New Rivers + New Roads

Live boldly. I have these two words hanging up on the wall above my desk and they have together become a sort of motto for my life. I’d like to think that this year, I’ll do something that pushes me in new directions and challenges the boundaries of my comfort zone. The most prominent way I’ve done this as of now is through taking on an internship at The Move Church.

If someone told me a few months ago that I’d one day join the church team as an intern, I probably would have laughed in his or her face. I’m normally the one who tends to say “that sounds like a really cool opportunity,”not the one who says “that sounds like a really cool opportunity that I should take advantage of.” But actually acting on my impulses this time around turned out to be one of the best things I could have done for myself. I’ve only been a part of The Move Church’s team for a week, but it has already challenged me in a multitude of areas in my life, most importantly in my faith. It has been a big leap into the unknown, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey thus far.

I’m sure I’ll post more about The Move in the future, but right now I wanted to take a moment to share our first project. My incredibly talented friends and I covered a large area on the wall with chalk paint, and on it we wrote the central verse for the current campaign “New Rivers New Roads,” which says

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:19

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Can I just put it into writing that I am so proud of my team who stuck with me to make this project possible? I can’t wait to work with them and make more things!

And happy Wednesday: live boldly today!

Vacation to Charleston, SC

It seems like as the years have gone on, my family has deviated from our normal Christmas tradition. Up until two years ago, we would drive to Memphis, Tennessee, to spend Christmas and the few days leading up to it at my cousins’ house. But now that one of my cousins has moved here to Knoxville and the rest of his family has moved to an apartment in middle Tennessee, our Christmas tradition has been turned upside down and is basically now nonexistent. So this holiday season, my family decided to take a short vacation away to Charleston, South Carolina. None of us had been there before and my parents had heard overwhelmingly good things about it, so we packed our bags and drove over on the 26th.

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We started our visit by exploring the historic downtown scene. I immediately noticed the timeless feel of the city. Buildings had a classical feel and they were also painted fun colors which added to the vibrancy of the city. Since Charleston is a tourist destination, there were horse carriages on nearly every corner carrying people for tours. We walked up and down King Street which would be the ideal stop for the shopping obsessed. There was also a market stretch with unique items and trinkets that were characteristic of Charleston.

On Day 2, we visited Magnolia Plantation which I loved for its beautiful gardens. It was surreal standing in a place that still holds so much historical value, as the plantation was an important location for many events around the time of and during the American Revolution. After spending half of our day there, we revisited the opposite side of King Street (more shopping) and ended our day by visiting Rainbow Row and the waterside.

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It was a short getaway to Charleston, but it was nice getting out of Knoxville for a little while. The new sights, fun memories, and getting to experience a new culture were all things I wouldn’t trade. I can’t wait for the adventures this new year holds!

About 2016: Faithfulness

Happy New Year’s Eve! Once again, it’s that time where we all get to pause and reflect on the year that has passed. For me, it seems like time itself is only accelerating and leaving me scrambling behind in the dust, but while this year feels like the quickest year yet, I nevertheless gained infinite amounts of valuable insight and knowledge about myself, others, and the world.

I’ll get right to it: above all, 2016 was the year I learned all about God’s faithfulness. And let me just say, there is nothing more constant, tangible, beautiful, or true. While this year was filled with highs and lows, the one thing that remained unquestionably steadfast was my Jesus.

I learned that God is a faithful Provider. He has provided me with another wonderful year at Belmont University where I’ve gotten to dive deeper into my studies of science and music. He has blessed me with a new church family in The Move Church along with the countless opportunities I’ve received to serve there. He’s kindled a passion inside of me for hand lettering. He’s provided for me financially through work in Belmont’s Admissions office as well as hand lettering commissions on the side. And of course, God has continued to provide me with uplifting and life-giving friends that I get to surround myself with and whom I can count on whenever I need them.

I learned that God is a faithful Friend even in my darkest circumstances. God was consistently present in life’s overwhelming situations. From me floundering in my coursework, even to when I was panic-ridden because of the time my car went mysteriously missing, He was there. God was equally present in the small everyday battles I waged as a college student, whether they were against loneliness, sadness, or anxiety.

Perhaps most importantly, I learned that God is faithful in His promises. In Jeremiah 29:11, God says He knows the plans He has for me. They are good plans that will give me a hope and a future. I continue to find comfort in this truth and and realize that although they are programmed into my nature, I need to let go of my worry and uncertainty. Though I am in a weird stage of life saturated heavily with ambiguity, I can have peace in my confidence that this stage of my life is only but a stepping stone to a greater plan known solely to God.

I was never truly able to say I had directly experienced God’s faithfulness in a way that shook me to my core, but after this year I can gratefully say that I have. It’s an attribute of God that has become so dear to my heart, and I anxiously await the year to come where I will find God’s faithfulness all the more evident.

I hope you have a wonderful New Year and that your 2017 is filled with friends, fun, laughter, and above all, amazement at God’s unwavering faithfulness!


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