“The reason we are so willing to buy what the world is selling is because it is all clothes.” We are terrified and ashamed to be found naked before God, even though He made us that way. He knows every inch, every freckle, every thought, every vein, and He loves them. But we continue to believe that grace is earned, and so we continue to buy the world’s “clothes”, love the world’s gods, sell our bodies, hearts, souls to the world, and think that by covering ourselves with those things, we will in some way be able to trick God.

Jesus, I don't want to fake it. I want to be intimately known by You. I don't want what the world is selling anymore. The only thing I want is You. I choose You.



As I sit here with both of my dogs in my lap (one being a whopping 70 lbs), it reminds me how sweet it is to be home. It's been a while since I've been home for longer than a week. Five whole weeks. The goal of this break is to find peace, take care of myself, and be adventurous. So far I've done things such as: make a gingerbread house, volunteered at CCA, saw the most amazing Christmas lights, played lots of guitar, drank dirty chai's, and met the sweet writers of Today's Letters. That's just the beginning of this exciting break.

Let's keep it comin'


If I had it my way...

If I had it my way, I would be a designer.
If I had it my way, I would own a vintage boutique with everything I love.
If I had it my way, I would be a wonderful blogger.
If I had it my way, everything would be different.

I don't get my way very often. I spent this whole semester trying to do things my way. Faith was rocky, friendships weren't always true, life was rough. I've learned that the Lord's plan is bigger than I can see. I'm learning to clean out the skeletons in my closet and turn back to the One who is pursuing, rooting, and loving me.

Can't wait to see what He is waiting to teach and show me.

You're better at redeeming me than I'll ever be at running from You.


I read this on a blog today and loved it. I highly encourage you take the time to read this girl's testimony. I was in awe when I read it and saw the things she has gone through. It gave me a sense of peace that the Lord works in so many different ways and that we are so easily swayed to the things of this world, but the Lord continue to pursue us until we are running back to Him. Here is the link for her testimony: http://bringmeforthinlove.wordpress.com/2010/05/01/april-27-2010-2/

She is a wonderful writer as well, and here is what I stumbled upon today.

It is not smiling for pictures that you will hang on your wall and put in your wallets.
And it is not fake plastic smiles for the crowds and kisses on the cheek.
It is not moving in together. It is not cuddling because you can and always finishing each other’s sentences. It is not always beautiful. And it doesn’t make you feel like you’re breathing the kind of air you always imagined everyone else knew the taste of.
It’s not constant butterflies. It’s not holding hands.
It isn’t spending all your time together, going on dates and having romantic thoughts.
Sometimes it’s ugly. Sometimes it’s picking up the broken pieces.
Sometimes it’s knowing that you have feelings that do not line up with God’s plan for your life, that do not line up with what is right, and it’s you walking on eggshells around the relationship so that it might not have to hurt so bad.
Sometimes it’s “I want you so much,” and “I want you so much but I love you enough to know that a relationship cannot be built off wanting someone."
It’s “I do love you, and I know you feel the same way, but this is not God’s plan for us, so I will love you by letting you go, by not acting on my emotions, but by knowing that you love me and I love you.
Love is dirty. Love was hung bruised, naked, hated. Love died for the sake of love.
Love is not “I will make you breakfast in bed”  and love is not “I want to be with you so, lets be together” 
It’s not what you have seen in movies and tv shows, and it’s not what they all sing about.
Love is in you and it’s in me. And sometimes, love means breaking my own heart because I have fallen in love with someone that my Father  did not have for me, someone that it would break His heart for me to be with me.
Love is making sacrifice pleasing to God. 


Aside from growing pains, puberty, and realizing I'm not as cool as I think I am, this season I'm in now is the most uncomfortable and unfortunate. I have never felt so out of place before. You know how everyone says that guys are "all about the chase"? And once they catch the girl, they are just complacent? Nothing else to work towards? Nothing to keep them interested? Well, I feel that way right now. About... everything. Mostly school and the fact that I'm finally where I have been wanting to be since the fourth grade. FOURTH GRADE. I made it. I'm here. I'm doing the thing that I dreamed of doing. I'm in the place that fills me with so much joy. And what am I doing with all of these great experiences and opportunities? Throwing them away. That's exactly what I'm doing. I'm not proud of it and there is no way to go back and change the way I handled my schoolwork, priorities, health, or anything this past semester. It's about to come to a close and I've realized that I've learned nothing. If anything, I've learned everything to not do. I don't mean to be all down and negative about this situation, but isn't that what blogs are for? :)

It's been a tough realization to come to, but I never thought that I was this lazy. Laziness. It consumes me. I like to do things though. I'm all about seeing people, spending time at coffee shops, and going to the next ASC event or meeting. But school? No. I came into this semester overestimating myself and completely underestimating my God. I didn't give this semester to Him. This semester is all my plan, not His. I thought I could be involved in more than one time-consuming activity and still do well in all of my classes. FALSE. I thought I could do everything. I partially think that this is the Pastrana in me. My family has this unconscious belief that we are all superheroes. I'm sure of it. We think we can do more than our body can handle... but most of the time, we pull it off. The point is, it's hard to end a semester and look back and only see the mistakes. It went by too fast and it was hard. Not just the classes, but my heart towards them was hard. I didn't go to class because I got an "I don't care about anything" attitude. This is the last thing I want and I hate that I have gotten to this point. I even think that I am smarter than my professors sometimes. Obviously, that's not true. Or else I'd be doing really well in all of my classes.

I don't know what the Lord is trying to teach me through this huge struggle, but it's making me doubt a lot. I try not to doubt Him, so instead, I doubt myself. Am I smart enough to even go to A&M? I'm still trying to figure that one out. I mean, I got in. They wanted me. There is a reason that I'm here. I have a purpose. I know that much, but that's about it. Maybe my time here is up. That thought keeps going through my head. I don't know if that's just me chickening out or trying to avoid my problems... or maybe it's a good idea. Sometimes I don't feel like I can grow here. I feel like I'm in too much of a bubble, or as some peolpe would say, "cult". I love our little cult, but I don't know if it's good for me right now. I feel like there's so much more I can do with myself and I feel like I'm too bottled up here. After being home for thanksgiving, it made me feel like I should be closer. These are just ideas. Not like I would ever truly want to leave A&M. My heart would break. I would probably cry every day. Not. gonna. lie. But, if it's part of the Lord's plan, I'll go. I'm just patiently waiting for Him to lead me to the understanding of what He has been trying to teach me this semester. I've ran to so many other things the past few months and I'm ready to run to Him.


As I sit here listening to Mumford & Sons and slowly getting ready to go to New Girl Induction for ASC, it makes me take in the blessings of Monday nights. I think these nights will be the ones I miss most after college. Luckily, I still have two more years of Monday meetings and being surrounded by over 200 beautiful girls who all have the same goal in mind. Isn't that wonderful?

ASC has taught me to open up to people and the Lord has softened my heart in order for me to spill my mess with the girls of this organization. I'm so grateful for girls that know my heart and choose to hang out with me anyways. If it weren't for ASC, I wouldn't be in College Station. I probably would have given up already. The heartbeat of ASC is what keeps me wanting to change this college town. I want A&M to be more than a decent football team or tens of thousands of students with weird traditions that no one understands but us. I want people to drive down 6 and into College Station and realize that we are different. We are covered by the blood of Christ and we will never be the same. I want us to be able to carry each other's burdens and always know that we're never alone. ASC has brought that to me and I'm ready to spread it all over campus. Are you with me?

Lord, help me to cast away all of the demons that tell me that I can't make a difference in this world. Take away the guilt of not being good enough and constantly whisper that You have called ME. Thank you for waiting for me even after I choose 100 things before you. You are my choice.


I saw this painting in New Mexico and wanted to buy it in the auction so badly. Then decided that I could paint it myself instead. Challenge? Yes. I'm nervous.. But it's going to happen.

Today: The woman from Today's Letters (Emily Loerke) commented on my friend Victoria's status and said that her and I were "too cute". It was like that feeling when a famous person tweets you back.. Except better. Because she is was more inspirational than any famous person is.

Pretty exciting, if you ask me :) That's all for today.


Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.


"People keep telling me that I fall in love too easily- that I should protect my heart, that I shouldn’t wear my heart on my sleeve… I fall in love at least 20 times a day. I fall in love with the sky and the sun and the flowers. I fall in love with smiles, with music on the radio and with french fries and Dr. Pepper. I fall in love with the sound of laughter, blue jeans, accents… Sometimes I fall in love with complete strangers, especially the ones holding hands and being all cute in public. The ones who aren’t afraid to be in love with the idea of being in love either. I don’t mind the pain of unrequited love so much, because I think they’re wrong. Love looks good on me."


Dear iPhone, I'm sorry... but it's over. You are really great and it's cool that basically the whole population owns one of you, but I am not one of those anymore. I have traded you in for a phone that does the exact same things but is less breakable. Sorry it had to be this way, but I'm happier now. Dear Weekend, TOO FAST. Dear Psych Test Tomorrow, I'm not too scared of you. Don't prove me wrong. Dear Clean Bathroom, I knew that when Mommy came this weekend, you would get a little bath. Thanks be to her! Dear Lord, thank you for teaching me about your truths through more than just biblical references. Science is starting to become more interesting. Thank you for continuing to pursue me and help me learn more about YOU.


Dear Bestfriend, surprising me this weekend = LEGIT. Thanks for being so awesome. Dear Test Weeks, SO. GLAD. YOU. ARE. OVER. Dear Lake Bryan, I will be visiting you sometime this week to explore/hammock. Get excited. Dear N*SYNC Pandora Station, you basically rocked my face off when Court and I drove home yesterday. Three hours of old memories made the traffic slightly less awful. Dear Future Husband, I hope you are an aggie. If not, please pretend to enjoy our weird traditions and sayings. Thanks & Gig 'Em. Dear Joley, ever since going to Midnight Yell last night, you haven't stopped saying "Got a little story for ya, Ags"... I think you are becoming one of us. Now move to College Station. Thanks. Dear King of Kings, you have given me so many blessings. Thanks for still caring about a nobody like me.


Dear Stress, you are unwelcomed here from now on. Dear Weekend at Home, please don't disappoint. I know that you will be somewhat filled with studying, but I'd like to have some fun too. Maybe just a little. Dear Life, you think you're funny and ironic and sneaky... well, you are. Dear Personality Psychology Test, I feel like I know everything, but at the same time... that worries me that I think that. Let's. Not. Blow. It. Dear Jesus, I love being reminded of Your sweet love when listening closely to the lyrics of a song. It's so relaxing to know that Your love reaches farther than I can fall. Thank you for that.


Dear Large Field of Nothingness, I want to be there and spend a day with you. Dear Weekend, you were chill. Thank you for not bringing chaos into my life. Much appreciated. Dear Headache the Size of Russia, come again later. Or not. I'm trying to study. Dear Nap at 5:30 PM, I know I will regret you. Dear Jesus, sometimes it's hard to hear you saying "You are enough. I have called you to be in this position" in the midst of satan's lies. Thank you for being persistent.


Dear Bed, this is what I looked like today when we were hanging out. Let's just say, we had some legit quality time. Dear School, thanks for not being a part of my life today. One- because I like to sleep and two- because classes cancelled are so wonderful. Dear Trashy TV Shows, I'm sorry that I enjoy you so much. Dear Kyle Field, tonight you will be blessed with the presence of thousands of college students worshipping the One who gave His life so that we could have ours. Get excited! Dear Jesus, I hate that you are so forgiving sometimes. I don't deserve it one bit. I'm sorry that I don't always believe that YOU are the only one that can truly satisfy me. Please keep reminding me.


decorating & happiness

Dear Wil Group Reunion Sleepover, staying up until after 3 a.m. made me feel like a real college student and spending hours just talking to you girls about accountability and struggles made me realize why the Lord put y'all in my life. Thank you. Dear Football Games, you would be way more legit if it weren't a thousand degrees outside and if we didn't stand all game. Work on that, please. Dear Momma, you helped SO much this weekend with all of the things that I couldn't do. These included: getting my bike fixed, putting up shelves, making pillows, getting curtains, making crafts with my roomies, and fixing my orange hair. You truly are superwoman. Dear Bedroom With New Decorations, You. Look. Fabulous. I feel so at home here now and I love spending time in here. Dear Wil Group Leader Retreat, I loved meeting all of my fellow WG Leaders and spending a WHOLE day with them. Yay for new friends. Dear Jesus, this whole weekend was just a reassurance of your grace and blessings in my life. You have put such wonderful opportunities and people in front of me that lead me to trust You more and more each day. Forgive me if there is ever a day that I am not amazed by the beauty of what You did on the cross for me so that I can live this life of mine. You. Are. All. I. Need.


worship & hammocks

Dear Hammock, you have not been put to use since I've been back in Texas. Let's make a date soon? Circle YES or NO. Dear New Jeans, you have a foul smell coming from you and I don't know how to rid you of it. Don't blame it on me- blame it on Target... or the alcohol (get it?). Dear Worship Practice, you are so wonderful. I love the time of fellowship and laughter with sweet girls. Thursday's are my new F-A-V-E! Dear Nervousness, how about you bust out some Philippians 4:6. Memorize, meditate. Dear Weekend, you are going to bless me so! LOVE IT! Come sooner.


dirty TOMS & new friends

Dear New Bike Basket, I'm happy you came in the mail today and I can't wait to put you on my bike... once it's fully put together. Dear TOMS, you + rain = sick nasty. Dirt was everywhere and my heart dropped. Now I can barely see everyone's names who signed them this summer. Please come clean soon. Dear Eastern Conference Champions, your songs are the reason that I love the harmonica. Dear New Friends, today in Planet Earth lab, your friendship reassured me that I'm not alone and that I am smart enough to attend A&M.. and for that, 3 high fives for y'all. Dear Breakaway, thank you for being the highlight of my week. My life and this campus is better because of your ministry. Keep it up! Dear Rudy's BBQ, I've heard good things about you but I've never tasted your deliciousness. Please don't let me down tonight. Dear Lover of my Soul, yesterday was a day in which I lived my life and didn't think about my life at all. Happiest. Day. Ever. Thank you for being my comfort, my healer, and for constantly whispering "You are strong enough" in my ear when I've forgotten. For that, I am forever grateful.


Over sleeping & Rain

Dear Sleep, thank you for blessing me with a little extra of you last night. Dear Rain, please try to be more enjoyable like you were when you were falling behind the mountains in New Mexico. Dear Self, today is your day to be productive and de-clutter your room so that you can be happier. Really though, a clean room makes for a happy girl. Dear Breakaway, I love that you are so popular this year but please let me be able to hear tonight when I'm most likely sitting on the balcony. Thanks and Gig 'Em. Dear Creator of the Universe, thank you for the opportunities of leadership you've put in front of me. I'm so excited to serve You through leading other girls while bringing glory to Your name. You. Are. Awesome.


Today's Letters

Through friend's blogs, I've now stumbled across todaysletters.com. Truly one of the coolest blogs I've ever seen. It makes me feel insecure about my less than interesting blog posts about New Mexico and life as we know it. In honor of trying to become a more serious blogger, I decided to spice up my page and copy the letters idea a bit. Likey?

Dear Personal Style, You're ridiculous. Orange hair (yes, I messed it up). Pierced nose. Broken jeans. Grandma glasses. TOMS. Cool, right? Dear Sweet Sweet Jesus, thank you for saving me. Really. I'm a mess. Thank you for constantly believing in me and forgiving me day in and day out. Dear Room, why don't you clean yourself up once in a while? Dear New Mexico, when I think about you, I get tears in my eyes. Let's live together someday. Dear New Picture Frames, I love filling you with memories. Thanks for reminding me everyday of how sweet life can be. Dear Self, stop being lazy and be productive from now on. I just call it like I see it.

Happy Monday!


Back to reality

It has been a little over a week since I've been home from New Mexico. Am I excited to be home? Honestly, no. I feel like a part of me is missing every morning when I wake up. I truly didn't think it would affect me this way, but it has. This summer brought so many trials, convictions, and frustrations to my life. Most of the time I felt like I was taking two steps in the wrong direction. I can't say it was always easy, but I can say that it was worth it. If I had the choice, I would go back and do it all over again. The heartaches, the crying, the fighting, the lack of sleep, all of it. It was one of those situations where the good always outweighed the bad. It was amazing how the Lord worked in me while I was there trying to become a servant. I learned more about myself during those three months than I have in the last year. Truthfully, not all good things... and most are things that I need to fix, but I am thankful that the Lord revealed those characteristics to me so that I can make that change and become the woman of the Lord that He has called me to be. Would I recommend everyone to go somewhere unfamiliar for three months and serve? Absolutely. 100%. Go! I wouldn't change those experiences for the anything.

So, I'm back. Waiting for the next thrilling adventure in my life. So far the only thing that has happened is my speeding ticket. Therefore, I am currently in the midst of defensive driving and my room still looks like a tornado. Goal-- leave in the next 4-5 hours to go back to College Station. That's an adventure in itself! But even still, I can't help but be thankful for the opportunity to be going back to school, living with three amazing girls, and getting more involved in Aggie Sisters for Christ. As hard as my life is while I struggle with sin, frustration, and fear... the Lord is good. I know that He has an amazing plan for this school year. I know it and I can't wait to see what He brings forth. I wish I was a good writer and could write some heartfelt blog about how awesome He is.. but that's all there is to it. He is wonderful and just. He is always on time, even when we think He has forgotten. I take that for granted a lot of the time and wish things could go my way even though when I take matters into my own hands, my world turns upside down. I am holding steadfast to the Truth and ready to take on some thrilling adventures this year!

"Lord, if You have something else planned, take Your dreams and run with it."

Gig 'Em and God Bless!



I don't even know where to begin. I have had so many happy, sad, frustrating, exhilarating, amazing, and stressful times in the past two weeks in New Mexico. Luckily, all of the good has cancelled out the bad. I am amazed that I have the opportunity to be here this summer and serve the Lord wholeheartedly. I honestly have to check myself everyday and pray that the Lord will give me His strength because I rarely have any of my own. Let's just say that it is TOUGH waking up at 5 a.m. every morning. I am now very understanding of people who go to sleep early :) The Lord has been working in my heart and in my actions as I meet new people and examine my attitude towards them. I wish I could fit all of my experiences into one blog, but it would literally take forever. However, there is one experience that I believe is blog-worthy.

Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to go to Santa Fe to talk/feed/hang out with homeless people that hang out in the plaza. Out of my comfort zone? Yes. (side note, I feel like when you’re out of your comfort zone, you always end up with the best stories/experiences). I walked up to a freckled man named Virgil who was covered in tattoos and whose teeth were barely noticeable. For some reason, I still found him very approachable. We started talking about his life and past mistakes he’s made and how he lives day to day. We discussed the difference between being happy and being joyful. We agreed that happiness can change but a joyful person is joyful no matter the circumstance. I told him about James 1:2-4 where it talks about being joyful through the testing of your faith because It produces steadfastness. He listened. We got to talking about culture, different states, weather, and most of all, history. I was in awe at his knowledge of dates and historical events that I’ve never even heard of. He told me about all the cruel people in the world and how he moved west once 9/11 happened. We spoke about his travels and his kids (who he doesn’t keep in touch with anymore). We eventually got to talking about the afterlife. I was somewhat nervous about his reaction to my upbringing of the topic, but he was very easy-going. Virgil believes in reincarnation. Not just in the idea of it, but that he has lived two lives prior this one. I listened intently to him telling me how he remembers dying in the Civil War, coming back again and dying from pneumonia as an 11 year old boy, and now… a homeless man in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was amazed. He then said, “Who knows, maybe I’ll come back as you.” Crazy. Then he started discussing how the only thing you need to do in life is be good and don’t harm people. I told him about Jesus. He didn’t condemn me. In fact, he was very happy for the life I lived and we had a nice discussion. He talked about history and I talked about religion. It was perfect. Although he did mention he was a “tough cookie to crack” (boy, he was), I still loved every minute of our conversation. He was so open to my ideas and every time he stopped a sentence, I would smile, then he would smile, and I’d ask another question. I didn’t think I’d ever have the guts to spend an evening with someone who literally thought they were from another world, but praise the Lord I did. Did I mention his belief in aliens? And that he has read the bible cover to cover twice? He believes that if you read deeper, you can notice hints about aliens in the books of Isaiah and Revelation. Tomorrow, I’m going to read into that and see. I think his beliefs are interesting and I want to see what he sees. At the end of our talk, I was able to pray for him and his heart. I walked away and immediately wanted to run back and hug him. I literally had to hold in my tears because I just wanted to sit there with him all night. Virgil has been on my mind and heart since then and that time we spent together will forever be a part of me.

My heart was broken. My heart IS broken. There are so many lost people and I never take the time to step back and see the bigger picture. I feel like I live my life with my nose stuck to the photograh. I can barely even see anything. But the Lord gently pulls away the picture and holds it out so that he can see every bit of it. I wish I could be that way, but I am not the perfect and almighty God that died so that we could live free. That experience just brought me back to the reason why I’m really here. Love others. Get out of your comfort zone and do something crazy for the Lord. I feel like I spend so much time being distracted by the people here and the boys and making sure I have someone to hang out with rather than intentionally loving on people for the greater good. I want to advance the Kingdom one life at a time, one day at a time. And I feel like I forget that I have that opportunity every single day. Not just because I’m here in Glorieta, but even when I go home. I am a disciple of God cleverly disguised as a High Point Staffer and I want to impact people. I want to be that girl who sees things differently than everyone else. That’s what makes people beautiful. Beautiful people are joyful and know that the joy of the Lord is their strength. They choose to sing hallelujah no matter the circumstance. I am praying for all the staffers here and everyone back home. I pray that this summer is one that brings changes, challenges, and most of all, advancement of the Kingdom. I pray that the Lord is constantly changing my heart and the hearts of those around me. Break us, Lord and help us to look more like You as we love others and give You all the glory.



I don’t know what I want to do with my life. I just know I want to do it. I want to see the world. I want to meet every single person breathing on this earth. I want to give everyone a hug or a handshake and I want to make someone’s life a little easier. I want to be different than the people I know because that’s what makes us beautiful. I want to be absolutely ridiculous before I die. I don’t want regrets. I want to stand for something



I sometimes hate that the Lord is so forgiving. I hate that I mess up so much. I hate that although I am a sinner, the Lord keeps embracing me back into his arms. Sounds kind of ironic or... idiotic. I guess I'm mostly afraid. Afraid that one day I'll run out of "I'm sorry" or "I need Your forgiveness" and that He'll start saying "You've really done it this time" and "I don't know how to forget about this". I hate that I can be so awful and do things that even I, myself, are ashamed to admit... yet He sees me just as beautiful and lovable as always. It's kind of a love/hate relationship that I have with His forgiveness. If I try to imagine what my life would be without his neverending grace and his unfathomable love for me, I honestly can't see myself. I can't see any aspect of who I am. I would be nothing. Through all of this doubt I have with myself and my Lord... I know one thing for certain. He is, just as my earthly father is, ready to embrace me after I've served Him wrong. He yearns for me to make things right again. My daddy does that too. He sees that I make a mistake, he let's me know I made a mistake (usually more than once), and he gives me a chance to repent and correct it. Some can agree when I say that most of the time, I don't feel worthy of His love. The love that can move mountains, make miracles, or even His love for a nobody like me. But that's just the thing.. I'm not a nobody. In my favorite book (Captivating), it explains how there's a spot in everyone's heart that only the Lord can fill. I've heard that plenty of times. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But... what never seizes to break my heart is that there's also a place in God's heart that only I can fill. Me. The one who forgets to pray at night before going to bed. The one who cut someone off while driving to class. The one who selfishly does only what I want to do, and doesn't look at others opinions. And He is still waiting for me at the cross. He is waiting to embrace me, and all of you. He wants to forgive us. Again, love/hate relationship. There definitely is a part that I love. I remember countless pictures that I have of my dad and I asleep on the recliner in our old house. I'm laying on his chest. Him, probably snoring. The pictures are endless. Although I don't remember those moments, I cherish those pictures. Still to this day, I go home, away from the college life and I snuggle up next to my parents on our recliner. Seeing their love for me and how they just want for me to succeed and do what I love makes me realize that they are truly loving me like Christ does. So now, almost 19 (in one week!), I go to bed at night, not daydreaming of a cute boy cuddled up next to me.. but of my Heavenly Father embracing me in his arms just as my earthly father has always done. The Lord wants that from us. He wants us to run back to Him, sit in his lap, and ask for His forgiveness. He is waiting.

"I will arise and go to Jesus, He will embrace me in his arms.
And in the arms of my dear Savior.. Oh, there are ten thousand charms."