I'm Camping Out

Waking up could not have been any better this morning. I woke up at 5 to go on my run, only to find that it was lightening and thundering up a storm, not raining yet, but know that about 5 minutes after I would've begun running I would've gotten poured on.

So, I got back in bed and layed there while the rain came pouring down. I finally got out of bed at 6:00 and came downstairs to the amazing smell of my beloved coffee maker! I got to read, pray, think, and write an email to a friend, all the while listening to the most relaxing music from Pride and Prejudice.

Mornings like this are so necessary for me! Why is it that I love waking up early so much and having a long morning all to myself? Usually it's because God is always so kind to encourage me or to speak new things into my life.

As I was reading this morning about the Moses leading the Israelites out of Egpyt to their promised land, one of my favorite parts is after they have been traveling in the wilderness for 3 months and come to Mt Sinai, "the mountain of God." If you look at a map, you see that Canaan, the promised land, is VERY far away from Mt Sinai. God has been leading them through the wilderness, for several reasons. But mainly because he knew that if they took the easy route to get to Canaan, they would crumble in times of war and would loose hope in God, and go all the way back to Egpyt, the very place that held them captive for all those years!

So God has them camped out in the wilderness, at this mountain. Far from their destination - their promised land - land flowing with so much tasty food and water that they have been deprived of for so long. They have come to a place in their journey where they have to have 100% total dependence on God.

Wouldn't it be interesting, when faced with a "wilderness journey", a difficult season of life, or a time when we are needing answers, if we just camped out right in the midst of it all? I wonder what would happen if we, instead of trying as best as we can to get out of the situation, camped out in front of it asking God to what He wants to do for us in this time? I bet there is something to be gained that is far greater than getting the answer we want.

As for me, I camping out in front of my mountain today. I know the Lord wants to reveal Himself to me in a way that will change my life forever.


Deeper Still - Beth Moore

This weekend we are headed to Greensboro, NC for our first Deeper Still event of the year. I am so excited about this event as I've mentioned to you before. I'm not going to lie - I'm pretty excited about getting to meet Beth Moore and her assistant Michelle who I've spoken with but haven't met in person yet. Not to mention that Miss Kay Arthur and her assistant will be there as well and I just think the world of them!

This morning Beth wrote a sweet message on the LifeWayWomen blog and I thought you might enjoy it as well. Be praying for us as 12,000 women get together to hear from God and worship him.


We Did It!

We did it. 19 miles. The longest distance I have ever run. Got up at 5:15 yesterday morning to prepare and eat some food in time to leave at 6:00. I cannot believe I have run that far. I never thought in a million years I would be training for a marathon.

At this point, it's like you just have to get out there and run - not thinking about what you are doing. Honestly, if I hadn't of run with my brother, I'm not sure that I would've done it. It takes a lot to get out and run that far, and thank goodness he was with me! Driving to Waco was so worth it!

It was definitely tough - wasn't easy at all. But, I think you just get to a certain point and then you feel like you are running forever, so you might as well just keep on going. I'm assuming that's what happens to people who only train up to 20 miles for the marathon.. what's 6 more miles, right?

We still have two more long runs - we are working up to 24 miles. Brian and I are already trying to figure out how we can run our next one together as well.

Surprisingly, I'm really not very sore today at all. When we got back from the run we both took an ice bath, which at the time is super painful and not fun, but totally worth it! I really believe that's why I'm not sore this morning.

Moral of the story: you can do anything you set your mind to, running partners are the best, training for a marathon is so fun, and ice baths are a must!

Next run: 22 miles!


Gearing Up

I'm about to head to Waco so that my brother and I can run our 19 miler tomorrow morning! Holy cow. 19 miles. Really, I've been trying not to think about it all week. I think my body somehow knows it's going that far tomorrow because I am COMPLETELY exhausted today. I had to wake up early this morning for the Desperate for Jesus conference, and when I got back from lunch, I took a 45 minute nap. When I woke up I cleaned a little bit and did some reading, and took another 45 minute nap. Hah! Please know that I NEVER take naps, so that's a lot for me.

Not sure what time we will start in the morning, but if you think about it, say a little prayer for us. I'm so grateful that I will have someone to run with. I'm just going to pretend like it's a easy breezy run =/

Hope it's a great weekend for you.

Also, a little shoutout to Martha and Dudley who are moving this weekend. Good luck!!


New Shoes On

So, if you know me at all, you know that I've been running for about 4 years now. I started running my junior year of college, and quickly developed an avid love for it! I can honestly say that it is one of my favorite things to do!

I started to have some IT band issues in high school playing volleyball, and they got much worse when I started running. So, like every other runner, I went to Fleet Feet to get fitted for the best shoe for my foot. Now, let me say that I have always loved Fleet Feet. They were good to me. I did many training runs with them while I was in Nashville, and they always put on some great races.

Wellllllllll long story short, Fleet Feet has always put me in a stability shoe. I've been running in Brooks Axiom/Adrenaline for like 3 years.

Yesterday I went to Luke's Locker because I needed to get a new pair of shoes so that I can break them in for my marathon in October. Guess what they say at Lukes? I shouldn't be running in a stability shoe! For three years I've been running the wrong type of shoe! They said that probably the shoe I was in when I first started running was so bad that the stability shoe made my knees feel better, but they still didn't fix the problem. So, with that being said, I was pretty ticked. Not that the people at Fleet Feet meant to put me in the wrong shoe, but really?!

I'm really anxious to see how these new Asics work out for me. I will be amazed if my IT bands no longer hurt when I run. It will be a miracle!

Thank you Luke's Locker for knowing what you are talking about. I must admit, I will never go to Fleet Feet again. They ruined me!


Week 3

Last night we had our third week of bible study going through Priscilla's new study "One In A Million." Can I just be honest and say that we are having some amazing things happening each week? There are just 6 of us, ranging between the ages of 24-36, all girls, one is married, the rest are single. Two of us don't have jobs, one is a teacher so she is off for the summer, and two of us have really flexible jobs... so we are really able to meet for a while without feeling like we have to rush home.

There's something about this group that God is honoring and blessing. For the first hour we each shared about where we are in our walk with the Lord.. we really didn't even go over the lesson from the week... just shared what was on our heart. We were able to pray and encourage one girl in particular who just needed to be ministered to. Within minutes our prayers for God to speak to her were ANSWERED! Not only that but God spoke to another one of us the minute we turned on the video we were supposed to watch.

I say all of this... just because I am so encouraged by the Lord. I am encouraged because I know that God cares about all the big and small details of my life, of your life. I'm encouraged because He is real.. He's alive.. and He lives in us. I'm so thankful that He places people in our lives to encourage us and go through life with us. I'm thankful for sincerity and humbleness. And that's really what I'm getting out of this group.

I feel like our group is really what church should be.. People meeting together, worshipping together, praying together, studying the Word, and believing the best in each other! That's all we're doing. But we are honest and open with each other, and when we pray and EXPECT miracles, God shows up!

Are you part of a group like that? You need to be. You need to be in community. I encourage you to find a church/community group where the people love God and love people are committed to seeing lives changed.


A Word From Priscilla

Any time I get to hear Priscilla speak or read/study her books, I sit on the edge of my seat waiting to hear what God wants to say to me through her. Can you believe I get to do ministry with her?!?! I CANT!

We are all so stinkin' excited about being together for the first time this year at Deeper Still in Greensboro, NC with Miss Beth Moore, Miss Kay Arthur, and the Lifeway gals next weekend!

Read here about Priscilla's heart and excitement for next weekend! You've GOT to join us for one of these events this year - there's only three. Let me know if you are interested!


What is your aim?

I've started doing Priscilla's new bible study, One In A Million, with a group of girls and it has been so incredibly great! I think this bible study is totally relevant to what is going on in our nation right now. If you are looking for a new bible study to do with a group of women, I encourage you to pick this one up. Let me know if you are interested!

I've had a lot of questions asked to me lately about "why?" Why is _____ happening to me? Why would a loving God allow me to go through _______? Why don't I have a job? Why did I get cancer? Why am I so lonely? Why did I loose my loved one? A lot of people have a lot of "whys?" right now.

These are all really great questions that probably none of us have an answer to. What I can say is that I do know how it feels. I have been through a lot of times like these in my life. If you are in the place, I want to encourage you with these words from Priscilla in One In A Million:

We must synchronize our primary purposes with God's. We must realize that we can neither accomplish abundant life with God nor overcome the Enemy's advances without the Lord's help. While we often want the easiest and least challenging route to abundant life in Christ, we must acknowledge that God wants to take us on the path that fosters a deeper relationship with Him. He wants us to lay aside our determination to do life our way and follow Him. Only when we do this can we truly become ready to face what lies ahead.

Check your life. What is your primary aim?


The Freemans

This weekend was so much fun! The wedding was absolutelty amazing. It was my first time to meet Rachel's husband, Todd, and he is the most kind, gentle, man I have ever met. I am thrilled that they are going to be spending the rest of their lives together!

The minute I got to Memphis I got to eat with both families which was such a treat! Mrs. Edmundson cooked amazing food and I Todd serenaded us all on the piano while they made me sing. hah! It was really fun. Friday was the bridal luncheon at the Memphis Country Club followed by me spending the afternoon with Rachel picking up her BEAUTIFUL wedding dress and running a few errands. Friday evening we, of course, had the rehearsal, and then had the dinner at Center for Southern Folklore. It was so great! We were on the balcony of the building while the sun was setting overlooking the bridge and river. One of the coolest places downtown if you ask me. Got to eat some amazing bar-b-que and talk about how much we all love Rachel and Todd. Good times!

The wedding was an incredible celebration of what God has done in their lives and we danced the night away at Chickasaw Country Club. It was so much fun! Got to hang out with high school friends and new friends as well. Overall, it was an awesome weekend! Congratulations Rachel and Todd! Have fun in St Lucia!!!


Traveling Fool

I feel like I had a solid break from traveling for a while there. It was really nice to be home and enjoy living in this new city that I hadn't really been able to settle into yet. But ever since June 26th the traveling has kicked back into full gear for me. We had our Going Beyond event in Austin June 26-27, then I was at Lake Michigan July 1-5, and from here on out, I will be traveling every weekend until August 1. So I'm gone every single weekend in July. I am, however, super pumped about every single trip for the rest of this month!

Tomorrow I leave for Memphis to be a part of a long-time friend's wedding. Rachel and I became best friends right after I moved to Memphis from Chicago in 4th grade. By 5th grade, we were inseparable and did absolutely everything together. It's really amazing to think that we have been such good friends ever since way long ago. Rachel and I have been through a lot together. She was there for me when my dad passed away; we spent so many summers together in Destin; we've been to New York; we spent hours together when we were younger on AIM when that was the cool thing to do on Friday nights; we've been to Pickwick and JetSki'd I don't even know how many times; we've gone through hard break-ups; went to different SEC schools; did the sorority thing.. and somehow we always ended up getting together every single time we were home from school for summer or Christmas break. Her friendship really does mean so much to me. I'm excited to meet the man who has captured Rachel's heart. I'm so thankful to be able to stand up there with her at the church and watch yet another example of Christ's love for us as these two begins their lives together. It's going to be one heck of an amazing wedding!

I'm also excited because I get to do breakfast at one of my favorite places in Memphis with two of my other best friends from high school. Brother Junipers is calling my name! If you are EVER in Memphis and have the chance to eat breakfast, please do yourself a favor and go there. I promise you won't be disappointed. Rachael Ray even says so!

I'll be back when it's all said and done. Wish me luck and that I don't trip over my dress walking down the REALLY long isle!

P.S. This is my 9th wedding to be a bridesmaid. Crazy huh?


Jewelry Box

Priscilla does a "devotional" once a month for a website, and I enjoyed this month in particular, so I thought I would direct you there today. Encouraging words straight from Priscilla's heart are always such a blessing to me. Enjoy!

He Sees Me