An Open Thank You Letter To My Boyfriend

Boyfriends often times do not get enough credit for everything that they do. One of the worst things that can happen in a relationship is when the sweet things that your boyfriend does to make you feel special get twisted around in your brain into things that you think he should do all the time. They become expected and not sweet and romantic. If you are anything like me, you feel like you can never repay your boyfriend for all of the things that he does for you. That is why I am writing an open thank you letter to my boyfriend.

Dear boyfriend,

Thank you. Thank you for all of the laughter and tears that we have shared together. Thank you for always supporting me and encouraging me. You are my biggest supporter and your support means the world to me. Thank you for comforting me when I am sad. There is nothing that I can hide from you. As much as I try to hide when I am sad and upset, you see right through me. Thank you for taking the time to truly understand me and why I do what I do. Thank you for putting my desires and dreams above your own. Thank you for all of the sacrifices you have made. Thank you for making me laugh. No one can ever make me laugh and smile like you can. You have made me so happy. Thank you for letting me be vulnerable. Vulnerability is scary, but you have shown yourself so trustworthy. Thank you for loving me. I am not the easiest person to love. I am not perfect. I make mistakes. I annoy you sometimes. However, somehow you have decided that you are willing to love me through it all and for that I am forever grateful. Thank you for letting me love you. You are an amazing man and I could not help but fall in love with you. Thank you for letting me have that honor. Thank you for respecting me. You always respect my boundaries and feelings. You have respected my space when I have needed it. It means the world to me that you are willing to respect me even when it is hard. Thank you for spoiling me. I deserve nothing and yet you give me everything. You treat me like a princess and never fail to make me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. The list could go on for days and most of the things I can never repay, but I want you to know how truly thankful I am for everything that you do for me. I love you more.

Your Girlfriend

So to all of my fellow girlfriends out there, make sure you let your special man know that he is loved and appreciated. A little “thank you” goes a long way!

4 Things to Remember in Times of Despair

After the events that have taken place this last week in Brussels, there has been a burden on my heart for our world. We live in a fallen world full of evil and fear. There are evil people who want to kill and destroy everyone and everything that do not agree with them. I have found myself asking God why he allows this. Why does God allow innocent people to be blown up by bombs or shot to death by a gunman? Why are there fires and tornadoes and earthquakes that kill so many people? The answer to all of these questions has come back to one simple word: sin. Sin is the reason for all of the evil in this world. Sin is the reason for sadness and despair. Sin is the reason for separation from God. Yes, our world is evil; however, our God is not. Here are 4 things that I urge you to remember in this time of utter unrest and turmoil.

1.Do not be afraid.

Psalm 23:4 states, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Right now our world is dark and evil, but we are not called to fear. We are called to be a light in the darkness. Psalm 118:6 says, “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” We have an eternal omnipotent God on our side. There is nothing that we should be afraid of with the creator of the universe holding us in His hands.

2. God is in control

There is nothing on this earth that has happened or will happen that God is not in complete control over. He is not oblivious or powerless to the evil that is happening. It is all in His perfect plan. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God has a plan for every person that walks the face of the planet. He has a plan for the bomber and the one who was killed or injured by the bomb. He has every single person’ s days numbered. Nothing comes as a surprise to Him. Philippians 1:21 says, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” As Christians we can rest assured that eternal life in heaven with God is a thousand times better than any kind of joy we could have on earth. In this we can rest assured, God has a perfect plan. We see a part, but God sees the whole thing.

3. Prayer is Powerful

In this generation an idea has come about that prayer has no power. This lie is being thrown at us from all directions. We are mocked and scorned for believing that praying to God would have any impact on anything happening around us. The truth is that we serve a living God. He is not a distant God. He is not an inactive God. He actively works in the lives of every person who follows Him. He has given us the amazing gift of prayer that we should not take for granted. It is our duty as believer to pray for the world around us. We are to pray for the leaders of our country and the leaders around the world. We are to pray for believers in other countries that they will be able to use the awful events to the glory of God. That through the horror happening around them people would come to Christ. Prayer has power, never forget.

4. God never promised an easy life

Nowhere in Scripture does it say that life will be easy. Quite the opposite actually. We are warned that there will be evil and trials. We are told to be ready to fight whatever war we are put up against. God gives us hope, however. We are told that we are not alone. God will never give us something that we cannot handle with the help of Him. There is nothing that God cannot do.

Yes, our world is messed up. There are terrible things happening left and right. There is death and destruction, but through it all there is hope. We have the eternal hope of heaven and eternity with God. We have nothing to be fearful of, instead we have everything to look forward to. There is nothing that could happen on this earth that can separate me from the hand of God. Though man is evil God is love. God has a plan, now it is our turn to trust and pray.

College Update 3

Hello all,

So I have realized that it has been a while since I put up my last college update, so I decided it was time to write another. I cannot believe that I am almost halfway through my second semester of college. Time sure has flown by. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to write me while I have been at school. It means so much to find letters in my mailbox! This semester is going great! I am so thankful that I made the decision to take general classes this semester instead of rushing to try to declare a major. I have decided on my major which will be Human Development and Family Studies. I am honestly so excited to start taking my core classes! I have discovered how interested I am in Psychology since coming to Liberty, so I am super excited to be able to mix that with my love of children! I am not positive what I will do with the degree yet, but I have no doubt that it will help me be a great wife and mom! I am continuing to pray for God’s guidance on my life and in my relationships and earnestly seeking His will. Academically I am doing so much better than last semester! I feel as though I have finally got my footing here and now have the chance to excel. After this week I will have completed 6 out of the 18 credits that I am taking this semester. This semester I do not have classes on Monday or Friday (how lucky am I?) which has been amazing because I have gone home quite a few times. So if you see me around Fredericksburg on a Monday or a Friday I am not skipping class, I just don’t have any 😉 . I am currently in the process of figuring out what God has planned for me this summer and I am super excited for summer break to come! I have a lot planned and it’s hard to deal with cold days when your mind is stuck on the summer sun 🙂 . Thank you for all of your prayers. Prayer alone is what truly got me to where I am now. After struggling a lot last semester it was hard to come back. I was not sure that I chose the right school and I had a hard time finding my place. I am so thankful that God has made it clear to me this semester that I am where I am supposed to be at this time in my life. I am not sure at the moment what next semester will hold for me, but I am so excited to see what God has in store for my life!

6 Ways to know you are dating your best friend

The best kind of relationship is where your boyfriend/ girlfriend truly becomes your best friend. There is nothing quite like a relationship that has a strong friendship foundation. Here are 6 ways to know that you are dating your best friend.

1.You have fun together

It does not matter what you are doing. Whether it is a romantic dinner out or you are sitting on the couch watching Netflix, you have fun. You don’t have to go anywhere or do anything. You have fun just by enjoying each other’s company.

2.They get you

Whether it is your insatiable desire for Taco Bell or the fact that you always leave exactly one bite of food uneaten, they get you. They don’t judge the weird things that you do. They love your quirks and abnormalities because that is what makes you who you are. If they weren’t your best friend, I don’t think that they would understand something like your shopping addiction. Only a guy who gets you will spend hours in the mall with you because it is something you truly enjoy doing.

3.You make sacrifices for each other

It doesn’t matter how small of a sacrifice it is, it still matters. You may sacrifice the movie you want to go see or the restaurant that you want to eat at. A relationship of best friends is 100% both ways. It is a constant give and take. You both recognize each other’s desires, and try your hardest to let them have them.

4. You are secure

You do not need to constantly be together. There is a great gift in time spent apart. You recognize that you both need time with your individual friends and family. It is healthy to be apart for some time. You trust each other and realize that you each need your space at times.

5. You start to think alike

This is where it gets scary. Your thoughts start to become the same. You can begin to speak with just a look or eye movements. You end up saying the same things at the same time. You start to do some of the same things like randomly making weird noises or breaking out into song. Your minds start to become one.

6.They are the first person you run to

When you have good news or bad news, they are the first person that you want to tell. They are always there to support you when you need it. They give amazing advice, and tell you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear. There is nothing that you want to keep from them. There is always open communication about anything and everything.

Best friends are people that you can have random and deep conversations with. They are people that you can be yourself around, no matter how goofy that may be. You do not have to try hard to impress because they love you anyway. A best friend is someone that laughs with you and cries with you and goes through life with you. If you are like me and are dating your best friend, consider yourself immensely blessed. There is something so special about a relationship with such a strong friendship. I am so thankful that I am blessed with a man who is my best friend.

Dealing with Expectations

Expectations. That seems to be a word that everyone hates. No one likes it when people expect things of them that they cannot deliver. Whether it be parents expecting a 4.0 gpa from their children or coaches expecting winning streaks from their athletes, expectations are hard to deal with. I am a pastor’s kid, so you could say that I know a thing or two about expectations. Life as a pastor’s kid is comparable to being a fish in a fishbowl. Everyone can see everything that you do. People watch your every move and are always quick to criticize. I have built up a lot of resentment of people in the church over the years because of their unrealistic expectations of me. I am a pastor’s kid so I have to dress to their standards, behave according to their standards, date according to their standards. I resented them because I did not get to enjoy going to church growing up. I was constantly focused on what I was wearing or how I was acting because I knew that people would tell my parents if they disapproved of something. I did not get to come and be open about my struggles because I wasn’t allowed to have any. I had to be perfect all the time. I was not raised in a super legalistic family, but I in a way became legalistic because of these expectations. I thought that if I messed up God would love me less. I thought that if I dressed inappropriately God would love me less. I am 19 years old, in college and yet I still struggle with this. I will never not be a pastor’s kid. When I go back home and go back to church I have to face the same expectations. It just isn’t the same. It is sad when you get to the point where you would rather go to church at school because no one knows that you are a pastor’s kid than go to the church you’ve been at since you were born. There are expectations of my clothes, my conversations, my boyfriend, the list could go on and on. It was not until recently when I heard, yet again, of how I had “messed up” and not met people’s expectations, that I found there was resentment in my heart.  So here is a disclaimer to anyone reading this before I continue. I am not perfect. I will never meet everyone’s perfect expectations of me. I will never be good enough. I will never dress modestly enough, behave well enough, be godly enough, my relationship will never be pure enough. The truth is that no one can. There is not one person on the face of this earth that can live up to the impossible expectations we are faced with. If we could there would be no need for the grace of God. If we were perfect, there would be no need for the cross and for salvation. I now rejoice in my imperfection. My imperfection means I do not need to worry about meeting everyone’s impossible expectations. In my imperfection I can see Jesus because he takes my imperfections and uses them for his glory. Expectations lead to one thing and one thing only, disappointment. However, when you learn to embrace your imperfections and mistakes you can find peace in God. He uses imperfect people to accomplish His perfect plan. So next time you are faced with expectations that you know you cannot live up to, give it over to God. He will use you and your imperfections to achieve His good and perfect will, not everyone else’s. I will always struggle with this. I will always struggle with resentment, even while writing this I can feel an anger welling up. I will spend the rest of my life working on this. I now have two options and so do you. You can choose to let anger take over and be mad and resentful, or you can choose joy because your relationship with Christ is not based on works. Your relationship with Christ is based on faith. After all, “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. Choose joy.

The One About Hurt

Hurt. According to Dictionary.com hurt is defined as pain to the body physically; however, another definition is “to feel or suffer bodily or mental pain or distress.” Hurt comes in a lot different forms. It can be physical, mental, and emotional. Of all of these, emotional hurt tends to cause the most pain. This type of hurt often comes up with no warning and leaves you with the question of “now what?” God has a lot to say about hurting throughout the Bible. Psalms 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Whenever you are hurting, you can run to God for comfort. With His strength you can make it through any situation. Psalms 30:5 states, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Though the hurt may seem strong and unbearable now, God will get you through it and restore joy in your heart. When experiencing hurt, it is hard to see how something good can come from it; however, God does all things for good. We just might not be able to see it yet. We see just a piece of a massive puzzle, where God sees the whole thing and how each piece fits in. Hurt is unpredictable, but necessary. It is through hurt that the most growth happens. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Trust God in every situation and He will guide you. His plans are for your good. All you need is faith.

Unplug Your Controller

When I was a child I always wanted to play video games with my older brother. Of course, he did not want me to mess anything up. He knew that he could outsmart me. He would give me a remote and I would be so excited. I would start pushing all the buttons and looking at the screen to see what I was doing. What I did not know is that he did not plug my controller in. I was not actually controlling anything. My brother was the one controlling the game. This reminds me of how I view God. In my life I want to be in control. I guess you could call me a control freak. That one simple word is probably my biggest struggle in my relationship with God. He is really in control and I am not. My remote is not plugged in, even though I like to think that it is. Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” God guides every step that I take. I need to surrender to the control of the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God. My life verse is Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I need to remember that God is in complete control of my life. His plans are completely perfect. Though I cannot see what is before me, I can have full confidence that God is completely in control. Your controller does not need to be plugged in. God has got it all under control. 🙂