Thursday, April 26, 2012

I Love Mondays

I love Mondays. I don’t know where it came from but I finally realized this week that Monday has become one of my favorite days of the week. As I browsed through everyone’s facebook statuses of “Oh… Monday we meet again” and “Monday, bloody Monday” it occurred to me that I wake up each Monday looking forward to the rest of my day, mainly because God has given me the opportunity to be His student on Mondays more than any other day of the week. It’s like my boot camp day to get me through the rest of the week.

My usual Monday I work for about three hours and then I find a place to grab lunch to go so I can take it up to the church. I sit on the pavers and watch the water flow down into the baptismal pool while I eat. After I’m done eating I head upstairs to the offices so I can meet with Pastor Chris and discuss everything going on with MiX, my vision and progress, and my life. He challenges me weekly and gives me the resources to dive into the church. When I leave his office I head down the hall to visit with Chris and Will for a bit and get the update on their lives and ministries. Then, I have a little bit of me time before my homie Damian gets to church so we can talk more about MiX and life… in fact MiX has pretty much become my life… and that’s totally okay with me. At 5 o’clock the ladies from my leadership class all meet with Kristin Bonham and get her insight as well as discussion time on what it’s REALLY like being a female leading ministry. (Trust me, it comes with its own set of challenges.) And then when we’re done we head up to our Next Level Leadership class with Pastor Dean.

Let me just tell ya’ll, this class is changing my life. These people are changing my perception of God and what it looks like to be daily walking with Him. There are about twenty of us who sit together every Monday night solely to learn from, challenge, and encourage each other. It’s beautiful. We are twenty people who want nothing more than to grow in relationship with Christ and each other and fill in all the gaps that exist in the church. We’re there to learn to be leaders, but the real lesson comes in the act of servant leadership.

This week was a little different than usual. This week I had to give my fifteen minute sermon to the rest of the class. I’ve been planning this sermon with Pastor Chris since January and was absolutely certain that I’d speak on Hannah and her persistence in prayer and faith. God had other plans. Let me rewind by saying that a few months ago I felt like God told me to speak to Courageous, our men’s ministry. It wasn’t really high on my priority list so I never spoke to anyone about getting involved, but over the past three weeks God has shown me verses (some I had never seen before) on father-child relationships. As much as I love my dad, I can say I don’t really feel like I know much on this subject, but I let God lead me and a week before I was supposed to speak my message God made it pretty clear I’d be speaking on the verses He’d been showing me rather than speaking about Hannah.

“But God… Hannah is safe! Hannah is easy for me! I’ve been planning this for months! I’ve got it down perfectly and I know where to put all my dramatic pauses!” 

Yes, this was my basic argument. When I realized that arguing with and fighting the whisper meant that I wasn’t being obedient I gave in. So I re-wrote my entire message in a week, and God guided me through the process.

 When it came time for me to get up and speak I was so nervous! I’m an actor, I’m a singer, I’m a rapper! Where did all my confidence go? I asked one of my leaders to pray with me and he asked how I was feeling. My word: vulnerable. “That’s good! That’s really good! That means people will see your heart in this!” I hadn’t thought of it like that. I was right, Hannah was a safe subject. Now I was in a spot where I was forced to lean on God to get the words across. I had to expect for this to hit home wherever it would because He sent me this message. I had to stop worrying about me and really focus on the fact that God wanted someone to hear this. This wasn’t something I ever would have brought up on my own.

So I spoke. Or should I say God spoke through me. All I can pray is that my words were heard and that people saw the sincerity in the message. I have a feeling I’m going to have to get used to this feeling of vulnerability if I really want God to be able to use me. When I get to the point where it’s not even a little scary to be sharing my story with others, I probably need to put the mic down because it has become too rehearsed. I don’t want this to be routine. God didn’t ask me to be comfortable.

So even though Monday has become an amazing routine, I want to feel challenged and uncomfortable every Monday night when I drive away from that church. Because if not, where’s the growth?

Any Given Thursday

Any Given Thursday

Splendid neon shirt
$95 -

Vince scoop neck shirt
$48 -

Skinny leg jeans
$20 -

Heart shaped earrings
$7.99 -

Finest Imaginary chain necklace
£7 -

Buckle belt
$26 -

She is Just a Blur

She is Just a Blur

T shirt
$25 -

Miss Selfridge silver pants
$26 -

TOMS flat heels
$54 -

$42 -

Turquoise jewelry
$35 -

Briolette post earrings
$29 -

Friday, April 13, 2012

Three Dollars at a Time

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all...

Gungor's Beautiful Things has really been that song for me lately that lets me know God's got my back. After years of bad record deals, shady producers, and corrupt business people it would be so easy for me to drop music, acting, and modeling. In fact, I did for awhile. After I moved out of New York (for the second time) I told God that I wasn't going back. Why had He given me talent if it was just going to keep leading me to heartbreak and discouragement? I promised that my life would only be focused on Him and that I wanted nothing to do with the industry from that point on.

Then I got an email... a girl from leadership class at church thought I'd be interested in auditioning for Actors, Models, and Talent for Christ, a faith-based non-profit to be the liaison for Christians to step into the world as missionaries in one of the most corrupt industries in the world. The purpose hit me hard and I knew that this was what God wanted from me. The years of pain I had been through trying to get "my break" were to make me stronger, so that I could now be a light to other girls going through the same thing. 

So I went and auditioned. I rapped, sang, walked, and talked. And at the end of my audition the Director of Operations for AMTC asked me to come down and talk to him. He asked if I was fully committed to doing this and if I realized that this is why God created me. I could only nod and tell him that this was all I ever wanted to do, and that in having a career in the industry I'd be able to support my nonprofit. So the next day I got a call back... for THREE talents. AMTC wanted me to come in as a singer/rapper, commercial model, and actor.

I prayed heavily before making my decision knowing that there was a hefty fee involved to be able to start training with them and to get into the showcase in front of hundreds of agents, casting directors, and record labels. I made the decision to go through with it and have all faith and trust in God that He will provide for this and this is where you come in.

I need to raise almost $5,000 before July and I can't do it without your support. This money will go towards show fees, training, headshots, and hotel costs for my showcase in July. My mom pointed out that if all of my facebook friends each donated only $3 I'd be done! So that's my goal - to reach $5,000... $3 at a time. Please see this as I do... one long missions trip and this is the money I have to collect to make it happen. There are so many people in the entertainment industry who have never had anyone share the love of Christ with them. How different would even just America be if there were more influential Christians sharing the gospel behind the scenes?

If you believe in what I'm doing and support my cause to be a light in a very dark world please donate to my PayPal account below. I have faith that God put this desire and talent in me for a reason and I hope you have that faith too. Thank you.