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Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Happy Wednesday, beautiful people!

Today is a brand new day full of so much potential.
It has the ability to be a starting point of something new, if you want it to be.
Today can be the day you look back on and realize that was the day you started something really great.
It can be a day full of memories.
A day of hard work.
A day of blissful summer laziness.
A day of quiet.
A day of dreams.
Today can be anything you want it to be.
Don't let that kind of potential pass by you!  Make today into whatever you want it to be. 
Live and work and laugh and relax and dream and explore and be happy today.

Just because you can.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Well hello there.

I'm back!
And apparently my blog post letting you guys know I was going awol didn't actually, sorry about that.
I've been in Haiti!  I went on a medical trip there with my husband (a medical student), and we were a part of a team that pretty much set up a little clinic in a different village each day where people could see a doctor, get medicine, and do other things they don't have resources to do over there.

I could write a lot about Haiti.
I could write about how it was really wonderful.
How beautiful all the places we went were.
How amazing it was to get to help people who were really, truly in need.
I could write about how hard it was.
How it was scary to fall asleep with people screaming bloody murder and playing voodoo drums outside.
How heartbreaking it was to have to turn hundreds of people away that probably won't be able to get the help they need.
I could write a lot about it, and eventually, I probably will.  But today, I want to write about something else.
About how it feels to come back from a trip like that.

I started thinking about this while I was still there, because I know how hard things like that usually are.
You spend a week immersed in utter poverty, and then you come home to America.
And for awhile you feel passionate and purposeful.
And then you feel guilty.
And then you just forget.

I was read this while I was over there:
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." -James 1:27

That verse always encourages me so much, but when I read it then, it honestly made me sad.  Because over there, it was so easy.  Orphans and widows were everywhere with great needs, and it was easy to look after them when that's what the whole purpose of being there was.  But here?  In America?  Not so much.
Because realistically, am I going to be able to take care of orphans and widows every day of my life here?  No.  So is it ever going to be possible to have real and pure religion here? That just bothered me.

So I did what I usually do when I get frustrated with something I read in the Bible: I kept reading.  And I found this, and it was exactly what I needed to hear:
"But if you fulfill the royal law as expressed in this scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing well." -James 2:8

I may not come in contact with widows and orphans every day.  I won't always be able to hand out medicine to those that are sick.  But love people?  That I can do.  And here, I think that can sometimes be worth more than food or medicine or anything material, because the good portion of people I run into on a daily basis aren't lacking material things.  But love, a love so pure that it's the same love someone would show themselves--that is rare.  And that is something everyone needs.

That encouraged me so much.  I may not can help people as much as I would like to be able to, but I can sure love the heck out of them.  And if I love them--really love them, without motives or requiring anything in return--then hey, I'm doing okay.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Seven years.

I moved to Florida with my family to start a church.
Sound a little weird? Yeah, it was.
Mostly because, like a lot of people, I always thought about churches as having been there forever, not having been started by a single family.
Nonetheless, my parents felt called to a little town named Melbourne Beach.
A town we had never heard of.
A town where we didn't know a single soul.
Sound crazy?
It was.
But I was only 14, so it didnt matter that I thought it was crazy, I had to move with my parents anyway.
Sometime I'll write about the whole story, about how the whole thing came about, because it's really cool.
But today I will just say a few things.
It was horrible.
The the really, awful, terrible kind of horrible.
I remember saying goodbye my entire family who lived in Tennessee.
Saying goodbye to my best friends who would all be starting high school together.
I remember my dad waking me up the morning of, and not wanting to leave so badly that I cried and kicked my bed out of frustration.
I remember crying the two day drive here.
Pulling up to my new house and being devastated because I had hoped it would feel like home, and it didn't.
And then, a few weeks later, my dad announced that we were going to start having church.
In my house.
With myself, my parents, and my brother.
Because that's totally normal.
It was terrible and it was awkward, but you know what?
Those are some of the most precious memories that I have.
Because last Sunday, there were 900 people at that church.
At the church that started in my living room.
The church that slowly grew from a house to hotels to a middle school to a building.
The church that my parents, me and my brother set up and tore down each Sunday.
That 4-900 period has not been easy.
There have been tears and struggles and hard times, like there are with anything worth having.
People have come and gone.
People have said terrible things and spewed lies about my family and church.
There were times where friends were few and far between.
But being able to be apart of the most amazing adventure with my family? I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world.
I know a lot of you who read my blog don't believe in God (and that's okay, I'm glad you're here anyway.)
But I have to say.
Even if I didn't believe in God in the slightest bit before moving here,
I think I would have to believe in Him now.
I would have to believe in a God that loved the people of Brevard county so incredibly much, that He called a little family of four from Memphis to come share His love with them.
I would have to believe in a God who took four people and turned them into nine hundred.
I would have to believe in a God that kept his promises. That moved heaven and earth to provide a place for these nine hundred people to hear about His name and grow in Him.
I would have to believe in a God that has a plan, because there's no way any of us could have planned this.
Today I am so incredibly overwhelmed with thankfulness that I have a God who chose me to ride along on this great adventure.
I will never know why He chose my family, but He did.
And some really amazing things have happened, because He had a plan all along.

Happy seven years, Coastline.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

sometimes life is really hard.

Hey friends.

So I know that I'm way overdue for a post, but Jeb, my sweet little best friend of a puppy, passed away yesterday.  We've had him since I was nine, so it's just hard.  There's no way around it.

Please bear with me while I get through this.  I am so thankful for so many amazing readers and want you all to know that I have not forgotten about you, I'm just going through a bit of a rough time.

I'll be back writing soon.

Thanks, friends.