Monday, November 18, 2013


I'm posting twice in one day! What??

I shared this free-verse poem that I wrote before. But that was back in 2009, and I doubt most people remember it, and I want to share it again. So, here it is. (and by the way, it is basically my personal testimony put into a poem) Enjoy! :)

Finally Free
by Emily Sweigart

Sin was my best friend
He showed me all his treasures and promised they would satisfy
I trusted him, believing he was the only one who could make me happy
At first I said, "Yes, this is what I need! I'm happy with my life."
But soon I began to feel empty
I questioned my friend, wondering if there was more to life than him
He did not answer

That's when I realized that sin was no friend
He was my enemy
I struggled to break free, but the harder I tried, the tighter he gripped me
I cried for help, but no one came
Sin began to bury me
He buried me deeper and deeper, until darkness surrounded me
I was dead

Suddenly life flowed into my body and I saw a light shining in the darkness
A man appeared in the midst of the glow
His hands and feet were nailed to a cross, and on his head sat a crown made of thorns
He said, "I have done this, even this, for you."

Sin told me not to believe the man, but I did not listen
This man had given me life, how could I not trust him?
Then I was carried far, far away from sin, and placed at the foot of the cross
I looked up and saw the man, bleeding in my place

Suddenly the cross was empty, and the man stood by my side
He said, "I have conquered death, and so have you. Come, follow me, and I will give you everlasting joy."
I took his hand and ran with him, finally free

A few life lessons

God has placed some pretty amazing people in my life. I definitely don't deserve to have so many wonderful friends and family, who genuinely care about me. I've learned quite a few valuable lessons from them (even from simply watching the way they live), and I have benefited from their advice more than once. Here are just a few examples.

If you think about one particular circumstance excessively, you'll start to focus more and more on that, and it can lead to anxiety or feeling overwhelmed. Just relax and try to focus on Jesus. -Thomasson

Ask yourself if this is from God. Sometimes God lets you go through something hard so that later on you can help others who are going through the same thing. -Josiah

There's nothing wrong with randomly breaking into song or dancing, no matter where you are. -Jessie

You can make time for the people you care about, even when you are slightly overwhelmed by your busy schedule. -Cara

If you listen to the advise of those wiser that you and truly want to grow, you /can/ change. Stop telling yourself that you can't! -Marissa

You are going to be okay. -multiple people

Sunday, November 10, 2013

update + Month of Thanksgiving

It's been a while since I wrote. A lot has happened, yet not much in my life has changed.

Last Monday I took a spontaneous road trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway. I began near Stone Mountain and ended near Blowing Rock. The views were so amazing, I stopped at pretty much every overlook area. Here are a few pictures. They don't do the real thing justice by a long shot.

It was good to spend a day alone admiring creation. Would have been more fun if I had someone to share it with, but I can't have everything.

Oh, right it's the Month of Thanksgiving. I'm gonna just copy & paste my FB statuses.

#1 I am thankful for doctors who can give me a diagnosis & medicine to hopefully help me feel better.

#2 I'm thankful for delicious fresh veggies to eat. Don't know what I'd do without my daily salad.

#3 Today I'm thankful for the lovely fall weather in which I'm going on a fun road trip with Thomasson.

#4 I'm thankful for a day to be alone and reflect on some things.

#5 I'm thankful for my oven and my love of baking. Also thankful for my enjoyment in sharing my baked confections with others. (because I definitely could not eat everything I bake!)

#6 I'm thankful for a good night's sleep, even though it was only 5.5 hours. 

#7 I'm thankful for the super exciting phone call I received yesterday from Massage Envy, in which they told me I'm hired & I start work on Wednesday!

#8 I'm thankful for the opportunity to try new things, like a hookah bar (which was definitely interesting, but fun) and a mojito (which was actually quite tasty). Yay for trying new things!

#9 I'm thankful for coats, scarves, gloves, and other warm clothes to wear in layers when it's cold outside.

#10 I'm thankful for the glorious 67 degree weather today.        

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Random Fact Wednesday (10)

It's been a while since I wrote a Random Fact Wednesday, so here is one.

If I can get by without using electricity I will. I often use the natural light coming in through the window to see what I'm doing, I mix things by hand instead of using an electric mixer, and if leftovers are tolerable without reheating them I'll eat them cold.

I know, that's not a very interesting random fact. But that's what came to mind.

Just for fun, here's a photo of my family:

Aren't we a good-looking bunch? =p

Happy Hump Day!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

my last 24 hours

A few weeks ago, I came across this icebreaker question: If you only had 24 hours left to live, how would you spend it?

I've been thinking about that question (I know, not the most cheerful thing to ponder), and I decided what I would do in my last 24 hours. I would thank each of my friends and family for all the kind things they've done for me, tell them everything that I've learned from them, and encourage them by pointing out ways I see God working in them.

Why is this my answer? Because I know it must be hard for anyone to be a friend to me. I'm so introspective that quite often I selfishly get lost in my own thoughts - thoughts that are mainly about myself, what I'm going through, what I want, ect. I rarely open up to people, and I don't know how to truly love others or let people love me. So, I would want people to know how much I appreciate their kindness and friendship. And I do enjoy encouraging others, 'cause it helps them see areas of growth that they might not have seen on their own.

You know, I might just do this. November is coming up, and it's the 'month of thanksgiving'. Last year, I posted every day something I'm thankful for. Maybe this year I'll post about 1 or 2 friends each day, since I am thankful for my friends. Sounds like a good idea to me! :)

And here's a quote from pastor Jonathan at Renovatus: The ultimate consummation and goal of the Christian life is to love others in the way that Christ loves us.


Monday, September 16, 2013

House Pictures

As promised, here are some pictures of the house I'm now sharing with 4 other girls.

Meet Bruce:

The foyer. My bedroom is the one with the door open on the left just as you get up the stairs.

I love our big kitchen!
View from the kitchen in to the family room.

 My bedroom! :)

 I've got a nice big closet.

And looking down the stairs to the front door.

Monday, September 9, 2013

He loves you

(Sorry in advance for the long post. I have to share this with you, because it is so good!)

I just finished reading an amazing book called Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller. Here are two quotes from the book that really spoke to me.

"It is difficult for us to see the gospel as anything other than a list of rules with which a person must agree..... Maybe the gospel of Jesus is all about our relationship with Jesus rather than about ideas... I think it is more safe and more beautiful and more true to believe that when a person dies he will go to be with God because, on earth, he had come to know Him, that he had a relational encounter with God.
There is moral law, to be sure, but moral law is not our path to heaven; our duty involves knowing and being known by Christ.... What we need here truly, is faith in a Being, not a list of ideas."

I've realized lately that the gospel really is all about Jesus. I mean, what is written in the gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? Stories about Jesus. Stories about how Jesus loved people, forgave people, related to people. In the gospels of Scripture, you will not find anything like a gospel pamphlet that you might hand out; you will not find a list of ideas/rules that need to be believed in order to be saved. In the gospels of Scripture, you will find a story about a God who came to earth as a man named Jesus for the purpose of revealing to us what He is truly like and to make a way for us to be in a relationship with Him, to get to know us. It definitely is good news!


"If you can imagine the greatest love of your life, multiplied by millions, speaking affirmation into your soul, you will have in your mind the awareness of Christ and the community of the Trinity. All the self-awareness that occurred in Christ's absence will dissolve as Christ's love tells us who we are. In His presence we will not hate ourselves, second-guess ourselves, or compare ourselves to others; but rather, our lives will be filled with the gratitude of His presence, and we will know for the first time the glory of being human." 

Christ's love tells us who we are. Without Christ's love, we look to other people and things of this world to figure out who we are. But with Christ's love, we know that we are His treasured possession, His beloved children, His cherished creation.    

Dear reader, do you know that God loves you? Really and truly, do you believe it? Think about this: God knows you. He knows your struggles, your sorrows, your mistakes, your thoughts, your desires, your fears, and every single detail about you. And yet He still loves you, unconditionally right where you are at this moment. You can come to God just as you are. You do not have to "fix yourself" in order to come to Him. His loving arms are open wide to you, and He wants you. He wants to shower His love on you, pour out His blessings on you, and be your Father. Will you let Him?

Zephaniah 3:17
"The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”  

God delights in you, dear reader! He is blown away by how amazing you are! You have eternal value, because God created you and knows you and loves you. And nothing can ever take that away from you. 

You are loved!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New View

My views on the "Christian life" have been changing a lot recently. Since I've been attending different churches and hearing different ideas on theology, I've felt more free in my faith than I ever have. I never thought that there was any way to view theology other than the way that I've been taught growing up. But I now know otherwise. Here are a few quotes from the various churches that I've been to recently, that really helped me change my perspective.

"You don't need a list of rules to tell what's right or wrong. Just love God and love people, and you will end up doing the right thing." .......I've been living as if I am bound up by rules and regulations, thinking I absolutely have to do this and that and the other thing in order to glorify God. But really it is much more simple. All I need do is love God and love people, and God will show me what I need to do to bring Him glory. This is incredibly freeing! :)

"Christianity demands an elasticity of the mind. It should never be like concrete. Make a place for spontaneity. What God requires and what God accepts are sometimes very different." .....For me, this means that I am no longer obligated to believe the same things all the time. I am perfectly free to change how I think about certain things. And it's alright to have contrasting views from other people; not everyone has to believe the same exact things in every area of Christianity!

I now feel more free to love and accept /everyone/, no matter what, because that's what Jesus did. He ate with sinners and loved on sinners, and did not care what others thought about His doing that. Jesus came to be a friend of sinners, not to impose rules and regulations on them to make their lives more difficult. I read in a book recently that the probable reason why sinners don't like Christians is because Christians tell them that they have to obey all sorts of rules in order to please God. God is not looking for slaves, He is looking for people to love like He loves His Son. Our God is love!

(I know some of you might not agree with what I wrote, but it's ok. I'm just writing what God has been kind enough to teach me. I am not here to get in a debate/argument with anyone.)    

Monday, August 19, 2013

God moves in a mysterious way

God is so awesome, I want to tell the whole world all that He has done for me! But it would take an entire day to type up everything, and I doubt that anyone would actually read a blog post that was 100 pages long. (ok, maybe not /that/ long, but you get the idea) So I'm going to write about a small part of how my Father has blessed me.

Last week was one of the hardest weeks ever, due to various circumstances and my very sinful reaction to them. I can't recall ever being under satanic attack before, but I'm pretty sure that Satan was after me last week. (Now you're probably thinking, 'how can this be a blessing from God?' Just hold on, I'll get to that.) I was literally depressed, consumed by thoughts of my circumstances and how I deserved better and how I would be sad forever if things didn't change to my liking. I was not smiling at all, which, if you know me, is not normal. To be completely honest, I didn't see the point of living anymore.

Side note: This is no one's fault but my own. No one is to blame but myself (and Satan) for how I reacted to the circumstances that God perfectly planned for me last week.

Alrighty, on to the good stuff!

It's hard to say exactly what happened. But basically, God gently but firmly shook me awake and said, "Hello! You're wallowing in self-pity, thinking only about yourself and what you want. You imagine that what you desire is the only possible scenario that I could have planned for you. Stop this foolish, selfish, prideful thinking! I know what's best for you, and I have something so much better for you than what you imagine you should have. Trust me, I will never take away anything from you without giving you back something far better. I have an amazing future planned for you, my dear one!"

God dramatically changed my outlook on my situation. He changed my focus from my present circumstances to the bigger picture of what He may be calling me to. He greatly restored my joy, to the point where now I just want to smile at everyone I see. :) He reminded me of all the blessings He has given me, and of how much He loves me. He helped me to accept that things are the way they are, and nothing I do will change that, and then move on and find out what He wants me to do next. He is helping me heal and let go.

My Father is so kind, good, faithful, loving, patient, gentle, and I could keep going on and on. I'm abundantly grateful that I have such an awesome Savior and friend, who will never ever leave me!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Random Fact Wednesday (9)

Happy Hump Day! :)

Today's random fact about me: I clean up messes and fix things, even if they aren't mine. It's just a habit, possibly springing from the fact that I have a kind nature. For example, whenever I see dirty dishes in the sink, I don't think twice about putting them in the dishwasher or washing them. If there's trash on the floor, even in a public restroom, I pick it up and throw it in the trash (Don't worry, I wash my hands thoroughly afterward!) because I don't want anyone else to have to deal with it.

Several times, my "helpful habit" has led to me feeling like I'm the only one doing any work, but it's my own fault. Perhaps I need to cut back on how much I do for other people, or else learn to rejoice in the fact that God gave me a servant's heart and 'press on'.

I'll end with a random quotable quote from Pirates of the Caribbean. "A dishonest man, you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you have to watch out for. You never know when they might do something stupid."

Sunday, August 4, 2013

New adventure

Well, I moved yesterday, into a house with 5 other single girls. This shall be quite an adventure.

Our living room. Before:

My bedroom at my parents' house

All my stuff barely fit into my car. It was packed to the roof! But at least I didn't have to rent a truck.

I'll post pictures of the new house, once we get everything organized. :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

I never thought...

I never thought I'd move out of my parents' house before I got married. Yet now, this Saturday I'm moving into a house with some other girls, and I'm quite excited!

I never thought I'd be able to smile at a complete stranger and say hi to them. Yet now, almost everywhere I go, I find myself smiling at people in hopes that I can share just a bit of God's love with them.

I never thought I'd have the courage to talk with guys, aside from the formal, "Hi, how are you?" Yet now some of my best friends are guys, and I'm perfectly comfortable talking with them (and most other guys too).

I never thought I'd find anyone who would understand my love of clouds and nature. Yet now I know at least 4 people with whom I can share this fascination.

I never thought I'd care about other people's souls or thoughts of God. Yet now there is nothing that would make me happier than to see others grow in their understanding of and love for God, and I pray for them to that end.

I never thought I'd change or grow. Yet now, just these past few months, God has changed me in so many ways spiritually it is ridiculous. And He has brought me so much joy, peace, and freedom. :) I just wish I could give away all of my joy to my friends, so that they can be joyful too! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Random Fact Wednesday (8)

So, I have a goofy side. Sometimes that's hard to believe, even for me, but what fun would it be if I was never goofy?
I like to:
1.) Turn on dance music and intentionally dance ungracefully, while singing purposely out of tune.
2.) Make ridiculous faces at myself in the mirror.
3.) Attempt to speak in a British accent, usually while quoting a line from a movie. (quite entertaining, since I pretty much can't speak in a British accent)
4.) At work, when the headset is muted at my end, I sometimes talk back to customers, laugh at them, or repeat back what they said in an exaggerated way.
5.) Make my own commentary out loud during movies that I've seen multiple times. (which can be annoying to other people sometimes)
6.) Have a long dialog with an inanimate object or with myself. The latter of which has produced some strange looks in my direction.... apparently I'm half crazy.
7.) Make sound effects for almost everything. 

In conclusion, If I'm ever goofy around you, it's because I'm comfortable being with you. :)

And, here's a daily odd compliment for you.
"You know what the difference is between you and a narwhal, aside from your physical features, dietary habits, social skills, mating rituals, interests, intelligence, and reading level?
Nothing. Because you're both amazing.
Isn't that crazy? It's like you're twins."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Random quotes and other stuff

"No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light." Luke 8:16

"Your fear is the only thing standing in the way of you receiving the gifts that God wants to give you. Your fear keeps you from doing things you know that God is telling you to. You hold back because you fear what might happen if you step out and surrender fully to your Father."

Wow, God is trying to tell me something. Through recent messages on Sundays, my Bible reading, conversations with friends, and random events, God is basically telling me to come out of my shell. 

For example, the other day at Walmart there were 2 separate incidents of people asking me if I knew where an item was. I just knew it was God giving me the opportunity to grow in my 'people skills', and if I didn't try to help then it would have been disobedience. I was able to help both of them find what they were looking for, and they were both so happy. It made me happy to see them happy. :)

So, I'm going to try my best to overcome this idea that I can't change how introverted I am. Sure, God made me an introvert, but that doesn't mean that I can live under the delusion that I will never be good at talking to people. Nothing is impossible with God, even for this socially-awkward girl!

On a lighter note, here are some random quotes I found the other day. Enjoy. :)

"Be weird. Be random. Be who you are."

"There is a certain happiness in being silly and ridiculous."

"Never trust an atom. They make up everything."

"If you're lucky enough to be different, don't ever change."

"When I'm sad I just sing, and then I realize my voice is worse than my problems."

"To Do List: 1)Buy a sword. 2)Name it Kindness. 3)Kill people with Kindness."

"You are /never/ too old for a Disney movie!"

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Real Me

I've realized lately that I don't love the person God made me to be.
I feel insecure about who I am, and that makes me feel awkward when I talk about myself with others. I try to please others too much, and that causes me to be someone I'm not. I mask my feelings and live behind a wall of "I'm great, life is great, and I'll do anything to make you happy." I don't accept myself fully for who I was created to be. I'm not confident at all either. I constantly compare myself to others and question every decision I make. I don't believe I have the ability to do things that others say that I can do, and I doubt the truth of others' encouragement and compliments.

///All of this needs to change!///

The real me is a daughter of God, loved unconditionally by Him, and beautifully fashioned by His hand. The real me is weird (not in a bad way) and goofy at times. The real me has struggles, trials, questions, and things needing growth. The real me loves to talk, but doesn't think that anyone else truly wants to listen. The real me is trying every day to fall more in love with Jesus and share what He is doing in my life. The real me wants to break free.

I want to be the real me.

Now that I got that out of the way, here are some more sky pictures.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Random Fact Wednesday (7)

This is more like a rant than a random fact, but it'll work. One of the few things that really annoy me is when people don't respond to messages/invitations. Like, I'll send out a message or invite for an event, and almost half of the people I send it to don't reply at all. I don't get it. Why can't people take a minute to reply? They just leave me hanging, not knowing if they've actually read what I sent. Even sometimes I ask a question twice, and still don't get a reply. It's a mystery to me, and it annoys me greatly.

If this has ever happened to you, or you know how to fix this problem, leave a comment. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A day at the beach

I finally did something on my summer bucket list - went on a spontaneous day-cation at the beach. Hannah came with me, and we had fun in the perfect-temperature ocean and sand. :) I didn't take many pictures of the actual beach, but here are the ones I did take:

We had quite an adventure getting there - lots of rain and u-turns. Then at the beach we found a shark tooth, watched as swimmers kept ignoring the lifeguard (his whistle got annoying), and saw a police officer arrest someone for giving alcohol to a minor. On the way home, we saw a gorgeous sunset. I took pictures of it while I was driving. (I know, not smart, but it was too pretty to pass up)

So, that's one thing checked off my summer bucket list. I'd still like go find an open field and look for shapes in the clouds, start doing yoga, fix some of my clothes that are too big, and go camping. We'll see how many I can get done before August.

And since it's Wednesday, here's a random fact about me. I don't entirely trust electronics, so I write almost everything down and keep receipts for everything. I even look up directions and write them down before I go somewhere, just in case my GPS doesn't work. Call me weird, but I prefer having a piece of paper instead of looking at a computer-type screen.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Test Results and Fun Times

Well, I got my test results back, and everything is normal. But I found out I have acid reflux. So, I've changed my diet a little bit and started drinking baking soda in water. That has helped a lot. Also, I believe that my worrying and being stressed about stuff, made my 'problem' worse than it actually was. I thought that something was really wrong with me, and I kept trying to figure out what it was and was so worried about being sick. That alone most likely caused me to get so many upset stomachs. Add to that: stress from various aspects of life and having acid reflux, and you can imagine how sick I've been lately.
But, by God's grace I have started being less anxious about my health and life in general. I still have to grow a /lot/ in trusting God, but I've come farther than I ever have. A passage in Scripture that has been a big help is Isaiah 26:3-4 "You keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal."
I've read this every day for the past couple weeks, and God has used it to help me keep my thoughts from going down the 'worry lane'. God is so good, and kind, and has blessed me richly!

------- Now on to the less serious stuff. -------

Sunday evening was so fun! I got to hang out with some of my best friends and watch a Shakespeare play outside. We got rained on, but I like the rain so it was nice. :) Here's my favorite picture from the evening:

Last week I went to Reedy Creek Park by myself. It was relaxing to just sit and listen to the sounds of nature, and not think about what I had to do later (or anything really). I like this perk of being an introvert. :)
I took some photos too.

Can you find the little fish? (just to the right of center)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

goodbye May, hello June

Well, May is over. It has seemed like one of the longest months ever. Hard to believe that the last M28 event was only 4 weeks ago today - seems like a lot longer.
Why has May seemed to go on forever? Let's see, 1) no M28 meetings every Thursday, which means I'm not shopping for snacks for those meetings and I miss seeing everyone in M28. 2) I've been battling stomach issues quite a lot, still waiting to hear back about my test results. 3) Work has been slower, so not as much to do.
Yep, that about sums it up.

In June I'm looking forward to: Shakespeare in the Park with friends (that's actually tomorrow!), hearing back from my doctor so I can start my journey back to health, possibly going on a spontaneous day trip to the beach, and maybe visiting a friend in Fayettville. Should be a good month!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Random Fact Wednesday (5)

Yay for posting 3 days in a row! :)

Random fact: I enjoy using my hands to accomplish tasks. Let me explain.
I would rather use my hands for cooking/baking than using a machine. For example, to chop nuts or other various things, I'd rather use a knife and cutting board than a "chopper"; and I'd rather mix batter with a spoon than an electric mixer. I would rather use my hands to shred paper than use scissors. I would rather write things down by hand than use a computer keyboard. I would rather pick at a sticker with my finger to remove it than use a knife. Etc.
I can never seem to stop moving my hands. When I'm not doing a specific task with them, I'm usually fiddling with my hair or tapping my fingers on something. That's probably why I like massage and sign language so much - 'cause I get to use my hands!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

picture post

Just some random pictures I took at various places. :)

These next few are from Sunday, when I drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's so gorgeous up there!

And two from the internet.