If that's what it takes to praise You, then Jesus bring the rain!

I don’t care much for storms. I don’t like thunder, lightning, heavy rain, or the possibility of bigger storms like tornadoes. I just don’t. Never have. I guess you can say I’m a little kid when it comes to storms. I mean, I don’t go running to my mommy and daddy, but I still don’t like storms.

There have been storms several days out of the past couple of weeks down here in the south, and I haven’t been a very happy camper because of that. Which has got me thinking…why is it that we’re always in amazing moods on bright sunny days but bad moods when it’s rainy and miserable outside? It’s all in your attitude towards it.

I know when I wake up and it’s a yucky rainy day, I pretty much dismiss any ideas of the day going well. It’s dark, miserable, depressing…but when it’s sunny out, I’m content and happy. Like I said, it’s all in the attitude.

However, according to Psalm 118:24, “This is the day that the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” Whether it’s rainy or sunny, warm or cold, tornado or clear, today is a gift of God, and we should be glad that He at least gave us another day rather than taking it all away from us. We shouldn’t complain about it because at least we’ve lived to see another day.

It’s days like this that I think of the words written by Mark Hall of Casting Crowns in the song “Praise You In This Storm”:

“…So I’ll praise You in this storm,
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am.
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hands.
You’ve never left my side.
And though my heart is torn,
I’ll praise You in this storm!”

I think Mark Hall is an amazing lyricist! His songs have so much truth and meaning in them. I think in “Praise You In This Storm”, the word “storm” has a double meaning. First, it can literally be a storm. We need to praise God not only on the beautiful sunshine-y days, but also during the rain, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. It’s a hard thing to do, but if you do it then you’re attitude will be much better and you will be much happier!

I also think “storm” has a figurative meaning, as well. Everyone goes through “storms” in their lives. People go through break-ups, loss of friends or family, losing a job, your dreams/goals not working out, etc. The storms will come, that much is inevitable. It’s how you react to them that shows your true character and faith. If you let these storms consume your life, what will you have left? But, if you decide to praise God for these things, for the wisdom you get through experiencing them, for life in general, happiness will follow. As Christians, we are not promised that we will not experience storms, but we ARE promised that God will be walking right there with us, holding our hand, throughout the storms. Sometimes, we need to experience the bad storms so that we know how good we have it on the bright sunny days. Yet another song comes to mind – “Bring the Rain” written by Bart Millard for his band MercyMe. I’ll leave you with the chorus from it:

“…So I pray…
Bring me joy,
Bring me peace,
Bring the chance to be free,
Bring me anything that brings you glory.
And I know there’ll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that’s what it takes to praise you
Jesus, bring the rain!”


A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.

Music is a major part of my life. Not to say that I'm musically talented. Because I’m not. At all. Period. Quite the contrary, actually. I’m a tone deaf girl who cant sing or ever really been able to play any kind of instrument. I used to be able to play a little bit on the piano, which was hard because I can’t read music. Now I’m limited to playing “Chopsticks” and “Ode to Joy” because those are easy to memorize.

No, when I say music is a major part of my life, I mean simply listening to music. Almost everyone that knows me knows that I’m pretty much obsessed with music, especially Contemporary Christian Music. I bet my friends get sick of me talking about all these different types of bands all the time. But, honestly, listening to the hearts and souls of all these different people brings me so much happiness! It soothes my soul when I’m upset or angry. It keeps me company during the 4 hour drive home and then back to school. When I’m lonely, it’s always there to cheer me up.

It’s so bad, I had to go out and buy a new 16GB iPod because the 4GB didn’t hold enough music. It held up to 1000 songs, and I still constantly had to delete some songs to load other ones. I thought the 16GB would be enough…I’m not so sure now though… :)

And recently, I’ve been on an “Aussie Band” kick. I’ve found 20 or so Australian bands that I’ve fallen in love with, thanks to myspace! :P The cool part is that they actually talk to me. I know, I know, I’m so cheesy, wanting to talk to bands like that (shocking confession! lol ). Several of them actually initiated the conversation. Call me cheesy, but they’re real people and it’s fun to talk to them and see what they say back, as opposed to American bands who never respond, thus proving how snobby Americans can be.

I now have another confession to make – I have a new cheesy schoolgirl dream. I want to marry an Australian musician and move away with him to the land down under. ;D I mean, whatever God’s will is for my life, I’ll gladly accept it no matter what because I know He knows best. But, because I’m human and stubborn and all that, I’m just adding my 2 cents in… :) Although it would be hard and a little bit scary to have to relearn how to drive on the wrong side of the road in the wrong side of the car….and the backward seasons would take some getting used to. But, I’d gladly learn to deal with it. Maybe it’s the accent…………………..

Anyway, I’ve just been thinking about all this for some reason. Random, I know. But, then again, I can be a very random person sometimes.



OK, so I have a special occasion speech due tomorrow, and I haven't even begun to get started on it. We have to pretend like we're giving a speech at a special occasion (wedding, birthday, etc...). I haven’t exactly started on it yet, but I do know what my topic is - my great-grandmother, Lois Hill (“Granny Hill”)'s 100th birthday.

That's so incredible to me, that she's been alive since 1909. It's almost unfathomable.

She was born the day after William Howard Taft officially became the 27th President of the United States. That's 17 presidents ago! That's the year the first subway car with side doors goes into service in NYC, the year 1st credit union opened, the 1st US airplane was sold commercially (for $5,000!), the 1st Lincoln penny was issued, the North Pole was reached, construction on the Titanic begun, and the cost of a first-class stamp was $.02. Some of the things that hadn't been invented yet - zippers, toasters, hair dryers, bubblegum, sunglasses, ballpoint pens, Monopoly, trampolines, shopping carts, duct tape, Tupperware, bikini swim suits, disposable diapers, Velcro and milk cartons. Life expectancy was under age 50, and the average worker made $12.98 per week for 59 hours.

Isn't it crazy how much has changed in 100 years??

Isn't it crazy how we take simple things like zippers, duct tape, pens, and bubblegum for granted? What if those things had never been invented? These things are pretty much everyday things for us...how would we have survived in 1909 without them?

I sometimes wonder what my great-grandmother thinks about society today. I mean, life was so different for her back then. I wonder what she thinks about all the cars, the clothes, the fads, the music…just our society in general.

She married Lowell Hill and after WWII they started the North Alabama nursery. Lowell died in 1967 but Granny Hill kept the nursery going til the 80s…She was the oldest of 4 kids, and is the only 1 still living. She’s lived through the Great Depression, both World Wars, the Gulf, Cold, and Vietnam Wars, the attacks on Pearl Harbor, September 11, and the War in Iraq. She got to see the first animated Disney movie (Snow White and the seven Dwarfs), the creation of Mother’s Day, and the opening of the Empire State building and the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge. She got to see the creation of NASA and the first man on the moon, as well as see Alaska and Hawaii becomes US states and the first black president.

She’s experienced SO much in her life and she's just an amazing woman, and I’m proud to be called her great-granddaughter!

God's Will in my life

I wrote this about a month ago, but I thought I'd use it as my first blog post...

God's Will In My Life
-February 23, 2009-

So for a while now, I’ve been kind of obsessed with the continent of Australia (talk to any of my friends and they’ll agree), but I’ve never been exactly sure why. And I’m still not sure. But, I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately…

Every summer since 7th grade, I’ve gone to a summer missions camp called M-Fuge. It’s a LOT of fun and I look forward to my 8th year going this next summer (shameless plug :D). But the past few years, I’ve felt more and more that God may be leading me to missions, which is so not what I had in mind for myself, but of course, His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor our ways His ways. Anyway, so I’d spent several years contemplating whether or not God was really calling me to missions or I was making myself feel that way for some reason. Then, 2 years ago at M-Fuge in Philadelphia, during the one of the last services before going home, I prayed that God would show me what He wants me to do. If He wanted me to be a missionary somewhere, whether here in the US or in another country, I would do it. If He wanted me to be a teacher, which personally has been my plan since I was a little kid, I would do it. If He wanted me to do something completely out of the ordinary, I would do it. Then, shortly after I finished my prayer, the song “You Never Let Go” by Matt Redman began to play and I started to cry, because I realized that no, God really doesn’t ever let go. He never let go of my heart, kept bringing me back to missions somehow.

So what does all of this have to do with Australia? Well, I’m not exactly sure. But (and this may just my thinking again, not sure yet) but maybe, that is where God wants me to be. Maybe part of His plan for me is to move to a completely different continent, to serve Him. Maybe that’s the reason I have an obsession with the land down under. Maybe that’s where I’m meant to be…

Like I said, I’m still not exactly sure, but I do know this-I’m willing to do whatever God wants of me. And for me, that’s kind of a scary thought, giving up my dreams in order to fulfill God’s plans for my life, especially since I haven't had all that much experience with missions work-just M-Fuge and Acteens, as well as a few other things with my church. But, I know that it’s totally worth it. I know that God wants the best for His children, even if that means that we have to give up our dreams in the meantime.

So am I going to move to Australia to pursue missions? Is that why I’m posting this? No. I’m posting this kind of as a way of trying to figure it all out, if that makes sense. I’m posting this mainly for me, so that I can remember the promise I’ve made to God to do whatever He wants me to do.

Thy will be done, Lord, not mine. Let me know what You want me to do, and I’ll do it. I’m just waiting, Lord, trying to be patient.