Friday, July 31, 2009

WINNER! Day 4: Going Away Giveaways

I'll give you one guess to figure out where I am. If you said Starbucks, you're right. A sweet mother agreed to be my witness this time and the winner of the book What Happens When Women Say Yes To God by Lysa TerKeurst is commenter #7...

Commenter #7...Amy! Only one problem. Per her comment, she requested to be taken out of the running because she has already read the book. I'm trying to get this update up, so I don't have time right now to go into details about how fabulous Amy is, but trust me...she is...and she will be featured on the ole blog super soon. Hopefully in the next few days if I can get my act together, and I can assure you, you don't want to miss it!

Back to the number generator I went, and this time, the winner was commenter #12...
Commenter #1...Jan! I was so excited to see that she won because I don't know who she least I don't think I do. I was hoping that at least one day someone I didn't know would win so that y'all wouldn't think it was rigged.

Jan, from your comments you sound like a sweetie...and I know you're a smart one because you said you went to The University of Alabama. Now I'm just hoping that you'll comment on today's giveaway so I can find out how you ended up here.

Congratulations again, Jan! Please email me your address so that I can get your book in the mail to you. My email address is on my profile page.

I can't believe it...but we are almost through with the giveaways for the week. Only one more! If you haven't registered for giveaway number 5, you have until NOON tomorrow.

Day 5: Going Away Giveaways

These past two years, I have found myself saying the same thing over and over again. Different people, different circumstances, but similar words. Words that go something like this..."I'm so glad the Lord allowed our lives to cross." or "I'm so thankful that the Lord allowed that event to happen."

A few months I was expressing those sentiments to my friend, Caroline. The way the Lord brought us to each other is quite a story and I can hardly believe the depth of our friendship in such a short time. It was during that conversation that she told me about a book that she had just finished reading and thought I would enjoy as well. The book was incredible. The basic premise is that God holds all of the strands of our lives. He is the Grand Weaver. He knows the design for our lives, and He weaves those threads to make a masterpiece.

During my time in Atlanta, so many threads have been added to the tapestry of my life. Families, mentors, friends. Jobs, books, churches. How comforting it is to know that even in my moments of confusion, God still has the threads. He is weaving. He is bringing people into my life...allowing things to happen, both good and bad...and all to grow me and help me to see his unconditional love.

My time in Atlanta is not one that I will soon forget. It is filled with too many life changing people and moments for that. Thanks for letting me share them with you this week.

For the last Going Away Giveaway, I am giving away a copy of the book that Caroline told me to read: The Grand Weaver by Ravi Zacharias.

Here's what you need to do to be eligible to win The Grand Weaver by Ravi Zacharias:

Use your best memory to leave me a comment recalling how The Lord first wove our lives together. For some, it may have been years ago...others may only have to think back to a day ago when you followed a suggestion of a friend to this blog. I've gotten a lot of new readers recently, so I'm just curious. If you comment anonymously, make sure you include your name and how I can contact you.

If you want to increase your chances, you can do either or both of the following.

  • Become a follower of my blog and leave me another comment telling me that you became a follower. If you're already a follower, just leave me a comment telling me that you already are a follower.
  • Tweet about this giveaway and leave the URL for the tweet in a different comment.

Get to commenting. The contest will end tomorrow, AUGUST 1, at NOON EST. The winner will be chosen using's random number generator.

If you don't win, you can purchase it here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

WINNER! Day 3: Going Away Giveaways

I'm at Starbucks again. I found a nice lady to be my witness this time. The winner of the Destinations series is commenter #1...

Commenter #1...Sarah Beth! Thank goodness she finally won because she has been talking about wanting to win one of these contests since I first mentioned them.

Let me tell you a little about this fun winner. We are coming up on our "the day we met" anniversary. I met her August of 2006 during sorority recruitment. I was senior, she was a freshman. I saw her on serious night and knew we had to have her. The rest, as they say, is history.

This post isn't the first time she's been mentioned on the ole blog. I first let the blog world know about her last November when I was reliving the years of my life...then I bragged on her a little more when she racked up on all her honors at Honor's Day this year...and most recently I let the blog world in on a special birthday note.

I'm so excited about the job that I just accepted...more on that after these giveaways are over...because I will get to see her lots! She is one of my favorite people at The University of Alabama right now...and I'm counting on her to free up her Friday afternoons so that we can reinstate our standing lunch date at City Cafe.

She's a gem of a girl...and I know this series will come in handy for her as she finishes up her college career and sets off for the real world. Congratulations, Sarah Beth...can't wait to hear what you think about it!

Half way through the giveaways! If you haven't registered for giveaway number 4, you have until NOON tomorrow!

Day 4: Going Away Giveaways

March 2008. I was nearing my one year anniversary of being in Atlanta. I had been praying for big faith for a few months and I was starting to feel a stirring in my heart. I didn't know what that stirring would lead to, only that my heart was stirring.

Around that time, someone made a book recommendation to me. That someone was my boss. A few months later when I gave my him my verbal resignation I mentioned that reading that book he had suggested had really helped things. He said, thanks for telling me...I won't be suggesting it to my team members anymore.

Truth be told, he didn't actually make a book recommendation to me. He recommended an author to me. He recommended Lysa TerKeurst. Lysa was--and is---married to Art. Art was---and is---a Chick-fil-A Operator in North Carolina. Art and my boss, Mark, had been friends for years and I had been blessed to work on a few projects with Art and had always been impressed with the way he ran his business. I decided his wife's books were probably worth looking into. I went home, did a little research on the computer and found out that this Lysa TerKeurst lady was so much more than a little author. She had written quite a few books, recorded daily inspirational radio messages, was a gifted speaker and was a blogger with quite a following. Add all of that to her job as President of Proverbs 31 Ministries---a ministry that she founded back in 1992. I knew I wanted to read her books. I looked through the list of book titles and one in particular caught my eye---What Happens When Women Say Yes To God. I couldn't get myself to the book store quick enough.

I started reading and commenting on her blog. She responded a few times and has even commented on my blog. Yes, I pretty much fell out of my chair the first time that happened. I also began reading the book. I highlighted. I underlined. I circled. I wrote. I laughed. I cried. I worked through the Bible studies at the end of each chapter. I'm not exaggerating when I say the book changed my life.

My love for the book only deepened a few months later when through her husbands prodding I got up the nerve to give her a call. Voicemail. I stumbled through a message. Less than an hour she called me back. I still remember that phone conversation with Lysa like it was yesterday. I remember practically flipping out when I heard her voice and almost fainting when she invited me to come and visit. TO COME AND VISIT. Well, being the southern lady that I am, I hated to turn her down. We set a date and a month later I got in my car and drove to North Carolina to spend a long weekend with Lysa, Art and her beautiful children--all 5 of them--in their HOME!

It was a weekend I will never forget. I got to meet some incredible Christian women who have taken all of the principles in What Happens When Women Say Yes To God to heart. I can't say enough wonderful things about Proverbs 31 Ministries, all of the wonderful ladies that work there---many of whom have great blogs as well, Lysa or her family. The way they encouraged me that weekend and have continued to encourage me as I've walked this faith journey has been a blessing.

Reading What Happens When Women Say Yes To God helped me to get all of thoughts that were stirring around in my heart and head and sort them out to see what Good was caling me to do. I'd love to give a copy to everybody!

Here's what you need to do to be eligible to win What Happens When Women Say Yes To God by Lysa TerKerust:

Leave me a comment telling me about a book that you have read that impacted your life. Children's literature, ficion, non-fiction, inspirational...there are no guidelines. If you comment anonymously, make sure you include your name and how I can contact you.

If you want to increase your chances, you can do either or both of the following.
  • Become a follower of my blog and leave me another comment telling me that you became a follower. If you're already a follower, just leave me a comment telling me that you already are a follower.

  • Tweet about this giveaway and leave the URL for the tweet in a different comment.
Get to commenting. The contest will end tomorrow, JULY 31, at NOON EST. The winner will be chosen using's random number generator.

If you don't win, you can purchase it here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

WINNER! Day 2: Going Away Giveaways

I can't decide what I love most about these giveaways. Reading all of the comments or figuring out the winner. I love pressing the generator button on the site, seeing the number and counting through the comments to find the winner.

Well, I just pressed generate...the kind man at Starbucks agreed to be my witness...and the winner of the Strengths Finder 2.0 book is commenter #19...

Commenter #19....Sara! Oh how I laughed...literally laughed out loud when I counted through to the 19th commenter.

It's actually quite fitting that she won. Sara and I were interns together at Chick-fil-A and since we sat beside each other, we had no choice other than to be instant friends. She made my days happy with her choice of wardrobe and her humorous voicemails. Then my heart was sad when she moved to Athens to finish up her senior year...and my heart totally broke in half when she moved to Boston upon graduation. Thankfully, she is a wonderful tour guide and is always happy to have me visit. I can't wait for the leaves to change so I can make a trek up in a few months!

Wow...with all of that blog linkage I have going on, clearly you can see that she is one of my most fun friends. But, she's more than fun...she's incredible smart and says some of the most profound things. She has played an integral part in my life these past two years. If I could give away people, I would give away a weekend in Boston with Sara...she's that incredible. She also has a blog...but rarely updates it. She keeps telling me that she's going to, but no. Maybe if we all pester her together she'll get back to it again! Congratulations, buddy!

Two giveaways down...three to go! If you haven't registered for giveaway number 3, you have until NOON tomorrow!

Day 3: Going Away Giveaways

If you started reading my blog before this week, this next giveaway probably won't come as a surprise.

I've mentioned Buckhead Church on my blog once or twice or a lot of times. I can't say enough good things about it. I grew up in attending church and am blessed with a wonderful church family at home in Brewton, Alabama. As I've moved, it has always been hard for me to find anything that compares. Buckhead Church is nothing like First Baptist Church Brewton, but it was exactly what I needed at this time in my life.

Want to know how good it is...I can still tell you about messages that I heard 2 years ago. TWO YEARS AGO! I have a good memory, but that is beyond good memory. The only reason I am able to do that is because of excellent communicating and teaching. The teaching is biblically sound, easy to listen to, easy to understand, easy to apply. I love how Senior Pastor, Andy Stanley, (some of you may have heard of his Dad, Charles Stanley) and Campus Pastor, Jeff Henderson, are able to take a story that you've heard your whole life and give it a whole new application.

So, since Buckhead Church has had such a positive influence on my life these past two years, I wanted to give away a copy of one of their series. The only problem was which one? Staying In Love? Balanced? Five Things God Uses To Grow Your Faith? Why Worry? There are so many good ones and the list just keeps going. After much thought, I decided that the winner of this give way will receive a copy of the Destinations series. This message was the first one that I heard when I moved to Atlanta. It is packed with powerful truths.

Here's what you need to do to be eligible to win the Destination's Series:

Leave me a comment and let me know if you've ever heard of Andy Stanley or Buckhead Church before today. If you comment anonymously, make sure you include your name and how I can contact you.
If you want to increase your chances, you can do either or both of the following.
  • Become a follower of my blog and leave me another comment telling me that you became a follower. If you're already a follower, just leave me a comment telling me that you already are a follower.

  • Tweet about this giveaway and leave the URL for the tweet in a different comment.
Get to commenting. The contest will end tomorrow, JULY 30, at NOON EST. The winner will be chosen using's random number generator.

If you don't win, you can purchase it here. You can go here to download the messages. You can also subscribe to the podcast so you can listen each week. just a few weeks, they will be going broadcasting their evening service LIVE! have until NOON EST TODAY to register for YESTERDAY'S GIVEAWAY---A Strengths Finder 2.0 Book!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

WINNER! Day 1: Going Away Giveaway

I LOVE my readers! Y'all came out of the woodworks yesterday to comment on my blog. I know it sounds crazy, but every time that I got an email telling me I had a new comment, I got all giddy inside. I wish I had unlimited funds so that I could give something to EVERYONE. Sadly, I don't.

And now...what you've been waiting for. I used had two witnesses---and the lucky winner of the Chick-fil-A $20 Giftcard is commenter #9...

Commenter #9....WHITNEY! So excited for you, sweet friend!

I may not be able to do this for all the winners, but since I know Whitney, let me tell you how incredible she is. Really, beautiful on the inside and out! We met when I was in college, but sadly didn't hang out very much. We had quite a few mutual friends so I was always hearing wonderful things about her though. I got the chance to see what everyone was talking about when we led a group of 11th grade girls at a Disciple Now weekend in Trussville. She was everything they said and more. Incredibly mature and wise beyond her years. I was so glad when I came across her blog earlier this year. We've been able to reconnect and share and pray for each other. Isn't God good??

Please check her blog out! She and her husband are both getting ready to move and will be starting Seminary in the fall. She's a great example of someone who has chased after the Lord. I'm blessed to have her in my life!

Giveaway one is in over...but if you didn't win, don't be sad. There are FOUR more to go! If you haven't registered for Day 2, you have until NOON TOMORROW.

Day 2: Going Away Giveaways

Yesterday, I told you how a job at a particular company helped to mold and change me. Today I want to tell you about a little test that I took that has changed the way I approach my life and the way that I interact with others.

Interestingly enough, I was introduced through this little test while I was at Chick-fil-A. It is a test that all employees are asked to take. On my first day, they gave me a book. Strengths Finder 2.0. At the back of the book, there was a website and a code to take a test online. If you're wondering if this is some kind of thrown together test, it isn't. This test was created by Gallup. It's the real deal. I've yet to find someone that didn't feel like their strengths were hit spot on. After taking the test, you are given your Top 5 strengths. I'm not exaggerating when I say that it was life changing.

Some compare it to Myers Briggs and some of the other personality tests, but it is NOT a personality test. This test is designed to calculate strengths. In order to have a strength, you must have both knowledge, skill, and talent in a particular area. The test calculates your knowledge, skill and talent for 34 different strengths. And, as they say in the book...there is no such thing as a bad strength.

When I first saw my Top 5 strengths listed out, I got all giddy inside. To some extent, it confirmed a lot of what I already knew, but what I really liked was reading about them in the book and seeing how they interacted together. By studying up on my strengths and the strengths of those that I did work and life with, I have been able to better understand and relate to others.

Since taking the test, I have given this book to quite a few of my friends and we have enjoyed playing off of one anothers' strengths. Another positve of taking the test is that it gives you an inside into the actions of others.

I will use myself as an example.

One of 34 strengths is an INCLUDER strength. Includers are great. The book says this about the those that have the includer strength: People strong in the includer theme are accepting of others. They show awareness of those who feel left out, and make an effort to include them.

Includers are some of the sweetest people. While I hope I have some sweetness in me, I am not an includer. In fact, the includer strength is at the bottom of my list. However, some of my friends are includers. This used to get on my nerves. Really get on my nerves. Then, I took the test. They took the test. I realized I wasn't an includer. They realized they were. Now when they start inviting the whole town over for a party, instead of getting frustrated, I just think to myself...look at that little includer. After all, it is their strength, and isn't it true that we are most productive when we are using our strengths.

Wonder what your strengths are? Today you have the chance to win the Strengths Finder 2.0 book.

Here's what you need to do to be eligible to win the Strengths Finder 2.0 book:

Leave me a comment telling me if you had heard about Strengths Finder 2.0 before this post. Don't be embarassed if you hadn't...I didn't until I took it. If you comment anonymously, make sure you include your name and how I can contact you.
If you want to increase your chances, you can do either or both of the following.
  • Become a follower of my blog and leave me another comment telling me that you became a follower. If you're already a follower, just leave me a comment telling me that you already are a follower.

  • Tweet about this giveaway and leave the URL for the tweet in a different comment.
Get to commenting. The contest will end tomorrow, JULY 29, at NOON EST. The winner will be chosen using's random number generator.

If you don't win, you can purchase it here. Better yet, purchase more than one. One for you, one for someone else...a friend, family member or coworker...and you'll get free shipping! have until NOON EST TODAY to register for YESTERDAY'S GIVEAWAY---A $20 Chick-fil-A Giftcard!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Day 1: Going Away Giveaways

Two and a half years ago, I was a senior at The University of Alabama without the slightest clue as to what I wanted to do with my life. I was explaining this to one of my mentors one day and after talking for a little while, he encouraged me to look into Chick-fil-A. I did.

About 6 months later after resumes, applications and interviews, I was called with news telling me that I had been selected as a Marketing Intern for Summer 2007. I was elated. One month later I graduated and a week after that I packed my things and moved to Atlanta.

When I made the move, I didn't really know what to think, I only knew that I would be working as an intern for the next 10 weeks. I was not guaranteed a job after the internship was over. In fact, I told the kind lady in HR that interviewed me I wasn't really interested in working there past the summer. I was planning on moving back at the end of the 10 weeks and was hoping that my experience as an intern at Chick-fil-A would help to set me apart from other recent graduates applying for a job.

About two weeks later I realized that I had lied to the kind lady in HR. I was really enjoying what I was doing. The company was incredible. The people that I got to work for and with were top notch. And somehow, this small town girl was really enjoying Atlanta. An answer to prayer came about a month later when they offered me a job so that I could stay there after the internship. It was a blessing beyond blessings.

It was because of Chick-fil-A that I started attending Buckhead Church. It was because of Chick-fil-A that I was connected with so many wonderful families to baby-sit and nanny for. It was because of Chick-fil-A that I have some of the best friends in the entire world. It was because of Chick-fil-A that I look at customer service in a whole new way.

When I left that job about 6 months ago, it was one of the hardest things that I have ever done. I loved what I was doing. Loved the company. Loved the people. In a company full of smart and busy people, more than a small handful had taken time out to develop me, invest in me, encourage me and guide me. In fact, even though I'm no longer an employee, they still do those things and it blows me away each time.

As I stand just days away from making a move to Birmingham. Just days away from the opportunity to mentor and do life with teens and college aged women, I am certain none of it would have happened if Chick-fil-A wouldn't have taken a chance on a girl from The University of Alabama. I would have never had the confidence.

Most of you know what it feels like to be a customer of Chick-fil-A, but I can tell you that having the opportunity to be an employee of the company will be something that I thank the Lord for for the rest of my life.

For those and many more reasons, my first Going Away Giveaway is a Chick-fil-A gift card. Not just any gift card...this one is loaded with $20.
Here's what you need to do to be eligible to win the Chick-fil-A gift card:

Leave me a comment telling me your FAVORITE thing about Chick-fil-A. If you comment anonymously, make sure you include your name and how I can contact you.

If you want to increase your chances, you can do either or both of the following.
  • Become a follower of my blog and leave me another comment telling me that you became a follower. If you're already a follower, just leave me a comment telling me that you already are a follower.

  • Tweet about this giveaway and leave the URL for the tweet in a different comment.
Get to commenting. The contest will end tomorrow, JULY 28, at NOON EST. The winner will be chosen using's random number generator.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bragging and Thanking

I've been working a lot on the Going Away Giveaways that start TOMORROW.

For that reason, I probably won't have a lot of time for other blogs this week. But, after a wonderful past few days, I had to do a little bragging and thanking.

Bragging first. Not on myself. On this lady.

She was one of the first moms that I met when I moved to Atlanta. She was the first one that asked me to baby-sit for her child. Saying that it has been an absolute privilege and blessing to have her family in my life is such the understatement. I fell in love with her family first through her precious daughter, Ella. What can I say, the way to my heart is through the kids. But, it didn't stop with that little girl. Courtney has poured into me. Mentored me. Loved on me. Encouraged me. She's the best things of a Mom and a sister rolled into one.

Well, I'm a frequent reader of Buckhead Church's blog. Imagine my delight when I pulled it up the other day and saw this little post that Courtney wrote about how she took the challenge from Jeff Henderson's last message, The Waiting Room, and put it into action. Isn't she just incredible?!?!

Thanks for being so open and honest, Courtney. Thanks for putting yourself out there for the thousands! I'm so thankful that The Lord has woven you into my life!

Now a little thanking.

I have THE BEST FRIENDS in the entire world. Seriously, I would put my friends against your friends ANY day! This past weekend my roomie got some of them together for a little dinner at an Atlanta restaurant that I've been wanting to go to for months. Einsteins. It was super yummy.

All of these girls work at Chick-fil-A and except for my roommate, I haven't seen them in a while. We crowded around a table and laughed and exchanged stories for so long that we ended up having to catch a later showing of the movie. It was so fun to catch up with them. partner in crime in Brand Development. I was so excited when you came to Chick-fil-A. I finally had a young, cool, person on my team. You proved to be so much more than the young, cool person though. You are by far one of the sweetest people that I know. You have about 100 close friends and I know why. Once people meet you, they want you in their lives forever. So many of my favorite Chick-fil-A memories include you. I loved going on business trips with you, enjoyed planning retreats with you and even had fun walking the trails with you. You're the best, buddy! first Atlanta friend. I remember when I saw you on my first day at Chick-fil-A and I thought, maybe we could be friends. When you told me that you had tried on my suit, I knew we would be fast friends. My closet is full of things that you liked but didn't look right when you tried them on. Your closet is full of things that I liked but didn't look right when I tried them on. We have the same style, but none of the same clothes. You had the ability to make me laugh on even the longest of the work days...and to this day, I can't drink a Chick-fil-A lemonade without thinking of you and smiling. roomie for life. I don't know how to begin to tell you how wonderful she is. The memories that we share can't be listed in such a short paragraph. When we're together, we laugh a lot...usually about things that only we think are funny. WIn a short amount of time, she has taught me so much. She's taught me how to work hard and have fun in the process. She has taught me to love people the way they want to be loved. In the past year, we have grown to be pretty much inseparable. We joke, but I am positive that I am going to go into withdrawals when she's not around. Good thing I've already given myself an unlimited invite to her new place!

Ashleigh...member of the fab 4. I met Ash when I first got to Chick-fil-A. She was a marketing intern and along with Ansley and Sara, we went anywhere and everywhere together. It didn't take us long to take over The Original Dwarf House (home to the first Chick-fil-A sandwich). Then, about a month after we met, we decided to drive 5 hours on a spontaneous road trip so we could spend the weekend in Daufuskie. She went back to school, but we stayed in touch through trips to Athens and Tuscaloosa. She's a rare gem of a friend. A bubble of happiness.

So, there you have bragging and my thanks.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Almost Giveaway Time

Don't forget,'s almost time for the Going Away Giveaways!

There will be a NEW giveaway EACH DAY and all you have to do in order to be registered is make a comment on the post. I know, it couldn't be easier. So, if you're not a daily reader, make sure to work some blog reading time into your day EACH DAY next week.

First giveaway is Monday. I'll give you a involves the whole reason that I moved to Atlanta in the first place.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Back Story

I love meeting with people to chat about life. I love hearing what's going on. I love hearing how they got where they are. I love the "back story." I love hearing how all of the pieces come together. So much has happened in my life in the past two and a half weeks. I laughed the other day when I was talking with a close friend and she said, how come I didn't know about the job interview last time we talked. You were holding back on me. I said, false. Last time we chatted, I had no clue. We chatted and I caught her up and decided to catch the blog world up as well.

So many of you have been faithful to pray with me, for me and over me during this time of transition and I wanted to make sure you are up to date with what's going on. Thanks for praying, sweet's my "back story," or at least the past 2.5 weeks of it.

On July 6, I wrote this.

On July 8, I wrote this in my journal...that's personal journal. The things I do for my blog readers...

Well, I have the countdown to Birmingham going on in my head. Each day my stomach gets tighter. Each time I look at my bank account I wonder, how long will I be able to do this without dipping into savings? Lord, I need you to move on my behalf. I'm begging you to move. I'm begging for you to break through. Right now I am looking at a piece of paper with lots of names and times. People want me to nanny for them. I like nannying. They say it's a gift to enjoy being around children. If this is where you want me, why aren't you blessing this? Why are these times not lining up? Why does everybody need me on Tuesday and Thursday and nobody needs me on Monday and Wednesday? Am I supposed to be a nanny when I move to Birmingham?

Lord, right here and now, I'm giving you this paper. Figuratively and literally. I've written everything I know, but I'm surrendering what I know to what you know. You know me. You made me. You know I like to be in control, but I can't do this anymore. I am running myself ragged trying to force these things to work. So, I'm doing what I should have done a long time's YOURS. All of it. Take it. Fill the holes or bring something else.

All of my desires are from you. You know what they are. You know I love children, teenage girls, college aged girls. You know I want to be able to make a difference in peoples' lives. So, just as you have given me the desires, I give them back to you knowing that in your perfect time you will return to me with a job that uses those desires for Your glory.

July 10, I received an email. Here's a little bit of what it said...

I was wondering if any names came to mind who are looking for a sales job based in the state of Alabama. We are looking for an Account Manager position that would be based in Birmingham, Auburn or Tuscaloosa. Can you let me know if anyone comes to mind who is proactive, organized and would do well in a sales / marketing position. I can email you or someone else more detailed information.

This email came from a gentleman at a company that has offered me a job a few times before. Each time that the job has been offered, I have thought...I would LOVE this job. This job is ME...but the timing isn't right. As I read through his email, I couldn't help but this is? After all this time, all this this it, Lord? Is this the job you have for me? It couldn't be...this is a job that I've wanted for a long time. Can this really be happening? Is this really part of Your plan?? It would give me the flexibility that I need to be able to work with a growing ministry and would give me the opportunity to work with college-aged girls...sorority girls to be exact...and that makes me exceedingly happy.

Things progressed pretty quickly after that email. I visited with a few of the other girls that hold this job in different parts of the Southeast and then this past Tuesday, I made the drive over to the headquarters in South Carolina to meet with a few other people. Things couldn't have gone better and I should know something by the first part of next week.

Well, now you're caught up. You heard it all. What do you think? Doesn't the "back story" make it even better?

Oh, Lord. Forgive me for ever doubting that you would come through for me. Thank you for remaining faithful even when I was anything but. When I prayed 18 months ago for big faith, I never thought it would look like this...but, I am thankful for this journey. I am thankful for the days that I was confused, for it was during those that I realized how important it is to lean into the only thing that isn't confusing...YOU.

The New Place

Just a few shots of the new house. Sorry the lighting isn't really that good.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Moving Day

I've known for months that I was going to be moving to Birmingham. I've had July 18 circled on my calendar for months, but at the day got closer and closer the anxiety began to arise.

I had decided that in order to save money I would just rent a moving van and drive it over myself. Did you get that. I...the person who didn't even want to drive when she turned 16...would drive a moving van. Not just any moving van, might I add...a 16 FOOT MOVING VAN!! AHHH!!!

Sweet Katie gladly offered to take me to the rental place so that I wouldn't have to ride Marta. That was an adventure in itself. But we got there...and then I walked into the building. As they asked me if I wanted the insurance...ummm...YES and gave me the papers to inital and sign, I just kept thinking...I can't believe they are going to let me drive this thing. This thing was 16 feet, people...we're talking about half of a school bus!!!

It was great to have Katie there. She gave me a great pep talk...and she took some pictures. Probably won't be putting these in frames, but they will be good for the albums.

Somehow, I managed to get the van to my house and backed in. Answer to prayer. I was actually quite impresed with myself. My friendly neighbor Willie showed up at 4:00 on Friday afternoon to help me load the van. Another prayer answered...Willie was STRONG. He hoisted my dresser on his back and carried it outside like a kindergartner carrying a backpack.

I worried that night that I was going to wake up the next morning to an empty moving van, but I woke up on Saturday to see that everything was still in place. Yet another answered prayer.

I made it to Birmingham in pretty good time considering I was driving 60-65 mph. Did you know those big things don't have cruise control? I didn't like that one bit. Cruise and I are good friends.

I pulled up to the house and mom was already there. We started unloading all of the little stuff and geting all of it organized and then our helpful, strong and handy friends showed up to finish things up. Natalie, Scott, Austin and Dan were moving champs. They moved all of the big stuff and put up a ceiling fan in my room in record time. I'm so excited about having some guys that know how to do things near me!

The only thing left to do was fill up the van with gas and then take the van back. Yes, I had managed to back it into my driveway and drive it a hundred miles, but I wasn't too confident in my abilities to pull it into a gas station. Thankfully, Scott was confident in his abilities so he took care of that task for me.

While the helpers left to gas up and turn in the van, Mom and I stayed until it got dark organizing...only stopping for about 30 mintues to get some bed risers and lupper (that's what we call it when you eat lunch and supper in one meal) at Zoes.

We made the drive back to Atlanta that night and immediately crashed on the pallets that we had made. I'm roughing it for these last two weeks. It's kinda like camping, only you are living in a house with power. I don't really like it, but it will be over soon enough. stuff is gone. Now, I'm just waiting on the day to come for me to move my body. It's supposed to be happening July 31, but something has happened on the job front that may postpone that about a week. Either way, the big move is behind me and soon I will be living life in emotions are all over the place, but overall I am super excited!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Altar of Gratitude: Buckhead Church

When I was a senior in high school preparing to go off to college, I received a lot of advice. Most of it was quite good.

One thing that I remember hearing often was. The minute you get there, start looking for a church. It will be invaluable.

It was great advice then and it proved true two years ago after I finished college.

From the moment I walked into Buckhead Church two years ago, I was impressed. The music was not just music. It was full out worship. The speaking was not just preaching the Bible, it was practical teaching of the Bible. My hunger for His Word grew by leaps and bounds and I found myself not only learning but being able to apply and recall what I had heard and read.

I remember vividly the first Andy Stanley message that I heard. Destinations. I soaked up that four part series. I purchased it for friends. I listen to it quarterly. It was a life-changer for me.

I have one Sunday left as a regular attender of Buckhead Church. Just as the first series was one I will never forget, I know this last one...The Waiting Room...will be listened to time and time again as well. It couldn't have come at a more perfect time. Last week as I sat and listened to Jeff Henderson speak, I think I was probably nodding my head 95% of the time.

I don't want to tell you everything he said...I would much rather you listen to him say it, but I will say that this week I'm doing a few things.

I'm creating altars of gratitude and realizing that I have quite a few. I'm persistently praying and I'm surrendering because I know that during this time of transition, God is not leaving me...He is LEADING me.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Going Away Giveaways

In less than two weeks I will officially be a Birmingham resident. As Moving Day has gotten closer and closer, I have found myself doing a lot of thinking.

So much has changed in my life since I've been in Atlanta. If you ask me, so much of it has changed for the better. I'm not perfect by ANY means...I have quite a few things that I struggle with, but God has been faithful. I wouldn't trade these past two years for anything.

As a little tribute to Atlanta, I have decided to do something special. Every day next week, I am going to be giving away something on my blog. Each day there will be something different. Each giveaway has a meaning and each day I will explain why I chose that particular item for my one of my readers to win.

All you have to do to enter is comment on the blog. So, brush up on your commenting skills and get ready. The things I will share with you shaped, molded and impacted my life...and I have a feeling they can do the same for you.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Once an Employee...

I don't know many people that have left The Chick, but I'm pretty sure that of the ones I know they would all say "Once a Chick-fil-A-er, always a Chick-fil-A-er."

This doesn't necessarily mean that they have to accept me as one of their own, though thankfully they do. What it does mean is that I will always stand behind the company. I am a Raving Fan for life. I love Chick-fil-A, and I love sharing my love of the company with others.

The food is delicious, the service is superior and they way they support the local community is something no other company has seemed to figure out.

Tomorrow is the second Friday in July. In Chick-fil-A world, we refer to it as Cow Appreciation Day.

As a former employee, I can't let the opportunity pass to encourage you to go to Chick-fil-A tomorrow...and if you want free food, like me, dress up like a cow. Not creative? Need ideas? No worries. Some incredibly creative people have created a starter kit for you. All you have to do is print, cut and wear. Come's easy, fun and YOU GET FREE FOOD!!!

So, pull out your To Do list for tomorrow and add the following:

  • Dress-up like a cow
  • Tell everybody I know how to get FREE FOOD

***Pretty certain that I'm suposed to have a legal line attached to this photo. Hope my friends in Marketing and Legal will forgive me for not remembering the exact wording. If I did, in fact, remember it, this is where it would go.***

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Love or Fear

My friend Caroline is a nurse. A night nurse to be exact. Sure, it means that it is a little difficult to align our schedules for chats, but it also means that whenever she is working I will be greeted with some goodness that is her facebook status when I wake in the morning. Sometimes it's a quote. Sometimes it's a verse. Sometimes it's a thought. Always it is refreshing. Always I count my blessings that I have her in my life.

I woke up this past Sunday to see that her status had been updated with a Henri Nowen quote. I knew the status would be a good one. Upon reading it, I immediately related to it, jotted it down and haven't been able to get it out of my mind since.

To wait open-endedly is an enormously radical attitude toward life. So is it to trust that something will happen to us far beyond our imaginings. So, too, is giving up control over our future and letting God define our life, trusting that God molds us according to HIS love and NOT according to our fear. -Henri Nowen

That is the place that I am in. At this point in my life, I am in a season of open-ended waiting. I am being forced to trust. I am making the not always easy choice to give up control of my future and allowing God to mold me. So, on the days that I feel like giving into the fear and taking over the know, the days like today...I will pull out the index card with this little quote...reread it...and choose to give God free reign to mold me according to His love.

Monday, July 6, 2009

True Confessions of a Soon-to-be-Jobless Twenty-Something

At the end of the month...THIS MONTH...I will be moving. I can't believe it is almost here. No more living with half of my stuff in Georgia and the other half in Alabama. My belongings will all be in Alabama. My body will be in Alabama. It will be time to begin the next chapter of my life.

I have the best friends in the world. These friends know that I don't always handle chance well, so they have been doing their part to help me out. These sweet friends ask frequently how I'm doing with the upcoming move and how they can pray for me. Without batting an eye, I answer that I am doing well. I tell them that I'm not the least worried about the fact that I don't have a job because I know that God will provide.

Now it is time for the true confessions...

Even though I answer that I am not worried that I don't have a job because I know God will provide, I am worried. Deep down I know that He will provide, but I still worry. I worry because it seems the closer and closer I get to the next chapter, the more and more fuzzy it becomes. As of August 1, I will be without a source of income. Yesterday I took those worries that I have been feeling and took them to God. Something I should have done a long time ago. It was no surprise that He met me right where I was. I'm not going to lie...this is a true confessions post...I'm still a little worried, but I feel much better. In fact, I feel even better today than I did yesterday. Just this morning I was studying in 1 Timothy 6 and was reminded of the instructions that Paul gave to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, fight the good put his hope not in riches, but in God, because God will provide him with everything he needs.

Today I am choosing to pursue...choosing to fight...choosing to put my faith in God, because I know he will provide everything I need. Maybe not everything I want...but everything I need.