Thursday, June 30, 2011


I am excited about a few future blog posts (stay tuned) that I hope will be uplifting and convicting. But before I uplift and convict there is something I need to share. I don't know who is reading this. I don't know what your situation is, what you're going through, or what you're thinking as you stare at your computer screen. But I do know that there is something I have to tell you. So keep reading - and don't stop.

The Truth

I am going to go to heaven one day.  And I want you to be there with me. We're all going to die or be raptured by Christ and eternity is either heaven or hell.

The only way to heaven is through believing that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross as a sacrifice for your sin.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, 
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16

It's as simple as that. You can't earn your way to heaven. It's a free gift from a loving God.

But I do believe that your life here on earth will change if you have a true belief in and relationship with Jesus Christ.

And just saying you're a Christian doesn't necessarily make you a Christian. Believing there is a God doesn't necessarily make you a Christian. Posting on Facebook that you believe in Jesus doesn't necessarily make you a Christian.  If you're saved by Jesus Christ, there will be an actual change. A desire to live for Him. A day to day relationship. A conviction. An understanding. A friendship. A respect. You won't be perfect. But you'll want to try to live for Him.

My Story

When I was seven years old, I met my best friend. The One who is always there for me. The One who has a plan for my life, my future. I admitted I was a sinner and asked Jesus to come into my life and into my heart. He has been beside me every since, preparing my way, holding my hand, and carrying me when I need Him too.

It was a few years later, in 5th grade, when I realized that being a Christian, being saved and promised heaven, is more than believing. It is about having a relationship with God, a relationship with Jesus Christ, and living out that relationship with Him. Talking to Him. Listening to Him. Living for Him. Sharing Him. Caring about His desire for my life.

Just recently I have really felt a desire to make a difference for Him. To stop being content to do nothing. To share Him with the world. Find my place in His ministry. Because when I die, I won't answer for what kind of car I drove or the decorations in my house, I won't be responsible for my trip to Disney World or how many kids came to Campbell - I'll be held accountable for what I did for the cause of Christ. And I want to make my God proud.

My Plea

Please come to know Him today. What an awesome moment it would be if you asked Him to save you and began an eternal relationship with your Creator! Heaven awaits - and celebrates with you. And I would love the celebrate with you too. I've included verses on salvation and how to be saved below. Please send me a message or pull me aside if you want to discuss this. It's the most important decision you'll ever make!

Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
Romans 6:23:  "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Romans 5:8: "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 10:9: "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
Romans 8:38-39: "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

To make him smile...

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch,
a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, 
or the smallest act of caring,
all of which have the potential to turn a life around.  
~Leo Buscaglia

I have a challenge for everyone reading this. Especially if you are in a serious relationship. But, even if you're not, you can still keep this challenge in mind when dealing with parents, friends, siblings, relatives, coworkers, etc.

I think that relationships sometimes stumble, because we don't take time to think about the simple things. And sometimes the simple things are the ones that make all the difference in the world. So I challenge you to think of those things.

Today. Tomorrow. The next day. Do one thing for your significant other that will make them smile. And expect nothing in return. It's pretty simple...

Write a sweet email telling him five things you appreciate about him.

Watch her favorite show with her.

Scratch his back.

Tell her she looks beautiful.

Call to say good morning.

Cook his favorite meal.

Play her favorite song. Tell her that every time you hear it you think of her.

Leave a sticky note on the mirror saying "I love you".

Celebrate his coming home from work - and let him know that it's your favorite part of the day.

Bring up a memory of when you first fell in love.

Surprise her with her favorite ice cream or a copy of her favorite book.

Compliment him in front of others.

Hug her. A real, safe, forever kind of hug.

Dance in the kitchen. 

...get creative with your special person in mind. And don't just do it today or tomorrow...try to think of little ways to make him/her smile every day.

There is no effect more disproportionate to its cause
than the happiness bestowed by a small compliment.  
~Robert Brault

Monday, June 27, 2011


I haven't written in a while. I think of things to write about - but before I get the chance, they start to seem not so important or interesting. I don't like going too long without writing something though. So today I will just share some random facts, thoughts, truths.

I love when it storms at work - and wish that the current storm clouds hadn't passed over us. There's something amazing about being in a dry place, watching the madness out my wall of windows.

I'm more excited about being married than getting married. While I pray that our wedding is an amazing, beautiful time of celebration - I think that most people focus too much on weddings and not enough on marriages.I can't wait to have constant sleepovers with my best friend.

I have student ambassadors who bless me more than they will ever know. They are so much cooler than I was as a Campbell student. And I can't stand the thought of them graduating and leaving me. (I would stink at being a teacher.)

I have started eating apples every day. This is a big deal - seeing as most of my daily nutrition comes from chicken, bread, and potatoes.

I take baths. The bath tub and the tanning bed are the only two places that you can go and completely get away for just a little while.

I need to witness to others more. Most of the people I know think that they are saved. They think that they have a relationship with Jesus. But I'm afraid that that's not the case. And I don't know how to get them to see that.

Last week I watched the mini-series about the Kennedys (The Kennedys). It was brilliant, and I learned so much. I finished it in three days. And now I think of Jackie when I get dressed or make my hair a little bigger. She may have been a democrat, but she was classy. I think that Kate Middleton is the modern day Jackie Kennedy. Classy.

I hate spending money. I have been searching for linen pants and a black one-piece swimsuit for a year - but haven't felt like actually spending money to buy them.

I am ready to get my next book published. I think it's so much better than my first one. And I constantly pray that it will touch lives.

And, to end this, I will be Mrs. Green in 97 days :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why I love my job today...

I love my job for many many reasons, but I want to talk a little bit about why I love my job today.

I am currently in the midst of Orientation preparation. Orientation is the pinnacle event of the year. It's the welcoming party to the next group of Campbell students. Every year, I get to touch hundreds of students' lives in a very small way - by encouraging them and helping them come to Campbell, a place that I believe in, to get a wonderful education from amazing faculty. It's true that, as dozens of files come across my desk, I don't always have time to give them individual thought. But I try my best not to touch hundreds of students...but to touch one student at a time.

Each student is a person - a life that I have the opportunity to encourage and reach out to. All of these students have goals. Friends. Family. A past. They have dreams and a future - and I get excited wondering what that future might be and what part Campbell will play in that. Will they become a lawyer or a doctor? Will they play sports or be in theatre? Will they meet their bridesmaids or their groom?
When talking with these kids, I try to get to know their heart and respond to them as an individual. Some need reassurance. Some need you to be excited with them. Some need you to be firm. Some don't have a clue and need direction. Some need a break from their parents. Some need comfort. Some need laughter. I am so blessed as I meet these families and get to know these students. And they constantly surprise me and remind me of why I'm there.

Today I called about 100 students to encourage them to register for Orientation. Most didn't answer. Some had encouraging answering machines with a chorus of voices or a genuine "God bless". Some answered and seemed uninterested or distracted. But there are two who answered that embody why I love my job.

1. A mom of one of our future students answered the phone on the last ring. With a lighthearted laughter in her voice, she explained that she had rushed over. She was making chocolate chip pancakes with her kids. She was so sweet and genuine, and we talked for a little while. She represents so many of the families that I am blessed to meet. Sure, there are a lot of broken families. Struggling families. Indifferent families. But I love when I meet that family that connects with my heart. The country accents, the outgoing stories, the kind smiles, the curious questions and excitement. And I am reminded of one of the reasons I love my job...I love my job because of moms who still cook pancakes with their kids.

2. I was in the process of leaving a message when a guy answers the phone. He has a curious eagerness in his voice, as he assures me that he is in the process of registering. He asks if he should stay on campus the night of Orientation, and we talk about it. I can hear his excitement as we discuss the activities of Orientation -  how much he is looking forward to this new experience. I love that. He tells me that he is sending in his medical forms and wants to make sure that everything else is in. He's working this summer, but is doing his best to send us everything that we need. I tell him I am proud of him, because I am. He is eager and excited for college. And he is taking responsibility and working hard. He gives me hope.

I am excited to meet my students in a little over a week, and welcome them to the next chapter of their lives (Whitney and I roomed at Orientation - good memory. Derrick and I met at Orientation...and it all began).

And that is why I love my job today.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Don't. Date.

I haven't written in a while. Life has been extremely busy with work, my wedding, doing video for other people's weddings, house hunting, etc. I wanted to wait until I had something meaningful to say and time to say it.

I have always had a passion for the topic of love, relationships, marriage. And I have a soft spot for women in these areas. I want to be there for those in need of advice or simply a listening ear or shoulder to cry on. I want to know what makes a relationship the best it can be and help others achieve that.

So today I want to offer some advice to all unmarried women (and hopefully some is still applicable to wives). Middle school girls who are beginning to feel the pressure or high school girls who are caught up in it all. College girls who can't find their way and don't know where they went wrong.

1. Don't date - I don't really mean it like it sounds. But I kinda do. I didn't date until I was 18 years old. I never dated in high school - and I am glad. During that time, I built amazing relationships with a group of beautiful, godly women, and I was able to focus on them without the drama and distraction of a relationship. I could enjoy that time in my life without the temptation and time that goes into dating. Those girls are still my dearest friends. They were my high school loves, and together we made a million memories.

I want girls to know that they don't always have to have a boyfriend. You don't need a boyfriend in 7th grade. You don't even need a boyfriend in 11th grade. And going with your friends to the prom is really not the end of the world. The right guy will come at the right moment - but don't rush to find him.

2. Don't stay - Don't stay in a relationship that you know isn't going anywhere. And don't stay in a relationship just so that you can have someone. That is dangerous territory - especially when you could be moving on and enjoying your life. Don't hurt people by moving in and out of relationships - but don't allow yourself to get hurt by staying in a toxic one either. So many girls know that there's something wrong, but they try to convince themselves that it will be alright if they just stay. If you're married, I say stay and fight with everything you have. If you're dating, you shouldn't have to fight so hard.

3. Don't settle - Don't settle for someone you think is not good enough. If you do that, you will always treat him not good enough. Don't settle for someone who doesn't treat you like a beautiful woman, who doesn't respect you, and who doesn't appreciate you. Good guys are still out there. Don't settle for someone who doesn't make you laugh. Don't settle for someone who isn't your best friend. Don't settle for someone who doesn't agree with your values. Don't settle for someone who doesn't have a heart for God (more on that later).

4. Pray for your future husband - To me, this is the most important. I have prayed for my future husband since I was 10 or 12. Fervently. I prayed for him at that moment. Prayed he would make wise decisions. Prayed God would be with him in whatever he was struggling with. I prayed for our romance, our relationship, our engagement, our wedding, our marriage, our children...Did he feel it? Did those prayers help in make a decision or avoid temptation? I'm not sure - but those prayers helped me. They brought God into our relationships in every way. And they made me grow to love Derrick...before I even knew Derrick.

5. Think of your future husband - When you date or make romantic decisions, I would encourage you to think of your future husband. To some of you, this may seem weird. To some, it's a new concept. But think of the love that you will one day have for this person. The life that you will share. Don't do anything that could hurt him. If you can imagine telling him about it one day, and it hurts you to think about - then don't do it. (Also, would it be something that you would be okay telling your children one day? Or would it be a "don't do like Mommy did" story?). Think of how you would feel if he had done the same thing and shared it with you. What if he....How would you feel?

6. Prepare for your future husband - Not only did I pray for my future husband, I prayed for myself. As a future girlfriend. As a future wife. That I would be a cheerleader, supporter, helpmeet, and that I would uplift and respect him. I prayed that I would be who he needed and who God wanted me to be.

I was blessed with a mom who made me do chores and included me in the household duties. I may have complained then, but I'm thankful now. We easily work together in the kitchen and to this day we will talk as we fold towels. Plus, I naturally love cooking and cleaning. And I have been preparing in that way for years. I remember doing laundry and daydreaming about being married. Washing the dishes and imagining his arms around me. Mopping the bathroom tile on my knees and pretending to be Cinderella (with the colorful bubbles floating around me). There's something peaceful about a fixed bed and vacuumed floors. (Yes, I'm very Monica)...I try to save money. Balance my checkbook (I enjoy it). Try to work out every once in a while. And I've been reading 1 Corinthians 7, Ephesians 5, Proverbs 31, and numerous marriage books as far back as I can remember. It's something God gave me a desire for - I always wanted to be a wife.

I'm not trying to brag about my wonderful domestic skills. I promise. I didn't just wake up one morning ready to be a wife - and I'm still not ready. There is so so much more that I will learn and be surprised by when I actually get married. I know I'm not prepared. And I know that there is much responsibility that comes with marriage. But I have spent years trying my best to prepare to be the best wife that I can be. And I would encourage you to do the same.

7. Put God first -  This is so important. And something that I even, at times, struggle with. I put myself first. I put Derrick first. But I need to put God first. And if you don't have a relationship with Him, I beg you to get to know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Friend. Along these same lines, find a man who is a spiritual leader. Who will support and encourage you, challenge you, spiritually. Someone who will serve alongside you. A relationship can be good without God being center, but it's not great until you invite Him in.

Hope I've encouraged you in some way today.
Leave a note to let me know what you like reading about! Feel free to ask me questions :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Marriage: Defined


1a (1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law 
2: an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected; especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities
3: an intimate or close union (i like this one)


1: to hold dear : cherish
2a : to feel a lover's passion, devotion, or tenderness for 
3: to like or desire actively : take pleasure in <loved to play the violin>
4: to thrive in <the rose loves sunlight>
intransitive verb
: to feel affection or experience desire

Related to LOVE

Synonyms: appreciate, cherish, prize, treasure, value, set store by (or set store on), carry a torch for (or carry the torch for), fall for, lose one's heart (to)
 (i like that "appreciate" is first on the list)


1.esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability: I have great respect for her judgment.
2. the condition of being esteemed or honored: to be held in respect.
 3. to hold in esteem or honor.
(Respect your husband! esteem his sense of worth, honor him)


1: a male partner in a marriage
2British : manager, steward
3: a frugal manager
hus·band·ly adjective

Related to HUSBAND

Synonyms: hubby, man, mister, old man (haha...wait until we get to the wives)
Related Words: better half, companion, consort, mate, partner, significant other, spouse; Mr. Right; soul mate; bridegroom, groom; benedict; widower; househusband


1 a dialect : woman b : a woman acting in a specified capacity —used in combination <fishwife>
2: a female partner in a marriage

Related to WIFE

Synonyms: helpmate, helpmeet, lady, little woman, madam, missus (or missis), Mrs., old lady, wifey, woman


: one who is a companion and helper; especially : wife
(shouldn't we all aim to be helpmates and best friends in marriage?)


1a : an act of committing to a charge or trust: 
2 a : an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; especially : an engagement to assume a financial obligation at a future date b : something pledged c : the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled  

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 5:33

Friday, June 3, 2011

Facebook: Respect and Temptation

Today I had a little bit of a personal rant...about Facebook and the things people post. So please bare with me and listen.

First of all, why do people post pictures of themselves drinking and partying on facebook? I always wonder that. I see photos of girls completely plastered at parties...and they put them up proudly for their parents and preachers and teachers to see. It hardly makes sense to me. That's not really something I would be proud of.

Also, why do girls wear things like that...and then put the photos up for everyone to see? There are certain things that aren't flattering and certain parts of your body that are meant to be covered.

After all of that, girls wonder why guys don't respect them. How can you expect them to respect you when you don't even respect yourself? And how can you expect them to treat you like a lady when you don't act like one? I hate that these same girls are always complaining about not being able to find a good man. HELLO!

The most disheartening thing, other than the lack of respect that these girls have for themselves, is the lack of respect that they have for the good guys. There are guys who do their best not to tempt themselves. To stay true and faithful. To avoid temptation when at all possible. Guys who have girlfriends or who are looking for a girl that they can respect... Then they sign onto facebook - and they are met by that girl in the tini-bikini. The group of girls at the country concert in mini-skirts and lowcut tops. And, without even meaning to be, they are tempted.

I have a fiance that I love and that I trust. And the world is tempting him enough. I don't appreciate other girls putting things on facebook that could cause him to falter. And cause my insecurities to sky rocket.

While I'm ranting...I have seen wives post very revealing tini-bikini and partying pictures online. Husbands need to step up and stop that. Wives need to have more respect for themselves and their husbands. And this bothers me a lot.

(I promise that this has NOTHING to do with anything that happened with Derrick. There was no incident or issue...this was simply something that bothered me when looking at a photo album earlier)

You can call me insecure (and I have my moments). You can call me judgmental (I call 'em like I see 'em). But I feel much better now. Thank you.

Captured Memory Lane...

I love doing photography. And, while I don't claim to be the best there is, it is a passion of mine and I don't think I stink at it. I would love to have the opportunity to do more photography and capture more special moments in people's lives. Today, with this thought in mind, I took a trip down memory lane...

 Weddings are both easy and hard to shoot. 
But they're worth all of the work - and there is no occasion more special.

I, honestly, haven't worked with babies much at all in life...But Elia is such a precious, beautiful baby - and I was excited to get to have some fun with her one afternoon.

I helped with Bethany and Jeremy's engagement pictures...and we shot these over a year later. I think that these newlywed photos turned out better than the original engagement pictures,
and this was one of my favorite shoots. 

Jessica surprised Hank with a graduation photo shoot, and I was very happy to help make it possible. They share my love for Campbell, and I tried to let the pictures show that. 

Kayla is one of my student ambassadors that I got to pamper and make feel like a star one winter afternoon. I think that pictures should make the subjects feel like a star.