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Far from what I once was, but not yet what I'm going to be

Monday, January 30, 2012

Wash Your Hands and Say Your Prayers

As you may know, I am a Biology major at Grand Canyon University. I am currently taking Microbiology - and let me tell you, I AM DISGUSTED.

The whole course is about bacteria, viruses, and the spread of disease. My mind is blown when it comes to all the different types of bacteria and how it's literally EVERYWHERE!

In the words of my lecture teacher, Dr. Michael Collins, "Kids shouldn't be afraid of monsters under their bed, they should be afraid of viruses and bacteria!" And it is SO true.


I am now aware of the gross things that cover our bodies and everything we touch and come into contact with. I am CONSTANTLY washing my hands and hate touching my face in fear of catching some nasty disease.

A little over the top? Yeah, I'll admit it.

But as the saying goes, "Wash your hands and say your prayers, cause Jesus and germs are everywhere!"

XOXO

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Captivate Me

I love the word captivate.

I never really cared one way or the other until one day during my sophomore year, my speech teacher complimented me after one of my speeches. He said, "Cara, your smile is captivating." To this day, that is my most favorite compliment I have ever received. I'll never forget it. In a moment of dread (public speaking) trying to hide behind the podeum, palms sweaty, just trying to get through my speech alive so I could head back to my seat - he said something so simple. Something he would soon forget saying. But something I will remember forever.

The one thing I always made sure to do in my speeches was smile. And he saw that. And even though I had braces (which were not attractive on me), he said, "Cara, your smile is captivating." It made me feel so warm and fuzzy inside. So much more comfortable and relaxed. It made me feel like I was gonna be okay. No matter how awkward I felt up there in front of my peers, doing a how-to speech about making brownies.

CAPTIVATE.

It's a song, you know. By Starfield. A beautiful, wonderful song. A song that is my prayer. Here are my favorite parts:

Strength is found in weakness. Peace in incompleteness.
You look for a heart that's open. For beauty in the broken.
My soul's screaming out to be found in You.
CAPTIVATE ALL OF ME.
I'm so messy and distracted. Undisciplined and tactless. Here on the inside.

It so perfectly describes what I've been learning lately. The Lord can do ANYTHING in and through ANYONE. In my weakness, He makes me strong. When I'm feeling incomplete, he gives me a perfect peace beyond words. He has softened my heart and opened my heart. Open to HIS will, not mine. He has shown me such beauty in utter brokenness. He has drawn me in so dearly and near to Him. So much so, that my soul screams to be found in Him.

Captivate me, Lord. Captivate ALL of me.

He's made me realize what a mess I am on my own. How easily distracted. Undisciplined. Tactless. He's changing me from the inside out. Breaking my heart for what breaks His. Creating in me a burning desire for social justice. And a love for children and broken people that could only come from above.

Captivate our hearts, Lord. Captivate our minds. Captivate our souls. Captivate us all.

XOXO

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dreams

I came across a very wise quote just the other day. It said "If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough." It really got me to thinking about my dreams in life.

One of my dreams is to become a Pediatric Orthopedic PA. I have been wanting to work in Pediatric Orthopedics since I was little kid. Yes, a little kid. You're probably thinking "how would a little kid know what a Pediatric Orthopedic is?" Well, I spent a lot of time, I mean A LOT of time at the doctor growing up. Pediatric Orthopedic doctors to be exact. Since my first visit, I knew that's what I wanted to do. Dr. Stephen Milliner (with the greatest English accent) was instantly my favorite doctor and a hero in my eyes. When Dr. Milliner left the practice due to cancer, I was devastated! But then, Dr. Gregory White stepped in and became my new favorite! And after Dr. White, Dr. Jeffrey Vaughn. These three men have been so helpful and kind. It is these doctors who sparked my interest in this field. And now, I am a Pre-Med major at Grand Canyon University pursuing my dream!
(And hopefully I'll work at Phoenix Children's one day!)

Does it scare me? HECK YEAH! It's a lot of work. A lot of time. A lot of responsibility to study this field and to work in it. A dream of mine closer to coming true with each moment of class and each moment of study.

Another one of my dreams in life is to do medical missions somewhere in Africa. This is something the Lord has placed on my heart and sparked a fire in me to do. I don't currently have a trip planned out or anything, but I'm still so excited because I know I'm going to go there one day and fulfill this dream and listen to the Lord's call.

Does this dream scare me? OH YEAH! This one scares me more than becoming a PA. But I think it will be so rewarding! God doesn't promise easy. He promises possible. And through Him, we can do ALL things.

I can't wait to accomplish these two dreams of mine. I think these dreams are pretty big. But the most important thing about them is that I don't want to accomplish these dreams for myself. I want to accomplish these dreams because I know I will be helping others. And that's what we are called to do right?

XOXO

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Because. . .

My amazing roommate shared this with me a couple nights ago and I instantly fell in love. I will definitely be keeping this. . . For a long time.

Because. . .
I made her. . . She's different. She's unique. With love I formed her in her mother's womb. I fashioned her with great joy. I remember with great pleasure the days I created her (Psalm 139:13-16). To me she's beautiful. . . I love her. I love her smile. I love her ways. I love to hear her laugh and the silly things she says and does (Psalm 193: 17). She is herself, and no one else. . . this is how I made her. I made her pretty, but not beautiful, because I know her heart, and she would be vain. . . I want her to search out for her heart and learn that it would be Me in her that would make her beautiful. . . and it would be Me in her that would draw friends to her (1 Peter 3:3-5). I made her in such a way that she would need Me. I made her a little more lonesome than she would like to be. . . only because I want her to lean and depend on me. I know her heart. I know if I had not made her like this, she would go about her own way and forget Me. . . her Creator (Psalm 62:5-8). I have given her many good and happy things. . . because I love her (Psalm 84:11, Romans 8:32). I have seen her broken heart, and the tears she has cried all alone. I have been with her and have had a broken heart too (Psalm 65:8). Many times she has stumbled and fallen alone only because she would not take My hand. So many lessons she had to learn the hard way, because she would not listen to My voice (Isaiah 53:6). So many times I have sat back and sadly watched her go her own way alone, only to watch her return to My arms, sad and broken (Psalm 34:18). And now she is Mine again. I made her and bought her. I paid a high price for her, because I love her (Romans 5:8). I have had to reshape and remold her. . . to renew her to what I had planned for her to be. It has not been easy for her. . . or for Me (Jeremiah 29:11). I want her to be conformed to My image. This high goal I have set for her because I LOVE HER (2 Corinthians 2:14).

Beautiful, isn't it?

XOXO

Friday, January 20, 2012

Experiencing Him

Tonight at Grand Canyon, Francis Chan came to speak. I have to admit, a big part of why I wanted to go was this longing to experience God in that room. I had expectations for tonight. All of which were met. I wanted God to speak through Mr. Chan and touch me like never before. Cut to the core and make me feel His presence on a whole new level. Experience Him, really, truly experience Him.

But before he came on stage to speak, a band played. A band I've never heard of. Rend Collective Experiment. They're from Ireland. (My kind of people!) The accent was unbelievable! The music incredible. . . And the lyrics, so beautiful. So real. The message, so true. So refreshing. So emotional. So pure. Everything I have been feeling and needing to hear was said in those amazing songs. Tears running down my face. Literally THEE WHOLE TIME.

Love those moments.

I love the moments when everything that's been on my mind, consuming my thoughts, all goes away and He is my focus. I can't even explain how much I have been needing a night like this. Everything about it was perfect. The songs. The message. The Lord.

His love and grace and mercy and character were revealed to me in a whole new way. The words went deep into my soul and made me realize things I've never realized before.

Like I said earlier, I went into tonight wanting to experience God in that room filled with people listening to a great message. But as Francis Chan stood up there and spoke, I felt as if he were talking to me directly. He addressed me exactly where I was. He said we should be going out to nonbelievers seeking out moments to share the love grace of our Father with them and experience God in those moments. Those scary, awkward moments when you don't know how the other person is going to react, but you know that you are a part of God's work. You are going out trying to make disciples.

I did experience God in that room tonight like I had been longing to for some time. But it made me want to go out and share the message of our Savior with so many who haven't accepted it or maybe who haven't heard it. And made me want to experience Him in those moments. I don't just want to experience God sitting in a pew listening to a sermon. I want to go out into the world and experience Him on a whole new level, knowing that I am carrying out His work. Making Him proud of me, and fulfilling my purpose on this earth.

I want everyone to experience Him the way I did tonight.

XOXO

Thursday, January 12, 2012

In The Middle Of My Little Mess

This song says it all

"So break me of impatience
Conquer my frustrations
I've got a new appreciation
IT'S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD"


XOXO

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

As you may know, I work with an amazing organization whose mission is to eradicate child sex slavery. Well today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

As we learned at church on Sunday, "Last night right here in our community some 80 pimps forced 300 underage girls to be sexually abused 10-12 times while you and I were sleeping comfortably. That shouldn't happen!"

You have now been made aware of what is going on in our city to our precious children. What will YOU do to join the fight against child sex slavery?
  • Visit the StreetLight Safehouse Facebook page to learn more!
  • Be a part of Bethany Bible Church's annual event "Free to Laugh: Laugh to Free" which is a comedy show where all the proceeds go to support StreetLight Safehouse and the counseling curriculum called Mending the Soul
  • Visit StreetLight USA (click this link!)
Let's all join forces to end child rape for profit everywhere.

XOXO

Monday, January 9, 2012

Life. Love. Happiness.

Recently, I have been reminded just how precious and just how fragile life can be. It's caused me to do a lot of reflecting on myself and on my life. My relationships and everything that I am and everything that I have.

It's crazy to think that in an instant, it could all end for me. In the blink of an eye, I could be gone.

As I was reflecting on these things and examining myself and life in general, I came across a quote that so beautifully describes what I want my life to be. . .

"Work for a cause, not for applause.
Live life to express, not to impress.
Don't strive to make your presence noticed,
just make your absence felt."

I want this to be a mission statement of my life. Instead of being concerned and caught up in what others think of me, I want to live for an audience of one and live a full life. I want to touch as many lives as possible. And like the last sentence of the quote says, "don't strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt."

I'm not the most outgoing person and I don't really like being the center of attention. I don't fight to make my presence noticed. But I pray that when I'm gone, my absence is felt.

Another quote I came across is another description of what I want my life to be. . .

"Do all the good you can,
by all the means you can,
in all the ways you can,
in all the places you can,
to all the people you can,
as long as you can."

I pray that I live this out each and every day. And not take a single moment, a single experience, relationship or person for granted.

And lastly, I pray that I never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.

XOXO

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Glance in the Rearview Mirror

2011 came and went. It was a year of smiles and laughter, tears and sorrow, goodbyes and hellos. It was definitely an unforgettable year, and one that changed my life forever.

Let's take a look back at what 2011 brought. . .

JANUARY
  • "The Comeback Kid" - I had the honor of being part of Channel 12 and Phoenix Children's Hospital's Comeback Student Athlete of the Year! I was a winner and my story aired on January 29th on Channel 12. I will never forget this honor.
On the News!
FEBRUARY
  • Poppa - My great-grandfather of 99 years passed away. . . Just 8 days before his 100th birthday. It was a great loss to me and my family and I really struggled with it for some time. But I know he is in a much better place where there is no pain and no sadness sitting with our Lord and Savior smiling down on me. I love you Poppa!
My Poppa
MARCH
  • MRA - had a shoulder procedure while I was wide awake. An interesting experience to say the least and just made me want to work in Pediatric Orthopedics that much more! Not to mention feeling pretty BA for going through with it without any kind of anesthetic ;)
MRA Battle Wounds
APRIL
  • Senior Prom - "An Enchanted Masquerade" It was a night to remember! Being on Prom Court with Daniel Grundmeier and our epic, and unforgettable dance!
  • Concussion Cara - Suffered a traumatic brain injury from my prom date! AWESOME. (Still seeing a neurologist and taking pills daily for the lasting effects) Brain injuries are not something to mess around with!
  • Senior Trip - As senior class president, I planned the senior trip for our class to CA. It was a smashing succes ;)
Senior Prom
Senior Trip

MAY
  • GRADUATION - Graduated from Phoenix Christian High School!
  • It's Official - Nate Jonovich became my incredible boyfriend!
GRADUATION
JUNE
  • Rap Star Whaa? - The beginning stages of my dad's rap album began. . . What a sight to see!
The beginning stages of his rap album.
Recording day #1
JULY
  • Jamaica - I went on a mission trip to Jamaica for the third year in a row. And this year was by far the best, most emotional, most rewarding, and most fun of them all.
Jamaica :)
AUGUST
  • Left the Nest - I moved out! And into my awesome dorm at Grand Canyon University. LOPES UP!!
Amazing dorm!
SEPTEMBER
  • Under the Knife - Had shoulder surgery after a year and a half of failed physical therapy. Done by one of the greatest Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeons around. Thanks Dr. Vaughn!
Shoulder Surgery
OCTOBER
  • I love my Diamondbacks! - They made it to the playoffs and I was blessed enough to go to 2 of their playoff games! Ryan Roberts never disappoints ;)
NOVEMBER
  • BIRTHDAY - I turned 19!
Birthday Festivities
DECEMBER
  • Car Owner - I bought my first car! AHH!
Toyota Camry
I hope you all had a great year! And I pray we all have a fantastic 2012

XOXO