Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sweeter As The Days Go By

Greetings Lovely People!
      Yesterday I came to the realization of something. There is in fact, one month until we board the long flights to Uganda! ONE MONTH from yesterday. The days have seriously flown by! One month, and I will be meeting some amazing children and people. In one month, I will be going on a trip that I prayed two years would happen. One month, and I will embark on a life-changing experience.
     To say I'm excited is an understatement. Imagine it's Christmas morning, and your birthday, the sequel to your favorite book just came out, and your mom is making your favorite meal. That is how excited I am! This is going to be so incredible, and I can't wait!
    I ask that you please pray for us, our team, safety, the hearts of God's people, and fundraising. Me and my Dad still haven't raised all the money we need, but we are trusting in God's perfect timing!
        Give me Jesus,
Emily Grace

Monday, April 22, 2013

Teenage Crisis.

Hello Loverlys!

      So lately there has been a thought weighing heavily on my mind. I like to call it a "Teenage Crisis."  You know how when some people turn 30 or 40, the start doubting their purpose, and go a little crazy. They dye their hair, buy a new car, or start knitting. Well, same with me. I honestly don't have any idea what I'm doing with my life. The future for me is so uncertain. It terrifies me immensely. I don't know what I want to major in in college. I don't know where I will be five years from now. You see, since I was little, I have this strange desire to be famous. I have always wanted to be a singer. I love being in front of people, and I love preforming. I always thought in my mind, that I would be world wide famous, waking up and doing what I love to do. Obviously, that hasn't happened. And it freaks me out. People are always asking me, "Where do you want to go to college?" and "What to you want to do with you life?"I always come up with some stupid answer or a mediocre "I don't know yet."  Everyday I think to my self, "Am I wasting my life? What am I doing with my life?" And it's freaking me out. I don't know. I know I have so many great things ahead of me. I don't want to be another person on this earth. I don't want to be just someone. I want to be an inspiration. It's truly terrifying that my childhood is coming to an end.
          But there are things that I do know. I do know that I love Jesus and I want to live my life in His will. I do know that I love singing. I do know that I love play various instruments. I do know that I love traveling. I do know that I love my family and friends. I do know that I love children. I do know that I love theater. I do know that I love performing. I do know that I can rest in God's perfect timing and plan. And hopefully, that will be enough for now.
    I found a quote that kind of sums it up for me:
                    "I still may not know what I want to be when I grow up, but I do know I want to live in a home filled with books and travel souvenirs.And the walls that aren't covered in bookshelves will be covered with photos of my family and friends. When I leave home I will be going to a job I love, and I'll return to a person I love.So, that is the dream I am working on."

Monday, April 8, 2013

Days Like These

Hello lovely people!
    I know I haven't written in a while, but whenever I try to write, all my thoughts get jumbled together and my posts end up being similar to a mini novel. So today, I will write just a little snippet.
    It's days like today that make me thankful. Even though it's a Monday, my heart is extremely light, and I'm in such a great mood. The sun is shining. I hear birds singing. The breeze coming through the window carries the smell of spring.  The sunlight beaming through the window, my cat purring on my lap. I have so many great things ahead of me. It makes me happy. It makes me less worried about my life and the future. It calms me. It makes me feel light. There is a song in my heart, and a spring in my step. It's days like these that make me thankful.

 It makes me thankful for my family.
It makes me thankful for my life.
It makes me thankful for my friends.
It makes me thankful for my Jesus.
It makes me thankful for my salvation.
It makes me thankful for being homeschooled.
It makes me thankful for my love of music.
It makes me thankful for my cat.
It makes me thankful for home.
It makes me thankful for good books.
It makes me thankful for lemonade.
It makes me thankful for the ability to think.
It makes me thankful for His creation.

So today, I choose to be thankful. What are you thankful for today?
Give me Jesus,
Emily Grace 

Monday, February 4, 2013

This Heart of Mine Was Meant To Travel

                 Hello Loverlys!
Anyone who know me at all, knows I want to travel this world. My heart's desire, besides living my life for Jesus Christ, is to move to London as soon as I get out of college, and open up my own children's home. I have always had an immense love for kids, and God has put compassion in my heart for them.
   Unfortunately, I have never been out of the United States. About this time two years ago, God instilled in my heart a desire and a need to go to Africa. This is going to sound silly, but I had sort of a vision. Well, not exactly a vision, more like a thought, or a daydream that popped into my head. I have no idea how it got there. It happened when I was running on the treadmill at the Rich Fork gym, and I saw it in my head. Me in Africa, surrounded by children. They were all playing with my hair, hugging me, and smiling, while tears just poured out of my eyes and down my face. It just sprung on me. I have to go to Africa. I need to go to Africa. This was God's plan for me. As soon as that thought popped into my head, I prayed every single night  for two years for an opportunity to go to Africa. No opportunities showed up. I never ,ever lost hope. I knew this is what God wanted for me. My dad came to me one day saying he was going to Guinea Bissau in April 2013. I asked, well more like pleaded, that I would be able to go. I was so excited, a real opportunity to do what I had always wanted. I prayed every single night for a month, and asked everyone I knew to pray for this to work out. In the end, it did not. When my dad came to me again and told me I was not old enough to go, my heart broke. I cried for days, and moped around the house. I guess I didn't really realize that God was telling me "Not yet." I thought for sure my whole dream of going to Africa was going to be a "No."
    In November of last year, my best friend Bailey, told me of a trip she was so excited to go on to Uganda, Africa, to help with the Sole Hope organization.She said they were going to help dig out the jiggers that were in the children's feet and give them their first pair of shoes. She suggested  I ask if I could tag along. "This is it," I thought. What a seriously perfect opportunity!  I would get to go to Africa, with my best friend since birth, AND help with children?? I didn't want to get my hopes up. So I prayed even harder.
  A month or so later, my dad told me to sit with him at the kitchen table. He had some news he wanted to tell me. Now usually, this isn't a good thing. I had a feeling I was about to get busted for something. As I traced through everything in my mind I done recently that might get me in trouble, I sat down. He said to me, "You know that trip to Africa that Bailey is going on in June?" I nodded. "You are going." He had talked to Bailey's dad, and everything had worked out. I was actually able to go.
I absolutely could not believe it.  I immediately felt tears sting my eyes. I covered my face with my hands, and put my head on the table. I didn't want my parents to see how badly I was sobbing. My makeup was running, and I'm pretty sure I left a puddle of tears on the table. My heart was so full; I was so overjoyed. I just cried and cried and cried. I have never cried so many happy tears in my life. I ran to hug my Dad, and Mom, unable to say anything other than "Thank you, thank you." I don't think I stop smiling at all that day, I practically jumped around the house. I told absolutely everyone I knew about this amazing opportunity God had placed in my lap. What a miraculous planner and Creator we have!
It's really crazy to think that two years ago, when that little thought popped into my head, that in 2013, I would be planning my trip to Uganda. And in June, I would actually step foot on African soil, to meet some of God's children.
Give me Jesus,
Emily Grace

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Least of These - Part 1

    Hello loverlys!
          Homeless. What exactly comes to your mind when you read that word? That man at the intersection with a sign that reads ,"Have kids, need money for food?" A person walking on the side of the road, with filthy clothes, and a tired look on their face? And what exactly are your thoughts about these people? That they could get a job if they wanted to, or it was their fault they got that way? Or that they are actually lying, and are just using the money some saps give them to buy alcohol? "Well they won't get anything out of me," you think as you avoid eye contact and pray the light turns green? Well, to be honest, I used to be exactly like that.  Until, my opinion changed dramatically, earlier this year.
                      My  youth pastor mentioned in February of this year about a ministry a lady he worked with had started. A homeless ministry. Basically,  they went to a park in Greensboro every Sunday morning, and served the people there sandwiches and breakfast. He asked if anyone was interesting in going one Sunday. I thought it sounded pretty cool, and not to hard, so I came up to him afterwards and told him I would like to go. A month or so passed, when we finally decided to go. To be honest, I had kinda forgotten about it when he brought it back up one Sunday, announcing that we would be meeting at the church that Sunday, at 7:15, to drive to Greensboro together and to volunteer at the ministry. Needless to say, I was quite scared at the thought of interacting with lots of people who were homeless and ( as I had pictured in my mind) scary. But I signed up anyway, figuring it would make my youth pastor happy, and would be a good deed. So, on that sunny Sunday in April, I got up way earlier than usual, got ready, and headed to church, to be greeted by a good portion of my youth group in the parking lot. As I got into the van, my stomach churned with my extreme nervousness about what was about to take place. Honestly, I was so scared, I felt like I was about to vomit. I'm the kind of person that if I don't know exactly how a situation is going to go down, I freak out. (Seriously, I do. I'm weird like that.) What was I going to say? What was I going to do? Did they expect me to get on soap box and preach the gospel? Did I have to start healing people and speaking in tongues?  (Did I mention I take almost everything to the extreme?)
                     As we pulled up the park, I got out of the van, my legs like jello, and walked toward the massive swarm of people. I was not expecting this, at all. There were at least 100 people swarming around, laughing and talking, like it was some sort of family reunion. I had no idea what to do with myself. I am a very naturally shy person, but once I get to talk and know someone, you won't get me to shut up. This was definitely outside my comfort zone. What on earth was I doing here? I could feel my entire group thinking the same thing. We stuck to each other in a little pack, keeping our heads down, with no idea what to do. Finally, one of the ladies that was in charge, Kay, helped us out of our misery, and gave us jobs to do. I got a fantastic chance to talk to her. (well, more like listen, I kind of just nodded the whole time.) You could see her passion as she was telling me how this whole thing had gotten started, and about what a blessing and ministry it had been in her life as we passed out bags of sandwiches out of the trunk of her car, to the people in line. But what really impressed me, was that she new every single person' in that lines name. Every single one! As I looked at the smiling faces that I handed sandwiches to, I couldn't help but wonder, why were they smiling? What did they  have to smile about? These people had little if no, belongings to call their own. Nothing to call home, and probably no family to turn to. I looked at them, and I saw the torn and ripped clothes on their back and thought about how this was all they had. I was completely dumbfounded and ashamed about how  ungrateful I was for what I have. These people have nothing, and still smile, because of this ministry, where they can feel loved and important. My heart broke from the weight of the grief and compassion I felt for these people. I had to step to the side for a minute and wipe away the tears that began to fall. These people, were also God's chosen people. God also wants them to be saved. Not just the nice, well-off people who smile as we hand the VBS fliers, but these dirty, and extremely poor people. Certain verses kept coming to my mind that day:

 "35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' " (Matthew 25:35-40)
              I realized these were the people God was talking about. That because we were serving God's people, we were serving Jesus himself.
                   As we headed back home, I thought of what a great experience that had been for me, and how I wanted to do it again and again. Everyone seemed to be bit by the same bug, and we began to go week after week, month after month, each week more fulfilling than the next. We began to bring juice boxes and fruit (let me just say, those people LOVE them some fruit!) More people from our church were getting involved, and I could feel a shift in the closeness of our group. We began to build relationships with these people, and realized they were so much more than  just "homeless people." They were real. They had problems. They needed the gospel. We started to know people by name, like Eugene  who was a short spit fire, who always seemed to have some sort of crazy story to tell, that went along with some moral. Or Ricky and Ronda, an extremely sweet and talented couple, who sold their drawings to make some money.(There are so many more I could name!) We started actually having friendships, and laughs along the way. It was such an incredible experience, and I realized, this was exactly was Jesus was talking about. This is what His ministry was all about. Actually getting our feet dirty, and getting uncomfortable. This, was the a huge part of the gospel.

Give me Jesus,
Emily Grace

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pray Without Ceasing

Good Evening Loverlys!
                      Personally, prayer is a huge part of my daily walk. But it was only until recently I discovered the power and effect prayer can have. I've been told "make sure you say your bedtime prayers" throughout my entire life. My parents have ingrained this in me since my childhood. It was a rule to pray before meals. You had to right? If you didn't, you would choke or get food poisoning! (Or so my sister told me.) So of course, I would always say my "prayers"  before bed and grace before meals. That was it. Honestly, they never meant much to me, just something that was required of me.
                    Quite a few Wednesday nights ago, my youth pastor was on the topic of prayer. He encouraged us to start a prayer journal. Just to jot some prayer requests down, and the end of the day, pray for them. That night when I got home, I seriously examined my prayer life. How much time I have spent in prayer this week? As much time as I've spent online or watching TV? And when I did say my bedtime prayers, I almost always fell asleep. I thought about that for a second. What kind of message was I sending to God? Sorry, I'm too tired to pray to you God? The creator, sustainer, giver and taker of life?  I was too tired to pray to my sovereign God, the one whom without I would be dead in my sins with no hope? The one who gave me salvation? Seriously? I was extremely frightened at that thought. What if God gave me as much time and thought as I give Him? I was ashamed.
                    So that night I grabbed a binder filled with paper and wrote one simple word on the cover: Pray. I wrote down some prayer requests that came to mind and let it be, not thinking much about it. The very next day, my grandfather called and said he was having surgery and needed some prayer. As soon I heard this, I ran into my room and this prayer request down. Later on that day, I was flipping through channels while watching TV and landed on the news. I saw a news story on a shooting in a neighborhood, where a family was killed. I immediately got out my binder and wrote that prayer request down. I had several more experiences like that for the rest of the day! Isn't it so incredible how God works?
                    Every month now, since that Wednesday, I have a huge list of prayers that I add to and pray for each day. My prayer life has gotten so much stronger, and so has my relationship with God. A couple weeks ago, I looked back to my very first list prayers, dated to the first week of June. As I read through the list of prayers, I was overwhelmed by how many of my requests God had answered. I immediately got down on my knees and thanked God over and over again for His faithfulness and kindness that He shows towards me and His children. I still get chills thinking about it.
                   I encourage you, if you don't have one already, to start a prayer journal. It is such an amazing way to strengthen your prayer life, and grow closer to God. I promise you, it is so fulfilling.

Give me Jesus,
Emily Grace <3

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Good Morning Loverlys!
      Let's just start off this post with a disclaimer: I cannot stand mornings. I really, really dislike them. Mornings and I aren't even friends! I hate mornings so much that I don't speak a word until I get my morning hug from my mother. Seriously! (You think I'm kidding but I'm really not.) Usually I have a "routine" I follow each morning when I wake up. My routine goes as follows: my alarm goes off at 8, I slowly sit up, wipe off yesterday's mascara, throw my covers back and drag myself to the bathroom, wishing I had a just a few more minutes of sleep left. But this morning, my routine was a little different. Yes, my alarm went off, I wiped away my mascara, and threw my covers back. But before I drug myself to the bathroom, I stopped, and sat crossed-legged on my bed as a question popped into my mind. The question that was popped into my mind was so random, I surprised myself.  "What if my parents were never Christians?" Now, mornings aren't usually my "lets have a deep thought process before my morning run" time. I usually save those moments for later on, when I don't hate everything as much. But I couldn't help but think, "What if?" What if my parents never accepted Christ? What if my grandparents never instilled in my parents the same faith they passionately pursued all their lives? What if my parents stopped going to church, and threw away this faith they have been taught all their lives to follow? What if my parents never taught me about Jesus, and never showed me how true Christians live their lives?
           My heart started breaking at the thought of how different my life would be. Would I treat people the same way I do? Would I still have the same friends, the same passions? Would I have even moved to North Carolina? As I sat on my bed, thinking of the hopelessness I would feel, the worthlessness, the shame, huge tears started to stream down my cheeks. Once I started crying I couldn't stop. I thought of how grateful I am that my parents are Christians. I thought of how incredibly blessed I am that my parents have pursued me in a way, that has made Jesus real, and my faith stronger than I ever could have imagined. I was ashamed at how I take it for granted, when their are billions and billions of kids out their with non-Christian parents, how they don't have those influences in their lives and how they don't have the hope and salvation of Jesus Christ. This makes my heart break even more. This makes me want to shout the good news out to everyone! I want every kid, every adult to have the same assurance and forgiveness my parents have showed me and I have received through Jesus. I am so thankful.
       So today, give your parents a morning hug, (trust me it will make your morning a little more bearable) and thank them for their Christian influences in yours and others lives.

Give me Jesus,
Emily Grace <3