is through Him that we are made strong. It is through Him that we "Soar on wings like eagles," (Isaiah 41:31).
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

could've danced all night

On the floor of Tokyo
Or down in London town to go, go
With the record selection
With the mirror reflection
I'm dancing with myself

When there's no-one else in sight
In the crowded lonely night
Well I wait so long
For my love vibration
And I'm dancing with myself
Oh dancing with myself
Oh dancing with myself

Well there's nothing to lose
And there's nothing to prove
I'll be dancing with myself

If I looked all over the world
And there's every type of girl
But your empty eyes
Seem to pass me by
Leave me dancing with myself

So let's sink another drink
'Cause it'll give me time to think
If I had the chanceI'd ask the world to dance
And I'll be dancing with myself
-Arty, "Dancing With Myself"


This song pretty much sums up my life right now. I'm loving it.
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could've danced all night

On the floor of Tokyo
Or down in London town to go, go
With the record selection
With the mirror reflection
I'm dancing with myself

When there's no-one else in sight
In the crowded lonely night
Well I wait so long
For my love vibration
And I'm dancing with myself
Oh dancing with myself
Oh dancing with myself

Well there's nothing to lose
And there's nothing to prove
I'll be dancing with myself

If I looked all over the world
And there's every type of girl
But your empty eyes
Seem to pass me by
Leave me dancing with myself

So let's sink another drink
'Cause it'll give me time to think
If I had the chanceI'd ask the world to dance
And I'll be dancing with myself
-Arty, "Dancing With Myself"


This song pretty much sums up my life right now. I'm loving it.
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Friday, January 22, 2010

shut up and listen

" Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all. From now on you'll be traveling the road between who you think you are and who you can be. The key is to allow yourself to make the journey."
-The Princess Diaries

This is so my life right now.

The best friend to the successfuls. To the "I just got hireds."

The sister to the "I have some really great newses...he went to 'Jared's.'' The rejoicer to the "I'm going to Haitis" or "the Lord is calling me to Somalias."

Here I am, the Lily Moscovitz of it all. Absorbed with my own little cable show (see the parallel?). To wrapped up in that yucky green stuff to be able to think clearly. Too selfish to see that Isaiah 26:8 is what I truly want to be rejoicing in:

"Yes Lord, walking in the will of your laws, we wait for you. Your name and renown are the desires of our hearts."
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shut up and listen

" Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all. From now on you'll be traveling the road between who you think you are and who you can be. The key is to allow yourself to make the journey."
-The Princess Diaries

This is so my life right now.

The best friend to the successfuls. To the "I just got hireds."

The sister to the "I have some really great newses...he went to 'Jared's.'' The rejoicer to the "I'm going to Haitis" or "the Lord is calling me to Somalias."

Here I am, the Lily Moscovitz of it all. Absorbed with my own little cable show (see the parallel?). To wrapped up in that yucky green stuff to be able to think clearly. Too selfish to see that Isaiah 26:8 is what I truly want to be rejoicing in:

"Yes Lord, walking in the will of your laws, we wait for you. Your name and renown are the desires of our hearts."
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Monday, January 18, 2010

martin luther king, jr.

"...Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right!


"Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.


"Defend the case of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow."


Isaiah 1:16-17
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martin luther king, jr.

"...Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right!


"Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.


"Defend the case of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow."


Isaiah 1:16-17
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Friday, January 15, 2010

isaiah 43

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert, and streams in the wasteland."
Verses 18-19


At the beginning of my Freshman year at James Madison University, I remember feeling so lonely and confused. While I don't recall if classes had actually begun, I had already been exposed to the college life: it was scary. The drinking, the sex, the smoking, it was all around me.

I grew up in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Of course you've never heard of it, but put plainly, it's synonymous with "Pleasantville." You know, moms with freshly baked cookies waiting for you after school, pops reading the newspaper while smoking a pipe? That kind of small town.

What on earth was I doing at the number one party school in the state?

I remember so vividly sitting on my bright turquoise comforter in my dorm room in Fredrickson Hall. I was dejected. All of these people around me, and not one follower of the Lord, it seemed. I just remember feeling like I was never going to fit in or find any friends. I missed my family greatly.

I flipped open to this passage. It was one of the first times I had ever turned to the Word for solace. It comforted me in extraordinary ways. For some reason, I couldn't explain, I thought that particular scripture was reaching out to me in an indeniable way.

I looked at this desolate campus and said, "Wow, God's going to do incredible things on this campus - and I'm going to have a part in that!"

Not that JMU is a bad place, it's just a dark place. And while, yes, the Christian community has grown so strong here these last few years, there are still a lot of people who fail to aknowlege Him.

God likes restoring. All of my years here, I have been working, praying, singing, worshiping, in order to bring glory to the most high. In order that He may bring streams into the wasteland of JMU.

I want that so badly. My soul cries out for it.

But, last night at Intervarsity, I realized something: There is already a knot of strong followers of the Lord on this campus. God has already made a stream in the desert of JMU. I've been refreshed by it these last few years. Our worship leader read this passage out loud, and I was immediately brought back to my Freshman year, in my dorm, seeking understanding. Seeking something.

I thought, "Lord, my time here is almost up, where are you on this campus? I thought we'd all be crying out to you."

I was in a room full of 300+ people worshiping the Lord on our campus.

It was then that I realized the desert, the desolate place I read about three and a half years ago was me. I was the desert. My own life was the wasteland.

He has made a way in my soul.
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isaiah 43

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert, and streams in the wasteland."
Verses 18-19


At the beginning of my Freshman year at James Madison University, I remember feeling so lonely and confused. While I don't recall if classes had actually begun, I had already been exposed to the college life: it was scary. The drinking, the sex, the smoking, it was all around me.

I grew up in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Of course you've never heard of it, but put plainly, it's synonymous with "Pleasantville." You know, moms with freshly baked cookies waiting for you after school, pops reading the newspaper while smoking a pipe? That kind of small town.

What on earth was I doing at the number one party school in the state?

I remember so vividly sitting on my bright turquoise comforter in my dorm room in Fredrickson Hall. I was dejected. All of these people around me, and not one follower of the Lord, it seemed. I just remember feeling like I was never going to fit in or find any friends. I missed my family greatly.

I flipped open to this passage. It was one of the first times I had ever turned to the Word for solace. It comforted me in extraordinary ways. For some reason, I couldn't explain, I thought that particular scripture was reaching out to me in an indeniable way.

I looked at this desolate campus and said, "Wow, God's going to do incredible things on this campus - and I'm going to have a part in that!"

Not that JMU is a bad place, it's just a dark place. And while, yes, the Christian community has grown so strong here these last few years, there are still a lot of people who fail to aknowlege Him.

God likes restoring. All of my years here, I have been working, praying, singing, worshiping, in order to bring glory to the most high. In order that He may bring streams into the wasteland of JMU.

I want that so badly. My soul cries out for it.

But, last night at Intervarsity, I realized something: There is already a knot of strong followers of the Lord on this campus. God has already made a stream in the desert of JMU. I've been refreshed by it these last few years. Our worship leader read this passage out loud, and I was immediately brought back to my Freshman year, in my dorm, seeking understanding. Seeking something.

I thought, "Lord, my time here is almost up, where are you on this campus? I thought we'd all be crying out to you."

I was in a room full of 300+ people worshiping the Lord on our campus.

It was then that I realized the desert, the desolate place I read about three and a half years ago was me. I was the desert. My own life was the wasteland.

He has made a way in my soul.
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

you don't define me

"Who are you to tell me what I'm less than what I should be? Who are you? Who are you? I don't need to listen to the list of things I should do, I won't try. No, I won't try."
-Barlow Girl, Mirror

"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

Thank goodness for scripture such as this. After a day of complete failure, this is so reassuring. Yes. Failure is the definition of my name. If you look up "fail" in Webster's, you'll see a little 2x2 of my senior portrait. Go ahead, check it.

Today I could not get up out of bed. I got my butt kicked by a bike at the gym. I disregarded Weight Watchers and ate half a bag of strawberry Twizzlers (twists, not even pull 'n peels). I spent more money than I have. I spent it on a backpack that I bought because both of my straps broke on my book bag. Both of them. It's because of my New Oxford Study Bible (the second augmented edition). It's heavy. It broke my straps. I tied them together.

I also get discouraged when I come to the realization time and time again that it is literally impossible to make everyone happy. If I'm not pissing one person off, I'm sticking my foot in my mouth or forgetting to do something I had committed to doing...

One person, a person I am questioning my loyalty to brought this to my attention via an e-mail to another person's inbox, today. It read something like "If you had asked me to do ____ it would have gotten done weeks ago."

Ouch.

The thing is, this girl does not know me at all. Despite our friendship. Because our friendship is solely based on her complaints of her stress levels. And you know, her words upset me. Deeply. It literally breaks my heart when I can't be the superwoman that I need to be for all of the people who are counting on me. It really does. But, there comes a point where you have to let go.

I refuse to let my inability to have everyone's approval dictate how I feel about myself. Barlow Girl says it best when they sing "You don't define me." Despite my inadequacies, Christ is going to bring me to completion. His glory is going to shine through me. Frankly, that's all I'm interested in.

So screw you if I don't perform an extra-curricular activity over Christmas break with a vague/ambiguous due date at a time that you saw fit. I had friends to hang out with, family to love and support and places to go. I have Christ to follow.

That's right. The only definition I am looking for is the one given to me by Jesus Christ. You lose, world. You do not define me. You don't. I may have let you for a portion of an hour today, but no longer. You don't define me, you never will.

Plus, see those girls in that picture? They love me and care for me no matter the "dents in my fender" or the "rips in my jeans" (had to throw a little Francesca Battistelli in there, hello!).



Any of you all ever feel this way?
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you don't define me

"Who are you to tell me what I'm less than what I should be? Who are you? Who are you? I don't need to listen to the list of things I should do, I won't try. No, I won't try."
-Barlow Girl, Mirror

"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

Thank goodness for scripture such as this. After a day of complete failure, this is so reassuring. Yes. Failure is the definition of my name. If you look up "fail" in Webster's, you'll see a little 2x2 of my senior portrait. Go ahead, check it.

Today I could not get up out of bed. I got my butt kicked by a bike at the gym. I disregarded Weight Watchers and ate half a bag of strawberry Twizzlers (twists, not even pull 'n peels). I spent more money than I have. I spent it on a backpack that I bought because both of my straps broke on my book bag. Both of them. It's because of my New Oxford Study Bible (the second augmented edition). It's heavy. It broke my straps. I tied them together.

I also get discouraged when I come to the realization time and time again that it is literally impossible to make everyone happy. If I'm not pissing one person off, I'm sticking my foot in my mouth or forgetting to do something I had committed to doing...

One person, a person I am questioning my loyalty to brought this to my attention via an e-mail to another person's inbox, today. It read something like "If you had asked me to do ____ it would have gotten done weeks ago."

Ouch.

The thing is, this girl does not know me at all. Despite our friendship. Because our friendship is solely based on her complaints of her stress levels. And you know, her words upset me. Deeply. It literally breaks my heart when I can't be the superwoman that I need to be for all of the people who are counting on me. It really does. But, there comes a point where you have to let go.

I refuse to let my inability to have everyone's approval dictate how I feel about myself. Barlow Girl says it best when they sing "You don't define me." Despite my inadequacies, Christ is going to bring me to completion. His glory is going to shine through me. Frankly, that's all I'm interested in.

So screw you if I don't perform an extra-curricular activity over Christmas break with a vague/ambiguous due date at a time that you saw fit. I had friends to hang out with, family to love and support and places to go. I have Christ to follow.

That's right. The only definition I am looking for is the one given to me by Jesus Christ. You lose, world. You do not define me. You don't. I may have let you for a portion of an hour today, but no longer. You don't define me, you never will.

Plus, see those girls in that picture? They love me and care for me no matter the "dents in my fender" or the "rips in my jeans" (had to throw a little Francesca Battistelli in there, hello!).



Any of you all ever feel this way?
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

so, here's to you mrs. baker

"Beloved, listen to me, don't believe all that you see. And don't you ever let anyone tell you that there's anything that you need but me."
-Derek Webb, Beloved


Well, it finally happened. This past weekend marked the coming together of two beloveds in the James Madison a cappella community: Brett Elizabeth Batten* and Nathaniel Russel Baker.

What a beautiful wedding. I had never seen a wedding that was all about the bride. The bride of Christ, that is. You could tell, they were so careful as to not deter anything from the fact that this is a both a ceremony of love and devotion and a symbol representing the love that Jesus Christ has for the church and all of us.

Breathtaking.

Into Hymn was privileged to take photos with the bride, and were even invited into the bridal suite before the ceremony to sing and pray. We sang our favorite retired song, Derek Webb's Beloved. Brett sang the solo. It was a picture of heaven: All of us worshipping, her standing in the most beautiful dress we've ever seen.

She was Nathaniel's bride, but more importantly, the bride of Christ. Cleansed, refreshed, made new. Despite all other circumstances that could have made this day a real train wreck, she stood tall, confident, but not proud. She was the calming presence in the room. When she prayed, the most wonderful words spilled forth from her lips.

Then her mom asked the Lord to, "Bless our socks off."

But, the thing is, He already has. The fact that I was standing in that room worshipping with the most beautiful people I've ever met, about to watch one of them marry the man that was truly hand-picked by God was one of the biggest blessings.

My socks were blown away.

It gave me and many other's hope, regarding things that God has promised us He will fulfill. Don't you see? He's carried you so far already. Press onward toward the prize, don't look back. Your bridegroom awaits you at the altar.

Have a great Tuesday, everyone!

*No, it wasn't me. I'm Brett Elizabeth Wilson. Sorry, I know it's easy to get confused. Especially since we both have the same passion for singing and putting raspberry syrup in our Starbucks coffee.
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so, here's to you mrs. baker

"Beloved, listen to me, don't believe all that you see. And don't you ever let anyone tell you that there's anything that you need but me."
-Derek Webb, Beloved


Well, it finally happened. This past weekend marked the coming together of two beloveds in the James Madison a cappella community: Brett Elizabeth Batten* and Nathaniel Russel Baker.

What a beautiful wedding. I had never seen a wedding that was all about the bride. The bride of Christ, that is. You could tell, they were so careful as to not deter anything from the fact that this is a both a ceremony of love and devotion and a symbol representing the love that Jesus Christ has for the church and all of us.

Breathtaking.

Into Hymn was privileged to take photos with the bride, and were even invited into the bridal suite before the ceremony to sing and pray. We sang our favorite retired song, Derek Webb's Beloved. Brett sang the solo. It was a picture of heaven: All of us worshipping, her standing in the most beautiful dress we've ever seen.

She was Nathaniel's bride, but more importantly, the bride of Christ. Cleansed, refreshed, made new. Despite all other circumstances that could have made this day a real train wreck, she stood tall, confident, but not proud. She was the calming presence in the room. When she prayed, the most wonderful words spilled forth from her lips.

Then her mom asked the Lord to, "Bless our socks off."

But, the thing is, He already has. The fact that I was standing in that room worshipping with the most beautiful people I've ever met, about to watch one of them marry the man that was truly hand-picked by God was one of the biggest blessings.

My socks were blown away.

It gave me and many other's hope, regarding things that God has promised us He will fulfill. Don't you see? He's carried you so far already. Press onward toward the prize, don't look back. Your bridegroom awaits you at the altar.

Have a great Tuesday, everyone!

*No, it wasn't me. I'm Brett Elizabeth Wilson. Sorry, I know it's easy to get confused. Especially since we both have the same passion for singing and putting raspberry syrup in our Starbucks coffee.
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Thursday, January 7, 2010

hey, what do you know?

The freaks come out in the day time, too.

Today I spent two hours debating the morality of purchasing a $70 dress for a wedding. Turns out, it was wrong. It's what Jesus would not do. Even though it was a beautiful strapless black and green dress.

After being exhausted and slightly dejected (I had a cavity filled this morning) I sat down in the food court with my sister. We munched on Chick-fil-a, and were suddenly confronted with these fine, respectable gentlemen:

Happy Thursday!

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hey, what do you know?

The freaks come out in the day time, too.

Today I spent two hours debating the morality of purchasing a $70 dress for a wedding. Turns out, it was wrong. It's what Jesus would not do. Even though it was a beautiful strapless black and green dress.

After being exhausted and slightly dejected (I had a cavity filled this morning) I sat down in the food court with my sister. We munched on Chick-fil-a, and were suddenly confronted with these fine, respectable gentlemen:

video

Happy Thursday!

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

a funny thing happened on the way to...m'ville?

"We'll always have Paris."
-Casablanca

My First Autobiographical screenplay. (Hi mom!)

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to M'ville.

Characters:
Alex - 18-years-old, tall, slender, curly brown hair.
Brett - 21-years-old, medium height and weight, curly brown hair.

Int. Blue/gray Toyota Camry. Night.

The two girls are driving home from the Passion 2010 Conference. They are on the brink of exhaustion from late nights and early mornings. They are northbound on Grove Ave. in Richmond, VA.

BRETT:
So, what do you think the Lord was putting on your heart the last few days?

ALEX:
Well...I really just think that the Lord was showing me...French bread?
BRETT:
???

ALEX:
I think just saw a French baguette on the side of the road.

BRETT:
What? You're crazy. Should you be driving?!

ALEX:
No, I really just saw a...LOOK! There's another one!

CLOSE Discarded, sad, lonely, dirty baguette on the side of the road.

BRETT & ALEX:
...

Yes, we counted SIX baguettes on the side of the road this morning. Six.

And, I just couldn't help but feel sorry for the poor little old French lady who lost her baguettes while she was flying down Grove Avenue with her windows rolled down...in the 30 degree weather.

What? You have a better explanation?

It also made me think of this video by the Flight of the Concords

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a funny thing happened on the way to...m'ville?

"We'll always have Paris."
-Casablanca

My First Autobiographical screenplay. (Hi mom!)

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to M'ville.

Characters:
Alex - 18-years-old, tall, slender, curly brown hair.
Brett - 21-years-old, medium height and weight, curly brown hair.

Int. Blue/gray Toyota Camry. Night.

The two girls are driving home from the Passion 2010 Conference. They are on the brink of exhaustion from late nights and early mornings. They are northbound on Grove Ave. in Richmond, VA.

BRETT:
So, what do you think the Lord was putting on your heart the last few days?

ALEX:
Well...I really just think that the Lord was showing me...French bread?
BRETT:
???

ALEX:
I think just saw a French baguette on the side of the road.

BRETT:
What? You're crazy. Should you be driving?!

ALEX:
No, I really just saw a...LOOK! There's another one!

CLOSE Discarded, sad, lonely, dirty baguette on the side of the road.

BRETT & ALEX:
...

Yes, we counted SIX baguettes on the side of the road this morning. Six.

And, I just couldn't help but feel sorry for the poor little old French lady who lost her baguettes while she was flying down Grove Avenue with her windows rolled down...in the 30 degree weather.

What? You have a better explanation?

It also made me think of this video by the Flight of the Concords

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passion 2010

"Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts."
Isaiah 26:8

What a remarkable time. I could literally write sheets and sheets about how the Lord truly worked on my heart these last few days. The healing, the renewal, the fellowship, the worship, the Word, the awakening, all things I needed so desperately in my life.

Passion is just one of those things that is very difficult to understand unless you are a part of it. What a challenge it is to speak about how the Lord touched the lives of 20,000 (and counting) people, and gave them a glimpse of what our lives in Heaven will be like.

And also how He showed us how He loves and treasures us. What a wonderful way to begin a new year, a new decade of our lives.

Thank you, Father.

Video and favorite quotes to come!
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passion 2010

"Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts."
Isaiah 26:8

What a remarkable time. I could literally write sheets and sheets about how the Lord truly worked on my heart these last few days. The healing, the renewal, the fellowship, the worship, the Word, the awakening, all things I needed so desperately in my life.

Passion is just one of those things that is very difficult to understand unless you are a part of it. What a challenge it is to speak about how the Lord touched the lives of 20,000 (and counting) people, and gave them a glimpse of what our lives in Heaven will be like.

And also how He showed us how He loves and treasures us. What a wonderful way to begin a new year, a new decade of our lives.

Thank you, Father.

Video and favorite quotes to come!
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Friday, January 1, 2010

viewer discretion advised*


Instructions: Press play and hang in there. If you do not make it past 2:30, feel free to reject the following post. If, however, you watch the clip in its entirety, read on! Gold star!

If you do not think this is the greatest/sexiest thing in the films of today or yesteryear, reexamine your soul. Sell it to "whose name shall remain unspoken," lately?

Hey, no judgement.

I'm just here to report that you're life needs strict evaluating. Well, that, and that, thanks to the King and I, there is indeed a way to display in a story that two people love and care for one another extraordinarily and passionately without clothes coming off...without you having to shield your thirteen-year-old brother's eyes...without playing suggestive techno music...

It's just that simple. Not easy. Simple.

Now, granted, if someone were to ask me to go polka dancing with them, my first thought, I have to tell you, would definitely NOT fall anywhere near the "bow-chicka-wow-wow" or "the looooooooooove boat" realm.

But there's something about this polka dance. Maybe it's the accents, the utterly HUMONGOUS hoop skirt, or the fact that he's a king that makes it so sexy.

Then again, perhap's it's just the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicality that does it for me.

Either way, this scene is hot. Smokin' hot.

Three posts, one day. Yes, I'm just that bored/moved by this particular clip of this film.

*just kiddin' ;)

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viewer discretion advised*


Instructions: Press play and hang in there. If you do not make it past 2:30, feel free to reject the following post. If, however, you watch the clip in its entirety, read on! Gold star!

If you do not think this is the greatest/sexiest thing in the films of today or yesteryear, reexamine your soul. Sell it to "whose name shall remain unspoken," lately?

Hey, no judgement.

I'm just here to report that you're life needs strict evaluating. Well, that, and that, thanks to the King and I, there is indeed a way to display in a story that two people love and care for one another extraordinarily and passionately without clothes coming off...without you having to shield your thirteen-year-old brother's eyes...without playing suggestive techno music...

It's just that simple. Not easy. Simple.

Now, granted, if someone were to ask me to go polka dancing with them, my first thought, I have to tell you, would definitely NOT fall anywhere near the "bow-chicka-wow-wow" or "the looooooooooove boat" realm.

But there's something about this polka dance. Maybe it's the accents, the utterly HUMONGOUS hoop skirt, or the fact that he's a king that makes it so sexy.

Then again, perhap's it's just the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicality that does it for me.

Either way, this scene is hot. Smokin' hot.

Three posts, one day. Yes, I'm just that bored/moved by this particular clip of this film.

*just kiddin' ;)

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deliver from failure

Further, blogosphere friends, here's an interesting tid-bit on helping you on your quest to achieve your resolutions. I think I'm going to try a few of them.

Though the fear of failure is pretty much blatantly carved into my DNA.


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGt_4hRGUnQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&]
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deliver from failure

Further, blogosphere friends, here's an interesting tid-bit on helping you on your quest to achieve your resolutions. I think I'm going to try a few of them.

Though the fear of failure is pretty much blatantly carved into my DNA.


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2010

"...Ah, no. Was at a party in London last night, I'm afraid I'm a bit hungover...Wish I could be home with my head in a toilet like all normal people... New Year's Resolution: drink less... and quit smoking...[is holding a cigarette and a mimosa], and keep resolutions. And quit talking total nonsense to strangers... actually, quit talking, full stop."
-Bridget, Bridget Jone's Diary

A classic single lady's lonely hearts club chick-flicky, carbon copy of Jane Austen's original Pride and Prejudice. Still, bloody good. And good for the soul.

Well, happy new year, everyone! Here's to hopes that 2010 brings you much joy and love, and that 2009 wasn't a year you were ready to toss out the window. 2010 brings about a lot of hope for me, personally. There are, as usual, several resolutions I am making for myself this year. They fall into three categories: Stuff I Will Never Do, But Say I Will, Because if I Don't, I Will Seem Like a Total Slacker if I Fail to Do Them, But Won't Hold it Against Myself If I Do Not Do Them; Stuff I Can Do if I Put My Nose to the Grindstone, and Will Genuinely Try to Do; and Stuff I Can Do, and I Resolve to Do Simply So I Can Say I Kept a Resolution.

1) Stuff I Will Never Do, But Say I Will Do, Because if I Don't Say I'll Do Them, I Will Seem Like a Total Slacker if I Fail to Say I Will Do Them, But Won't Hold it Against Myself If I Do Not Do Them:
(in order from most likely to achieve to least likely to achieve)
-Lose weight
-Exercise more
-Eat healthier
-Save money
-Drink less caffeine

2) Stuff I Can Do if I Put My Nose to the Grindstone, and Will Genuinely Try to Do:
(in no particular order)
-Finish my Regent University Application
-Go to Regent
-Enter a short film in the "Reel Dreams" film competition
-Become a Teacher's Assistant for SMAD 201
-Get straight A's my last semester
-Continue to do my devotions every morning
-Care a little more about my appearance (i.e. no more showing up to class in sweatpants. Especially difficult because I have an 8 a.m. this semester)
-Have a great attitude for single-dom, and be genuinely happy for my dear, sweet, crazy friends who are getting married soon.
-Watch all 100 of America Film Institute's top 100 films. And blog about them. Oh yeah, that's a new one.

3) Stuff I Can Do, and I Resolve to Do Simply So I Can Say I Actually Kept a Resolution:
-Smile
-Laugh
-Take as many road trips as possible
-Go to New York
-See as many Broadway musicals as possible
-Watch movies, and learn about them. Develop a passion about them.
-Play the piano
-Sing
-Pray
-Eat cookies
-Hug my sister
-Eat apples
-Eat soup
-Have flowers around. A lot.
-Worship
-Get candles
-Get killer graduation outfit
-Graduate
-Create coffee dates
-Put off my work for more important things, like people
-Pull all-nighters of just pure fun
-Start my Gone With the Wind needlepoint
-Watch youtube
-Spend time with friends
-Go to Boston
-Paint
-Meet Beth Moore*
-Cook more real food, rather than eating microwaved popcorn for dinner all of the time
-Continue to blog, even if discouraged by lack of interest (by readers or my life in general)

Yup. That should keep me busy for a while. Perhaps, as the year goes on, I'll check these off. Mark them in red or something.

What are your resolutions? What hope does 2010 bring about for you?

*P.S. Will be in Atlanta, GA until late late Tuesday evening for the Passion Conference. So excited, and canNOT wait to meet Beth Moore!!! Oh, I'm adding that to the list!
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2010

"...Ah, no. Was at a party in London last night, I'm afraid I'm a bit hungover...Wish I could be home with my head in a toilet like all normal people... New Year's Resolution: drink less... and quit smoking...[is holding a cigarette and a mimosa], and keep resolutions. And quit talking total nonsense to strangers... actually, quit talking, full stop."
-Bridget, Bridget Jone's Diary

A classic single lady's lonely hearts club chick-flicky, carbon copy of Jane Austen's original Pride and Prejudice. Still, bloody good. And good for the soul.

Well, happy new year, everyone! Here's to hopes that 2010 brings you much joy and love, and that 2009 wasn't a year you were ready to toss out the window. 2010 brings about a lot of hope for me, personally. There are, as usual, several resolutions I am making for myself this year. They fall into three categories: Stuff I Will Never Do, But Say I Will, Because if I Don't, I Will Seem Like a Total Slacker if I Fail to Do Them, But Won't Hold it Against Myself If I Do Not Do Them; Stuff I Can Do if I Put My Nose to the Grindstone, and Will Genuinely Try to Do; and Stuff I Can Do, and I Resolve to Do Simply So I Can Say I Kept a Resolution.

1) Stuff I Will Never Do, But Say I Will Do, Because if I Don't Say I'll Do Them, I Will Seem Like a Total Slacker if I Fail to Say I Will Do Them, But Won't Hold it Against Myself If I Do Not Do Them:
(in order from most likely to achieve to least likely to achieve)
-Lose weight
-Exercise more
-Eat healthier
-Save money
-Drink less caffeine

2) Stuff I Can Do if I Put My Nose to the Grindstone, and Will Genuinely Try to Do:
(in no particular order)
-Finish my Regent University Application
-Go to Regent
-Enter a short film in the "Reel Dreams" film competition
-Become a Teacher's Assistant for SMAD 201
-Get straight A's my last semester
-Continue to do my devotions every morning
-Care a little more about my appearance (i.e. no more showing up to class in sweatpants. Especially difficult because I have an 8 a.m. this semester)
-Have a great attitude for single-dom, and be genuinely happy for my dear, sweet, crazy friends who are getting married soon.
-Watch all 100 of America Film Institute's top 100 films. And blog about them. Oh yeah, that's a new one.

3) Stuff I Can Do, and I Resolve to Do Simply So I Can Say I Actually Kept a Resolution:
-Smile
-Laugh
-Take as many road trips as possible
-Go to New York
-See as many Broadway musicals as possible
-Watch movies, and learn about them. Develop a passion about them.
-Play the piano
-Sing
-Pray
-Eat cookies
-Hug my sister
-Eat apples
-Eat soup
-Have flowers around. A lot.
-Worship
-Get candles
-Get killer graduation outfit
-Graduate
-Create coffee dates
-Put off my work for more important things, like people
-Pull all-nighters of just pure fun
-Start my Gone With the Wind needlepoint
-Watch youtube
-Spend time with friends
-Go to Boston
-Paint
-Meet Beth Moore*
-Cook more real food, rather than eating microwaved popcorn for dinner all of the time
-Continue to blog, even if discouraged by lack of interest (by readers or my life in general)

Yup. That should keep me busy for a while. Perhaps, as the year goes on, I'll check these off. Mark them in red or something.

What are your resolutions? What hope does 2010 bring about for you?

*P.S. Will be in Atlanta, GA until late late Tuesday evening for the Passion Conference. So excited, and canNOT wait to meet Beth Moore!!! Oh, I'm adding that to the list!
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