Tuesday, September 27, 2011

roll tide.

I didn't grow up spending my Saturdays watching football (or thinking about watching football or caring about who was in what conference or if football was even still existent really).  I liked the sport.  I loved being a cheerleader for my high school team, but that was about where my love for sports ended.

Now?  That life is but a mere memory... things have changed.

Sweet Andrew absolutely loves college football. I mean loves. I know he loves me, but I know he loves college football... so in lieu of my amazingly awesome supportive capabilities, I have become quite the football (Alabama football that is) fanatic.

Since this change of life:
-I can name all 12 (now 13) teams in the SEC.
-I can tell you how many times Alabama has won the national championship (and how the AP poll differs from what some people say, which is quite confusing for a new learner)
-The words "roll tide" come out of my mouth more than anything (mostly since I use it as a general football term)
-and I can even tell you where some of the old players NOW play in the NFL. (yep. i'm committed)

So since I have become the all-time lover of college football, I forced Andrew to go with me to Tuscaloosa a few weekends ago for the season opener of Alabama's season (clearly this is sarcasm and he got the tickets and I was the first pick invite)

Hoover, AL was our first stop as we got to stay with Todd's WONDERFUL parents for the night so it wasn't such a long drive on Saturday.  It was such a blessing to visit with them and they were so gracious to open their home to us.  Todd (Andrew's roommate and good friend) is such a blessing to both me and Andrew and has poured so much life into the both of us.  I've learned SO much from him and from his faith and I'm so thankful!  So staying with his parents was quite the treat :)

Saturday morning we headed to T-Town to see Alabama play Kent State... wasn't the most exciting game, but it was so much fun :)  We got to sit beside some crazies that screamed the ENTIRE time and sat in front of some men that HAD to have come from somewhere deep in Alabama where sentences somehow become one concise word, and commentaries become simpler and simpler as the game goes on.

You may be thinking "Keela, this is a lame post and no one wants to read about your weekend in alabama" and to that I say... Well, as true as that may be, get over it and look at our fun pictures :)

we ate at "rama jama's"... A diner-ish place that is right beside the stadium.  Literally waited an hour and 15 minutes for eggs and bacon, but we met some super "interesting" people :)

Ran into this wonderful guy at the game too! :)

we ate at Dreamland BBQ after the game... DELICIOUS!

It was such a fun trip and great time to spend loving something together (well, him loving and me really liking because it was fun)!  Who knew Fall was such a fun season? Not me apparently. Glad someone shed some light on the important things. 

Roll tide.

Monday, September 26, 2011

"for this child I prayed..."

The amount of joy that is in my heart right now is actually ridiculous.  This was the best weekend ever due to ALL of the baby-news and baby-holding.

Andrew's beautiful sister, Katherine, was due last Monday and poor girl was 3 days late (no thank you...)

The first half (please notice and read the SECOND half of our weekend as well) of our weekend started Friday... She was induced on Friday morning and so Andrew and I headed to sweet Cinci on Friday at lunchtime...  We literally got there at the PERFECT time to see this sweet little bundle.  He's so perfect and precious and wonderful and cuddly.

And of COURSE Andrew is actually the best uncle in the whole world.

Sweet and EXCITED Uncle Andrew getting ready to meet his little nephew.

Perfect little baby boy.

Barrett Reagor Jones :) 

 He's the sweetest little boy... Their family is so happy and sweet and joyful :)

"Nana" and "Pop" are precious proud Grandparents :)

so much love.

sweet wonderful family.  They are such a blessing to me and man, that Barrett is HANDSOME :)

soooooooo then.... the SECOND HALF of our weekend (well not really half, but half of the excitement) came on Sunday afternoon when I FINALLY got to tell people that....

Drumroll please....

my WONDERFUL SISTER is pregnant and due in April!!!!!! ahhhhh I'm gonna be an aunt :) :) ahhh I'm so happy and excited and crazy ecstatic.

We went through Lexington to see Tara and her husband Stacy (he's awesome too. seriously. he absolutely was made for my sister and they are so wonderful for each other)... 

we make each other laugh... clearly.

sweet little baby outfit and little robe... ah. They are so precious.

baby. baby. baby. baby. baby. i'm so happy.

GOD is so good and has blessed so many families, but wow... I'm so thankful and blessed that I'm gonna be an Aunt and that Andrew is ALREADY an uncle :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

missed my calling.

I love weather. Period.

I love when it's hot outside and I can lay by the pool with a breeze and a good book.

I LOVE when it snows and is so cold outside that you need to hug someone to be warm.

I love to sled and build snowmen and have snow cream and be stuck inside and no one can drive to get away. I love it.

I love when it rains... so much. I love how cloudy it is and to see the power of God through thunder and lightning.

I love natural disasters (not the terribleness that they bring) and the power that you see and the quiet of everyone being together. And I love when the power goes out.

I love Springtime when it's finally warm enough to sit outside on a blanket, but you have to wear a long sleeve t-shirt or you'll be too cold.

and man, I LOVE FALL!!!... it's so beautiful outside today! I love when it get's cooler and everyone is BURSTING with joy because who in their right mind could be in a bad mood when it's this pretty outside.

God is so good and I'm so thankful for this wonderful creation that He lets me live in.  Wow.  Go walk outside :)

I think I missed my calling and should have been a weather-girl... seriously... sometimes I actually consider quitting my job (ok not really, I more considered dropping out of school) to be a meteorologist and getting to chase storms, report the weather, and wear a pencil skirt everyday... because I'm sure that's exactly what it's like.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

loving the work I do.

Ok... disclaimer... this is not a bragging "wow my life is so awesome" post.  If you don't like happiness or thankfulness... just stop your reading right now.

Ok, glad that's over... I love my job.

I love my job... and therefore want to tell the story of why/how/when this thing all began :)

6 years ago, I was a sophomore in High school and watched some of the most amazing men and women that I respected move away from the small town I grew up in, to the big city of Nashville to go to school in Tennessee. Little did I know... my journey would be changed from then on.

Those people.  Those role models... They met other people and even THOSE people were awesome.  I knew it was a place that I wanted to be after just meeting the amazing friends and hearing their stories of seeking Jesus and learning about Him in new and different ways.  As a sophomore in high school I knew that I wanted to come to Lipscomb.

It was one of those dreams though that seemed so far away (all of two years which I realize now how fast flies by... well I realize it kinda...) that it didn't even seem possible.  But low and behold, I graduated and moved to Nashville in 2007.


God blessed me in the biggest of hugest ways with amazing friends that spurred me on.  With wonderful mentors and friends that poured into me (Garner would take our group of friends to Sonic every week... just to love on us.  Just to spend time with us... it was such a blessing).  Without a doubt I knew that God had placed me here for a reason... 

Just one year after being there... I remember sitting with Andrew on the steps of one of the buildings just being so peaceful and thankful for God bringing me to this place.

Brandon (one of the awesome people that even introduced me to this place) was working for Lipscomb Campus ministry and married to an amazing woman of God.  He was seeking Jesus and I knew that His life was echoing it.  I wanted to do something with my time, my life, my work... I was an intern at Harpeth Hills and got a phone call one day from April (a dear friend and mentor) that said she and Brandon wanted to talk to me...

Crap. What had I done?... Why do the University Campus Ministers need to talk to me? I was literally thinking of everything I had ever done and ready to confess my life to them and apologize.  The conversation looked pretty different than I had expected.

They asked me to work for Campus Ministry... what?! Me? I literally sat there in tears and told them that "I had tricked them into thinking that I was something that I'm just not"... I was terrified. They asked me to be the Chapel Coordinator for Lipscomb University (and if you know anything about the position, it's not quite always the most glamorous or uplifting... dealing with probation was not on my top list of 'want to dos when I'm older' to say the least) and after careful prayer, lots of joy, and lots of advice... I accepted the job along with another student.  Full-time student, Part time in Chapel and part time in Admissions... Senior year here I come...

I learned so much during that year.  I learned about this school, and myself, and working with other people, and respecting the people leading me, and wow... so much more... but I loved it.  It weighed on me at times but I loved the work I was doing.

In February of 2011, I accepted the Chapel position full-time.  Talk about nervous... I was terrified it would make me hate this place.  Overwhelm me with questions and run my life.  It's been quite the pleasant surprise 3 weeks into school beginning.

This summer was a breath of fresh air after a long, hard, and busy year.  I got to listen and learn and help and fill and plan more than I had ever imagined... I got to work on this amazing team and learn every single day more about Jesus and how he is working on this campus and our vision for this place.  I am so blessed.  I am so lucky.  I know God is here and I know that he's working on this campus...

The best part so far?... Our students love to worship. Period. Fact. It's nothing that I could have ever done... or planned... They just sing to God and it is BEAutiful.  Second best thing?  They love Jesus.  Third best thing? I have ALL DAY to work and pour into students. I get to sit in an office and help people and pour into people and know them and I get to do it alongside wonderful people that I learn so much from.  

I love my job.  I'm thankful to be here and I hope that God shows me why I'm here at some point maybe... but it's ok if He doesn't.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Heaven is for Real

If I die anytime soon, I want my funeral to be just like a funeral I went to a couple of weeks ago.  My dearest friend Kristen's Grannie Rose passed away on August 22 and I got to see my sweet friend at the visitation and funeral.  I even got to sit beside our Church's preacher Dave! 

The funeral was solely a celebration of the life that Grannie Rose had lived and they talked about her in a joyful way. It was a celebration of the love that she gave and the life that she lived.  It was awesome.  I had never even met her in person before she passed away, but I sat in tears as they talked about her life and also laughed until I wanted to pee on myself.

At her funeral, Kristen's dad talked about a book called Heaven is for Real. I had heard about the story of the book for a while and kept wanting/meaning to/wanting to read it.  Just hadn't yet.  I didn't have much to do that weekend so decided to get out a book that I've had on my shelf for months.


I spent the day laying outside with Jennifer (another beautiful and wonderful friend/roommate/kindred spirit) and could NOT put it down.

It's about a little boy who has emergency surgery and during the surgery has an experience that is absolutely one of the most amazing things.  He goes to Heaven. He meets Jesus. He meets people that had passed away before he was born. He meets his sister... his unborn sister that had been miscarried. It was an AMAZING story and made me completely yearn to be in heaven even more. I love that. I love yearning to meet my maker. I love yearning to see His face. I LOVE waiting in eager anticipation to walk the streets of Heaven with Jesus. Ah. It makes me want to scream/cry/laugh.

The book is set with such an innocence.  It's from the perspective of Colton's (the little boy) dad and how he felt and things that Colton told them about Heaven.  It's told with such a pureness.

Colton talks about things that he couldn't have learned anywhere else other that actually being in Heaven.

About the Holy Spirit sending down power to the people that need it.

About how much God loves us. About how we can't even imagine how much He loves us and how big He is.

About how He loves the little children SO much. 

It was amazing. Definitely a book I would recommend... not only because of the message, but because of the way it changed my thinking. Since I am very susceptible, it's great when I read anything about the love of Christ... 

It made me look at people differently. Made me even more excited about seeing Andrew in heaven. Made me think about my parents and how much they have seen and taught me and how much I can't wait to spend eternity with them.  Made me think about my friends and how much power the Holy Spirit pours over us every day. How much strength He gives us.

Made me realize how useless I am alone, but how much power there is in the Spirit.

Made me want to be in Heaven. Makes me want to be there now.

"Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it."  -Mark 10:15