Giving to Guatemala

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Time Flies By

I feel like it has been a long time since I posted...and well, it has. Since football season ended for us in November, we spent the holidays with precious friends and family. We traveled to Texas, found things to do around Knoxville, made it through recruiting, said goodbye to some of our dearest friends, spent time in the mountains for Spring Break, and here we are now at Spring practice.

The last few months have flown by...and I have a lot of catching up to do. There are so many posts I have that are half written in my mind, and I would finish them all up here-but I have so many pictures to add with them and right now, my computer won't turn on. So frustrating! So...I'll just say that life is great, the weather is beautiful here in East Tennessee and be on the look out for some new posts soon!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Audacious Living

I am so grateful to be a part of Northstar Church. The body of believers that I spend time with on a weekly basis is like none other. The presence of the Spirit is so powerful when you walk through the doors each week, it's almost chilling. For the last few weeks, Pastor Scott has been preaching a series titled 'Audacious: The key to God-sized living' and it has been incredible.

Today, was just as moving. At the end of the message, Scott asked us to do something audacious. He shared that one of the ministries we partner with in Knoxville, Water Angels, is always needing shoes. Having done ministry work there many, many times before, I knew that the need for shoes and clothing is always great there. I have seen people there with duck tape holding their shoes together. He also shared that another ministry we partner with in Guatemala is always needing shoes as well. Having been to Guatemala twice now, I know that need all too well. The first year I went, I left my shoes there to be given to someone who needed them much more than I needed them. The second year I was there, I was on a buggy ride through Antigua when I saw an elderly woman sitting on the side of the street with no shoes. I was immediately convicted to get her a pair of shoes. We were making our way back around the block and she was gone. I have no idea where she went and really no way of finding her. I still think about that feeling in my stomach that I had when I realized that I had let an opportunity to show the love of Christ slip by me. As the thoughts of all that I have witnessed while serving "the least of these" flooded my heart, Scott asked us if we felt led to do so to bring the shoes that we were wearing and leave them for these ministries. Yep, take off our shoes, leave them at the alter and leave barefooted. This morning when I was getting ready, I put on my favorite pair of fall shoes. The only pair that is truly comfortable enough for me to wear all day long without my knee, back, or ankle hurting halfway through. I'm not going to lie, it would have been easy for me to say, 'Sorry, Lord. You know the daily pain that I go through with my back and knee. You can't have these shoes. Any other pair you can have, but not these.' And honestly, that thought went through my head more than once. But as I tried to push that tugging feeling out of my chest, it was all I could do to continue standing. I have a closet, make that two closets, full of shoes. I have sandals, tennis shoes, boots, wedges, heels, flats, and flip-flops galore. Not to even mention the fact that I have the financial ability to replace any pair that I give away.So before I could wrestle with the fact any longer, I walked my shoes to the alter, with the prayer that they reach someone in need of the love of Christ and that they feel His presence as soon as they put them on.
I can't even begin to describe the feeling of seeing so many men, women, and children take their shoes and leave them for someone in need. To be the hands, or in this case, the feet of Jesus was just amazing. On the way home to get another pair of shoes, Lily and I talked about what it meant to leave our shoes at the alter. Lily has been waiting for Gracie to grow out of a pair of cowboy boots so she could wear them. Today, Lily got to wear the boots for the first time. She was so excited about those boots, waiting and waiting for her first pair of cowboy boots. Today, she gave them up. I told her I was so proud of her and her words back were simple: "I've been waiting for those to be my boots because I really wanted a pair. I got to wear them one time, but some people don't even have one pair of shoes to wear so I can give those boots up so that they can have shoes." She got it. She understood that it wasn't about getting to go out and get a new pair because, it wasn't about them not fitting exactly right and being uncomfortable anyways that she might as well give them to someone else. She understood that it was something out of the ordinary, something that Jesus would have done, something that would show Jesus to those around her.
I feel like sometimes I've gotten so caught up in this fast-paced, more is better, world that I have forgotten that there are some who will be sleeping on the ground tonight. There are some, who will go without a meal so that their food supply stretches a little farther this week. There are some, who will bury their children because they didn't have proper medical care, and there are some who will give their children up in hopes for a better life for them. My heart has always been, Lord break my heart for what breaks Yours...and today, He didn't fail me. It was completely broken

Friday, September 30, 2011

Football Time...In Tennessee

My favorite time of the year is finally! There is absolutely nothing better than living in the South. The warm summers, the cool lakes, the biscuits and sweet tea...and the best thing of all, Volunteer Football. The first two games were at home this year. Neyland Stadium is one of my favorite places. The atmosphere is amazing, it's a sea of orange and Rocky Top is played probably close to 50 times (give or take a few times) and this year, Coach Dooley's orange pants are a staple on the field.

Finished with warm-ups before the first game

Running out of the T

After the Cincinnati game

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dralin' and Burnie Got Hitched

My bestest friend since kindergarten married her sweetheart in July. I was so honored to be a part of her we would really have it any other way, but I was still honored, nonetheless. 
So cute, Courty-Lou and Burnie

Best Friends since Kindergarten. There may have been a few spats and tantrums here and there, but we have successfully made it through 19 years of life together...and have done a purty dern good job at it.

My sweet, sweet Chris worked that morning and then drove 3 hours to join in on the fun. I'm so blessed by such a great man!

It wouldn't be a 'Brier weddin' if there wasn't a picture of me and Lou floatin around somewhere! 

If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away...

I never thought I would get a call from my Daddy like I did on Friday morning. To say that I was overcome with grief would be a total understatement. Death is something that I am not a stranger to, however, in my 23 years of living, I've lost too many people that I've been close to-and I'm just going to be transparent here: IT STINKS SUCKS.
Jennifer was one of my closest friends, someone I spent a lot of time with growing up. My first job was with her, and since I didn't have a license yet, my mom would drop me off after school and I would ride home with Jen. We would laugh and talk and have so much fun. Some nights we would go out to eat on the way home, others we went straight to Jr. Pro cheerleading practice. I'll have to say, throughout my life, I have been so blessed to have such a great extended family. There were boyfriend troubles, and friend troubles, and life in general that Jen was there for, and always had good advice-even if I didn't want it.
Her son, Connor, is one of the best "little brothers" that I could ever ask for. When he was younger, he never told anyone any different-I was his "big sis" and if someone ever questioned it, his response was always the same, "she's my sister." To this day, without missing a beat, he still responds to "little brother," and I still answer to "big sis." My heart breaks for him right now. His best friend, his mama, is gone from this earth. While she will always be in our hearts and shine through us, she's not here anymore to talk to, to call, to laugh with, to hug. She was such a great mom to Connor, and raised him to be such an awesome young man. I couldn't be more proud of the man he is today-so sweet and caring, compassionate and loving.
I'll never understand why those we love are taken from us too soon. God knew from the beginning each of our fates, how limited our lives would be, and I fully believe that. However, I don't know that I'll ever understand why some have to go sooner than others.
It's still hard to believe that I won't be able to text Jen anymore, or call her, or Facebook her. I know I'll see her again, and that makes it easier. Please keep our family in your prayers as we spend the week remembering her life and saying good-bye.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Collage

Since Summer is half-way over, I thought I would do one large update on all the things that have happened since the weather turned warmer and my tan got darker....

I celebrated my 23rd birthday in May. The Saturday before I was blessed to celebrate with some of my nearest and dearest friends by going to dinner at Wild Wings Cafe and to Bailey's after. We had a great time and I am so thankful for the sweetest friends a girl could ask for. Sunday was Mother's Day so I headed to the 'Brier to see my Mama, Granny, and Nan and to celebrate with family. Tiff was there with baby Cason, and it wouldn't be a true Roach birthday unless Raylon was there to swipe a corner of icing off your cake. Monday was my birthday and I celebrated with co-workers during the day and my sweet girlfriends took me to dinner at Lakeside Tavern. It was a great birthday weekend! I am so thankful for another year of life, healthy and happy. God is so good!

The girls got together and threw Courteney one last hoorah before her wedding. We had a blast at Lacy's just  hanging out and eating junk food and singing some Reba. It was a great weekend to be home with some of the sweetest friends and getting ready for Court's wedding.

The whole family loaded up for a week and headed to Orange Beach. We had such a good time playing in the ocean, swimming in the pool, shopping, and eating at all the delicious seafood places. The only thing missing was my sweet Daddy! He wasn't able to get around some work/Army stuff, so he missed out on this wild and crazy trip. It was so sweet seeing baby boy splash in the ocean for the first time. He LOVED it the first day, wasn't too crazy about it the second, and by the third all he wanted to do was hang out by the pool. I think our favorite place to eat this time around was Lulu's, it was GREAT! Great food, great atmosphere, great service! Exactly what a big family looks for when eating out!

 Chris and I spent 4th of July at the lake with Uncle Roger and Aunt Dulcie and all of my cousins. We had a great, full day on the lake. The sun was out, the water was warm, and company sweet. I don't think I could have picked a more perfect day.

The weekends have been full this summer of family, friends, and fun. God has blessed me more than I could express through this season of life!

Saturday, July 9, 2011


doesn't even begin to describe it!

The last few months have been SO busy. Birthdays, vacations, wedding planning (not mine, my sweet best friend, Courteney's), cook-outs, church, and more have kept my schedule packed. The last few weeks have gone by so quickly, I want to just push the pause button on life for a minute.

I have so many posts to write up, so many pictures to post, and so much to share. Hopefully I can get back to my blog soon. I have so many posts in my mind, and on paper, I just haven't gotten them here yet.

I hope everyone is having a great summer-I know I am!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

At His Moment

I know I say it each week, but church yesterday was amazing. I feel so blessed to be a part of such an awesome church body, where God meets us each week exactly where we need Him to. I love feeling His presence wash over me when I step inside. It’s just the most sweetest feeling.

Yesterday we had a baptism after the service. Such a sweet time for new and old believers. I love the symbolism of baptism, the old being washed away and coming up new and clean. Such a declaration of the fact that we will live our lives for He who died for us. I had the honor of witnessing a 16 year old, wheel chair bound girl being baptized yesterday. It was such a sweet time, for even though her disabilities prevented her from being completely submerged, she wanted to follow in obedience to Christ’s command. While it was so heart-warming to see her follow this command and to be in awe of her story, my thoughts steered away from my surroundings for a moment.

I sat there, holding sweet Lettie while Scott shared this young girls story. When she was 4 she was in a car accident that severed her vertebra causing her to be paralyzed. Her world since then has involved a wheel chair, a trach, and several doctor’s “she will never.” To say that I had tears in my eyes would be an understatement. More like sobbing, mascara running down my face. The parents of this girl were told she would never talk again. Sometime in the last few months, she had to be hospitalized. Her doctor called her father while she was in the hospital and told him he had to get to the hospital right away, they had a surprise for him. When he walked into the room, his daughter, who hasn’t spoken since she was 4, said ‘Hi daddy, I love you.’ Ummm, insert embarrassing cry NOW. In case you aren’t up to speed on Lettie’s story, she’s a 2 year old angel that underwent a dramatic brain surgery to stop her little body from having seizures. Lettie is still having seizures, trouble with her motor skills, and we’ve never heard her voice. So, to hear that this girl who has never spoken since her accident, just spit out a full SENTENCE, was joyful and heartbreaking at the same time. Please don’t get me wrong, I am so happy for her and her family. God spared her life and answered years of prayers at just the right moment-His moment. As I held Lettie and felt her little hand play with my hair and her little body cuddle into my shoulder I just prayed. I prayed that God would heal Lettie from her seizures, that He would allow her to sit up longer this week, that He would allow her to spend the week with no seizures, that He would allow her to talk. I know that it is probably one of the hardest things in the world for Mark and Summer, to have Lettie and not know what her voice sounds like, to not hear her say ‘I love you mommy, I love you daddy.’ So many times since her surgery, I have wondered quietly and out loud, Why God? Why can’t Lettie be healed, why didn’t her surgery “work” and why does she have to go through this? Yesterday, all I could think about was His moment. It’s not time for Lettie to talk yet. It’s not time for Lettie to walk yet. All of her milestones are gifts from God, coming at exactly the right moment for God to receive the glory-not doctors. I have faith that His moment is not far off. I just know that the sweet spirit behind Lettie’s precious smile and sparkling eyes is going to be revealed in a way that only God will be capable of receiving all the credit and glory for.

Lettie goes in a few weeks to have another MRI at Vanderbilt. Please pray that this will shed some light as to why Lettie is having seizures again. Doctors have talked about the possibility of fibers from the parts of her brain that were removed still being attached that could be triggering these seizures. If that is the case, sweet Lettie will have to undergo another brain surgery much like the one she has already had. Please pray for Mark and Summer and Lettie as they travel, the doctors who will be reading the results, and that in the case of Mark and Summer having to make more difficult decisions concerning medicines and surgeries, that they would be at peace with the decisions God leads them to make.

Thank you God, for allowing me the opportunity to understand that it’s not in anyone’s time but Yours. Thank you for sparing the life of that sweet 16 year old girl and for sparing Lettie. Let their stories ring across this city and nation, that You would receive all the glory for the miracles in these lives.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Life Is Not My Own

This morning at church, Scott delivered a very powerful Word from God. It was very clear that God's presence filled our worship center. So many thoughts consumed my mind. I probably need to go ahead and insert that I'm in the middle of reading 'Radical' by David Platt, too.

At the end of the message, Scott addressed the church in a way that he hasn't ever done before. During that time, he asked for those that are feeling called to live radically for the sake of the Kingdom to come forward and give it all up. That time did so much for me. I heard God's voice speak clearly to me. I'm not sure exactly what it all means, but it is definitely going to be a time of stepping out of my comfort zone and doing things that I'm not at all inclined to do on my own.

I'm nervous about this new "radical" journey. I'm excited, too. What does this journey look like for me? I'm not really sure yet. However, I know that my life is not my own. I'm here to be the hands and feet of Jesus. To go where He has called me to go, to live how He wants me to live. Not lavishly, but simple.

Radical living...I'm all in.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Is God on your Facebook?

I got a friend request a few mornings ago from someone that I wasn't expecting. Although the title might lead you to think that it was God that friend requested me, it wasn't. We've been friends for a long time now and He doesn't need to be on my "friends list" to see everything that goes on in my life. He walks by me every step of the way already. This request was from my great-grandmother. My 85 year old, born in 1926, mother of 3, grandmother to 7, great grandmother to 8, Grandma. Not only did she manage to find me and send me a friend request, she had a picture of her and my great-grandfather, had her favorite shows, books and activities listed, and a little bio about herself. I was beyond impressed. You see, for the last few months, my grandmother has been sitting in my "Pending Requests." Not because I didn't want her to be my "friend," but because I wanted to force her to become better aquainted with technology and saying that she lived in Colorado and didn't have a picture just wasn't doing it for me. She might have figured out how to look at pictures and add people, but how was I supposed to know that Facebook shadow in the picture box was really my Granny?
Once I accepted my Grandma, I gave her access to see my friends, read what I write, and see my pictures. I didn't really care. I don't have anything to hide. My page is private for anyone that isn't my friend-and I have to be the one to accept you, so basically, the only people who see my pages are people that I know. Not that I have anything to hide, but I don't want to end up as a Lifetime movie anytime soon. I gave her total access to my life without her being with me at all times.
My Granny used to accuse me of not "adding" her because I was hiding something. I never could convince her otherwise, so when she finally added a picture of herself (and me) I friended her and gave her an all-access pass to my world. I wrote on her wall and she quickly responded the next day and even replied back to my reply. I'll give her credit. Her facebooking has drastically improved. I think she feels like she has to keep up with Grandma.
 It made me think-if you got a friend request from God would you quickly accept like you do those that you spend every day with?I let Granny sit in "pending" for awhile, not because I was cleaning things up and blocking things, but it made me think: Would you let Him sit pending while you cleaned out your pictures and quotes and wall posts? I don't have anything to hide. My mom, my dad, my sister, my grandma, and now my great-grandma are my friends. That just means they don't have to call me and ask me what I'm doing or what I did over the weekend. Chances are they've already seen it on Facebook. But what about God? Would you add Him to one of your 'lists' that can only see certain things? Would you let Him post on  your wall? I would. I want everyone to know that I am a friend of God. I want those that I come into contact with to see that God is a part of my life, that the things I do revolve around Him. Besides, what's the point in hiding things? He can already see what I do. He already knows what I'm going to do before I know it. Not really much of a point in hiding it.
I think there are Christians that struggle with this. I was one of them. Trying to find that balance between life and living for God. Knowing that He knows all, sees all, hears all, and yet sometimes thinking that "Oh maybe God will just overlook that." That being those greedy thoughts, harsh words, or un-Godly actions. Bottom line though, is that even though God's not on my Facebook, He still sees it all. Even though you've got God on your 'block' list, He still sees it all. The most important thing to me though, is not about what God is seeing, it's what are my lost friends seeing? Are they seeing a life of light in a dark world through my pictures, my posts, my activites? Or are they seeing another Christian still walking with the world? I want my life to count. I want it to really touch those around me. I want my life to always reflect a Saviour that died for me, so that I may LIVE.
So, is God on your Facebook? Because He's on mine!