Sunday, September 29, 2013

Relationships with Guys {Part 1}

{After contemplating what I should post next on my blog, I decided to write a 3 part relationship series talking about how to just be friends with guys. I've been working on these posts for the last couple of weeks. I hope you find them helpful and if you have any questions or additional thoughts, feel free to leave them in the comments below! I should also note that I am in no way an expert. I'm just sharing what I have learned about guy friendships the past 3 years!} 

Let's face it. 

Guy relationships are hard sometimes. 

Am I right? 

I know from experience that they can get sticky if you're not too careful.

In order to be friends with guys, it takes an extra amount of work.

It's not always easy, but it's so worth it in the end.

 * * * * * * *

I remember 3 1/2 years ago when I was first convicted about my relationships with guys.

I was currently reading Leslie Ludy's book, Answering the Guy Questions: The Set-Apart Girl's Guide to Relating to the Opposite Sex, and through that the LORD had begun teaching me a new and exciting way of how I can just be friends with the guys he had placed in my life.

Honestly, it hasn't always been glamorous and drama free. I have suffered bumps and bruises along the way. But, I am thankful that the LORD granted grace in my life when it comes to relating to guys. 

So, how do you just be friends with guys? 

Well, I believe there are 3 ways we can have God-honoring friendships with the guys God has placed in our lives.

The first one?

1. Prioritize your relationship with Christ. 

Quite frankly, making Jesus #1 in your life will help you as you navigate your earthly relationships, not just guy friendships.

I have come to the realization, over the past couple of years, of how important my relationship with Christ is on this earth.

Because I have been redeemed, rescued, and restored through Christ, I should desire to have a friendship with Him.

Let me back up, I should take advantage of His invitation to be friends with Him so that I can cultivate my relationship with Him. 

As a result, Jesus should come before all the other people in my life.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. " 
Matthew 22:37

He is the one I should be running to whenever I have a problem in life. Jesus is the only one who can meet all my needs, satisfy all my desires, and fulfill all my dreams, not a friendship with a guy or girl.

How do I make Jesus #1 in my life, though?

You actively spend time in the Word, in prayer, and in fellowship with people who honor Him in all that they do.

Honestly, if you truly to desire to make Jesus #1 in your life, you will make every effort to do so.

And yes, it will take time.

But, I can promise you this is a relationship worth cultivating.

* * * * * *

How do you strive to make Jesus #1 in your life?

Let me know in the comments below!

I'll be back next week with point #2!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Smiles from Sarah

{Today you have the opportunity to hear from my dear friend, Sarah. She is literally boarding a plane in a few days and spending 8 months in a country that has stolen her heart. I'm so thankful for her desire to follow Christ wherever He leads. She currently blogs at Hello my name is: Mzungu. }

So many people ask me "Why you?" "Why Africa?" "Why now?"

But God asks "Why not you?" "Why not Africa?" "Why not now?"

Two years ago, if you had asked me what I was doing after high school, I would have told you I was going to college, hopefully Montevallo or Troy. 

I would have told you...

I was going to become an elementary school teacher. 
I was going to teach at an intercity school in another city, and probably stay in Alabama. 
I was going to meet my future husband in college and live happily ever after with a great job and a happy family, and we would live in a small house, probably even get a dog or two.

That's what was "best" for me... two years ago.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

In a just a few days, I will be boarding a plane to Uganda, East Africa. 


I’ll be living with a Ugandan family that runs Divine Care Ministries, doing life “the Ugandan way,” traveling, loving on some children, spreading the Word, teaching at their school, and helping out in the office with their child sponsorship program.

A little over a month ago, every single one of my friends moved off to college. They started school just like every other high school graduate, made new friends, and continued their education while having loads of fun in the process. 

Ever since the beginning of my senior year, I've probably been asked "So, where are you going to college?" at least 5 times a day because college is the "usual."

It's funny, the day I finally decided I was going to take a gap year to go to Uganda, I was already enrolled in school at Troy, had a roommate, and already knew where I was going to live. So if I told you I decided on a whim, I would be lying.  

It was NOT easy. 

I went back and forth between wanting to go to Uganda and wanting to go to college for over a year and a half, but somehow I just kept going back to Uganda. There were a lot of prayers, and even more tears. 

So many times I get asked if I'm scared. I was "scared" when I was planning my one week trip. The word "terrified" better describes it. The thought of packing my bags and moving 8500 miles away from everything I've ever known literally terrifies me.  I have so many fears, but compared to how big my God is, those fears are so small.

God never promises following him will be easy, or comfortable, or even fun. Because truthfully, it isn't about us. It isn't about our comfort, it's about God's name being made known to all people. What He does promise is that it will be worth it, and that He will be with us at all times. 

"Go and make disciples of all nations.....And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20). 

So, yes, hard times are almost guaranteed during my time in Uganda, but God guarantees His presence during the good and the bad. My fear of sickness, loneliness, and rejection are a given. They're expected, and aren't abnormal. But I can rest assured that I'm not the first to deal with whatever comes my way, and I will never be alone. 

"Haven't I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don't be timid; don't get discouraged. GOD, your God, is with you every step you take." Joshua 1:9 (The Message)

Even though I am incredibly scared, I'm even more excited. In March, Uganda completely STOLE my heart. It's all I think about. The amount of joy I had while I was there is literally indescribable. 

The first day we were able to finally interact with some kiddos was the first time I felt what it was like to have sore cheeks from smiling constantly. I played tag with kids who couldn't speak my language, and not once did I have a problem communicating with them. I just laughed, tickled them, played patty cake, and hugged them over and over.

When I get nervous, THAT is what my mind goes straight to. 

I get to spend 8 months with the sweetest family, traveling all over Uganda, telling people about the best news there ever was. That in itself makes every bump in the road (literally and figuratively) so worth it.

Two years ago, I would have never chosen this for myself. 

Now, I can't imagine NOT going. 

That night at Student Life camp, when I told God "I'm done living for myself" and surrendered my life and my plans over to Him, I never expected THIS is what He had in mind. But now, a year and a half later, I am so thankful that His plans are bigger than mine were. I'm so thankful that He has chosen me to be a tiny part of what He is doing in Uganda. 

He really doesn't even need me. He WANTS to use me.

So, I go.

"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Who shall I send? Who will go for us?" And I said, "Here I am. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8

Please pray with me as I prepare to embark on this new journey God has placed in front of me. May you all be blessed a million times over!

{Sarah, may you be blessed. May the LORD bless your work a million times over in Uganda. Thank you for following God's call in your life no matter how scary it may seem to you. I love you, dear.}

* * * * * * * *

Have an encouraging word for Sarah? Leave it in the comments below!

I'll also be checking in on Sarah during her stay in Uganda. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Introducing Unscripted Moments Photography by Giann

Have you ever had trouble getting the "perfect" picture for the annual Christmas Card? 

Has the self-timer on your camera failed you in the previous years? 

Do you have trouble getting your kids to smile?  

Well, I am here to rescue you and your family from a another painful year of taking pictures! 

I am SO excited to be offering Fall Mini-Sessions from September 28th - November 26th in the Birmingham Metro Area. 

If you would like to book a session or ask me questions, feel free to email me at 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

July & August {In 12 points}

Oh me.

July and August are over and here I am reflecting on what has happened these past couple of months...

1.  I spent an afternoon with these lovely ladies. Much conversation and Starbucks were had.

2. I vacated my premises to spend some time at Starbucks to study. Or just to escape the spiders that were invading my back porch. 

{Don't you love the name on the cup? Now you'll understand if I have an identity crisis later in life. ;) }

3. I spent an evening with my future sister-in-law in which we ate brownies from the pan. 

Because true sisterhood doesn't happen until you do just that. 

4. I turned 19. And so did he. {He's my Colombian Twin.}

5. I also sorted pants on my birthday with some of my friends. 

6. I tried Pinkberry for the first time which led me to question my integrity of WHY DIDN'T I TRY IT SOONER?!?!

7. I chased a lion in my life which led me to a mentor. {Several months of prayer were involved on my part.}  

8. Justin came home for a week before he deployed. Much frozen yogurt was consumed and many conversations were had.

9. I applied to college three weeks before classes started. {Talk about an adventure.}

10. I took the step of obedience by getting baptized.

11. I met James Spann and {finally} Jamie of Jamie's Rabbits.

12. and I discovered, after extensive research, that I am 80% ENTJ. 

So, that was my July and August.

What about yours?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Best of The Week {From the Interwebs}.

So, today is Friday. {One more day until College GameDay!}

This is the day I share my findings from the web with you, dear reader.

I hope you enjoy these articles just as much as I did. :)


The first one I have for you caused quite a bit of controversy. 

I posted FYI (if you're a teenage girl) on my Facebook page saying "I think I like it." Then, I asked for people's thoughts on the article and the next thing you know, a response post was sent to me via a friend's friend. 

My response to both blog posts? Well, let's just say, I'm brainstorming away right now... ;) 

I'll leave you with a quote from the second article. 

"And what you need to know is this: You are beautiful. You are valuable. You are worthy. You are your physical body, and you are so very much moreAnd you, baby girl, have infinite chances for grace and redemption and relationship and community and wholeness and LOVE. Always. Always and forever. Amen."

{If you have any thoughts/comments you want to add, feel free to weigh in on the topic in the comments below! I welcome and appreciate your thoughts!} 


"You have to be satisfied with your identity as a single person; you have to have a growing relationship with Christ, or you will not be well-suited for a relationship."


Moving on....


"Sometimes doing the most important thing eternally – doesn’t look like you are doing anything noticeably."

This is was a great truth to treasure because there are days where I feel like I'm not doing anything to really make a difference. But, then I remember my life long career goals and how it takes time to make a difference.

In essence, making a difference doesn't happen overnight. 


62 of the World's Most Beautiful Libraries. 

The inner geek in me definitely geeked-out!

I love #4, #23, and #32.

 And my little sister is currently experiencing #1.


* * * * * * * *

Those are my favorite articles from this week! What are yours? 

Leave them in the comments below! 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Blogaversary Giveaway! {Closed}

Guess what?!

Two years ago I started this little blog.

Two years later I decided the only proper way to celebrate this momentous occasion was to have a giveaway!

First, I would like to thank y'all for taking the time to read my thoughts on here. I enjoy blogging as it gives me a way to keep people up to date with what is happening in my life and to share what God is teaching me.

Second, thank you for taking the time to comment and rate my posts. It means a lot.

Now to the real reason behind this post.

What I'm giving away:

$25 dollar Amazon gift card

$15 dollar iTunes gift card

           Found: God's Will by John MacArthur
    Every Teen Girl's little pink book on Girlfriends by Cathy Bartel 

Here's how to enter:

Mandatory Entry: 

Leave a comment telling me how you would celebrate an anniversary!

Optional Entries: (6) 

Follow my blog via Bloglovin' or GFC. {Links in the sidebar to your right}

Follow me on Twitter.

Follow me on Instagram.

Tweet, Blog or Facebook about the giveaway.

You MUST leave a SEPARATE COMMENT for EACH entry. 


Comment #1:
I would take my special someone out to dinner and surprise them with a tickets to their favorite band. 

Comment #2:
I follow you on Twitter! 

Comment #3: 
I tweeted about your giveaway: {insert link}. 


Must be a resident of the United States of America. 

Winner must respond within 48 hours to claim their prize. If they fail to do so, another winner will be picked. 

Giveaway closes at 11:59PM CST on Friday, September 20th. 

* * * * * *

Bonus Entry: 

Give to my friend, Chalice's, The Sara Jane Project.  Chalice is trying to raise 10,000 to do some awesome stuff in Uganda when she travels back at Christmas. Right now, she is at 2,476 dollars. Do you think we could help her reach $3,000? I think so! Click on the link to help fund this project! {And yes, you must comment here and let me know that you gave. You do NOT have to tell me how much, though! :) }