Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My last day of PR.

Today is the very last day that I ever have to to anything PR related at the University of Tennessee. We turned in our 70 something page book last week and we have our presentation to the client this afternoon. I cannot tell you how excited I am to finally be done with PR.

Part of me thinks that I should try to stay in PR and get a PR job and be a professional, but the other part of me just wants to change the world.

Good thing about today though is that I feel super grown up and professional in my business skirt and button down shirt. I'll post pictures of my group later so you can see all of us in our business-y attire.

Tonight after our presentation we are going to eat mexican and hang out in a non-school related setting. I'm so excited about that because we haven't been able to hang out with each other except for working on the project.

Other good news: I'm going home TOMORROW morning! I get to leave around 10 am. I am so excited to see my family and hang out with my friends that I don't get to see very often. I'm so stoked about it!

Today is my relaxation day so I'll blog more over Thanksgiving break! Have a safe Thanksgiving everyone!

>K

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why, oh why did I decide Public Relations?

Today, our huge project was supposed to be due. Of course, the teacher decided to push back the due date, so now it is due on Thursday. I almost wish it would have been over today. I'm so tired of public relations, and especially this project.

Today we had to go to class to take our senior exit exam. That was a little scary knowing that was the last PR test I will EVER have to take. I'm super excited though because After next Tuesday I will be completely done with public relations FOREVER.

This class is called campaigns (or pr 470). Basically, the teacher picks a client, and a team of six creates an entire campaign. Most of the campaigns are awareness or fundraising campaigns.

Our client is Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic in Blount County. Sounds like a blast, right? When she announced that this would be our client, I freaked out a little bit because I had never even heard of them. Turns out, they are a non-profit organization that records books for children with reading disabilities.

Our campaign focuses on the fact that no one knows about them, and they have no money. As you can imagine, creating a campaign that is cost-effective but tells everyone about them is a little ridiculous and very hard to do. So I've spent this entire semester along with 5 girls trying to figure out how to make this work. It hasn't been easy, but I think we did a pretty good job. We are having it printed tomorrow and we will turn it in on Thursday morning. Our presentation to the client is next Tuesday, then I'm done! Praise the Lord!

I did get a little break from it the other day. I went home to Nashville last weekend to visit my family. I had not seen my dad is around 2 months, so it was really great to be able to hang out with them. We went to the Titans game on Sunday, and it reminded me of when I was a little girl and how I always loved going to the games with him. I got to see Brittany too, my best friend EVER. We went and drank some Starbucks coffee (except she had apple spice and I had hot chocolate hehe) and we sat and talked for a few hours. I am so proud of her because she was telling me how she was struggling, but also how she was facing those struggles. She's such a strong girl, and she definitely helped me with some of the things I was going through. She is so wise to be so young, but she's absolutely amazing and I love her to death. Here's a picture of us in St. Louis spring break.



We were pretending to be bears.

I also started knitting again! This time, I think I'm going to give all my scarves that I knit to homeless people. Good stress reliever and turning it around to do something good.

I hope all of you have a wonderful day, and remember to count your blessings this month (and all the time :)

Peace out!

>K

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sleepy Day!

I am having such a sleepy day! I cannot seem to wake up, even after a whole cup of tea! I did get a nice little surprise this morning though. Lil Wayne totally gave Lane Kiffin, aka lil lane, another shout-out on this video he made.

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/2467359

It's pretty funny. He talks about Lane around the 15 minute mark. Just a little gift to the few of you that read this :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Haitian Paradise!

I cannot even begin to explain how amazing Haiti was. I'm going to try to recall everything that went on because it was such an awesome experience!

On Wednesday morning, very early, we woke up and went to the airport and boarded a plane to Atlanta. We arrived safely in Atlanta, and I even got to fly first class! Lots of pretzels and SunChips! So we land in Atlanta and immediately board the plane to Miami. We spent the night in Miami because we wouldn't have been able to make an earlier flight to Haiti. It was also Michelle's birthday, so we rented a convertible and drove around Miami and went into South Beach and walked up and down the strip. It was really fun, even though I was really tired for some reason.
The next morning we woke up and went to the airport and got on the plane to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. As soon as we landed we headed outside and tons of men in red caps came barreling towards us speaking a language that I thoroughly did not understand. We met with pastor Jude, and his wife, pastor Joenemed, and a few other people. We had to rent a car, so we stood outside in the 100 degree weather until we got the car. While we were waiting, I got to play with Pastor Jude's grandson, Isaiah, who is the CUTEST little boy ever! This is him.
When we got the car, we found out that one of the tires was bad so we had to go to the Avis office and get the tire changed. Being the nice woman she is, Pastor Jude's wife, Yanick let me sit in the front seat. Bad idea. They drive like CRAZY in Haiti. There are no traffic rules, you just go and honk your horn and hope you don't anymore. Those of you that know me know that I have a weak stomach, so I was having to keep it all in. Once we got the car fixed, we went to the grocery and it was really exciting. It was just like being back in America. We bought a few things for the hotel, but I of course always pack a ton of food with me because I don't want to starve, being the picky eater that I am! After the grocery, we went to the Karibe, which is this amazing hotel. It's kind of sad because the hotel is so nice, and you step out on the front porch and remember the poverty and destruction of the country. For some reason, I was more tired than I've ever been in my life. We had planned on taking a short nap before getting up for dinner. We checked into the hotel around 3:20, and by 3:30 I was crawled in the bed asleep. Michelle came in around 7:30 and asked me if I wanted to eat some dinner, but I was so tired that I just wanted to stay in bed. I ended up sleeping until 8 o'clock the next morning. Unfortunately, this was a common theme among the week, but I tried to stay strong and remember what I was there to do. We woke up Friday morning and ate breakfast at our wonderful hotel, then headed out for the day. Pastor Jude and Yanick came to our hotel and we went to this place run by American missionaries to see if they were available to house the group that was going down the next week. It was a beautiful place, and it ended up working out great for the group the next week.

After we went to that place we went to a baby orphanage. It was a 5 story building with a playground on the roof. They had so many young children, and we didn't get to stay for long but here a few pictures of some of the kids we saw.

This is the playground on the roof
Sweet child



He cried the whole time

After we left the orphanage we drove around the streets and it really made me realize how much need this country is in. Here a few pictures of what goes on in the streets of Haiti.
This is a dip on the side of the road where water should be flowing through, but it's completely filled with trash.
These trucks are called tap-taps. They are like taxi's but they pile as many people in there as they can to take them where they need to go. They drive like crazy and you have to honk to let them know you are right beside them so they don't run over you! It's so scary!
This is where my days get completely mixed up. I remember everything that happened but I have no idea as to what order they happened in. Haha.

One night we went out to eat in a Haitian restaurant with Greg's friend, Anne McDonald. She's an awesome young lady. She works at Gheskio, which is the first medical center in the world exclusively dedicated to the fight against HIV/AIDS. She has been all over the world, but has been living in Haiti for a few months. Her story is awesome, and she gives all the glory to God.

One morning we met with Joan, who works with the Restavek Foundation. There are 300,000 children in Haiti living as Restevek, which is a child slave. Joan and her husband talked to us about what they do, and it was very powerful. This quote from the Web site sums up the Restevek Foundation and what they exist to do.

"The Restavek Foundation exists to bring an end to child slavery in Haiti. We're here because we believe that a broken system can be fixed. We believe that education and love will replace the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse that comes from ignorance. And we believe that if we give these children a voice, we can give them hope for a better future."

While we were there, we also went to an orphanage that was far away, up a mountain, and down some pretty rough roads. We even saw a pay phone hanging on a tree! I wish I could find the picture of it, but its no where to be found. Bobby runs the orphanage and he houses 15 kids ranging in age. They are so adorable. They loved having their picture taken! Here's a few of those sweet sweet children!

My favorite little girl ever! I want to adopt her SO bad. She is precious.
This is her brother. He's funny too. He was playing with a little truck and he accidently knocked the wheels off of it, and when I put them back on he was so excited. Talk about super cute. I'll adopt him too.
For some reason this little boy loved having this sticker on his head. He was hilarious and was trying to put it on my head! He was super sweet!
This little girl loved having her picture taken too. I would love to adopt her too.

The last place we went was in the middle of the dessert. For real... We went up a mountain on these bumpy roads, then drove on sandy gravel for about 20 minutes before we reached this village. We pulled up and there were only a few people out. All of the sudden, a ton of people came running out. We were SURROUNDED by tons of little children. They live amongst cactus and things that can rip your skin apart. I got scraped by a couple of these things, but they are so accustomed to it that they have no idea that they are living in these conditions. No one ever visits them, they have no running water, barely any food, and struggle to stay alive. Most of them were naked and without shoes. It was probably the most powerful thing I've ever seen in my life. I literally wanted to pitch a tent and stay right there and tell them of the Savior's love and everything that He is and that if they drink of His living water they will never thirst again. But sadly, we had to leave. My heart is still in that village, and one day, I will be there. I was flipping through my pictures and you can just see the sorrow on their faces. I wish I was there right now. My friend just came in and was talking to me and I couldn't help but smile while I was talking because I'm writing this blog and remembering all the awesome times I had there. Hopefully he doesn't think I'm too weird. Haha. I just know that my heart is with them, and one day I will be with them too. Here's a bunch of pictures from that village that warm my heart every time I see them.
They have no shoes, so their feet are often dirty and scarred.
These three faces tell so many stories of what these girls have gone through.
This little boy is SO cute! He was standing on the side and was never noticed, but he caught my eye. What I wouldn't give to take him home!
I love this because it really shows the sadness this little girl has.

I love this picture. This little girl just wants attention and to be loved.
The girl in the red LOVED having her picture taken. Model in training?
We were walking down this rocky and cactus-y path with all the kids.
This is no where near the whole group, but it was impossible to get all of them in one shot.

Sunday morning we went to an English speaking church, and let me tell you, it was some awesome worship. The Haitian girls sitting behind us were singing their hearts out to the Lord, and His presence was definitely among us. It was actually Anne's church, who I talked about earlier. It was really really great. We then went to Pastor Jude and Yanick's house to eat a traditional Haitian meal, and for those of you who know me, know that it was a bit of a struggle. We had goat, 3 types of fried vegetables, rice, salad, macaroni and cheese, pasta salad, and some other Haitian coleslaw type dish. Sooooo it was definitely a struggle. I didn't want to be rude so I had lots of rice, some macaroni and cheese, and pasta salad. The rice and macaroni and cheese were extremely spicy! I ate as much as I could, but it was definitely hard to keep eating. I don't normally eat any types of pasta salad, so that was a little nerve racking to eat, but I got it all down. Sunday night we just stayed and relaxed down at the hotel bar and learned some Creole from some of the waiter's. I'm pretty much a pro now. Ha! I did pick up the language pretty quickly, so I think I could definitely adjust to a longer stay there.

I'm sure I've left out so much of our stay in Haiti. I learned so much about my self, and I've never questioned myself so much in my life. Those kids that I met and played with broke my heart. I want them to feel LOVE, real love. I can't help but be sad to think about how they live, and how I live my life. I don't always do the things I need to do. But, I'm living my life for the Lord, and following where he leads me.

So where do I go now?

I've been praying and meditating and be still and quiet, and honestly, I can't say that I know. What I would love to do is this: In May, when I graduate from the University of Tennessee, I would love to spend some time in the States in cities like Seattle, Chicago, Portland, and a few others doing ministry work and preparing myself for what could come next. I would then like to spend some time out of the states, not permanently though. I want to go to the Philippines for sure, Uganda, Chile, Belize, and China. Who knows though. I just want to follow wherever the Lord leads me.

I'm definitely having to learn about obedience right now. It's a hard lesson to learn, but I'm doing everything I can to listen to the Lord and do His work. I know He has big plans for me. I'm going to leave this blog with some awesome pictures of Haiti. I'll write again soon!
This is the road to the dessert village.
I love the mountains in the background. God is so good.
This is the beach. They have the beach, dessert, and mountains in Haiti.
This is on the plane to Haiti. Me, Michelle, Greg
Precious Moses!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Blahhhh

So this has been a super rough couple of weeks. I'm finally at my breaking point where I need to just go sleep for a few days and then I'll be ok, but of course, with my hectic schedule, that will not happen.

Last week, my situation analysis was do in my very last PR class. It was pretty much a 7 page analysis of a company that I had never heard of. No outline, no instruction. Just had to do it. Hopefully, I did ok and got a good grade. It's hard to focus on what "real life PR" looks like, because all I really want to do is move the the Philippines.

Also, one of my very good friends, Emmanuel, collapsed and his heart stopped last week. Those of you that know me, know that I value my relationships and don't deal well with my friends being hurt or sick, so of course that has been on my mind. He is going to be ok, thank the Lord. I've only gotten to see him twice since it happened, and his spirits have seemed low, but I am thanking the Lord that he is even alive!



This is Emmanuel after the library rave last semester.

This week has been soooooo stressful. I have had 3 tests and 1 quiz, all by Wednesday! I don't know what is wrong with me because I usually have anxiety and don't sleep before a big test, but lately all I have been doing is sleeping! My body is shutting down and I'm exhausted, but I took the last test today, so I am done for the week.

BUT! I found out today that I have ANOTHER test Monday! Geez. I don't think it ever ends. I'm just too excited for fall break!

It's seven more days until I am on a plane and off to Haiti, and I CANNOT wait! I talked to my mom yesterday and she said that she is going to come up on Monday to help me pack and wish me a good trip before I actually leave. I know that missions is something I will be doing for a long long time, and I'm excited to get a little taste of it for fall break!

I'm also teaching tonight at Church of the Cove, which I am super excited about. I am going to be talking about relationships and why it is important to have uplifting people in your life, and to rid the bad in your life. Hopefully the Lord will use me.

We play Georgia this weekend, which I'm super pumped about! I'll be adding pictures from previous games as soon as I find that pesky little camera cord :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sleepy Days

For some reason, I have been so tired lately. It's probably because I haven't slept much in the past week, but hopefully that will change soon. I have 3 midterms next week, but I'm going to try to study all weekend so that I don't freak out the day before.

I really want to go home and crawl in my snuggie and be lazy tonight, but of course, I cannot. I somehow got roped into playing slow pitch softball tonight. Don't get me wrong, I'm semi-athletic, but I have never hit a ball before in my life, so this should be pretty interesting. For some reason, I think it is going to be more of a laugh-fest than anything. Hopefully I won't make a complete fool out of myself!

Something really cool happened last night. I was looking through my mail and I got something from my old apartment complex. I thought it was going to be a bill for something so I was hesitant opening it. Finds out, it is a 368 dollar check from them! I'm not entirely sure why either. I didn't overpay my rent, so I'm a little confused, but super excited!

I've been stressing out a lot lately about going to Haiti, and having the money to pay for it. Since my parents don't want me to go, I am responsible for coming up with 800 dollars so that I can go. This money is just a blessing from the Lord, and I am so happy to see him provide even when I'm doubting. Needless to say, it has really lifted my spirits about this trip, and lets me know that this trip will be the Lord's.

Thats really all for now because I must study for these 3 tests. Grace and peace!

>K

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Changing the World

As most of you know, my motto in life, or my goal; whatever you want to call it is that I want to CHANGE the world! I'm getting a very special opportunity to start changing the world this fall break.

I'M GOING TO HAITI!!!

If you can't tell, I'm a LITTLE excited. Greg, Michelle and I will be going down and visiting some orphanages and really just seeing Haiti and talking to people. I absolutely cannot wait to get down there! I won't be updating a ton until then because I'm trying to get prepared to go, but I will do my best!

I know the Lord has called me to do this and I know that it can definitely turn into something long term, so I'm praying about where I am going and what I will do when I graduate in May.

As most of you also know, I have a slight obsession with the Philippines. Two days ago, a lot of the Philippines became submerged under water and a lot of people have lost their lives. It hurts my heart, and I am with those people in spirit and will be praying hard-core for them!

I'll update soon!

>K

Friday, September 18, 2009

M-Fuge! Finally :)

So I know that I've mentioned M-Fuge in a couple of my blogs recently, but this one is actually about it! Finally! So if you haven't figured it out, I went to M-fuge with my "husband" from Super Summer and his church. Let me just set the scene: I know 3 people that are going to this camp. Can you say scary? I was! So I drive from Nashville on a Sunday afternoon to go to Greg's church and meet everyone that will be going on the trip.

Those who know me well know that I am not shy at all. But this day, I went in a little shell and didn't come back out for a while. I was so nervous and scared. I knew that we were leaving at like 4 in the morning and I was already tired, so I tried to go to bed pretty early, but of course that didn't really work. So I slept for a little while on the bus on the way there, but also tried to talk to some people and learn more about them so that the week would be great and people wouldn't think I was TOTALLY weird.

So we get down there and do our registration and get things ready and mark what thing we wanted to do. The options were social (nursing homes and things like that), drama or something like it, games and recreation, children's ministry, pcy (yard work, construction, and painting - I think). Naturally, I put games and rec as number one, children's as number 2 and I think social as number 3. I really wanted to be put in games and rec, but ended up being put into childrens.

At first I was super bummed, but when I got to meet our group leader and the other people in my group I was really excited. We were going to be working at this place called Light of the Village. I have worked with inner-city kids before, so you know that I was super pumped. We got there the first day and I automatically fell in love. The kids were super rough, but it was amazing to see that they actually came and were learning about Jesus, and how to stay off the streets. Another amazing thing was that 2 guys from an organization called Homeboy Industries were there. They would talk to the kids about what it was like to be in a gang and how Christ transformed their lives and they are now living for him and helping other people that are on the streets turn their life around. The kids really loved these guys because they could relate to them. I played a lot of basketball with the kids, and made crafts, and helped the super little kids with their Bible story of the day. I met some really awesome kids and I pray that they stay off the streets and really cling to the Word of God. I hope that I can go back there some day and minister to those kids some more.

My roommate was Greg's wife, Michelle. I had just met her the day before we left for the trip, and she was super sweet. I was excited about rooming with her, and it was definitely a blast. We totally got in trouble by some of the other church groups for being too loud. Oooopsieee! We also had a lot of great talks and she was really there for me when I was struggling. Sometimes it hard to be in a leadership position, and be expected to be perfect all the time. I have faults too, and she definitely helped me get over that and realize that I am just a girl and I will make mistakes, but its what I make of those mistakes that determines who I really am.

One really bad thing about M-Fuge was the food. It was absolutely disgusting. That may also be because I am one of the pickiest eaters in the whole world. We ordered pizza's a couple of nights because a lot of us girls were super hungry. I got some of the food down, but it was definitely a struggle. They had the best pie though! I survived on that!

The morning Bible studies that we had were pretty good. It was really really early, so it was hard to focus sometimes, but I liked that there were only about 15 of us and we were all in college. I like small groups a whole lot better than humongous groups. It wasn't the deepest Bible study I have ever been in, but it sufficed.

The morning show was ridiculous of course. I'm never a big fan of those, but this one was alright. I tried to get in to it as much as possible, and it was funny. I enjoyed the time in the morning to grow closer to my team and enjoyed seeing all the campers go wild.

The evening worship was up and down for me. I didn't really enjoy the band that much. Some of the songs were great, but they did a lot of songs that no one had ever heard of, and a lot of them I felt weren't completely Biblical, so it would make me a little agitated, but was overall pretty good. The speaker was pretty good. The only thing that I would get aggravated about with him was his time. You can only usually keep teenagers for about 15 minutes, and he would speak for about 45 to an hour. I could concentrate the whole time, but most of the teenagers would be nodding off or get ADD so it was hard to try to keep everyone focused.

The church group time was good. We usually just talked about what we had done that day and something awesome that God did, or showed us. I was mostly quiet because I wanted to give the kids the time to talk. One night, Greg asked me if I would take the girls by myself with no other adults and just have some time with them. It was my favorite night, of course, but I really got to see them open up and see their hearts. I think that was the night I gained the most trust from the ladies. It's hard to open up to a group when they don't know you, or you don't know them, but I was really glad that they did.

Overall, M-fuge was a lot of fun. I definitely made some awesome new friends, and lots of new experiences. I've definitely opened up a lot more than I normally have to people that I normally wouldn't. I'm so glad I got the privilege to go, and it has only led to me spending more time with those students, which I have absolutely loved. I hope that I can continue to minister to students in some of capacity for the rest of my life. My heart really does have a passion for youth, and this trip helped me realize that even further.

I'm not sure what my next blog will be about, but it will be soon! Promise!

>K

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I know I'm a slacker..


Since Jessie has been mean to me because I haven't written a blog in a while, I figured I would write a short one for now until I have a little more time to write an update on my life. As you can probably guess, I have been super super busy lately. Between work and school and being sick, life has been put on hold so I can focus on more important things.

First important thing that happened... I was attacked with the swine. Cool.. I know. Here is a nasty picture of me with the swine.


I definitely didn't know that I had it, so I went and hung out with some friends. Luckily, none of the people in this picture got sick, but I did accidently get quite a few people sick. Hopefully none of them hate me.

Another important thing that I'll expand on in another blog are the camps that I went to. The first camp I went to was called Super Summer. It was my third summer to do this and it was a lot of fun. Here's a picture of my awesome family.


Aren't they beautiful



This is husband Greg sitting on me

This camp was a lot of fun, and I think that one of the coolest things that came out of this camp was my awesome husband. We found out on the first day that he lived about 45 minutes away from Knoxville and then we ended up being small group leaders together, so it was a lot of fun to get to work with him. On the last day of camp, he asked me if I wanted to go to camp with their church, called M-fuge. I told him that I would absolutely love to, and it was a great decision. I went knowing very few people, but gained a ton of friendships through it. Here is a picture of everyone on the bus.



I had so much fun serving alongside these people and had a lot of fun especially with my roommate that week. Greg's "real wife" Michelle was my roommate for the week, and I'll just add a couple of pictures to show you what went down a couple of nights.




But we also had some good pictures taken too....


But like Super Summer, I am going to write another blog on M-fuge very very soon. After we got back from M-Fuge, I started attending Greg's Church, Church of the Cove.

I've been going there and hanging out with their youth ever since then and I absolutely love it. It's been a lot of fun getting to know everyone there, and there is a lot happening that could influence my future a TON, but I'll talk more about that later :) Always have to keep you guessing!



The other big big thing that happened this summer is that I turned 21! My day was pretty good. I drove all the way to Nashville so that I could spend the day with my family. We went to Kabuto, which is my FAVORITE restaurant in Nashville. In honor of my 21st, I got a drink called the Volcano, which was humungous, and I hardly drank any of it! We shared all of it around the table but it got finished. Here are some pictures from dinner.



So there's just a few of the pictures from my birthday. It was a lot of fun and I'm so glad that my family was there to celebrate with me.


So this past weekend, my dad got the privilege of being on David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, and Huckabee. I am so proud of him and he did an awesome job on all three shows! I also got to go see him play this summer in Pigeon Forge and I took a couple of pictures so I'll share those too!

My dad's name in LIGHTS!

Me and Mom before the show

George and Nancy

My dad singing!

The Man Himself!


So thats pretty much my summer. Now that I'm back in school, all I see are books, teachers, and my desk at work. But I'm making it. I applied to graduate today which is super super exciting so I'm just waiting for that day in May. So as I mentioned before hand, some of my future is up in the air, but big things are happening.


This summer, I was talking to my mentor, Lisa, and I told her that I really just wanted to get involved in a student ministry and I was going to try to help with a church in Knoxville. So after being at the Church of the Cove for a few weeks, Greg asked me if I would be a part of their student ministry and help with their middle school aspect. God truly answered prayer in that. So another thing that I have been worried about is what I am going to do in my future. I had been thinking for a while that I wanted to travel and do missions somewhere. I was talking to Greg about it and he mentioned that he was very involved in ministries in Haiti and India. So God is definitely opening doors and helping to to figure out things. I have such a peace about leaving America to go minister to those who do not know him, whereas before I was freaking out about it. I honestly think that by this time next year, I may be overseas somewhere doing the Lord's work, and that excites me!


Well, it's about time for me to be off work, so that's all for this blog. As soon as I have so more time, I will definitely update with a full update on Super Summer and M-Fuge! Hope you all have a good day :)


>K

Thursday, July 16, 2009

That Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Ever since I was a little girl, I've always dreamed of the perfect guy riding on a white horse will come in and sweep me off my feet. As I get older, I realize that probably will never happen. Not that I think I will never get married, but I realize that my view of relationships has been totally skewed ever since I was a little girl. It's taken a number of failed relationships and talking to a lot of wise people to finally realize what a true relationship for me is going to look like one day. I have also seen a number of middle and high schoolers starting to go through the same things that I went through. I wish that when we were younger, the vision of the perfect man on the perfect white horse with the perfect bouquet of roses... I wish that we were never exposed to that so we wouldn't have that vision once we were older.

So I'm gonna divide this blog into 3 parts: What I've recently learned, what I wish younger people would know, and why I think relationships these days fail.

What I've recently learned:

After dating the wide array of losers that I have, I've realized that patience is the most important thing that a girl can have. Why do we always try to take relationships on ourselves and be the pursuer? We are supposed to be the pursuit! I know from my experiences, I've tried to take my desires into my own hands, and it has only led to destruction. God has to be in charge of all of it. Not me, not the guy, but God. 

I get so impatient wanting Mr. Right to be here now, but thats not God's plan for my life. I've never really been ready for the right guy to come along because I have been catering to my own desires. 

For so many years I knew that no matter what, I was going to end up with this one person. He may not have realized it, but I knew that we would be together no matter what. We spent 7 years being best friends and going on dates, but all of it was for nothing in the end. Although it was a good learning experience, what is the point in wasting your time on someone who isn't man enough to take the reins and make things serious? I should've known years ago that it would never work, but all he had to do was snap his fingers and I was at his beck and call. It took God shaking my head around and me falling to my knees to understand that he wasn't the one for me. All of the sudden, my backup guy that I always knew I was going to be with was no longer a desire of my heart. That was super super super scary to go through. Not knowing who I'm going to spend the rest of my life with is something I've never really worried about. 

I've also realized that it is important to let go of old relationships and not be bitter about anything, or you'll never find the one that truly matters. Right before school let out, I was so mad about how wronged I felt by one person. He broke my heart and never realized it, or apologized for any of it. When I went to Super Summer, I realized I wasn't going to be able to truly minister to anyone or meet any prospects if I was still bitter about it. So I forgave that guy, and then I began to pray for him, which was super hard to do at first, but became easier each time that I prayed. So I let him know that I was praying and he seemed super appreciative.

It's kinda scary letting go of 7 years, and the most recent heartbreak. I started realizing that God is really starting to prepare my heart for a guy that will be my husband one day. I've never been able to let go of the past, but now I'm totally free of everything that once held me captive. God is definitely preparing my heart for something big. Very exciting!

The final thing that I've realized lately is that it's important to not change who you are because of the person you are trying to impress. So often, I catch myself suppressing some of my characteristics because I don't think that a boy would like me for them. I try to be so prim and proper, but thats not really who I am. Not that I can't be prim and proper, but I have a crazy side that loves to be spontaneous and outgoing and just be silly. I've spent so much time trying to be who I thought the person I wanted to be with wanted me to be, but what is the point in doing that? When I get married one day, those crazy characteristics are going to come out and what if he doesn't like them. Then, my marriage is doomed. Might as well go ahead and get them out of the way now instead of waiting until it is too late.

What I Wish Younger People Would Know

It's ok to be single. You don't have to have a boyfriend every minute of every day. Embrace singleness and live to the fullest. Once you are tied down you can't do the same things you were once able to do when you were free. Don't get depressed over a two month relationship. There will be others. Don't date someone you know you won't marry. What's the point? It's a waste of time! 

All the time I hear young people stressing out over whether a boy or girl likes them. Trust me, I was there just a few short years ago. It took me growing up a whole lot, especially spiritually, to realize that most relationships in high school don't last. Some do, and those should be cherished, but most of the relationships we have in high school are because we are lonely and want someone that we can hang out with.

I wish I had known how to be treated. I was walked all over when I was in high school. I allowed boys to boss me around, and I especially allowed my friends to influence how I acted in my relationships. That is the LAST thing you want to do. Be yourself, and if he isn't treating you like a princess, then forget it and move on. It's ok to wait for the one guy that won't walk all over you. It's ok to wait, it just takes patience. Thats a hard lesson, but I wish every young person understood that. I wish I had understood that. It would have led to a lot less heartbreak.

Last thing for now that I wish I had known when I was younger is that it is not our job a women to be the pursuer. We shouldn't have to go to the boy and encourage him to date us. I think the hardest part about relationships is just that. Knowing how to show enough interest so that they know you like them, but not being a pursuer. It's so stinking complicated, and often, guys won't step up and initiate things, causing girls to become the pursuer. Girls must be patient, and guys must step up and tell the girl that he's interested. That way, there are no blurred lines of communication.

Why I Think Relationships Fail
First, I think relationships often fail because they are not Christ centered. I'm totally positive that is why all of my relationships have failed. What I want now in a relationship is someone who will lift me up when I'm feeling discouraged and encourage me in my walk with Christ. I've never had that before which is why I'm still searching for Mr. Right.

I also think that girls being the pursuer is another huge reason. Often, guys are too scared to step up and show a girl that he is interested in dating her, so the girl does all the work. That is not ok! If the relationship starts with the girl taking charge, the relationship is most liking going to continue with the girl being in charge. That is not how God intended it to be! The man is supposed to be the leader, not the woman!

Another reason: boys and girls are scared to commit. We see something that could be potentially great, and we run. I've done it, you've probably done it.. It happens. How do you stop it? In my opinion.. you pray. If it is right, then God will give you the strength to stay and give you the wisdom to know what to do and how to commit. I also think that is why divorce is at such a high rate. We are afraid to commit, so we over commit. When we figure out that it isn't right, we run again. 



There are so many reasons why relationships don't last anymore. Who really knows? These are just the things I've realized and I've seen in my own life. I've finally decided to not worry about it anymore. To be totally in love with God, and know that he is going to provide me with some amazing guy that is absolutely perfect for me and my ministry. I wish that it hadn't taken me so long to figure that out. What's the point in wasting time on people that I'm not going to be spending the rest of my life with? And what's the point in worrying about it? Doesn't it usually happen when we are not looking is when Mr. Right usually comes along. I know thats not scientifically proven or anything, but we shouldn't be blatantly searching for someone. God is going to reveal to us the person that is right for us. Don't mistake me... there will not be some spotlight glowing around that person the second you meet them. It takes knowing them and their relationship with God to truly know if that is the person you will be spending forever with! So don't fret... just be patient :)

My rant is over. Next blog: all about MFuge!


Friday, June 5, 2009

Florida Florida!

So.. What am I doing in Florida? Everyone keeps asking me why I decided to spend the summer pretty much in Florida. So I'm going to answer the burning question.

Ok, so this year was filled with ups and downs in every area of my life. Stress, heartbreak, craziness... you name it and it probably happened to me. So, for the summer I really just needed to get away from the city and the people that constituted most of my unhappiness. So while doing that, I also decided to get a tan! I like to call it mind rehab.

As the year went on, my emotions went really haywire with almost losing two special people in my life, to actually losing someone, to getting my heart broken over and over again. It was just really important for me to refocus my self and remember what is important: my faith, family and friends.

I realized that I made a lot of poor decisions, mostly because of pressure or anxiety and basically not doing what I know is right. That's also probably why I got my heart broken a whole lot. I trusted everyone, which is very unusual for me, and that led to heartbreak.

But I'm now doing better. I have had time to refocus and concentrate myself and get away from the stress and the problems that I face. I know that once I am completely refocused, I will be able to combat the pressure and the stress and be able to focus myself and be the true leader that I know how to be. I'm so thankful for the friends that I do have that help me get through so much in my life. I can't wait to see what the future holds and I can't wait to be detoxed from the stress.

So I've been here in Florida. Resting, relaxing, and focusing my life. It's been a giant success. I find myself growing closer to the Lord and preparing for Super Summer in 2 weeks (which I can't wait for). I've been able to reflect back on the semester and look at each situation and identify whether it is good or bad, and how I can fix it. I know that it will involve letting people in my life go, but I also know it will be better for my sanity.

I'll blog again later about the specifics of what I've been doing, but for now, I'm gonna go watch a movie with my mom. Toodles!

>K

ANDDDD HAPPY BIRTHDAY KRISTA MERKLE.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Whole Month

It's been almost an entire month since my last blog, but since life is calming down, I will have more time to blog. This month has been ridiculously crazy. With school and work, I have barely had time to breathe. This month has really showed me God's grace, and has been helping me grow more in Him. I wish I could remember all the things that have happened this month, but I definitely know I can't remember all of it.

I had finals, which went very well. As soon as my last final was over, I went straight into mini-term. Probably the worst idea I ever had. It was a three week public relations case study analysis class. I had class every day from 9-12, then worked 12-6, then usually went to the library to work with my group from 6-10, and by the time I got home I would be exhausted and go straight to bed. So needless to say, the only people I had interaction with were my group members.

Even though mini-term was terrible, something did come out of it. I didn't have a place to live, or people to live with, and neither did one of my group members, so I will soon be a resident of the Woodlands with my group member Tabatha. I think this will be better than the situation I am in now because we don't really hang out with the same people, so we won't have to worry. Plus, we have a lot of similar views and habits, so it should be good. I think I am most excited that I will have my own bedroom AND bathroom!

What else happened?

Oh yes. The bad part of the month. I had some really heartbreaking issues this month. I had my heart broken by someone I thought cared about me, my friend Addison almost bit the dust, and my friend Austin was murdered. Not such a fun month.

Through getting my heart broken, I have learned that I cannot just give my heart to anyone. I have to make sure that the person is right for me. I get so tangled up in words, and I don't ever step back and think about the consequences. And boy were these big. I found out a lot of new information that made me thankful that I didn't get too involved with that person. I know that God has the perfect person out there for me, and I'm excited for Him to reveal that in His time, not mine. For now, I'm not going to worry about it.

Addison is one of my dearest friends from high school. I found out that he was in the hospital and was having a lot of issues. He had a lot of pain and some swelling. All very scary things. Since then, he is doing better. The doctors still have no idea what happened to him and probably never will, but I'm just glad he is doing better.

I was sitting in class one day and logged on to utsports.com, and the lead story was about Ramar Smith. All of this is normal, he used to play UT basketball before he got kicked off for drugs and grades. The reason there was a story on him was because he robbed a boy named Kinder at his apartment complex. Ramar turned himself in but was out on bail after an hour.


Thats Ramar up there. I don't really like him much right now, and here's why. The day after he robbery, a man was shot at the Woodlands apartment complex. I was reading the story in class, and the boys name was Charles Corn. I was very interested because I knew a boy named Charles Austin Corn, so I facebooked it, and sure enough, it was Austin. Austin and I went to high school together, and I was friends with his sister. He used to tease me when I was in middle school, but was always nice to me once I was older.

It's been rough ever since. He was in critical condition, and I thought he would be ok, but he died last Sunday. I know Austin made some bad decisions, but I pray that he knew what was right and that he was following the Lord. I know his family is in the utmost pain, so I would really appreciate if everyone would pray for him.

I also got to see my dad perform this month. I went to Cherokee, North Carolina which is pretty close to Knoxville. My friend Amanda went with me and we had a great time. It was a whole lot of fun, and my parents invited us to go to Dollywood with the bus driver's family on Memorial Day. So we went and had an amazing time. I couldn't ask for a better day in the park.

That's pretty much all the exciting events that have happened in May. I'm leaving Knoxville on Monday and going to Florida on Tuesday. I'll definitely blog more while I'm down there!

Peace out ya'll!

Friday, May 1, 2009

It's Been A While

It has been quite some time since my last post. As much as I hate to say it, I really shouldn't be blogging right now. I SHOULD be studying for my exams on Monday and Tuesday. My mind is kind of in a whirl though. So much has been going on in my life, and I haven't even had time to just be still and reflect back on what has been going on. I'll do my best to explain all the wonderful and not so wonderful happenings of my life.

First was the Orange and White game, which would have been a whole lot of fun except for the fact that before we went into the game, I found out that a dear friend of mine was in the hospital. It is really hard for me to deal with things of that nature because I have dealt with so much death in my life. I automatically assumed the worst and assumed that Addison would soon be gone. After many deep breaths and talking to my mom, she calmed me down and told me to just breathe, and not worry because he is still alive. The next few days were filled with phone calls trying to let everyone know what happened, even though I had little information. All I knew was that his eye had swollen to the size of a golf ball, he lost vision, and that eye was also bleeding. He had massive stomach cramps and high fevers daily. He also had a bump on his temple (which made me the most nervous). Kara had told me that 4 specialists had been in to see him and none of them had ever seen anything like this before. That also scared me. I just wanted to know what was wrong with him and I wanted someone to tell me that he was going to be alright, because from that information it sounded like he was going to die at any minute. As far as I know Addison is still in the hospital. I'm going to talk to Kara this afternoon and see if she knows anything more.

Of course when I found this out, I automatically went into my little hole and didn't talk to hang out with anyone. I ended up going home last weekend because I wanted to visit him in the hospital, but he wasn't accepting any visitors.

Also, my silly car decided that she wanted to break. Thankfully, she is fixed, and the beast that I am driving right now will soon be returned to my mother. It's been kinda funny rolling in the Escalade though. I have turned many heads, but not because of what I look like, but because of what I drive. I think it shows a shallowness in some people.

The other thing that I have been really working on is my relationship with Christ. I have been so disobedient, and I finally feel like I am back on track with my life. Of course, it's not perfect, but I feel much more confident in myself as a person and my relationship with Christ. I've been hanging out with Jessie and Kaitlin more, and that has really inspired me to lead a better life. I also realized that Super Summer is coming up soon and it's my responsibility to be prepared for that, so I am getting back to where I need to be, and I'm so excited!

School is almost over for this year. Before I know it I will be a Senior in college. That is absolutely crazy for me! I began to ponder yesterday about the day that will soon be coming: the day I walk across the stage to get my diploma. It's one year away. I will have my public relations degree in hand. How crazy! I hope that I'm ready to be thrown into the real world by that point. I know that the economy is in terrible shape right now, but hopefully by the time I graduate there will be more opportunities for me to get a job.

Well, if I'm going to get that diploma I should probably start studying. It's been real.

>K

Monday, March 2, 2009

Life is fun.

I've had such a good two weeks. Although they have been filled with minor ups and downs, overall its just been amazing. Today I am so excited because my brother-in-laws parents are coming through Knoxville and they are taking me to dinner. They should actually be here at any minute. I can't wait!

My week was absolutely crazy! Monday was just a normal day. Work, school. ya know, all that jazz. Tuesday I had school all day then I had a mixer with my sorority, which was so fun! The theme was risky business so I wore an over sized oxford and some shorts and of course the aviators! It was a lot of fun though. I met a lot of cool people and had fun hanging out with my sisters.

Wednesday was a fun day too. I worked and had school, but we also had a game that night which was great. We won! That is always exciting. It was a really good game, and I got to sit next to Gus again which is always a treat!

Thursday was Bluegrass at Mellow Mushroom which was fun too. I played trivia with Josh vs. Nick so it was a lot of fun beating Nick pretty much every time. I left a little earlier than normal because I was so exhausted, but overall it was a good night.

Friday, Bethany, Jessie and I went to Mellow Mushroom and hung out for a little while, then I went to Lauren's toga party. It was pretty interesting. I didn't really want to wear a toga, so I just went in my normal clothes. Then we went over to someone's apartment and played Rock Band for like 30 minutes. It was fun too. I'm really really terrible at it.

Saturday I went to a B.A.C. party which is where you dress up as anything that starts with a B or A or C. I was a beach bum. Grace ended up spilling punch ALL over me, but it was still fun. I was super exhausted that night so I didn't stay long and ended up going home and staying up until about 3 texting. Never a good idea for me to sleep text.

Sunday I decided that I was going to take it easy, so I stayed home for most of the day then made cupcakes with Jessie and watched the fantasy factory. It was quite relaxing. I was definitely going to go to bed early and sleep a good nights sleep, which was so exciting, but again with the texting. I think I might be addicted HA!

I am really looking forward to this week. It should be pretty relaxing. I don't really have anything going on so I'm going to relax and catch up on homework and just enjoy these nice days that we are supposedly about to have!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

This one's for you Mo.

Every time I step foot into my church in Nashville, one of the first things I hear is this loud person screaming "Birkhead!!!!" It puts a huge smile on my face and I automatically know that Moses is the one yelling my name running to me with open arms waiting for a hug. I've been up at college all semester and haven't gone home since Christmas break. Today I found out that Moses was in the hospital and wasn't doing so well.

He and his brother Gene were in a terrible car accident either Wednesday or Thursday and Gene turned out with a dislocated thumb and a few bruises. Moses was not so lucky. His left side is pretty beat up including a collapsed lung, 12 broken ribs, a bruised spleen and kidney and lots of scratches. He is on a ventilator and they are worried about infection. He is doing alright for the moment, but if he gets an infection, things could get a lot worse.

I think that I feel so bad about this and so scared for him because he is only 16. He is way too young to have to experience anything like this and I know that I should go visit him. If only school wasn't a problem and work too. I know he needs love, and I miss getting to see him and hear my name being called. I don't want him to lose his joy and his great personality after such a traumatic event.

I also feel so guilty because I was looking at Facebook and I saw someone's status being about Moses and Gene being in a wreck, but I didn't think anything of it and went on with my day. I was too concerned with what I was going through and with what I was freaking out about to even have two minutes to say a prayer for two boys that I care very much about.

I realized that my problems are so small compared to what other people are going through. Moses is in so much pain, and my little bit of confusion is at the forefront of my mind. What does this say about me that I can't even take two seconds to think about my friends. My priorities are definitely needing a change, and it's definitely something that I will be working on.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How great is our God!

So lately I've been so caught up in school and work that I haven't really taken the time to just sit and think. I beat myself up so often because I know I am not giving God all of me, and it frustrates me to think that I am not. I went to church last night and we all got on our knees and just reflected on how big God is. It was exactly what I needed to refocus my heart. It was so great!

So, we definitely have a game tonight against LSU, and I'm so excited. Hopefully we can pull it out and win! I don't know why I get so excited for basketball. It's just something fun to do.

So Bethany and I decided it would be a good idea to crash diet for three days, and I didn't quite make it, but I did lose 5 pounds! That excited me greatly! I cheated a bit today, but nothing too horrible. I was just starving and I won't go home until like 10 p.m. I'm pretty much living off of unsweet tea and black coffee. It's all good though!

I just got a big wave of sleepiness. It's 2:30 and I work until 5, and the game is at 8. Boo. I keep daydreaming about Mexico. I want to go back so bad! It breaks my heart to think that I am here enjoying life, and these small kids in Mexico are starving and poverty stricken. I do admire them though. They have more joy than I can even express. I strive to be as joyful in the Lord as they are. I am going to work on that this week. I'm going to be more joyful and more loving. No more bad moods for me! Hopefully I will keep it up!

I should probably get back to doing my job. Baha!

Kristina

Monday, January 26, 2009

My first blog!

This is kind of exciting. I was sitting at work reading a blog about Africa when I decided I wanted to start my own blog. Mine will not be as intriguing as hers, but it's a start. Who knows when something will happen that is worthy of actually writing about.

I named my blog captivated because I am often captivated by many different things. I hope to share some of my passions, my happenings and other things that happen to captivate me. I'm excited to share everything, and hopefully this will be a good way to express what is going on in my life.

Currently, I am work, which is where I spend the majority of my time these days. It is a good job, but it tends to be boring sometimes, like today. We don't have anything happening at the Arena this week, so it should be pretty chill. We do have two basketball games this week, LSU and Florida. Those should be pretty good games, and hopefully we can pull them out. Memphis was a fun game, sad, but fun. Bethany and I went and it was great, except for the whole losing thing. Everyone was really intense and really into the game, so there was a lot of spirit everywhere, even for the Memphis team.

After the game, Bethany and I went to Copper Cellar and ended up eating with some people she had met the week before. It was a little awkward at first, but it ended up being really fun. I ended up talking with this girl named Sarah who graduated from UT in Public Relations (which is my major) and she asked me if I had an internship, and I haven't so she told me to send her an e-mail and she would be happy to work with me! I was so excited about that, and it is with the Knoxville Tourism and Sports Corporation, which would be perfect for me! Hopefully that will work out.

It was a pretty good weekend though. Jessie, Bethany and I went house shopping on Sunday and found one we really liked, but we are going to continue looking until we are certain that is what we want to do. I'm excited about living with them. I'm sure there will never be a dull moment.

Speaking of dull moments, last night, Jessie and I watched Pride and Prejudice (the 6 hour movie) and it was such a good movie! Granted it was long, but I really enjoyed it. Jessie and I were being completely retarded last night and pretending like we lived in their time, but that didn't last long. It's so weird to think about living in that time. It's so different from today, and sometimes I think it would be cool to have lived back then, but I sure do love technology.

Anywho, God has really been challenging me this week. For some reason I have been slacking like crazy and being so apathetic towards everything. I have such a passion for Him, and such a joy from Him, so why am I being stubborn and not following the way I know I should be? I am praying for a soft heart so that He may speak to me. I really feel like I need to get away and just be alone with Him. I know that can't happen right this moment because of school and work, but soon enough I know that I will be able to be alone with Him and completely refocus my heart.

I'm so excited about this blog, but I should probably get back to work and do my job.

Love always,
Kristina