Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I can't remember when I was this realistically happy! I mean, I am a misty-eyed mess right now! Will wrote me an email on our one month and I am still reeling a few days later. I finally have found someone who makes me come alive and with whom the connection is so strong I am sure God is in it. I mean we like all the same bands, have shared hobbies, and just have a fantastic time no matter what we are doing, as long as we are together. When I go a day without seeing him, I miss him immensely. And for someone who likes her space, that speaks volumes.

I hate to be over the top about it, but I have immensely enjoyed my first month dating Will. I suddenly actually FEEL like an amazing woman who can make a guy feel amazing too. It's such a new/different feeling than ever before. It's hard to be a romantic sometimes b/c of the logistical nature I operate out of oftentimes...but I think it's time to fall in love... Scary, right!?!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Joyful, Joyful!

Song we sang in church today and I'm still celebrating. Ran into a friend I hadn't seen in a while at Wal Mart today, and he said I seemed really happy. I was like, cool I'm glad it shows!! I had just come from church and was feeling full of His joy. Anyway, I want to write much more that's on my heart, but for now, here's the song (Beethoven gets some credit for the lyrics, too, but it's a Passion song performed by Charlie Hall...)

We sing in jubilation, adoration to a joyful King
You are spinning and You are singing
Zealous love over all Your children

We sing in jubilation, adoration to a joyful King
You are spinning and You are singing
Zealous love over all Your children

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee
God of glory, Lord of love
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee
Opening to the sun above

Melt the clouds of sin and sadness
Drive the dark of doubt away
Giver of immortal gladness
Fill us with the light of day

All Thy works
All Thy works with joy surround Thee
Earth and heaven reflect Thy rays
Stars and Angels sing around Thee
Center of unbroken praise
[ Lyrics from: ]
Field and forest, vale and mountain
Flowery meadow, flashing sea
Chanting bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee

Mortals, join the mighty chorus
Which the morning stars began
Father love is reigning over us
Brother love binds man to man

Ever singing, march we onward
Victors in the midst of strife
Joyful music lifts us Son ward
In the triumph song of life

Yeah, we sing a joyful song
To a joyful King, to a joyful King

And we sing in jubilation, adoration to a joyful King
You are spinning, You are singing
Zealous love over all Your children

And we sing in jubilation, adoration to a joyful King
You are spinning, You are singing
Zealous love over all Your children

You're the joyful King
And we are Your children
Your sons, Your daughters
So joy, so loved, so [Incomprehensible]
Full of jubilation
To a joyful King, to a joyful King

More lyrics:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Love this band...


"Hope" is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—
(~Emily Dickinson)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Story of Identity

A dear friend commented that I should be updating this more often. So to honor that request, I will give it my best try by doing an entry right now! I can't promise each update will send you reeling with intense, provocative thought...but, I will say, I'm glad you still read it! It's enough to keep me going...

I prayed for a girl today in church who said she was struggling with comparison.

Afterward, I was thinking about it, and I realized how much I have grown in confidence over the years. The healthy kind of confidence. The kind that faces challenges head on and with much courage. The kind that fights back when thoughts of comparison try to seep in. Girls are notorious for struggling with comparison. And I'm not saying I never do any longer, but I am saying that I know who I am and what I've got to offer, and I know that I am of woman who is of great value!

What's the journey with confidence been like? Well in high school, I was shy. Very insecure around people who weren't my close, close friends. Mostly uncomfortable around people who were not like me, especially who did not believe in God, or who did not attend church. I didn't know how to relate with them, and I felt like I didn't fit in.

I often felt like I was awkward, never knew what to say, I didn't think I was very smart or cool boys liked me, I wasn't super athletic, I didn't have cool clothes, etc...and I didn't want to take risks because I was majorly afraid of failure. The biggest risk I took in high school was to be the Major, then the Captain of the drill team. I'm glad I did that, but it came with a cost that went deeper than just lots of choreographing and teaching dances and late practices. It came with ridicule, girls mocking my faith, people not listening to my authority, gossip and slander. And as far as body image, when I think back about the comparison I struggled with there...well, maybe it was because we had to wear spandex all the time!!!

In college, I found a mix of shallow and true friends. But the true ones were such gems. They were the ones who called out the good in me. The competitive edge I felt in high school friendships softened, and I learned to relax more in who God made me to be. But I was still living in a state of discontentment. I didn't want to be me most days. I didn't think I had enough. I wanted to be rich, not having to work. I wanted to be in a sorority, noticed by hot guys, going to parties instead of hanging out with my goody goody friends who didn't drink. I was so bored with the safe, Christian zone, yet I was too scared to abandon it.

Although I wanted to please God with my life and I knew he loved me, I also felt this urge of rebellious start to rise up in me. I wanted to be daring and stand out. I wanted desperately to stop worrying about what other people thought, yet I couldn't master it! I definitely wanted approval. At Baylor, everyone was the best of the best from their school. Most days, I just felt inferior.

Now, don't take this as the whole story. This is just the part where I am admitting to struggling with a form of self-hatred and comparison that really hindered my potential. I also had a lot of great things happen with my schooling, and did meet some cool people and experience moments of victory and fun along the way. Outwardly, I don't think my insecurity was obvious to most. But inwardly, it was a daily struggle and I felt like a wreck.

One of my current roomies asked me the other day, "So, you seem pretty confident in who you seem to do well and be yourself around new people, like it's not hard for ya. It seems to me like you are involved in a lot and can do just about anything! Would you say that's true?"

I kind of laughed for a second, thinking about my response...and feeling like I didn't deserve such a high compliment! I think I still to this day come off more confident than I really feel inside, so my answer was mixed.

The amazing news is, I know I am not the same person I was in high school or college. And most of my friends now don't even know those older versions of me! Some of my friends only know what I think of as the "Redeemed me." I say that because I have literally been changed by the love and acceptance of Jesus! I had to deny myself and choose His ways so that I was completely open to Him moving in my life. He has called me by my name, and called me His own. He has called me lovely, smart, entertaining, a joy to be around, worthy, talented, creative, precious, one who encourages others, wise, a good friend, a woman of character, etc. And because I am in this process of knowing God, I know more of the Emily he has created me to be. Coming into that skin wasn't comfortable or easy at first, and it did require me to put on the "mind of Christ" rather than the self-destructive mind from which I had previously operated.

But now, more than ever, I sense that I am a confident person who puts her hope in God. Anything good in my life is from learning the truth about who God is and receiving heavenly revelations of how He sees me. I no longer look to the world for a definition, a place, an identity, or a title of success. It's my heavenly father's approval I seek. He has won my heart and I no longer look to men for value. I have to remind myself of that often, being single still. It's easy to start looking around and get into that high school version of me who feels that godly, amazing, attractive men are out of my league, and that I will have to settle for a so-so dude and not for the type of man I really desire in a husband. I have to fight the battle of discouragement that I will be left behind and remain unmarried.

But for now, Jesus is my #1 man, and I vow to be content with that, and press into that relationship while I (patiently) await the day He brings into my life the man I will love forever!! :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Another day!

Hey friends!!

So today was just another day, but I feel the Lord's nearness, and I am so comforted by it. I don't have much of a clue on some things, but God knows it all! It's so amazing to know that He literally holds my life in the palm of his hand...while still managing the world's affairs and controlling things like the tide, the sun rising and sinking, and drawing men to himself. What a perfect King!

Speaking of kings, I heard a program on NPR today about how women in Saudi Arabia have been fighting for their rights for a while now. Of course, they have a monarch who is slow in listening to their concerns; they desire more job options for women, for the right to drive, to be more involved in politics, the right to work at lingerie stores (ya, really!), etc. And Saudi women are not shy nor are they uneducated! They are smart and bold, and want their voices to be heard.

I can't imagine a life with such limitations and inequality. While it is true that even in the U.S., men can still on average earn more income than women at their same position, (which is definitely unfair and frustrating), when I think about not being able to DRIVE...?? Ya that would not be even remotely cool.

I am so grateful for the ability to obtain education, pursue my own interests and be respected by most as an intelligent woman who has a mind, a heart, and a purpose in life other than to produce babies.

I've had opportunities to move up at my job with the VA, and I am now at the point where I am wondering what is next for me?

I am now at a place where I have said goodbye to some things and freed myself up for newness in my career, relationships, etc. It feels like a fresh adventure that is right around the corner. I am super excited about my upcoming trip to San Diego in September. I have obtained some ideas of amazing sites to see from my friend, Anthony, who has shared his experiences and passion for the city. I can't wait to jump into the Pacific and bask in the wonderful weather and just relax to the max...Maybe I will fall in love with SD and move there! Not only do they have an Antioch church plant there, but a VA regional office! Hmmm....;)

I miss traveling!! Seeing new sights and new people. Being stretched. Talking about memories I made in Madrid recently has reminded me of my love for "getting out there." Today, I parked in a public lot near the Waco Convention Center (and have parked there previously with no problems). But today, when I got off at about 5:15, the fence around the lot was locked with my car on the inside! I was wondering how in the world I was going to get in to get my car, but quickly my fellow classmate and I found a service person and got him to make a call for the combo to open the locked gate.

It made me think of various "hiccups" I encountered abroad...although this scenario was super easy comparatively, only because there was no language barrier! I remember lots of times when situations of crises arose in Spain or other countries, and I didn't know how to even communicate my panic/frustration/issues. What trying experiences those were. But I grew so much in learning to just deal with things as they come, use whatever resources are available, and do the best you can without wigging out!

I was talking to my favorite aunt, Aunt Judy (shout out!) the other day about life, and she mentioned that I was the most adventurous person she knows. I was kinda shocked and tickled to hear that comment.

When I asked for clarification, she brought up how I took lots of risks when she was with us in just give me the map and I will figure it out! Or...let's just check this out and see! I navigated us all around those twisted cobblestone streets of Venice. Ahhh, I loved that place. It was so beautiful, romantic and unique...and OLD!

I think traveling abroad that semester of 2007 definitely RUINED me for the ordinary. I am hoping whoever I marry carries that same desire for adventure/spontaneity/travels. It's such a bug that infects you...and once it bites you once, you are done for!

I would like to proclaim that I am a lucky gal. I am so blessed to be loved by God and friends and family daily. I think it's important to thank God every day for each little thing he's given me, as insignificant as some things seem. So I'm trying to stay in a state of gratefulness and praise God for each experience that has shaped me thus far and those that are to come.

Ya know, following God is super exciting! Because guess what? He has more dreams for me than I have for myself. He has a bigger plan and a bigger future for me that is prosperous and wonderful!

In lieu of that, I wanna share this:

"The Lord is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid?" (Ps. 27:1)


Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I just had the most awesome night! We had lifegroup as usual...only NOT as usual. I told everyone to bring a pair of socks that they like/wear often/think are unique. Then we went around and had Sock Show and Tell. Weird, right? Well then we proceeded with LG, processed some about our outreach last weekend in College Station and about what kinds of people we want to reach out to in Waco too. Then we let loose the "Fun Bomb" and told people that the reason they brought socks is that we are going BOWLING!

Before LG, I called to the first bowling alley in town. They weren't having any specials and actually were maxed out due to bowling leagues. Called the 2nd bowling alley and they were having an OPEN HOUSE...meaning 3 FREE games of bowling, FREE shoes, a FREE drink and FREE popcorn. AND raffle ticket drawings too! There were 11 of us and it was rad. Justin won 2 more free games, shoes and some popcorn for next time for 6 ppl. I was like "WHAT?! REALLY?" AND this event only happens once a year apparently. Can we say...FAVOR?!?

I couldn't believe it. I mean and we just had a blast and all for free. I am finding not much is free these days without some sort of gimmick. I actually did pretty decent too! I bowled a 110 and a 125.

Anyway, life is good. The Lord is teaching me to be content with what I have and to trust that he has good things for me. He is a Father who gives good gifts and does not withhold them from me while blessing those around me. I really have trouble actually believing that sometimes...I don't think I usually live from that place of knowing that deep truth that God is always GOOD. He reminded me this morning about that verse in Luke 11 when it talks about how fathers don't give their kids a snake if what they ask for is a fish or if they ask for an egg, fathers wouldn't give a scorpion. So if a sinful father knows how to give good gifts to his kids, how much more will our heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.

I asked the Holy Spirit for guidance today and wrote this down in my journal of what I felt like God was trying to tell me:

"Emily, I will always give you daily bread. DAILY bread. Not once a week. I will not let you starve, child! So keep asking, keep seeking and knocking. You will find the answers you want here with me. I will guide you into wise choices. I ONLY bring you good gifts. They may not be packaged the way you think is most pleasing or the way you've been given them in the past, but when you open up the package, your face will light up with joy! I know exactly what you need."

What are you asking God for today?? Do you believe he can meet your needs and that he is on your side and by your side?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I was cleaning out my gmail inbox and found this from my dad...he wrote me this sweet, spontaneous poem and emailed it to me in October 2009. I cried a little when I re-read it.

Saw your picture
Thought of you
Took you to His throne of grace

Asked His blessings
On your life
(And) that you'd find your place

In His great and perfect plan
A happy home, a loving man

What a treasure
You will be
To that lucky mate

So keep on praying
And believing
Good comes to those who wait

Help me to believe that my life will be blessed by you, Lord! Thank you for this reminder of your love. If an earthly father can have these thoughts towards his daughter, I'm excited to know what my Heavenly Father thinks of me!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I felt impressed by this verse, although I am not really mourning right now (that I know of). Either God wants me to just know this for the future or he wants me to share it for someone else to know now,'s what God says:

"I will comfort those who mourn, bringing words of praise to their lips. May they have abundant peace, both near and far," says the Lord, who heals them. -Isaiah 57:18-19

It just struck me that for us to speak words of "praise" while we are mourning is quite the non-natural reaction! Mostly it's more towards the direction of pity parties, hopeless talk and complaining. Maybe even anger. Thus, only God can lift us from a place of sorrow and bring healing. It's only by his power that this is possible. That's why he's the best friend we could ever encounter. He truly brings peace and comfort to the soul (this makes me think of that book series: Chicken Soup for the Soul, for the Troubled Teenage Soul, for the Mother's Soul, etc, haha).

I've experienced God as Comforter, and it's so much different than just a momentarily nice thing a friend does for you or says to you, though those gestures are needed too.

Thank you God for the true comfort and peace you bring to those who will seek you. I pray you bring both to my readers today in a supernatural way. And throw in some JOY and PRAISE too please. :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Simple Thoughts

I like my friends. No, I love them!! They are so supportive and give fresh perspective and input into my life that is so valuable to me. I hope whenever I eventually move that I can find more people of this quality to do life with. And yes, Laura and I talked today about how we both want to move to Austin. So...let's go! I need to start looking for jobs. Yuck. Being financially stable with my current job is so nice. So easy. But so old hat and boring. Change is much needed. I'd love to live with Laura! She's a wonderful, inspiring person! And a good cook!

I'm doing a 30x30 challenge with our church (spend 30 min. a day with God for 30 days). I'm only 5 days into it and I'm liking it! 30 minutes is do-able. And I feel like my heart is more open to God/more focused on him.

Also, I can't wait to go to Chicago! In July. That's the very rough plan for now. Was hoping to go for Taste of Chicago which my roomie Maegan says is really cool. But there will be plenty to do.

My new song obsession is "Beautiful Things" by Gungor. Look it up!

Tomorrow I work for half the day, then a scavenger hunt and camping in Waco. Hope people like my clues and also hoping it won't rain!! Thank you God that it's finally the weekend. Sigh. Bedtime.

Monday, January 10, 2011


It's all a haze. I can't seem to navigate the grey. I'm just getting stuck in it. I flick the windshield wipers and spray, but it doesn't help. It's too foggy on the outside...on the inside...all around me. I either sit in the fog and let it overcome me or get out into it...into the unknown and make a bold step of faith.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Disco Ball 2011 - A New Year's Wish

This year, I do hope, the lights will dim and I will begin spinning again in the middle of the dance floor...shimmering and glittering like a disco ball. I will feel like a big deal because someone is completely and utterly mesmerized by me and all the colors of light I reflect.