Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Whenever someone asks me, 'Can I tell you something, that's a secret?' the first thought that pops into my head is, 'Of course, I can, after all, I am an SAI.' HAHA. How silly, but the true importance of trust and secrecy was taught to me in my years as an SAI. Today a wonderful man at work shared a very heartwarming story with me, that I dare not share with you guys... sorry. Just know, wisdom comes in so many forms and ways, and God blesses even in the break room.

I have probably mentioned many times before that my favorite verses of the Bible are contained in Matthew 6 & 7. These first few verses are very special to me. 

Matthew 6:1-8

 1"Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. 2"So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3"But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 5"When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6"But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 7"And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8"So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

In a world where we are taught to 'toot' our own horn and constantly beg for attention, it is difficult for most just to worry about their own lives and things that should be kept secret. I mean honestly, think of Facebook, people put all kinds of pictures, statuses and information out onto the web that normally wouldn't be, or shouldn't be, broadcast to the world.

I have also heard the term so many times, talk the talk, but doesn't walk the walk. It is my prayer and hope that I continually walk my walk with Christ. I, being a math major, continually acknowledge that I may not have the most eloquent speech or writing skills. Being a daughter of the King, this is perfectly ok! Praise be to Him! 

We as Christians don't need to call attention to ourselves and try to be 'holier than thou'. Growing up being known as 'the Jesus girl' it was hard for people to not try to see me as trying to be better than them with my religion. And therefore, I strive for this fact, that I am in this world, but not of it, that I am a person just like everyone else.. However, I do believe differently, behave differently, and act differently in awe and wonder of my Savior who blesses me and gives me joy everlasting. 

So my challenge for you is to find your 'secret place' in which to worship and talk with the Lord. I am so fortunate to have had this challenge a few years ago and what a wonderful blessing it has been. Take time with the Lord, just for you and God... not anyone else. Because to God, no one else matters! :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A 'greener' UA

I am so fortunate to work, live, and play at UA. What a great place. I have honestly come to believe that this is God's country. :)

However, I was surprised when I got here how easy it was to recycle. Recycling bins are literally ALL OVER campus, with multiple bins in all locations. Alabama even boasts a recycling project for tailgaters on the quad during game days. UA makes recycling EASY!

Recently while cleaning out my office, I was able to recycle years of paperwork, rather than throwing it all away. It is helpful that we do have a strong recycling department, and they were able to come over and pick up everything I had. Also, a manager and myself also have specified places at our desks for recycling. Our jobs involve a lot of paperwork, and any time I can put a piece of paper into my recycling pile it gives me a sense of satisfaction. Even all our shredded material gets picked up by the recyclers! :)

This is my recycling stack on my back desk!
Yes, I have two desks at work. It provides all the space and storage I need, and a perfect out of the way place to recycle! I usually take my stack out once to twice a week. As far as me and recycling goes... EVERY little bit helps.

Alabama is working hard to promote recycling, even through graduation. Read this article about how UA saved over 23,000 plastic bottles from landfills, just by hosting the December graduation.  Check out UA's 'green' commencement regalia!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Goals meeting

Today was my first 'Goals Meeting' at work. Each of the managers and office staff met with out boss on an individual basis to discuss our goals for the job. Since I am a fairly new employee, I do not have a file or any paperwork yet. So my meeting started off with, 'Your meeting is a little different because you are new... and I don't have a file for you.." and ended with, "Will you make yourself a file for me?" HAHA! I love my job! 

I thought it was amazing how much my boss values our opinions and wanted to hear our goals and discuss our jobs and our job satisfaction. I was nice to be able to tell him what I wanted to accomplish and to see what he had in mind for me. I am so lucky to have my job, and to be so highly appreciated. I am continually encouraged and commended for my work. And I know that doesn't happen everywhere. Now, with that being said, my job has had its bad moments... and all jobs will. I just know that I am lucky to have it as good as I have got it! Today my boss told me that I was 'a fantastic hire' and that I should consider becoming a 'CFO'. I am so proud to be a part of an organization that will listen to my goals and what I want to do in life, and that the management encourages me to reach for the stars! 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

OH! What a beautiful morning!

This morning I awakened at 4:12am and the first thing that popped into my head was 'Praise be to God for a restful night's sleep! And I get to sleep for 45 more minutes!' Seriously, that was my thought process. Have you taken time to acknowledge God in your life? Sometimes, we all forget to. And sometimes I seem to acknowledge him in the weirdest ways, and people always laugh.

I am so happy with how my semester is going right now. I have done homework, went to class, and of course pulled my usual 40 hours. AND I was even able to go to girls night with the college group at church this week! Last night I was able to cook dinner for Gabby and myself, and even watch a little American Idol.

This weekend is going to be full of fun, especially since it is my first weekend in Tuscaloosa since the new year. My Mom and Dad are coming up for the gymnastics meet on Friday, and I am really excited to see the Tide in action. We have such a great team, I know the meet will be amazing. Watching Crimson Tide gymnastics is something I grew up on. I can remember driving up some days and then sitting in the dark coliseum as they introduced the team... what a great experience. I am excited to be able to share that with my family once again.

Classes are going well, and Jordan is doing well. Prayers are still appreciated and needed, as we hope to catch her assailant and for her to regain her confidence and sense of security, as well as healing.

It is a beautiful morning, and it is going to be a beautiful day. I can't wait to have a wonderful weekend with my family, and I hope each of you have a great weekend as well!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Last week I was able to cook a lot more than usual, and that makes me happy. I explained to a few of my friends back home that the thing I miss the most is cooking for 12 people every week. Funny story, they said they missed it too! :) So glad my cooking is appreciated.

So, my mom always cooks quiche for Christmas holidays... and quiche is something I love. It is just about the only way that I will eat eggs. I just cannot stand the texture of eggs... so, yeah, I don't eat them.

So... quiche is something that you can throw a bunch of ingredients in... just whatever you like! I chose to put ham, cheese, and fresh bell pepper in mine. This picture is before baking, just so you can see all of the ingredients. I layered mine and then poured the wet ingredients over the top... However, I do feel that it would work if you mixed all ingredients together and poured into the pan.

It is easy and I was actually able to just put together what I had and it turned out to be a great meal. I love easy comfort food. I love trying new recipes, and I love to call on my ultimate cookbook, my mom. She can just throw stuff in a pot and it turns out to be great... This was my first time making quiche and I was so happy with how it turned out. Now, quiche may seem like girlie food, and maybe it is. But I believe that this is great as any meal, from breakfast to dinner. Just choose hearty ingredients or light ones depending on your mood and time of day. 

Cooking truly one of my favorite things to do!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

First day of Spring 2011

Yesterday was my first day of classes for Spring 2011. After much anxiety and heartache about starting it was finally time. I was deeply worried that this semester will turn out as horrible as last semester truly was; that I would be stressed beyond belief, too tired to stay awak in class, and just overall weary and unhappy.

Matthew chapters 6 and 7 are some of my favorite Bible passages.

25"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27"And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?

Praise be to the Lord! I went back to these familiar verses and passages and was able to calm my heart and soul. Also, as my theme verse for this time in my life is Jeremiah 29:11, I have been reminded of a verse I treasured throughout my earlier teen years...

9"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

What powerful verses God has given to me through this time in my life. Isn't His LIVING word amazing??

So yesterday I started my routine all over again. I got up at 5am, got ready, packed my lunch and left for work. (This hasn't changed the past month, and I am so blessed to have such a great job!) 6am greats me with so many wonderful men who I am so lucky to work with and for. It was our first 'normal' day back from the weather and the office and shop was buzing. I then left at 10:30am to go to my 11 o'clock class. It was great! The professor is so much more organized than my professor from last semster in the first half of this course; and he seems to have a great since of humor. After class I then returned to work for another two and a half hours before leaving at 2:30pm to go to my next class. This class seems to be a relatively simple class, and we shall see how it goes. My interpretation of Chinese accents has been greatly strengthened through my time here in Tuscaloosa.. something I never thought I would end up saying. And this will be my Monday's and Wednesday's.

My schedule seems to be a bit calmer this semester.. even though I start every day at six I am done with school and work by 4:15pm! Hooray!! So my nights again will be filled with homework, and I am making the most of this time without it. But God has truly calmed my heart about this semester, and I know that I am working toward His plan. I am so thankful for all He has richly blessed me with!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Prayers Needed

Please pray for one of my dear friends. She is a senior at Troy this year, and has been in the band with me and we became close my senior year. Last night, after she got off work she was abducted from outside her home and stabbed 15 times. She was then dropped off at a house in Bullock County. Praise be to the Lord on high that she was able to find someone and get help. She is now in a Montgomery hospital in stable condition. Please pray for her, her family and her friends. I know crazy people act stupid and have bad things happen to them, but she is a great girl, who doesn't drink, and was just getting home after a long night of work. All prayers and thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Monday, January 10, 2011

2011 College Retreat

I am so fortunate to be considered a part of the amazing college group at Ridgecrest Baptist. This past weekend we had a college retreat in Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, TN. We had a wonderful time in our cabin, named Renewed Spirit. This was the theme of our weekend. Renewal, before school starts and life gets even crazier. This is the beautiful view of the mountains behind our cabin on our mountain. Now that was scary! Traveling up the icy roads in the church bus! When parked in downtown Gatlinburg there was so much ice the bus was sliding out of it's parking spot!! But the majesty of the Lord was all around us... what a beautiful place to workship!

We were able to go to Ober Gatlinburg on Friday and were actually snowed in and couldn't leave the mountain on Thursday! We had a great time running around the mountain and sledding down the icy roads. It snowed the entire time we were up there, and we thought we might not be able to make it home yesterday. Well, we changed our plans and left earlier in order to beat the weather to Tuscaloosa.

We made it back to Tuscaloosa just in time to see the roads piling up with ice and many cars in ditches. My car was a popsicle!! All the rain that was falling was freezing and piling up on the roads, so of course our cars were covered in the ice. I was able to use my ice scraper to clean everyones' windshields. What a sight!! It was neat to see... but I am glad it doesn't happen that often!

So, now I am sitting and waiting to go in to work. Everyone is freaking out in the south and even Troy has cancelled classes. HAH! You can tell we don't have weather like this much in the south.

The University of Alabama employees are expecting a delayed start, but we will know for sure around 10am. That is when we are all going in. :) So, have a safe and wonderful Monday! If you must get out, drive slowly and be careful! Especially on bridges!

Monday, January 3, 2011

My first book review

I decided that over the break I would rekindle my love for reading... After starting college and becoming so busy I have seldom been able to just sit down and read a book. So, while I was on my week long break from my job, I decided that I was going to not only read, but finish some books I have been able to start.

Twentysomething girl has been the first book on my list of many! The book is letters and biblical truths on moving into the real world. The book gives accounts of what women wish they had known before entering the 'real world' and things that they thought they had 'done right' upon entering the 'real world'. It is a book that can just be read outright, or read in chapters for a more devotional format. I did the later and loved it! Each chapter focuses on a different issue when coming into the real world. Issues such as job hunting, relationships and moving to a new town are all discussed and backed with Bible verses to support.

Twentysomething girl is an easy read with many letters from women across the country in all different walks of life. This book first sparked my interest because it is written and compiled by a lady who resides in Birmingham, AL and many of the letters are from girls who grew up in Alabama.

This is a book that I plan on purchasing for all my girlfriends who will soon be graduating from college. It is an amazing inspiration and encourager for entering into the 'real world'.  In a time full of change I feel that anyone could use a good pick me up and know that they are not alone. 

One of my favorite quotes from the book is: "The only thing that has been a constant in my life since graduation is change." How true this is!!! I hope and pray that every young woman, and man, seek first the kingdom of God in their new adventure into the fast paced crazy life of the 'real world'.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Milestone

Today on my travels back to Tuscaloosa I found myself approaching a certain milestone. My lovely car has been in my possession since about halfway through my freshman year of college, and today January 2, 2011 about sixty miles outside of Tuscaloosa, my car hit the 100,000 mile mark. Silly isn't it? But I have put a lot of miles on my little car.. and it has a lot of memories under those tires. So, as minuscule as it may seem, this meant a lot to me, and I took a picture for all of you to see!

My return to Tuscaloosa was bittersweet. I had a wonderful time with my family this Christmas break and one week just didn't seem long enough. However, I am here with clothes washed and halfway unpacked, ready to start back to the daily routine. Spring 2011 excites me, as well as scares me, as I traverse into my second semester of graduate school and the 'real world'. It will be tough but rewarding, and oh, how time will fly. 

I am still working on getting my room put back together after having to move rooms and pictures are sure to come when I am finished putting my pictures back up and such. I plan on completely deep cleaning my apartment this week after work. We will see how that goes. ;) But for now, a preview of beauty... a Christmas present given to me by my sister Donna is now a wonderful new decoration in my apartment.

Isn't it beautiful? Decorating makes me want my own home more and more... But I know that with time I will be able to buy a home, and so much more. For this year I am working on focusing more on God's plan for my life, rather than making my own plans. Because I know, He has my best interests at heart! 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy 2011!! 2010 will definitely be a year that I will not soon forget as I continue my journey into the 'real world' of life after college graduation.

A few blessings from 2010

  • I experienced friendship like never before, I learned who my true friends were and spend the time of my life making memories with them my senior year of college
  • I was able to have a life changing experience by interning/teaching at Pike County High School... the lessons that I learned and the friend that I have gained.. the trails that we both went through that semester and the struggle that still carries on is something that has truly changed me, forever.
  • On the same token, I have loved and lost, and also seen what it was like for someone so young and so dear be diagnosed with cancer, and two months later, lose the battle that would ultimately break a young girl's heart. 
  • I experienced the 'real world' of moving to a completely new city, knowing absolutely no one and nothing
  • I have found a church, a place to worship and call my home
  • I found an amazing job... I honestly never thought my job throughout graduate school would be so AMAZING! 
  • Did I mention, I went to graduate school?! Haha, a concept that I had only dreamed of came true in shocking fashion! After setting up interviews with around six school systems I ended my job search to pick up my life and move. Tuscaloosa has become my home, and God has so richly blessed His path for me.
  • I ventured out and have now tried out two, very different, hairstyles and love the joys of growing up and becoming my own person.
  • I watched a friend lose her true love to cancer, another friend have a dangerous surgery hoping that she might one day be able to live a normal life, a friend lose his job, and another friend struggle to find a job... But, with all this hardship and heartache God is still in control and is continuing to work in the lives of these people.
  • I am learning to trust God more and more each day... After all, my life has been turned upside down this year... But God's ways are not our ways, and I firmly believe, when we make plans, God has a good laugh; because in the end, He's got it all taken care of.
  • I ALMOST FORGOT!! I ran, yes, ran, a 5K!! Talk about something I never even thought about doing... and loved it!
I, and my coworkers, have been so blessed to have a week off from my job. I was able to come home on the 23rd and I will return to Tuscaloosa tomorrow to go back to work on Monday. Having this time to spend with my family and catch up with a few old friends has been wonderful! I have even slept until 7:30am most days!! (I know, I lead a sad, sad, life! haha) Sleeping in, reading a good book, just spending time at home with my family and visiting my friends has made this Christmas vacation one of the best. The new year has already started with a wonderful Crimson Tide Bowl victory with a school record and a BCS record being set. ROLL TIDE!

I am excited to see what God has in store for 2011, and I am praying that each of you are richly blessed. May God bless you and keep you.. you are a wonderful creation of His! Seek His will diligently and daily, and above all, choose to spend some extra time this year with your Father... after all, He longs to be with you!