Our War Cry

I always like finding new music, especially in the Christian realm of music. Christian music has changed as I’ve grown up and more and more it is becoming about taking our faith and using it to change the world. Songs like Guilty by the Newboys and Priceless by for King & Country are examples of how there have been injustices in the world that as Christians we have taken a stand to change. Our generations, the millennials, are in a unique position. These songs and the ones that will follow become our war cry. We have become the generation that isn’t afraid to speak out against injustices that we see. It is up to us to bring a change.

War Cry by Social Club Misfits addresses this idea. If we as a generation come together, we can bring a change. We’ve fought against people’s judgements of us, and we have a chance to exceed their expectations for us. God has given us a chance to make a difference both at home and globally. He has given us a call, and it is up to answer us. The thing is if we all answer it, we can change the world.

We are the new generation that rises up to complete the mission that God has given us. Instead of just sitting back and letting the older generations tell us what we can be, we need to stand and start a revolution. It is time for us to take back our faith and come to life instead of just standing by. When we see injustices, it should stir up something in are heart. We need to be on our knees in pray, and we need to be ready to take that step of faith into the unknown.

As college kids, this is the time to make a difference. This is the time to seriously look at our lives and determine if where we are going is what God wants for us or if He has a better plan for us. This is the time to pray and seek out what our purpose is and where are place in God’s church is. It is time for us to stop just doing what we want and to turn our eyes to what God’s plan for us is.

It is not going to be easy, but it will be worth it. If we rise together, we can change the world in ways that no one thought was possible. It is in that moment when we stand as a generation that God’s work will be accomplished.

Rise up!


Building Up, Not Breaking Down

Today is International Women’s Day. It’s a day where the women of every culture come together to celebrate. We celebrate what we’ve done together and how we have advanced ourselves into fields such as science, technology, and engineering. We celebrate our sisters who put on a uniform and fight whether military or law enforcement. We celebrate the beauty and strength in being a women.

With the current political atmosphere in the United States, there is a lot of name calling going around and accusations between women. Phrases such as feminist or antifeminist are thrown around because people can’t seem to agree. But the fact remains that if we are women are to move forward in the way that those women who came before us did, we have to build each other up.

We have the power to change the world, but that won’t happen if we are fighting with each other. What I may see as beautiful may not be what my best friend sees, but when we realize our differences in opinions, we can become unified despite them.

It is when we embrace our difference that we realize that each of us is simply a piece in the puzzle. We don’t have to solve the whole problem ourselves.

Women should be banding together to empower each other in whatever situation they are in. For me, it’s reminding my fellow female lifeguards that we can perform the same rescue that our male counterparts can. For someone else, it may be reminding someone that it is okay for her to stay home because in that she is empowered.

I live in a very unique world, where the majority of the things I do are male dominated. For me to excel above my male counterparts is empowerment, but for my mom, she finds that she like to come alongside my friends and whisper words of encouragement and empowerment to them. We have two very different approaches, but neither one of them are wrong.

It is time as women to stand together and lift each other up. It is time to put aside gossip and hurtful remarks and instead pour into the lives of the women around us. It is time to form a sisterhood that can be even stronger than a political movement. Our value isn’t found in what the world tells us is right or wrong. It is time that we start to remind each other of the way our Father sees us instead of pointing out how someone doesn’t match “conventional” standards.

We are women, and that is something we will always have in common. This connection should transcend political views, conservation vs liberal views, feminist vs not. If we do not start valuing each other, how are we to change the world and get them to value us?

Jenga Blocks or Solid Rock

Do you ever have those days where you say or do something that you immediately regret?

I know I definitely have. In fact today was one of those days. I said something, and as soon as it came out, I wished that I could’ve taken it back. The problem is that I couldn’t. The damage had been done, and unfortunately, I had to and am still working to pick up the pieces. Anger and frustration with myself as well as embarrassment mixed together in a rather unpleasant feeling that made me want to bolt from the room. Not to mention it was the first time something like this had happened in this particular setting.

The worst part was that my words and actions completely shattered someone’s picture of who I was. I was no longer that person they thought I was all because I suddenly felt like I was drowning and just needed it all to stop.

I could blame it on too many hours at work, too much homework, too many things going on, not feeling good, but the reality was that several things had sent me spiraling and this particular situation simply sent me over the edge.

I’ve always been an overachiever and tend to put too much pressure on myself. I’ve always been a good student, and in somehow convinced myself that if I didn’t do well in school, not only would I disappoint myself but I would also let my parents done. The thing is that my parents don’t care whether I get an ‘A’ or a ‘B’ on an exam, but somehow it has been warped in my head to think that they do. What they do care about is how much effort I put into things and they aren’t afraid to call me out if they think I’m not putting in enough effort (which is a good thing, mom and dad). So this morning when I found out that I got B’s on two exams that I thought I did well on, I went into panic mode thinking I was going to let them down and they were going to be upset. I didn’t understand what had gone wrong for me to school the way I did. Cue the beginning of the spinning.

I also tend to overcommit and do more things that I have the energy and the time for. Some days I don’t even know how I balance it all, but somehow I manage going to school fulltime and working nearly 20 hours a week. The thing is at this point in the semester, it begins to catch up to me. I am exhausted, and the idea of working six hours today seemed overwhelming. Mentally, I was too tired to even try to stop the rapidly building panic with my grades.

End with the fact that my personal life seems to just be one crisis after another, and I’ve been trying to handle it all myself, you get an amazing recipe for disaster.

So what is the point of me even telling you about this?

The point is that there is one thing that could’ve kept me from spiraling. Something simple, but for someone as type A and controlling as I am, it is extremely hard.

Give up my control.

I’ve often described my life as the very end of a Jenga game. All the blocks are balanced on one block that is wobbly at best. Except every time the wobble wins, and the blocks that were so carefully balanced come tumbling down. My life is a lot like that; something causes that one block to wobble, and because I am human and imperfect, all my carefully balanced blocks come tumbling down in a rather spectacular fashion.

But the thing is there is a much better foundation out there then a single wobbly human Jenga block. God tells us over and over in the Bible that He is our foundation, our rock, our solid ground. Jesus tells the parable of the man who built his house on the sand and the man who built his house on the rock. The man who built his house on the sand ends up devastated when the house so beautifully constructed comes falling down when the floods come.

The thing is, we are often that while we wish we were the man who built the house on the rock, we are more often the man who built his house on the sand. When things come tumble down, we look up at the sky, shaking our fists and asking God why.

Like I said, I am very particular about things. I have my routines, and when something changes, I’m not always the first to adapt. So the idea of giving up control, even to God, who I know has my absolute best interest at heart, is terrifying. But the really hard part isn’t giving up my dreams or my aspiration, but rather the simple day to day things. It’s hard for me to see how God is working in the small things, and to give those things up to him seems like a big chance.

The thing is on the days when I consciously give up control to Him in the morning, I avoid saying or doing things that I later regret. On those days, I have more self-control and patience with people, and things that would normally bother me hardly make a difference. So if anything, today while it was horrible, it reminded me that I have to give up control and even better, I get to give up control.

God is never going to let me down, and His ways are always better then mine. When I give up control to Him and let Him led me, amazing things happen. Imagine if that happened every day of my life. I don’t know about you, but that sounds way better then the mess I made today.

Amazon Encounter

Dear Friends and Family
As you most likely know, I will be graduating in May with a Bachelor of Environmental Science. My two years as a Lancer have been some of the most challenge and amazing years so far. I’ve had several amazing opportunities through my school to better explore who I am, as well as what I want to do with my life after I graduate. I’ve been a part of the fastest growing and most prolific science club on campus, traveled to Costa Rica, and most importantly grown into the person I am meant to be. Even though I will be leaving campus in May after graduation, my journey as a Lancer will continue.
Last spring break, I had the opportunity to go to Costa Rica with my major. This was my first introduction to the idea of ecotourism. It gave me an opportunity to experience the country and the culture while positively impacting the country through tourism. I was immediately interested in the idea of using ecotourism to help promote sustainability and help the economy of a country by preserving what makes it unique instead of commercializing it.
Fast forward to this year, my senior year. I was presented with the opportunity in the fall to apply to be a part of a backpacking team with my school. My first thought was “Sweet. Backpacking and outdoors stuff. Right up my alley.” My second thought was “Oh my gosh, I get to go to the Amazon!” Not Amazon like the online shopping website, but the actual Amazon Rainforest in Brazil. This was a dream come true. The Amazon is the largest rainforest river basin in the world, and it is also one of the fastest disappearing forested regions of the world. And I have the opportunity to go backpacking through the very heart of it.
Hold the phone. I am going to graduate college and immediately cross the number one place I want to visit off my bucket list. It seemed too good to be true. Only it most definitely was true. I wish I could tell you more about the trip, but due to the sensitive nature of where we are going the only thing I can say is that I will be helping further His purpose.
So, from June 19-29, 2018, I will be backpacking through the heart of the Amazon with eight other Lancers. But in order to do so I need support to raise the money needed. If you are feeling led to support me, you can do online giving using the following link:
Thank you in advance for supporting me in this adventure. I want to leave you with two quotes that sum up why I want to go on this trip.
“People can live 100 years without really living for a minute.”
“In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks.”

Perfectly Imperfect

I don’t know how frequently you go to the movies, but my family tends to go in spurts based on what is in theaters. Most recently, my favorite movie was “The Greatest Showman”. It was a fantastic movie-musical and had some of the best themes that I’ve seen in a while. I had actually fallen in love with the music nearly three weeks before I actually saw the movie. I had stumbled across three of the songs, and it was instantaneous. They were amazing. My favorite song was the anthem of the song, “This is Me”. Songs about celebrating being different and embracing those differences have always been some of my favorite songs. In fact, this blog was inspired by a song like that. But for some reason, “This is Me” really hit home.

I didn’t know exactly why I had such a draw to the song until this weekend. I’ve been working through an amazing weekly devotional that my best friend gave to me, and this weeks was about looking at how God uses our imperfections and the things we don’t like about ourselves to do great things in His name. At the end of the devo, the weekly challenge was to list the top three things that I viewed as imperfections and pray about how God uses them. As I stared at the blank space that I was suppose to list these three things, I realized why that song had come to mean so much to me.

I’ve never been the prettiest girl in my friend group. I’m not the most musical or the most artistic (I can’t even draw a good stick figure). I was never the popular girl. In fact, most people assumed I was friends with the popular kids in high school simply because they felt pity for me. I am quiet, but at the same time can be loud. I tend to be really intense and an overachiever. Most guys I know are scared of me. I’ve also been adventurous and don’t like people telling me I can’t do things. And while I know that all of these things make me who I am, I hated all of them.

I hated that at family events, I was sometimes ignored because I was quiet. I was jealous of my friends success in other areas such as music and art. I wished that for once someone would think I was worth pursuing. I resented my popular friends in high school at times because I didn’t want to be a charity case. I hate that people think I’m too aggressive or scary, but at the same time I don’t want to be timid and quiet.

“This is Me” reminded me that those things are who I am, and anyone who tells me otherwise is wrong. I am who I am because that is who I’ve been made to be. If someone can’t see who I am underneath all the external then they don’t know me. I am perfectly imperfect and just the way that I have been made.

My intensity or “scariness” may save someone’s life one day. My quietness gives me a chance to really listen to the people around me. My friends don’t care if I am popular or not, they are my friends because of who I am.

People can say what they want about me, but I know who I am and I know what I am worth. In my imperfections, I can find how God wants to use me. And I can walk boldly forward to a different drum then what society says.

This is Me.

Perfectly Imperfect.


It seems like just yesterday we welcomed in 2018. Now we are more then halfway through January, and I am already exhausted. I had planned on doing a post that first week on 2018, but that didn’t happen. Instead it took being sick for me to actually make a post.

It has been a crazy semester already, and we only just finished the second week of classes. So far, I’ve gotten a new computer, started training for two major athletic events, taken a major step towards my dream career, and found out that I get to travel internationally this summer for ten days. Needless to say, it has been crazy, but all of it I would do over again if needed.


That seems to already be my word for this year. Finding the balance of work, school, and play seems to be a good goal for the year.

I have the tendency to take on anything that someone asks of me, and while I’ve gotten better at saying no to things, I still say yes to too many things. Not all of it is bad, but it is important to figure out what things that are good are becoming something bad. I like to be busy, but at the same time, it shouldn’t take me not feeling well to take some time to myself to relax and refocus on what is important.

Balance is going to be difficult, I already know it. I have so many exciting things coming up, but some things might need to be put on the backburner for the time being to either give me some extra time or to let me focus more on what I really want.

A good example of this is applying to grad school. With my graduation fast approaching in May, a lot of people around me were pushing for me to look at grad school as my next step. I know that everyone means well, but I let the pressure get to me. I decided that I was going to apply to grad school. I found a program I sorta liked and began to convince myself that this was the best option. But on top of grad school, I was also moving forward with applying for a job that come to find out is actually my dream job. When the day came that I found out that I got to take the next step towards that dream job, all I could think about was that job. Finishing my grad school application became more of a chore than something I actually wanted to do.

I realized that I was applying to grad school because it is what I thought everyone else wanted me to do. I had people who mean a lot to me telling me that grad school was the only option, but I held a letter in my hand that told me something very different. Something that is important to know about me is the fact that I hate to disappoint people. I want to make my entire family proud, but I knew that most importantly I need to follow what I feel like is what God called me to do. I have a desire to help people and to be a tangible source of hope the God promises people. In order to do that, I needed to put grad school on the backburner.

What I want to do after school has changed several times, but the connecting thread to all of the ideas has been this desire to help people. I knew that in this moment following that desire was more important that what my extended family may think. I could become something without going to grad school. I could do my dream job without having the extra letters behind my name.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that the first lesson on balance that I learned this year, is balance what I want with what everyone is saying I should do. I don’t have to please anyone. I can do what I want, and I know that I will give 100% to my dream job and love it every step of the way. Grad school can wait, but helping people can’t.

I Matter

I’ve talked about it before, but for those of you who don’t know, I ended up in an emotionally manipulative and abusive relationship that went on for a year and a half. During that time, I was invalidated as a person. My feelings, emotions, mental well being was called into question by a guy. Things were put on me that should never have been my burden to carry. When I first started this blog, I talked about it for the first time ever. Now a year out of that situation, I’ve learned several things.

The most important thing is that who I am and what I feel matters. I still struggle with it because even before everything, it wasn’t my first instinct to put myself first. I hated, and still hate, inconveniencing people. I would rather go out of my way so that they are not put out. It was this very thing that put me in the position in which I was emotionally manipulated by him. He knew that was something I did, and he used it for his advantage. After him, I felt so incredibly destroyed inside, but I didn’t tell anyone. I was the good Christian girl who had everything I could ever want. I had no reason to feel the way I did, so I told myself to suck it up and deal. But that broken feeling never really went away. I thought it did, but other circumstances made me realize that it hadn’t.

Recently, I found myself in an eerily similar situation to the one which led to that terrible relationship. While I knew that this guy would never hurt me, he started to say the same things as my ex. He put burdens on me that should not be mine to bear, but I wanted to be there for him. So I shouldered those burdens because I wanted to help.

The day I knew it was too much and that I needed to start taking care of myself and my feelings instead of just his was when I started to dread phone calls or texts. The focus had so become him and his feelings, that I had simply become the quiet party. The problem with that is a relationship cannot work that way. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to made, but I knew that for once I needed to come first. I needed to be heard and I needed to be protected and most importantly, my feelings needed to be accepted despite what he had going on.

The second thing I’ve realized is that it doesn’t matter how long it has been, how much I’ve prayed, or how much I’ve talked about it, there are going to be things that will always remind me of what happened. Somethings I’ll be able to get over, but other things I won’t. And that is okay. The things that I won’t be able to get over are things that are going to protect me later. I know now that I will never be able to get past a guy telling me that my feelings don’t matter. That’s something I should never get over.

One day when it is God’s timing, I am going to meet a better man who will never tell me that my feelings don’t matter. He will be able to see what I’ve gone through and I will be able to learn to trust again.

I will get over what happened. I won’t think about it every time I drive a certain street back home. I will learn to let someone in again and trust them without questioning their motives, but I will never again let someone tell me that my feelings don’t matter. I matter just as much as they do, and anyone who thinks otherwise is welcomed to see themselves out.

To all the girls out there, your feelings matter and so does his. Remember that you are worth more than the value he puts on you. You are priceless. I know that it is hard, and society tells us otherwise. But you matter!