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If there’s one thing you don’t know about me (or maybe you do), it’s that I’m pretty stubborn. There are very few people who can get in the way of me when I’ve made up my mind about something. By very few, I mean Jesus and my dad.

Almost a year ago, I was sitting at Cross Point‘s downtown campus when Wes Howard announced that they would be going to Haiti. I was pretty excited. I remembered what I had learned about Haiti from the media – it had been devastated by a massive earthquake in 2010 and never fully recovered. I remember seeing all of the pictures. I knew people who went in to help. I prayed for the poor and powerless. And that was about it. Why? Because I had my own life and my own mission field to pursue – high school students. I also remember feeling like I should go. Then, of course, laughing.

The thing is, for as stubborn as I am, I am made in the image of God…and he can be just as persistent and relentless with what he wants. I started hearing more of the details of our partnership in Haiti and I was intrigued. Our pastor spoke on the importance of missions and my heart started beating faster. The high school girls I was working with began to put up walls and that, combined with an increasingly more busy schedule made it hard to continue ministry there. I had a pretty good argument with the Lord. And on the day that I moved the last of my stuff into the place I live right now – sitting in the middle of boxes and boxes of “stuff” – I gave up. I said yes. The girl who never wanted to go on a missions trip said yes.

I had no idea how much I needed it.

Fast forward to August 4th, 2012. I’m up far too early, grabbing my bags, and headed to the airport when one of my best friends starts playing and singing songs over me (she’s the best singer I know, so she could sing the annoying lambchop song and I would be totally fine about it). One of those is Take Heart by Hillsong United. And suddenly, this very stubborn and strong-willed girl is in a puddle of tears. I was terrified. I couldn’t breathe. I just kept thinking “what if a hurricane hits”…”what if we become prisoners to the country”…”what if I never see my family again”. Terrible thoughts, one after the other, over and over and over.

Then these words….

So take heart
Let His love lead us through the night
Hold on to hope
And take courage again

Peace.

We landed in Haiti. Driving around, I wasn’t shocked by what I saw. I knew what to expect. I was just fascinated…and glad to have made it. We stayed in Port au Prince the first night, got up and went to church, and made the 5 hour trek to our destination in the mountains in a town called SaintMichel-de-l’Attalaye. Our accommodations were far nicer than I expected, but still not like anything I was used to. Our food was great, our team got along well. There wasn’t much more we really could have hoped for. Monday the 6th was our first work day. I was on the morning work/afternoon play schedule. We set out bricks, poured mortar for about 3 rows and broke for lunch. After that, I was setting my stuff down when out of the corner of my eye, I realized there was someone waiting for me.

Her name is Louventa. She was my shadow for the rest of the week. Would not let go of my hand. And still hasn’t let go of my heart. She waited ever so patiently every day for us to finish lunch and would peek over the wall and say my name…which sounded like “creaseteen” from her surprisingly deep and raspy voice. She’s only 7 and has a stronger voice than I do. The minute I stood up for lunch, she would run to my side, brush the dust off my clothes, take my hand and lead me to play. We jumped rope, sang, did cartwheels, played chase, threw frisbees, drew pictures, and anything else we could dream up. The kids were more tiring than the work!

What I realized by the end of our time there was that the language barrier wasn’t such a barrier. Louventa would speak to me, and what I didn’t understand, she didn’t fault me for. She just held on to me tighter and showed me the way. And in that moment, I remembered what it means to be loved. Truly loved. I thought about the Father and how He tries to speak to me. I think about the times He invites me to dream and be adventurous with Him. I think about the times when I’m absolutely terrified, or weak, or I’m angry and I don’t understand…and He doesn’t fault me. He just holds me tighter and shows me the way.

I never wanted to go on a missions trip. Ever. I never thought I needed to. But the Father had to out-stubborn me and take me to one of the most broken countries in the world just so I could remember – really, truly remember – how much He loves me (and little Louventa). He orchestrated every event in my life to lead to this point so that a broken, confused, stubborn girl could realize her worth and how much everything counts. I will never be able to fix Haiti. No one person could. But I can love. I can be a light. I can hold a hand and pour mortar and jump rope until I can’t feel my legs anymore if it means little Louventa (or any other child) can understand that she is loved – furiously and unconditionally loved.

The words still echo in my mind…

All our troubles, And all our tears, God our hope – He has overcome

All our failure, And all our fear, God our love – He has overcome

All our heartache, And all our pain, God our healer – He has overcome

All our burdens, And all our shame, God our freedom – He has overcome

God our justice, God our grace, God our freedom – He has overcome

God our refuge, God our strength, God is with us – He has overcome!

I can remember being a little girl and playing outside for as long as possible. I remember running through the neighborhood – with bare feet, of course – climbing trees, tossing a football, jumping on trampolines. I dreaded that time when the street lights came on because I knew my mom would be coming out on the front porch to call us inside. I would always try to hide from her or would just whine and complain with every step to the front door. I don’t want to go in! I want to keep playing! But I’m fine out here! I can still see! I know what I’m doing! I’m okay on my own! I can handle this! Let me do it!

It wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that I’ve seen God the exact same way this past year. He’s been stepping out on the porch and calling me to him. The funny thing is, I’ve been scared to give him all of me; to fully step into his goodness. Why? Your answer is as good as mine…but it’s just that fear of stepping out in the unknown. Who wouldn’t be scared to leave home without a job to go chase after her life? Who wouldn’t be terrified to join up with the most solid team of people who know each other so well and have to not only be the new kid, but the young kid? Who wouldn’t rather hide when you make a huge mistake and have to regroup?

The painful beauty in all of this is that, with each time he’s called me to the porch, I’ve grown. I’ve learned to trust people in a whole new way. I’ve learned just who I am and what I’m capable of. I’ve learned (the hard way) that I can’t do everything, and I can’t do it alone.

A year ago, I wrote out the job I thought I wanted. God is still far more gracious to me than I deserve. And it just so happens that today is a pretty big day for me. Today marks my first year of serving with the staff that I now call family at Cross Point. A year of trials. A year of errors. A year of successes. A year of laughter…of tears…of misses…of fears…of happiness. A year of growth. I’m not dumb enough to believe that it hasn’t been all perfect, it never will be. But it’s been all good. There is beauty in messing up so bad that you have to have others pick you up. That kind of growth can’t be done alone. I am so fortunate that this day was a Tuesday where I got to see each member of my family and truly realize what a difference – not even a year makes – what a DAY makes. These people have changed my heart and my world and I am so thankful that they’ve allowed me in to their lives. I can’t imagine doing life without them, and I hope I never have to.

Tonight, we’re having our 2nd Worship Night here at the Nashville Campus. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than spending some time glorifying the one who freely gives it all for us and who has blessed me so much more than I deserve.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and dreaming. For most people, this is a very exciting process. For me? It takes a minute. Everything is internal. If there’s something on my mind, I can guarantee you I’m playing out the scenario and every possible option/outcome that may or may not happen just to prepare myself before I’ll allow anyone else to be a part of the decision…and usually, at that point, the decision has already been made.

I do realize the problem in that is we were created to be relational. Part of relationships is allowing people to see the parts of yourself that aren’t perfect. I’m not saying that I want or need to broadcast every bit of my life to everyone, but I think it’s only healthy to allow people to walk through life with you in an intimate way. I’ve got a bad habit of allowing people in to my life who will say and do things to make me feel good, but won’t call me out when I need it. Clearly, I can handle the rest on my own. (That was sarcasm, just incase you missed it.) I’m so fortunate that God has plopped some pretty influential women (mostly northerners, go figure) in my life who not only encourage me, but push me to be the best version of myself possible – and in that, it’s time that I get back to what’s on my heart: high school students.

If you’ve read this blog at all, you’ve probably caught on to the fact that I was abused as a child. It’s not a secret, but for the longest time I lived like it was. That pain, that damage caused me to do things that I regret and created a skewed and septic self-image that sometimes still is hard not to believe. But God, with all of his humor, has given me influence over High School students for years. It’s so funny to me that while I was one of them, I knew no one could ever know who I truly was and what I’d been through because I would end up having to eat lunch in the bathroom because of the shame. Yet now, the pain, the hurt, the confusion are all tools to show that God can take the ugliest and most disgusting things about ourselves and use them to show others how He can restore, renew and revive a life! It wasn’t until opening up to my girls in my parents’ living room two Christmases ago that I was truly able to be free…and let them know that they are not alone or solely defined by what has happened to them.

Recently at Cross Point, we introduced a song to our congregation. These are the words that consistently echo in my head:

He lavishes such love upon us. He calls us now His sons and daughters. He’s reaching out…

We each have a story. We each have a history. I’m not going to say that I would have ever asked for mine, but I also can’t imagine where I’d be without it. To be able to be used for good despite what has happened to me is the most overwhelming gift I could have ever received. I am so grateful.

It’s time to get out of my own head voice for a minute.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I serve on staff at a pretty rockin’ church here in Nashville called Cross Point. I love so much about this place – the raw community, the desire to serve, the tough lessons I learn each week – but I am consistently standing in awe of the team I’m surrounded by. This summer will be no exception.

Our Senior Pastor, Pete Wilson is going to be traveling for most of the month of July. This left our team with a huge opportunity to create a summer series that would be both fun and something to really drive home conversation. Thus, our Creative Arts team came up with Summer Slam.

The whole premiss of this series is allowing our communicators to share scriptures that leave them with more questions than answers; things that they’re wrestling with. They’re inviting us in to their story and I couldn’t be more excited.

I love any time that we get to hear from our Bellevue Campus Pastor – Justin Davis and Nashville Campus Pastor – Blake Bergstrom. The wisdom and life that pours out of these two is just unreal. In this series, we’ll also get to hear from a couple of fresh faces: our Dickson Campus Pastor – Willy Maxwell and our new North Campus Pastor – Brent Hodge. But what I love about this series even more is that we won’t just be hearing from our pastoral staff. We’re bringing in a couple of our attenders to share their hearts and thoughts, which takes it to another level.

Carlos Whittaker is a worship leader and serves with our music team here at Cross Point. He’s quickly becoming one of my favorite people because of his heart. He’s an advocate for worship, adoption and authenticity. I’ve never met someone with so much drive and passion who also lives out and backs up everything he’s saying. I count myself very fortunate to know him and call him friend.

Jon Acuff is an author and blogger working at Dave Ramsey. I’ve followed Stuff Christians Like, a satire blog of his, for a few years now. His humor is so relatable. I can vividly remember where I was when I first read my most favorite of his posts, Thinking You’re Naked. I giggled at the title, but by the time I got to the bottom of the page was practically in tears. He has a natural gift for speaking the truth, whether he would agree or not.

Check out this promo video…it’s pretty awesome:

It’s going to be a great summer at Cross Point. I’m excited for the opportunity to learn and grow more and to really come in to a place of leadership that I know I’m capable of. So thankful He’s not finished with me yet.

Last night was one of the most refreshing nights I’ve had in quite a while.

Tuesday started off with a bang, having set my alarm an hour earlier than normal so I could be awake to begin my morning on the phone with the post office about a missing package. After an hour of back and forth and an extremely awkward exchange with a very sassy postal woman, I leave for the office. The morning was chaotic, but Tuesday’s are our meeting days and usually are. My stress levels were off the charts – mainly due to the missing package – but I tend to do things better when I’m stressed since it helps me focus on something other than the problem at hand. Then my favorite part of Tuesday arrived – staff lunch.

Our senior pastor, Pete, is sharing, teaching and encouraging us right now about the different ways we can lead: upward, outward, inward and horizontal. Something he said really struck a chord with me and the thoughts I’ve been having lately. Pete reminded us that we have to invest in relational chemistry; that we have to invest in people if we want them to invest in us. I suck at this. No really. I’m awful. But last night reminded me just how important relational chemistry is.

I’ve been really struggling with my heart for a certain friend of mine. I don’t feel like she’s in a good place and I know that the things she’s saying aren’t lining up with the things she’s doing and it makes me want to run. I am very protective of the team I’m surrounded by and when I feel like someone poses a threat, I’ll be the first to stand up on the front lines to defend the people I love.

Yesterday, I spent my evening with a very lively young girl who has starting leading worship with our team recently. The minute she showed up she exclaimed “let’s go on a walk!” and so we did. Walking through my super cute neighborhood and hearing her heart and passion for people, our church and her faith just set me on fire. We came back to the house and shared our stories and talked about the difference in singing a worship song, leading worship and ushering people in to the throne room…the wisdom and heart she had just floored me. It was so refreshing. We went for another walk and talked more about our dreams and hopes and also about barbecue…but that’s another story. When it came time to leave, I realized what had just happened. I was able to sit there and hear her and then turn around to edify and encourage her the way my mentor always does with me.

The truth is – in the end – people are worth the investment. Even when the investment comes back null and void. Everything in life is seasonal, friendships included. But not investing in the people around us hurts more in the long run. I’m still trying to find this balance…and it’s not easy, but when I think about people who have invested in my life, it seems just wrong to not pay it forward.

(and just so you know, the package did show up and I was able to give it to the person it was for. i love giving gifts. especially really awesome gifts.)

I’m noticing a trend in my life lately. I think it’s safe to say that I’m smack dab in the middle of a personal rebrand. Call it selfishness, call it wisdom. Call it whatever you like…I just know there’s something different going on.

At 25, I’ve ventured off in a direction I never could have imagined when I first moved to Nashville. If I were doing what I had initially set out to do, I would be living in East Nashville, working at a management firm (preferably Red Light), have about 3 artists and be traveling all over the world. God is pretty funny about things like this, though. Now, I’m working at a great church, living in a house with 5 girls, and nowhere near involved in the music industry. I wouldn’t say so much that I gave up on my dreams, but that my dreams changed.

I have the most amazing friends who are absolute rock stars. I love hearing their stories from the road. But I wouldn’t trade my life for theirs any day. I’m not a gypsy, I’m a homebody. I love knowing that at the end of the day, I know exactly where I’m gonna lay my head. I love that I know almost down to a ‘t’ what my schedule is going to be like on any given day. I mean, I LOVE having a set schedule. I’m all about spontaneity, don’t get me wrong. I love jumping in the car and driving to wherever I might feel like going at that exact minute. I’m just learning to appreciate the art of planning trips and rendezvous’.

I’ve always been a spoiler. I’ve been known to give until I can’t give anymore…and a lot of times, I’m still that way, but I’m starting to see me use my time and funds on…wait for it, this one’s big…me. It’s a really crazy concept. But I think that is part of the balance. I like being able to go out and buy things that are a little bit selfish; sunglasses, kicks (which seriously is becoming my go-to), clothes. I’m also starting to notice that when invited to things, I know what my answer is going to be when I know how many people are going to be there. My rock star best friend once told me that everyone has a quarter sized circle of friends that can fit about 5-10 (at the very most) names in it. Those are the people who you’re truly walking through life with…really investing with. Then you have a half-dollar sized circle where there’s another 20-25 names – friends you can hang with and be just fine knowing them on a slightly deeper than surface level. Then, there’s everybody else. As a people-pleaser, it is so very necessary for me to not just know, but practice this balance. I’m blessed with friends that continue to invite and invest with me who know that there are plenty of times where I say ‘no’ to things.

I’m nowhere near done with change. Like I said, I’m smack dab in the middle of this rebrand. The question is, will I be able to find the balance between who I’ve been and who I’m becoming?

I’m really not an emotional person. I’ve been through a lot in my life and have realized my capacity to handle heavy stuff is pretty great. However, when it comes to things that aren’t necessarily in my control – particularly relating to any kind of work (which I’ve talked about this struggle before) – I tend to be hypersensitive.

I work with a lot of really talented, really creative people. So having a job that is more administrative, I always feel a little out of the loop and like I can’t quite cut it. To make up for it, I overwork. I don’t do it because I want anyone to notice. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t do things to be the center of attention. I do this because I want to prove to myself that I can hustle just as hard as anyone else and that my time and efforts do make a difference to our team. I want to feel more like I belong with our team. (sidenote: no one, and I mean NO ONE, has ever not made me feel a part of the team…I’m simply stating the administrative vs. creative battle in my own head.)

I think the enemy’s best trick with me is causing me to doubt my worth and ability. No, I may never be able to write a song. True, we will probably never use any graphic I design for a logo or series. But what I’m learning is that just because I don’t hustle in that way doesn’t make what I do any less of a baller job.

Someone has to have a vision for the lobby. Someone has to make sure that people are at the right place, at the right time. Someone has to be on the front lines to make sure the rest of the teams have the tools they need to get their hustle on. So no, I may not be a creative…but when you’re trying squeeze in extra appointments to an already busy schedule, you get creative. I may not be the ultimate hustler…but when you have a last-minute change to a plan and you only have 10 minutes to add in an extra element, you turn your hustle on stun. I’m definitely not the flyest person I know…but when you’re in charge of a team that welcomes in thousands of guests and want to do it in a way that keeps them coming back, you must have the right amount of swag.

I fully believe the God blessed me with this job because it’s well within my giftedness. There’s a lot that I learn on a daily basis and there’s a lot of room for growth, but at the same time, I know my idols are Success and Work. I have to be extra careful to not let my personal gifts – hospitality, planning, organizing – get lost in my job title. Who I am is so woven in to what I do, which is what makes the battle so hard and causes me to not ever be able to ‘shut it off.’

I have a great buddy who tells me on at least weekly – but usually more often – basis that I am loved for who I am and not what I do. At first, especially read in conjunction with the whole ‘who I am is so woven in to what I do’ bit, I found that to be a little insulting. But the more he says it, the more I really try to believe it, specifically in the moments where I start to feel like I’m not enough.

You can ask anyone that knows me well enough, and they’ll tell you that I’m the worst at keeping in touch. So it should come as no surprise that I’ve been silent for a few months. Lots to say, just not the best forum for a late night post. I can be pretty dramatic when it comes to words on a page.

When I started this blog, I wanted it to be a place where I could dialogue about my life and journey here in Tennessee. Something that would be accessible to my family, since I never pick up the phone…see also: worst at keeping in touch. I still don’t think I’ll ever keep it going every day, but here goes…

I’ve been serving on staff at Cross Point for 8 months now (which doesn’t seem possible) and love it just as much as I did on day 1. At times, I feel completely inadequate and unworthy, but those are the times when the amazing staff I serve with remind me that God doesn’t call the equipped. I can’t remember what my life was like before this amazing family came into my life, and I know that I couldn’t do this life without them. So many new friends have been brought into my life and I’m so thankful for them.

I’m going back to Texas this weekend for a wedding for my dear friend, Marci. I’m honored to be a part of her and Travis’ day. Going home is painfully exhausting, though, and I always wish there were about 7 of me to divide up between my family and friends. I’ve yet to travel home and make everyone happy. If you have any secrets, I’d love to know ’em.

I’m so excited and will be 100% selfish of the time I’ll be spending with my family. If you didn’t know, my parents are pretty fantastic. I can’t wait to see our new house…er, their new house…I think we’ve reached that point where my parents have grown up and are finally living their lives. And they are SO much cooler than I am. Seriously though, my parents go to more concerts than I do and I live in Music City! I love them!

At what point do our parents start living life better than we do?

You’re reading the last part of my 30 (ish) day blog challenge. Here’s what you’ve missed so far:

Day 1 — Your best friend – Rachel
Day 2 — Your vices – Just Read It
Day 3 — Your parents – Barry & Carla
Day 4 — Your siblings – Barry & Daryl
Day 5 — Your dreams – I’ve got lots
Day 6 — Someone that inspires you – Stacey
Day 7 — Your job – Work in progress
Day 8 — Your favorite internet friend you’ve never met – Stephanie
Day 9 — Someone you wish you could meet – George W. Bush
Day 10 — Someone you don’t talk to as much as you’d like to – Alyson
Day 11 — A deceased person you wish you could talk to – Papa Jim
Day 12 — Your dream vacation – Italy
Day 13 — Something you look forward to – Sundays
Day 14 — Someone you’ve drifted away from – Marci Marie
Day 15 — The person you miss the most – Sarah Kelley
Day 16 — Someone not in your state/country – Mallory Gilbert
Day 17 — The place you wish you were from – Port Neches
Day 18 — The person you wish you could be – Erica
Day 19 — Something that makes you different – knowing who I am
Day 20 — Your favorite TV show – Criminal Minds/Law & Order/How I Met Your Mother

Don’t worry…I’m alive. I’ve decided rather than drag this series out any longer (because it’s clearly lasted way longer than 30 days), I’m just gonna power through the next 10 topics and be done. So, here goes.

Day 21 — Someone you judged by their first impression
That would have to be my best friend Kate Carlson. It was maybe my third week attending Cross Point and she was up on stage leading worship. I knew instantly two things: 1. I’m not cool enough to go to church here. and 2. she and I will never be friends. Now, on any given day…if you need to find me, I’ll either be at work or hanging out with Kate. I hope you get the pleasure of meeting her. She’s seriously a huge light in my world and constantly challenges me to pursue Christ in a whole new way…and not by any other way than how she lives.

Day 22 — Your pet peeves
Easy. Loud chewing, mouth breathers, the metal part of the eraser on the pencil scratching a surface, obnoxious baristas, people who hide behind smiles, cats, needy people (not people in need of benevolence, people who are only looking for what they can get from you), and I’ll stop there.

Day 23 — The last person you kissed
His name is Justin. But what’s more interesting than the last person I kissed is the last 8 I’ve kissed. 7 of the last 8 married the next person they kissed. The 8th is about to get engaged. Just call me Good Luck, Chuck. I’ll be here all week.

Day 24 — The person that gave you your favorite memory
That’s a tough one. I have so many amazing memories that I can think of. But I would have to say it was being on hurrication in 2003 with my cousin Erica. For sure.

Day 25 — A life changing moment
June 4-10, 2004, I attended my first Young Life camp at Malibu in Canada. on June 9th, I finally gave my whole heart to Christ. I could take you back there and show you exactly where I was sitting. Such a special place, such a huge day!

Day 26 — The last person you made a pinky promise to
That would be Kelsi Fulton. We were both working too many jobs and didn’t have any sort of life, so we made a pinky promise to each other that we would quit our unnecessary jobs. I did…she did not. Boo.

Day 27 — The thing you most enjoy doing
There’s a lot that I enjoy doing. My job, spending time with my friends, driving, shopping, singing (in the shower…because trust me, you don’t want to hear that), researching for the perfect dog, and so much more. But more than anything, I love getting to stand in the back and watch my friends shine. I seriously have the most talented friends and I’m so proud of all of them.

Day 28 — Someone that changed your life
That would in no doubt be my mentor, Jess. She took a very young (and obnoxious) Texas girl under her wing, showed her the ropes for the music business, gave her all sorts of opportunities, allowed her to live in her kickass house, and so much more. I’m sure that I put her through hell, but I’m so thankful for the influence that she has in my life. And now, she’s a mom! I’m so excited to see her raise up a beautiful baby girl! 🙂

Day 29 — Your talent
I’m really talented at making situations awkward and falling in love with people who are horrible at expressing their emotions.

Day 30 — Your reflection in the mirror
That’s a tough one. I tend to only like my reflection on certain days. Days when my hair is just right or my eyelashes look exceptionally long. I have a horrible self-image, in all honesty. I’ve battled with eating disorders and not being healthy. It’s a hard thing to ever recover from. But for as many hard things I’ve been through that I would never wish on anyone, its the imperfections in my reflection that show the life I’ve lived so far. And I wouldn’t change a thing.

So, now that that is done, we can move on to lots of other things. I’ve got a lot to say…but I’m sure you do, too. Thanks for sticking with me through this.

You’re reading part thirteen of my 30 (ish) day blog challenge. Here’s what you’ve missed so far:

Day 1 — Your best friend – Rachel
Day 2 — Your vices – Just Read It
Day 3 — Your parents – Barry & Carla
Day 4 — Your siblings – Barry & Daryl
Day 5 — Your dreams – I’ve got lots
Day 6 — Someone that inspires you – Stacey
Day 7 — Your job – Work in progress
Day 8 — Your favorite internet friend you’ve never met – Stephanie
Day 9 — Someone you wish you could meet – George W. Bush
Day 10 — Someone you don’t talk to as much as you’d like to – Alyson
Day 11 — A deceased person you wish you could talk to – Papa Jim
Day 12 — Your dream vacation – Italy

Call me late to the ballgame, but it wasn’t that long ago that I learned what “type a” and “type b” personalities were. My poor best friend…she taught me and I ran it in to the GROUND! I was telling everyone I could that I was type A/B. Seriously, everyone. My justification, of course, is that I like organization but I’m not opposed to organized chaos. I’m structured, but I’m pretty chill. And the more I’ve thought about that over the last few years, the more I believe I’m an idiot! I’m SO unbelievably type A. I’m sure you’re wondering what this has to do with “what I’m looking forward to”, but follow me on this rabbit trail.

Earlier this morning, a girl in the office came up to my desk and commented on how I stock the refrigerator. She said it was nice and straight and organized. My mom would be so proud. And I am, too! I think people don’t take enough pride in their work…especially the small things. That being said, (drumroll please)I’ll now bring you to the point.

Sundays.
I look forward to Sundays.
Sundays are a LONG day for me and anyone else here on staff. Most people who join us on Sundays don’t know just how much has to happen or how many people it takes for one service to go right…and we have four! Yesterday, with our county fair, was a 12.5 hour day for me. But once our 6 p.m. service hit, I was overwhelmed by the reason I love this church so much.

I’m in charge of coordinating the First Impressions team. These are the people who hold open the doors for you as you come to worship with us. These are the people who hand you a program or help you make coffee or tell you where you need to go when you’re lost. They all have smiling faces and sweet dispositions. But more than that, they each have a story. They each have a lot of things that are going on or wrong in their life, but they come in and serve. In a lot of ways, I think that this is the easiest way that you can minister or be ministered to. In the same way that people don’t value their work, people forget just what a treasure it is to have someone, anyone, acknowledge you, smile and tell you good morning. Last night I had people coming in through my door saying hello before I could say it to them. I’d like to think it’s because they know how warm and welcoming this church is and feel right at home. It made my heart so happy. Then to turn and see my team smiling, greeting, being helpful…without complaining…there was just so much JOY! It’s contagious!

I had to bring something to our campus pastor Blake’s office earlier today. He asked me if I was having a good day. I said yes, because well…I am! I also said there’s no good reason to have a bad day. And I truly believe that. Do we have them? Clearly. But do we have to give in to them? NO WAY! I choose not to let my emotions get the better of me.

I loved my time at North End so very much. It taught me a lot about who I am and who I should and should not be, but Cross Point is different. I’ve never seen people with SUCH a heart for their community, which doesn’t just mean Nashville or “Cherokee/Sylvan Park”. The people who come here truly want to get involved with each other’s lives and to walk beside each other and then, turn around and help out in the community – with the homeless, with children, with whoever needs a helping hand. I get so much joy out of my job that I don’t want to call it a job. It’s a straight up ministry. I love that, a lot of times, I get challenged just in knowing that I’m the very first person who a new visitor is going to talk to or be greeted by. Their entire view of the church could be skewed because I’m having a bad day and decide to not be nice when I pick up the phone. They could come here one time and be made to feel less than welcome and never come back. That’s on me! What a great reason to make sure my heart is in check! And yes, I do know that some people are not easy to please and that there is nothing that you can do to make them happy…but that doesn’t give me a right to be just as mean or cynical as they are. That was never my calling in life.

So, I look forward to Sundays. Sundays are where my volunteers get to shine and I get to feel so proud of them. Sundays are where I’m challenged by the word and then encouraged by a stranger’s smile. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And for the record – a few selfish things I’m looking forward to:
– Young Life banquet tonight
– Shopping this weekend (I haven’t shopped in 3 months)
– Bible Study with my amazing girls on Thursday
– Going home in 10 days.
– CHRISTMASSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!


Day 14 — Someone you’ve drifted away from
Day 15 — The person you miss the most
Day 16 — Someone that’s not in your state/country
Day 17 — The place you wish you were from
Day 18 — The person that you wish you could be
Day 19 — Something that makes you different
Day 20 — Your favorite television shows
Day 21 — Someone you judged by their first impression
Day 22 — Your pet peeves
Day 23 — The last person you kissed
Day 24 — The person that gave you your favorite memory
Day 25 — A life changing moment
Day 26 — The last person you made a pinky promise to
Day 27 — The thing you most enjoy doing
Day 28 — Someone that changed your life
Day 29 — Your talent
Day 30 — Your reflection in the mirror

little birdy told me…

Recurring Thoughts

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