Monday, January 30, 2012

The Perfect Break

On December 13, I finished my last final of my first semester of Divinity School. I packed up my things and left the building that I had spent so many hours of the previous 16 weeks and haven’t been back since.  Well, after 7 weeks of a much needed break, the time has come to load my backpack up with books and my body up with coffee.  While the break has not been void of all things school…I’ve read and outlined the New Testament and have tried to get ahead for my Greek and Reformation classes, for the most part I have used the time to reflect and refresh, and it has been so good.

I wish I had done a better job of describing the moments as they happened, because there really have been some incredible ones.  For those of you that know me well, you won’t be surprised to know that many of my favorite memories involve high-schoolers.  I know it’s probably weird to some most, but for whatever reason, that’s just how God wired me.  I’ve loved being able to immerse myself in their worlds over the break.  There were birthday parties and basketball games, a trip to Atlanta for Passion and a fancy ball, more basketball games, Disciple Now with the church, and then lots of walks, spend the night parties, lunches and coffee dates thrown in the mix.  I was reminded with each activity and conversation that God has me in school for a reason…and they are it.  While it can be difficult at times…or pretty much all the time…in the end, I will come away better equipped to teach the next generation…and that is exactly what I want.

Sorry for the picture overload…that’s what happens when I don’t really document much.




My fabulous cousin, Allison, turned the big 1-8.  Her friends wanted to throw her a party, so she asked that it be a lumberjack theme.  By far, one of the most fun parties I have ever attended. 







Got to take this fun group of girls to Atlanta for Passion.  Such a blessing!!


One of these days, I’m gong to figure out how many Disciple Now weekends I have participated in over the years.  While I don’t know the exact number off hand, I do know it’s in the double digits..and this group of seniors is as good as it gets.  Thankful every day that God saw fit for my first “group” of Dawson students to be these kids.  Love them oh so much!








Nothing like seeing my sweet girls all dressed up to get the tears flowing. This senior year has been so fun, I think we should just delay college and do it all over again next year!!



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Road to 14


I spent the past few days in New Orleans.  To say I had a wonderful time would be an understatement.  While I have been to New Orleans many times in the past, this trip was no ordinary trip.  Instead of going to shop on Magazine and Royal streets and eat the yummy beignets from Café Du Monde…though I did all of those things…I went to cheer my team as they competed for their 14th National Title in College Football. 

The days were filled with lots of walking, shopping and yummy meals, and of course the game…but the best part was by far the time spent with family.  There were so many times over the course of the trip that I thought to myself “I am so blessed.”  Whether I was sitting amongst family and friends eating late night beignets or cheering amongst family and fans in support of the Alabama Crimson Tide, I got to experience something this week that many can only dream to experience.  The thing is, I got to experience it not because of who I am…but because of whose I am.  I got to experience so many wonderful things because I am blessed with grandparents, parents and aunts and uncles that take great delight in showering me with goodness.  They were the perfect reminder of how Jesus delights in showering his children with gifts.  With each thing that I undeservingly was given…nice meals, souvenirs, game ticket…I was reminded how much God truly loves us. 

Bet you weren’t thinking you were going to get a “God analogy” in the football post, huh?  Probably not…but it’s so true. 

So, thanks for the undeserved blessings, family…and thanks for the win, Bama!


January 2012—All smiles with my Mom after the big win.  ROLL TIDE!!  14th Title


January 2010—Celebrating the 13th National Championship in Pasadena.  13th Title

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January 1993—In New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl for my first National Championship experience.  12th Title

I’ve been through enough great Alabama seasons and not so great ones (AKA…college) to know that life doesn’t revolve around football. Whether we had won the game or lost it, the sun still would have shown the next day…but I sure do love it when we are doing winning!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Fall Recap

Before my most recent post, it seemed that I settled in for a long fall nap.  While I wasn’t blogging…I was most certainly not just sitting around doing nothing. 

The remainder of October and the months of November and December were jam packed for me.  Most of the time was spent with my head in books.  I found my little spot in the school library…and when they kicked me out of there, I found that the Waffle House was a suitable substitute for late night studying. 

I most certainly never perfected a balance among school, my family, my friends and daily tasks…but I did find a little time to just relax and have a good time.  Here are some pictures of some of the highlights.  Maybe I’ll be better in 2012 at actually blogging as the memories happen…but I’m not making any promises. 


I spent many a Saturday in Tuscaloosa cheering on my favorite team…and got fabulous seats at many a game thanks to this sweet friend and her family!


I loved every minute of the MBHS fall show…especially since I got to watch one of my favorites perform.



I spent every Friday night cheering on the Mountain Brook Spartans…and definitely cried like I had actually attended the school when they beat Hoover. 


My roommate and I had our Sunday School class over for a Halloween pumpkin carving party extravaganza. 


I missed my first class ever so that I could see these sweet senior girls in their final homecoming pep rally and parade.  Totally worth it.  I’m currently in denial that they are going to be graduating and leaving me in a few months.


I attempted to throw my roommate a birthday party on Halloween night.  Seeing that she is Ms. Martha Stewart…it paled in comparison to any party she would throw, but we still had fun.


We had a visit from these sweet kids that we baby-sit for…by far our favorite trick or treaters! 


I attended more Alabama football games with friends


I celebrated my cousin’s 18th birthday…Lumberjack theme, anyone?!?!


I was reunited with two of my all-time favorite families in Atlanta.

It was a full fall.  I finished my first semester of Divinity School…sometimes fighting with the Lord…but I did it.  I found a way to juggle full-time school and practically full-time work. I was fed spiritually by some of the best Sunday School teachers I have ever had.  I focused lots of my free time on my sweet high school senior girls and though it meant lots of things had to fall to the wayside, I know it was worth it.  I formed new friendships…and rekindled some old ones that I had missed so much.

Through it all…God was faithful.

Friday, January 6, 2012

God is Faithful

Earlier this week, I took a group of girls from Birmingham to Atlanta for Passion.  I had been looking forward to it and praying over the time we would have there for months. After attending Passion previously, I expected God to show up in big ways.  He most certainly did.  What I didn't expect was what happened on the drive over.  

We were driving along...laughing lots and singing at the top of our lungs...and then we topped the hill and I caught my first view of the Atlanta skyline.  My throat tightened up and my eyes welled with tears.  In my two years of living in Atlanta, I had made the drive from Birmingham more times than I could count.  Since I've moved, I've made the drive a handful of times each year.  Yes, I have gotten teary before...but this was different.  

When I left Atlanta in 2009, I cried almost the entire way to Birmingham.  Atlanta was so good to me.  The people especially.  I had friends that loved me for me.  Bosses and coworkers that wanted nothing more than to help me grow as a person.  Families and children that I loved and that loved me back.  High school girls that I connected with.  A pastor that had helped me grow in my spiritual walk more than any other pastor had before.  Atlanta had been so good...I didn't want to leave.  I knew Birmingham couldn't be anything like it.  

I was reminded of all of that as I drove a car load full of high school senior girls from Birmingham into my home of Atlanta.  God is faithful.  He knew my heart.  He knew my longings.  He knew that as wonderful as Atlanta was for me, Birmingham could be even better.  In Birmingham, I have been blessed with yet another wonderful roommate that loves me for me, holds me accountable and encourages me to have fun.  In Birmingham, the list of families that have welcomed me into their home with open arms seems to lengthen with each passing year.  In Birmingham, I have been blessed with a group of high school girls that would blow you away.  I'm currently in the state of denial that they are graduating in May and moving away.  In Birmingham, I have found a church that I can grow in, fellowship in and serve in.  

His plans may not always be my plans...but I can always trust his plans.  I can do that because I know without a doubt, when I'm dreaming big dreams...He is dreaming bigger ones.  God is faithful.  Even in the smallest of things.  I'm so thankful for that.