Monday, October 24, 2011

Conscious Decisions

Hi Everyone, I wanted to share with you a paper that I wrote this week for school. It was about making conscious decisions. So... please read below.

I have found myself engaging in numerous conversations with individuals who want to change their life. They want to heal from their hurts, disappointments, failures, and perceived shortcomings. They say that they want to grow, change and to be better than their circumstances say they are. However, in talking with them I was not fully convinced they really wanted to heal, change, or make a choice to be better. I was met with excuses, people not really wanting to allow God to change them, their future and purpose. I found that in all the discussions the same two words kept coming from my mouth. They were conscious decision.

Conscious means: aware; aware of your environment, yourself, facts and objects; in a state of mental awareness. Decision means: the act of deciding; a judgment or conclusion reached by deciding. We must make a conscious decision to change. We must decide that we want to heal. We must decide that we want to change, that we want to rise above our circumstances. We must decide we want to be better.  I am learning that a lot of times in life people try to make things more difficult then they have to be.

The first decision that many people fight with is giving their life to God. There is this fear in believing in someone you can’t see. The fear that you will lose yourself and become one of those Jesus freaks that everyone talks about. Making a decision to give your life to the Lord is the best thing anyone can do. You are never alone after that. He is always with you.
When you make the decision to give your life over to God, you must then make a conscious decision to allow Him to begin to change you from the inside out. This is a painful process because God begins to bring your hurts, failures and disappointments to the surface. Many people stop the process because they can’t handle dealing with looking into the mirror of their life. Some stop at this point in the process because even though they want something more than their current situation, they would rather stay where they are and be comfortable than be uncomfortable for the sake of change. Others will say they can’t let God work in this because it’s just too painful. All these decisions are made purely on their emotions. It comes down to this. You have to make a conscious decision to allow God to help you change. It all comes down too making a conscious decision to allow God help you overcome your hurt, disappointments, failures, and perceived shortcomings so that you can walk in your purpose.

Here are some excuses I have heard on why people can’t change, heal, and overcome their circumstances. They can’t change because it is too hard; They are this way because of the way they were raised so they can’t help it. We can all change. We can all become better people and Godly people no matter how we were raised but again it comes down to making a conscious decision. I was raised in a home with abusive alcoholic drug addicted parents but I am not an abusive alcoholic drug addicted adult. I made a conscious decision to be different than my parents. It wasn’t easy but I knew it was a decision that I had to make. The people who used the excuse of its too hard were half way correct. It is not easy to change; too make a choice not based on how you feel in the moment but rather on what you want out of life and what you know is right. Making excuses or saying I can’t is the easy way out of a situation. If you tell yourself and those around you that you can’t then no one expects anything from you and you never let anyone down.

Everyone has a future and a purpose although not everyone believes it. It is disheartening to listen to people tell me their dreams and what they want to do with their life but then never chase after these dreams. So many people never go after their dreams because it is more comfortable and safe feeling to just continue their life of meritocracy.  People are not willing to sacrifice security to take a risk and step into their destiny. Make a conscious decision go after your dreams and your purpose. Make a decision to live a life with no regrets. Make a decision to fight for the things you want out of life and too not settle for less than God’s best for you.

I think that once people start to make conscious decisions in their life, they will go a lot further. It is easy to make a decision based on feeling or out of your emotions but I think that it is an entirely much harder thing to make a decision when you are solid as a rock. When you make a decision out of emotion and you don’t follow through, it seems like not a big deal because you were just emotional that day. However, making a decision when you are not emotional and then not following through leaves you feeling as though you failed or didn’t live up to the expectation you had for your life, your day, your situation, or your circumstance. So I think that if people would start seeking God and making decisions based on what they know then maybe there would be more people in the world who aren’t staying where it’s comfortable.

Much love,

Monday, September 19, 2011

Get Off the Sidelines

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. I have been reflecting on my past, evaluating my present, and dreaming about my future. I have a dream to travel and speak, to share the story of what God has done in my life all over the world. I want to be used as a mouthpiece of God to speak hope to the hopeless. I want to reach out and speak hope into the lives of the abandoned, abused, and rejected. I want to see people physically and emotionally healed and restored. I want to help people see the greatness that they have in them. Basically, I want to believe in the people that no one believes in; the “nobodies” of the world and then I want to watch them step out and walk in their destiny.

I remember back in 2000 when I was a baby Christian and everything was so new to me. I was so happy and so overfilled with joy that I told everybody about Jesus. About 2 weeks after I gave my life to the Lord, I went to the beach to evangelize with Fort Myers Masters Commission. I didn’t know the first thing about how to evangelize, for that matter I didn’t even have one scripture memorized but I didn’t care. I just wanted to tell people that I accepted Jesus as my savior and for the first time in my life I had hope and happiness. I wanted to give that hope and happiness to all the people that were hurting like I had been. I wanted everyone else to have a chance to have hope. While out that night we met two guys that were looking for a good place to go and party. The FMMC students began to share the bible with one gentleman and before long a debate had started. The other young gentleman just kept asking about where to go and party. I decided I would tell him about Jesus and what He had done in my life just 2 weeks prior. I led that guy to the Lord that night. I was so happy that I was able to help bring hope and salvation to someone; that God would use me to share his message. I remember in that moment realizing that there was nothing else I would rather do. I wanted to dedicate my life to helping people meet Jesus. Not to long after this event, I also knew that I was suppose to use my story and my life experience as a tool for ministry. I was to use my story as a way to speak hope, healing, restoration to people’s lives.

I dedicated the next six years of my life to this calling. I went through intense discipleship. I was taught leadership. I went through hands on ministry training, learning about everything from nursery kids to elder care to the inner city (this was my favorite). I had the privilege of traveling all over the country doing school assemblies, church services, and missions work. I was able to share my story, sometimes to a room full of people, sometimes one and one. It was such an honor to be able to tell people about what Jesus did in my life. I looked for opportunities to speak hope, purpose, healing, and freedom into people’s lives.

Everything changed in 2006. I went through an extremely hurtful situation. This situation left me wounded beyond words. I didn’t know how to deal with what I was feeling. My life didn’t seem real at that point. My faith was shaken hard and I felt like a failure and a disappointment. I thought that God didn’t even want me anymore. I was in spiritual ICU. I was unsure of how to heal, how to recover, and how to move forward. I was so use to being the girl that fixes things and I couldn’t fix this.

The hurt that I experienced caused me to become very inward focused. I was back to not trusting people, not wanting to let people into my world, and not wanting to let people see the real me. All I thought about was me and how I was feeling. I stopped pouring my life into others, stopped believing in people, and stopped spreading the message of hope and salvation. I was so afraid to put my heart out there for fear that it would get trampled on. As I began to heal I slowly began to pour out my life to others but only from a place of safety; place of head knowledge. I kept everyone at an arm’s length for fear of being hurt again.

See, I was in a place of being consumed by me, my issues, my disappointments, and my perceived failures. What I should have been doing was focusing on God, the creator of the universe.  Philippians 4:13 says I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. It doesn’t say that I can do all things on my own.

During this season of my life I missed out on opportunities all around me to share the love of God with people. It was like I forget there was a whole world going on around me. It took a long time for me to realize this. I had no idea that I had become this person. I understand that a time to heal was necessary and vital. The thing I realize though is that after I healed I was walking around as if the injury still existed. My heart remained covered as if the wound was still there and I prevented myself from allowing people to see me because I didn’t want to be viewed as damaged goods. I also didn’t want anyone close enough that they could possible hurt my heart again. The risk taker in me had become someone that just sat on the sidelines and watched everyone else have victory, the whole time thinking that I would never be able to get back in the game. Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of people cheering me on and pushing me to get off the sidelines. I just couldn’t seem to get my focus off of me. I was determined to never be hurt again. However, I realized that in my fight to protect myself I was losing out on all the wonderful blessings that the Lord had for me. He had people I was supposed to minister too, disciple and serve.

I have changed my prayer over the past year to part of a Hillsong United song and it says this: Heal my heart and make it clean, Open up my eyes to the things unseen, Show me how to love like You have loved me, Break my heart for what breaks Yours, Everything I am for Your Kingdom's cause.

I want to challenge you today to allow yourself to heal from your past hurts and disappointments but do not allow yourself to get stuck on the sidelines because you’re afraid to get back in the game. Make a decision today to pay attention to the hurting people around you and speak life into them. Let’s be world changers and difference makers in the sphere of influence that God has entrusted us with!

Much love,

Monday, April 18, 2011

Video about Sophia's Heart

Our Stories

I have been thinking a lot lately about my testimony. It is a story that I love to tell. I enjoy telling people about the pit of despair, hopelessness, and bondage that God brought me out of on January 25, 2000. It is a day that I will never forget and not a day goes by that I don't stop and appreciate the freedom and life that God gave me on that day. Revelation 12:11 talks about how we overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. I find it a great honor when I get to share my story with others, when I get to use it to bring encouragement to someone that is hurting and feeling hopeless. I get so excited as I watch hope be restored to them through the healing power of Jesus. Lately, However, I have been challenged to have a daily testimony. See, I want a story of what God did in me, for me, or through me today. He didn't stop working in my life on January 25, 2000. He had just begun. There are so many amazing things that He has done for me and through me since then. These are all testimonies of His grace, mercy, favor, and blessings. I am not negating my salvation experience, as it was a turning point in my life.....a defining moment of the woman that I would become. My life was forever changed that day. However, I want to live my life having a daily testimony. I want to run after God with all that is in me knowing that if I listen to Him, if I let him guide me I can be used by Him everyday to impact someone's life for the kingdom. 

Things at Sophia's Heart are going good. We are working on remodeling a wing of the building to prepare it for families. We currently have one family and they are making great progress. We are working hard to prepare to take in more families and anxiously awaiting the day that this is possible. We are currently second place in a bank contest. This bank will be giving $30,000 to the charity with the most votes at the end of April. If you have any spare time, please go and vote as much as possible. The website is You don't have to sign-up, register, or give any personal information to vote. 
Thank you all so much for your endless love and support!!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Update on Sophia's Heart

I realize that it has been a long time since I've blogged and I know that you're all waiting in great anticipation to hear how things are going since I've been in Nashville. goes.

I hit the ground running pretty much the day that I arrived in Nashville. I am working for an organization called Sophia’s Heart. We were recently given an rehabilitation hospital and we are turning it into transitional housing for displaced families. When we are finished and complete we will be able to house up to 45 families. I am the assistant program director so I have an active role in choosing what families we have the ability to help and rehabilitate (not always the fun part). Last year Nashville teachers reported 2, 177 homeless kids. That being said, there will be a lot of families that we will be unable to help. I also have a big responsibility in working out how we will do things logistically (like feed people) as we take in more people and when we get to full capacity. In addition to that I get to help develop the curriculum for the classes we will teach to the families, such as finances. 

We took in our 1st family about a month ago and they are doing great. We are going to start classes with them in about two weeks. This job has definitely been a learning experience and a bit challenging at times. However, I really enjoy it and feel blessed that God has entrusted me with such a position. I have made some incredible connections since being in this position as well as made a new friend or two. I work with an incredible team that all have such a heart for people.

On a personal note, I am working on my 30 day devotional book that I started like 3 years ago. I am close to having the 30 days completed. Upon completion of the 30 day I think I have decided that I will work on a 365 day devotional with the first goal being to get 6 months written.

That's all I really have right now. I'll try to write more in the next few weeks. I hope you are all doing well!!

Much Love,

Front of the 77,000 square foot building

One of the rooms

One of the bathrooms set-ups. They don't all have tubs.
Private Courtyard that is completely surrounded by the building. You can't get to it from outside of the building.

This room isn't complete yet but this is an idea of how we want them to look when complete.