May 2013Walking Worthy: May 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Moving On

Last Sunday was my last Sunday in student ministry. I must confess. I cried. During our last small group I teared up so much (don't worry I was wearing waterproof mascara). But, I waited until after my girls left to really let all the tears out.
I walked out of my last small group saw one of our college girls. She immediately knew something was wrong. I told her I just had my last small group and just started bawling. I didn't have to explain. She just hugged me and let me cry.
 For the last six years I have spent almost every Sunday morning pouring into a small group of girls. This Saturday, they will walk the stage and become high school graduates. For the last 5 summers I have spent 7 days living with them in a dorm, singing with them at worship, and speaking truth into them every chance I got. I have gotten in their face and said things they don't like. I have told them the Truth more often than they probably want.
All of a sudden the day came. Our last Sunday together. And I couldn't believe how fast the time went. What would be my final words to them as their small group leader? What truth could I say? Did I say enough? How could I possibly say everything I wanted to in that small time?
Here are my prayers for my small group girls:

I pray that you saw Jesus more than me. I earnestly hope that I spoke God's Word to you more than my own. I pray that I got out of the way and Jesus took the spot light.

I pray that you know God is enough. When the day comes (and it will come) when you feel like everything you desired has failed and every person you know has failed and you don't know which way is up. I pray that you know that God is more than enough. He has not left you. He is still there. In the midst of that dark moment, reach out to Jesus. Seek Him. Trust Him. Allow Him to be your everything.

I pray that you know you can trust the Word of God. Our precious Father has given you everything pertaining to life and Godliness. You can find it in His Word. His precious Word that He has enabled you to have. And we take it for granted. Do not take His Word for granted sweet girls. Cherish it. Dive into it. Know it for yourself and allow it to transform you from the inside out. Trust His Word more than the words of men. Don't take man's word for face value, compare it to the truth of Scripture!!

I pray that you make time for Jesus. Like, everyday. Find a place and spend some time alone with Jesus each day. Make it a habit, apart of your daily life. Pray to Him (I like to write my prayers out in a journal). Listen to Him. Be in His Word, but don't just read the words, study them. They have the ability to breathe life into you.

I pray that you see the importance of the church. No, not the big building, but the body of believers God has given you. Find a new body to get involved in (hint: they often meet in a building). Do not allow laziness to set in. Do not attend Bedside Baptist Church every week. You need fellowship among believers. You need accountability that is only found in community. I know it is scary, but find a friend and go visit some churches. Don't get sucked in to the fun church, find a church that values the Word of God where you can get plugged in. Once you find this church, don't be a seat warmer, get involved. Be apart of the college group. Serve somewhere. Be apart of the bidy of beleivers God has placed you in.

I pray you see the importance of like minded community. One thing I am praying for you is that you will find friends who love Jesus. I pray that God will bring you friends like He brought me. Someone who loves you, encourages you, challenges you, and speaks Truth into you.

I pray that you know true life change only happens in Christ. You can try all you want to change yourself. But you will fail. You will feel like the worst person alive because you are living what you don't want and cannot live what you want. Here is the harsh reality, you cannot combat sin. You simply are not strong enough. That's why you need Jesus. Go to Him. Know Him. Seek Him. Allow Him to bring about life change in you. (This happens when you study the Word.) Stand firm in the promises He has given you. Resist the devil. Flee temptation. Allow Jesus and His Word to change you.

These are my prayers for you. I hope you know that you are greatly loved. I hope you know that we are never truly moving on, but forward. Moving forward toward God, toward looking more like Him, toward the plan He has for us. I pray that you will follow Him above all else! Know Him, follow Him, walk in a manner worthy!

And know, that when you find yourself at home, there is a church family who loves you and will welcome you home. We will encourage you and dive into Scripture with you!

post signature

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day: A Flashback

Memorial Day two years ago started off like any day. I slept in (best I ever sleep in) and my Lovie asked me out to lunch. No biggie just Chick-fil-a. By the end of the evening we were celebrating with friends and family over the ring he had just slipped on my finger. I shared all the details of that day here.
The planning began. And I finally understood that stress that I had watched so many of my friends deal with as they planned their wedding. I didn't really understand it until it happened to me. Learning to balance pleasing your family and pleasing your future husband. It was hard and awesome at the same time.
I spent much time in awe of what God was doing. In awe of how He was blessing us. We were blessed by four different showers. Yes, four. My living room and bedroom were filled with presents. If I had not been so blessed by the overflowing love we were being shown, I might have felt a little embarrassed.
If I were honest I would tell you singleness was something I struggled with. Greg and I dated for 3 1/2 years. I knew for a very long time that He was the man that God had for me. But I also knew that God had asked us to wait for marriage. He had said yes, but not yet. That waiting was painful at times. It hurt to answer the questions about when we were going to get married.

January of 2011, something changed. Without speaking it to each other, God confirmed in both of our hearts that the wait was coming to an end. And for me He started moving in my heart in news ways and and breaking down barriers.
Once the Lord confirmed the time was near. I became so antsy. I was ready. On my birthday, Greg took me down memory lane. He took me to where we first met, where we had our first date. I tried so hard to not get my hopes up. I didn't want to be mad if he didn't propose. At the end of the night I didn't walk away with a ring on. I tried so hard to not be disappointed. It's hard to trust in the Lord with His timing doesn't match yours.

In this the Lord showed me how I could trust Him. How I could trust His timing. He reminded me just how faithful He is. I do not know why I am still amazed when He works out things perfectly in His way. I do not know why I still doubt Him sometimes.

I pray that my story encourages you. Please know that God's timing is perfect. He will work out all the details. He knows best. You can trust Him.

post signature

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dear Oklahoma,

You are not my home. But today you are in my heart. We spent four years together and you are engrained in my heart.


I was not there when the tornado devastated you. I was in a car glued to Facebook, trying to understand what was happening. I was struggling to know if my friends were okay. I watched as people reported in saying they were safe and as others searched for loved ones that were lost. I prayed for you with a broken heart.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Decker
I glued myself to the tv as soon as I could. My heart was again broken when I saw the reality of the destruction. When I saw the utter depair and brokeness. I could not believe that it was really true. Again, I sought the Lord on your behalf.

I have watched in awe as the heart of Oklahoma (her people) has risen to the top. They have gone home to help their loved ones. They are showing up to, donate items, help serve food, clean up, and be a shoulder to cry on. They are providing needs I had not even considered. Their stories are not making the news, but I see it all over my Facebook feed. I am overwhelmed as I watch you love on eachother.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Decker
I know that right now you feel broken. You feel lost. You are overwhelmed by the task before you and feel like you are without hope. In the midst of great tragedy, I pray that above all the Hope of the Gospel would be propelled into the darkness, into the sadness, into the broken lives of people who have no hope.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Decker
I urge you to seek the One who is bigger and greater than the tornado that devastated you. I ask you to consider not where God is, but what He might have for you in the midst of the devastation. I assure you, He is there. He was not taken away when that tornado swept through.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He does not change. He is still God. He is still Holy. He is still Mighty. He is still worthy of praise. He is still a present help in the midst of trouble and able to be your refuge and strength.

I know there are many hard days ahead of you. I pray that above all you will seek the God of heaven. God the Father who sent Jesus Christ to be a ransom for sin. He is the only way to be at peace in the midst of the brokeness. He is the only way you will find hope in the hopelessness.

Three of the photos above are of the devastation of Moore, Oklahoma.  All credit goes to Jonathan Decker who was on site the day after the tornado. Join me as we pray for the people of Moore and those who are rising up to respond to the needs of those without hope.

post signature

Monday, May 20, 2013

Feed Yourself

I love food and I love to cook. I am not one of those girls who doesn't eat. In fact I get cranky if I don't eat regularly. And trust me, you don't want it to get to that point. I am positive that I am not alone in this. 

However, when it comes to the Word of God most of us are anorexic. Most of us do not even realize how little we spend in the Word. As believers it is crucial that we feed ourselves spiritually. The only food that satisfies is the living and active Word of God.

So, why should we care? Why does it matter if we are feeding ourselves spiritually?

It Matters in the Day to Day
Whether or not I am in the Word affects me each day. Getting into the Word each morning sets my mind on spiritual things. It prepares my mind for the day. It directs my heart toward the Lord. The days I don't start in the Word are different and not for the better. I have learned over time that being in the Word daily is crucial. 

Fill Up to Pour Out
As a spiritual leader, how can I expect to take someone anywhere I have not been myself. As a leader I want to take people to the Word. But if I am not in the Word myself, I have nothing to offer those I lead. I need to be intentional to fill up on the Word so I can pour it out to others. As a leader it is easy for be to be drained and daily time in the Word encourages me and revives me so I can continue to lead those around me. Psalms 119:107 encourages us toward this, it says "I am exceedingly afflicted; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your word.

Reading vs. Studying
Please note that there is a difference between just reading and studying the Word of God. Reading can be done by anyone. Reading is often mindless and short. Studying takes time. It involves digging into the Word. When I just read something I can easily walk away without really learning anything. Studying allows God's Word to be written on my heart. 2 Tim 2:15 calls us to "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth." I encourage you to consider whether or not you are a workman who does not need to be ashamed. Are you accurately handling the Word of God?

Duty vs. Delight
I ask you to consider your time in the Word. Why do you do it? Are you spending time in the Word because you know you should (or someone told you to), or because you have a desire for it? When I first started studying it was more out of duty. I knew that was something that Christians were supposed to do, so I did my best to try. I was looking more to check something off my "Being a Good Christian List" than I was concerned about truly knowing Jesus and spending time at His feet.  Psalms 119:16 calls us to something greater than our "Good Christian" list. It says "I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word." So consider, do you see the Word as a duty or a delight?

It Guides Us
The Bible is a crucial guide in our life. Psalm 119:105 tells us "Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path." The Bible guides and shapes it. God uses it to transform us from the inside out. Studying the Bible is how baby believers become mature Christians. I often tell my girls that you don't become a mature believer through osmosis, you have to actually spend time in the Word to know it and for it to transform you. Have you considered if you are allowing God's Word to guide you?

It Brings Sanctification
The Bible is the only thing that can bring about our sanctification. When Jesus prays in John 17:17 He says "Sanctify them in truth, Your word is truth." Sanctification is to be set apart or made holy. Holiness is something God calls every believer to holiness (1 Peter 1:15-16). Holiness can only be achieved through the Word of God. It is not something I do myself, but something God does through me in His Word. 

I ask you to look at your daily walk. I ask you to consider the importance of personal Bible Study in your life. I pray that you will see that the Word is as crucial in your life as food is to your body and in turn you will seek to feed yourself!!

To read more posts I have written on Bible Study follow the links below:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spa Night Printables

I mentioned on Monday that I used scripture around our host home during Spa Night. Today I would like to share some of this signs I created for each station. At most stations there were two signs. One gave directions, the other was scripture that pointed them to think beyond the physical action at that station.
You will notice I used the same style throughout each sign. I printed the scriptures as 8.5X11 and the instructions as 4x6 and 5x7. Next time I would do all of the direction signs as 5x7 so they are easier to read.
Invitation:




















This is the invitation I created for my girls. I used this on the Facebook invite I created. It also dawned on me that in the future I could simply text the girls the invitation.
Welcome Sign:
I created this sign to greet the girls when they arrived.


Pedicures:
For Pedicures I created this sign to give instructions to the girls because I could not be everywhere at the same time. I put this sign on the fireplace in the living room. Next to it I sat a basket full of foot scrubs, lotions, foot fizzies, and various foot scrubbing tools.


 I chose this scripture to remind the girls that the most important place their feet go is where they take the gospel. I don’t necessarily mean a foreign country or a mission trip. The gospel goes with us everywhere we go. And we are either living it out or we are denying it with our words and actions. I pray that my girls will know that beautiful feet are those who take the gospel with them as they are going. Beautiful feet speak faith, hope, love, and truth into the places they go everyday and the not so normal places they might go on a mission trip. Painted nails may seemingly make our feet look good, but beautiful feet are those who take the gospel with them.

Manicures:
Here is another directional sign I created. This time for manicures. I sat this sign on the table in between the nail polish platter and the Satin Hands Set.















I chose this scripture so my girls would consider whether or not their hands were really clean. As they scrubbed their hands and painted their nails I wanted them to remember that the Lord is serious about those who enter into His presence and that we need to constantly check our hearts and our hands to see if they are clean spiritually.
Facials:
Then we had facials. I sat the directional sign next to the sink. Next to the sign was a basket with the facial supplies in it.













I pray that when my girls saw this scripture they would be reminded to seek God’s face. Often as ladies we spend much time in front of the mirror considering how we look, but I wonder how often as believers we seek God and His face as we go about our everyday life.




 













I posted this on Monday, but wanted you to see it again. This was the main verse I spoke on when I gathered the girls at the end of the night. I pray that it is a blessing to you and reminds you that your beauty lies within a heart submitted to the Lord.

Disclaimer: These printables were created by me. The blue linen background is free to download here. Please do not republish my work without giving me credit. I encourage you to use them personally, but they should not be sold for any reason.


post signature

Monday, May 13, 2013

Ministry Monday: Spa Night

Welcome to another Ministry Monday!!

This weekend I hosted Girls Night Out for our college girls. As I thought through different ideas I decided to start with Spa Night. Our girls just finished finals so I wanted to provide an opportunity for them to relax and enjoy each other.



















I think this would be a great ministry event for any age group of ladies! Feel free to borrow any of my ideas!

I started planning my event by pinning several ideas on Pinterest. After much pinning and thinking I decided to have several Spa Stations: Manicures, Pedicures, Facials, & Homemade Bath Salts. Next I needed a place to have the event (since we live in a apartment). After securing a home to host us I started breaking down & planning each station. Then I enlisted some help to both set up and help me host the event.

I set up the house in stations: Pedicures in the living room, Manicures at the dining room table, facials in the bathroom, homemade bath salts at a table in the kitchen, and of course we had snacks which were also in the kitchen.

Manicures
For manicures I set up a table with nail polish remover, cotton balls, small bowls to soak hands, Mary Kay Satin Hands, & Nail Polish. I started by covering the table with a vinyl table cloth (Just in case we had any nail polish spills). Then I added a 2- tier serving platter with various colors of nail polish. The girls were able to soak their hands, then take the Satin Hands set and scrub and soften their hands. Then they could pick any color they wanted and paint their nails. I saw a DIY Shellac Manicure idea on Pinterest that we tried.













Pedicures
For pedicures I set up 5 foot baths in the living room. The girls could soak their feet in warm water. They even had foot fizzies to put in their foot baths. Next they could scrub & rinse their feet. Then after using some foot lotion to soften their feet they were able to pick a nail polish and paint away!

Here is a video Brianna Logan took at our party. She is one of our college girls. You can check out her blog here.



Facials
My Mary Kay Consultant generously supplied us with everything we needed for facials! So blessed that she helped me out! They only thing I added was another Pinterest idea. I took wet washcloths and placed them in a small crockpot. So the girls had a nice steamy washcloth to wash their faces with. Then they could go back and sit down at the table and apply their makeup.

Below is another video from Brianna!



Homemade Bath Salts
This was one of my favorite things and it is oh so simple! We added bath scents (from the soap and candle section at Hob the Lob) to epsom salt (I found a big bag at Wally World). I had mini 4oz jelly jars that the girls used to mix up their bath salts and take them home. I picked up red raffia and cute white tags so the girls could label their bath salts.

Snacks
I asked several ladies to help me provide snacks. This helped me greatly. The only thing I had to plan was drinks. I made pink lemonade and spa water. Spa water was another Pinterest find. I simply thinly sliced two lemons and a cucumber and added them to a drink dispenser filled with water. I wasn't sure how the spa water would taste, but I was willing to try it. I was pleasantly surprised by how refreshing the water tasted. I wholeheartedly suggest you add this to your spa party!

Going Deeper
I didn't want the girls to go away from the night and miss out on an opportunity to consider their internal beauty. One way I did this was by posting scripture at each station. Each scripture gave them an opportunity to consider a truth regarding their hands (Psalm 24:2), feet (Romans 10:15, and face (Psalm 27:8). I also pulled the girls together at the end of the night and broke down 1 Peter 3:3-4 with them. I reminded them that their physical beauty is fleeting (Prov 31:30) and that a gentle spirit is one who is bowed down to the King (Psalm 45:11). If you plan your own Spa Night I encourage you to go deeper!



















Making the Budget Work
You might be wondering, how I was able to do all of this. Well I have learned to ask, borrow, and be grateful for any help I could get. Like I mentioned, my Mark Kay Consultant Vicky Sharrar donated everything for us to do facials. She also donated a Satin Hands set for manicures. I was able to borrow five foot baths from friends at work. The foot baths really made the pedicures fun and relaxing.  If you host a Spa Night I suggest you use them! I also borrowed almost all the nail polish from friends. When it came to food, I had various girls bring snacks. I also asked my host home to supply a snack along with some other ladies who helped me host the event. I was only able to make Girls Night Out a success because I had help from my friends and family! A special thanks to everything who contributed to Spa Night!

I encourage you to consider hosting a Spa Night of your own! It is a great way to relax and build community among a group of girls. And it is so much fun to let down your hair and just be girls.

post signature

Thursday, May 9, 2013

You Do Not Need to Rest

I have been living a lie this week. The lie that says “you don’t need to rest.” And frankly, it’s exhausting! Like to the point that I debated whether I would eat lunch or take a nap. Why? I’ve been doing too much and not resting. And that is a problem! When I listen to this lie I become less effective for ministry and every other area in my life.

Too Busy
Not resting is a family trait. Yes I come by it quite honestly. The past week I’ve been preparing for a wedding shower and my first College Girls Ministry event, on top of a trip to Canton for First Monday with my friends from work, and then I have my regular weekly Bible Study (Best time of my week). Don’t forget that at some point my house needs to be cleaned and laundry needs to get done. And here is the deal, all of these are GOOD things, they were things I really wanted to do; some of them were essential. However they all have been hitting at the same time and I am beyond wiped out.

Listening to the Lies and The Lord Steps In
All along the way I’m listening to the enemy say to me “keep moving,” “Work faster, work harder” “Oh, you haven’t gotten to that yet? You are a terrible person and a terrible wife.” Man, the enemy has been in my head. The enemy is a deceiver, it is his character by nature. The Lord tells us to be on guard against him and to stand firm in the midst of battle. But have you ever gotten to the point where you just wanted to sit down and take a nap? Ya’ll I am so there.

Earlier this week, I got a text asking me if I was going to be somewhere yesterday. And again I felt the need to put on my superwoman hat. Yesterday as I struggled about what to do I heard the Lord remind me, to rest. I am an introvert by nature, I need alone time to recharge my batteries, but here is the deal.  I cannot just rest physically, I must rest in Christ. All through Psalms we are reminded to rest, rest in Him, find shelter in Him. God commanded a day of rest to the Israelites. And this morning, the Lord so clearly called to my heart and reminded me that I must slow down. I must resist the urge to keep going and stop and find rest in Him.

You may be thinking, “Great, I am SO there, how do I do that?” It’s really simple, but so often we reject it.
  • Stop. Sometimes this involves saying no. Like me, I had to say no yesterday. It means stopping and recognizing the enemy is in my head and he does not belong there.
  • Sleep, sit down, stop doing whatever you are doing and be still. Get some physical rest. 
  • Spend time with the Lord. As I mentioned before physical rest is not enough. This is where we take it up a notch and rest in Christ. My favorite ways to rest in the Lord are to dive into the Word and write in my journal. 
Slowing Down So You Can Pour Into More
Sound weird doesn’t it? But it’s true. I have to slow down, and rest in the Lord so that I am able to pour into people. When I don’t do this I become ineffective for the kingdom. I become so worn down that I cannot help anyone. Right now, I’m lucky to complete a sentence correctly (thank you auto correct). Don’t forget, the reality is that we cannot help anyone anytime in our own power. Only the Lord working through us is really able to reach others and speak truth into them. And when we are worn down and not resting in the Lord we are no help to anyone.

For me, this is a constant process. I know that I will always struggle with being too busy. I must always be aware of the enemy speaking lies to me. I must take those thought captive and replace them with truth. That's why "you don't need to rest" is such a lie. Resting is essential so we can be effective.

Don't forget to stop by The Glamourous Life of a Housewife and sign up for her giveaways this week! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Glam Life Giveaway

Hey Friends!

My good friend Whitney from The Glamourous Life of a Housewife, is giving an awesome giveaway this week! I've written about Whitney before, she and I have been friends for many years. I read Whitney's blog every day, and I encourage you to do that same! So go check out her blog and sign up for her fantastic giveaway!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Ministry Monday


Hello friends! How do you like the new look? I am still working to perfect it and add some new things. I need to give a huge thanks to Beginner Beans's post on Blog Design for Beginners. Ya'll really need to check it out! Thank you Trina for your tutorials! They are great!
Today is the start of a new feature on my blog. I’m calling it Ministry Mondays. I plan to talk about general ministry themes, highlight curriculum I have used and would recommend, recap ministry events I have planned, etc.
For my first Ministry Monday I want to talk about planning an event. I have been planning work related events for 4 years now. I plan several events each year ranging from small retreats to a conference that over 2 ½ days and runs approximately 1,500 people.  I hope today to share with you some basic principles to help you plan your ministry event.
Determine the Event. The planning starts when we choose to host an event. So consider, what kind of event are you planning? 
Consider who you want to reach. Who do you want to come to your event? Knowing your target audience is key to many of the choices you will make along the way.
Pin point your goal. What is the overall outcome you desire? Is your event primarily for fun or is it more serious with a deeper focus? Do you want to create close tight knit community or have an open group where new people are welcome? 
Seek Guidance from the Lord. I am just now seeing that I have mostly made event planning about me. In so many ways, it has been my little kingdom. God is calling me out of that and into something entirely different. It requires me to depend on Him when it comes to how an event should go. What scripture should I go to? Who should I ask to help? As I’ve told you recently, He is doing this even in calling me toward planning a specific event. Often we plan an event and then ask God to bless it. How dare we treat ministry this way! Seek God in the beginning and allow Him to direct the planning every step of the way.
Determine your budget. What you can spend determines the choices you make. So make a financial plan and see what you think things will cost.
Search out Ideas. Pinterest  and Etsy is great for this! Remember to keep your budget in mind as you do this. It’s like when I went wedding dress shopping, I didn’t try on anything I could not afford. Don’t fall in love with an idea that you can’t afford to pull off. Friends are another great source. Talk to your friends, and bounce ideas off of them. They may some some great ideas that you have not even considered!
Define the date and time. Many times this comes down to just picking a date and time. But you need to consider when your target audience is available. It wouldn’t help me to plan an event for working women during the work day. They simply won’t come. However, you also will never be able to accommodate everyone. Pick the best date and time you can, but don’t make it rocket science.
Making a list: List making is my love. I seriously love a good detailed list. There are many ways to do this. I encourage you to write down as many details as you can about your event. I prefer to do this on the computer. I brain dump all the details out of my head and onto the computer. Then I sort them accordingly. Depending on the event I may sort by due date (When doing this I always ask myself what is high priority?) or by category (Food, Supplies, Etc). Sometimes the planning happens in stages and you need to accomplish A before you can accomplish B (kind of like a pre-requisite in college) If I am planning a larger event, I also create a timeline for myself. I break all the planning tasks into chunks so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming.
Create a team & divide duties: I don’t know about you, but I am terrible when it comes to asking for help. However, I have learned in event planning that you cannot do it all.  And if you do try you will likely lose your mind! We all NEED help! So ask your friends, your family, people from your church, coworkers, etc. Then let them help you. Actually give them duties. If someone can’t attend the event, maybe they can still help by baking cookies, or ordering food, or another pre-event task. You will be blessed by the help and they will be blessed to help.
Get the Word Out: Remember how we talked about knowing your target audience? Well, this is a reason why. My promotion must fit my target audience. I still think one of the best ways to invite people is by personal invitation. When someone walks up to me and says “Hey would you like to go to such and such with me?” I am much more likely to go. However we live in 2013 so don’t miss using social media. I must confess, I don’t tweet and I am just starting to use Instagram. So, work social media best you can. Personally, I like to use Facebook Events. Don't forget about that little thing we are all attached to called the cell phone. Red Stamp is a great app to use where you can create an invitation and text message it to you friends. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Something New

Do you ever sense God is about to do something really big? That is how I have been feeling the last few months. Slowly God has been calling to me and speaking to me. Calling me out of myself and into something I never could have planned.

It started around Christmas. If you don't know, in November my Love became the college minister at our church. During Christmas, I could sense the Lord speaking to me. He was showing me that He wanted me to start leading the college girls He has given us in this new ministry He had given us. I immediately walked away and said, "No Lord, not me". "Don't you know, I'm not the life of the party, I feel awkward in social situations, I like my alone time". But over and over the Lord would not let it go. In fact, He showed me some potential leaders that might fill that spot if I did not step up and obey where He was calling me. And I didn't like what I was seeing.

I was afraid to tell anyone, you see they might hold me accountable if I shared it with them. But the Lord would not stop. He would not let me out of what He was calling me to. It almost became comedic.  So I approached my husband about starting a weekly Bible study in our apartment for the college girls. He was so excited and encouraged me to follow where the Lord was leading. So I stepped out in faith and started a Bible study. And people actually came. You see, I'm married to the outgoing fun one, I'm more the laid back quiet one. But when I kick him out once a week and my apartment is full of girls I am the only one here to lead them.  During this time the Lord has revealed some ways I have hidden behind my husband. And He has shown me I am not walking in who He has created me to be even if it doesn't feel natural. He has stretched me each week. He has blessed me with a group of ladies who hunger for the Word, they are diligent to study the Word. It has been incredible. The Lord has totally blown me away through them. I am blessed to lead them.

During this time of study, the Lord began to call out again. And say, "Ashlee, that's not enough. I'm not done with you yet". And as I sought Him, He began to allow me to be apart of conversations where the girls clearly showed me a need they had. I realized, they just wanted to be girls. They want community together. They wanted friendship and accountability. And so, I began to brainstorm. I began to seek out ideas of girls events I could start hosting. And as I began sharing my ideas with the girls, they got so excited.

Often I think we walk into ministry expecting to bless people, but I can honestly say these girls have blessed me way more than I could have ever imagined. It has been awhile since I have seen God so clearly at work in the details of something. Even today and I have been working to finalize the details of our first event next weekend, God has come through in ways that just floor me. God continues to blow me away every corner I turn.

God is totally doing something new in my life. He is calling me to a new ministry. It is very bittersweet. I have spent the last 11 years ministering to junior high and high school girls in various capacities. I never thought I wold do anything different. In fact I could not even imagine it. In June, I will fully move over into college ministry. I will continue the work that has only begun with our college girls. And I am so excited. I'm excited to see God at work in this ministry. I am excited to see the new and exciting things He calls me to. I am confident He has prepared me for this ministry. I am blessed when I consider the ways He has endeared these girls to my heart. There are moments I get scared, but then I remember the clear calling of the Lord and have perfect peace. I ask that you pray for me in this new ministry. Pray for these girls the Lord has given me. I have no idea what I am doing other than following the leadership of the Lord. I can hardly wait for what is to come. This not the end, but the beginning of something new.