What Pinterest didn’t teach me about being a bridesmaid.

0290Being a bridesmaid is much more of a commitment than it first seems. But in the excitement and in the midst of all the cuteness, when your close friend “pops the question,” you don’t have a choice but to squeal and jump up and down! You get to stand by her on one of the most important days of her life!! How COULD you say no?! Who would WANT to?!

But I’ve now been a bridesmaid twice, and the thing I’ve learned the most is that being a bridesmaid doesn’t stop when your bestie says, “I Do” That’s just the beginning.

Now sure, picking out dresses and colors and flowers and center pieces are all part of the fun. (Don’t get me wrong… I have four wedding boards on Pinterest and they are organized and color-coded and could put yours to shame.) But your bride asked you to stand by her for a reason; and I believe, when you stand by her on her big day you are committing to stand by her and for her in these four ways:

  1. 10274101_10152453505524468_1427201419336202402_nYou promised to stand up for her marriage. This means when things aren’t all dandelions and roses, you’ve committed to be the friend that reminds her of her promise. You remind her of her vows, and that marriage can’t always be a honeymoon. You comfort her and love her, but you remain standing for the covenant that she maybe can’t in that moment.
  1. You promised to stand up for her husband. You defend him when she’s forgotten to or when others aren’t. I’m not saying every girl gets upset and let’s loose on her hubby’s flaws. But I am saying everybody has to vent every once in a while. And when she calls you, you give her a judgment-free space to talk things out, but you keep her accountable for her words towards her man, because he deserves that. Sometimes a bridesmaid can be the only one to remind a bride of that.
  1. 10419621_798049943539057_3612648532637235069_nYou promised to stand by her. When life throws a curveball, accidental or not, explainable or not, you stand with her. This is the best part. Life is hard, and her husband can’t always be the super hero. It’s not even his fault why life got hard. But sometimes, a gal just needs her friends. So don’t lose touch just because she’s got bigger commitments now. She loves you and needs you, and if we are honest, you need her too.
  1. image1You promised to stand in prayer with her. For her marriage; for her husband; for her; for their future family; and for her extended family. When the preacher man looked out into the crowd and asked for any objections, and you didn’t oppose, that meant you were for them. That meant you lifted them up as a blessing from God, and would always support them. And if I’ve learned anything about friendships, it’s that prayer can be the best comfort you can offer.

So to Katie and Melanie, I love you and I hope you’ve already known I stood for you in these ways. And to Laura, and now Lisa, I raise my glasses to you and your fiancés. I love y’all!

Where My Heart is at This Summer

It’s been a hard summer. God’s been working on a lot the past 8 weeks. And there are 5 more to go. That’s the scary part. I think the first 8 were just a warm up. Lots of changes. Lots of unexpected. Lots of I don’t know what the blank I’m doing anymore. Lots of I need people. And most importantly, lots of I need God.

I don’t really have much to say except scripture is where it is at. My dear friend, Sherri, has been sending me verses from all over the Word, and at the most random times, but they some how just seem to fit. Also people have been praying for me. And it has just recently been brought to my attention that people do this frequently. And I don’t know why but until this summer I didn’t think people did that for me. I just thought “I’ll be praying for you,” was the Southern version of “Wow, your life sucks.” Because a lot of the time, people say they will pray over you, but they don’t actually do it. You know? So when I found out from various people that they or others have been praying over me, it just kind of shocked me. I am humbled and I thank you if you are one of those people. Seriously. I can feel that you’re doing it. God has been whispering, “You aren’t alone.” There’s a lot going on, but the only thing left to say is I want you to read Isaiah 43. I’ll put pieces of it here and I encourage you to read it slowly. Just soak it in. I cry when I read it. Every time. It’s just where my heart is at this summer.

All enfaces are added by me.

Isaiah 43:

“But now, this is what the LORD says- he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘ Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight and because I love you,'” (vs. 1-4)

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you;” (vs. 5)

“Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” (vs. 7)

“I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.” (vs. 11)

“I am the LORD, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator, your King.” (vs. 15)

– Sarah

Life Lessons with a side of Urban Air

Oh. My. Good. Gracious. I am 20!! 20?!?!?! What?

This was me on the day I was born… Daddy holding me. Man this is cute.

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I was reminiscing about my previous years of life thus far (like I usually do on my birthday) and I have decided a couple things.

{1} I have become my mother. I cannot deny it anymore. Seriously. I couldn’t find my coffee for like 20 minutes today and then I found it in the microwave. Which for those of you who may not know, that is a classic Kim Moog move. It was so funny and it made me realize it was inevitable that I would become her. And I am ok with that.

{2} I am LOST without Christ. And I would say I have known this for a while, but the older I become and the longer I have been a Christian; I am realizing this more and more. While it is my 20th birthday, it is almost my 4th birthday in Christ. And it was’t until the other day that I realized I am just a baby in all of this. It’s ok that I don’t have everything right. It’s ok that I still struggle with even the most basic of devoted tasks and disciplines in faith. I keep TRYING and I keep FAILING and God keeps FORGIVING and REDEEMING. His love amazes me more and more each day.

{3} Friends are worth keeping. I would say my 19th year was a lonely lonely year. A hard year in school, a hard year emotionally, and just an all around tough year. But it also was filled with so many blessings. And as it came to a close God started to remind me that maybe the reason I am so lonely is because I felt like I wasn’t worth friends and friends weren’t worth me. I didn’t want to be around people. But the Holy Spirit whispered softly to me, that people love me. And I love people. I am a people person that tried to live life independently and isolated and that isn’t how God made me. I desire intimate relations with people and friends that want that connection with me.

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{4} I want to BE somebody. I think I have spent such a large portion of my life trying to become someone special that I wasn’t willing to live my life as the special person I am. I have this NEED to make something of myself in order to make my parents and friends and the LORD proud, but I’ve come to face the facts. I already make them proud. I AM somebody. Maybe one day I will become a famous author or someone who gets to travel the world teaching the Word and spreading the gospel like Beth Moore does, but maybe I am supposed to be a loving mom, friend, wife, sister, daughter, who teaches the word and spreads the gospel in my own backyard. You know? The gospel is just as POWERFUL on 1633 Hart Rd. Knoxville, TN than it is in Kenya or England or Australia. We will just have to see where God takes me. I am willing servant of the Lord.

Anyways… I just wanted to share these thoughts. The “new and improved” 20 year old Sarah thinks these things and I needed to write them down so 30 and 40 and 50 year old Sarah can go back and laugh at herself and reminisce on later birthdays. I hope you enjoyed these thoughts as well and maybe they shines some light on situations for you too.

Also… here are pictures from my birthday. It. Was. Awesome.

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Over and Out. – Sarah

Find Your Joy.

For the third time in the past five days I had someone differentiate between happiness and joy. One way, I feel, that God speaks to me is through suggestions and comments from people influential in my life. So when a suggestion or an intriguing comment is made I listen. When Greg spoke tonight at Fellowship he prayed that as students we would find joy, not happiness, but joy.

SO…. I am going to talk about the differences and how this speaks to me this week.

Happiness is defined as: the quality or state of being happy.

Joy is defined as: the emotion of great delight caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.

As I have been listening and contemplating the difference between happiness and joy, what I have discovered is this: joy is long-term. Happiness is superficial and it is short lived. But when a person can find joy it can last for a lifetime. I am NOT saying that once a person acquires joy in their life that life is easy or that hardships will never approach, but I am saying that with eternal joy instilled in a person’s heart he/she can conquer daily trials with inner peace that cannot be discovered without joy.

My God has provided me with Joy. All day he gave me loved ones who welcomed me and people who desire my presence with them. I felt like I fit in at school. That being at UT, isn’t a mistake, I can possibly make this work.

Today, I dressed for success. I set out with the purpose of finding joy. That I have been given this opportunity and it would be a shame and foolish for me to declare that God’s plan is unfit for me. That he made a mistake. That my job here at UT is only to walk through the halls as if I don’t care. Today I walked throughout my day being intentional. Every conversation, every assignment, every goal, I did with the full purpose of glorifying God and taking full advantage of His timing and His plan for my life. I have found joy. While I am jumping the gun to say this, I believe it to be true. That with the attitude of importance and with the mind-set of great delight, anyone can allow the eternal peace of Jesus to wash over them bringing them everlasting joy. (:

Tonight my friends and I decided to get crazy… we are pulling an all nighter and dying my hair. I am now a brunette (like I was before this summer). Weird. Thanks to Alexis, Micaela, Caroline, Claire, Kristin, and Elizabeth. We are studying together and working on essays and other assignments for the week. But He has placed us at this time to enJOY one another and rest in the JOY of these once-in-a-life-time moments. Embracing these evenings, and one another, with the same open and loving arms that Christ extends towards us.

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An evening I will always remember… Well back to Religious Studies… the girls say I gotta get back to studying.

– Sarah (: